The Front Page Cover
~ Featuring ~
Iran: Freedom & Theocracy are Irreconcilable
by PATRICK J. BUCHANAN
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Is there a single Democrat anywhere 
who gives a damn about America?
by Doug Ross @ Journal
{trevorloudon.com} ~ We now have ironclad evidence that the liar-nObama administration mounted... at least two distinct and extraordinary efforts to weaponize government against its political opponents. It used the instrumentalities of government to target members of the opposite party and — worse still — to influence the outcome of a presidential election. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not ban movies and books the Citizens United case, which protected political free speech. Shortly thereafter, during a State of the Union address, President Barack liar-nObama went so far as to hector Supreme Court justices to their faces regarding that decision. Not long after, key officials of the Internal Revenue Service began targeting conservative groups based upon their name or mission. The terms they looked for included “Tea Party”, “Patriot” and “9/12”...  http://www.trevorloudon.com/2018/01/is-there-a-single-democrat-anyw...
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On Behalf of the Middle Class, an Eight-Count
Indictment Against Democrats, Republicans
and Crony Corporate Interests
by Thomas Wigand
{trevorloudon.com} ~ DACA and amnesty generally is again at the top of the news. The outcome of this political battle is is a matter of existential importance for our nation... for if any appeasement toward the immigration aggressors is allowed, those concessions will prove not just irreversible, but consummate a secured beachhead for the invaders; the harbinger of a larger invasion to follow. The stakes are that enormous – thus, it may be not coincidental, but a providential sign that the movie “Darkest Hour” is currently in theaters – for though different in detail and manifestation, the outcome for our nation of decisions currently being made by President Trump are as potentially consequential as those confronting Prime Minister Winston Churchill as he faced the National Socialists the “Nazis” as they were poised to invade Great Britain. This because, amongst other dangers, we confront our own invasion, occupation and then conquer by those who will not assimilate to our way of life and history, whose masters will demand that we succumb to their preferred version of Collectivism...  http://www.trevorloudon.com/2018/01/on-behalf-of-the-middle-class-a...
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U.S. Sanctions Four More 
Venezuelan Military Officials
by Michaela Frai
{defenddemocracy.org} ~ Today, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on four current or former Venezuelan generals for their involvement in corruption and acts of political repression... These designations are part of an ongoing campaign against the human rights abuses and systematic corruption of President Nicolas Maduro’s faltering regime. The targeting of senior officers indicates an effective direction for U.S. policy: go after the military, Maduro’s strongest support base. Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torres, the Venezuelan minister of food, is an original member of Venezuela’s ruling socialist party. He participated in the failed 1992 coup that launched former President Hugo Chavez’s political rise. After being jailed alongside Chavez, he rose to become a general and then president of the Bank of Venezuela before assuming his current position. Military officers with links to Marco Torres and his ministry diverted food imports and resold them at exponentially higher prices. The profits from these illegally trafficked food contracts were allegedly laundered through the U.S. financial system. Meanwhile, the cost of basic groceries skyrocketed to about five times the minimum wage by the mid-2017. According to some reports, 93 percent of Venezuelans cannot afford to buy food... http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/michaela-frai-us-sanctions...
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Trump Is Right to Cut Funding to UNRWA
by Gregg Roman
A few days ago, President Trump asked an important question in a tweet... "We pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" On Friday, Trump answered his question and cut funding to the Palestinians by freezing a $125 million transfer to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Asked about the decision, the State Department said deliberations are ongoing about how to move forward. This presents a tremendous opportunity, but it will take more bold action by the White House. The administration must continue to hold the Palestinians accountable for their rejectionism. Like Trump's December move on Jerusalem, this represents a bold step that is long overdue. UNRWA, the UN's Palestinian refugee agency, long has needed reform, but with Palestinian leadership unwilling to even feign serious commitment to peace, it's probably time to scrap the agency altogether. It stands in the way of peace...  http://www.meforum.org/7147/trump-is-right-to-cut-unrwa-funding?utm...
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Mahmoud Abbas Doesn't Have a Trump Strategy
by Grant Rumley
{jewishworldreview.com} ~ To hear Palestinian leaders tell it, their relationship with the Trump administration has now been simplified... "We will sever all ties with the Americans," Ahmed Majdalani, a confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told me, "this means the end of the peace process and the U.S. role there." Palestinian leaders once again denounced Trump after he took to Twitter on Jan. 2 to threaten aid to the Palestinian Authority, with one senior official insisting Trump "is not a serious man." Beyond the rhetoric, however, the truth is that the Palestinians still don't have a strategy for how to respond to the American president, particularly after his announcement that the United States considers Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. On paper, the plan is to seek support for statehood from the United Nations: Abbas recently declared that he would again seek full membership at the United Nations — a step he also took in 2011, 2012, and 2014. In addition, Abbas is seeking other ways to garner international recognition: He signed 22 international conventions and treaties on Dec. 11 and threatened to keep signing until the Palestinians have joined over 500 organizations, a strategy that has also been around since 2011...  http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0118/palestinians_no_strategy.php3
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Iran: Freedom & Theocracy are Irreconcilable

by PATRICK J. BUCHANAN
{wnd.com} ~ As tens of thousands marched in the streets of Tehran on Wednesday in support of the regime, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps assured Iranians the “sedition” had been defeated.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari is whistling past the graveyard.

The protests that broke out a week ago and spread and became riots are a fire bell in the night for the Islamic Republic.

The protesters denounced President Hassan Rouhani, re-elected last year with 57 percent of the vote, for failing to curb inflation or deliver the benefits he promised when Iran signed the nuclear deal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, commander in chief and head of state, in power three decades, was also denounced, as were Iran’s interventions in wars in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen.

In 2009, the uprising of millions in Tehran was driven by middle-class rage over an election stolen by the populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This past week’s protests began in the working class, in what might be called Iran’s “fly-over country.”

The protesters were red state and tea party types, demanding their own version of “Come Home, Iran” and “Iran First!”

The charge against Rouhani is that he has failed to deliver the good times promised. Against the ayatollah and the mullahs, the charge is that what they have delivered – power and wealth to the clerics, social repression, foreign wars – are not what the Iranian people want.

The greater long-term threat of the protests is to the Islamic regime.

For if the protests are about people being denied the freedom and material goods the young enjoy in the West, the protesters are demanding what theocracies do not deliver. How could the ayatollah and the mullahs, who restrict freedom by divine law, accept democratic freedoms without imperiling their own theological dictatorship?

How could the Republican Guard surrender its slice of the Iranian economy and end its foreign interventions without imperiling its reason for being – to protect and promote the Iranian Islamic revolution?

Half of Iran’s population is 31 or younger. This new generation was not even born until a decade after the revolution that overthrew the shah.

How does a clerical regime speak to a people, 40 million of whom have smartphones connecting them to an outside world where they can see the freedom and prosperity they seek, but their government cannot or will not deliver?

The protesters are also telling Rouhani’s “reformers,” in power now for five years, that they, too, have failed.

Rouhani’s dilemma? To grow Iran’s economy and improve the quality of life, he needs more foreign investment and more consumer goods. Yet any surge in material prosperity Rouhani delivers is certain to undermine the religious faith undergirding the theocratic regime.

And as any transfer of power to the elected regime has to come at the expense of the clerics and the Guard, Rouhani is not likely to get that power.

Thus, he and his government are likely to continue to fail.

Bottom line: The Islamic Republic of Iran was not established to create a materially prosperous and socially free society, because, in the ayatollah’s theology, such societies, like the USA, are of the devil and corruptive of the people.

Social freedom is irreconcilable with Iranian theocracy.

And Iranian hard-liners, clerical and military, are not going to permit protests demanding Western freedom and material goods, to cause them to commit what they believe would be ideological suicide.

Yet the U.S. and President Trump also face a dilemma.

If as Trump says, we wish the Iranian people well, how do we justify scrapping the nuclear deal in which Iranians have placed so much hope and reimposing the sanctions that will restore the hardships of yesterday?

How does America proclaim herself a friend of the Iranian people, if we are trying to persuade Europeans to abrogate the nuclear accord and reimpose the sanctions that impoverish the Iranian people?

Will we urge the Iranians to rise up and overthrow their regime, as we did the Hungarians in 1956, which resulted in their massacre by Soviet tanks sent into Budapest? Ike’s response: He sent Vice President Nixon to greet the surviving Hungarian patriots fleeing across the Andau Bridge into Austria.

After Desert Storm in 1991, George H.W. Bush urged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam Hussein. When the Shiites did rise up, they, too, were massacred, as our Army from Desert Storm stood by in Kuwait.

If there is an Iranian uprising and it results in a Tiananmen Square slaughter in Tehran, do we really want the U.S., which would not likely intervene to save the patriots, held morally accountable?

The Iranian protests suggest that the Islamic revolution, after 40 years, is failing the rising generation. It is hard to see how this is not ominous news for the Iranian regime.

As it was not on the side of the Soviets, time is not on the side of the ayatollahs either.

And as any transfer of power to the elected regime has to come at the expense of the clerics and the Guard, Rouhani is not likely to get that power.

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LIGHTER SIDE

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Mike Lester

ALERT ALERT

Newt Says What The Rest Of Us Are Thinking:
It’s Time To Throw Peter Strzok In Jail

Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok, a senior member of the bureau who gained notoriety in recent months over his anti-Trump text messages to a colleague, was grilled for nearly 10 hours during a joint congressional committee hearing on Thursday.

At issue was Strzok’s anti-Trump texts to former FBI lawyer and lover Lisa Page that coincided with his leading of the investigations into both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal and the alleged Trump/Russia 2016 election collusion, as well as his involvement in the subsequent Robert Mueller special counsel probe.

The hearing proved to be a heated battle, as Strzok displayed an arrogant smugness in defiance of pointed questions from Republicans that he largely danced around, while Democrats sought to upend and undermine the entire hearing with a plethora of interruptions, parliamentary maneuvers and outright praise for the man who helped let Clinton off the hook while ferociously targeting Trump.

Former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was less than impressed with Strzok’s performance and cooperation in the hearing and suggested during an appearance on Fox Business that the FBI agent should be held in contempt of Congress.

“I think they have to move to hold him in contempt and throw him in jail,” Gingrich said of Congress and Strzok.

“This is a person who is willfully standing up and refusing to appear as a congressional witness and he was a government employee at the time,” he continued.

“He has every obligation to inform the legislative branch, and I don’t think they have any choice except to move a motion of contempt because he is fundamentally — and so is his girlfriend (Page) — they’re both fundamentally in violation of the entire constitutional process,” he added.

Page had been subpoenaed to appear before Congress on Wednesday but refused to appear, saying she’d been unable to review relevant documents prior to the scheduled hearing, a closed-door hearing that has since been rescheduled for Friday.

Gingrich was not the only one who thought Strzok deserved to be held in contempt of Congress, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte informed Strzok that he remained at risk of such during the hearing, according to The Daily Caller.

That warning from Goodlatte came after Strzok had refused to answer a straightforward question posed by House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, regarding how many people Strzok had personally interviewed between a specific set of dates in relation to the Clinton email investigation.

“Mr. Strzok, please be advised that you can either comply with the committee’s direction to answer the question or refuse to do so,” Goodlatte stated. “The latter of which will place you in risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability. Do you understand that? The question is directed to the witness.”

Strzok still refused to answer, citing instructions received from his counsel and the FBI to not answer certain questions on certain topics.

Goodlatte replied, “Mr. Strzok, in a moment we will continue with the hearing, but based on your refusal to answer the question, at the conclusion of the day we will be recessing the hearing and you will be subject to recall to allow the committee to consider proceeding with a contempt citation.”

It is unclear if Goodlatte and the committee ultimately did consider a contempt citation for Strzok following the contentious hearing, nor is it clear if Page will be held in contempt for blowing off her subpoenaed appearance on Wednesday.

Hopefully Congress will follow through on the threats of contempt followed by actual jail time against Strzok and Page in response to their uncooperative behavior and failure to appear when subpoenaed, if only to ensure that future witnesses called before Congress for sensitive or contentious hearings don’t think they can get away with the same sort of behavior.

TEA PARTY TARGET

Cops Sent To Seize Veteran’s Guns Without A Warrant, He Refused To Turn Them Over

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” says Leonard Cottrell, after successfully staving off law enforcement and the courts from confiscating his firearms. Cottrell, an Iraq War veteran, was at work when he received a phone call from his wife. The cops were there, busting in to take his guns away. It all started after a casual conversation his son had at school.

Ammoland reports:

Police said their visit was sparked by a conversation that Leonard Cottrell Jr.’s 13-year-old son had had with another student at the school. Cottrell said he was told his son and the other student were discussing security being lax and what they would have to do to escape a school shooting at Millstone Middle School.

The conversation was overheard by another student, who went home and told his parents, and his mother panicked. The mom then contacted the school, which contacted the State Police, according to Cottrell.

The visit from the troopers came around 10 p.m. on June 14, 2018, Cottrell said, a day after Gov. Phil Murphy signed several gun enforcement bills into law.

After several hours, Cottrell said police agreed not to take the guns but to allow him to move them to another location while the investigation continued.

“They had admitted several times that my son made no threat to himself or other students or the school or anything like that,” he said.

Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was “not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing.”

The troopers searched his son’s room and found nothing, Cottrell said.

“To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” he said. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

“In the Garden State, the usual approach is to confiscate first and ask questions later, and victims of this approach often don’t know their rights. ‎In this case, the victim pushed back and confiscation was avoided — but the circumstances surrounding the incident are outrageous. A student expressing concern over lack of security is not a reason to send police to the student’s home — but it might be a reason to send police to the school to keep students and teachers safe” said Scott L. Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and a member of the NRA board of directors.

NJ.com adds:

Cottrell, a disabled U.S. Army veteran who served three tours during “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” owns a shotgun and a pistol. He has all the correct permits to own the firearms, he said, and predominately uses the shotgun to hunt.

He said his wife allowed the officers to enter the home, and with her permission, they searched his son’s room — but they did not find any weapons, he said. The officers, he said, didn’t have a warrant but still wanted to take his guns. Cottrell wouldn’t let them.

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” he said Thursday.

He said the attempted seizure resulted because of a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law that makes it easier for police to confiscate guns when someone in the state poses a threat to themselves or others. The law is part of a broader statewide effort to make New Jersey’s gun laws even tougher amid the national outcry for more gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cottrell said the officers “danced around the issue” when he confronted them about the new law.

A New Jersey State Police spokesman declined to answer questions about whether this incident had anything to do with the new gun laws.

In an email, Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn said, “Troopers responded to Mr. Cottrell’s residence in reference to the report of a possible school threat. Based on their investigation, it was determined that Mr. Cottrell’s weapons did not need to be seized.”

David Codrea, writing for Ammoland, further added:

To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” New Jersey gun owner and Army veteran Leonard Cottrell Jr. told New Jersey 101.5 after a June 14 visit from State Police,. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

Cottrell was recalling state troopers showing up at his door to confiscate firearms after his 13-year-old son was overheard discussing lax school safety with a friend.

Indoctrinated by a pervasive snitch culture — one that never seems to deter the blatantly obvious demonic nutjobs — the eavesdropping student told his parents, who told school administrators, who in turn called the cops. (Note “If you see something, say something” carries risks of its own – if you report the wrong person, you could end up smeared as a “hater.”)

“Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was ‘not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing,’” the report continued. Despite that, his home is now a “gun free zone” and that has been publicized by the media. He has, in fact, willingly ceded those rights, and by his own words in order to make authorities “happy.”

Before judging him for that, consider the environment that is New Jersey. Then consider the overwhelming force the state can bring to bear, and its predisposition to using it, especially if it’s to enforce citizen disarmament. It’s easy to anonymously declare “Molon Labe” on the internet. In meatspace, resistance is more effective when the aggressor doesn’t get to dictate the time and place, especially if that place is your home and you have family inside.

Appeasing gun-grabbers, generally couched as “compromise,” is impossible. It’s like throwing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and expecting them to be sated and leave you alone — instead of sensing opportunity and fear, and moving in closer.

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