This week: Turkey, Iran, sanctions, jihad, & Islam. Some lesson from history; Shadow banning on the Homefront. Is social media silencing conservatives? Are Americans ready for a four-hour work week? And Middle East kids learning religious tolerance
- Today, from the GlobalLane, Erdogan, ISIS and Iran.
Sanctions, threats, jihad and Islam.
Some lessons from history.
Shadow banning on the home front.
Is social media out tosilence conservatives?
American adults are thehardest working in the world,
are they ready for a four-hour work week?
And I'll drive it home onintolerance and reforming Islam.
You'll never guess whathappened when some children were
reeducated in the Middle East.
And it's all right here, rightnow from the Global Lane.
Threats of sanctions against Turkey
and war threats against Iran,
the rhetoric between Trump, Erdogan
and the Ayatollah is heating up.
What does it all mean?
Joining us with someinsights is Robert Spencer,
he's the director of Jihad Watch.
He has a new book outcalled, The History of Jihad
from Muhammad to ISIS.
Robert, good to see you again.
Let's talk about Erdogan, hesays the U.S. risks losing
a sincere partner if it imposes sanctions
because he won't free passfor Brunson, of course,
he says, "Turkey will explore options."
So, how sincere is Erdogan
and what are these optionshe's talking about?
- He hasn't been asincere partner in years.
He's been working to re-Islamize Turkey.
It's very clear as many of his opponents
on all sides of the politicalspectrum have charged
that he wants to restorethe Ottoman Caliphate.
He has declared that thelands that once belonged
to the Ottoman Caliphate,
such as the whole easternMediterranean area,
North Africa, Greece, they all belong,
by right, to Turkey.
And it seems as if he ultimately wants
to undertake militaryadventurism to get them back.
The Turks are constantly harassing
Greek planes and ships in the Aegean.
And so, this is supposedto be a NATO ally,
a NATO partner, he has notbeen that for many years.
He was buying ISIS oilwhen ISIS was in control
of 60 Iraqi oil wells.
And so, for him to say now,
in connection with Pastor Brunson,
that we're risking losing
a reliable ally is plain deception.
Turkey has not been anally for a long time.
- Let's look a little bit moreat that concerning ISIS now.
I know, from my time in the Middle East,
many people have said that he's been
a staunch supporter ofISIS for a long time,
so how extensive has hissupport been for ISIS?
Is he still supporting the group?
- Well, ISIS, of course, haslost most of its territory
in Iraq and Syria.
And so, while yes, hestills supports the group,
it's not as important as it used to be
when ISIS controlled a territorylarger than Great Britain.
But, yes, he did support them
and this is because ISIS was fighting
against Assad and the Kurds.
It seemed to be that Erdogan was working
for the long term.
What he wanted to dowas have ISIS take out
Assad and the Kurds and thenhe could incorporate ISIS
into a renewed Turkish Caliphate.
- It seems like he really has a longing
to control that northern part of Syria.
- Oh, yes.
- Is ISIS making a comeback?
And what about Al-Qaeda?
- It's certainly not gone altogether,
but it's substantially weakened.
I don't think that it'sin a position to recover
the territory that it once controlled,
but certainly, it's not gone.
We shouldn't think that the job is
completely done there by any means.
- [Gary] Are they a threat
or is Al-Qaeda still the greater threat?
- Oh, I would say ISIS is still
very much the greater threat.
Partly because they'velost so much territory
in Iraq and Syria, and theyhave internationalized.
They've been working not onlyin Afghanistan and Libya,
but also the Philippines andelsewhere around the world.
Of course, also, and I thinkprobably of most concern
to people in the United States,
is the fact that theyhave called repeatedly
upon Muslims in the U.S., in Canada
and in countries of Western Europe,
to mount lone-wolf jihad attacks.
And with the dispersal of manyof their foreign fighters,
remember that in their heyday,
they had attracted 30,000 foreign fighters
from 100 different countries.
And a lot of those jihadis have returned
to their homes in Western Europe
and even in the United States.
I don't think they evershould have been let in.
They were enemy combatantswho had joined a state
that was in a state of warwith the United States.
But they were let back in,
and so I think that it's virtually certain
we have not heard the last from them.
- And Robert, the President continues
to push for a border wall and as you know,
there are many forces in this country
that would like to see open borders.
What threat would an open border pose
from ISIS and other terrorists?
- Well, you know, speaking of ISIS
and its continuing threat,
another place where it has beenactive has been Bangladesh.
And it's noteworthy that in Laredo, Texas,
there have been around200 Bangladeshi nationals
who have been apprehended trying
to cross the border illegally.
And so, you gotta wonder,is ISIS among them?
Are they among the Bangladeshis trying
to get illegally into the United States?
It would stand to reason that if they know
that's a vulnerability,they'll exploit it.
- Okay, Robert, let's moveon to another threat, Iran.
Some harsh words, lately, back and forth.
President Trump warning Iranabout serious consequences
if it continues to threaten the U.S.
Of course, Iran's leaderssaid Trump will lose
all he possesses and evenTucker Carlson suggested
the President would lose his presidency
if he starts a war with Iran.
What's going on here, why now?
- Well, the President, of course,
is extremely vulnerableto those who hate him
among the Democrats and amongthe Republican establishment.
And so, if they gain amajority in the House,
they'll probably use any pretext they can
to try to impeach him andremove him from office.
Whether it would be the war in Iran,
however, I don't know?
I don't see that necessarilya hot war is on the horizon,
although it's certainly a possibility.
The thing is that he has reversed
the policies of appeasementthat Obama pursued
so indefatigably for eight years.
Obama, remember, refused tosupport the demonstrations
against the regime in 2009
and Trump has vocallyand repeatedly supported
the new and ongoingdemonstrations against the regime.
And he's warned the Iraniansin no uncertain terms
that there's not gonnabe anymore appeasement
and any more accomodation.
- The Iranian economy's in shambles.
Maybe some other type of warfare?
Does this mean Iran maybecome more assertive
in supporting terrorism,especially against the U.S.?
- Well, Iran, they'reengaged in a war of words
that they've been engaged in since 1979.
But, let's remember, Barack Obama gave
the Islamic republic billions of dollars
and a lot of people say,"Well, that was their money,"
because it was money from acanceled arms deal in 1979.
But why was that moneystill there from 1979
for Barack Obama to give back?
This was because Carter,Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton
and Bush 2 had all recognizedthat it was the Shah's money.
It was the Shah's regime that had made
the arms deal that was canceled.
And so, it did not, by right,
belong to the Islamic republic.
And, Obama ignored that.
Gave billions to the Iranian regime,
which they immediately used to fund
their terror proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas,
Islamic jihad and evenAl-Qaeda and the Taliban.
And so, it was the Obamapolicies that emboldened
the Iranians to finance terror.
Trump, by placing new sanctions
and reversing thenuclear deal, has made it
so that the Iranianeconomy is in big trouble.
The Iranian people are protesting saying,
"Why are you giving ourmoney to the Palestinians
"when we are in economicdesperate straits at home?"
And this could bring aboutthe downfall of the regime
which would be good for the Iranians
and good for the world.
- And things are going to get worse
as these sanctions kick in.
I understand the rial is dropping in value
and the economy is tanking there.
Let's move on.
I know in your new book you document how,
over the centuries,Islam has relied on jihad
to advance the ideology.
So, I'm assuming thisis nothing new, Robert,
so when has there been aperiod as bad as this one
and why are we seeing one now?
- Well, I tell ya, actually,
there have been periods quitea bit worse than this one.
In the book, The History of Jihad,
I show that jihad warfareagainst unbelievers is
a continual phenomenon worldwide,
since the beginning ofIslam in the 7th century.
And that in many areasthat were Christian,
the Muslim invaders camein, conquered the place.
Placed a tax on the Christians,
placed humiliating anddiscriminatory regulations upon them
and made it so difficult to be a Christian
that many of theChristians in those lands,
Egypt, all across North Africa,
they converted to Islam solely
because that was the only way out,
to not live a life full of harassment
and occasional open persecution.
This was the death ofthe Christian communities
in some of those areas of theMiddle East and North Africa
that had gone back to thetime of the Lord himself.
We have now tremendous jihad activity
around the world, but at least so far,
there are still free societies
where people can practiceChristianity in peace.
So, we can be grateful for this,
but we should remember,the one overarching lesson
of the history of jihad is that
wherever Muslims have gone,
they have createdconflict with non-Muslims.
And obviously not all Muslims do it,
but enough of them dothat there has always been
a state of conflicteverywhere in the world
where there have been Muslimsliving with non-Muslims.
The United States of Americawould be very foolish
to think it's gonna be different here
and we can bring inmassive numbers of Muslims
and there won't be any jihadisamong the peaceful Muslims
and we won't ever have anyconflict in our society.
Bringing in large numbers of Muslims is
simply asking for conflict.
The historical record is clear
and the fact is that theMuslims in the United States
and Western Europe and Canada today,
they don't have anydifferent form of Islam
from the one that has historically been
the impetus for all this jihad warfare,
it's the same Islam.
- Do you see any reversal of jihad?
Or do you think we're just gonna continue
down the same road?
- Reversals have been very, very slight.
Reversals have been unusual.
Reversals were, of course, the700 year Reconquista in Spain
and in parts of India.
most of the time when Islamiclands have been conquered
they've been Islamizedand the Christians reduced
to a tiny subjugated minority.
We need to be aware of this history
so that we can try to preventit all from happening again.
- Okay, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch,
author of the new book,The History of Jihad
from Muhammad to ISIS.
Thank you Robert for joining us.
- Thank you, Gary.
- President Trump has threatenedto investigate Twitter
over a practice known as shadow banning.
The President is concernedthat the social media company
is limiting the visibilityof prominent conservatives
in its search results.
Joining us with more is Dan Gainor,
he's Vice President ofBusiness and Culture
at the Media Research Center.
So, Dan, I'm assuming thisdidn't surprise you at all,
so what do you make of Twitter's
shadow banning of conservatives?
- Well, a couple key points.
One, we did a majorresearch project earlier
this year looking at thetop social media companies
and we found at the time,that Twitter was the worst.
So this doesn't especially surprise me.
Project Veritas had done some
behind-the-scenes gotcha videos of
Twitter engineers and got them sort
of admitting to shadow banning.
So that this comes upmonths later that we now see
that this is going onis not too surprising.
But, watching Twitter backwater
and say this is part of their
healthy conversationinitiative, pardon me,
is even more disturbing.
A healthy conversation,you don't get to converse,
isn't that healthy?
- Well, after thePresident's tweet calling
for an investigation, and also I know
that Brent Bozell had a press conference
and made some statements about it.
Suddenly, you can find Jordan and Meadows
and the others on Twitter in a search
and so how long do youthink that'll last, Dan?
- Oh, I think it will last until
we either get this clearedup and get full transparency
of what Twitter is really doing,
or until somebody behindthe scenes figures out
something else to do.
I mean, remember, this is a story
that wasn't broken by conservative media,
it was actually broken by Vice media,
much to their credit.
And so, when even liberaloutlets are figuring out
that conservatives are being mistreated
on social media, I thinkthats when everybody needs
to stand up and pay attention.
This is an election year,
these are people who arerunning for election that,
when you go to search for them,
they don't even existon the Twitter platform
under the dropdown.
That's a scary amount of power.
- So it seems like Twitter may have
a little more influence on theelection than the Russians?
- I think all the socialmedia companies have
a lot of influence.
When you look back at post-2016 election
recap and the major media are going
to acknowledge that the Right did
what the Left had done in 2012
and that was owning social media,
particularly Facebook, as a platform.
Donald Trump is a big personality,
he was more successful on socialmedia than Hillary Clinton.
That has nothing to dowith the Russians at all
and has everything to dowith him and his campaign.
- And Dan, it isn'tjust Twitter, isn't it,
it's Facebook, other social media.
Now is Facebook doing any better?
Tell us what you foundabout Facebook and others.
- Well, obviously all thecompanies have problems.
Since, however, our report,Facebook has come out,
and Facebook and Google
and Twitter have all testifiedin front of Congress,
Facebook has actuallyhired a former U.S. Senator
to dig into this, to lookat the possibility of bias.
I think they're looking atit from a very serious angle.
Mark Zuckerberg has come out publicly
and at least made the right noises,
talking about free speech.
And that's the to conservethe coalition stop
on online censorship here.
We have 40 differentorganizations in this coalition
and what we're looking for here,
one of the major goals is forthese social media companies
to stop trying to rewrite free speech
for online world and toembrace, not the actual fact,
but the ideal of the First Amendment.
We know we have no right to be
on these social media platforms,
but we still want everybodyto be treated equally.
We've litigated these for 240 years,
why re-litigate and remake the wheel?
- Dan, I think, one thing that was obvious
from the Project Veritasvideo, their undercover video,
was it didn't seem likeit was official policy,
but employees were doing a lot of this,
those who monitor Twitter.
And they decide, "Okay, thisone's good, this one isn't,"
and their own biases came through.
What do you think of that?
- Well, I mean, certainly if you go back
to the testimony on the Hill,
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook admitted
that they hire fromliberal Silicon Valley,
so that's always going to be an issue.
But the sort of non-denial denials
Twitter about what Project Veritas found
back in January,
and their sort of reaction here that,
"Oh, we're gonna fix thisbut we don't really think
"it's part of our healthyconversation operation."
So, we're supposed to feelcomfortable about that?
You guys are operating in a black box.
We don't know how you'vecreated these algorithms,
we don't know how you've setthis up with machine learning.
Artificial intelligence is ultimately
originally programmed by humans.
How did you program it?
What is it actually doing?
And they need to makesure we all see that.
- Okay, Dan, so finally,what else needs to be done
to protect our free speechrights on social media?
- Well, I think that one of the things
that we would say is thatthese organizations need
to work with the Right,treat us as even partners.
Twitter has a trusted safety council
that helps guide them
and of the U.S. partners,
12 of them are liberal,one's conservative.
That's a real problem.
- So, maybe even thescore a little bit there.
Okay, Dan Gainor from theMedia Research Center,
thank you, Dan, foryour time and insights.
Americans are the hardest working people
in the industrialized world.
The average full-time adultworks 47 hours per week.
That's way more than theGermans, Dutch and French.
So how would you liketo work 32 hours a week
instead of 40, 47 hours,get paid the same?
That sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
Well, a company in New Zealand tried it
and they found that worker productivity
actually went up.
Joining us with more isEconomist Michael Busler,
he's a professor of finance
at New Jersey's Stockton University.
Dr. Busler, thanks for joining us today.
- Well, thank you, it'smy pleasure to be here.
- So tell us about the workhours experiment in New Zealand,
how did that work out?
- So it was a servicecompany in New Zealand
and they said to their employees,
"For the next two months, March and April,
"we're gonna try an experiment.
"We're gonna pay you the same salary
"we've been payin' you for a 40-hour week,
"except we're only gonnamake you work 32 hours."
So, instead of five, eight-hour days,
four, eight-hour days.
After the two months,
they found some very surprising results.
One, they seemed toproduce just as much output
in the four days as theydid in the five previously.
And they found that workersatisfaction was up significantly
as workers found they had amuch better work-life balance,
four days working, three days of leisure.
They declared it a major success
and they think it should be a model,
perhaps, for many morebusinesses going forward.
- Well, so that was in New Zealand,
would it work here in the United States
where everyone's used to working hard
and many people lovegettin' that overtime?
- Yeah, I would have my doubts.
I also have my doubts alittle bit about this study.
It was only carried outfor a two-month period
and they said to the employees,
"Listen, we're gonnatry this for two months
"and if it works we'll continue to pay you
"for 40 hours and only have you work 32."
So, there was certainlyplenty of motivation
for the employees to work a little harder
during the two month test period
to come up with good results.
I suspect, if the test were replicated,
done over again, and the timeperiod was stretched longer,
probably a year, I have a feeling
that the results wouldnot have been the same.
I think that productivitywould have eventually
started to level off a little bit,
maybe back to the same levels
they had during the 40-hour week.
- What impact wouldthere be on productivity
at a factory, a business,that depends on quotas?
- Well, it would havea much larger impact.
One thing that the businessowner didn't mention,
I know if I owned a businessand for the last 20 years
I'd been paying my workers for 40 hours
and they've only been doing32 hours worth of work,
I might tend to get alittle upset with that.
Secondly, if you'relooking at manufacturing,
typically what's been done is
work weeks have been reduced,
but the number of hoursper day has increased.
So instead of four, eight-hour days,
many companies, or somecompanies at least,
have switched from five, eight-hour days
to four, 10-hour days.
In the medical profession, for instance,
in hospitals that have tobe staffed 24 hours a day,
they've switched, particularly the nurses,
they've switched toworking 12 hours a day,
three days a week.
And that's tended to workout fairly well for them.
I know of some companiesthat have switched to
four, nine-hour days andthen half a day on Friday.
And that's tended to workout fairly well, also.
In addition, there area number of businesses,
a number of industries like retailing,
where the trend is to go to more hours.
They're open 10-12 hours a day, five, six,
oftentimes seven days a week.
And if you start cuttingemployees down to 32 hours a week,
you still have to have coverage,
that's gonna drive up labor costs,
you're gonna have to hire more people,
that'll drive up labor costs.
What that may end up doing is causing
some more problems with the economy,
particularly end sectors
where they cut down to 32 hours
and after time, theirproductivity goes back
to where it was before.
Now you're payin' peoplefor 40 hours worth of work,
maybe they've dropped down toonly 32 hours worth of output,
that creates pressure
on economic growth, so theeconomy could start to stagnate.
And then with all the extra wages,
you could see inflation.
- It doesn't seem like manyAmerican companies would want
to pay someone 40 hours andthey're only working 32?
But my guess is, millennialsmight like this idea,
fewer work hours, more social time,
better quality of life?
What response were you getting
from your student on this idea?
- Well, I tell ya, I have some experience
with millennials that workin the technology sector,
many in new startup companies.
The companies there,Silicon Valley companies,
they have unlimited vacation policy,
that is you can take asmuch vacation as you want,
and there's not rigid hours,
just get the job done and you can work
as many hours as it takes.
What they found is, theemployees have been taking
less vacation time and theyend up working more hours,
but they're happier becausethey have more control
over when they can work.
So, if a family has a childthat plays sports afterschool,
you can take a couple hours off
and then do the work at whatevertime is convenient for you.
So, I think the millennials,typically the younger ones,
which have somewhat of areputation of believing everything
they should get and areentitled to, I think they, too,
have a good work ethic.
And when given the proper motivation
and not a lot of control over their life,
they have to be there from nine-to-five,
they have to take two-weeks vacations,
so, if you do away with some of that,
they tend to respondvery favorably to that.
- What are the chanceswe're going to see a change
in Washington regarding work hours
and work time and that kind of thing?
Maybe legislation or do youthink companies will lead
the way and just do this on their own?
- The current makeup ofCongress and the President,
they're not likely tohave government interfere
with this by mandatingcertain work schedules.
However, business wants to be innovative,
it pays them to have employeesthat are very satisfied
with what they do.
And they may find they'llstart experimenting
with some differences in the time schedule
and whatever turns outto be positive for them,
they'll implement on their own
without any kind of governmentinterference with that.
- Okay, we're enteringa new era now I think.
Some interesting points to ponder.
Dr. Michael Busler, thank youso much for joining us today.
- Well, thank you, it's been my pleasure.
- If you watch this week's"Where in the World" segment,
you heard Jihad Watch DirectorRobert Spencer explained
that wherever Islam has goneit has created conflict.
Now I've met many Muslims over the years,
I've found most of them tobe kind, peaceful people.
While I am a follower of Christ
and I disagree with Islam,I do love my Muslim friends.
But there are many jihadists that wage war
and create conflict in hopesof advancing their ideology.
So what can be done toreverse this historic trend?
Well, Spencer says the chancesof reversal are slight.
I'm more optimistic becauseof people like Tina Ramirez
and her organization, Hardwired.
She just released a study,Ramirez calls it groundbreaking,
that demonstrates how youngpeople can be reeducated
to counter religiousextremism in the Middle East.
The group worked with 56 teachers
and 1200 children in three countries
to teach students toleranceand acceptance of other faiths.
Ramirez tells of how ateacher in Iraq brought
students of differing faithstogether in a flower garden
and then instructed them to pick flowers
and make a beautiful bouquet.
- They gathered up flowersand they made their bouquets
and they came back.
And the teacher said, "NowI want you to look back
"at the garden and seewhat it looks like."
And they looked back and they realized
that they had ravaged thegarden, it wasn't the same.
And the teacher said them,and these were two Yazidi men
that had escaped from ISIS, and they said,
"This is what happened in ourcountry when ISIS came in.
"They destroyed everybodyexcept for the people
"that looked like them."
And the students, Muslim, Christian,
Kaka'i, Shabak, you name it,you could see their eyes change
because they rememberedwhat they had experienced,
every one of them, when ISIS came in.
And all of a sudden, they were united
and they felt the same.
They were united inempathy for one another.
- And here are the results.
100% of the kids who wentinto the program willing
to exclude someone from aminority faith or a community,
came out of the classwilling to defend them
and be inclusive of them.
Three of every four children who came in
with negative views ofothers were actually willing
to go and defend them.
50% of the kids who came in wanting
to respond violently to those unlike them,
came out more tolerant
and less likely to respond with violence.
Now these findings are huge, aren't they?
Ramirez says that shewas pleasantly surprised
with another finding.
- Three out of every fivekids who were willing
to discriminate against girls learned
how to support them.
And 100% of the children,by the end of our program,
supported girls' education.
When they begin to thinkthose aren't the things
that separate us, we'reunited towards a common goal
like those children in the garden.
A common goal of peace andprosperity in our country
which is something we all want.
And when we're united in that
and we don't get hung up onthe differences that we have,
we're able to achieve great things.
- Remember, the Bible tells us
to love your neighbor as yourself.
And in Matthew 5:44, Jesussaid, "Love your enemies
"and pray for those who persecute you."
Yes, great things happen whenpeople embrace godly ideas.
Well, that's it from theGlobal Lane this week.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube,
SoundCloud, iTunes and Twitter.
And until next time, be blessed.
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