Thursday, December 28, 2017

Please Pray To Bring Rain To Israel

The Rabbinate in Israel has called for a day of prayer and fasting to beseech the Almighty, blessed be He to send rain to Israel. Only 40% of the normal rainfall has come so far.

Today is the tenth of the Hebrew Month Tevet, which is normally a fast day to mourn the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the destruction of the First Temple.

I am fasting today, as are many others. Please pray today for rain for Israel, and please broadcast this message as best you can. Below is the prayer, in English. The Hebrew version can be found here:

“Af-Bri is designated as the name of the angel of rain; to thicken and to form clouds, to empty them and to cause rain.

Water with which to crown the valley’s vegetation may it not be withheld because of our unredeemed debt.

In the merit of the faithful Patriarchs protect the ones who pray for rain.

Chazzan (if praying with a minyan) bends his knees at Blessed’; bows at ‘You; straightens up at ‘HASHEM)

Blessed are You, HASHEM, Shield of Abraham. (Cong. – Amen.)

You are eternally mighty, my Lord, the Resuscitator of the dead are You; abundantly able to save.

May He obligate [the Angel Af-Bri] to give us portions of the segregated rain (3), to soften the wasteland’s face when it is dry as rock.

With water You symbolized Your might in Scripture, to soothe with its drops those in whom was blown a soul, to keep alive the ones who recall the strengths of the rain.”

“Our God and the God of our forefathers:

Remember the Patriarch [Abraham], who was drawn behind You like water. You blessed him like a tree replanted alongside streams of water. You shielded him, You rescued him from fire and from water. You tested him when he sowed upon all waters.

Cong.- For his sake, do not hold water back!

Remember the one [Isaac] born with the tidings of, ‘Let some water be brought. ‘ You told his father to slaughter him – to spill his blood like, water. He too was scrupulous to pour his heart like water. He dug and discovered wells of water.

Cong.- For the sake of his righteousness, grant abundant water!

Remember the one [Jacob] who carried his staff
and crossed the Jordan’s water.
He dedicated his heart and rolled a stone
off the mouth of a well of water,
as when he was wrestled by an angel composed of fire and water.
Therefore You pledged to remain with him through fire and water.

Cong. – For his sake, do not hold water back!

Remember the one [Moses] drawn forth in a bulrush basket from the water. They said, ‘He drew water and provided the sheep with water.’ At the time Your treasured people thirsted for water, he struck the rock and out came water.

Cong.- For the sake of his righteousness, grant abundant water!

Remember the appointee [Aaron] over the Temple, who made five immersions in the water. He went to cleanse his hands through sanctification with water. He called out and sprinkled [blood bringing] purity as with water. He remained apart from a people of waterlike impetuosity.

Cong. – For his sake, do not hold water back!

Remember the twelve tribes You caused
to cross through the split waters,
for whom You sweetened the water’s bitter taste.
Their offspring whose blood was spilt for You like water.
Turn to us – for woes engulf our souls like water.

Cong. – For the sake of their righteousness, grant abundant water!


For You are HASHEM, our God,

Who makes the wind blow and makes the rain descend.

Cong. then chazzan – For blessing and not for curse. (Cong. – Amen.)
Cong. then chazzan- For life and not for death.
(Cong. – Amen.)
Cong. then chazzan – For plenty and not for scarcity. (Cong. – Amen.)

The last time this happened was in 2010 when Israel was in grave danger of a terrible drought.

I did the same thing then I'm doing today...I fasted, broadcasted a message much like this one and prayed to G-d for mercy and for rain, along with a great many other people far more pious and holy than I am.

G-d in his mercy responded two days later by opening the Heavens and gifting Israel with torrents of rain. May He be equally disposed to treat Israel with chesed, kindness on this occasion.

For those of you not of the Jewish persuasion, I'm sure a moment of prayer for rain for Israel today in whatever language you feel is appropriate would have much merit and help a great deal.

Please feel free tospread this one around

Monday, December 25, 2017

Forum: An Essay On Christmas From A Non Christian

Since most of the WoW! community and staff are busy celebrating, I thought I'd fill in the gap with my own feelings on Christmas.They may be of interest, since I'm not as Christian and don't celebrate it in the usual sense.

I don't mind at all admitting that I really like Christmas.

Not for the usual reasons, probably. I don't celebrate it. There's no religious context for me, although I certainly find the faith that others express moving. The thought of slogging through a mall any time of year let alone Christmas sees me gritting my teeth and think 'hmmm, flight,or fight?'

My main thought about the lights and decorations, honestly, is that they're kinda pretty but I'm very glad I don't have to put them up, although I confess to being moved by nativity scenes here and there and some of the wonderful art that this holiday has inspired over the years. I can't imagine anyone with an ounce of musical taste listening to Handel's Messiah or some of the carols or secular songs in the right setting and not being moved. Christmas trees? I'd rather see one live out in the forest myself, but that's me.

Yet the irony is that all of these things contribute to what I most like about Christmas..they are sort of psychic triggers for the spirit that seems to permeate so many people during this time. At least, unless you consciously choose to close yourself off from it.

I revel in it.

People are easier, nicer to one another. They give of themselves. They smile more, and treat each other with more courtesy, generosity of spirit and decency.. The cop who ordinarily might ticket you for going 35 in a 30 mile zone to meet his monthly quota will say 'Heck, it's Christmas. Just be more careful, OK?' People go out of their way to do favors for you or help you out in ways they ordinarily wouldn't because it's, you know, Christmas.

I suppose, in a way, what people are trying to do is to imitate how they view the behavior of Jesus Christ to the extent they can. That's a beautiful thing. And being a Jew, I have to admit that I'm far more comfortable with non-Jews who embrace that spirit as opposed to those who don't.

For the record,I have no problem with wishing people a Merry Christmas or having them do the same to me. The polite and decent response as far as I'm concerned is either 'Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you,' or rarely "I don't celebrate it but thank you so much.' Only a sour faced, perpetually raging lefty would respond in any other way. What other sort of person would urinate on someone wishing them well? Yech! Zey kenen lebn in drek, as my father of blessed memory (Z"L)  used to say.And of course, where they live is of their own making, N'est pah?

As the editor of WoW! Magazine, I have the privilege and good fortune to work with a number of very wonderful people. They're the ones who keep the site going, who write the articles that entertain and inform and who have been so important to our continuing success in what amounts to our first year(14 months, actually) in operation. But it is you, our readers who have played the biggest part in that, and to say the least, I'm very grateful for your support and continued patronage of WoW! Magazine.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018, Everyone! And here a few stocking stuffers:

Ah, Christmas...a time for warmth and family, as the Dropkick Murphys remind us:

No worries Ken..we know you're just funnin'...

But also, on more serous note, a time for faith:

And of course, there's always the office Christmas party...

At this time, our thoughts and prayers need to go out to our warriors overseas and their families who miss them. And for Christians under siege in the Middle East and elsewhere, where, with the exception of Israel, the one country in the Middle East where the Christian population is actually growing,they are systematically being ethnically cleansed by Muslims.

This shares something with the Holocaust, because once again there is an obscene conspiracy of silence and cowardice by the West to avoid confronting the perpetrators and protecting or at least providing a haven to the victims.

At this time of year, I urge all of us to pray for these beleaguered Christians and to raise holy you-know-what to demand that our respective governments to put these Christians' lives and well being ahead of appeasing Islam. I run a serious risk of operating outside my pay grade here, but I flatter myself in thinking that I think it's what The Almighty would expect... not only of Christians but of all of us.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Nikki Haley And What Today's UN Vote Really Meant


In response to agitation by the Palestinian Authority over President Trump's decision to recognize Israel's capitol and move the U.S. embassy there,the UN Security Council (UNSC) hurriedly put together a resolution criticizing it. The entire process was little more than bad Kabuki theater, since the U.S. said openly it would use its veto as one of the five permanent members. The other 14 members all voted for it.

A look at who these members are is illuminating:


Britain, France, The U.S.A, China, The Russian Federation


Bolivia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

Some of these countries are actively hostile towards Israel, especially but not exclusivelythe Muslim majority nations. Others have large groups of restive Muslims they need to appease, others have important trade relationships with the Muslim world and some have a combination of all three.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley correctly diagnosed this as an insult to the U.S., who hosts the UN on its soil and funds a disproportionate part of the organization's budget. Here's what she had to say:

“The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy. What we have witnessed here is an insult. It won’t be forgotten. It is one more example of the UN doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli Palestinian conflict."

Well, true enough. Israel at the UN remains the Jew among nations..despised, discriminated against for the most part and singled out as the chief evil in the world community. For instance, non-permanent members of the UNSC serve rotating terms. One nation that will never get a chance to serve on the UNSC is Israel, and that's deliberate because many countries in the region Israel was lumped in with don't even recognize its existence let alone go along with allowing Israel to serve.

What happened next is that Iran and Yemen advanced a resolution in the UN General Assembly, which allows no veto and where every member gets a vote. This one passed 128-9, with 33 abstentions and a pretty fair share of no-shows, as the chart below shows.

Again, there are certain patterns. For instance, you'll notice that all of the Western EU members with large numbers of violent restive Muslims they imported to their countries voted for this resolution,like the UK,France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. So did EU countries historically biased against Israel like Ireland and Norway. Most of the EU countries in Eastern Europe voted against it, abstained or simply didn't show up for the vote.

Most majority Muslim countries voted for it, as did most countries with a substantial Muslim population. But Turkmenistan did not. Neither did Kenya, which enjoys a very good relationship with Israel in terms of trade and security cooperation. India, which likewise has a great relationship with Israel voted for it, largely because of commercial interests and their large Muslim population.

So what does all this mean? Here's what today's UN vote really meant.

Absolutely nothing.

The same is true of the UNSC vote earlier.

Like all the other UN diktats involving Israel, this one is worth about as much as used toilet paper. Only Security Council resolutions with a Series 7 category mean anything or have any legal standing at all, and all the ones Israel has supposedly 'ignored' are Series 5 at best.

Fun fact...the UN, of course only abides by what it wants to, even when it comes to Series 7 resolutions that supposedly have consequences for violations.

In 2006, Israel had overcome a poor start in its war against Hezbollah once the always incompetent Ehud Olmert realized that he actually had to have a real plan rather than just sending the IDF into battle piecemeal with zero support. And a real professional soldier with command experience running things. So he told his far left Defense minister Amir Peretz to go hide somewhere and put Ehud Barack in charge. The IDF under his command was able to regroup , beat Hezbollah at its own game and advance to the Litani River, where they had Hezbollah in an iron ring. At that point, GW Bush's dysfunctional Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice stepped in and bullied Olmert into accepting a ceasefire.

As an incentive, Ms. Rice engineered a Series 7 UNSC resolution, UNSC #1701. It called for the disarming of Hezbollah, for UNFIL(United Nations Forces in Lebanon) forces on the border to stop Hezbollah from simply returning to its old bases in South Lebanon and sanctions and penalties on any country that rearmed Hezbollah and replenished it's missile arsenal. The resolution passed, and Olmert stupidly agreed, removing the IDF from Lebanon instead of finishing off Hezbollah once and for all.

The minute the IDF left and UNFIL took over, Hezbollah started creeping back to its old bases in the south, When Israel complained about UNFIL not abiding by UNSC 1701, the commander of what were mostly Pakistani troops simply laughed at the Israelis and replied that stopping Hezbollah from moving back to the border wasn't his job, no matter what any UNSC resolution said. Needless to say, Hezbollah was never disarmed, and Syria and Iran started re-arming Hezbollah and replenished Hezbollah's missile arsenal in record time.

The UN is dysfunctional at this stage for one simple reason. Democracies simply don't do well when they're dealing with despotic non-democratic countries...especially when two of those non-democracies have veto power and can obstruct and gum up the works at will. The minute the UN opened its doors to despotic countries like the Soviet Union, it was eventually doomed to failure. It would have been far better to allow these countries to address the UN in discussion but limit voting to the democracies. The scramble to admit brand new countries with 'strong men' in charge that followed WWII and introduced tribalism and ethnic blocs into the equation only sped up the process of decay.

As for today's shadow show, yes, what today's UN vote really meant was... nothing.

For a number of countries that have good relationships with Israel to abstain from this fiasco or even vote yes is simply a case of not buying trouble by indulging in a worthless display. And believe me both Trump and the Israelis know it. India, Japan, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Vietnam, all of whom have great relations with Israel voted yes, and like Canada, Australia, who also has great relations with Israel abstained. I guarantee you that countries friendly to Israel who felt compelled to vote yes or abstain talked to them about it beforehand. And of course, Israel isn't going to abide by it anyway.

Even voting on this nonsense one way or the other is giving it more importance than it actually has, although I wouldn't be surprised if Trump administers some puppy training to some of the 'yes' voters in a few cases. Because it is an insult, to tell America who or what it can recognize and where it can put its embassies.

And when you deliberately insult someone, there are certain results. Especially when that someone is your landlord and paymaster.

Oh, and those nations who voted no, abstained from voting or the 21 nations didn’t cast a vote? Ambassador Haley is giving them a party. There are certain results that come from supporting the U.S. too.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

(Video) Douglas Murray On 'The Strage Death Of Europe'


British author and lecturer Douglas Murray has a recent bestseller out called "The Strange death of Europe. Here he is talking about the book and the ideas it presents at David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend. A transcript is below.

Douglas Murray:
I'm only going to speak for about 15 minutes because I wanted as much time as possible for Q&A, because I sense that there hasn't been much, so far, and because I'm always very excited about hearing other people's views and questions. But let me start by making a few remarks.

The first, by the way, is that I'll talk a little about my recent book. It's always rather difficult to understand another country, let alone another continent, or another culture. There are things you have in common. There are things which seem bizarre, when you look at them from outside, and there are things that look recognizable. There are things that rhyme. There are an enormous number of similarities between where I'm from and where most of you are from, and an enormous number of differences too. I've been in the states a week, spoken at a campus, and was on the West Coast at the beginning of the week, and I had one of those disassociation moments in San Francisco, when I had been in my second day in the city, and I just noticed that absolutely everywhere, there seemed to be posters advertising delivery services for marijuana. And I thought this is interesting because if there's one thing it seems to me that San Francisco doesn't need it's easier access to marijuana. More of it, just so that people who smoke it don't even have to go down the street. But there are lots of similarities between our societies as well, and one of the, I suppose, most gratifying things since the "Strange Death of Europe" came out in June here in the U.S. is the number of people who have come over to me and written to me from America, from Canada, from Australia, and said this book is about us isn't it? And, perhaps I could stop by just saying a little about what it is about, and you'll get some of the resonances.

The "Strange Death of Europe" centers on the 2015 migration crisis, which you all remember was the moment when Angela Merkel massively exacerbated an already existing problem by announcing, unilaterally, that the external and internal borders of Europe were basically dissolved. In a single act, the mass movement of people that had been going on for decades sped up exponentially, so that Germany in a single year took in an additional 2 percent of its population. Sweden took in an additional almost 3 percent of its population. This is all part of a pattern. I say that has been going on for many decades. And, just like those previous decades, what happened after the 2015 crisis was that politicians and the media found excuses to justify something that would have happened anyway. So, for instance, German citizens and others were told that this mass migration, millions of people into Europe, was there would be a net economic gain for their society, that it would enrich their society. Now, actually, all of the studies that I have gone over on this show that, at best, most such migration cannot be called to be any kind of economic gain. A study in Britain showed that over a 15 year period, migrants took out 95 billion more in services than they put in taxation. And, of course they would. If you go to another country, you don't speak the language. You don't have the skills. It's going to be a very long time, before you've put in anything into the welfare system, remotely like the amount that you and your family will have taken out. But, this is one of the arguments that is made.

And, by the way, just as in all of the decades after the war, so in the post-2015 moment, the governments that came up with these explanations had to hedge around the facts, so that just like the labor government, after 1997, they had to pretend that the average migrant was a Luxemburgian hedge funder. And this is just one of the lies that gets told to the people, because once that one is shut down, once, for instance, you notice that the number of people who have been added to Germany's welfare bill in the last year, is almost exactly the number of the people who came in in 2015, once you go over that lie, you get to another one, which the German people and others were told; which is that we are an aging population. We are a graying population, and then, therefore, we need, obviously, to bring people in, to keep us and our society into the standards to which we've become accustomed. Of course, this argument always ignores one extraordinary thing, which none of the politicians ever seem to recognize, which is the startling fact that migrants get old as well. Amazingly enough, it's not just us Europeans who suffer the aging process. Who knew? But, of course, if you do believe in that idea, that you need to keep on bringing people to keep yourself in the custom that you're now used to, you get, what I describe as, the pyramid problem in migration. You keep having to bring in more and more people all the time, to keep yourselves in that sustainable societal moment.

So once you get the one of, well, okay maybe they don't make us richer. Maybe the aging population thing doesn't work. You get to another one, which is diversity. It doesn't matter if we're financially poorer. It doesn't matter, because we're so much more culturally rich. Now, I should say that there is something in this. What society -- Europeans certainly wouldn't do this. What society doesn't want to know as much of interest and culture as the world has to offer? Who doesn't want to know as much about the world, and about the ideas of the world as possible? But, of course, the first person from, for instance, India to bring Indian cuisine into the U.K., does an interesting service. Vins up the local cuisine. It's not the case that the next 100 Indians who come, for instance, bring a hundred times more interesting cuisine. It's not the case that the first Sudanese poet who enters the U.K. massively brings interest to your country and that the next thousand people from Sudan continue to just bring ever richer versions of the poetry of Sudan. And, by the way, please don't ask me to name my favorite Sudanese poet. But, this is just a part of that lie. They all say – You also notice, by the way, that this is always a one way street. Not once in my adult life have I heard anybody say that the thing that Eritrea needs an injection of Welshman. That they just could do with some Welsh cooking or singing. Nobody says this. Nobody says, as Mark Steyn and I were saying in a conversation recently, nobody says the thing that the Somalis really need is a bit more Bach. I actually think it would be nice for them if they had a bit more Bach. But nobody thinks that's an appropriate way to say it. But Europeans are told there's something hollow at our heart. As if we in Europe, the culture of Dante and Gerter and Bach, has some kind of diminishment; something hollow at its center that needs filling by the world.

And then you get to another stage in this, which is, okay, maybe it doesn't make you richer. Maybe the aging population thing does fall apart. Maybe the diversity thing isn't all it's cracked up to be or, as I put it at one point in my book, maybe we just have to do an agreement this is a quid pro quo. We have a bit more gang rape and beheading than we used to have, but then there's a wider range of cuisines. So, who's to – life's all swings and roundabouts.

But, then you get to the last stage of that, which is the one that politicians now say and speak to us about. Which is, okay, maybe none of these things are the case. We'll suck it up. This is globalization. This is going to happen anyway. This is a hell of a way to speak to the general public about their and their children's future. And, it is only said, once again, to the peoples of Europe in this tone.

So, I explained, at great length, not just the stats and the result of my travels across, not just all of Europe, but many of the countries that migrants have been coming from, trying to explain in as much detail and with as much honesty as possible, the reality of the situation that my continent now faces. But also to explain the deeper, underlying reasons why this might be happening. Because, it seems to me that what I describe as the "strange death of Europe," I say in the opening line, "Europe is committing suicide or, at least, its leaders have decided to commit suicide." Whether the publics agree to go along with that, or not, is another matter. Now, this strange death, this suicide, seems to me to be a very unnatural thing to happen in nature. And, so there must be, and I posit that there are deeper underlying reasons for it. One is what I described, taking it from the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, as the Tyranny of Guilt. This overwhelming guilt, specifically, the German guilt that has spread across the continent in the decades since the war. You, of course, in America have a very clear version of this, yourself. Just as we, in Europe now, have this myth of original sin, so you now have it in America; the original sin of slavery, the original sin of racism, and the European versions of the original sin of colonialism, and so on. Again, it's a one-way movement.

And, of course, we fall for it, as everybody who has children and grandchildren, or has attended an American campus in recent years, knows. If you say to a student, and I do it quite often, what is your solution for, for instance, the problems that Nigeria currently faces? They have no solutions. They have no suggestions. Very few of them can point to the country on a map. But, the one thing they all can be sure about is, at some point, it must have been their or their ancestor's fault. The fastest fast tract to look like you're a knowledgeable young person is to blame yourself and your own society. And, as I say at another point in the book, we get to the big problem the masochists always risk, which is what happens to them when they meet a real sadist? And Europe is meeting a real sadist. So you think you're appalling, empty, barren, rubbish, guilty. We agree. This seems to me to be the worst possible concatenation of events. The mass movement of peoples into a society. Then, at the point that that society appears to have lost its own faith in itself, this two of the other big underlying issues I raise in the book, are what I call, firstly, the sense of European tiredness. There's a German word I use that translates roughly as "tiredness with history" or "weariness with history," where you've gone so many of the wars of religion, the wars of nation and states, the wars of ideas, the political dreams, that you're just tired of it all, and at that point, a change might be as good as a rest. And, then there's what I describe as the sense that the story may have run out, and that this is just our fate, to go through.

Now, I'm very weary and wary, rather, about making predictions. I do, at the end of the book, say roughly two directions I think this could go. But, specific predictions, I tend to avoid. After all, we live in a world where Harvey Weinstein can end up causing the resignation of a British defense minister. So who knows what the rules of causality are in this world we now live in. But, there are some predictions that you can make. One, that it's fairly obvious that Europe will not be the same place with different people in it, and that it isn't the case that people who just walk into a continent immediately absorb all the ideas of that continent. And the subtitle of my book is immigration, identity and Islam; that the Islam bit matters because it's clearly proving for Europe to be the part that we may not be able to digest or are finding it, at the very least, very hard to digest. And, you know there are all sorts of motifs that go around on this. One, is the constant claim that there might, at some point, be a tipping point. I've given up claiming that there is such a thing as tipping point. If we'd had met this time last year, and you said to me there'll be three major terrorist attacks in your country in the opening months of the year, I'd have probably said, well that might be the tipping point. But, it turns out that 22 young women killed on a Monday night at the pop concert in Manchester, within hours the motif becomes, how can we have love rather than hate? How can we overcome hate? Hate, hate, hate. Sing John Lennon's Imagine. Imagine there's no borders. Great idea. For then we had one of the Gallagher Brother's songs. A song called Don't Look Back in Anger. People started crooning away, Don't Look Back in Anger. Why not? Why not? You know, we had the love, love, stop the hate concert, I think two weekends after the Manchester area bombing, and there was a bit of that was sad, and then they got onto all the dancing and boogying. They didn't pay any attention. The media didn't pay attention to the fact the dead hadn't even been buried. There were still girls in hospitals having bits of bolts and nails taken out of their spines. Well, at least we've moved on. It didn't get us down. Boogey on. And I deeply resent this tone, and I suspect and know that a great number of the members of the public in Europe deeply dislike it too.

The reception of this book, by the way, has been rather startling. The Guardian and The New York Times both tried to snuff this out at birth and didn't succeed. It's now the bestselling non-fiction book of the year. In the U.K., it's been a top – I'm not after applause for it. But, yes, the publisher said that, actually, their quarterly reports were far higher than they expected, because of me and Harry Potter, which was not a combination I'd ever thought would come about, but my mother had told me for a long time that it would be worth getting into books about wizards, because it was good for sales. So, I was pleased to say I got there without the wizards. And, the best thing, really, has been the number of publishers that have been sidling up to me, since saying things like, "I told my bosses we should do something in this area." One publisher in the U.K. said to me that their boss, after my book had been at the top of the bestseller list for 20 weeks, said that their boss said to them, "Well, we don't want those readers." Hmm, love his shareholders to know that.

But, anyway, for the time being continued this period of keep-calm-and-carryon-ism or ignoring the facts. But, at some point, they will, inevitably, catch up with us, and that's what the latter part of my book is about. There are people, of course, who don't care at all about this. I spoke to somebody the other week who said, "Well, it doesn't matter to me because I won't be here." Among other things, that point of view breaks down what I regard as the essential pact of civilization, which is it is not just about you. But as Edmond Burke most famously and brilliantly said, that civilization is a pact between the dead and the living and those yet to be born. You have to hold that pact together, every bit of it, and to give it up and to break a part of that pact is to break everything that you should be loving and cherishing. Now, there are plenty of people, today, who are attacking us in Europe with genuine hate, just as there are here in America. But the one thing that they never take account of is that we are not just motivated in response by hatred and justified hatred, but also by love; love of everything that we hold dear, love of an entire culture, love of country, love of family, love of neighborhood, and love of everything that's gone before us, and that it would be the worst thing imaginable, if in response to having inherited that, we then handed on to the next generation, something that was unrecognizable. So, we have this gift in our power not to pass on something like a large version of Mogadishu to the next generation. It's in the balance there, in Britain, as it is here, and in the years ahead, we're all going to be walking through this same swamp. I'd like to hand it over to you for questions. Thank you.

I don't know whether there's a microphone or whether people with large lungs can just holler.

Audience Member:
Yes, hello, Mr. Murray. Thank you very much for a great speech. I have one question sir. What do you believe is your prognosis for Eastern Europe; orthodoxy and the former Soviet Republics, Warsaw Pact? They're not as willing to embrace this multi-culturalism and this disease that affects Western Europe. What do you think is the prognosis for them?

Douglas Murray
: Very good and very important question. I have a section in my book that I call "Why Eastern Europeans are Different." You're right. I was in Hungary, again, a couple of weeks ago. The Polish translation of my book just came out. I had been speaking there. They have a totally different view on this. I think there are lots of reasons, but the central one I suggest is that Eastern Europeans have retained, what a great Spanish philosopher described as, the tragic sense of life. The thing that we in Western Europe, and I think large numbers of people in America, have forgotten, is, as I said, the tragic sense of life. Life, as we have it now, is highly unusual, historically speaking. We're extraordinarily lucky with what we have, and we think that this luck goes on forever. The Eastern Europeans remember that differently. They get swept aside, from one side, and just as they get rid of that, they get swept aside from another. They got no time off from history, and they remember this. They remember that even the things you care about most can be destroyed, utterly, by people who are utterly unworthy of them. And, I think we've forgotten that in the West, but they have good reason to keep that memory. And, as a result, I think their future will be very different. Somebody else.

Audience Member:
Thank you so much for being here today. Here in the United States there's also another line that we face which is, as we discuss the issue of immigration, particularly with respect to Muslim immigration, we were told we are a nation of immigrants and, particularly, ensuring aspects, for example, in the Jewish community, if it were not for the United States, we would not be here. My family would not be here. How do you go and address that particular core issue? We are a county with a history of welcoming others. We are welcoming the different people. I, of course, respond why welcome people that don't share your values?

Douglas Murray: It's a very important question. There are several things. There are two critiques to this book that I found interesting, but this one is one of the most interesting. Yes, America is a nation of immigrants. That's true. Of course, it's not true with Britain. And it's not true of most of Europe, actually. We've had very, very static populations, so that, to give you a quick example, everyone talks about Huguenots, French Protestants who came over in the 17th Century. Fifty thousand French Huguenots, French Protestants came over after 1683; 1681, sorry. And that, by the 1990s was an average of 6 weeks of migration into the UK.

So, we still talk about the Huguenots, which is a one-off. But that's going on all the time now. And, of course, the French Huguenots, French Protestants, had a better chance of integrating into Britain than, say, a Nigerian Muslim is going to.

And I think this is a question – this is not a science, but there are obvious truths that we have to be able to face up to, which is that some groups integrate better than others. And we have to work out what the general rules are. Now, where I'm from, as I say, this is a deeper problem than it is here. Your sense is that you have an integration success story; you still have the sense that it's a good thing to be in America and that you're lucky to be in America, and a lot of things like that. The response in Europe is very, very different on that.

And, I would say that one of the things you can agree with is, let's at least look at what the basic ground rules are. Okay? If I move to this country, for instance, I became a citizen, I might say, I want to bring some of my values. Imagine if I said to you, I would like to bring my car. Okay. You might think that's a rather odd thing to do, but okay. And my wheel would be on the other side from yours. You say, okay. Just a little quirk. He's a British guy. He likes driving on that side of it. But if I said, and I also want to continue to have the right to drive down the left-hand side, we'd have to talk about that, wouldn't we?

And that's what a lot of this is about. There are lots of groups here who feel very sensitive, by the way, when I talk about immigration in an American context. Because there are so many people here who think, like a lot of Jews do in Europe, oh, my gosh. What if this is about us? It's not about you. It's about the people who don't want to join the you. And that's a big challenge we're all going to have. Do I have time for one more question?

Audience Member:
It's kind of been easy to get into the minds of the ruling elite, as far as this collective guilt, but how do you account for the phenomenon, I think it was in Nottingham, where you had blue-collar police who are actively suppressing the ongoing rapes of British girls by Muslims? How do you account for that? Is it equivalent to the concentration camp guards or how do you put it together?

Douglas Murray
: Well, because they are trying to defend what they believe, rightly or wrongly, to be the religion of our time. Like all belief systems, it shatters in a very ugly fashion. But we've been trying to sustain a whole set of unsustainable ideas. One of them is this idea, as I say, that people don't bring their own ideas when they move into a culture. They're all the same the minute you walk over the border. You immediately get 21st Century ideas about women and everything else.

So, these policemen who are in this position, they're having to police that. And not just policing criminality or crimes; they're trying to police the culture. They're trying to hold together the whole thing. And I've spoken to many people who have gone through this cognitive dissonance. It's the same reason why in Britain at the moment, if your house gets burgled, if you get robbed in the street, it's very likely the police will tell you they don't have time to look into the crime. Whereas if, as some people present know, you send out a Tweet with the wrong tone of joke in it, they'll be all over you. So, as I say, this is just one part of the phenomenon.

Now, I'm aware that I've got Mike Finch standing to my left, which is usually a great pleasure, as always, but it also almost certainly signals a change in speaker. But can I just say, I've got to sadly go up to New York after this, and it's such a pleasure always to be here at Restoration. It's enormous pleasure to meet so many friends and to see so many heroes. Thank you for your time, and I hope to see you another year. Thank you.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Forum: Trump And Jerusalem: Strategic Mistake Or Smart Move?

Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Trump And Jerusalem: Strategic Mistake Or Smart Move?

Bookworm Room : It's not a smart move. It's a brilliant move. Let me count the ways:

1. It truly acknowledges Israel's sovereignty because a sovereign nation gets to choose its own capital.

2. It aligns American policy with longstanding American law.

3. It tells the Palestinians that their decades' long, bloody, post-Oslo Accords temper tantrum is over.

4. It tells the Muslim world that its decades' long post-Oslo Accords temper tantrum is over.

5. It changes the accepted, and consistently failed, paradigm of pretending that Palestinians have a say in Israel's self-governance.

6. It exposes how America's fracking and Iran's Obama-powered ascendance have dramatically affected power and alliances in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is no longer floating on a sea of oil wealth and it's terrified of Iran, so the modernizing Prince Salman improves women's rights, tries to teach men how to work . . . and starts working with Israel. More and more Sunni nations will soon do the same. Those nations' leaders always knew that Israel was a scapegoat to distract an ignorant, inbred people from their own governments' failures and brutality. Now, with a real boogeyman on the horizon in the form of Iran, it's time for them to get real and know who their actual friends are. This will involve retraining their subjects, but ignorant masses can be moved.

And as a bonus, the plan exposes the State Department for the antisemitic sinkhole it really is. Tillerson cannot fire enough of those people fast enough.

Rob Miller:  I discussed what happened and why here, and the the back story is definitely of some interest.The compact car version is that Abbas thought he was still dealing with Barack Hussein Obama and acted out, doing what had always worked before...obstruction, violence and outre' demands

It didn't work at all with President Donald John Trump. And he reacted to Abbas's four major provocations with, shall we say, a message that the old schtick isn't going to work anymore.

It also didn't work either with most of the Arab countries, some of whom served up some tasty rhetoric but really don't consider 'Palestine' or Abbas a priority and haven't for some time. Iran looms much bigger in their consciousness, and  a rapport with Trump and with Israel is far more vital to them just now.

Abbas's song and dance did work with EU leaders like  Merkel, Macron and the UK's Theresa May who are petrified of their own domestic Muslim population. They might be better advised to worry about regaining control of their own cities from these foreign invaders rather than sticking their noses into Israel's affairs.

And at any rate, Abbas's attempts to get the EU and/or the UN to take over the moribund peace process and exclude the U.S. are beyond stupid, although they're what you might expect from a Soviet trained 82-year-old kleptocrat dictator.  Israel is not going to accept diktats from the EU or the UN, and furthermore Trump is not going to lean on Israel the way Bush, Clinton and Obama did. The U.S. is getting pretty tired of 'Palestine' too, and it is the U.S. that provides $948 million of the $1.2 billion of the budget of the largest and best funded UN agency, UNRWA, the one devoted exclusively to the Arabs called 'Palestinians.'  And with the bipartisan passage of the Taylor Force Act in congress, much of the U.S. aid to 'Palestine' is going to be curtailed due to Abbas's refusal to stop using donor funds to financially reward terrorist murderers and their families.

  Don Surber: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Doesn't matter what the UN or anyone says. G-d has spoken.

Every president has recognized this. Trump is moving the embassy -- with the blessing of the House of Saud.

Let me explain.

Back in May, Trump made his first foreign visit as president. His stops were, in order, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Brussels (NATO) and Italy (G-8).

In Riyadh, Trump and his family were greeted as royalty. Ivanka and her husband, both Jewish, were praised in the papers, as was Melania. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and President Trump did a sword dance with the Saudis -- which is a prelude to a battle. Details of just what they agreed to and what they battle are emerging six months later.

Then Trump did the single most important thing on that trip. He flew directly from Riyadh to Ben Gurion Airport. No one said a word. It was the first direct flight by anyone between those two nations. This was historic. Diplomacy required not publicly acknowledging this.

If you think the Saudis or any other Arabs care about Jerusalem, you need to do some homework. Yes, the Palestinians are upset and Egypt and a few other governments officially complained. But only the Persians (Iran) oppose it.

The Gulf states led the charge in Syria to oust the Islamic State. The USA had a supporting role. Better to have Arabs liberate Arabs. Israeli intell also came in handy. Yes, the Israelis and Saudis work together. They have common interests.

The Yom Kippur War ended Arabia's taste for war with Israel. That was 44 years ago.

The new head of state of Saudi Arabia is 32. His best buddy in the Trump administration is Jared Kushner.

Ecclesiastes tells us: To every thing there is a season... A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The 21st century is a time of peace.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a recognition of that peace.

Patrick O'Hannigan : May I propose a third possibility, because it's the one I'd affirm?

Not "strategic mistake" or "smart move," but "moral imperative."

President Trump is simply doing what other presidents have only paid lip service to. t's ironic how controversial that kind of integrity is in some quarters.

When the Muslim mayor of Nazareth canceled official Christmas celebrations in that town this year, he blamed President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. Newsweek was among the media outlets that accepted that stupid justification. Since when is it an American president's fault when a municipal bureaucrat on the other side of the world can't get over his own sense of entitlement. Or the ahistorical grievance-mongering of people who regard peaceful coexistence as a perpetual challenge?

David Schuler: If it serves to demonstrate that other Arab countries don't really care about the Palestinians or Jerusalen other than as a cudgel to beat over the heads of the Israelis, it's a good thing. Otherwise it's just an acknowledgement of reality.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act, calling for the U. S. to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem by 1999, has been on the books for more than 20 years. Twice a year, campaign promises to the contrary notwithstanding, Democratic and Republican presidents have requested delays, a feature of the law, presumably to satisfy separation of power questions.

As much as anything else moving the embassy to Jerusalem is just obeying the law.

Laura Rambeau Lee : President Trump finally committed America to what we have acknowledged for years but previous presidents were too cowardly to implement. In 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act which declared that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel and that the United States would move our embassy to Jerusalem within five years from the date of the act. Every president since this act was passed signed a waiver every six months, delaying what the American people have supported for over two decades. By his declaration President Trump is affirming our recognition of the sovereignty of the State of Israel and its right to determine where its capital is located.

This is a smart move, perhaps even genius, on President Trump’s part. It will force the Palestinians to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, which has been a non- starter in the peace negotiations for decades. Knowing Israel has the full backing and support of the United States and watching as we prepare and move our embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians will be forced to negotiate a workable solution for peace in the region. With President Trump America will stand firm in our position to seek peace in the region with Israel existing as a sovereign state, which has been the goal all along.

James Kirwin: I had the pleasure of visiting the Western Wall in May of this year. Even though I’m not Jewish it was a deeply moving experience.

The idea that a holy site dating back 3,000 years should be handed back to the Jordanians – who didn’t even exist 100 years ago – or the so-called “Palestinians” who also didn’t exist until the 20th century, is ludicrous.

The Jews have to be the only indigenous people the Left doesn’t want to see their land returned to.

Jerusalem belongs to Israel. That’s a fact – and if the Left and the so-called “Palestinians” don’t get that, then that’s their problem.

Time to face reality.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Trump And Jerusalem - The Story Behind The Story

The Israeli flag flutters in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the city of Jerusalem, December 1, 2017.

President Trump announced today that the United States is now formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol, and that the U.S. would be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. here's what he had to say.

The U.S. congress passed a law 22 years ago to move the embassy to Israel's capitol, but including a
bi-annual waiver the president could sign if he felt national security conditions warranted a postponement. President Trump signed the first waiver in June, when he was still very involved in other matters and was still working on the outline of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. The deadline for the signing of a new waiver was December 4th. President Trump not signing it and his subsequent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capitol and the movement of the American embassy not just a nod to reality but a sign of a new realism in the Middle East and perhaps, even a possible solution.

The responses to the president's relatively even handed speech are hideously revealing.

The most interesting ones came from U.S. European allies. And they deserve some examination.
'I'm intending to speak to President Trump about this matter. Our position has not changed, it has been a long standing one and it is also a very clear one. It is that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement.'  British Prime Minister Theresa May

Why yes, Madame Prime Minister, Britain's position on Israel  is indeed long standing and clear. Let's recall a few things, shall we?

It was Britain who added to the death toll of the Holocaust substantially by disregarding their responsibilities under the League of Nations Mandate and closing Palestine to all Jewish migration in 1939. It trapped many Jews in Europe who were desperate for refuge and whose lives would have been saved...while unlimited Arab migration to Palestine was allowed. It was the British who prior to WWII actually sent desperate Jewish men, women and children they caught trying to enter Palestine back to the countries they had escaped from, including Nazi Germany. It was the British who attempted to strangle Israel at birth by arming and training the Arab armies attacking them, even though they knew the Arabs were openly promising a second Holocaust.

And it was British officers who led Jordan's Arab legion and oversaw the ethnic cleansing of every Jew in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, the burning of 28 historic synagogues and the use of the Kotel as a garbage dump and latrine. That, by the way is Jerusalem was divided in the first place and got most of its Arab population…with the eager assistance of Britain.

You've already turned your own capitol  over to the Muslims to the point where whole areas aren't safe for non-Muslims, and whose own Muslim mayor recently said that London would 'just have to get used to terrorist attacks' like the London Bridge massacre.  If the British people are stupid enough to vote for  politicians like you intent on turning their country into a place where women and children aren't protected, where jihadist mosques flourish, where the once renowned London cabs have become largely unsafe for non-Muslim women and where Britain's heritage and culture of freedom is becoming replaced by something far more sinister,  well, I suppose they can.

While I realize that it's politically expedient for you to bloviate  on this subject, but you might want to clean your own house first. If you still can.

'This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council.'
French President Emmanuel Macron

Mais oui, Monsieur Le President. After all, a Socialist like you needs all those Muslim votes if you're going to keep in power and that comes first, even while most of your army is deployed in your streets to try and maintain some kind of peace and security. Paris, the cultural capitol of Europe has become another Algiers, a city under siege. What is it, three years under a state of emergency? Bien jouie' President Macron, that must be a new record!

Oh, and those UN resolutions? None of them were Series 7 and thus legal or binding. That means they have all the meaning and value of paper towels in a pissoir.

That seems to be where your approval ratings are headed as well, sur le pissoir. Perhaps you too need to focus a lot more on what's happening outside the Élysée Palace instead of sticking your nose into anything to do with Israel and Jerusalem.

Of course, there were also the usual threats of Muslim violence and terrorism:

'This decision will open the gates of hell on US interests in the region.' Hamas official Ismail Radwan

'Death sentence for all who seek peace.' Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani

There is no way that there can be talks with the Americans. The peace process is finished. They have already pre-empted the outcome.' Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi.

The U.S. decision 'destroys the peace process.' Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Let's explore how and why this happened and what it really means.

For starters, the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians, or at least what passes for their leadership made a huge mistake. They thought they were still dealing with Barack Hussein Obama and overplayed their hand.

As I pointed out last July, the Trump Administration was getting increasingly fed up over 'Palestine's ' unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas, his obstruction and his refusal to make any concessions or take steps showing he was interested in an actual peace agreement.

The chief ones asked of him were that he stop using donor funds to encourage terrorism by rewarding terrorist murderers and their families, and that he end incitement against Jews and Israel in the mosques, media and schools he controls. He refused the first and ignored the second.

As I reported, Abbas actually got into a shouting match with Trump advisor Jared Kushner at their meeting in Ramallah, saying that rewarding the terrorists, or as he put it, holy martyrs was his 'social responsibility.'

Abbas, of course, had heard requests for these basic things for years but he took them, correctly, for lip service that meant nothing. Except for President Trump, it meant quite a bit.

There were quite a bit of other things going on for President Trump at that time, so he put the Mideast peace process on the back burner for awhile, choosing to see what would develop between then and December.. Abbas mistook this for once again literally getting away with murder.

And then decided to up the ante and act out accordingly. He did four things that openly showed his contempt for any peace process that didn't involve him getting everything he wanted while not giving up a single concession.

Image result for Abbas holding map showing no Israel

The first thing he did was to manufacture a major outbreak of violence and incitement at the Temple Mount. This definitely influenced President Trump's thinking on the matter.

Abbas then went to the ICC in what amounted to a futile attempt to indict Israel and Israelis for various 'crimes.' That was unsuccessful, but the fact that Abbas did it after the U.S. asked him not to make things worse by doing so did not improve the president's opinion of him.

Abbas also made a huge error in his unity agreement with Hamas, an officially designated terrorist group in America and the EU, although the EU seems to have forgotten that based on their approval of the pact.

The original basis for the unity agreement was that Hamas would allow Abbas to control the crossings and most of the administration of Gaza in exchange for a lot more donor cash. The one huge hangup is that Abbas, like most dictators didn't want anyone but his people armed...and Hamas refused to turn over its weapons or its missiles. There were also a number of disagreements about how much cash Hamas was going to get, various intra-clan disputes and who would get certain admin jobs. So the pact is now on life support.

Another factor was Abbas and the PLO shrugging their shoulders about being able to control Hamas terrorism against Israel, just like back in Arafat's day. That got the Israeli government to announce they wouldn't negotiate at all with any Palestinian government that contained Hamas.

Finally, Abbas and his minions refused to even consider a fairly reasonable peace plan advanced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that would have given them a state in parts of Judea and Samaria,Gaza, increased territory in northern Sinai and a capitol in Abu Dis, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem. It would have given 'Palestine' more territory than it now controls while for the most part, guaranteeing Israel's security needs.

Given that the plan involves territory that now belongs to Israel and Egypt, it's obvious that the Saudis ran this by them first. It's also fairly obvious that President Trump was aware of it also, since this plan, if accepted, would have settled a sore point and have been an important step in building the coalition of Israel and the Sunni Arab states against Iran, something definitely in the works and the president's main goal. Abbas turning it down cold convinced all parties involved that he's not serious about the real negotiations needed to make this work.

Contrary to popular belief and the spicy rhetoric that gets served up on occasion, most of the Sunni Arab states are sick and tired of the 'Palestinians.' Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan have tossed out and/or killed thousands of them as politically unreliable elements. Many Arab states only let them in on short term work visas. They simply aren't an important issue anymore, especially not compared to Iran and the Shi'ite bloc.

President Trump decided to show Abbas, unlike any president in the last 20 years that the choices he made have a cost. And he chose very shrewdly, since Jerusalem is one issue a vast majority of Israelis agree on. They were never going to agree to redivide the city anyway...especially not the Old City with the Kotel and their holiest shrines. They remember all too well what kind of respect the Arabs and their British officers showed those holy shrines after 1948.

As the president pointed out, the ridiculous policy of not acknowledging Israel's capitol never had any positive effect on the peace process, in fact, the reverse. President Trump has understood that for a while, and decided the time was right to honor a campaign promise he made that was also made by three previous presidents who weaseled out at the first opportunity once they got elected. President Trump is of a very different quality.

While President Trump was careful to give some lip service to the idea that part of Jerusalem might be up for grabs in a final settlement, he knows better. Anyone who thinks the Jews are willingly going to give up Jerusalem again ought to seek psychiatric care.

Israel is under G-d's Divine protection, The City of David redeemed and united, and the Jews are home. They're not going anywhere.

Epic Fail: The NFL Owners Try Bribing The Protesting Players

 Related image

Faced with what amounts to a revolt from the protesting players on the one hand and the fans outraged at what they see as blatant disrespect for flag and country, the NFL owners decided to pursue several compromises, all of which now, they've resorted to what amounts to race based bribery.

As ESPN reported, the owners sat down with Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who represent something called 'the Coalition,' a group that is supposed to be representing the protesting black players. And the owners made them an offer.

If the players act nice and stop sitting, taking the knee and raising fists in the air when our national anthem is played, The owners are willing to give them a pile of cash.The bribe consists of $89 million in donations over seven years to the Coalition and other national organizations, according to ESPN, and franchises would also contribute to local charities. You can only imagine what some of those consist of. Twenty-five percent of the portion of the money for national initiatives would go to the United Negro College Fund, 25 percent to Dream Corps and 50 percent, almost $45 million to the Coalition itself. Which has already filed papers to qualify as a tax exempt non-proft. That means they can invest that money for profit tax free as long as a small portion of it can be shown to be used for charitable donations. Just ask the Clintons how lucrative that can end up being!

The players have learned  well from the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson on other 'activist' race pimps. And as you see from who's getting the money, you'll see exactly what I mean by raced based bribery.  And as far as I've been able to find out, there aren't any white or Latino players in the Coalition either.

The ironic thing about it is that even if the Coalition accepts this and the owners shell the cash out, it isn't going to have any effect whatsoever.

For one thing, a number of the players the Coalition supposedly represents are now saying the Coalition doesn't represent them at all, and that they're not bound by any deal. Among them are 49ers safety Eric Reid (one of the first players to jump on Colin Laepernick's wagon and take the knee with him) and Dolphins safety Michael Thomas, who announced via Twitter that the Coalition doesn't represent them. And they're by no means alone. The black players are apparently having disagreements between various faction over whether to go for more money and exactly how the booty is to be divided.

Not only that, but if the main reason for the bribe is stopping the protests to get the fans back to the games, buying NFL merchandise and watching the games on TV,  that isn't going to happen even if the protests stop. There are literally thousands of former NFL fans who have tuned out forever, and won't be back. Not only were they disgusted by the protests themselves, but by the cowardly PC pandering of Roger Goodell and the other owners to the protests.


The NFL owners could have stopped this last years had they simply abided by their own rules as stated in the NFL Games Operation Manual. 

Instead, they decided to try an appease the black protesting players. That tactic never works in situations like this. The perpetrators always ask for more, more, more.

The NFL might be able to limp along, but it will never be the major sporting franchise it once was. Those days are over. Especially if they try to bribe their way out of it.