Dabo Swinney Quote

The only disability in life is a bad attitude.  Dabo Swinney

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Over the years I have come to realize that maybe 15% of people are reliable and reputable.  Some say that percentage is high.  One of my tasks in life is to ferret out those 15% and deal with them, avoiding the balance.  Proverbs 10:9.

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Any person . . .

Any person

can say anything,

about anyone,

on any subject,

in any venue,

with any veracity.

Jerry R Lambert

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A million hands murdered Ari Fuld

Ari Fuld, obm, hy”d, left his Efrat home for a routine shopping trip, but was knifed to death 16 September 2018 by a Muslim terrorist youth in the parking lot of the supermarket where my wife and I have bought wine and other foodstuffs when visiting the Efrat area, as late as May this year.

Aftermath of Murder of Ari Fuld

The attacker was neutralized, but not killed, by bullets from the mortally wounded Ari and another civilian.

Jack Englehard wrote in Arutz Sheva two days later:

“A lone assailant, we are told, stabbed to death American-born Israeli hero Ari Fuld. But the story is far deeper than the cold fact.

“The cold fact is plain enough. Fuld, 45, father of four, warrior for Israel, was murdered near his home in Gush Etzion while shopping on Sunday.

“The cold fact is plain enough. Fuld, 45, father of four, warrior for Israel, was murdered near his home in Gush Etzion while shopping on Sunday.
The murderer has been identified as a 17-year-old Arab terrorist, who saw a Jew and stabbed him in the back.

“Fuld was stabbed in the back by more than one terrorist. More than a million hands gave the knife to this Arab. All are complicit. All are guilty.

“Guilty are the politicians who signed the Oslo Accords, which placed a confederacy of low-life gangsters, the PLO, on equal footing with Israel, a nation founded through Divine promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This nation led by Moses, conquered by Joshua, were commanded, by Moses, to “never break down before the enemy.” (Deuteronomy)

“But break down they did, these politicians, in 1993, when a piece of paper sold out Jewish sovereignty throughout the land in favor of a “peace process” that gave “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.” To the “Palestinian people” (who exist nowhere in the history books) this was a sign of weakness and a call for jihad.

“Oslo stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Guilty are the politicians who rejuvenated a defeated Yasser Arafat by bringing him back from Tunis to wage one terror campaign after another.

“They did not know that when he said peace he really meant war? Could they really be that gullible and stupid?

“Jewish stupidity stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Guilty are the politicians and leftist Hebrew newspapers who thought giving up Gaza would be a wonderful idea.

“The eviction of Israelis from Gush Katif stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Continued land swaps and “painful concessions” and lopsided prisoner exchanges convinced the enemy that the Israelis can be played.

“Painful concessions stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Persistent talk of a “two-state-solution” proved to the Palestinian Arabs that the Israelis can be fooled, tricked and broken down.

“A two-state solution stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Guilty are the members of the United Nations and the European Union who consistently cheer for the Arabs and jeer for the Jews…and greet every visit from PLO/Fatah Islamic terrorist Mahmoud Abbas with a standing ovation, coupled with shouts of Encore…Encore when he inflames and incites against Jews and the Jewish State.

“The nations stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“So did Obama when, through abstaining, he let pass UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which denied Jewish rights to practically everywhere.

“Obama stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Meantime, the murderer (whom Ari Fuld wounded during the unprovoked attack) is recovering and “resting comfortably” in an Israeli hospital.

“Some would call it typical Jewish decency and compassion. Others might call it a persistent pattern of breaking down before the enemy.


For a list of the several news articles relating to the murder of Ari, please see



Posted in Culture, Government, Islam, Israel | 2 Comments

The Donald Trump Negotiations Academy

Caroline B. Glick wrote June 15, 2018 09:27Kim-Trump

Originally published in Jerusalem Post

Trump’s playbook involves doing essentially the opposite of what American and Israeli negotiators have been doing for the past 30 years.

“We didn’t learn this week whether North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons. Only time will tell.

“But we did learn that US President Donald Trump knows how to negotiate.

“All of the negotiations experts insist the opposite is true. “How could they agree to a presidential summit without first guaranteeing its end product?” they sigh, knowingly.

““Trump’s showmanship is dangerous and counterproductive,” they sneer.

““At the end of the day, for this to work, Trump will have to copy Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran,” they insist.

“Dennis Ross, who mediated the negotiations between Israel and the PLO that led directly to the largest Palestinian terrorism campaign against Israel in history, and Wendy Sherman, who negotiated Bill Clinton’s horrible nuclear deal with North Korea in 1994 and Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, as well as all their esteemed colleagues have taken up their pens and stood before the cameras and clucked about how Trump’s Singapore Show is amateur hour.

“But what we saw in Singapore, for the first time since Ronald Reagan went to Reykjavik, was a US president who actually knew how to negotiate with America’s enemies.

“Indeed, Singapore was the first time a Western leader from any nation has gotten the better of his opponent at the negotiating table.

“There are three dangers inherent to the process of negotiating with enemies. And to understand how Trump succeeded where everyone since Reagan has failed, it is important to keep them in mind.

“First, you have no guarantee that the other side will agree to a deal.

“Trump can make the case for denuclearization to Kim. But he can’t make Kim agree to denuclearize.

“Since the US has not defeated North Korea militarily, only Kim can decide whether to go along with Trump or not.

“The first inherent danger of negotiating then, is that the other side walks away and – as PLO chief Yasser Arafat did in 2000 – chooses to make war instead of peace. Negotiations give credibility to the other side and may, as a consequence, make war a more attractive option for your opponent after a period of negotiations than it was when the talks began.

“The last two dangers inherent to negotiations have to do with the actions of Western negotiators and leaders.

“Democratically elected leaders have a greater tendency than dictators to become convinced that their political survival is dependent on their ability to deliver a deal. Once that happens, once a leader believes that the risk of failure is too great to accept, he becomes a hostage of the other side.

“In 2000, then-prime minister Ehud Barak believed that his only chance of political survival was to convince Arafat to accept a peace deal with Israel. As a consequence, Barak stayed in the negotiations even after Arafat rejected his offer and tanked the Camp David summit in July. He remained in talks with Arafat and his deputies even after they launched the most murderous terror war Israel had ever seen.

“The third danger inherent to negotiating with your enemy is related to the second danger. If a leader believes his future depends on getting a deal, the likelihood that he will accept a terrible deal skyrockets.

“Obama made reaching a nuclear deal with Iran the chief aim of his second term. To achieve this goal, Obama abandoned every redline he set for himself.

“He let Iran continue enriching uranium. He made no demand that Tehran curtail its ballistic missile development. He agreed to gut the inspections regime to the point of meaninglessness. And so on down the line.

“Obama was so averse to coming home empty-handed that he agreed to a deal that far from blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal, paved Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal. And he threw in $150 billion in sanctions relief to pay for Iran’s efforts to achieve regional hegemony as a sweetener.

“With these risks in mind, we turn to the Singapore Summit. Trump’s playbook involves doing essentially the opposite of what American and Israeli negotiators have been doing for the past 30 years.

“Five lessons stand out.

“1. Don’t make light of your counterpart’s failings, play them up.

“For decades, Israeli negotiators praised Arafat as a man of courage and his successor Mahmoud Abbas as a moderate. Obama and his team praised Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a moderate. By praising their opponents, the Israelis and Americans justified making concessions to their counterparts, without requiring them to reciprocate. In other words, Israeli and US negotiators put the burden to prove good intentions on themselves, rather than their opponents, who actually had no credibility at all.

“Trump took the opposite approach. After North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last July, Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man” and a “madman.”

“By polarizing Kim and blaming him for the growing danger to US national security, Trump made the case that Kim had to prove his good intentions to Trump, not the other way around, as a precondition for negotiations. Kim was required to release three American hostages and blow up his nuclear test site.

“He was the one who needed to prove his credibility. Not Trump.

“2. Intimidate, don’t woo, your opponent’s friends.

“Trump’s three predecessors all begged the Chinese to rein in the North Koreans. In doing so, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama handed all the leverage to Beijing. To curb North Korea even temporarily, the Chinese demanded continuous US concessions, and they received them.

“Trump on the other hand, threatened China. He linked US-China trade deals to Chinese assistance in curtailing North Korean threats and aggression and agreeing to a US goal of denuclearizing China’s client state.

“To prove his seriousness, Trump managed to lob 58 missiles at Syrian targets in retaliation for Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons while he was eating dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his golf club in Florida.

“Trump’s linkage of US-China trade to North Korean denuclearization has paid off. Xi cut off North Korean coal exports to China and limited fuel shipments from China to North Korea. A month later, Kim announced he wanted to meet with his South Korean counterpart.

“3. Make it easy for your side to walk away from the table and hard for the other side to jump ship.

“Trump accomplished this goal through a series of moves. First, he and Defense Secretary James Mattis threatened to destroy North Korea. Second, Trump coupled the threats with the largest increase in defense spending in memory. Third, Trump has repeated, endlessly, that he has no idea whether talks with Kim will lead to an agreement, but he figures it’s worth a shot. Finally, after Kim insulted National Security Adviser John Bolton, Trump canceled the summit.

“Not only did Trump’s polling numbers not suffer from canceling the summit, they improved. As for Kim, Trump’s nixing the summit taught him two lessons. First, he learned the price of failure.

“Second, Kim learned that unlike his predecessors, Trump doesn’t fear walking away. Indeed, he’ll walk away over something that none of his counterparts would ever dream of jumping ship for. If Kim wants to negotiate with Trump, he will respect Trump’s choices.

“4. Appoint hard-line negotiators.

“Kim’s attack on Bolton was reasonable from his perspective. Ever since Clinton signed his failed nuclear deal with Kim’s father in 1994, Bolton has been the most outspoken critic of nuclear diplomacy with North Korea in Washington. Bolton opposed – rightly – every diplomatic initiative and agreement every administration adopted with Pyongyang. There is literally no one in Washington more skeptical of the chances that an agreement with North Korea will succeed than Bolton.

“And there he was on Tuesday, sitting at the negotiating table in Singapore.

“For the past generation, American and Israeli leaders engaging in negotiations with their enemies have given their opponents a say – indeed, they have routinely given them veto power – over the members of their negotiating teams. US and Israeli leaders used their team roster as yet another tool to appease the other side. This, while ignoring the concerns of their domestic constituencies.

“Trump took the opposite approach. After setting up the talks in a manner that minimizes the cost of walking away from the table for him and maximizes the cost for Kim, he chose negotiators that would both minimize the chance of reaching a bad deal and assuage and encourage his constituents that he can be trusted. Both Trump’s supporters and detractors know that so long as Bolton is at the table, the chance of the US agreeing to a bad deal is fairly close to zero. Trump’s rising poll numbers and the fact that the majority of Americans support his negotiations with Kim show that his efforts have paid off politically.

“5. Take control of the clock.

“Reporters in Singapore were shocked when Trump informed them Tuesday afternoon that he and Kim were about to sign an “agreement.” But sure enough, shortly thereafter, they were shepherded into a grand hall for a formal signing ceremony.

“A quick look at the “agreement” showed that there was really nothing there beyond platitudes.

“Trump’s many critics were quick to take him to task for his “deal” because it was purely aspirational.

“But they missed the point. The point wasn’t to reach a serious agreement. The point was to sign a piece of paper that said “Agreement” on it.

“By signing the piece of paper, Trump took all time pressure off of himself and his team. They have their deal. He signed it. In a ceremony with a fancy fountain pen. They have all the time they need now to do what it takes to get Kim to cough up all of his nukes.

“On the other hand, time is working against Kim.

“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the economic sanctions on North Korea will remain in place until after North Korea has denuclearized in a verifiable manner. In other words, assuming Kim cares about his economy and is in this for the money, Kim will want to reach a deal and implement it as quickly as possible.

“Trump’s critics in the US ratcheted up their attacks against his summitry with Kim on Wednesday and Thursday. But everything they say just discredits them. Trump is only dealing with a nuclear armed North Korea because all of his predecessors enabled Pyongyang’s nuclear armament through feckless diplomacy. He’s only there to try a new approach because their old approach gave Kim the theoretical ability to nuke New York.

“And now that he’s actually negotiating, it is clear that what they really fear is not that he will fail like they did. They fear that he will succeed, like only he – a loudmouthed real estate mogul and reality show star from Queens who couldn’t care less what they think of him and happened to write a book called The Art of the Deal – can do.

Posted in All, Government | 1 Comment

School Shootings and Israel

“When terrorists attacked a school in Maalot in 1974, Israel did not declare every school a gun-free zone. It passed a law mandating armed security in schools, provided weapons training to teachers and today runs frequent active shooter drills. There have been only two school shootings since then, and both have ended with teachers killing the terrorists.

Israel proves the NRA’s arguments

Arutz Sheva, Tzvi Lev, 15/02/18 20:49

Wednesday’s horrific shooting in Florida has reignited the gun rights debate in the United States over the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, adopted in 1791, which states:: “… the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

In the past, proponents of limiting civilian access to firearms have extolled Israel as having the proper approach to limiting mass shootings, pointing to the numerous legal hoops Israelis must jump through in order to be granted a gun license.

“In Israel, gun ownership is a privilege rather than a right,” wrote Public Radio International in November. “There is no such thing as a right to bear arms in Israel,” the Huffington Post preached after the 2016 shooting in an Orlando nightclub that left 50 dead.

Newsweek praised Israel for obligating its citizens to “show genuine cause to carry a firearm, such as self-defense or hunting”. The message is clear: Israel has the right approach in curtailing access to firearms, and the United States would be well advised to tread the same path.

In reality, Israel’s gun policy is living proof of the arguments the American gun lobby has been making for years.

Gun rights advocates contend that the way to stop mass shootings is by ensuring that there are always well-armed citizens present who can neutralize the shooter. As NRA chairman Wayne Lapierre always says, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. A bedrock of the NRA’s philosophy is that criminals will always acquire guns illegally, and draconian gun laws only render law-abiding citizens defenseless.

When the knife intifada erupted in September 2015, the Israeli government’s response was to ease the process for the civilian populace to obtain weapons.
Enter Israel: When the knife intifada erupted in September 2015, the Israeli government’s response was to ease the process for the civilian populace to obtain weapons. After a particularly bloody Jerusalem shooting attack that killed four, then-Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan drastically changed the gun laws in order to significantly raise the number of armed civilians on the streets. Instantly, graduates of Special Forces units and IDF officers with the rank of Lieutenant and above were permitted to purchase guns at their will, security guards were allowed to bring their guns home after work, and the minimum age for a license was reduced from 21 to 18.

Erdan explained that “civilians well trained in the use of weapons provide reinforcement in the struggle against terrorism”, while Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for every resident to carry a gun, and was even photographed traveling the city carrying a Glock 23.

In addition, the overwhelming majority of terror attacks in Israel are stopped by armed civilians, not law enforcement. For example, the terrorists in the 2016 Sarona market attack were stopped by armed passersby. A pistol-carrying tour guide put an end to the 2017 ramming attack in Arnona that left four soldiers dead.

In Israeli eyes, guns are a valuable deterrent against terrorism. In fact, terrorists have told the Shin Bet internal security service that they often target haredi Jews due to the high likelihood that they are unarmed.

Gun control supporters would answer that the mandatory military service that every Israeli undergoes justifies the trust Israel has of its citizens. However, this argument doesn’t hold water. The vast majority of IDF soldiers aren’t combat soldiers and are certified as 02 riflemen. To be 02 requires one to shoot between 40 and 70 bullets. The pistol course needed to obtain a license takes less than four hours. It is a far cry from the highly trained population that the Left imagines.

Gun control has been proven to be a dismal failure in Israel. The Israeli Arab communities are rife with illegal weapons, with some police estimates putting the number of unlicensed weapons in the Arab sector as high as 500,000. Think about that for a second: The most heavily guarded borders in the world and a highly professional Shin Bet are still not enough to prevent criminals from obtaining illegal firearms.

When terrorists attacked a school in Maalot in 1974, Israel did not declare every school a gun-free zone. It passed a law mandating armed security in schools, provided weapons training to teachers and today runs frequent active shooter drills. There have been only two school shootings since then, and both have ended with teachers killing the terrorists.

It is an approach that the Americans should take to end the constant slaughter of innocents.

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Truman, Trump and Trumah

In Efrat, Israel, live inspirational friends with whom Renee and I spent a few nights in 2015, and with whom we expect to spend a few more nights this summer, including a Shabbat.  The husband, born in Chicago, recently wrote the thoughts behind the following.

Think about the common denominators between two American presidents who have made such great contribution to Israel and the Jewish people.

TRUMan – Gave the order for the US to recognize the State of Israel.

TRUMp – Gave the order for the US to finally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

TRUMah – The Hebrew word for contribution.

FAKE News –  Chicago Tribune headlines declaring Dewey the winner of the 1948 election.

FAKE News – Hillary Clinton has 85% chance to win.

Is the comparison of the two presidencies not strikingly uncanny?

The nation is like a mighty lion;
When it is sleeping, no one dares wake it.
Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed,
And whoever curses Israel will be cursed. Numbers 24:9

Over 300 years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher, to give him proof of the supernatural. Pascal answered: “Why, the Jews, your Majesty—the Jews.”

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:4

May the President and his administration continue to be blessed with success and leadership.

I will bless those who bless you,
But I will curse those who curse you.
And through you I will bless all the nations. Genesis 12:3


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Trump’s great gifts to Israel and America

Caroline Glick wrote in Jerusalem Post,

“With his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump gave a Hanukka gift to the Jewish people. But he also gave a Christmas gift to the American people.

“Trump’s gift to Israel is not merely that 68 years after Israel declared Jerusalem its capital, the US finally recognized Israel’s capital.

“In his declaration, Trump said, “Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem, the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.”

“By stating this simple truth, Trump fully rejected the anti-Israel legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama.

“In his speech in Cairo in 2009, Obama intimated that Israel’s legitimacy is rooted in the Holocaust, rather than in the Jewish nation’s millennial attachment to the Land of Israel. Whereas the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate rooted the Jewish people’s sovereign rights to the Land of Israel in its 3,500-year relationship with it, Obama said that Israel is nothing more than a refugee camp located in an inconvenient area. In so doing, he gave credence to the anti-Israel slander that Israel is a colonialist power.

“By asserting the real basis for Israel’s legitimacy, Trump made clear that the Jewish people is indigenous to the Land of Israel. He also made it US policy to view Israel’s right to exist, like its right to its capital city, as unconditional.

“Trump’s extraordinary gift to Israel was an act of political and moral courage. It was also a stroke of strategic brilliance.

“To understand why it was both courageous and wise, consider the political, institutional and geopolitical contexts in which Trump acted.

“Politically, Trump made his declaration in a poisonous political environment at home.

“The Democrats responded to Trump’s victory last year over Hillary Clinton by seeking to delegitimize his victory. To this end, they chose to oppose everything that he says and does.

“And so, despite their long-held and recently voiced support for US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, leading Democratic senators including New Jersey’s Cory Booker and California’s Diane Feinstein condemned Trump’s declaration.

“The Democrats’ rejection of Trump’s move was an astounding act of hypocrisy. But it was also predictable.

“Trump had to know the Democrats would oppose him. And he also had to know that in their opposition, they would empower US allies in Europe and the Arab world to publicly condemn his move in a manner they would be loath to do if the Democrats supported him. And still, despite this sure knowledge, Trump took action.

“And it wasn’t only the Democrats, the Europeans and the Arabs Trump willingly opposed. His chief opposition came from within his own government.

“Since 1949, the State Department has driven US policy on Israel and on the Middle East as a whole. And since 1949, the State Department’s Israel policy has refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Even worse, it worked to undermine any international support for Israel’s sovereign rights to Jerusalem.

“For instance, a 1962 State Department memo to then-president John F. Kennedy’s national security adviser McGeorge Bundy laid out the law on Jerusalem.

“The memo told Bundy that not only did the State Department oppose Israel’s decision to make Jerusalem its capital. It detailed the efforts the State Department had made over more than a decade to lobby every government that opened diplomatic ties with Israel not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and not to locate its embassy in Jerusalem.

“Over the years, various presidents have taken issue with the State Department’s policy toward Israel. These disputes have been informed both by genuine disagreement with Foggy Bottom’s institutional hostility toward Israel and by political concerns. The American people have been supportive of Israel, and that support has only grown over the years.

“But despite their genuine disputes and political concerns, no president who opposed State Department hostility toward Israel seized control over US Israel policy from the State Department.

“That is, no one did until Trump did.

“On Wednesday, in a very public way, Trump wrested control over US policy toward Israel generally, and Jerusalem specifically, from the State Department. The consequences of Trump’s seizure of the reins over US Middle East policy are enormous, and entirely positive for the US itself. Indeed, two in particular are great gifts to the American people.

“In his declaration, Trump said, “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

“Under State Department control for 68 years, US foreign policy relating to Israel specifically and the Middle East as a whole was made in deliberate defiance of reality. In the case of Jerusalem, rather than recognize the plain fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city, the State Department insisted on pretending that Israel has no capital. This position was a central component of an overall US Middle East policy that the State Department similarly based on a defiant rejection of observable reality.

“So it happened that for decades the US ignored the multiple, systemic pathologies of the Arab and Islamic world and opted instead to predicate its policies on the false assumption that the problems of the Middle East are rooted in Israel’s refusal to sufficiently appease the Arab world.

“By rejecting the State Department’s position on Jerusalem, and by noting that its position is rooted in a rejection of reality, Trump initiated a new course for US Middle East policy rooted in reality for the first time in three generations.

“The salutary implications of a reality-based policy for America are as self-evident as the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

“This brings us to the second positive advantage America gained from Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

“Over the span of decades, a US president’s power to determine foreign policy was measured by two things: the amount of daylight between White House statements and traditional State Department positions, and the disparity between US foreign policy positions and the positions of Western European governments and the EU. The greater the distance between White House positions and those of the State Department and Europe, the more power the president held over US foreign policy.

“The only exception to this rule was Obama. Like the State Department, and like Europe, Obama’s foreign policy was predicated on the need for the US to appease its enemies at the expense of its allies – first and foremost Israel. It was also based on the State Department’s long-held assumption that the US should align its policies with Europe. Given his convictions, Obama could advance his agenda in harmony with the State Department.

“During Obama’s tenure, US allies and enemies alike were conditioned to believe that the US would not challenge them and that the State Department controlled US foreign policy. The Europeans came to believe that despite their military and economic dependence on the US, it was the US that had to take their policies into account when it fashioned its foreign policies – and not the other way around. This was certainly the case in the Middle East where Obama eagerly joined them in appeasing Iran and turning the screws on Israel.

“As for America’s enemies, Obama and his State Department made it clear to the North Koreans and Iranians that American threats were a joke. The US would do nothing to seriously challenge them. And in the interests of appeasing them, the US was willing to sell out all of its allies.

“With this track record, it was clear that Trump would need to take dramatic action to show US allies and enemies alike that the rules of the game had changed in Washington.

“Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem did the job.

“By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in defiance of Europe and the Arabs and in the course of wresting control of Middle East policy from the State Department, Trump showed US allies and enemies alike that he is in charge. And he is willing to act even when doing so provokes US enemies to threaten retaliation, when he believes that his action advances US interests.

“Trump’s move wasn’t merely strategically brilliant. It was also a political masterstroke.

“Consider the liberal Union for Reform Judaism’s contradictory responses to his recognition of Jerusalem. In the lead-up to Trump’s declaration, URJ President Rick Jacobs condemned Trump’s anticipated move which he claimed would harm chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Jacobs’s statement – which was supported by key groups within the Reform movement – effectively divorced Reform Judaism from Zionism. By giving the PLO a veto over Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, Jacobs said that the Reform movement thinks PLO claims to Jerusalem are stronger than Jewish claims.

“This self-evidently anti-Zionist position apparently didn’t go down well with the Reform rank and file. Because less than 24 hours after Trump gave his speech, the URJ issued a new statement praising Trump’s move.

“And the URJ leaders aren’t the only ones with egg on their face.

“Trump risked political support in the opinion polls by deepening US support for Israel in the face of strident opposition from the Democrats, the State Department, the media, the Europeans and the Arabs because he believed it was the right thing to do.

“And as it works out, it was also an astute, if incredibly gutsy political move.

By standing up to the Democrats who just months ago called for him to take the very actions he took, but now opposed them because it was Trump adopting them, Trump exposed the likes of Booker and Feinstein as hypocritical opportunists. At the same time, he took ownership of a policy of supporting Israel that enjoys broad and deep public support.

“To sum up then, by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump made clear that US support for Israel is not conditioned on anything. Israel, the Jewish state, is supported by the US because it deserves US support as an allied democracy.

“Trump strengthened himself against his political opponents by taking ownership of a deeply popular foreign policy position.

“He took control of US foreign policy from a State Department that opposes his policies. He made reality, rather than the defiance of reality, the foundation of US Middle East policy.

“He put US allies and enemies on notice that he is calling the shots in US foreign policy. And he took a large step toward restoring US credibility as a superpower.

“Oh, and he accomplished all of these things without spending a dime.

“For his gift to Israel, Trump now enters the pantheon of Israel’s friends in the annals of Jewish history.

“For his gifts to America he has taken his place among the most astute American statesmen.

“And for his political and economic mastery, he enters the ranks of the geniuses of American political history.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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The Muslim reaction to recognizing Jerusalem

“The Muslim reaction to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital shows the true violent face of Islam. Buckle your seat belts.


“We are repeatedly scolded for not agreeing to the opinion that “Islam is a peaceful religion,” that “the Islamic Radical Terrorists don’t represent true Islam” and so on and so forth. Except when it comes to Israel, Islam proves it is not a religion of peace, but a religion of pure unadulterated terrorism. [Emphasis mine. JRL] Take, for instance, the Islamic reactions to President Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Virtually every Islamic or Arab leader’s reaction is laced with threats of extreme violence against anything and everybody. The Islamic reaction to President Trump’s “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital” declaration exposes the true face of Islam as a religion of extreme violent terrorism.”Arutz Sheva reported that “Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the supreme Islamic institution of Sunni Muslims, on Tuesday warned that “the gates of hell” will open if the United States goes through with plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem.” So, here you have the “Grand Imam” of the “supreme Islamic institution of the Sunni Muslims” proclaiming a clear grotesquely violent terroristic threat against everyone and everybody if Jerusalem is declared Israel’s capital. This is the Grand Imam of Egypt, a country that is supposedly at peace with Israel!

“One would think the Grand Imam would have been more concerned about the hundreds of Sufi Muslims who were just murdered in the name of Sunni Islam in the northern Sinai a week or so ago. One would have thought the Grand Imam would have wanted to use this Trump Jerusalem Declaration moment to show how peaceful and non-violent Islam was so as to set a good example for all Muslims. But no, the Grand Imam shows he is just as much a bloodthirsty Muslim terrorist as the Muslim terrorists that murdered over 300 praying Muslims in a mosque.

“Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t represent mainstream Islam?

“Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t directly represent Islam itself?

“Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t really understand Islam or the Koran?

“All this proves is that we were fed a steady pablum of lies by President Obama, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster that ISIS and al Qaeda and all of other Islamic terrorists “aren’t following Islam,” and that “we are not at war with Islam.” The Islamic reaction to Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration proves that al Qaeda and ISIS are not the exceptions of Islam, but its central pillar. It proves that peaceful Muslims are an imaginary exception that doesn’t exist.

“Islam will never allow any Palestinian leader to share any part of Jerusalem with Israel.
Unfortunately, the Islamic hysterically violent and extreme reactions to Trump’s declaration prove we are at war with all of Islam. When it comes to Islamic leaders, it appears incontrovertible that the lunatic terrorists are in control of the Islamic asylum.

“But, most of all, the Islamic reactions to Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration prove the Two-State solution is, has been, and always will be a total fraud and lie from the start. Islam will never allow any Palestinian leader to share any part of Jerusalem with Israel. Any Palestinian Arab leader who compromised on any part of Jerusalem would have “Betrayed Islam” and quickly become a dead Palestinian leader, just as Sadat became a dead Egyptian leader.

“Forget the katyusha rockets from a Palestinian Arab ‘West Bank’ State, forget that entity stealing all of Israel’s water, forget Iran taking over the ‘West Bank’, and forget the millions of Palestinian Arabs pouring into the ‘West Bank’, pushing to pour into pre-1967 Israel. Israel’s presence in any part of Jerusalem, or any part of the Muslim Wakf of the Levant, would always have been the raison d’etre of th Muslim world to continue satisfying its blood lust to murder every Israeli west of the Jordan River.

“Buckle your seat belts.

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No-till Gardening

In 1970 while on Sabbatical study leave at Landbouwhogeschool, the Dutch Agricultural University, in Wageningen, mentor Kees (C. T.) de Wit obm showed me a pasture where the only tillage for multiple years had been slit seeding of grasses and legumes into the clay soil. Good soil tilth and thriving vegetation was evident. His point was to eliminate plowing and disking, allowing vegetation to maintain soil health.

“In the first paragraph of the landmark 1943 book Plowman’s Folly, Edward H. Faulkner said, “The truth is that no one has ever advanced a scientific reason for plowing.” Nonetheless, 40 years after that publication cracked the foundations of agricultural science, most farmers still plow. Why?

“The most obvious (or at least the most frequently claimed) reason that soil is tilled is to loosen it so oxygen and water can reach the area where roots will grow. It seems logical that friable, loose earth would allow roots to spread evenly and to proliferate, and this is indeed the case. But using a moldboard plow doesn’t necessarily produce such soil. Plowing and disking a field results in a soil with broken structure lying atop a heavily compressed plow pan (the undisturbed layer that the plow doesn’t reach). This broken-up soil is very prone to being compacted by rainfall. In addition, many passes must be made over the field with very heavy equipment, the wheels of which further compress the soil. Untilled ground starts off being less compacted than a heavily machine-worked field, and it stays that way. What’s more, earth that has become compressed by tillage or machinery will return to a less compacted state after a few years of no-till planting. http://bit.ly/2iO52jf

Over the years I have read about minimum tillage or no-till management of soil and crops. Agricultural Engineering professional conferences have espoused the concept and supporting equipment. The most obvious example to my eye has been soybeans drilled directly into stubble as soon as wheat was cut, revealing strips of green in the golden standing straw visible from the road. Makes sense.

But I’ve never farmed crop or pasture acreage where I could try out the no-till concept. Articles emphasizing seedbed preparation, incorporating organic matter and fertilizer before planting seeds or transplants into my garden always led me to rototill as deeply as possible.

Cover crops I have also read about, but never practiced. Motivation and laziness are to blame. As a result each spring has found my beginning garden covered in dead crabgrass, weeds, fescue, etc., again encouraging rototilling to my mind, not wanting to burn and not willing to rake it off, thinking to incorporate what litter was there, so it would decompose.

Early this 2017 fall, after seeing cover crop seeds on http://sowtrueseed.com/, while chasing Bradford Watermelon seed, I began thinking about pursuit of a cover crop this winter on one or both of my bedded garden spots, one of which had not been cropped in 3 years.

My interest in garden winter cover crop was ratcheted up by a recent conversation with David Bradshaw, neighbor and retired well known Clemson horticulturist. His experimental winter treatment of Wrens Abruzzi Rye and Crimson Clover, knocked down and spring incorporated, resulted in yields of okra, cucumber and squash as I remember it, with no additional fertilizer, comparable to those under recommended rates of 10-10-10. The combination of N from the legume (peak when crimson clover heads begin to turn red) and decomposition of the biomass from the rye provided what the crops needed. Sustainable farming to my mind.

Browsing uncovered http://brownsranch.us/ emphasizing cover crops and zero-till. Gabe has increased organic matter content in North Dakota from 1.9% to 6.1% over the past 20 years, and infiltration rate from 0.5 to 8 in/hr.

“Today, the Brown Ranch includes about 3,000 acres of restored native rangeland and improved pasture producing cattle, pork and poultry, and 2,000 acres of no-till, cropland producing corn, peas (grain and forage types), spring wheat, oats, barley, sunflowers, vetch, triticale, rye and alfalfa, plus a great diversity of cover crops. No insecticides or fungicides have been used on the ranch for over a decade, herbicide use has been cut by over 75 percent and no synthetic fertilizer has been used since 2008. Corn yields average 20 percent higher than the county average. http://bit.ly/2iMlXD5

“Mycorrhizal fungi grow in healthy soils and are responsible for nutrient transfers between plants and soil biology. The most critical thing in a plant’s life is its relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, which is why tillage and synthetic chemicals should be avoided. http://bit.ly/2iOtjpw

And, earthworms proliferate under no-till practices. See http://bit.ly/2iRDCt9.

“Earthworms have significant impacts on soil properties and processes through their feeding, casting, and burrowing activity. The worms create channels in the soil, which can aid water and air flow as well as root development. The shallow-dwelling worms create numerous small channels throughout the topsoil, which increases overall porosity and can help improve water and air relationships. Nightcrawlers create large vertical channels, which can greatly increase water infiltration under very intense rainfall or ponded conditions. Nightcrawler channels can also aid root proliferation in the subsoil, due both to the ease of root growth in a pre-formed channel and the higher nutrient availability in the cast material that lines portions of the burrow. Earthworm casts, in general, are higher in available nutrients than the surrounding mineral soil, because the organic materials have been partially decomposed during passage through the earthworm gut, converting the organic nutrients to more available forms.

Earthworms improve soil structure and tilth. Their casts are an intimate mixture of organic material and mineral soil and are quite stable after initial drying. The burrowing action of the worms moves soil particles closer together near burrow walls, and the mucus secreted by the worms as they burrow can also help bind the soil particles together. Increased porosity, plus mixing of residues and soil, are additional ways that earthworms improve soil structure. http://bit.ly/2iOUd0D

So, my next question is how to incorporate cover crops and no-till into my vegetable gardening.

I like the results of David Bradshaw, so after rototilling with skid steer, have mixed Crimson Clover seed and winter rye (not Wrens Abruzzi) into 5 pounds of grits and dropped the mixture, using a Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, onto the two 8-ft wide beds above the bee hives, about 60 ft long. Those beds had been built wide 4 years ago so I could rototill them, and had added bark mulch and horse manure. After sowing I rolled the area with the wide tires of the lawn tractor to get soil-seed contact. Soil was damp. I was late, sowing late October, but germination was fine. Rye is now 2 – 3 inches tall; clover has put on true leaves.

I also rototilled the bamboo infested beds above 130, about 2 weeks ago, and ordered Wrens Abruzzi Rye from Hancock Seeds near Dade City FL. I sowed the remaining 1.5 lbs Crimson Clover and about 3 lbs Rye today after another light pass of rototilling. Rolled as above. Yes, I’m late. Beds are of similar size.

I also rototilled the 10-20 ft wide strip between driveway and bamboo, same day, and today sowed 3 lbs Austrian Winter Peas (by hand; seed would not go through seeder) and 3 lbs Hairy Vetch. We’ll see how deer respond.

Question: How to knock down the vegetation next year and seed?

“So, you’ve harvested the veggies from your garden and planted a mixture of cover crops in their place in order to protect and nourish the soil. How do you make the transition back from cover crop to your chosen vegetables the following season? It might be tempting to till and turn those cover crops over into the soil, but this is the last thing you should do. You do need to terminate the cover crop somehow though. There are a number of different ways to do this. You could:

  • Stomp the cover crop into the ground with your feet or a board (simply attach two rope handles to a 2×4 board and then use the board to step down the crop)
  • If the cover crop has started to form seed heads, you can kill it off by rolling crop roller or small barrel over it
  • Cut the growth down and leave the residue on top (although it works better if it’s rolled or stepped down)

“Once the cover crop has been killed off, you’re ready to plant your vegetable seeds. For a small garden, Gabe recommends using a hoe to part the cover crop remains over to the side. Create a small slice in the soil, drop in your seeds and cover with a small amount of soil. If you’re planting a transplant, simply move the cover crop aside, dig the hole and plant as normal. http://bit.ly/2iMBS48

With the heavy biomass litter I expect, using a hoe seems laborious. So how to get seed in the ground? Transplants I can see. But seeds?

My father had what is now called a jab planter, whereby one or a few seeds are dropped from waist level down a tube into a divot made by jabbing the tool into the ground. He used it to plant watermelon, in hills. I haven’t found one like his, but do find that Forest Service evaluated four similar at http://bit.ly/2BanXMb, preferring the Hatfield Transplanter, http://bit.ly/2iN1lKQ, apparently available only from Johnny’s Seeds, and Almaco Hand Jab (expensive).

A jab planter might work well for hill dropped seed. But things like beans, at close spacing, ? Planet Jr? Through the litter?

Crabgrass, brought in with horse manure, and perpetually reseeding, has been much more problematic than weeds in my gardens. I may try Treflan watered in by rainfall next spring. “A one-half inch rain or its equivalent in sprinkler irrigation must be received within 24 hours or poor weed control will result.” It is labeled for Asparagus, Carrot, Celery, Cole Crops, Cucurbits, Okra, Pepper, Potatoes, Southern Peas, Tomatoes, Beans, Greens, and Green Peas. See http://bit.ly/2BaKf07.

Jerry’s Journal # 19 • 24 November 2017

PS: An eBay search yielded several “corn planters” for sale.  I have bought one out of Kansas, yet to be seen.  An internet search also yielded http://bit.ly/2zLhg2Q.  So we’ll see.  3 December 2017

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