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On Thursday, February 14, 2019, President Donald Trump joined pro-life leaders on a nationwide conference call to discuss late-term abortion.

Late-term abortion — up to birth — passed the New York State senate on January 22.

A similar measure failed in Virginia around that time.

However, a handful of other US states have already signed into law or are proposing similar legislation.

White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp spoke to the media after the conference call. CBN reported (emphases mine):

He spoke about the horrors of late-term abortion in particular and wanted to give them the motivation and strength to keep fighting, keep moving what he called the pro-life movement, that this is a moment in time where we need to make sure that their voices are heard in this fight, to ensure that we don’t, that our country doesn’t go in this extreme direction that the Democrats are taking us on the issues of abortion,” White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp said.

The president recently signed a letter to Congress making it clear that he will veto any legislation that weakens existing federal protections of innocent life.

Alluding to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s stunning assertion that some babies should be allowed to die right after they’re born, Schlapp said President Trump made it clear he would consider such a move to be nothing short of an “execution.”

As he said in the State of the Union, it’s executing a baby,” she said. “He cannot fathom that a governor, the governor of Virginia would say a baby is born and you keep the baby comfortable and then the parents can decide whether to not to keep the baby or kill the baby.”

Schlapp said the president hopes to see Congress pass legislation prohibiting such barbaric procedures but acknowledges there will likely be plenty of push-back from Democrats

Meanwhile, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy preventing foreign aid from being used to support abortion. In addition, the administration has issued a proposed regulation to ensure taxpayer dollars from the Title X family planning program are not used to fund abortion.

What follows is the transcript of the National Pro-life Presidential Conference Call. As the president was speaking from the Oval Office, he had with him invited guests — pro-life advocate Alveda King (Martin Luther King Jr’s niece) and other pro-life advocates of all ages (Breaking Christian News has Ms King’s group photo):

[START OF TRANSCRIPT]

Male Speaker: Hello and thank you for joining today’s National Pro-Life Conference Call. This call is not intended for press purposes and is not on the record. If you are a member of the press, please disconnect now. Please note at this time, all audience members are in listen-only mode to minimize background noise. I would like to formally begin today’s call and introduce the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Donald J. Trump: Thank you very much and I want to thank all of the thousands of pro-lifers and pro-life leaders, pastors, families and advocates for joining this call and for working with such love and devotion to build a culture that cherishes human life. In recent weeks, events have taken place that have shocked the conscience of our whole nation and this is whether you’re pro-life or anything else you happen to be because what’s happened is terrible. Democratic lawmakers in multiple states have been working to expand extreme late-term abortion. In New York State, legislators cheered with delight for a law that will allow babies to be ripped from the womb of their mother in the ninth month, right up until the moment of birth. Then to take it even a step further, in an incredible event and a horrible event, the Governor of Virginia even stated that he would allow a newborn baby… a baby that was actually outside and as he said, “Wrap the baby, warm the baby,” and then he has a discussion with the mother and the father as to what to do with the baby and we use the word, in the State of the Union, “executed” the baby. That is exactly what it was. It was an execution. This was shocking to everybody and frankly the pro-life leaders… I think your popularity and your cause is going to be actually benefitted by what happened because nobody can believe what he said and what he did.

In both cases, in New York and in Virginia, America must always be a nation that protects the most vulnerable and that defends the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, called the “Right to Life.” Since day one, I have kept my promise to protect unborn children. During my first week in office, I reinstated the Mexican City Policy, so the Mexico City Policy has been reinstated, which as you know other presidents… many presidents were not willing to do but I did it. Last month I signed a letter to Congress to make clear that if they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the protection of human life, I will issue a veto. I’ve taken historic action to protect the conscience rights and religious liberties of doctors and nurses, charities, and faith-based adoption agencies. During my State of the Union address, I asked Congress to pass legislation to prohibit late-term abortion of children who can feel the pain in the mother’s womb. We just have been very, very strong on that and I’m here with a lot of the great friends and the great leaders of the pro-life and I call it a movement, because I think now it’s become a movement more so in the last two weeks than it has been in a long time. It’s now a movement.

I know many of the leaders on this call are working to get this legislation passed, and I believe we’ll be successful. We’ll work very hard and I want to thank you for helping. I also hope that one day we can have a special signing ceremony right here in the Oval Office. If that gets done, we’ll all be together in the Oval Office, we’ll sign it. A few moments ago, I spoke with several families… beautiful stories serve as an inspiration to all of us. They’re actually in my office right now. One of the people who joins us in the Oval Office today is Micah, in name Micah Pickering right in front of me. Beautiful young man. Mi[cah] was born at 22 weeks. Today is a healthy… I can tell you that, I’m looking at him, a healthy six-year-old boy filled with energy and filled with life and he’s doing very well. I can say that. Micah, are you good, everything good? The whole world is talking about you right now, Micah. Micah is doing good, he said. We’re also proud to be joined today by Katy Shaw. Katy was born with Down Syndrome and she said, “I’ve made the world a better place.” Katy has actually made the world… she’s right in front of me. She looks fantastic. Katy, I really want to thank you for being here… very, very special. We have thousands of people on this call and they’re all sending their “hello” to Katy Shaw, very, very special. Our nation is uplifted by the incredible Americans like Katy who are powerful advocates for life. Every child born and unborn is made in the holy image of God. Together, we will continue to work for the day when all children have a chance to live and to love and to dream and to reach their full God-given potential.

I want to thank all of the people on the call today. I have a whole group of people in the Oval Office and we’ll be discussing this very important issue. But to all of the pro-life leaders, we respect you and we thank you very much. I think we’ve make a lot of progress in the last two weeks because of horrible things that have been done by the other side. Thank you all for being on the call and I look forward to seeing you and we’ll have signing celebrations and I look forward to having them in the White House. Thank you all very much. Goodbye.

Male Speaker: Thank you all in the audience for joining us today. Again, this call was not intended for press purposes and is not on the record. The call is concluded and you may disconnect.

[END OF TRANSCRIPTION]

I have several YouTube videos of varying lengths with testimony as to what happens during a late-term abortion. They have graphic descriptions of the procedures involved. One long-time abortionist, who has since stopped aborting, displayed the tools he used to perform what we have been told for nearly 50 years is a mere ‘medical procedure’. His frank and impartial descriptions, whilst holding up the tools, will leave you shocked.

I will feature these videos in future posts.

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Our advanced Western society is quickly becoming desensitised not only to the unborn, but also to infants.

On January 22, 2019, New York State celebrated abortion up to birth — essentially, infanticide — which is now a part of their state constitution. That means it cannot be overwritten by the Supreme Court.

Watch the standing ovation:

The Empire State building was lit in celebration. How times have changed:

A technical point on the next tweet: the state capital is in Albany, not New York City, but the larger message still stands.

Effectively, this is what the New York law means:

This is a strange thing for a Catholic governor to champion, considering that he is so passionate about children:

I was not alone in finding this illogical:

Here is the horrifying detail. Please look at the babies’ photos above before reading the following. Click on the image to see the description in full. If, after the first injection, the baby has not died, a second injection of poison is administered:

Who can imagine the baby’s pain and suffering?

It is incomprehensible to me that a mother carrying a child up until birth would want to kill it.

And, even if the mother decided so late that she no longer wanted the child — still incomprehensible — why not give birth and offer the baby for adoption?

There is something very wrong with a certain section of American society that legalises and celebrates infanticide.

And more American states are considering it, too.

More to come on this subject soon.

And so he should.

All week long, the media have told us all about the Far Right people in Charlottesville, but nothing about the violent Alt-Left who were there. I wrote about Antifa and others yesterday.

To recap, this Charlottesville thing was a set-up designed to bring President Donald Trump down. The Far Right and the Far Left were actors and pawns used — and paid — by powerful Trump enemies. I explained why earlier in the week.

President Donald Trump made a statement on Saturday, August 12, 2017 rightly condemning both sides — while the melée was still going on. Big Media weren’t happy because he said the Left as well as the Right were involved in the violence. He made another statement on Monday, August 14, focussing on the Right. No one was happy, including his supporters. On Tuesday, August 15 at Trump Tower — because the White House is being renovated — he took the gloves off.

The interruptions from reporters were epic and uncalled for. A black Trump-supporting talk show host rightly pointed out:

Apparently …

One can imagine the president was well and truly fed up.

How many statements does he need to make about this?

So, he asked the media, ‘What about the Alt-Left?’ That occurs about halfway through this video, which is only part of the press conference, which was supposed to be about his new infrastructure policies, which is why Trump was flanked by newly married treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and transportation secretary Elaine Chao. Instead, it was mostly about Charlottesville. Watch the body language and note the welcome absence of a teleprompter:

Elaine Chao looks on in admiration. She’s married to do-nothing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

This is the next part, which is about violent activists pulling down Confederate statues. Trump asks where it will stop and if Washington and Jefferson are next:

Asking how far these unhinged radicals will go led to a confrontation between Trump and the always complaining, ever-interrupting Jim Acosta from CNN, who, as I said yesterday, needs his press pass pulled — permanently. In fact, CNN should be suspended indefinitely from press briefings:

The White House issued a summary of talking points about the press conference. Particularly enjoyable is the bullet point that reads (emphases mine below):

The media reacted with hysteria to the notion that counter-protesters showed up with clubs spoiling for a fight, a fact that reporters on the ground have repeatedly stated.

Hilarious — and so true.

The Daily Wire, not necessarily a pro-Trump site, enjoyed it. It was vintage Trump — the man so many voted for — for sure. Excerpts follow from ‘Trump’s Epic Presser Clarifies Three Truths That Have Driven The MSM Insane’ (emphases of numbered items in the original):

During a fiery question and answer session with the leftwing media Tuesday afternoon, President Trump arrived loaded for bear. The presser was vintage Trump. Combative, oftentimes hilarious, and filled with deeply satisfying moments that sometimes happen when Trump is at his best, moments when stark truths are finally said out loud, and by the President of the United States, no less.

Trump appeared to enjoy every moment of the hostile back and forth. Moreover, he had three truths he wanted to communicate to the American people, and so that is exactly what he did and we are now a better country for it.

1. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis.”

Trump again blasted the white supremacists in Charlottesville, and he also tore into the man charged with driving his car into a group of Antifa counter-protesters as a “disgrace to his family and country … a murderer.”

However, Trump also pointed out that not everyone who protested that day against the removal of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s statue is a racist

The media’s response to this truth has been unhinged. They are claiming Trump believes there are good people in the white supremacist movement. This despite the fact he made clear — without being asked — that this is exactly what he did not mean:

I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers.

2. “Are we going to take down statues to George Washington?”

Although Trump made clear that he believes, and appropriately so, that the decision to remove statues should be left to local governments, he also made another clarifying point: Where does this madness end?

Acosta kept saying, ‘No, sir. No, sir,’ but I’ve seen this many times before in my lifetime: mission creep — smoking bans being a primary example.

Back to the article, which also suggests mission creep:

Quite hilariously the disingenuous is pretending Trump is insane for lumping together Lee with Jefferson and Washington, even though the calls from the Left to memory-hole our slave-owning Founding Fathers, to remove their statues and tributes, have been floated for more than a decade.

Where will it end?

Lincoln was serious about freeing the slaves and shipping them back to Africa. West Virginia is lousy with tributes to Klansman (and Democrat) Robert Byrd. Ulysses Grant owned slaves. Franklin Roosevelt interned the Japanese.

The media can pretend the Left’s Taliban-ish crusade for historical purity is not real, but it is, and Americans know it.

3. “There was violence on both sides.”

This is, without question, the most important point the president made, and he made it repeatedly.

Post-Charlottesville, the MSM’s shameless propaganda push, their audacious and coordinated attempt to write the culpability of Antifa out of Saturday’s riot is not only Orwellian, it is (and this is by design) dangerous. The media obviously wants Antifa motivated and out there, wants their own personal army of Brownshirts fanning out across the country to break heads, not just of Nazis but of everyday Trump supporters, of anyone on the Right who dares hold an unacceptable opinion.

Trump was having none of it:

What I’m saying is this. You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible. And it was a horrible thing to watch.

But there is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the Left. You’ve just called them the Left — that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is. …

I think there’s blame on both sides. … I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say [so].

The article concludes:

Today, he dragged the media’s favorite leftwing supremacists out into the spotlight.

Trump’s taking hell for it, but he is doing the only moral thing — telling the truth.

Indeed, and Trump supporters are most grateful. I hope this happens more often. I really do. Chief of Staff General John F Kelly was also there standing to Steven Mnuchin’s left, and it is unclear whether he disapproved of Trump’s truth telling or if he was annoyed with the media. He looked out, he looked down, but was enigmatic. By contrast, Mnuchin was trying to suppress a grin every now and then.

Whatever the case with the lying media:

From the Christian Post article:

While some, like Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, have claimed that there is a “direct line” between the events in Charlottesville and the choices Trump made in his 2016 presidential campaign, conservative African-American clergy members, scholars and political activists decried such an argument in a Monday press conference at the National Press Club.

Organized by The Center of Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit think tank founded by conservative political commentator and activist Star Parker, the press conference was originally scheduled for the purpose of praising the Trump administration’s plan to revitalize inner cities. But given the events of last weekend — where clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters became deadly — Charlottesville and the related issue of racial conflict dominated much of the talk in the news conference

The Rev. Derek McCoy, CURE’s executive vice president who also directs the CURE National Clergy Network, was the first to respond to the question.

“One thing you need to understand — you are saying that the president is the instigator and I think that is absolutely wrong. No, it is not disingenuous,” McCoy asserted. “The president made his comments and we are not standing up here to say that we are best friends with everything the president does but he is in an office that we all respect.If we are looking about how we can move our country forward, we are trying to make sure that we do that collectively together.”

Corrogan Vaughn, a political activist who ran against Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland in the 2016 election, argued that those in the media who blame Trump for the racial tension in the United States are trying to turn Trump into a “villain.”

“Don’t make our commander in chief a villain when in actuality it is more the villainess of the media in terms of making something where nothing is,” Vaughn stated.

Well said.

Who are more credible, these good people or the lying media?

One thing which could be revealed during a Donald Trump administration is the truth about 9/11.

Who better to do so than America’s foremost real estate developer who lives in Manhattan?

A few months ago, an old interview with New York’s Channel 9 surfaced where Trump talked about the structure of the World Trade Center and 9/11. I’m not a 9/11 conspiracy nut, but what he said on September 11, 2001 gave me pause for thought.

Infowars has the first part of the interview along with subtitles. Trump says there must have been explosives on the planes. He gives a lot of information about the structure, so it’s better to read it than listen:

The interview is in its entirety below. It picks up from the partial Infowars clip at around 2:30. I’ve included this because, at the end, Trump says that 9/11 will change the United States ‘for many years to come’:

I posted the second video at The Conservative Treehouse on January 2 and received an interesting reply:

Trump knows exactly what’s up with 9/11.

As a top NY Real Estate investor, he no doubt studied the WTC lease-options pre 9/11/2001 and was keenly aware that the NY Port Authority lost an asbestos lawsuit in May 2001 that would take more than billion to remediate.

Trump was no doubt scratching his head when and soon thereafter another high-profile, savvy NY Real Estate tycoon Larry Silverstein purchased a 99 year lease on half-empty buildings with a major asbestos problem that required billion + remediation. The reality of upcoming asbestos-related litigation was staggering…

“Why did Larry Silverstein purchase these buildings?” had to be on Trump’s mind every morning when he awoke and before he fell asleep.

Trump may or may not have known or been concerned about the insurance policy Larry Silverstein purchased on these buildings – it seems reasonable I suppose that a policy be crafted on the WTC buildings specifically for terrorist acts.

But I guaran-damn-tee you when Trump watched the events unfold on 9/11 from his penthouse windows – watching in real time as his friends and associates were brutally slaughtered on his home turf – he connected the dots.

As I say, I am not a 9/11 person so was unaware of an asbestos lawsuit connected with the World Trade Center.

There must be wheels within wheels connected with 9/11. It will be interesting to see if Trump is able to give us the full story.

On Tuesday, November 29, Donald Trump took Mitt Romney and Chief of Staff (and GOP chairman) Reince Priebus to dinner.

They dined at Jean Georges (Vongerichten) in the Trump International at 1 Central Park West.

A word of explanation is in order for my overseas readers. Mitt was one of the top people in the NeverTrump movement. He was never on board with Trump’s candidacy and made it known publicly in no uncertain terms. Now that Trump is forming a cabinet, he has been meeting with Mitt. The Secretary of State position is rumoured, but Trump said he would also be meeting with other hopefuls.

Conservative blogs are exploding with ‘Never Mitt!’ but Trump enjoys his negotiations and bringing people together. Big Media won’t tell you that, but it’s true, and it’s one of the reasons why he won on November 8.

For those reasons, this dinner attracted more Big Media tweets and videos than one could reasonably expect. The times might be off on the tweets below (because I’m reproducing them), so I’ve put everything in chronological order from the time stamps I’m viewing. The original time stamps show up when you click on the tweet.

The three arrive for dinner. Everyone applauds (5:32 p.m.):

Several minutes later (5:47):

Then (5:54):

A short time later (6:10):

Here’s the Jean Georges menu. Three courses for $128. Each Caviar Creation has a $40 supplement.

What they ordered:

Big Media grab a video. Trump doesn’t look too happy:

Here’s an interesting photo collage (courtesy of The_Donald). Trump’s enjoying this on several levels.  Not so sure about Romney, but, then, he lost in his presidential bid in 2012, so he is unaccustomed to being filmed and photographed at dinner:

https://i.sli.mg/cWQtHt.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, Mitt spoke to the media (7:50 p.m.):

He did not answer any questions:

Conclusion:

I think Trump’s overriding message — in the nicest of ways — was, ‘It’s my party now.’ That partly explains Reince’s presence. Also, a third person is a witness to a conversation between two people, in this case, Trump and Mitt.

This is an exciting time for the Republican Party. Trump injected a lot of life and young blood into it through his voters. Reddit’s The_Donald — a youthful and enthusiastic, if somewhat salty, news site — is testament to this new unity among Americans of all ages, creeds and circumstances. Everyone is welcome there. What’s more, they’re always first with news and analysis. Most have no party affiliation, but they are 100% behind Donald Trump.

Onwards and upwards, Republicans! This is the first time in decades you’ve got the wind in your sails! Carpe diem!

The next four years will be fascinating!

Donald Trump and his family shared dinner at New York’s 21 Club on Tuesday, November 15.

That would be fairly unremarkable were it not for the fact that his spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the press they could go home earlier that evening because the president-elect would not be leaving Trump Tower.

As luck would have it, one of the diners at the 21 Club when the Trumps arrived was a Bloomberg reporter. Perhaps out of courtesy to the Trumps she tweeted the wrong name of the restaurant:

This is the interior of Keens, which is in midtown Manhattan and further away from Trump Tower than Club 21, or 21, as those in the know call it.

In case you’re wondering what’s on the ceiling in Keens, those are pipes from their frequent diners, which include many members of the great and the good. Each pipe is labelled to identify the owner, and waiters were able to bring the pipes down for after-dinner enjoyment when smoking indoors was allowed. But I digress.

Anyway, Big Media went into meltdown. Hope Hicks said she was unaware of the Trumps’ dinner plans. I can imagine she was just so he could have time with his family outside of Trump Tower.

To the Daily Mail this signified:

that the President-elect’s team is in disarray and unprepared for the process of transition.

No, they’re just boxing clever.

NBC was on the verge of alarm:

In a highly unusual move, President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday night left his Manhattan residence without notifying the reporters covering him or giving any indication of where he was going.

The maneuver seemed to deliberately limit access to the media.

Is it any wonder, after everyone has treated him so horribly?

MSNBC during Rachel Maddow’s broadcast was even worse (H/T to The_Donald):

 

 

The Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein was not amused:

Yes, many of us probably cheered. So what?

As for Stein’s accusation of ‘terrible violation of protocol’, giving the press the slip was perfectly acceptable when Obama was first elected. No one minded then.

Look at the fair and balanced story from Politico eight years ago when Obama and his family took a secret trip to Sea Life Park in Hawaii (emphases mine):

It was the first time Obama’s motorcade has traveled without his protective press pool during his vacation and perhaps since the election. Obama has largely avoided the press during his first half of his 12-day vacation on Oahu, and has not spoken to the reporters following him daily.

Obama’s press aides sent reporters home for the day around 9:30 a.m.

Around 11:15 a.m., reporters on pool duty received an e-mail saying that they were to meet again in the lobby of the hotel where they are staying because the president-elect was going somewhere. They made it to the amusement park at 12:10, an hour after Obama arrived there

The press pool was not allowed inside the park, and Obama did not pose for pictures or talk to reporters.

Big Media are such hypocrites. They deserve to fail, epically.

The annual Al Smith dinner was held this year in Manhattan on Thursday, October 20, the day after the final presidential debate in Las Vegas.

The Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation is named after the first Roman Catholic presidential candidate. Smith served three terms as governor of New York (state) and ran unsuccessfully for President in 1932, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the Democrat Party nomination.

The Foundation was started in 1945, the year after Smith’s death. Its purpose is to raise funds for Catholic charitable purposes and distribute them to worthy causes. During presidential campaign years, both candidates are invited to speak before dinner. The speeches are in the comedy ‘roast’ style, and speakers tell one-liners against themselves as well as each other.

Barack Obama’s 2012 speech to the Catholic dignitaries and media pundits can be found here. Obama waited for the laughs after every ‘joke’ (far from stellar punchlines).

His opponent, Mitt Romney, knocked it out of the park with jokes written by comedian Dennis Miller which he delivered to a T.

This year, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton delivered speeches. Trump’s was funny yet made serious points. He began by saying that he was an insider amongst many seated around him on the dais. Now he is an outsider. Then, in talking about his and Cardinal Dolan’s properties on Fifth Avenue — Trump Tower and St Patrick’s Cathedral — he offered praise by saying that while his is manmade, Cardinal Dolan’s was ‘made by the hands of God’.

After that, it was time to joke about the campaign and Hillary, which included barbs about the debate and the missing emails.

At 12:39, he said, ‘Hillary is so corrupt …’ which brought a stunning reaction from the man on the right of the screen, Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group, and Cardinal Dolan who wiped his forehead with a handkerchief and removed his cap for the remainder of the speech. Trump continued with more one-liners that got everyone laughing again:

At the end, he spoke about the importance of life (anti-abortion statement) and the excellent work of the Al Smith Foundation which, this year alone, raised $6 million to help needy children in New York.

The barometer for laughs is the lady in the red dress, Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business Network. She didn’t laugh nearly as often at Hillary Clinton’s monologue. In the interest of fairness, here is her speech:

My thanks to the citizen sleuths at The Conservative Treehouse for identifying people and mentioning that Bill Clinton was the only presidential candidate disinvited from this event. That was because of his support of partial-birth abortion. Bill was not in attendance last night, either.

Of course, since then, other Democratic nominees have supported abortion, including Hillary, who made no secret of it at the third debate. But, as many know, Cafeteria Catholics abound these days, including at the Al Smith Dinner.

On Monday, September 19, the main suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings at the weekend was finally arrested.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, of Elizabeth, NJ, was found asleep in the neighbouring town of Linden. He was slumped in the doorway of a tavern there.

The owner was at another establishment across the street. He thought Rahami was a drunk until he recognised him. He rang the police.

When police awakened Rahami, the suspect opened fire, wounding one policeman in the chest. The other officers pursued him on foot. Rahami shot at a police car. The bullet ricocheted and grazed another officer’s face. The chase ended when police shot him several times and took him to hospital.

Rahami was not particularly forthcoming when questioned after surgery.

The investigation is ongoing and, as I write, it is unclear whether there is a terrorist cell in greater New York and whether Rahami had help. CNN has full details of what happened at the weekend.

There have been extremist Islamic terror cells in the United States for many years. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that they exist. The map below, courtesy of Free Thought Nation, shows terror activity and compounds dating back to the 1980s:

CNN reported that Rahami’s family accused the city and police of Elizabeth, NJ, of discriminating against their First American Fried Chicken restaurant because they had to close at 10 p.m. while other establishments in the neighbourhood could stay open later. However (emphases mine):

In 2011, the city council voted to close the restaurant at 10 p.m. because of “all the people hanging out there” around the clock, Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage said Monday.

Owner Mohammad Rahami and his two sons filed a lawsuit claiming the city conspired to “discriminate” and “illegally harass” them by subjecting them to citations for allegedly violating a city ordinance on hours of operation.

The case alleged the Rahamis were “threatened and harassed” by a police officer. It argues that officers and city representatives said “the restaurant presented a danger to the community.”

It also accused a neighboring business owner of telling the Rahamis that “Muslims make too much trouble in this country” and “don’t belong here.”

The defendants, including police officers and city officials, denied the allegations.

Federal court records show the case ended in a “statistical closing.” Bollwage said Monday the 2012 ruling on the case favored the city, adding that the family’s restaurant was “disruptive in the city for many, many years.”

Rahami’s sister put up a post on Facebook asking for privacy at this time.

The Daily Beast reports that Rahami and members of his family have freely travelled to and from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Investigators are now trying to piece together his activities abroad.

Rahami’s father last travelled to Pakistan in July 2011 and stayed until September that year. Rahami had to appear for a court case — possibly the one connected with his restaurant — and, while he was present, his lawyer:

informed the judge that while the father had returned, his “family is in Afghanistan” but was expected to return within days.

Rahami’s brother is currently in Pakistan.

Rahami has a wife in that country:

U.S. Rep. Albio Sires told the Bergen Record that Rahami contacted his office via email in 2014 seeking an immigrant visa for his wife in Pakistan who was 35 weeks pregnant and whose Pakistani passport had expired. 

The Rahami family arrived in the United States in 1995 as asylum seekers from Afghanistan:

There has been some confusion over when Rahami or his family were officially granted legal residency in the country, but it may have taken some time for their application to be processed and approved.

In 2013, one of the suspect’s brothers, Mohammad K. Rahami, posted a Facebook message in 2013, accompanied by a photo. It read:

I bring the men who desire death as ardently as you desire life.

In another Facebook entry in April that year:

Mohammad posted a photo of himself with a man identified as Ahmad in a comment. The two men are sitting outside, grilling kebabs.

Currently:

Authorities have not named either brother as suspects or persons of interest.

Ahmad Khan Rahami is known to the police, with:

a series of escalating run-ins with the law beginning in 2008, when he spent a day in jail for unpaid parking tickets, and another in 2012 after he allegedly violated a restraining order, The New York Times reports. In 2014, Rahami spent three days in jail on weapons and aggravated assault charges, after allegedly stabbing a person in the leg, The New York Times reports. A grand jury dropped Rahami’s charges for the fight, which allegedly began as a domestic dispute.

Before Rahami was arrested in Linden, authorities raided his family’s home in Elizabeth at 3 a.m.:

according to time-stamped cellphone footage reviewed by The Daily Beast. The video, taken by a neighbor across the street, shows heavily armed officers at the family’s Elizabeth home waiting for family members to come out, one by one. Two of Rahami’s brothers came out first, followed by a woman and a young child. The father came out last, the neighbor said.

At the same time:

A Perth Amboy address linked to Ahmad Rahami and brother Mohammad Khan Rahami was subject to loud banging at 3 a.m., a neighbor told The Daily Beast. Police later confirmed they had investigated a Perth Amboy address. Maintenance workers were changing locks on the front door late Monday morning.

The explosive devices:

track closely to what was suggested in al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine in an article titled, “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.” The guide was written by Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen born in Saudi Arabia who fled to Yemen to join Anwar al-Awlaki, an American cleric turned al Qaeda propagandist.

Khan advised aspiring bomb-makers to make pipe bombs and link them together for greater effect, just as Rahami is alleged to have done at two sites in New Jersey. Khan advised building larger bombs using pressure cookers.

Similar devices were used in the Boston and San Bernardino attacks.

The First American Fried Chicken restaurant in Elmore Avenue became a magnet on Monday for patrons and friends of the Rahami family:

Patrons and public records say the family appears to have five sons and three daughters. Two of the children are minors. The status of their mother is unknown, the customers said.

A 60-year-old musician named Jacob said that he has known Rahami — the father — for 14 years:

“When I met them [the Rahami siblings], they were kids. But lately they’ve been holding down the store,” Jacob told The Daily Beast, as he watched police work the scene. “They seemed like normal people.”

The longtime neighbor called Ahmad Rahami’s father, Mohammad, a “pretty decent, guy” and “real quiet and laid back.”

The dad talked of visiting Afghanistan on vacations and would hook Jacob up with turkey sandwiches and gyros, he said.

“He was cool. I’m just sorry that this happened to him,” he said.

Saul Asian, a 21-year-old classmate of one of Rahimi’s brothers:

described the Rahimi chicken spot as a hangout for middle-schoolers of the nearby Abraham Lincoln School. He used to see Ahmad work as a cashier.

“I didn’t want to believe it… until I saw it on the news,” Asian said of Ahmad’s arrest.

But not everyone was so positive.

Fox News reports that a young woman named Maria fell in love with Ahmad when they were both in high school. She has a little girl. He is the father. She says that he:

didn’t pay child support and often railed against American culture. The 26-year-old, who spoke after her grandmother called her for a reporter who produced his press credential and identified himself at the grandmother’s home in Elizabeth, said she had not seen Rahami in two years.

He would speak often of Western culture and how it was different back home,” she said. “How there weren’t homosexuals in Afghanistan.

“He seemed standoffish to American culture, but I never thought he would cross the line,” she added.

The boy who was once a ‘class clown’ at Edison High School grew into a man who:

demonstrated his hatred for the U.S. military.

“One time, he was watching TV with my daughter and a woman in a [military] uniform came on and he told [their daughter], ‘That’s the bad person,'” she said.

Maria also told Fox that:

Rahami would often go back to Afghanistan to see family, and would stay for weeks, or even months. Right before their daughter was born, Rahami was in Afghanistan and had trouble returning because authorities in Afghanistan confiscated his passport for unknown reasons, Maria said. The last time Maria knows that Rahami visited his homeland was nine years ago. He brought back a wife and another child, she said.

She ended the interview by expressing why her former love made her afraid and why she cut off his visits:

My greatest fear is that he would try to take my daughter.

But, readers, as we all know, none of us must dare to call this man a terrorist.

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, has devoted his blog posts to Donald Trump since August 2015.

You can read the back catalogue here. Do read the comments, which are fascinating. N.B.: The more recent posts might say ‘0 comments’, but if you click, you’ll see several hundred, if not 1,000+.

Adams’s premise is that Trump is a ‘master persuader’, using words in a unique way that stick in our memory. Adams has studied persuasion and recognises the technique. In this YouTube video, just under five minutes long, he explains Trump’s verbal strategy to CNN:

Yet, not all Americans are so persuaded. Indeed, some are frightened.

Adams’s post of February 11 discusses the physical reaction of fear that some people experience when Trump’s name is mentioned. Adams observes:

I have seen people’s bodies twist up and go into full panic at the thought of him being president. I’m talking about actual, literal, bodily fear, as if a monster is already in house and you don’t know where it is hiding. Even professional members of the media feel this fear.

And yet I feel none of that fear – not even a trace amount. To me, Trump looks like the safest candidate in the history of presidential elections, and I don’t even share his politics on a number of topics. So I have to ask myself why I have zero fear of Trump while so many others are in full panic mode. Should I be more afraid?

I, too, think Trump is the ‘safest candidate’ America has had in a very long time. Perhaps the safest since Reagan, and anyone who was at least a teenager in 1980 remembers how left-wing pundits and journalists tried to frighten everyone, saying he was stupid and warmongering — a potentially lethal combination for one who was in charge of pressing the nuclear button. By 1982, having voted against him in 1980, I had changed my mind about him completely.

However, I digress. Back to a summary of Adams’s post on why Donald Trump terrifies people along with some of my own input.

Can we say it is because of his social policies? Not really. Trump has said nothing about cutting welfare programmes. He also wants a form of universal health care.

The reason might concern what Trump says about building a wall between the US and Mexico. Yet, a double fence has been partially built already. This came about during Bush II’s administration via the Secure Fence Act 2006. This fence was partially constructed by 2009, but work stopped because Congress refused to allocate $1.2bn and remains unfinished today. It seems like such a small sum. Get it finished.

Then Trump said there should be a temporary ban on Muslim travel to and from the United States until immigration officials have a clearer idea of the terrorist threat to America. That statement turned out to be rather prescient considering that days later the San Bernardino attack took place. Not long after that, a Muslim family from England was refused permission to fly — under Obama’s watch — to the US before Christmas. A relative was said to have had extremist links.

Trump is telling the truth about porous borders and real terrorism.

Adams rightly points out that the flip side of this is that Trump wants Americans to live in safety (emphases in the original):

… he is consistent about protecting U.S. Citizens from non-citizens. That’s the job description of the President of the United States. If you are a citizen, Trump has the strongest immigration plan for keeping YOU safe, even if it is bad news for non-citizens.

Furthermore:

All past presidents have had robust deportation programs for illegal immigrants. Trump might do more of it, and I respect any argument that says more deportations might be too much. But I don’t see any risk of legal citizens being deported. So I have trouble understanding how this topic could make legal citizens physically afraid.

Trump detractors will say that it’s his behaviour on the hustings. Even then:

he can turn off the “bad boy” act any time he wants. He is completely honest about playing the clown for the primaries, in order to win. We have never seen a candidate this transparent. 

Also keep in mind that Trump is the non-drinker in the crowd. If you want to assess the risk of bad presidential decisions under pressure, you have to factor in how many of the other candidates would be on prescription meds or enjoying a stiff drink after work. And what about the general health of a candidate? That probably matters for decision-making under pressure. Trump is the safe bet on this dimension.

Trump does not drink because his older brother Fred died from alcoholism.

Trump’s alpha white male brashness is undoubtedly the top reason why he terrifies some people. Adams explains that much of this is an act for primary season. His seeming unpredictability becomes predictable. He says the media understand it better now, even if they oppose his candidacy.

Adams goes on to unpack what appears to be a lack of empathy on Trump’s part, yet it is what New York empathy looks like. Adams is from upstate New York. I have known dozens of New Yorkers, mostly at university, and, yes, they are like Donald Trump, so maybe that is why I, like Adams, have gravitated towards him. Adams explains:

Where I grew up, in upstate New York, empathy looks exactly like Trump. Political correctness wasn’t a thing when I grew up, and probably isn’t a thing in my old hometown today. If you’re trying to “make America great” or anything productive at all, you’re 100% empathetic according to the way I was raised. Anything else is posture. Where I grew up, you have to be useful or go home. Trump is trying to be useful. That’s empathy, according to my people. 

You see Trump’s ambitions as coming from narcissism and ego. Every famous person has a bit of that. But I can tell you as a protestant-raised kid from New York, where emotions go to hide forever inside people’s bodies, that Trump’s approach is what passes for empathy for white, New York protestants. If we’re trying to be useful, it’s because we care. 

Trump is a Presbyterian, incidentally.

Adams opened the floor to his readers who responded in droves. There were 2,228 comments. Generally, people thought Trump terrifies people because he:

1/ Represents a real threat to political correctness and the culture that has been shaped around it;

2/ Would expose and possibly overturn the combine between MSM and left- as well as right-wing politics;

3/ Is not a career politician and won’t act like one if elected: he will do what he says and not back off.

Donald Trump is popular with a large number of Americans because he has effectively tapped into their frustrations about moving from a high-trust to a low-trust society. Trump would not use those words and his supporters might not either, but, essentially, this is what is happening in America and in western Europe.

An article on Those Who Can See describes the differences between high-trust and low-trust societies. It is lengthy, but the paragraphs are short and there are a number of useful graphs to illustrate the points about trust.

It is worth pointing out that, even on the same continent, one can have high-trust and low-trust societies, independent of race or creed. The article explains that western Europe developed differently during the Middle Ages. A map of the continent shows a curved line marking the east-west boundary. The ever-expanding EU and associated migration from eastern to western Europe is a great source of social frustration. We’re getting more low-trust people in high-trust environments, and there are times when low-trust refuses to join high-trust in a social compact. But I digress.

Back to Trump. He might not win the nomination. I hope he does. He might not win the presidency, although I think he would have an excellent chance. He knows much of the US and, by the end of primary season, will also know the rest of the nation like the back of his hand.

Furthermore, he is an honest sinner. What don’t we know about him would qualify as too much information.

But there is something more.

As one of Adams’s readers puts it, Trump is the greatest way that Americans can object to their left-right-MSM establishment.

Trump knows the players. He has been at the top for so long, he knows the ins and outs of every major scandal and combine.

He has the power and the personality to tell the truth about both.

That is why Donald Trump terrifies people.

And that is precisely why he should be America’s next president.

More from the magazine pile.

Today’s offering is Freddy Gray’s article — ‘We ♥ MB’ — from the May 2013 issue of Tatler (yes, the old coffee house magazine which Richard Steele founded in 1709). The article runs from page 110-113 and concludes on page 159.

This is one of the most outrageous puff pieces — hagiography — I’ve read in many years.

Gray breathlessly enthuses that New York City’s three-term mayor Michael Bloomberg is ‘wired into Britain’s power matrix on all fronts’. Should he be able to purchase the Financial Times and, consequently, gain an important share of The Economist, ‘his influence over British society and politics would grow’. He gives Britain’s Tories ‘a global street cred’.

Really? I never even knew Bloomberg and the Tories were an item until I read this article. I rather doubt whether David Cameron raises much of a blip in the United States. (If RMC and RTL are any evidence, though, the French public and some of the media seem to like him. They say he takes the ‘tough stances’ against welfare they would like to see in France.)

The article filled me with apprehension, especially when I read that Bloomberg likes London ‘because the city has so many health and safety regulations’.

Shudder.

The best part was on page 159. Bloomberg enjoys the Foyle detective series (ITV, starring Michael Kitchen). He wanted to treat Foyle’s comely sidekick Honeysuckle Weeks to dinner until he found out she smoked cigarettes. Heh.

One has to wonder — yet again — what Cameron and Co. see in all these left-wing politicians. Cameron loves Obama. An Obama bigwig, it is said, helped Cameron to develop the (we hope, defunct) Big Society which revolved around recruiting community organisers, heretofore unknown in the UK. Michael Gove, minister for Education, harps on endlessly about the Swedish (leftist) model of schooling. London Mayor Boris Johnson — possibly the next Tory party leader — banned alcoholic beverages on the Underground and would like to see Turkey enter the EU. A few years ago, he also presented a multi-episode pro-Islam television documentary on the Crusades. He also endorsed Obama for president in 2008.

Now to Freddy Gray, the author of the article. To my mind, a columnist, blogger or journalist who nails his sails to a political mast should be consistent. One would rather expect thirty-something Gray, who writes in support of notional conservatives to be, erm, conservative himself. Yet, Gray exhibits the same fascination with the Left as the Tories do.

In the Tatler article, Gray mentions Julia Hobsbawm — ‘also known as “London’s finest salonnière”‘ — who was instrumental in introducing ‘Bloomberg into Britain’s artsy crowd’ in the 1990s. To those who know their politics, Hobsbawm’s father was none other than the late historian Eric Hobsbawm, longtime Communist Party member and Marxist. We’ve seen this association of leftists and wealthy capitalists before (e.g. Bella Dodd and Margaret Sanger). It’s a strategy as old as the hills.

It is perplexing that Gray finds such an association laudable or even interesting.

Let’s not forget that Bloomberg was originally a Democrat and switched to the Republican Party for convenience in order to win the mayoralty in 2001. He was up against stiff Democratic opposition. He managed to get the New York City Council to change the term limit rules which subsequently allowed him to run for — and win — a third term as mayor in 2009; he ran as an Independent then, although he was listed on the Republican ballot. Therefore, he is — or was — an opportunist Republican, never conservative at all and, yes, ‘independent’ but left-leaning.

Back to Gray. Currently, he is Assistant Editor of Britain’s Spectator, a notionally conservative news and opinion weekly. Prior to that, he was literary editor of The American Conservative.

Hmm. It seems conservatives aren’t what they used to be.

This is Gray writing for the Spectator about Mitt Romney in July 2012 (emphases mine):

The killing of Osama Bin Laden and Obama’s fondness for drone strikes mean that the President cannot be cast as a wimp. And whatever one thinks of Obama, one can’t deny he has presence on the world stage. Romney, it is clear, does not. It might have been better for him to have stayed at home.

In 2009, then employed by the American Conservative, he railed against Geert Wilders who almost wasn’t allowed into Britain to visit the House of Lords:

Wilders is a vulgar and nasty hate-merchant.

In New Labour UK, police have been locking up and kicking out Muslims — often British citizens, unlike Wilders – who preach “hate” for some time now, and not all of them have been directly inciting violence.

He cannot be serious. Nothing could be further from the truth. Very few Muslims were locked up; those who were had made extreme statements against the UK and were thought to be plotting against the nation. (Remember our July 7, 2007 bombing in Central London.) Meanwhile, Wilders — a Dutch politician — has had problems being allowed into certain Western countries. He has been turned back before at immigration. The most radical thing he has said is that the Koran should be banned.

This is Gray’s take on Boris Johnson, also in the American Conservative, last year:

Boris is not a traditional conservative. He’s a libertarian and something of a libertine. He’s in favor of gay rights and recently upset religious groups by saying that Britain needed  “to move beyond the stone age” and redefine marriage. Certainly, he doesn’t seem constrained by his own marriage vows. He has no interest in Christianity, beyond a fondness for Anglican Hymns and the King James Bible. He’s a pagan, really, obsessed with classical literature and his sense of his own destiny …

Yet Boris’s outlandishness is exactly what people outside of the right like about him …

There is nothing ‘libertarian’ about a mayor whose first immediate act was to ban — by himself, no councillors’ votes involved — all alcohol on the Underground. I can believe he could be a pagan at heart or a syncretist revering Islam and Christianity. (He has Turkish ancestry on the Johnson side.) Who knows for sure? This is why conservative, everyday Britons — not the Tory Party — find him questionable. The affable bluff we see from Johnson might be hiding some rather anti-British — and anti-English — ideas. It’s hard to say for sure. And that might be why some on the Left instinctively like him.

Well, that concludes the story of Freddy Gray’s superficial journalism as well as the more depressing story of the Tories’ bromance with Michael Bloomberg.

It’s hard to decide what to do first — pray or have a nice cuppa and a sit down.

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