Showing posts with label Refugees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Refugees. Show all posts

September 8, 2019

@The Phillips Collections














(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 2, 2018

At The Border: Immigration Or War

So it's interesting how this whole immigration crisis is playing out in real life and simultaneously on TV. 

In real life, we have a caravan of thousands of people marching from Central America (Honduras and Guatemala) to the U.S. border seeking asylum, mostly for economic reasons. 

On TV, we have the Last Ship Season 5, where South and Central America are at war with the U.S., "no longer willing to sit at the children's table of international politics," and they are coming to the U.S. to fight.

In the U.S. today, there are over 40 million people that were born in another country.  Of these, there are over 12 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S. (55% from Mexico), and we know that we need immigration reform.  

In the truest sense, we are almost all of us immigrants to this country, with ourselves or our families coming over at one time or another, and we are grateful for the generosity and open doors that allowed us to come here and make a good life.

Of course, we want to pay it forward and give others the same asylum and opportunity that we had and which they as human beings deserve. 

Yet, the country continues to debate the mix of compassion and giving to the oppressed and needy versus the merit principles for bringing in needed skills, talents, and investment, and how many is the "right" number to allow in at any one time.

In real life, we are beefing up border agents, building a wall, and calling in the military to halt the illegal flow of immigrants, so that we can channel immigrates through a process and vetting that leads to legal and safe immigration to this country

On TV, we are fighting in the air, on land, and at sea an alliance of countries from the south and central that want to take over the U.S., and we are also holding our own and holding them back.

In both cases, we need to have and maintain borders to be a sovereign country, to protect our country, and to ensure that caravans of illegal immigrants or foreign troops are not crossing the border and doing harm. 

It's high time for true immigration reform that is compassionate yet principled, but overrunning the border isn't an option that is practical or fair.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 15, 2018

The United Nations At Work For You!


In case you wondered why the United Nations is always so full of sh*t?

- When the U.N. is done aimlessly sitting around watching on the sidelines while weapons of mass destruction proliferate, millions are being killed, maimed or made into refugees, and genocide and war crimes are occurring...

- When the U.N. is done elevating dictators, sponsors of terrorism, and human rights abusers...

- When the U.N. is done denigrating and making endless anti-Semitic resolutions against the democratic and Holy Land of Israel...

- When the U.N. is done laughing at the President of the United States and his accomplishments...

This is what the UNjust United Nations spends our valuable time and dollars on. 

This photo of a U.N. garbage truck say it all.

Perhaps, this is the only thing that the U.N. is actually good at!

(Thank you to a good friend for forwarding this photo to me)
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March 23, 2017

Needed: A Giving Hand With Smart Border Security

While we should certainly help immigrant refugees and those in need, we also need to provide adequate vetting and border security for our people. 

This does not mean that all immigrants are bad or that we are mean or paranoid, bur rather that we need to take smart and measured precautions in the dangerous times we are living in.

Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other such brutal terrorist organizations have shown they mean murderous business, and they are vowing to strike at the hearts of America and the West.

So while we open our hearts, we can't close our eyes!

Safeguard America and the good decent people already here, and at the same time be merciful and giving to immigrants, but don't sacrifice one for the other. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal with photos adapted from here and here and with attribution to the New York Times and Alan Silver)
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February 4, 2017

Depends On Who You Ban


So the alt-left and media are all aghast at President Trump placing a temporary travel ban from 7 muslim-majority nations for national security reasons!

That's out of more than 50 majority Muslim nations in the world or less than 14%.

And these were the countries identified by the former President Obama as the "countries of concern" because of terrorism!

See the 7 nations (out of 50+) highlighted below:

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Brunei
Burkina Faso
Chad
Comoros
Djibouti
Egypt
Guinea
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq

Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Lebanon
Libya
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Mauritania
Mayotte
Morocco
Niger
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan
Palestine
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Sudan
Syria

Tajikistan
The Gambia
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkmenistan
United Arab Emirates
Uzbekistan
Western Sahara
Yemen

What is also unbelievably amazing is that 6 of these 7 Muslim nations with a temporary ban from President Trump, plus 10 more countries, for a total of 16 Muslim countries have a permanent ban placed on Israeli Jews!

Where is the alt-left and media outrage about this travel ban on Jews?

Oh, apparently for the alt-left, compassion, dignity, equality, and human rights don't apply to Jews today any more than they did during the Holocaust where 6,000,000 were left to die in a genocide at the brutal hands of the Nazi's.

To them, a permanent ban on Jews is apparently fine and national security of the United States who cares--that's what talking out of both sides of the mouth is all about.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 27, 2016

Planning For The End Of The World

I have never heard so much about the coming of the end of the world, Armageddon, the Apocalypse, and World War III as I am hearing these days...

The world seems to truly be going mad. 

And that MAD is as in CRAZY and as in Mutually Assured Destruction. 

- 25 years after the end of the Cold War, we are back in a nuclear arms race with Russia!

- Despite being our largest trading and economic partner, we are now going head-to-head confronting China over trade, Taiwan, and the South China Sea! 

- While setting some near-term constraints, we have in effect solidified Iran's getting the nuclear bomb!

- As North Korea continues developing and testing nukes and ballistic missiles, we have no answers for how to deal with them!

Not only have we failed to contain the many threats we face, but also in many or most cases, we have made them worse.

- The Middle East has gone from the promise of an Arab Spring to instead raging in flames and becoming the modern-day killing fields

Even as ISIS becomes more dangerous despite having less territory, they are likely eclipsed by Iran's global terror expansion as a threat to the world order

- The refugee crisis has meant that ISIS terrorists have infiltrated our borders and are now living among us ready to strike at will. 

- There is a real documented threat of a terrorist attack using radiological, chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons of mass destruction

- The European Union is falling apart and it's future is unknown. 

Increasing border attacks and escalating tensions are creating a risk of a dangerous Indian-Pakistani War

Obama has alienated our allies, reduced our stature among the nations, and destabilized the world

- While people are arguing over the state of hopelessness since the election or from before it, either way, there is huge divisiveness in America. 

Gun ownership is soaring and people are stockpiling ammo

Videos have emerged from people in near-death experiences claiming to have vividly seen the coming World War III and the prelude to the coming of the messiah. 

- There is even widespread recognition by our space experts that we are woefully unprepared for an errant asteroid or comet hitting the Earth

Clergy is warning and encouraging us to repent and do good deeds to merit G-d saving us from the coming cataclysm, whatever it ends up being.

I am certainly not a forecaster of doom and gloom, but always try to remain hopeful and encourage everyone to do their best to improve the world.

But I also must reflect on the voices of anger, frustration, and exasperation around the world that are growing ever louder and scarier daily...the latest with Obama's betrayal of Israel at the United Nations Security Council.  

What comes next politically may very well determine whether the end is near or the future gets bright again. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 20, 2016

Just Cut It Out

What a way to handle global leadership...all you have to say is,  just "Cut it out!" and your job is done. 

- Cyber attacking the U.S. democratic election, invasion of Crimea, and encroaching on NATO with nuclear capable missiles...just cut it out! 

- Vast destruction of Aleppo including hospitals, schools, and markets, killings, refugees, and humanitarian crisis, and the dangerous use of chemical weapons on civilians...just cut it out!

- China stealing our drone and militarizing the South China Sea...just cut it out!

- North Korea testing advanced nukes and ballistic missiles capable of reaching Europe and America and threatening to use them...just cut it out!

- Iran taking our sailors captive, humiliating them, buzzing our warships, and violating the nuclear arms deal...just cut it out!

- Abandoning our friends and allies and befriending our enemies sworn to kill us and not even being able to say the words, "Radical Islamist"...just cut it out!

- Spiraling divisiveness, rioting in our inner cities, and cycles of racial and police violence...just cut it out!

- An unsustainable Obamacare with double digit rising rates and decreasing insurance choices (many localities with only 1)...just cut it out!

- Doubling of the U.S. national debt by another $10 trillion and enacting regulations that are strangling business...just cut it out!

- Endless ISIS and other terrorist attacks (yesterday on Berlin, Zurich, Turkey and more) and calls it "workplace violence" or a traffic accident...just cut it out!

Anyone who says that now "We're feeling what not having hope feels like," truly must be referring to where we come from and not where we are going.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 16, 2016

State Of U.S. Relationships

(Click To Enlarge Graphic)

Here is the current state of a sampling of U.S. relationships with other countries around the world.


As the "superpower" and as a people who strongly value freedom, democracy, and human rights, as well as a people mainly of faith, we have the obligation to do good in this world. 

Also, we recognize our imperative to maintain strength and promote peace, prosperity, and betterment for all mankind.

We have some enormous challenges ahead, and we had better be up to it. 

There is a lot riding on this! ;-)

(All opinions my own)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 12, 2016

Anti-Semitism From Obama To The World


This is what happens when President Obama sets a blatantly anti-semitic tone to his presidency by for example, snubbing at the White House the outreached hand of our ally and friend, Israel. 

Subsequently, at the Rio Olympics this week, Egypt (right) snubs Israel (left) in the very same way.

Racism and hatred is a contagious disease of the heart, mind, and soul. 

And this is especially the case, when racism and hatred emanate from the very top--the leader of the free world--the diametric opposite of true leadership by example and with integrity. 

In this case, President Obama has numerous times displayed his outrageous anti-Semitic leanings making the Prime Minister of Israel exit out the back door of the White House, refusing to host him for dinner, to meet with him, or even shake his hand, and condones his administration calling him disgusting vile names.

Nations and people can disagree and they can still be the best of friends and allies, but Obama has chosen to display his very tangible anti-Semitism throughout his administration, and then culminated it with his dangerous nuclear deal and love affair with the Iranian regime, the #1 state sponsor of terrorism and human rights abuses worldwide. 

Racism and hatred begets more racism and hatred in the world. It is an unleashing of evil between different peoples, instead of a bonding and brotherhood of all people. 

Just look at the unfortunate effects in terms of racial divisiveness, global terrorism, civil war and coups, resurgent Russian and Chinese militaries, and the horrific impacts of violence, destruction, and refugees around the world today. 

When the esteemed President declares it's okay to hate--less than 70 years after the genocidal Holocaust that murdered 6 million Jews--then unfortunately it's open season once again. 

From The White House to the Olympics...President Obama has set a shameful, hate-filled anti-Semitic tone for his 8-year presidency.

Let us hope and pray that the next President is one that is not only a genuine solid leader, but also a good, decent, and loving human being. ;-)

(Source Photos: Here with attribution to Al-Monitor and The Israel Project via Facebook)

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July 28, 2016

What The Pope Knows That Our Leadership Doesn't

In response to the deluge of terrorist attacks across Europe, but also all around the world, culminating this week in the murder of an 85-year old Christian priest in France (his throat was slit in church by ISIS), the pope said the following:


But at the same time, our leader is self-congratulating himself, declaring his next in line for the Pennsylvania Avenue throne, and mocking the daily terror threats we face, calling ISIS the "JV [junior varsity] team" declaring them "not an existential threat, and insisting "no boots on the ground." 

From the attacks on 9/11 to Orlando and Fort Hood, from the attacks on Charlie Hebdo to Paris and Nice, from the multiple attacks on Germany this past week to those in Belgium in March, from the Madrid train bombing in 2004 to the London bombing in 2005, to the daily terrorist attacks throughout the Holy Land of Israel, and the non-stop violent killing of  millions around the Arab countries of the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and beyond, I ask:

Why is the Pope better informed than our leadership, and who will fight for us? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 19, 2016

Walls And Bridges

I was really surprised this week when the Pope entered the election fray and made a comment about presidential candidate, Donald Trump, not being a Christian if he is wanting to build walls (on the Mexican border) and not bridges

And then the Trump campaign pointing out that the Vatican City is surrounded by what of all things...a very big wall!

We have a history in the U.S. of separation of Church and State and a First Amendment that codifies this as law. 

To me, unless a candidate is truly criminal, discriminatory, or evil in their conduct, it's not appropriate for a lofty religious figure to publicly question their personal faith like that. 

Further, when it comes to immigration this is not just an issue in America, but all over Europe now with the refugee crisis, and in many other places in the world. 

Of course, we most definitely need to welcome refugees fleeing persecution, conflict, catastrophe, or war. 

But when immigration is principally an economic migration, this is something for each nation to debate and decide for what is best for them.

This is not an endorsement of any candidate or party, but rather an acknowledgement that we shouldn't:

1) Mix religion and politics (and impose undue influence in a sovereign nation's elections)

2) Judge our neighbors faith by valid policy debates

3) Throw stones in glass houses (or walled areas as the case may be).

If building bridges is what is promoted and preferred here then the Pope and Trump should kiss (proverbially-speaking that is) and make up. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 14, 2016

Refugees or Terrorists--How Do You Really Know?


The news about the refugee crisis is truly heartwrenching.  

My own parents and grandparents were refugees from the Holocaust who came to this beautiful country to start fresh and live in freedom and peace.  

So one one hand, I like so many others want to do the right thing from a humanitarian perspective and help people in need.  

But on the other hand, with this new wave of refugees something seems vastly different...

- 18 of 31 people identified so far in mass New Year's Eve attacks (sexual molesting, raping, and robbing) of over 500 women in German...were refugees that had already applied for asylum.

- At least one of the Paris terrorists who killed more than 130 people in November is alleged to have been a Syrian refugee. 

- At least 3 refugees resettled in the U.S. since 9/11 (from Iraq and Uzbek) have been arrested on terrorism charges and there have been dozens of other counter-terrorism investigations for those resettled here. 

- The ISIS suicide bomber that killed 10 German tourists in Istanbul this week was registered as a Syrian refugee "without setting off security alerts."

- And again this week, a group of refugees with rocks, bats, knives, attack a Frenchman

- ISIS is already asserting that they will use the refugee crisis to get attackers into the West and are bragging that already thousands have successfully infiltrated

Surely, no refugee vetting process is going to be ironclad--processing mistakes, system errors, and errors of judgement are bound to happen.

Some have also suggested that politics is playing a larger role here in wanting to get as many refugees and immigrants as possible into the country for the purpose of simply getting their cold hard votes...so this is a possible darker side of DC. 

In the end, we need to put politics aside, and figure out how do we help those that really need help and are good people seeking to live peacefully and productively among us, and how do we prevent the next wave of terror from some really bad apples? 

Until we can answer this question substantively, and not by an emotional response of it "is just not who we are," we need to take this one step at a time and not act rashly and recklessly. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Luis C. Araujo)
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November 29, 2015

Stop If'ing Me

Often in life, I hear people say how if only in life things could've been different. 

Then they could've been happy...successful...satisfied...contributed more...been a better husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter, employee or Jew/Christian/Muslim...achieved more...gotten further in life...become more...saved more...been more charitable...or a better person.

I remember in elementary school, in one class when the kids would ask lots of questions..."What if [this]?" or "What if [that]?"

And the teacher (who happened to be the vice principle) would start to get exacerbated, and would blurt out, "If, if, if...if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a trolley!"

Not very complimentary to his grandmother, but point well taken--we can ask if till we're blue in the face, but what does that accomplish except make excuses for ourselves or fantasize about something that isn't. 

This came up yesterday when I was talking with some people about the Syrian+ refugee crisis and what is the obligation and right thing to do in terms of Europe and America taking in so many of these people.

And someone said, "Well why should we take them in if they can already go to so many Muslim countries that could take them in--why are we involved?"

And one of the other people goes, "Well that's a big if about the other Muslim countries taking them in--because they don't seem to want to help them."

And then he adds this funny saying to solidify his point, "If the queen had another appendage, she'd be the king!"

Um, okay...that's another way to put it. 

Not sure this answers the refugee question about who is or should be taking responsibility and helping whom.

But that's the thing about "if's, ands, or buts" in life...these can be real questions or they can become convenient excuses, conditions, and qualifications.

And that is why we have to discern if something is a real question that makes us examine things harder and more carefully to make a better decision or whether it's just another dead end or side track to nowhere. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 19, 2015

Vetting The Refugees--Do You Think It'll Work?

So not that anyone was so thrilled with the Syria and Iraq refugee idea post 9/11 to begin with...

But now 31 States have come straight out refusing to take these refugees post the terror attack that happened just last week in Paris--where at least one of the terrorists was...

Guess what?

That's right!  A fake refugee from Syria

But what about the "intensive vetting process" that is being promised for these 10,000 refugees?

Well what can be more intensive than the vetting that the American government does on employees working for highly sensitive agencies like the CIA, FBI, and NSA? 

So how has that worked out?

Probably not too bad, but the problem is that no vetting no matter how thorough is foolproof, hence major spies have infiltrated these organizations for years or even decades and caused immense harm to national security:

Robert Hanssen (former FBI--spied for the Soviets for 21 years)

Aldrich Ames (31-year veteran of the CIA, compromised 2nd largest number of CIA agents after Robert Hanssen)

Edward Snowden (leaked classified information from the NSA on our surveillance programs)

The point is that no matter how well we vet 10,000 or more refugees from Iraq and Syria, with ISIS vowing "to strike America at its center in Washington"--there certainly can be some errors in the screening and final adjudication process.

Again no vetting process is perfect--especially when the refugees themselves are admitting that fake ideas are being given out to them like candy in a candy store. 

So that's the dilemma we now face:

HEART--do what our heart tells us to and help people in need by taking in the refugees.

OR 

HEAD--follow our heads not risking another one or more potentially devastating terror attacks on the U.S. homeland. 

The choice is heartbreaking or headache producing! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 18, 2015

Refugee Crisis OR Something More Sinister And Deadly?

When presidential candidate, Donald Trump said, "I will build a big beautiful safe zone in Syria for the refugees"--many on the left were aghast. 

Then I got forwarded this video on what's happening in Europe or to Europe (and to a far more limited extent to America).

The basic question raised--are the throngs of people making their way from the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia to Europe (and to America):

1) REFUGEES: Is this diversity, multiculturalism, humanitarianism, and truly helping refugees in need?

OR

2) MIGRANTS: Is this the overrunning of a continent and society--driven by the desire for money, land, power, sex and religious domination--without anyone ever even firing a shot?

No one wants to think the worst--even when terror is happening around us and ISIS is claiming to be planting thousands of terrorists among the refugees (like a massive Trojan Horse)--we still want to believe that we are doing the right thing, doing good, and helping people in need by welcoming them in. 

Most of us or our families have been refugees at one time or another--seeking safety and a better life--so we know what it's like to need others and to need a chance--and we want to help others like others helped us. 

But watching the terror attacks, violence, rapes, and threats by some (or many, I don't really know) of the current waves of "refugees"--one wonders is this like prior refugees coming and needing genuine help or something we've never quite seen before? ;-)
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June 19, 2015

It's Not Working

So it's human nature to want to leave the world a better place than before we got here.

But you wouldn't know it by how things are looking the last number of years.


Here's just the latest from reports this week:


1) The Global Peace Index: "World is less peaceful today than in 2008...Last year alone it is estimated that 20,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks up from an average of 2,000 a year only 10 years ago."


2) A Record Year In Misery: "The world has never seen a refuge crisis this bad...last year saw the total number of forcibly displaced persons rise to 59.5 million, an all time high." This is due to world conflict, general violence, human rights violations, and persecution."


3) Climate Apocalypse: "A child born today may live to see humanity's end...[as a result of] overcrowding, denuded resources, and climate change...dangerous climate change is already here. The question is can we avoid catastrophic climate change."


4) Americans Have Lost Confidence In Everything: "It not just Congress [and the President] and the economy that have Americans concerned these days...All in all, it's a picture of a nation discouraged about its present and worried about its future, and highly doubtful that its institutions can pull America out of its trough.


Maybe the worst thing is that many people are deluding themselves that everything is hunky dory. 


But isn't it time for some real wins again? 


To do that we need genuine good old fashioned elbow grease--that means we start with a strategy that actually tackles the issues rather than kicking the can down the road. We need honesty, not political upmanships and swell soundbite cliches. 


What good is appeasement to the masses now, if it means their utter despair or demise later--for example, why should we be Greece on the brink of national bankruptcy, if instead we can be Norway with the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world? 


Then comes the hard work, fortitude, and commitment to turn the tide on the bad news and losses. This mean personal and national sacrifice now in order to have better times for our children and grandchildren. 


G-d is watching us, our children are questioning us, the needy are looking to us. 


We are working hard, but it's hardly working! 


Maybe we need to make this real simple: "Little Johnny, now take your medicine, and stop fighting Mommy, p-lease!"  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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