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Until Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain killed themselves, I had never heard of either of them, no doubt because I have no interest in fashion designers or food critics. Judging by the attention their deaths inspired, they were well-known and widely admired by millions of people.
What mystified their fans was that two people who had achieved fame, fortune and great success in their chosen fields, both of them relatively young, decided to hang themselves.
In the aftermath, I learned that most of the murders that take place in America are suicides. In fact, there are very few diseases that kill as many people as this mysterious thing called depression.
Just for the sake of clarity, I think a name change is in order. We all experience an emotion that used to be called depression and was normal in that it was usually brought on by the death of a loved one, a spouse, parent, sibling, friend or pet. It was temporary in nature. One might go on for years missing the person or the pet, but over time it passed from grief to regret.
But, suddenly, the word began to be used about people like Robin Williams, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, who seemed to have the world by the tail, but wound up using the tail as a noose.
We need a new word in order to distinguish between someone who says he’s depressed because his favorite sports team didn’t make the playoffs and the person who says he’s depressed because in spite of having everything to live for fails to see the point of living.
It brought home for me something I’d told my son when he was a little boy. I explained that it was okay to admire someone he didn’t know personally -- be it an actor, an athlete, an astronaut or a rock star -- but he should never think how wonderful it would be to switch places with them because he could never know what their actual lives were like.
It also reminded me of something that Brit Hume said recently and which I quoted at the time in another article. But in view of recent events, it bears repeating: “Everybody you know is fighting battles you know nothing about. Be kind. Be kind.”
At the time, I didn’t know the source of his wisdom. It took my friend Dr. Harry Maller of Prescott, Arizona, to inform me that in 1998, Brit’s son Sandy, an alcoholic, committed suicide at the age of 28.
⦿ As I write this, the meeting in Singapore is just getting underway. I have no idea how it will turn out. I find it hard to believe that Kim Jong-un will agree to dismantle his nuclear and missile programs, but when confronted face-to-face with reality, even Muamar Ghaddafi changed his ways, so anything is possible.
But it was telling that the fake media chided President Trump for claiming he didn’t need to study up for his meeting with the North Korean despot.
He didn’t actually say that he didn’t need to bring himself up to speed, even though that’s how it was reported. What he said at the time was that he had been preparing for a long time, meaning he didn’t need to cram at the last second like a lazy, panic-stricken, college student the night before an exam.
I can’t help thinking that if I were a journalist instead of a commentator, I would be ashamed to share the same space as the White House Press Corps. When they pretend that someone as accomplished as Donald Trump is a dunce when it comes to foreign relations, they also have to pretend that smart, hard-headed, advisors like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton are mere window dressing.
Do they really think that liar-Bill Clinton and Barackliar-nObama displayed major negotiating chops when the former provided Kim’s father with wheat, oil and money, in exchange for empty promises; and the latter handed over $150 billion in cold hard cash to Iran just soliar-nObama could brag that he’d worked out a meaningless deal with the mullahs?
⦿ It’s not true, as many of you believe, that Hollywood’s Communists are a recent development. After all, Charlie Chaplin; Paul Robeson; Dalton Trumbo; Albert Maltz; Ring Lardner, Jr; Edward Dmytryk; Paul Jarrico; John Howard Lawson; Adrian Scott; Kim Hunter; Will Geer; Jeff Corey; and Lillian Hellman, were all card-carrying members of the Party.
I’m not here to argue whether they deserved to lose their livelihoods because, in many cases, these actors, writers and directors, were simply hoodwinked by the media -- particularly the NY Times -- serving as the propaganda arm of the Soviet Union.
I do believe they displayed a great deal of naiveté in believing that Joseph Stalin was the slightest bit benevolent, but Hollywood, going back to the days of silent movies, has been a magnet for people whose occasional talent has been consistently offset by their egos and their ignorance.
⦿ When I received an email from a longtime subscriber Patrick Miano, of Phoenix, Arizona, letting me know that he was sick and tired of hearing Canada, Mexico and the nations of Western Europe, being described as our friends and allies, I let him know that I had long shared his outrage. I told him that I had already written myself a note to that effect.
I am now paying off on that promissory note.
I don’t know what the rest of you expect from your friends, but I suspect that a reasonable degree of loyalty would be high on the list.
But, what have we received from any of those nations, aside from their contempt? Please don’t bring up World War II, a war which never really threatened us. Heck, the Nazis couldn’t even get across the English Channel to invade Great Britain. Not much chance they were going to make it all the way across the Atlantic.
However, it was mainly the United States that supplied the weaponry and manpower to defeat the Axis powers.
In the wake of the war, it was the U.S. that helped get Europe, including a demolished Germany, back on its feet, as well as rebuilding Japan. Cynics might point out that we wanted a revived world economy that could afford to buy our products, but they would do well to remember that for several years, we were the only ones with an atomic bomb. Had we been the imperialists that the pinheads insist we are, we would have been fully capable of conquering the world in a way that England, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Italy, the Soviet Union, even ancient Greece and Rome, could only have dreamed of doing.
These days, we can’t even count on Mexico to prevent their peasants from invading us. As for those other great friends and allies, when is the last time we could depend on any of them even voting with us at the U.N.?
The notion that Trump should use kid gloves when dealing with these snots is absurd. Angela Merkel, with her open-door policy where Muslims are concerned, has done more to ruin Germany than anyone since Hitler. Theresa May has outlawed free speech in her country, jailing a reporter for merely reporting on the trial of young Islamists accused of gang-raping English women.
As for Justin Trudeau, the male model running Canada, where does he get off criticizing Trump for placing 20% tariffs on Canadian steel and 15% on Canadian aluminum? Canada, in case it’s slipped his mind, places a 275% tariff on most American dairy products, 300% on our butter.
Inasmuch as we are always at the head of the line when other nations experience a natural disaster, how is it that when we experience earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires, tidal waves and cyclones, we don’t see any of them rushing over to give us a helping hand?
⦿ Speaking of injustices, it’s bad enough that notables are always evading punishment, but could we at least have a moratorium on those goofballs who keep insisting that our laws are worth the paper they’re written on.
Aside from the 20 million or more illegal aliens who are permanently settled inside our borders -- and not just in the unconstitutional sanctuary cities and states run by Democrats, which makes an absolute farce of our legal system, -- we have all those celebrities and political officials who rarely face the penalties the rest of us do.
Just a partial list would include hanoi-Jane Fonda; Ted Kennedy; the threeliar-Clintons involved in the money-laundering enterprise known as theliar-Clinton Foundation; Robert McDonnell; Robert Menendez; and even O.J. Simpson, at least until the big dummy pressed his luck.
Even former congressman Charley Rangel was only censured by the House for a series of financial crimes including not paying his income taxes. Which of us wouldn’t love to be allowed to get off with a censure if we decided not to send a check to the politically-biased schmucks at the IRS?
⦿ Speaking of lawbreakers, I have become somewhat addicted to TV’s “Forensic Files.” What I like about the show is that in just 30 minutes, less if you fast-forward through commercials, they show you a recreation of a seemingly unsolvable crime and then show how forensic scientists worked to determine how and by whom the crime was committed. Invariably, the show ends by showing footage of the actual trial and the sentence being pronounced. I am always a sucker for a happy ending, although I would be even happier if more of the killers and serial rapists faced execution instead of life sentences.
In one case, a guy murdered his wife after sending her threatening messages in order to persuade the cops that she was being stalked by the person who eventually bludgeoned her to death.
In this case, it wasn’t only trace evidence that tripped him up. A language expert who was shown the letters along with examples of other things the husband had written discovered a similarity in style he had never before encountered. The guy would only use contractions when he was writing something negative, as in “He’s a jerk” or “She’d have been a terrible mother.” But when he had something positive to say, he always spelled the words out: “He is a great neighbor” or “She is a wonderful person.”
The expert had never come across that grammatical idiosyncrasy before. It helped convince the jury that the guy had written the letters and murdered his wife.
Sometimes, even though it ultimately requires forensic science to convince a jury, one can only marvel at the stupidity of some criminals. In a case I watched last night, the killer had stolen his victim’s credit cards. The first time he tried to use one of them, he tipped his mitt by signing his own name on the receipt.
It was delightfully reminiscent of the bank robber who passed the teller a note demanding that she hand over all the money in her cash drawer.
What the goofus didn’t realize was that he’d written the message on the back of an envelope addressed to him.
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That seems to be the slogan for Hillary Clinton and her political allies, and it’s especially apt in light of new information about one of Clinton’s largest campaign donors.
While the left is still trying to attack President Trump and his family over unproven business dealings and largely debunked connections to Russia, a new report indicates that it was Hillary Clinton’s team who were doing those exact things.
“Fox News has learned that one of the top donors to the ‘Hillary Victory Fund’ (HVF) in 2016 was a Los Angeles-based attorney who is alleged to have misused company funds to create his own $22 million real estate portfolio,” that outlet reported on Thursday.
“He has also been considered by California to be one of the state’s biggest tax cheats, and allegedly has ties to the (Russian) Kremlin,” Fox continued.
The man’s name is Edgar Sargsyan. His deep pockets greatly benefited Clinton’s campaign, with contributions of at least $250,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund in 2016.
He was also in charge of an elite fundraising dinner to benefit Clinton, where donors paid $100,000 per couple just to attend the ritzy event. But in true Clinton fashion, the money apparently went missing.
Sargsyan is now “being sued by his former company for allegedly diverting those funds to start his own real estate company,” according to Fox.
Now, people are asking hard questions about Clinton’s buddy Sargsyan, including whether his contributions were part of a pay-to-play scheme and if he had shady connections to foreign governments.
“Nobody gave to the Hillary Victory Fund out of the goodness of their heart or some generalized desire to help 33 random state parties,” pointed out attorney Dan Backer from the Committee to Defend the President.
“They did so to buy access and curry influence — something the Clintons have been selling for nearly three decades in and out of government,” he continued.
Trying to buy political influence is sadly common, especially when it comes to the Clintons. What is raising more red flags than normal, however, is the evidence that Sargsyan is no run-of-the-mill campaign donor.
“The really scary question is, what did this particular donor with this strange web of connections hope to buy for his quarter-million dollars?” Backer asked Fox News.
That web of connections is strange indeed.
The Committee to Defend the President is now alleging that SBK, a major Sargsyan-linked company “is an investment firm that is affiliated with United Arab Emirates president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and its international affiliate has business interests in Russia,” according to Fox.
“Among its dealings was a bid to finance $850 million for a major bridge project to connect Crimea with Russia,” the group claims.
“He worked for SBK, and SBK appears to have bid on some Crimean/Russian bridge project,” Backer said. “That’s usually an indicator of political favor and connections.”
It raises several chilling questions: Was Sargsyan paying a quarter million dollars to Clinton for political favors, and — more disturbingly — was that money actually from sources in Russia in order to smooth the way for its construction plans?
Nobody knows for sure. What is clear, however, is that there is a pattern of dirty money surrounding the Clintons, with the “Uranium One” and “Clinton Foundation” scandals just two of the most well-known examples.
“It reinforces how fast and loose the Clinton machine was when it came to ‘Hoovering up’ these megadonor checks, not just from questionable Hollywood and Wall Street elites but potentially from foreign influence peddlers using who knows what money,” Backer told Fox News.
“It reinforces the need to take a long hard look at not just the unlawful money laundering process, but the way in which they were solicited as well,” he continued. “The Clintons have never shown a great deal of concern for whomever it was cutting the checks — whether it’s foreign influence peddlers or Hollywood smut peddlers like Harvey Weinstein.”
If those claims are even partially true, then America dodged a bullet in November of 2016 — and it’s worth keeping the pile of foreign-connected Clinton scandals in mind the next time the left tries desperately to tie Donald Trump to Russia. Perhaps they should look in the mirror.
Washington Post Compares Jeff Sessions To ‘Slaveholder’
The Washington Post compared Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “slaveholders” after he quoted the Bible on Thursday while discussing his department’s policy of prosecuting all illegal immigrants who cross the border.
Sessions made the statement during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
WaPo ran a story entitled “Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families” by general assignment editor Keith McMillan and religion reporter Julie Zauzmer on Friday.
Rather than detailing the statistics Sessions cited in the speech that explain the immigration policy, the story quoted John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.
“This is the same argument that Southern slaveholders and the advocates of a Southern way of life made,” Fea said.
Sessions spent much of the speech discussing the numbers behind current immigration policy, including separating families at the Southwest border.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said.
“Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”
“The previous administration wouldn’t prosecute aliens if they came with children,” Sessions said.
“It was de-facto open borders if you came with children. The results were unsurprising. More and more illegal aliens started showing up at the border with children.”
Sessions laid out the numbers in the speech.
“In 2013, fewer than 15,000 family units were apprehended crossing our border illegally between ports of entry in dangerous areas of the country,” he said.
“Five years later, it was more than 75,000, a five-fold increase in five years. It didn’t even have to be their child that was brought, it could be anyone. You can imagine that this created a lot of danger.”
The U.S. has the “opportunity” to fix its broken immigration system now, Sessions said.
“I believe that’s it’s moral, right, just and decent that we have a lawful system of immigration,” he said. “The American people have been asking for it.”