Donald Trump—the Winner
Breitbart wrote on August 7:
“Whatever you might think about how well Donald Trump did in Thursday night’s Republican Primary debate, there is no question the billionaire businessman is winning the most important part of the process: the post-debate spin. The Narrative on almost all the morning shows centered primarily around how Fox News was gunning to take out Trump. If anything, debate co-moderator Megyn Kelly is taking on the most damaging post-debate water.
“The very first debate question, asked by Bret Baier, was obviously aimed directly at Trump. For weeks, Trump has refused to dismiss the idea of running as a third party candidate should he lose the GOP nomination. When Baier asked the field of ten to raise their hand if they would not agree here and now to support whoever won the nomination, regardless of what you might think of the question, the whole world knew a target was being placed on Trump’s back…
“Kelly grilling Trump over tweets calling women ‘pigs’ and ‘slobs’ is being singled out Friday morning as a hatchet job. This spin is obviously going to work in Trump’s favor in a primary where voters are thoroughly and rightly disgusted with both the media and the Republican establishment…
“Kelly attacked Trump from the premise that he’s a sexist. The truth, though, is that Trump calls everyone names… Like him or not, Trump is playing political hardball by his own rules. And so far, it’s taken him this far.”
According to polls by the Drudge Report and Breitbart, Trump turned out to be the WINNER of the debate. The New York Times admitted as well that Trump was the winner, as did Time Magazine and the Washington Post. A Morning Consult tracking online national poll, which was published on August 10, found Trump increasing his lead to 32 percent—21 percentage points ahead of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who garnered 11 percent.
According to Deutsche Welle, dated August 10, “Bombastic presidential candidate Donald Trump suffered no damage to his support among Republican party voters following a controversial performance at a recent debate, a new poll revealed Monday. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Trump with the support of 24 percent of Republican voters, maintaining a big lead over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump’s closest rival, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, trailed with 12 percent, down from 17 percent just before the debate. No other candidate garnered more than 8 percent in the poll…”
Bloomberg wrote on August 7 that “Fox News Couldn’t Kill Trump’s Momentum and May Have Only Made It Stronger.” The Washington Post published an opinion piece, stating that Trump avoided “the one mistake that could have seriously damaged his insurgent campaign: sounding like a professional politician. For that reason alone, he seemed… the clear winner.”
An interesting report appeared in Germany’s mass tabloid, “Bild.” According to the on-line article, Fox-Chief Rupert Murdoch (84) tried to prevent his network, Fox News, and his papers (including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post) from reporting positively about Trump. But Murdoch’s Top-Journalist, Fox’s Chairman of the Board Roger Ailes (75), disagreed and saw to it that positive reports were continued to be published about Trump. The paper added that it became obvious that during the debate, the moderators followed Murdoch’s lead. However, the paper also wrote that during the debate, Trump looked like the winner, but that nobody so far has won a Republican pre-election, while being opposed by Fox News. Still, the paper concluded: “But with Trump, much develops differently anyhow.“
But as we show below, Fox News does not seem to be opposed to Trump any longer. The war seemed to have ended, and Trump turned out to be the winner.
The German magazine Focus commented that Trump survived the inquisition and stood his ground. Der Spiegel Online added that about 24 million viewers watched the debate (an unprecedented occurrence for political debates), which was largely due to Donald Trump. The magazine stated that Trump is one of the most likely Republican candidates for the run for the White House, but that the final word as to who will represent the GOP will be decided in several pre-elections within the party.
Piers Morgan Comes to Trump’s “Defense”
Newsmax wrote on August 7:
“Tough-talking billionaire Donald Trump ‘created merry h… in the first GOP debate’ Thursday night, and though ‘he may not be everyone’s cup of tea’ he is nonetheless ‘single-handedly destroying the modern cult of political correctness’ with ‘his hugely entertaining, deeply provocative campaign,’ journalist and former CNN talk show host Piers Morgan writes in the Daily Mail. ‘It was classic Trump: he was at times hilariously funny, brash and super-confident, combative and aggressive, and played both the live audience and the far bigger TV audience like a rock star,’ according to Morgan, who won the 2008 season of Trump’s NBC show ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’
“Trump, Morgan continued, ‘just refused to play by the normal rules … as he has done since he declared his candidacy. And let’s be honest, whether you love him or hate him, isn’t it fantastically refreshing to see someone stomping around the political arena who DOESN’T behave like a robotic, media-trained, timid little mouse?’
“During Morgan’s month taping ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ he never witnessed Trump be ‘racist, sexist or homophobic despite boardroom sessions lasting up to four hours at a time with people of all colours, creeds, sexes and sexuality… He is not the dumb, ranting bigot many would like to portray him as. He’s a smart, cunning, alert showman who knows what it takes to win,’ all characteristics that Morgan says lead many to believe Trump would make an excellent president…
“Most Americans… want someone who can stand up for them and their country in an increasingly difficult, hostile world. In Trump, many of them… see a man who would undeniably do that, hence his huge lead in the polls.’”
Trump’s Days Are Far From Over
Bild Online asked the question on Sunday: “Is Trump’s Campaign Dead?” Some Republican contenders claimed that Trump’s days were over. They could not be more wrong! After being confronted with an unexpected backlash from many viewers, Fox News back-paddled.
According to Newsmax, dated August 10, “Fox News chief Roger Ailes appears to have stepped in to smooth things over,” by calling Trump, inviting him to appear again on Fox News, to which Trump agreed, and allegedly promising him that “he would be treated fairly by Fox News.” CNN quoted Ailes’ as follows: “I assured him that we will continue to cover this campaign with fairness and balance. We had a blunt but cordial conversation and the air has been cleared.”
Trump turned out to be the winner against Fox. This fact became obvious in Fox’s follow-up coverage, which was very “accommodating” to Trump. We should realize that the “Trump phenomenon” is of much greater importance than many suspect. It will not go away soon—if at all.
“When It Comes to Jewish Ties, Nobody Trumps Trump”
JTA wrote on August 7:
“Among the expansive field of Republican presidential candidates on display in the party’s first [debate] Thursday night, Donald Trump may be the most closely connected to the Jewish people. Trump is from New York, works in professions saturated with Jews and long has been a vocal supporter of Israel. His daughter and two grandchildren are Jewish [and] the executive vice president of his organization is Jewish…
“Given his myriad Jewish associations, Trump is not an unfamiliar face in Jewish circles. He has served as a grand marshal at New York’s annual Salute to Israel Parade. After Hurricane Katrina, he was among a group of celebrities who decorated Jewish federation tzedakah boxes to be auctioned off to support hurricane disaster relief. And in February, he was honored with an award at the annual gala for the Algemeiner, a right-wing Jewish news organization…
“Before the 2013 Israeli election, Trump recorded a video message endorsing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu… By the same token, Trump has made clear he believes President Barack Obama is bad for Israel and has questioned how American Jews could support the president. ‘I have many Jewish friends that support Obama and I say, “Why?” and they can’t explain why. They support him, they give him money, they give him campaign contributions,’ Trump told radio host Michael Savage in February. ‘This is the worst enemy of Israel.’…
“Trump’s record suggests he’s far from a Republican ideologue… Overall, Trump doesn’t appear to have very many fixed policy positions. Unlike the other Republican candidates, he has no policy section on his campaign website.
“When Ivanka Trump introduced her father at the Algemeiner dinner six months ago, she said, ‘He has used his voice often and loudly in support of Israel, in support of developments within Israel, in support of security for Israel and in support of the idea of the Israeli democracy.’ One thing is certain of Donald Trump: As long as he stays in this campaign, he will continue to use his voice often and loudly.”
Clinton’s Approval Rate Declining
According to Newsmax, dated August 10, a “recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that Clinton’s favorability rating dropped to 37 percent, from 44 percent, between June and July… the results of a Post-ABC poll found Clinton’s favorability ratings had fallen to their lowest since April 2008, when she first ran for president. The poll found that 52 percent of Americans said Clinton is not trustworthy, ‘a 22-point swing in the past year,’ according to the Post, which noted that Clinton support from both independents and Democrats had diminished.”
In addition, Clinton is now agreeable to turning over her private server to the FBI, while mcclatchydc.com reported on August 11: “The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications – more sensitive than previously known.”
The Associated Press reported on August 12: “The inspector general for the intelligence community had told Congress that potentially hundreds of emails containing classified information are among the cache that Clinton provided to the State Department.”
The Times of Israel reported on August 10 that Hillary Clinton “spoke publicly for the first time since the Republican debate… She said [Trump’s appalling] remarks should not overshadow the rest of the Republican candidates’ policies dealing with women.”
She added that she was supporting unequivocally Planned Parenthood and advocated women’s right to choose. Marco Rubio ruled out abortion for any reason. According to Breitbart, dated August 11, Trump said in an interview with CNN that he would not fund the abortion aspects of Planned Parenthood, but would be open to the idea of funding non-abortion services of Planned Parenthood. He was also in favor of the rape, incest, and life of the mother exceptions for abortion.
Clinton’s Email Messages Speak of UK’s Exit from Europe
The Daily Mail wrote on August 3:
“David Cameron was branded ‘unsure, inexperienced, oblique and largely uncommitted’ on foreign policy by a key aide to Hillary Clinton, it has emerged. A series of emails sent by Sidney Blumenthal, an adviser in Bill Clinton’s White House, painted a bleak assessment of Mr Cameron’s positioning on the world stage before he became Prime Minister. The remarks were revealed in a slew of emails from a private system used by Mrs Clinton when she was US secretary of state…
“An email sent in October 2009, barely six months before Mr Cameron became Prime Minister… suggests Mr Cameron might be unable to stop his party from taking Britain out of the European Union… Mr Blumenthal, who was an aide to Bill Clinton during his time in the White House, said Mr Cameron’s foreign policy was largely driven by his ‘need to keep his party behind him’ on issues such as Europe… ‘His future problem is that he does not want to be the leader who takes Britain out of Europe but he is putting himself in a position where he may not be able to prevent his party doing so.’
“Downing Street sought to play down the impact of the highly-critical messages being sent to someone who now wants to take the White House. A spokesman said: ‘The special relationship between the UK and the United States is as strong as ever and the president recently acknowledged the importance of the alliance to the US.’
“In another email, Mr Blumenthal warned that the UK-US alliance was being destroyed by ‘the Obama administration’s denigration of the UK’ and the president’s indecision over Afghanistan…”
High-Ranking Democrats Oppose Obama’s Deal with Iran
JTA wrote on August 6:
“Two of the most watched Jewish lawmakers in Congress announced they will vote to disapprove of the Iran deal. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., both said Thursday evening they had considered the issue carefully before their decision. ‘Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,’ Schumer said in a statement obtained by the New York Times. ‘This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.’
“Schumer, a Jewish lawmaker from New York who is poised to become his party’s leader in the Senate in 2017, and Engel, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives, had come under intense pressure from the White House and critics of the deal both because of the intensity among some Jewish New Yorkers and because of their influence as unabashed supporters of Israel. ‘The answers I’ve received simply don’t convince me that this deal will keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran’s hands, and may in fact strengthen Iran’s position as a destabilizing and destructive influence across the Middle East,’ Engel was quoted as saying by Reuters.
“Congress has a window until the end of September to kill the deal, but opponents of the deal must garner two thirds majorities in both chambers to overcome President Barack Obama’s pledged veto. Most Republicans want to kill the deal, making the battleground for votes among Democrats. MoveOn, a liberal group that backs the deal, announced within minutes of Schumer’s declaration that it would launch a donor strike targeting the Democrats’ Senate reelection committee…”
Schumer wrote the following in an open letter, which was published by JTA:
“I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.”
Other top Jewish Democrats in the US House of Representatives who refused to be intimidated, announced that they will also vote against the deal: Reps. Nita Lowey and Steve Israel, both of New York, and Ted Deutch of Florida announced their opposition on Tuesday afternoon (August 4). In addition, the second Ranking Democrat of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), announced his opposition to the deal on Friday.
Sherman was an opponent to the Iraq war. Other prominent Iraq war opponents who oppose the Iran deal include Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz.
Newsmax added on August 10 that “Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman has been named chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and advocacy group that opposes the nuclear deal recently negotiated with Iran by the Obama administration.”
A New Greece Deal?
The EUObserver reported on August 11:
“The Greek government and its creditors reached a deal on a third bailout programme on Tuesday morning (11 August). ‘An agreement has been reached. Some minor details are being discussed right now’, a Greek official told the Reuters press agency…
“The news has not yet been confirmed by Greece’s creditors – the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)… The Greek parliament is expected to be recalled from its summer recess to vote on the prior actions on Thursday… The exact amount of the bailout was not known Tuesday morning, but discussion[s] were on a programme of up to €86 billion…
“Several obstacles remain before Greece can effectively receive the bailout, however. First, the deal will have to be endorsed by eurozone finance ministers, either at a meeting or by conference call probably on Friday. Then it will have to be ratified by several eurozone parliaments, including the German Bundestag. Doubts remain about Germany’s willingness to sign a bailout agreement before all issues are settled…
“It was not clear on Tuesday morning if the IMF would participate in the bailout. It earlier said several times it would not do so if there was no restructuring of the debt, which it considers unsustainable. But Germany… wants the IMF to participate.”
The Telegraph added on August 11:
“Greece has agreed [to] the broad terms of a new three-year bail-out deal with its international lenders, though experts warned that severe austerity demands mean the country’s fiscal targets remained ‘utterly unachievable’.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 12:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert… added that Germany needed more time to thoroughly review the 400-page text outlining fiscal and policy measures… ‘So one can say that the agreement goes in the right direction. But at this hour it is not yet possible to say whether we are at the point where we can start the national process, in other words call for a vote in the Bundestag,’ Seibert concluded.”
Germany’s mass tabloid Bild Online wrote on August 12 that pursuant to information received by Bild, the German government will reject the Greece deal, which is scheduled to be discussed by the EU Finance Ministers on Friday. But Bild has been wrong before. Officially, it was reported that Germany needs more time to evaluate. One will have to wait and see.
Germany Gained 100 Billion Euros from Greece Crisis
The Local wrote on August 10:
“Germany, which has taken a tough line on Greece, has profited from the country’s crisis to the tune of €100 billion ($109 billion), according to a new study on Monday. The sum represents money Germany saved through lower interest payments on funds the government borrowed amid investor ‘flights to safety’, the study said. ‘These savings exceed the costs of the crisis — even if Greece were to default on its entire debt,’ said the private, non-profit Leibniz Institute of Economic Research in its paper…
“Germany, the eurozone’s effective paymaster, has demanded fiscal discipline and tough economic reforms in Greece in return for consenting to new aid from international creditors. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has opposed a Greek debt write-down while pointing to his own government’s balanced budget. The institute, however, argued that the balanced budget was possible in large part only because of Germany’s interest savings amid the Greek debt crisis… The bonds of other countries — including the United States, France and the Netherlands — had also benefited, but ‘to a much smaller extent’.”
Violence In and Surrounding Turkey
Deutsche Welle reported on August 11:
“Turkish air force has conducted airstrikes against Kurdish militants in the border regions of the country… The military jets targeted Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in a series of overnight raids, the army announced on Tuesday… Also on Tuesday, a Turkish soldier was killed in the country’s restive southeast, in the attack army blamed on PKK militants.
“The latest bout of violence follows a police station bombing in Istanbul on Monday, which the government also claimed to be the work of Kurdish militants. Later, a group of gunmen fired on police inspecting the scene of the explosion. In addition, Kurdish forces targeted the security forces in southeastern Sirnak with a roadside bomb, and a Marxist group reportedly fired at the American consulate in Istanbul…”
Religious Zionism Growing in Israel?
The Jerusalem Post wrote on August 7:
“Yuval Diskin, the former director of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), warned on Friday that ‘religious Zionism is on its way to taking control of the State of Israel.’
“In a lengthy post on his Facebook page, the onetime Shin Bet chief wrote: ‘The “two-state solution” is emerging before our eyes amongst us Jews – there is the State of Judea, which is de facto being established alongside the State of Israel… These are two states in which the differences between them is only growing, and this chasm is becoming irreversible,’ Diskin wrote.
“The former Shin Bet head posted the notice in response to the deadly arson attack in the Palestinian village of Duma last week that is alleged to have been committed by Jewish extremists in the West Bank. ‘Religious Zionism does not constitute the majority in the State of Israel, but as a very significant elite it has succeeded in making a vital contribution to the establishment, de facto of course, of the State of Judea, and it is now on its way to consolidating (in a democratic manner) its hold on the State of Israel,’ Diskin wrote. ‘This is, without a doubt, a victory for the ideology of religious Zionism, but it’s a pyrrhic victory,’ he wrote. ‘It’s a tragic victory’…”
Waiting for the Red Heifer
The Times of Israel wrote on August 9:
“… for the past few years, a number of rabbis have rolled up their tzitzit and stepped into rubber boots in a quest to create the ideal farm for a small herd of holy red heifers, called in Hebrew parah adumah. Red heifers were slaughtered as sacrifices in the Temple and the ashes were used in purification rituals, especially for people who had become impure through contact with dead bodies…
“What has made a modern-day red heifer an impossibility thus far lies in this description in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 19: ‘This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.’
“Cows that are raised on commercial dairy farms are subjected to all sorts of blemish-causing conditions, including ears pierced with a numbered tag, cuts or bruises from roughhousing with other cows or contact with broken fences, and ulcers from ingesting metal accidentally mixed into cheap cattle feed. Even a vaccination could count as a blemish. Additionally, cows on commercial farms are used for work, which… is forbidden according to the red heifer criteria…
“The Temple [Institute] is in the process of importing frozen embryos from Red Angus cows in the United States – deemed most likely to create progeny that are completely red – in order to create the first herd of red heifers for ritual use in Israel. It is called a ‘red heifer’ because the cow must be female, but it can never have given birth…
“The Temple Institute recently launched [a] fundraising campaign to raise more than $125,000 in donations. Each frozen embryo costs approximately NIS 3,000 ($800). Thus far, implanting embryos in cows in Israel has had about a 30 percent success rate. The Agriculture Ministry does not allow the importation of live cattle due to the threat of cattle-borne diseases such as hoof and mouth or mad cow disease, so any farmer who wants to raise a breed of cow not available in Israel must use frozen embryos…
“[Rabbi Chaim Richman, the international director and co-founder of the Temple Institute] said that the organization’s focus on building ritual objects ready for use in the Third Temple does not have a messianic agenda and does not aim to hasten an eschatological end of days. Richman points out that one-third of the 613 commandments of Judaism are related to the Temple…
“More than one million people have visited the Temple Institute’s exhibition of the 70 ritual objects it has built according to specifications in the Torah… The Temple Institute’s most well-known object is a candelabra, or menorah, that stands in a plaza of the Old City near the Western Wall…
“But the Temple Institute is not alone in planning for a red heifer. There are reports of red heifers all the time…The Temple Institute has already had a small success, with the birth of a few completely red cows from the frozen embryos. There was only one problem: they weren’t red heifers. They were red bulls.”
Some associate the arrival of a red heifer with the appearance of the Messiah. But biblically, there is no connection. Please read our Q&A on the issue of the “red heifer.”
British and German Governments Call for Crackdown on Migrants
The EUObserver wrote on August 10:
“The British and German governments have called for a new crackdown on economic migrants…
“Philip Hammond, the British foreign secretary, told the BBC… that ‘large numbers of pretty desperate migrants marauding around’ the Channel Tunnel entrance in France pose ‘a threat to … security’. He said the EU must ‘resolve the problem’ by deporting more people… But he said EU asylum laws make people ‘pretty confident’ that if they enter EU territory, they will get the right to stay…’
“In Germany, Volker Kauder, a senior figure in the ruling centre-right CDU party, targeted Western Balkan asylum seekers. He told the Die Welt newspaper, also on Sunday, that ‘whoever comes from Kosovo, should be sent back home within a month’. Manfred Weber, the German leader of the centre-right EPP group in the European Parliament, told press the EU should reimpose visa regimes on Kosovo and Serbia. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, also said the list of ‘safe countries of origin’ in the Western Balkans, which excludes Kosovo and Montenegro, should be extended, making it more difficult for people to claim protection…
“The anti-migrant rhetoric is not new in the UK, where the PM, David Cameron, in July, spoke of a ‘swarm of people’ coming across the Mediterranean. It also isn’t new in Germany, Greece, and Italy, or at the EU level, where migrants have been likened to ‘slaves’ and labelled as potential ‘terrorists’.”
“Hardliner de Maizière Visits Migrant Processing Center
Deutsche Welle reported on August 11:
“Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière was in the Bavarian town of Deggendorf on Tuesday to visit a processing center for migrants seeking to enter Germany through the Balkans. De Maizière, who has been outspoken about reducing the number of asylum applications from Kosovo, Serbia, and Albania, visited the rural town near the Austrian border to acquaint himself with the procedures of the center.
“Made up of 50 containers turned into offices, the office photographs, registers, and performs medical examinations on some of the hundreds of migrants detained each day on Bavarian trains and highways. Germany faces an unprecedented influx of migrants from war-torn areas in the Middle East and Africa, and has sought to reduce migrants from eastern Europe by declaring some nations there ‘safe’ countries of origin and turning their citizens back. Germany expects to process around 450,000 asylum applications during the course of 2015.
“Later on Tuesday de Maizière was set to meet with the German Police Union, which has called for the reintroduction of international borders within Europe, and more staff to deal with the rising number of refugees. ‘From a policing point of view, a return to border controls would be the best of all measures,’ Rainer Wendt, union chairman, told a local newspaper.
“Europe abolished passport checks inside what is called the Schengen Zone – 26 EU member countries alongside Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Although migrants are legally bound to remain in the first EU country they set foot in, the lack of borders within the Schegen area prompts them to try their luck on international trains or roads to reach destinations thought to be most favorable.
“As a result, police have stepped up passport checks in border areas and on European flights. The union had said it planned to show de Maizière the ‘catastrophic conditions’ for overworked police due to the demands of increased migration.”
What Is Putin Up To?
Bild Online reported on August 11, 2015 that during the Russian military exercise which is being conducted in Kaliningrad (500 kilometers from Berlin), bombs and transporters are carrying the designation, “To Berlin” and “for Stalin.”
The paper stated that both “labels” were war cries used by the Russians in their fight against Nazi Germany. Observers do not feel that these labels were only attached because of nostalgia, but that they show dangerous tendencies of Putin and the Russian military.
The Telegraph wrote on August 12:
“Russia and Nato are actively preparing for war with one another amid the greatest build-up of military tension in Europe since the end of the Cold War, a new report says. Rival exercises by the Russian armed forces and Nato have led to several near-miss incidents that could result in confrontation between the two sides…”
The Washington Post wrote on August 12:
“China’s currency slid for a second day on Wednesday, sending more shockwaves through global financial markets and raising fresh questions about the credibility of the country’s economic management.
“The surprise moves by China to allow more market forces to set currency rates — an effective devaluation at the moment — have also deepened speculation about the true strength of the world’s second-largest economy after recent jolts including a stock market plunge.
“The sense that the Communist Party was an almost infallible steward of the nation’s economy took a battering during the stock crash in June and July. A few weeks later, China’s economic data — showing growth steady at 7 percent despite widespread signs of a slowdown — were widely derided by analysts as inaccurate and overblown…
“Over two days, China’s currency, known as the yuan or renminbi, was down 3.5 percent, sparking headlines about a global currency war and threatening to fan trade tensions with the United States. The currency shake-up has spilled far beyond China to drag down world financial markets…
“China’s decision to free up its exchange rate appeared to come in response to repeated urging from the International Monetary Fund — as well as from the United States. It appeared designed, experts said, to bolster the case for the yuan’s acceptance as a global reserve currency, and specifically its inclusion in the Special Drawing Rights basket alongside the dollar, euro, yen and pound.”
Newsmax added on August 11:
“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday said China’s devaluation of the yuan would be ‘devastating’ for the United States as the global currency war entered a new and critical phase. ‘They’re just destroying us,’ the billionaire businessman, a long-time critic of China’s currency policy, said in a CNN interview… Earlier on Tuesday, China devalued its currency following a series of poor economic data in the yuan’s biggest fall since 1994. Some said this could signal a long-term slide in the exchange rate.
“China has been a frequent theme for Trump since he entered the 2016 presidential campaign, promising to be a tougher negotiator with Beijing in order to bolster the U.S. economy.”
The Disaster of Durango… with Many More to Come
The Los Angeles Times wrote on August 10:
“Shock, sadness and anger have gripped this pretty college town [Durango] in southwestern Colorado as residents struggle to understand the slow-moving environmental disaster that has transformed their crystal clear Animas River — or the River of Souls, translated from its Spanish name — into a ribbon of mustard yellow sludge. The tragedy in Durango underscores the persistent menace of defunct hard-rock mines, lingering like cancers across the American landscape…
“On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency was supervising the draining of contaminated water from the defunct Gold King Mine above the town of Silverton. The water suddenly surged, overwhelming the crew and spilling into a tributary leading to the Animas River. The EPA initially estimated the spill at 1 million gallons, but tripled it to 3 million gallons Sunday. A slew of heavy metals — cadmium, aluminum, copper and perhaps even arsenic — turned the water a sickly fluorescent yellow. Local officials immediately ordered the river shut down…
“Durango and La Plata County proclaimed states of emergency Sunday… Meanwhile, the plume has flowed downstream to Aztec and Farmington, N.M., and is expected to reach the San Juan River, Lake Powell and eventually the Colorado River…
“The danger posed by mines was laid out in a 1993 report from the Mineral Policy Center, a Washington think tank dedicated to identifying threats to natural resources. The study said there were about 557,650 of these sites in 32 states and 50 billion tons of untreated waste covering public and private land. The waste included arsenic, asbestos, cadmium, cyanide and mercury. ‘Mine effluents have already polluted 12,000 miles of the nation’s waterways and 180,000 acres of our lakes and reservoirs and are a growing threat to underground aquifers,’ the report said.
“About 40% of all Western headwater streams are polluted by old hard-rock mines, the EPA has said. Colorado has 22,000 such mines, ranking third behind Arizona and Nevada. Cleaning them up is difficult because the owners are often dead or unknown. Even if they are alive, many fear making matters worse by trying to remedy the situation, as the EPA just did.
“Early mining techniques were all about speed and efficiency, with little or no regard for the environmental consequences. For example, the Sierra Fund’s 2008 report titled ‘Mining’s Toxic Legacy’ said that millions of gallons of mercury were used to extract gold from ore and that untold tons of waste rock were left to leak their toxic contents into rivers and streams…”
On August 12, denver.cbslocal.com reported:
“After the Gold King Mine spilled 3 million gallons of waste water into the Animas River, experts are concerned about the health of the river as well as the health of residents. People who live along the Animas River could be ingesting the contaminated water in any number of ways, from drinking it to showering in it, and the fear is how much exposure those people have had.
“Scientists fear effects from the yellow plume of waste water could linger well after the river regains its natural color. ‘Remember, this is mine waste, it’s heavy. It’s going to sink to the bottom of these streams, it’s going to get into the layer at the bottom,’ said Dr. Dan Teitlebaum. He is a toxicologist who says the elements in the water can pose the risk of illness. The waters were loaded in lead, copper, cadmium, and arsenic, some of which can cause cancers in prolonged exposures…
“Wildlife officials have been quick to show fish that have survived the event, but Teitlebaum says that’s not necessarily an indication that everything is safe. ‘If you’re going to eat those brown trout that somebody’s catching in that river, what are the arsenic levels going to be? What are the lead levels going to be? We don’t know!’ said Teitlebaum.
“He said health concerns in the river are just beginning, even as it appears to look more normal. When asked if it’s possible for that much pollution in a river to have no effect, Teitlebaum said, ‘Everything is possible. Is it likely? I think not.’”
Gender Equality–More Nonsense by TARGET
People.com wrote on August 10:
“On Friday, Target announced it will begin removing gender-based labeling from its stores, particularly in departments like toys and bedding, which are often separated by ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’ signs. ‘As guests have pointed out, in some departments like toys, home or entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary,’ reads a statement from the company. “Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.’ The move comes after an increase in complaints over the past year from families who feel ‘frustrated or limited by the way things are presented,’ the statement reads…
“The company points out that the kids’ bedding area, for example, doesn’t need to suggest if certain patterns and colors are for boys or girls, but rather ‘just kids.’ The same applies to the toy aisles, where Target will also ‘remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back walls of our shelves.’”
What’s Next? Marriage with Robots?
On August 10, slate.com published the following article:
“The Supreme Court’s recent 5–4 decision… legalizing same-sex marriage across the United States has already spawned speculation about ‘what will be next’ in expanding marital rights. As the Supreme Court noted, ‘[t]he history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. That institution … has evolved over time.’ Interracial marriage, equality between husband and wife, and same-sex marriage were all excluded for long periods of time under our Constitution but now have been sanctioned and protected by the courts. While these changes have come slowly, and courts are unlikely to take the next step in expanding marital rights for some time, the courts are probably not finished expanding the legal definition of marital rights.
“A New York Times op-ed published shortly after the Supreme Court’s same-sex decision said that the court’s logic could eventually lead to recognition of polygamy or plural marriages, an argument also made by Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissenting opinion. This slippery-slope argument has also been used to contend that the court’s decision will open the door to legal recognition of bestiality or incest.
“Robot-human marriages might be next on the list. Probably not soon, admittedly, but it nevertheless will be an inevitable part of our future. Indeed, some critics of same-sex marriage, including some conservative Christian opponents of gay marriage, have argued that the court’s recognition of same-sex marriage would inevitably lead to robotic-human marriages. There has recently been a burst of cogent accounts of human-robot sex and love in popular culture… Or just look at the marketplace. Sex ‘dolls’ have become more and more realistic in appearance and touch, and one company recently announced that it was developing a sexbot with artificial intelligence that can talk back and express emotions…
“The era of love and sex with robots has begun and will continue to accelerate going forward, even if it remains a minority choice for the next couple of decades. But with sex and love will come calls for the right to marry…
“From a strictly legal perspective… the court’s decision… contains arguments and dicta that could be used to make the case for or against robot-human marriage. Of course, as a practical matter, the legal legitimacy of robot-human marriage is not going to be recognized anytime soon. Most people (including judges) presumably think robot-human relationships are absurd and twisted. But that was once also the case for interracial marriage and same-sex marriage. Of course those advances involved sanctioning the love and relationship of two human beings, regardless of their race or sexual preferences, which is arguably quite distinct from recognizing human-machine marriage. But as robots become more and more humanlike in their appearance and behavior, this distinction may eventually erode away.
“The Supreme Court itself recounted the long, difficult road to get to the point where the law (and most of society) could now recognize same-sex marriage. First, advocates had to overcome the classification of same-sex relations as an illness. Then they had to declassify it as a crime. And then finally… the right to marry people of the same sex was finally legally recognized.
“The path to recognition of robot-human marriage is likely to be equally, if not more, lengthy, torturous, and contested. But as the court emphasized at the close of its opinion… the issue comes down to the ‘fundamental right’ of a person in a free society to choose the nature of the relationships and lifestyle they choose to pursue, providing they do not unreasonably harm others in exercising their choices. Robot-human marriage is not about robot rights; it is about the right of a human to choose to marry a robot. While few people would understand or support robot-human intimacy today, as robots get more sophisticated and humanlike, more and more people will find love, happiness, and intimacy in the arms of a machine. Robot sex and love is coming, and robot-human marriage will likely not be far behind.”
What a SICK society we are living in…
Rise of Brain-Controlled Robot Armies
Daily Mail wrote on August 12:
“… the future of warfare could see robot armies controlled using just a commander’s mind. China has been training students at a military academy to use headsets that detect and interpret the brain activity of the wearer, allowing them to control the machines. At a demonstration at the People’s Liberation Army Information Engineering University in Zhengzhou, students used the device to send robots trundling in different directions. They were also able to turn the robot’s heads and get them to pick up objects… The technology is being developed at the military academy’s laboratory for brain-machine coordination.
“Among the other projects being developed at the laboratory are drones that can also be controlled using a brain headset… [This] has raised fears it could also be used for warfare. Rather than having to put its soldiers into the battlefield, China could exploit the technology to send mind-controlled robots into action… Researchers elsewhere have been developing similar technology to help amputees control robotic prosthetic arms.”
Regarding the last statement, CNBC wrote on August 12:
“Scientists have created a machine that’s able to have babies. Sort of. In an experiment designed to show how robots can learn and evolve, researchers in Cambridge and Zurich programmed a robot arm—or ‘mother’—with an algorithm to create a device made out of blocks containing motors—its ‘child’.”