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Oct
15
IS UNITY BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA POSSIBLE?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un may be on the verge of something none of us ever believed could happen in our lifetimes.

“If North Korea takes certain measures, the end-of-war declaration would be a political statement that would announce that the longstanding hostile relations between Pyongyang and Washington had ended,” Moon Jae-in said in a recent interview with the BBC.

If this were to happen, it would end decades of hostilities in the region.
Just the idea of this even being a possibility is incredible.

Mere months ago President Trump and Kim Jong-Un were trading insults and people were speculating it could lead to a war.

Now, Kim is on friendly terms with President Trump, and even just as importantly, we could be on the verge of unprecedented peace talks with South Korea.

Make no mistake about it: if President Trump somehow played a role in getting North and South Korea to the negotiating table and Kim disarms as part of an eventual deal, it would be an incredible accomplishment and put him in the history books.

Amazingly, it could even lead to the president along with Kim and Moon sharing the Nobel Peace Prize.

That said, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Others have tried to deal with North Korea and been led astray.

No reason to celebrate until we see what actually comes of this.

But that doesn’t mean we cannot get excited about the possibility of some form of peace in that region.

The common belief was that short of nuclear war, there would never be a stop to the turmoil between North and South Korea.

But now?

Maybe there is real hope.

Michael Malice, author of the great book “Dear Reader,” who is an expert on North Korea thinks it is possible.

“This is unprecedented,” said Malice to Breitbart News.

“The Korean War isn’t over. There’s only an armistice. The North and the South are technically at war. It’s a very easy concession from both sides to sign a peace treaty, even though it doesn’t mean anything because they’re already effectively at peace. That would still be a big deal in terms of moving the world forward.”

So, a “peace treaty” would technically not mean anything because the war ended decades ago.

So, it is possible that even if a treaty is signed, it could be all smoke and no fire.

But as a gesture and a way to move the peace process in the region forward?

It could be an incredible sign of things to come.

Your enemies will always be your enemies if you are not willing to talk to them.

By agreeing to have these talks, we now have the first step we never thought we would see.

Whether or not it results in a historic peace agreement remains to be seen.

But for once, it seems like hope is legitimate, and that is a great thing.

Oct
15
DON LEMON SHOULD TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND RETHINK WHAT HE IS DOING
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Since President Trump has been elected, many news pundits and celebrities have lost their minds.

Likewise, the same has happened following rapper Kanye West stepping forward as a supporter of the president and the two meeting together at the Oval office yesterday.

But of all the unhinged commentary about Kanye West and President Trump, nobody takes a back seat to CNN’s Don Lemon.

Lemon and his panel called West a “token,” used racial slurs to describe him, and implied West is mentally ill and thus should not be taken seriously.

On Tuesday’s CNN Tonight, while discussing Kanye West’s recent alliance with Republican President Donald Trump, CNN host Don Lemon twice claimed without citing any evidence that Trump supporters in the past had “called him the N-word” when he criticized singer Taylor Swift and President George W. Bush.

Additionally, CNN contributors Bakari Sellers and Tara Setmayer inserted racially tinged comments into the discussion as Setmayer called West a “token negro,” and Sellers derided him as “what happens when negroes don’t read.”

Then the next night, he took it a step farther, calling West a “minstrel” act and invoking the man’s dead mother in an attempt to shame him.

When host Wolf Blitzer gave Lemon the floor, the so-called CNN anchor claimed that he has “no animosity for Kanye West” and that he’ll “be honest” even though “I may get in a lot of trouble for it.”

Lemon opined that he “actually feel[s] bad for him” because “[w]hat saw was a minstrel show him in front of all these white people — most white people — embarrassing himself and embarrassing Americans, but mostly African Americans because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones, watching this, cringing.”

Lemon explained that he “couldn’t even watch it” because it was “so hard” watching President Trump “exploiting someone who needs help, who needs to back away from the cameras, who needs to get off stage, who needs to deal with his issues and if anyone around him cares about him…they need to grab him, snatch him up and get Kanye together because Kanye needs help.”

Ok, so just to review:

Kanye west is a mentally-ill, token, ill-informed negro (Bakari Sellers words, not mine) who cannot read and is a minstrel show his dead mother should be ashamed of.

Somebody here should be ashamed, but it isn’t Kanye.

In addition to the disgusting assertion that anybody who thinks in a way you do not want him to is a token or — even more disgraceful — an embarrassment to his dead mother, the stigma Lemon and his guests put on those with mental health issues is beyond despicable.

As the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald correctly notes:

I can’t remember an episode that has produced more crude, contemptuous, reckless, stigmatizing and harmful discourse about mental health issues than the partisan anger, primarily emanating from cable news & social media, over the last 48 hours due to Kanye West’s WH visit.

Could not have said it any better myself.

If you have a problem with what Kanye West said, make a counter argument.

But to just categorize him as “crazy” and therefore unfit to enter the dialogue is well beyond the pale and does great harm to those who have a genuine need for help, as it further shames them and gives them reason to go on suffering in silence.

I would say Don Lemon should be ashamed of himself, but I am not sure he is capable of shame.

I would say Don Lemon should apologize, but let’s be honest, he is not going to do that.

So instead, I will just hope Lemon stops for at least a second to think about how reckless he is being and how terrible his rhetoric is for no other reason than his deep hatred of the president.

And I will hope he at least takes it down a notch.

But I will hope from afar, because I am done watching his show.

Oct
14
THE PRESIDENT DOES A GREAT DEED BY BRINGING HOME PASTOR BRUNSON
 
by Dr. Kazmir

President Trump has done a really good job at this point in his presidency of finding ways to get hostages freed from miserable conditions.

He did it again the other day, getting the Turks to free Pastor Andrew Brunson — who had been falsely accused of plotting against the Turkish government — from a Turkish prison after two years.

“I just want to congratulate you because you have galvanized this country,” President Trump said.

“There’s so much interest, and it’s your faith, it’s your strength, what you’ve done, gone through.”

President Trump also thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for working with him on Brunson’s return.

“I do want to thank President Erdogan for making this possible. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t easy for him.”

Not surprisingly, Brunson was ecstatic to be home and back with his family.

“We especially want to thank the administration, they really fought for us, unusually so,” Brunson said, talking to President Trump.

“From the time you took office, I know that you’ve been engaged.”

The president said nothing was given to Turkey in exchange for Brunson, who had lived in Turkey for over 20 years prior to his arrest.

At one point, President Trump had implied he may use sanctions against Turkey if they did not release the pastor.

Thankfully, it never came to that.

Again, this is an example of one of president Trump’s strengths: negotiating and using leverage.

Within the last few wees, he was able to get a new trade deal done with Canada and Mexico that has more favorable terms than NAFTA.

And now, he was able to effectively use the threat of sanctions to free Pastor Brunson.

For whatever you may think of the president and his policies, this is one area where having an successful businessman at the top of our government is a major advantage for our nation.

North Korea and Iran loom and so does China as we head forward into the next few years, and I, for one, am very glad to have a president who I feel will do the absolute best job possible for the United States in avoiding conflict while also generating strong deals on our behalf.

Peace through strength is a philosophy that worked for Ronald Reagan.

And now it is — and will continue to — work for Donald Trump.

Oct
11
GUATEMALAN PRESIDENT JIMMY MORALES IS A GREAT FRIEND TO WESTERN DEMOCRACY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Guatemala is a country battling problems as wide-ranging as drug trafficking, corruption, and general lawlessness.

But thankfully, the man running the government there is fighting to do everything he can to right the wrongs that must be righted.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is a strong ally of the United States and a friend to Israel as well.

I had the pleasure of meeting Morales and he was an absolute delight.

We talked about how Guatemala, the United States, and Israel can all help each other and he sincerely seemed eager to do everything in his power to make that happen.

For starters, under Morales, Guatemala — just like the United States — moved their embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

And on the terrorism front, over the past two years Guatemalan intelligence has detained nearly 50 people traveling on false documents on suspicion of being affiliated with ISIS.

Drugs are arguably the nation’s biggest problem, one that can filter into the United States when the cartels get their product out of Guatemala and into our country.

But under President Morales, Guatemala has made major strides in stifling drug trafficking, with cocaine seizures roughly doubling and overall seizures of illegal drugs nearly tripling since he took power.
Central America is a major hub for cocaine traffickers, so the more President Morales and the Guatemalan authorities strangle the boats and planes attempting to move product, the easier and safer things become for our law enforcement and citizens.

As far as corruption goes, President Morales is making tremendous progress there, too.

He has made it one of his central missions to eliminate corruption, and to prove it, used a tax collection mechanism to bring millions of dollars in taxes into the government that had previously been hidden by bad actors.
Violence is on the decline as well, with the murder rate in Guatemala at a near-decade low and gangs on the run from a police force that now has the green light to put a stop to unlawful reigns of terror.

Speaking of gangs, we have heard a lot about the Nicaraguan gang MS-13 causing problems in their home country and illegally coming into the United States to do the same.

Under President Morales, not only are gangs being systematically taken apart, but gang members and others are being made well aware of the dangers and immoral nature of attempting to illegally enter the United States.

Jimmy Morales is a president we can — and should — back strongly, as he has proven time after time that he is both a blessing to his people and a tremendous help to western democracies like Israel and the United States.
I implore President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu to work very closely with Morales going forward, so we can continue to set all of these great countries on the right path forward.

Oct
10
GODSPEED, FLORIDA
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced this morning that Hurricane Michael has arrived, and it is not safe to travel across the Panhandle.

“If you are in a coastal area do not leave your house,” the governor said.
Hurricane “Michael” is expected to sweeping through Florida, likely resulting in numerous injuries and casualties throughout the sunshine state.

The governor surely has his hands full and I am praying for both him and those around him.

I am also, it should go without saying, praying for everybody in Florida who in any way ends up being affected by the devastation of the ensuing hurricane.

I have already seen a number of high profile people attempting to make political hay out of this, trying to tie this into climate change policies and even criticizing Florida’s governor for not doing enough on that front.

I cannot believe I even have to say this, but people are in serious danger.
This is no time to get needlessly political.

President Trump will be in contact with the governor involved and they will handle everything the best they can.

Instead of using this as another opportunity to try and bash political opponents, I’d suggest your energy would be better spent sending positive energy towards those affected and donating money to help them repair the eventual wreckage.

Now is no time for politics and I really wish more people saw how obvious that is.

Godspeed to those caught in Michael’s wrath.

I’ll be praying for you and I hope everybody else is, too.

Oct
9
THANK YOU, AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Today, I want to issue a thank you to​ my good friend and​ former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who has decided to resign as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Ambassador Haley did an excellent job in her role as ambassador, taking absolutely no-nonsense and making clear that the United States would no longer tolerate the UN bashing this country and Israel without paying a price.

Specifically, a financial price, as several hundred million dollars was to be withheld, a welcome change to the policy of the numerous doormats who came before her.

I am also glad that she and President Trump were able to work so well together despite their early differences.

Remember, before eventually endorsing the president, Ambassador Haley endorsed Marco Rubio during the Republican primary and said she was “not a fan” of Trump’s, even calling him “everything a governor doesn’t want in a president.”

But President Trump overlooked that, because he realized that personal grievances aside, Nikki Haley was uniquely qualified to be our country’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

And indeed, she WAS uniquely qualified for the job, largely on the basis of her background and experience.

After all, who better to send to the United Nations as an Ambassador and symbol of our nation’s incredible diversity than a woman who was born to two immigrants from Punjab, India.

She rose all the way to the South Carolina House of Representatives and from there, she became the first Indian-American female to ever become governor of a state.

And while she has stood up for conservative values throughout her career, she has also shown a tremendous ability to be a force for unity.

Following the disgusting mass shooting at a black church by Dylan Roof in South Carolina, Governor Haley saw to it that the confederate flag be taken down at the statehouse.

On this issue, she took a stand against some people in her own party and, in the process, brought together people of all races and creeds to do what was right.

She continued to do what was right as UN Ambassador, including her continued vocal support of the nation of Israel.

While Ambassador Haley said a two state solution was ideal, she also made it clear that America would ALWAYS stand firm and proud at Israel’s side.

Said Haley during her confirmation hearings, “Nowhere, has the U.N.’s failure been more consistent, and more outrageous, than its bias against our close ally, Israel.”

She set out to rectify that and made many positive strides.

While she did praise the UN overall, she was fine with letting them know when they were wrong, like in the case of the UN’s Human Rights’ Council, which has condemned Israel numerous times with no rebukes given to Syria and North Korea.

Ambassador Haley has shown through her words and actions that she was a fantastic blend of reasoned diplomacy and brazen honesty.

It was exactly what we needed in a UN Ambassador and no matter what she decides to do next, I look forward to proudly supporting her and helping to ensure she continues to do fantastic work in some form or fashion on behalf of the American people.

Oct
8
PEOPLE ARE INDIVIDUALS, NOT MEMBERS OF AN IDENTITY CULT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I have been noticing a disturbing trend lately and it has gotten worse and worse over the past few weeks.

Somebody offers a political thought that is not in accordance with what the majority of his or her race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender believes.

That person is then called a traitor and told to get in line.

No individual thought allowed.

The most recent high profile example is a NY Times op-ed excoriating white women who dared to support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as privileged gender traitors who are defenders of the patriarchy.

It is the ind of nonsense you would expect from an 18 year-old sociology student, but somehow it made it into the NY Times, which is supposed to be the “gold standard.”

If you want an idea of how vile and vapid this piece was, here is a quick glimpse:

After a confirmation process where women all but slit their wrists, letting their stories of sexual trauma run like rivers of blood through the Capitol, the Senate still voted to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. With the exception of Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all the women in the Republican conference caved, including Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who held out until the bitter end.

These women are gender traitors, to borrow a term from the dystopian TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” They’ve made standing by the patriarchy a full-time job. The women who support them show up at the Capitol wearing “Women for Kavanaugh” T-shirts, but also probably tell their daughters to put on less revealing clothes when they go out.

So, you see, because Susan Collins is a woman, she is absolutely, positively, no questions asked, not allowed to believe that Brett Kavanaugh is innocent and basically do not care if women get raped.

Stop for a second and thin about how insulting that is.

A woman cannot hold a certain opinion simply because she is a woman?

What?

The whole policing of what somebody is allowed to think based on immutable characteristics is patently absurd, but it is unfortunately far too common.

Want another recent example?

There was Atlantic writer Ta’Niehisi Coates proclaiming that rapper Kanye West is not really black because West is not acting the way Coates thinks he should.

The message from Coates and others has repeatedly been this: get in line and think how we want you to, or you are not a “true” member of the tribe.

I have gotten plenty of this myself over the years.

I am a Pakistani Jewish man, yet I tend to lean conservative.

For that, I have sometimes been told I am helping my oppressor, whatever that even means.

Kanye West, Susan Collins, and anybody else who dared to think for themselves realized they are individuals, not members of an identity cult.

They do not take marching orders on how to think, which used to be a celebrated virtue, but is now somehow seen as a weakness.

These identity cults are no good, and quite frankly, they can often lead to very unpleasant pushbacks.

If you do not understand what I mean, I suggest you pick up a history book.

We are at a time in history when there is more information at our fingertips than ever before.

More than ever it should be considered a valuable asset to be an independent thinker who considers all facts and viewpoints before deciding what to think rather than a toy soldier who just marches to the beat of whatever drum instructed.

So while the NY Times and multiple other outlets want to challenge Senator Susan Collins on her womanhood or insist she is nothing but a pawn of the patriarchy — yawn — I will continue to commend her for having the integrity and intelligence to sort through all relevant facts and arrive at what she truly feels — agree or disagree — was the right decision.

She is not a drone who does what other women tell her, she is a human being fully capable of making up her own mind, which is precisely what she did.

And despite what the NY Times and writers like Ta’Niehisi Coates say, we need more of that, not less.

Oct
7
EMPLOYMENT IN THE UNITED STATES NOW AT HISTORIC LEVELS AND THAT IS REASON FOR ALL TO CHEER
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Amidst all the insanity occurring over the Brett Kavanaugh matter, many people missed some really positive economic news.

Unemployment claims recently hit a near 50-year low, a huge victory for America’s workers.

The official unemployment rate is at a mere 3.7%, and even if that does not include the underemployed and those who stopped looking, it is still a very strong overall number.

As a small business owner myself, it warms my heart to see this, since the people who work for me are the backbone of any success I have.

I could not do it without them.

And life has been easier for me and for them ever since the tax cut bill was passed, because I was able to expand and hire more people while also giving raises to my existing employees.

I had been looking to expand my business for some time, but the punitive tax rates were making it next to impossible for me to do it.

With the rates being lowered, I was finally able to expand, which created more jobs and greater overall revenues to share with my employees.

And my businesses were certainly not the only ones for whom this was the case.

We saw the benefits take hold with companies like Comcast, Wells Fargo, and AT & T, who gave out bonuses and raises as a result of the tax bill being passed.

The bonuses and average of $100 per month savings in tax savings are a big help to most working people.

In fact, I have an employee who told me he plans to use that money to pay his car insurance for the year.

That may not seem like a big deal to some in the upper income brackets who sneeze at that amount, but trust me, to my employee and people like him, it is indeed a very big deal.

This weekend, in the midst of the Kavanaugh chaos, I stopped every now and then to think about about how excited I am to continue using the money I am saving to grow my businesses and more importantly, how growing those businesses means I can hire more employees, and do my part to help make their everyday lives better.

God bless my employees, and God bless the American workforce.

Oct
6
IN A SEA OF LUNACY, COLLINS EMERGES AS A VOICE OF REASON
 
by Dr. Kazmir

With the way politics currently work, it is rare you see anything substantive on a grand stage that makes you sit up and take notice.

In a time of sloganeering and quick sound bytes, it seemed almost impossible that a dry and well-reasoned speech could break through and have any real impact.

I say almost impossible, because Susan Collins — the longtime senator from Maine — proved yesterday that it can indeed be done.

I have known Susan Collins for many years and have always found her to be incredibly gracious and honorable.

And the speech she gave yesterday on the senate floor made me so proud to know her and to have her as an elected representative at the federal level.

In a sea of hysteria, Senator Collins gave a 40 minute speech that was light on hyperbole and heavy on facts and substantive arguments.

The Senator began by showing how carefully she had considered this nomination, detailing the talks she had with opponents and supporters of Judge Kavanaugh, as well as conversations she had with Kavanaugh himself.

Then she gave a substantive defense of the Judge’s record as a 12 year veteran of the DC circuit court.

Judge Kavanaugh has been unequivocal in his belief that no president is above the law. He has stated that Marbury v. Madison, Youngstown Steel v. Sawyer and United States v. Nixon are three of the four greatest Supreme Court cases in history. What do they have in common? Each of them is a case where the Court served as a check on presidential power. And I would note that the fourth case that Judge Kavanaugh has pointed to as the greatest in history was Brown v Board of Education.

One Kavanaugh decision illustrates the point about the check on presidential power directly. He wrote the opinion in Hamdan v. United States, a case that challenged the Bush Administration’s military commission prosecution of an associate of Osama Bin Laden. This conviction was very important to the Bush Administration, but Judge Kavanaugh, who had been appointed to the DC Circuit by President Bush and had worked in President Bush’s White House, ruled that the conviction was unlawful. As he explained during the hearing, ‘We don’t make decisions based on who people are, or their policy preferences, or the moment. We base decisions on the law….’

She then pivoted to the fact that Kavanaugh is clearly qualified for the job, regardless of whether or not one agrees with his ideology.

Judge Kavanaugh has received rave reviews for his 12-year track record as a judge, including for his judicial temperament. The American Bar Association (ABA) gave him its highest possible rating. Its Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary conducted an extraordinarily thorough assessment, soliciting input from almost 500 people, including his judicial colleagues. The ABA concluded that “his integrity, judicial temperament, and professional competence met the highest standard.”

Lisa Blatt, who has argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other woman in history, testified: “By any objective measure, Judge Kavanaugh is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.” “His opinions are invariably thoughtful and fair….” Ms. Blatt, who clerked for and is an ardent admirer of Justice Ginsburg, and who is, in her own words, “an unapologetic defender of a woman’s right to choose,” said that Judge Kavanaugh “fit[s] in the mainstream of legal thought.” She also observed that “Judge Kavanaugh is remarkably committed to promoting women in the legal profession.”

Collins also emphasized that while she believes Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser — Dr. Ford — is a survivor of a sexual assault, the details surrounding her claim specifically as it pertains to Brett Kavanaugh are simply not enough to meet even the most basic evidentiary standard, and therefore, cannot be reasonably held against him.

I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee. I found her testimony to be sincere, painful, and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred; none of the individuals Professor Ford says were at the party has any recollection at all of that night.
Judge Kavanaugh forcefully denied the allegations under penalty of perjury. Mark Judge denied under penalty of felony that he had witnessed an assault. PJ Smyth, another person allegedly at the party, denied that he was there under penalty of felony. Professor Ford’s life-long friend Leland Keyser indicated that, under penalty of felony, she does not remember that party. And Ms. Keyser went further. She indicated that not only does she not remember a night like that, but also that she does not even know Brett Kavanaugh.

In addition to the lack of corroborating evidence, we also learned some facts that raised more questions. For instance, since these allegations have become public, Professor Ford testified that not a single person has contacted her to say, “I was at the party that night.”

Furthermore, the professor testified that although she does not remember how she got home that evening, she knew that, because of the distance, she would have needed a ride — yet not a single person has come forward to say that they were the one that drove her home or were in the car with her that night. And Professor Ford also indicated that even though she left that small gathering of six or so people abruptly and without saying goodbye and distraught, none of them called her the next day — or ever — to ask why she left — is she okay — not even her closest friend, Ms. Keyser.
Mr. President, the Constitution does not provide guidance as to how we are supposed to evaluate these competing claims. It leaves that decision up to each Senator. This is not a criminal trial, and I do not believe that claims such as these need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Nevertheless, fairness would dictate that the claims at least should meet a threshold of “more likely than not” as our standard.

The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night — or at some other time — but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations fail to meet the “more likely than not” standard. Therefore, I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the Court.

Senator Collins also made clear that while she cannot hold these particular allegations against Judge Kavanaugh for the reasons she articulated, she absolutely believes there is an epidemic of women facing sexual assaults in this country — many of whom are too afraid or embarrassed to come forward — and that is an issue that must be seriously addressed for years to come.

Let me emphasize that my approach to this question should not be misconstrued as suggesting that unwanted sexual contact of any nature is not a serious problem in this country. To the contrary, if any good at all has come from this ugly confirmation process, it has been to create an awareness that we have underestimated the pervasiveness of this terrible problem.

I have been alarmed and disturbed, however, by some who have suggested that unless Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is rejected, the Senate is somehow condoning sexual assault. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every person — man or woman — who makes a charge of sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respect. The #MeToo movement is real. It matters. It is needed. And it is long overdue. We know that rape and sexual assault are less likely to be reported to the police than other forms of assault. On average, an estimated 211,000 rapes and sexual assaults go unreported every year. We must listen to survivors, and every day we must seek to stop the criminal behavior that has hurt so many. We owe this to ourselves, our children, and generations to come.

The esteemed senator from Maine concluded by explaining how disturbed she has been by how partisan and ugly these nominations have become and reminding people that the founders never intended it to be this way.

The politically charged atmosphere surrounding this nomination had reached a fever pitch even before these allegations were known, and it has been challenging even then to separate fact from fiction.

We live in a time of such great disunity, as the bitter fight over this nomination both in the Senate and among the public clearly demonstrates. It is not merely a case of different groups having different opinions. It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will toward those who disagree with them. In our intense focus on our differences, we have forgotten the common values that bind us together as Americans. When some of our best minds are seeking to develop ever more sophisticated algorithms designed to link us to websites that only reinforce and cater to our views, we can only expect our differences to intensify.

This would have alarmed the drafters of our Constitution, who were acutely aware that different values and interests could prevent Americans from becoming and remaining a single people. Indeed, of the six objectives they invoked in the preamble to the Constitution, the one that they put first was the formation of “a more perfect Union.”

Their vision of “a more perfect Union” does not exist today, and if anything, we appear to be moving farther away from it. It is particularly worrisome that the Supreme Court, the institution that most Americans see as the principal guardian of our shared constitutional heritage, is viewed as part of the problem through a political lens.

She then announced that as a result of everything she had just said for the past 40 minutes, she would be voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to become a justice on the Supreme Court.

If you have not watched the speech yet, I highly recommend doing so.
It was long and it was not super exciting, but it was as thorough and intelligent as any political speech I have ever heard.

I have always been proud of Senator Collins, but she legitimately made me weep yesterday, because I was so overwhelmed by how beautifully she handled what was likely the biggest and most significant moment of her entire political career.

God bless Senator Susan Collins.

And may we someday be lucky enough to have 100 senators with even a fraction of her courage, ability to reason, and professionalism.

Oct
5
USING VIOLENCE TO ACHIEVE POLITICAL GOALS IS A VERY DANGEROUS PATH TO GO DOWN
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The situation surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was always destined to be ugly.

There is a deep partisan divide in this country and so it is no surprise that this has gotten heated.

But what has been distressing is the violence that has begun to pop up.

A Congressman in Maryland had his door kicked in.

Senator Ted Cruz and his wife were chased out of a restaurant.

Somebody sent ricin to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Rand Paul’s wife wrote an op-ed discussing the disgusting threats made to her husband and her family.

Several Republican senators were doxed and had their addresses and phone numbers released.

Secretary of Education Betsy Devos now requires an extra $1 million in security.

I could go on and on here, but I think you get the point.

The problem here seems to stem from the fact that the hardcore elements of the left seem to believe that President Trump and the Republican party are not just wrong, they are evil.

That is why people feel comfortable comparing the president to Adolf Hitler.

As a Jewish man, the fact that anybody could compare a man who was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of 6 million Jews and 11 million people overall to anything President Trump has said or done is beyond sick.

And once you’re convinced somebody is “LITERALLY HITLER,” then it is easy to talk yourself into doing literally ANYTHING to stop him.

I mean, after all, what wouldn’t you do to stop Hitler, right?

That’s how you convince yourself that trying to kill Congressman Steve Scalise for simply having views you deem hateful is ok.

Or that bombing buildings is justified in the name of the greater good.

If you want to know where this leads, I suggest you read about the Weather Underground and Timothy McVeigh, two sides of a very dangerous coin.

And that is the flip side of this: What happens when these people use these tactics on the wrong targets?

What happens when they show up to hunt and are met with something equal or worse?

Exactly how long do you expect to be able to do this before you start seeing violent reactions in return?

Exactly how do you think this is all going to turn out?

The answer is it will turn out horribly, for EVERYBODY.

I don’t care how much you hate President Trump, this has to stop right now.

And God help us all if it doesn’t.

Oct
4
THE KAVANAUGH CONSPIRACIES
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Sometimes I wonder if people even hear themselves when they talk.

Remember Zina Bash?

Yeah, I know, that seems like a lifetime ago, but long story short, she was in court during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings and used the hand signal universally understood to mean “ok,” which got her derided on social media for being a white supremacist.

Yes, that really happened.

And then last Friday, it was announced that the FBI would re-open its background probe on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, before he is voted on for the Supreme Court.

We were told the process would take no more than a week.

We also knew that, given the circumstances, it was highly unlikely the FBI will uncover anything that would be relevant to the Ford accusations.

We have already heard from all of the witnesses involved including Ford and Kavanaugh, and there is no other evidence by Ford’s own admission.

The FBI would be hard-pressed to find anything that would tip the scales one way or the other.

But that sure has not stopped the press and Kavanaugh’s political opponents from digging up stories that range from ridiculous to outright conspiratorial.

We heard tales of Kavanaugh supposedly — maybe, possibly, I don’t know, could have been — throwing ice at a guy during a bar fight in college.

We heard an ex-classmate who said he never personally saw Kavanaugh do anything violent or sexually aggressive, but the Judge’s friends were real jerks during his school days.

We read article after article about what the word “boofing” may or may not mean.

We heard one guy even say he heard about Kavanaugh exposing himself to a girl in college against her will from another guy who then said he had no idea what the first guy was talking about.

Somehow this got printed anyway as the song “Take it on the Run” by REO Speedwagon ran through all of our heads “heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another you’ve been messing around.”

We heard debates over whether or not you can get really drunk without blacking out and losing your memory.

And of course, the coup de grace, we heard a woman claim that a 14 year-old Brett Kavanaugh ran a gang rape ring — well, maybe…..she thinks…..I mean, she didn’t witness anything…….but she is pretty sure she saw him at a punch bowl looking fishy! — as the nation watched with sheer terror for how truly mentally unbalanced she seemed to be.

Meanwhile, as all of this unfolded, the left continued to smear Kavanaugh as a rapist, a drunk, an angry white male (um, so what?), entitled, etc…..

This was all happening as we began to find out that parts of Ford’s story (the tale of the door triggering her memory, for instance) were crumbling apart before our eyes.

Not that you would know about any of that from reading mainstream outlets.

To them, this case was decided long ago.

And to the democrats, too.

Of course, the FBI is done from what we understand, and barring something new, that should be the end of this matter and the senate should vote on it.

And the democrats who have been screaming they wanted this should be willing to accept whatever comes of it.

But they won’t.

We have heard over and over again during the Mueller probe from democrats that we must trust law enforcement and let them do their jobs.

However, everything surrounding Kavanaugh has never really been about law enforcement or proper investigations.

It has been about the democrats finding ways to delay the vote for as long as possible, hoping they can win seats in the November elections and then use their numbers to stop any nominee President Trump puts forward.

As obvious proof of this, after calling for the FBI to probe this matter more extensively for weeks, numerous people are already saying one week was not enough and some have suggested it should not be limited to just the current claims and must include a look at everything that has turned up, including the gang rape accusations and whatever else is brought in.

Which gets to the heart of what is actually happening here: the democrats were looking for any opportunity they can to gin up more allegations against Kavanaugh for everything from Jaywalking to running a satanic cult, which will give them the ammo they need to say that there are so many claims that it is overwhelming and the investigation must continue on longer.

Then, they hope they can win back the senate and hold off the president from appointing a Supreme Court justice for the next two years.

The irony here will be that after praising the FBI endlessly during the Mueller probe, when the bureau does not add anything relevant to what is already in Kavanaugh’s background report — because there will be nothing new to add — the democrats will scream that what the FBI did was insufficient and demand more.

The FBI has done its job and the democrats need to accept the results, just as they keep claiming Republicans must do regarding whatever Robert Mueller turns up.

But mark my words: they won’t.

Because this is not about finding out the truth.

It never has been.

It is about causing a delay and trying to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court, even if they have to use despicable tactics and ruin the lives of Brett Kavanaugh and his family to do it.

I wish I could claim I was surprised when this ultimately plays out exactly like I just described, but sadly, it will be the most predictable chain of events any of us will ever see.

Oct
3
FIRST LADY VISITS AFRICA IN A SHOW OF CLASS AND GOODWILL
 
by Dr. Kazmir

“It’s very emotional. I will never forget [the] incredible experience and the stories that I heard.”

Those are the words of first lady Melania Trump, speaking about her trip Africa.

I had the pleasure of meeting the first lady during the campaign and I found her to be nothing but gracious and classy.

Hopefully, this trip goes a long way towards getting her detractors to realize that, too.

I understand that many people do not like the president and they are entitled to that opinion.

I also fully grasp the fact that many women see the president as “anti-woman.”

I don’t see it that way, but I respect those who do.

However, I’m not really sure why anybody would hate Melania Trump.

For starters, Melania loves her husband and is going to be by his side.

You can dislike that all you want to, but that is what wives who love their husbands do.

It is fine to hate her husband and be upset at her for defending him, but it is exactly what any proud wife would do.

More importantly, not being gracious to Mrs. Trump seems to be antithetical to achieving the goals of those who say they oppose the president’s supposedly “far right” agenda.

Take a look at the history of Melania Trump and you will see that she is not a malicious person at all.

She does not have a mean bone in her body.

Truth is, Melania is a huge fan of empowered women and if husband hadn’t been running, it seems likely she would have both voted for Hillary Clinton (she may very well have donated to her as well).

So to those on the left, may I humbly suggest that you treat Melania with the utmost respect.

As this trip shows, she has been nothing but a 100% class act as first lady and is trying to do good deeds around the world.

She has my support, and I hope she has yours, too, because regardless of your political views, she deserves it.

Oct
2
KASKY SHOWS TREMENDOUS MATURITY AS HE CHANGES HIS TONE AND OPENS HIS EARS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

You probably know the name Cameron Kasky.

In case you don’t, Kasky was one of the survivors of the Parkland shooting and in the aftermath, he helped found March For Our Lives, an activist group that was stridently pro-gun control.

They went around the country demanding action, but often did so in pretty divisive ways.

In fact, Kasky himself became best known for standing up at a CNN Town Hall event and equating Senator Marco Rubio with Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz.

Truthfully, while I would never speak ill of a child, especially one who survived such a traumatic event, I found him and several of his fellow March For Our Lives spokespeople — like David Hogg — to be quite off-putting in their approach and messaging.

So when I heard Kasky was going to sit down with conservative firebrand Ben Shapiro, I will admit, I was intrigued.

The show aired Sunday and I must say, I came away from it seeing the young man from Parkland in a whole new light.

Kasky detailed everything he has been doing lately and mentioned leaving March For Our Lives.

Throughout the course of the conversation — which to he and Shapiro’s credit was very civil — the kid who once stood on stage in front of a national audience practically calling Marco Rubio a murderer showed an amazing level of maturity by admitting he made mistakes and acted poorly at times.

He reflected back on the media attention he received, saying that while he thinks he has an important voice, he feels the press did both him and their viewers a disservice by holding him up as an expert when he clearly is not one.

The entire interview was very impressive, but one thing in particular that Kasky said stuck out to me:

He said that while his political views have not changed, his views of other people’s views have changed.

That sounds a bit jumbled, but what Kasky means is that he has come to realize that somebody who holds an opposing opinion may just be wrong — or at least wrong in his eyes — rather than evil.

Whereas he may have thought NRA members do not care about dead children, he has come to understand that they absolutely do care, they just believe in different solutions.

Kasky said he left March For Our Lives because even though he still supports what they are doing, he feels it is more important to try to bring people together to talk about their differences and possible common ground solutions now, so that has become his priority at the moment.

I must say, overall, I found both the conversation itself and Kasky’s approach refreshing.

As he joked, he used to believe he knows everything, but now he understands that there is quite a lot that he actually does not know.

That may seem like simple and unremarkable, but for an 18-year old, that is very mature and shows a lot of wisdom.

I probably still disagree with Kasky on most issues, but I am absolutely willing to listen to him now — far more so than when he was screaming about people being murderers for being NRA members — because he is showing a level of respect and understanding for opposing viewpoints that he previously did not seem capable of.

I applaud his new approach and willingness to engage honestly with those who disagree with him, and hope many more Americans follow his lead.

In this current political climate, that is something we could use a whole lot more of.

Oct
1
NEW AGREEMENT WITH MEXICO AND CANADA SHOWS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S STRENGTH AS A DEAL MAKER
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The self-righteous indignation from the media and the professional pundit class at the new trade deal President Trump had constructed with Mexico was completely wrong.

Yes, Canada was left out of the deal, but anybody who did two seconds worth of thinking can see that NAFTA needed to be destroyed and that getting Mexico on board would pressure Canada into jumping in but with more favorable terms than before.

And hey, guess what happened?

Trade ministers from the U.S., Mexico and Canada have reached a deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Trump administration announced late Sunday night.

The new pact, which is being called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is a major step toward completing one of Trump’s signature campaign promises and gives the president a concrete policy win to tout on the campaign trail this fall.

Well, color me shocked!

While the president always wanted diplomatic relations with Canada and open trade, he was never going to let the United States be bullied or pushed around.

He was also sure as hell not going to allow the United States to be forced to live up to the terms of a poorly constructed NAFTA deal that only benefits giant corporations at the expense of small businesses and working people who have seen their jobs decimated.

And really, all this hand-wringing does is once again prove that so many people pay no attention to detail anymore.

President Trump made it very clear all along that he wanted to sit down with Canadian authorities and work things out.

But he held firm to tough negotiation tactics, the likes of which made him a billionaire and an expert on the “art of the deal.”

While the previous administration continued to honor terrible deals like NAFTA and make new ones that were even worse — like the atrocious “Iran Deal,” — President Trump has repeatedly approached existing and future deals in a manner which puts America’s interests first.

Under the watch of the last few administrations, we lost billions of dollars in poor trade deals that yielded nothing but economic misery for those who found themselves on the wrong side of those agreements.

Billionaire businessman and former Presidential Candidate H. Ross Perot once said that you could hear a giant sucking sound due to all the jobs being lost to Canada and Mexico as a result of NAFTA.

He was right then, just as President Trump was right go hold out for a better deal now.

Actions like these are exactly why the American people elected President Trump in the first place.

They want a President who is not going to pretend existing deals we have with a country are great when they clearly are not, will not make terrible deals with foreign governments and then deny ever making them like the previous president, and will not just stand by as billions of dollars are siphoned out of the United States and into another country at our expense.

In short, President Trump is never going to let the United States be anybody’s doormat.

Peace through strength.

No more politics as usual.

This deal is a good one for the president, but an even better one for the American people as a whole.

America first.

It is about time somebody stood for that in this country again and I, for one, am proud as can be that we finally have a leader at the top of our government, Donald Trump, who feels the same way.

 

Sep
30
THE FBI PROBE SHOULD BE ENOUGH, BUT WILL IT SATISFY DEMOCRATS?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

As announced Friday, the FBI will re-open its background probe on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, before he is voted on for the Supreme Court.

This process is expected to take no more than a week.

However, given the circumstances, it is highly unlikely the FBI will uncover anything that would be relevant to the Ford accusations.

We have already heard from all of the witnesses involved including Ford and Kavanaugh, and there is no other evidence by Ford’s own admission.

The FBI will be hard-pressed to find anything that would tip the scales one way or the other.

Once the FBI is done, that should be the end of this matter and the senate should vote on it.

And the democrats who have been screaming they wanted this should be willing to accept whatever comes of it.

But will they?

I find it hard to believe that they would.

We have heard over and over again during the Mueller probe from democrats that we must trust law enforcement and let them do their jobs.

However, everything surrounding Kavanaugh has never really been about law enforcement or proper investigations.

It has been about the democrats finding ways to delay the vote for as long as possible, hoping they can win seats in the November elections and then use their numbers to stop any nominee President Trump puts forward.

As obvious proof of this, after calling for the FBI to probe this matter more extensively for weeks, numerous people are already saying one week is not enough and some have suggested it should not be limited to just the current claims and must include a look at everything that has turned up, including the gang rape accusations and whatever else is brought in.

Which gets to the heart of what is actually happening here: the democrats are looking for any opportunity they can to gin up more allegations against Kavanaugh for everything from Jaywalking to running a satanic cult, which will give them the ammo they need to say that there are so many claims that it is overwhelming and the investigation must continue on longer.

Then, they hope they can win back the senate and hold off the president from appointing a Supreme Court justice for the next two years.

The irony here will be that after praising the FBI endlessly during the Mueller probe, when the bureau does not add anything relevant to what is already in Kavanaugh’s background report — because there will be nothing new to add — the democrats will scream that what the FBI did was insufficient and demand more.

The FBI will do its job and the democrats need to accept the results, just as they keep claiming Republicans must do regarding whatever Robert Mueller turns up.

But mark my words: they won’t.

Because this is not about finding out the truth.

It never has been.

It is about causing a delay and trying to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court, even if they have to use despicable tactics to do it.

It is sad and disheartening.

But it is very obviously the truth.

Sep
29
ARIZONA’S SENATOR “FLAKES” OUT IN A VERY DANGEROUS WAY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) voted yesterday to bring the Supreme Court nomination of embattled Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the floor of the senate for a vote.

But he also announced that he will not vote for Kavanaugh on the floor unless the FBI re-opens its background probe, which he said will take no more than a week.

Of course, this is a waste of time because there is absolutely nothing new the FBI could possibly uncover that would be relevant to the Ford accusations.

We have already heard from all of the witnesses involved including Ford and Kavanaugh, and there is no other evidence by Ford’s own admission.

So at this point, you either believe Kavanaugh assaulted Ford or you do not.

The FBI cannot possibly find anything that would tip the scales one way or the other.

As we all know, however, this is not about the FBI and never has been.

It is about the democrats finding ways to delay the vote for as long as possible, hoping they can win seats in the November elections and then use their numbers to stop any nominee President Trump puts forward.

As obvious proof of this, after calling for the FBI to probe this matter more extensively for weeks, numerous people were already saying one week is not enough and some have even gone so far as to say that Kavanaugh is clearly guilty, no matter what the FBI turns up in the end.

Really, though, what this will do is give the democrats the opportunity to gin up more allegations against Kavanaugh for everything from Jaywalking to running a satanic cult, which will give them the ammo they need to say that there are so many claims that it is overwhelming and the investigation must continue on longer.

At which point the Republicans have two options: (1) Muster the strength to get the votes they need and confirm Kavanaugh (2) Withdraw Kavanaugh and work quickly to confirm somebody else like Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who likely face even stronger opposition than Kavanaugh.

Ultimately, though, what Senator Flake has just done goes well beyond the battle for who sits on the Supreme Court seat.

Flake was reportedly confronted in an elevator by two women claiming to be sexual assault victims, and after they hectored him, that was when he went from a straight “yes” vote to the weird compromise he ended up proposing instead.

Activists everywhere have counted this as a major victory, with many openly stating they plan to get in the faces of Republicans in public from here on out to try band force similar results.

We have already seen this done to Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi, Mitch McConnell and Elaine Cho, Kristen Nielsen, Betsy Devos, etc……

Not to mention several Republican Senators being doxed and having their home addresses and phone numbers released to the public.

The problem here is that by doing this, you are opening the door to a whole new level of conflict, the likes of which I am not so sure these activists are ready for, and certainly the lies of which none of us should want.

After all, physically and verbally harassing people in public in the name of the cause is where it starts.

But the entire “They are not wrong, they are evil” sentiment being pushed here is what leads to violence, the same as it did with radical groups like the Weathermen in the 1960’s.

They believed what they wanted was just and stopping people who had the power to carry out what they did not want was evil.

So whatever had to be done, so be it for the greater good.

Make no mistake, that is where this is all heading.

These activists may thin this is a good idea and may feel emboldened now, but if they keep this up, they are going to regret what they unleash.

Because those on the other side are not going to lie down and just take it without eventually fighting back in an equally dangerous way.

And this all has the potential to escalate so far that by the time the dust settles, so much damage will have been done that we will jot even recognize ourselves anymore.

So to Republican Senators, I say, if you believe Kavanaugh assaulted Ford, then vote him down.

But voting him down for any other reason is unacceptable at this point, and sets the precedent that will lead to these kinds of tactics being used over and over again, and in far more dangerous ways.

And to the activists who think continuing down this path is a good idea, I say, think long and hard about the long-term ramifications of what you are doing, and what the other side may do in return.

Because this has the potential to get very scary for the entire country, and I hope all of us have the good sense to find a way to stop it from happening.

Sep
28
WHY DOES BEING WHITE MEAN YOU CANNOT BE ANGRY?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The testimony of Dr. Christine Ford and Brett Kavanaugh is sad for so many reasons came and went yesterday.

And depending on who you believed going in, you most likely believed the same person coming out because both seemed credible.

But one criticism of Kavanaugh was wholly bizarre to me.

Numerous members of reputable media outlets were talking about how Kavanaugh came off as angry, and some even went to far as to call him an “entitled” angry white man.

Put yourself in Judge Kavanaugh’s shoes: If he did not assault Dr. Ford as he has vehemently claimed, then why wouldn’t he be angry?

After all, over the past two weeks, his name has been run through the mud with numerous high profile people and media members implying or outright saying he was guilty of vicious sexual assault.

His family must have been devastated, his name and reputation will never be the same, and if this gets taken further, he could even theoretically lose his career since Dr. Ford’s allegations are most certainly conduct unbecoming of a circuit court judge.

I can tell you this: I am not white, but if I was ever accused of such atrocities in the type of public manner Judge Kavanaugh was, you can damn sure bet I would be furious.

The truth is, though, everybody upset about Kavanaugh expressing anger is being beyond disingenuous.

They know perfectly well how angry ANY man would be if he felt he was being falsely accused of sexual assault in front of the world and that certain pockets of the media were reporting it as if it were fact.

With these people, nothing Kavanaugh did would be good enough.

Show anger? OOOOOH he’s mad, bad temprament for the court!

Don’t show anger? He’s a cold, detached psychopath.

Go on the offensive against Ford? He’s blaming the victim!

Don’t go on the offensive? It’s because he is guilty and can’t dispute her story!

We all know the game that was being played here.

But the idea that the Judge’s sin color should be mentioned at all is sheer insanity.

I do not care what color you are, human emotions are human emotions.

The idea that a white man does not have the right to express outrage over being slimed simply because he is white is not only ridiculous, it is offensive.

The left has spent decades telling us that we are all the same as human beings despite gender and race, but when it is convenient, they hide behind the neo-marxist notion that white people are supposedly privileged, and therefore anything that is done to them can be justified.

That is absolutely sickening.

Fact is, you either believe Kavanaugh or Ford based on their testimony and the facts of the case.

And his race, her race, or anybody else’s race should not have anything to do with your determination.

I said it should not.

But for some, unfortunately, it clearly does.

Sep
27
EXPECT TRANSPARENT TRIBALISM TO BE ON FULL DISPLAY IN REACTION TO FORD/KAVANAUGH HEARINGS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

What is happening today involving Dr. Christine Ford and Brett Kavanaugh is sad for so many reasons.

Either a woman is being forced to confront a painful memory she has been forced to carry out for 35 years or a man is unnecessarily having his career and reputation completely ruined.

There is no real winner here, no matter how this turns out.

Well, I take that back, there is one winner: the media.

It is amazing what a circus this entire ordeal has become.

What should have been a very serious matter between a woman alleging a horrible assault and a man trying to defend himself from those allegations has turned into a political spectacle and a media feeding frenzy that has engulfed the nation and dragged us all into the gutter.

The left KNOWS Kavanaugh is a rapist.

And why shouldn’t we believe Ford? She’s a woman and women do not lie about these things.

Also, he is a conservative man, so he obviously hates women, right?

The Duke Lacrosse team and the students at UVA say hi.

And the right KNOWS Ford is a liar.

I mean, come on, this is clearly a political hit job.

Don’t even need to hear from Ford, because it is so obviously a coordinated political attack, so who cares what she has to say?

Except everybody should care what she has to say.

And everybody should care what Kavanaugh has to say, too.

For all the politically-based bickering, here is the truth: there is no evidence and there are no corroborating witnesses.

And this supposedly happened three decades ago.

So THE ONLY way to really figure out any semblance of what happened is to hear full testimony from both Ford and Kavanaugh and decide who sounds more believable.

I know that does not sound sexy to the partisans who have blindly dug their heels in on this issue, but it is the only thing that makes sense if you are truly thinking about it from a neutral standpoint.

All I said, no matter what you think of Brett Kavanaugh, the man’s career and reputation are at stake here.

And regardless of what you think of Dr. Ford’s allegations, if this did happen to her, it is going to be very painful for her to relive it, even if it is necessary given the circumstances.

No matter what happens, there is always going to be a significant number who believe Kavanaugh and a significant number who believe Ford, and odds are that will have far less to do with the actual credibility of their stories than the political “team” you find yourself rooting for.

It is sad, because these allegations and the subsequent rebuttal of them deserve better than transparent tribalism.

Certainly Ford and Kavanugh deserve that, too.

We all do.

Sep
26
THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALEX JONES AND MICHAEL AVENATTI IS A LAW DEGREE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I always knew Michael Avenatti was a loon.

It has been obvious to anybody who can think clearly all along since the man emerged as a national figure during the entire Stormy Daniels insanity.

Well, now after promising some sort of bombshell against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Avenatti has somehow managed to reach a new level of bonkers that I did not previously now existed.

In case you missed it, the not-so esteemed lawyer has brought forth a woman who claims she witnessed multiple gang rape parties involving Kavanaugh and that she was eventually one of the victims.

Ok, let’s think about this for a second.

This woman is claiming that she was at a party where she watched women be gang raped.

Then, not only did she not tell anybody about it, she kept going back until she herself was raped.

And apparently nobody — not the FBI who did background checks on Kavanaugh, nor local authorities or literally anybody else — had ever heard a single thing about this until the day before a hearing involving Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Sure, sounds plausible.

I am going to try to be as nice as I can here, but if you believe any of this nonsense, then you either thought Pizzagate was real, or you are just as nutty as those who did.

I have refrained from commenting at all about Dr. Christine Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh, because, quite frankly, I need to hear her testimony before I can make and informed judgment.

But this gang rape garbage?

Could not be more obvious what it really is.

All I can say is, no matter what you think of Brett Kavanaugh, the man’s career and reputation are at stake here.

No matter what happens, there is always going to be a significant number who believe he is guilty, because that is how it works with accusations like these.

You can never truly escape them.

And if he is guilty, then fine.

Do not let him on the court and impeach him from his current post.

But if he’s not?

Well, then a man’s life will have been run through the mud and his family tormented for nothing.

So whether or not you think the allegations from Dr. Ford are true is one matter.

But think long and hard before you take these ridiculous gang rape accusations seriously or pass them around on social media as if they have even the slightest bit of credibility.

I would say Avenatti should be ashamed of himself, but I am pretty sure he is not capable of shame.

Avenatti cares about ginning up attention for himself, nothing more, nothing less.

As far as the rest of us go, however, I don’t care what your ideology is, we should ALL be better than that.

Sep
25
THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH TO THE U.N. WAS A WELCOME CHANGE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

President Donald Trump just addressed the United Nations where he touted the United States accomplishments and spoke highly of our alliance with Israel.

To this I say only one word: good.

Over the years, the United States has given billions to the United Nations only to be mocked and ridiculed while countries like Libya sit on the human rights commission.

But past presidents stood by and took it, whether because they felt they had to or because they were afraid to speak up.

But not this president.

President Trump was more than happy to tout our country’s virtues, and it was a very welcome change.

The annoyance I — and many others — have felt for years as the United Nations relentlessly bashed the United States even while largely being subsidized by out money had gotten to a boiling point.

In a way, the UN has essentially been the spoiled rich kid who talks about how evil his parents are as he continues accepting their money to pay rent every month.

This is not to say the United States does nothing wrong and never deserves criticism.

We do plenty wrong and deserve criticism for those wrongs.

But it seems like the high profile condemnation almost exclusively goes in our direction.

And while our government had surely done some terrible things, it us hilarious being lectured to by such pillars of humanity as Cuba, China, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps this could be a wakeup call for the UN like a bratty kid who finally has a teacher that refuses to let him get away with being a jerk in class.

Or, maybe the UN just carries on relentlessly bashing the United States for the bad things our government does without ever acknowledging the good things they do.

But President Trump has finally made it clear that he is going to stand behind the greatness of this country, and he does not particularly care what anybody else at the United Nations thinks about it.

And quite frankly, it’s about damn time.

Sep
24
COSBY SENTENCE NEEDS TO BE HARSH TO PUNISH APPROPRIATELY AND SEND A MESSAGE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

In the current #Metoo moment, many have debated what constitutes sexual assault vs just being a creep.

What constitutes genuine harassment as opposed to social awkwardness.

Exactly where is the line of what is and what is not acceptable?

Well, regardless of your thoughts on any of that, there can be no debate in the case of former superstar comedian and actor Bill Cosby.

If you have not read through the entire list of allegations from the multiple women Farrow spoke to Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting, I highly suggest you do so, though I must warn you that it will be tough to get through without being completely horrified.

I truly hope Cosby — as well as Les Moonves and Harvey Weinstein— serve as warnings to men in power that none of what they have done in the past was ever acceptable, but now it is absolutely not going to be tolerated.

However, Weinstein to this day has yet to face criminal charges and we are yet to see how hasrshly the courts punish Cosby.

I truly hope both men — and others like them — are punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Those who practice genuine sexual assault and genuine sexual harassment need to be destroyed and made to pay for their crimes.

Up until now, they largely have not been made to face the music.

As a result, women have been made to suffer severely.

And as a father of three daughters, that is a frightening thought.

Sep
23
IDENTITY FRAUD IS THE SILENT PROBLEM WE MUST CONFRONT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Identity theft is a major problem not just in the United States, but internationally as well.

The UK, Canada, and Australia specifically have all faced this issue.

That said, the lion’s share of identity theft cases originate in the United States, with 70% of reported claims occurring in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Unfortunately, it also appears to be the land of stolen identities.

From a recent report by comparitech:

According to Javelin Strategy, the number of identity theft victims in the US rose to 16.7 million in 2017. The cost of all of that lost data amounts to over nearly $17 billion. 2017 was not the worst year for identity theft losses so far, however. By comparison, 2012 was the highest at a loss value of $21.8 billion.

Additionally, Javelin Strategy found that children are increasingly the victims of identity fraud. While children have long been a target for Social Security Number misuse and credit card fraud, it appears the impact is growing. The security firm found that over 1 million children were ID theft victims in 2017.

For 2017 and 2018, identity theft statistics have taken center stage among the many stats and facts encompassing the entire realm of cybercrime. While ransomware gains more attention, identity theft remains much easier to pull off and monetize. Social security numbers, credit card numbers and other personal identity factors can be stolen and sold on the dark web, or used by criminals for quick and easy profit gain.

The following identity theft statistics are categorized to help get a better feel for how and why this threat continues to be a problem for consumers, businesses, and governments worldwide.

This has been an issue for decades, but now it has reached a fever pitch due to the rise of computers and the internet.

Just how out of control is the problem?

Americans are significantly more likely to be victims of identity theft than anyone else. Over 791 million identities were stolen in the US in 2016. France was far behind in second place with 85 million identities stolen. (Source: Symantec)

143 million Americans faced an increased risk of identity theft after a major Equifax hack stole millions of Social Security Numbers, birthdays, addresses, and even some drivers license numbers. (Source: The Motley Fool)

A key area that saw lots of new activity is account takeovers, which increased 61% over 2015, totaling 1.4 million incidents. Account takeovers occur when thieves gain to access someone’s accounts and change the contact and security information. (Source: Javelin Strategy and Research)

Account takeovers (ATO) resulted in over $2 billion in losses. (Source: Javelin Strategy and Research)

Outside of account takeover, those with active social media presence have a 30 percent higher risk of becoming fraud victims due to increased exposure. (Source: Javelin Strategy and Research)

Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat face a 46 percent higher risk of account takeover and fraud than those not active on social networks. (Source: Javelin Strategy and Research)

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 1.3 million children’s records are stolen every year. (Source:Identity Theft Resource Center)

A surprising 13% of those who reported identity theft to law enforcement did not want a police report taken. (Source: FTC)

Most identity theft complaints (61%) are from those between the ages of 30 and 59. (Source: FTC)

The total number of those reporting identity thefts increased over 37% from 2014 to 2016. (Source: FTC)

Despite the verified increase in data protection it provides, 75 percent of consumers fail to use a VPN to protect their WiFi connections. (Source: Symantec)

Both existing non-card fraud and account takeover increased in 2017. One million more consumers were victims in 2017 over 2018. (Source: Javelin Strategy)

A rather sizable 6.64 percent of all consumers were victims of identity fraud in 2017. (Source: Javelin Strategy)

Those numbers are absolutely unbelievable, and made even worse when you realize that the number of children and seniors — the most vulnerable among us — having their identities stolen has been on the rise far faster than any other groups.

Both groups are targeted because of the potential to use their identities to commit fraud against companies AND governments.

What do I mean?

Well, in the United States, medicare (poor seniors) and medicaid (poor children) are perfect targets for unscrupulous people looking to pull off a con that can bring them significant cash.

Consider the state of Florida where a whopping $165 million in medicaid fraud was uncovered by Health and Human Services:

Florida was second only to New York for Medicaid fraud recoveries last year, according to the report. There were a total of 664 investigations, 78 indictments and 51 convictions in Florida by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The $165.5 million in recoveries is the result of cases in Florida and participation in multi-state civil settlements.

While Florida had a very high dollar-volume of recoveries, the state actually had a relatively low number of investigations. Other states like California, Texas and Ohio had more than 1,300 investigations, but those cases resulted in less recoveries than in Florida.

In all, the state Medicaid Fraud units were responsible for 1,721 indictments, 1,564 convictions and $1.8 billion in criminal and civil recoveries, according to the OIG.

$1.8 BILLION in medicaid fraud overall and that is just from what the government actually caught.

And medicare fraud?

That is far, far worse, with South Florida as the biggest offender and the government so swamped with claims that they do not even bother looking into anything below a certain dollar amount:

Medicare fraud threatens to overtake drug dealing as America’s favorite get-rich-quick pastime. The stealing has become so sweet that street criminals can easily pull in $25,000 a day without carrying a gun. Because the crime is so widespread, prosecutors don’t even bother going after anyone unless they’ve stolen $500,000 or more. The few who are caught and convicted typically get only modest sentences, making Medicare fraud the criminal equivalent of saccharine.

Stealing an individual identity is a terrible crime because it can at best inconvenience and at worst significantly harm a person’s life.

But medicare and medicaid fraud is a crime against EVERYBODY, because those committing it are stealing from every single taxpayer in the United States.

State and local governments MUST crack down on fraud against private citizens and the government before this problem swallows us whole.

And for any cases that involve crossing state lines, the feds absolutely need to get involved as well.

I am not naive enough to think we can eliminate identity fraud completely.

But it is IMPERATIVE that we do a better job than we are doing now.

Millions are suffering, and the current level of ineffectiveness is completely unacceptable.

We must find a better way to root out the people engaging in these practices and make sure they are severely punished for what they have done.

It will not be easy, but it is the only way forward.

Sep
22
IMRAN KHAN IS RIGHT TO USE THE PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH STRATEGY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

When Imran Khan was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, I said it was a great thing for the Pakistani people because he would bring peace through strength while improving relations with India over the long haul.

And now he is doing just that.

“Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue,” the Prime Minister tweeted Saturday.

“However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”

This comes after the cancellation of the planned meeting of foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where Paistan and India were supposed to continue peace talks.

Khan’s tweet and tough stance is a show of strength, basically telling India they are welcome back at the table, but India will not call the shots.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

A lot like what President Trump did why North Korea tried to play rough with him.

I seem to remember that resulting in North Korea giving in and agreeing to U.S. terms for the meeting.

As is the case with the United States and North Korea, both Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons.

And it is in precisely nobody’s best interest to ever actually use those weapons.

Elections are coming up in India, and perhaps India’s Prime Minister is trying to show off to gain applause in India.

Maybe he thinks being perceived as tough by the people of his country will earn him some votes.

But ultimately this comes down to a matter of necessity.

Both sides believe the other is guilty of sponsoring some degree of terrorism.

However, Prime Minister Khan and the Pakistani side are the ones making an honest effort to broker peace, something the people of both countries and ey members of the world community surely recognize.

Khan is open to discussing peace efforts and economic cooperation that could potentially lift thousands of people from both countries out of poverty.

It is currently the Indian side making all the unreasonable demands and causing all of the unnecessary setbacks.

Prime Minister Khan has the Pakistani government and military on the same page here.

His olive branch to India should be met with open arms, not a closed fist.

Clearly, more friendly relations between the two nations would be in EVERYBODY’S best interests.

That said, as Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry remarked Saturday, “We have extended a hand to India but you need two hands to clap. If India doesn’t want to, nothing will happen.”

Amen.

Prime Minister Khan needs to continue his strong stance and eventually, India will have no choice but to come back to the table.

He has been more than fair throughout this whole process.

And it is only a matter of time before India, through either an epiphany or the realization of necessity, makes the inevitable decision to do what they should have done all along: Resume the peace talks and make an honest effort to come to a mutually beneficial solution.

Sep
21
A NEW JERSEY TEENAGER MAKING A GLOBAL IMPACT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

As you know, from time to time I like to take a break from writing about world events to talk about people and organizations that are important to me.

So let me tell you a little bit about Radha Godkar.

Radha is an incredible teenager in Morris County, New Jersey, who I had the privilege of meeting a few years ago.

She decided from a young age that it was important for her to make a difference in this world.

After watching her parents — who are both wonderful doctors and humanitarians based in New Jersey — work so hard to help others, and after volunteering with her parents and grandparents for years at medical camps, hospitals, and orphanages across the country and the world, Radha was inspired to start KANYAA.

So what does KANYAA do? Here is Radha in her own words explaining her inspiration and her mission:

“While working with my parents on their projects in the USA and India (which is native to our family) I realized that although there was a disparity between the ‘ haves’ and the ‘have- not’s’ there was an even wider disparity between boys and girls in India.

Every School/ Hospital / Orphanage I volunteered in India with my parents I saw a distinct disadvantage against girls, something I did not see as much in my home country the USA.

The ratio of girls to boys in India is lower than most of the developed world and a lot of this is by design rather than chance.

A starker disparity is seen in schools ( specifically in rural areas) where boys far outnumber girls.

I learned that girls are frequently confined/restricted to limited tasks like housekeeping and domestic upkeep. A lot of basic amenities like education and hygiene which I grew up with as a birthright was a privilege many girls were not privy to in the places I volunteered my time.

So my mission was to reduce / eliminate this disparity to the best of my ability.

Kanyaa literally means ‘Girl Child’.

The theme, the heart, the soul and the goal of my mission is empowerment of the female child in every way possible.

My double digit years ( I am a teenager finally ) were influenced by the work of Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey and just as they both championed female empowerment nationally and internationally, I too thought I should do this within my parents mission.

At first I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task at hand but was inspired by the quote from Mahatma Gandhi ‘ In a Gentle way you can Shake the World’. “

That inspiration has led her down the path of some incredible philanthropy-based projects, a remarkable undertaking for such a young person.

Radha went into detail with me about the specifics of what she is currently working on:

“‘Operation Michelle’ in a small village called Ratadia in Kutch, India and the second is ‘Operation Oprah where I am dedicating my resources to a Blind School in Mumbai India which specifically caters to education of blind girls.”

What is “Operation Michelle?” and how did Radha get involved?

“My involvement in ‘Operation Michelle’ was accidental.

While sitting next to my dad one evening, I saw he was going back and forth on his Facebook messenger with his friend.

Apparently the school in Ratadia had minimal to no sports equipment and they were short on funds.

When I learned that the cost to fund the entire sports equipment was 10,000 Indian Rupees ( 150$), I quickly scrambled to my room and was able to conjure up 200$ prize money ( gathered over the last 2 birthdays/ Christmas/ Thanksgiving holidays).

The tears of joy on my dad’s eyes that day was the best gift I have ever received.

I wanted to learn more about the school and so after a few emails back and forth and a visit to the school, we were told that it takes $200/year/child to cover expenses/ lodging/ boarding and education.

I had just received 1000$ from my grandparents for successfully passing the level 5 piano theory and practical exam in record time and I had absolutely no hesitation in pledging these funds to financially adopt 5 girls about my age.

My goal in this mission is to generate funds which will support food, education , hygiene, shelter and eventually a purpose to the lives of girls my age who were not as lucky as I was to be born into a privileged family.”

And how about Operation Oprah?

“I was introduced to the Kamlaben Mehta blind school for girls in Mumbai by my grandmother.

She routinely volunteers her time at this blind school for girls and helps the girls with basic activities of daily living like grooming and hygiene.

During my annual visits to India, my grandmother used to take me along as well.

The students of the blind school were disabled and had limited resources, but their spirit and enthusiasm to overcome this major obstacle in life was astounding.

I was frankly quite amazed at the skill some of these girls younger than me displayed at playing multiple musical instruments and were equally adept at knitting, sewing, and cooking.

I made several friends at the school and do call on them from time to time. Being born with normal vision I was awestruck by these talented girls, their motivated teachers and the setup at the school provided to them by the government.

Time spent at the school motivated me to come back to the US and do something to contribute towards blind education.

I toured the blind school in Newark, New Jersey in order to get a sense of blind education in the USA and what I observed when I compared the two systems that although the teachers and students were just as motivated, compared to blind schools in the US there were very few Braille-writers for the entire school .

Also, the school in Newark had moved on to digital Braille-writers which were more interactive and facilitated easier understanding of the Braille script thus enhancing faster learning.

This observation about the low ratio of Braille-writers to students at the blind school motivated me to conduct a fundraiser in my community and through the fundraiser I was able to purchase two Braille-writers from the Perkins school for the blind in Massachusetts for my blind friends in India.

My goal and hope is to eventually be able to muster enough funds to get these kids a couple of digital Braille-writers ( a regular Braille-writer costs $700 while a digital Braille-writer costs $5,000).”

I have to be honest: As a father myself, I am overwhelmed by how absolutely phenomenal this young woman is.

She is practically an unofficial U.S. Ambassador to India as a mere teenager.

As much as I love my own daughters and am proud of everything they have accomplished, Radha’s mother and father must be absolutely over the moon about what a fantastic person she is quickly becoming.

The issues and challenges Radha is choosing to take on are vital ones, but they are issues that are very rarely tackled with the kind of vigor that is truly necessary.

By doing what she is doing now, at such an early age, Radha is showing day in and day out that she understands what it takes to be an exemplary human being and why it is so important to help those who cannot help themselves.

As I said, her parents should be extremely proud, and the world should be quite grateful for the positive difference she is making now and will continue to make for many years to come.

Sep
20
WHEN YOU ARE A SENATOR, YOU SHOULD ACT LIKE ONE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Senator Marco Rubio is salty at Salt Bae.

In case you have no idea what that means, Salt Bae is a chef famous on social media.

Senator Rubio got upset because the social media star made a fancy dinner for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro while Maduro’s constituents in Venezuela are starving.

Rubio then decided to take to social media and dox Salt Bae — meaning he gave away the location and phone number of the restaurant the social media star owns where he was hosting Maduro — a move that has been roundly criticized by both the left and right.

Let me first say this: I think Salt Bae hosting Maduro and calling it the experience of a lifetime is sickening.

Maduro is a monstrous dictator who feasts while the people in his country suffer at an unthinkable level.

That said, a United States Senator posting that information on social media and essentially egging his followers on to call or otherwise bother Salt Bae is a bridge way too far.

I presume Rubio did not like it when his colleague Mitch McConnell and others were publicly harassed by zealous left-wing activists, even when they were just trying to do simple things like have dinner at a restaurant.

What Rubio did here was no different, and being that he is a sitting United States Senator rather than some no-name activist, he should be ashamed of himself and really ought to know better.

Don’t get me wrong, from a political standpoint, I get it.

Senator Rubio represents a growing number of former Venezuelans who despise Maduro so much that many of them would probably prefer it is the United States intervened in Venezuela.

And I certainly sympathize with their anger, because Maduro’s actions in Venezuela have been unconscionable.

However, what Rubio did was not only wrong, it was dangerous.

The issue of Venezuela is a hot button topic right now and riling millions of people up like this on social media is the type of action that can have very nasty consequences.

I am not saying somebody who read that tweet could get violent, but I am saying these are the kind of tweets that are the most likely ones to lead to something like that.

Senator Rubio has every right to be disgusted with Salt Bae, and so does everybody else.

But the action the Senator took in response should never have happened.

It was a mistake, and I truly hope he realizes it, deletes the tweet, apologizes, and never does anything like it again.

The current climate is polarized enough.

We do not need Senator Rubio muddying the waters even further.

Sep
19
STILL A SORE LOSER TWO YEARS LATER
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I hate to break it to some people who just do not want to accept reality, but Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

In the aftermath, Clinton has managed to blame the following for her defeat: Russians, Wikileaks, the FBI, Macedonian teenagers, Facebook, racism, sexism, husbands forcing their wives to vote how they want them to, etc…..

You may notice how you do not see the name Hillary Clinton on that list, but I digress.

Recently, Clinton made push to blame the electoral college, because as you may have heard by now, she won the popular vote but Donald Trump won the electoral college and thus won the presidency.

For those still harping on this, let’s state the obvious: the rules and parameters of the election were known well ahead of time.

It was not a secret that the electoral votes of states get a president elected, not the overall popular vote.

I am also 100% positive we would not be hearing about this from Clinton or any of her supporters if she had won in the exact same way President Trump did, but I digress again.

The electoral college gives a voice to the minority, or in other words, ensures that people in all 50 states have to be reckoned with and their concerns listened to, rather than this happening in just a few elite areas.

The founders wanted states to be laboratories of democracy, and to have different identities.

The electoral college system preserves that.

I have heard that argument that currently, all that matters are a handful of swing states since most states are solidly red or blue.

There is some truth to that.

However, the problem is, if you abolish the electoral college system, then all you have to do is win a few populous cities and you can ignore the rest of the country.

That is the exact opposite of how our country is supposed to operate.

Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Chicago were never meant to be the only places worth campaigning and the only real arbiters of who occupies the White House.

Of course, those are all major Democrat strongholds now, so you can see why Hillary Clinton and her supporters would love it if those cities controlled every presidential election from here on out.

We hear the left talk about disenfranchisement all the time, but that is exactly what we would be doing to the middle of the country if we were to abolish the electoral college.

We would be taking away any voice they had and ensuring everything was decided by a few elite cities.

Exactly what the system was designed to protect against.

But then again, Hillary Clinton does not care about any of that.

All Clinton cares about is grabbing power for herself and those around her, so it is not a mystery why she would be in favor of this.

And it is exactly why we should not let it happen.

Sep
18
SCOTT PROVIDING STRONG LEADERSHIP AT FOX
 
by Dr. Kazmir

In the wake of the scandals at Fox — especially the ones involving longtime CEO Roger Ailes and 8PM host Bill O’Reilly — there were a lot of questions as to how the network would do going forward.

Some thought Fox was in dire straits, and short of a miracle worker coming in to take over for Ailes, the network could face a steep decline.

But then that miracle worker arrived in the form of somebody who had been there all along.

Suzanne Scott joined Fox News back at the very beginning 22 years ago.

Since then, she rose all the way up to head of programming where she was the driving force behind many key decisions, including putting both Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham in primetime, two moves that have proven to be very shrewd.

The move to promote Scott occurred earlier this year and has paid dividends ever since.

If you think about it, her success, while surprising on one level considering the scandals she inherited, is also to be expected in some ways given her history and knowledge of the company.

Think about it: Who knows the on-air personalities better than the woman who was so instrumental in giving them their shows and helping to shape said shows?

And who knows the Fox News audience better than the woman who was primarily responsible for catering to their needs for such a long period of time?

While I have not had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Scott personally, I do travel in a lot of the same circles and have heard great things about how intelligent and savvy she is.

Another point of pride: Mrs. Scott is a fellow New Jersey resident and actually lives in Morristown, one of my favorite places in the state and somewhere I travel to often since I am an active member of the Morristown Club.

Hopefully I cross paths with Mrs. Scott soon so I can let her know what a fine job I think she is doing and what an inspiration she is to young women everywhere.

My three daughters are all successful professionals and all three look up to women like Mrs. Scott who set a terrific example for the type of accomplishments an ambitious woman should strive for in whatever her chosen field is.

Even more so than my daughters, though, women in broadcasting have somebody they can look to as a measuring stick for achievement in the industry and a person they can admire and attempt to emulate.

After 22 years of playing a key role shaping a tremendously successful network, she looks to have many years of continuing her trailblazing work ahead of her.

I am thrilled for her and excited to watch what she will do in the decade ahead in the professional position she seems to have been destined to fill and succeed in.

Sep
17
PRAY FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY HURRICANE FLORENCE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

A devastating Hurricane known as “Florence” is in the process of sweeping through the Carolinas, resulting in numerous injuries and casualties, with a reported 12 dead from early estimates in North Carolina alone.

The governors of North and South Carolina surely have their hands full and I am praying for both of them.

I am also, it should go without saying, praying for everybody caught up in this hurricane.

I have already seen a number of high profile people already attempting to make political hay out of this involving President Trump’s response with some criticizing him heavily for not appearing to care enough.

I cannot believe I even have to say this, but people are in serious danger.

This is no time to get needlessly political.

President Trump will be in contact with the governors involved and they will handle everything the best they can.

Instead of using this as another opportunity to try and bash the president, I’d suggest your energy would be better spent sending positive energy towards those affected and donating money to help them repair the eventual wreckage.

Now is no time for politics and I really wish more people saw how obvious that is.

Godspeed to those caught in Florence’s wrath.

I’ll be praying for you and I hope everybody else is, too.

Sep
16
NIKKI HALEY THE VICTIM OF A SMEAR CAMPAIGN AS THE MEDIA ONCE AGAIN LOSE TRUST
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I have to hand it to all the people who passed around the “story” that over $50,000 was spent on curtains for the office of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

The story was powerful and seemed to show an example of one of the worst kinds of abuse of unnecessary expenditures for a public servant on the taxpayer’s dime.

The story was initially reported by the New York Times and spread through social media like wildfire, with all the usual “Resistance” types losing their minds as if they had caught a murderer in the act of killing one of his victims.

But also numerous reputable and well-known journalists jumped in on social media to help spread the outrage.

Only problem is, the story was not true.

According to the actual report in question, these curtains were decided upon in 2016, before President Trump took office and well before Nikki Haley began in her current post.

Once this started being pointed out, people started to backtrack and make excuses for the NY Times, saying that at least the Times later made a correction and this was proof they are a responsible journalistic outfit.

Yeah…..oooook.

In their rush to jump to the NY Times’ defense, many of these mainstream journalists completely ignored the obvious, which is that the story had been reported in a certain way and passed around on social media focusing on the fraudulent point about Haley for a reason.

It was done in an attempt to make Nikki Haley — and by extension President Trump — look like corrupt bureaucrats that had fleeced the taxpayers for their own personal gain.

Unfortunately, we have seen many similar cases during the Trump presidency.

For example, the recent story about the Trump administration’s new program of abusing children based on a story from…..2014 when Barack Obama was president.

Last year, a story circulated that Orrin Hatch had said on the Senate floor that CHIP — the health insurance program for low income children — needed to go because he was tired of funding programs for people who refused to help themselves.

Except as even Ezra Klein of Vox — who is no fan of Republicans — pointed out, Hatch was not talking about CHIP when he made those comments and even said he would see to it that CHIP got funded.

But do not tell that to all the people who made fun of Hatch for disparaging “free loading” children.

There are many more recent examples of this, but you get the point.

I understand we are in an age of social media where everything happens fast.

But when incidents like this happen — repeatedly — it becomes quite obvious what is really going on.

As I said, the social media age has certainly made things worse.

In the old days, a news story would not be instant because you were waiting to air it on the 6PM news, or if you were a newspaper, get it into tomorrow’s edition.

But now? Gotta get it out there first and worry about accuracy later.

Nuance and thorough checking be damned.

Put simply, people need to be better than this.

Incidents like this are what give the president ammo to shout “fake news.”

These kind of major mistakes actively keep that from happening.

We are officially in the National Enquirer era now, where nothing matters except outrage.

Accuracy is irrelevant if a story involves pushing your preferred narrative.

In this case, the curtains were purchased for an exorbitant amount at taxpayer expense, but by pretending the timeline of events was different than it actually was just to drive a narrative they wanted to be true, all that ended up happening was the reporter, newspaper, and other prominent people who were responsible for printing and sharing the story on social media took another hit to their credibility.

Job well done. Take a bow, guys.

The fact is, anti-Trump hysteria is very real and it extends far past left-wing activist groups and active democrat party circles.

It has engulfed numerous members of the mainstream media and prominent personalities who willfully play into the hysteria while seeming to care more about clicks than careful reporting both because it drives their own numbers and because — whether they want to admit it or not — they absolutely despise President Trump.

Unless media members think spreading news around that is not true and hurting their credibility just to get the “scoop” and attempt to damage the president is more important than maintaining long-term trust with the public.

Because if that is how they feel, then they should just go on doing what they are doing and expose themselves as frauds even further.

Sep
15
A ROYAL GREEK WEDDING
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Normally, I use this space to talk about important world leaders and major world events.

But today, I would like to take a break from that and discuss something that I will always remember, and to me, is just as important as any world leader or major event ever could be.

Dr. John Kallis is one of my dear friends and one of the most kind and generous people you will ever meet.

I have known him and his family for many years and you could not ask for a better friend, doctor, or associate of any kind.

His daughter Michelle — who is an MD with a residence at a prestigious hospital — just got married, so as you can probably imagine, Dr. Kallis is over the moon.

I was honored to be in attendance at St. John The Theologian | The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, one of the most culturally rich and architecturally gorgeous houses of worship that I have ever visited.

I found the ceremony to be one of the most beautiful celebrations that I have ever witnessed.

I was so overjoyed to be a part of this and see the jubilation of Dr. Kallis and his family that I was inspired to write an article about the occasion and I have decided to share it with you here.

Congratulations to Dr. Kallis, his lovely daughter Michelle, and their entire family.

It is very uncommon in today’s world that two young people meeting each other and deciding to get married would be considered anything traditional.

In certain religious and ethnic groups, centuries of wedding and marriage traditions vibrantly continue as is true with many Jewish, Indian and Greek wedding ceremonies.

Yet, such was the case with two young, energetic Greek-American professionals who had the wedding of the century this past weekend at The Pierre Hotel on Fifth Ave and Central Park in New York City in front 450 guests.

Michelle and Loukas have known each other since before they were born, as their great grandparents, grandparents and parents come from the same small village in Central Greece near the mythological ancient city of Thebes.

As thousands of years have gone by, it was their destiny to meet as children at Greek ethnic events, to go to the senior prom together as friends out of respect for their families’ traditions, and to eventually meet each other in Hoboken, NJ one night while out with a large group of other young Greek-Americans.

It was also their destiny to fall in love, nurture their relationship, and develop it along traditional and cultural standards.

The way that Loukas asked Michelle’s mother and father for their daughter’s hand in marriage…….

The traditional Greek engagement party where there is an exchange of gifts to the young couple from the families……

The planning of “The Big Fat Greek Royal Wedding” where there is traditional Greek music (with clarinets, bouzouki, violins and drums), wonderful and festive Greek dancing…..

The traditional breaking of dishes and throwing money, which is done to bring good luck/fortune to the newlyweds and to scare away the negative…….

All of these things spoke to both the incredible nature of the moment and the beauty of preserving cultural traditions that have been passed along from generation to generation for centuries.

As a close personal friend of Michelle’s father, I could not be happier or more proud to see his daughter this radiant and am thrilled they have welcomed Loukas and his family into the Kallis family — one of the most revered families in the entire tri-state area — with open arms.

September 2, 2018 was an unbelievable wedding and the most amazing way possible for Loukas and Michelle to officially start their lives together.

May they always remember that day fondly and may they have a lifetime of happiness and wedded bliss.

Sep
15
MOLLIE TIBBETTS CASE ONLY SHOWCASES ONE PART OF THE IMMIGRATION PROBLEM IN THE UNITED STATES
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Mollie Tibbetts is dead and the man who killed her, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, was arrested wees ago.

In case you are unfamiliar with what happened, Rivera was in the United States illegally and reportedly harassed the late Ms. Tibbetts repeatedly before the murder.

In fact, Rivera had reportedly harassed multiple women in the same Iowa town.

If Rivera had been picked up for this harassment and deported once discovered to have been living in the country illegally, Mollie Tibbetts would still be alive.

That said, right off the bat, let me say that this does not mean that all immigrants here illegally are likely to commit crimes.

But it does mean that when one such immigrant has repeatedly harassed women, local authorities should be willing to work with the feds to ensure that he is removed as quickly as possible and punished harshly if he tries to return.

The problem in America right now, though, is that we cannot even suggest this as a possibility without somebody hollering “racist!” or “bigot!” I do not see the desire to enforce our immigration laws as racist.

As somebody who came to this country many years ago as an immigrant from Pakistan, I know better than anybody the incredible opportunities America can offer. I came here with nothing and I was able to become a very successful doctor and live an amazing life.

But I came here legally and did everything the right way.

And while I sympathize with those who are undocumented — whether they snuck in unlawfully or just overstayed their visas — there is a reason why countries need to have at least some control of their borders.

As much as I want to see as many people as possible come here from other countries and do well, when somebody comes here illegally, there are people who suffer as a result, and not only in the way Kate Steinle did. For starters, there are those who wait in line for legal citizenship only to be bypassed and essentially punished for following the law.

But there are also negative consequences for some American workers, especially those who are most in need. As both Senator Bernie Sanders and President Trump pointed out during the 2016 campaign, there are millions of Americans who are suffering.

Unskilled laborers haven’t had a significant raise in wages in many years and quite a few of them struggle to find or keep steady employment. When an undocumented immigrant enters the labor force, this drives down wages for those aforementioned unskilled laborers, because employers would prefer to pay those immigrants the artificially low wages that are far below what an American citizen may accept under the minimum wage laws.

Furthermore, the market becomes flooded with a much greater supply of this cheap, unskilled labor, and fewer jobs exist for working class Americans.

Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT blaming these immigrants. It is still better for them to make the low wages in this country than it would be to have stayed in their home countries and worked. They are doing what they feel is best for them.

But it comes at a cost to many working-class American citizens.

Perhaps the answer is to truly reform our immigration system and find ways to let more people in than we currently do. Maybe we can more effectively screen people so that we can try our best to avoid these problems.

However, we do need safeguards and we do need to address the issue.

And we cannot continue to act as if anybody who even dares to speak about it is some unconscionable monster.

President Trump was elected in part because he showed a desire to tackle the immigration issue, something both parties in Washington have talked about, but failed to do for decades.

Mollie Tibbetts’ death is the worst case scenario.

But everybody needs to stop ignoring the larger, more common problems.

Complete inaction is no longer good enough.

For the good of the nation, I hope we can all come together and try to really fix this problem.

Sep
13
MACDONALD DOES NOT DESERVE THIS LEVEL OF ANGER
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Recently, comedian Norm Macdonald was bumped from an upcoming appearance on the Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon after he made some comments in a recent interview that some found upsetting.

Here are the portions that got the negative attention:

“I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit. It used to be, ‘One hundred women can’t be lying.’ And then it became, ‘One woman can’t lie.’ And that became, ‘I believe all women.’ And then you’re like, ‘What?’ Like, that Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there.”

He then added, referring to Roseanne Barr and Louis CK (two personal friends of his):

“There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day,” Macdonald said. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.”

The first part I have no issue with as I completely understand what Macdonald meant.

Agree or don’t, he is not alone in his fear that #Metoo has gotten to the point where now a simple accusation can ruin a person before anybody even looks into the allegations.

As far as the second part, I understand what he means about Barr and CK and he is obviously trying to defend his friends, which is a normal human instinct.

However, the last part of the sentence, where he minimized what the victims went through, that came off as cold and detached to say the least.

That said, sometimes people say the wrong thing when they are speaking off the cuff in an interview.

Macdonald apologized in the aftermath, but that was not good enough for the outrage mob, who yelled and screamed until Fallon pathetically wilted under the pressure and cancelled the comedian’s upcoming appearance.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new and the anger from the social justice crowd only seems to go in one direction.

Recently, comedian Samantha Bee recently faced crticism for calling President Trump’s daughter Ivanka a “feckless c — t”

That is perfectly fine.

A good comedian is supposed to go after those in power.

Though if Bee assuredly would have been suspended or fired if the circumstances had been different.

In other words, Bee’s vitriol is only aimed in the direction of those on the opposite side of her politically and the targets of her ire are the “socially acceptable” ones.

Now, again, that is not a big deal.

But let’s just imagine for a second that a right-leaning entertainer called Chelsea Clinton a “feckless c — t.”

He or she would have been immediately annihilated by the press and relieved of duties as a television host.

Yet, most in the press corps stood by and said nothing when Bee said this about Ivanka Trump.

To her credit, Ivanka Trump took the high road.

Sadly, Macdonald’s detractors did not and instead demanded action.

But does there really need to be action taken in a case like this?

Many are calling on Netflix to remove Macdonald’s show from its service, but this is a very dangerous road to go down.

We have seen this tactic used by the left, time and time again, most recently against Laura Ingraham.

It was shameless bullying then, and it is shameless bullying now.

If you do not like Samantha Bee or Norm Macdonald say, do not watch their shows.

If you do not like jokes made by a Hollywood star or musician, do not feel obligated to pay for the material they produce.

But when you start organizing boycotts to try to ruin somebody for saying something you do not like, that is a slippery slope.

Because the outrage mob is great when you are on the right side of it, but you could be leading it today only to be destroyed by it tomorrow.

If you do not believe me, just ask Samantha Bee, Sarah Silverman, Michael Ian Black, and James Gunn, all of whom were members of the mob at one point until the mob turned against them.

I just hope now that sometime soon, people seriously start to think twice about trying to sick these mobs on somebody else the next time comments are said that offend their sensibilities.

But I would be lying if I said I was not afraid that this is only going to get much, much worse in the near future.

Sep
12
MORNING SCHMO: MSNBC HOST REACHES NEW LOW
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Just when I think Joe Scarborough cannot become any more pathetic than he already is, he somehow goes ahead and tops himself.

Congratulations, I guess?

Though to be fair, pathetic is far too kind of a word for the miserably sad human being Scarborough has become during the Trump presidency.

His latest?

An op-ed in the Washington Post in which he actually had so little shame that he found it within himself to argue that Donald Trump being president is worse than the 9/11 attacks — on the anniversary of 9/11, no less.

“The question for voters this fall is whether their country will move beyond this troubled chapter in history or whether they will continue supporting a politician who has done more damage to the dream of America than any foreign adversary ever could,” wrote the embarrassment of a television host and ex-Congressman.

Classy stuff, Joe.

Of course, Scarborough can stake out ground as a so-called important voice in the #Resistance, but he was singing quite a different tune a few years ago.

In fact, lets be honest, he basically spent two full years kissing the president’s rear end during the lead up to the election.

He can continue to deny it, but as the saying in sports goes, “film don’t lie.”

I am a supporter of President Trump, but even I had to laugh at the ridiculously favorable coverage Scarborough gave the man.

From a CNN article in February 2016:

In background discussions, NBC News and MSNBC journalists, reporters and staffers said there was widespread discomfort at the network over Scarborough’s friendship with Trump and his increasingly favorable coverage of the candidate.

“People don’t like that Joe is promoting Trump,” one MSNBC insider said. Others described Scarborough’s admiration for Trump as “over the top” and “unseemly.”

Both Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski are close friends with Trump and members of his family. Scarborough, a former four-term congressman from Florida’s 1st district, has often stayed at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Club, in Palm Beach, Florida, with his family and was there during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, two sources at the hotel during that time said.

On the night of the New Hampshire primary, Scarborough and Brzezinski visited Trump’s hotel room for what MSNBC described as background discussions with the candidate’s senior staff and a conversation with Trump that “lasted less than five minutes.”

In recent weeks, Scarborough has spoken about Trump in increasingly glowing terms, praising him as “a masterful politician” and defending him against his political opponents and media critics. The Washington Post has noted that Trump has received “a tremendous degree of warmth from the show,” and that his appearances on the show, in person and over the phone, often feel like “a cozy social club.”

Scarborough has always been opinionated and outspoken, and he has never made any secret about his political opinions. Nevertheless, some of his colleagues believe that his coverage is influenced by his friendship.

Some MSNBC insiders also cringed at an on-air exchange Scarborough had last month with radio host Hugh Hewitt, who pressed Scarborough on whether he would serve as Trump’s vice president. Scarborough ruled out the possibility but not before saying he would do “just about anything to try to get the White House back.”

Trump, meanwhile, has also spoken in glowing terms about Scarborough.

“He’s a great guy, and he has a great show … and we have a lot of fun,” Trump told Howie Carr, the Boston talk radio show host, in January. “Joe’s doing well. You know, he’s making money for the first time in his life, really making some pretty good money.”

After the last Republican primary debate, on February 6, Trump was asked by a reporter how he thought the debate had gone. His response: “I think I did very well. I mean, Joe Scarborough and everyone is tweeting.”

But the most notable acknowledgment of Trump and Scarborough’s relationship came on the morning after Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire primary. In an interview with “Morning Joe,” the GOP frontrunner told Scarborough and Brzezinski: “You guys have been supporters, and I really appreciate it.”

The remark, which Trump sought to clarify — “not necessarily supporters, but at least believers” — sparked a hurried attempt by Scarborough and Brzezinski to dismiss the perception that they were pro-Trump.

“When you say supporter, you’re obviously talking about how actually … there were a handful of people who for six months have been saying what happened last night could happen and the rest of the media world has been mocking and ridiculing exactly what he’s done,” Scarborough said.

After Trump hung up, Scarborough sought to clarify the matter further: “Donald said support. It’s not support … and I would dare say that I am the only person who has hung up on Donald Trump on live television. And the thing is we’ve been very critical of his approach toward Muslims, we said he went too far on John McCain, we said he went too far on you name it,” he said.”

Then at some point, Scarborough decided the president was a bad guy, despite treating him like Winston Churchill for two years.

Was it because of policy differences?

Na.

It was because the president mocked Scarborough’s fiance and co-host Mika Brzezinski.

So now Scarborough spends his time on his unwatchable morning show trashing the president for positions he always agreed with but now disagrees with merely to spite his new enemy, and recording anti-Trump songs that are so unbearably terrible not even Mika could have told him was good with a straight face.

If you have been watching this ridiculous sham play out in real time and thrown up in your mouth as a result, I could hardly blame you.

The truth is that Joe Scarborough does not care about the president’s policies.

No matter how mad he portrays himself to be, his act is as transparent as a screen door that was just doused in Windex.

Scarborough can claim he is “standing up for women,” or call the president a “tyrant,” but in reality, the former congressman is nothing more than a sad huckster trying to play white knight to his on-air sidekick girlfriend.

And now he has taken it to the level of shamelessly using the anniversary of 9/11 to try and slime a president he has a personal vendetta against.

As President Trump himself would say: Sad!

If you enjoy Scarborough’s tirades directed at President Trump because you hate the president THAT much, it is a free country, you are entitled to think whatever you want about Scarborough’s “righteous anger.”

Just as long as you understand that is not “righteous” at all.

In fact, it is not even real.

Sep
11
REMEMBERING 9/11 AND TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

9/11 changed everything.

They say “Never Forget” 9/11 and I know I certainly won’t.

It was the worst attack ever carried out on U.S. soil and it hit home very hard for me, since I was in New Jersey at the time and a significant number of victims on 9/11 were from my home state.

My heart still weeps uncontrollably for the men and women who died that day, all of whom went about their normal business thinking they would see a tomorrow that never came.

I remember specifically reading about victims of the attack in over 90 countries, including Pakistan where I was born.

I also read quite a bit about several Pakistani Americans who perished in New York City that day.

All of that inspired me to try to make a difference in the wake of 9/11, so I decided to start the AISS Foundation, which would be dedicated to providing a first class education for children born in my birth country.

But not just children from elite backgrounds, children from ALL backgrounds.

Including and especially poor children who desperately need educational opportunities to advance in life.

Since then, with the help of General Bajwa and the terrific Pakistani military, and the government, currently run by the amazing Imran Khan, the AISS Foundation is in its second decade of helping children succeed and advance in heir lives through the power of education.

On this, the 17th anniversary of 9/11, I urge you to do something similar.

You do not necessarily have to start your own foundation, but contribute to somebody else’s.

Find a cause worth supporting and lend them your time and money.

Honor those who tragically perished on 9/11 by working to improve the lives of those who need you now.

Never forget those who have been lost, and always remember to take of the ones that are still here.

Sep
10
IRAN’S STRENGTHENED PACT WITH SYRIA COULD MEAN BIG TROUBLE FOR THE UNITED STATES
 
by Dr. Kazmir

This morning, reports surfaced that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s adviser was quoted as saying, “If Syria wants to fight against American forces in the eastern Euphrates and asks for our help, Tehran would military support it.”

That statement comes on the heels of the two sides announcing they had agreed to deepen military cooperation.

For anybody who was questioning it before, this should be definitive proof that Iran is an issue that must be dealt with, just as has been the case for decades.

I’ll never forget watching the Iran Hostage Crisis unfold in my youth, as over 50 hostages were held for 444 days in Tehran.

The crisis ended in 1981, but the impression it left on me was earth-shattering. I learned then that Iran is a menace that can never and should never be trusted. My memories of that crisis went through my head as I watched President Obama finalize the Iran deal in 2015.

The terms of the deal were weak and I was horrified — though not surprised — to learn about how much of the details surrounding the deal were a lie, as Obama Administration spokesman Ben Rhodes incredibly bragged about in the New York Times.

I was incensed when I saw that the deal included the release of hundreds of billions of dollars in funds, especially since it gave away the leverage our sanctions had given us.

Jay Solomon’s book, “The Iran Wars,” sheds much light on this, making a strong case that Iran was on the verge of complete financial collapse at the time of the deal.

According to Solomon, President Rouhani was warned by advisers that, “their country could run short of hard currency and face a crisis” if Tehran was not able to get access to billions of dollars in funds that had been frozen due to sanctions.

Solomon also notes that our government knew this, as U.S. officials at the time, “saw the collapse of Iranian currency as a clear sign that Tehran’s financial system was cracking.”

With that in mind, it seems fairly clear that if we had stuck to our guns, Iran would have had no choice but to cave.

Instead, we bailed them out.

It should have been obvious at the time that this was a mistake, but for anybody who did not understand that then, I sure hope they understand it now.

Look, I don’t want to antagonize any countries unnecessarily and I’m certainly not looking for a war.

But we should have held firm instead of ceding ground and in the process, trusting a country that has proven repeatedly that they cannot be trusted.

And they proved it yet again with its ballistic missile tests.

The United States is not the only nation affected here, either.

Many other countries have a vested interest in making sure Iran is kept in check, including France, whose President — Emmanuel Macron — recently said, “Let’s be honest, the tensions are on the rise, look at the activities of Hezbollah and Iran’s pressure on Syria. We need a clear framework to be able to reassure regional countries and the United States,”

Again, the last thing I want to see is a war.

But Iran’s recent actions and words in regard to Syria make it very clear that this is a very serious problem, and simply sitting back and hoping for the best is not going to be enough.

Ronald Reagan preached peace through strength and that is the play here.

President Trump cannot let Iran walk all over us, especially when Iran is talking in such aggressive terms.

Unlike with President Obama, who refrained from showing strength, it must be made clear to Iran they would be wise not to cross that metaphorical “red line” again with President Trump, and I truly hope the president makes that abundantly clear.

And if Iran does cross that “red line,” they need to pay a price for it.

A heavy price.

Sep
9
A BATTLE IN QUEENS TURNS UGLY AND A BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE IS LOST
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Serena Williams is 37 years old and one year removed from having a child.

Tennis is a young person’s sport, so there is no logical reason why Williams should have been in the finals of the U.S. Open in Flushing, Queens in the first place, let alone having recently gone through child birth.

Yet, there she was.

Up against an opponent 17 years her junior — 20 year old Japanese star Naomi Osaka — Williams had lost the first set and was trailing in the second when she was warned by the chair umpire for receiving illegal hand signals from her coach.

From what I understand, this is fairly common practice, but still illegal, so the Umpire was well within his rights to call it.

After breaking her racket in frustration, Williams was docked a point.

From there, the wheels came off as the multiple time grand slam winner berated the Umpire, referring to him as a thief and a liar and lacing into him in front of the world.

It was at that point that Williams was docked a full game, a penalty from which she could not recover and soon led to her losing the set and the match.

Social media and sports talk were set ablaze talking about this all night Saturday and into Sunday morning, but regardless of your feelings on whether or not the Umpire’s penalties were justified, it is truly a shame that they ended up overshadowing what was an otherwise beautiful story.

Here was Naomi Osaka, a 20 year old half Japanese, half Haitian woman who was undoubtedly living her dream of winning one of tennis’s biggest tournaments AND doing it by beating the greatest female tennis player of all time.

And here was Serena Williams, at 37 years old and now a mother somehow still dominating the sport enough to make it all the way to the finals.

In many ways, it was not only an example of the best sports have to offer, but the best of what the world has to offer considering all of the first class individuals from numerous countries who participate and compete to win the prestigious tournament.

But instead of talking about any of that, we are talking about point and game deductions.

I understand why we need to discuss those deductions and the controversy surrounding them, because they were crucial to the result of one of 2018’s most important tennis matches.

But I hope we will all remember that this tennis match was about more than that.

It was about seeing one of the most extraordinary female athletes who has ever lived continuing to be great even after delivering a baby and long past the time when somebody in her profession would ever reasonably be expected to be in the finals of a major tournament.

And it was about witnessing the crowning achievement of a young woman who was able to accomplish something that most people only dream of, and do so at the ripe young age of 20.

All of that will unfortunately get lost in the controversy, but I really wish it wouldn’t.

There is so much more to the match Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka played, most of it reason for celebration.

So, maybe while we keep yelling and screaming about the deductions, we can all take a minute to consider the positives.

Because there were plenty of them, and they, too, deserve to be remembered.

Sep
8
BYE BYE NAFTA, HELLO BETTER TRADE DEAL
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The self righteous indignation from the media and the professional pundit class at the new trade deal President Trump has constructed with Mexico is completely wrong.

Yes, Canada is left out of the deal, but anybody who does two seconds worth of thinking can see that NAFTA needed to be destroyed and that getting Mexico on board will pressure Canada into jumping in but with more favorable terms than before.

Make no mistake: Donald Trump will eventually get a deal done with Canada, regardless of the termination of NAFTA and the current deal which only involves Mexico.

While the president wants diplomatic relations with Canada and open trade, he is not going to let the United States be bullied or pushed around or be forced to live up o the terms of a poorly constructed NAFTA deal that only benefits giant corporations at the expense of small businesses and working people who have seen their jobs decimated.

And really, all this hand-wringing does is once again prove that so many people pay no attention to detail anymore.

President Trump has made it very clear that he wants to sit down with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and work things out.

But he is holding firm to tough negotiation tactics, the likes of which made him a billionaire and an expert on the “art of the deal.”

While the previous administration continued to honor terrible deals like NAFTA and make new ones that were even worse — like the atrocious “Iran Deal,” — President Trump has repeatedly approached existing and future deals in a manner which puts America’s interests first.

Under the watch of the last few administrations, we lost billions of dollars in poor trade deals that yielded nothing but economic misery for those who found themselves on the wrong side of those agreements.

Billionaire businessman and former Presidential Candidate H. Ross Perot once said that you could hear a giant sucking sound due to all the jobs being lost to Canada and Mexico as a result of NAFTA.

He was right then, just as President Trump is right now.

Actions like these are exactly why the American people elected President Trump in the first place.

They want a President who is not going to pretend existing deals we have with a country are great when they clearly are not, will not make terrible deals with foreign governments and then deny ever making them like the previous president, and will not just stand by as billions of dollars are siphoned out of the United States and into another country at our expense.

In short, President Trump is not going to let the United States be anybody’s doormat.

Peace through strength. No more politics as usual.

This deal is a good one for the president, but an even better one for the American people as a whole.

America first.

It is about time somebody stood for that in this country again and I, for one, am proud as can be that we finally have a leader at the top of our government, Donald Trump, who feels the same way.

Sep
7
YES, JEREMY CORBYN IS A BIGOT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Jeremy Corbin, the face of the UK Labour Party, is a fool who speaks glowingly of countries like Venezuela where people are literally starving to death.

But he is also an anti-Semite, and one who seems happy to lead a party which contains multiple prominent anti-Semites.

What do I mean?

The evidence is seemingly endless, but here are just a few examples of the man’s clear hatred of the Jewish people:

Corbyn came to the defense of Sheikh Raed Salah, who revived the medieval anti-Semitic ‘blood libel’ slur that Jews cook with children’s blood. Salah was arrested by British police in 2011 when he was due to speak at an event in the House of Commons — alongside Corbyn. In 2012 Corbyn called Salah ‘a very honoured citizen’.

Jeremy Corbyn was an active member of an ‘anti-Semitic’ Facebook group, ‘Palestine Live’. The group included Holocaust denial, 9/11 conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs. He said he did not see the offensive posts and left in 2015.

Jeremy Corbyn had a ten-year association with a group which denied the Holocaust. Mr Corbyn was a ‘stalwart’ supporter of Deir Yassin Remembered, attending events in 2013, with the group’s founder, Paul Eisen, a self-professed Holocaust denier.

Jeremy Corbyn hosted an Islamic cleric in Parliament in 2009, who in 2006 wrote that ‘Europe has made political correctness, the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshipping its alternative religion’.

Jeremy Corbyn called anti-Semitic terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah ‘our friends’ when inviting them to speak in Parliament. He claimed the invitation to Hezbollah was ‘absolutely the right function of using parliamentary facilities’ and that the group was committed to ‘social justice and political justice’. Corbyn later said this was ‘inclusive language I used, which with hindsight I would rather not have used’.

In December 2016, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attended the book launch of — and posed for pictures with — Hatem Bazian, organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (the IHRC). Bazian later apologised for anti-Semitic tweets where he shared a picture of an ultra-orthodox Jewish man with the message: ‘Mom, look! I is chosen! I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs and steal the land of Palestinians ‘Yay’ #Ashke-Nazi.’

As the saying goes: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…..

Click the link I provided and you will see plenty more examples of the hatred Corbyn and many of his fellow Labour leaders have shown towards the Jewish people.

Corbyn has in the past “apologized” for the pain his words have caused Jewish people…..only to go right along cozying up to some of the worst anti-Semitic groups and individuals on the planet.

Yeah, he’s reaaaalllly sorry.

What a guy.

Of course, that’s why Corbyn’s so-called “apology” rings hollow.

He clearly meant everything he said and did initially and only backtracked when the pitchforks got too hot for his liking.

Or really until somebody actually took notice.

But I’m not fooled and I’d wager neither is anybody else.

Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite. Period. End of discussion.

He can try to dress it up any way he wants, but his own history tells the tale better than anything else ever could.

As the saying goes, if you want to see who a person truly is, believe him when he tells you.

I will admit, it is hilarious to see many of the same people who see secret white power symbols everywhere — in the closet, under the bed, in the bathroom! — that will somehow find it in them to make excuses for Corbyn.

What a transparent joke those people are.

The facts are the facts: Jeremy Corbyn has told us all — over and over again — exactly what a disgusting, bigoted, and repulsive person he really is.

And I don’t know about anybody else, but I heard him, loud and clear.

As we approach the High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah, we must always remember that anti-Semitism is still a very real problem and some of the world’s most prominent politicians are proponents of it.

Those people must be singled out and politically destroyed.

To that end, I suggest the UK Labour Party get its act together.

Because having Jeremy Corbyn as the face of your party and so many key members who believe just he does is a constant reminder that they are no friend to the Jewish people.

In fact, quite the opposite.

Sep
6
IT IS TIME TO DISCUSS THE DOWNSIDE OF RIDE SHARING
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular but are they more dangerous and discriminatory than people realize?

Recently, an Uber driver in Denver, CO got into an argument with a passenger and opened fire, ultimately killing the passenger.

There was a case in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2016 where a different Uber driver killed six people and wounded two others.

Four months ago, an Uber driver in Indianapolis kicked a lesbian couple out of his car for kissing and a month later, a Lyft driver in New York did the same.

In fact, this even happens internationally, as a gay couple in England recently dealt with this same bigotry.

All of this begs the question: exactly what is the background check system Uber and Lyft use?

It seems like whatever it is, it is not very thorough.

These drivers are independent contractors who simply give Uber and Lyft a cut of their earnings.

They are not technically employees.

So how can you feel safe getting into a car with one of these drivers?

You do not know anything about them, they have not been properly vetted, and anything can happen when you get into their vehicles.

It feels like getting an Uber or Lyft is no more safe than hitchhiking.

This is worrisome not only for people like me who travel often, but also those who live in cities and predominately rely on Uber to get them around because they do not own cars.

Investigations need to be done about Uber’s vetting process quickly and changes need to be made.

This kind of insanity has already happened too many times and if it is not fixed in short order, it will happen again.

And just as important, something needs to be done by these companies about discrimination.

Nobody should ever be denied service because of their race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation.

These incidents need to be rectified and if Uber and Lyft will not reprimand the drivers and be more diligent about screening them out in the first place, local governments need to step in.

Vulnerable minorities should not have to suffer because of the greed and laziness of these ride sharing companies.

It is time that we, as a society, make sure that the proper steps are taken.

Our local, state, and federal officials need to look into this and take the necessary steps to rein Uber in.

Not to mention local and federal governments internationally in other countries where Uber and Lyft are allowed to operate.

It is already too late for the passengers in Denver and Kalamazoo.

And the discrimination used by some drivers can also not be dealt with retroactively.

However, we must not wait until it is too late for even more people in various other locations.

Nobody else needs to die or be marginalized because of carelessness and lack of proper accounability.

Let’s be diligent here, so that none of us ever have to read about stories like these again.

Sep
4
DON’T BOYCOTT NIKE, BUT THERE IS NO NEED TO DEFEND THEM EITHER.
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Collin Kaepernick is back in the news.

For those who may have been living under a rock, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback kicked a hornet’s nest two years ago when he decided to sit — and then later kneel — for the National Anthem before games, so as to protest what he saw as unfair treatment of oppressed minorities in the United States.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” Kaepernick said at the time.

Say what you will, but by doing what he did, Kaepernick certainly went against football orthodoxy.

Then he took it a step further.

Following the acquittal of the officer who fatally shot Philando Castille, Kaepernick took to Twitter to declare that the police in America were — in effect — modern day slave catchers.

I understand his frustration with the verdict in the case, but that statement is obviously ludicrous and was going to all but guarantee that teams who were already wary of signing him were going to permanently cross him off their list of potential QB candidates.

This is a much easier decision since Kaepernick is not a high level starter, and instead is a backup QB whose presence on the roster would not be worth the media circus he would bring with him.

And now Nike has entered the debate, sponsoring an ad campaign with Kaepernick as the poster child for supposedly sacrificing so much.

Before I touch on the Nike situation, I must say, heated rhetoric aside, my own thoughts on Kaepernick have never really changed.

If he wants to sit or kneel before games, that’s his right.

And though I would never personally do it myself, I don’t think the act inherently makes one disrespectful of the troops or anti-American.

If he chooses to voice his concerns in that manner, I have no problem with it.

What I do have a problem with, though, is the fact that Kaepernick was not exactly the best spokesman for his cause.

Go take a look at most of his quotes on the subject and you will see that while he was clearly very passionate about it, he spoke in very vague terms and sounded more like a riled up college student than somebody who had seriously studied the matter.

It doesn’t help that he made incredibly ignorant positive comments about Fidel Castro — a monstrous dictator — or that after all his talk, he admitted to not even bothering to vote in the 2016 election.

And that slave catcher comment is the cherry on top.

Ultimately, while Kaepernick may have been brave for going against the grain, he is also case in point for why nobody should pay any special attention to the political opinions of famous people.

Celebrities are just like everybody else in that some are smart and well-informed, but most are not. The only difference between celebrities and your crazy next door neighbor is that celebrities get a platform to espouse their opinions.

But that doesn’t mean their opinions are any more important or well-researched than that crazy next door neighbor’s.

All of the said, the idea of boycotting Nike or burning Nike products you already purchased is just silly.

If you are that upset, just donate your Nikes to a charity.

But also, let’s remember, many liberals did this with New Balance after the company’s CEO praised president Trump and those people were roundly mocked with good reason.

If you decide you do not want to buy a product anymore because of things like that, that is up to you.

But making a public spectacle out of it seems to be nothing more than grandstanding and public whining.

And the reverse can be said about people pledging to buy extra Nikes now.

Just cheap ploys for attention.

As for me, I am neither going to boycott nor lionize Nike, as they are just a company that sells shoes and clothes.

Instead, I am going to carry on with my normal everyday life and deal with more pressing matters than whether or not I like a shoe company.

I suggest you do the same.

Sep
3
A SALUTE TO THE WORKFORCE ON LABOR DAY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Unemployment claims recently hit a 50 year low, a huge victory for America’s workers.

As a small business owner myself, it warms my heart to see this, since the people who work for me are the backbone of any success I have.

I could not do it without them.

And life has been easier for me and for them ever since the tax cut bill was passed, because I was able to expand and hire more people while also giving raises to my existing employees.

I had been looking to expand my business for some time, but the punitive tax rates were making it next to impossible for me to do it.

With the rates being lowered, I was finally able to expand, which created more jobs and greater overall revenues to share with my employees.

And my businesses were certainly not the only ones for whom this was the case.

We saw the benefits take hold with companies like Comcast, Wells Fargo, and AT & T, who gave out bonuses and raises as a result of the tax bill being passed.

The bonuses and average of $100 per month savings in tax savings are a big help to most working people.

In fact, I have an employee who told me he plans to use that money to pay his car insurance for the year.

That may not seem like a big deal to some in the upper income brackets who sneeze at that amount, but trust me, to my employee and people like him, it is indeed a very big deal.

This labor day, I think about how excited I am to continue using the money I am saving to grow my businesses and more importantly, how growing those businesses means I can hire more employees, and do my part to help make their everyday lives better.

God bless my employees, and God bless the American workforce.

Sep
2
THE LESS WE PAY THOSE WHO HATE US, THE BETTER
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Recently, I wrote about the death of Kofi Annan, who helped transform the United Nations into an organization that was actually a positive force for global relations.

But unfortunately, Annan’s legacy has not been upheld by the current incarnation of the UN.

The organization has sadly turned into nothing more than a vehicle for bashing the west, most specifically the United States and Israel.

All while the United States foots most of the bill.

It is like a spoiled child who does nothing but trash his parents but then expects a new car for his birthday, anyway.

The UN needs to be put in its place and I am incredibly thankful that the Trump administration and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley understand this.

Haley has continued to show the UN that their antics are not appreciated, with repeated tough action and speeches including the revelation that the United States will be contributing $285 million less to the organization this year.

To this I say only one word: good.

In reality, $285 million is a drop in the bucket for a country that spends over $1 trillion every year.

But these cuts are more about the message they send.

As I said, for years, the United Nations has relentlessly bashed the United States even while largely being subsidized by out money.

This is not to say the United States does nothing wrong and never deserves criticism.

We do plenty wrong and deserve criticism for those wrongs.

But it seems like the high profile condemnation almost exclusively goes in our direction.

And while our government had surely done some terrible things, it is hilarious being lectured to by such pillars of humanity as Cuba, China, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps this could be a wakeup call for the UN like a bratty kid who has his trust find cut off.

Or, maybe the UN just carries on relentlessly bashing the United States for the bad things our government does without ever acknowledging the good things they do.

But Ambassador Haley has finally made it clear that if the UN chooses to continue doing the latter, they will have to do so with a lot less money from the country they appear to think is so awful.

And quite frankly, it’s about damn time.

 

Sep
1
IF THE PRESIDENT SAID WATER IS WET, WOULD JENNIFER RUBIN DISAGREE?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Ever since President Trump was elected, certain members of the media have gone full blown insane.

Over at National Review Online late last year, Charles CW Cooke took one of these aforementioned media members to task.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin is a “conservative” yet she opposes literally everything President Trump does.

That in an if itself is not really a big deal — plenty of the president’s policy proposals aren’t traditionally conservative and many right-leaning people oppose them.

I have had several disagreements with the president myself.

But what makes this absurd in Rubin’s case is the fact that she is now completely against policies she herself had championed for seemingly no other reason than Trump being in favor of them.

If you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, go read Cooke’s column. In a piece that still holds up incredibly well, the National Review columnist lays Rubin out and exposes her quite clearly for the fraud that she so obviously is.

To Cooke’s credit, he also shrewdly pointed out that there really is no difference between Rubin and those on the other side — like Sean Hannity and Tomi Lahren — who shamelessly cheerlead EVERYTHING the president does, even if it seemingly goes against their long-held beliefs.

The Daily Wire’s Been Shapiro — himself a conservative Trump skeptic — has done a terrific job of explaining the difference between himself and people like Rubin.

Shapiro did not vote for the president and often says Trump is such a mixed bag that you never know if you’re going to get “Good Trump” or “Bad Trump.”

Along with other prominent conservative Trump critics like the aforementioned Charles CW Cooke, Jonah Golldberg, Jim Geraghty, Dana Loesch, Rich Lowry, and others, Shapiro praises the president when he sees him promoting conservative principles and criticizes him when he doesn’t.

But there is a group of so-called conservatives who have been driven so crazy by the president that they somehow feel they cannot even give him a compliment when he does something they would have liked if it had been done by any other president.

Jennifer Rubin is one of the most notable examples, along with Bill Kristol, Brett Stephens, David Frum, Ana Navarro, Evan McMullin, and Max Boot.

These are “conservatives” who are on television constantly simply to be used as hammers to be used to bash the president.

They may not know it yet, but what they are doing is going to backfire on them and in a lot of ways, it already has.

Critics complain about the president’s attacks on the media, but when they constantly report things that are not true — whether out of malice or negligence — it just makes people trust them even less than already do.

The same thing goes for people like Rubin.

Cooke’s blistering takedown highlighted just how intellectually dishonest and unprincipled she is, and it wouldn’t take much effort go prove the same of the others I mentioned.

Sure, they are heroes to the “#Resistance” now, but they are sacrificing any ounce of credibility they have with anybody who isn’t an unabashed hater of the president.

That’s fine for now, I suppose, but Donald Trump won’t be president forever. So what happens when he’s gone?

Exactly who will be listening to Rubin and her ilk then?

My guess is very few people.

I hope Rubin and the others are soaking up all the attention and whatever monetary gains they can now.

Because one day, nobody is going to be interested anymore.

And when that day comes, they’re going to wish they hadn’t sold off their credibility for a few pats on the back from people who never really liked or respected them to begin with.

Aug
31
GREAT ONES GO NATIONAL: TWO OF HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT’S FINEST LOOK TO SPREAD THEIR SUCCESS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I usually use this space to opine about politics and culture, but today I want to discuss two outstanding hospital administrators — one of whom is from my home state of New Jersey — that have just been thrust into major positions on a national level.

Dr. Melinda Estes, who has done an amazing job at CEO of St. Luke’s Health System — a 16-hospital, not-forprofit, faith-based care network — is now chair-elect designate of the American Hospital Association’s board of trustees, with her set to become chairwoman in 2020.

Dr. Estes is known for being especially excellent at working with physicians, and had this to say in the official press release announcement:

“As a physician leader, I look forward to working with hospitals and health systems across the country as they continue to drive the transformation of care that improves the lives of patients and advances health in America.”

Dr. Estes has a long and storied history of success everywhere she has been.

Before taking over at St Luke’s in 2011, Dr. Estes demonstrated her terrific instincts as a hospital administrator as president and CEO of Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt., and as chief medical officer and CEO of Cleveland Clinic Florida.

It was working at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where Dr. Estes really built up her name and reputation.

As Associate Chief of Staff at Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1990 to 1997, Dr. Estes managed human resource issues for more than 700 group-practice physicians. It was at the beginning of that tenure in 1990 that Dr. Estes became the first woman to be elected to Cleveland Clinic’s Board of Governors, a nine-member executive management group whose mission was to shape the future of the Clinic. Throughout her seven years with Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Estes proved to be exceptional in multiple ways, serving not only as head of neuropathology — a position that garnered her multiple awards -but she also managed to publish over 100 scientific papers.

She is a credit to her profession, as is the man she will be succeeding, Brian Gragnolati.

Gragnolati will become Chairman of the AHA in 2019, so he will assume the post next and then be followed by Dr. Estes.

I am especially excited to see the work Gragnolati will do on a national level,, since I have watched in amazement at the results he has achieved in my home state of New Jersey.

As President and CEO of Atlantic Health System, headquartered in Morristown, N.J., Grangnolati did a terrific job of managing an integrated health care delivery system with 16,000 employees and 350 sites of care, including six hospitals: Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Newton Medical Center, Chilton Medical Center, Hackettstown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital. Atlantic Health System also supports communities through Atlantic Medical Group, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, Atlantic Home Care and Hospice, and its subsidiary, Atlantic Ambulance Corporation.

Prior to taking over at Atlantic Health System in 2015, Gragnolati was senior vice president, community division, at Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) in Baltimore, Md, as well as president and CEO of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., for 12 years, and four years as president and CEO of WellSpan Health in York, Pa.

His phenomenal track record speaks for itself, but he Gragnolati still had plenty to say in regards to his excitement about becoming Chairman of the AHA Board of Trustees:

“More than ever, now is a critically important and exciting time to be a leader in the health care field as we drive the transformation of care in America. I look forward to working with the AHA’s members across the country in support of the association’s mission to advance the health of individuals and communities.”

The AHA is an incredibly vital organization since it is a not-for-profit association with almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care and 43,000 individual members.

Having somebody not only competent but elite at hospital management is of the utmost importance for the AHA, because it must be run with maximum efficiency and with the highest levels of innovation.

And with the two choices the organization has made to run the Board of Trustees in 2019 and 2020, they have ensured that maximum efficiency and high levels of innovation is precisely what they will get.

 

Aug
30
CNN JUST CANNOT STOP STEPPING ON RAKES
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Another day, another embarrassment for CNN.

The network continues to stand by a report that President Trump was aware of his son’s meeting with a Russian who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Is the story true?

I obviously cannot say for sure.

However, what I CAN say is that the sourcing for the report is dubious at best.

CNN claimed in their report that Michael Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis had declined comment.

But Davis himself said that he was one of CNN’s sources for the story.

CNN claims to have other sources as well, but they are anonymous and the apparent lie about Davis makes CNN’s assertion very suspect.

This whole affair is ridiculous and sadly not unique in the slightest.

I could fill a book with all of the salacious stories about President Trump that have been passed around since his inauguration only to later be proven false or have some sort of credibility problem.

This boils down to two things: the need to get the story first rather than getting it right, and the desire to bring down the president.

The first matter I listed is entirely on journalists and media outlets.

There is zero excuse for the type of sloppy reporting done on stories like these CNN should be ashamed of itself.

As for the second, I blame that partially on journalists, but more on the outlets that are looking for ratings, clicks, and social media shares.

It always follows the same pattern: A story that is potentially very damaging to the president comes out.

Instead of carefully gathering the facts and taking the proper time to ensure accuracy, a story gets rushed because it is a “bombshell.”

Later, this story turns out to be false or have major credibility issues, but because the story generated so many eyeballs and it supports the larger anti-Trump narrative, what’s the big deal, right?

That attitude is exactly why so many Americans simply do not trust the press or those who pass around the stories they have written.

America needs a free and trustworthy press, because while I am a supporter of the president, every government official should always be held to the highest possible standard.

That is what the press is for.

But when stories like these come out every day and the media writ large seems uninterested in fixing the problem, you find yourself in a boy who cried wolf situation where it becomes tough to take anything at face value.

The media needs to be more careful and thorough if it ever wants to regain public trust rather than just getting clicks, views, and shares.

Because if the latter is all they want, then fine, they should go ahead and keep doing exactly what they are doing.

But if they actually want people to view them as credible news sources? Then they may want to proceed with a little more caution going forward.

Aug
29
CONGRATS TO ARIZONA REPUBLICANS FOR NOMINATING A REAL TRAILBLAZER
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Kelli Ward was a bit outside the mainstream and calling Joe Arpaio fringe is an insult to the word fringe.

Republicans in Arizona had only one respectable choice, and they made the right one.

Martha McSally, a U.S. Congressional member and the first ever female to fly in combat as a member of the Air Force, won her race by an incredibly wide margin, generating over 50% of the primary vote.

The world “trailblazer” gets thrown around a lot, but this is a woman who truly fits that description.

Not only was she the first woman to to fly in combat, she was one of the highest ranking female pilots in the history of the American military, rising all the way up to the rank of Colonel.

In addition, she also sued the government over its policy that females stationed in Saudi Arabia must cover up when leaving their base. She won her case, a victory for the freedom of female military officers in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Since joining Congress, McSally has been an especially active member, landing in the top three of members whose bills actually pass the House, largely focusing on homeland security and helping her fellow veterans.

The Congresswoman has been a great credit to the House and her background and actions make her the perfect replacement for the late John McCain, who spent his life serving our government in the military, the House, and the Senate.

Congratulations to Martha McSally, a true American hero, a terrific Congresswoman, and hopefully the next Senator from the great state of Arizona!

Aug
28
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN NOT TO BE BULLIES
 
by Dr. Kazmir

A nine-year old child in Denver, CO named Jamel Myles committed suicide because he could not handle the bullying he faced over telling his fellow students he was gay.

I am not sure when nine-year old children started declaring their sexuality as if it matters at that age, but this is a horrific event, and one that I hope parents will take note of for future reference.

It is not surprising that elementary school children would not respond well to somebody acting so unusual for a fellow nine-year old, because they are children and they tend to fear that which they do not understand.

Which is why it is the parents’ job to help them understand so they do not engage in this type of behavior.

I am not talking about homosexuality, because parents have the right to teach their children whatever they want in terms of religious doctrine, etc….

What I am talking about is making sure your children understand that even if one of their fellow students is different in a way they do not like or fully comprehend, bullying anybody for any reason is completely unacceptable.

I have four children and always went out of my way to stress this with them.

As a Jewish man who grew up in Pakistan, I know a thing or two about being the “weird” kid.

It is not a pleasant feeling and an experience I would wish on absolutely nobody.

And while I never considered suicide, even for a second, you never know what is going through a child’s mind.

Quite frankly, at that age, children’s brains are very fragile and there is no telling how they may react to this type of abuse from their peers.

To the child’s mother, I send my heartfelt condolences.

Nobody should ever have to go through what you are going through, and I am truly horrified for you.

And to the parents of the children who bullied this poor child, I ask that you please sit your children down immediately and explain to them in great detail why what happened was so wrong and how they must respect everybody from here on out, no matter how “weird” they think a person is.

Because if they don’t, the sad reality is, something like this could very well happen again.

And we all must do everything in our power as parents and humans beings to to make sure that we do not read about a similar case occurring next year, next month, or even next week.

Aug
27
RIP SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN, A BIPARTISAN PATRIOT AND CHAMPION OF GLOBAL DEMOCRACY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

My heart goes out to Senator John McCain’s family.

It was announced over the weekend that Senator McCain finally succumbed to brain cancer, but in true Senator McCain fashion, he fought it all the way to the end.

This is nothing new for the Arizona stalwart, who fought battles at seemingly every turn.

This included surviving torture as a POW in Vietnam to eventually return home to the United States and have a long and distinguished career in public service going all the way back to his days as a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution back in the 1980’s.

Full disclosure: while I have my disagreements with Senator McCain, particularly on foreign policy where he favors a far more interventionist approach than I do, I helped raise money for his presidential bid in 2008.

Disagreements aside, I thought he was the best man for the job and still believe his ability to lead and work with people of all viewpoints were important qualities that would have served him well as chief executive.

That is why I stuck by Senator McCain and helped him raise money even when almost everybody I knew said he had no chance to win the nomination let alone the presidency.

Senator McCain and his wife Cindy were both incredibly gracious and honorable people and I was proud to know both of them and be able to call them friends.

Character matters and they were both impeccable in that regard.

Which is why despite the temptation to bicker over partisan politics, at a time like this, we should be focusing less on political agreements or disagreements and simply zero in on the fact that an American hero who sacrificed his entire adult life as a public servant — whether as a member of the military, the House, or the Senate — has fallen victim to a terrible disease and we are all worse off without him around.

As I said, Senator McCain fought as hard as he could, but in the end, sometimes there are battles that even a seemingly unbreakable warrior like John McCain just cannot win.

RIP Senator McCain.

I will miss you dearly, my friend, as will the American people and the rest of the world.

You may no longer be with us, but your contributions and legacy will live on for many generations to come.

Aug
25
For Some, Ignorance is Bliss
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I was walking to my car the other day and a woman was on the side of the road with a guitar singing about how Donald Trump is a fascist.

Fascists do not typically allow people go sing songs criticizing them out in the open.

They have said people jailed or killed.

Ask people in Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea…..where the countries are run by actual fascists.

Or read about some of our own past presidents like Lincoln and Wilson who threw dissenters in prison.

I had a friend the other day at a social gathering decry president Trump for being so ignorant that he appointed somebody to the appellate bench who had never actually been s judge.

Elena Kagan is a Supreme Court Justice. She had zero experience as a judge before being nominated by former President Obama. She also was not the first to be on the supreme court without ever having been a judge.

At the same social gathering, another friend said he was still disgusted that President Trump was the first presidential candidate ever to not release his tax returns.

He is not.

Granted, it has been a while — since the 1970s — but there have been other presidential candidates who have not released tax returns.

The problem in all of these instances is people exist in bubbles where they only talk to others who think like them. Then they go on social media and do the same, but the people on there are even angrier and more ill-informed.

So my advice to people not just who despise president Trump, but of any political persuasion, is to read some books.

Get out of your bubbles and become more informed.

It may not win you any points with the friends you have who only want to hear their own views reinforced, it at least it will keep you from looking like a complete fool to people who have. knowledge beyond your rehearsed and largely incorrect talking points.

Aug
25
UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS AT A 50 YEAR LOW, WHICH IS CAUSE FOR REJOICING
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Unemployment claims recently hit a 50 year low, stunning some experts who did not see it coming.

But to those of us who understand how taxes and regulation work — and how they relate to employment — this is not a big surprise at all.

Regulations have been curbed at a staggering rate over the past two years, creating a much more favorable environment for businesses to operate and hire

In addition, President Trump and Republicans in Congress said they would deliver on reforming the tax code and earlier this year, they did.

The bill was somewhat complicated and I recommend you at least read a variety of good summaries. But the crux of the reform was lower rates across the board, both individual and corporate.

This was a welcome action in my opinion. That money never belonged to the government in the first place, so it is always a positive when less of it is taken from those who originally earned it.

Of course, the opposition used the same old attack lines. “Tax Cuts for the rich” or “A Wall Street giveaway” or my all-time favorite, “What’s $100 per month supposed to do for anybody?”

For starters, those who make more money, pay more into the system, so naturally, those same people will get more in actual dollars saved than those who pay very little. It is basic math.

And for those in the upper income brackets screaming that they don’t need a tax cut, well, send me an email or give me a call because I would be happy to direct you to several excellent charities who could use that money.

The idea that $100 per month savings is nothing to the average person us quite laughable.

I have an employee who told me he plans to use that money to pay his car insurance for the year.

Maybe that’s no big deal to people like Tom Steyer, but it sure means something to my employee.

Which brings me to my next point: employers. Yes, employees benefit from this tax plan, but so do employers, which is a welcome change.

I have been looking to expand my business for some time, but the punitive tax rates were making it next to impossible for me go to it.

With these lower rates, now I can, which will create more jobs and greater overall revenues to share with my employees.

We are already seeing the benefits take hold with companies like Comcast, Wells Fargo, and AT & T, who are giving out bonuses and raises as a result of the tax bill being passed.

And a recent report out shows wage growth is now at its highest point in eight years, further showing just how much the tax cuts on the corporate side have done for the average person.

One of the biggest negatives of the tax bill is the fact that it will likely increase the debt. But to be honest, as much as I don’t like the debt being increased, it was going to happen, anyway because government spending was not going to cease going up.

So, if the debt is going to increase regardless, I’d rather it be because people are keeping more of the money they earned than because it was used to expand existing government programs or start completely new ones.

And as an added bonus, it’s always a laugh listening to people who championed President Obama — a man who added $10 trillion to our debt in eight years — now suddenly concerned about the debt.

The tax plan was not the end all be all, but as the results show plain as day, it was definitely a step in the right direction.

I look forward to using the money I am saving to grow my business and hire more employees, and I am likewise happy for others who will are able to afford more in their everyday lives due to the increase in their paychecks.

May the economic upswing and prosperity continue for many years to come.

Aug
24
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GOVERNOR HUCKABEE
 
by Dr. Kazmir


I want to take a break from writing exclusively about serious topics and instead dedicate my space today to something purely positive.

It is the birthday of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and I want to publicly wish him a special day.

These days, he is mostly in the news for defending President Trump or his daughter who is the president’s press secretary, but there is a lot more to Mike Huckabee than that.

He did a wonderful job as Governor of Arkansas, but made an even bigger impact in the lives of those he helped on such a personal level both as a pastor and a health advocate.

It is that latter part I am most impressed with, as Governor Huckabee managed to lose an enormous amount of weight and get himself healthy after spending much of his life being severely overweight.

He has worked tirelessly with others — including many children — to help them get healthy and stay healthy the way he did.

And what more can you say about the man as a father than to look at his daughter Sarah and see what a tremendous success she has become.

Love her or hate her, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders has reached one of the most important positions in the entire world, and she unquestionably did so in part because of the love and support she has received every step of the say from her father.

As a father of four myself, I truly admire that and wish for my own children to be as successful as Governor Huckabee’s daughter, who has done very well handling an unbelievably tough job.

Governor Huckabee made people aware of his birthday today and challenged people on Twitter to see if they could find a way to avoid being negative about it, if only for one day.

I have not read the comments yet, but I am going to guess that did not happen, since unfortunately, as there will always be jerks and trolls on social media.

But for whatever it’s worth, I wanted to offer my own positive comments on the governor’s special day.

May you have a splendid birthday, governor.

You should be very proud of the life you have lived and the achievements you have earned personally and politically, and I hope you have all the success and happiness in the world through many more birthdays to come.

Aug
23
YES, SENATOR, A FAMILY LOSING A LOVED ONE TO A MURDER IS A “REAL” PROBLEM
 
by Dr. Kazmir

1_-RgD1FiY45brz5dEjYvbgABy now, you have unquestionably heard the story of Mollie Tibbetts, a young woman who was killed by an illegal immigrant.

The case has stoked some cultural fires, as those who want stronger immigration restrictions have said it proves their point and those on the other side of the immigration debate say it is an isolated incident that should not be politicized.

Interesting how many of the same people have no problem politicizing after a shooting, but I digress….

Regardless of how you feel about immigration, the murder of Mollie Tibbetts is a big deal and the man who committed it was not supposed to be here.

In other words, this would not have happened if not for the fact that her killer was here illegally.

Now, we can debate how serious of a problem this issue is as a whole and how it should best be handled, but to deny that it exists is delusional.

And to tell the parents of the victim it is not a real problem but protecting the rights of people lie the man who killed her daughter is the real problem…….well, that is just downright cold and detached.

Enter Elizabeth Warren, who managed to do exactly that.

Here is the Senator from Massachusetts talking about the murder and the aftermath on CNN:

“I’m so sorry for the family and I know this is hard, not only for the family but for the people in her community, the people throughout Iowa, but one of the things we have to remember is we need an immigration system that is effective, that focuses on where real problems are.

Last month, I went down to the border and I saw where children had been taken away from their mothers. I met with those mothers who had been lied to, who didn’t know where their children were, who hadn’t had a chance to talk to their children and there was no plan for how they would be reunified with their children. I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat and I don’t think that mamas and babies are the place that we should be spending our resources. Separating a mama from her baby does not make this country safer.”

Um, ok.

I am a first generation immigrant and I have plenty of sympathy for immigrants, but you have to be kidding me here.

Yes, what has been going on at the border with the children of illegal immigrants — involving policies that go back to the Obama adminstration as well — need to be fixed.

But as the old saying goes, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

In other words, since when does the children at the border issue negate the problem of people coming in illegally and committing crimes?

Can’t both be a problem at the same time?

And how can you possibly tell this girl’s family that her murder and the policy failure that allowed it to happen are not a “real” problem?

As I mentioned, I am an immigrant, but I am also a father of four.

If God forbid anything ever happened to one of my children and a sitting Senator made comments like that directed at me, I would — and I thin understandably — be irrate.

If you want to say the problem will not be solved by a wall and that we must find another way, fine.

But to outright deny it exists and use the murder as a way to pivot towards a completely different issue as a way of political grandstanding?

Absolutely despicable.

Elizabeth Warren should be ashamed of herself and if she had any sense of decency, she would apologize to the Tibbetts family immediately.

But I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

 

Aug
22
THE HARDLINERS MUST BE DEFEATED FOR PAKISTAN AND INDIA TO THRIVE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

There is a current MP in India who has taken death threats for taking a stand against hardline activists and saying he wishes for peaceful and prosperous relations between India and Pakistan.

This is shameful and should forcefully be rebuked by everybody in power in both India and Pakistan.

Those death threats should also in no way influence anybody in positions of authority on how they approach relations between the two countries, as an overly aggressive and hostile approach ought to be considered an absolute non-starter on either the Pakistani or Indian side.

To that end, I was glad to see that Imran Khan — who has just officially been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan – is already rejecting the agenda of the hardliners.

There have been longstanding tensions between Pakistan and India, which was one of the biggest issues the incoming Prime Minister would be tased with handling.

And he has already taken a major step in doing so.

Khan has already reached out to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to try to create a positive diplomatic relationship.

India Express had all the details of their first conversation and they seemed to be of a very positive nature:

Sources said that the phone conversation between Modi and Khan took place at 9 pm, though the duration of the call was not revealed. “They recalled their meeting in December 2015 and conversation from that time…and hoped to pick up the thread from there,” a top source told The Indian Express.

“Prime Minister expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan,” said an official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs, indicating India’s support to the democratic process in Pakistan, where political parties have expressed concerns over its fairness.

Modi, according to the MEA statement, also “reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighbourhood” — which is in line with his government’s stated objective of “neighbourhood first policy” and “sabka saath sabka vikas” in the South Asian context

Make no mistake, this is a terrific development for both nations.

And thankfully for Khan, as he continues to navigate his way through the process of trying to improve relations with India, he has Pervaiz Elahi on his side.

Elahi has the experience necessary to be a major asset to the Khan government.

Elahi is a former Chief Minister of Punjab and deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan whose party just re-elected to the National Assembly.

Not only does he have great relationships with other assembly members, he has longstanding relations with diplomats from other countries as well.

I have personally spoken to diplomats in the U.S., EU, and Islamabad, and have been assured by those of all different political agendas that they welcome the chance to work with Elahi.

This will be an enormous asset to the Khan government and will offer the opportunity for both countries to ease tensions and expand economic possibilities for both countries in the form of increased mutual investment, trade, and new jobs.

This is why the hardliners must be defeated and swept out in both Pakistan and India.

There is too much to be gained from a strong relationship between the two countries and everything to lose if the tensions are exacerbated in any real way.

Imran Khan already took his first step in this direction by having a positive conversation with PM Modi, and with both Elahi abd General Bajwa at his side, there is no doubt the possibilities for great results are endless.

It has never been more obvious to me that the Pakistani people made the right choice with Khan.

Hopefully this is just the beginning of many years of peace and prosperity to come for both Pakistan AND India.

Aug
21
A Great Start For Khan
 
by Dr. Kazmir

On Sunday, Imran Khan gave his first major speech since becoming Prime Minister and it had all the makings of he beginning of a very successful tenure.

“I will fight the corrupt. Either this country will survive or the corrupt people,” he said.

That is something many have promised to do in the past but failed to deliver on.

However, Khan laid out a plan that — if executed correctly — has the potential to finally fix the corruption and other major issues.

As I have talked about in previous articles, Khan assured the nation that he would work to develop better relations with neighboring countries which should be a boon not only for peace, but for prosperity.

This is where having an experienced diplomat like Pervaiz Elahi on his side will make a huge difference in a positive way.

It is well-known that the powerful in Pakistan dodge taxes, something PM Khan vowed to put a stop to so that he may have additional funds to take care of the needy.

His way of doing this would be to create a progressive tax system that would actually require less government spending.

While I have faith in PM Khan, I must admit I am curious to see the particulars on that because it is going to be a very ambitious move and will be easier said than done.

As far as children go, PM Khan said he remains committed to building their future and protecting them.

To that end, he will live elsewhere and turn the PM’s house into a university for students to learn.

Further, he vowed to take care of the victims of child abuse and severely punish those committing the abuse.

Other highlights of the speech include a proposal to create a South Punjab province, various reforms in police, govt schools, and hospitals, as well as the creation of health cards to be distributed nationwide.

A mixture of big and small ideas, all of which are necessary but require careful planning and execution.

I believe Prime Minister Khan is the right man to oversee that planning and execution and have great hope that with his leadership, Pakistan will be well on its way to a new era of expansion that will ultimately bring about peace and prosperity for the nation’s citizens.

Aug
20
POPE SAYS THE RIGHT THING ABOUT THE CHURCH AND ABUSE, SO NOW LET’S HOPE IT IS BACKED UP WITH ACTION
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Over the weekend, the Vatican released a statement where the Pope roundly condemned the culture of abuse and coverup involving young children and the Catholic Church.

It’s about time.

Another strong leader, Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, Imran Khan, echoed the Pope’s statements, vowing to protect abused children and punish those responsible for said abuse.

The statement was released in conjunction with a grand jury report detailing a wide coverup of numerous abuse cases in PA.

Unfortunately, as we know, this is one of many such incidents of this type as it pertains to the Catholic Church.

For all of the scandals the Church has endured, it has done a lot of great charitable work, even for those who are not of the faith.

While I respect everybody’s right to be religious or non-religious, there is no denying that religious organizations have been an immense help to those in need, which should always be encouraged.

But as a man who has dedicated a lot of time and energy to building a school o help young children, I am sickened by the darer side of the Catholic Church’s culture of abuse and coverup.

I applaud men like PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro who are aggressively investigating and prosecuting the offenders.

Also Imran Khan who has made it one of the centerpieces of his new administration deserves praise.

But it is one thing for outsiders to speak up and another for insiders to step up and actually do something.

The culture of abuse and coverup in the Catholic Church is rotten to the core and it obscures anything positive they accomplish.

The Pope has vowed to change that, but we are going to need more than words from him.

We need action.

We need the Church as a whole, from the top down, to create an organization that not only refuses to coverup abuse but swiftly and harshly punishes those who are responsible for any and all abuse.

The Pope took the first step in doing that with his strong condemnation over the weekend.

Now it is time to see a real plan and some actual results.

I pray that we do.

Aug
19
RIP KOFI ANNAN
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The world lost a great man when former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan passed away at age 80 yesterday morning.

Mr. Annan was survived by his wife and two children.

I actually had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Annan several years ago and found him to be incredibly classy and engaging.

I will always remember our encounter fondly.

And I will always admire what an amazing person he was.

It is well-known how he completely transformed the United Nations, but those who knew Annan raved about his passion for helping people.

It hurt him deeply to see there were people who could not take care of themselves and he spent much of his time doing whatever he could — including working with multiple non-profit organizations — to help as many people as he could that were in dire need.

He ran a tight ship at the UN, did everything he could to help others through charity, and lived a life full of love and joy.

The world is surely worse off today without his presence.

I echo the comments of British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said of Annan’s passing:

“Sad to hear of the death of Kofi Annan. A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.”

Goodbye, Mr. Annan. I am glad I got to know you, and I am sad for all those who never did. May you rest in peace and may your legacy live on forever.

Aug
18
IF AN EVENT IS PUBLIC, AND YOU BAN THE PRESS, IS IT REALLY PUBLIC?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Bronx Democratic Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently held a public event where she welcomed members of her community to talk about issues they felt were important and wanted to discuss with their liely soon-to-be representative.

Anybody and everybody was welcome at this event, except for one group: the press.

So, then she is banning a free press from attending event that is open to the public?

Here was what Ocasio-Cortez had to say about it on her official Twitter account:

Additionally, with this town hall non-story: it was designed to protect + invite vulnerable populations to PUBLIC discourse: immigrants, victims of domestic abuse, and so on. We indicated previously that the event would be closed to press. Future ones are open.

Yeah, I’m not sure she understands what the word “public” means.

If Ocasio-Cortez did not want the press there, she should have made the event private and required advanced registration or used some other measure to determine who could be in attendance.

But making an event public and then banning reporters seems a lot like authoritarianism, does it not?

Putting aside the fact that this is 2018 and anybody with a cell phone camera and an ipad can technically report what was happening at an event like this, exactly what is Ocasio-Cortez trying to imply by saying she wanted to encourage public discourse among vulnerable populations?

Is she trying to say that the media reporting on this event would have been an impediment, or even a danger to said mission?

Wasn’t there a certain president, whom Ocasio-Cortez and her political allies often refer to as a wannabe dictator — who referred to the press as the enemy of the American people?

Exactly how is this different?

The truth is, I suspect, that Ocasio-Cortez and her camp did not ban the media from this event because they were afraid the media would report unfavorably about vulnerable constituents.

They feared the media catching her in yet another ridiculous, embarrassing misstep, the type that would normally derail a campaign.

However, to this point, these pathetic mistaes have not and probably will not do much to hurt Ocasio-Cortez, because you would stand a better chance of winning powerball than seeing a Republican elected in her district.

And outside of her district, the people who love her will continue to do so and those who never liked her will lie her even less.

But the people in the middle? They are by and large beginning to see her for the ill-prepared and unqualified novice that she really is, and they are not impressed to say the least.

Call it the Palin effect.

The fact that the press might continue to shine a light on her peccadilloes was why she and her camp did not want the press there.

They were afraid of more negative headlines, more snickering, and more exposure of the presumptive Congresswoman’s ridiculous ignorance on the issues she has been such a loud voice for.

Of course, she could not just come out and say that, because then the criticism would just get worse.

So, instead, she hid behind this hilariously transparent lie about supposedly protecting the vulnerable.

Mae no mistake, the only vulnerable person Ocasio-Cortez was trying to protect here was herself.

And in doing so, she further showed herself for what she is: a scared, sheltered, hypocrite, who has no problem yelling about freedom of the press being essential when it involves bashing President Trump, but has no use for a free press when it might damage her.

They say sunlight is the best disinfectant and everyday we are seeing just how true that is in the Bronx.

In fact, at this rate, Ocasio-Cortez may want to invest in some sunscreen.

Aug
17
TAKING POSITIVE STEPS ON HEALTH INSURANCE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Unfortunately, when Republicans had the chance to try to replace Obamacare, they were unable to do so.

Their plan, the AHCA, was basically Obamacare-lite and it could not pass the senate, anyway.

But this does not change the fact that Obamacare is in major peril at the moment, and the reasons why are numerous, beginning with the fact that the bill was 1900 pages long and virtually nobody who voted for it actually read it.

As Nancy Pelosi famously said as the debate over Obamacare was raging on in Washington, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”

The idea was to put something in place and then fix it along the way.

That never happened.

Most people who now have coverage under Obamacare will tell you the same thing….”I have big deductibles, less choice of doctor and hospitals and my premium costs have exploded.”

The only people happy with the current state of Obamacare are the roughly 90% of the insureds under the system who are either getting large federal subsidies or are now eligible for Medicaid.

For those who pay the full amount, they make just enough to not get a subsidy but too little to afford the skyrocketing premiums.

Family coverage in a state like NY costs $1,294 per month (after taxes) with a $12,700 family deductible. Only annual physicals and certain well care is covered until the family reaches that deductible. No prescription drug coverage until that deductible is met.

That is why people who are paying for this coverage are calling it the Unaffordable Care Act.

Let’s look at what the Act was intended to do:

Lower costs, increase choice, and provide improved healthcare for all Americans.

None of that became a reality.

Don’t forget the most pronounced promise of all……”If you like your plan you can keep your plan.”

The dishonesty of that statement ended up being so egregious that it was Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013.

All of that said, unfortunately, it does not look like Republicans have the numbers or the political will at the moment to actually scrap Obamacare.

But the reality is, Obamacare is self-destructing, and sooner or later, something is going to have to be done about it.

In the meantime, however, there are improvements that can be made around the edges and thankfully the Trump Administration is currently working to implement some of those changes.

For example, the return of short-term, limited duration plans is a step in the right direction.

From the official press release:

Americans will once again be able to buy what is known as short-term, limited-duration insurance for up to a year, assuming their state allows it. These plans are free from most Obamacare regulations, allowing them to cost between 50 and 80 percent less.

Insurers will also be able to sell renewable plans, allowing consumers to stay on their affordable coverage for up to 36 months. Consumers can also buy separate renewability protection, which will allow them to lock in low rates in their renewable plans even if they get sick.

Unsurprisingly, experts believe there will be healthy demand for these affordable options. Up to 2 million Americans, and possibly more, are expected to enroll within the next few years.

Such plans were offered for terms of up to 12 months for decades until, in an effort to push Americans into Obamacare, the previous administration restricted the plans to 90 days and prohibited insurers from renewing them beyond that time period. This eliminated them as an option except for the shortest transitions between other sources of coverage.

But these short-term plans can be a good option for many Americans priced out of Obamacare’s regulations — especially small-business owners, independent contractors in today’s “gig economy” and younger Americans transitioning between school and employment.

This is a move that will not solve the Obamacare problem in and of itself, but will certainly be a short-term help to millions who do not have traditional fulltime jobs and thus do not have employer sponsored health coverage.

It is only a temporary patchwork measure but at least it will help.

But the larger issue — the unaffordability of Obamacare — is not going away.

It will need to be re-addressed at some point, perhaps sooner than some expect.

However, in the meantime, I am glad we finally have an administration attempting to be proactive about doing everything it can to mitigate the damage.

It’s about time.

Aug
16
RIP ARETHA FRANKLIN
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Today, the world lost a legend of the music world, as Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76.

They called her the Queen of Soul and with good reason.

Not only did she sing countless mainstream hits such as “Respect” and “Natural Woman,” she touched the entire world with the beauty and grace of her voice.

Several years ago when she was on tour, I had tickets to see her and the show ended up being canceled.

I had tickets to see her again a few months ago and that show was canceled, too.

Now, unfortunately, I will never get the chance to see the Queen live.

Interestingly enough, Aretha Franklin was on my mind recently when I overheard a heated political argument between two strangers.

I didn’t know these two people and had no idea how they knew each other, but the discussion was so intense that I had to walk away from the area for fear that violence was going to erupt.

I honestly don’t even remember the specifics of the argument other than I heard the words “Donald Trump” and “Russia” at some point.

So why did this make me think of Aretha Franklin?

Because I remember a similar heated debate between two people I actually do know — two dear friends of mine — during the Clinton impeachment years ago.

One of them was insistent that Clinton be removed from office while the other shouted that the whole thing was a right-wing conspiracy.

I remember things seeming like they might get out of control when the Aretha Franklin song, “Chain of Fools” began playing on the radio and everybody just stopped to listen.

Granted, it was only for a few minutes, but those few minutes of ceasefire were a mighty splendid thing.

Some point later that day my friends went back to arguing, but those few minutes of Aretha Franlin music really mellowed a situation that seemed like it was about to get very ugly.

If you think about it, that’s the true beauty of music: if a song is good, it doesn’t matter who you are.

You could be any race, gender, sexual orientation or religion and have at least a brief moment of common ground with somebody you might otherwise want to spend your day screaming at.

I thought about that today when I read the news that Aretha Franklin had passed away.

I thought about how much I wished more people would think about what they have in common rather than fighting over what divides them.

And I thought about how much we could use Aretha Franklin’s beautiful, soulful voice to help people mellow out — if only for a few minutes — and remember that just because you may disagree with somebody, it doesn’t make that person evil.

You never know, that person may even like the same Aretha Franklin song as you!

As somebody who lived through most of her prime singing years and saw the power of her musical brilliance, I can say with absolute certainty that the world will miss her terribly.

Goodnight, sweet Queen.

Tonight, we will all “Say A Little Prayer” in your honor.

Aug
16
THE DEIFICATION OF OMAROSA DEFIES LOGIC
 
by Dr. Kazmir

This pattern of the media and #Resistance figures lionizing the worst grifters imaginable just because said grifters happen to be on the opposing side of the president at a given moment is truly bizarre.

The latest example of this is Omarosa.

Full disclosure: I met Omarosa several times while Donald Trump was running for president and found her to be self-serving and one of the last genuine people I have ever met.

But regardless of my own interactions with the former reality star, just take a look at her history of being dismissed from jobs for poor behavior.

If anything, we should all be surprised she lasted as long as she did in the Trump White House.

Truthfully, Omarosa never should have been hired in the first place and the fact that she was is part of one of the president’s greatest weaknesses: his inability to separate himself from those who are loyal to him.

Omarosa had no business working in the White House and was only there because President Trump likes to reward those who stand by his side no matter what.

But her presence there proved to be a problem multiple times and John elly was 100% right to fire her.

Of course, now that she has been fired and has a score to settle with the president, media figures and #Resistance types alike are holding Omarosa up as somebody to pay attention to.

And predictably, the president’s dismissal of his former staffer has now been deemed racist on the basis of him calling her a “dog” and “stupid.”

Except those charges are nonsense, and the fact that they hold no water is easily provable.

Here is a list of some people the president has also referred to as a “dog”: former Meet the Press host David Greggory, Redstate Founder Erik Erickson, current Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, Senator Ted Cruz, and Blaze Founder Glenn Beck.

None of the above-mentioned people are black.

Furthermore, here is a list of some of the people the president has also referred to as “dumb” or a term with a similar meaning: Robert Deniro, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, and Bloomberg’s Tim O’Brien.

Again, zero of the above-listed people are black.

What is obvious — and what his critics do not want to acknowledge either because they are ignorant or pushing an agenda — is that when somebody insults the president, he responds by calling that person various names, regardless of race.

In that way, he is actually the exact opposite of racist because he attacks everybody the same way regardless of sin color.

The president did not attack Omarosa or use those words against her — the same ones he has used on multiple white people — because she is black.

He did it because she threw the first punch and he always hits back.

Judge him for that all you want, but calling him a racist for it just exposes you for being completely disingenuous.

Just like Omarosa, the Queen of disingenuousness.

Aug
16
ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS EXITS POLITICS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I write a lot about national and international stories, but today I want to talk about a good friend of mine who has decided to leave politics behind for a normal life after 30 years of public service.

Joe Kyrillos was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly 30 years ago as a 27 year-old man.

At the time, he was the youngest person to ever hold that post.

After two terms, he was elected to New Jersey State Senate and ended up staying there all the way up through this year, which will be his last.

I met Senator Kyrillos years ago and we immediately connected due to our shared love of this country and somewhat similar backgrounds.

The Senator is the son of Lebanese immigrants and I am the offspring of a Syrian mother and Pakistani father.

And policy wise, we were almost always on the same page, as the hallmark of his agenda was job growth and the economy, two things I am especially mindful of as a small businessman.

He did a terrific job fighting the good fight, helping to get positive legislation passed year after year despite an ever shifting ideology against both of our core ideals.

We both love New Jersey — it is our home — but over the years, we have unfortunately both become political outsiders in a state that seems to be trending more heavily Democrat and in favor of soaking its successful citizens and businesses with excessive taxes and regulation.

Senator Kyrillos fought all he could from the inside, but understandably, after 30 years he decided it was time to do good from the outside instead.

I am a businessman, philanthropist, and fundraiser for causes and politicians hold dear to my heart.

I have always been simpatico with the Senator on a wide variety of great philanthropic and political causes and I am looking forward to having him as an ally on the outside the same way I had him as an ally on the inside all these years.

Joe Kyrillos did a fantastic job in New Jersey public service for 30 years, but more importantly he has been a great man, a great friend, and a great husband and father to his family.

I am honored to call him a friend and wish him nothing but luck and happiness as he enters the next chapter of his life.

Aug
16
SINCE WHEN IS CHALLENGING SOMEBODY TO A DEBATE THE SAME AS CATCALLING?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I know I am 61 years old, so I am not the most hip man alive, but I always thought I knew the difference between challenging somebody to a debate and catcalling.

I guess I was wrong.

In case you missed it, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a rising star in the Democratic party after defeating longtime Democrat stalwart Joseph Crowley in a primary — has been having a rough time lately.

The presumed to be future Congresswoman seemed to not understand her own position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, could not explain how she would pay for any of her proposed programs, and did not grasp what goes into figuring out the unemployment rate.

There was actually a lot more, but I thin you get the point.

Anyway, after making so many ridiculous gaffes that she made Sarah Palin blush, Ocasio-Cortez first tried to claim the only people who made hay out of it were members of the alt-right — ooooook — then pivoted to saying nobody on the right wanted to have an honest debate on ideas but instead chose to focus on her verbal clumsiness.

So Ben Shapiro stepped up and offered her a chance to debate somebody on the right on the issues.

Shapiro, a conservative author, commentator, and talk show host offered to have Ocasio-Cortez on his Sunday conversation show at Dailywire.com to have a debate or a discussion — her choice — with the Bronx Democrat.

He even offered to donate $10,000 to the charity of her choice for the privilege.

How did Ocasio-Cortez respond?

Not by saying yes or no in any normal fashion, but instead by accusing Shapiro of engaging in some mutated form of catcalling.

Yes, really.

Shapiro, to his credit, said he did not feel Ocasio-Cortez owed him a response and was fine with her just saying no, but was puzzled by the catcalling comment.

He was not the only one, not by a longshot.

The reality is, nobody should have expected Ocasio-Cortez to debate Shapiro and it made complete sense for her to say no.

After all, she gains nothing by debating him since she is running for office and he is not, plus I would imagine very few of his fans could be swayed into voting for her.

But jumping to implying sexism was both ridiculous and desperate.

Ocasio-Cortez is not being made fun of because of racism, she is being made fun of because she cannot even keep her own views straight and has failed to competently explain them at every turn.

Ben Shapiro did not offer to debate her because he is sexist, he did it because she claimed no conservative wanted to talk issues with her, so he seized the opening she gave him.

It really is that simple, no matter how Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters want to try to frame it.

Then again, if I were Ocasio-Cortez, I might spend a little less time worrying about Ben Shapiro’s motives and a little more time reading some books.

Because it looks like she probably has a two year Congressional term in her near future, so she may want to try to figure out how to grapple with understanding her own ideas before trying to defend them to anybody of import.

Aug
16
MOROCCO-USA RELATIONS PROVIDE A MODEL WORTH EMULATING
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The Trump foreign policy has been clear on one thing. It does not tolerate free riders. It has woken up to the fact that the United States has been carrying the burden of security on behalf of the rest of the world. Sending American soldiers in harm’s way and spending billions on defense so that other countries can have their security umbrellas. The same countries turn around and flood American markets with their manufactured goods, depriving American workers of jobs. The burden falls on American families and the American tax payer.

Thankfully, not all of US bilateral relations are the same. The US-Morocco partnership stands out as an example to emulate.

On issues of security, Morocco has not sat on the fence. In has been an ally against those who want to harm Americans by deploying its security services to prevent terror attacks both in Morocco and elsewhere. It has also disrupted extremist activities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East on the ideological, operational, and the financing fronts.

Morocco’s efforts are to become even more crucial as the US continues to look for reliable partners in Africa to fight the growing threats of ISIS and its affiliates across the Sahel. Indeed, as ISIS loses ground in the Levant, it is metastizing from the Sahara to Somalia. This large swath of land, almost the size of United States, is practically ungovernable. And today the only country in North Africa with the political stability, pro-American policies, and open economy is Morocco. It is the only country that can truly be relied on.

On matters of trade, Morocco has entered into a bilateral trade agreement with the United States in 2006. This agreement is beginning to bear its fruits as Morocco establishes itself as a hub of trade and investment for the region, giving American manufacturers access to markets beyond Morocco. With Morocco alone the trade volume amounted to more than four billion USD in 2016, with a healthy 900 million USD trade surplus for the US.

This is a relationship we should care about and should nurture.

In particular, we must stand by the Kingdom on the issue of territorial integrity of the Sahara. It would be fair and reciprocal for the Trump administration to support our Moroccan allies at the United Nations. The US knows so well that the UN process can be bureaucratic and inefficient and does not necessarily represent the interests of the parties it is intended to serve.

Just yesterday, The UN Secretary General’s envoy for the Sahara has briefed the security council and asked Morocco to negotiate with the Polisario Front, rather than their patrons, Algeria. This is akin to asking the United States to negotiate with Hizbullah, rather than Iran. Ultimately it is Iran that sponsors Hizbullah activities in Syria and Lebanon; and it is Algeria that dictates what the Polisario Group wants in the Sahara.

The Trump administration should show the world that it stands by those allies who contribute their fair share to the security and stability of our world. It should support Morocco in autonomy plan for the Sahara. The ties that bind the US and Morocco go back to the first days of the Republic, the Kingdom has never failed us; we should be clear in our support of their national issue.

Aug
16
THE PRESIDENT VS LEBRON JAMES IS NOT A VERY COMPLICATED FEUD
 
by Dr. Kazmir

So, people are still talking about what the president said about Don Lemon and Lebron James.

But mostly Lebron James.

In case you missed it, here is what the president tweeted:

“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”

The “Mike” he was talking about is Michael Jordan, the former NBA great wjo is often compared to James.

Jordan came out and defended James, saying the superstar does a lot of good in his community.

This is not the first time we have seen a controversy involving Lebron James and a right-wing figure.

Several months ago, here is what conservative firebrand Laura Ingraham of Fox News had to say about the basketball star:

“It’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball. Unfortunately, a lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously. Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids: this is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. Why must they talk like that? Keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”

There are those who claimed the radio and television host was using a racist dog whistle, but those people clearly know little about Ingraham or the things she has said throughout her career.

Ingraham has made similar comments about musical artists like the Dixie Chicks and numerous actors over the years.

Likewise, we are hearing the same “dog whistle” claims because the president insulted the intelligence of two black men.

However, much like Ingraham, this ignores the president’s history of calling virtually any high profile person who criticizes him names — including insulting their intelligence — with prime examples being John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, George W Bush, Karl Rove, and Glenn Beck, all of whom are white.

At the time, some questioned Ingraham’s comments about James not going to college when some of her talk radio colleagues — chief among them Rush Limbaugh — likewise did not attend college.

The reason is ideological: Limbaugh agrees with Ingraham and James does not, so she attacks one and says nothing about the other.

This is the same with President Trump — he attacks those who attack him and praises those who praise him.

It really is that simple.

But really, all of this was straight out of Ingraham’s standard playbook and the president seems to be following it as well.

The conservative commentator has made telling celebrities and athletes to keep their political opinions to themselves a staple of her “Middle America vs the cultural elites” routine.

She even built a book around the concept about 15 years ago called “Shut Up and Sing.”

The president appears to be echoing those comments, but of course, as with Ingraham, they only apply to celebrities who do not see eye to eye with him as he is perfectly fine saying nice things about those who like him (ie: Kanye West).

As for Lebron James himself, the reality is that when it comes to political opinions, celebrities are no different than the average person.

Knowing and understanding these complex issues takes a lot of hard work and thought.

Some put in that work and most do not.

Think about all of the times in your life you have had political conversations with friends, family, and neighbors.

How many times did you walk away impressed and how many times did you walk away shaking your head at their ignorance?

The same ratio is likely when it comes to celebrities.

Nobody should ever be told they cannot hold an opinion merely because of their profession.

That is obviously ridiculous.

But so is assuming that just because a person is famous means they know anything.

They may, they may not.

But just like lawyers, plumbers, doctors, waiters, etc…. it is on a case by case basis. Some celebrities will prove to be smart and well-versed on the issues and others will sound like shallow talking points.

That’s really the way things are for anybody of any profession.

And while a famous person has the ability to express his opinion to a massive audience due to the loud megaphone fame provides, that also comes added scrutiny.

If my neighbor has an opinion that would upset some people, nobody knows about it except for the people he interacts with.

But if a worldwide icon like Lebron James says something similar, virtually everybody is aware.

So, he should be prepared to face intense scrutiny and pushback from those who disagree with him politically.

But he should never be told he isn’t “qualified” to speak about politics because everybody has that right.

That said, regardless of Lebron James’ political opinions, trying to hold him up as smart or informed only works if it is true.

I do not now Lebron James well enough to now the level of his intelligence or how much he truly knows about policy.

But what I do now is the people claiming he is smart and informed because he donated some money to a public school in Akron are completely missing the point.

It is nice that James is trying to help children in his community, but being a humanitarian does not necessarily mean anything as far as your intelligence.

There is no law that says you cannot be both ignorant or dumb and generous at the same time.

I am not saying this is true of James, I am merely saying his generosity does not prove that he is a genius.

That said, instead of telling James to “shut up and dribble,” maybe next time Laura Ingraham could try addressing him and attempt to persuade him by providing a convincing counter-argument.

Maybe the president could try that, too.

Heck, maybe the president could even offer an olive branch and invite James to the White House to discuss an initiative that would involve famous athletes gathering together to contribute money to schools in economically disadvantaged areas the way the NBA star did.

Call me crazy, but I think that might be a slightly better strategy and a tad more mature than just calling James names in-between commercial breaks or tweets about tariffs.

Aug
6
PAKISTAN AND INDIA TAKE FIRST MAJOR STEP TOWARDS AGENDA OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

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Imran Khan has not even officially been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan yet but he is already making a major impact.

There have been longstanding tensions between Pakistan and India, which was one of the biggest issues the incoming Prime Minister would be tasked with handling.

And he took a major step in doing so a few days ago.

Khan reached out to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday after Modi congratulated Khan on his victory.

India Express had all the details of the conversation and they seemed to be of a very positive nature:

Sources said that the phone conversation between Modi and Khan took place at 9 pm, though the duration of the call was not revealed. “They recalled their meeting in December 2015 and conversation from that time…and hoped to pick up the thread from there,” a top source told The Indian Express.

“Prime Minister expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan,” said an official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs, indicating India’s support to the democratic process in Pakistan, where political parties have expressed concerns over its fairness.

Modi, according to the MEA statement, also “reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighbourhood” — which is in line with his government’s stated objective of “neighbourhood first policy” and “sabka saath sabka vikas” in the South Asian context

Make no mistake, this is a terrific development for both nations.

And thankfully for Khan, as he continues to navigate his way through the process of trying to improve relations with India, he has Pervaiz Elahi on his side.

Elahi has the experience necessary to be a major asset to the Khan government.

Elahi is a former Chief Minister of Punjab and deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan whose party just re-elected to the National Assembly.

Not only does he have great relationships with other assembly members, he has longstanding relations with diplomats from other countries as well.

I have personally spoken to diplomats in the U.S., EU, and Islamabad, and have been assured by those of all different political agendas that they welcome the chance to work with Elahi.

This will be an enormous asset to the Khan government and will offer the opportunity for both countries to ease tensions and expand economic possibilities for both countries in the form of increased mutual investment, trade, and new jobs.

Khan already took his first step in this direction by having a positive conversation with PM Modi, and with both Elahi abd General Bajwa at his side, there is no doubt the possibilities for great results are endless.

It has never been more obvious to me that the Pakistani people made the right choice with Khan. Hopefully this is just the beginning of many years of peace and prosperity to come for both Pakistan AND India.

 

Aug
2
HHS IS IN GOOD HANDS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

There has been a lot of talk about prescription drug prices and soaring insurance costs due to Obamacare. These are problem in dire need of being fixed. However, in order for them to be fixed properly, there must be somebody in charge of Health and Human Services who has quality solutions and the impeccable knowledge of healthcare it will take to muster a great plan.

Thankfully, Alex Azar fits both of those categories.

The Obamacare bill is nearly 2,000 pages and has far too many landmines within it. I understand that the mission of Obamacare was to deliver affordable health insurance, but with the constant announcements that premiums will be rising higher and higher, it is clear that despite the best of intentions, the law may have helped some people, but it has driven up costs for many others.

As a doctor myself, I very much value both quality of care and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship. I believe that the government should interfere minimally and market-driven ideas must be at the forefront.

Secretary Azar understands all aspects of the healthcare industry and is perfect to help lead on finding the right solutions.

As a former law clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia and accomplished attorney at Wiley Rein, a prominent DC law firm, he understands how to navigate the law and the proper way to handle negotiations.

He was then twice confirmed by a bipartisan DC government to be Deputy HHS Secretary and did an outstanding job.

Following that, he joined the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and company and did so well there that he rose all the way up to president of the company’s largest division, Lilly, USA Inc.

He could have stayed in that position and made millions of dollars per year, but instead, Azar decided it was more important to be of service to his fellow man and so he left that lucrative job to become HHS Secretary in November, 2017.

There are a lot of great ideas on the table to lower costs, and I am confident Secretary Azar will investigate the possibility of implementing them.

Yesterday, I wrote about the re-importation of drugs from Canada as a way to lower drug costs.

Another great idea would be to boost the prominence of health savings accounts, a fantastic concept going all the way back to the Gingrich-led congress of 1994. They are a great way for people to save medical money over the long term so that they can build a substantial sum in their accounts for when they are older and have a greater need for the money to pay for increased medical bills that typically accompany old age.

But we also need safeguards for our most vulnerable, so we must have funding mechanisms to help pay for high-risk state pools that can assist the truly poor and sick from being unable to get the care they need.

I am sure Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and others — including Democrats — have thoughts about what else could be added to drive down costs, and like any intelligent person, I am sure Secretary Azar is willing to listen to ANYTHING that could potentially add value for the American people.

Costs need to come down without the high quality of doctors and hospitals we have become so accustomed to in this country being adversely affected.

Secretary Azar knows this and he is on the case. As a doctor and a man who knows a strong leader when I see one, the Secretary has my complete faith, and I have the utmost confidence that he will succeed.

Aug
2
AZAR IS THE RIGHT MAN TO LEAD EFFORTS TO BRING DOWN DRUG PRICES
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Obamacare may be a dead issue for now, but that doesn’t mean the debate about health insurance costs in the United States won’t continue. However, up until recently, there seemed to have been very little discussion of actual healthcare costs.

Health insurance is very expensive, but a big part of the reason for that is how costly drugs and procedures are that the insurance covers.

Thankfully, HHS Secretary Alex Azar understands this and is on the case.

The son of a doctor who went on to become a brilliant lawyer and pharmaceutical executive himself, Azar’s background gives him a unique perspective from which to work when coming up with policy solutions for bringing down the cost of prescription drugs.

So what can we do to lower drug prices and make medicine more affordable?

For starters, the administration’s Competitive Acquisition Program for tougher negotiation as it pertains to Medicare Part B should help greatly. Medicare is a huge part of the market as far as buying prescription drugs is concerned, so anything that can be done to drive those prices down would be a welcome change.

Beyond that, though, the entire patent system needs to be re-worked.

The average drug in this country costs anywhere from a several hundred million to a few billion dollars to develop. Obviously, it is important that drug companies be allowed to patent the drugs they cultivate, because otherwise, there would be minimal financial incentive to spend all of the money it takes to bring those drugs to market.

The patent period lasts for 20 years, but that starts from the time the drug is invented, not the time it being sold. The average drug takes 8 years to come to market, meaning that in most cases, the developer of the drug has 12 years before they can face any competition.

While I understand that a significant period of time should be afforded to these companies so they can recoup their research and development costs, shaving a few years off of that could be very beneficial to consumers. The earlier availability of generic drugs would lower overall drug costs, especially for those who pay for their medicine out of pocket.

Another issue we must confront is the fact that we are subsidizing drug costs for much of the rest of the developed world.

The United States accounts for nearly 50% of R/D funding, yet the same drugs that cost so much in the United States are often close to 50% cheaper in other countries.

How can this be?

Basically, our country does not have tight price controls on these drugs, while others do. The result is that whatever costs drug companies cannot recoup from the countries with strict price controls gets dumped onto us, making our drugs much more expensive.

Many have suggested that a solution to this would be to adopt the same price control measures here, but that would mean the drug companies would have nowhere to recover their costs and it would lead to less innovation and fewer new drugs in the market since opportunities to make money would be far more scarce.

One interesting idea to combat this is to allow for the re-importation of drugs from Canada, where they are generally far cheaper than in the United States.

While this idea failed to pass in the Senate recently, it has created a very interesting alliance between progressive Senators like Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren and libertarian-leaning Republicans like Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Arizona’s Jeff Flake.

Some have said this practice should not be allowed because there is potential for fraud and it would mean bypassing the FDA. Those are reasonable arguments and should not be dismissed out of hand.

However, it is worth considering the potential ramifications for Canada.

This practice would likely result in a Canadian drug shortage, which would mean they would be forced to raise prices somewhat and pay something closer to the true market share that they should have been paying for drugs all along.

And whether or not that re-importation bill is how we do it, getting other countries to pay their true market share for drugs so that drug companies don’t lean so heavily on us is a must if we are ever going to get fair pricing in the United States.

Jul
27
THE ECONOMY GROWS AT ITS BEST RATE IN 4 YEARS AS TAX CUTS AND LESS REGULATION CONTINUE TO PAY DIVIDENDS FOR AMERICA
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The economy grew at a rate of 4.1% this quarter, making it the most robust economic growth in four years.

 To those of us who understand how taxes and regulation work, this is not a big surprise.

 Regulations have been curbed at a staggering rate over the past two years, creating a much more favorable environment for businesses to operate and hire

 In addition, President Trump and Republicans in Congress said they would deliver on reforming the tax code and earlier this year, they did.

 The bill was somewhat complicated and I recommend you at least read a variety of good summaries. But the crux of the reform was lower rates across the board, both individual and corporate.

 This was a welcome action in my opinion. That money never belonged to the government in the first place, so it is always a positive when less of it is taken from those who originally earned it.

 Of course, the opposition used the same old attack lines. “Tax Cuts for the rich” or “A Wall Street giveaway” or my all-time favorite, “What’s $100 per month supposed to do for anybody?”

 For starters, those who make more money, pay more into the system, so naturally, those same people will get more in actual dollars saved than those who pay very little. It is basic math.

 And for those in the upper income brackets screaming that they don’t need a tax cut, well, send me an email or give me a call because I would be happy to direct you to several excellent charities who could use that money.

 The idea that $100 per month savings is nothing to the average person us quite laughable.

 I have an employee who told me he plans to use that money to pay his car insurance for the year.

 Maybe that’s no big deal to people like Tom Steyer, but it sure means something to my employee.

 Which brings me to my next point: employers. Yes, employees benefit from this tax plan, but so do employers, which is a welcome change.

 I have been looking to expand my business for some time, but the punitive tax rates were making it next to impossible for me go to it.

 With these lower rates, now I can, which will create more jobs and greater overall revenues to share with my employees.

 We are already seeing the benefits take hold with companies like Comcast, Wells Fargo, and AT & T, who are giving out bonuses and raises as a result of the tax bill being passed.

 And a recent report out shows wage growth is now at its highest point in eight years, further showing just how much the tax cuts on the corporate side have done for the average person.

 One of the biggest negatives of the tax bill is the fact that it will likely increase the debt. But to be honest, as much as I don’t like the debt being increased, it was going to happen, anyway because government spending was not going to cease going up.

 So, if the debt is going to increase regardless, I’d rather it be because people are keeping more of the money they earned than because it was used to expand existing government programs or start completely new ones.

 And as an added bonus, it’s always a laugh listening to people who championed President Obama — a man who added $10 trillion to our debt in eight years — now suddenly concerned about the debt.

 The tax plan was not the end all be all, but as the results show plain as day, it was definitely a step in the right direction.

 I look forward to using the money I am saving to grow my business and hire more employees, and I am likewise happy for others who will are able to afford more in their everyday lives due to the increase in their paychecks.

 May the economic upswing and prosperity continue for many years to come.

 

Jul
25
I HATE WATCHING PEOPLE GET FIRED, BUT LET’S GET A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The New York Daily News just cut an enormous number of its staff, which is very sad.

 As somebody who has lived in the New York area for many years, I have plenty of fond memories of reading the Daily News, Post, and Times.

 But sad as it is, the apoplectic reactions of some people on social media was so over the top that it was bordering on ridiculousness.

 Constant posts by people lamenting how awful this was and what a dangerous thing it was for society were getting out of control.

 And a lot of it was from the same people who ridiculed people working blue collar jobs in Middle America that went away.

 “Learn new sills,” they were told. “That job is obsolete and it is never coming back.”

 Well, many journalists may want to follow that advice as well.

 I have a friend who worked for years as an editor at a small local newspaper on the east coast. After a while, he saw the writing on the wall and transitioned into public relations, where he now makes a good salary and has steady employment.

 Others who write for a living like the reporters at the Daily News are likely best served doing the same, and it will be a lot easier for them to transition their sills than it ever would be for a coal miner in West Virginia.

 As far as the layoffs themselves go, much as it is unpleasant to face reality, Megan Mcardle of the Washington Post hit the nail on the head when she said it is easy to blame the newspapers parent company Tronc, but the real reason the layoffs occurred is because of the readers.

 Those same readers whose subscription numbers generated plenty of ad revenue in the past simply are not there anymore.

 People are turning to digital sources and in the current landscape, there just is not enough interest to support three daily newspapers in New York City.

 The way people get their news has been changing for years and as a result, what happened at the Daily News was a long time coming.

 I feel bad for those who lost their jobs and for others who will lose theirs at other newspapers in the future.

 But I also realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg, because technology is constantly evolving and the news business is no exception.

 It is sad, but it is the way of the world.

 The market has spoken.

 And unlike what many journalists on social media may try to tell you, it is far from some sort of national tragedy.

 

Jul
24
NO, MR. PRESIDENT, TARIFFS ARE NOT AWESOME
 
by Dr. Kazmir

 

tariffs

This morning, the president tweeted that “tariffs are awesome!”

They are not.

 All tariffs do is make a nation weaker and poorer.

 President Trump’s 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum in an effort to promote the America first agenda and have more products and companies that are American centric is severely misguided.

 I respect the president and understand what he’s trying to do, but he is wrong.

 The fact is, we gain far more from importing and exporting with the lowest amount of restrictions possible. Importing means getting products for more affordable prices and exporting means increased economic activity for American companies.

 Or, as the late Milton Friedman once said:

 “In the international trade area, the language is almost always about how we must export, and what’s really good is an industry that produces exports, and if we buy from abroad and import, that’s bad. But surely that’s upside-down. What we send abroad, we can’t eat, we can’t wear, we can’t use for our houses. The goods and services we send abroad, are goods and services not available to us. On the other hand, the goods and services we import, they provide us with TV sets we can watch, with automobiles we can drive, with all sorts of nice things for us to use.

The gain from foreign trade is what we import. What we export is a cost of getting those imports. And the proper objective for a nation as Adam Smith put it, is to arrange things so that we get as large a volume of imports as possible, for as small a volume of exports as possible.

This carries over to the terminology we use. When people talk about a favorable balance of trade, what is that term taken to mean? It’s taken to mean that we export more than we import. But from the point of our well-being, that’s an unfavorable balance. That means we’re sending out more goods and getting fewer in. Each of you in your private household would know better than that. You don’t regard it as a favorable balance, when you have to send out more goods to get fewer coming in. It’s favorable when you can get more by sending out less.”

In other words, trade deficits do not exist. All trade without restrictions is fair, because it means both sides agreed to beneficial exchange.

 It all goes back to the concept of comparative advantage. If I am an auto mechanic and am highly proficient fixing cars and you repair computers for a living, if your car breaks down and my computer doesn’t work, we can both try to fix the problem ourselves. Or, we can understand that somebody else is far better at doing it, save the tremendous amount of time it would take each other to wonder out of our respective expertise, and have me fix his car and he fix my computer.

 That’s precisely the reason we don’t do every single job ourselves. We don’t have the knowledge or the time to invest to get everything done at the highest level.

 This is a basic concept, but it still holds as true today as it ever did.

 Countries who punitively try to chase off business from other countries not only deprive their own country of specialized products for less money, they invite retaliation. So, countries that place tariffs on goods essentially wind up making numerous products far more expensive for their own citizens, which is the exact opposite of what they are intending to do.

 President Trump is wrong about this issue and needs to listen to the advisors in his administration who understand that and have urged him not to do this. Other countries are already threatening to strike back, and odds are strong that if the president does not bail out of this, it is going to backfire spectacularly.

 And businesses are already making moves in response. Just look at what is currently happening with Harley Davidson.

 The president became the successful real estate mogul that he was by making smart deals. This is not a smart deal at all.

 Sometimes in business, you need to know when to walk away from the table, clear your head, and listen to reason.

 This is one of those times.

 I just hope the president realizes it before it is too late.

 

Jul
24
HYPERBOLE ASIDE, IRAN IS A VERY REAL PROBLEM
 
by Dr. Kazmir

trump iran

The president’s words on Twitter last night regarding Iran were a little over the top.

However, there is no denying that Iran is an issue that must be dealt with and has been for decades.

I’ll never forget watching the Iran Hostage Crisis unfold in my youth, as over 50 hostages were held for 444 days in Tehran.

The crisis ended in 1981, but the impression it left on me was earth-shattering. I learned then that Iran is a menace that can never and should never be trusted. My memories of that crisis went through my head as I watched President Obama finalize the Iran deal in 2015.

The terms of the deal were weak and I was horrified — though not surprised — to learn about how much of the details surrounding the deal were a lie, as Obama Administration spokesman Ben Rhodes incredibly bragged about in the New York Times.

I was incensed when I saw that the deal included the release of hundreds of billions of dollars in funds, especially since it gave away the leverage our sanctions had given us. Jay Solomon’s book, “The Iran Wars,” sheds much light on this, making a strong case that Iran was on the verge of complete financial collapse at the time of the deal. According to Solomon, President Rouhani was warned by advisers that, “their country could run short of hard currency and face a crisis” if Tehran wasn’t able to get access to billions of dollars in funds that had been frozen due to sanctions. Solomon also notes that our government knew this, as U.S. officials at the time, “saw the collapse of Iranian currency as a clear sign that Tehran’s financial system was cracking.”

With that in mind, it seems fairly clear that if we had stuck to our guns, Iran would have had no choice but to cave. Instead, we bailed them out. Look, I don’t want to antagonize any countries unnecessarily and I’m certainly not looking for a war.

But we should have held firm instead of ceding ground and in the process, trusting a country that has proven repeatedly that they cannot be trusted. And they proved it yet again with its ballistic missile tests. The United States is not the only nation affected here, either.

Many other countries have a vested interest in making sure Iran is kept in check, including France, whose President — Emmanuel Macron — recently said, “Is this agreement enough? No. It is not, given the evolution of the regional situation and increasing pressure that Iran is exerting on the region, and given increased activity by Iran on the ballistic level since the accord. Let’s be honest, the tensions are on the rise, look at the activities of Hezbollah and Iran’s pressure on Syria. We need a clear framework to be able to reassure regional countries and the United States,”

Macron believes the U.S. should not walk away from the deal entirely, but that the terms should be renegotiated. He is absolutely correct.

Again, the last thing I want to see is a war. But if we aren’t going to enforce treaties, then we might as well not even bother with them at all. And an emboldened, nuclear Iran would cause incredible world chaos and be bad for everybody, which is why we should not be the only country to stepping up to stop it from happening.

Ronald Reagan preached peace through strength and that is the play here. President Trump may not like the terms of the Iran deal and he may talk tough, but I do not believe he is looking for armed conflict. However, President Trump is not going to let Iran walk all over us, especially when — as he said — they should be grateful for the life raft we tossed them rather than looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Unlike with President Obama, who refrained from showing strength, Iran would be wise not to cross that metaphorical “red line” again with President Trump, and I truly hope they understand that.

But if Iran does cross that “red line,” I’m glad we finally have an administration in place that won’t let them get away with it.

 

Jul
24
IN ORDER TO LEARN FROM HISTORY, YOU MUST BE ABLE TO LEARN IT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

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There has been an alarming trend sweeping society that says anything from our past that represents something that offends us today must be downplayed, ignored, or outright eliminated.

One recent example is a public school in Duluth, MN removing “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Huckleberry Finn” from its required curriculum.

Those are two of the most famous and well-regarded books ever written and have been required reading for high school students for as long as I can remember.

And now they are being eliminated from the essential reading list because they contain “problematic” language and stereotypes.

First of all, the language spoken in the books was the language generally used at the time. Second, and more importantly, these are characters. The authors were not writing these people to all be symbols of virtue, rather they were creating fictional human beings who were not perfect.

At the heat of this whole issue is a bizarre desire to sanitize the current generation of anything previous generations did that do not live up to today’s standards. Woodrow Wilson was President of Princeton University and of the United States. Yes, he did some bad things.

In fact, there are many bad things that even President Obama did that may not be looked upon so kindly in the future (like, perhaps spearheading the largest domestic surveillance program in American history).

But that does not mean Wilson didn’t exist. And it doesn’t mean that the answer to what to say about the more troublesome parts of his history is to completely whitewash them.

There is nothing wrong with presenting Woodrow Wilson as a flawed man who did some pretty terrible things that were not considered as bad during his time. It is also perfectly fine to then explain to people why those things are wrong and why they are no longer acceptable.

The same can be said of “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Huckleberry Finn.” Start a dialogue about the more worrisome aspects of the two books. Facilitate a discussion and educate the students on why some of the language used is wrong and some of the characters in the books are imperfect human beings.

But throwing out classic American literature just because it might cause some students to be offended?

No way.

The real world contains people and ideas we don’t like or approve of, but we that does not give us the right to just eliminate those people and ideas. Teaching children otherwise is doing them a huge disservice and is actively harming their ability to learn and adapt to the real world.

So, I must implore all schools going forward to heed the paraphrased advice of one of America’s great American philosophers and LEAVE HUCKLEBERRY FINN AND TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD ALONE!

Jul
17
MIC STEALING HECKLER AT COMEDY CLUB SHOWS ONCE AGAIN THAT THE OFFENDED POLICE ARE OUT OF CONTROL
 
by Dr. Kazmir

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Remember when I said promoting violence in the name of shutting down ideas you disagree with was a bad idea?

Well, we saw a real life example of this phenomenon occur at a comedy club in New York City last week, and it was not pretty.

In case you missed it, Luis J Gomez, Dave Smith, and Jay Oakerson were doing a live edition of their popular “Legion of Skanks” podcast.

In the middle of the show, a man appeared out of the audience and took the mic out of a surprised Gomez’s hand, and quickly used it to point out that a “Proud Boy” was sitting in the crowd and the show was for white supremacists.

If you are unaware of what a “Proud Boy” is, they are a group of men who hang out with Comedian Gavin McIness and well, I will be honest, I am not entirely sure what they actually do.

But the far left has — incorrectly — tagged McIness as a white supremacist, so hence this heckler branding the show as such.

Gomez quickly leapt up out of his chair, grabbed the mic back, threatened to put his foot up the guy’s ass, and then had to be restrained from putting a beating on him.

They don’t call Mr. Gomez the “Puerto Rican Rattlesnake” and “Real Ass Dude” for nothing.

Yet, this heckler seemed surprised that after an act of aggression against Gomez, that the fiery comedian would look to retaliate.

Clearly he did not now who he was dealing with.

All of that said — and putting aside the sheer lunacy of believing a white supremacist show was being led by two Jewish men and a Puerto Rican — what exactly did this heckler expect to accomplish by doing what he did?

Did he think the crowd would take his side? Did he expect the podcast to stop and for Gomez, Smith, and Oakerson to just pack up and go home because he was offended?

Furthermore, does he actually believe it is acceptable to shut down any and all speech he is uncomfortable hearing rather than just walking out?

Sadly, the answer to that question is obviously yes, and he is not alone.

We are seeing this all over the country to the point where people are being chased out of restaurants.

And in the case of the Legion of Skanks, they were recording a podcast at a comedy club late at night and EVEN THEN they could not be left alone to do their show without some self-righteous jerk showing up to spoil it in the name of being offended.

We are getting to the point where this is just going to get worse and people are going to get hurt.

But maybe not the people you think.

Because for every romantic vision of using force to shut down so-called offensive speech, those on that end of the issue should remember that there are a lot more Luis J Gomez types — people who are going to fight back and likely win — than they realize.

And the people who could very well end up being hurt the most are the aggressors themselves.

Jul
16
REPORTERS SPREAD ANOTHER FALSEHOOD ON SOCIAL MEDIA — AT WHAT POINT DO THEY START ACTUALLY BEING MORE CAREFUL?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

1_XSk7pT0rtg_UymaCU8ahzwI have to hand it to all the people who passed around the “story” that Russian hackers targeted the Hillary Clinton campaign after then candidate Trump sarcastically asked for them to find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.

They story was powerful and seemed to show that perhaps there was some sort of coordination in play.

It spread through social media like wildfire, with all the usual “Resistance” types losing their minds as if they had caught the president committing murder.

But also reputable journalists like CNN’s Jake Tapper and NBC’s Katy Tur.

Except it was the story was not true.

According to the actual report in question, the Russians targeted Hillary Clinton for hacking that April, months before President Trump’s comment about wanting the Russians to find Clinton’s deleted emails.

Once this started being pointed out, people started to backtrack and make qualifying statements like “well, the president did still encourage them and they may have intensified their efforts after his comments.”

But that is not even close to the story being passed around or why it was shared.

It was shared in an attempt to make President Trump look like he was colluding with Russia, only for us to find out once again that as of this moment, there is zero proof of that occurring.

Unfortunately, we have seen many similar cases during the Trump presidency.

For example, the recent story about the Trump administration’s new program of abusing children based on a story from…..2014 when Barack Obama was president.

Last year, a story circulated that Orrin Hatch had said on the Senate floor that CHIP — the health insurance program for low income children — needed to go because he was tired of funding programs for people who refused to help themselves.

Except as even Ezra Klein of Vox — who is no fan of Republicans — pointed out, Hatch was not talking about CHIP when he made those comments and even said he would see to it that CHIP got funded.

But do not tell that to all the people who made fun of Hatch for disparaging “free loading” children.

There are many more recent examples of this, but you get the point.

I understand we are in an age of social media where everything happens fast. But when you incidents like this happen — repeatedly — it becomes quite obvious what is really going on.

As I said, the social media age has certainly made things worse. In the old days, a news story would not be instant because you were waiting to air it on the 6PM news, or if you were a newspaper, get it into tomorrow’s edition.

But now? Gotta get it out there first and worry about accuracy later. Nuance and thorough checking be damned.

Put simply, people need to be better than this. Incidents like this are what give the president ammo to shout “fake news.”

These kind of major mistakes actively keep that from happening.

We are officially in the Jerry Springer era now, where nothing matters except outrage. Accuracy does is irrelevant if a story involves pushing your preferred narrative.

In this case, President Trump probably should not have openly joked that he wanted the Russians to find Hillary Clinton’s emails, but by pretending the timeline of events is different than it actually was just to drive a narrative you hope is true, any point you may have had gets completely lost.

As I said, Jerry Springer would be proud.

The fact is, the Mueller investigation has been going on for well over a year and while there have been indictments for unrelated matters, there has been exactly zero collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign proven.

This whole investigation has turned into something completely different than what it was claimed to be at the beginning, and the #Resistance is simply using it as a way to claim the president cheated to win — something there is no evidence of — because they still cannot handle the fact that he beat Hillary Clinton fair and square.

And key members of the media playing into that hysteria while seeming to care more about clicks than careful reporting makes things worse for everybody involved, including them.

Unless media members think spreading news around that is not true and hurting their credibility just to get the “scoop” is more important than maintaining long-term trust with the public.

Because if they do, then they should just go on doing what they are doing and expose themselves as frauds even further.

Jul
16
WITH A LOT GOING ON IN PAKISTAN, THE COUNTRY MUST MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES AND WORK TOGETHER
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Elections are going to occur in Pakistan in just over one week. I hope that whatever the result, the losing party accepts it and is willing to work with the winning side to mae positive improvements in the country.

Infrastructure developments and improvements in transportation are key components of improving the daily lives of the people in Pakistan and I hope they will be carried out, no matter who wins.

Of course, the single most important factor is the Pakistani military.

Despite suffering losses during the war on terror helping the United States, and recent suicide bombings that shook the nation, the Pakistani military is the best it has ever been.

The success that may lay ahead for Pakistan under the leadership of General Qamar Javed Bajwa is likely to be remarkable if the past is any indication.

His continued leadership is also an incredible boost to future relations between Pakistan and the United States, as General Bajwa has done a fantastic job of commanding his men through successful missions assisting in the War on Terror..

Pakistan is currently far too reliant on China economically and that is a recipe for disaster, especially when you consider how over-extended China is in the world market.

Thus, for Pakistan, a strong alliance with the United States could result in a major economic boon.

And from the United States’ side, this is an association that could yield positive outcomes as well.

Not only would a strong U.S.-Pakistan alliance open up numerous economic development opportunities for American companies, it would also provide the United States with an incredibly important friend in the region during a time when Iran looks to be on the verge of carrying out nefarious activities.

This is why as much as I generally do not think foreign aid is a good idea, I believe it would actually be in the United States’ best interest to strongly reconsider the idea of pulling its aid to Pakistan.

I consider myself a strong supporter of the president and his policies, and admire his business knowledge, which makes him the perfect partner for Pakistan, especially with General Bajwa on board to continue providing strong support against extremist groups like ISIS.

I would love to see the President as well as the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale and U.S. Consul General to Lahore Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau — who are great diplomats — work closely with Pakistani officials to lift both countries.

Regardless, Pakistani teamwork with the United States would be beneficial for both sides and the right leaders being in control of their respective situations could yield remarkably positive results all around.

With General Bajwa already in place, I have faith in the Pakistani people to make the right choice at the end of the month and for everybody to come together in the aftermath to work in the best interest of the nation and its citizens.

Jul
16
A DOCTOR WHO REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

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I write about politics and personal stories a lot, but today I want to tell you about somebody who makes an enormous positive impact in the world.

Dr. Amir Hamidi serves as Chairman of the Board of Falcon Global Strategies, where he specializes in cyber-security, the application of information sharing and information security solutions for government agencies and law enforcement professionals.

He is a seasoned international strategist and public policy advisor who has been engaged by financial and government institutions domestically and internationally and is widely regarded as a visionary on the strategic impacts of information.

Dr. Hamidi has shown a propensity for demonstrating the better use of technology, stability and economic prosperity, not to mention an internationally recognized expert in international narco-terrorism and a graduate of the DEA/FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

He is a highly decorated veteran DEA Special Agent and over the course of his distinguished 24 years with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and 34 year career of law enforcement service, with an incredible history of uncovering the shocking links between narcotics trafficking and terrorism.

The doctor’s fantastic undercover work includes purchasing eight balls of cocaine in a yellow Porsche; negotiating multi-million-dollar deals on board private Jets and developed covert relations with men who were not only international drug traffickers but, in some cases, operatives for Al Qaeda, Iranian Hezbollah, Hamas, the Shan United Army and Kurdish terrorist organizations.

In addition, he was formerly assigned as a Resident Special Agent in Charge and has been tasked by the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, office of the Administrator to establish Dubai, United Arab Emirates Country Office, serving as Country Attaché at the United States Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

As if that were not enough, Dr. Hamidi was also previously assigned as an Inspector to the Office of Professional Responsibility, Pacific Region Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Coordinator and Supervisory Special Agent for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Transportation Task Force Commander.

He has always pursued domestic and international drug traffickers at the highest levels while managing and directing criminal investigations and supporting the prosecution of a broad range of both domestic and international crimes with the majority of his experience primarily involving the investigation of complex criminal unilateral U.S. and bilateral international investigations.

Dr. Hamidi speaks six different languages and has held national security clearance, previously serving as Vice-Chair, Scientific Advisory Board of Veteran, Immigrant and Refugee Trauma Institute of Sacramento, California, an organization intended to develop into a center of expertise in global trauma, post traumatic growth and psychological integration.

Dr. Hamidi also co-authored, “Neuro-Psychological of Misconduct in Law Enforcement Officer with Sub-Clinical Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” and was appointed to the advisory board for the Center of Intelligence Studies at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Ohio.

Additionally, he is considered an expert on Middle Eastern affairs and devotes his time and expertise to raising awareness about the brutality and human rights violations committed by the Iranian Regime.

Many of us in life talk the talk, but Dr. Hamidi walks the walk and truly makes the world a better place.

Jul
12
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PAKISTANI MILITARY IN THE MIDDLE EAST — IDENTIFYING THE UNDERGIRD IN MANAGING MIDDLE EASTERN PEACE – IS THERE A LEARNING FROM THE CHAPTERS OF HISTORY?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

**By: Gholam Mujtaba, Ed.D., M.D.**

Pakistan army, the eleventh leading military laden with nukes has had been a great source of undergird in serving global interests towards restoring peace and stability. It played a key role in defeating the expansion of communism of the former Soviet Union. The terrorist organizations, such as the Al Qaeda and Taliban proliferations in the Middle East was foiled through the active efforts of the Pakistani military.

Had there been a missing support from the Pakistani military, the Soviet Union’s communist expansionism would have seized the entire Middle East, and the United States hegemony could have been obliterated by now. Ms. Joanne King Herring and Congressman Charlie Wilson were justified in advising the Reagan administration to engage Pakistan in the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Ms. Herring and Congressman Wilson created an alliance with CIA operative Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymor Hoffman) launching a successful clandestine operation backing up the Mujahedeen in dismantling the Soviet empire.
The then President of Pakistan, General Zia ul Haq, a trusted Pakistani leader honored the advises of Ms. Herring during engagements in Afghanistan.
History was made.

Going further back into the history, the Black September of 1970 in Arab history was a month when the Kingdom of Hashmiah of King Hussein of Jordan quashed the autonomy of the Palestinian organizations, while restoring monarchy’s rule over the country. It resulted in violence, and the deaths of tens of thousands of people of Palestinian origin. This violent conflict lasted until July 1971, and the PLO and thousands of Palestinian fighters were sent to Lebanon.

King Hussain declared Martial Law on September 15, 1971. The next day, Jordanian tanks of the 60th Armored Brigade attacked the headquarters of Palestinian organization in Amman, and their camps in Irbid, Salt, Sweileh, Baq’aa, Wehdat and Zarqa. The then, Pakistani Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq who later became the Chief of Army Staff and President of Pakistan, took command of the 2nd division, whereas, the Iraqi army in Jordan also supported the Jordanian army.

Pakistan and Israel are ideological states adherent to a traditional doctrine of Abraham, common among the faithful of the three great monotheistic religions. Taking out Judaism from Israel is like taking out Islam from Pakistan, the state will collapse. General Zia had a practical vision in resolving Middle Eastern peace process when he surprised many observers in 1986 calling the PLO to recognize the Jewish state.

General Zia of Pakistan played the pivotal role under advice from Congressman Charlie Wilson and Ms. Joanne Herring in dismantling the Soviet Union. He had the experience of capturing Soviet weapons from the PLO in Jordan, and Wilson successfully convinced the CIA to buy the Soviet weapons from Israelis captured by them from Lebanon and pass it to Afghans through Zia. However, a pragmatist Zia joked not to put Star of David on the boxes.

In the current hybrid warfare with the rogue states, Pakistani military has a role to play vital to regional interest. Though, there are indicators that Iranian interest may have penetrated into the Pakistani instruments of the statecraft bringing policies detrimental to democracy, liberty, rule of law, forbearance and tolerance. Yet, engagements with the military is vital to regional peace.

Pakistan is facing a countrywide election by the end of this month, and an eagle’s eye is needed to avert the influence of rogue states to use Pakistan as a hot spot to forestall defeat in Syria and Yemen. Defeating Pakistan’s ideological boundaries may collapse the entire foundation of the country. Such options are detrimental to the security of Pakistan, GCC, Israel and the United States.

*** Dr. Gholam Mujtaba has had a long career in politics across America and Pakistan. Currently, a Central Leader to the Republican Party of the United States of America and Chairman of Pakistani Policy Institute, USA, he is an expert on conflict management and Pakistani leadership. He holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and a Doctorate in Medicine. Recipient of the United States Congressional Recognition Award in 2015, Dr. Mujtaba has previously held such highly regarded positions as the Central Vice President of the All Pakistan Muslim League and an Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh, a cabinet position in Pakistan.

Jul
11
ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF FAKE NEWS AND WHY PEOPLE DO NOT TRUST THE MEDIA
 
by Dr. Kazmir

FakeYesterday, an NBC reporter passed around a supposed scoop that retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy negotiated with President Trump to get Judge Brett Kavanaugh — his former clerk — as his replacement in exchange for agreeing to retire before the 2018 midterms.

This “scoop” was passed around all over social media. Well-known celebrities and pundits began going crazy, saying this must be investigated and hearings were essential to get to the bottom of this horrific quid pro quo that could threaten the very fabric of our democracy.

Then the reporter in question deleted the tweet after revealing she had heard the information third hand and it was not that Kennedy had insisted on Kavanaugh, but that he may have been shown a list of possible replacements.

So, in other words, there was no story and all of the outrage was for nothing.

That has not stopped people from wildly and recklessly repeating it, even as I write this.

This whole situation is terrible and sadly not unique in the slightest.

I could fill a book with all of the salacious stories about President Trump that have been passed around since his inauguration only to later be proven false.

This boils down to two things: the need to get the story first rather than getting it right, and the desire to bring down the president.

The first matter I listed is entirely on journalists. There is zero excuse for the type of sloppy reporting done on stories like these and I hope NBC reprimanded the reporter in question accordingly.

As for the second, I blame that partially on journalists, but more on the combination of social media and the echo chamber it produces.

A story that is potentially very damaging to the president comes out. Instead of waiting for all of the facts — or even reading past the headline — you share it on your social media accounts with an angry screed about the president to go with it.

Later, this story turns out to be false, but you do not care, because you think the president is doing something bad somehow, anyway, so why dos it matter if this specific story is true?

That attitude is exactly why so many Americans simply do not trust the press or those who pass around the stories they have written.

America needs a free and trustworthy press, because while I am a supporter of the president, every government official should always be held to the highest possible standard.

That is what the press is for.

But when stories like these come out every day and the media writ large seems uninterested in fixing the problem, you find yourself in a boy who cried wolf situation where it becomes tough to take anything at face value.

The media needs to be more careful and those with big platforms on social media do, too.

Why the latter group when they are not even the ones reporting the story?

Well, because if their intent is to convince people the president is bad, constantly sharing stories that turn out to be false is eventually going to drive people to lose trust in any negative stories printed about him.

If that is what these people want, then fine, they should go ahead and eep doing what they are doing.

But if they actually want to influence people? Then they may want to proceed with a little more caution going forward.

Jul
11
PRESIDENT TRUMP MAKES A STRONG CHOICE WITH KAVANAUGH
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Love him or hate him, President Trump delivered on his word to appoint a Justice to the Supreme Court who has a strong record of adherence to the Constitution when he nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacant seat of the retiring Anthony Kennedy.

There is no debating Kavanaugh’s credentials: Yale graduate, J.D. from Yale Law and editor of Yale Law Journal, Appellate and Supreme Court Clerk, and over a decade as an Appellate Court Judge.

During his distinguished career, Kavanaugh’s intellect and judicial record have both been shown to be first rate.

Jesse Merriof Real Clear Politics says, “ Judge Kavanaugh is the only candidate with a demonstrated legal understanding of the political issues that inspired millions of forgotten Americans to come out to the polls and vote for Donald Trump. Judge Kavanaugh is the America First choice.”

CATO Institute Senior Fellow Ilya Shapiro, “In the end, despite the brouhaha and suspenseful plot twists, the president went with what can in this context be called the conventional conservative choice. By playing it straight, Donald Trump still managed to surprise.”

Ed Whelan, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, “Congratulations to President Trump on his decision to nominate D.C. Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. I very much look forward to Justice Kavanaugh.”

Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), a frequent Trump critic, “Brett Kavanaugh is a serious jurist known for careful deliberation.”

Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed, writing in the New York Times, “The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court Justice is President Trump’s finest hour, his classiest move.”

Former President George W Bush, for whom Kavanaugh once worked, “Brett is a brilliant jurist who has faithfully applied the Constitution and laws throughout his 2 years on the D.C. circuit.”

Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith, “Brett Kavanaugh is immensely qualified for the Supreme Court: an outstanding lawyer and judge, a great teacher, and a serious scholar of the law; and a generous, honorable, kind person.”

As for me, I am excited to see Judge Kavanaugh be confirmed and watch him ensure that the laws of our great nation are properly upheld and equally applied to all Americans for many years to come.

Jul
9
Before you say something silly, get off social media and read a book
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I was walking to my car the other day and a woman was on the side of the road with a guitar singing about how Donald Trump is a fascist.

Fascists do not typically allow people go sign songs criticizing them out in the open.

They have said oeople jailed or killed.

Ask people in Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea…..where the countries are run by actual fascists.

Or read about some of our own past presidents like Lincoln and Wilson who threw dissenters in prison.

I had a friend the other day at a social gathering decry president Trump for being so ignorant that he appointed somebody to the appellate bench who had never actually been s judge.

Elena Kagan is a Supreme Court Justice. She had zero experience as a judge before being nominated by former President Obama. She also was not the first to be on the supreme court without ever having been a judge.

At the same social gathering, another friend said he was still disgusted that President Trump was the first presidential candidate ever to not release his tax returns.

He is not.

Granted, it has been a while — since the 1970s — but there have been other presidential candidates who have not released tax returns.

The problem in all of these instances is people exist in bubbles where they only talk to others who think like them. Then they go on social media and do the same, but the people on there are even angrier and more ill-informed.

So my advice to people not just who despise president Trump, but of any political persuasion, is to read some books.

Get out of your bubbles and become more informed.

It may not win you any points with the friends you have who only want to hear their own views reinforced, it at least it will keep you from looking like a complete fool to people who have. knowledge beyond your rehearsed and largely incorrect talking points.

Jul
9
Whether on the Left or Right, Using Violence is a Bad Idea
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Yesterday, a campaign volunteer for NY GOP Congressman Lee Zeldin was run over by a motor vehicle.

The offender was rabidly anti-Trump.

This comes on the heels of a man in Texas taking a Make America Great Again hat from a teenage boy and dumping a drink on him at a burger joint the other night.

Let me just make this clear before anybody launches into a tirade accusing the other side or defending theirs: this is NOT about left or right.

I would say exactly what I am about to say if these things happened to Obama supporters.

When you have reached the point where you see your political opposition as not just wrong, but evil, it is time to put down your phone and go for a walk.

No matter what anybody tells you, we do not live in a fascist dictatorship.

If we did, you would not be able to spend 24 hours/day trashing the president because you would be in jail.

In fact, if you read history, you would know such arrests actually happened under presidents like Lincoln and Wilson.

But that is besides the point.   The issue here is that I have heard people legitimately claim to be fighting for their lives and seeing a MAGA hat as a Nazi salute.

As a Jewish man who is not white, people who say this offend me greatly.

Jul
9
A Break from Politics
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I’m not going go lie, I am surrounded by talk about politics what seems like 24/7.

So last night, I took a much needed break.

No social media. No talking to friends about politics. Nothing.

I completely unplugged and I felt liberated.

I went out for a,nice dinner, I saw a great show, I conversed with strangers without even thinking about politics.

It was s great night and I need to do it more often.

Frankly, so do you.

Well, that is if you are engulfed in this stuff like I am all the time.

Which is funny because I realized last night that most people are not actually engrossed in politics around the clock.

The world is not full of angry Twitter commenters or people on the DC beltway.

It is mostly occupied by people who love their friends and family and just want to live their lives.

They want a nice night out not s shouting match over tax policy.

They want to play games with their children and spend quality time with spouses not bicker with strangers over foreign policy.

They realize you only get one chance on this earth and while that does not mean political issues should be ignored, it does mean they can’t take over your entire life.

I want to be more like those people and I’m going to try to be going forward.

We all should.

Jul
6
If You Hate America So Much Then Why Are You Still Here?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

I enjoyed my 4th of July like most people since I spent time with my family and had a nice barbecue.

But some people decided to use the Holiday as a way to denigrate America.

All over social media, I saw posts about how horrible this country is with pictures ranging from people spitting on the flag to burning it.

Listen, I am not one for blind allegiance to anything or anybody and I am certainly not going to claim America does not have its flaws.

But what exactly is the purpose of lighting a flag on fire other than being a heel?

And if you hate America so much that you are motivated to burn a flag, then why are you still living Here?

There are plenty of countries in this world, so why waste your time living somewhere you think is so horrible?

I suspect the answer in most cases is these people are just having a temper tantrum and are desperate for attention.

It’s the same exact scenario we see with celebrities when a Republican wins the presidency.

They threaten to leave, but never do.

Instead, they just stay and complain about how much they hate it here.

Well, as an immigrant who has lived in other countries and travelled all over the world, I can say with a high level of certainty that America is not a horrible place.

In fact, quite the opposite.

For those who think otherwise — those who hate it here so much they want go burn the American flag or threaten to move, all I can say is, there is the door.

Don’t let it hit you in the ass on your way out.

Jul
6
Being a Jerk in Public Should Not Get You Fired From A Job…..But This is Where We Are Now
 
by Dr. Kazmir

You have undoubtedly heard stories like this many times:

16 year old kid goes to Whataburger at 2AM with some friends.

He is wearing a MAGA hat.

While eating and minding his own business, some guy walks over, swipes the hat off the kid’s head, and throw a drink in his face.

This was all captured on video, because this is 2018 and we are in a viral age.

If you have not seen it yet, here is the link: https://twitter.com/brxpug/status/1014417257945018368?s=19

And of course, also filed in the “this is 2018” category, the gentleman who did this was identified by people online, his employer was contacted, and he was swiftly fired.

As I said, this is not new.

There are numerous examples of incidents like this followed by the person behind it having his or her identity revealed.

That New York City attorney who went on a lengthy tirade against immigrants is probably the most famous one of these stories that had emerged thus far.

Let’s get this out of the way: What this gentleman at the Whataburger didwas both disgusting and wrong.

This man accosted somebody for no other reason than the hat he was wearing and then proceeded to assault a 16 year old kid.

I can see the argument for his employer during him for this even though it had nothing to do with his job because he not only attacked another person, he did it to an underage child.

That said, shouldn’t we start asking ourselves if this trend of outing people and getting them fired from jobs in general is a good idea?

The extreme example of this was Justine Sacco, a PR executive who made a silly and somewhat racist joke on her Twitter and the mob viciously went after her and ruined her to the point where it took her years to bounce back professionally.

Assaulting somebody is one thing, but making a stupid joke, sauing something inflammatory on social media, and even making a dumb comment at a restaurant or something are being treated as excuses to dig into people’s lives and destroy them.

And now more than ever, seems people are having a hard differentiating between genuine political disagreement and simply branding anything you don’t like as somehow worthy of banishing somebody from the human race.

I am not so sure this is a good idea.

In fact, I know it isn’t.

Because EVERYBODY has opinions or has done something that others are going go find unacceptable, so who really gets to decide here?

The mob?

Maybe you think that is ok because you are not capable of saying or doing anything worthy of this type of mob reaction.

But you are.

And whether you know it or not, if this. continues, it will only a matter of time before those pitchforks end up at your doorstep, too.

Jul
6
I Hope You Enjoy July 4th Week, But Let’s Help Those Who Make It Possible
 
by Dr. Kazmir

flag-salute-silhouette

As I thought about July 4th week, I found myself thinking a lot about what July 4th means to me.

I wasn’t lucky enough to be born in the United States, but I have been a citizen for many years and think of this country as my true home.

I thought a lot about what I love so much about the 4th, which mostly revolves around barbecuing, relaxing in the sun, and watching awesome fireworks displays.

But it also occurred to me that the only reason I am able to do these things is because I came to the United States.

And we are only able to enjoy these things in the United States because of the men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe and preserve our Democratic Republic.

I’m talking not just about the military, but also about local and national law enforcement.

I understand that the whole issue of policing in general has been controversial of late, but regardless of their shortcomings, we still need law enforcement to protect us from criminals and help keep our families safe.

This goes for firefighters as well.

So with that in mind, this July 4th week, I want to make a personal plea to you.

Enjoy your barbecues. Lay out in the sun and enjoy the nice weather. Be dazzled by some amazing fireworks.

But then take a few moments to think about the brave souls who lay their lives on the line for all of us. And remember that without them, none of this would be possible.

Furthermore, I ask you to do me one better. This 4th of July, find a charitable group — any group you deem worthy — that helps needy Vets, or the widows of police officers and firefighters, or any other type of cause in that genre that is near and dear to your heart, and donate.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand not everybody has major money to give and I’m not asking for that. If you can’t afford to donate $1,000, donate $100. If you can’t afford to donate $100, donate $10. And if you can’t afford $10, then donate $1.

Any amount of money you can give to show your love and appreciation would go a long way towards allowing the people that serve as the guardians of our safety to see that we know how important they are and we haven’t forgotten.

Now go eat some hamburgers and hot dogs and enjoy the colorful explosions!

God bless America, and happy 4th of July week!

Jul
6
Frederik Ndoci: A Man of a Thousand Voices
 
by Dr. Kazmir

127522Much has been said in the last few months about new immigrants entering our Nation’s borders, though the debate has often focused on those who don’t deserve to be here.

However, today, I want to share the story of one who does: Frederik Ndoci.

Frederik’s story is a familiar one in the United States.

It resonated with me because it mirrors that of so many of my people, including myself.

Frederick’s story is one of suffering and resilience, obstacles and strength, oppression and freedom.

But above all, it is the story of the

quintessential American dream.

Frederik is an Albanian singer, songwriter, poet, writer, actor, and an international recording artist.

He was born in 1960, a peculiar time in the long history of this small nation.

It was at the height of power for the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, a communist regime that rule from 1944 to 1992.

The regime ruled with an iron first, particularly against its own people.

And unsurprisingly, it failed to cultivate — and oftentimes explicitly banned — artistic talents, particularly those associated with western nations like the United States.

Nevertheless, Frederik’s talent was hard to miss, and thus hard to mute.

Recognizing this, his aunt Magdalena enrolled him in the local church’s choir — this was, of course, before the communist party

banned religion altogether.

Excited to finally practice his art, Frederik began singing in the group.

But Sister Anunjata, the nun tasked with overseeing the choir, had other plans.

“You aren’t one for the choir,” she told him.

Engulfed in tears, young Frederik thought that his dreams of becoming a musician came to a screeching halt.

Sensing his dismay, Sister Anunjata continued: “No, no. You can’t be in the choir because you were born to sing solo. God has blessed you with a special talent.”

From there, Frederik often left his small, north-Albanian city of Shkodër to perform for crowds and enter singing competitions, where he won first place time and again.

And his talents did not end

there.

As an example of his extraordinary abilities, Frederik participated in his first art exhibition at age seven.

And he began acting as well, starring in leading and supporting roles.

As Frederik was raising in the ranks of stardom, the communist Albanian government took notice.

So, when he began participating in films that encouraged freedom and democracy, the communist government declared him “an enemy of the people” and accused him of working on behalf of other countries (including the CIA, FBI, and KGB, to name a few).

Like many of my Jewish brothers and sisters in Nazi Germany, Frederik was banned from performing his talents and from joining artistic organizations in Albania.

But again, Frederik’s talents were hard to mute. Although Frederik continued to pursue his acting career, he focused primarily on his first love: music. His unmatched range and abilities led to his recognition as “Man of a Thousand Voices.”

Frederik’s albums Canta Frederik and Sono Gitano, for instance, became bestsellers worldwide, particularly in Italy.

And another album, Frederik and Friends, featuring American Christian sacred songs, was very well received in the United States.

The world also noticed Frederik’s all-encompassing talents.

He has fifteen Grammy nominations for several categories, including record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, best new artist, best male pop vocal performance, best pop vocal album, and best instrumental arrangement.

Frederik also holds one IMA nomination and countless awards from his home country.

Understanding the plight of oppression from his own life experience, Frederick has made sure to exhibit his talents to those who fight against it.

Notably, when Pope Francis made his first official European visit to Albania, Frederik performed seven songs for the Pope.

He also performed for the late Mother Teresa. I was happy to find out that my dear friend has performed in Israel, too.

And members of Frederik’s family who lived

in the United States were recognized for their efforts on behalf of the Jewish people in New York.

His wife belongs to Panduku Family, that has supported Jewish community in the past.

But there is more.

In addition to being a superstar cultural icon, Frederik is an exemplary family man.

A father of four, Frederik is incredibly dedicated to his wife and children.

His two oldest children, Flodia and Klea, live in California.

And his two youngest children — Nikolo, already an exceptional dancer; and Marilu, an academic superstar — are the source of his strength to continue fighting for what is right and serving as an example for all of us lucky enough to know him.

Frederik serves also as Cultural Adviser for the oldest Albanian — American organization named PanAlbanian Federation of America “VATRA” (The Hearth) founded on 1912, the most powerful organization in strengthening

the relations between US and Albania.

When Frederik was named “Man of a Thousand Voices,” I don’t think it was only because he sings baritone, tenor, bass, countertenor, arias, romantic ballads, rock songs, and Napolitano — all in

authentic style.

Nor was it only because he sings in six different languages — in three distinct vocal

ranges.

Rather, it is because his strength, resilience, and determination to exercise his talents and

fight his oppression makes him a man that speaks for us all — a man worthy and deserving of the privileges of this country.

Jun
20
Kazmir Blog
 
by Dr. Kazmir

****NOTE: All of Dr Kazmir’s writing can be found in the following places****

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/dr-munr-kazmir (PREVIOUS)

https://medium.com/me/stories/public (CURRENT)

 

 

Mar
31
A SWING AND A MISS FOR NY YANKEES ANNOUNCER JOHN STERLING
 
by Dr. Kazmir

A SWING AND A MISS FOR NY YANKEES ANNOUNCER JOHN STERLING

Legendary NY Yankees announcer John Sterling is known for the nicknames he gives players after they hit homeruns. “BERN BABY BERN!” he’d yell after a Bernie Williams blast. “IT’S AN ABOMB….FROM AROD!” after Alex Rodriguez left the yard.

In fact, one of the most fun aspects of the Yankees acquiring a new high profile hitter is guessing what John Sterling’s homerun call will be for that player.

Speculation about this has even taken up significant space in newspaper columns and eaten up time on local television and radio.

So, naturally, when the Yankees acquired 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, everybody was eagerly anticipating Sterling’s call for him.

Stanton gave us the answer early, homering in his very first at bat as a Yankee. Stanton did not disappoint at all in his debut, adding a second homerun to his stat line later in the game.

Sterling on the other hand? He disappointed greatly.

“Giancarlo, non si puo stoparlo!”

In Italian, that means, Giancarlo, you cannot be stopped.

That is fine, but the call is a dud.

Some have suggested this is because Stanton is not Italian. Na, who cares about that? If the phrase works, it works, no matter what the player’s ethnicity is.

The reason the call fails, is because it is not a commonly used phrase and does not roll off the tongue.

Sterling says he will not change it and that is his prerogative.

And as long as the Yankees are winning and Stanton is playing well, I do not think anybody — including Stanton himself — will care.

But it is disappointing that Sterling swung so hard and missed so badly on this one.

Oh well, there’s always next time.

Mar
30
PROTECTING PATIENTS FROM MASSIVE OUT OF NETWORK COSTS IS A GOOD IDEA BUT NJ MUST AMEND ITS CURRENT BILL WHICH INTENDS TO DO THAT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

PROTECTING PATIENTS FROM MASSIVE OUT OF NETWORK COSTS IS A GOOD IDEA BUT NJ MUST AMEND ITS CURRENT BILL WHICH INTENDS TO DO THAT

There is an important vote on the horizon in the New Jersey state Senate that should be of interest to everybody nationwide, because it could potentially serve as a model for other states.

S-485 is a bill intended to grapple with the exceedingly high costs of out of network care for patients. The bill is a good idea and well-intentioned, which is why so many physicians support the transparency and disclosure requirements included in it.

However, before it passes, there are issues that need to be resolved in order to avoid some potentially egregious issues.

For starters, the dispute resolution mechanism in the bill is badly skewed in favor of insurers. It allows them to skimp on payment to doctors, but does nothing to guarantee the savings get passed on to patients.

Numerous insurers have spent millions on lobbying and advertising rather than on patient care and there is no mechanism in this bill to keep this from continuing to happen.

Hospital and physician costs have risen at a marginal rate of less than 2% while insurance premiums have continued to go up at record rates. This indicates an increase in administrative costs and lucrative salaries at insurance companies rather than an honest accounting and best-practices attempt to properly serve patients.

Simply put, while the bill should pass in some form because it is necessary to protect patients from exorbitant out of pocket costs, the way it is curretly constructed does not accomplish that.

Fixes need to be made.

What kind of fixes? Here are some potential ideas:

-Ensure arbitrators use market based charged data when issuing decisions. The unilateral use of health insurance payer payment methodology in arbitration would allow health insurance carriers to revert to deceptive business practices which were outlawed in New Jersey years ago.

-Get rid of the parts of the bill that permit federally-regulated plans to “opt in” to state arbitration.

– Make the process of granting waivers for patient cost sharing far easer, since it would allow physicians to help their indigent patients get care.

-Get rid of punitive measures for struggling to properly adhere to difficult payment plans. These plans should be easy to understand and easy to comply with.

As a doctor myself, I want what is best for patients and patient care.

I understand insurance companies need to make a profit, but patients are getting crushed with out of network costs and this bill needs to be put in place to stop that from happening.

This current bill is flawed, but worth fixing.

I have great faith in the men and women of New Jersey state government to realize the shortcomings of the bill and make the appropriate changes for the good of the hard working men and women of the garden state.

I have no doubt that in the end, they will do the right thing and put the needs of patients first.

Mar
29
IS YOUR VENDETTA AGAINST THE PRESIDENT REALLY WORTH CRUSHING THE LITTLE GUY?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

IS YOUR VENDETTA AGAINST THE PRESIDENT REALLY WORTH CRUSHING THE LITTLE GUY?

I keep hearing liberals are champions of the “little guy.” But this uproar over Trump Hotel in Washington, DC has honestly got me wondering if that is nothing more than a marketing ruse.

Boycotts have been called for and some even want to shut the hotel down simply because it has the Trump name attached.

Of course, this would not really hurt Donald Trump. The man is a billionaire and one hotel going out of business would not do much to negatively impact the president’s bottom line.

But it sure would financially cripple the hundreds of employees who make their living and pay their bills working at the hotel.

I hear complaints about conflict of interest, and while I understand the concern, again, look at what that hotel really means to the presidents bottom line. It is a blip on the radar.

And take a look at what a room costs at that hotel as opposed to others in similar areas of DC. For that amount of money, do you really think anybody is buying influence? Lobbyists toss around millions daily, but a few hundred bucks for a hotel room is going o get the job done?

I don’ think so.

I personally think the president should just sell the hotel altogether so there is not even an appearance of impropriety.

But to think it makes any difference in terms of favors or how policy is set is just ridiculous.

As I said, in terms of buying favors, worry about the big money from K Street, not some small potatoes mini-bar charges in a hotel room.

But beyond that, if you actually do care about the “little guy,” then stop trying to hurt him by attempting to get this hotel shutdown just because you do not like the president.

These are real people with real lives, real families, and real bills.

Your vendetta should not extend to them.

So, if you really care about the average person, stop wasting your time on trivial nonsense like hotels, and focus on policies you think will help improve their lives.

It’s what you say you stand for.

So stop hiding behind a bunch of angry anti-Trump bluster and propose real solutions that do not involve stripping working and middle class people of their jobs at a hotel just because you despise seeing the owner’s name on the building.

Mar
27
STORMY DANIELS’ INTERVIEW DREW EYEBALLS, BUT CHANGED ZERO MINDS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

STORMY DANIELS’ INTERVIEW DREW EYEBALLS, BUT CHANGED ZERO MINDS

Pornographic movie star Stephanie Clifford AKA “Stormy Daniels” lit the Internet and television sets on fire Sunday night on 60 Minutes talking about her alleged affair with current president Donald Trump back in 2006.

Ratings were incredibly high for the interview, as Daniels revealed the story of her affair with Donald Trump to the public.

The most salacious claim she made was that somebody threatened her in 2011, although she did not know who it was, and could not prove Donald Trump had anything to do with it even if the accusation is true.

Beyond that, I hate to sound like a jerk, but why exactly am I supposed to care about this story?

All due respect to Ms. Daniels, but while her story of spanking Donald Trump with a magazine is certainly entertaining, I fail to see what the big deal is.

Is it that the president had an affair a dozen years ago? I certainly think it is wrong to cheat on your wife, but I remember a time not so long ago when we were told repeatedly that what a president does in his personal life does not matter.

I guess the rules are different if you are a politician with a “D” next to your name.

Are we seeing an uproar because Ms. Daniels was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and given “hush” money? I hate to burst bubbles here, but that is not all that uncommon with rich and powerful people.

I have heard people suggest the president should be impeached over this which is beyond comical.

Like it or not, people knew this part of Donald Trump’s character. He was a public figure for decades and one of the most famous people in the world. Part of his persona was to openly brag about the “hot” women he had sex with.

So precisely why would anybody be surprised by this or care about it at all?

I understand if you do not like the president and simply want to get upset over everything he does. Fine. Not exactly a healthy way to live your life, but that is up to you.

But for the rest of America, an election was held and a choice was made.

Donald Trump, a billionaire real-estate mogul from NY who made no bones about being a womanizer won the presidency.

No matter how many women come out alleging past affairs with him, the victory he achieved last November still stands and he is not going anywhere.

And as much as I hate the phrase “already baked into the cake,” it really does apply here. Go poll Trump supporters and people who hate the man.
You are going to find that those who hated him already still do and those who support him still do.

Very few people care about this because they already knew this is the type of behavior President Trump exhibits and they made their pace with it. Be upset about that all you want, but it is the truth.

The Republicans may or may not lose the House later this year. They may or may not lose the Senate. Donald Trump may or may not be re-elected in 2020.

But I can promise you this: None of those results will have anything at all to do with Stormy Daniels.

Mar
26
DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES FOR GOVERNOR CUOMO’S INSENSITIVE REMARKS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES FOR GOVERNOR CUOMO’S INSENSITIVE REMARKS

I should never be surprised by any member of the Cuomo at this point. As the saying goes, expect the worst and you will never be disappointed.

This weekend was no exception.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo was at a black church on Palm Sunday shamelessly attempting to pander — shameless pandering is the family way as his brother Chris proves on CNN everyday — when he delivered this line:

“I’m a Catholic. Catholics basically believe the same thing as Baptists believe. We just do it without the rhythm. But we try. We try. We are not as without rhythm as our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

Cuomo then compounded his stupidity by pointing out Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, a former campaign adviser who is Jewish, who was sitting in the front row wearing a yarmulke.

“I was just watching Mr. Sheinkopf here in the front row, moving to the music. It was ugly. It was ugly.”

No, Governor, it was not ugly. What you said about Jews…..now THAT was ugly.

Then again, this is a member of the family that once sent out mailers explicity trashing former NYC Mayor Ed Koch using gay slurs “Vote for Cuomo not the homo,” so this kind of behavior should be expected.

Of course, there are already people making excuses for what Cuomo said. “Oh, come on, he was just making a joke,” they say. “He didn’t really mean it,” they say.

As a Jewish man, I find these excuses to be disgusting.

First of all, I will have you know that I can dance quite well, thank you.

Second, this was gross stereotype and there is no way it would have been acceptable in any other setting.

Don’t believe me?

Ok, let’s change the scenario. Let’s say Governor Cuomo was at Temple courting the Jewish vote and everybody watched a short video together. Then the Governor started talking and made a joke about how it was quiet in the Temple, which would not be the case at a black Church, because black people cannot be quiet during moves.

As soon as this we change this joke from a negative stereotype of Jewish people dancing to a negative stereotype of black people talking too loud at movies……it’s not so funny anymore, is it?

No, it is not. And nobody would be making excuses for it.

Cuomo went into a black church to quote a demographic he knows he has to fight for and in an attempt to come off as hip to them, made an ugly remark about another demographic he apparently does not seem to worry about attracting.

It is like when you make fun of a friend next to the quarterback of the football team to seem cool.
Quite frankly it was pathetic.

But he will get away with it, because people like him always do. Same as his father did before him.

If you’re powerful enough, connected enough, and have the right political affiliation, somehow stuff like this always goes away.

Well, it shouldn’t.

I’m constantly told we are living in a new era where people can no longer say bigoted things with impunity and expect to be free from consequences. I’d like to see the people of New York prove that to be true.

Governor Cuomo accidentally revealed his true feelings on Sunday. Message received.

But now it is time for a message to be sent right back to him on Election Day: Get lost. Goodbye. You’re fired!

Mar
25
YOU CAN BE AN IMPORTANT POLITICAL VOICE OR A DELICATE FLOWER WHO IS NOT TO BE QUESTIONED…….BUT YOU CANNOT BE BOTH
 
by Dr. Kazmir

YOU CAN BE AN IMPORTANT POLITICAL VOICE OR A DELICATE FLOWER WHO IS NOT TO BE QUESTIONED…….BUT YOU CANNOT BE BOTH

The “March for Our Lives,” — an anti-gun rights march – went down yesterday in Washington, DC and once again I was struck by the conflict within myself between sympathy and annoyance.

For example, Parkland Survivor David Hogg is a teenager who has been through a horrific tragedy. I admire his desire to fight for change he believes in and think every American should do the same.

However, he has said things that are completely wrong, disgustingly incendiary, and quite frankly, boring talking points that he clearly does not even understand.

Case in point, over the past few days, he said being forced to bring books to school in a clear bag is a first amendment violation.

Um….it is?

Maybe you could attempt to make a case it violates the 4th amendment but the first amendment?

Then, here is he is at the march yesterday:

“When politicians say your voice does not matter because the NRA owns them, we say no more.”

“When politicians send their thoughts and prayers with no action, we say no more,” he added.

“Now is the time to come together…we can and we will change the world.”

These are nothing but nonsensical talking points combined with over the top vitriol for his ideological opponents (ie: f you don’t agree with me, you are owned by the NRA and want children to die…..which Hogg has accused the NRA of already).

Put simply, much like many of the other high profile students who have been the most vocal, Hogg is a teenager who really has no idea what he is talking about and is simply gleefully repeating catchphrases he heard to an audience that already agrees with him.

It is the dictionary definition of an echo chamber.

As I pointed out, though, the worst part here is that he continues to say completely false statements and make baseless accusations against his ideological opponents and nobody in the media is challenging him about it.

Like I said, I’m happy he is voicing his opinions but if he is going to be interviewed in media and wishes to advance a specific agenda, he should be held to account like anybody else.

I feel terribly for what he and his classmates went through, but if they want to be taken seriously as important voices for change, they need to be called out and taken to task when they are wrong.
They are either young people whose input is essential for moving America forward or they are delicate little flowers who must not be questioned, but they cannot be both.

Maybe you think I’m being too hard on these children and Hogg specifically.

Okay, here’s more evidence to back my assertion that the media is simply allowing this kind of emotion-based, logic-free insanity to pass without nary a word.

In television appearances over the past few weeks, Hogg said he does not blame the officer who did not enter the building despite hearing the shooting because who would want to go toe to toe with somebody who has an AR-15.

This actually happens plenty — the Alexandria VA Congressional baseball team shooter had a rifle and was taken out by handgun — but that is not the point. The point is this was a Sheriff’s Deputy (Scot Peterson) who was trained for this situation and it was his entire job.

This would be like saying you cannot blame a firefighter for not running into a burning building. Police work can be very dangerous and it is not for everybody, but those who accept the job must be willing to actually do it.

Scot Peterson refused.

Hogg then said — after stating that the local police should not be accountable — that Florida Governor Rick Scott should be. So, let me get this straight: the actual police department who messed up have no responsibility but the Governor, who had nothing to do with this does?

That makes zero sense. Actually, it makes less than zero sense.

Hogg also said Scott talking poorly of the local police was a political ploy to get re-elected — except Scott is not up for re-election.

Example after example keeps mounting, yet we are told to just shut up and let them say anything they want unopposed because they are children who have just been through a tragedy.

But enough is enough.

I am not saying anybody should be nasty to them. But refusing to push back on obvious falsehoods and ridiculous talking points is not doing Hogg or any of these other students any favors. We have been hearing about how these students have the right to speak about their concerns.

I agree. They have a constitutionally protected freedom to express themselves in any way they see fit.

But I also believe that if they are going to be seriously listened to about controversial political issues, they cannot be given special treatment.

Mar
24
PRESIDENT TRUMP SELECTS JOHN BOLTON TO BE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
 
by Dr. Kazmir

PRESIDENT TRUMP SELECTS JOHN BOLTON TO BE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR

Some of President Trump’s picks for advisory and cabinet posts have been controversial. That does not necessarily make them good or bad, it just means there is a major difference of opinion on whether or not they are the best choices the president could have made.

This is a common occurrence for any president. Quite frankly, it would be silly to expect otherwise, as ideological differences are the reasons we have elections in the first place.

However, John Bolton is one of those picks who has fervent supporters and loud detractors, even from his own side.

For me, personally, Bolton is a mixed bag. He checks all of the boxes necessary for the president’s National Security Adviser experience wise. He had a role in three different Presidential administrations including national security posts with both George H.W. Bush and George W Bush.

But Bolton is a hawk, and that is putting it mildly. One might say he is a neoconservative through and through.

Said Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), “He would be closer to John McCain’s foreign policy. John Bolton still believes the Iraq War was a good idea, he still believes regime change is a good idea, he still believes that nation-building is a good idea. My fear is that secret wars would be developing around the globe.”

Paul has a point and Bolton’s record is troubling for sure. The Iraq War was clearly a mistake and regime change is a policy that generally only leads to pain for both the country who invades and the country that was invaded.

That said, sometimes there is a need to get tough to bring about peace. Many were understandably nervous when the president got into an insult contest with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. However, that bluster appears to have gotten Trump and Kim to the negotiating table, something nobody ever would have imagined.

President Trump’s instincts appear to be less hawkish than others such as the aforementioned Senator McCain. But perhaps the president would be well-served with a group of people in his ear that have differing views so that he can be ;resented with a variety of options and does not end up in an echo chamber.

And while I may not share Bolton’s feverishly aggressive philosophy on foreign policy, there should always be room for a voice like his at the table. Sometimes aggressive military action is necessary, and you do not want a room filled with people who never want to take matters into their own hands if the situation warrants it. Bolton provides that voice for President Trump.

Plus, there is no question the president can benefit from having somebody with Bolton’s experience around. Nobody has questioned the man’s qualifications or experience. Just his judgment.
And while we can question Bolton’s judgment all we want, in the end there is no doubt who will be making the decisions.

President Trump is the one in charge.

President Trump should do what he always did as a businessman, listen to Bolton and everybody else around him, and then use the combined information and opinions to make the best decision possible.

And as a supporter of the president, I am confident that is exactly what he will do.

Mar
23
THE SAUDI CROWN PRINCE PROVIDES REASON FOR OPTIMISM
 
by Dr. Kazmir

THE SAUDI CROWN PRINCE PROVIDES REASON FOR OPTIMISM

The Saudi government has long been a source of corruption and fascistic rule but to their credit, it seems as though they are finally trying to fix that.

The Crown Prince deserves a lot of credit for leading through bold action on this.

Some of the most connected business and political leaders in the country are being swept up as part of an anti-corruption probe, including Royal Family Members and executives.

Charges range from bribery to money laundering to extortion. Between this and the recent liberalizing of some Saudi laws — including women above a certain age being allowed to drive at certain times of day — Saudi Arabia seems to be headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time.

But there is a long history of failed reformers in the Middle East, covering countries like Iran and Iraq. Intentions always start out positive but whether or not the results end up that way is ultimately another matter.

And let’s remember Saudi Arabia’s long history of disgraceful behavior towards other countries. It wasn’t long ago that the Saudi national soccer team refused to observe a moment of silence for London terror victims during a game in Australia. I could use flowery language here, but I won’t. Instead, I will simply say it was as classless and disgusting as anything I’ve seen in a long time and it sickened me to my very core.

Over the years they have funded numerous bad acts and it is worth keeping in mind that a whopping 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Plus, they still refuse to help one bit with the refugee crisis that is tearing their region apart.

As noted Middle Eastern scholar Daniel Pipes explains, “Saudi Arabia has many unique attractions for Sunni Muslims. To begin with, it has 100,000 high-quality, empty fiberglass tents that can house about 3 million people in Mina, just east of Mecca. Fireproof and air-conditioned, complete with toilets and kitchens, this unique resource is occupied a mere five days a year by pilgrims on the hajj.”

In demonstrating how little the Saudis have contributed here, Pipes notes that the amount of Syrians in that country is shockingly low: “One study, by Lori Plotkin Boghardt of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, estimates the number in the ‘low hundreds of thousands,’ say 150,000. That’s a small fraction of the over 4 million in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan — and just 5 percent of the migrants who could be housed just in Mina’s splendid tents.”

So the ongoing reforms seem like a step in the right direction, but we must see how it all plays out. Over the years, I know our government has had strong ties to the Saudi Royal Family and that has made it difficult for any president to lean on them strongly.

President Trump got elected as a man of the people who would shatter norms and smash the established order in favor of doing what is right and just for the people of America and my hope was that one of the things he would do differently was lean on the Saudis for their bad behavior and put pressure on them to take in refugees.

I’m a supporter of the president, but to be honest, his actions thus far regarding the Saudis have been far too deferential and incredibly disappointing.

I know the saying “money talks” applies here, but are human rights really for sale? Does human decency really carry a price tag?

The answer should be no, but unfortunately, up until now, it has been yes. Simply put, Saudi Arabia has gotten away with things no poor country would have gotten away with and it is unconscionable.

Having said that, the corruption arrests and reforms appear to indicate these unconscionable abuses may be on the way out in Saudi Arabia.

The Crown Prince legitimately seems sincere in his quest to rid Saudi Arabia of corruption and make real reforms in the direction of improving the human rights of his citizens, including women who can now finally drive (under very restricted conditions, but it is a start).

The Saudis appear to finally be starting to move in a positive direction.

This is something we all should applaud the Crown Prince for and we should continue to monitor the situation with a sense of hopefulness for a change.

Mar
22
THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE AND IT IS AN EASY ONE: SISI ALL THE WAY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE AND IT IS AN EASY ONE: SISI ALL THE WAY

There is a leader in the Middle East who could be a key ally for the United States going forward but does not get talked about nearly enough.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

I have personally been to Egypt befoe and after Sisi took power and can attest to the dramatic improvement I have seen with my own eyes.

Sisi is currently up for re-election and I believe it is imperative for the good of the world that he win.

Why?

Well, this is a man who rose up the ranks from the infantry corps to commanding a mechanized infantry division and Egypt’s northern military zone and occupied a high post in the Mubarek regime.

After Mubarek was removed from power in 2011, Sisi was elevated to director of military intelligence and began showing that he could truly be a force for good.

First, he agreed to have the Egyptian military stop using virginity tests on female detainees.

If you are unfamiliar with what a female virginity test is, trust me, it is every bit as horrific as you are thinking.

A year later, Presdent Morsy made Sisi minister of defense. He immediately fired a shot at the corrupt Egyptian government, forcing them to get their act together via an ultimatum that was not considered a coup.

After Morsy was removed from power, Mansour became President and Sisi was elevated again, this time to Prime Minister, while retaining his military post.

A year later, Sisi, who had risen up the ranks step by step, finally took his largest leap by running for president and winning. Again, he showed how much of an ally he could be for the United States here, winning on a platform that included destroying the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some of Sisi’s actions since then have been those of a potentially bold reformer, including pardoning over 100 prisoners, some of whom were journalists that had been imprisoned for simply being dissenting voices.

And the biggest clue of all that this is a man the United States can potentially work with? In April of last year, Sisi showed an openness to the idea of U.S./Egypt cooperation by visiting President Trump n the White House, becoming the first Egyptian President to go to the White House in seven years.

This is not to say that Sisi is perfect, but throughout his rise to the top post in Egypt, he has shown a willingness to listen, learn, and do what is right for his people. While other leaders have been stubborn, Sisi has rightfully shown he can be trusted by his people and has helped greatly in efforts to put Egypt on the right path.

There is no doubt that an amicable relationship with the United States is in Egypt’s best interest, just as it is in the United States’ best interest. Sisi clearly knows this, hence his visit to the White House last year. President Trump clearly knows this as well, hence his extending an invitation to Sisi.

Not to mention Sisi’s ability to work diplomatically with the Saudi Crown Prince, another positive sign for possible breakthroughs in the region.

Without mincing words here, the United States could use all the friends it can get in that region or at the very least, as many non-enemies as it can get. Sisi appears to be a man who could put Egypt into one of those two categories for President Trump. It is to both Presidents’ benefit that the two countries continue to progress towards a non-hostile relationship.

President Sisi could be a very important cog in the wheel of Middle Eastern diplomacy.

This is why I believe the Egyptian people MUST re-elect President Sisi.

Because Egypt, the United States, and the world in general, will likely be far better off due to his continued strong leadership.

Mar
21
VLADIMIR PUTIN DOES NOT NEED OUR CONGRATULATIONS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

VLADIMIR PUTIN DOES NOT NEED OUR CONGRATULATIONS

When Vladimir Putin “won re-election” as Russian President the other day, I read a report about our president calling to congratulate Putin on his sham victory and could not believe it.

“President Trump called Russian President-elect and Prime Minister Putin to congratulate him on his recent victory in the Russian Presidential election,” the report read. In a statement released n the wake of the election result, President Trump released a statement. “President Trump highlighted achievements in U.S.-Russia relations over the past year with President Putin, including cooperation on the battle against ISIS. President Trump and President Putin agreed that the successful progress in relations should be built upon during the coming years.”

How on earth could President Trump actually lend legitimacy to such an obvious farce?

Well, he did, and that is incredibly disappointing. However, the above report was not about President Trump at all. It was about President Obama.

I took the report from Putin’s election in 2012 and more or less just swapped out the name Trump for Obama each time.

Now, just to be clear: I am not saying that Trump doing it is ok because Obama did it. Quite the opposite. I did not like it when President Obama did it and I do not like it now.

We all know Vladimir Putin is essentially a dictator and his “re-election” was a sham. That does not mean we cannot work with Russia when we have a strategic interest, ie: fighting ISIS. But there is a big difference between strategic alliance and friendship, and while I am anti-hostility to Russia, I am certainly not in favor of openly embracing their totalitarianism.

While I respect Senator John McCain as a man, I do not frequently agree with him on policy. But he seems to be one of the few who was consistent and correct on this issue both now and in 2012. The Senator has harsh words for both presidents, as he well should have.

Again, diplomacy does not need to equal endorsement.

What this whole incident shows, though, is that other than John McCain, most people are phonies on the issue of Russia.

Democrats did not seem to care much when President Obama was making fun of Mitt Romney for being stuck n the 80’s on Russia, but now that they need a scapegoat for the fact that Hillary Clinton could not beat Donald Trump, they will pounce on anything Russia-related.

I heard Congressional Democrats wanted the White House Chef fired for serving Russian dressing.

Republicans were outraged when President Obama called to congratulate Vladimir Putin, but now that it is Present Trump, they are not saying much.

Vladimir Putin is an authoritarian who uses force and intimidation against his own citizens. He throws journalists in jail. This is not a man who needs to be embraced or legitimized.

We do not need to antagonize Russia and in fact, we absolutely should not.

We should be willing to work with them — or anybody else — when we have to.

But President Obama made a mistake congratulating President Putin in 2012. It is a mistake President Trump repeated.

And it is a mistake I hope never happens again, no matter who the president is.

Mar
20
THE FBI AND DOJ ACTED PROPERLY AND ANDREW MCCABE DID NOT. HE DESERVED TO BE FIRED.
 
by Dr. Kazmir

THE FBI AND DOJ ACTED PROPERLY AND ANDREW MCCABE DID NOT. HE DESERVED TO BE FIRED.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the weekend. McCabe was let go a mere two days before he was eligible to retire with a full pension, which has many people crying bloody murder.

For his part, McCabe released a statement saying he believed this was done to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.

The problem with all of this is that believing McCabe’s firing was done to undermine Mueller requires belief in conspiratorial storyline that makes little sense.

According to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, McCabe allowed FBI agents to disclose sensitive information to the press. When questioned about this, McCabe lied through his teeth to Federal Investigators.

That is not just unethical, it is criminal. McCabe should be grateful if all that happens is he loses his pension.

The amazing thing here is that some people are trying to make McCabe into the victim.

The FBI determined McCabe acted improperly and recommended his firing. They are trying to root out corruption from their own ranks and good for them for doing so.

Jeff Sessions and the DOJ read the FBI’s findings and took swift action to remove somebody who clearly needed to be relieved of his duties, and good for them.

Yet somehow McCabe is a victim here?

As I mentioned earlier, the craziest part of all here is the insane conspiracies popping up to give credence to McCabe’s claim of being used to undermine Mueller.

The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommended McCabe’s firing. So in order to believe McCabe, you would have to believe that the FBI and DOJ are conspiring to frame McCabe as way to discredit Mueller.

Not only is there zero evidence to suggest this is the case, but think about it for one second: Why would the FBI undermine its own credibility by making public that the agency’s head went against protocol unless the agency’s head……actually went against protocol? What exactly would be in it for the FBI to “frame” McCabe?

Unless you believe the FBI is all secretly in league with President Trump, who has consistently dumped on them and battled with?

In short, Andrew McCabe was a corrupt official who was removed from his post and is lucky to not be criminally indicted.

Believing otherwise means you think the President, the DOJ, and the FBI are all working together to harm McCabe, who does not actually have anything to do with Mueller.

Mueller’s investigation rolls on whether or not McCabe is running the FBI.
What this all really boils down to is a FBI higher-up who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and is trying to blame whoever he can to avoid responsibility for his own actions.

And a group of people who hate the president so much that they will try making a martyr out of anybody, even a higher-up the FBI who acted improperly.

But no matter how you feel about the president, here is the truth:

The FBI Office of Professional Responsibility did its job.

Jeff Sessions did his job.

Andrew McCabe did not and was fired as a result.

Those are the facts, plan and simple. Yell all you want about Russia, but it won’t change the basic fact that Andrew McCabe deserved to be fired and in all reality, deserved a lot worse than that. He should be thankful he is not facing criminal charges and everybody peddling these ridiculous conspiracies trying to undermine the DOJ and FBI out of pure hatred for the president should be ashamed of themselves.

Mar
19
JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY: THE EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
 
by Dr. Kazmir

JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY: THE EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME

Since 1972, John Cabot University has been a top of the line undergraduate school offering students an American education in beautiful Rome, Italy.

Think about how incredible it is to attend college in Rome. It is the experience of a lifetime being able to earn your degree while getting a cultural education most can only dream of.

1,300 students from more than 70 countries join faculty members who hold advanced degrees from all across the US, Europe, and beyond in small class sizes tailored to each enrollee’s strengths.

JCU provides a first rate education that helps students get accepted into some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the world including Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, the London School of Economics, the University of Oxford, and Bocconi University.

A wide variety of majors are available including:

Classical Studies
Economics and Finance
English Literature
History
Humanistic Studies
Italian Studies
Marketing
Political Science

Plus, JCU encourages its degree-seeking students study overseas at one of its partner universities in the US, Europe, Asia, or Africa, adding even more cultural experience that you cannot get at any other American accredited school.

And being a JCU alum is a huge badge of honor. JCU graduates have been successful in organizations such as the World Bank, Bloomberg, the European Union, and Honda.

Yes, admission is extremely competitive, but when you consider what you are applying for, and the unique opportunity you are attempting to be a part of, you can understand why the selction process is so difficult.

This is a University offering not just a chance at a world class degree, but the ability to learn above and beyond the classroom. You can speak different languages, live among multiple cultures, and learn to habituate virtually anywhere.

The ability to earn a college degree is a life changing event worth its weight in gold.

But the opportunity to do it at John Cabot University while becoming a citizen of the world?

That’s priceless.

Mar
16
IT’S TIME TO END THE DEMOCRATS’ CHARADE AND ALLOW A QUALIFIED WOMAN TO HAVE THE JOB SHE RIGHTFULLY EARNED
 
by Dr. Kazmir

IT’S TIME TO END THE DEMOCRATS’ CHARADE AND ALLOW A QUALIFIED WOMAN TO HAVE THE JOB SHE RIGHTFULLY EARNED

I have to admit, watching the nomination process of Gina Haspel to become the new head of the CIA has been somewhat baffling.

Liberals have been saying for years that we need more women and minorities in positions of power. In fact, just recently, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he would oppose a nominee for a Federal Judgeship in part because he is a white man and the judiciary needs more diversity.

So, you would think these same people would be happy to see a woman be nominated to become the first female head of the CIA in United States history.

But they are not.

Democrats are seizing on a ProPublica report from over a year ago that claimed Haspel oversaw torture at the CIA and participated in covering it up.

Except it turned out that report was wrong and ProPublica had to make a retraction. Even MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, hardly a right-wing pundit, conceded this was a pretty grave era by ProPublica.

Here are the facts: Gina Haspel has been with the CIA for over 30 years. She was a decorated undercover agent overseas who did such a good job that she was promoted up the chain multiple times. In 2002, she was put in charge of a major CIA prison in Thailand for Al Qaeda. Following her assignment in Thailand, Haspel served as a Counterterrorism agent in the Washington DC area and as CIA Station Chief in both New York and London.

After she spent several years serving as Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service — a unit that is tasked with fulfilling covert missions across the world — in 2013, then CIA Director John Brennan named Haspel named her head of that Service on a temporary basis.

Just after President Trump came into office in 2017, he appointed Haspel to be Deputy Director of the CIA, where she would eventually serve underneath Director Mike Pompeo.

And now that Pompeo has been moved into the role of Secretary of State, Haspel has been promoted to run the agency she began with as an agent three decades ago.

If you think about it, this is everything liberals say they want. A woman who spent virtually her entire adult life working hard, doing a good job, moving her way up the chain, and eventually ascending to become head of the #1 intelligence agency in the country.

Gina Haspel serves as an inspiration to women everywhere as an example of what it is possible for them to achieve. Her story is one about tremendous success, and you would think liberals everywhere would celebrate it.

But instead, they oppose her because of politics.

Let’s just be clear here: Gina Haspel has all the experience you could ever ask for and she is eminently qualified for the position. The main opposition to her — a report about her supposedly overseeing torture — has now been exposed as an error.

So why continue to attempt to keep her from the opportunity to become the first female head of the CIA?

Politics.

Plain and simple.

Democrats cannot fight Haspel on her qualifications and they cannot make the usual “just another white man” critique, so they cling on to something else. And even when that something else falls apart, they refuse to let go.

Here’s the truth: Democrats are trying to block Gina Haspel from taking over the CIA precisely because she is a woman who does not think the way they want her to. She is not in line with their agenda, so apparently, that becomes the exception to the “we must put more women in charge” mantra.

More women, please. But only the kind of women THEY want. Otherwise, she might as well be just another white man.

And we know how Chuck Schumer feels about those.

This charade needs to end now and Gina Haspel should be confirmed quickly. There is no valid reason she should not be, and the longer the Democrats continue grasping at straws trying to keep her out, the easier it is to see their antics for what they really are.

A sham designed to keep a hard-working qualified woman from a job she earned.

Just remember that the next time these same people whine to you about the right’s war on women. There’s a war on women alright — specifically this woman — but those shots are coming from the phonies on the left side of the aisle.

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