My journey throughout Europe

As I continue my sea travel journey throughout Europe, I am so reminded of our early critical bonds and alliances.

America ultimately secured her hard-won independence, and endured little interference from her European cousins, bound as they became within colonial entanglement and internecine strife.  There did come a time, however, when cousins were called upon to aid their familial bonds. World War I was such a necessary occasion – and surely Americans viewed this as an engagement limited to rendering aid and supply. Nonetheless, Europe’s losses in men and capital were so costly that it affected the prosperity of entire generations and, if truth be told, laid the foundations for World War II.

Palestinian Financial Glorification of Terrorism Must Cease

The Palestinian Authority just made an announcement about cutting welfare payments to families who live in the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip.  I cannot help but wonder if it is simply a cynical PR stunt.

After all, less than two weeks ago on July 2, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted on the official Fatah Facebook page promising never to cease financial compensation to terrorists, even if it means losing his presidential title: 

"'Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary (rawatib) of a Martyr (Shahid) or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the Martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted.'  [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas."

On the one hand, President Abbas just avowed his undying financial support of terrorists and their families – an unwavering commitment to the monetary glorification of terrorism. 

Yet, on the other hand, the Palestinian Authority’s Welfare Ministry under President Abbas is making newfound pledges to intensify its pressure on Hamas in the Gaza Strip by slashing monthly stipends received by approximately 80,000 families, to allegedly be followed by additional cuts at later stages. 

Plain and simple, this represents the epitome of the Palestinian Authority’s leadership of hypocrisy that the Israelis have been warning about for decades. 

That is why it comes as no surprise that President Abbas was reportedly irate in the aftermath of his recent meeting in Ramallah with Jared Kushner, senior White House official and son-in-law of President Trump, and Jason Greenblatt, who serves as an international negotiator for President Trump. 

During this meeting, Kushner, who is serving as President Trump’s chief Middle East adviser, made what we as Americans would consider a perfectly reasonable request: asking the Palestinian Authority to halt payments to convicted terrorists and their families. 

President Abbas reportedly took great personal offense to this request.  This leader who is supposed to be Israel’s future partner in peace?  A man who has been and remains at the helm of championing the notion that terrorists who kill and harm innocent Israelis should be rewarded rather than punished? 

President Abbas not only refused to consider the U.S. demand to stop paying salaries to convicted terrorists and their families, but accused the Americans of siding with Israel. 

Making ongoing payments to the families of terrorists is a moral outrage and the world deserves to know the truth. It is simply unconscionable that the Palestinian Authority actually rewards, rather than discourages terrorists, naming public squares in their honor and providing blood money payments to their families. 

Mahmoud Abbas’ leadership is devoid of all ethical decency, and only serves to embolden terrorists, incite unprovoked violence, and foment a culture of Palestinian hatred toward Israelis. 

When it comes to considering Abbas a worthy partner for peace, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been down this dangerous road too many times before. 

And with the Trump Administration’s efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Prime Minister Netanyahu made an important public attempt to once again warn the international community about President Abbas’ two-faced policies of deceit.  A few days ahead of the Palestinian President’s contentious meeting with Kushner and Greenblatt Netanyahu tweeted: 

“Palestinian President Abbas tells the world that he educates Palestinian children for peace. That’s a lie.”

The truth is that each new generation of Palestinian youth, starting as young as kindergarten and even preschool, is poisoned with anti-Israel myths and anti-Jewish lies. And this abhorrent brainwashing process is breeding a violent, hate-inspired generation of children who are trained to believe that becoming a terrorist is a legitimate way to secure the financial future of their families. 

As young Palestinian girls and boys grow up, they are taught to believe that the use of terrorist tactics that harm innocent Israelis is a justified means to secure financial stability for their families. 

The Palestinian Authority is intentionally manipulating the early childhood education of its own youth, and hijacking the innocence of its own children with lessons of hate that encourage terrorism targeting Jews and the destruction of Israel at all costs.  

The powerful propaganda machine run by Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority is compounded by the fact that corrupt PA officials pocket money, maintain poverty-stricken conditions for their people, who in turn seek terrorism and financial compensation for attacks as a way out of their desperate situation. 

Abbas’ resolute policy to keep funneling money to terrorists, and to continue glorifying them as martyrs makes the future of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations seem unattainable.   

The Trump Administration’s efforts to demand the cessation of salaries awarded to Palestinian terrorists by the Palestinian Authority is one of the first and most necessary steps toward even skimming the surface of the prospects for peace.  

The failure of healthcare reform

Hard not to lay some of the blame at the White House door as it pertains to health care reform. We need a healthcare system that works, and Obamacare isn't working, at this point, I wouldn't be against President Trump having a summit and inviting Democrats to fix this and open some comity. We cannot continue to work on policy in a partisan way. The American people deserve so much more than that. 

At some point, our leaders need to get over their egos and hyper-partisan jargon and pass something meaningful that will help the American people instead of hurting our wallets. Enough is enough; it's time for them all, Republicans and Democrats to step up and do what they were elected to do or go home. We need a new slogan: Do you job or go home! This has dragged on long enough, and it's time for our leaders, including the president to be adults and get something done! 

Proud to be an American

I'm on vacation in Tuscany, and as I look out across this beautiful place and meet so many wonderful people, I can't help, but realize that there is no place like home. Despite the political drama that currently has captivated the country despite all of the tension and strife we remain the greatest country in the world. As I travel, people are still so fascinated with America asking about the things they see in the movies from western movies about Texas to New York to LA the curiosity about what makes America so great doesn't seem to go away.

I wanted to write this blog this morning because I wanted to assure you that we are still the beacon of the world. The media may continue to divide and conquer, but at some point, we all need to wake up and realize that we're Americans and to be an American around the world means something; It's something we should all be proud of and embrace. The mainstream media is using us all as pawns to create record breaking ratings and gain advertising dollars convincing us all that the world looks at us in such an unfavorable light, but the reality couldn't be any further from the truth. 

We need to wake up my friends and safe enough choas, it's time for us all to work together because the world is watching and they need an America that is strong and continues to lead from the front, but as long as we allow the media's interest to supersede the interest of the nation we will continue to be in trouble. Just remember, to say that you're an American around the world means something and it's a badge of honor we sould never take granted, now let's right this ship because the world is watching. 

Bernie Sanders wife being investigated for bank fraud

Things are heating up for Jane Sanders, wife of Bernie Sanders as federal investigators interview half a dozen people and hauled off more than a dozen documents from Burlington College, the school Jane once led as its president.

In a shady deal, Jane convinced board members that they had millions of dollars in commitments from donors while the board agreed to a $6.7 million dollar loan.  The trustee members later learned that a majority of the alleged donors never agreed to give the amounts of money Jane Sanders claimed. The deal was so catastrophic for Burlington College, it had to close its doors a year later. 

Jane was hired as president of Burlington College in 2014 because the school believed she could raise its profile and raise money. Instead, she misled the board, and her negligence caused the school to close its doors. 

It's simple: Jane Sanders lied to the board and lied to the bank. She lied by claiming the commitments from donors that led the bank to grant the loan and led the board to accept the loan, but it was all based on a lie. 

I finally agree with Jay-Z on something

Jay-Z's latest album titled: 4:44 has garnered a lot of praise and rightfully so. I'm not an avid listener of Hip/Hop, but his album really struck me, particularly this song titled "The Story of O.J." In it, he talks about how wealth, and to be honest I was suprised because he made a lot of sense. 

Jay-Z raps: 

"I bought some artwork for 1 million

2 years later, that shit worth 2 million
Few years later, that worth 8 million
."

This is powerful because he's essentially talking about investing and growing wealth, which is something we don't typically associate with rap music. However, this song should send a powerful message to the African American community. 

Can Trump and the media just get along?

The quarreling and dismay between President Trump and the media have become second-nature in a society filled with never-ending conflicts and worries, self-fulfilled prophecies and disagreements, clashes and lies. We must demand and expect that the relationship will improve between the leader of the free world and those who cover his every step because only then can the public move towards effectuating positive change and meaningful long-term change. Who said returning to the “good ole’ days” was a bad thing?

Does 'America first' mean becoming more involved in the world, or less?

One could easily become confused about the tenuous relationship between Europe, America and the rest of the known world. After all, America, though linked to Europe by blood and kinship, has staked its own claim among the world’s community of nations. For a long time, that claim was supported by economic, geographic and historical realities that set us apart from the world.

We should acknowledge that "America first" is not the first attempt to clearly separate America’s destiny from the rest of the world. Its first incarnation was known, of course, as "splendid isolation," and was ultimately codified into the Monroe Doctrine. That worldview held that Europe stay out of American affairs, and restrict itself to European matters, leaving America free to chart its own destiny. America would refrain from involving itself in ‘old world’ politics, wars and economic decisions.

Early in America’s history, Europe did not consider this a fair deal. European nations viewed with envy the westward expansion of the American Empire to California, and lustily eyed Mexico and South America as opportunities to stake their own claims to new world abundance. Several wars were fought against Europe, between 1776 and 1812, and we need no reminder here of the outcomes.

America ultimately secured her hard-won independence, and endured little interference from her European cousins, bound as they became within colonial entanglement and internecine strife. There did come a time, however, when cousins were called upon to aid their familial bonds. World War I was such a necessary occasion – and surely Americans viewed this as an engagement limited to rendering aid and supply. Nonetheless, Europe’s losses in men and capital were so costly that it affected the prosperity of entire generations and, if truth be told, laid the foundations for World War II.

 

Germany was not only Europe’s most advanced military power before the first war, it was also its most advanced democracy. Germany’s administrative state - efficient, just, and well-resourced - became a shining example of what a properly governed democracy could achieve in terms of human comfort and educational attainment. It provided a necessary counterpoint to America’s own democracy, which preceded an administrative state, and was messy and uncertain, but in the eyes of many promised unprecedented individual freedom. Germany’s innovation of democracy presaged and fueled America’s mass production of it.

In the onerous aftermath of the war, dignitary harms and forced austerity ultimately turned the tide against European solidarity. It is worthy to note that similar indignities and economic pressures also drive our American hunger for a return to greatness. We have always enjoyed an absolute abundance within our national borders; but it is only now that we have come to rely upon a certain global prominence. Yet we are at a stage in history where we cannot have both simultaneously. Either we resign ourselves to our own ingenuity once again, or we resolve to answer the call of international emergency in the spirit of mutually assured prosperity.

That is the cusp upon we now pause. Our president has issued a call for a return to our former splendor, and that requires in inward focus. But we also have global commitments that will not diminish just because we ignore them. More fundamentally, our economy is subject to a real interdependency that tends to diminish our claims to absolute primacy.

So, what do we do? When we announce publicly that Europe must going forth pay its fair share to support our military alliance in NATO, and also compensate us for unpaid support – we set ourselves apart. Europe, for its part, has a valid claim for forbearance of its NATO obligations. Fossil Fuel energy costs are now at a generational bottom, and Europe could easily turn to suppliers like Russia to bolster its flailing economies. However, in the spirit of solidarity and its ongoing security relationships with NATO and the U.S., it has refused to allow Russia to build permanent delivery infrastructure throughout the continent. 

On another front, China seeks to leverage its relationship with rogue nuclear state North Korea in order to force economic and military concessions from the United States. A central tenet of the president’s America first strategy is to use American market power to demand fairer trade relations with China – which is easier said than done. If China senses that the America’s increasingly isolated foreign policy orientation reduces its ability to expend resources deflating North Korea’s aggressive military overtures, it may seek to exploit the perceived isolation. This is where an America first policy could weaken America’s hand in orchestrating economic concessions from China and other trading partners.

Is NATO necessary or is it not? That all depends upon how much trouble one believes regional powers can cause in this scenario. Europe, especially England, has relied upon Russian resource capital to fuel London, its financial capital. Can it survive in a world in which Russia restricts its investments in British banks? China supplies the lion’s share of consumer goods to America. If its "cat’s paw" North Korea rattles its tail, is that cause for our nation to abandon its "America first" policy merely to supplicate China? Perhaps so, but the short-term price in consumer activity will be high. There are no easy answers to this, hence the conundrum.

Bill Gates changes mind, warns about migrants overwhelming Europe

There has to be something in the air when Bill Gates is suddenly changing his mind on the migrants coming to the United States. Remember, this is the same Bill Gates who just a year and a half ago advocated for the United States to take in a million migrants like Germany.

His reversal coincides with a new Politico/Morning Consult poll that found 60 percent of voters support President Trump's new revised travel ban order, which states: "...visa applicants from six predominately Muslim countries must prove a close family relationship with a U.S. resident in order to enter the country."

Gates comments come as no surprise as European leaders are struggling to figure out what to do about the surging number of migrants arriving every week. The numbers have been so great in Italy, Rome has called on other European Union (EU) nations to help to ease pressure on their already struggling economy. 

We can all change our minds from time to time, and I'm glad to see that Bill has come to the realization that allowing millions of migrants into the United States would not only be bad for our economy but could also put Americans lives at risk. 

While the United States continues to be a compassionate nation, it is not possible for us to securely vet a significant number of those seeking asylum in the United States for the Middle East. And while we do have a process in place to vet them, I question the accuracy of that vetting. Can we truly know if someone from that region has ties to a terrorist organization? Unlike the United States where we keep records and files, along with a digital footprint from social media, a significant portion of the migrants who Gates once advocated for have no sizable footprint what so eveovdasdfsdfG