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January 2018

Trump’s Energy Policies and Macron’s Vanity Project How Trump is changing the global weather By Rupert Darwall

Republicans start 2018 with two big economic accomplishments under their belts. The first is passing the $1.5 trillion tax-reform package. The second is withdrawing from the Paris climate treaty and rolling back the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, in effect repealing an Obama tax hike that would have cost Americans $1.3 trillion over eight years.

Cutting taxes is what successful Republicans do. Every Republican president since 1980 who subsequently won reelection cut taxes in his first term. By contrast, President Trump’s pro-growth energy policies are very much his own idea. Perhaps others in the field of 17 primary contenders in 2016 would have acted similarly (such as Ted Cruz), but others would not (such as Jeb Bush), and it’s hard to imagine any of them appointing Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, who has turned out to be one of the stars of the Trump administration.

The potential economic gains are colossal. According to Heritage Foundation’s Kevin Dayaratna, over the next eight years ending the war on hydrocarbon energy will generate 900,000 jobs, add $1.9 trillion to the economy, and cut electricity prices and household energy bills with negligible effects on the climate and sea level. Fully taking advantage of fracking and America’s vast hydrocarbon reserves to 2035 would increase GDP by $3.7 trillion — equivalent to America’s adding two and a quarter Texas-size economies — and make an average family of four over $40,000 better off, all with a temperature change of less than three thousandths of a degree Celsius and a sea-level rise of less than one hundredth of an inch. Like all the best policies, in retrospect, Trump’s energy policies will appear obvious common sense.

While Trump is pushing hard on the gas pedal to accelerate the growth of the American economy, his opposite number in Paris is applying the brake. At President Macron’s behest, in December, the French parliament passed a law banning all production of oil and gas in France and its overseas territories from 2040. Casting himself as savior of the planet, a week earlier, Macron hosted a One Planet summit, ostensibly to commemorate the second anniversary of the Paris climate accord.

A sycophantic promotional video of the event shows the planetary hero planning the summit lunch as an Elysée Palace flunky serves coffee from a silver tray, then hugging guests on their arrival. Like millions of visitors to Paris before them, they board a Bateau Mouche and view the sights of Paris as they sail down the Seine. Everyone looks bored as Macron speaks, apart from the hero’s wife, Brigitte, and his lead supporters (“really good, really fantastic, congratulations,” Arnold Schwarzenegger tells him).

It all looks a bit stale. There’s a roundtable with former secretary of state John Kerry. Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson are given front-row seats. “We are in the middle of losing this battle,” Macron tells them. There are, he claims, five, ten, 15 heads of governments whose nations will disappear in 50 to 70 years’ time. It’s hardly an inspiring rallying cry.

THE PALESTINIANS’ RACE TO THE BOTTOM Doubling down on support for terrorism finally generates consequences. Caroline Glick

The problem for the PLO/PA is that the world has changed fundamentally while they were busy embracing terrorists and getting away with it.

The PLO and the Palestinian cause more generally are sinking into irrelevance and rather than reform their policies to rebuild their position, they have adopted a scorched earth policy that only intensifies their race to the bottom.

On the face of things, the situation isn’t bad. Last month the PLO got 128 nations to vote in favor of their anti-American resolution rejecting US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. One of the states that voted with them was India.
Israel was shocked by India’s move.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly touts the growth of Israel’s bilateral ties with the largest democracy in the world. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extraordinary visit to Israel last July highlighted the change. Netanyahu’s visit to New Delhi later this month will cement the new alliance.

Not only has Modi enthusiastically cultivated close ties with Israel, he has moved closer to Israel in its conflict with the PLO than any of his predecessors. In 2015, India abstained from an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Human Rights Council. Modi refused to visit the Palestinian Authority during his visit to Israel. And PLO chief and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s visit to India earlier this year, Modi refused to say – as his predecessors have said – that the capital of a Palestinian state should be located in eastern Jerusalem.

How to Beat the Cis-Culture by Making up Progressive Words The more new identities you take on, the less likely you will miss the one you have lost. Oleg Atbashian

Cis-gendered: those who have unquestionably accepted their assigned gender.
Cis-racial: those who have unquestionably accepted their assigned race.
Cis-planetary: those who have unquestionably accepted their assigned planet.
Cis-species: those who have unquestionably accepted their assigned species.
Cis-temporal: those who have unquestionably accepted their assigned historical period.

Technological innovations have brought us many new words. We need new words not only to identify new things, but also to rename some of the old things in order to avoid confusion. For example, people have been playing the guitar for centuries without calling it “acoustic” until the electric guitar entered the stage; that’s when the old guitar was retroactively renamed into acoustic. Traditional clocks with a face and rotating hands were retroactively renamed “analog” to distinguish them from “digital,” along with displays, signals, recordings, and so on. The new words for such retro-naming are called retronyms.

Innovations in social engineering affect our language in much the same way.

When Karl Marx laid out his blueprint for communism and socialist ideas began to engulf Europe, the normal way of doing business was retroactively renamed “capitalism.” Rational behavior became “oppressive” and people who preferred normalcy to “isms” became apologists for a reactionary socio-economic ideology. The advent of communist propaganda caused any non-communist discourse (e.g., Adam Smith) to be retroactively known as “capitalist propaganda.”

In the U.S., the advent of progressivism in the 1930s caused a retroactive renaming of mainstream believers in the American Revolution into “conservatives.” When the progressives decided to call themselves “liberals,” the real liberals renamed themselves “classical liberals.”

A Lot of Blood on a Lot of Hands Created the Iran Threat Where is the punishment of the Mullahs for the American blood they have shed? Bruce Thornton

The mullocracy in Iran is bragging that it has crushed the demonstrations against the regime that broke out on December 28. Regime change from within still remains a forlorn hope, as the theocratic police state has employed its usual brutal violence and intimidation to deny the protestors any momentum. Burning identification cards and electrical bills seem the last recourse for those brave Iranians abandoned by the so-called “global community” that averts its gaze from the destruction of human rights it pretends to worship.

So it goes in the 40-year history of bungling, indifference, greed, appeasement, and sheer stupidity that have defined the West’s response to the most consequential jihadist movement in modern times. A lot of blood has stained a lot of different guilty hands.

Start with Jimmy Carter and our terminally blinkered state department. Carter’s foreign policy team completely misinterpreted the Iranian revolution of 1979. Trapped in the fossilized narrative of anticolonialist resistance, nationalist self-determination, and hunger for human and political rights, our foreign policy savants missed the profoundly religious motives of the resistance to the Shah. The clerical class and the revolution’s godfather, the Ayatollah Khomeini, were driven by hatred of the modernizing, anti-Islamic program of the Shah and his father, such as the relaxation of sharia laws governing women, popular culture, and religious minorities, a program that Khomeini called the “abolition of the laws of Islam” and an existential threat to Islam itself. And they were particularly angered at the subsequent weakening of the clerics’ power and authority over social, private, and political life.

Indeed, the revolution was in fact a classic jihad against those modernizing “apostate” Muslim leaders who whored after Western “idols,” a dynamic that polluted the purity of the faith with anti-Koranic “innovations” derived from infidel culture. A cursory knowledge of Islamic history could have shown our analysts that such violent conflicts have consistently characterized Islamic history and its clash with Muslim traitors influenced by Christian rivals, from the Kharajites of the 7th century to the Wahhabis of the 18th to the Muslim Brothers of the 20th and to al Qaeda and ISIS of the 21st. Instead, we reacted in terms of our modern Western models of the inevitable progress of human rights, secularism, economic development, and political self-determination. We assumed that after the revolution, liberals, leftists, and technocrats would take over and start creating a Western-style state and integrating it into the global community on the basis of “shared interests” and “mutual respect.”

Trump’s Economy Booming Leftists are having to talk their comrades down from ledges. Matthew Vadum

President Trump’s economic boom is undeniably underway which means that the Left will grow increasingly strident and desperate in the lead-up to this year’s midterm congressional elections and beyond.

The better things go under Trump, the more looney the Left becomes. Left-wingers need something new to excite their base but they’re not likely to find it anytime soon. They’re going to recycle the same old garbage.

Despite potentially the ensnaring of a handful of people in FBI perjury traps, the crazy Trump-Russia electoral collusion conspiracy theory is going nowhere.

Because the lies in the Fusion GPS dossier aren’t helping the Left move the needle toward impeaching Trump, these people are back to the bogus sexual harassment allegations and the claims that Trump is mentally incompetent that conveniently emerged during the 2016 campaign. Richard Wolff’s wacky tell-all book is being attacked even on the Left and Wolff comes across as emotionally disturbed and malicious in TV interviews. His 15 minutes of fame are almost up.

But President Trump’s “economic sanity” should be beyond question, Charles Gasparino writes in the New York Post.

In fact, it’s safe to say that the current president, for all his temperamental flaws and petty insecurities, makes his tightly wound predecessor, Barack Obama, look like a raving madman when it comes to showing sense on economic growth. Armchair psychiatrists are having a field day diagnosing the president’s mental state from afar, especially after his increasingly bizarre tweeting, but the market says otherwise.

France’s War against Firefighters and Police by Yves Mamou

A silent war against French police and firefighters is in full swing. “2,280 firefighters were assaulted in 2016… As a result, the police are called to certain areas just to protect the firefighters.” — National Observatory of Delinquency, Radio Europe 1.

Two Paris police officers, who risked their lives to save children from a burning apartment, were attacked and stoned by a mob when they emerged from the blaze carrying the children in their arms.

As usual, politicians are minimizing the problem. The government does not consider the spread of urban violence to be terrorism. As usual, the government will try to buy peace with money.

France’s Minister of the Interior, Gerard Collomb, was clearly happy on January 1st. Why? No terrorist attack had occurred on New Year’s Eve. Collomb warmly thanked the 140,000 police officers, soldiers, firefighters, and civil security associations who had been mobilized to block any potential terrorist attack. To give just an inkling of the size of this security deployment on New Year’s Eve, consider that the entire French army (land forces only) consists of only about 117,000 active-duty soldiers.

All French governments since 2015 have denied that Islam is at war with France, but the Ministry of the Interior nevertheless mobilized higher numbers of security personnel than the French army has soldiers, to make sure that this New Year’s Eve would be a peaceful event.

In a press release, Minister Collomb said:

“Because of the strong police presence combined with efficiency of protection measures, the festivities of New Year’s Eve were able to happen peacefully for everyone in France.”

Although no terrorist attack took place on New Year’s Eve, calling it a “peaceful” night is, at best, a stretch. In keeping with the annual “tradition,” 1031 vehicles were intentionally burned (compared to 935 in 2016) in the majority-Muslim suburbs of many big cities.

250 cars were torched in the Paris area alone, and eight police officers and three soldiers of the Gendarmerie were attacked and wounded. A video went viral on the internet, showing a mob of “youths” (the euphemism used by the media for African and Arab young men) assaulting and savagely beating a female police officer. She had been trying to disperse a crowd of “youths” attacking a private party in the Champigny suburb of Paris.

Canada: Trudeau’s Support for Islamists a Warning to America by Thomas Quiggin

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has an nine-year long record of supporting the Islamist cause while refusing to engage with reformist Muslims.

Perhaps most disturbing were Trudeau’s comments to a gathering of Islamist front groups: he told them that he shared their beliefs, their set of values and their shared vision.

Canada will not be able to plead ignorance or inability while facing accusations of complicity from any future American terrorist victims.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has an nine-year long record of supporting the Islamist cause while refusing to engage with reformist Muslims. With respect to ISIS fighters returning to Canada, Trudeau has argued that they will be a “powerful voice for deradicalization” and that those who oppose their return are “Islamophobic.” Furthermore, the Government of Canada is not adding the names of returning ISIS fighters to the UN committee responsible for the listing of international jihadists.

Many Canadians (and others) are starting to believe that Prime Minister Trudeau’s position on reintegrating and deradicalizing ISIS fighters is unreasonable, if not delusional. Canada’s “Centre for Community Engagement and Deradicalization” has no leader and no deradicalization centre. Nor does it appear to have plans for a program which could operate inside or outside of government. It is also not clear that the law of Canada could force a returning ISIS fighter to attend such a program, even if it did exist. In France, a similar government sponsored program was a failure.

Calling Out Europe: Where Is the Diplomacy of Truth? Gatestone’s Person of the Week: Fiamma Nirenstein, Counter-Terrorism Expert by Ruthie Blum

The “Lawrence of Arabia” syndrome goes back to Old Europe. It is the snobbery of people who become enamored with exotic cultures. There is a romanticism surrounding the Middle East, associated with magic carpets and Aladdin lamps. But with that romanticism comes fear, as well – fear of… invading Islamists who slit people’s throats.

This fear has led European states to try and do business with terrorist groups. In the early 1980s, for example, Italian officials forged a secret deal with Palestinian terrorists, which culminated not in cooperation, but in a series of deadly attacks…

Too many lies have been the basis of international relations. These include “dialogue” between religions to counter Islamist terrorism; the false notion of the “peaceful aspirations” of the Palestinians; the view that Turkey is a “bridge” to the Muslim world; the ridiculous view of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a “moderate”; the belief in a “united Europe” as the future of the old continent; and faith in the U.N. as a legal arbiter for international affairs. Policies based on these lies are not only fruitless; they are dangerous.

As an expert in global terrorism, anti-Semitism, Middle East wars and European policy, Fiamma Nirenstein has been following the popular uprising in Iran with particular interest. Nirenstein – award-winning journalist, best-selling author, former MP of the Italian Parliament and a fellow at the JCPA and says that just as former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s election and foreign policy were instrumental in the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, President Donald Trump is probably responsible for the street demonstrations across Iran that could lead to the downfall of the ayatollah-led Islamic Republic.

Nirenstein says that Europe, which has been silent on the uprisings in Iran, can no more take credit for this welcome turn of events than it could for the defeat of the U.S.S.R. — or even of Hitler’s Third Reich. It is America, she asserts, that has always been at the forefront of the struggle for freedom from the bondage of dictators; it is America that always saves Europe.

Gatestone: Why is it not the other way around? Europe, after all, is geographically closer to those struggles than America.

Fiamma Nirenstein: Europe’s key approach always has been one of appeasement, because when you are weak, you try not to interfere too much, not say what you think. Deep in its heart, Europe probably would have liked to stop Hitler from the beginning, and see the Soviet Union collapse earlier, but it did not have the courage to voice this opinion loudly or strongly enough. The same applies to the situation with Iran today.

Gatestone: But hasn’t Europe been expressing, loudly and clearly, its antipathy to fascism? And hasn’t America exhibited what you call “weakness”?

FN: Europe is split. It has been both fascist and communist, and also has fought against fascism and communism – if not early enough. It therefore might suffer from guilt and humiliation relating to its past. The United States, too, seems to have guilt and humiliation relating to racism in its history. But there is a difference between Europe and America: As is the case with individuals, nations must confront and untangle their feelings. When a person does this, he becomes an adult. One could say that while America matured into adulthood, Europe never did.

Chutzpah in Black: ‘Golden Globes’ Points its Finger the Wrong Way By Boris Zelkin

You have to hand it to Hollywood—it’s got chutzpah. The holier-than-thou instinct must truly overpower any sense of decency and morality among its luminaries as they mount their pulpits to lecture the world about the only recently discovered horrors of sexual inequality. Like the convict who finds religion after being sentenced and then proceeds to judge all the world around him, Hollywood now presents itself as some sort of vanguard in the fight against sexism.

Sorry, but America ain’t buying what you’re selling. And maybe that’s what’s really eating you.

For years, you’ve ordained yourselves the high priests of the culture. For years, you’ve sexualized our girls and created lower expectations for our boys and men. You’ve created an industry that we all now understand is awash with the decadence, moral rot, and a self-deception that can only come from years of arrogant self-righteousness that is immune to honest self-examination.

You’ve lived lives of hedonistic excess all the while sneering at those who attempted to live sincerely. You’ve spent years on the therapist’s couch convincing yourselves that you’re good people all the while mocking modestly lived lives and now you feel entitled to lecture the rest of America about . . . anything? Physician, heal thyself! No amount of black cloth can cover your shame.

What Kind of Tent Revival is This?
True to Hollywood’s self-deceptive nature, the whole of the Golden Globes broadcast was presented as a solemn Confiteor, but its sole purpose, truly, was to attempt to confer self-absolution through the exercise of judging others. It was a giant revival tent with Elmer Gantry projecting his own moral failings onto his congregation. The Globes were a set piece designed to proclaim to the world Hollywood’s virtue all the while putting it above those poor rubes at home watching.

Is Trump Really Crazy? By Victor Davis Hanson

“Lyndon Johnson had a repulsive habit of referring openly to his sexual organ as “Jumbo”—and occasionally displaying it to startled staffers—a felony in our present culture. Worse still, he often gave dictation while defecating on the toilet.”

Michael Wolff’s sensational exposé of the supposed chaos of the Trump White House is no doubt largely a mix of fantasy, exaggeration, and some accidental truth. The postmodernist author even admits that his own methodologies defy verification, and so leave it up to the reader to distinguish his facts from fiction.

Wolff’s theme is that Trump is hopelessly petty, childlike, and uninformed. The few adults in the room around him—primarily, we are asked to believe, Wolff’s chief source, Steve Bannon—must cajole, pamper, and flatter him to get anything done, when they are not backstabbing one another.

Fair enough—Trump certainly may be naïve and uninitiated. No one doubts that he is thin-skinned and far too often goes down Twitter cul de sacs. But Trump’s naiveté is not quite what Wolff thinks.

Rather, no sane president should ever have let a writer with Wolff’s dubious and often discredited background into the White House. That such a rogue was even allowed through the door raises the question of administration sobriety.

Wolff at the Door
Not since the late Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone charmed his way into General Stanley McCrystal’s inner circle—only to trash his benefactors—has an executive team apparently proved so naïve with reporters. Certainly, in letting Wolff talk “off the record” to high officials, the Trump Administration showed poor judgment. That Wolff claims he easily got such haphazard access, if half true, could be a testament to Trump’s ego or the ego of those around him, such as Bannon. Did they really believe that they could charm and flip almost anyone—even among a media whose stories and reports are 90 percent negative to Trump?

Of course, any president lax enough to let a Wolff through the door inevitably would be embarrassed by the results, given that all administrations can be petty, even gross.

Lyndon Johnson had a repulsive habit of referring openly to his sexual organ as “Jumbo”—and occasionally displaying it to startled staffers—a felony in our present culture. Worse still, he often gave dictation while defecating on the toilet.