Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

How a committed socialist gave up the faith

original article: The Bolivarian God That Failed
February 1, 2019 by Clifton Ross

The day after Venezuela’s National Assembly voted to declare its president, Juan Guaidó, interim President of the Republic, I received a text from a former friend. “If the U.S. topples Vz [Venezuela],” he wrote, “I will hold you responsible.” I would have been happy to accept this responsibility had I done anything important enough to deserve it. But the idea was absurd and he knew it. If the Venezuelan regime falls—and I hope that it does—it won’t even be possible to credit (or blame) the United States. It is the Venezuelan people who finally are taking their destiny in hand and rejecting an intolerable status quo.

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Filed under: economics, foreign affairs, government, history, ideology, liberalism, poverty, public policy, reform, socialism

Slaves sold in open market in 2017. Really?

original article: Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton.
November 27, 2017 by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Black Africans are being sold in open-air slave markets right now, and it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault. But you won’t hear much about that from the press or the foreign-policy pundits, so let me explain.

Footage from Libya, released last week by CNN, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets.

And how did we get to this point? As the BBC reported back in May, “Libya has been beset by chaos since NATO-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Oct. 2011.”

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Filed under: corruption, Democrats, foreign affairs, government, ideology, politics, scandal, tragedy, unintended consequences, war

The World Doesn’t Need the UN Population Fund

original article: The World Doesn’t Need the UN Population Fund
May 9, 2017 by SUSAN YOSHIHARA (The Stream)

When President Donald J. Trump cut U.S. funding to the U.N. Population Fund, abortion advocates howled. But Trump made the right call. The billion dollar-a-year agency has run out of reasons to exist, even by its own metrics.

The agency still relies on the same “overpopulation” gimmicks that justified its creation in 1969. In a 2011 media stunt in hot and crowded Manila, it “welcomed” the seven billionth human born. The world is indeed getting more crowded, but not with babies. Old people are expected to outnumber youth on the planet within sixty years.

From investment firms to national security analysists, experts agree: Many countries suffer not from overpopulation, but from a sharp decline in fertility. It took western countries a century to grow old. Developing nations are managing the feat in just one generation. Their ability to seize the promised “demographic dividend” is fading fast. The World Bank has identified a waning appetite for consumer goods in the geriatric West. They say today’s developing economies won’t be able to manufacture their way to economic growth like China did.

Demographers have been ringing the alarm bell for two decades. Yet the U.N. Population Fund has forged ahead with its mission to limit births.

A One Trick Pony

The Fund claims to help couples have the number of children they want. But the facts show the opposite. It does nothing to relieve infertility. It promotes education for women and girls, but does nothing to help women who want to have a large family. On the contrary. The UNFPA offers the same answer for every woman: Have fewer children.

Yes, the U.N. Population Fund has added to its portfolio to remain relevant. It opposes female genital mutilation, endorses maternal health, abhors the spread of HIV/AIDs, and promotes adolescent and women’s rights. But the U.N. already has agencies with these mandates, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDs, UNICEF and U.N. Women.

Planned Parenthood said President Trump would “kill” thousands of women this year because they won’t get U.N.-funded contraception. But the Fund did not save a single life last year. Rather, it helped “avert” two thousand theoretical deaths in childbirth by providing contraception.


Even the U.N. Population Fund’s claim to the mantle of women’s rights is spurious. China’s abusive family planning program has persisted under its watch. Even Beijing has admitted it went too far. The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission now allows for two children. But it still exacts punishment on couples who have one more. That includes the threat of forced abortions, loss of livelihoods and homes. And still the U.N. Population Fund defends its partnership with the Chinese agency.

When shell-shocked Nigerian families welcomed back their daughters abducted by Boko Haram, they found that the girls had suffered unspeakable abuse. What did UNFPA recommend? Abortion. For this, its executive director was rightly rebuffed. But the organization’s leadership can’t seem to help itself. They act as if ridding the world of unintended pregnancies and unwanted children will help solve every problem.

What the U.N. Population Fund won’t admit is that “unintended” and “unwanted” are social science constructs, not the sentiments of parents. Such terms often contradict what women really say. A woman may tell a researcher that her beloved child was never “unwanted.” The researcher, however, may code her child as “unwanted,” due to a survey question she answered years earlier about desired family size.

Women are quite capable of making up their own minds. The U.N. Population Fund, however, often doesn’t like what they decide. Hence much of its spending goes to “advocacy.” Translation: Trying to convince women they should stop at two children.

The fact is that ninety five percent of women in the developing world say they already know about family planning. They just don’t opt for the methods the U.N. recommends. This fact should have the U.N. Population Fund declaring victory, not wringing its hands about “lack of uptake.”

Defying still more facts, the UNFPA insists that lack of access to contraception is a global crisis. Just like the “crisis” of overpopulation, the agency stretches credulity to the breaking point. It claims 225 million women want, but cannot get, contraception. It even posted the myth on a massive Times Square billboard. Yet the Guttmacher Institute assures us that only four or five percent of those 225 million women say they don’t have access. The rest don’t want it. In other words, the global family planning market is already nearly saturated.

It’s time for the United States and its partners to shut down the U.N. Population Fund. Its billion-dollar budget should be used to solve real problems, not chase the ghosts of the 1960s.

abortion, bureaucracy, crisis, culture, extremism, foreign affairs, funding, government, ideology, politics, public policy, reform, study

Filed under: abortion, bureaucracy, crisis, culture, extremism, foreign affairs, funding, government, ideology, politics, public policy, reform, study

Some refugees prefer to stay home. Who knew?

In the present environment of American politics, some say bringing refugees to the U.S. is THE solution to the Syrian crisis. But there are other perspectives, such as the perspective of some refugees themselves.


This refugee from Syria expresses gratitude for America’s military action in response to the gas attack on Syrian civilians, which appear to be the work of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. He also mentions the fact he and his fellow refugees don’t want to be forced out of their homes and into some foreign country. Some in the American media, such as CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, fish for criticism of President Trump and his immigration policies when interviewing refugees. Debora Heine at PJ Media wrote on this story in CNN Narrative Fail: Syrian Refugee Slams Clinton, Obama; Praises Trump.

“With all due respect, with all due respect,” Kassem began. “I didn’t see each and every person who was demonstrating after the travel ban…. I didn’t see you three days ago when people were gassed to death….I didn’t see you in 2013 when 1,400 people were gassed to death. I didn’t see you raising your voice against President Obama’s inaction in Syria that left us refugees,” he said, completely deflating her expectations.

“If you really care about refugees, if you really care about helping us, please — help us stay here in our country,” he continued.

Others who have looked into immigration have reached a similar conclusion. Rather than play politics and act as if racism or xenophobia are the motivation, those who are willing to make an intellectually honest assessment of the crisis recognize immigration is not the solution the refugees need. Just like the Syrian refugee who wants help remaining in his home, Roy Beck shows good reasons to question the open immigration narrative by discussing the practical details that actually affect the people involved.

bias, crisis, foreign affairs, government, ideology, immigration, military, news media, politics, president, public policy, tragedy, unintended consequences, victimization, video, war

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African migrants sold in Libya ‘slave markets’, IOM says

original article: African migrants sold in Libya ‘slave markets’, IOM says
April 11, 2017 by BBC

Gambian migrants who returned voluntarily from Libya stand in line with plastic bag from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as they wait for registration at the airport in Banjul, Gambia April 4, 2017Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionReports of African migrants being bought and sold mark a new low in the crisis

Africans trying to reach Europe are being sold by their captors in “slave markets” in Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

Victims told IOM that after being detained by people smugglers or militia groups, they were taken to town squares or car parks to be sold.

Migrants with skills like painting or tiling would fetch higher prices, the head of the IOM in Libya told the BBC.

Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 Nato-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

Hundreds of young sub-Saharan African men have been caught up in the so-called slave markets, according to the IOM report.

Migrants ‘forced to starve’

A Senegalese migrant, who was not named to protect his identity, said that he had been sold at one such market in the southern Libyan city of Sabha, before being taken to a makeshift prison where more than 100 migrants were being held hostage.

He said that migrants held at the facility were told to call their families, who would be asked for money to pay for their release, and some were beaten while on the phone to allow relatives to hear them being tortured.

He described “dreadful” conditions where migrants were forced to survive on limited food supplies, with those unable to pay either killed or left to starve, the report adds.

African migrants gather at the Tripoli branch of the Anti-Illegal Immigration Authority, in the Libyan capital, 23 March 2017Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionMigrants have to survive on limited food supplies, according to the IOM report

Another witness, who was able to raise the funds needed for his release after nine months, was later taken to hospital with severe malnutrition, weighing just 5.5 stone (35 kg).

Women, too, were bought by private Libyan clients and brought to homes where they were forced to be sex slaves, the witness said.

The IOM’s chief of mission for Libya, Othman Belbeisi, told the BBC that those sold into slavery found themselves priced according to their abilities.

“Apparently they don’t have money and their families cannot pay the ransom, so they are being sold to get at least a minimum benefit from that,” he said.

“The price is definitely different depending on your qualifications, for example if you can do painting or tiles or some specialised work then the price gets higher.”

A migrant hangs from a boat as they wait to be rescued as they drift in the Mediterranean Sea, some 12 nautical miles north of Libya, on October 4, 2016.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionMany thousands of migrants each year try to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean

An IOM staff member in Niger said they confirmed the reports of auctions in Libya with several other migrants who had escaped.

“They all confirmed the risks of been sold as slaves in squares or garages in Sabha, either by their drivers or by locals who recruit the migrants for daily jobs in town, often in construction.

“Later, instead of paying them, [they] sell their victims to new buyers.”

Some migrants, mainly Nigerians, Ghanaians and Gambians are forced to work “as guards in the ransom houses or in the ‘market’ itself”, the IOM employee added.

The organisation has called the emergence of these markets “a disturbing new trend in the already dire situation for migrants in Libya”.

Map showing Central Mediterranean migrant routes

In February, the UN children’s agency Unicef released a report documenting – in sometimes horrific detail – stories of slavery, violence and sexual abuse experienced by large numbers of vulnerable children travelling from Libya to Italy.

The report, A Deadly Journey for Children, said that almost 26,000 children – most of them unaccompanied – crossed the Mediterranean in 2016, many of them suffering abuse at the hands of smugglers and traffickers.

abuse, foreign affairs, immigration, oppression, tragedy, victimization

Filed under: abuse, foreign affairs, immigration, oppression, tragedy, victimization

Stop Whining About Islamophobia And Focus On Jihadis

Stop worrying about Islamophobia and start asking why hundreds of millions of Muslims across the world say they support Islamist terrorism.

Source: Stop Whining About Islamophobia And Focus On Jihadis

bias, bigotry, culture, diversity, extremism, foreign affairs, ideology, indoctrination, islam, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, relativism, terrorism

Filed under: bias, bigotry, culture, diversity, extremism, foreign affairs, ideology, indoctrination, islam, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, relativism, terrorism

Officials Admit Released GITMO Detainees Have Killed Americans

original article: Obama Administration Makes a Shocking Admission About Released GITMO Terrorists
March 23, 2016 by JOE PERTICONE

An Obama administration official responsible for overseeing the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Wednesday that released detainees have killed Americans.

Paul Lewis, the Defense Department’s special envoy for the closure of the detainee program at GITMO, said to Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA):

“What I can tell you is unfortunately there have been Americans that have died because of [Guantánamo] detainees.”

“When anybody dies it is tragedy. We don’t want anybody to die because we transfer detainees,” Lewis added.

And while Lewis did not elaborate on the exact circumstances of specific deaths, nor did he say under which administration the deaths occurred, he did note that “most of the detainees transferred from Guantánamo were transferred by the Bush Administration[.]”

Despite acknowledging transfers have resulted in the loss of American lives, Lewis said in his opening statement that closing GITMO’s detention facility is a “national security imperative,” adding:

“The President and the leadership of his national security team believe that the continued operation of the detention facility at Guantánamo weakens our national security by damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, draining resources, and providing violent extremists with a propaganda tool.”

Currently, 91 detainees sit in the detention facility, many of whom are part of the too dangerous to transfer list. One of those individuals is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who the 9/11 Commission report identified as the principal architect of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

While the facility cannot be officially closed without Congress repealing several laws that prevent such action, the large number of transfers and released terrorists has displayed blowback.

Still, the administration persists that the facility must close. “We believe the issue is not whether to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility; the issue is how to do it,” Lewis said.

bureaucracy, foreign affairs, government, military, national security, politics, terrorism, tragedy, unintended consequences

Filed under: bureaucracy, foreign affairs, government, military, national security, politics, terrorism, tragedy, unintended consequences

Post Paris: Liberals Can’t Blame Terror Attack on Muslims

Never let a tragedy go to waste: minutes after the Paris terror attacks, Liberals rushed to blame the attacks on everything but Islam

Trifecta: Bill Whittle, Stephen Green, Scott Ott

bias, bullies, crisis, elitism, extremism, foreign affairs, hate crime, ideology, islam, news media, terrorism, tragedy, video, war

Filed under: bias, bullies, crisis, elitism, extremism, foreign affairs, hate crime, ideology, islam, news media, terrorism, tragedy, video, war

Sister of Benghazi Hero Glen Doherty Shares Hillary Clinton’s ‘Very Strange’ Message to Her Family

original article: After ‘Never’ Speaking About It for a Long Time, Sister of Benghazi Hero Glen Doherty Shares Hillary Clinton’s ‘Very Strange’ Message to Her Family
October 23, 2015 by Jason Howerton

The sister of slain Benghazi hero Glen Doherty, Kate Quigley, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she previously met with former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and, in retrospect, feels like the Democrat chose to “perpetuate what she knew was not true.”

Following the deadly Benghazi terror attacks, Quigley said Clinton told her family how “sad” they should feel for the Libyan people because they are “uneducated” and that “breeds fear, which breeds violence and leads to a protest.”

“I remember thinking at the time, ‘Wow, how selfish of me. I never really thought about the Libyan people, I’ve been consumed with my own grief, and loss, and concern,’” she recalled. “And when I think back now to that day and what she knew, it shows me a lot about her character that she would choose in that moment to basically perpetuate what she knew was untrue.”

Cooper said it seems “unusual” that Clinton would even make those comments while the victims’ families were grieving.

“It was very strange,” Quigley said. “I thought about it, and I never spoke about it for a long time.”

watch the video here

corruption, Democrats, foreign affairs, government, hypocrisy, lies, politics, scandal, terrorism, tragedy

Filed under: corruption, Democrats, foreign affairs, government, hypocrisy, lies, politics, scandal, terrorism, tragedy

Israel Haters Only Like The History That Suits Them

original article: Israel Haters Only Like The History That Suits Them
October 22, 2015 by David Harsanyi

The other day, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Adolf Hitler only had plans to expel Jews from Europe until his infamous meeting with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who instructed him to “burn them.”

You can imagine what happened next.

It was interesting watching some of the most stridently anti-Israel pundits—people who typically justify or ignore the stream of Holocaust-denying and Jew-hating that oozes from the Muslim world—pretending to be most insulted by this supposed cheapening of the memory of Holocaust. Others compared Netanyahu to a Holocaust denier. What really offended them, of course, was that someone had pointed out that intellectual and spiritual founder of Palestinian independence was an active Nazi. That is a fact that might be overlooked.

Now, it should be said that there’s zero historic evidence that Hitler’s conversation with al-Husseini instigated any change in Nazi plans for the Jews. Netanyahu should not have claimed otherwise. But it was a big speech, and Netanyahu’s larger point, as he later clarified, was just as important:

But this is what Haj Amin al-Husseini said. He said, ‘The Jews seek to destroy the Temple Mount.’ My grandfather in 1920 seeks to destroy…? Sorry, the al-Aqsa Mosque. So this lie is about a hundred years old. It fomented many, many attacks. The Temple Mount stands. The al-Aqsa Mosque stands. But the lie stands too, persists.

Netanyahu makes a case that much of the paranoia about Jews in the Middle East is not new. Long before any “occupation,” Husseini supported the Holocaust and had a desire to import Nazi tactics to the Middle East. In an effort to inflame violence and anti-Semitism, Arabs had, as they’re doing today, spread false rumors about the intention of Jews to occupy or expel Muslims from holy sites.  This is what Haj Amin al-Husseini did. This is what Yasser Arafat did. This is what Fatah is doing today, as Palestinians continue to stab Jewish civilians in another spasm of irrationally murderous and self-destructive behavior.

Before Israel ever existed, much less retook East Jerusalem, the mufti helped to personally engineer or incited massacres of Jews in 1920, 1929, and 1936. The Hebron massacre in 1929 saw 70 Jewish civilians killed, many of them students and teachers, after the mufti (like Fatah does today) spread rumors about Jews taking control of the Temple Mount.

It’s also worth noting that today the only people not allowed to openly pray at their holiest site in Jerusalem are the Jews. Israel protects holy sites of all faiths. Meanwhile, Joseph’s Tomb is being desecrated by a mob of Palestinians, which is apparently less newsworthy.

Husseini also directly participated in war on Jews during World War II. As a guest of Hitler, after a failed coup in Iraq, he helped recruit thousands of Muslims to join a division of the Waffen-SS—who then played an active role in the destruction of Yugoslavian Jewry. On Berlin radio, the mufti speeches would include lines like: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them—this pleases God, history and religion.” He personally, with the backing of Himmler, Eichmann, and others, intervened to stop the issuing of at least 400,000 visas to Jews trying to emigrate to British Palestine. Most of those people ended up in concentration camps.

In 1943, after hearing that some Germany allies were negotiating with the International Red Cross and others to transport thousands of Jewish children to Palestine to avoid death, he lobbied to prevent the rescue, pushing to have them sent to Poland to perish. Husseini was accused of war crimes by the Nuremberg tribunal. He escaped prosecution.

In Howard Sachar’s “A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to our Time,” the author contends that al-Husseini wasn’t only effective in helping hasten the blood-soaked modern thinking that has infected the Arab world (to be fair, if it wasn’t him, it would probably have been someone else), but that he added another ingredient that would later make the conflict even more combustible: religious xenophobia.

“Unlike earlier Arab spokesmen,” writes Sachar, “the Mufti had no illusions that the British would cooperate in the suppression of the Jewish National Home. He taught his followers to regard the mandatory as an infidel tyranny in alliance with other, Jewish, non- believers.”

Today, Palestinian groups utilize comparable tactics and language to perpetrate their own violence. Justifications for those acts are churned out by the far Left and Right here and in Europe, and Husseini is still revered by Palestinian leaders. In the book “Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam,” David Dalin and John Rothmann document in detail that Husseini is considered the “George Washington” of the Palestinian people. Should we be offended?

It is somewhat ironic that so many Palestinians deny the Holocaust when one of their founding fathers was intimately part of that ugly history. Netanyahu clarified his statement. But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s 1982 dissertation, “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” is one part Holocaust denialism and one part conspiracy theory, claiming that Zionists collaborated with Nazis as a way to spur Jewish immigration to British Palestine. Shouldn’t we be offended?

But back to Netanyahu. It’s completely plausible that the mufti would have asked Hitler to “burn them,” though it’s doubtful the Fuhrer would have cared very much what the mufti had to say or that he needed much prodding. But the two certainly shared a similar attitude towards the Jews. Yet we’re supposed to believe Netanyahu views Hitler as a “moderate,” as Glenn Greenwald preposterously claims? And Israel’s sins are never to be forgotten. Surely pointing out that Arab leadership played an active role in the Holocaust, and that its leadership today still venerates the man who led the charge, is worthwhile. too.

bias, corruption, elitism, extremism, foreign affairs, hate crime, history, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, islam, political correctness, propaganda, racism, relativism, terrorism

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April 2020