September 7, 2021
It’s been challenging, to say the least, to find out what’s really going on in Afghanistan concerning the evacuation of Americans and our friends.
Unlike President Trump, who used to enjoy hanging out on the White House lawn and speaking off the cuff to answer reporters’ questions --- not that he got the credit he deserved for that --- President Biden’s White House prefers to “put a lid” on their commentary. If Biden doesn’t have it on a teleprompter to read, he simply shuffles off, stage left, if he can remember which way is left.
When that happens, it’s up to the Pentagon and the State Department to speak for him. But they’ve abdicated their responsibility as well. As Kyle Becker reported on Sunday, the White House has implemented a virtual news blackout. Good luck finding out anything from them.
“There is zero chatter in the White House about getting American citizens out of Afghanistan,” tweeted Jack Posobiec, senior editor at HUMAN EVENTS. A White House official told him that “they’re acting like they’re not even there.”
Why would that be? Multiple Pentagon sources independently confirm that “the White House counsel (through the National Security Council’s legal department) told multiple federal agencies and departments NOT to respond to Afghanistan correspondence, with more guidance to follow.” In other words, “ghost” any media outlet seeking information.
Of course, the mainstream media are showing no curiosity. When White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain appeared Sunday on CNN, he was never asked one question about the planes on the ground, not even if Americans were among those being held on airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport. He did say that “about 100” Americans remain in Afghanistan and the administration is working on getting them out.
On FOX NEWS SUNDAY, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul surprised host Chris Wallace by revealing that six planes, loaded with Americans and Afghan interpreters and other helpers, had been sitting for at least a couple of days on the tarmac at that airport, prevented by the Taliban from taking off. He said the Taliban wanted “something in exchange.”
Here’s the story from THE DAILY CALLER.
And here's the full interview with Rep. McCaul.
“The airplanes are there,” Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson had said Friday on NEWSMAX. “Everything is ready to go, They can’t get out...because the Taliban won’t release the flight until September 9 because they want to be recognized as an official government.” McCaul said it was guaranteed these hostages would be held until the U.S. recognized the Taliban as a government.
As for Ron Klain’s assertion that “about 100” Americans are being held, California Rep. Darrell Issa says it’s a vast understatement. He told the AP it’s likely that “about 500 Americans” remain stranded (yes, Jen Psaki, STRANDED) in Afghanistan. That’s not including their family members, which would bring the number up to as high as 1,000. By not including the families, Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon said, “they’re lowballing the numbers.”
Jack Phillips of THE EPOCH TIMES reports that according to Mike Jason, who runs a rescue operation called Allied Airlift 21, the figure quoted could be far higher.
Alex Plitsas, an Iraq War veteran and former intel officer who is part of a rescue mission called Digital Dunkirk, said that in just one day, he’d received six calls from Americans who weren’t registered with the U.S.Embassy (which is abandoned now, I might add). “Those names are starting to trickle out now,” he said. “I expect that number to rise significantly.”
Be sure and read Rebecca Downs’ account in TOWNHALL of Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s attempt to help Americans who were still trapped there, as told to FOX NEWS’ Bret Baier on Friday.
“A congressman can sponsor a flight going in,” Mullin explained, “and it gives one of these other departments cover because it’s kind of, no one wants to touch it because I personally believe it was because they knew it was a hot mess.”
Even though they had obtained a humanitarian flight plan from the FAA, he said, they had to keep circling the Kabul airport because requests to land were repeatedly denied. Mullin believes this was “100 percent directed from the State Department.”
As he would be coming in with a large amount of money, Mullin had sought help from the U.S. ambassador, who told him he’d have to go through 16 Afghan checkpoints and at each one “would be charged to get through.” (Good thinking to bring cash!) Tellingly, the ambassador also told him that he’d been instructed not to help.
Mullin said that when President Biden, the State Department and others said they’d get everyone out of there who wanted out, it was “a boldfaced, 100 percent lie.”
“...We’re not handling our mess,” he said. “...It’s our mess. The United States created this vacuum to allow the Taliban to come in. President Biden and his horrific withdrawal has caused this to happen.” He said that even if we got more Americans out, others would die “because of the failure of President Biden.” He said Biden would have blood on his hands.
Indeed, this so bad that some are speculating it was done on purpose to divert attention from something even worse. “What could be worse than this?” one might wonder. Tucker Carlson, on his show TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT, and guest Glenn Greenwald speculated about that on Friday.
Carlson said he didn’t want to enter “the realm of conspiracy” but thought it was “at least worth wondering.” Could it be that someone wants to maintain future engagement in Afghanistan, or might someone have some other reason? I have to say, that idea DOES sound a little out-there, but it tells us HOW BAD the situation in Afghanistan really is: bad enough to take our minds to some crazy possible explanations.
Even though Greenwald has seen no evidence of such a conspiracy, he said, it is “fully within the character of the deep state operatives” to deliberately engineer something like this. Sadly, he is correct. Certainly I’m not saying they did this, but who can trust them not to?
Another question: did the Taliban necessarily have to overrun Afghanistan at all? According to retired U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Anthony Tata, the answer is NO. Details here.
“We have utterly abandoned this country,” he said. “We have abandoned Americans within this country. It is just shameful what has happened...They chose to let it happen, they facilitated it happening, and now what you’ve got is a terror superstore there in Afghanistan.”
Finally, Piers Morgan wrote searingly about the “bitter shame and humiliation” America is experiencing as we near the 20th anniversary of 9/11 “thanks to Biden’s appalling mishandling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and abject surrender to the very people who helped commit the attacks by harbouring the terrorists who carried them out.”
“America’s defeat to just 75,000 murderous medieval thugs is thus complete,” he wrote. He went on to talk about what is most certainly a hostage situation. Read it all, and get angry. Angry enough to reject whatever this government tells you. The turn we've taken is so bad --- and so unnecessary --- that it’s easy to speculate along with Glenn Greenwald that something even larger is afoot.
September 7, 2021
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September 6, 2021
For six decades, Labor Day meant an American tradition: the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. MDA ended its association with Lewis in 2010, and the telethon kept getting shorter until its final broadcast in 2014. But the association of Labor Day with the MDA continues. Some local areas still host telethons, and firefighters across America are out this weekend at intersections, collecting cash for their “Fill the Boot” drive. If you see them, I hope you’ll dig into your pocket and give generously.
MDA leaders say that a 21-hour telethon no longer fits into today’s short attention span world. But they’re adapting to changing times by turning to Internet fundraising, with online gaming competitions and entertainment by comedian Kevin Hart (stepping into Jerry’s old hosting role) and other celebrities, all streaming on major social media platforms. You can learn more about that or keep up your Labor Day tradition of donating at https://www.mda.org/telethon.
Although Jerry Lewis passed away a few years ago at 91, active right up until the end, I’m sure that he would want you to continue giving generously and remember that it’s about helping the kids. In fact, while Jerry made the telethon the success that it became, he wasn’t the one who started it all rolling. He gave credit for sparking his six-decade mission to wipe out muscular dystrophy to another man -- a man you’ve probably never heard of. Jerry kept the story secret for many years, until the publication of his memoir, “Jerry Lewis in Person.”
Jerry recalled that it was in 1948. He was 22, and he and Dean Martin were the hottest comedy team in show business. His good friend and press agent, Jack Keller, had helped make them stars, but never requested a single thing for himself -- until one day, he came to Jerry and begged a favor. He had a friend who was in trouble and asked if Jerry would talk to him. His name was Paul Cohen. He’d had MD since childhood, and he’d started a group called the Muscular Dystrophy Association to fight it. They had a few patients, their parents and nothing much else.
By chance, Jerry knew someone whose nephew had had MD. He said he’d watched helplessly as that child had withered like a leaf in the winter, and the effect of seeing that would never leave his mind until a cure was found. So he agreed to meet with the handful of doctors who knew anything about MD at the time. They weren’t encouraging. They warned him that research was in the Dark Ages. Nobody even knew what caused MD, and no known medicines helped. It was like fighting an invisible killer. But that just made Jerry more determined to take it on.
He and Dean began hosting live fundraisers…until one night at the end of their TV show, Jerry jokingly ad-libbed that viewers should each send in two dollars. He was stunned when over $2,000 arrived in the mail. And that’s when it hit him: the power of television to raise money for charity. So in 1951, Jack Keller put together a special hosted by Dean and Jerry. It aired on just one station and raised $68,000 (over $714,000 in today’s dollars), and the MDA telethon was off and running.
Over the next six decades, Jerry Lewis’ tireless work on his Labor Day telethons helped raised well over a billion dollars to fight neuromuscular diseases and help the victims and their families. He also inspired millions of Americans to join in the effort. That’s why so many Americans will always associate him and the MDA with Labor Day.
But let’s also salute an unsung hero. If you think one person can’t make a difference, remember that the Labor Day tradition that raised over a billion dollars to help children with MD started because a man you’d never heard of, Jack Keller…for the first time in his life…asked someone for a favor. And as Jerry observed, it was no surprise to him that the favor was a request to help somebody else.
So when you see a firefighter out collecting for MDA, doing his or her bit to help the kids, please do your bit and toss something into the boot. You'd be amazed how all those little individual efforts add up.
September 6, 2021
We hear a lot of talk from politicians about values…but do we truly value work and the people who do it?
Companies should pay employees as generously as they can, because good workers have worth. This is why you should always be skeptical of any politician who claims to “care” about workers, but also wants to raise taxes, both on workers and businesses. When taxes are high, it’s a sign that the government disrespects the worker by believing that what it will do with their salary is better than what the person who earned it will do. When we see employees as having worth, we see their work as valuable. That’s the value of work. I believe YOU are valuable and therefore what you DO has value.
I think a lot of politicians don’t understand that a job is more than just a way to put bread on the table. From man’s beginnings as recorded in the book of Genesis, we were hard-wired for labor. God told us to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow. It’s natural for us to want to prove our value by producing.
From the time we are children, we imitate our parents in their work. It’s part of our DNA to want to be grown up, and one sure way to feel grown up is to work. That’s why the loss of a job is far, far more than an economic setback. It’s de-humanizing to want to be productive and not be able. There is pride and dignity in sitting down to a meal that your work provided.
The CDC studied suicide rates since 1928 and found that they mirrored the economy. Suicides took a big uptick during the Great Depression. They plunged during World War II, and spiked again in the recessions of the mid-70’s and early 80’s. Suicides dropped to their lowest levels ever in the year 2000, when the tech boom dropped unemployment to just 4 percent. But after the dot-com bubble burst, America's suicide rate began steadily climbing. Recently, because of the endless shutdowns forcing people to stop working, we saw a new spike in suicides.
It’s a stark reminder that employment is more than an economic issue. Good jobs and rewarding labor save lives by making us feel that we're valued and needed. A government handout might provide bare sustenance, but it doesn’t feed the soul. It only demoralizes us.
September 6, 2021
Today is Labor Day, which is sometimes jokingly described as the day when Americans honor work by taking the day off work. I hope you enjoy the holiday with your family, and enjoy this special Labor Day edition of my newsletter.
These days, it’s easy for free market conservatives to distrust labor unions because of their corrupt leaders or one-sided politics (more on that later.) But Labor Day reminds us of that era in history when unions were more interested in protecting workers than in protecting the jobs of union bosses and Democrat politicians. Labor Day observances unofficially began around the turn of the 20th century as a celebration of the union movement, which was fighting truly dangerous and exploitative working conditions, not to mention violent strike-busting tactics. Those kinds of conditions are not beneficial to labor or management.
Workers who get good pay, reasonable hours and a safe workplace are motivated to work harder and make their employers profitable. America’s prosperity and world leader status were the result of shared benefits between labor and management. Recruiting good employees, treating them well, and giving them a stake in the outcome is good business. When labor and management are partners, everyone wins: stockholders, management, workers, and most importantly, consumers.
Before the Chinese unleashed a virus that knocked the wind out of our economy, President Trump wasn't just helping to bring back jobs, but the strong job market and record low unemployment meant companies had to offer higher pay and more benefits to attract good workers. That's how getting government out of the way of job creation benefits everyone. Currently, businesses are offering higher wages and benefits to attract employees only because the government is paying them more not to work than to work, but that’s unsustainable, as our $28.7 trillion national debt proves.
Unfortunately, we are living through a dangerous period in which both the White House and Congress are in the hands of a party that doesn’t understand how businesses work and is mostly interested in using government to exercise raw power. One of the major reasons they are in power is because of the support, monetary and otherwise, of powerful union leaders. These leaders are supposed to be looking out for workers, but does anyone believe that the people they’ve helped install into power are making life better for workers?
A union is supposed to act as the voice of its workers, but too many unions today prioritize advancing the Democrats over that. For instance, many energy and pipeline industry workers supported Trump, but their bosses worked to elect Biden…who, upon taking office, promptly picked up his executive order pen and stabbed them in the back with it, killing the Keystone XL Pipeline project, going to war on domestic energy production, and destroying many good-paying union jobs. Likewise, his open border policy that’s flooding the nation with illegal immigrants will lower job opportunities and drive down wages for low-skilled American workers. This is particularly hard on minority workers, who were finally seeing real wage increases for the first time in decades under Trump.
I also hear these days from a lot of teachers who are horrified at the leftist indoctrination and racist “Critical Race Theory” their unions expect them to teach, but they’re terrified to speak up about it. Is that how today’s unions “give the workers a voice,” by making them afraid to speak up?
Maybe the union bosses think it’s worth it if the Democrats can shove through their PRO Act bill that would essentially unionize the entire economy. Union leaders and Democrats claim that the bill would empower workers and protect their rights, but it would actually force Americans to hand over billions of dollars in union dues to union bosses, along with much of their freedom. It would repeal all state right-to-work laws and destroy the modern freelance/gig/contract worker economy that many workers prefer.
It’s no wonder that when given a choice, many workers stop paying union dues because they believe their unions aren’t doing enough to deserve them and are actively working against their interests and personal beliefs.
I have nothing against unions in theory, and they did a lot of good in the early 20th century to give workers a voice, to protect their safety and to assure fair wages and reasonable working conditions. But like most things embroiled with Democrat politics, they forgot their original mission and became corrupt.
That’s why on Labor Day, we can reflect on the good that unions did a century ago, but mostly, I prefer to think of it as a day to celebrate American workers: the people who put in a hard day’s work, sweating through their clothes on farms and in factories…those who don cop and firefighter uniforms and rush toward danger when the rest of us are running away from it…and the ones who kept working through the pandemic, from the doctors and nurses to the truckers and grocery shelf stackers, to keep the rest of us supplied with the necessities of life. These are the people who deserve a holiday in their honor. So this Labor Day's for you!
September 6, 2021
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September 5, 2021
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September 4, 2021
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September 3, 2021
In just over a week, we’ll mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Manhattan’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon, as well as on United Airlines Flight 93, a plane that was crashed in a Pennsylvania field by its heroic passengers to protect its likely target, the White House. I wish people who aren’t old enough to remember all this or who chose to block it out could know what it was like and feel the raw emotion of that time. Other than the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan that took us into World War II 80 years ago, there’s been nothing remotely comparable to it in our history.
Almost 3,000 people were killed, most of them in the fall of the Twin Towers, and thousands more –- particularly first responders and clean-up crews –- have suffered lifelong disability resulting from conditions on the ground there.
When planes flew into both towers on that bright and beautiful fall morning, and the towers collapsed upon themselves, it was a demolition of indescribable magnitude. A huge portion of Manhattan, 14 million square feet of downtown –- was turned into rubble. And it was a massacre. Video that is seldom played today showed human beings jumping a thousand feet to their deaths rather than be burned alive. Virtually everyone in New York knew someone who had perished. Many thousands of people lost spouses, brothers, sisters, dear friends and colleagues. Children lost parents. Parents lost children.
Literally tons of debris filled the atmosphere. The air was thick with toxic substances that ravaged the lungs of those who managed to live through the day. For first responders, it was like a war zone.
Every year on September 11, except for a modified pre-recorded version last year because of COVID, a ceremony has been held at the memorial in which all the names of those lost were read aloud by family members to a wide audience that included the families, police, firefighters, other first responders and emergency workers. Then, throughout that night, the twin beams of the “Tribute In Light” blazed straight up into the sky, as a statement of power and resilience against our evil terrorist enemies.
So what about this year? Regarding the reading of the names, there’s been so much back-and-forth about it that it's hard to know what they’ve finally decided to do. On August 15, it was announced that the Tunnel 2 Towers Foundation would hold an “alternative” ceremony, just south of the memorial, for the names because the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, citing covid again, wouldn’t be having one this year. (It's not clear to us whether they've changed their mind and are doing it after all or if Tunnel 2 Towers is still the sponsor.) Masks will be required, and the podium will be sanitized after every speaker.
Apparently, only 9/11 family members are invited this year, as officials want to discourage large crowds. It's a shame to see this moving ceremony diminished in any way --- especially for covid, since this event takes place outdoors, everyone will be masked, and most will likely be vaccinated. If another concern is budget, that really shouldn’t be an issue, either. They might need extra security for the larger crowd, but I’ll bet a lot of New York’s Finest would proudly volunteer for that job.
Believe it or not, for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the museum had decided not to have the “Tribute In Light.” They said they didn’t have the funds for it. They said that last year, too, but Gov. Cuomo contributed enough state resources to make it happen. Fortunately, the “Tribute In Light” is back on this year, too.
You can see how confusing this got when you add in this report from RedState.com, which says a group called the Sergeants Benevolent Association has stepped up to provide the beams of light. We're not sure now if the museum (with or without state funds) is doing it or the SBA is, but at least SOMEBODY is. Those lights had better be blazing. They need to be seen from space, till dawn breaks on September 12.
Fortunately, New York Public Radio is doing quite a bit of special programming, which started September 1.
Here’s a list of the in-person events planned for that day.
For a time, it looked as though this year’s memorial would be scaled way down, and that would not have been acceptable. As Steve Cuozzo wrote in the NEW YORK POST on August 14 –- the day before it was announced the “Tribute In Light” would light up after all –- “Today, many younger and newly arrived New Yorkers have little idea what 9/11 meant. To treat the 20th anniversary as business as usual threatens to consign the memory to just another unpleasant hiccup of history such as the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn for Los Angeles or the 1965 power blackout.” Perhaps his commentary is what convinced officials to light up the night sky after all.
Yes, the museum has a budget crunch, he said, but “the catastrophe’s 20th anniversary should not be allowed to become a shadow of its past commemorations.”
What a disgrace it would be to play down 9/11 on the 20th anniversary of that carnage. It also occurs to me that such a disgrace would compound the epic national disgrace going on right now: our botched exit from Afghanistan and the abandoning of U.S. citizens, Afghan friends and cutting-edge military equipment to the terrorists who have overrun the place and made it once again a haven for themselves. How ironic it would be for us now to diminish the 9/11 ceremony on the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in history. Look at us now, with our own President putting himself in the position of having to negotiate with the Taliban. Sadly, this time, as we memorialize our lost and honor our brave, the terrorists will be celebrating just as they did 20 years ago. Except now when they wave their guns in the air, they'll have much better guns. Thank you, Mr. President.
Michael Arad, the young architect (an Israeli citizen born in London who has since obtained dual citizenship here) whose design was chosen for the 9/11 memorial, was living in Manhattan at the time of the attack and said 9/11 had made him a New Yorker. He said he “would never forget how people poured into Union Square, Times Square, Washington Square, needing to be together, to stand side by side with strangers, bearing individual pain but sharing collective grief.”
“If the terrorists thought they’d sow fear and division,” he said, “they did not succeed.”
If you’ve never been to the memorial, stood at the edge of the waterfalls and looked at some of the names of all 2,983 who lost their lives that day, I urge you do make the trip and do it. (One of my writers said the moment during this experience that hit her the hardest was seeing a square simply carved with the words “Unborn Baby.”)
For when you have time, here’s a detailed article about Arad and the meaning behind the memorial he designed.