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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

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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.

Mar
15
AN AUTOIMMUNITY COMMUNITY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

AN AUTOIMMUNITY COMMUNITY

Autoimmune diseases are tricky and some of them can be really rare. In the case of rare autoimmune diseases, it can be difficult to get proper diagnosis and care and if some of these conditions go untreated for long enough, they can result in dire consequences.

This is something that happened to a friend of mine named Linda Witzal.

After being misdiagnosed by many physicians who did test after test and still could not determine what was wrong with her, Linda was hospitalized with a non-descript diagnosis. Finally, after days of testing in hospital, she was correctly diagnosed with Giant Cell Arteritis, a rare condition that usually only affects women in their 70’s.

As it turned out, part of the reason Linda was not properly diagnosed earlier was she did not have typical symptoms and one of her symptoms was night sweats, which was considered a menopausal symptom, despite the fact that it actually wasn’t.

Linda felt relieved but also scared. She had this rare auto-immune disease but no idea what it was or what it could do to her.

And as somebody who had worked as a health care professional most of her life, she wondered if she was this scared and confused, what must it be like for somebody with zero health care background?

So, Linda decided to start a website — autoimmunitycommunity.com — dedicated to helping others through the challenges of dealing with a chronic illnesses.

She sees the website as her vehicle for educating and assisting other healthcare professionals recognize and treat their patients quickly, so that fewer patients have to go through the scary nightmare that she had to go through.

There are over 200 autoimmune diseases and Linda is aiming to create a conversation that will get people to think about factors that act as triggers such as pollutants in the environment and chemicals in our foods.

She hopes maybe that through education, maybe somebody can be prevented from encountering one of these triggers that can set a potentially dangerous autoimmune disease in motion in that person’s system.

I really love what Linda is doing and am proud to call her a friend. I believe her website can make a difference and I hope you will spread the word about it to as many of your friends and loved ones as possible. You never know when one of these diseases could strike you or somebody you love and I am truly glad that Linda’s website are there to provide anybody who finds themselves in that situation with information and comfort.

Mar
14
COULD PA-18 BE THE TURNING POINT FOR DEMOCRATS?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

COULD PA-18 BE THE TURNING POINT FOR DEMOCRATS?

The results are not final yet pending absentee ballots and a possible recount, but as it stands, it looks like Democrat Conor Lamb will likely defeat Republican Rick Saccone in the special election for a house seat in PA-18.

This has been called a significant blow to the president and Republicans because it is a district that President Trump won by 20 points.

In some ways, this election never really meant much. The winner was only going to serve for less than a year before he would be up for re-election and the district is being re-drawn so who knows what the end result of the voter base even looks like in November.

But the symbolism here is not good for Republicans.

Democrat enthusiasm — based in large part on hatred of President Trump — is at a fever pitch. Conversely, Republican enthusiasm is less rampant. Midterms always favor the party out of power, but Democrats have the enthusiasm advantage and they may have finally stumbled onto something they should have realized years ago.

Joe Manchin is a Senator from West Virginia who many in the progressive wing of the Democrat party despise because he is very conservative for a Democrat. But Manchin caucuses with the Democrats, filibusters with the Democrats, and is an ally on enough issues that he is overall a significant net positive for the Democrat party.

And of course, what the progressive wing of the Democrat party does not understand — and possibly never will — is that West Virginia Democrats are far different than New York or California Democrats. As a friend of mine who worked in the Obama administration once joked, “If these people had their way, they’d primary Joe Manchin, and in the process make sure no Democrat ever got elected in West Virginia again.”

PA is similar in that if you run a New York style liberal, he’s a dead duck. But a former prosecutor who served in the military and brags about shooting guns and standing up to Nancy Pelosi? THAT guy can get elected.

And it looks like he probably just did.

This all reminds me of what happened in 1994.

Capitalizing on the anger of many towards then President Bill Clinton, Republicans, under the leadership of Newt Gingrich, devised a national strategy that they called the “Contract with America.”

It outlined ten basic ideas that everybody running under the Republican banner would be fighting for if elected and each candidate was carefully tailored to the district in which they were running.

In other words, they tried to recruit candidates who fit the values of each district because it meant they could win.

You were not going to see Ted Cruz running in Manhattan or Kamala Harris running in rural Tennessee.

The strategy worked and Republicans took the House and Senate simultaneously for the first time in decades.

I am not saying the Democrats will be as organized or on message as the 1994 Republicans. But the danger of a Democrat tidal wave is real.

Most of the toss up seats in the Senate are Democrats, so it is not impossible Democrats take the Senate, but not probable. their odds in the House are very strong. Many Republicans are vulnerable, and the Democrat base is very motivated, so chances of a Democrat controlled House after the 2018 election are reasonably high.

Republicans need to stop resting on their laurels and get their act together if they want to push forward rather than being slowly driven back into the minority. And if the Democrats are smart, they will look at Conor Lamb — and more broadly, what Newt Gingrich accomplished in 1994 — mobilize, organize, and run candidates who can actually appeal to the voters they are trying to court.

If the Democrats can do that, you just may see a lot more Conor Lamb type victories for them on the state, national, and local level.

And a lot more Rick Saccone type shellshock losses for their opposition.

Mar
13
POMPEO A STRONG PICK FOR NEW SECRETARY OF STATE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

POMPEO A STRONG PICK FOR NEW SECRETARY OF STATE

For the first time in my adult life, we watched a situation where the President of the United States and the intelligence community seemed to be openly feuding.

President Trump went back and forth with former CIA Director John Brennan and former DNI Director James Clapper.

The President took shots at the intelligence community on Twitter and in other public forums, while some of those members took anonymous shots at him.

This was a relationship that needed to be repaired for the good of the President, the intelligence community, and most of all, our great country.

Mike Pompeo had the unenviable task of not only bridging this divide, but also running the agency that is at the forefront of the intelligence gathering that is so crucial to the safety and security of the United States.

Mike Pompeo was up for the challenge and succeeded where very few could have.

And I have zero doubt he will do the same once he takes over in his new role as Secretary of State.

A former military officer during the Cold War, Pompeo knows the importance of combatting foreign threats in a swift and succinct manner.

And he doesn’t play around.

Pompeo knows there is a time for diplomacy and a time to get tough.

For example: The idea behind the Iran nuclear deal — avoiding a war and coming to a peaceful resolution — was good.

However, what was not so good was the lying that President Obama’s team — as Senior Adviser Ben Rhodes bragged to the New York Times — lied about the timeline and terms of the deal.

Pompeo wants that deal to have terms that are stronger and are more in America’s national interest.

He will not just sit idly by and allow poorly constructed and negotiated deals like that remain without renegotiation of some kind.

As a Congressman for the state of Kansas, he consistently came down on the side of keeping the country safe.

Yes, he may be a little harsh in his belief that Edward Snowden should be executed. That is not a position I agree with.

However, he did say that while he personally thinks Snowden should be executed, he believes the man should receive his due process, meaning that he respects individual rights and believes Snowden should be judged by a jury of his peers. Mike Pompeo thinks Snowden should have his day in court and not be imprisoned or executed without a fair trial, regardless of his own personal feelings on the matter.

He is also for intensified surveillance, but not to the point where it would cross the line no government should cross.

If he was, he would not have had the endorsement of Michigan Congressman Justin Amash.

Amash, who is one of Congress’s top civil libertarians and a strident warrior on behalf of individual rights, had this to say on his official Twitter account the day Pompeo’s nomination for CIA Director was announced.

“I know @RepMikePompeo. He’s a great pick. Yes, we have our disagreements, but Mike will listen to our concerns and serve with integrity.”

A fair man who is hellbent on securing the safety of our country while respecting the Constitution and listening with an open mind to any reasonable objections that come his way.

Sounds like the right man, at the right time, for the right job.

Mar
9
COULD A HISTORIC MOMENT BE ON THE HORIZON WITH NORTH KOREA?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

COULD A HISTORIC MOMENT BE ON THE HORIZON WITH NORTH KOREA?

No matter what your thoughts are on the Trump presidency so far, one thing nobody can deny is that surprises seem to happen almost daily.

Last night may have been the biggest surprise of all.

No sitting U.S. President has met with a dictator of the North Korean regime, but if what was announced last night holds true, that could be about to change.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has apparently asked to meet with President Trump and is reportedly open to discussing nuclear disarmament.

Just the idea of this even being a possibility is incredible. Mere months ago Trump and Kim were trading insults and people were speculating it could lead to a war.

Now, we could be about to see unprecedented peace talks.

Love him or hate him, make no mistake about it: if President Trump somehow plays a role in negotiating peace between North and South Korea and Kim disarms as part of that deal, it would be an incredible accomplishment and put him in the history books.

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

That said, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Other presidents 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 could that be changing?

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

“This is unprecedented. No sitting American president has ever met with a North Korean leader,” 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.”

But does he think it can actually happen?

“It’s always very complicated. So there’s a few factors that go into this. First of all, if Trump had refused, then they could go to face the world and say, ‘Look, we’re the doves. We’re the peace-seeking ones. We want diplomacy — even though we threatened to nuke Guam last summer. Let’s forget about that. We’re the diplomats, and Trump’s the warmonger.’ So that’s one big move that they made.”

“Second of all,” he added, “it could be that King Jong-un thinks he’s so bright that he’s going to be able to run circles around Trump in a negotiation, and third, so much of this stuff is behind the scenes. When North Korea was negotiating with Japan, the negotiator wouldn’t even give his real name. We don’t know what went on behind the scenes to make this meeting about to happen, and I doubt very highly that Kim Jong-un asked publicly, and Trump agreed publicly, without there having been behind the scenes groundwork laid. That seems absurd to me.”

So, as Malice said, it is possible this is all smoke and no fire.

But it is a chance worth taking.

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 real, and that is a great thing.

Mar
8
SALUTING WOMEN ON THIS SPECIAL DAY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

SALUTING WOMEN ON THIS SPECIAL DAY

Today is International Women’s Day and it makes me swell up with pride.

First and foremost, I am so proud of my three daughters, all of whom have worked incredibly hard and done so much to contribute to society.

They are everything strong women should be.

But I am also proud of this country, which is a place where women can celebrate their importance to humanity just by going to work, because they have the freedom to live their own independent lives.

In many other countries, sadly, women are denied rights and treated in an incredibly abusive manner. In these nations, women are not just treated as second class citizens; they are treated like property.

Just by showing up to work today, women in America are showing the world loud and clear just how much freedom they have gained in such a short time here in the United States, and just how proud they are to be able to do the exact same job as men.

Equality has always been the goal, and while reasonable minds can disagree over specific sex-based issues, it cannot be denied just how much progress women have made as a whole in the past few decades.

So much progress, in fact, that many women now earn more money than their husbands.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 38% of women are now the primary breadwinners in their households, a massive increase from three decades ago, when that number was under 20%.

A great deal of those women balance work roles with motherhood which is a phenomenal feat. Being a mother is the toughest job in the world and to work a fulltime job on top of that is awe-inspiring.

The old saying is that living well is the best revenge against your enemies. I firmly believe that by just living their regular lives today, many of our nation’s women are sending a very important message worldwide.

That message?

Some of you may think my sex makes me unequal, but here I am, doing everything a man can do and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it! I’m strong, I’m independent, and I’m just as important to my job and society as a whole as any man ever could be!

That message is undeniably true. These women are showing their value through their equality and letting those in countries where women don’t have these rights know exactly what they are missing out on because of their oppression.

Again, these women are proving their worth by living well. Or, in this case, by living free.

Mar
6
NUNBERG WAS HUMILIATED FOR SPORT AND THE MEDIA SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF ITSELF FOR EGGING IT ON
 
by Dr. Kazmir

NUNBERG WAS HUMILIATED FOR SPORT AND THE MEDIA SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF ITSELF FOR EGGING IT ON

Former Trump advisor Sam Nunberg made the rounds on TV yesterday and let’s not mince words: It was a disaster.

Nunberg — who later admitted to having a problem with alcoholism — was visibly drunk and he stumbled from interview to interview.

It was obvious to anybody who was watching, but apparently, none of this mattered to those who kept pushing him out on television. Ratings trumped human decency, as this man was made to look like a circus clown so a few news networks could get some attention and make a few bucks.

It was pretty disgusting, to be honest.

And it points to a larger problem with the mainstream U.S. media, one that has caused the public to completely lose trust in them as an institution.

How many times have we seen stories reported about the president over the past year — whether positive or negative — that was promoted as a “bombshell” only to be revealed as false hours later?

How many times have ridiculous conspiracies about Russia been tossed out under the auspices of “just asking questions” and “examining the facts” when it is really about continuing to push a narrative that has very little evidence to support it but preaches to enough of a choir so as to generate revenue?

It’s flat out embarrassing.

The news media is supposed to be about informing the public and giving them important news stories. Instead, it has turned into a gaggle of ghouls willing to prostitute its supposed mission in exchange for a few clicks.

Comedian Bill Maher summed this phenomenon up well over the weekend on his HBO show “Real Time”:

“No wonder fake news resonates so much with Trump fans — because so much of it is fake. It’s just nonsense meant to keep you perpetually offended with an endless stream of controversies that aren’t controversial, and outrages that aren’t outrageous — because places like the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed and Salon — they make their money by how many clicks they get. Yes, the people who see themselves as morally superior are actually ignoring their sacred job of informing citizens of what’s important, and instead sowing division for their own selfish ends.”

If the media ever wants to regain its trust it has to doing things as Bill Maher described and cease allowing somebody like Nunberg to humiliate himself for a few ratings points.

Because sooner or later the choir to whom they are preaching is going to be gone.

And then there will be nobody left to be outraged.

Nobody to watch the sad meltdown. There will just be a gigantic hole where our news and discourse used to be.

A hole that may never be filled.

Mar
5
THE OSCARS: FREEDOM TO GET POLITICAL DOESN’T MEAN NOT BEING CRITICIZED
 
by Dr. Kazmir

THE OSCARS: FREEDOM TO GET POLITICAL DOESN’T MEAN NOT BEING CRITICIZED

The Oscars reportedly generated the lowest ratings they have ever done Sunday night and I am not surprised one bit.

As much as the artists involved in the Oscars want to believe that their opinions on political matters mean anything to the vast majority of viewers at home, the truth is, they do not.

This does not mean these artists do not have the right to express their opinions if they so choose. Of course they do.

And they are entitled to any opinions they want. That’s what’s great about being an American.

However, that doesn’t mean their opinions deserve any kind of special attention.

If we are being honest, when it comes to politics, celebrities are just like everybody else in that some are smart and well-informed, but many 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.

Social media has made this an even bigger issue. In the past, there were plenty of politically active celebrities, but it was not necessarily thrown in our faces all the time. But now every actor, singer, athlete, etc….. seems to espouse political opinions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, often doing what many of our friends and family members do: not reading actual articles, just looking at headlines, and then tweeting or posting on Facebook about the outrage of the day.

Except when your friend does it, his 100 Twitter followers see it. When Alyssa Milano does it, millions see it.

And that’ perfectly fine. These celebrities have the right to express their opinions and use their forums however they see fit.

Nobody should ever say they need to shut up.

However, that doesn’t mean the public has to like or agree with their opinions. And it doesn’t insulate these celebrities from being challenged or criticized.

Along with being free to express one’s opinion and being able to do so to millions of people is that you are going to upset some of those millions. And when you are wrong or just annoying — looking at you, Chelsea Handler — many more people are going to come at you.

That’s just the way it is and if a celebrity can’t handle that, then they probably shouldn’t be engaging in a public forum.

And part of the pushback can be people tuning you out entirely and refusing to listen to you at all.

It seems that’s what happened at the Oscars Sunday.

Some of these stars appear to be even more insistent on loudly voicing political opinions in the aftermath.

Nothing wrong with that.

But if it results in even lower ratings next time, then that’s a consequence they will just have to deal with.

Mar
2
SHEBHAZ TAKES ONE MORE STEP FORWARD
 
by Dr. Kazmir

SHEBHAZ TAKES ONE MORE STEP FORWARD

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif now sits atop the ruling party in Pakistan, which is a gigantic step forward for him in terms of eventually becoming PM of Pakistan.

To this, I have only one word to say: good.

Shabhaz has been an outstanding dealmaker, traveling to multiple countries across the globe — including the United States — in attempts to lure foreign investment to Punjab. He has also engineered construction of the “Orange Line” train network, a fantastic mass transit innovation.

In addition, Shabaz has spearheaded state of the art hospitals specializing in helping patients with major heart and kidney ailments.

Shebhaz is a terrific dealmaker, which would make him the perfect person to really open up relations with the United States. 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 would be largely beneficial 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.

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.

Shehbaz is the man who can make that happen for Pakistan. I have zero doubt about that. So, while running the ruling party is a huge step forward for him, I believe it will ultimately be an even bigger step forward for the Pakistani people. Further, I trust it will benefit multiple other nations, including the United States.

I look forward to the day when Shehbaz can apply the incredibly positive developments he is responsible for in Punjab to Pakistan as a whole. I am confident it will result in a huge leap forward not just for Pakistan, but for the world.

Mar
1
HEAVY TARIFFS WILL NOT MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
 
by Dr. Kazmir

HEAVY TARIFFS WILL NOT MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

President Trump is about to announce a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum. This is an effort to promote the America first agenda and have more products and companies that are American centric.

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 follows through with this, it is going to backfire spectacularly.

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.

Feb
28
LOUIS FARRAKHAN IS AN ANTI-SEMETIC BIGOT…..NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

LOUIS FARRAKHAN IS AN ANTI-SEMETIC BIGOT…..NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS

Sunday, Reverend Louis Farrakhan gave a speech in front of thousands of people, including women’s march co-founder Tamika Mallory.

Courtesy of CNN’s Jake Tapper, here are some of the Reverend’s greatest hits from that day……

“Shortly after 1:10:50 in the video Farrakhan proclaims that “the powerful Jews are my enemy.”

At 2:57:00 he begins approvingly quoting some of the anti-Semitic comments made by Rev. Billy Graham and President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office.

At 2:59:00 Farrakhan approvingly cites Nixon and Graham attacking Jews’ “grip on the media” and Hollywood and “how the Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.”

At 3:15, Farrakhan calls Jews ‘the mother and father of apartheid, the Jews.”

Assailing Keith Ellison, at 3:21 Farrakhan says, “let me tell you something, when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door.”

At 3;49: “White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan …has pulled the cover off the eyes of that Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”

Go ahead and read through the above quotes. I’ll wait.

Full disclosure: I’m a Jewish man and Vice President of the American Jewish Congress. When I read or hear for myself what Farrakhan says, I am horrified.

Not because I take him seriously. He’s clearly a deranged lunatic and a massive anti-Semite.

What scares me is that there are people who openly talk to him and associate with him in a way that as Tapper noted, is simply not called out the way it would be for somebody like David Duke.

Mallory was at this speech and is heavily involved with the women’s march. I wonder what Jewish women would think if they heard that.

Keith Ellison — one of the highest-ranking Democrats in the House — met with Farrakhan and paled around with him until he ran for DNC Chair and had to distance himself for political reasons.

Even President Obama met with Farrakhan when he was a sitting Senator.

It’s nauseating.

Since the video footage and Tapper’s tweetstorm about it, several on the left have accused the CNN anchor of “virtue signaling” to the right and focusing on Farrakhan while ignoring President Trump.

First of all, as Tapper himself said, bigotry is bigotry. It’s either ok or it isn’t.

Second, if you are really going to equate President Trump to Farrakhan, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Say what you want about some of the more controversial things the President has said, but they don’t come anywhere remotely close to what Farrakhan has said over the years, let alone on Sunday.

For anybody who has not figured this out already, it is time to call Louis Farrakhan out for what he is.

He is every bit as toxic, disgusting, and racist as David Duke, Richard Spencer, or anybody else in the white identity movement.

Anybody who thinks otherwise either does not want to see the truth or is part of the problem.

It is well past due that anybody who openly associates with this man be called out for it and shamed accordingly.

Enough is enough.

Feb
27
It Is Time For Sheriff Scott Israel To Go
 
by Dr. Kazmir

It Is Time For Sheriff Scott Israel To Go

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was incredibly indignant at talk show host and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch last week, claiming that what she was doing — suggesting people have a legal right to own guns — is making his constituents less safe.

But if he wanted to see who was making his constituents less safe, perhaps the Sheriff should have taken a look at his own police department.

As Loesch pointed out, Israel’s department reportedly received over three dozen calls about the eventual shooter Nikolas Cruz and did nothing. Cruz even called the police himself to say he was afraid he might do something to himself or somebody else and nothing was done.

In addition, the school had an armed Sheriff’s deputy on duty named Scot Peterson. Apparently, Peterson was aware gunshots were flying, and still chose to wait outside for roughly four minutes and wait for other police officers to arrive.

There are those — such as David Hogg, one of the shooting’s survivors — that have said we should not be so hard on Peterson. After all, he is a human being and it is only natural that he would be scared in a situation like that. And really, how do any of us know what we would have done if we were in his shoes?

That would be an acceptable line of thinking if Peterson were the school janitor, a teacher, or the lunch lady.

But he was none of those things. He was a law enforcement officer whose entire purpose for being on that campus was to at least be prepared to act if something like this happened.

He didn’t.

Add to it the fact that three other Broward County Deputies apparently arrived on the scene and did nothing.

Shameful does not even begin to describe it.

Peterson has resigned but the absolutely disgraceful repeated failures by local law enforcement here are outrageous and unacceptable.

No wonder why Israel was so hostile to Dana Loesch. He was desperately trying to cover for his own department’s shortcomings.

Scott Israel decided to point a finger at others instead and only spoke up about Peterson’s incompetence after it became public and he had no choice.

And the cherry on top is that after ALL of this came out, Israel had the nerve to claim to CNN’s Jake Tapper that he has provided “amazing leadership” throughout this whole process.

The man is clearly delusional.

It is time Israel finally stops pointing fingers and takes a long hard look at his own incompetence. The conduct of his office was disgraceful and may very well have stopped this massacre from being prevented.

If Sheriff Israel had any shame at all, he would follow Peterson’s lead and resign immediately.

But if his conduct in the aftermath of the tragedy and his answers to Jake Tapper on CNN are any indication, it would appear Israel has absolutely no shame at all.

Feb
26
USING YOUR VOICE TO SPEAK UP SHOULDN’T MEAN NOT BEING CHALLENGED WHEN WRONG
 
by Dr. Kazmir

USING YOUR VOICE TO SPEAK UP SHOULDN’T MEAN NOT BEING CHALLENGED WHEN WRONG

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 is starting to say things that are just factually untrue or somewhat ridiculous.

And he is not being challenged 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.

In television appearances over the past few days, 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 we cannot challenge anything Hogg or any of these other students say because they have just been through a tragedy and they are children.

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 an important voice.

I agree.

But I also believe that if they are going to be seriously listened to about controversial political issues, they cannot be given special treatment.

The truth is the Broward County Sheriff’s Office is a disgrace and they should all probably be forced into other careers. They ignored multiple calls, including apparently from the shooter himself, and then failed to act when in position to do so. The shooting is absolutely on the shooter, but local authorities botched everything miserably here and need to be called out by anybody and everybody.

Anybody somehow trying to make this about Governor Scott is misguided at best and dishonest at worst.

People who attempt to do this on national television should be informed of their error and corrected.

After all, being a voice for change is a great thing, but it comes with the downside of being challenged on what you say.

Or at least it should. Even if you are a high school student.

Feb
23
WHEN A FAILURE TO ACT BECOMES DEADLY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

WHEN A FAILURE TO ACT BECOMES DEADLY

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was incredibly indignant at talk show host and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch the other night, claiming that what she was doing — suggesting people have a legal right to own guns — is making his constituents less safe.

But if he wanted to see who was making his constituents less safe, perhaps Israel should have take a look at his own police department.

As Loesch pointed out, Israel’s department reportedly received over three dozen calls about the eventual shooter Nikolas Cruz and did nothing.

Then came the news yesterday that shook me to my very core.

The school had an armed Sheriff’s deputy, Scot Peterson, at the school. Apparently, Peterson was aware gunshots were flying, and still chose to wait outside for roughly four minutes and wait for other police officers to arrive.

There are those that have said we should not be so hard on Peterson. After all, he is a human being and it is only natural that he would be scared in a situation like that. And really, how do any of us know what we would have done if we were in his shoes?

That would be an acceptable line of thinking if Peterson were the school janitor, a teacher, or the lunch lady.

But he was none of those things. He was a law enforcement officer whose entire purpose for being on that campus was to at least be prepared to act if something like this happened.

He didn’t.

Peterson has resigned but the absolutely disgraceful repeated failures by local law enforcement here are outrageous and unacceptable.

No wonder why Israel was so hostile to Dana Loesch. He was desperately trying to cover for his own department’s shortcomings.

The FBI has gotten some blame for what happened and to their credit, they have admitted mistakes were made and vowed to learn from them. It is not pleasant, but at least they copped to their errors and are actively working to improve upon them so as to avoid another situation like this in the future.

Scott Israel decided to point a finger at others instead and only spoke up about Peterson’s incompetence after it became public and he had no choice.

Believe me when I say I take no pride in saying any of these things. I am a big supporter of law enforcement and I want all of our children safe. But when something like this happens, which leads to deaths that shouldn’t have occurred and drags down the good name of the many brave officers who actually do understand the job they are signing on for, I get very upset, and I would say understandably so.

For the good of his constituents and the children whose care he is entrusted with, let’s hope Peterson is never anywhere near a law enforcement job ever again and Israel finally stops pointing fingers and takes a long hard look in the mirror instead. Because if we are being completely honest, that look in the mirror is long overdue.

Feb
22
CREDIT TO RUBIO FOR SHOWING UP, EVEN IF THE CROWD HAD NO INTEREST IN A DISCUSSION
 
by Dr. Kazmir

CREDIT TO RUBIO FOR SHOWING UP, EVEN IF THE CROWD HAD NO INTEREST IN A DISCUSSION

CNN did a Townhall last night with students asking questions about guns and gun control to various public figures including Senators.

The results were a bit a strange.

The whole event seemed more like an airing of grievances than legitimate questions.

One student said it was hard to look at Senator Rubio without picturing the shooter’s face killing his classmates, asked how talk show host and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch sleeps at night, and accused anybody who has ever taken donations from the NRA of accepting blood money.

Another student tried to accuse Loesch of having blood on her hands, but mistakenly asked the question to Senator Nelson. Either way, I’m not sure what that was supposed to accomplish.

I do not always see eye to eye with Senator Rubio but I certainly respect the fact that he showed up to an event that was obviously going to be a hostile atmosphere for him. Ditto for Mrs. Loesch.

But emotions ran high and when that happens, you get the kind of spectacle we saw last night instead of a productive discussion.

The student who tried to make Marco Rubio pledge to never take another dollar from the NRA may have played well in that hall, but if you take ten seconds to think about it, what he asked for was ludicrous.

Despite the demonization, the NRA is not a pack of supervillains, they are merely a large group of citizens advocating for a cause they hold dear. As Rubio himself pointed out, the positions he holds now as a Senator are the same ones he held at the state and local level for years. The NRA donate money to him not because they are “buying” him, but because they agree with him strongly on the issue and want as many people as possible who represent pro-second amendment views.

This is not a mystery.

And the whole “in the pocket of the NRA” line of attack is nonsense, anyway. Marco Rubio raised $52 million in the 2016 election cycle. Less than $10,000 of that came from the NRA. And while Rubio has taken several million from them over the course of his career, considering that over $150 million was spent on his 2016 campaign alone, the NRA’s contributions are a tiny fraction of the money he took in and spent.

What people don’t realize or don’t care to understand is that the NRA’s power does not come from its money. It comes from its numbers.

The NRA has five million active members. So, when a politician does something that goes against the NRA’s mission, that’s an angry voting block of five million people. Not to mention the 42% of U.S. households who own guns.

And when you look at what is going on right now, it is easy to understand why they are being so vigilant.

Today, there is a call to ban AR-15 style rifles. That ban was in effect from 1994–2004 and effectively did nothing. But even so, a weapon of that nature has been used in a few school shootings, so people say “well, if it saves one life.”

But what happens when AR-15s are banned and there is no marked change in gun deaths or the amount of school shootings?

After all, the Virginia Tech shooting was committed with handguns.

How long before we hear calls to ban certain handguns?

And then when that doesn’t work, they will come back for more.

Until there is nothing left to come back for anymore.

I am a father of four children and I run a school filled with eager young minds. I am horrified by what happened in Parkland, Florida, and I cannot even imagine the grief these children and their families are going through, not to mention the families of the children who didn’t make it.

But the truth is, we are lying to ourselves if we think yelling about the NRA and pushing gun restrictions that would never have stopped this shooting provides any sort of solution.

There are things we can do on the margins. I don’t like the idea of specifically training teachers to be armed, but I certainly think allowing teachers who are licensed to conceal carry to bring their firearms to school is an idea worth discussing. Likewise, metal detectors and armed guards could be worth talking about.

But talking about the “gunshow loophole” — which does not actually exist — when none of these killers bought their guns at gun shows does nothing. Talking about “universal background checks” when all of these shooters either passed background checks or obtained their guns illegally does nothing. Crowing about banning “assault rifles” — a term made up to describe scary looking guns that are in reality no different than any other semi-automatic weapon — when we have evidence it doesn’t work, does nothing.

And talking about any kind of gun ban is not only unconstitutional and tyrannical, but more importantly, it’s impossible. There are 300 million legal guns in the United States. Good luck taking them all away.

So, while dialogue on an issue like this is good, the discussion needs to center on realistic proposals that might actually help rather than emotionally charged rally cries that are empty gestures meant to make us feel like we are doing something.

On a national stage last night, CNN produced an event that was much more of the latter than the former, which seems like a huge missed opportunity.

And that is a real shame.

Feb
21
WHITEWASHING HISTORY DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN CHANGE IT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

WHITEWASHING HISTORY DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN CHANGE IT

It’s possible that Polish President Andrzej Duda is not be an anti-Semite.

But he sure is doing everything he can to make everybody think he is.

The United States and Israel objected to Duda signing a controversial Holocaust bill into law, but he did it, anyway.

What was controversial about it?

Essentially, it allows for the jailing of anybody who suggests Poland had anything to do with Nazi War Crimes committed during World War II.

Yes, really.

There were literally concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. But apparently completely whitewashing history is somehow ok to Duda and many others in the Polish government.

Except it is not ok. Not for the many victims who suffered or were killed during that time and not for those who wish to know what really happened.

Poland in general has seen a rise in Anti-Semitism and it goes beyond isolated bigotry. Beate Mazurek, a spokesperson for Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, even went so far as to quote a tweet by a Catholic priest exclaiming that criticism of the law by Israel’s ambassador to Poland would “make it hard for me to look at Jews with sympathy and kindness.”

Likewise, it is possible that Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is not an anti-Semite.

But he, too, is doing everything he can to make everybody think he is.

Morawiecki claimed that some of the perpetrators during the Holocaust were Jewish. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu countered that Morawiecki’s claim was outrageous.

Netanyahu is not generally one for understating things, but I’d say this is an exception. Those comments were more than outrageous.

They say those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The saying “Never again” refers to that fact — because the only way to stop something like the Holocaust from ever happening again is to teach the truth about it — no matter how uncomfortable — and consistently remind people just how evil it truly was.

Poland wants to pretend like its role in it never happened. And apparently, they want to lump Jewish people in as perpetrators with the Nazis who carried out the murders of over six million Jewish people.

I’m sorry, but it does not work that way.

Just as the United States must grapple with all of its historical flaws — from slavery to women being denied the right to vote — so, too, must Poland face its demons from the past.

The Holocaust happened. Polish concentration camps were real. And any suggestion to the contrary is just an wicked lie.

People need to know the truth so they can learn from it and avoid ever taking part in something like it ever again. Sometimes a little shame goes a long way. Sometimes a lot of shame goes even farther. But the truth is the truth, no matter how hard that can be for some people to accept. And denying the truth when it comes to something as horrifying as the Holocaust isn’t just childish, it is dangerous. I hope Poland understands that and reverses course on this path they are on before they give even more fuel to the rising Anti-Semitic tide in their country.

Feb
20
INGRAHAM WAS WRONG, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN JAMES SHOULD GO UNCHALLENGED
 
by Dr. Kazmir

INGRAHAM WAS WRONG, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN JAMES SHOULD GO UNCHALLENGED

Laura Ingraham is in hot water over comments she made about Lebron James.

In case you missed it, here’s what the conservative firebrand 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,” Ingraham said.

“Unfortunately, a lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously,” she said. “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?” she continued, adding, “Keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”

There are those who have 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.

Some have 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.

But really, all of this is straight out of Ingraham’s standard playbook. She 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.”

What Ingraham did wrong here was not the fact that she picked on James. The NBA star is a global icon with an enormous platform, so if he steps into the political realm, he’s fair game. Instead, the issue is the fact that instead of simply rebutting James and explaining why she thinks he’s wrong, she declared that because of his profession, he should not even voice his opinions.

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.

However, as I said earlier, with the freedom for a famous person to express his opinion to a massive audience due to the loud megaphone fame provides 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. Laura Ingraham should remember that next time, and instead of telling James to “shut up and dribble,” maybe she should try addressing him and attempt to persuade him by providing a convincing counter-argument.

Call me crazy, but I think that might be a slightly better strategy and a tad more mature than just calling him names in-between commercial breaks.

Feb
19
THE ISRAELI MAYOR’S CONFERENCE WAS AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

THE ISRAELI MAYOR’S CONFERENCE WAS AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE

Our 32nd International Mayors Conference in Israel was a gigantic success!

Unfortunately, we are currently living in an era where Israel is being represented far too negatively by the global media.

Thankfully, our conference enables future leaders of their countries to see Israel and what it has achieved in a much more positive light.

This important event gathered mayors from over 30 nations to Israel and promoted solidarity with Israel and Jewish people worldwide.

Every year, the mayors who have attended this conference have been prominent leaders in their home countries and this year was no different.

Among the 2018 attendees were: Nayib Bukele, the Mayor of San Salvador and frontrunner for President of El Salvador and Francis Suarez, the Mayor of Miami and a rising star in American politics, Gabriel Groisman, Mayor of Bal Harbour, Florida, Bryan Barnett, Mayor of Roxhester Hills, MI, Adriana Krnacova, the rising star Mayor of Prague.

Some of the Mayors came from countries where anti-Semitism is a growing concern, so being able to connect with these leaders and teach them about the wonderful accomplishments of the Jewish people was a wonderful experience.

Not only was this an outstanding way to combat worldwide anti-Semitism, it was also a highly effective way to counter the attempted delegitimization of Israel and the “Boycott, Divest and Sanctions” (BDS) movement.

Our conference provided these prominent and future leaders of their countries an opportunity to see the REAL Israel.

While in Israel, we met with numerous Israeli leaders and visited Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other parts of Israel. We showed our Mayors Israeli innovation in areas like technology and infrastructure so they can use it to help improve the lives of their citizens. We took our mayors on a powerful tour of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center and they visited historic sites like the Western Wall in Jerusalem as well.

As Vice President of the American Jewish Congress, I was unbelievably proud to be part of a delegation that included American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen and Secretary Dr. Ben Chouake. The conference showed numerous important leaders from around the world what Israel is really all about, while illustrating the positive impact it can make on the lives of so many people on a global level is something I will cherish forever.

If you would like to learn more about the American Jewish Congress and wish to show support our campaigns please subscribe to our emails here: https://ajcongress.org/content/join or visit ajcongress.org.

Feb
16
SHEBHAZ: A LEADER ON THE RISE IN PAKISTAN
 
by Dr. Kazmir

SHEBHAZ: A LEADER ON THE RISE IN PAKISTAN

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif is being talked about as potentially the next Prime Minister of Pakistan. If he can do with Pakistan what he has done with Punjab, then that would be a very positive development for the Pakistani people.

There have been many encouraging infrastructure developments during Sharif’s tenure, in addition to development projects, and improvements in transportation that have all played a role in elevating Punjab.

Sharif has expressed his intent to build Pakistan up economically and his actions while running Punjab indicate he would be the perfect man for the job.

Add to that the fact that the Pakistani military is the best it has ever been, despite suffering losses during the war on terror helping the United States, and you get an even clearer picture of the success that may lay ahead for Pakistan under his leadership and the leadership of General Qamar Javed Bajwa. In fact, both he and Shebhaz have worked tirelessly together, hand in hand, to produce these remarkable results.

One economic move that Sharif would unquestionably be wise to adopt is meeting with President Trump and attempting to boost the relationship between Pakistan and the United States.

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 the equally business savvy Shebhaz.

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 and already work very closely with Shebhaz — join together with Shebhaz and his team 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.

I believe Shehbaz Sharif is the man who can really put the wheels in motion towards making that happen, so I truly hope with all my heart that the Pakistani people do the right thing and put him in position to carry it out.

Feb
15
THE PARKLAND SHOOTING UPSET US ALL, BUT PLEASE KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT GUNS BEFORE TALKING ABOUT GUN POLICY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

THE PARKLAND SHOOTING UPSET US ALL, BUT PLEASE KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT GUNS BEFORE TALKING ABOUT GUN POLICY

What happened in Parkland, Florida yesterday was sickening.

As a father, I can’t tell you how much it breaks my heart to see 17 dead children, whose lives ended seemingly before they even really got started.

But as much as I am disgusted with what happened in Parkland, I also recognize that simply yelling that we “MUST NOT ACCEPT THIS!” or that we need to do “SOMETHING!” is not productive.

In fact, quite the opposite.

I am truly amazed at how the people who know the least about guns seem to always be the ones leading the charge on the discussion regarding “What needs to be done” in the wake of these shootings.

Full disclosure: I am not a firearms expert. I have fired rifles before and I probably know more than the average person, but I certainly would never claim to be somebody who could teach a course on the subject.

Yet somehow, I still my think level of knowledge about firearms is superior to the vast majority of those with the loudest megaphones at this moment.

Case in point: Here was Hillary Clinton following the Las Vegas shooting, “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”

We hear this all the time, usually from people whose knowledge of guns comes from watching television and movies. A “silencer,” or “suppressor” DOES NOT actually make the gunshot silent. What it does is make the shot less loud so as to protect the shooter from permanent hearing loss. But even with the suppressor, the shots still sound roughly as loud as a Jet engine, which as I’m sure you’re aware, is still pretty damn loud.

Here was MTV’s Ana Marie Cox following that same shooting, “Man, imagine if the right believed in unfettered access to the ballot box as much as they believed in the right to own guns.”

This tired old canard of “hey, buying a gun is easier than _____” is so played out that it should be wearing bell-bottoms. For starters, you need to show a photo ID to buy a gun — something you do not have to do when voting in many states.

Speaking of which…..

Machine guns — automatic weapons — are illegal. Have been for decades.

So, anybody who tells you it is easy to legally purchase an automatic weapon is either a liar or very badly mistaken.

And while we are on the subject of “liar or badly mistaken,” we hear a lot about assault rifles, which to most people really just means a semi-automatic weapon that looks scary, like an AR-15.

Let’s clear this one up: Any rifle that is not a machine gun is a semi-automatic rifle.

An automatic weapon can fire multiple bullets per push of the trigger. This is what machine guns do. A semi-automatic weapon fires one bullet per push of the trigger. I’ve actually heard some use the phrase “semi-automatic machine gun,” which is a real treat, because there is no such thing.

Point being, when you say you want to ban “semi-automatic” assault rifles, you are — knowingly or unknowingly — calling for a blanket gun ban.

I could go on with these gun fallacies.

Seriously, I really could. There is enough material to write a whole book on this stuff.

But I think you get the point.

Unfortunately, the media plays into this by constantly promoting the views of those on both sides who don’t really know what they are talking about. If we are ever going to make progress on this issue, that has to stop.

Mass shootings like these are a tragedy of epic proportions and I’m not going to act like I have all the answers. But I do know that just pounding your fist on the table and recycling talking points that either are not true or wouldn’t have done anything to help, serves no positive purpose.

My suggestion to those who are so dug into their positions but don’t actually know anything: read a book and educate yourself. Because no matter what side of the debate you are on, you are not doing anybody any good if you can’t at least intelligently defend your point of view.

Feb
15
AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS STATEMENT ON THE PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING
 
by Dr. Kazmir

AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS STATEMENT ON THE PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING

“The American Jewish Congress is appalled by the deadly shooting on a high school campus in Parkland, Florida, yesterday that has claimed the lives of at least 17 defenceless people.

This was the latest in a series of cowardly acts against innocent students, the deadliest school shooting since 26 people were killed at Connecticut school Sandy Hook in 2012. Attacks such as these have become far too frequent in the US and worldwide.

As a society we need to fight the hate that breeds such intolerable and indiscriminate violence and ensure that our values of freedom and tolerance prevail.”

American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen and Vice President Dr. Munr Kazmir

Feb
14
GALA RECEPTION AT THE FEDERATION OF ISRAELI MAYORS
 
by Dr. Kazmir

GALA RECEPTION AT THE FEDERATION OF ISRAELI MAYORS

Once again, I must emphasie how incredible the Mayors’ conference in Israel has been. I have met so many amazing people and terrific leaders whose constitutents’ lives will be changed for the better because of information learned and shared at this conference.

I also must repeat how proud I am to be a working with such a special person like Jack Rosen. Jack is a phenomenal Chairman of the American Jewish Congress and there is nobody better to explain how delightful this conference can be and how impactful its results will be throughout the world.

In fact, Jack gave a tremendous speech at the Gala Recepotion for the Federation of Israeli Mayors, and I could not possibly do it justice with a mere recap, so below is the speech in its entirety……

JACK ROSEN

“MINISTER LEVIN, THE MINISTER OF TOURISM, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

LET ME BEGIN BY THANKING THE FEDERATION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES, OUR LONGTIME PARTNERS IN THIS INITIATIVE, FOR ONCE AGAIN WORKING WITH US TO BRING ALL OF YOU TOGETHER TODAY, AND FOR THEIR VITAL WORK WITH ALL OF ISRAEL’S MUNICIPALITIES.

ONCE AGAIN, WE HAVE WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE FEDERATION AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION HAS BEEN INVALUABLE. OUR THANKS ARE IN NO SMALL PART DUE TO ITS LEADERS HAIM BIBAS, WHOSE RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF AND CANNOT GO WITHOUT MENTION. HAIM, ALONG WITH RUTH WASSERMAN LANDE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN ISRAEL, AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS BOARD MEMBERS DR MUNR KAZMIR, VIVIEN WEISMAN HOWARD AND MARC APPEL, AND ALL OUR VALUABLE PARTNERS IN THE PROGRAM, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO AND FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS CONFERENCE A SUCCESS.

(MAYOR AL SALLAM, LAST YEAR YOU HOSTED US IN NAZARETH FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE MAYORS CONFERENCE, WE WERE GLAD TO MEET YOU AND THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO JOIN US AGAIN THIS YEAR.)

MINISTER LEVIN, ISRAELI MAYORS, VISITING MAYORS, IT’S GREAT TO HAVE SO MANY OF YOU JOIN US TODAY AT THIS EVENT — WE HAVE WITH US ISRAELI MAYORS, ISRAELI ARAB AND BEDOUIN MAYORS, REPRESENTING SO MANY DIVERSE CITIES, NATIONS AND PEOPLE. THIS EXTENDED DELEGATION REFLECTS ISRAEL’S DIVERSE CULTURE AND PEOPLE, MADE UP OF ISRAELI JEWS AND ISRAELI ARABS LIVING AND WORKING SIDE-BY-SIDE TOGETHER. ON THIS THE 32ND INTERNATIONAL MAYORS CONFERENCE, OUR AIM IS TO PROMOTE SOLIDARITY WITH ISRAEL AND DIFFERENT NATIONS AND COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD. PROGRAMS SUCH AS THESE NOT ONLY FACILITATE MEETINGS BETWEEN FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS, THEY ALSO ALLOW OUR GLOBAL LEADERS TO SEE ISRAEL AT FIRST-HAND, TO MEET WITH ISRAELI POLICY FORMERS, AND DECISION-MAKERS AND THE ENTREPRENEURS BEHIND THE INNOVATIVE START-UPS DEVELOPING SOLUTIONS FOR ISSUES IN YOUR OWN CITIES. THE STARTING POINT OF ALL GOOD INITIATIVES IS DIALOGUE — DIALOGUE BETWEEN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES, DIFFERENT LEADERS, DIFFERENT CULTURES AND DIFFERENT NATIONS — THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO SEE COMING OUT OF THIS PROGRAM.

DIVERSITY OF CULTURES AND EXPERIENCES IS VITAL AND DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, ISRAEL OFFERS A GREAT CASE STUDY IN SUCCESSFUL DIVERSITY. IN THIS COUNTRY, YOU WILL SEE ARAB AND BEDOUIN CITIES WORKING TOGETHER UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF THE ISRAELI STATE. RECENT STATISTICS HAVE SHOWN THAT THE NUMBER OF ARAB STUDENTS IN ISRAELI UNIVERSITIES GREW BY 78.5% OVER THE PAST SEVEN YEARS, AS A RESULT OF GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES TO HELP INTEGRATE THE ARAB ISRAELI COMMUNITY INTO HIGHER EDUCATION, WHICH IS THE KEY TO BETTER INTEGRATION OF DIFFERENT CULTURES INTO SOCIETY AND INDUSTRY. THIS ISN’T, AS MY PRESIDENT MIGHT SAY, “FAKE NEWS”. YOU WON’T HAVE SEEN THIS ON CNN, BUT THIS IS THE REAL ISRAEL.

MAYORS ARE AMONG OUR MOST IMPORTANT LEADERS. THEY ARE THE ONES TASKED WITH LOOKING AT THE REALITY OF LIFE IN OUR CITIES AND FINDING INNOVATIVE WAYS OF IMPROVING THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE. HISTORY HAS SHOWN US THAT THEY ARE THE LEADERS OF THE FUTURE ON A GLOBAL STAGE. WE AT THE INTERNATIONAL MAYORS CONFERENCE HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH IN PREVIOUS YEARS TO HOST ARGENTINIAN PRESIDENT MAURIZIO MACRI, FORMER ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER AND MAYOR OF FLORENCE MATTEO RENZI AND THE FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK BILL DE BLASIOIN AS PART OF OUR DELEGATIONS. OF COURSE, WE HAVE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO BRING TOGETHER JUST A SMALL NUMBER OF MAYORS FROM ISRAEL AND AROUND THE WORLD ALL WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THEIR CITIZENS. WE ARE LOOKING TO BUILD A COMMUNITY OF MAYORS WHO ENGAGE WITH EACH OTHER IN ALL AREAS, TO BUILD A SENSE OF COMMUNITY BETWEEN COUNTRIES AND THEIR LEADERS. WHO KNOWS, MAYBE SOME OF YOU PRESENT TODAY WILL MEET AT A FUTURE G20 SUMMIT OR AT THE UN AS YOU CONTINUE TO SPREAD OUR MESSAGE OF INCREASED DIALOGUE AND COOPERATION. WHETHER AT MEETINGS OF FOREIGN MINISTERS, BETWEEN DIPLOMATS AND BUSINESS LEADERS, WE KNOW THAT BY WORKING TOGETHER WE CAN ALL BETTER MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR CITIES AND OUR CITIZENS, UTILIZING EACH OTHER’S KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE AND BUILDING A LASTING FREIDNSHIP.

SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS AND WE HOPE THE SUCCESS OF THE START-UPS, ENTREPRENEURS AND MAYORS YOU ENGAGE WITH IN ISRAEL WILL HELP SPREAD THE SEEDS OF PROGRESS AND INNOVATION TO YOUR OWN CITIES. THE SUCCESS OF THIS CONFERENCE DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON YOUR VALUABLE PARTICIPATION. WE HOPE TO BE A PART OF YOUR FUTURES AND THE FUTURE OF YOUR CITIES.

ALL THE MAYORS HERE PRESENT UNDERSTAND BETTER THAN ANYONE THAT ASIDE FROM INVESTMENT, IT TAKES SKILLED POLITICAL LEADERSHIP TO CREATE THE BEST ENVIRONMENT FOR GROWTH AND PROGRESS. AS YOU ALL KNOW, THE KEY IS TO ADDRESS THE FACTORS DIRECTLY AFFECTING THE WELL-BEING OF YOUR CITIZENS AND WORKING TO PROMOTE AND IMPROVE THEM. THAT IS THE KIND OF INTELLIGENT LEADERSHIP THAT BREEDS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION, THAT IS THE ROUTE TO ACHIEVING PROSPERITY AND TO CULTIVATING AS ESSENTIAL SENSE OF COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU”

Feb
13
VISITING YAD VASHEM
 
by Dr. Kazmir

VISITING YAD VASHEM

On Monday, I had the privilege of laying a wreath, alongside American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen and the Mayor of San Salvador, El Salvador Nayib Bukeleis in memory of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial museum for the victims of the Holocaust.

I was struck by the atrocities humanity can commit when respect for other cultures, nations and peoples is lacking.

This thought was further reinforced by the fact that I was accompanied by a delegation of international mayors and dignitaries visiting the state that was set up 70 years as a homeland for a displaced largely European population, and 80% of whose intended demographic had been murdered in the Holocaust.

Israel has not only gone from strength to strength economically and in terms of innovation and technology in its short life, but out of the ashes of the most horrific and widescale genocides of the twentieth century, Israel stands alone in a sea of regional neighbors promoting tolerance and respect for different cultures, nations and peoples.

Nowhere is that greater represented than in a country where Israeli Jew and Arab lives, works and prospers side by side each day — contrary to what we read in the international media, that is the reality of life on the ground in modern Israel.

For those looking at Israel from the outside and concerned whether the prospects of peace are as strong as they once were, I would direct you to Jack Rosen’s address to delegates at the International Mayors Conference in Israel at a lunch hosted by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday.

“Time has not run out for the peace process. When you look at the changing situation on the ground, you get the feeling that things have altered dramatically and the tide of regional support has turned towards the Israelis. Israel & the US must continue strengthening ties with Gulf States to counter the growing Iranian threat if peace is to be a realistic prospect.”

“It is a positive sign that countries like Qatar are making an effort to invite Jewish leaders in the interests of promoting a culture of cooperation. I have been traveling to Gulf States for many years and while this openness to new diplomatic avenues isn’t a new phenomenon, we welcome these kinds of productive conversations between different leaders.

I am not someone who advocates stepping back from action to secure a solution we all seek, but I believe now is the time to let things marinate and see how far that takes us on the path to peace.”

Feb
12
THE ISRAELI MAYORS’ CONFERENCE IN JERUSALEM IS A TRULY WONDERFUL EVENT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

THE ISRAELI MAYORS’ CONFERENCE IN JERUSALEM IS A TRULY WONDERFUL EVENT

As Vice Chairman of the American Jewish Congress, it has been an honor and privilege to be at the 32nd annual Mayor’s Conference in Jerusalem.

Seeing all of these Mayors from all over the world gathered together looking for ways to help each other prosper is heart-warming and incredibly encouraging for the future of our world.

What I find especially amazing is the high level of cooperation between Mayors from places as diverse as Bal Harbour Florida, Peru, Uganda, Ethiopia, Poland, the Czech Republic, El Salvador, and Taiwan, all of whom clearly understand the tremendous benefits to having a strong relationship with Israel.

I also have to commend the Chairman of the American Jewish Congress, Jack Rosen (see below for Jack’s remarkable opening ceremony speech), for being an extraordinary leader at this conference. It is truly a testament to Jack’s management skills and understanding of the importance of everybody at the conference working together on a common goal that everything has gone so smoothly thus far.

The Mayors from these nations in past years have frequently gone on to serve in higher offices, in large part due to the benefits their visits to Israel brought their respective countries.

That’s because the conference not only provides these Mayors with a deeper understanding of Israel as a nation and the need to educate about the dangers of anti-Semitism, but also educates them about a wide variety of innovations in technology, infrastructure, counter-terrorism, and the economy that prove to be universally beneficial.

There are incredible investment opportunities in Israel, but also outstanding companies within the country that are looking to invest elsewhere. The chance to court Israeli investment into cities and countries worldwide is one that numerous Mayors take advantage of every year to help boost their local economies.

The potential windfall from Israeli investment, which creates jobs, improved infrastructure, and introduces new state of the art technology into the fold means that any Mayor who does not attend and explore these opportunities is missing out on the possibility of greatly improving the lives of his citizenry.

And personally, I have met so many impressive Mayors in just my first day here that I am honestly blown away. These are some of the finest public servants in the entire world gathered together in one place, and their collaboration can lead to so many improvements worldwide that it is hard not to get excited.

I am overjoyed to be here, and greatly look forward to meeting more terrific people and exploring even more innovative ideas throughout the rest of the week.

JACK ROSEN — CHAIRMAN of THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS

OPENING CEREMONY SPEECH

MAYORS IN ATTENDANCE — MAYORS

Khatib Abdulrahman, Mayor of Zanzibar, Tanzania

Motanga Andrew Monjimba, Mayor of Limbe, Cameroon

Nayib Bukeleis, Mayor of San Salvador, El Salvador

Thamiso Edison Chabalala, Deputy Council Chairman, Southern District Council, Botswana

Jacek Jaśkowiak, Mayor of Poznan, Poland

Beti Kamya Turwomwe, Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Uganda

Deriba Kuma Heiy, Mayor of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Adriana Krnáčová, Mayor of Prague, Czech Republic

Dr. Chia-Lung Lin, Mayor of Taichung, Taiwan

BY GATHERING MAYORS TOGETHER HERE IN THE ANCIENT CITY OF JERUSALEM, WE HOPE TO UNDERSCORE THE FACT THAT ALL PEOPLE, EVERYWHERE, SHARE MANY OF THE SAME CHALLENGES AND NEEDS AS THEY SEEK TO LIVE AND WORK TOGETHER IN THEIR RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES. AND OF COURSE, WE WANT TO INTRODUCE TO ALL OF YOU THE GREAT BEAUTY AND MYSTERY OF THIS VERY SPECIAL MUNICIPALITY. WE HOPE YOU WILL SEE THE IMPORTANCE AND RELEVANCE OF JERUSALEM AS A LIVING, BREATHING, MODERN TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY CITY AND ISRAEL AS A NATION THAT PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY & FREEDOM FOR ALL OF ITS CITIZENS, JEWS, MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS LIVING TOGETHER IN HARMONY AND YEARNING FOR PEACE FOR ITS CITIZENS.

EVERY MAYOR WHO TRAVELS A GREAT DISTANCE TO ATTEND THE CONFERENCE UNDERSTANDS THE POTENTIAL THAT EXISTS TO BUILD A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR COUNTRY AND ISRAEL.

ISRAEL IS A SPECIAL COUNTRY.

AS ISRAEL PREPARES TO MARK 70 YEARS SINCE ITS CREATION, THIS SMALL COUNTRY, 58% OF WHICH IS ALRGELY BARREN DESERT, HAS DESPITE ALL ODDS BECOME A WORLD LEADER IN THE FIELDS OF ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY, A VERITABLE BREEDING GROUND FOR INNOVATIVE START-UPS. DESPITE BEING IN ITS INFANCY AS A NATION, TODAY ISRAEL HAS ONLY FIVE PER CENT UNEMPLOYMENT AND IS THE THIRD COUNTRY LISTED ON THE NASDAQ AFTER THE US AND CANADA. ITS ECONOMY HAS ROCKETED FROM APPROXIMATELY $3 BILLION IN 1948 TO VOER $300 BILLION TODAY. FROM HAVING MINIMAL TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITIES IN 1947, TODAY IT IS A TOP-FIVE HIGH-TECH AND CYBER POWER.

ISRAEL WAS FOUNDED IN 1948 OUT OF THE ASHES OF THE HOLOCAUST AND ITS DEATH TOLL OF SIX MILLION JEWS. THE FACT THAT IT WAS FOUNDED AS THE JEWISH STATE, TO PROVIDE A HOME FOR A JEWISH DEMOGRAPHIC, AN ESTIMATED 80% OF WHICH WAS WIPED OUT IN THE HOLOCAUST, LEFT AN INDELIBLE MARK ON THE NATION’S IDENTITY. AS CHAIM WEIZMANN WROTE TO DAVID BEN-GURION DURING WORLD WAR II: “HERETOFORE WE WERE A PEOPLE IN SEARCH OF A NATION: WHEN THIS IS OVER WE WILL BE A NATION IN SEARCH OF A PEOPLE.”

I WONDER IF YOU AGREE WITH ME THAT FOR A COUNTRY THAT THE WORLD SEEMS TO BE OBSESSED WITH, FIRST TIME VISITORS QUICKLY REALIZE MOST OF THEIR PRECONCEPTIONS ARE WRONG, AS YOU WILL NO DOUBT SOON REALIZE.

REACTION TO THE JERUSALEM DESIGNATION HAS MOVED FROM REGIONAL CRITICISM TO INTERNATIONAL OUTRAGE OVER THE PAST TWO MONTHS, WITH LEADERS FROM MOST WESTERN POWERS AND INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS INCLUDING THE UN RUSHING TO CONDEMN THE DECISION. GIVEN THE ONGOING ATROCITIES IN COUNTRIES LIKE SYRIA AND MYANMAR, YOU HAVE TO WONDER WHY ISRAEL ALONE IS SINGLED OUT FOR SUCH WIDESPREAD CONDEMNATION IN RESPONSE TO A DOMESTIC DECISION BY THE US GOVERNMENT. WE CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THAT ONCE AGAIN WHERE ISRAEL IS INVOLVED, MISINFORMATION AND MISREPRESENTATION PERSIST, AS THE SAME STANDARDS OF STATEHOOD ARE NOT APPLIED TO WESTERN COUNTRIES, MUCH LESS MORE UNSAVORY REGIMES AROUND THE WORLD.

YET DESPITE THIS CONTINUED DOUBLE STANDARDS AND EXISTENTIAL THREATS TO THEIR NATION’S EXISTENCE, THE ISRAELI IDENTITY IS RESILIENT AND ROBUST, AND ISRAELIS SOMEHOW MANAGE TO CONTINUE TO BUILD THEIR THRIVING COUNTRY AND ECONOMY. THIS IS A COUNTRY CONSTRUCTED ON THE NEED TO ACCOMPLISH THINGS KNOWING THAT LIFE IS UNCERTAIN, THAT WE ALL HAVE LIMITED TIME ON EARTH, THAT WE NEED TO DEMAND THE MOST FROM OURSELVES BECAUSE NOTHING COMES EASILY. THAT NATIONAL ETHOS THINKING IS THAT ISRAELIS MUST SUMMON THE RESOLVE TO ENSURE THAT THE FUTURE IS IN THEIR OWN HANDS.

Feb
9
RIPPON MAY HAVE MISSED THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
 
by Dr. Kazmir

RIPPON MAY HAVE MISSED THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME

Apparently, tolerance is a one-way street and if something gets said enough times, it becomes a fact.

American Olympian figure skater Adam Rippon reportedly refused to meet with Vice President Pence at the Olympics recently, though the Vice President has disputed this.

Rippon also made disparaging comments about Vice President Pence, including repeating that he believed Pence supported gay conversion therapy, which involves shock treatment.

The Vice President has denied this claim and there is no evidence to support it. It all comes down to people who dislike the man choosing to interpret his support of funding for “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior” as being conversion therapy.

The Vice President likely meant those who are promiscuous or who could be steered towards abstinence. But there is nothing credible to suggest he was referring to shock therapy, and he has said as much several times.

However, those with agendas have a narrative to push, so that’s where this story goes.

And that’s exactly why if the Vice President actually did request a meeting with Rippon, the Olympian should have taken it.

And before anybody comes at me, I am a big supporter of the LGBT community and would never wish to see them harmed. As somebody who grew up as a vulnerable minority in a country far less tolerant than the United States, I know what it is like to feel targeted and I would outright refuse to support anybody who engaged in such behavior.

But while Mike Pence may hold traditional values and be against same sex marriage, he has never given me a reason to believe he actively wants to hurt anybody.

And let’s get this out of the way, too: Yes, Rippon has the right to refuse to meet with anybody he wants. I don’t think anybody is suggesting otherwise and if they are, then it is a silly suggestion.

But I believe Rippon should have seen a potential meeting as a chance to hear straight from the source what was meant by “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior” rather than from those who are simply guessing.

It would also be an opportunity to start a dialogue with a very important person, which is something most people don’t get. Talk out your differences, cast aside any possible misconceptions either person has of the other, and maybe you can learn something and make progress.

Simply refusing a meeting does the exact opposite. It prevents answers, it avoids direct discussion, and it just makes the divide wider. None of that is positive.

As the saying goes, if you refuse to talk to your perceived enemies, they will always remain your perceived enemies. That doesn’t work when it comes to foreign policy and it doesn’t work with human relationships, either.

So, if Vice President Pence wanted to meet with Adam Rippon, the figure skater should have said yes and taken advantage of the chance to try to push the dialogue forward. By doing the opposite, he may have missed a golden opportunity, and that is a real shame.

Feb
8
WE MUST LEARN FROM HISTORY, NOT TRY TO ERASE IT
 
by Dr. Kazmir

WE MUST LEARN FROM HISTORY, NOT TRY TO ERASE IT

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.

The latest such 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!

Feb
7
SHAPIRO LEADS THE BATTLE AGAINST ANTI-FREE SPEECH FORCES
 
by Dr. Kazmir

SHAPIRO LEADS THE BATTLE AGAINST ANTI-FREE SPEECH FORCES

The treatment that conservative speakers have gotten on college campuses over the past few years is not only disappointing, it’s frightening.

Ben Shapiro is probably the most notable example of this phenomenon, and it’s absolutely amazing to me just how far these people are willing to go to stop a person they don’t agree with from speaking.

Ben Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew. As a religious Jewish man myself, I respect that immensely. And while I may not necessarily agree with everything Shapiro has to say, his views are fairly conventional for a conservative and certainly nothing alarming.

But don’t tell that to the campus activists.

Nearly everywhere Shapiro goes, there are threats of violence, rabid protests, attempts at shouting down. It would be scary if it wasn’t so sad.

Schools have often forced groups who invited Shapiro to either downgrade to a smaller building or go off campus entirely to avoid commotion. There have also been numerous instances of groups having to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for extra security based on anticipation of violence from those attempting to keep Shapiro from giving a speech.

None of these things are acceptable and constitute what is commonly known as a “heckler’s veto,” meaning that those who yell and shout the loudest get what they want. It is like giving into your three-year old when she is screaming for soda at 2AM. It will shut her up at that moment, but just sets a terrible precedent since she now knows all she has to do is throw a tantrum to get her way.

Between all of that and the constant anti-semitism lobbed his way by the alt-right, Shapiro has absorbed a tremendous onslaught, but carried on nonetheless.

And as tough as I’m sure it is fort him at times, what he’s doing is the ONLY way to handle this insanity.

The second people back down in the face of threats, the sooner the bullies know they can get what they want with threats. The second the bullies know they can get what they want with threats, that’s when they know they can stop literally anybody or anything if they just imply that they might cause havoc.

You give in to that, and soon enough, you don’t have free speech anymore. You just have a vicious, angry mob deciding what is acceptable to say. Conversations cease to exist, and all you are left with is the thought and language police, ready to punish you for anything and everything they deem not worthy of discussion.

What they will not do, of course, is stand up and make passionate counter-arguments. Because that requires real thought and discipline. Easier to just repeat a catchphrase, throw on a black mask, and yell and scream regarding a subject or a person you know absolutely nothing about.

I salute Ben Shapiro for battling against anti-semitism and anti-free speech forces, even at great risk to his own personal well-being. No doubt he knows exactly what is at stake here and understands it is far more important than just what happens with him.

Our country was founded on freedom of speech, not freedom to avoid being offended. Somewhere along the way, a lot of people on college campuses have seemed to forget that.

And I’m glad Shapiro has seen fit to do his part to remind them.

Feb
6
NICK FOLES: AN INSPIRATION TO ALL
 
by Dr. Kazmir

NICK FOLES: AN INSPIRATION TO ALL

What an incredible game Sunday night!

The unstoppable juggernaut — the New England Patriots — were beaten by a team winning its first ever Superbowl with a backup quarterback who played the game of his life. And as much as I admire the New England Patriots organization, I was pulling for the Philadelphia Eagles because of Nick Foles.

My life’s passion is my school in Lahore, Pakistan — American International School System (AISS) — which teaches children about how great our freedoms are. We give these children a western-style education so that they understand we are not their enemies and don’t grow falling prey to propaganda that makes them hate us. We also educated them about western values, including the fact that if you work hard in America you can achieve your dreams. I am living proof.

So is Nick Foles.

Think about it: Here’s a guy who was shipped out of Philadelphia as an afterthought a few years ago by then-coach Chip Kelly. Then, after bouncing around between St Louis & Kansas City, Foles was brought back to Philadelphia under a new head coach, but never expected to be anything more than a backup. We teach our kids at AISS that they need to make the most of their opportunities and when Philadelphia’s starting QB Carson Wentz got hurt, Foles did just that.

He took over and led the Eagles to a championship, winning the Superbowl MVP award in the process. This was done through hard work, dedication, and strong values rooted in his deeply held Christian beliefs.

Foles easily could have given up on himself, but he didn’t. Instead, he relished the role of backup QB, waiting for his chance to earn another shot to lead a team. Nick Foles never stopped believing in himself — even when everybody else did — and his never-say-die attitude helped propel him and his team to a Superbowl championship.

That incredible performance Sunday night was Foles’ vindication; his reward for continuing to fight every single day of his life to keep his dream of being a Superboql winning quarterback alive.

Foles’ story in amazing, but not just because of the perseverance of one determined individual. It is astonishing precisely because of the example it sets for every aspiring athlete in the United States who wonders if his hard work will ever pay off. Nick Foles is the perfect role model for the kids in the American School to aspire to be like, and he makes me proud to be an American.

Feb
2
Tax Cuts Already Paying Off In A Big Way
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Tax Cuts Already Paying Off In A Big Way

President Trump and Republicans in Congress said they would deliver on reforming the tax code and earlier this year, they did.

The bill is somewhat complicated and I recommend you at least read a variety of good summaries. But the crux of the reform is lower rates across the board, both individual and corporate.

This is a welcome action from where I sit. 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 new 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.

This plan is not the end all be all, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

I look forward to using the money I will be saving to grow my business and hire more employees, and I am likewise happy for others who will be able to afford more in their everyday lives due to the increase in their paychecks.

Feb
1
Morning Joe Highlights Transparent Phoniness
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Morning Joe Highlights Transparent Phoniness

I don’t know who is more disgusting — Michael Wolff, or the members of the media who peddled his filth simply because they wanted it to be true.

Let’s put this right out front: Michael Wolff says he didn’t imply Nikki Haley had an affair with Donald Trump.

But he did.

He then claimed Nikki Haley was embracing and enjoying the rumors.

But she wasn’t.

Suddenly, the same group of media and celebrities who propped Wolff’s book up — promoting it non-stop on television and having Hillary Clinton read passages from it at the Grammys — was attempting to distance themselves from Wolff.

It was so transparently phony that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski — the King and Queen of transparent phoniness respectively — HAD to be the ones to be the most transparent and the phoniest.

You may recall the Joe and Mika kissed Donald Trump’s rear-end from the time he announced he was running, then at some point decided he was bad, and became part of the #resistance, with Scarborough writing an unbearably awful anti-Trump song that not even Mika could have told him was good with a straight face.

So today, Joe and Mika had Wolff on. The same Wolff whose book they were saying weeks ago was further proof that Donald Trump was a deranged madman who needed to be removed from office.

But now? Wolff was a creep! He’s a jerk! He slandered a woman and that is unacceptable. Oh, and how dare he deny it on — of all places — Morning Joe, a show that is a sacred ground of truth.

If you watched this ridiculous travesty occur this morning and threw up in your mouth, I could hardly blame you.

The truth is that Joe, Mika, and everybody else who peddled this con man’s book don’t care at all that Wolff was spreading tabloid-level nonsense. In fact, they loved it. It allowed them to smear the president with impunity while hiding behind Wolff and his sloppy joke of a book.

But now that it has been brought to light that a woman was slandered — and that woman decided not to take it without fighting back — many of these same people have to be at the forefront of the effort to denounce Wolff, because otherwise they would risk being seen as hypocrites when it comes to “standing up for women.”

And in doing so, they have proven that they are just as full of bull as Wolff and his book.

Nikki Haley deserves better than to be the subject of malicious rumors that have no basis in reality, but she and the rest of the public deserve better than having a media who pushes smut and promotes a huckster author just because it suits their agenda.

Exhibit #8,234 as to why nobody trusts the media anymore and with good reason.

Will Joe, Mika, or anybody else learn from their mistakes? No, of course not. And the next time somebody else comes along whispering things they want to hear about the president and his staff in their ear, they will swoon all over again.

As the president himself might say: SAD!

Jan
31
SPIN ALL YOU WANT ON THE SOTU, BUT NUMBERS DON’T LIE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

SPIN ALL YOU WANT ON THE SOTU, BUT NUMBERS DON’T LIE

The State of the Union went off without a hitch last night as the president delivered a speech that had over 80% approval.

As I watched from my hotel room in Beijing, China, the president wisely hit on all of the major topics he needed to discuss — immigration, the economy, jobs, foreign policy — while using powerful personal stories to drive home his points.

He did well. Despite grandstanding democrats like Senator Cory Booker (NJ) claiming the president was being divisive, the bulk of the country did not see it that way at all.

In addition to the overwhelming positive poll numbers regarding the speech itself, the president’s approval rating ticked up, he closed the gap in generic Trump vs D polling, and his tax cut bill — which was once incredibly unpopular — is now polling dead even in the categories of approve and disapprove.

For their part, the Democrats sent multiple speakers out for the post state of the Union response, including Joe Kennedy III. Bless his heart, the young man has the political pedigree, but sounded more like some weird Massachusetts version of Will Ferrell trying to imitate George W Bush than a serious political threat.

And what is it about Democrats and political dynasties, anyway? Was the Rockefeller family unavailable?

Kennedy sounded the same “the president is divisive” alarm that every Democrat has been screaming for over two years now, but you have to wonder how many people have just tuned them out by now. It’s odd to hear complaints about the president being a vague talker with no real policy ideas from a party of people who just shoved a young Kennedy out there to essentially talk vaguely and put forth zero policy ideas.

I saw a joke going around on social media saying that Vice President Pence must have super glued the Democrats to their chairs. Makes sense since with the exception of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, none of them seemed to move all night.

That may play well with their base, but to independent voters — the ones who actually swing elections — history tells us that kind of stunt comes off as petty. You mean to tell me they couldn’t even find it within themselves to applaud an infrastructure bill that they would be calling the greatest bill of all time if it had been proposed by Hillary Clinton? The phoniness is pretty transparent.

If you hate the president and live to criticize him for anything and everything he does, then feel free to lie to yourself that last night was not a win for him. But I saw what I saw and heard what I heard, and by the looks of those poll numbers, so did a lot of other people as well.

Jan
29
AMERICA FIRST
 
by Dr. Kazmir

AMERICA FIRST

America First.

It’s a simple concept, really. But unfortunately, it is one that many in our political class do not take very seriously.

The political hand-wringing over President Trump “talking mean” to North Korea has been made to look quite foolish in the wake of the fact that North Korea and South Korea have agreed to sit down and talk about easing tensions for the first time in quite a while.

It’s in America’s best interest that the issues over there get resolved peacefully, even if it takes some incredibly harsh words to make that happen.

America First.

While Sec. Hillary Clinton was accusing Vladimir Putin of “hacking our election” — a claim she never came close to substantiating — and threatening to shoot down Russian planes with a no-fly zone in Syria, President Trump said he wanted to sit down with Putin and work things out.

This wasn’t collusion with Russia, it was avoiding another war while attempting to strategically form an alliance to crush terrorist enemies.

America First.

While the current administration made a deal with Iran that was so bad that they had to — as Obama administration official Ben Rhodes admitted to the New York Times — hide it from the American public and then compounded that by making a ransom payment they tried to deny making, President Trump has said he wants to get rid of that terrible agreement and make a better one that ensures Iran does not go nuclear.

America First.

While the Obama administration put out a press release touting the so-called mixed legacy of Fidel Castro, a murderous, authoritarian dictator who imprisoned and executed gays, Afro-Cubans and political dissidents of all stripes, President Trump called Castro out for the monster he truly was and warned Cuba that if they don’t change their ways, the United States has no reason to do anything that is to their benefit.

America First.

Under the watch of the last two administrations, we spent trillions of dollars and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people — both American and those in the middle east — to fight wars that created more enemies abroad. In addition to leaving Iraq a mess the U.S. government turned Libya into a chaotic war zone with migrants struggling for their lives.

Donald Trump was against that. America First.

I keep repeating “America First” but I do so as a reminder that the American people elected President Trump for that very reason: they wanted a President who isn’t going to make terrible deals with foreign governments and deny them, who isn’t going to spend trillions of dollars and waste hundreds of thousands of lives in unnecessary wars, and who most certainly isn’t going to let the United States be anybody’s doormat.

Peace through strength. No more politics as usual.

America first.

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

Jan
26
PRESS RELEASE
 
by Dr. Kazmir

PRESS RELEASE

FRIDAY JANUARY 26, 2018

NEW JERSEY — Following a unanimous vote by its board of Directors, the AISS Foundation has named Mary Joan Hansen its new Executive Director.

“I view this opportunity as the perfect fit for my unique blend of experience in sales, event management, and motherhood,” Hansen said.

“AISS has an incredible reputation for helping children, and as a mother of two boys, I value that immensely. The mission of allowing children in Pakistan the ability to attend an elite school where they can learn not just basic American curriculum, but also how to love and respect different cultures and religions is something any human being with a heart can get behind. Our goal will be to use education to end hatred and bring peace, one book at a time.”

AISS Co-Founder Dr. Munr Kazmir was thrilled to add Hansen to his dedicated team.

“We are going to be expanding our efforts greatly in the near future and nobody is better to lead that charge than Mary Joan,” he said.

“The success of our school in Lahore has been amazing. It is everything I envisioned when I founded AISS in 2006. The success in Lahore has shown me that we can take this concept and be successful with it in many other places, and Mary Joan will be at the forefront of that.”

Kazmir’s Co-Founder, John Allison was also pleased at the addition of Hansen as Executive Director.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better person to take the reins at AISS than Mary Joan,” he said.

Added Hansen, “I am really excited to get started and I have many ideas I will be looking to implement. 2018 is going to be the year we bring AISS to the next level, and I can’t wait to begin working with Dr. Kazmir and the AISS board members to help make that happen.”

Jan
25
DACA Recipients Should Stay, But We Must Enhance Border Security, Too
 
by Dr. Kazmir

DACA Recipients Should Stay, But We Must Enhance Border Security, Too

Politicians in Washington are currently trying to figure out what to do about DACA, which would allow roughly 800,000 people who were brought to the United States illegally as children to stay in the country.

Let me state up front that I would very much like to see this situation resolved in a manner that allows every single one of those people to continue living here.

However, we also must grapple with the fact that permitting this without installing stronger protection for the border is unacceptable.

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 as an undocumented worker, there are people who suffer as a result.

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.

But 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 promised to take steps towards fixing immigration, something both parties in Washington have talked about, but failed to do for decades.

That inaction needs to come to an end now.

And while DACA recipients should not be forced to leave, doing nothing to fix border security cannot be an option. The border wall may or may not be a great solution, but it does at least address the issue in some way, which is something the American people clearly want. To those who strongly oppose the wall, I say step forward with a list of real, comprehensive ideas and present them to the American people.

Complete inaction is no longer good enough. For the good of the nation, let’s all come together and really try to fix this problem.

Jan
24
Wanting Assad Out In Syria Is Understandable…..But Forcing Him Out Would Be A Huge Mistake
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Wanting Assad Out In Syria Is Understandable…..But Forcing Him Out Would Be A Huge Mistake

In 2012, President Obama now famously warned Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad that any use of chemical weapons would constitute the metaphorical crossing of a “red line” and would be met with military action.

He began systematically drone bombing in Syria and arming the rebel forcesfighting Assad, but did not make the kind of grand military strike people were expecting.

Then Donald Trump got elected and finally made good on that red line promise.

Many on both sides of the aisle pushed President Trump to intervene from the day he took office, and in April of last year, he launched a targeted strike on Syria.

I was hoping it would end there, but unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is now talking about a more pronounced and permanent presence in Syria, including a full-throated push to force Assad out of power.

That would be a mistake. A big mistake.

I am a supporter of the president, so I would like to offer him some words of wisdom from a very prominent world leader who seems to agree with me that intensifying our military efforts in Syria would be a bad idea.

“If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away and fix broken U.S.”

In another statement, this same prominent world leader said, “We should stay the hell out of Syria, the ‘rebels’ are just as bad as the current regime. What will we get for our lives and billions of dollars? Zero.”

Finally, this same world leader wondered aloud, “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long-term conflict?”

If you guessed that the world leader I’m referring to is President Trump, you are correct. Those were tweets he sent out in 2013 when President Obama was pushing involvement in the Syrian conflict. He was beat back at the time, although as I mentioned, he simply began drone bombing them instead.

I said this about Vladimir Putin and I will say it about Bashar al-Assad as well: he is a very bad man and I weep for his victims.

But we simply cannot be the world’s policemen.

We have done it countless times and it always ends in absolute disaster. The disastrous results of what happened when we toppled governments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Nicaragua, unfortunately tell that tale all too well.

Regardless of intentions, the unintended consequences — piles of bodies and a regime that takes over and ends up being even worse than the one it is replacing — are often staggeringly terrible both for the country we are invading and for us.

I sympathize with those who want Asaad out, but greater intervention is not only going to be ineffective in the long run, it is also going to get a lot more people killed.

So, what can we do?

Well, it would be nice if other countries in the region like Saudi Arabia would help out, but since that is not going to happen, there needs to be some sort of international cooperation and the International Criminal Court should get involved.

To a great deal of people that will not be considered a strong enough action to take. I’m not 100 percent convinced myself that it would work.

But what I do know is that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and our history shows that an operation to depose Assad would likely cause more problems than it would solve.

I wish President Trump would listen to his own words from 2013, rather than those of the bloodthirsty foreign policy establishment that dragged us into perpetual Middle Eastern war in the first place.

And when it comes to taking further military action in Syria, I have only one request: Please reconsider.

Jan
17
Conspiracies About The President’s Health Are Not Going To Help the #Resistance
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Conspiracies About The President’s Health Are Not Going To Help the #Resistance

01/17/2018 06:43 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Yesterday, White House Dr. Ronny Jackson declared that he gave President Trump a physical and that the president is 6’3, 239 pounds, and is in “excellent health.” Dr. Jackson also administered a cognitive test, on which he said the president scored a 30 out of 30.

Almost immediately, the cries of lying and conspiracy began.

“Resistance” leader Steve Marmel put up pictures of athletes next to the president next to a tweet that read, “All of them have about the same height and weight, per the White House health report.Let me know when you’ve stopped laughing. I’ll be here.#DaftTaft

NBC’s Ken Dilanian, “Seeing a lot of skepticism over the idea that @realDonaldTrump weighs only 239 pounds. Would he step on a scale in public to prove it?”

Former U.S. Senate staffer John Aravosis, “The military doctor flat out lied.”

And of course, last but not least, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who essentially said the president is not in excellent health and has heart disease, despite never examining him.

Ok, then.

Dr. Jackson was President Obama’s doctor as well. He has an impeccable resume and reputation. Exactly what would he have to gain by lying? And what would his motivation for doing so be?

The people screaming from the rooftops about how it is impossible for the president to be 6’3 239 pounds while ripped athletes weigh around the same clearly do not understand biology.

For example, I have one friend who is 5’7 155 pounds and in outstanding shape. I have another who is 5’10 and would look borderline emaciated if he tried to weigh less than 200 pounds. It is called bone density.

Also, muscle and fat are completely different things. That’s why a chubby guy can weigh the same as a lean athlete. Muscle and fat do not weigh the same.

This whole topic is such an exercise in silliness that I almost feel bad talking about it, but I feel like I have to because of how many people are clinging to what they desperately want to believe in spite of reality.

The President does not have dementia. He is not at risk from poor health. These are facts as relayed to us by a well-trained and highly regarded professional in the medical field with absolutely no reason to lie.

As I mentioned yesterday when talking about the lunacy of blaming President Trump for the false alarm in Hawaii, tossing out nutty conspiracies and accusing a doctor with no motivation to lie of being paid off or some sort of administration shill does nothing but make you look ridiculous.

As somebody who supports the president, let me offer my #Resistance friends some free advice: Fight the man on his actions and stay away from this kind of incredulous nonsense. The more you embrace this conspiratorial garbage, the more you are just hurting your own cause. So do yourself a favor, stop being a Trump “girther” and worry about battling him on real issues like immigration and healthcare.

Trust me, I’m telling you this for your own good.

Jan
16
Blaming President Trump For Hawaii Mishap Is Misguided and Ignorant
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Blaming President Trump For Hawaii Mishap Is Misguided and Ignorant

01/16/2018 05:34 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Over the weekend a dire warning was sent out in Hawaii telling citizens about an incoming missile. People in Hawaii panicked, as we saw the sad sight of parents seeking refuge in the sewage with their children. Everybody all over social media lost their minds as well, which is understandable given the circumstances.

Thankfully, the missile alert turned out to be a false alarm.

It now seems like that false alarm occurred not because of outside hacking, but instead due to human error. Apparently, somebody accidentally hit a button.

How on earth that could happen – let alone how it would be possible to have a system set up in such a shoddy way that somebody mistakenly leaning on a button could trigger a warning of this magnitude – is something that needs to be investigated thoroughly and fixed immediately.

That said, the hysteria in the aftermath was beyond parody. No, I’m not talking about those who were furious about the false alarm and were demanding answers. I’m talking about the countless people who somehow found a way to blame this incident on President Trump, including several prominent celebrities.

Here’s “Ace Ventura” star Jim Carrey, “I woke up this morning in Hawaii with ten minutes to live. It was a false alarm, but a real psychic warning. If we allow this one-man Gomorrah and his corrupt Republican congress to continue alienating the world we are headed for suffering beyond all imagination. ;^\”

And “Fish Called Wanda” star Jamie Lee Curtis, “This Hawaii missle scare is on YOU Mr. Trump. The real FEAR that mothers & fathers & children felt is on YOU. It is on YOUR ARROGANCE. HUBRIS. NARCISSISM. RAGE. EGO. IMMATURITY and your UNSTABLE IDIOCY. Shame on your hate filled self. YOU DID THIS!”

Those are just two examples of this phenomenon, but there were plenty of them, and all were ridiculous.

Even some people on CNN were engaging in this irresponsible behavior, which should be beneath any news organization.

It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with the way the president handles himself on Twitter.

Likewise, it is fine to believe that making veiled threats to North Korea is an unwise course of action.

However, trying to blame President Trump for something that occurred due to human error is incredibly reckless.

As we all know, there is plenty of false information on social media, and so those with big followings should be exceedingly careful. It is one thing to spread something false unknowingly, but there is zero excuse for doing it on purpose.

There are those who will ask, “But Dr. Kazmir, Jamie Lee Curtis is just some actress and Donald Trump is the president, so how can you compare the two?”

Yes, this is true, the president’s actions on twitter are far more consequential than a Hollywood actress. But that does not absolve people like Curtis and Carrey and does not mean that what they did wasn’t wrong and dangerous.

You can despise the president with every fiber of your being, but blaming him for the Hawaii false alarm when you know damn well he had nothing to do with it is exactly the kind of dangerous game you are accusing the president of playing.

And while the president’s actions on Twitter are often reckless, adding even more recklessness to the equation is not helpful to anybody.

So, if the goal is to blame the president for literally everything on earth and just scream “well, he’s a liar, too!” when you get called on it, fine.

But if you truly oppose the man’s agenda and his actions, then do so by actually trying to mobilize against them, rather than turning yourself into the very thing you claim to hate.

Jan
15
Tribute To A Civil Rights Icon
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Tribute To A Civil Rights Icon

01/15/2018 06:31 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Today is a day to commemorate the life of one of America’s most significant men. A hero who struck a monumental blow for racial justice.

Of course, I am referring to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a Jewish man who was born and raised in Pakistan, I have seen plenty of prejudice and injustice in my own life. So naturally, I have a soft spot in my heart for Dr. King.

Dr. King was an amazing man, not just because of his message but his methods as well. Dr. King realized that there was nothing more important than getting the right message across – that black people were being treated as second class citizens – while also understanding that the method of non-violence was what would best achieve his goals.

People have suggested that the idea of Dr. King as “non-political” was a myth. I suppose he was not non-political in the sense of not advocating for political causes he believed in. In fact, his entire legend was built upon this premise.

However, he was not a man for whom political parties or labels were important. Dr. King had principles and he was willing to work with anybody who would advance them.

America has a tough history when it comes to race relations. Slavery is America’s original sin, but the Jim Crowe south was horrific as well. It was that environment in which Dr. King found himself and he handled his cause with dignity, grace, and a tenacious perseverance. Heroes like Dr. King and Rosa Parks were willing to absorb violence and even go to prison for their beliefs if they had to. They helped make the world a better place and paved the way for countless black men and women who have gone on to achieve incredible things in this country. They all owe pioneers like Dr. King and Rosa Parks a debt of gratitude and as a nation, America owes them a gigantic debt of gratitude as well.

No matter which race you are, today is a day to reflect upon some of the injustices of the past while appreciating the progress we have made and remembering to continue striving forward every single day.

God bless and Rest in Peace, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today is your day. May we continue to honor and cherish you now and forever.

Jan
12
On Immigration, Focus Should Be On Real Issues, Not Nasty Words
 
by Dr. Kazmir

On Immigration, Focus Should Be On Real Issues, Not Nasty Words

01/12/2018 05:40 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

News broke yesterday about President Trump that has had people talking non-stop ever since.

Yeah, I know, it seems like that could be the opening sentence of a column virtually any day of the week.

This time, the reason the president has been the topic of conversation almost everywhere is because he reportedly referred to nations like El Salvador, Haiti, and several African countries as “s—-tholes.”

Immediately, people came out in droves to rip the president for being an insensitive racist.

Being that I am an immigrant myself, I feel like my perspective on this may be different than some other people.

I’ll start by saying this: If what President Trump meant is that the people in those countries are worthless and bringing them into the United States is bad, then that is a disgraceful thing to say and he should apologize immediately.

If what he meant is that the countries he spoke of are countries that have terrible living conditions that people would love to escape from, well, then he simply needs to be less profane and choose his words better.

Google Haiti for example, and you will see some horrifying poverty statistics. This is not a reflection on the people of Haiti at all. I’m sure most of them are perfectly fine human beings. But the country itself is an absolute mess for a long time, and there’s really no denying that.

The question here should never be one of race or ethnicity, but instead, of culture and values.

Regardless of where you live, my criteria for whether or not you should be in the United States is simple: Do you believe in capitalism and a constitutional government? In other words, do you believe in western values?

If the answer is yes, then great, come on in. If not, you can stay where you are.

America can never have enough hard-working people who want nothing more than to assimilate to our culture and do everything humanly possible to succeed. But for those who have no desire to do those things, we do not need you.

Ultimately, this is what we should be focusing on with the immigration debate. Who is going to come and make a positive contribution to society is all that matters, so let’s ensure that those we let in fit that description. Which country they come from, which race they are, or who they are related to should mean far less than whether or not they would make ideal American citizens.

This is a very complicated subject and there is no easy fix. But if we can all agree that the above paragraph is what our immigration system should be based on, then at least we have a solid place to start.

Jan
11
The President Makes A Bold Move In The War Against Opioids
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The President Makes A Bold Move In The War Against Opioids

01/11/2018 05:12 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Yesterday, President Trump signed the Interdict Act, which will allot $9 million for Customs and Border Protection to get updated chemical screening devices that are meant to snuff out synthetic opioids at entrance points into the United States, including borders and airports.

This is part of a much wider attempt to tackle the opioid crisis nationwide, which President Trump promised to aggressively attack in October of last year.

When making the announcement last year about what he planned to do about the opioid epidemic, the president painfully recalled the alcoholism of his own brother, as he emotionally made a bold declaration about the situation and pledged to fight it with everything he has.

There are roughly 175 overdoses everyday, which the president declared is a health crisis that this generation must end. This is why efforts like the one announced yesterday, in addition to greater overall border security in the form of a wall on the southern border are incredibly important undertakings.

To head this effort, he has chosen New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Full disclosure: I know Governor Christie fairly well and I believe the president has made a great choice here.

Governor Christie has been personally affected by this issue, having lost a very close friend to this crisis years ago.

A major part of this initiative will involve providing better treatment for addicts, which, to be honest, is something I wish would be integrated into the war on drugs in general.

I understand that like opioids, many illegal narcotics are dangerous. But I also believe that fighting addiction with treatment rather than jail cells is more humane and effective.

That doesn’t mean hardcore drug abusers who commit crimes shouldn’t be punished, but I would like to see the system as a whole lean more towards treatment and less towards incarceration.

All of that said, it is nice to see the opioid crisis finally discussed out in the open and given the proper national attention.

For far too long opioids have ravaged numerous parts of the country and it is about time that fact was recognized by those who have the power to make positive changes.

Whatever you think of him, President Trump is doing the right thing here and his choice of Chris Christie was a perfect one, as the Governor is as committed to this battle as anybody ever could be.

America needed strong leadership on this issue and now they have it.

I hope with all my heart they are successful.

Jan
10
The United Nations Is A Poster Child For Ingratitude
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The United Nations Is A Poster Child For Ingratitude

01/10/2018 01:17 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

It is now nearly a month since the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council Resolution demanding that the United States rescind its decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel and the follow up action three days later by the U.N. General Assembly demanding that all countries comply with Security Council resolutions regarding Jerusalem/Israel. In both instances American Ambassador Nikki Haley articulating the long enshrined principle of American Sovereignty, forcefully and passionately affirmed the United States decision. One is left to wonder what has happened to the “old-fashioned” notion of gratitude and respect for acts of a friend, which the United States has been for so many for so long.

Many in support of the United States actions have questioned whether there was a betrayal by America’s allies, who voted in favor of the resolutions. And this included many of the European countries, England, France, Germany as well as Japan, India and many in Asia and Africa who have been the beneficiaries of American largesse for so many years. Over 50 billion dollars has been expended annually in foreign aid by the United States. In 2016 the United States contributed 10 billion dollars to the United Nations for its general budget and host of agencies. It is assessed 22% of the U.N. regular budget and 28% of its peace keeping budget. And for that it engenders offensive and outrageous Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

And while I recognize that member state countries, like people, have a right to disagree with decisions or opinions of others, there are also the principles of respect for sovereignty and “gratitude” that must be recognized. The charter of the U.N. (Article 2.7) provide that the U.N. shall not intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state. Norms of non-intervention, underline the respect for a member’s sovereignty. Does the U.N. have anything better to do than criticize a verbal declaration by the United States in merely recognizing defacto what is the reality of another member’s (Israel) capital city?

And what of the very idea of “gratitude?” There is a fundamental principal in the Bible of “gratitude,” which is referred to as “Hakorat Hatov,” literally meaning “recognizing the good.” In the Old Testament there are several instances of this narrative. One of these is the narrative of the Ten Plagues administered upon the Egyptians, by Moses as the emissary of the Almighty who was enjoined to strike the Nile River in favor of his brother Aaron for the first two plagues of “Blood” and “Frogs” because it was the same Nile River which protected Moses in his infancy (Exodus Chapter 6). In a later narrative when the Israelites were ordered to strike the Midianites (Numbers Chapter 31) once again Moses was held back from commanding the Israelites because in his earlier years he resided in Midian and partook of its benefits. These instances were the acknowledgement of “Hakarot Hatov;” not biting the hand that feeds you.

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln formally declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday as a show of gratitude for the blessings of the United States for the watchful providence of the Almighty. And while Lincoln rarely attended Church, although he read the Bible daily, he recognized that gratitude and reciprocity were the enduring instruments of good governance.

While our democratic and constitutional framework of government admits of dissent and free speech, to deliberately provoke with offensive actions which flies in the face of a nation’s sovereignty rights and principle of gratitude, is way out of line. It would be well to ponder how Abraham Lincoln would react to such an expression of ingratitude. It would be even more contemplative to appreciate the Biblical narrative of Moses abstentions.

Jan
9
Shehbaz Sharif As Pakistani Prime Minister Could Benefit Not Just Pakistan, But The United States, Too
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Shehbaz Sharif As Pakistani Prime Minister Could Benefit Not Just Pakistan, But The United States, Too

01/09/2018 04:45 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif is being talked about as potentially the next Prime Minister of Pakistan. If he can do with Pakistan what he has done with Punjab, then that would be a very positive development for the Pakistani people.

There have been many encouraging infrastructure developments during Sharif’s tenure, in addition to development projects, and improvements in transportation that have all played a role in elevating Punjab.

Sharif has expressed his intent to build Pakistan up economically and his actions while running Punjab indicate he would be the perfect man for the job. Add to that the fact that the Pakistani military is the best it has ever been, and you get an even clearer picture of the success that may lay ahead for Pakistan under his leadership.

One economic move that Sharif would unquestionably be wise to adopt is meeting with President Trump and attempting to boost the relationship between Pakistan and the United States. 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 so I urge him to think very carefully before making this decision final.

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. I believe Shehbaz Sharif is the man who can really put the wheels in motion towards making that happen, so I truly hope with all my heart that the Pakistani people do the right thing and put him in position to carry it out.

Jan
8
SALUTING THE BRAVE PEOPLE OF IRAN
 
by Dr. Kazmir

SALUTING THE BRAVE PEOPLE OF IRAN

01/08/2018 11:51 am ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

The voice of anger of the heirs of the Iranian Constitutional Movement has shaken the walls of oppression of tyrant rulers of the Islamic Republic. Now is the time to raise the flag of the Constitutional Movement over the peak of freedom in Iran, and raise the torch of freedom for the right of choosing one’s own destiny and the right to vote for a Constitutional Government.

Over a century ago, the Iranian nation came together in unity for the most prominent chapter in the history of Iran in an uprising for transfer of power to the nation, the formation of the National Assembly and the adoption of the first Parliamentary Constitution of Iran known as the Constitutional Revolution of Iran. After decades of achieving social, political, and technological progress through the “era of enlightenment and modernity”, the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 and the framework of their constitution, all progress was shattered. The Islamic Republic Constitution literally delegates to the Supreme Leader the absolute power over every branch of the government and the lives of the citizens. Women have become second class citizens and only a certain class supporting the clergy are recognized to run for government offices. Now the Islamic Republic of Iran (“IRI”) is facing a serious impasse. In IRI’s 39-year existence, not only have political freedoms been suppressed, but social freedoms have also been crushed and all educational, cultural, environmental, and economic infrastructure of Iran have been eroded into oblivion.

Just as the Constitutional Revolution of 1911 was a turning point for Iran, today’s critical conditions inside of the IRI are one of the most important passages and historic times for not only Iranians but the Free World. We must be cognizant of the current events to prevent embezzlers and thieves from hijacking this sensitive moment of Iran’s history when the nation is rising again to regain power and to give Iranian children a bright future.

The Iran National Council for Free Elections calls for the formation of a National Constitutional Assembly through free and fair elections for the formulation and adoption of a democratic constitution under supervision of impartial international organizations. Such elections would allow citizens of all political and intellectual tendencies to participate in a fair, non intimidating, and secure environment to introduce their views to people through the national media with equal opportunities.

In order to realize their national interest in universal values; namely, separation of religion from the government, establishment of equality for all, welfare and security of all citizens of Iran, protection of international interests of Iran and respect for international laws, observance of international human rights, establishment of a growth-oriented economy, transparency and sustainable democracy, Iranian people must be able to choose their preferred form of government based on recommendations of the National Constitutional Assembly by casting their vote in a National Referendum.

We must all hope for a free and prosperous Iran and pray for the triumph of free will over the perils of tyranny.

Jan
3
Iranian People are demanding: “Regime Change in Iran is the Only Solution”
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Iranian People are demanding: “Regime Change in Iran is the Only Solution”

01/03/2018 05:14 pm ET

Iranians disillusioned by their leaders have been protesting and dying on the streets demanding regime change… Why?

Economically, inflation is now at 20%; 67% of Iranian society is under 35 years old, and over 70% of them are unemployed. Billions of dollars received from the United States as part of the nuclear “deal” have gone to terrorist organizations and been pocketed by corrupt religious and government officials. Politically, Iranian women are arrested, tortured and stoned to death. Human Rights are nonexistent, labor unions are outlawed and their leaders are in prison. Journalists are routinely arrested and killed. The press is under full control of the Supreme Leader. Women and children are oppressed and therefore must be saved.

Since 1979, every American Administration has tried to reason with, negotiate with, contain, and change the behavior of the Iranian Regime. But we never understood the DNA of The Islamic Republic of Iran. What do they believe in? What motivates them? What makes them tick?

The Islamic Republic believes:

-Countries in the international system are expected to comply with international rules, treaties and standards. But International law is unacceptable, as it conflicts with Sharia law, which should be the only legal system.

-The Western Democracy and Human Rights system, based on concepts of equality and justice under man-made law, is in violation of Sharia law, the law of G-d, which is to be interpreted by Iran’s Supreme Leader.

– Secularism, liberalism, religious toleration, and freedom of expression all conflict with the divine system of “Islamic” fundamentalism, dominated by a theocracy under the control of a Supreme Leader.

This ideology believes “first great revolution against the global system.” The Islamic Revolution is not just political but total, transforming human nature itself, because Islam is not simply a religion but an entire way of life.

The most significant conflicts between Ayatollahs, Iranian People and Democracy involve the principles of separation of “church and state” and “checks and balances.” These concepts directly challenge the concept of “Sharia” as a comprehensive legal system with a single interpreter.

The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, both conservatives and so-called “moderates,” have proven to the world that their regime is incompatible with the international system and cannot be reformed.

The international community must commit its resources to assist the freedom-aspiring forces inside Iran who have repeatedly declared that they too want the Ayatollahs to depart.

1- International community must declare any violence against Iranian people by the regime elements will result in full economic actions against individuals heading those government units and the freezing of their illegal bank accounts throughout the world.

2- International community should provide technology to ensure that the Iranian people have uninterrupted access to the internet and the ability to communicate freely among themselves. It is only the Iranians themselves who can topple the current regime and its philosophy of “Velayateh Faghih,” but we must help them.

3- American People should fill their Social Media pages with support for the Iranian People and their struggle against tyranny.

Do not believe the Islamic Government supporters disguised as Iran “experts” telling us that “we should not interfere in another country’s affairs!” They say “isn’t that what Russia tried to do in our election”! Iranians inside Iran are pleased that the President, Vice President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and numerous legislators both Republican and Democrat are supporting their struggle. Iranians do welcome our moral and technological support in their struggle against evil.

Jan
3
Chaos in Iran
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Chaos in Iran

01/03/2018 09:13 am ET Updated Jan 03, 2018

On this sixth day of the new uprising in Iran, I am sure you have watched dozens of videos of events in Iran and have some idea of the momentum of this revolutionary movement.

Following two weeks of large demonstrations in Tehran by people who had lost their savings from massive bank and credit institution fraud, they are demanding justice and shouting slogans against President Rouhani and against the Supreme Leader, chanting “Death to Khamenei!”

Iranians are uprising for democracy and human rights. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Iranian leadership has brutally oppressed its own people and became the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism worldwide. The regime also consistently threatens to “wipe Israel and the United States off the map.”

The Iranian regime is desperate. Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGS) have killed at least 22 people, including a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old.  Many more were brutally injured and 450 people arrested, which has been reported by the IRGC.

The internet and social media are still cut off and the Iranian people are rising up against an oppressive terrorist supporting regime. They are calling for an end to the dictatorship, chanting “Death to Hezbollah.”  The Iranian people are fed up with the corruption and human rights violations. The fearlessness, courage and leading role of women in Iran has been exceptional.

The Iranian people want democracy and freedom. An Iranian young lady removed her mandatory hijab publicly in protest of the Islamic regime and waved it.

Protesters are chanting against the Iranian terror funding regime: “No Gaza, No Lebanon, our lives are devoted to Iran” and call for end to the rule of Ayatollah Khamenei, chanted “death to Khamenei” “we made a revolution-what a mistake we made” “Iranians will die but they will not tolerate humiliation” “Reza Shah, May your spirit be happy” “Pahlavi-Pahlavi” a call for the return of the Pahlavi kingdom, “A country without a king, has no accounting or planning” call for the return of the Monarchy chanted in several cities including holly city of Mashhad, and Iranian Islamic regime are doomed to collapse soon”.

Dec
28
$285 Million No Longer Down The Drain
 
by Dr. Kazmir

$285 Million No Longer Down The Drain

12/28/2017 09:22 am ET

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that the United States will be contributing $285 million less to the UN next 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.

For years, the United Nations has relentlessly bashed the United States even while largely being subsidized by out money.  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 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.

Dec
22
New Blood Rising
 
by Dr. Kazmir

New Blood Rising

12/22/2017 05:11 pm ET

In a very short amount of time, Rep. Ron Estes who represents the 4th Congressional District of Kansas has quickly made a name for himself as a pragmatic, amiable Congressman who goes to great lengths to represent his constituents. In November the Department of Homeland Security proposed a chemical test at an abandoned Indian school in Northern Oklahoma, 5 miles from Arkansas City, Kansas to test their response to a bio-chemical incident. Residents who lived in the vicinity were immediately alarmed and rightfully concerned about potential health side-effects.

Former students of the Chiloco Indian Agriculture school were also upset. The school, which educated thousands of American Indian’s from 126 different tribes from 1884 to 1980, is today managed by the Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes.

Estes, who has been in office just under eight months, wasted little time working with the DHS to find a solution. He reviewed the proposed test and had a number of questions regarding the test. Estes spoke with then acting Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and asked her to review the proposed test.

On Thursday the Department of Homeland Security announced that they had suspended the test due to a reaction from the local community and the leadership of Congressman Estes. Congressman Estes tweeted that the:

“The safety of south central Kansans has been my priority during this process, and I commend the Department of Homeland Security for listening to our concerns”

With a Congress full of lawyers, it’s refreshing to have a Congressman who is an engineer looking for practical solutions to problems. This is a great example of a new member of Congress making a difference for his constituents.

New blood was sorely needed in congress and this is a perfect illustration of what can happen when fresh ideas are allowed to come to the forefront.  It has been under s year, but the results Congressman Estes has produced have been very strong already.  And I’m thankful that a bold, independent, solution-driven man is in there now to shake things up.

Dec
22
Tax Cuts Don’t Just Help “The Rich”
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Tax Cuts Don’t Just Help “The Rich”

12/22/2017 08:52 am ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

President Trump and Republicans in Congress said they would deliver on reforming the tax code and earlier this week, they did.

The bill is somewhat complicated and I recommend you at least read a variety of good summaries.  But the Crux of the reform is lower rates across the board, both individual and corporate.

The bill is far from perfect, but the tax cuts are certainly a welcome action from where I sit.  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 is using 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 white happy to direct you to several excellent charities who could use that money.

Of course, 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 Cor 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.

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.

Like I said, this plan isn’t perfect, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.  I look forward to using the money I will be saving to grow my business and hire more employees, and I am likewise happy for others who will be able to afford more in their everyday lives as a result of this tax bill.

Dec
20
Consistency is King…..Or At Least It Should Be
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Consistency is King…..Or At Least It Should Be

12/20/2017 09:11 am ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Ever since President Trump was elected, certain members of the media have gone full blown insane.

Over at National Review Online yesterday, 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.  He lays Rubin out and exposes her quite clearly for the fraud that she so obviously is.

To Cooke’s credit, he also shrewdly points 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 dies 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.

Dec
19
President Trump Makes Good on the Lip Service of Many Others on Jerusalem Promise
 
by Dr. Kazmir

President Trump Makes Good on the Lip Service of Many Others on Jerusalem Promise

12/19/2017 12:04 pm ET Updated Dec 19, 2017

It is not even a week since President Trump made his declaration, that Jerusalem is to be recognized as Israel’s capital and there has been an avalanche of commentary — both written and otherwise, favorable and critical; and some protestation, again some in favor and not in favor. And as I listened and read much of this I realize that while some talk of how this may or may not contribute to bringing peace between Israel and Palestinian Arabs, there remains much unspoken of what Jerusalem means “deep down” to Jews whether they live in Israel or elsewhere as a fundamental belief in the Jewish religion. While I may not be very scrupulous in my observance of religious precepts, I know that factually “Jerusalem” is mentioned 669 times in the Old Testament and 142 times in the New Testament. I don’t believe there is any mention of Jerusalem in the Quran.

For the believer, therefore the a priori foundation of Jerusalem, and the “Land of Israel” or “Eretz Yisorel” in the vernacular Hebrew mother-tongue is found in the very first sentence in the Bible in the commentary, as noted by the 11th century foremost Biblical commentary “Rashi” — himself a “holy man”: with prophetic insight who questions why the Biblical story begins with God’s creation of the world and not Biblical instruction and commandments. He answers that there may come a time when nations of the world will challenge the legitimacy of Israel and the Jewish homeland and informs that God created the entire universe, and He gave Israel to the Jewish people. Jerusalem was the capital seat of Jewish sovereignty when both holy temples stood. At the present time, all indicia of a nation’s capital are found there: it’s Court, it’s Legislature, it’s Presidency, and Seat of Government. So the presdent declaration of Jerusalem is not only a realistic recognition but has ancient and holy underpinnings as well.

When President Truman, acting with great courage, recognized Israel in 1948, there was a similar outrage by the world’s political establishment. Sound could be fury, but this has not prevented our Senate from passing the Jerusalem Embassy Act in October 1995 by a 93-5 vote, and a 374-37 vote in the House, and which measure was unanimously reaffirmed a mere 6 months ago. Three presidents including Obama, Bush and Clinton had endorsed in their respective Presidential campaigns to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Why is there an about-face by certain sitting Senators now? Why is there any legitimate public outrage!?

If there is to be peace, it cannot be imposed from outside; it takes commitment and resolution by the parties involved, not name-calling, frenzied criticism or the attempted burning down of a synagogue in Sweden, or the destruction of a Jewish meat market in Holland.

So let us all move forward and eschew any violent and peevish bullying or anti-semitic response.

Dec
16
CNN Should Have Just Come Clean…..Instead, They Dug Themselves A Hole
 
by Dr. Kazmir

CNN Should Have Just Come Clean…..Instead, They Dug Themselves A Hole

12/16/2017 01:14 pm ET

The internet was ablaze the other day when word got out that Anderson Cooper had supposedly tweeted out a nasty insult directed at President Trump.

The excuses came immediately.  The tweet was shown as having come from a location where Cooper could not have been and so it had to be his assistant, who is the only other person who has access to Cooper’s phone.  Then we heard that Cooper’s assistant was at the gym, and while he was working out, somebody took his phone and sent the tweet.

So a person broke into a gym locker, took out a phone, unlocked it, sent one tweet, and then put it back exactly where he found it?

Sure.

What almost certainly happened for real is that Cooper’s assistant thought he was sending the tweet from his own account, but accidentally sent it from his own.

CNN should have just said that and it would have been no harm, no foul.

Instead, they concocted this ridiculous story that is so far-fetched that even the most gullible person could not be convinced to believe it.

So, why exactly did CNN resort to such an elaborate and implausible coverup?

Two words: President Trump.

The president has been swearing CNN has an agenda against him for the entire first year of his presidency.  If one of their hosts or even his assistant were to be discovered engaging in anti-Trump behavior, it would lead credence to the idea that CNN does actually have it out for the president.

Thus, the “stolen out of the gym locker” story CNN put forth.

The problem is, by using a cover story that no person in his right mind would find credible, they have inadvertently found themselves lending credibility to the other charge President Trump has levelled at them: namely, that they are fake news.

This is where CNN really went off the rails.  A host’s assistant being revealed to be a “Trump hater” is not ideal, but it is not the worst thing in the world.

But an elaborate scheme to deflect from the truth?  Well, that just adds all kind of fuel to the fire.

People don’t trust the media and incidents like this are the reason why.  CNN should have just come clean from the start, but instead, they dug an even bigger hole for themselves.  I’m a supporter of the president, but I also want a media who can credibly hold him accountable.  That’s why I sincerely hope CNN and others learn from this mistake.  Because if we cannot trust news outlets to be any more trustworthy than the politicians they cover, then we have a much bigger problem than a bad story about a phone.

Dec
15
DONALD TRUMP HAS JUST ANNOUNCED THAT THE US OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZES JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL CITY
 
by Dr. Kazmir

DONALD TRUMP HAS JUST ANNOUNCED THAT THE US OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZES JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL CITY

12/15/2017 05:42 pm ET

The American Jewish Congress welcomes the US Designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital & the relocation of the Embassy.

“The American Jewish Congress welcomes President Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and its commitment to relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This historic acknowledgement by the Trump administration recognizes Jerusalem’s just and rightful position as the heart of the Jewish State.

“The Palestinians really only have themselves to blame for today’s announcement. The Palestinians have for some time embarked on diplomatic terrorism at international institutions including the UN and UNESCO. In this they were aided by President Obama’s abstention on the anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution last December, which threatened to strain the special relationship between the US and Israel, and sent a dangerous message to the Palestinians that the US was abandoning its longstanding American policy of vetoing unilateral resolutions against Israel. This has served only to entrench attitudes towards the Palestinians by those on the right in America and across the Jewish world.”

“That said, the American Jewish Congress is encouraged by the increased signs of engagement between Israel and Sunni Arab states, which make the prospects of achieving a lasting negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians an ever more realistic outcome. The American Jewish Congress looks to the US to continue to lead the way among the international community to facilitate constructive dialogue and actions between Israel and the Palestinians with the aim of reinvigorating the dormant peace process.”

Jack Rosen, President, American Jewish Congress

Munr Kazmir

Ben Chouake

The American Jewish Congress is committed to ensuring the survival and security of Israel, and protecting Jewish communities around the world

– This article was taken from AJ Congress’s website. (www.ajcongress.org/news)

Dec
14
Restoring Faith in the FBI
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Restoring Faith in the FBI

12/14/2017 06:37 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

As many of you know I am a big supporter of law enforcement serving at our local, state and federal levels.  Inconvenient and long hours, nights, weekends and holidays for the men and women that carry a badge are common place. They all took an oath to uphold the constitution of this great country and sometimes they are asked to do things unfathomable to rest of us.

They see people at their absolute worst, get called names, are sometimes physically attacked.  It’s all part of the job they signed on for, but it’s never easy.

To that end, there has been chatter recently about the unprofessional action of a senior attorney and a two senior agents at the FBI. I have numerous friends who work at the FBI and many that retired from the agency.  They are outraged about the perception of bias within their ranks.

The FBI agents that I have spoken are embarrassed by the recent news and public hearings that highlight the unprofessional conduct of a few senior leaders of the FBI on the Clinton and Russian Investigation.

As most people know, the FBI – and the DOJ as a whole – is supposed to administer blind justice.

But it is evident from the hearings and the press reports that lady Justice forgot her blindfold on these two investigations and America is wondering about the credibility of the Special Counsel based and the team that was assembled that have more political connections to one political party as opposed to the other.

Most agents joined the FBI because they want to protect America and uphold the law. But that becomes a tough thing to convince people of when stories like this materialize.  From what I’ve gathered, the field agents at the FBI are disgusted at the two Senior Agents leaders, regarding them as an embarrassment.

Both of these agents have been called pompous and completely full of themselves.  One of the agents prided himself as the law and order person when he was assigned to the Office of Professional Responsibility ( Internal Affairs) wasn’t sympathetic when “real agents” made a mistake trying to do what was commonly regarded as the right thing.  Law enforcement officers have a long memory when it comes to people that forget where they came from and live in glass houses.

There is also more irony when I think of the FBI’s motto of “Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity” along with the blind lady of justice.  I hope we get the rest of the answers to our questions on what happened in the Clinton and Russian investigations and the lady justice firmly ties her blindfold on and treats every citizen the same.  I firmly believe the FBI employees at the center of the scandal are the exception, not the rule.  I pray that Congress and the Department of Justice fixes this quickly to restore the FBI back to its position of high regard both in America and around the world.

Dec
14
Congratulations to Alabama’s newest Senator Doug Jones
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Congratulations to Alabama’s newest Senator Doug Jones

12/14/2017 09:58 am ET

MARVIN GENTRY/REUTERS

I may have quite a few ideological differences with Senator-Elect Jones, but he won fair and square and now he will attempt to do his best for the people of Alabama.  Jones would be wise to moderate if he wants any chance of being re-elected in three years, but that’s a bridge he will have to cross when he gets there.

As for Jones’ opponent, well, what can I really say about Roy Moore that I haven’t already said.  The man’s refusal to admit defeat seems to be one last opportunity for him to prove what a repugnant human being he is.

Of course, Moore would not have even been in position to go head to head with Jones if everybody in the Republican Party had not made lethal mistake after lethal mistake from day one.

The key mistake, of course, was the party jumping into the primary to prop up Luther Strange, who had only been handed the senate seat as a way to stop him from investigating a corrupt Governor.

Tea Party Congressman Mo Brooks (who announced today that he has prostate cancer – my thoughts prayers are with him) was ready, willing, and able to take the nomination, but the RNC nuked him to get Strange a one on one matchup with Moore, whom they thought was so crazy, he’d never stand a chance.

But they underestimated just how unpopular Strange was for his dirty dealing with the governor and how little the people of Alabama care for Mitch McConnell.  Moore won the primary running predominately against McConnell, not against liberal ideology, and that carried him to a primary victory.

It should go without saying that if Republican brass had stayed out of the primary, Brooks likely would have won, and easily would have cruised to victory last night.  Unfortunately, he will have to wait another three years now to get his chance, if he decides he wants to run again.

And then, of course, there was Steve Bannon.

I’ve heard people call Bannon everything from a white supremacist to Darth Vader to a king maker.

The truth is, he is none of those things.

Steve Bannon is nothing more than a beta male who sees a phenomenon, rides its coattails, and then finds a way to either take credit for a win, or blame somebody else for the loss.

 Bannon was never responsible for the rise of President Trump or Roy Moore.

Moore was one of the most famous figures in Alabama for years and Bannon jumped aboard when he saw Strange floundering.  And President Trump was a brand name long before Steve Bannon ever showed up.

But hopefully, this puts an end to the myth of Bannon as anybody important and people begin to see him as the pathetic charlatan that he really is.

As for the Democrats, I read a bunch of people saying this was a sign of things to come and Jones showed liberal Democrats can win in deep red states.  Some even suggested Ted Cruz should be nervous.

This is silly.  Jones squeaked by a man who had credible allegations of child molestation hanging over him and was the worst candidate I have ever seen for any political office.  This is no different than Scott Brown surprisingly beating Martha Coakley in deep blue Massachusetts.  A few years later, Elizabeth Warren took the seat back for the Democrats, as everybody knew she would.  The same will happen in Alabama in three years, whether it is Mo Brooks or somebody else sending Jones packing.

And as for Cruz, he is one of the most popular figures in Texas.  If the DNC wants to waste its time and resources trying to defeat him, I say have at it.  I’m sure he’s shaking in his boots.

That said, the Republican Party had better get its act together quickly if they want to avoid a messy fate next year.  Ceasing to attempt forcing terrible candidates like Luther Strange down people’s throats would be a good first step.  Getting on message and starting to get legislation passed would be another.

But if they keep doing what they did in Alabama across the rest of the nation, it is only going to lead to more trouble.

Dec
13
‘If you see something, say something’ should be more than just an empty slogan
 
by Dr. Kazmir

‘If you see something, say something’ should be more than just an empty slogan

12/13/2017 11:03 am ET

Commit the following names to memory: Jack Collins, Sean Gallagher, Drew Preston, and Anthony Manferdini.

Those are the brave New York City police officers who arrived on the scene to stop the bomber at Port Authority from reaching for his cell phone, which could have been a detonator.

Those four men represent New York’s finest, and we should all thank our lucky stars they were there to prevent any possibility of anybody else being injured, or perhaps even killed.

But the big question, of course, is what happened to cause all of this chaos in the first place?

The bomber – whose name I will not mention so as to not draw attention to him – was a 27 year old from Bangladesh.  We often hear that those who commit acts of terror like this do so because they are ostracized, can’t find jobs, etc….. but this guy seemed to be doing fairly well.  He was making money as a cab driver, and had friends and family.

Reportedly, though, he still had animosity towards the United States for acts he held our government responsible for.  That’s fine, not all that out of the ordinary.  What is out of the ordinary, however, is when that animosity becomes full-fledged motivation for violent attacks.

He supposedly had not been secretive about his desire to do something for revenge, but yet, he was not on anybody’s radar.  This is a big problem and one that we have heard before.

I cannot express this clearly enough, but if you have a friend or a loved one who is making open threats like this, you either need to call authorities or sit him down and snap him out of it.  I realize the instinct to protect those close to you, but it is one thing when you are protecting them from something minor and non-violent, and another when you know they are a threat to commit a terrorist act.

The old line was “if you see something, say something” and that’s just as true as it ever was.

This is not a game and lives are at stake.  Anybody who would even think of doing something like this needs to be stopped – whether that means getting them professional help or phoning in a tip to the police – because otherwise real people with real lives are going to be hurt.

Thankfully, due to the incompetence of the bomber and the excellent work of those four heroic cops, nobody was killed yesterday.

 But we can’t rely on that happening next time.  If you see something – or hear something – say something.

And say it as loudly as you can.

Dec
11
Believing Women Is Important, But So Are The Results of Investigations
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Believing Women Is Important, But So Are The Results of Investigations

12/11/2017 11:59 am ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Recently I’ve written about the sexual harassment charges leveled against Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer.

I’ve also taken on politicians like Senate candidate Roy Moore, Representative John Conyers and Senator Al Franken. I’ve been critical of each of these men and condemned them for what they did to innocent women.

As the father of three daughters, I take these charges seriously. There is no place for this type of despicable behavior towards women. Especially by men who use their positions of power to intimidate their victims and attempt to keep their inexcusable behavior secret. I applaud the women who’ve had the courage to come forward, risking exposure, ridicule and further intimidation. I can’t begin to imagine the strength it took for them to come forward. These women’s stories need to be heard and the behavior they revealed must be eliminated.

Lately however, I’ve been asked why I’ve ignored and not written about Representative Blake Farenthold as he too has been accused of sexually harassing a woman on his staff and firing her when she complained.

So, let me explain why I haven’t condemned Farenthold. To begin with, I know Representative Farenthold personally, I’ve hosted events for Blake in my home. I know his wife Debbie and two daughters, and I know him to be a good, honorable and decent man. That said, if I believed for one second he was guilty of the charges leveled against him, I’d be the first to condemn him.

Let me point out two significant differences between Moore, Franken, Conyers and Farenthold. First, only one women has accused Farenthold of improper behavior as opposed to numerous women accusing Moore, Conyers and Franken. That’s an important consideration because while even one provable charge in unacceptable, there is usually a pattern to this type of behavior which is rarely limited to just one occurrence.

In addition, Franken and Conyers demanded an Ethics investigation by the Senate and House…Farenthold has already been investigated and cleared by the House’s Office of Congressional Ethics.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, (OCE), is a nonpartisan, independent entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against members of the House and when appropriate referring matters to the House Committee on Ethics. The OCE found, after an exhaustive and lengthy review of the Farenthold’s case, a review that included over 200,000 pages of evidence gathered from emails, texts and other sources, as well as interviews with the Congressman, his accuser, past and present staff and other witnesses, that; there was no substantiation of the charges and recommended dismissal of the case.

The OCE was created by Congress under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2008 as part of her effort to clean up the, “culture of corruption” in Washington. I applaud Pelosi for her efforts to create this Committee and the purpose for which it was established. OCE is comprised of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, both men and women, including former members of Congress and private citizens.

I’ll let the Office of Congressional Ethics recommendation speak for itself. A recommendation made by the only people, six men and women, Democrats and Republicans, who’ve heard from both the accused and the accuser and reviewed all the facts in this case. These individuals have seen the evidence and their decision should be acknowledged.

The Office of Congressional Ethics unanimously recommended, 6-0, that; “the Committee on Ethics dismiss the allegations concerning Representative Farenthold, as there is not substantial reason to believe that Representative Farenthold sexually harassed or discriminated against complainant, or engaged to intimidate, take reprisal against, or discriminate against complainant for opposing such treatment, in violation of House rules and Federal Law.”

A powerful statement by the Committee on Ethics and one largely ignored by the media frenzy that seeks to drum out of office anyone accused of bad behavior, guilty or not.

Accusation in and of itself cannot be conflated with guilt. To that end, Congressman Farenthold was cleared by the very committee Speaker Nancy Pelosi created to “clean up the culture of corruption.”

I believe the Office of Congressional Ethics did a thorough job investigating this matter and think their ruling should be taken seriously. Congressman Farenthold’s feet were held to the fire – as they should have been – and he was cleared. Rooting out bad behavior is an honorable goal but we also must be willing to accept the results of hearings and investigations. Because if we don’t, then we as well just cast everything aide and just declare anybody ever accused of anything to be guilty. And while that may be satisfying for some, it is not the proper way to determine guilt or innocence and in the end, it produces the precise opposite of justice.

Dec
8
Rutgers Must Dump Its Disgustingly Anti-Semetic Professor
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Rutgers Must Dump Its Disgustingly Anti-Semetic Professor

12/08/2017 06:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Rutgers President Robert Barchi probably thinks of himself as somebody who protects the most vulnerable among us. He spoke out loudly against President Trump’s travel restrictions and vowed to protect DACA students on his campus.

But Jewish students seem to be another matter.

Michael Chikindas, a microbiology professor, has constantly posted numerous anti-Semitic comments and memes on his social media.

As a Jewish person myself, this stuff is so blatantly racist and beyond the pale that it absolutely infuriates me to see that students are taught by such an obvious bigot, especially Jewish students, who cannot possibly expect fair treatment from this man.

Look, I’m all for free speech and controversial opinions, but this clearly goes way over the line from controversial into anti-Semitism. It is one thing to criticize Israel or its policies, or even Judiasm as a religion. But what he Chikindas is doing here goes far beyond that, as it essentially categorizes all Jewish people as subhuman. There’s no way that type of behavior should be acceptable for a member of the University’s faculty.

Nobody is saying he should be in any legal trouble for this and if it were a controversial post or two, fine. But this is a clearly established pattern of hatred, and it should not be tolerated by Rutgers or any other University.

President Barchi stood up for Muslim students and for those here illegally, so for him to let this slide would not only be wrong, but incredibly hypocritical. He needs to come out and denounce this disgusting display of bigotry and send a message by showing Chikindas the door.

And until he does, I suggest any decent person refuse to send their children to Rutgers and if you have children there already, strongly consider asking them to transfer. A man displaying this behavior should not go on being rewarded with a professorial job, and until he is removed, as far as I’m concerned, Rutgers is dead to me.

And I hope it will be dead to you, too.

Dec
7
Trenton Has A Plan, A Vision, And Real Hope
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Trenton Has A Plan, A Vision, And Real Hope

12/07/2017 05:56 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

With all the craziness going on in the world right now, it is nice when I can look out and see somebody doing something positive that won’t cause partisan bickering.

As a New Jersey resident, that’s why I’m proud to say I truly commend the job Eric Jackson is doing as Mayor in Trenton, NJ.

I have known Mayor Jackson for a while and have always found him to be a strong thinker and somebody who knows how to get things done. Even though he is a Democrat, Jackson has worked with Republican Governor Chris Christie if he felt the effort suited his constituents, political parties be damned.

As Vice President of the American Jewish Congress, I have worked with him on reaching out to Israeli businesses as far as getting them to consider doing business in Trenton. He’s able and willing to work with anybody he needs to in order to yield positive results for the people in his city.

And that is why I’m confident in Mayor Jackson’s plan to woo businesses to Trenton.

As the Mayor himself said, “Trenton’s geographic location, transportation system, and significant public and private assets make the city a perfect business address. Cities have re-emerged as desirable destinations to live and work, and Trenton is a focal point of this trend with a footprint that includes big offerings in contemporary housing, arts and culture, recreational amenities, the waterfront, and easy access to all major highways to New York and Philadelphia, including one of the busiest railroad systems with reach to more than 60 million consumers in the Northeast.”

It is exactly that kind of leadership that has been missing from many major American cities. And that’s what I really like about Mayor Jackson: he really seems to understand the big picture.

Anybody worth their salt knows that jobs and the economy are the backbone of any successful city. By putting together a comprehensive plan to boost these areas, Mayor Jackson has shown me that he understands this and has the vision to do what needs to be done to lure major companies to the area.

If we had more political leaders like him on a national stage, perhaps Republicans and Democrats wouldn’t be at each other’s throats all the time. Because results matter, and fighting stops when positive things happen.

And I truly believe that positive things are about to happen in Trenton.

Dec
6
Gillibrand and the Democrats Eventually Did The Right Thing With Franken……Will the GOP Move To Expel Moore If He Wins?
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Gillibrand and the Democrats Eventually Did The Right Thing With Franken……Will the GOP Move To Expel Moore If He Wins?

12/06/2017 06:07 pm ET

Follow Me On Twitter: @mk1157

Looks like the Democrats got the message and have decided to pressure Minnesota Sen. Al Franken into resigning.

Multiple Senators, led by Kirsten Gillibrand of NY called for Al Franken’s resignation today, after the number of allegations against him reached seven. Gillibrand, a Senator I really like, had been reluctant to call on Franken to resign as of yesterday.

Better late than never, I suppose.

While everybody makes political hay out of all of this, CNN’s Amanda Carpenter seemed to have it right when she recently told Jake Tapper that this cannot be a partisan issue. Whether it is Roy Moore on the right or Al Franken on the left, sexual predators need to go, period. Because if we protect one due to ideology, then there is no moral standing to go after the other whose ideology you don’t agree with.

Which leads me to Roy Moore.

The Democrats, having now forced both John Conyers and Al Franken out, are going to use this issue as a club to smash Republicans over the head, and rightfully so. President Trump should never have endorsed Moore and the RNC should have stayed out of it.

I am with Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse on this. After Arizona Senator Jeff Flake posted a picture of a check he wrote to Moore’s opponent on Twitter, with the caption “country over party,” Sass tweeted that this was a bad move, because you can refuse to support Moore while simultaneously also rejecting his opponent, who is fairly extreme on abortion among other issues. Flake’s best move would’ve been to keep away from this altogether, which is what I would do if I lived in Alabama.

Mitch McConnell is right to have called for Moore to step aside and Corey Gardner is right to continue to say the position of the NRSC is that if Moore wins, they will move to expel him.

From a moral standpoint, it is simply the right thing to do. But from a strategic standpoint, it is the right political move as well.

If Moore gets into the Senate and remains there, Republicans will not only have to deal with the fact that they didn’t try to get rid of a credibly accused pedophile, but they will also have to own somebody over the next six years and beyond who was removed from the bench twice for refusing to obey laws and among other things, believes homosexuality should be punishable by prison time.

If you think that doesn’t smash a brand into the ground, trust me, you are wrong. The Democrats made a calculated decision, but whatever you think of how they did it, the result it produced was correct.

The Republicans need to find a way to follow suit now if Moore wins.

Do they have the backbone to follow the lead of the Senators like Kirsten Gillibrand who called for Franken to resign?

I sure hope so.

Dec
5
Conyers May Have “Retired” In Disgrace, But You and I Are Still On The Hook For His Golden Years
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Conyers May Have “Retired” In Disgrace, But You and I Are Still On The Hook For His Golden Years

12/05/2017 06:00 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Congressman John Conyers – who has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and groping, resulting in at least one settlement payment – has “retired.”

He leaves Congress with a full pension and health care benefits. Conyers will earn at least $139,000 per year in salary and have the tab for his insurance paid for the rest of his life despite being a serial sexual harasser.

When the next election comes, it is likely Conyers’ son or great grand-nephew end up taking that seat in Congress. I do not know much about either of those two young men, but if they are anything like the disgraced Congressman or his estranged wife, Monica – who served time in prison for receiving bribes while serving in the

Detroit City Council – then I’d suggest the voters consider electing somebody whose last name isn’t Conyers. Future congressional battles aside, however, this “retirement” is such a complete sham that I don’t know whether to laugh or be angry.

I don’t care how long Conyers served in government, he should have been made to walk the plank and certainly had no business being allowed to leave with a full pension and benefits.

Seriously, why on earth are the taxpayers subsidizing this creep?

What an insult to both the women he victimized and the public who will be stolen from to bankroll his final years.

I don’t think I am going out on a limb here, but if a person is forced to settle sexual harassment claims while a sitting member of Congress, I’d say it is reasonable to expect said individual to forfeit any claim to future Congressional benefits.

Conyers leaving Congress with his full retirement compensation feels like he is taking one last urination on the public as he leaves.

There has to be a way to stop this from happening down the line.

Again, accusations are one thing, but this is a man who actually paid out financial settlements.

Allowing him – or anybody else – to have his post-Congressional life paid for by the taxpayers may be something that can’t be avoided right now, but our lawmakers need to come up with some sort of solution so that years from now, I don’t have to see this occur again.

But that would require strong, ethical leaders, displaying some sense of moral clarity and be willing to do the right thing by truly policing their own rather than allowing the bad apples to escape with full pockets.

So don’t count on it happening any time soon.

Or ever.

Dec
4
The News Media Is Becoming The Jerry Springer Show
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The News Media Is Becoming The Jerry Springer Show

12/04/2017 05:56 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Congrats to ABC News’ Brian Ross for getting himself suspended, after breathlessly reporting Friday that Mike Flynn had to Robert Mueller’s team that Donald Trump had ordered him to make contact with the Russians during the election.

That news spread through social media like wildfire, with all the usual “Resistance” types celebrating like they just won the lottery at the prospect of the president being caught red handed colluding with the Russian government to turn the 2016 election in his favor.

Except that Flynn said no such thing.

Instead, what Flynn reportedly told investigators was that Jared Kushner asked him to contact the Russians – and several other countries – in order to try getting a vote on a UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements delayed.

And this was done in December, after President Trump won, which means not only was there nothing wrong with what Kushner did, but it couldn’t possibly have proved collusion, since it occurred post-election.

Then, later in the weekend, 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 making fun of Hatch for disparaging “free loading” children.

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

I understand the media honestly gets stories wrong sometimes – we are all human. But when you report stories like this and get them wrong – repeatedly – it damages the media’s credibility in a significant way. Major news outlets like ABC have to do better than this and those who follow their lead do, too.

The social media age has certainly made things worse. In the old days, a news story wouldn’t 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 break the scoop on social media. Nuance and thorough checking be damned.

Like it or not, this is why it is easy for so many people in Alabama to decry the allegations against Roy Moore as a “media hit job.” And it is why President Trump can point at outlets and yell “Fake News!”

Put simply, the media has to be better than this. We need to know that outside of some rare mistakes, reporters and publications – at least ones that don’t claim to purposely push a specific point of view – are generally on the level when they break a story.

These kind of major mistakes actively keep that from happening.

Trust is a key component of any news/viewer relationship. Without it, the viewer may as well be watching an episode of Jerry Springer.

And entertaining as Mr. Springer’s show is, it isn’t news.

But then again, neither is what we are seeing reported as news now.

Dec
1
Steinle Verdit A Disgrace, But It Only Highlights One Issue With Illegal Immigration
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Steinle Verdit A Disgrace, But It Only Highlights One Issue With Illegal Immigration

12/01/2017 06:03 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Kate Steinle is dead and the man who killed her, Jose Garcia Zarate, was not punished for the crime. In case you are unfamiliar with what happened, Garcia Zarate killed Steinle on a ricochet shot with a gun that had been reported stolen (Garcia Zarate claims to have found it).

At the time of the shooting, he had committed multiple felonies and been deported five times. Federal immigration authorities wanted San Francisco police to hold him, but due to sanctuary city laws in that city, that did not happen.

If it had, Kate Steinle would still be alive. The verdict and the way the city of San Francisco handled the entire situaion was disgraceful all the way around.

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 done so repeatedly, 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.

Kate Steinle’s 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.

Nov
30
Clay Travis and the Tenessee Mob Went Too Far With Schiano
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Clay Travis and the Tenessee Mob Went Too Far With Schiano

11/30/2017 06:02 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

What’s going on in Tennessee right now could be a case study in the danger of online mobs and the “By any means necessary” methodology.

In case you missed it, the Tennessee Volunteers were all set to hire current Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator and former University of Rutgers and Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Greg Schiano.

Word of Schiano’s impending hiring spread on social media and a tremendous backlash ensued, spurred on by Clay Travis.

If you are unfamiliar with Clay Travis, he’s a sports talk host and writer based out of Nashville who has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to his willingness to speak his mind and take positions that are often unpopular among sports media.

As a result, he has developed a large and loyal following, and he brought the full weight of that down on Schiano to torpedo the former Rutgers coach’s candidacy.

In doing so, Travis pointed to the questionable job he had done as a head coach in the past, but unfortunately, he didn’t stop there.

Travis dug up old rumors that Schiano had witnessed some of the Jerry Sandusy era hijinks at Penn State and said nothing about it.

Former Penn State coach Mike McQueary – who was a whistleblower in the PSU case – was the source of these rumors, as he claimed in a deposition that another assistant coach – Tom Bradley – had told him Schiano witnessed Sandusky abusing a child.

For whatever it is worth, both Schiano and Bradley denied this and nothing ever came of it.

But that was all the Tennessee mob needed to pounce on Schiano and relentlessly hammer away until they made his hiring nearly impossible, forcing the University to pull the plug.

Before I continue, let me make a few things clear: I generally enjoy Clay Travis as I find him to be both intelligent and interesting. He doesn’t just regurgitate the same talking points you hear from most sports pundits, and I consider his show and writing a breath of fresh air.

I also fully understand why Travis and the rest of the Tennessee fanbase did not want Greg Schiano to be the next coach of the Volunteers. He was an utter failure with Tampa Bay and has a terrible reputation, both of which kept him from being employed at all until Urban Meyer hired him last year as defensive coordinator at Ohio State.

All of that said, Travis and the Tennessee mob he led took this entirely too far. If they had stuck to complaining about Schiano’s credentials and reputation, that would have been fine.

But to tar and feather the man over uncorroborated hearsay is completely beyond the pale.

The authorities in the Penn State case, Ohio State, and Tampa Bay all vetted Schiano and found nothing worth jettisoning him over.

Fox Sports college football analyst actually summed this whole situation up best when he essentially said that Volunteers fans had reasonable concerns about Schiano, but resorted to unreasonable means to stop him from becoming the team’s coach.

In their minds, maybe it was worth it.

But in order to make that calculation, you have to convince yourself that it was ok to completely ruin a man’s life and publicly drag him through the mud to accomplish your goal.

You may say to yourself, “So what? Who cares about Greg Schiano. He’s a rich football coach and he will be just fine.”

Maybe.

But the danger here is that if this kind of behavior gets normalized, you are essentially giving the mob the power to destroy people for sport.

This time it was Schiano.

Next time? Who knows.

But the more important question is where does this all end?

And we should all be afraid of the answer to that question, because it may very well be that it never ends at all.

Nov
29
Lauer Is Out, and Others Need To Go, Too
 
by Dr. Kazmir

Lauer Is Out, and Others Need To Go, Too

11/29/2017 05:58 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

So now Matt Lauer is out at NBC. Who’s next? God only knows.

But at least once the information became public, NBC acted swiftly. The federal government? Not quite.

John Conyers still sits in his House seat. Al Franken is still in the Senate. Roy Moore may still be elected.

Conyers and Franken need to go and if Moore wins, he will need to go, too.

And it is sad to me that instead of everybody agreeing on this, we make excuses. Many liberals have talked themselves into defending Conyers and Franken. Many conservatives have talked themselves into defending Roy Moore. Nobody on either side of the aisle should be defending any of them. Yet, they will continue to, because “well, if the other side does it…..”

You would think this is one area where we could all agree. This type of behavior is unacceptable and anybody engaging in it should be jettisoned. But, instead, the bickering continues.

There is a picture of Al Franken groping Leean Tweeden’s chest while she slept. I’ve heard some say “well, what Roy Moore did was worse!” Ok, fine, let’s stipulate that. But both are unacceptable. So was Conyers’ apparent serial sexual harassment of women.

Put simply, all of them should be gone and anybody else who is found to have done anything like what these men did should be gone, too. And as far as the news and entertainment business? Anybody who acted inappropriately should get the Lauer treatment.

But I wouldn’t be even the least bit surprised if at this time next month, Conyers, Moore, and Franken are all in their respective positions because we are all so tribal that we can’t even agree on weeding out sexual predators because they might have the right or wrong position on abortion or taxes.

And as an American, as well as a father of three girls, that deeply saddens me.

Nov
28
The Attack In Egypt Needs To Be Addressed…..And Quickly.
 
by Dr. Kazmir

The Attack In Egypt Needs To Be Addressed…..And Quickly.

11/28/2017 06:14 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

Friday, as most of us here in the United States recovered from stuffing ourselves on Thanksgiving and prepared to do our Black Friday shopping, Egypt experienced the worst massacre in its recent history at the hands of a group of monstrous madmen who thought nothing of ending the lives of over 300 people.

The fact that neighboring countries Libya and Syria, have both been torn apart and thrown into absolute chaos over the past few years, making the surrounding areas less safe as a result was not helpful. Nor was the fact that these activities seem to be harbored by Turkey and Qatar. Qatar has been a constant source of terrorist activity and funding and they need to be made to answer for that. Turkey is a member of NATO and yet nobody stands up to them, either. The United Nations and NATO have always been thought to be useless, but their inaction on this front for years speaks volumes and goes a long way to reinforce that notion.

This is not a game. The international community needs to stand up and be willing to call this out for what it is, while simultaneously being willing to work together to stop more of it from happening in the future. Because if they don’t, more people are going to die. A lot more. And that’s not something anybody should be willing to allow.

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