Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump Derangement Syndrome - Daniel Greenfield




by Daniel Greenfield


Democrats believe in democracy only until they lose an election.



Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Like all dictators, the Democrats believe in democracy only until they lose an election.
And then they lose their minds.

The last time a national mental breakdown this severe happened was sixteen years ago when Bush beat Gore. The Democrats reacted gracefully to their defeat by insisting that they didn’t really lose because Bush stole the election. Psychiatrists were soon tending to lefties suffering from depression. Others protested outside the Florida Supreme Court, President Bush’s home and their parents’ basement.

Jesse Jackson accused Republicans of a “coup.” Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson warned that "without justice there will be no peace." Thousands protested Bush’s inauguration waving signs like, “We want Bush out of D.C.” and “You’re not our president.”

The Congressional Black Caucus tried to obstruct the certification of the Electoral College vote. Then when Bush won again in the next election, they did it all over again. Expect them to try it one more time.

Because they don’t believe in democracy. They believe in their own absolute entitlement to power. Any election that they win is legitimate. Any election that they lose is illegitimate.

But if Bush Derangement Syndrome was bad, Trump Derangement Syndrome is even worse.

#NotOurPresident on Twitter quickly gave way to riots in major cities. Democrats in the affected cities decided that the riots were a great idea even though it was their own police that were being attacked.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City’s radical leftist boss, claimed that “more disruption… will change the trajectory of things”. Even though the only trajectory that the protests have changed thus far is New York City traffic. “The more people fight back, the more it takes away his power,” he insisted.

Wiser heads on the left recognized that messing up Manhattan traffic wouldn’t stop Trump from taking office. Instead they decided to abolish the Electoral College. Senator Boxer will introduce a bill to that effect. Bernie Sanders mumbled that it’s time to rethink it. Michael Dukakis fired off an angry email insisting that Hillary Clinton had won and that abolishing it should be a top Democratic priority.

Since Hillary lost, the Electoral College is, according to Slate, an “Instrument of White Supremacy—and Sexism”. And probably Islamophobic and Homophobic too. Time Magazine defaulted to the default lefty attack on anything by accusing the Electoral College of being racist. But if Hillary had won, then any attack on the Electoral College would be racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic and claustrophobic.

Rank and filers weren’t interested in waiting to abolish it tomorrow. They skipped right to trying to rig it today. Over 4 million people have signed a petition titled, “Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19”. Because that’s just how they think elections should work.

Efforts were made to contact Electors directly urging them to hijack the election. Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said that the Electors were being harassed with "insults", "vulgar language" and "threats". One Elector reported that his cell, home phone, email and Facebook were targeted.

“They’re just trying to steal this thing,” he said.

The Electoral College is undemocratic. Unless you’re a Democrat asking it to undemocratically hijack the results of a state election while depriving its voters of political representation.

Some Democrats despaired of stealing the election and tried to steal the Supreme Court instead. There were revived calls for a Supreme Court recess appointment. There’s a petition, a Saturday Night Live punch line and a bizarre effort by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley to move the nomination forward.

Merkley claimed that Trump has “no right to fill” that seat and that the Supreme Court seat was stolen.  "We need to do everything we possibly can to block it," he insisted.

What does that mean? How about a permanently deadlocked Supreme Court?

A Slate writer urged that, “the only way to answer nihilism is with nihilism of our own.”

“Obstruct the nomination and seating of any Trump nominee to fill Scalia’s seat,” she urged. “We will lose. But that’s not the point now… If Democrats can muster the energy to fight about nothing else, it should be this.”

A permanently deadlocked Supreme Court doesn’t sound like much of a plan. But Trump Derangement Syndrome means embracing nihilism. And it’s downright rational compared to the celebrity meltdowns as TMZ’s finest cope with the blow to their egos of an election that showed they didn’t matter.

Lady Gaga has been yelling at Trump on and off Twitter. Constitutional scholar George Takei demanded that Obama just appoint Garland. Honorary feminist Joss Whedon declared, “This is simple: Trump cannot CANNOT be allowed a term in office. It's not about 2018. It's about RIGHT NOW.”

What does that mean? It’s a tantrum. It means that baby wants his power and he wants it now.

And it only gets crazier from there.

The outer reaches of Trump Derangement Syndrome include calls to boycott three brands of toilet paper because they’re allegedly made by the Koch Brothers. Never mind that the Koch Brothers weren’t supporting Trump. Facts, like democracy, only matter when they happen to be on your side.

Then there are the ritual burnings of New Balance sneakers on YouTube and Instagram. Not to mention support for the secession of California from the United States of America.

A man has sued Donald Trump for $1 billion for having inflicted “great emotional pain, fear and anxiety on Election Day and beyond.” Students at Cornell held a “cry-in” to mourn the results of the election.  The University of Kansas offered students therapy dogs. At the University of Michigan’s multi-ethnic student affairs center students took comfort in regressing to childhood with coloring books and Play-Doh.

John Hopkins recommended a healing circle. Stanford urged students to “take care of yourselves and to give support to those who need it.” Vanderbilt encouraged them “to take advantage of the outstanding mental health support the university offers.”

At the University of Maryland, an astronomy test was canceled to help students cope with “a personally threatening election result.” A Yale economics professor made his test optional because students were “in shock” over losing an election.  A dozen midterms were rescheduled at Columbia.

One student complained, “Instead of studying for my exam, I was glued to the election update. It's not fair to have a test the following day when something so monumental is taking place, especially when this event is threatening so many groups of people in our country.”

Under all the outraged rhetoric is a narcissistic sense of entitlement. Frustrate it and tantrums happen.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is the tantrum that happens when that sense of entitlement bursts. It’s not a new phenomenon. We saw it with Bush and with previous Republican presidents before him. But as the left’s power has grown, its insular ivory towers have become unable to imagine ever losing it.

Obama maintained the illusion that the opposition didn’t matter by ruling unilaterally. Then in one election the illusion collapsed. The left wasn’t really in charge. There were millions of people across the country in places they had never visited or even heard of who got to decide on all these issues.

That warm comfortable safe space of John Oliver and Samantha Bee viral videos, Buzzfeed stories and social media feeds filled with carefully curated people who agreed with them wasn’t reality. It had been an illusion all along. It was an elitist island that had little in common with that vast geography of people who get their say through the Electoral College. After two terms of getting their way on everything, they woke to a world in which they didn’t matter and which was suddenly no longer catering to their whims.

They don’t really want to abolish the Electoral College, to put Garland on the Supreme Court or to burn New Balance sneakers. What they really want is to get rid of democracy and replace it with a dictatorship. Trump Derangement Syndrome is the tantrum of tyrants.

It’s a real threat to democracy. But that’s what the left has always been.

The hysteria of Trump Derangement Syndrome is the flip side of Obama worship. Both reject democracy and embrace power. They are the illiberal attitudes of a totalitarian movement at odds with America.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264854/trump-derangement-syndrome-daniel-greenfield

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Liberal hysteria over Trump is rapidly becoming self-satire - Thomas Lifson




by Thomas Lifson

Whipping oneself into an embarrassing emotional lather is now considered righteous instead of ridiculous.

It turns out that the hundred million dollars’ worth of Hillary campaign demonization has paid off in creating millions of people gripped by hysteria over the utter evilness of Donald Trump. Calling Trump Hitler is already passé so the quest for superlatives of evil is running out of material. According to a U.S. Congressman, Hitler, and even Stalin and Mao are all pikers in terms of mass killing. Eric Scheiner of CNS News reports:
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) says that Donald Trump’s policy ideas will expose “billions world-wide to loss of life” and will “imperil the unique and fragile ecosystems that make the United States a wonder of the world.” (snip)
…the President-Elect used his campaign for our country’s highest office to promote policy ideas that would not only pollute the planet, but expose millions of Americans and billions world- wide to loss of life, livelihood, and property.”
The estimable Ace of Ace of Spades HQ nailed it:
This is mass hysteria.
In sociology and psychology, mass hysteria (also known as collective hysteria, group hysteria, or collective obsessional behavior) is a phenomenon that transmits collective allusions of threats, whether real or imaginary, through a population in society as a result of rumors and fear (memory acknowledgment).
In medicine, the term is used to describe the spontaneous manifestation (production in chemicals in the body) of the same or similar hysterical physical symptoms by more than one person.
People teach each other how to behave. These people spend all day in bubbles spraying each other with panic pheremones like they're in some kind of Amygdala-Milking Bukakke of Terror.
Or they tweet out unhinged emotional Vaudeville that sparks the release of fear and panic chemicals in readers. (snip)
hysterical overemoting has been valorized into how one shows one feels and one really cares deeply and ergo is virtuous.
Whipping oneself into an embarrassing emotional lather is now considered righteous instead of ridiculous.
Inevitably, something that feeds upon itself burns out. In just over two months, we’ll have an actual President Trump being not so scary. But there is a lot more self-discrediting ahead for people and media organs alike.

Thomas Lifson

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/11/liberal_hysteria_over_trump_rapidly_becoming_selfsatire.html

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Breitbart News planning lawsuit against 'major media company' - Joe Concha




by Joe Concha

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan


"Breitbart News cannot allow such vicious racial lies to go unchallenged, especially by cynical, politically-motivated competitors"

 

Breitbart News is preparing a lawsuit against a "major media company" over claims that it is a white nationalist website, it said in an exclusive statement to The Hill.

The website has been under intense scrutiny since President-elect Donald Trump named Stephen Bannon as a senior White House counselor and strategist. Bannon is the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, and the site has become associated with the “alt-right” movement that helped propel Trump’s candidacy.

"Breitbart News Network, a pro-America, conservative website, is preparing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against a major media company for its baseless and defamatory claim that Breitbart News is a ‘white nationalist website,’” the statement reads.

"Breitbart News cannot allow such vicious racial lies to go unchallenged, especially by cynical, politically-motivated competitors seeking to diminish its 42 million monthly readers and its number one in the world political Facebook page. Breitbart News rejects racism in all its varied and ugly forms. Always has, always will," the statement continues.

"The diversity of the company’s news coverage and its staff continue to embody Andrew Breitbart’s colorblind, distinctly American commitment to ‘E pluribus unum’—out of many, one."

Breitbart News — which generated 240 million page views and attracted 37 million unique visitors in the month of October leading up to Election Day — would not comment on which major media company the publication plans to sue, nor when the suit will be filed.

Critics have taken aim at the site’s coverage in recent days.

While Bannon was executive chairman of Breitbart, the website published a story by David Horowitz referring to conservative commentator Bill Kristol as a “renegade Jew,” something that has been mentioned repeatedly in media coverage calling Breitbart a white nationalist website.
 Democrats have also slammed Bannon, arguing that Trump is bringing a “white supremacist” into the White House.

A spokesman for the Trump transition defended Bannon on Monday, calling the media coverage of his appointment “irresponsible.”

“What I think is frustrating is when we see so much news coverage, particularly on this network, unfortunately, on the issues that divide us after the election,” Jason Miller, communications director for Trump’s transition team, said on CNN’s “New Day.”


Joe Concha Source: http://thehill.com/homenews/media/306106-breitbart-news-planning-lawsuit-against-major-media-company Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Europe: Let's End Free Speech! - Judith Bergman




by Judith Bergman

In September 2015, Die Welt reported that people who air "xenophobic" views on social media, risk losing the right to see their own children.

  • According to New Europe, in Leeuwarden, "about twenty opponents of the plans [to establish asylum centers] in the region received police visits at home." In other words, the Netherlands are engaging in state censorship, thereby raising the question: Is the Netherlands now a police state?
  • In the town of Sliedrecht, police came to Mark Jongeneel's office and told him that he tweeted "too much" and that he should "watch his tone": his tweets "may seem seditious". His offense? One tweet said: "The College of #Sliedrecht comes up with a proposal to take 250 refugees over the next two years. What a bad idea!"
  • While ordinary European citizens risk arrest and prosecution for "xenophobic" remarks, a German EU Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, called a visiting Chinese delegation of ministers "slant eyes" ("Schlitzaugen"). European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has promoted Oettinger to be in charge of the EU budget.
  • Clearly, the law is not equal. EU Commissioners can make "xenophobic" remarks and get a promotion; European citizens, for exercising their right to free speech, are arrested and prosecuted.
In Europe, is the enemy now the governments? Evidence is mounting that expressing even a mild opinion that runs counter to official government policy can land you in prison, or at least ensure a visit from your friendly local Kafkaesque police. Has Europe effectively become a police state?

Several European governments are making it clear to their citizens that criticizing migrants or European migrant policies is criminally off limits. People who go "too far," according to the authorities, are being arrested, prosecuted and at times convicted.

In the Netherlands, the police visited people who naïvely made critical comments about asylum centers on Twitter in October 2015. In the town of Sliedrecht, police came to Mark Jongeneel's office and told him that he tweeted "too much" and that he should "watch his tone": his tweets "may seem seditious". His offense? The town had held a citizens meeting about a refugee center in the region, and Jongeneel had posted a few tweets. One said: "The College of #Sliedrecht comes up with a proposal to take 250 refugees over the next two years. What a bad idea!" Earlier he had also tweeted: "Should we let this happen?!"

He was not the only one. In Leeuwarden, according to New Europe:
"...about twenty opponents of the plans [to establish asylum centers] in the region received police visits at home. It also happened in Enschede, and in some places in the Brabant, where, according to the Dutch media, people who had been critical of the arrival of refugees and ran a page on social media on the topic were told to stop".
A spokesperson for the national police explained that ten intelligence units of "digital detectives" monitor Facebook pages and Twitter accounts in real time, looking for posts that go "too far," so that they can visit with people to tell them "what effect a post or tweet on the internet can have." In other words, the Netherlands are engaging in state censorship, thus raising the question: Is the Netherlands now a police state?

In the United Kingdom, Scott Clark was arrested in February 2016 for writing on the Facebook page of the Scottish Defense League that Syrian refugees would "see the nasty side to us." According to a news report, he referred to sexual assaults on women in Cologne, Germany on New Year's Eve by men of Arab or North African appearance as justification for his online comments, in which he also wrote, "If anything happens to any young girl I will personally spit in the face of councilors who pushed and pushed to get them housed here..." He also wrote, "There's defo an Islamic invasion. Defo something going down. Just witnessed 15 Syrians in the local boozer... I opposed their arrival from the start."

Inspector Ewan Wilson from Dunoon police office told the Guardian:
"I hope that the arrest of this individual sends a clear message that Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of activity which could incite hatred and provoke offensive comments on social media."
In Germany, a married couple, Peter and Melanie M., were prosecuted in a criminal trial for creating a Facebook group that criticized the government's migration policy. According to news reports, the page stated, "The war and economic refugees are flooding our country. They bring terror, fear, sorrow. They rape our women and put our children at risk. Make this end!"

At the trial, Peter M. defended his remarks online and said, "One cannot even express a critical opinion of refugees without getting labelled as a Nazi. I wanted to create a discussion forum where you can speak your mind about refugees..." He said that in his role as an administrator of the group, he removed pro-Nazi or radical remarks, but since Facebook had deleted the page, he could not present the evidence to the court.

In his verdict, the judge said, "The description of the group is a series of generalizations with a clear right-wing background." Peter M. was sentenced to a nine-month suspended prison sentence and his wife to a fine of €1,200 with the judge adding, "I hope you understand the seriousness of the situation. If you sit in front of me again, you will end up in jail."

In Germany, being critical of migrants and the government's migrant policies can have other draconian consequences. In September 2015, Die Welt reported that people who air "xenophobic" views on social media, risk losing the right to see their own children. There need not even be a criminal offense for a court to consider the child's welfare to be endangered and to restrict the parents' right to see his or her child or to order "an educator" present during a meeting between parent and child, who can "intervene as required." It is also possible to forbid certain actions, expressions or meetings in the presence of the child. As a last resort, the court can take the child out of the parent's care entirely.

According to Eva Becker, Chairwoman of the Working Group on Family Law in the German Bar Association (DAV), "The decisive factor is a healthy understanding of people." Becker estimates that it would not be enough to consider the child's welfare endangered, if a parent said that he would rather not have any Syrian migrants living in his neighborhood. On the other hand, if a father or a mother makes comments that contain verbal threats against refugees in the presence of the child, he or she would "clearly exceed the critical limit."

It is not even relevant whether those comments are criminal according to German law. Even a comment that is not punishable under German law can push a parent over the "critical limit." It is not crucial whether the act is criminal, but whether it "influences" the child in a way that endangers its welfare. If a court establishes that the child's welfare is at risk, the parent may have his or her rights of access to the child initially limited.

Actions, rather than talk, are considered even more incriminating. According to Becker, it is one thing to talk disparagingly with acquaintances about asylum seekers in the presence of the child, but much worse to take the child to "xenophobic" demonstrations.

Becker never defines what is meant by "xenophobic." It seems implied that the talk is of one-way xenophobia, not Islamic xenophobia against non-Muslims, for example, but no attempt is made at a definition, although this is clearly the most crucial part of the matter.

While ordinary European citizens risk arrest and prosecution for "xenophobic" remarks, it is an entirely different matter for those at the top echelons of the European Union.

In a speech in Hamburg in October, Germany's EU Commissioner for digital economy, Günther Oettinger, called a visiting Chinese delegation of ministers "slant eyes" ("Schlitzaugen"), an expression that is generally considered racist. Oettinger did not even bother to apologize, but told Die Welt that it was important to see his comments in a "larger context."

The European Commission also refused to apologize for, or investigate, Oettinger's remarks (which were apparently also disparaging of women and homosexuals). Commission Chief Spokesman Margaritis Schinas told incredulous reporters that, "We have nothing to add." Asked if there would be an investigation into the remarks, he said, "We do not have an FBI at the Commission."

As recent as October 28, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promoted Oettinger to the highly coveted and powerful position of vice-president with responsibility for the EU budget.

Clearly, the law is not equal. EU Commissioners can make "xenophobic" remarks and get a promotion; European citizens, for exercising their right to free speech, are arrested and prosecuted.


While European citizens are arrested and prosecuted for exercising their right to free speech, an EU Commissioner such as Günther Oettinger (left) calls a visiting Chinese delegation "slant eyes" and is rewarded with a promotion by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (right).
Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9311/europe-free-speech

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Jewish Leftists, when will they ever learn? - Phyllis Chesler




by Phyllis Chesler


There they go, reaching out again to those who would gladly see them disappear.



Reprinted from IsraelNationalNews.com.

And so, the American Jewish Committee has chosen the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to launch a “Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.” Many distinguished (liberal) Jewish names have signed on but the Muslim signatories are not  exactly their counterparts.

Only (liberal) Jews “reach out” to understand the Other. Only (liberal) Jews “reach out” to appease the Other.

Only (liberal) Jews in America—who have just lost their fabled access to the White House, are making common cause, not with Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or with secular humanists in America, but with the very religion in whose name Jews and other infidels are being slaughtered right now in Israel and world-wide, including in America; the very religion whose record on human rights, women’s rights, and gay rights leaves everything to be desired; the very religion in whose name a Holy War is being waged against both Muslims and infidels—and against Western civilization.

To the best of my knowledge, these Muslim signatories have not disavowed Jihad or proudly and loudly supported Israel as other Muslim-Americans have done. These liberal Jews have not signed up our most prominent religious Muslim-American reformers such as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser,  Ali Alyami  or Asra Nomani.  Further, I do not see the names of Muslim feminists or Muslim dissidents, who are apostates or secularists, such as Ibn Warraq or Ayaan HIrsi Ali.

Frankly, I am tired of writing this again and again but clearly, it still needs to be said.

This desire to “appear tolerant” and to build bridges must be based on real, not imagined commonalities. Jewish history and values could not be more different than Islamic history and historical Islamic values.

Contrary to Sandy Bergman, the Co-Chair of the Council, the two communities do not "share much in common.”

Jewish-Americans are, by definition, left-liberals. Muslim-Americans—a lot less so.

Most Jewish-American left-liberals do not believe in obeying  Jewish religious courts or Jewish religious law. According to opinion polls, European-Muslims fervently believe in Muslim religious (Sharia) Law. I am not sure about Muslim-Americans but to the extent to which an increasing number of Muslim-American women are face-veiled and/or wearing heavy hijab, I fear that they may be more fundamentalist than liberal.

Wearing a head-covering like a kippah is not equivalent to wearing a face veil or a burqa. Despite some instinctive or reflexive Jewish fears, Catholic, Jewish, and Sikh head-coverings are not equivalent to a Muslim face-veil. One’s identity is not obscured, one can engage with others in society.

Historically, Jews have not waged violent and bloody war against other Jews or against non-Jews because they are not Jewish. Terrorism has not been a preferred mode of Jewish warfare. More important: Judaism has engaged in a long evolutionary process of religious decisions. Islam has yet to do so.

Jews and Christians never attacked Muslims because they were Muslims; Christian Crusaders stood by for centuries while Muslims devastated Eastern Christianity before trying to defend their Christian brethren.

Fear about Islamic terrorism does not equal “anti-Muslim bigotry” nor does it equal anti-Semitism. In fact, according to FBI statistics, the rise in religious hate crimes in America has been against Jews, hardly against Muslims.

But forget about all this. Just focus on the fact that the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is a Muslim Brotherhood linked group. Signatory Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Rauf, were leaders in the fight to create the Ground Zero Mosque.

ISNA have defended Jihadists (Mousa Abu Marzook, Sami-Al Arian, comes to mind)  and were themselves found to be un-indicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial. They are Hamas supporters.

In 2001, the ISNA hosted Sami Al-Arian as a speaker at their national convention—and many times thereafter. According to Daniel Greenfield, in his recent expose, Al-Arian was found guilty of “conspiring to fund the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

Is the announcement of this Council, which has been in the works for some time,  a complete accident—or is it related to the prevailing Democratic Party winds that may appoint  Muslim-American Congressman Keith Ellison as the new Chairman of the Democratic National Committee?

Phyllis Chesler

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264842/jewish-leftists-when-will-they-ever-learn-phyllis-chesler

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The coming Trump administration’s yuuge transformational opportunity - Thomas Lifson




by Thomas Lifson

one more signal that an era has ended for Arab oil producers

President Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America may not outlast the Trump presidency. But providence has handed the president-elect a staggeringly important tool with which to transform the US economy and our geopolitical strategy.

The news yesterday that US Geological Service has issued a formal assessment of a vast new oilfield in Texas is one more signal that an era has ended for Arab oil producers, Wahhabism and radical Islam, and for Russia’s economy. And the United States faces a prolonged period as an even bigger energy producer and growing exporter, with profound economic opportunities capable of producing jobs. Here is the AP account of the News:
A vast field of shale rock in West Texas could yield 20 billion barrels of oil, making it the largest source of shale oil the U.S. Geological Survey has ever assessed, agency officials said.
The Wolfcamp Shale geologic formation in the Midland area also contains an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, the agency said in a release.
The discovery is nearly three times larger than the shale oil found in 2013 in the Bakken and Three Forks formations in the Dakotas and Montana, said Chris Schenk, a Denver-based research geologist for the agency.
It is important to note, as AP does, that this is not a discovery, but rather an expert and official assessment of the magnitude of a geological formation that was already well known.
The Wolfcamp Shale is part of the sweeping and energy-rich Permian Basin, which includes a series of basins and other geologic formations in West Texas and southern New Mexico. It's one of the most productive oil and gas regions in the U.S.
Ken Medlock, director of an energy-studies program at Rice University in Houston, said it seems "likely that we're seeing the birth of a new Permian Basin." The advent of horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other advancements will allow for the removal of shale oil at a volume that will make the basin "the dominant onshore platform for oil production," he said.
Schenk said it's been known for years that the region could yield new bountiful oil production, but it took the U.S. Geological Survey time to assess the Wolfcamp Shale and estimate the volume of that production.
Off the record, people say there are plenty more formations like Wolfcamp that haven’t yet been assessed.
"We think the potential is there for the future, and it's not going to be realized overnight," he said.
The release issued by the Geological Survey on Tuesday hints at the resurgence the oil and gas industry likely will see in Texas in the coming years following a downturn during which energy prices tumbled and tens of thousands of jobs were lost.
Now here’s where it gets really, really interesting from a geopolitical point of view. The Saudi regime is headed toward a crisis. Their receipts from oil have been cut in half, roughly, so now they are covering half of their bills, roughly. There have been plenty of rumors flying about the Saudis pushing OPEC to restrict production to drive up prices. But even without any new discoveries, American frackers can fairly quickly ramp up production if OPEC succeeds in raising prices, at the expense of market share. And because American engineers and managers never stop finding a better way, fracking is getting cheaper and better as time goes by.

Now the Saudi Royal Family, who number in the thousands, have justified their appropriation of oil wealth for lives of indolence and luxury by essentially claiming to use it to spread Wahhabi Islam around the world. And in that, they have succeeded.

Now that we don’t really need their oil in America, and can start replacing their exports elsewhere with our own supplies, we an tell them to stop funding the spread of violent jihad’s religious infrastructure.

The Royals actually have a much worse problem on their hands than anything President Trump could say or do. They are dependent on food imports, on foreign workers to run their economy, and they don’t produce much of value to anyone outside other than oil.

The handwriting is on the wall for the House of Saud. The thousands of royals may end up as the least sympathetic refugees in world history as they move into their villas in balmy spots across the globe.

Meanwhile, Russia’s economy is less dependent on oil than Saudi, but the Russians earn a huge share of their foreign exchange from energy, and the price decline has crimpled Putin’s budget and Russians’ lifestyles.

In the great deal-making task ahead with Putin, President Trump will have a very valuable card to play in striking agreements with Vlad.

Thomas Lifson

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/11/the_coming_trump_administrations_yuuge_transformational_opportunity.html

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US Senate leader says Iran sanctions renewal will pass - Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff




by Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

Congress votes overwhelmingly for decadelong extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, which gives any U.S. president the ability to quickly reinstate sanctions if Tehran violates nuclear pact • President Obama expected to sign ISA into law.



Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=38057

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Newly discovered Byzantine arch unveiled in Jerusalem - Yair Altman




by Yair Altman

Arch discovered during recent excavation work to uncover layout of street located between the Hurva Synagogue and Cardo • Construction Minster Yoav Gallant calls find a "moving testimony to the unbreakable bond between the Jewish people and this place."



Construction Minister Yoav Gallant viewing the arch in the Jewish Quarter
|
Photo credit: Oren Ben Hakoon

Yair Altman

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=38083

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WATCH: Are 'safe spaces' safe for Zionism? - Steve Ganot




by Steve Ganot

CAMERA on Campus director Aviva Slomich speaks with Steve Ganot about safe spaces • What are safe spaces and how are they used to silence pro-Israel views? • Do Zionist activists use the concept to suppress views they oppose, such as support of BDS?



CAMERA International Campus Director Aviva Slomich

Reaction of Geert Wilders to Penal Demand of Public Prosecutor - Geert Wilders




by Geert Wilders

-- if you must keep quiet about problems, because simply asking a question has become punishable, the problems will only grow bigger

I just heard the penal sentence demanded by the Public Prosecutor: a penalty of 5,000 euros.

Speaking about one of the biggest problems of our country – the problem with Moroccans – is now punishable, according to the elite. And, hence, we are slowly but surely losing our freedom of speech. Even asking a question is no longer allowed. Even though millions of people agree. And Moroccans have suddenly become a race. So if you say something about Moroccans, you are now a racist. Nobody understands that. It is utter madness. Only meant to shut you and me up.


While in other countries the people send the elite home, here they want to silence an opposition leader. The Netherlands is running the risk of becoming a dictatorship. It looks like Turkey. The differences between the Netherlands and Turkey are getting smaller. The opposition is silenced.

I was elected by nearly a million people. That number will be even higher on March 15th next year. And it is my duty to talk about the problems, even when the politically-correct elite led by Prime Minister Rutte prefers not to mention them. Because looking away and remaining silent is not an option.

I have to say it like it is.

What is the use of political cowards who no longer dare to speak the truth? Who are silent about the problems in our country? Who pander to the government? Who cowardly look the other way?

Nothing at all! Putting one's head in the sand is cowardliness.


And if you must keep quiet about problems, because simply asking a question has become punishable, the problems will only grow bigger. Then, the Netherlands will become a dictatorship of fearful and cowardly politicians.

I will never accept that. I will continue to fight for a free and safe Netherlands. That is why Islamic terrorists have been trying to kill me for 12 years. Today, these terrorists rejoice. Wilders is going to be punished. The Public Prosecutor has made himself their ally today.

But I will not allow anyone to shut me up!

No terrorist will be able to silence me!


No prosecutor in a black gown or cowardly prime minister will get me on my knees!


I shall therefore not care about their penal demand at all. They can do whatever they want. It will only make me stronger. I will only get more motivated.


And you can support me with this. By continuing to fight with me for the preservation of freedom of expression. For the maintenance of a safe and free Netherlands. Our country.

Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9354/geert-wilders-prosecutor

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Palestinians: The Message Remains No and No - Khaled Abu Toameh




by Khaled Abu Toameh

Abbas knows that concessions on his part would result in being spat upon by his people -- or killed.

  • The position of the two Palestinian leaders, Arafat and Abbas, is deeply rooted in the Palestinian tradition and culture, in which any compromise with Israel is considered an act of high treason. Abbas knows that concessions on his part would result in being spat upon by his people -- or killed.
  • Hence the PA president has in recent years avoided even the pretense of negotiations with Israel, and instead has poured his energies into strong-arming the international community to impose a solution on Israel.
  • The French would do well to abandon their plan for convening an international conference on peace in the Middle East.
  • Declaring a Palestinian state in the Security Council only makes them look as if their actual goal is to destroy Israel -- and they know it. They would be fooling no one.
  • Many in Europe, particularly France, seem be aching to do just that -- as a "present" to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to show how submissive they can be; to encourage more "business" with Muslim states, and, they might hope, to deter more terrorist attacks. Actually, if the members of the UN Security Council declare a Palestinian state unilaterally, they are encouraging more terrorist attacks: the terrorists will see that attacks "work" and embark on more of them to help the jihadi takeover of Europe go even faster.
Last week, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas tipped his hand concerning his ultimatum on any revival of the peace process with Israel.

"I'm 81 years old and I'm not going to end my life drooping, making concessions or selling out."

Thus declared a defiant Abbas at a rally in Ramallah, marking the 12th anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

Abbas in this way relayed to the hundreds of Palestinians who gathered in Ramallah to commemorate Arafat: "I have no intention of going down in history as a leader who compromised with Israel."

Like Arafat, Abbas would rather die intransigent than achieve a peaceful settlement with Israel.

Yet the position of the two Palestinian leaders is deeply rooted in the Palestinian tradition and culture, in which any concession to or compromise with Israel is considered an act of high treason.

Upon returning to Ramallah in the summer of 2000, after following the botched Camp David summit, Arafat explained his decision to reject the offer made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. According to Arafat, Barak wanted the Palestinians to make concessions concerning Jerusalem and its holy sites.

"He who relinquishes one grain of soil of the land of Jerusalem does not belong to our people," Arafat announced. "We want all of Jerusalem, all of it, all of it. Revolution until victory!"

At Camp David, Arafat and his negotiators demanded full sovereignty over the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, including its holy sites and the Jewish Quarter in the Old City. They also repeated their long-standing demand that the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees be fully implemented, allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flock into Israel.

Barak, for his part, is said to have offered the Palestinians a state that would be established on 91% of the West Bank, large parts of East Jerusalem and the entire Gaza Strip. What is certain is that Barak wanted the Palestinian leader to make some concessions on the explosive issues of Jerusalem and refugees.

The Camp David summit failed the moment Arafat realized that he was not going to get all of his demands met. Arafat later informed his confidants that he walked out of the summit because he did not want to go down into history as a leader who succumbed to Israeli and American pressure.

Fast-forward 16 years: Abbas stands near Arafat's grave in Ramallah and spouts similar sentiments. Vowing to continue in Arafat's path and honor his legacy, Abbas said that these days he was being "inspired" by his predecessor's "determination" and "resolve."

Abbas is at least up-front in his intentions. No one, he says unashamedly -- not the Israelis nor the Americans nor the Europeans -- ought to harbor any illusions. "Peace" with the Palestinians, says Abbas, means Israel fulfilling each and every demand he -- and Arafat -- has made. "Peace," in other words, with no Palestinian concessions.

Arafat continues to enjoy massive popularity among Palestinians because he died without "selling out" to Israel. His hero status hinges on his rejectionism at Camp David.

Had Arafat accepted Barak's offer at that summit, he would have been condemned as a "pawn" in the hands of the Israelis and Americans, a failed leader who betrayed his people.

Abbas's self-fashioning himself in the guise of Arafat is not new. For many years, he has been following in the footsteps of Arafat and honoring his legacy. Moreover, Abbas is well aware that, like Arafat, he is not authorized by his people to make any concessions to Israel. This is not merely because Abbas is now in his 12th year of a four-year-term in office.


Like his predecessor Yasser Arafat (left), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) would rather die intransigent than achieve a peaceful settlement with Israel.

Even if Abbas were a legitimate president, no concessions to Israel would be forthcoming. Arafat was quoted back then as saying that he rejected the Barak offer because he did not want to end up drinking tea with assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, the first Arab leader to sign a peace agreement with Israel.

Thus, Abbas is in no hurry to return to the negotiating table with Israel. Indeed, for Abbas, there is no negotiation -- only demands. He knows that concessions on his part would result in being spat upon by his people -- or killed.

Hence the PA president has in recent years avoided even the pretense of negotiations with Israel, and instead has poured his energies into strong-arming the international community to impose a solution on Israel -- one that would indeed supply the Palestinians with nearly all their demands.

Abbas and the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah want the international community to hand them what Israel will not give them at the negotiating table. Abbas is hoping to achieve his goal through international conferences on the Middle East, like the one being floated around by France, or through the United Nations and other international agencies and institutions.

In fact, this has been Abbas's sole strategy in recent years: a diplomatic war in the international arena that is aimed at isolating and delegitimizing Israel, in order to force it to comply with all Palestinian demands.

Of course, this strategy has its risks. Yet, if it fails, Abbas will at least depart the scene without being branded with the scarlet letter of "traitor." His successor, he hopes, will stand next to his grave and pledge to follow in his footsteps, as he himself has done for Arafat. And this is not an idle hope.

Thanks to decades of indoctrination and anti-Israel rhetoric, for which both Arafat and Abbas are also responsible, Palestinians have been radicalized to the point where it is impossible to identify a single leader who would negotiate in good faith with Israel.

Under the current circumstances, any attempt by the Obama Administration -- in its remaining months in power -- to support a United Nations vote in favor of a Palestinian state will be seen as a reward to those Palestinians who are opposed to a resumption of peace negotiations with Israel.

Many in Europe, particularly France, seem be aching to do just that -- as a "present" to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to show how submissive the French can be; to encourage more "business" with Arab and Muslim states, and, they might hope, to deter more terrorist attacks. Actually, if the members of the UN Security Council declare a Palestinian state unilaterally, they are encouraging more terrorist attacks: the terrorists will see that attacks "work" and embark on more of them to help the jihadi takeover of Europe go even faster.

The Obama Administration (and the next US Administration) need to make it clear to Abbas and the Palestinians that the only way to achieve a state is through direct negotiations with Israel, and not additional UN resolutions.

Similarly, the French would do well to abandon their plan for convening an international conference on peace in the Middle East. They need to understand that Abbas and the Palestinians are hoping to use the conference as an excuse to stay away from the negotiating table with Israel -- the only country that could really help the Palestinians achieve a state through direct talks. Declaring a Palestinian state in the Security Council only makes them look as if their actual goal is to destroy Israel by allying "two sides of the Mediterranean" against Israel -- and they know it. They would be fooling no one.

The message that needs to be relayed to the Palestinians is that UN resolutions and international conferences will not bring them closer to achieving their aspirations. Another message that needs to be driven home to the Palestinian leadership is that without preparing their people for peace and compromise with Israel, the whole idea of a two-state solution is meaningless.

An entire Palestinian generation has been raised on the poisonous idea that even the consideration of compromise with Israel is traitorous. The next US Administration might do well to consider this unpleasant reality.
  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9334/palestinians-rejectionism

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The US Must Bolster its Global Credibility - Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror




by Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror

The Trump administration will have to work hard to gain public trust, and to restore America’s credibility as a superpower too – which was badly eroded during Obama's presidency.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 377

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Frustration over government dysfunction was at the root of recent Arab upheavals, and it is now driving some of the changes taking place in Western democracies, including the US. The Trump administration will have to work hard to gain public trust, and to restore America’s credibility as a superpower too – which was badly eroded during Obama's presidency. The new administration is likely to be friendlier to Israel than the outgoing one. Israel should be ready to tell all the president's men, as early as possible, which private and public understandings Israel prefers, which issues need more robust American involvement, and where Israel would prefer the US to take a step back.

If anyone had any doubt that the world is in the midst of a prolonged shockwave with no end in sight, the results of last Tuesday's US presidential race should provide all the necessary proof. The impossible has become fact, and democracy has again shown itself to be a volatile system which can lead to surprises.

We learned once again that tracking polls are suspect, and that public opinion is difficult to predict – not only in the Middle East, but also in California and New York. Perhaps it is time to suspend such polls, which almost invariably mislead the public.

A wise man told me recently that Western democracies are experiencing a crisis that is leading to the rise of extremist movements in Europe and non-mainstream candidates in the US. He explains this phenomenon as follows.

The public in these countries expects the state to provide more than it possibly can. There is no chance the state will be able to satisfy the public's demands without radically changing the system. When it becomes apparent that elected officials cannot change harsh realities – in other words, that campaign promises do not translate to the real world – public disappointment grows even further.

It is not only democracies that are experiencing massive backlash as their citizens respond to governmental failure to meet expectations. Dictatorships are experiencing this phenomenon as well. In democracies, this popular discontent is reflected on election day. In dictatorships, there are coups and bloodshed.

Frustration over government dysfunction was at the root of the unrest in the Arab world and the subsequent Arab upheavals, and it is now driving some of the changes taking place in Western democracies.

Brexit, the British referendum to leave the EU, saw Britons vote en masse against the London-based elite and in favor of divorcing the 28-member bloc. In the US, the Republican Party did not hide its aversion to Donald Trump, and the media and numerous cultural icons rallied to prevent his election and ensure the victory of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The vote in Trump’s favor roundly contradicted the predictions made by the self-appointed leaders of public opinion.

The media played a key role in the run-up to the Brexit shock, as well as in Israel’s general election in 2015 and Tuesday's elections in the US. In all three cases, the media proved to be quite detached from both public sentiment and reality.

Israel, Britain and the US have three different systems of democracy, and all three experienced this phenomenon. The disconnect between the media and the public is not healthy for democracy, as the public's faith in media fairness and objectivity is vital.

It is unclear what, if anything, can be done to tackle this problem. It is unlikely that government action would be the right approach.

The media, especially the classical media (print, radio and television), would be wise to do some soul-searching over the loss of its credibility, and with it, the loss of its ability to influence the public. This is true for Israel and the US alike.

For many Americans, President Barack Obama's term in office is coming to an end on a disappointing note. Much will be written about the man who shattered the racial glass ceiling, but he will also go down in history as a polarizing president whose tenure left American society the worse for wear.

The smear campaigns waged by both the Democrats and the Republicans during the 2016 presidential race reflected a deep rift and mutual loathing between two political cultures in the US. Obama's behavior did little to mitigate tensions. If anything, he probably made things worse.

One example was the nuclear deal with Iran. Obama completely ignored Congress – and, apparently, American public opinion – and signed an agreement he called the most important achievement of his administration. This is not how you foster consensus or build confidence in the country's political culture and institutions.

This should serve as an important lesson to democracies struggling with serious disagreements. Disputes should be resolved through compromise. Those in a position to impose their opinions should give a little, so those holding the minority opinion do not feel completely ignored. It is also important not to make critical decisions without a solid majority.

In Israel, those who make tough decisions that defy public opinion are often lauded as "courageous leaders," especially if said decisions coincide with the positions expressed by the media and ignore the damage inflicted on society.

American society today is plagued by hatred that stems, at least in part, from ignoring the most important rule of all: the majority should not flaunt its decisions, and must not ignore the minority's protest. Israel would be wise to remember this lesson as well.

With a firm Republican hold on the House and Senate, things should be easier for President-Elect Trump. Nevertheless, the general hope in the US is that even though he has a majority, Trump will still see himself as "everyone's president," as he said in his acceptance speech, and that he will not shun the Democrats. By taking this approach, he can help to heal the rift.

There is one area where Trump will leave his mark for years to come: the US Supreme Court. The incoming administration will need to appoint judges to the bench, but in the US, that process involves confirmation hearings. Because Republicans control both the House and the Senate, they will be able to appoint conservative judges, which could tip the balance in the Supreme Court. This will affect the delicate sway the Court holds over the character of American society.

Trump's election reflects Americans' deep fear of immigrants, whom many in the US see as a threat to America's national character. The same is true for the UK, where much of the Brexit vote was driven by British concerns over EU immigration policies. For many Americans, this was a chance – perhaps the last chance – to delay this change.

Trump was carried to the White House by the neglect and abandonment felt by blue-collar Americans wary of the globalization they feel is pulling the rug out from under their feet.

There is another America outside New York and Washington, away from the bustling urban centers on the west and east coasts, and away from Ivy League universities – places the average American finds it difficult to reach without being from a wealthy family or an extraordinary genius.

The American dream has stalled, and Trump's victory reflects the public's desire to resuscitate it. It is no wonder this issue was raised in the president-elect's victory speech, and it is a worthy and difficult task.

What the new president's policies will be to address the issue is an open question. It is impossible to magically stop immigration, and there is little that can be done about the millions of illegal immigrants already living in the US. It is equally hard to see the US forfeiting the leading economic position globalization has given it, especially in the fields of finance and technology. If Trump were to launch a trade war with the world, the US would be heavily affected.

These phenomena are not unique to the US. They are evident in Europe as well, and will affect next year's elections in Germany and France. Do the Brexit result and Trump's election herald a new historic direction in the international system with regard to immigration and economics? It is too early to tell, but the signs are stronger than ever.

I do not know how much the deterioration in the US's international standing affected the presidential election, but Trump clearly faces several tough tests with respect to foreign relations. The main problem is that the US has lost its credibility as a superpower. Obama explained time and again why he did not believe superpower status was important, but in international affairs, this status means a great deal.

Restoring its superpower standing is the only way the US can continue to alleviate global tension and prevent the deterioration of relationships in which it has a vested interest.

The feeling that the US has abandoned the world and cannot be counted on is shared by its allies worldwide, including in the Far East, where those allies must contend with China's aggression. Trump will face tough questions on the South China Sea, but also on Russia's growing power in the Middle East. Dealing with these issues, especially given the cuts in US defense spending, will not be easy.

As for Israel-US relations, it is not yet known whom the president-elect will name to the critical positions of secretary of state, defense secretary and national security adviser. Trump will most likely also replace the heads of various organizations with which Israel maintains important ties. Until it is clear with whom he plans to surround himself, it is difficult to formulate an opinion.

Trump has basic sympathy for Israel's needs. He knows and has worked with many people who are familiar with these needs and can ensure Israel's voice is heard. The next two months, during which Trump will shape policy and formulate his team, will be important for the creation of working relationships that can influence that policy.

Israel has several important advantages. It is, first of all, a stable country. It is not asking the US to send troops to its aid, and it cannot be faulted for not paying a price for its own defense. The financial aid that Israel receives from the US, considerable as it may be, will be reverted back to American defense industries in a few years. Israel was wise to agree to that stipulation in the recent defense aid deal, and it would be difficult for anyone to complain about it.

The new administration is likely to be harder on Iran, even if it does not renege on the 2015 nuclear deal. What remains to be seen is how much Trump will be willing to invest to prevent the Shiite power from becoming stronger, especially given its ties with Russia – which, like Iran, is heavily involved in Syria.

The new administration will likely to be less strict with Israel regarding the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise. This was a red flag for Obama, who made settlements and any construction in east Jerusalem a key issue in Israel-US relations. That was a big mistake. One can only hope the new administration will compromise with Israel on the issue, especially if the government remains committed to the two-state solution.

There is a long and complex learning curve ahead of us. Everything will slow down until the new administration feels secure enough to decide its strategy. Trump's first steps as president will be crucial. They will need to convey to the world that it is not just the rhetoric that has changed, but also the willingness to invest and make sacrifices to protect the interests of both the US and its allies around the world.

Israel should gear up to tell all the president's men, as early as possible, which private and public understandings Israel prefers, which issues need more robust American involvement, and where Israel would prefer the US to take a step back.

The US will continue to be Israel's most important – some would say only – mainstay, but Israel must strive to improve its relations with the new administration. As solid as Israel-U.S. relations were during the outgoing administration, there is room for improvement. The time to start is now.
This is an edited version of an article that appeared in Israel Hayom on November 11, 2016.

PDF

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family


Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror is the Anne and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He is also a distinguished fellow at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy.

Source: http://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/377-amidror-us-must-bolster-global-credibility/

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