Category: International

LeBron James Denounces Pro-Hong Kong Support By Morey As “Misinformed”

It appears that social justice causes have a strict geographic (and financial) limit — at least for NBA player LeBron James. James, who has defended such protests as the NFL kneelers, ridiculed the tweet by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey in supporting protesters in Hong Kong fighting for the most basic human rights and democratic power. James said that Morey was “misinformed”  and an example of being “not informed about something.” What was Morey misinformed of? The denial of free speech, democratic rights, or basic human rights? How about the threat of Chinese President Xi Jinping to fill the streets with “crushed bodies and shattered bones“? The view of the NBA, and James, appears that Morey was not informed about the billions of dollars to be made in China or the price of supporting people fighting for freedom.

Continue reading “LeBron James Denounces Pro-Hong Kong Support By Morey As “Misinformed””

He Who Must Not Be Named: How Hunter Biden Became A Conversation Stopper

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the media treatment of the Hunter Biden controversy in Ukraine. I continue to marvel at the non sequitur in the mantra that there is “no evidence of wrongdoing” in the contract. What does that mean? Is the sole measure whether the Ukrainians (or even the U.S.) would prosecute a contract as a crime? Wrongdoing would seem to cover any form of corruption or influence peddling — whether or not it constitutes a crime. The fact is that the payment of sweetheart deals to the spouses and siblings is common in both the Ukraine and the United States. Does that make it right? The suggestion is that there is nothing wrong with this contract. Wrongdoing would seemingly include ethical violations and not just what Ukraine would prosecute as a crime (a curious standard for one of the most corrupt countries on Earth). Indeed, many of us have criticized Trump for sometimes suggesting that the criminal code as the measure of presidential conduct. With Biden, Democrats seem to be doing the same thing in dismissing any objections since “it is all perfectly legal.” If that is the case, then most of the criticism of Trump’s conduct can be dismissed as devoid of “evidence of wrongdoing.”

The fact is that there is a great deal wrong with this contract and no one has actually put forward evidence to suggest that the Ukrainians seriously selected Hunter Biden for his energy or business experience. What is left is a raw effort to curry favor with his father with an unjustified and lucrative contract.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “He Who Must Not Be Named: How Hunter Biden Became A Conversation Stopper”

Turkey’s Proxy Fighters Now Executing Kurdish Civilians in Syria

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

As part of the Turkish Government’s invasion of Syria and attacking of Kurdish border towns–officially known as “Operation Peace Spring”–pro-Ankara mercenary forces began the execution of civilians in Tel Abyad. This included the assassination of a prominent Syrian Kurdish leader and her driver.

Hevrin Khalaf and her driver were “taken out of her car during a Turkish-backed attack and executed by Turkish-backed mercenary factions”, the political arm of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement. “This is a clear evidence that the Turkish state is continuing its criminal policy towards unarmed civilians,” it added. Khalaf was the secretary-general of the Future Syria Party.

Continue reading “Turkey’s Proxy Fighters Now Executing Kurdish Civilians in Syria”

“I Am Ashamed”: U.S. Special Forces Watch As Turks Overwhelm Former Kurdish Allies

A U.S. Special Forces members in Syria told Fox News on the abandonment of our Kurdish allies has left left him “ashamed for the first time” in his career. He also says that the Turks have committed war atrocities after President Donald Trump overruled his military and state departments in suddenly pulling back troops. Trump responded on Thursday to the threat of thousands of extremist ISIS fighters escaping from prisons, including sites bombed by Turkey. When reporters pressed Trump on the widespread condemnation for the betrayal of the Kurds, Trump downplayed the alliance with the Kurds, 11,000 of whom died fighting to help the US mission against ISIS. “They didn’t help us in the second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy for example,” Trump said. “They’re there to help us with their land, and that’s a different thing.” Normandy is an area of France, not the US.”>Trump triggered further outrage by dismissing the Kurds (who lost 11,000 in fighting with the U.S. in Syria) by saying “They didn’t help us in the second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy for example.” It is a bizarre comment since Turkey was far from a reliable ally in World War II. Indeed, it signed a treaty with Germany and was accused of assisting the Nazis in critical ways, including chromite exports that kept the Nazi war machine going.

Notably, after getting Trump to back away from the protection of the Kurds, President Tayyip Erdogan is threatening Europe by pledging to send millions of refugees (including extremists) into their countries if they criticize his scorched earth invasion into Syria.

Continue reading ““I Am Ashamed”: U.S. Special Forces Watch As Turks Overwhelm Former Kurdish Allies”

CNN Reporter Asks About Censorship At NBA Press Conference . . . The NBA Takes Away Her Mike

I have previously written about the disgraceful way that the NBA has kowtowed to the Chinese government after a single team manager sent a harmless expression of personal support for the protesters in Hong Kong. The cringing subservience of the NBA was on display in Japan when CNN’s Christina Macfarlane asked an obvious and reasonable questions at a press conference about whether players felt that the NBA response had sent a clear message not to criticize China’s human rights violations. In other words, do they feel censored on social issues? The NBA’s response was fast and clear: they took away MacFarlane’s microphone. They then announced that there would be no press conferences during the China trip. Problem solved.

Continue reading “CNN Reporter Asks About Censorship At NBA Press Conference . . . The NBA Takes Away Her Mike”

NBA Kowtows To China After A Manager Expresses Support For Hong Kong Protesters

The National Basketball Association debased itself in public as it heaped praise on the authoritarian regime of China after a manager simply tweeted support for Hong Kong protesters. China has canceled plans for a NBA exhibition game and is threatening a lucrative expansion deal into China. Basketball player James Harden profusely apologized to China for a manager simply expressing a view in favor of human rights. The league and top players have shown how money is an easy substitute for principle. Morey was forced to delete his innocent tweet and apologize. Harden is shown proclaiming “We apologize. You know, we love China. We love playing there. For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most important love.” As the NBA heaps fawning praise on the Chinese regime, Amnesty International is calling for world action over its crackdown on protesters seeking simple forms of democracy and free speech. They however give no money to the NBA or its stars.

Continue reading “NBA Kowtows To China After A Manager Expresses Support For Hong Kong Protesters”

Trump Orders U.S. Troops To Pull Back In Syria. . . Leaving Kurdish Allies To Mercy of The Turks

In a move that reportedly shocked U.S. military and diplomatic officials, President Donald Trump suddenly caved to Turkish demands and ordered U.S. troops to pull back from the areas held by our Kurdish allies. The move is being widely denounced by both Democrats and Republicans as an abandonment of allies who have fought along side with us for years. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., denounced the “impulsive decision” by Trump and said that this could be “a disaster in the making.” The authoritarian president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is of course delighted and is expected to invade Syria now that U.S. troops are pulling back. Nikki Haley, Trump’s former United Nation ambassador, put it bluntly in saying that Trump was leaving our Kurdish allies “to die.” Likewise, Senate Majority Leader denounced the move and declared that it “would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”

Continue reading “Trump Orders U.S. Troops To Pull Back In Syria. . . Leaving Kurdish Allies To Mercy of The Turks”

Hell’s Abyss: Five Adult Elephants Die In Effort To Save Calf

Elephants are remarkably intelligent and communal animals. They often exhibit the same attachments as humans to members of their herd. That attachment led to tragedy this week when most of a herd died in Thailand while trying to rescue a calf at a waterfall. This terrible loss should educate people about these animals and the savagery of hunting them. I have repeatedly denounced  killing giant elephants and other forms of trophy hunting. From the killing of Voortrekker (“Pioneer”) to countless other elephants, these magnificent animals are being killed for the vanity and thrill kill of wealthy hunters.

Continue reading “Hell’s Abyss: Five Adult Elephants Die In Effort To Save Calf”

Mischief or Misfud? Barr Calls Reveal Ongoing Investigation, Not Incrimination

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the allegations that Attorney General Bill Barr is now somehow “implicated” in the Ukraine controversy because he spoke with counterparts in England, Italy, and Australia about assisting in the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham. If those calls were truly about the Durham investigation, it would be entirely proper for Barr to ask for such assistance. I have always maintained that the Congress has a legitimate interest in investigating the Ukraine controversy. However, the chorus of recriminations on the Barr matter reveal the hype triggering much of the hypoxia.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Mischief or Misfud? Barr Calls Reveal Ongoing Investigation, Not Incrimination”

Apple Pulls Crowd-Sourced App Used By Hong Kong Protesters

Apple has been repeatedly accused to yielding to the demands of China in its censorship and access control demands. Now, even after a protester was shot, Apple has removed a crowd-sourced app developed by protesters to track the location of demonstrations and police. The app however is still being offered by Google.

Continue reading “Apple Pulls Crowd-Sourced App Used By Hong Kong Protesters”

Egyptian Speaker Cites Hitler As Model For Infrastructure Leadership

Portrait

Ali Abdel Aal, Egypt’s parliamentary speaker, triggered an outcry after he used Adolph Hitler as a model for infrastructure leadership. Abdel Aal explained “Hitler had his mistakes, but what allowed him to expand eastward and westward was that he created a strong infrastructure.” Well, that and a combination of war crimes, genocide, and wanton destruction. Most people do not start with the good roads on that list of notable elements of Nazi rule.

Continue reading “Egyptian Speaker Cites Hitler As Model For Infrastructure Leadership”

Report: Trump Allegedly Suggested Shooting Migrants In The Legs And Building A Moat

The New York Times is reporting that, based on interviews with more than a dozen White House officials involved with a meeting in March, President Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down. When cabinet members told him that his some of his proposals were illegal, Trump reportedly yelled “You are making me look like an idiot!. I ran on this. It’s my issue.” The paper also alleges that Trump suggest a moat filled with snakes or alligators. The sheer number of sources is illuminating in this story. There has always been a surprising number of leakers in this White House but the numbers appear to be growing.

Continue reading “Report: Trump Allegedly Suggested Shooting Migrants In The Legs And Building A Moat”

English Hunters Post Pictures Celebrating Dead Trophy Zebras

Facebook

As many of you know, I am no fan of such trophy hunts.  I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as  subsequent controversies of an Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes  or famed wolves or mountain goats or  hundreds of hippos for trophies. We also discussed the shooting of an iconic elephant as well as  disgusting videotape has emerged of a trophy hunter shooting a sleeping lion. The latest outrage is over new pictures of English hunters posing with dead zebras. Shooting a zebra is about as challenging with a long-range rifle as shooting a neighborhood dog.

Continue reading “English Hunters Post Pictures Celebrating Dead Trophy Zebras”

Polish Gay Pride Marchers Refuse To Yield To Violent Attacks

It a tremendous show of courage, Polish Gay Pride marchers refused to be deterred by a hostile city government in Lublin and a violent crowd of counter protesters to hold their first parade. Notably, a court rejected the claim of the mayor that he was cancelling the parade because of security concerns. That is the excuse used by universities like DePaul to cancel conservative speakers, but the court found that it was just an excuse to bar the controversial parade.

Continue reading “Polish Gay Pride Marchers Refuse To Yield To Violent Attacks”