JOHN GALT: THE NECESSARY WAR PART 3 Working in the Arab world during the last decade, I have met many Muslims who insisted that they had nothing to do with terrorism. The problem is that they remain silent, in fear of the so-called extremists. They do not publicly condemn terror, and they continue to donate money to the mosques and charities […]


Only one side will be blamed

Secretary of State John Kerry and his on-the-scene negotiator, Martin Indyk, are inching toward revealing the details of their proposed framework agreement for further talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, already leaked through pretty much every media organ sympathetic to the administration’s initiatives — whether foreign or domestic. The leaks suggest there are no surprises in the framework agreement, since the peace camp from which both Kerry and Indyk hail claim to have known for a long time the compromises that were supposedly necessary from each side to reach an agreement. It is, of course, remarkable that if the details of such an agreement were so readily apparent and sensible (and presumably fair to both sides), that an agreement had not already been reached, despite all the peace processing that has taken place since the Oslo process began more than 20 years ago.

Of course, the peace processors have their dirty secret, which they let out from time to time. The reason, wink, wink, why there has been no deal so far is because Israel has not had the courage to face down its settler population in the West Bank and make the territorial concessions needed to bring peace. Presumably, any and all of Israel’s other concerns will be addressed, so it must be the settlement enterprise that is blocking an agreement.

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who has been attacking settlements and Israeli “intransigence” since time immemorial, occasionally feels the need to reassure Israelis that their concerns about security have been noted by higher authorities and wise men such as himself, and that solutions exist. Reasonable columnists can always figure out what is needed to make peace. After a sit-down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week, Friedman offered a new trial balloon, presumably first tossed up by Abbas. Israel no longer needs its own soldiers in the Jordan Valley. NATO troops can do the job. In fact, the NATO forces can have jackets designed with the words “Shoot Me” in Arabic on the back to facilitate terrorist activity by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaida or other radical groups now nesting in the territories, and anxious to drive out any “replacement occupiers.” Much like the Saudi peace plan of a decade earlier, which Friedman uncovered just as he was going to reveal to his Saudi luncheon partner a near identical approach, one wonders whether this new plan originated with Abbas, or Friedman, in his preferred role as great thinker and statesman.

PUTIN’S WINTER WONDERLAND Amid continued debate over whether or not Sochi is prepared to host the 2014 Olympics, reporters from around the world are beginning to check into local hotels.   Based on some of the hilarious tweets (see below) about their hotel experiences, it appears that Putin’s Winter Wonderland isn’t so wonderful, at least not yet… […]

SARAH HONIG: OXFAM’S LOPSIDED LOGIC On the face of it, Oxfam is as irreproachable as motherhood and apple-pie. Who can be against its declared goals of combating hunger and promoting justice? Oxfam’s confederation and its familiar charity shops are fixed features in some 90 countries worldwide. Founded in the city of Oxford in 1942, it crusaded for allowing food […]

Marine Le Pen’s Worldview: Oppose America, Embrace Iran by Peter Martino Le Pen’s worldview seems comes from the man sitting next to her, Aymeric Chauprade, who taught geopolitics at the Joint Defense College of the French army, until he was fired after writing a book in which he voiced the possibility that that the 9/11 attacks might have been part of a deliberate plot conceived […]



Muslims attending the gathering were offended by the insinuation that Islam could be radical or violent, and demanded instead that the German government take steps to make “Islam equal to Christianity” in Germany. They were equally unwilling to discuss the main item on the official conference agenda: “Gender Equality as a Common Value,” and refused even to acknowledge that there might be any connection between Islam and forced marriage.

While focusing his energy on expanding the rights if Muslims in German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has been largely silent about the responsibility of Muslim immigrants to take measures to integrate better into German society.

Germany’s new coalition government is signaling that it wants better relations with the country’s Muslim community.

In a series of newspaper, television and radio interviews, Thomas de Maizière—who was recently sworn in as Germany’s new interior minister—has announced a series of pro-Muslim initiatives apparently designed to defuse escalating tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims there.

Among other policy initiatives, Maizière says the government plans to change German immigration laws to make it easier for Muslim immigrants to obtain dual-citizenship and thus to maintain religious and cultural links to their countries of origin.

Maizière also says he intends to give Muslims more say in setting the agenda of the government’s ongoing dialogue with the Islamic umbrella groups that represent the estimated 4.5 million Muslims now living in the country.

While focusing his energy on expanding the rights of Muslims in Germany, Maizière has been largely silent about the responsibility of Muslim immigrants to take measures to integrate better into German society.

New USDA ‘Climate Hubs’ to School Farmers, Ranchers on Climate Change By Bridget Johnson

Step in Obama’s Climate Action Plan, without a price tag, will assess risks and then tell landowners “this is how you need to manage.” WASHINGTON — President Obama enacted part of his promised Climate Action Plan today with the creation of regional “Climate Hubs” to coordinate a global warming response with farmers, ranchers and […]


Here at Ordered Liberty, I weighed in a few days back on the discussion Roger Simon and Bryan Preston were having about whether the Republican Party should de-emphasize social issues. Some other points are worth making.

The first is that not all “social issues” are created equal.

I don’t think either Roger or Bryan suggested otherwise. To recap how we got here, while Roger’s headline referred generally to “social conservatives” (“How Social Conservatives Are Saving Liberalism”), his post homed in on gay marriage. In rebuttal, Bryan did not delve deeply into the substance of gay marriage; instead, he broadened the debate to consider how a conservative retreat on gay marriage would fit into a pattern of surrender on social issues across the board. It is those issues that inspired the demographic known as “social conservatives” to, as Bryan says, “get into politics in the first place.” Thus, he contends, de-emphasizing them would cause social conservatives to disengage from politics. I agree. As argued in my post, the GOP cannot win elections with major defections from this critical component of its base.

Yet, it confuses matters to speak of “social issues” as one indiscriminate bunch, and to imply that each should be handled the same “no compromise” way. Just as every skirmish in the culture war is not equally significant, different social issues are of varying importance.

Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for Terrorism April By Rebecca Smith
U.S. News

Sniper Attack Knocked Out Substation, Raises Concern for Country’s Power Grid

SAN JOSE, Calif.—The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16 last year, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables.

Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation. Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night.

To avoid a blackout, electric-grid officials rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. But it took utility workers 27 days to make repairs and bring the substation back to life.

Nobody has been arrested or charged in the attack at PG&E Corp.’s Metcalf transmission substation. It is an incident of which few Americans are aware. But one former federal regulator is calling it aterrorist act that, if it were widely replicated across the country, could take down the U.S. electric grid and black out much of the country.

THE JOBLESS CARE ACT: EDITORIAL WSJ There are 7.8 million Americans working part-time who want full-time work, including a fry cook whose restaurant cut his hours to avoid Affordable Care Act mandates and confronted President Obama in an online Q&A last week. “We can’t survive. It’s not a living.” Mr. Obama changed the subject to raising the minimum wage. But […]