Good News From France

The Daily Wire reported yesterday that over the weekend, the French Senate approved a bill paving the way forward for restoring Notre Dame cathedral, which nearly burned to the ground back in April in a construction fire. There’s one caveat, however: the cathedral must be returned to its “last known visual state.”

The article reports:

In other words, despite French president Emmanuel Macron’s desire to see parts of the cathedral rebuilt with an eye to more “contemporary architecture,” the French government wants to see Notre Dame returned to its former glory, according to The Local.

“French Senators have stipulated that Notre-Dame cathedral must be restored exactly how it was before the devastating fire that tore through the Paris landmark,” the Parisian news outlet reported Tuesday.

The stipulation came in the form of an addendum to a bill authorizing French authorities to begin work on Notre Dame so that the cathedral is completely rebuilt in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024 — just five years from now. The French Parliament approved the measure earlier this month but did not comment on how the cathedral should look once restoration work was finished.

The bill is controversial already: it’s written so that the French government can bypass the traditional requirements of public and legislative approval before it can shuttle money from national coffers into the project. It’s also tied to what experts consider a “rush job,” allowing only five years for a refurbishment that could — or should — take decades.

The article cites some examples of suggested changes:

Part of the problem, the historians said, was that Macron and others wanted to incorporate contemporary modifications into the cathedral restoration. Proposed ideas included a new glass spire, a glass observation roof, and even a roof addition with a public swimming pool and community garden. Integrating those ideas into a centuries-old monument could prove almost impossible.

Sorry, I just can’t see a public swimming pool in the middle of Notre Dame. Notre Dame was a beautiful cathedral and needs to be restored to its former beauty. If you need a community garden and public swimming pool, please put them elsewhere.

Why The Iran Deal Needed To Be Scrapped

Reuters is reporting today that France has seized Iranian assets belonging to Iran’s intelligence services in response to a June plot to attack an exiled Iranian opposition group’s rally outside Paris. Make no mistake–the money Iran got in the Iran deal is being used to fund terrorism around the world. If European countries choose to ignore the sanctions America has put on Iran, they do so at their own risk. The Muslim population of Europe can easily be mobilized and paid by Iran to create havoc in Europe.

The article reports:

The hardening of relations between Paris and Tehran could have deep consequences for Iran, coming at a time when Rouhani’s government is looking to European capitals to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal after the United States pulled out.

“An attempted attack in Villepinte was foiled on June 30. An incident of such gravity on our national territory could not go unpunished,” said a joint statement by the foreign, interior and economy ministries.

Asked for reaction, a spokesman at the Iranian Embassy in Paris replied simply: “Hello. Thank you.” There was no immediate response to the French move from Tehran.

The plot targeted a meeting of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) outside the French capital. U.S. President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and several former European and Arab ministers attended the rally.

It unraveled after an Iranian diplomat accredited in Austria was arrested in Germany and two other individuals in possession of explosives were detained in Belgium.

The article concludes:

Paris has also suspended nominating a new ambassador to Iran and not responded to Tehran nominations for diplomatic positions in France.

The deterioration of relations with France could have wider implications for Iran.

France has been one of the strongest advocates of salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw Tehran agree to curbs on its nuclear program in return for a lifting of economic sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said it expects renewed sanctions to impact the Iranian economy hard.

The answer to Iran as a terrorist state is regime change. Increasing the economic pressure on the current regime through sanctions could bring that to pass. For further information on the Iranian revolution and the goals of the government that took control in 1979, I recommend reading A Time to Betray by Reza Kahlili. The book tells the story of a man who believed that the revolution would bring freedom to Iran and thus supported it, only to be disillusioned later and work undercover as an American spy. It’s a great read.

This Is Not A Reasonable Solution

Howie Carr posted an article in the Boston Herald today about a recent remark by Secretary of State John Kerry.

The article reports Secretary Kerry’s remarks:

“…If you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what is going on.”

This is a bit of a contrast to the Sun Tzu quote:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

The article reminds us of some of Secretary Kerry’s other ideas:

Kerry said the Arab murderers at Charlie Hebdo in Paris had “a legitimacy, not legitimacy, but a rationale.” Okay, so he walked that one back a little, but he doesn’t take terrorism seriously. Why should he? He’s protected by taxpayer-paid heat until January, and after that, all the security his second wife’s first husband’s trust fund can buy.

Burying our heads in the sand will not help fight terrorism. I am in favor of newspapers not mentioning the names of terrorists and western social media taking down terrorist recruitment films and pre-suicide bombing videos. However, burying our heads in the sand leaves us in a place very similar to where we were on September 10, 2011.

What Happens When Cultures Do Not Mix

The UK Telegraph reported yesterday that a French women and her two daughters were attacked by a man with a knife in the Alpine resort of Garde-Colombe, near Laragne, in southern France.

The article reports:

Initial reports claimed the man struck because he was angered by the women being “scantily dressed,” but a local prosecutor denied this. 

Raphaël Balland, prosecutor of Gap, said: “I wanted to quash the rumour currently doing the rounds because on no account did this man make such comments about the fact that the attack may have been motivated by the victims’ dress code.”

The attacker, named as Mohamed B, 37, “may have acted out of religious motives”, French television channel TF1 reported.

Despite the prosecutor’s denial, TF1 reported that he was angry that the girls were wearing shorts.

The mother had helped the attacker when he became ill the previous day, TF1 said.

Let’s look at this report. The article mentions later in the piece that the attacker was Moroccan-born and from the Paris area. The prosecutor obviously wants the media to avoid drawing the obvious conclusions about the motives of the attacker. The kindness of the mother on the previous day obviously did not impact the attacker’s intentions. This is what we open ourselves up to when we welcome people to America who have no intention of assimilating into our culture. The difference between today’s refugees and yesteryear’s refugees is that yesteryear’s refugees appreciated their new freedom and were anxious to become Americans. Unfortunately, many of today’s refugees want to turn America into the dysfunctional societies they fled.

Troubling Information

On Wednesday, Judicial Watch posted an article about one of the guns used in the Paris terrorist attack. According to law enforcement sources, the gun was illegally purchased in Phoenix, Arizona. The obvious question is how did it get from Phoenix to Paris.

The article reports:

A Report of Investigation (ROI) filed by a case agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tracked the gun used in the Paris attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, “off book,” Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources confirm. Federal agents tracing the firearm also found the Phoenix gun owner to be in possession of an unregistered fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement officials with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.

The investigative follow up of the Paris weapon consisted of tracking a paper trail using a 4473 form, which documents a gun’s ownership history by, among other things, using serial numbers. The Phoenix gun owner that the weapon was traced back to was found to have at least two federal firearms violations—for selling one weapon illegally and possessing an unregistered automatic—but no enforcement or prosecutorial action was taken against the individual. Instead, ATF leaders went out of their way to keep the information under the radar and ensure that the gun owner’s identity was “kept quiet,” according to law enforcement sources involved with the case. “Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto, not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” a veteran law enforcement official told Judicial Watch.

It’s not clear if the agency, which is responsible for cracking down on the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, did this because the individual was involved in the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. An ATF spokesman, Corey Ray, at the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters told Judicial Watch that “no firearms used in the Paris attacks have been traced” by the agency. When asked about the ROI report linking the weapon used in Paris to Phoenix, Ray said “I’m not familiar with the report you’re referencing.” Judicial Watch also tried contacting the Phoenix ATF office, but multiple calls were not returned.

The gun was probably sold as part of ‘Fast and Furious,’ which is troubling enough, but I want to know how you get a gun from Phoenix to Paris in this age of airline security. Was it packed in the person’s checked luggage or did he manage to get it through the metal detectors? Did it go from the United States to France or from Mexico to France? How did the gun get into France, which has very strict gun laws? It would be very interesting to trace the journey of the gun from Phoenix to Paris. It is also interesting to note that this story is based on law enforcement leaks. The people who are charged with enforcing our laws have reached the point where they are so frustrated with the unequal enforcement of the laws that they are speaking out.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement Regarding Orlando

Below is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement regarding the shooting in Orlando:

In Orlando, a terrorist walks into a nightclub and murders nearly 50 human beings. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters cut down in cold blood.

They did nothing wrong. They were dancing with friends, they were enjoying music with loved ones.

Why did the terrorist murder them?
Because he was driven by a fanatical hatred.

He targeted the LGBT community because he believed they were evil.

Now, the murderer wasn’t alone.

Regimes and terrorist organizations around the world ruthlessly persecute the LGBT community.

In Syria, ISIS throws gays off rooftops.
In Iran, the regime hangs gays from cranes.

Too many people have remained silent in the face of this awful persecution.

This week’s shooting wasn’t merely an attack on the LGBT community. It was an attack on all of us, on our common values of freedom and diversity and choice.

Radical Islamist terror makes no distinction between shades of infidel.

This week it was gays in Orlando. A few days before that it was Jews in Tel Aviv. Before that it was music fans in Paris; Travelers in Brussels; Yazidis in Iraq; Community workers in San Bernardino; Christians and journalists in Syria.

All of us are targets.

We believe that all people are created in the image of God.

ISIS, by contrast, believes that all people who aren’t just like them deserve to die.

We will not be terrified into submission.
We will fight back. And we will triumph.

Today I ask you to reach out to friends in the LGBT community. Comfort them.
Tell them you stand together, we stand together as one. And that you will always remember the victims.

Tell them they will never be alone, that we are all one family deserving of dignity, deserving of life.

I have no doubt that those who seek to spread hate and fear will be defeated.

Working together we will defeat them even faster.

We need to stand united, resolute in the belief that all people regardless of their sexual orientation, regardless of their race, regardless of their ethnicity, all people deserve respect, deserve dignity.

The Last Surviving Member Of The Terrorist Team That Attacked Paris Has Been Arrested

Yahoo News is reporting today that Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving member of the team that carried out the terrorist attack on Paris, has been captured.

The article includes a timeline of Salah Abdeslam’s life:

ParisBomberThis man was born in Brussels. He was considered a French national. The article reports that he had evidently planned to blow himself up with a suicide vest, but changed his mind at the last moment. A suicide vest was found in Paris after the attack in an area Abdeslam’s cell phone indicated that he had been in.

The article reports:

The ringleader of the attacks, IS member Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was also from Brussels. He was killed in a raid in Paris in November.

Another of the Paris attackers, Bilal Hadfi, was last week buried quietly in the same cemetery as Abdeslam’s brother.

Both had links to Molenbeek, a largely immigrant district which has been a hotbed of Islamist violence for decades.

Abdeslam and his brother had run a bar in the area until it was shut down by the authorities a few weeks before the Paris attacks.

It is frightening to think that ISIS is successfully recruiting western-born terrorists for suicide attacks in Western countries. This man would have easily been able to come to America on a French visa. That thought is troubling.

Time To End My Naivety

I am relatively  new to the south. I lived here for a few years as a child, but have been away a long time. Thirty-five years in New England left me immersed in a culture I was not really aware of until I left. Southern culture includes guns, gun safety, hunting, and other forms of recreation and personal protection that are totally alien to me. Recent events have convinced me that it is time to embrace that aspect of the culture of my new home.

I love steak. As far as I am concerned, steak comes from a styrofoam and plastic package in the supermarket meat section. By faith I accept that and refuse to look past the obvious. Until recently, I believed that my safety was the responsibility of the local and state law enforcement people and that they would adequately do their job. I still believe that they do their job to the best of their ability, but it has occurred to me that I need to look past the obvious and begin to take some responsibility for my own safety.

The shootings in Paris and in California both took place in locations with strict gun laws. In both cases, the shootings occurred in gun-free zones. I believe that the end result would have been different in both cases if one of the intended victims had been armed. Despite the fact that the news is reporting today that the weapons used in California were legally purchased between 2007 and 2012, gun controls in California have supposedly taken those weapons off the streets. Obviously, not everyone in areas where certain (or all) guns are banned is interested in following the law.

I am not enthusiastic about learning to shoot and learning to defend myself, but on the other hand, I definitely have a vested interest in my own safety. At least temporarily, I believe that we have reached a place in America where good people have to take responsibility for their own safety. Unfortunately, the police cannot be everywhere at once, and there are obviously some people in this country who want to do us harm. Historically speaking, police will tell you that most murder victims are murdered by family members or people they know. This means that as long as you are careful in choosing your friends (and hopefully have upstanding family members) you are unlikely to be a victim of a killer. Since Paris, San Bernardino, and other incidents involving members of the military on American soil, that has changed. It is time to put away our naivety and learn to protect ourselves. Hopefully at some time in the future, the threat of terrorism will be gone, but it will still be to our advantage to know how to defend ourselves.

Can Anyone Explain This?

On Tuesday, Hot Air posted an article quoting President Obama on the recent terrorist attack in Paris. President Obama stated that it will be a “powerful rebuke” to ISIS to hold the climate-change summit in Paris. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it would be a more powerful rebuke simply to blow their headquarters to smithereens.

The article states:

Asked Guy Benson, “Is he saying the climate conference is the rebuke to terrorists, or unbowed world leaders gathering in Paris?” The answer is both, right? Partly this is stiff-upper-lip stuff of the sort you always hear from a head of state after a major attack. “We refuse to be terrorized by terror, we will carry on as we always did,” etc. They had a conference planned, and no scumbag jihadi is going to intimidate them out of holding it. Fine.

We need to continue with business as usual as much as possible, but to see any relationship between terrorism and so-called climate change is simply beyond the pale.

It would be really nice if a group of pro-democracy world leaders got together to discuss how to protect western countries from ISIS and its terrorist buddies or how to wipe out ISIS, but I guess climate change is more urgent. I suppose it is purely coincidental that all of the solutions to climate change limit the freedom of people who are currently free and funnel money to third world dictators who have no intention of using it for anything remotely related to climate.

What Is Being Said Here?

Howie Carr at The Boston Herald posted an article today about remarks Secretary of State John Kerry made at the U.S. Embassy in Paris on Tuesday.

The article posted:

At the U.S. Embassy in Paris Tuesday, the secretary of state compared the two Muslim terrorist massacres in France this year — the shooting up of the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and then last Friday’s celebration of diversity.

“There’s something different about what happened (Friday) from Hebdo,” he says on the tape, “and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not legitimacy — but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and, ‘OK, they’re really angry because of this or that.’ ”

The implication here is that the Charlie Hebdo attacks were caused by the actions of the editors. Actually, those responsible for the Charlies Hebdo acts were the people who planned them and carried them out. Note to Secretary Kerry–nothing justifies the kind of cold-blooded murder that went on at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices.

There is another aspect to this. In his book, Catastrophic Failure, Stephen Coughlin explains that one of the goals of the Islamic Movement and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is to institute Islamic Law on non-Muslims, beginning with the concept of slander. In Islam, slander is defined to any speech that mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam. It doesn’t matter if what you say is true, if it is negative, it is considered slander. The penalty for slander is death. We need to be careful that we do not compromise our free speech rights in this area. People who commit crimes because they do not like what is being said need to know that there will be consequences for their behavior. Unfortunately, what Secretary Kerry said implied that killing people because you don’t like what they published is understandable. Americans need to state clearly that this is neither understandable nor justifiable.

The invented word ‘Islamophobia’ is an example of the attempt to curtain the First Amendment rights of Americans. If we tell the politically incorrect truth about the goals of Islam, that word is often invoked. It is a way of avoiding the truth. It is unfortunate that our Secretary of State did not choose his words more carefully.

The Political Left Has Finally Found A War It Wants To Fight–And Even Include A Draft

Yes, it has happened. The political left has finally found a war it is wholeheartedly willing to fight–no holds barred–they even want to draft Americans to fight it. So what is that war?

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about a war the political left wants to fight.

The article reports:

The political left is ready to go to war, but not against any real threat. It wants to fight global warming — and of course that will require Americans to make sacrifices that just happen to align with the left’s objectives.

Al Gore popularized the phrase “fighting global warming” to underscore what he thinks is the seriousness of the matter. Though profoundly childish, the expression caught on and apparently inspired a Seattle-based writer to lay out in the Atlantic a plan for war.

According to Venkatesh Rao, “solving global warming” is going to be “like mobilizing for war.” And of course, war requires us to give up some things in the name of the effort.

…Rao says that “for ordinary Americans, austerities might include an end to expansive suburban lifestyles and budget air travel, and an accelerated return to high-density urban living and train travel.”

At the same time, businesses might need to rethink “entire supply chains, as high-emissions sectors become unviable under new emissions regimes.”

In this wartime, Rao is also demanding trust in “academic and energy-sector public institutions” as well as in “the integrity and declared intentions of institutions” that understand “the intricacies” of climate science.

Nevermind the false data that has been used to show climate change, never mind the growing ice caps that contradict the panicked claims of global warming. We have become so arrogant that we believe that we can control the climate outside and inside. Wow.

I would like to point out at this point that I support efforts made to make air and water cleaner. I support efforts to maintain the earth and correct previous mistakes made that had a negative impact on the environment,. However, I also believe that crippling the free market system (or what is left of it) in the world will simply cause more poverty, more pollution, and more misery. That is something I simply cannot support.

American Soldiers Are Very Special People

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today that is an update of an incident that occurred on a Paris to Amsterdam train on Friday. Two American military men in civilian clothes were riding a high-speed train from Paris to Amsterdam on Friday.

The article reports:

A friend of the heroes, Anthony Sadler, also was aboard the train and saw what happened. He identified them as Spencer Stone, of Sacramento, who was injured and Alek Skarlatos of Roseburg, Ore., who was unhurt.

“We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle,” Sadler told the AP.

Then they spotted a gunman entering the train car with an automatic rifle.
“As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, ‘Spencer, go!’ And Spencer runs down the aisle,” Sadler said.

“Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles the gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious. The gunman never said a word.”

A military friend of mine reminded me that the American military is trained ‘to run to the sound of guns.’ These men did exactly that. All of us should be grateful for their training and for the lives they saved that day.

Ignoring The Truth Doesn’t Really Help Anyone

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the verbal gymnastics the Obama Administration is going through to avoid calling the attack in Paris Islamic terrorism.

The article reports:

Earnest explained to White House reporters during the press briefing that this is a question of “accuracy.”

“We want to describe exactly what happened. These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism, and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam in their own deviant view of it,” he said.

The White House may call it a deviant view, but there seem to be an awful lot of armed Muslims who share that view and are ready to die for it.

It is not an incredible coincidence that a Kosher Deli was attacked. Antisemitism is a serious problem in France, fueled in part by the growing Muslim population in France. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has whitewashed the terrorism briefings of our military and diplomatic corps, taking out the words Islamic terrorism and replacing them with the word extremism. The report on September 11, 2001, has also been purged of the words Islamic terrorism. Sun Tzu, the great Chinese strategist stated that the first rule of war is to “know your enemy.” Someone needs to remind the Obama Administration of that rule.

Ignoring History When It Interferes With Your Politics

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the UNESCO exhibition that was scheduled to open in Paris on January 20. The exhibition has been cancelled because documents the Jews’ 3,500+ years connection to the Land of Israel, chronicling the timeline from the days of Abraham to the 21st century.

The article reports:

UNESCO cancelled the event, while not disputing the factual basis whatsoever behind the exhibit itself, for fear it may hurt the “peace process.” The event, which had been planned for over two years, was cancelled three days before it was set to open. The successful campaign mounted to cancel the expo can largely be accredited to a last minute protest by the Arab group at UNESCO.

The protest doesn’t change history. The problem with the exhibit is that it reminds people of the history of Israel. The connection between the Jews and Israel goes back thousands of years. The Palestinians did not exist as a people seeking a homeland until after 1967. As Walid Shoebat stated, “One day during the 1960s I went to bed a Jordanian Muslim, and when I woke up the next morning, I was informed that I was now a Palestinian Muslim, and that I was no longer a Jordanian Muslim.”

The article at Breitbart.com reminds us:

The UN has maintained its heavy biases against the State of Israel for many years. Some argue that it has become the sole focus of the entire United Nations system: to engage in a delegitimization campaign against the Jewish state. Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, Nimrod Barkan, once stated that UNESCO has an “obsession” with Israel. In October, UNESCO left a single meeting in Paris declaring it had passed six separate resolutions condemning tiny Israel, but none regarding the rest of the world in its entirety.

According to UN Watch, an incredible 100 percent of UNESCO’s condemnatory resolutions have been in opposition to Israel.

The United Nations may have begun with a beautiful idea–world peace and freedom for all the citizens of the world. Unfortunately, a number of countries that do not support democracy have banned together to form a very influential voting bloc within the organization and have caused the United Nations to stray from its original mission. Rather than condemn terrorist regimes and tyrannies, the organization has focused its condemnation on Israel. It really is time for the United Nations to leave America and go elsewhere. The improvement in the traffic situation in lower Manhattan alone would be astonishing.

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Not All Cultures Are Created Equal

On Saturday, the New York Post posted an article by Phyllis Chesler entitled, “My life of hell in an Afghan harem.” It is the story of an American college student who marries a man from Kabul, Afghanistan, and travels with him to Afghanistan. After marrying him at age 20, she travels through Europe with him and then on to Afghanistan. When she arrives in Afghanistan, an airport official takes away her American passport. That is pretty much the end of her rights as a person. Because she has given up her passport, she cannot prove that she is an American, and thus is not entitled to protection by the American Embassy.

Because of the lack of sanitary drinking water, Ms. Chesler soon contracted dysentery and later hepatitis. Her father-in-law eventually sends her back to America as she is slowing recovering from hepatitis. Needless to say, she is more than grateful to get back to America.

The article concludes:

I’ve never told this story in detail before, but felt that I must now. Because I hear some westerners preach the tortured cultural relativism that excuses the mistreatment of women in the name of Islam. Because I see the burqa on the streets of Paris and New York and feel that Afghanistan has followed me back to America.

I call myself a feminist — but not just any feminist. My kind of feminism was forged in the fires of Afghanistan. There I received an education — an expensive, almost deadly one — but a valuable one, too.

I understand firsthand how deep-seated the hatred of women is in that culture. I see how endemic indigenous barbarism and cruelty is and unlike many other intellectuals and feminists, I don’t try to romanticize or rationalize it.

I got out, and I will never return.

Her story is a striking example of what Sharia Law means for a culture. All Americans need to make sure Sharia Law never comes to America.

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