New Saudi Arabia Peace Plan?

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan is committed to modernizing and ending support for violent jihad.  He is transforming the Saudi political economy and culture out of necessity, Saudi Arabia has to modernize.  Today’s fracking and associated technologies mean oil prices will not return to past high prices.  The Saudi’s cannot continue exporting their problems (violent jihad), writing checks to the Palestinian Authority,  and continued cultural isolationism.

Caroline Glick:  A Credible Peace Plan, At Last

Not only does it secure the future of both Israel and the Palestinians, it enables Arab states like Saudi Arabia to work openly with Israel to defeat their joint Iranian enemy.
Monday, The New York Times published the Palestinian response to an alleged Saudi peace plan. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly presented it to PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas last month.

According to the Times’ report, Mohammed told Abbas he has two months to either accept the Saudi proposal or leave office to make way for a new Palestinian leader who will accept it.

The Palestinians and their European supporters are up in arms about the content of Mohammed’s plan. It reportedly proposes the establishment of limited Palestinian sovereignty over small portions of Judea and Samaria. The Gaza Strip, over which the Palestinians have had full sovereignty since Israel pulled its military forces and civilians out in 2005, would be expanded into the northern Sinai, thus providing economic and territorial viability to the envisioned Palestinian state. While the Palestinians would not receive sovereignty over Jerusalem, they would be able to establish their capital in the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis.  JPost

U.S. House Passes Taylor Force Bill

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Taylor Force Act, which would cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if the PA does not halt payments to convicted terrorists and their families.

The bill is named after Taylor Force, an American and Vanderbilt graduate student and Army veteran killed March 9, 2016, in a terror attack in Jaffa.

Taylor Force Act Summary At Congress.gov:

This bill prohibits certain assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the Department of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority:

  • is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force;
  • is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and
  • has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual.Con

Last month, the measure unanimously advanced out of committee, including three exceptions: allowing for US funding to Palestinian water and childhood vaccination programs, as well as East Jerusalem hospitals.

The bill must now pass the full Senate, which is expected to vote on it this month, when the upper chamber votes on a foreign operations bill it was packaged into last September. It is expected to pass. TimesOfTsrael

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) statement after House passage of H.R. 1164, the Taylor Force Act:

“This bill is pretty simple: If you finance or reward terrorism, you don’t deserve a penny from the United States. The Palestinian Authority should be forced to choose between its despicable practice of paying terrorists’ salaries and receiving foreign aid funded by the American taxpayer. And until that time comes, no government that supports the murder of innocent civilians can claim to be a serious partner for peace. I appreciate Chairman Royce, Congressman Lamborn, and all members on both sides of the aisle for their bipartisan efforts on this issue. In Taylor’s memory, I look forward to the Senate passing this legislation so we can send it to the president’s desk.”

The Angel In The Sky: Skier Captures A Rare Sun Halo Over Mountains In Sweden

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  Psalms 19:1 (NIV)

Stunning footage has captured the moment treated to the incredible sight of a rare ring of light surrounding the sun.

The atmospheric effect enveloped the low winter sun with a corona, known as a 22 degree halo.

They form as sunlight is refracted in millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the sky.

The breathtaking clip was captured by a skier at the Vemdalen resort in central Sweden.

Ludvig Lundin shared the footage to Facebook, where over five million visitors to the site viewed the eye-catching distortion.

Some even compared the phenomenon to the appearance of an angel.

Among them was David D. Sterling, who said: ‘That looks like an image you would imagine seeing before angels begin forming or first light up in the sky of Jordan on Christmas.’

Megan Tenaya Birchell added: ‘These are the kind of things that helps you understand people believing in angels. DailyMail

Video:  Incredible Video Of Spectacular Sun Halo Display In Sweden

David Clarke – Statistical Bigotry

The soft bigotry of low expectations.

The Democratic Party and the liberal left’s obsession with disparate impact race politics crept into K-12 public education. Their latest social engineering experimentation uses black and Hispanic kids in poor urban classrooms as pawns for political power. Education is secondary.

Liberals believe they can artificially wipe away serious behavior problems that are cultural in nature. They do this by labeling reasonable standards of classroom discipline as racist or discriminatory. When urban schools with predominantly black and Hispanic students enacted protocols that create an environment where learning can take place, more suspensions and expulsions resulted, accompanied by a widening of the achievement gap between black students and their white counterparts.

The knee-jerk reaction from liberals was to claim that school disciplinary policies that disproportionally affected black and Hispanic kids were culturally insensitive, discriminatory and evidence of racism. The liberals were confusing correlation and causation. School officials were even discouraged from calling police even in cases of violent assaults – that could also be considered racist.

Social engineers in colleges and universities began drawing up untested experiments using black and Hispanic kids as laboratory rats. They wanted to show that leaving disruptive kids in the classroom, instead of removing them for serious behavior violations including assaults on teachers, would improve scholastic performance.

Instead, disruptions and scholastic performance both got worse. Leaving disruptive kids in a classroom is a danger not only to the teacher but to other students as well. The university professors are nowhere near the classrooms to see the disaster they created with their inane idea, nor are they held accountable.  TownHall

Muslim Girls’ School In UK Does Not Provide Toilet Paper And Soap For ‘Cultural Reasons’

A school in a developed country – Great Britain.

$2,000 per year Girls’ High School, in Stoke-on-Trent, does not provide toilet paper, soap, or suitable drinking water for the students.

Sectarian material was found at the school.

A Muslim girls’ school has received the lowest Ofsted rating available after inspectors discovered that pupils were not provided with lavatory paper for “cultural reasons”.

Staff at the fee-paying Park Avenue Girls’ High School, in Stoke-on-Trent, said paper was available from the school office, but because most of the students were Asian, they preferred to wash rather than wipe.

But some of the girls told inspectors they were so unhappy about the situation that they avoided using the lavatory all day.

The school, which was visited by inspectors October, was rated “inadequate”, with the report identifying a range of concerns, including safeguarding problems and the discovery of sectarian material on the premises.

The Ofsted report stated: “At the time of the inspection, it was not the school’s common practice to provide soap for pupils’ hand-washing, toilet roll in the toilets or suitable drinking water.

“Toilet paper is available from the school office when pupils request it. Pupils told inspectors that they sometimes avoided using toilets for the whole school day because of this.”

But headteacher Abdul Ghafoor Salloo defended the policy, insisting the school catered for the cultural needs of the pupils.

“The children they do use the toilets and traditionally, because we are Asian, we wash, not only wipe. There are facilities for pupils to clean themselves,” he said.

“Some pupils, they avoid using toilets because they don’t like going in there.

“There are facilities for cleaning yourself in the toilet – it might be hard for someone who doesn’t traditionally wash to understand and washing is better than wiping clean.

The school inspectors also stated, “pupils are not safe in this school”.

The inspectors said the playground was also not appropriate because it presented too many dangers to pupils…

“For example, inspectors found windows, both single- and double-glazed, that were broken, sharp and accessible to pupils.”

Senators Cruz and Rubio Demand Justice For Air Force Colonel Leland Bohannon

This is clearly unlawful and unconstitutional.

 Leading U.S. senators have weighed in on the Col. Leland Bohannon controversy, condemning his treatment on religious liberty grounds and demanding an investigation into his case so that justice is “restored.”

Bohannon was the commander of the Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. A highly decorated officer and veteran of two wars, he was stripped of his command just before being promoted to Brigadier General and his elevation was cancelled because he didn’t sign a document endorsing same-sex “marriage.”

“Col. Bohannon has suffered severely on account of the Equal Opportunity investigator’s mishandling of his religious liberty rights,” the letter stated. “The Air Force owes it to him to see that justice is restored, along with his good name.”

“Clarify the branch’s position on religious liberty,” the letter asked Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. The senators further ask Wilson to “instruct the Air Force to issue formal guidance and provide adequate training to commanders so that they know how to properly and respectfully address the religious liberty rights of their subordinates.”

The letter called for an investigation into “the proceedings surrounding Col. Bohannon’s request for religious accommodation.” It concludes by asking that the original Equal Opportunity complaint against Bohannon be “reversed and any unfavorable note in Col. Bohannon’s service record removed.”

When a homosexual Master Sergeant with a male “spouse” retired, Bohannon’s religious convictions prohibited him from signing the certificate of appreciation to the “spouse.”  He asked the Staff Judge Advocate and his chaplain what he should do, and filed for a religious accommodation.

No accommodation came. Eventually, a higher ranking officer signed the certificate. But the Master Sergeant filed a civil rights complaint against Bohannon.

An Equal Opportunity investigator decided Bohannon discriminated against the gay Master Sergeant. Bohannon lost his job, his income, and his career.

The senators’ letter quotes Wilson in her confirmation hearing saying “‘Air Force commanders have a responsibility to ensure that the spiritual needs of all Airmen are met,’“ and the senators urge, “That time is now.”

The senators’ letter also points out that in Bohannon’s case the Air Force has shown that the religious freedom of soldiers is not respected by commanders.   LifeSiteNews

The Equal Opportunity investigator unbelievably claimed even had the religious accommodation been granted, Colonel Bohannon would still be guilty of unlawful discrimination.

The EO investigator determined the colonel had discriminated against the gay Airman – and went on to say that “even had the accommodation been granted, Col. Bohannon would nonetheless be guilty of unlawful discrimination.” 

Family Research Council’s Travis Weber :

[The DOJ’s religious freedom] memorandum relies on current law—the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 1300.17—which all protect religious freedom in the military, and thus protect Col Bohannon. Indeed, DODI 1300.17 requires an accommodation to be granted unless a military interest overrides it. All of these authorities clearly require the government to protect Col Bohannon’s religious freedom by not forcing him to personally sign the certificate.

Trump Administration Pulls U.S. Out Of United Nations Global Compact On Migration

Good!

The US has been a part of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants since it was formed last year. The declaration aims to ensure the rights of migrants, help them resettle and provide them with access to education and jobs. ABClocal10

Puts American borders at risk

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley announced, over the weekend, that the Trump Administration has decided to pull the U.S. out of a non-binding U.N. agreement calling for a global response to the international flow of migrants.

Ambassador Haley made the decision final on Monday.

In a statement released to media over the weekend, Ambassador Haley made it clear that the U.N.’s Global Compact on Migration, while technically non-binding and host to no enforcement clause that would negatively impact the United States if it failed to fulfill its commitment, violated the Trump Administration’s priorities on immigration and put American borders at risk.

“[Our] decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone,” the statement read. “We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”

The Compact was, itself, fairly innocuous, at least on its face, calling for “enhance[d] international cooperation in dealing with present and future waves of immigration,” a more global approach to border security, and a promise not to harass child migrants who may not qualify for refugee status. But in practice, the Trump Administration believes it could be used to shame the United States into loosening its immigration laws.

Sources told Foreign Policy that Ambassador Haley was in favor of remaining as a party to the treaty, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was not, and the Trump Administration eventually fell on Tillerson’s side.  DailyWire

French Court Rules To Remove Cross From Pope’s Statue

A praying Roman Catholic Pope can remain, but the cross above must go.

A  diplomatic spat has erupted between France and Poland over a top court order to remove a cross from a statue of the late Pope John Paul II in a Brittany town because it breached rules on secularism.

Poland has pledged to save the work from the “dictates of political correctness” by having it shipped to the late pontiff’s native country.

Gifted in 2006 to the mayor of Ploërmel, western France, the 7.5 metre-high statue depicts John Paul II in prayer, standing beneath an arch adorned with a large cross.

However, after a decade-long battle, the Conseil d’Etat, France’s top administrative court, has ruled that the cross must be removed from the public space as it violates a 1905 law imposing the strict separation of Church and State.

The Council of State concluded that while the Pope and the arch can remain, the cross must be removed and it has given the town six months to do so.

Upon learning of its fate, Beata Szydło, prime minister of Poland where John Paul II is revered, offered to give the statue a new home to “save it from censorship”.   Telegraph

Secularization of Europe

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called the French council’s decision “further evidence of the secularization of Europe.”

Albert Mohler:  “That raises a huge question. How in the world can you have a statue of a pope that isn’t religious?  That just shows you the kind of coercion that courts are now attempting as they are trying their very best to make certain that there is absolutely no public reference to Christianity.”

Anglican Minister: Pray For Prince George To Be Gay

A selfish worldview pushing an agenda,  the triumph of their worldview is all that is important.

A senior Anglican minister has been criticised for saying people should pray for Prince George to be gay to help the Church of England recognise same-sex marriage.

The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth wrote a blog post urging people to pray him “to be blessed one day with the love of a fine young gentleman”.

His comments have been described as “unkind” and “destructive”.

Mr Holdsworth is provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow.

He is from the Scottish Episcopal Church, which voted to allow gay couples to marry earlier this year.

Same-sex marriages in Anglican churches are banned in England and Wales.

In his blog post, Mr Holdsworth said that if Prince William’s four-year-old son married another man in the future it would help the Church of England become more inclusive.

Comments Not Christian – Unkind and Destructive

Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen and a Christian Episcopal Church missionary bishop, said the comments were not Christian.

“To use prayer as a mechanism for wishing this on Prince George is an unkind and destructive thing to do,” he told the BBC.

“It doesn’t have the prince’s best interests at heart, but uses him as a gender-political football to please 1.7% of the population.

“What is especially odd and incongruous is the fact that it is suddenly OK to pray for someone to be gay, but totally unacceptable to pray for them to be free from being gay and to resume a sexuality that was in tune with their biology.

“This seems not only contradictory but hypocritical.”  BBC

Muslim Mother: My Ex Is Teaching Our Son Extremist Muslim Views

Hope she gets full custody.

In a first-of-its-kind case, a New York mom is seeking sole custody of her 11-year-old son — claiming her ex-husband is indoctrinating him with extremist Muslim views.

“My deep concern is that he is radicalizing a beautiful, young, innocent mind; a fragile child,” according to the petition filed by mom Nabila Albarghouthy, 45, of Pleasantville.

The boy’s brainwashing has already prompted an incident that led to a federal probe, the papers allege.

The Westchester County mom said the disturbing incident occurred at the playground of Pleasantville Middle School on Sept. 21, 2016.

“That day, certain students told [her son] that Jesus is God,” the court papers say.

Nabila’s son “responded . . . ‘No — Allah is God’ and that [Allah] is different because ‘I would die for my God and they would not die for their God,’ ” the petition says.

The school principal called local cops, who alerted the Joint Terrorism Task Force. A member of the JTTF told The Post that he investigated the incident but said the boy’s father, Isam Albarghouthy, is not on a watch list.

Another time, the child told his mom that when he’s older, he is “going to have a cabinet full of guns,” according to court papers.

Nabila and her ex, Isam, are now duking it out in court for sole custody of their kids.

Nabila’s lawyer, Leslie Barbara, head of Davidoff Hutcher and Citron’s divorce and family-law practice, told The Post that the courts rarely intervene in the religious upbringing of a child.

“But if you make a showing that the religious upbringing is detrimental to the child’s well-being, they do intercede,” she said.

The warring parents are both American citizens and Mideast immigrants: Nabila, a Palestinian, came to the United States from Israel at age 5, while Isam, 43, emigrated from Jordan at 19.

They married in Minnesota in 1999 and had two children: a girl later that year and a boy in 2006.

But their happy family life changed when Isam was convicted in 2007 of stealing computer equipment from his employer, according to the petition. The family moved to New York so Isam could find work. Nabila took a job as a physician’s assistant at Montefiore Hospital in The Bronx.

But soon, Isam switched to a more conservative mosque and demanded that his wife — a stylish CrossFit enthusiast — dress more modestly and stop exercising, the filing says.

“We are different than Americans. We do not socialize with them,” the dad said, according to Nabila’s petition.

By 2012, the filing notes, Isam told Nabila that he wanted to take a second wife. She refused, and he filed for divorce.

They began sharing custody of their kids, although Isam has only seen their son, she said.

Isam even told their son that he shouldn’t be playing the saxophone or participating in school plays because “it is not permitted in our religion,’’ Nabila said….

What The Michael Flynn Plea Means

Mueller investigation is supposed to be Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.

Michael Flynn lied about the December 29 (post-election) phone calls between him and the Russian ambassador to Washington.  The wrong was not the calls but Flynn’s lying about them, especially lying to the vice president.

After almost seven months of this fishing expedition, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team have racked more than a $5 million tab – 16 attorneys, dozens of FBI agents, support staff, travel and office supplies.  The $5 million tab would that include the FBI expenses?  Probably not.

Former Trump-administration national-security adviser Michael Flynn is expected to plead guilty today to lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

Flynn, who is reportedly cooperating with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, is pleading guilty in federal district court in Washington, D.C., to a one-count criminal information (which is filed by a prosecutor in cases when a defendant waives his right to be indicted by a grand jury).

The false-statement charge, brought under Section 1001 of the federal penal code, stems from Flynn’s conversation on December 29, 2016, with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. At the time, Flynn was slated to become the national-security adviser to President-elect Donald Trump. The conversation occurred on the same day that then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. It is believed to have been recorded by the FBI because Kislyak, as an agent of a foreign power, was subject to monitoring under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Mueller has charged Flynn with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions. In being questioned by the agents on January 24, 2017, Flynn also lied when he claimed he could not recall a subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which the ambassador told Flynn that the Putin regime had “chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of [Flynn’s] request.”

Furthermore, a week before the sanctions were imposed, Flynn had also spoken to Kislyak, asking the ambassador to delay or defeat a vote on a pending United Nations resolution. The criminal information charges that Flynn lied to the FBI by denying both that he’d made this request and that he’d spoken afterward with Kislyak about Russia’s response to it.

Thus, in all, four lies are specified in the one count. The potential sentence is zero to five years’ imprisonment. Assuming Flynn cooperates fully with Mueller’s investigators, there will be little, if any, jail time.

Obviously, it was wrong of Flynn to give the FBI false information; he could, after all, have simply refused to speak with the agents in the first place. That said, as I argued early this year, it remains unclear why the Obama Justice Department chose to investigate Flynn. There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. Plus, if the FBI had FISA recordings of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, there was no need to ask Flynn what the conversations entailed.

Flynn, an early backer of Donald Trump and a fierce critic of Obama’s national-security policies, was generally despised by Obama administration officials. Hence, there has always been cynical suspicion that the decision to interview him was driven by the expectation that he would provide the FBI with an account inconsistent with the recorded conversation — i.e., that Flynn was being set up for prosecution on a process crime.  National Review