Protest against appearance of Alan Dershowitz at Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

Ironically, the presentation sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee on February 25, 2015, on the topic of “Global Anti-Semitism” features Alan Dershowitz, who is currently generating intense anti-Semitism relative to various Florida lawsuits centered around his relationship with convicted serial child predator, Jeffrey Epstein, whom Dershowitz chose to represent and for whom Dershowitz zealously advocated for a notoriously-light sentence.

Epstein rap sheet

For a larger view click on the image.

Per said sentence, Epstein, identified by the FBI as having trafficked at least 40 minor girls in Florida and elsewhere for sexual purposes, served 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a jail, not prison, separated from the other inmates, with work-release 16 hours per day, six days per week.

… according to Dershowitz’s own public statements, Dershowitz was responsible for negotiating Epstein’s secret deal with the federal government which afforded protection not only to Epstein but to various of his associates as well … [including] Dershowitz [who is alleged] had knowledge of and participation in Epstein’s criminal conduct [1] against scores of minor children over the course of years.

In response to the filing of a pleading by the victims specifically identifying Dershowitz as a participant in criminal conduct with Epstein, Dershowitz “initiated a massive public media assault on the reputation and character of”[2] the two attorneys representing some of Epstein’s victims. Said attorneys are, in fact, a former United States federal judge and a former trial attorney at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office responsible for the prosecution of violent crimes.

In Vanity Fair (January 2005), Dershowitz is quoted, “I’m on my 20th book …. The only person outside of my immediate family that I send drafts to is Jeffrey,”[3] with whom Dershowitz traveled on Epstein’s private plane (according to flight logs from Epstein’s pilot) on several occasions and with whom Dershowitz was present “at Epstein’s house at times when underage females were there being molested by Epstein,”[4] according to the sworn testimony of Epstein’s housekeeper, Alfredo Rodriguez.

How has Alan Dershowitz generated a wave of anti-Semitism?

He has zealously defended a serial predator of children. He has gained a notoriously-light sentence for a serial predator, who sadly is Jewish. He has engendered lawsuits against him for defamation of characters of those attorneys representing the victims of sexual trafficking. He has traveled with and stayed with a fellow Jew who preyed upon scores of children for years on a daily basis. He defends Israel with the same intensity that he defends a sex trafficker of children, which discredits the State of Israel and the Jewish People.

Having worked for years with victims of childhood sexual abuse, I am painfully cognizant of the fact that the public detests Jewish predators and sometimes carries over that deep animosity to the Jewish People in general. At this time of swelling anti-Semitism, in particular, any acquiescence of Jewish organizations to the crimes of sexual trafficking of children is interpreted as proof of Jewish complicity in heinous crimes and/or Jewish control of this global industry.

I have worked on many cases of sexual exploitation of children, including dozens of Jewish minors, in which the sordid criminal facts involving Jewish predators were known to physicians, psychiatrists, clergymen, teachers, school principals, neighbors of the victims, reporters, hospital staff, and a host of other professionals before prosecutions were made or they received media attention, as in Penn State. Whenever Jews are involved as predators, the reputation and safety of the Jewish People are at stake.

Some are urging the Jewish Federation cancel the presentation by Alan Dershowitz, who, at the bare minimum, has zealously protected the rights of his long-time friend, a trafficker of children, at the expense of his victims, whose traumas will last forever.

Some believe Dershowitz cannot combat anti-Semitism when he himself has caused it to exacerbate, and he cannot defend Israel when he himself has refused to defend the rights of trafficked children. The contradictions to some are glaring and intolerable.

Nick Stuart · Top Commenter · SFSU, From Huffington Post, January 3, 2015:

“Surely one of the most sleazy characters in recent history, Dershowitz cannot be believed in anything he says. And Jeffery Epstein is a real slime as well.”

REFERENCES:

[1] Complaint, Bradley J. Edwards and Paul G. Cassell vs. Alan M. Dershowitz, Circuit Court for Broward County, Florida, January 6, 2015, pp. 3-4.
[2] Ibid, p. 3.
[3] Epstein vs. Edwards, Exhibit C, Undisputed Statement of Facts, April 8, 2011, p. 26.
[4] Ibid, p. 26.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Virginia Roberts says Jeffrey Epstein had sex with 1,000 girls

Alan Dershowitz’s Recurring Nightmare: Accusations Of Involvement In Sex Scandal May Be Older Than You Thought

Alan Dershowitz Tried to Discredit Teenager Who Accused Jeffrey Epstein of Rape

Underage sex claims against Prince Andrew, Dershowitz blasted as ‘false’

Jeffrey Epstein offered to pay teen victim to have his child: court records

Bill Clinton identified in lawsuit against his former friend and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Dozens of VIP Pedophile Friends of Mega-Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Attorney and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz is courtesy of CNSNews.com (AP File Photo).

Should Justices Kagan and Ginsburg Recuse themselves from the Same-Sex Marriage case?

Last Friday afternoon (January 16), the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the 6th Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in DeBoer v. Snyder and three other cases which upheld state laws defining marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman.  The 6th Circuit Court’s DeBoerdecision upheld laws preserving traditional marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.  Written by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, the DeBoer decision was the only one of five court of appeals decisions which upheld the vote of citizens on traditional marriage.

Title 28, Section 455 of the United States Code states “any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

The Supreme Court of the United States could decide in its upcoming term whether same-sex couples nationwide have the right to marry under the Constitution.

Should Justices Elana Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg properly and legally recuse themselves from these cases because they have personally performed same-sex wedding ceremonies and demonstrated their partiality? That is a question those involved in the case are asking.

ginsberg same sex marriage

Justice Ginsberg conducting same-sex marriage. The first Supreme Court Justice to do so.

Justice Kagan performed a September 21st, 2014 same-sex marriage for her former law clerk and his partner Patrick Pearsall in Maryland. Justice Ginsburg performed a same-sex marriage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in August 2013.

The American Family Association notes, “Both of these justices’ personal and private actions actively endorsing gay marriage clearly indicate how they would vote on same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court. Both Kagan and Ginsburg have not only been partial to same-sex marriage, they have proven themselves to be activists in favor of it!”

The Daily Signals’ Genevieve Wood writes, “Now, I take issue with [President of Everytown for Gun Safety] John Feinblatt’s statement that ‘the majority of the public’ in individual states supports same-sex marriage. Just consider that in the 34 states that have put it on the ballot, voters in 31 of those states voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Only three states went the opposite way.  The redefinition of marriage is being forced on the public via judicial fiats, not voters at the ballot box.”

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a friend of the court brief (amicus brief) supporting traditional marriage in the 6th Circuit’s DeBoer case on behalf of the National Coalition of Black Pastors and Christian Leaders (Coalition).

Richard Thompson, the TMLC’s president and Chief Counsel, commented, “The 6th Circuit was the only Court of Appeals that sustained the will of the people expressed by their overwhelming votes in favor of traditional marriage.  And if the Supreme Court strikes down these state laws defining traditional marriage, it will be the worst example of judicial activism since Roe v. Wade.  It will lead to further persecution of Christians who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, and over time, the ultimate the demise of marriage and Western civilization as we know it.”

Continued Thompson, “The notion of same-sex marriage has been foisted on our culture by well-planned and executed public relations campaigns and the tremendous influence of militant homosexual activists in the news media, entertainment industry and most of academia.”

Aside from its briefs in the DeBoer case at both the appellate and Supreme Court level, the TMLC has played a prominent role in the defense of traditional marriage.  It was instrumental in crafting the language of Michigan’s constitutional amendment defending traditional marriage which was passed by fifty-nine percent of Michigan voters.  The other states covered by the 6th Circuit’s DeBoer decision passed their laws defining traditional marriage by overwhelming votes, as well: Kentucky by seventy-four percent, Ohio by sixty-two percent, and Tennessee by eighty percent.  Moreover, the TMLC has filed amicus briefs on behalf of the Coalition in support of traditional marriage in several other federal appellate courts across the country.

Will the Court be willing to nullify thousand of same-sex marriages in states where courts have already allowed it?  The language of the Supreme Court’s order granting review has caused a great deal of speculation on what the court will do.  The order specifically limited the argument to two issues: “1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?”

The Justices will hear oral arguments in the case in April 2015, and render their decision before by the end of June 2015.  The Court has allotted a total of two and half hours for oral arguments.  Many Court observers have opined that the Court decided to hear the case as a clear sign there are enough votes in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in all states.  However, to render that kind of decision, the court would have to find that a state has no rational basis for their laws defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman.  Whatever the final outcome, it will likely be a 5-4 decision with Justice Kennedy as the swing vote.

In 2014, TMLC launched a national strategy to defend traditional marriage and formed a legal team headed by senior trial counsel Erin Mersino and co-counsels William R. Wagner and John S. Kane of Lansing, MI as part of an effort to stem the onslaught of federal cases overturning the definition of traditional marriage that were passed by overwhelming majorities of voters.

TMLC’s legal team has worked extensively to file legal briefs on behalf of the National Coalition of Black Pastors and Christian Leaders in significant cases dealing with same-sex marriage. One of the purposes of these briefs is to negate the homosexual community’s fallacious argument that discrimination because of one’s sexual preference is the same as racial discrimination. To date, TMLC has filed four briefs with the Supreme Court, as well as with the 5th and 6th Circuit Courts in support of traditional marriage.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Former Federal Judge Says: “U.S. Supreme Court Justices who Performed Same Sex Marriages Should Recuse or Be Impeached”

Roy Moore: Two U.S. Supreme Court Justices Should Abstain from Gay Marriage Vote

EDITORS NOTE: For those readers interested in sending an email on this issue their members of Congress may click here.

Gerald Bailey: Sour Grapes and Political Payback?

Last month, Gov. Rick Scott accepted the resignation of Gerald Bailey, the eight year Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, from his post.

Now a month later, former Commissioner Bailey accuses Gov. Scott and his aides of political meddling and claims his resignation was forced.

Given the timing, it seems less than credible and a political hatchet job as failed gubernatorial and congressional candidate Alex Sink and other Democratic voices have come out of the woodwork to criticize Scott.

When one reads his resignation letter, there is no mention of these new allegations against Gov. Scott and his current and former aides.

Various allegations from Bailey go back to March 2013.

If they are true, why did he not speak up then?

Why did Bailey not become a whistle blower like myself and file a complaint with Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs or Attorney General Pam Bondi?

Either the allegations are not true or he did not want to walk in my shoes.

Are we to believe that aides to Gov. Scott bullied and badgered an FDLE Commissioner with 35 years of police experience?

As former Commissioner Bailey looked the other way in his response to Adobegate at Miami Norland Senior High School in March 2014, I for one am glad he has left the FDLE.

Perhaps Florida will gain an FDLE Commissioner that will investigate and take actions on serious test cheating akin to Adobegate concerning Miami-Dade County Public Schools and/or other Florida school districts like state police officials in Georgia, Texas, and Pennsylvania as opposed to doing absolutely nothing.

EDITORS UPDATE: On January 24, 2015 Governor Scott’s office issued the following on the Gerald Bailey resignation:

Governor Scott’s Press Office: FAQ on FDLE

Q: Is it true that Gerald Bailey was forced to resign?

  • Prior to December 16, 2014, the Governor’s staff notified cabinet staff (including the offices of the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Commissioner of Agriculture) that the Governor wanted new leadership at FDLE. Cabinet staff raised no objection.
  • On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, cabinet staff were notified that Gerald Bailey would be met with that day about the Governor’s desire for new leadership at FDLE. Peter Antonacci, then general counsel, met with Bailey and said the Governor wanted new leadership at FDLE and requested his resignation.
  • Bailey sent a letter to the Governor saying he was “stepping down” that same day, December 16th.

Q: Is it true that you or your aides instructed FDLE to identify Alan Williams in a daily media report about the Dream Defender protest at the capitol?

  • The Governor’s office, FDLE and DMS worked to produce daily media reports in response to a high volume of media requests for information (including the costs of the protest, activities of protestors and incidents in the capitol during the protest).
  • Representative Williams was first identified by name in an incident report memo from Gerald Bailey emailed to the Governor’s office on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm and then included in a memo to press at 4:57PM that same day.
  • During the protest, it was standard practice to provide as much information to the media as possible without compromising the security concerns of the capitol building.

Q: Did Governor’s staff direct Bailey to target Interim Orange County Clerk Colleen Reilly as part of the investigation of two escaped inmates?

  • No, Frank Collins met with FDLE communications personnel to help coordinate an FDLE press conference. Bailey asked to speak with Collins and FDLE communications staff before the press conference.
  • The discussions with Bailey were about how to provide the most complete account of who could have been involved in the high-profile escape of two inmates, which included both the Clerk’s Office and the Department of Corrections.
  • The discussion was not about targeting any individual.

Q: Did you ask FDLE to get involved in a federal money laundering case so a donor could be appointed to a position?

  • No, the Governor did not ask Bailey to get involved in any type of investigation in any way.
  • While there is no record of an appointment application in the Governor’s office, it is likely he was considered for an appointment at some point because there was a request for a background check. However, there was no request to FDLE to influence any kind of investigation.

Q: Is it true that FDLE was forced to transport staffers from your re-election campaign in state vehicles?

  • The campaign paid an invoice from FDLE for the estimated cost of staff to travel with the Governor and the First Lady.
  • FDLE would not transport Meghan Collins on one occasion, which created some confusion because the campaign was already working to reimburse any cost to the state for staff travel.

Q: Is it true your campaign solicited donations from FDLE on their state emails?

  • Any emails used for campaign donations would have been obtained through lists operated by organizations that included individuals who opted in for communication. Unfortunately, those lists were not regularly cleaned to ensure they did not have any government email addresses on them.
  • The law requires mass emails to include an unsubscribe link that would have allowed any recipient to automatically be removed from a list at any time.

Q: Is it true that Pete Antonacci requested FDLE to delete public records?

  • No.

Q: Is it true that campaign aides asked for FDLE to help develop campaign policy by getting on a phone call?

  • FDLE did the right thing by ignoring a campaign staffer’s inappropriate request for assistance.

Q: What about the allegation from Bailey that your administration forces agencies to make certain hiring decisions?

  • Our office frequently makes suggestions on qualified candidates, but we do not require agencies to hire anyone.

Q: What about the allegation from Bailey that the Governor’s office stopped FDLE from briefing the cabinet on their plan to increase pay for crime lab employees?

  • In October, the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget advised FDLE to not include any pay increases in their Legislative Budget Requests because pay increases for all state agencies were to be considered as a whole at a later date. The Governor’s full budget proposal will be released next week.

The End-around Impeachment? GOP now Controls 30 State Legislatures

Everyone knows there’s a huge difference between presidential and midterm election cycles — but not everyone knows how big a difference. Presidential election cycles are starting to resemble episodes of American Idol — what season, I have no idea.

The midterm election cycles are where those who understand legislative process and policy rise to the top — and why in the last midterm cycle of 2014 the Democrats pulled out all the stops to monger fear, coerce, and intimidate their way into a victory. They failed, but the question is just how bad have the Democrats failed under President Obama in the crucial midterm elections in a comparative analysis?

As reported by the Washington Post, “Everyone knows by now that 2010 and 2014 were very good to the Republican Party. What they don’t understand (or understand well enough) is just how good. Yes, Republicans now control the Senate and have their largest majority in the House since World War II.”

“But it’s downballot (way downballot) where the depth of the Republican victories over the past three elections truly reveal themselves — and where the impact will be felt over the long term. In the past three elections, Republicans have gained 913 state legislative seats, according to calculations made by Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia. Here are Sabato’s figures in chart form — and with historical comparisons — via GOP lobbyist Bruce Mehlman.”

public office seats won and lost

The Post further asserts, “Now, there are more 7,000 state legislative seats in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which makes that 913 number slightly less eye-popping. Still, the Democratic losses between 2010 and 2014 amount to 12 percent of all state legislative seats nationwide. As NCSL notes, Republicans now control more than 4,100 seats — their highest number since 1920. After taking over 11 legislative chambers from Democrats in 2014, Republicans now control 30 state legislatures completely — and have full control of state government (state legislature and governorship) in 23 states. Democrats, by contrast, have full control of 11 state legislatures and total control of state government in just seven states.”

This also relates to the story we reported on the recent Gallup Poll, which showed only 24 percent of Americans identify themselves as liberal. Of course control of these state legislatures still doesn’t reflect a critical statistic — liberal progressive control of major urban population centers.

In any event, the seismic shift in this chart shows that the policies of President Obama are horrifically unpopular — and his own 2009 chart-topping popularity is waning. The data also reflects how toxic it has been for Democrats across the country associated with Barack Obama and his policies. As a matter of fact, nearly 50% of the Senators who voted for the Affordable Care Act have been retired (2010-2014).

Regardless of what happens in Washington DC, we the people still have power at the state level, which is why these midterm election results are so important.

As the Post points out:

1. Policy is made at the state legislative level.
2. State legislatures and governors redraw congressional lines, and the next redistricting is in 2020 — but trust me that’s no guarantee if you don’t play the good ol’ boy game.
3. State legislatures are the minor leagues – it’s where the next generation is groomed, as we saw in the case of Obama.

But here’s the secret weapon: the Convention of States (COS) movement needs 34 state legislatures to present an amendment to the Constitution for approval. At 38 states, well, guess what? States don’t need Congressional approval for a Constitutional Amendment. Right now the GOP controls 30 state legislatures – that’s why it matters. Who needs impeachment when you have the power to amend the Constitution? With enough states, we’d have the power to stop another tyrannical power grab.

Therefore, I do support the Article V Convention of States, because the federal government just doesn’t seem serious about fiscal responsibility — or national security, or the treatment of our veterans for that matter. Sure, we all paid attention to the 2014 House and Senate races — but something happened on the road to Utopia — the contest for state legislatures was happening, and in that contest, there is no contest: Republicans are winning in a landslide — something that’s certainly not going to make ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC or PBS.

You can make your voice heard with your state legislator and learn more about The Convention of States here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

Supreme Court Undercuts Fourth Ammendment as America’s Freedoms Fade

The road is now cleared for martial law and perhaps the end of America as we know it. Military “standing where it ought not” (Mark 13:14) was a sign to flee Jerusalem, but the idea of fleeing the cities when we see it as early believers did, seems strange to most Christians. Are they like the frog in warm water, about to be cooked (trapped)?

The Supreme Court ruled that police officers are permitted to violate American citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights if the violation results from a “reasonable” mistake about the law (8-1 in Heien v. State of North Carolina ).

John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of the award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State said, “By refusing to hold police accountable to knowing and abiding by the rule of law, the Supreme Court has given government officials a green light to…police overreach, military training drills on American soil, domestic surveillance, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, wrongful convictions, and corporate corruption…This ruling is what I would call a one-way, nonrefundable ticket to the police state.”

Unconstitutional search and seizure is common if we understand Constitutional rights to travel uninhibited by such. I have been stopped when by highway patrol noting a single crack in my windshield. He wanted proof of insurance (search) but it wasn’t required to renew my car license (I was from out of state) so the ticket was $1000—seizure!

That may seem like an isolated case, but I have been pulled over by a cop (standing in a residential intersection) for not having my seat belt on, and then Pandora’s box is open for driver’s license etc. Woe be when they get everything computerized to find dissidents. Mary land also has stake-outs to ticket pedestrians who cross in the middle of the block—they are supposed to cross at the corner with the light. The government is like a predator.

Hate for unfair laws to support a greedy government is coming to a head with the image of Daniel 2 in the Bible crumbling to be blown away in the wind. Lawlessness is becoming widespread as seen by the killing of innocent police officers. This kind of rebellion will only end in FEMA camps and bondage.

Matt Drudge was right when he tweeted, “Have an exit plan.” Christ was implying the same idea when He said to flee the abomination that early believers understood to be military. They fled Jerusalem and were spared the siege by Titus, but that warning foreshadowed “the end of the world,” Matthew 24:3,15.

Early Chistians had no problem fleeing because they had already sold what they had and held everything in common, Acts 2:44,45. The Bible contrasts Christ’s last church as lukewarm with materialism—blind is part of the description that could apply to unhappy western Christians sometime soon.

Millions of Christians are trapped in cities of America. They have the illusion they are free, but will they do so as early Christians did from Jerusalem when military showed up? It’s doubtful. Most are like the frog in warm water that is slowly heating—they don’t know when to jump. Maybe God is giving us some signs?

Didn’t He say, “The sun shall be darkened and the moon turned into blood before…the day of the Lord,” Joel 2:31. It will happen this spring!

Furthermore, the solar eclipse on March 20 and a “blood moon” two weeks later on Passover supports this year as a unique parallel to Exodus 12:2 when God indicated the beginning of the biblical year and two weeks later, Israel put blood on their doorposts for Passover, verse 7.

And what is Passover? It’s a time of judgment. God said then, “I will execute judgment,” Exodus 12:12. Will He do it for America?

Billy Graham said, If God waits much longer, He will have to apologize to Sodom. Many cultures have a problem with homosexuality, but Sodom “paraded” it, Isaiah 3:9, NIV. In the US, gay parades flaunt sin as Sodom did.

Harold Camping, who died after a failed rapture event a couple years ago, was probably right with his idea of http://MayJudgmentDay.com but wrong to connect it to a rapture and he didn’t have the advantage of the unique timing for the solar and lunar eclipses that will mark this spring.

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Richard Ruhling offers a dozen parallels of the US to Egypt, that received the plagues of God’s judgments, in his ebook, Exodus 2, available as a gift on Saturday, January 3 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EN63UR2. He also offers The Fall of America free January 3 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L1V2I84 (both 99 cents regular price).

Florida: Anti-Same Sex Marriage Lawsuits Filed

Florida Family Action (FFA) announced the filing of two lawsuits against three elected officials in Central Florida who have made clear public statements of their intentions to defy Florida law and either issue same-sex marriage licenses or officiate over same-sex marriage ceremonies on or after January 6, 2015.

Florida Family Action is being represented by Liberty Counsel a leading constitutional advocacy group in the lawsuits which are filed in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida covering Orange and Osceola counties.  One lawsuit was filed against Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Bob LeBlanc, and a separate second lawsuit against Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez.

Local Fox News WOFL has reported that Osceola County Clerk of the Court Armando Ramirez claimed at midnight on January 6, he will open the courthouse for same-sex couples wanting to apply for a license.  Specifically, Ramirez said, “I will open the office for 2 hours as a symbolic jester [sic] to the gay community … to be able to be legally married.”  “We won’t waste any time.”  The taxpayer funded official website for the Osceola Clerk also announces the same indicating, “The Clerk’s office is proud to support marriage equality.”

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will “officiate” at a mass same-sex marriage ceremony on Tuesday morning January 6, 2015.  The Metropolitan Business Association newsletter, a chamber of commerce of sorts for gay-identified persons, announced the “Vowed and Proud” event involving Dyer was “in partnership with the City of Orlando.”

WFTV Eyewitness News quotes Circuit Judge Bob LeBlanc as saying, “I am prepared to officiate the ceremony…If the clerk issues the licenses I am prepared to carry out the ceremony.”  Notices indicate LeBlanc will officiate over some “mass” marriage ceremony on the evening of January 6, 2015.

John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Action organization issued the following statement regarding the lawsuits:

“All three of these officials have shown great contempt and disrespect for the rule of law and are behaving irresponsibly and unprofessionally.  The federal court decision is clear that it only applies narrowly to the two plaintiffs and only in Washington County.  Elected officials must be held accountable to the law and to the constitution they have sworn to uphold.  Part of the reason for the recent landslide mid-term election was the utter disregard and insolence shown by President Obama for the rule of law which is now infecting so many other politicians across America.  Respect for law must be restored or else legitimacy in government as an institution will diminish at an even greater rate.  Ultimately, if these local officials continue in this same reckless pattern of behavior, they could easily face the same fate as so many other politicians did who are now retired as a result of the last election.”

LINKS TO LAWSUITS:

Complaint: FFA v Buddy Dyer and Robert LeBlanc can be downloaded HERE

FFA v Armando Ramirez can be downloaded HERE

Could Israel Lose the Energy Prize in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Major Israeli Offshore Gas Fields

Source: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Daniel Wurmser “The Geopolitics of Israel’s Offshore Gas Reserves”, April 4, 2013.

In December 2011, we published what might have been a prescient prediction of Israel‘s emerging energy independence, Will Israel Win the Energy Prize in the Levant Basin? We drew attention to the geo-political opportunities and security risks to the Jewish nation from the discovery and development of significant off shore gas deposits in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Levant Basin. These have been developed by Houston, Texas-based Noble Energy, Inc. and its Israeli partner, Delek Group, Ltd. (hereafter referred to as “the Consortium”). In 2009 came the discovery of the Tamar gas field with estimated reserves of 7.9 trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) by the Consortium followed by the giant Leviathan field a year later in 2010 with estimated reserves of 21.9 TCF. Production from Tamar began flowing in April 2013 with immediate economic benefits to Israel. A third major gas field discovery in Israel’s offshore EEZ, the Royee, with estimated reserves of 3.2 TCF was announced in mid-December 2014 by Ratio Oil. The potential significance of these energy developments for Israel is huge.

Combined, Israel’s current gas reserves in the leading Tamar and Leviathan gas fields amount to more than 31.6 trillion cubic feet (TCF). The US Geological Survey has estimated that the Eastern Levant Basin in the Mediterranean may conservatively hold upwards of 125 TCF of gas and 81 billion barrels of oil at lower depths.

Using the US Energy Information Administration current NYMEX natural gas futures price as of December 26, 2014 for delivery January 2015 of $3.07 07 per MBTU, the estimated value of the 31.6 trillion cubic feet of estimated reserves in Israel’s offshore fields developed by the Consortium could be worth approximately $97 billion. That is equivalent to over 35.5% of Israel’s 2013 GDP of $273 billion. The impact on the country’s GDP growth would be significant.

As evidence of how Israel values these offshore gas discoveries in September 2014, the Ministry of Defense after a delay of several years, issued tenders to naval shipyards in Germany, South Korea, US and Israel for procurement of four specialized patrol vessels at an estimated cost of NIS 2 Billion ($510 Million dollars) to provide security for offshore gas production platforms. Israel was also concerned about Hezbollah threats to these offshore gas facilities. One of the suspected reasons for an Israel Air Force covert attack in Syria on December 8, 2014 was to prevent delivery of long range missiles including Iranian supplied Yakhont anti-shipping missiles to proxy Hezbollah that might used to attack offshore platforms and Israeli Naval patrol vessels.

However, these prospects of an energy independent future may have been thrown in jeopardy by a ruling in late December 2014 by Israel’s independent Anti-Trust Authority (IAA) essentially declaring the Consortium a monopoly and reneging on prior compromise deals with the Consortium partners. Noble Energy, Inc. and Delek Group had agreed in the compromise to sell interests in smaller developed offshore gas fields in exchange for retaining ownership of both the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in Israel’s EEZ. The Consortium partners have requested an early 2015 hearing on the IAA ruling. Many believe this unprecedented IAA ruling may have been a political maneuver aimed squarely at the caretaker government of Israeli PM Netanyahu in the midst of a campaign for a snap election on March 17, 2015. The question before us is could Israel lose it’s much sought after energy prize in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Potential Economic Benefits to Israel from its Off Shore Gas Developments

One indication of the importance is reflected in the long term economic benefits to Israel. An Ernst & Young report released at a January 2014 energy conference in Israel pegged the value of those economic benefits to Israel at $52 billion reported by Globes Israel Business:

The Tamar gas field, which began production in April 2013, boosted Israel’s GDP by almost half a percentage point, and it is projected to boost GDP by 1.5 percentage points in 2014.

Ernst & Young Israel found that the main component of the gas’s value is not the government’s expected tax revenues from oil and gas, but the savings to the economy from the purchase of cheaper natural gas for electricity production, industry, and transportation. Gas currently costs Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) about $6 per million BTU, a third of the cost of the alternative fuels – diesel, industrial oil, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) – all of which are imported.

Tamar Gas Platform offshore Israel: Source Noble Energy, Inc.

Tamar comes on line beginning Israel’s Energy Independence

The intervening three years have witnessed the opening of production for the Tamar field and negotiations of several deals to export production authorized by the Israeli cabinet.

The Consortium had opened up smaller gas deposits before discovering on January 1, 2009  the Tamar gas field with 7.9 TCF, 50 miles offshore Haifa. The Consortium committed $3 billion for development of Tamar. In March 2012 the Tamar Consortium “signed a 15-year, US$14 billion deal with the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to supply it with 42 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas, with an option to increase the gas purchases up to $23 billion. By March 2012, the consortium developing Tamar had signed deals worth up to a total of $32 billion with six Israeli companies, committing up to 133BCM.” Delivery of Tamara’s first gas to Israel’s national power company began in April 2013. The growing Tamar field deliveries to the IEC eliminated reliance on supply of Egyptian gas via pipeline from the Sinai frequently disrupted by terrorist bombings.

Leviathan gas platform offshore Israel Source Ynet.org.

Leviathan Emerges but Strategic Investment Deals Falter

In 2010 came word of the discovery and development of the large Leviathan gas field located 81 miles West of Haifa and 29 miles southwest of the Tamar field with an estimated 21.9 TCF that lies in Israel’s EEZ. Leviathan is due to begin producing gas in 2017. Leviathan attempts at exports have taken its lumps. That is reflected in the failure to reach a deal with Australian energy concern, Woodside, Pty.

Meanwhile, the Woodside Leviathan Partners deal hasn’t been inked. UPI had this update on talks with the Delek Group:

Bloomberg News reported that Woodside, the No. 2 oil and gas producer in Australia, would pay more than $2 billion for a 30 percent stake in the Leviathan natural gas field from partners Delek, Noble Energy and Avner Oil Exploration.

Delek said, however, that a formal deal was still in the works.

“The negotiation between the Leviathan partners and Woodside toward signing a binding agreement is ongoing,” the company said. “Should a significant development in relation to the above-mentioned negotiations take place, the partnerships will publish an immediate report.”

Woodside’s CEO Peter Coleman at a Houston HIS/CERA energy conference in early March 2013 expressed “confidence” about closing on the purchase of Nobel partner interest in the overall Leviathan deal.

Negotiations between the Consortium and Woodside continued. In February 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed for final negotiations between the Consortium and Woodside. There was the hope that the Woodside deal might finally close at an enhanced its price for purchase of a minority interest in Leviathan which would provide LNG technology.

On May 21, 2014, Bloomberg reported, “Woodside Scraps $2.6 Billion Israeli Gas Deal as Talks Fail”:

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL)Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, scrapped an agreement to buy a quarter of Israel’s largest natural gas field for as much as $2.6 billion after talks to complete the deal collapsed.

“Negotiations between the parties failed to reach a commercially acceptable outcome,” the Perth-based company said today in a statement. Woodside had been in talks with a group includingNoble Energy Inc. (NBL) to invest in the Leviathan venture.

Tamar and Leviathan Consortium Potential Gas Deals with Jordan and Egypt

Agreement between the Consortium and the Israeli government allotted up to 40 percent of Tamar and Leviathan production for export. The US State Department thought this might be useful for development of regional economic and peace prospects. That resulted in negotiations of gas delivery projects with a Palestinian energy group and major Jordanian potash and bromine companies. A potential Egyptian contract may be in the works, as well. Consortium partner Noble Energy played a key role in facilitating these initial agreements. The New York Times reported:

Noble helped break the impasse by striking a separate deal with two Jordanian mineral companies, Arab Potash and Jordan Bromine. The companies will buy about $500 million of gas over 15 years from Tamar.

Jordan is one of the latest deals for Leviathan. In January, Noble and its Israeli partners reached an agreement to supply a power plant under construction in the West Bank by a Palestiniangroup.

Industry experts say that Noble will need more long-term commitments to support the expense of Leviathan. The project is expected to cost as much as $8 billion, and the Jordan deal accounts for only about 9 percent of the gas.

The most likely anchor customer is Egypt, a huge and growing market. Today, two gas export facilities on the Mediterranean are sitting largely idle. The Egyptian government is blocking exports in order to meet high domestic demand and stave off power blackouts.

This year, Noble reached nonbinding agreements with the owners of both of these facilities — British Gas, the large British producer, and a joint venture of Italy’s ENI and Spain’s Gas Natural Fenosa — to supply their facilities from Tamar and Leviathan. As part of the deals, the gas would also probably flow to the domestic market in Egypt.

Source: Turkish News September 8, 201.

Turkish Double Dealings over Offshore Gas in the Levant Basin

Turkey under Islamist Premier, now President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had threatened the Republic of Cyprus with retaliation over the discovery of the Aphrodite gas field off the southern coast of the Republic an EU member. The Aphrodite field with 7 TCF of natural gas is located 24 miles west of the giant Leviathan field with 21.9 TCF in Israel’s EEZ. Both the Aphrodite and Leviathan fields were developed by the Noble Energy, Inc. and Delek Partners consortium. We noted the quickening pace in November 2011 of geo-political moves and countermoves over exploitation of these strategic gas fields in the Levant Basin:

  • On November 2, 2011 Israel signed a bilateral energy development agreement with Cyprus, and Noble Energy announcing the development of a major LNG facility off the Island nation’s south coast;
  • On November 16th Turkey announced an offshore drilling deal with Shell Oil in an area in the waters close to the Turkish enclave in northern Cyprus;
  • On November 20-21, Israel’s then deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met with Greek officials to discuss joint exploration of the region’s gas fields;
  • On November 23rd, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Israeli and Cypriot energy exploration in the Mediterranean was illegal, an agreement should first be reached with all relevant parties, and resources should be equally shared; and
  • On November 25th, Russia announced that it was sending its aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetzov for maneuvers in the disputed area offshore of Cyprus in a clear demonstration of support for Greek Cypriot claims and as a warning to the Erdogan regime in Ankara.

In mid-September, 2011, two Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-15s flew over both the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish northern enclave after buzzing a Turkish research vessel off Cyprus’ southern coast in violation of Cyprus’ EEZ. An Israeli helicopter loitered overhead near a Turkish research vessel, Piri Reis, while the later was in the Aphrodite gas field claimed by the Republic of Cyprus. IAF AWACs aircraft were patrolling along the EEZ of Cyprus and Israel, at an altitude of more than 40,000 feet. They were monitoring Turkish intrusions over Cypriot airspace. In symbolic retaliation, Turkey’s Air Force jets made passes over a Greek island off Turkey’s southwestern coast.

A week prior to these confrontations over Greece and Cyprus, Turkey and Turkish Cyprus concluded an agreement delimiting maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean. Agreements that conflict with the Republic of Cyprus-Israel EEZ. Turkey declared that it would protect its sole research vessel with warships. These actions raised the prospect of possible armed conflict.

Turkey’s posturing in 2011 was based on its seizure of an enclave, the rump Turkish Northern Cypriot ‘Republic’ carved out by a Turkish invasion in 1974. An opportunistic invasion contrived by the Turkish government at the time to counter the Greek military coup of the Archbishop Makarios government of Cyprus. All of Cyprus is recognized by the EU. The Island’s offshore EEZs are divided among the Republic, the North Turkish “Republic” and two British bases on the Island.

Machinations over the Turkish Northern Cypriot Republic’s stake hold in the Cypriot EEZ gas field surfaced in an embarrassing episode at an international energy conference in Tel Aviv on November 6, 2014. That was the surprise address by Özdil Nami, the foreign minister of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) at an Energy and Business Conference. Turkey is the only country that recognizes the TRNC enclase it seized from Cyprus in 1974. The Jerusalem Posnoted these remarks of Nami that drew the ire of Cypriot businessmen at the conference and an official involved with pursuit of joint development of the proposed Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline:

Natural resources of Cyprus belong to all Cypriots and must benefit all Cypriots.
Nami called for a united Cyprus comprised of Cyprus and Turkish federations, with cooperation fueled by the offshore natural gas discoveries. Dealing with a united Cyprus expands the options available.

That led to this comment in a press release from Prof. Toula Onoufriou, president of the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company:

The invitation of Mr. [Özdil] Nami to this conference and his appearance in the opening session without any mention in the conference program is unacceptable and is not in the spirit of collaboration that has been developed between our countries.

Earlier in 2014, there was an abortive round of Turkish negotiations with Cyprus over “unification” of the Republic of Cyprus. Meanwhile Turkey was pressing for a lucrative share of the gas development offshore Cyprus and transmission to EU markets via its network of pipelines.

Erdogan threatened to bring Israel before the International Criminal Courts over the deaths of Turkish nationals in an Israeli naval commando raid on the Turkish ferry vessel, the Mavi Marmarathat pierced the enforced blockade during the May 2010, Free Gaza flotilla. The dispute threatened a diplomatic impasse between the two countries until the March 2013 trip by President Obama to Jerusalem. He prevailed upon Israeli PM Netanyahu to call then PM Erdogan and apologize. Israel offered compensation to the Turkish victims in the Mavi Marmara incident. That cleared the way for bi-lateral discussions for possible transmission of gas via a submarine pipeline from the Leviathan field to on-shore Turkish receiving facilities at Ceyhan on the Mediterreanean coast with its network of pipelines servicing the EU. Today’s Zaman in February 2014 reported the burgeoning commercial rapprochement with the Consortium over a possible gas pipeline deal:

Turkey’s Vatan daily said that representatives from US-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, two of Leviathan’s largest stakeholders, are in talks with four Turkish energy firms for a possible deal in the construction of a natural gas pipeline via Turkey to Europe. Vatan said the Leviathan shareholders are in negotiations with Turkey’s Turcas, Zorlu, Çalık and Enka Enerji for a pipeline that would carry 8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Israeli gas via Turkey starting  in 2017, the year Israel expects to start extracting gas.

Globes Israel Business reported:

In March 2014 “that two Turkish companies, Zorlu Holding and Turcas Petrol, had participated in a tender for the possible construction of a 7-10 bcm/y gas pipeline to link Leviathan with the Turkish mainland. The proposed 500 kilometer pipeline would cost about $3.5 billion. Zorlu Holding has stakes in several power plants in Israel and its chairman, Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, is known to have close links with the governing Justice and Freedom Party (AKP) in Turkey.

Then, Israel’s 50 day summer 2014 war with Hamas erupted, that virtually ended these discussions. In early August Turkish Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz announced that a deal was unlikely until a cease fire was concluded between Israel and Hamas. The Jerusalem Post  noted:

Calling for “an end to the cruelty in Palestine,” Yıldız said that his country’s “door will be closed,” until calm has been attained, the  Hurriyet added.

“If we build a natural gas pipeline from Israel or the eastern Mediterranean under these circumstances, the blood of innocent infants and mothers, not natural gas, would flow through it,” Yıldız said, according to the Hurriyet report.

Turkish parliamentary opposition in Ankara and Israeli Consortium partner Delek Group optimistically suggested that there might be renewal of talks. Erdogan’s opposition over the 2014 IDF conflict with Hamas virtually ended the discussions. As we shall see the Consortium’s hopes for a means of transmitting Leviathan gas fields output the lay in the EU’s interest in the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline with Cyprus.

Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan Ankara, December 1, 2014. Source: Turkish Presidential Photo Service.

Putin’s December 2014 “Surprise” Gas Deal with Turkey

Turkey’s President Erdogan a new card to play in the energy geo-politics of the region with Russia’s embattled President Putin. On December 1, 2014 at a meeting between the two heads of government in Ankara, Putin announced abandonment of the yet to be completed South Stream pipeline to the EU via Bulgaria. In its stead, Putin proposed a proposition to Erdogan that was hard to pass up despite Turkey’s increasingly being beholden to Russia as its principal gas supplier. As reported by Eurasia.net, the pact presented compelling opportunities for both countries:

Energy-poor Turkey stands to benefit from Moscow’s surprise decision to drop the $45-billion South Stream natural gas pipeline project. At the same time, it raises questions about whether Turkey will become a pawn in the broader energy contest between Russia and the EU.

Ankara has long been keen to wean itself off Russian energy, which currently accounts for an estimated 57 percent of its gas needs, according to the 2014 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Both the Turkish government and the European Union had seen gas imports from Azerbaijan, a cultural cousin and close ally of Ankara’s, via the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) as the answer to decreasing their level of energy dependency on the Kremlin.

Eurasia.net detailed Putin’s deal noting:

He proposed a new, 63-billion-cubic-meter-per-year gas pipeline running under the Black Sea from Russia via Turkey to the Greek border, which would serve as a forwarding point to Europe. He pledged a 6 percent discount on the price of the 14 bcm of gas available for sale annually to Turkey from the pipeline.

The deal would increase Turkey’s reliance on Russia for supply of gas, while reducing the cost for its power and commercial requirements. However, it places Islamist President Erdogan in a diplomatic quandary given Putin’s support for the embattled Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. Erdogan has argued to the Obama Administration that the toppling of the Assad regime was the price of Turkey’s joining the US-led coalition seeking the “degrading and destruction” of the Islamic State occupying large swaths of both Syria and Iraq. The Putin Erdogan deal is presently embodied in a Memorandum of Understanding awaiting further negotiations. Given both US and EU sanctions against Russia over its takeover of the Crimea and support for the irredentist conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the deal between the two autocrats over gas deliveries to the EU market is problematic.  Enter the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline involving Israel, Cyprus and Greece.

The Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline Project Rises to the Fore.

President Erdogan has been relentlessly pursuing a reckless geo-political strategy for several years disputing Cyprus’ sovereign right to exploration and development of offshore gas and oil in its EEZ. We saw that reflected in actions Erdogan directed in 2011 sending research vessels, Turkish air craft and naval vessels to violate the United National Convention of the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS). Turkey issued a NAVTEX (Navigation Telex) warning on October 3, 2014 that rattled the Cypriot Republic, EU and spurred Israel to suggest a counter proposal – The Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline. Moreover, as we saw on November 6, 2014 the  sudden appearance of the foreign minister of the Turkish Northern Republic of Cyprus disrupted a Tel Aviv Energy conference. He conveyed less than subtle demands of Ankara for development of undersea resources benefitting “all Cypriots” and presumably Turkey. When Vice President Biden visited President Erdogan in Istanbul in November 2014, while primarily concerned about enlisting Turkey in the war against the Islamic state, he also expressed the Administration position on Cyprus. He suggested that moribund unification talks be resurrected and that both sides on the Island seek joint development of the EEZ energy resources.

In partial response, the European Parliament passed a resolution on November 5, 2014, titled, “European Parliament (EUP) resolution on Turkish actions creating tensions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.” The EUP resolution underscored the illegal actions of the October 3, 2014 NAVTEX issued by Erdogan’s Turkey violating UNCLOS. Turkey was conducting seismic surveys in Cyprus’ sovereign EEZ over the period from October 30 to December 30, 2014. These illegal actions by Turkey violated Cyprus’ maritime border with Egypt. Moreover, it jeopardized exploration by Italy’s ENI and KOGAS in blocks of the Cypriot EEZ. The EUP resolution drew attention to Turkey’s 2005 accession filing to the EU, as it required approval of all EU members and poisoned prospects for unification discussions between the Republic of Cyprus and the Northern Turkish enclave on the Island. The resolution suggested that Turkish withdrawal of troops stationed in the enclave was a pre-condition for accession to the EU. It urged immediate revocation of the offending NAVTEX and negotiation of bilateral agreements with the Cypriot Republic covering exploration and developments of undersea resources to benefit all Cypriots. The EUP Resolution suggested that Turkey sign the UNCLOS and honor its provisions.

In late November 2014 Israel’s Energy Minister, Sylvan Shalom, raised the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline project in meetings with the European Commission’s new energy chief Maros Sefcovic at a meeting hosted by the Italian EU President. An article in Natural Gas Europe reported“The Cypriots also seem supportive of such an endeavor, the Cypriot Foreign Minister receiving Israel’s suggestion positively and stating that a viability study was being conducted” for joint development of a submarine pipeline to Greece connecting the gas fields in the Israeli and Cypriot EEZs for delivery of gas to EU.

This was a geo-political gauntlet thrown down to counter the illegal moves of Turkish President Erdogan. It was an outgrowth of the bi-lateral agreement struck in November 2011 between Israel and Cyprus that would enable the Noble Energy-Delek Group to undertake exploration of the feasibility of the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline. The announcement came just before the strategic December 1, 2014 meeting in Ankara between Putin and Erdogan during which the Russian President announced abandonment of the $45 Billion South Stream Pipeline that would deliver Russian gas to the EU. The Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline offered a secure means of transmitting gas through several EU members and associate member Israel.

On December 9th, Israel, Cyprus and Greece pitched the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline a day before a conference organized jointly by Natural Gas Europe, the Greek Energy Forum, ESCP Europe, RCEM and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The conference was titled “2030 EU Energy Security, the Role of the Eastern Mediterranean Region” and took place at EESC headquarters in Brussels. Natural Gas Europe in an article on the EESC conference noted the comments of Greek Energy Minister, Ioannis Maniatis:

Europe will need an extra 100 bcm of natural gas in the next 15 years, and in light of Europe’s increasing dependence on imports to fulfill its energy needs, the EU must find a sustainable model to ensure it is a competitive economy.

The EU needs to reduce external dependence, increase efficiency, diversify its sources and routes of supply, and improve interconnectors, he added. Fully connected energy grids, greater transparency, good governance and a thorough understanding of global events should also be the focus of the EU according to Maniatis. He explained that Greece’s importance is growing. TheEast Med pipeline pitched by Israel, Cyprus and Greece would run from Israel and Cyprus via Greece to Italy and then to the rest of Europe is technically feasible and attached to attractive prospects said Maniatis. He told the audience that the results of a feasibility study on the East Med pipeline will be released next year and that the pipeline would serve as a new source and provider of natural gas comparable to the Southern Corridor. The attractiveness of the East Med Pipeline, said Maniatis, is that unlike the Southern Corridor, it would pass exclusively through four member states and hence deserves strong EU backing for its materialization.

The Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline had received the endorsement of the EC as a priority project for underwriting in November 2013. According to The Guardian that could provide the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline project “access to a €5.85bn fund, and preferential treatment from multilateral banks.”

Natural Gas Europe reported at the time the options under consideration:

The basic plan will see the pipeline stretch from the Leviathan field offshore Israel on to Cyprus ending in eastern part of the Island of Crete in Greece. Three alternate routes were discussed:

  • To the Peloponnesus Peninsula joint via spur with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
  • From Crete to northern Greece where it would join the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB)
  • From Crete to the Revythousa LNG terminal close to Athens. The terminal would be significantly upgraded to accommodate large amounts of gas exports thereafter.

The technically difficult 1,880 kilometer long submarine pipeline project, reaching depths of more than 2,000 meters, would connect Leviathan and Aphrodite gas fields ultimately to Italy. Cost for the project  was  estimated at over $20 Billion and would likely not be concluded at the earliest until 2020, assuming that production of the Leviathan field in the Israeli EEZ begins in 2017. With the demise of both the Turkish Leviathan-Ceyhan pipeline and the Australian Woodside Pty. Ashdod LNG –Eilat pipeline for delivery of gas to the Asian markets, the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline project may have serious consideration. There is the alternative of the onshore LNG facility at Vassilikos on Cyprus’ south shore to be built by the Consortium at an estimated cost of $10 billion. A Memorandum of Understanding for planning the Vassilikos LNG complex was signed by Cyprus and the Consortium in June 2013. In the interim, offshore floating LNG processing platforms that might be leased to ship processed gas via pressured LNG vessels to receiving terminals in Greece and Italy. However, Noble Energy was not initially supportive of the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline option, instead concentrating on sales from Leviathan to regional users like Jordan and Egypt and building the proposed Cypriot LNG processing facility. As we will shortly see, as a result of regulatory actions by the independent Israeli Anti-Trust Authority (IAA), both Noble Energy and its Israeli consortium partner Delek Group plans for Leviathan as well as the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline may be in jeopardy

Watch this CNBC video: Israel-Cypriot Pipeline: Game Changer for EU Energy?

Dr. David Gilo, Director Israel Anti-Trust Authority.

Could Regulatory Zeal and Politics Deprive Israel of its Offshore Energy Prize?

Israel’s pursuit of energy independence and potential gas exports may have been upended by a ruling regarding Israel’s Cartel Law by the head of the independent Israel Anti-trust Authority (IAA). Dr. David Gilo of the IAA effectively ruled that the Noble Energy – Delek consortium constituted a monopoly and would be forced to sell the Leviathan or Tamar fields in Israel’s offshore Exclusive Economic Zone. Gilo was cited by the New York Times saying, “The entry of Delek and Noble into Leviathan has created a situation in which these groups control all the gas reserves on the coast of the state of Israel.” Gilo’s rationale for his ruling was the prior agreed to sale of smaller gas fields Tanin and Karish owned by the Consortium “did not create a real competitive solution to solve the problem of a monopoly in the market.” Globes, Israel Business reported in an articleRegulator decides Tamar and Leviathan form monopoly:

[Gilo] is going back on his decision, subject to a hearing, to let the companies continue holding both the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields. The State will now require the companies to sell their holdings in one of the fields.

Sources in the energy market believe that such a step will delay development of the Leviathan field by several years and could see Israel dragged into the international court of arbitration by US company Noble Energy, which has been developing both fields.

The reaction from Noble Energy was swift:

Noble Energy Israel Country Manager Binyamin (Bini) Zomer said, “For 16 years, Noble Energy has invested in the exploration and development of Israel’s gas and oil resources. To date we have invested with our partners close to $6 billion in developing the country’s oil and gas sector. These investments contribute to the Israeli economy and environment, and at the same time grant Israel energy independence while providing an opportunity for regional cooperation and contributing to regional stability.”

[…]

He warned, “The antitrust regulator’s decision to go back on the agreement. casts a shadow over the future of Israel’s gas and oil sector and influences Noble Energy’s continued investment in the country.”

Zoma’s comments were mirrored in official statements from Houston-based Noble Energy’s Chairman in a news release:

Earlier today, Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) and its partners in the Leviathan field were advised by the Israel Anti-trust Authority of its decision to not submit the Consent Decree to the Anti-trust Tribunal for final approval. In response, Noble Energy and partners have requested a hearing on the topic with the Anti-trust Authority, which Noble Energy expects to occur in the next few weeks.

In March 2014, Noble Energy, its partners, and the Anti-trust Authority reached agreement for the Consent Decree that included the divestiture of the Tanin and Karish gas fields. This agreement is a key component for the final investment decision on the Leviathan development.

Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman, commented, “The actions of the Anti-trust Authority are another disturbing example of the uncertain regulatory environment in Israel. Specifically, this is a matter that we believed was resolved some time ago and follows on recent assurances from the Anti-trust Authority that approval was forthcoming. We believe this is a harmful precedent for Israel to set and we will vigorously defend our rights relating to our assets.”

Ominously, the ruling may delay, if not stop, development of the significant Leviathan gas field with more than 21.9 TCF. Further, the IAA would significantly delay indefinitely the implementation of the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline connecting Leviathan with the adjacent Cypriot Aphrodite gas field with 7 TCF via Greece and Italy to securely supply gas to the EU thereby stymieing geo resource hegemony by Russia and Turkey. The Noble-Delek Consortium had signed agreements with the Republic of Cyprus in 2011 for the joint development of Cyprus’ offshore gas fields, despite threats from Turkey and its enclave the Northern Turkish Cypriot Republic.

Billions of Israeli tax revenue, billions of returns to the Noble Energy–Delek consortium and billions in sales to Egypt, Jordan and other regional markets in signed agreements are now at risk. The effects on the trading values of the Noble Energy-Delek consortium stocks on the NYSE and Tel Aviv Stock Exchanges were immediate. Noble Energy stock (NBL-NYSE) plummeted by over 6.4 % from $50.97 at the market close on December 22nd to $ 47.73, currently. Globes reported the fall off in trading for the Delek and Tamar partners caused by the IAA announcement:

In the stock market, Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) fell 16.5% for the largest fall on the Tel Aviv 25 Index following the antitrust order to sell either its Leviathan or Tamar holdings. Delek’s energy exploration units Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) and Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (TASE: DEDR.L) fell 11.75% and 12.73% respectively. Tamar partner Isramco Ltd. (Nasdaq: ISRL; TASE: ISRA.L) fell 7.44% on the day’s largest turnover, and Leviathan partner Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) fell 16.9%.

This ruling comes amidst the snap election campaign triggered by a no-confidence vote confounding the ability of the Netanyahu caretaker government to seek possible redress via the Knesset. There are suspicions in Israel that the IAA ruling may have been politically motivated by Labor Party and Histadrut leaders, given the latter’s control over the Israel Electric Company, the national power authority.

These rapid fire developments brought troubling assessments from Gal Luft in an article in  The Journal of Energy Security, Israel’s Energy Dream- the End is Nigh”:

After years of delays and billions of dollars spent, a new and increasingly likely scenario should be considered – the premature – and tragic – death of the Israeli gas dream. I alluded to this option in an August 2013 article titled “Israel’s Zero Gas Game” in which I warned that Israel has become so busy dividing the pie that its leaders forgot it must first be baked and that due to the failure of the government to present a clear vision for the country’s energy sector, articulate the rights and responsibilities of foreign investors and most importantly set rules and stick to them.

[…]

There are very few oil and gas companies who have both the experience of drilling in deep waters and the willingness to associate themselves with Israel, especially in light of Noble’s experience. With falling energy prices worldwide, the chance of a Noble-like operator popping out of nowhere is slim. This means that in its desire to avoid the creation of a monopoly, Israel is taking the risk that Leviathan, the world’s largest offshore gas discovery of the past decade, will not be developed for many years to come – if ever.

Dr. Norman A. Bailey, former Reagan era National Security Advisor on national economic security, offered this assessment of the IAA ruling in a Globes Israel Business column, “Israel shoots itself in both knees”:

This is not Israel shooting itself in the foot, it is Israel shooting itself in both knees. This incredibly stupid, illegal and immoral decision will undoubtedly be reversed by the courts and/or international arbitral tribunals, but by the time that happens much of the damage will have been done and recovery will be difficult or perhaps impossible. Even if an accommodation is reached without legal action, the image of Israel as a reliable partner will have been severely degraded.

Echoing Dr. Bailey’s concerns, our NER colleague Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein commented:

The Israeli regulators are both insane and suicidal, but not that different than some U.S. regulators, save that America has a greater margin of error to protect it from comparable damage. Instead of being glad that an American firm has taken the huge risk in this investment, they prefer ideological rigidity to a quantum leap in Israel’s economic and political situation. Will petty little men who probably never managed anything approaching the magnitude of this project have the power to ruin it?

Given this maligned IAA ruling, will Israel in 2015 come to its senses, overcome misplaced regulatory zeal and re-gain the prospect of a  promising economic future fueled by these  important energy discoveries in the Levant Basin?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Prosecute Al Sharpton Now!

Our thesis for this show is that Al Sharpton bears legal and moral culpability for the brutal murder of the two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.

We base this conclusion upon many factors including Attorney Andy McCarthy’s insightful article in National Review titled, “Who’s to Blame for the NYPD Killings?

Follow as we review the spotted background of Sharpton and show that the Muslim shooter, Brinsley is primarily responsible for the killings and Sharpton is the “A” of the A,B,C of those who also bear responsibility. The “B” are, Barack and Bill and the “C” are the commies. Commies? Yes, the real live commies. Check it out.

In addition, we feature Daniel Mael, student at Brandeis University, skyped in LIVE, who is in the middle of a major controversy because he outed a Black racist student leader who approved of the cops getting murdered. This is a full, fast-paced show that provides a lot of info and a bit of edgy humor…all to underscore our big idea, time to get Al Sharpton before a jury of his peers!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Al Sharpton is courtesy of National Review.

The Top Anti-Muslim Hate Crime Hoaxes of 2014

In FrontPage today I discuss the growth industry of faking anti-Muslim hate crimes:

On Christmas morning, a man drove up to the Islamic Cultural Center in Fresno, threw rocks through the windows, and then entered the center and destroyed things inside. The local ABC outlet, KFSN, reported Friday that “Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says it is clear the incident is a hate crime which is why the FBI is also investigating this case.” But on Saturday, it turned out that the incident was not an “anti-Muslim hate crime” at all: the vandal was Asif Mohammad Khan, a Muslim. The destruction at the Islamic Cultural Center in Fresno was yet another in a long series of fake hate crimes designed to prop up the fiction that Muslims in the U.S. are routinely targets of discrimination and harassment.

According to Khan’s sister Samia, the vandal is (like the recent French attackers who screamed “Allahu akbar” while trying to kill infidels) mentally ill. She also said that he was a devout Muslim who prayed five times daily. Dyer revealed that Khan had in recent days written that Osama bin Laden was the most inspirational person in his life. Dyer explained that Khan’s vandalism of the mosque “was not geared towards the Islamic community, it was not geared to the Islamic faith or any of those things and was simply to get back at a few people at the center who had belittled him and in his eyes bullied him.”

Dyer and other law enforcement authorities were extremely unlikely to consider it as they investigated Khan’s crimes, but the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) andother Muslims have on many occasions in the past not hesitated to stoop even to fabricating “hate crimes,” including attacks on mosques. CAIR and other groups like it want and need hate crimes against Muslims, because they can use them for political points and as weapons to intimidate people into remaining silent about the jihad threat.

This has happened many times in 2014. Here are five of the most egregiously manipulative examples:

1. The Saleh and Akbar viral video.

In October, the Muslim bloggers Adam Saleh and Sheikh Akbar released a video entitled “Racial Profiling Experiment.” It showed the duo in Western clothing, coming to blows in front of an indifferent NYPD cop. In the second part of the video, they pass by the same cop in Muslim garb, arguing mildly – only to be harassed and frisked by the same policeman.

The video went viral. The Huffington Post hysterically proclaimed that it offered a “small glimpse into the ugly world of racial profiling.” Hamas-linked CAIR called for an investigation. But then it turned out that the whole thing had been staged. The Smoking Gun called the video a “cynical and duplicitous attempt to capitalize on New York City’s documented racial profiling problems.”

2. The German mosque arson.

Another “Islamophobic” hate crime took place in Germany in February, when there was an arson attack at the Central Mosque in Cologne. But in October, a Muslim who had been held in a psychiatric ward ever since he had been arrested (as the mainstream media and law enforcement officials have now apparently agreed that all Muslims who commit acts of violence are mentally ill) confessed to having set the fire.

“I wanted to make a clear sign,” the arsonist explained. “Because they treated me badly at the Koran school. It has always hurt me.” He also had tried to burn down two other mosques; it wasn’t reported whether or not he had been to Qur’an school and been treated badly in all three. But until he was apprehended, his arson attacks provided rich material for the “Islamophobia” mythmakers.

3. The burned Qur’ans in Dearborn.

Last June, after three burned Qur’ans were found in front of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn, the mosque’s imam, Sheikh Husham Al-Husainy met with lawyers to discuss his proposal for a statute criminalizing the desecration of holy books. “We want all of the religions to cooperate with us,” he declared, “to bring respect to the word of God, whether the Quran, Bible, or Torah.”

But as it turned out, the Qur’an barbecuer was none other than a Muslim named Ali Hassan Al-Assadi. Al-Husainy opined that al-Assadi was (surprise, surprise) “mentally unstable.” Crazy or not, the discovery that al-Assadi had burned the Qur’ans threw a large monkey wrench into al-Husainy’s plans to use the incident as the cornerstone of his campaign against the freedom of expression.

4. The Montclair State University attack.

Combine the relentless Muslim striving for victimhood with the cult of victimhood on college campuses these days, and even non-Muslims get into the faked hate act. Last April at Montclair State University in New Jersey, a student claimed that three white men in jeans and hoodies assaulted him. They called him an “Islamic terrorist.”

MSU police began an investigation, only to find that the whole incident was a hoax: a student named Navjoat Aulakh had filed a false report. Aulakh may not even be a Muslim. His full name is Navjoat Singh Aulakh; “Singh” is a name closely associated with Sikhs. The Aulakhs are a Jat clan from the Punjab area, and while many Jats are Muslims, the name Singh here suggests that this young man is himself a Sikh. His Facebook page gives no sign that he cares about much of anything but sports and babes, but apparently he does have some significant political concerns. If he is a Sikh, this would by no means be the first time that Sikhs have served as useful idiots for the Islamic supremacist victimhood posturing enterprise. Sikhs even stood with Hamas-linked CAIR to call for the allowance of hijabs on an amusement park go-kart ride that had already seen one Muslima killed as her hijab was caught in the axle.

In this case, a Sikh apparently tried to aid the false Muslim victimhood narrative. And failed.

5. The Shaima Alawadi murder.

Last April in El Cajon, California, an Iraqi Muslim named Kassim Alhimidi was found guilty of murdering his wife, Shaima Alawadi, after she had told him that she wanted a divorce.

Before Alhimidi was arrested, this murder was widely reported as an “Islamophobic hate crime”: a note was found by Alawadi’s body that read, “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” Leftists and Islamic supremacists made a great deal of this, claiming that the murder was the work of an “Islamophobe” who hated Shaima Alawadi for wearing a hijab. They even staged a campaign, “One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi.”

Reza Aslan, the celebrated author of Zealotbashed out a sub-literate tweet blaming Pamela Geller and me for the murder: “If a 32 year old veiled mother is a terrorist than [sic] so am I you Islamophobic fucks Gellar [sic] Spencer et. [sic] al. Come find me.” This tweet indicated how much mileage the “Islamophobia” propaganda machine thought it could get from the Alawadi murder in its efforts to intimidate people into thinking it wrong to oppose jihad terror.

Yet it was another fake hate crime. And since the mainstream media remains so uncritical about Muslim claims of having been victimized, there will be many more in 2015.

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Brandeis University Roiled by anti-Police and anti-Zionist Radicals

At 10:03 PM Saturday, December 27, 2014  Americans for Peace and Tolerance (AP&T) sent an email containing a petition requesting the President of Brandeis University, Frederick Lawrence and the 29 university trustees,  to protect the free speech rights and person of intrepid student, Daniel Mael.  So far it has garnered 2,337 signatures. This writer was among the earliest to sign it. More should, as the circumstances warrant it.

Mael had published an expose in on-line publication Ben Shapiro’s Truth Reports   about scurrilous anti- police tweets sent by Khadijah Lynch, a junior and African and African American studies department major at the Waltham, Massachusetts elite campus. Lynch’s provocative tweets were hateful to police in general, specifically suggesting how pleased she was about the assassination on December 20th of two NYPD officers, Felix Ramos and Wenjian Liu. They were shot from behind by convicted felon, Ismaaliya Brinsley, without warning while seated in their patrol car at the troubled Tomkins House in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Brinsley subsequently took his life with the murder weapon at a nearby subway platform after a chase by responding officers. The irony was these downed NYPD officers were protecting minorities from the depredations by the likes of Brinsley and drug gang bangers at the Tompkins Houses.

Earlier on Saturday,  a literal ”sea of blue” composed of  25,000 uniformed police from across the U.S. and Canada attended the funeral services  for  downed NYPD officer Ramos at Christ Tabernacle in the Glendale section of Queens New York. Eulogies were given by Vice President Biden, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton. When controversial New York Mayor William DiBlasio turn came to eulogize Officer Ramos, NYPD officers in the multitude outside the church turned their back on the large video screen in a demonstration of contempt. They were expressing their anger  regarding his promotion of protests against  grand jury actions upholding police conduct in the shooting death in July 2014 in Ferguson , Missouri of Michael Brown and the August 2014 Staten Island death of former convicted felon Eric Garner under NYPD physical restraint in Staten Island, New York.  They were called to the scene by African American shop owners in the vicinity regarding Garner’s continual violation of the law.

A  Gatestone Institute article by Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz was posted at 1:30 AM EST, Sunday morning, “A Brandeis Student Refuses to Show Sympathy for Assassinated Policemen — and Her Critic Is Attacked.”  Dershowitz drew attention to Lynch’s hate-filled tweets:

As I watched, with tears in my eyes, the funeral of police officer Rafael Ramos who was ambushed along with fellow officer, Wenjian Liu, in revenge for the deaths of two black young men who were killed by policemen, I could not help thinking of the following horrible words tweeted by a bigoted young woman named Khadijah Lynch, on the day the police officers were murdered in cold blood, and the day after:

“i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today.” (December 20, 2014)

“lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist f…ing country.”(December 21, 2014).

Nor was this her first bigoted tweet. She has apparently described her college as “a social themed institution grounded in Zionism. Word. That a f…ing fanny dooly.” And she cannot understand why “black people have not burned this country down….” She describes herself as “in riot mode. F… this f…ing country.” She has apparently said that she would like to get a gun and has called for an intifada: “Amerikkka needs an intifada. Enough is enough. ” “What the f… even IS ‘non-violence’. “

Ms. Lynch is certainly entitled to express such despicable views, just as Nazis, Klansmen and other bigots are entitled to express theirs. But when another Brandeis student, named Daniel Mael, decided to post her public tweets on a website, Lynch threatened to sue him for “slander”. Republishing someone’s own published words could not possibly constitute slander, libel or any other form of defamation, because you can’t be slandered by your own words. You can, of course, be embarrassed, condemned, ostracized or “unfriended” due your own words

Brandeis, you should  recall was founded under Jewish auspices as a living memorial to revered  US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a vigorous defender of free speech rights, something that Mael was exercising. Lynch’s comments, while inflammatory and hateful, as Dershowitz  had referenced, would be regarded as ‘protected speech’  under Supreme Court rulings , such as the  landmark 1969 Brandenburg v. Ohio  decision in a matter involving a Klu Klux Klan leader.

Dershowitz went further to point out Mael’s rights under the law:

Mael had the right — and was right — to expose Lynch’s words for public assessment and criticism. Now hard left students at Brandeis are calling for Mael’s head — or at least his expulsion — for exercising his freedom of expression. He has been accused of “stalking”, “cyberbullying” and “inciting racial hatred and oppression” for merely republishing what Lynch published.

Dershowitz also pointed to the irony that  Lynch comments   was  supported by the Brandeis Asian American in view of downed NYPD officer Liu, who was Asian.

The Algemeiner revealed more about Mael’s earlier efforts to expose Lynch’s support for the violent Students for Justice in Palestine eviction notice campaign posted on Jewish student dorm doors across the country that involved  the attacks by SJP against Jewish  university students, Brandeis Radical Who Insulted Murdered NY Cops is Backed by Students for Justice in PalestineThe Algemeiner reported:

When Lynch ran for student office in 2013, she gushed that she “fell absolutely in love with Brandeis”… The two organizations that endorsed her manifesto, which included a commitment “to make Brandeis a safer, more tolerant, and friendly environment,” were the Brandeis Black Student Organization and the Brandeis chapter of SJP.

“An apathetic attitude toward the murder of innocents and calls for violence are entirely in-line with the actions of Students for Justice in Palestine chapters across the country,” Mael told The Algemeiner. “Unfortunately the vicious rhetoric of Ms. Lynch is echoed by many other student activists across the country. This language helps fuel a disturbing atmosphere of hatred and fear.”

Mael’s own expose of SJP, published last October in The Tower magazine, detailed a number of violent attacks on pro-Israel students by members of that organization.

Since Mael’s article about Lynch appeared, both he and members of his family have been targeted for abuse. Lynch herself tweeted “i need to get my gun license asap” after Mael contacted her for comment regarding her tweets.

Meanwhile, Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence weighed into the controversy today, releasing a statement in which he confirmed, “We have no greater concern than the safety of our students at Brandeis.” Lawrence did not, however, specifically address the threats made against Mael and his family, nor the involvement of hate groups like SJP in the verbal attacks and threats made against him.

 APT’s petition campaign to Brandeis  President Lawrence  may have forced  him to act. Unfortunately , this was what we have come to expect under his leadership at Brandeis.  Witness, his acceding to demands  from  Muslim Brotherhood front groups CAIR and the Brandeis Muslim Students Association  and Near Eastern and Judaic  Studies faculty members  to withdraw  the honorary doctorate to Ayaan Hirsi Ali  that was to be awarded her at  commencement this past  June. We noted in an April 9, 2014  Iconoclast post  the circumstances under which  Brandeis President Lawrence withdrew her honor:

Tuesday evening [April 8, 2014]  Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence rescinded an honorary doctorate that was to be conferred on Somali American women human rights advocate and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the June 2014 Commencement.  He succumbed to outcries of Islamophobe and Fatwas from the Waltham, Massachusetts campus Muslim Students Association chapter supported by a letter signed by 86 members of the university’s Near Eastern and Judaic studies faculty.

[…]

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, US correspondent for The Jewish Press, herself an honored graduate of Brandeis, Class of 1980, declared in an email:  “there is no justice for Hirsi Ali” at her alma mater. In her Jewish Press article, on this latest example of dhimmitude at Brandeis, she noted the campus furor that forced the decision of President Lawrence:

 The Brandeis students issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Sic ignominia transit Brandeis.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Featured image courtesy of Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

Pro-Police ‘Breathe Easy, Don’t Break the Law’ t-shirt goes viral

Indiana Police Officer Jason Barthel created the ‘Breathe Easy, Don’t Break the Law’ t-shirt allowing citizens across America to show support for their law enforcement officers.

The Daily Signal’s Philip Wegmann reports:

One small business is booming as the debate rages over police shootings.

With a T-shirt, police officer Jason Barthel ignited a national controversy. Ten days before Christmas, the owner of South Bend Uniform Co. debuted T-shirts emblazoned with this controversial message: “Breathe Easy, Don’t Break the Law.”

Barthel twisted the rallying cry of a national protest sweeping the country. Since early December, numerous NBA and NCAA basketball teams have sported “I Can’t Breathe” warm-up jerseys commemorating the last words of Eric Garner and protesting his untimely death.

Frustrated that this apparel “made it seem as if there were a lot of people thumbing their nose at the police,” Barthel told The Daily Signal that he fashioned his own T-shirts as “a retort to the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ movement.”

“Up until that point, nobody from our side of the world—the police world—had really said anything on our behalf,” Barthel said.

Barthel, a 13-year veteran of the Mishawaka Police Department, wants to fill that void.

“From the perspective of a policeman,” the clothing communicates that “we’re here for you, and we won’t have any problems with you if you’re not breaking the law.

[ … ]

Some members of the community aren’t convinced.

In an open letter, a coalition of community leaders condemned a product they believe “damages the goal of unity and further divides our community.”

Joined by the local president of the NAACP, Rev. Terrell Jackson, three members of the South Bend City Council urged Barthel to “discontinue sales.”

This is more than an idle threat considering that, according to a report by the Star Tribune, public records show that the city of South Bend made purchases of more than $64,700 from Barthel’s company in 2013 alone.

Read more.

Reader’s may order a Breathe Easy, Don’t Break the Law t-shirt by clicking here.

Cops and the Robbers: Bill, Al, Eric and Barack (Part 2)

The United West presents Part 2 of a two-part series on the horrible execution of two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos by Muslim criminal, Ishmael Abdullah Brinsley.

Our “big” idea is that this sad event is a sign of things to come, particularly if any element of the Muslim Brotherhood collaborates with the Nation of Islam in the urban centers of American cities.

Join us as we develop the timeline of both Ferguson and New York and you will see how Al Sharpton, figures out how to exploit both tragedies for his own self-aggrandizement!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Al Sharpton who followed Mayor Bill de Blasio to Washington to meet with President Obama. Photo: Ron Sachs: AP.

Washington State Rep. Shea demands Apology after Deputy says Armored Vehicles needed to combat Gun Owners

The video below of Washington State Representative Matt Shea demanding an apology, after a deputy said Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles are needed for gun owners, is a quick study of leadership by an elected official.

shea

Representative Matt Shea, Washington State (R-District 4).

The Great State of Washington has a leader in Representative Shea, but he is more than a public official. Matt is an attorney, and proudly served in our military two tours of Iraq in military intelligence. Thoughtful, studious, and passionate about a person’s freedom and the sovereignty of a city, county, or state, Representative Shea is not about worrying over his next election or committee assignment or building a resume. Representative Shea knows the citizens of this Nation are in a war for the very survival of our country, and the enemy is “behind the wire” and determined to collapse this Republic we call home. I also know Representative Shea personally, and call him “friend” and colleague, in that, we both are working to preserve these exceptional United States.

Moments after concluding his speech, Matt, Sheriff Richard Mack, and I were on a conference call. One of the topics discussed was rallying elected officials to stand against the growing juggernaut, which is the Federal Government and its many agencies. Since the near disaster at Bundy Ranch almost a year ago, we are aware of a growing list of elected officials who have come forward and placed their responsibilities to their Oaths of Office and representation of citizens first, and concerns with re-election a distant second. These elected officials embrace the foundational concept:

People are free and equal, and they voluntarily transfer some of their rights via a social contract to a government – mostly to protect them from violence, so they may enjoy their freedoms and their lives.

Governments exist by the consent of the people in order to protect the rights of the people, and therefore, governments that fail to do so can be resisted and replaced with new government. Listen to Representative Matt Shea speak truth and speak as a leader. We need this in those we have elected to represent us. American voters will trust a leader who believes in right and wrong and acts on it, even at his own seeming expense. And the reverse is also true: a leader must trust the American people, believing they are both good and gifted, equal to almost any challenge thrown at them.

Politics for those in office so they can remain and get internally promoted to this coveted chairmanship of a committee, or the corner office, or bigger title is crude and rude, we are losing our country and do not need such office holders. We need leaders who are willing to publicly place the people above themselves, above ideology, above political agendas. We need leaders who will stand and speak straight with the citizens, as you will see when you click on the below link and listen to Representative Shea; leaders who will call-out those abusing their positions of trust; those in public office who, for whatever reason, have forgotten their Oaths of Office, much less that all positions of public trust are but temporary, and an honor to hold – not a right.

If you elected official is not coming close to the ideals I have mentioned, or those you will see and listen to then put them on notice! Enough! We are losing our country and this is NOT a drill!!

On the Horrific Assassination of Two of New York’s Finest

“The two officers were pronounced dead at Woodhull Hospital, where their colleagues and family members huddled tearfully. City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio were less than welcome guests at the poignant gathering. “We’re all in this together,” the mayor told grieving cops, according to a cop who was there. “No we’re not,” one officer said tersely in response.” – Taken from today’s New York Post.

I cannot appropriately express either the grief for the families, the rage I have towards the killer, or the deep disappointment I harbor for the New York City Mayor and the self-absorbed frauds he surrounds himself with, with words powerful enough to soothe my emotions. The below picture was sent to me by a former NYPD colleague of mine a little while ago. It is a warning sent out weeks ago to the officers of the NYPD about a credible threat to their lives.

bongino photo of officers killed

For a larger view click on the image.

As a child who grew up just miles down the same Myrtle Avenue Street where these two NYPD brothers in law enforcement were brutally assassinated on, just five days before Christmas, I understand the concerns of the citizens who live there. The death of any human being, whether at the hands of another citizen, or at the hands of law enforcement, is the death of a unique and invaluable collection of experiences we call a life. But, instead of a rational, dignified conversation about the very serious issues surrounding policing in modern America, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to be a hustler. He chose to be a grotesque caricature of a leader, instead of a genuine leader and, in the process, he ratcheted up emotions by making specious correlations, he had no evidence to support, about the motives of the members of his own police department.

I spent most of my adult life in law enforcement. I spent most of my childhood on those New York City streets. Did I run into bad cops? Of course. Were bad cops the rule? Ridiculous. The cops I worked with had kids to feed, mortgages to pay, garbage cans to take out at night, homework to check, and a job where the possibility of never returning home was a black cloud that followed them overhead wherever they went. Just imagine for a moment walking into your office on Monday morning and finding the message above taped to your cubicle.

I ask you to join me tonight in asking The Lord to help the families of these heroic officers cope with the horror of their loss just five days before Christmas. I also ask you to join me in asking The Lord for men and women of character, on the many sides of this complicated and ongoing debate, to be given the strength and the platform to begin to heal this great nation from the damage imposed upon it by the hustlers among us who have profited handsomely from trafficking in division and hatred.

God bless America, and all those who defend her.

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EDITORS NOTE: Dan Bongino is the bestselling author of the book Life Inside the Bubble and was the 2012 and 2014 Republican nominee for the United States Senate and 6th congressional district in Maryland. He served for over a decade as a special agent in the United States Secret Service, and currently owns a security consulting business. He is a contributor at Conservative Review, a radio host and a frequent guest media-commentator on political issues and security matters. The featured image is of Police Officer Rafael Ramos (left) and Police Officer Wenjian Liu who were killed in the line of duty Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn. (DCPI).

BGF logo

BGF tatoos. For a larger view click on the image.

About the Black Guerilla Family

The Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), originally known as the Black Family and Black Vanguard, is an influential African American prison gang active in California and Maryland. Since its formation in the San Quentin State Prison in California in 1966, the BGF has developed into a highly organized gang that resembles a paramilitary organization.

BGF members are highly influential within the prison system and are known to recruit correctional facility staff to aid their illegal activities. In addition, BGF is actively involved in drug trafficking, extortion, and violent crimes within the prison system. Cocaine and marijuana sales account for the majority of the gang’s income. Known alliances of the BGF are the Nuestra Familiar and Dead Man Incorporated.

Read more.

Brooklyn cop killer’s FB page: “Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah”

Ismaaiyl Brinsley murdered two policemen in Brooklyn today, as they were having lunch. The murders are being reported as revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. However, there appears to be more to the story. His Facebook page [above] contains a photo of Qur’an 8:60, which includes the phrase, “Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah.”

He also identifies himself as an Arabic speaker, which is not common among gangbangers:

Brinsley

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