Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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Memo to presidential campaign advisers

November 25, 2015  •  The Washington Times

This memorandum is addressed to the brave souls advising presidential candidates. As you know, the recent terrorist attacks in France — and in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel — have altered the political landscape. With less than a year to go before the 2016 election, the landscape may stay altered even if there are no more attacks — and that seems unlikely.

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Forget Paris
Alternatively, finally learn the lessons such attacks teach

November 18, 2015  •  The Washington Times

For almost two generations, since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, self-proclaimed jihadis have been fighting to re-establish Islamic supremacy and domination in the world. Leaders of the nations they have been targeting have regarded them as a problem — but mostly not as dangerous enemies who must be decisively defeated. And so their numbers have grown and their ability to project power has increased.

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A suggestion for the Islamic State book club

November 11, 2015  •  The Washington Times

After a long week of slitting throats, smashing antiquities and raping infidel slave girls, how do the Islamic State's barbarians unwind? Some, apparently, discuss the finer points of history.

An Islamic State billboard I recently came across (on the Internet — not driving down the road to Raqqah, the Islamic State capital in what used to be Syria) shows a rifle affixed to a compass (the kind used for drawing arcs and measuring distances on maps), along with the inscription: "We are the ones who determine our borders, not Sykes-Picot."

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An unhappy United Nations birthday

November 4, 2015  •  The Washington Times

Did it escape your attention that last month was the 70th birthday of the United Nations? Did you miss the opportunity to celebrate by following Elyx on an "exciting 70-day (virtual) trip around the world to shine light on the U.N.'s work"?

What? You're not familiar with Elyx, the United Nations' first "digital ambassador"? Allow me to introduce you: Elyx is a stick figure created not by a 5-year-old but by the "renowned French artist YAK."

You've never heard of YAK either? My goodness. Yacine Ait Kaci, according to his publicists, is "currently reinventing digital street art, or misappropriating reality through virtual reality, by means of viral drawing on social networks." Got that? Me neither.

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Jobless and desperate Palestinians

October 28, 2015  •  The Washington Times

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — A few years ago, Daniel Birnbaum, an Israeli businessman, had an odd idea: "I decided I wanted to employ Palestinians."

So he took over a factory on the West Bank — where unemployment runs about 30 percent — and he hired more than 500 Palestinians. He also hired 350 Israeli Arabs and 300 Israeli Jews. He paid them all "Israeli wages," which are four times higher than the West Bank average. But because Palestinians are not Israeli citizens and, therefore, don't qualify for Israeli health care, he purchased private insurance for them, as well as for their dependents, knowing full well that "each employee supports about 10 family members."

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