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Four Children Lost in Blizzard Save Two-Year-Old
Culture Beat  
The Two-step Solution to The Palestinian Problem
By Ted Belman
{ } ~ Last week, the Trump team tabled  “Peace to Prosperity” otherwise known as The Deal of the Century, in which they set out their vision for achieving peace... It includes the creation of a Palestinian “state.”  The Palestinian leadership was quick to reject it as did the Arab League and many others, including many Israelis. Nobody believes the “state” will come to be. Surely the Trump team knows this. So, why did they table the vision? In my opinion, the Trump team wanted to present a new vision to replace the old vision. During the next four years they will advance their vision and negate the old vision. The old vision was based on the Oslo Accords signed in 1993 and 1995, and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which demanded 100% withdrawal by Israel. In addition, it demanded the right of return for all Palestinian refugees and the division of Jerusalem. This vision was premised on the Palestinian narrative that presented the Palestinians as indigenous and the Israelis as interlopers, oppressors and occupiers. According to Peace to Prosperity, “The Oslo Accords, however, left numerous key issues unresolved pending the completion of permanent status negotiations, including, among other items, borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem. Those agreements did not create an effective path for neutralizing the kinds of crises that emerged during the implementation of Oslo, including waves of terror and violence.” The Accords became a permanent constitution articulating the division of powers between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) over Parts A, B and C as delineated by the Accords. They enabled the PA to wage war on Israel and to reject any compromise. The final status issues were impediments to reaching agreement because the PA was not prepared to compromise. In fact, they were not prepared to make an end of conflict agreement on any terms. The new vision is built on recognizing the “Israel’s valid legal and historical claims”.President Trump, soon after he was inaugurated, began to undo the harm foisted on Israel by the US, the EU and the UN over the years...  
Social Security Reforms Progressives Will Resist
By Jon N. Hall
{ } ~ On January 28, the Congressional Budget Office released “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2020 to 2030,” and it projected annual trillion-dollar budget deficits for the entire decade... The largest expenditure of the federal government is for social programs, the biggest of which is Social Security. Some progressives in Congress, however, contend that Social Security should not be a part of any effort to balance the budget. But if Congress is ever again to get control over the budget, reform of the social programs must be a part of the solution. In the Social Security Administration’s Annual Statistical Supplement, 2019, the first block of data, “Table 4.A1 Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, 1937–2018 in millions of dollars,” is divided into Receipts, Expenditures, and Assets. Let’s focus for the nonce on two columns: “Net payroll tax contributions” on the Receipts side, and “Benefit payments” on the Expenditures side. The drill here is to sum the two columns, payroll tax receipts and benefits, and then subtract the latter from the former -- for three significant time frames. Our three time frames are delimited by 1937, 1984, 2010, and 2018. Those years are for Social Security’s startup, the year the big payroll tax hikes kicked in, the year that the program went “cash-flow negative” whereby receipts from the payroll tax hikes weren’t enough to pay benefits, and the last year of the table. Our time frames are 1937-1983, 1984-2009, and 2010-2018. To simplify, let’s drop off the rightmost digits and express our sums in billions. So, for time frames of 47, 26, and nine years, Social Security produced differences between payroll tax receipts and benefits of, respectively, -$15B, +$1,043B, and -$766B. If one adds up those three sums one gets +$262B, which figure you’ll also get if you do the routine for 1937-2018. That might seem like a bit of cushion, but the difference between payroll tax receipts and benefits in 2018 was -$129B. If that size shortfall between income and outgo were to continue, then Social Security will have become cash-flow negative over its entire history in early 2021. For those of you who voted for Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that’s next year. The “burn rate” indicated by the 2010-2018 shortfalls (-$766B) was more than twice as fast as the rate that SS produced surpluses for 1984-2009. It appears that SS will have burned through, i.e. spent to offset the payroll tax shortfalls, an amount equal to the entire $1T surplus generated over 26 years in a bit over 11 years.  However, there are two other sources of tax receipts besides the payroll tax. The larger of these two is “Income from taxation of benefits.” Since 1984, benefits have been subject to the personal income tax. Call it “claw-back,” for this is a type of means testing. What the SSA giveth, the IRS taketh away. For 1984-2018, the total revenue from the taxation of benefits was $482B...
commie-AOC Is An Idiot About Fracking
 A Fracking Idiot
by Jeff Dunetz
{ } B~ Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is doing it again, saying the wrong thing about subjects she knows nothing about... Her latest claim is that fracking harms drinking water, which has been disproven by many studies. On Wednesday, she tweeted, “Fracking is destroying our land and our water. It is wreaking havoc on our communities’ health. We must do our job to protect our future from the harms caused by the fracking industry. That is why I am proud to introduce the Fracking Ban Act with @RepDarrenSoto today.” The fracking process starts with a well that is drilled vertically or at an angle from the surface to a depth of 1 to 2 miles (1.6 to 3.2 kilometers) or more, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The vertical well is then encased in steel and/or cement to ensure the well doesn’t run the risk of leaking into any groundwater. Then chemically treated water is pumped into deep shale formations at extremely high pressure. The fluid cracks the shale or widens existing cracks, freeing hydrocarbons to flow toward the well. In 2015 Barack scumbag/liar-nObama’s EPA reported that fracking does not hurt drinking water. The report which was initially requested by Congress, said the agency “”did not find evidence”” that any process has “ ”led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”” According to the study, the only times fracking could affect drinking water was when there were “poorly constructed drilling wells and improper wastewater management.” But the EPA also reported the number of cases was small compared with a large number of wells that use hydraulic fracturing...   

Italy: Salvini Facing Show Trial 
for "Kidnapping" Migrants
by Soeren Kern
{ } ~ The Italian Senate has voted to strip former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of parliamentary immunity so that he can face kidnapping charges... for refusing to allow migrants to disembark from a ship at a port in Sicily. If Salvini, who leads the anti-mass-migration party, Lega (League), is found guilty, he faces a ban on holding political office and up to 15 years in prison. He has said that he acted in Italy's national interest and that the charges against him are politically motivated, aimed at silencing criticism of the country's open-door migration policy. Under Italian law, ministers enjoy immunity for actions taken while in office — unless the Senate votes to lift that protection. On February 12, the Italian Senate voted 152-76 in favor of lifting Salvini's immunity, after a parliamentary committee on January 21 recommended the action. In December, the Court of Ministers in Catania, Sicily, ruled that Salvini should be indicted for "aggravated kidnapping" for depriving 131 migrants onboard the Gregoretti coastguard ship of their liberty by refusing to allow them to disembark. The incident, which occurred over a four-day period in July 2019, was part of Salvini's "closed ports" policy against illegal immigration and an attempt to force EU member states to share the burden of mass migration. More than 600,000 migrants have arrived in Italy over the past four years. Under EU rules — known as the Dublin Regulation — migrants must seek asylum in their country of arrival, which, for reasons of geography, places an inordinate burden on Italy. After five other EU member states agreed to take in most of the migrants onboard the Gregoretti, Salvini on July 31 allowed them to disembark in Augusta, Sicily, from where they were transferred abroad...
Western Governments Play a Key Role 
in Successful Honor Killing Escapes
by Phyllis Chesler
{ } ~ If one is in flight to escape being honor killed, what is needed to ensure a successful escape? What kind of woman... who has been raised in an honor/shame tribal culture, is likely to undertake such a dangerous and difficult journey to Western-style freedom? A woman who has been humiliated, battered, and death threatened almost daily from childhood on; who has not been taught that she is an individual and, as such, entitled to human rights; does not believe she has an identity other than that of daughter, sister, wife, and mother – how can such a person suddenly decide that her life is worth saving and that she is entitled to both freedom and happiness? I have been looking for such unlikely heroes ever since 2004, when I began studying the nature and prevalence of honor killings. I first wrote about honor killings and honor killing escapees in the West in 2005 in The Death of Feminism. Here are two preliminary answers. Such a hero requires a safe place, "a room at the inn," so to speak. A non-tribal, Western culture must be willing to consider an application for political or humanitarian asylum. In 2007, the UK passed a strong Forced Marriage Civil Protection Act protecting people from being "forced to enter into marriage without their free and full consent." But it "only applies to UK citizens," said London-based grassroots activist Mandy Sanghera. It does not automatically serve as grounds for political asylum for someone who has fled Afghanistan, Turkey, or Pakistan. Sanghera told me that an underage "girl can be granted an Order of Protection and then still be returned to her family of origin, where she will continue to be bullied into an unwanted marriage." The European Parliament has included "gender" as well as "gender identity and sexual orientation" as valid grounds for "refugee resettlement." However, the words "honor" or "honor crime" were not included. The Parliament also has labeled forced marriage a "violation of human rights and a form of gender based violence." Denmark, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom "criminalized" the practice. However, these directives do not seem to be legally binding, so removing girls or women from their homes and prosecuting entire families is a very difficult undertaking...
The Roadmap to Further Pressure Tehran’s 
Oil and Gas Industry
by Saeed Ghasseminejad & David Adesnik
{ } ~ The president of the Statistical Center of Iran announced  last week that Iranian GDP contracted 7.6 percent in the first three quarters of Persian calendar year 1398, which correspond roughly to the last nine months of 2019... According to the Statistical Center, Iran’s non-oil-and-gas GDP remained stable, which means that the non-oil-and-gas sector of Iran’s economy may have adjusted to the current level of sanctions pressure from the United States. Iran’s new Statistical Center data are consistent with the finding by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Iranian GDP contracted more in 2019 than it did a year earlier. The IMF estimated last October that Iran’s economy would shrink 9.5 percent in 2019, as compared to 4.8 percent in 2018. The Statistical Center has reported 4.7 percent negative growth for Persian calendar year 1397. The stability of non-oil-and-gas GDP means Iran’s economic contraction has been driven by weaker numbers for the extraction of oil and natural gas. Losses in those sectors may have reached a plateau, however. If so, Iran’s economy as a whole may have stabilized, which would be consistent with the IMF estimate for 2020 of zero percent growth in Iranian GDP. In the absence of continuing economic contraction, the Tehran regime may not feel substantial pressure to negotiate with Washington. The Trump administration describes its policy toward Iran as one of maximum pressure, yet there are still many options at its disposal for ratcheting up sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas sector. First, Washington could work to convince China to stop buying oil from Iran. Due to sanctions, Iran now exports less than 300,000 barrels per day, although estimates vary significantly. This is down from an average of 2.4 million barrels per day before the United States withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Almost all of Iran’s remaining exports go to China and Syria. The Chinese ambassador to Tehran said his country is the only one buying oil from Iran, which is likely true, insofar as Tehran sells to Damascus on credit even though Damascus has no apparent means of paying off its loans...
Four Children Lost in Blizzard Save Two-Year-Old
Culture Beat:  “Four boys who went missing for more than a day during a blizzard in rural Alaska were found alive [last] Monday, and were resourceful when it came to protecting the youngest and most vulnerable to the elements.”

“The children, who range in age from 2 to 14, were found about 20 miles outside the village of Nunam Iqua, on Alaska’s west coast, a representative with Emmonak Search and Rescue told CNN by phone Monday night.”

“‘The kids are doing fine,’ the representative said. ‘I talked to the grandpa. They were cold and hungry.’”

“The boys reportedly huddled around the youngest boy. They dug a foot-deep hole in the snow and huddled themselves inside and positioned themselves in a way so that the 2-year-old wouldn’t be as exposed, according to Alaska Public Media.”

Read more at WGAL News 8~The Patriot Post

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