The BBC reports that a proposal to place a moratorium on fracking for two-and-a-half years was crushed today in Parliament. The proposal was supported by, eh, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood:
(Westwood, wearing several coats)
The Environmental Audit Committee had put together an audit on fracking which had recommended the 30-month ban on the grounds of there being “huge uncertainties” about the practice:
We called for a moratorium on fracking because it cannot be accommodated within our climate change obligations. A halt is also needed on environmental grounds, and it is essential that further independent studies into the impacts of fracking in the UK are completed to help resolve the environmental risk uncertainties.
The vote was a massive rejection of this logic, a mirror of the delaying tactic currently being employed regarding the Keystone XL project in the United States. Prime Minister David Cameron, in a stark contrast to President Obama, has claimed he is ready to go “all out” on shale gas because of the economic benefit and the reduction of reliance on foreign sources.
While liberal Los Angeles ties itself in knots attempting to hide its general disdain of the troops while still impressing their colleagues with “brave” yet watered-down, even backtracked criticism of American Sniper, the Los Angeles Times Fashion section takes a courageous stand in defending designer Rick Owens’ decision to send his models down the runway looking like the window of a butcher shop:
Rick Owens’ brave male models bare all on runway
Designer Rick Owens — that scamp — drew gasps and stirred up a social media storm on Thursday during his Paris Fashion Week men’s show by sending some of the models out in deconstructed togas strategically cut with holes that gave peek-a-boo views of their family jewels. In other cases, the models reportedly just dispensed with pants altogether. When wire services transmitted the photos to news outlets, they helpfully warned in all caps: NOTE NUDITY. [Refinery 29 (NOTE NUDITY)]
Once Owens had everyone’s attention, he also showed beautiful sweaters, suits and coats.
Everyone has quirky hobbies and interests, but the human race would be hard-pressed to think of a less enjoyable evening for most of humanity than a viewing of balls followed by a viewing of sweaters.
(Pictured: role model)
But they were brave! And so was Lena Dunham when she falsely accused a man of rape and regaled her fans with comic tales of sexually abusing her sister, and so was Wendy Davis when she filibustered a late-term abortion bill. Meanwhile, Chris Kyle is a coward, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali is banned from speaking at Brandeis.
Add “brave” to the liberal lexicon of things that mean the opposite of what the language intended them to mean when lefties say it. Along with “social justice” (the opposite of justice) and “human rights” (things that cannot possibly be rights), ”brave” now means “publicly doing something tangentially related to sex.”
Specific Terror Threat? ISIS Supporter Threatens ‘Caesium 131′ Attacks in ‘Boston, Dallas, Virginia’
Earlier today, MEMRI.org (subscription required, posted with permission) published an article exposing a further example of ISIS exploiting social media to strengthen its global reach. This incident is an example of ISIS using online media both to post threats and to recruit jihadists worldwide.
The ISIS supporter makes specific threats regarding targets in the West, even mentioning the use of “Caesium 131 poison.”
He also reaches out with support and advice to the misleadingly titled “lone wolf” jihadists living in the West. In reality, these jihadists have proven to generally have documented ties to the global jihad movement and to be already known to Western law enforcement. Note that the ISIS supporter actually uses the term “lone wolves,” a term not dreamed up by any jihadist movement, but by Western governments downplaying the reach of global jihad and the extent of the infiltration within their own countries. In the first two paragraphs of his essay, the ISIS supporter specifically challenges the accuracy of the term.
On January 10, 2015, ISIS supporter “Hamel Al-Bushra” (Bearer of Tidings”) posted on his Twitter page[i] an article titled “Lone Wolves,” in which he threatened a wave of lone wolf terror attacks in Western cities.
Attacking the members of the rival organization, Al-Qaeda, he says that they do nothing except write in the magazine Inspire from time to time – whereas ISIS has continued fighting the “internal enemies” within the Arab world, thus compelling the “far enemy” – America and its allies – to intervene and become entangled in a difficult war.
This is an interesting point — ISIS grew from the former al-Qaeda in Iraq, yet is now attempting to poach al-Qaeda members with boasts of being the bloodier organization.
He then notes that two major turning points reawakened the lone wolves to action in their countries: the call by ISIS spokesman Al-’Adnani to commit terror attacks in the Western countries, and the declaration of the Islamic Caliphate. Following these milestones, lone wolves in Western countries began feeling that were no different than the fighters in Falluja or Kobane, and set out to attack the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Sydney, Belgium, France and many additional places. He notes further that Muslims are subjected to bombings and degradation in their countries, and that lone wolves balance the equation by retaliating against the West.
The writer warns the people of Europe, Russia and the U.S. that the lone wolves will soon strike them in their cities with bombs, knives, car bombs and even by spreading hazardous radioactive caesium 131 in the streets and train stations. He also advises lone wolves on field security, telling them, for example, not to use the telephone before and after an operation, to cover their faces during an operation, to prepare escape routes, etc.
Below is a screen shot of the Twitter account followed by an English translation of the essay posted by the ISIS supporter. Both are from MEMRI:
The following is an English translation of the article that was released by the pro-ISIS media company Al-Khilafa Media Foundation.[ii]
Lone wolves or City lions
The doings of our heroic Mujahedeen in the East and West countries of attacking the Infidels’ heads and those who support them is lone terrorism in the eyes of the west, but in reality those are the wolves of City who repelled against the heads of infidels and their soldiers. In the eyes of Mujahedeen, those are what the holy book of Quran told us: “So fight, [O Muhammad], in the cause of Allah; you are not held responsible except for yourself…” [Surat An-Nisā'- 84]
The lone wolves believe that what they are doing is a great worship that they do to be nearer to Allah; killing the heads of infidels, their soldiers, allies, and those who disbelieve in Allah, whether they are civilians or military workers fro they are the same, they are doing such following the footsteps of their ancestors, and when they remember:
Mohamed bin Maslama and what he did with the enemy of Allah Ka’ab bin Ashraf, they get out to the streets of Madrid, Sydney or Texas, carrying their knives and edged weapons stabbing their stomachs, beheading their heads, and by doing so they are following the footsteps of Mohamed bin Maslama, in which his actions was pleased by the prophet, and the prophet was happy with his action, and actually the prophet himself is the one who sent him to do this operation!
And when they remember Abdullah bin Unais, the city wolf gets out depending on Allah, taking his pistol, and he enters a Police station, or a Government office or a Church and by doing so he avenged for Allah and His prophet peace be upon him. The lone wolf remembers the prophet’s companions and the salaf who followed them like Fairus Aldaylami who cut the head of Al-Aswad Al-`Ansi, he -the city wolf- remembers them and he gets out to New Jersey or New Mexico and takes out the lives of the enemy’s soldiers and commanders on their streets and public squares.
On this way the lone wolves follow their example before: Mohammed Bin Maslama, Abdullah bin Unais & Fairus bin Dulaymi in chopping off the heads, stabbing the stomachs and shattering the skulls of infidels. So to give them the taste of their own medicine, make them feel what life is like, living in Fallujah in Iraq, or Kobane in Syria, what it’s like to experience the day and night bombs dropping from sky, the missiles hitting our mosques, homes, killing our children, killing them in the streets of Norway, Florida, Montreal, Finland, Lisbon, Luxemburg, & Canberra will terrorize them, and it will make them feel our wrath.
Let the equation be balanced, let the words of the Shaheed and the Imam Osama bin Laden be like it be: “I swear to Allah that America will not dream, neither those who live in it to have peace until we have in Palestine, and until crusaders leave and empty the peninsular of our prophet Mohamed peace be upon him”
Quick Review back
The Strategy of the Sheikh was to fight the infidels, and he did it with all he could, 11 September was a good example, before that there was USS COL, followed by the operation of our brother Omar Al-Naijeyri, Sheikh Osama every time explained his actions in every operation with a recorded message.
What Changed After Sheikh Osama
What changed is that, there were no actions, words replaced them, sadly so but this was the reality, accompanied by avoiding fighting against the internal enemy as a “strategy”! So we did not see this or that, except the “Inspire Magazine” which we recommend, Thanks to Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki –May Allah Accept him- who took part in creating the magazine.
Islamic State -on the other hand- have one strategy that is: fight the nearest, and it forced the far Americans and their followers to enter in a bankrupting fight. The Islamic State succeeded to hurt the near enemy and forced America to enter and fight, also Islamic State has established Dabiq Magazine, and Al-Hayat Media Center, intended to address the west, and it did not add anything to an audio speech by the official spokesman Abu Mohammad Al-Adnani titled:
“Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful”
Urges the Muslims to fight the criminals, the head of Kuffar, and the warlords who begin to fight the Islamic State.
The announcement of the Khilafah was the key to good, and the outlet for those lone wolves after Osama died, and the Qaida of Al-Zawahiri became the head, not the Qaida of Osama Bin Laden.
The head of the snake(United States) was still the enemy, the rest (the tail of the snake) was left roaming around, till new heads were born! And the tail was the one who singled in killing, imprisoning and fleeing Muslims, and when it was hit by the brothers in Iraq -for example “Irbil” they (Al-Dhawahiri’s Qaida) said: no! It was better to hit the head! And by this way, the head and the tail were all left! Al-Qaidah deceived (with false illusions) its followers, supporters, and soldiers in hitting the head of the snake, but no one answered, this was for a number of years, still no one answers!
After the speech of Al-Adnani, we saw the effective result, the Lone Wolves again were at it, they took the responsibility to hurt the Kuffar where it would hurt mostly, they carried out attacks on the streets of New York, hitting police stations, then in Ottawa where the Parliament guard was targeted, the effect of Al-Adnani Speech was felt in several Western countries in France, Belgium, Australia, United Arab Emirates, The Two Holy Mosques Country, France and we for sure still will see again blessed operations. Sheikh Al-Adnani -may Allah keep him firm- said:
Those who observed the reasons of the Lone Wolves operations will realize that the reasons are the oppression of these countries, in their own countries or in Muslim Countries, These Operations were carried out because they banned the veil, they fought every small right that Muslims have to worship, they fought the Mosques, they forced people to follow the democracy in the Muslim countries, which is a great Shirk (polytheism) unknown by many of our Muslim sons, and made it a god besides Allah, and they intervened and fought against the Muslims who intended to apply Sharia and the law of Allah in their Land, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia & the Levant recently are good examples and now we see the coalition of almost 60 Countries against the Khilafah!
So after all these, how come that you want the lone wolves to stop and not act, how do you want our lions in Europe, Australia, America, Canada, Russia, how do you want them to watch their Muslim brothers get killed, how do you want them to stop, How?
“To the People whom their countries participate in the coalition against the Islamic State”
Can you live in Raqqa , or Kobane, or Falujjah, or Jurf Al Sakhr, or Belad, or Mukeishifah, or Ishaqi, Or Tarmiya, Or Ghouta? Your Answer is: No, for sure. Why you can’t live in those cities? No worries, I will answer, because the coalition’s fighter jets, bomb and destroy everything, they carry out this barbarism act with the help of their proxies, the children of Ibn Al-Alqami, the bastards! (Shi’i government)!
So our Lions, Our brothers in Islam, those who did the operations of Charlie Hebdo, the operation of Ottawa Parliament, the Sidney Café, Our Lone Wolves wanted to give you a taste of your own medicine, they wanted you to try and experience somehow what’s happening in Fallujah or Raqqa, a places where you can’t live, but we live in there with the help and the guidance of Allah “Glorified and Exalted be He”.
And you are getting killed because of your Denial and not Believing in Allah First and then because of your fighting against us and your tyranny towards us.
In the Lord’s eye this is justice, this is balance, and he is with us, and he will help us defeat you, Don’t you see, we are small in number, but we are growing day by day, and we are destroying the defense and the forts of your proxies, those you chose to represent you.
Allah said in His Holy Quran: “Whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you” So do you feel the same way we do, O’ the people of Europe, America, Australia, Canada & Russia?
I don’t think so, you descendants of Monkeys & Pigs!
I don’t Think so, you worshipers of the cross!
I don’t think so, you atheists!
I don’t think so, You Majus!
No, No!! So I say to you, wait for more of our Lone wolves, the lions of the city, to make you understand justice, and to make you feel the same way we do, to wake you up from your sleep, and the agonies of your desires!
Yes you will feel the same way as we do, when you hear the bombs going off in the streets of San Francisco & Belgium!
Yes you will feel it, when the silencers will be used to shut you up forever in the streets of Madrid, London & Sydney!
Yes, you will feel it, when you wake up to have your breakfast and you hear the effect of the explosives in the city, and when you go to your work there await you the descendants of Al-Zarqawi to behead you with their knives, when the silencers of Abu Umar Al-Baghdadi await you on the streets and roads. Yes, you will feel it when the Caesium 131 Poison spreads in the streets and the train stations of Russia, Boston, Dallas, Virginia, & Amsterdam.
I promise you all that I said before, it will happen, no matter of what you do to be care full , it will happen, as long as you still occupy our countries and bomb us and kill our children and women! Yes, I promise you, so wake up and watch out, be care full, watch out when you go to work, watch out when you enter your work premise, hire security guards, anyway they won’t matter, because our target is you, not them, we will target you, in Short leave your work and watch out, from now on you are a target to us, wherever you are!
I believe whatever operations that happened and you watched it and heard it, it’s all the beginning, beginning for declaring your countries and cities to be a part of the Islamic State, to be part of the great Islamic Caliphate. And don’t you be surprised by that, I am not exaggerating, Allah Knows. God is with us, and he will support us and help us, and Allah is Owner of the Kingdom. He gives the kingdom (governance) to whom he will.
Allah said in His Holy Koran: “Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient”
Thawban (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAAW) said: “Allah drew the ends of the world near one another for my sake. And I have seen its eastern and western ends. And the dominion of my Ummah would reach those ends which have been drawn near me …” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah, Hadith 5144)
And this is advice to the City Wolves:
Take what suits you and benefit you and we hopefully would not be denied the rewards of your good deeds: After you do your operation, stay away from your known locations, your familiar area. Don’t Use phone calls before and after your operation, and don’t depend on official paper works. You must cover your face, and you must not leave any thumb prints as your brothers of operation Charlie Hebdo did. You must have a plan for you withdrawal after the operation is done, a clear and effective plan, so they won’t be able to trace you easily. Hurry up and move to another state immediately after your operation. Make sure you have your belt ready, don’t you ever allow them to catch you alive so they will torture you, become Shaheed and kill couple of them at the same time. Avoid large numbers in your operations, it will make hard for you to withdraw afterwards.
We gladly and happily inform the Islamic Ummah of the martydom of brothers:
May Allah accept them.
“And Allah is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know” And accept my words O’ Lions of the City, for you are the one who resides in his heart:
Your lover brother: Hamil al-Bushra (Glad Tidings Carrier)
Your brothers in: The Media Front for the Support of the Islamic State Al-Khilafah Media Foundation
Rep. Dave Brat — the only Ph.D. economist in Congress — released this statement following President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on economic issues:
Brat Takes Obama to Task for Being a Pretend Populist, Harming the Economy and Wages
– Response to State of the Union –
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 20, 2015) – Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) issued the following response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight:
“President Obama used the State of the Union tonight to play the populist card, which he’s trying to define as giving away free stuff. But as an economist, I can tell you his giveaways aren’t free. He’s trying to hide the true cost from the American people, just like he did with Obamacare. We all pay for these programs in the end through higher taxes, more government spending, and a weaker economy.
“But it’s hard for him to call himself a populist when he’s not actually looking to empower the American people, but is instead looking to increase the concentration of power in government. True populism is what conservatives are trying to do: Break up the accumulation of power in Washington and give it back to the American people.
“The president has also called for more taxes to feed Washington’s insatiable spending appetite. Hardworking Americans pay enough in taxes.
“Increasing taxes on anyone – whether the wealthy or the middle class – only slows the economy down. Higher taxes discourage people from saving, investing, and buying things. That means businesses can’t grow, can’t create more jobs, and can’t increase their workers’ wages. That hurts everyone. It’s Economics 101.
“There’s also a fundamental difference in how the president and most Republicans feel about business – whether business is a force for good or something that needs to be continually punished. While I speak out against cronyism between some big businesses and government, I believe businesses are generally a force for good – successful businesses grow our economy, provide incomes for our families, and do good works in our communities. A true populist understands that most people need to work to provide for their families and that most of them work in the very businesses the president seeks to punish.
“If we want to turn our economy around and create more jobs and higher wages for all Americans, history shows that we should be cutting taxes and encouraging business growth rather than turning more money over to government, which continues to spend uncontrollably and put us further into debt. It’s also critically important that we simplify and make our tax code fairer, treating all taxpayers equally rather than having a tax code that allows politicians to pit them against one another.”
Just posted at MEMRI (subscription required, shared with permission): late last year, an Indian jihadist was arrested for his involvement in planning an attack on schoolchildren attending the American School in Mumbai.
The jihadist’s Facebook page was being monitored, and he was caught recruiting a willing U.S.- based jihadist to undertake a similar attack here.
An Indian Muslim youth arrested in connection with a terror plot to attack a school in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, was in contact with a U.S.-based jihadi, according to Hindi-language daily Dainik Bhaskar.
Anis Ansari, who was arrested in October 2014 in connection with the terror plot to target the American School situated in the Bandra-Kurla area of Mumbai, was in contact with U.S.-based jihadi youth Umar Ilhaji through Facebook chat.
Ansari, using his identity as “Logan,” was teaching Umar Ilhaji how to carry out an attack in the U.S. As per the media report, Umar Ilhaji (aka Al-Haji) was using his real name for the Facebook chat.
The following are translated excerpts from the chat between the two youths; they may have taken place over a period of time:
Logan (Anis): “Where do you live?”
Ilhaji: “Lebanon, but I live in Darul Harb [Land of War]”
Logan: “Saudi Arabia?”
Ilhaji: “Unfortunately, I live in America, but I didn’t come here out of willingness.”
Logan: “Do you know how lucky you are?”
Ilhaji: “You are joking. How could I be lucky when neither I want to live here nor the people here want so? I want you to reconsider whatever you said.”
Logan: “The mujahideen across the world dream of launching an attack in America on their own. From Yemen to Somalia and Afghanistan, the mujahideen want to do this… They want that the enemy be killed in their home. Have you not heard of attacks carried out on one’s own? Whereas we are very far and cannot do much.”
Ilhaji: “Include me in your team. I too want to become part of this action (jihadi attack) because you think that for this action I am in the right place; that is, America.”
Logan: “You can do a lot on your own; you do not even require help from someone. If you want, by spending 100 dollars you can have the earth under Obama’s feet sink. For this, only courage is needed. You would have heard of a vehicle bomb, IED [improvised explosive device], or pressure-cooker bomb.”
Ilhaji: “Yes, why not. How can a mujahid with hot blood be unaware of these?”
Logan: “Then why is the delay? For targets, you have lots of options near you. I’d bet on this.”
Ilhaji: “Can you help me in this?”
Logan: “How can I help you in this? I am very far from America.”
Ilhaji: “Where are you after all?”
Logan: “Hind; that is, India.”
Ilhaji: “Ok. But our Indian brothers are fighting a war in Kashmir.”
Logan: “This war is about to expand across the entire Indian Subcontinent.”
Ilhaji: “I like your advice. You are a born leader and motivator. I will continue to take advice [from you] in my action, as I will need someone to help me.”
Logan: “You can ask me for advice any time.”
Ilhaji: “I will ask you to reconsider the target (attack on the American School in Mumbai). You need to be cautious. And yes, why do you want to attack the American School only? There are innocent children there, what is their fault?”
Logan: “[I want to target] the American School because there in addition to France and Italy, children from ten allies of America study there. We should hit that part of the enemy which causes the most pain. I mean: the citizen. The deaths of soldiers do not cause pain because this is their line of work.”
Ilhaji: “I agree with you, but in India where would you find such targets?”
Logan: “In Mumbai itself… One can find many targets here.”
Ilhaji: “Your plan and advice are really fabulous.”
Logan: “It will be fabulous only when one puts them into practice. Our one small effort can help the Islamic State (ISIS) a lot. The day America realizes this – that the war in the Middle East has now reached its soil – then the same day will be decisive victory for the Islamic State and mujahideen of the world.”
Ilhaji: “But you should reconsider about attacking the American School.”
Logan: “Aside from that, I do not have any other school in my list because this is indeed a special school. Here all the children are VIPs who are connected to the governments and administrations of America and Europe. Here the teachers and staff are high-profile. However, this work is very difficult because for 24/7 Indian security forces maintain vigilance.”
UPDATE (3:45 p.m.): The Interpreter blog offers the following analysis, closed by the key observation that the shelling appears to have come from Russian-backed areas — which would conflict with the Donetsk People’s Republic’s claim that they had captured the airport earlier today, as reported by the NY Times:
The video is dramatic. First there is a strange noise, then a massive series of explosions on the horizon. The title of this video suggests a massive airstrike has just hit Donetsk. It was shot within the last hour.
That scenario, however, is unlikely. It’s not clear what payload a single aircraft could deliver that would cause that many explosions spread out over a very wide area. The roar we hear before the explosions is likely the sound of rockets traveling through the air, many rockets since this appears to be the result of a multiple-launch-rocket-system, perhaps a Grad strike.
The fact that we hear the rockets before seeing the explosions means that they likely came from behind the camera – territory held by the Russian-backed fighters.
Most of the rockets hit the western half of the airport, and all of those explosions give off about the same amount of light and sound.
However, there are two more things that are odd about this video. The first is that there are several much louder and brighter explosions in the center.
The second is that there are a long series of explosions far off to the right after this initial wave. These explosions are the last of the series, are much fainter flashes, and don’t appear to give off any sound.
So what just happened? Here’s our theory.
A multiple-launch-rocket-system, likely a Grad launcher, struck the airport. This would account for the large amounts of explosions in a tight cluster.
A different weapon fired the shots that hit in the center of the screen. We used a stop watch to time the gap between the light and the sound of these explosions. It took approximately 8.57 seconds for the sound to reach the camera, which means that the explosion was approximately 1.86 miles away. What this means is that those shells are much closer than the ones that hit on the right side of the screen. But it’s also possible, as we see on this map, that they may have hit a series of fuel storage tankers which are near the airport (the same ones filmed by Graham Phillips earlier today). Might that account for the fact that four of the explosions appear to be much larger than the rest? Either way, this indicates a coordinated strike between multiple artillery batteries:
The last set of explosions may also be Grad rockets, but they likely targeted the Ukrainian position near Avdiivka. Interestingly, though, these explosions are much further to the east than we’re used to seeing. Perhaps they missed their target?
Either way, if the Russian-backed fighters are the ones shelling the airport, then it’s another sign that they do not fully control this location.
Russia Today has posted the below security camera video, in which several large explosions begin around the :46 mark.
The airport was already in ruins from months of shelling, as per this drone footage also posted today, yet still considered a strategic site:
On the below video posted today by Euronews:
A Ukrainian military spokesman said six of his troops were killed in attacks by separatists in 24 hours of clashes. Another 18 were wounded.
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko refuted claims that rebels had taken hold of the airport and said they had been repelled completely from around the new terminal, a strategic site in the east of the country.
This tweet comes from Oliver Carroll, a reporter in Ukraine:
Further to the last post, sounds in Donetsk centre mostly due to outgoing artillery – which has, in past few hours, been strangely silent
— Oliver Carroll (@olliecarroll) January 16, 2015
There is much other talk on Twitter that the sounds in the above security video just prior to the explosions may be a jet engine, indicating an air strike, but so far there is no confirmation of this:
— Conflict News (@rConflictNews) January 16, 2015
Russian separatists have also claimed to have been hit by an airstrike at #Donetsk airport, so this seems to jive with that report.
— Conflict News (@rConflictNews) January 16, 2015
A series of wiseguy tweets intended to spur international chaos or something have been posted at the official Twitter feed for United Press International.
If you’ve gone through the trouble and legal ramifications of gaining control of an international media feed, you’ve got to bring it with better material than this. The “banking holiday” tweet, the first hacker offering, wasn’t going to fly with anyone, damaging credibility of the rest. Nothing has been posted in over 30 minutes, so order has likely been restored:
JUST IN: Bank of America CEO calls for calm: Savings accounts will not be affected by federal reserve decision.
— UPI.com (@UPI) January 16, 2015
Pope: “World War III has begun” pic.twitter.com/Jgfb8KZvgc
— UPI.com (@UPI) January 16, 2015
JUST IN: Xi Jinping: Obama “condemned” for Asia pivot, “has forced China to protect its interests through military means”.
— UPI.com (@UPI) January 16, 2015
US Joint Chief of staff: USS George Washington damaged, US navy now engaged in active combat against Chinese vessels in South China sea.
— UPI.com (@UPI) January 16, 2015
BREAKING: Chinese anti-ship missile fired at USS George Washington.
— UPI.com (@UPI) January 16, 2015
BREAKING: Federal Reserve announces banking holiday for the week ending January 23rd.
— UPI.com (@UPI) January 16, 2015
Now posted on MEMRI.org (shared with permission), an “ISIS Sermon from Al-Raqqah by Tunisian Cleric Kamal Zarouq” celebrating the Paris terror attacks.
Screen shots with English translation are listed below, followed by the full clip with translations:
MEMRI.org posted the following series of pictures and text earlier today (subscription required, shared here with permission):
On January 15, 2015, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a collection of images showing the enforcement of the hudud (Koranic punishment) in Ninawa, Iraq. The images show the execution of two men convicted of homosexuality by throwing them from a tall building; the crucifixion of two men convicted of armed theft; and the stoning of a woman convicted of adultery.
This is the second confirmed case of ISIS executing gay men by throwing them off a tall building. In December 2014, ISIS executed a homosexual in a similar way.
“Muslims gather to witness the execution of the hudud”
“First homosexual being pushed off a building rooftop”
“Second homosexual thrown off a building”
Second man plunging to his death (body of the first man thrown is visible on the ground)
The two dead men
Two thieves awaiting their execution
The thieves shot from behind while being crucified
Reading the sentencing of the woman prior to stoning
ISIS men stoning the woman to death
Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray and Ellie Hall are keeping a running list of which organizations are censoring the Charlie Hebdo images which two jihadists today — and a significant portion of the Muslim world when the images first appeared — judged to be crimes worthy of death.
The UK Telegraph pixellated an image, and also tightly cropped one to avoid publishing a Muhammed cartoon being held by the now deceased editor.
The New York Daily News also pixellated an image.
The AP released a cropped image. And CNN reportedly pixellated an image, per Gray.
Moments ago, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest offered the administration’s take on how terrorist attacks like the one in Paris today can be prevented in the future:
[O]ne core component of our strategy has been to mobilize the forces or the leaders in the Muslim community, particularly the moderate voices in the Muslim community to talk about what the values of Islam really are. It’s a peaceful religion and it’s terrible that we are seeing some radical extremists attempt to use some of the values to that religion and distort them greatly and inspire people to commit terrible acts of violence.
Here’s video of the exchange:
Moments ago, CNN published an op-ed by Raphael Sperry, who is introduced by CNN with the following bio:
Raphael Sperry is president of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit group that advocates for socially responsible design. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and a Soros Justice Fellow.
Sperry’s piece is titled: “Architects and torture: What color is your waterboard?” He uses the piece to air his grievances with the American Institute of Architects, a professional association that has refused to add, according to Sperry, “specific language to its code of ethics that would prohibit the design of torture chambers in U.S. prisons and around the world.” Sperry claims there has been “years of advocacy and formal requests” to the AIA to do precisely this; as a source he links to this article in The Nation.
It appears that most of the advocacy on behalf of “social justice” causes within the field of architecture is coming only from Sperry’s aforementioned ADPSR.
Their most prominent cause appears to be forcing architects to no longer design “execution chambers and spaces for solitary confinement.” Indeed, Sperry devotes a substantial part of his op-ed to solitary confinement.
Despite years of advocacy and formal requests, the AIA — which claims as its members a majority of the roughly 110,000 architects in the United States — has officially declined to add specific language to its code of ethics that would prohibit the design of torture chambers in U.S. prisons and around the world. In doing so, it cites anti-trust concerns and the potential difficulty of enforcing the prohibition, but it ignores the claims of human rights. (emphasis added)
The “potential difficulty” noted by the AIA is a rational, diplomatic response to Sperry’s campaign. He has obviously devoted significant energy to this cause, yet the logical outcome of such a campaign is an absolute failure to affect anything related to torture. If the U.S. government chooses to continue with enhanced interrogation, language within an architecture professional association’s bylaws is not the slightest speed bump.
Sperry knows this. He must know this.
His campaign is about his conscience, the esteem related to being part of what he views as a moral cause. He demonstrates the transparency of all similar “awareness” campaigns, an act of vanity proffered as a useful advance for a cause. If Sperry truly wanted to put an end to waterboarding, he would take a tack that actually stood to end the practice.
Rationally, he’s wasting his time unless his true goal is to advance his own professional and public stature. And so goes the life of the social justice warriors, affecting nothing but their memories.
On December 17, a site called InSerbia.info published a 400-word piece under the sensational headline:
Seven Primary School Students Pregnant After Five-Day Excursion
The original article has now been linked by the New York Post, the London Daily Mail, the New York Daily News, Australia’s Courier Mail, Newser, Cosmopolitan UK, and several others. None have performed any follow-up to confirm the original reporting.
And one newspaper has added details to the story that were never reported.
Even in the less media-dense environment of Bosnia, such a culturally incendiary story should have resulted in local politicians and ne’er-do-wells jumping in front of a camera, and copious b-roll of the school’s front entrance. None of this is present. The only source referenced at all in the story is ”Serbia’s National Coordinator for Reproductive Health Nenad Babici” — Babici is described as claiming that this incident happened. But Babici is not quoted as saying it happened, he is paraphrased. The remainder of the article does include a direct quote from him, but the quote doesn’t refer to the incident. It instead pushes what is likely a top agenda of his ministry, which is that teenage sexual activity can have other health consequences, and that curbing teen sex is the responsibility of both the parent and the school:
National Coordinator for Reproductive Health of the Republika Srpska Nenad Babici said that children engage in sexual relations as early as at age of 13 or 14 and added that primary school students from a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina went to a five-day trip, and after some time it turned out that seven schoolgirls got pregnant on it.
He said that the reason for this was neglect of parents, but also educational institutions, toward the education of children.
Babic said that early engagement in sexual relations later leads to a series of consequences such as infertility, various diseases, miscarriages and premature births.
“In the Republika Srpska between 15 to 18 percent of people are struggling with infertility, we have 15 percent of miscarriages and between 5 to 10 percent premature births,” he said.
Only last year, according to the Clinical Center of the University in Sarajevo, 31 minors gave birth, four of them are 15 years old, ten are 16 years old and 17 are 17 years old.
Look at that last paragraph: if a city the size of Sarajevo only recorded 31 instances of teenage births last year, then Sarajevo doesn’t have a teen pregnancy problem, unless the rate of teen pregnancies that are aborted is stratospheric.
Meanwhile, this story claims the girls were visiting Sarajevo from “a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina” called Banja Luka. It is not at all clear as to what population that “31 minors” is drawn from.
Beyond the shortcomings of the article itself, how likely is the story’s claim?
Statistics on the percentages of unprotected sexual encounters that result in pregnancy are not wonderful for obvious reasons; this study referenced in this BBC article puts the figure at about 5 percent, except for the short window prior to ovulation during which the study estimates the odds at 25 percent.
So either the seven children were ovulating at the same time and had about four encounters each, or they each had closer to 20 encounters over the five days. Or all 28 students were active and about to ovulate. Either/or.
Every scenario presented by this article seems absurdly improbable, from the incident itself to the manner of the coverage. To a link-seeking media searching for a scoop, this is where we are expected to either get to work debunking the article, or to stay clear. So how did our brethren respond?
As mentioned, the original article has been linked with confirmation of the original reporting by mainstream newspapers, magazines, and sites. Additionally — and perhaps representing the worst offense of the bunch — the Daily Mail added details to the story that were never reported.
On MSNBC with Jose Diaz-Balart last night, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) insisted that the murder of two NYPD policemen had nothing to do with the protest movements that arose following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Said Meeks:
If you listen to everybody who was either a coordinator and to the vast majority of the people who were demonstrating, if you listen to the Brown family, you will see and hear that everyone was talking about nonviolence and anybody who was violent was against the movement for justice they were calling for.
No one that I heard was talking about violence towards police officers. Those that this act, which is an isolated act, I don’t think was connected at all to the individuals who just simply want the justice system to work.
Meeks’ statements are categorically false.
Many of the coordinators of the demonstrations have unequivocally advocated for violence against police, as has been assiduously monitored and recorded by thousands of camera-wielding participants and media.
The forty or so buildings which were torched in Ferguson by hundreds to thousands of rioters make his “vast majority” statement improbable (the use of the phrase “vast majority” to alleviate a group’s responsibility for violence is a well-worn, intentionally vague and undefinable descriptor).
And Michael Brown’s stepfather supported the precise opposite of what Rep. Meeks claims he supported. He urged Ferguson protesters to “burn this b**** down”; supporters honored the request.
This is a video of Eric Holder saying that race relations are in a better place in this country following his tenure as attorney general:
That was a video of Eric Holder saying that race relations are in a better place in this country following his tenure as attorney general.
Just a short while ago, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson brought up the 2006 movie Death of a President, a classic example of the leftist “it’s intellectual when we do it” impulse, which fictionalized what might happen following the assassination of George W. Bush. The film received praise from the expected quarters, which hailed it as some sort of envelope-pushing edgy discourse, and not at all an example of subjective morality and ideology.
But Johnson just used it this morning during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell — he seems to have arrived prepared with Death of a President to use as an analogy — as an overarching example of how speech is tolerated in this country as compared to how Sony has been threatened for its speech that denigrates the DPRK. Said Johnson:
I was offended by the movie, but people in this country have the right to produce all sorts of different accounts of things that we do not attempt to restrain in any way.
Yes, “all sorts,” but not all sorts.
Here’s a link to Glenn Woods, father of hero Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, murdered in Benghazi, claiming that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told him she “would make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” That film, the one which offended the 23 or so Muslims who had actually seen it at the time of Woods’ murder. The making of the film itself was a violation of the filmmaker’s parole, but Clinton was not aware of the filmmaker’s identity at the time of her statement to Glenn Woods. She simply happened to find certain speech to be actionable, in opposition to the Constitution and to Jeh Johnson’s statement today.
Clinton had no such prosecutorial tendencies about Death of a President.
And she followed through, too:
As did Lois Lerner, and those who targeted Sharyl Attkisson.
And those who, under the supervision and direction of Johnson’s DHS, censor counterterrorist training material that challenges Islam, to the detriment of our security.
Johnson is credibly referring to the First Amendment, but not to his administration. I am terribly bothered by representatives of this administration who refer to America as they administer it to be representative of America as codified by law. Had Sony produced a film depicting the assassination of President Obama — or at the very least, a film offending the sensibilities of Muslims, or a film championing the Tea Party — this administration has a track record of taking deliberate, severe, illegal actions to restrain speech.
On Wednesday, Senator Ron Wyden (D) of Washington was having none of Sen. David Vitter’s (R) proposed amendment that would prevent your tax dollars from being spent in weed shops. Lean forward or something:
Who is he referring to?
Folks, we should know this by now: if a story appears with a sensational headline yet with few, if any facts or background, presume it’s false. When journalists actually do stumble across stories that obviously require verification, we know to do the verification, and to include the verification in the article. We don’t write 300 words and move on.
On December 14, New York Magazine’s Jessica Pressler included 17-year-old Stuyvesant High School student Mohammed Islam as “Number 12″ in the magazine’s annual “Reasons To Love New York” series. The article went global quickly, including coverage in the NY Post and NY Daily News. It was Facebook’s most popular topic earlier today.
From Pressler’s article:
Late last year, a rumor began circulating at Stuyvesant that a junior named Mohammed Islam had made a fortune in the stock market. Not a small fortune, either. Seventy-two million.
An unbelievable amount of money for anyone, not least a high-school student, but as far as rumors go, this one seemed legit. Everyone at Stuy knew that Mohammed, the soft-spoken son of Bengali immigrants from Queens and the president of the school’s Investment Club, was basically a genius.
Mo, a cherubic senior with a goatee and slight faux-hawk, smiled shyly. “He’s quiet today,” said Patrick Trablusi, who was seated with Mo and Damir at a table littered with empty glasses. “Humble.” And tired: “This is our third meeting of the day,” Damir said, signaling to the waitress for another round. “We saw a real-estate agent, a lawyer, you …”
“Next we’re going to see a hedge-fund guy,” Patrick said. The friends locked eyes and started to giggle.
“He basically wants to give us $150 million,” Mo explained, a blush like a sunset creeping over his cheeks.
Giggling high schoolers locking eyes and blushing. Sounds legit.
So does this Facebook page Islam posted just a few hours ago referring to himself as a “public figure,” and on which his latest post states:
It has came to my attention that some people disprove of my spending habits. As a young man I am just beginning to make friends and understand the world, develop philosophy- but later in life I promise that I will lead a humble existence and dare not to spend lavishly and needlessly.
Moments ago, Rep. Dave Brat’s Communication Director Brian Gottstein send out the following release. The amendment puts GOP leadership on record as funding amnesty, should it fail. It currently has the support of 53 members.
Conservatives should appreciate the efforts. I take the proposed amendment as a sign that Brat takes his mandate to halt amnesty as a promise made to his district. Most point to Brat’s opposition to amnesty as the primary reason he defeated Eric Cantor, and Brat’s victory over Cantor was later revealed to be the primary reason that amnesty didn’t happen last summer.
Brat proposes amendment today to stop Obama’s amnesty order
WASHINGTON, DC (December 10, 2014) – Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) joined Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) and Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) to offer an amendment today to the omnibus budget bill to cut off funding for President Obama’s attempt at executive amnesty. As of the latest count, 53 of their House colleagues have also signed on as cosponsors.
The proposed amendment will be presented to the House Rules Committee for consideration this afternoon.
“Our amendment is simple and straightforward,” said Brat. “It specifically says DHS cannot use funds to implement the executive amnesty outlined in 10 memos from DHS and two from the president himself. Our amendment says we in Congress refuse to allow an agency of this government to commit an act that the leadership on both sides has said is illegal.
“The president himself said he does not have this power. The Constitution says he does not have this power. And the American people have demanded the rule of law be followed. This amendment will ensure that happens.“
UPDATE: As commenter rrpjr notes below, Andrew Breitbart once gave Blumenthal the treatment he deserves, face-to-face: ”You’re a joke. You are a despicable human being. You are the lowest life form I’ve ever seen”:
In 2013, Max Blumenthal published Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, his latest output in a career marked by vicious attacks against the Jewish state. Goliath attempted to make comparisons equating the behavior of Israel with that of Hitler, because of course it did, because that’s what anti-Semites do. He’s not the first lowlife to attempt to define the single Jewish state by the monstrous behavior of the man who murdered six million Jews as a means of destroying its legitimacy.
Alan Dershowitz said the following after the release of Blumenthal’s book:
Max Blumenthal is well outside the acceptable range of rhetoric about Israel. His constant comparisons between Nazi Germany and the Jewish state establish him as an extremist bigot whose greatest appeal is to anti-Semites and others who apply a double standard to the Jewish state. … No decent person should ever support the views expressed by Max Blumenthal.
J.J. Goldberg pointed out Blumenthal’s despicable chapter titles, in “Max Blumenthal’s ‘Goliath’ Is Anti-Israel Book That Makes Even Anti-Zionists Blush“:
Lest anyone miss the point, many of [Blumenthal's] chapters have titles like “The Concentration Camp,” “The Night of Broken Glass,” “This Belongs to the White Man” and “How to Kill Goyim and Influence People.”
Blumenthal’s book did, in fact, cause a ruckus within the hate-Israel left. Per Goldberg, The Nation columnist Eric Alterman wrote:
I expected to disagree with its analysis. I did not expect it to be remotely as awful as it is…. It is no exaggeration to say that this book could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed).
So, the New York Times published an Op-Ed authored by Max Blumenthal on Sunday evening.
Of course, the topic was the racist nature of Zionism and the Israeli populace in general, as per his abhorrent book:
Over 60 years before Lehava’s segregationist crusades, there was the socialist Zionist “Conquest of Labor” that organized Jews-only work collectives and boycotted businesses that employed Palestinians. Before the settlements, there was the kibbutz movement whose admissions committees denied residency to anyone but Jews. Before the wave of vigilante “price tag” attacks on Palestinians, there was the Nakba that expelled some 750,000 Palestinians in order to establish Israel’s Jewish majority. And as Marzel mentioned, there is the Jewish National Fund, a para-governmental group founded by Theodore Herzl to provide land exclusively to Jews which recently oversaw a program that would have led to mass expulsion of Bedouin called the Prawer Plan.
If a shift is underway in Israeli politics, it is primarily tonal. Israel’s rightists intend to carry on the Zionist project as originally conceived, but without the pretense of democracy. In a way, their honesty is refreshing.
Apparently his Nazi comparisons were too much to include in the NYT, but he gets his point across about the Jewish state being fundamentally evil with a couple of propaganda paragraphs that might as well have been published on Stormfront.
Blumenthal and Stormfront: now that’s a legitimate comparison. David Duke happens to be a fan of Max.
(H/T Mark Hemingway)
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, PJ Media Legal Editor J. Christian Adams points out that the months of cynical manipulation of Ferguson protesters by the Obama administration were sustained by Attorney General Eric Holder following the grand jury decision. Adams reported earlier this week that Department of Justice lawyers simply do not believe they can bring federal charges against Officer Wilson, yet Holder has chosen to let protesters believe this may not be over. Perhaps Holder has calculated that his best interests lie in the continuation of false hope amongst his political base:
Natalie Dubose, owner of Natalie’s Cakes and More on on 100 South Florissant Road in Ferguson, had her store looted last night, then appeared on a local Fox affiliate hours later after what must have been a torturous, sleepless night, and could not possibly have been any more lovely and demonstrative of her obviously exceptional spirit. I simply could not have made such an appearance without expressing rage; Natalie is instead primarily concerned that she may not get her Thanksgiving orders out on time to what must be a loyal group of customers.
Al Sharpton could not be reached for comment.
Watch her interview here, then visit her Facebook page here and send her some business. The likelihood that her insurance policy would cover a riot is next to nil — she’ll need a heck of a lot of extra business to get back on her feet.
He switches it up this time, showing that he is not only the precise embodiment of the far-left, Woodrow Wilson-style mastermind who believes it’s his moral duty to lie his sub-mental followers towards a better life, but that he is also the precise embodiment of the far-left Woodrow Wilson-style mastermind who can bedazzle his sub-mental conservative opponents with his theoretical intellect.
In the 2011 video shot by TrueNorthReports.com and sent to Watchdog.org on Thursday, Gruber appears before the Vermont House Health Care Committee to present recommendations for a universal, publicly financed health care program. The recommendations were part of the 2011 “Hsiao Report” submitted to the Legislature by economist William C. Hsiao and co-written by Gruber.
As Gruber sits listening, the committee chair reads a comment from a Vermonter who expresses concern that the economist’s plan might lead to “ballooning costs, increased taxes and bureaucratic outrages,” among other things.
After hearing the Vermonter’s worries, Gruber responds, “Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?”
The remark was met with uproarious laughter.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you. It continues:
Contrary to Gruber’s snarky insult, the comment was not written by an adolescent.
“It was actually written by a former senior policy adviser in the White House who knew something about health care systems,” said John McClaughry, a two-term Vermont state senator and adviser to President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
McClaughry, who wrote the comment in an op-ed weeks before the 2011 committee meeting, told Vermont Watchdog he did not know Gruber made the condescending insult. However, he was aware of other videos discovered this week in which Gruber boasted of writing deceptive policies to trick “stupid” American voters.
“No one should trust this man. … Based on the rest of the stuff that’s come out on the videos, nobody can trust this guy. He has no use for transparency, he thinks people are stupid, and he’ll do anything to get this thing through and pocket his $400,000. That’s not in the interest of the people of Vermont,” McClaughry said.
Watch the video on the next page.
While the anti-Semitic elements of France certainly have a greater hold on their zeitgeist than their counterparts in the U.S. do, that the current targeting of the Jewish state lives entirely within the far-left political sphere is an exact correlation to current U.S. culture. Desiring the weakening — or destruction — of Israel is not merely a common tenet of the far-left anymore, it’s adopted dogma and a primary pursuit of the movement.
Today, the Times Of Israel reports:
CRIF, France’s federation of Jewish organizations and communities, said the submission to parliament of a draft motion favoring immediate recognition of a Palestinian state risks exacerbating anti-Semitic hatred.
CRIF urged French lawmakers to refrain from voting in favor of the motion, which a predominantly Socialist bloc this week submitted to a vote in the French lower house later this month. Last week, the French Green party advanced a similar initiative in the French Senate.
What socialism has to do with opposing the Jewish state, that’s well-trod ground. What’s the Green’s dog in this fight? Well … I guess it’s because they’re socialists, too.
“In France, after the anti-Semitic riots this summer, this declaration will certainly not be interpreted as a peace initiative and risks exacerbating the anti-Semitic tensions which we saw last summer,” reads the CRIF statement on the planned vote, which is slated for Nov. 28.
From Jan. 1 to July 31, the SPCJ security service of the French Jewish community documented 527 anti-Semitic incidents compared to 276 in the same period of 2013. The increase was largely attributed to the targeting of Jews by Muslims and Arabs in response to Israel’s killing of hundreds of Palestinians in its summer war with Hamas in Gaza.
The French draft motion follows the adoption last month of a similar motion in Britain’s House of Commons and in Ireland’s upper house. Also last month, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said his country would recognize “Palestine.” Another draft motion was submitted to Spain’s congress for a vote later this month.
France, Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Spain. Our window for safely, responsibly taking the Steinbergs on that European vacation narrowed just a bit more.
Pelosi on Gruber: “I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill.”
— Sean Sullivan (@WaPoSean) November 13, 2014
Typing “Pelosi” “Gruber” into my browser … Oooh boy:
— David Steinberg (@DavidSPJM) November 13, 2014
Should we assume that Pelosi underwent some degree of preparation ahead of facing a media that would likely address the Jonathan Gruber videos? This would imply that we have to assume “Gruber? Eh?” is the PR response they chose as the winner.
Yet with the history of the ACA so intrinsically tied both to Gruber and Pelosi, and the media coverage of his involvement so thorough, I can’t imagine she was coached to say this. She must have called an audible, and it came out as just about as terrible and exposing of a move I could imagine a politician making.
She had to assume she’d get away with it, which implies that she does hold Gruber’s exact views on the intelligence of the Democratic base by making a statement disavowing knowledge of his existence.
Can’t fix stupid.
As reported here yesterday, the State Department’s Jen Psaki was unable to use the word “murdered” in the administration’s official response to yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem that ended the life of three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun. Then, outrageously, she urged “all sides to maintain calm” in the wake of the infanticide.
Imagine being a member of the baby’s family and receiving that message.
Today, one of those “sides,” the evil one, posted this outrageous image sanctifying as courageous the act of infanticide. It reads:
The Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
Fatah. Not Hamas, the supposedly more extremist member of the joint Palestinian Authority ruling coalition, but Fatah, the “moderates” who have had the honor of frequent audiences with our secretary of State, and who have batted out around the U.S. like a cat toy for some 25 years now with this “moderate” charade.
I expect the State Department to do nothing, or to request Fatah remove the image as a “gesture of goodwill,” and dismiss it as some sort of necessary, realpolitik pandering to their extremist base.
Don’t stand for it this time. Make Kerry answer for his useful idiocy. Force him to represent the U.S. as a country which actually upholds humanity in some regard.
Despite stunning achievements in air travel safety, terrible things happen. You are safe in the air, yes, but you are never guaranteed your safety in a world of men, or in a nature that plays dice.
Aaron Karp, senior editor of trade publication Air Transport World, points out the confounding events of the past year: not only has the grand Boeing 777 — which did not have a single fatality in its 18 years of operation — crashed three times in 377 days, those three crashes were just about the strangest ever seen by the industry:
In June 1995, United Airlines became the first airline to operate a Boeing 777. Since then, more than 1,200 777s have been delivered to airlines around the world and the popular widebody twinjet has clocked millions of flight hours. For 18 years, there were no fatal 777 accidents and only one hull loss resulting from a 777 flight — the British Airways 777-200ER that landed short of the runway at London Heathrow in January 2008, which caused substantial damage to the aircraft but no fatalities. There was also an EgyptAir 777-200ER that suffered irreparable damage from a cockpit fire on the ground before it was scheduled to take off from Cairo in July 2011. Everyone safely got off the aircraft.
This history underscores how stunning it is that, in the space of just 377 days, three 777s and 540 lives were lost in three of the most bizarre airline crashes ever. First, on July 6, 2013, there was the Asiana Airlines 777-200ER hitting a sea wall while attempting to land at San Francisco International, breaking apart and bursting into flames. Amazingly, 304 of the 307 passengers and crew aboard survived, including flight attendants ejected from the aircraft during the crash sequence.
Then, of course, there are this year’s twin Malaysia Airlines disasters. MH370, a 777-200ER, disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew aboard and still, more than four months later, not a trace has been found. Boeing chairman and CEO Jim McNerney this week called MH17, the 777-200ER that was barbarously shot down with 298 people aboard over eastern Ukraine on July 17, a “particularly unsettling and painful moment in the history of aviation.”
What makes the three 777 hull losses in fatal accidents in just over a year hard to fathom is that there is no safety issue with the 777 itself …
The disappearance of MH370 certainly appears to have been terror — the pilot intended to at least hijack the flight, though I have yet to hear evidence that he chose a 777 for any reason relating to the product itself. And MH17 most definitely was taken down by terror, though intercepted recordings point to the malicious operators of the Buk having not intended to target a passenger craft, much less a 777 specifically.
The San Francisco crash, strange at was, was stranger still in that a fatality occurred when a survivor was struck by an emergency vehicle.
In a year, 540 people have perished on one of the safest, soundest transports ever created — and it’s still just as safe as ever. Crazy world.
Moments ago, ABC News published their coverage of today’s White House Summit on Working Families. During the event Michelle Obama used a racial slur. This slipped past the writer and editors at ABC, who made no reference to her usage of the word:
[F]irst lady Michelle Obama admitted to a few of her own struggles as a working mother while making the case for flexible workplace policies for families.
“The first thing I tried to do, which was a mistake, was that I tried the part-time thing … I realized I was getting gypped on that front,” she told ABC’s Robin Roberts at the event, which aimed to bring attention to strengthening the nation’s workforce by addressing various workplace difficulties. “What happened was I got a part-time salary but worked full time.”
Of course, the term “gypped” is a slur referencing the supposed criminal behavior of Romani, or “gypsies,” though it is often still used colloquially by people who are unaware of the term’s history and connotation. For comparison, imagine Michelle had claimed she was getting “Jewed down,” or had referred to an “Indian giver.” “Gypped” bears the same strand of malevolent history and intention, though the term is still more commonplace.
Considering Michelle Obama implored Americans to ban the term “bossy,” and to the myriad non-liberals who didn’t get a pass for their respective “binders full of women,” or who were pilloried for hunting in the vicinity of a racist rock, she has dug her own hole here, and deserves what she metes out.
UPDATE: ABCNews published at least two articles on the racist rock that had absolutely nothing to do with Rick Perry. Their radar is much less sensitive when the content is Michelle Obama’s actual words.
In an interview this morning with CNN, Susan Rice qualified her earlier statement that Bowe Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction”:
“I realize there has been lots of discussion and controversy around this,” Rice said. “But what I was referring to was the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That, in and of itself, is a very honorable thing.”
Of course it is, though no unbiased listener could possibly have drawn the conclusion that she was referring to having volunteered, because she said “served,” and because her excuse raises the possibility that a soldier could be dishonorably discharged with honor and distinction. Presumably, she is attempting to pause the news cycle until the weekend with this nonsense, though I don’t see how this buys the White House much beyond further ridicule.
I just spoke with David Oscar, the communications chair for the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters and a partner at Altigro Financial Group. He had this to say regarding President Obama’s attempt to offer a one-year restoration of canceled plans:
This a new insanity.
I do not know how the insurance carriers and federal government are going to be dealing with this. First, many states require a 60-day notice of a change in plan or a cancellation. It’s November 15! How can they comply with this new element of federal law, and with their state laws?
Second, do they really think carriers are going to be willing to recreate the old plans, while also being mandated to offer the new ones that comply with the exchanges? I have a large number of clients, small to medium-sized businesses, who would much rather renew their old policies on 12/1 than sign up with the newly mandated exchange policies. Everyone is going to want the old ones! You really expect the insurance carriers to willingly deal with the financial loss and legal headaches of switching back?
It is going to be very difficult for carriers to honor this.
Last night at 11:00 p.m., MSNBC’s Geoff Cowley posted an article titled: “Millions will lose their old health plans under Obamacare—and most will come out ahead“:
As critics excoriate the administration for misleading the public, here’s a point to bear in mind. The affected consumers aren’t getting ripped off. Most will get more for care their money under the new system than they ever could have hoped for under the old.
Earlier in the day, Mediaite’s “Tommy Christopher” tweeted the following regarding the woman featured on CBS who had her policy canceled, and who could only find a plan 10 times more expensive as an alternative:
@tommyxtopher The only reason people “like” pre-ACA plans is they know s*** about them. CBS lady thought she had a $50 copay. Nope
That’s two well-trafficked left-leaning outlets committing to perhaps the most obnoxious possible tack in response to the debunking of Obama’s “if you like your plan, you can keep it” lie. This is nothing new for the left in terms of subjectivism — “the ends justify the means, even if we didn’t actually produce the ends” speech has kept many Democrats in office. But the arrogance and dismissal of their readership’s intelligence inherent in this particular stance?
Be aware: they have committed to this ride to their last breath.
(I did give it back to Tommy a bit. Was hard to let that one go.)
The Hartford Courant has reported on Connecticut organizations receiving federal grants to act as “in-person assisters” for the purpose of registering people for Obamacare insurance plans. Many of the groups receiving this grant money nationally are partisan and controversial (including the previously reported involvement of Planned Parenthood.)
For example, a New Haven, CT organization called “Junta for Progressive Action” is one of 300 grant recipients in the state. When it isn’t signing people up for Obamacare, Junta for Progressive Action advocates against policing policies that help catch illegal aliens.
Will organizations such as Junta that possess a clear ideological bias be required to check the immigration status of those they help navigate through the troubled Obamacare web portals?
Some Hispanic families may think twice about exploring the new coverage options because they don’t want to discuss immigration matters, said Yanil Terón, executive director of Center for Latino Progress in Hartford. “They’re concerned about coming forward,” she said. Undocumented immigrants cannot reap the law’s benefits, but their U.S.-born children can apply for HUSKY, the state’s subsidized health program.
Consumers must provide information about citizenship status, income and other matters to determine eligibility for Medicaid or subsidized private coverage with Access Health, but conversations remain confidential. “We want to create a safe environment for families who have people who are eligible for coverage but don’t want to jeopardize an undocumented individual,” said Skene from Access Health.
“There is no punitive immigration follow-up. That is 100 percent not part of the enrollment process,” added Jason Madrak, chief marketing officer for Access Health.
Recall, the “honor system” is utilized elsewhere in the Obamacare enrollment process: for example, statements of income are not being verified.
Access Health, Connecticut’s official Obamacare exchange, received a $125,000 grant “to support grass-roots education and enrollment, with a focus on increasing coverage in communities of color.” Via organizations such as Junta, the state is deliberately directing resources towards shopping Obamacare plans by race.
Broadly, “culture” is also a target: per Emilia Skene, “an in-person assister recruitment coordinator with Access Health,” Connecticut is trying to undo a “cultural mindset among Hispanics” of individual responsibility that prevents Hispanics from racking up medical expenditures:
“We need to change the way that Hispanics think about health care,” said Skene. “We want to show how accessing preventive care on a regular basis and establishing a long-term relationship with a physician can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a healthier community.”
“It’s true,” said Cruz, of the tendency by Hispanics to exhaust home remedies and over-the-counter medications before seeking medical care. “We were raised to try to solve these problems on our own. The last thing we want to do is go to the doctor.”
While Skene’s stated motivation is to usher Hispanics towards professional health care, the objective success of her taxpayer-funded activity would equal additional taxpayer-funded health expenditures. Taxpayer money is thus being utilized by politically biased groups to advocate for greater usage of taxpayer money, and the groups are operating on the honor system in terms of possible citizenship and income fraud.
(Bryan Preston assisted with this article.)
The most notable takeaway from Jay Carney’s incomprehensible Friday appearance had little to do with his Klingon grammar. Carney does not represent the historical value of the event – you should be wise to forget his performance, and instead take note that he was flanked by the entire room, without exception.
Do not underestimate the significance: the Obama administration has not faced such an onslaught of truth-seeking since he took office in 2008, and further, no Democratic administration has been charged from all sides like this in recent memory.
That press conference was unthinkable just days ago.
For a left-leaning reporter – as surveys have confirmed most are – watching the WH Press Corps attack a Democratic administration regarding a scandal that could very well topple it must objectively represent a career-turning event.
Just hours earlier, many lefty journalists still felt exceedingly comfortable advancing the administration talking points, offering denigrating coverage of the whistleblowers, the “wingnut conspiracy theorists,” and conservatives in general. Professionally, this meant offering subpar commentary with little chance of notable criticism penetrating the MSM bubble.
Again, it was the entire room.
Can they still feel safe trashing political enemies without getting justly reamed by their employers and colleagues? Can they still offer work that hasn’t been bulletproofed and sourced without embarrassment? Can they wink-wink, nudge-nudge with their friends anymore?
Heck, do they even know who their friends are anymore?
Watch their Twitter timelines, their future articles, because I think the MSM just went Mad Max, every man for himself.
If it continues, this would of course be a wonderful development for the American citizen, the restoration of the press and its check on government corruption. Is the decades-late media audit, the return of professionalism and honor, finally underway this evening?
I don’t have the highest hopes of a full recovery, but a monumental change did just occur, and there will be fallout, and likely no return to the monolith of the past five years.