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.
Blood banks had enough on hand to announce shortly after the attacks that they were prepared to provide to the victims; this should warm your heart. People did not wait to hear about shortages. They simply showed up ready to give.
At the moment, no one knows for certain what the demand is for prosthetics and all associated costs. We might as well give until we get the all-clear.
The following list of amputee-related charities was provided to PJ Media by Wounded Warrior Project Resource Center:
Immediately after the blast, the heroes coming towards the danger, determined to help, struggled to get past the safety barricade lining the street to reach the victims. Then, at 1:43 of this video, two uniformed soldiers sprint into the shot.
If you know our soldiers, you know these two already decided that the barricades were going to come down before they got there. And they do take them down, and help streams in.
I’ll be thinking about these two heroes for a long time. If your kids are old enough to watch, this might strike you as a valuable opportunity for teaching character.
A Florida Planned Parenthood official just stood in front of the Florida legislature to advance the argument that perhaps some life is at the whim of the living — “legitimate life,” for a perfectly representative description of her argument; there is no daylight between her testimony and an advocacy of decriminalizing murder.
If a child brought into the world under such circumstances is unworthy of life via the intentions of the mother, logic dictates that the child would be placed in such limbo indefinitely, until such time as the mother chooses to kill it. Two minutes later, twenty-five years later: if this monstrous woman could shape a society according to her testimony, then the mother would necessarily have a permanent right to slaughter her child.
Further: changing her mind, at any point, would change nothing.
If the mother decided she no longer wished the child to be dead, the logic of this “Legitimate Life” testimony — that some life is at the whim of the living — requires that the mother could always change her mind once again.
Which brings us to this: a government-funded organization just sent a representative to testify that she is not entirely sure a mother does not have an inalienable right to murder; the president whose administration funds her organization has expressed the exact same sentiments, and in fact voted on them — several times.
An honest culture, an honest media would consider this distinction:
– Todd Akin expressed an opinion supported by no one of his party, that was a part of no platform, that virtually no one alive had ever heard expressed before, whereas …
– This demon in Florida is not the first to equivocate on murder; she has an ally in a high place, and belongs to a billion-dollar organization that has equivocated on “legitimate life” frequently and publicly.
One of these incidents deserves a national conversation — especially during the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a man who actually acted on the theory of “legitimate life,” and likely murdered hundreds.
But the other one got it.
Idyllic southeastern Connecticut — for my money, one of the premier spots in America for quality of life considering its low real estate prices, lovely coastline, and proximity to New York and Boston — has put together an equally idyllic run of perfectly humiliating national news stories. Astoundingly, all the open-fly-in-the-yearbook-photo headlines have been generated by the crumbling ex-whaling hub of New London, some accomplishment considering its sub-30,000 population.
Almost since whale oil was replaced by drilling, a collection of Detroit-style Democrats have maintained a chokehold on this American city in need of revitalization and reinvention. A century later, there is no justifiable reason — considering New London’s natural beauty and location — for it not to be Connecticut’s version of the Hamptons besides its wretched collection of Democrats.
For example, Ernest Hewett (D):
State Rep. Ernest Hewett, D-New London, refused to resign Friday after losing his role as deputy speaker of the House over what was taken as a lewd remark he made to a teenage girl at a legislative hearing last week.
“I’m not stepping down from the seat. I have people in New London I have to represent here,” said Hewett, 56, an eight-year House veteran.
Hewett said Thursday that he didn’t mean anything sexual, but admitted he could see how someone could take it that way and added: “I have weird ways of getting my point across.”
Just how weird was revealed Friday … The girl to whom he made the remark — whose name and high school were muted off the recording at the points she said them — testified to the committee for about her positive experience as a “teen ambassador” for two years at the science center. … ”During that time I was able discover that I really love working with children. It was so much fun for me. I was able to teach little children about certain things, like snakes that we have.”
“And if you’re bashful, I’ve got a snake settin’ under my desk here,” Hewett said.
Wonderful. The girl is seventeen. And lest you think he feels troubled by a supposed slip of his forked tongue and perhaps might want to recompense by offering the girl some career assistance:
Hewett also told the Courant that he had no history or problem with women, but did not want a female intern in his office.
“I purposely will not have female interns,” he told the Hartford paper. “My intern now is a male. I want to keep it like that. I’ve had female interns in the past that sit in my office all day. I thought it was totally weird and I didn’t want another.”
Hewett also told the paper he went several years without an intern because he only wanted male interns, and couldn’t control who was assigned to him.
“They may give me a female, but I don’t want a female intern,” he told Courant staff . “That may sound sexist, but I really don’t. That way that keeps me good, and that keeps everybody else good.”
So that’s the most recent humiliation.
Go back to 2011 for New London’s prior national headline: does Hewett’s (DDDDD) way with the ladies top the “$11 million toilet”? You decide:
NL shuts off water because people have been defecating and urinating in fountain
New London - The city turned off the water at the new whale tail fountain over the weekend after someone defecated in the water, City Councilor Michael Buscetto III said.
“People are using the tail as a latrine,” city resident Evelyn Louziotis said. “It’s an $11 million bathroom.”
“It’s sad,” Buscetto said during Monday’s City Council meeting. “It’s two steps forward and three steps backward. There are people in the city who don’t care, and they need to be dealt with.”
Buscetto said since water started flowing in the whale fountain last month, police and fire officials have been called for people urinating, defecating and washing themselves off in the fountain water. He said some people who have cut themselves have also used the fountain to rinse off blood.
In an attempt to bring some tourism to the waterfront, New London bypassed measures such as “tax breaks”, “crime prevention”, “sanitation”, and “relocating the prostitutes”, and instead went with outrageously expensive public art, and then chose an installation which sprays water downward from a height without foreseeing that some might find such an installation useful as a shower.
Moments ago, American Seniors Advocates President Randy Lewis responded to PJ Media via phone regarding the White House’s not-so-subtle attack on Bob Woodward’s age:
David Plouffe is an ass. No one is ever too old to contribute to the national dialogue. And Bob Woodward and his distinguished career deserves more respect from someone with so little professional achievement.
If unfamiliar with ASA, they are allied with the American Seniors Association. From their website:
Welcome to the new choice and the new voice for America’s seniors. American Seniors Association is the fastest growing seniors’ advocacy in the nation and an emerging conservative voice on the national issues that impact seniors.
At American Seniors, we believe that America’s seniors deserve respect, admiration and support for the contributions they made throughout their lives building families and the enhancing the quality of American life.
We believe that you deserve choices when selecting who best represents your interests in Washington, D.C.; and we believe you deserve choices when selecting benefits that help you live a healthier and wealthier life.
We also believe that our members are individuals. That is why our benefits are structured to allow you to make choices based on your individual needs.
If you believe in individual liberty and the importance of having choices in your life, then you are an “American Senior.”
UPDATED) Did New York Times Just Publish Staged Photos on A1, Above the Fold?">(UPDATED) Did New York Times Just Publish Staged Photos on A1, Above the Fold?
Today’s New York Times, print version, publishes three photos of the clashes on A1, above the fold. The caption reads:
Clashes in Syria, and a Potential Step Forward
Top, two insurgents in Damascus took position before being hit by army snipers; the fighter on the right died soon after being dragged from the line of fire. On the political front, Syria’s top opposition leader expressed a willingness for the first time to talk with the government.
So: three photos are prominently featured in the print edition, and 14 are featured in a gallery online.
However, the picture described in the print edition as “Top, two insurgents in Damascus took position before being hit by army snipers” does not appear in the online gallery.
I have been unable to locate it on the NYT website.
This picture made the cut for the top three pictures to be published in the print edition — indeed, it is featured on top — but did not make the cut for the much larger online gallery.
Here it is, from my phone:
In that picture, note the two men are supposedly taking cover from Assad’s forces, which would be to the photographer’s right.
But in picture 7 from the online gallery, this:
If Assad’s forces are to the right, these two FSA, and the photographer, would appear to be sitting ducks.
Also here in picture 9:
And in picture 10:
Additionally: this man is supposedly shot by a sniper bullet, and is being dragged. No blood is visible on his clothing or on the ground in any picture.
Will make a few phone calls, and will update this post.
A video camera is visible in picture 7, by the FSA member’s right knee. It appears to be pointing directly at the two men supposedly under fire:
In picture 10, the video camera is clearly visible, perched on a small tripod:
So: the photographer managed to be in position to capture two men supposedly in peril, one of them subsequently shot and killed, and just happened to have the presence of mind — and luck — to set up a second camera, for video, in what would be a perfectly clear vantage point to film the drama. From a tripod.
No smoking gun, but I believe there is enough accumulated evidence present to be objectively suspicious.
The photographer for the gallery is listed as Goran Tomasevic of Reuters. Putting in calls to Reuters to see if they have footage from that video camera, and to see if the Times can answer why the key photo from the print edition is missing from the gallery.
UPDATE: PJ Media Middle East Editor Barry Rubin weighs in:
“1. I believe the photos were falsified.
2. You do not take cover from a sniper by putting your back against a wall. That makes you a target in a shooting gallery. Incidentally, these photos look almost identical to the false photos in the Muhammad Dura case, in which Israelis (who were not in range of the place) supposedly killed a boy in Gaza. He and his father were backed against a wall in clear sight of the alleged Israeli soldiers. The photographers were positioned almost identically, out in the open and in imminent danger if their story was true. The father and son were slumped just like in the photo — and there was no blood. I wouldn’t be surprised if the people who organized this hadn’t studied that footage.
3. The arms visible are an AK47 and an RPG. More important, a sniper would be using heavy ammo and aiming for the head to be certain to kill the targets. The guy’s head would have been blown apart, he would have been thrown hard against the wall and there would be blood everywhere. The wall is clean.
4. Look at the placement of the gun on top of the dying man. It obviously has been laid there. If the guy had been shot and thrown back the gun would have flown into the air. We need to believe that he was hit, thrown back, fell, and yet the gun in effect merely dropped into his lap.
4. It is not only the presence of the cameraman, but his posture. He is holding the equipment calmly and stably, as if he has no fear at all and plenty of time, as if he were settled in and hadn’t thrown himself into that postition. Also, he knows exactly what to photograph. One would expect him to be snapping shots of the sniper and moving his camera around quickly.
5. In the dragging photo, the man is positioned so you cannot see the head, and as you point out, there’s no blood. Moreover the other guy is sitting calmly in the same place! His gun isn’t even up and pointed! If your friend was shot dead by a sniper you can’t see a moment ago, would you just keep sitting there unprepared?
I am not an expert on photography, but I believe these are false, indeed ridiculously so. I believe an intelligent editor should have had serious questions about this, especially after there has been so much controversy about falsified photos.
My opinion is that there is no big political goal here, but that the photographer wanted to have good photos to sell.
Note the photographer’s commentary:
There were two rebels next to me and two rebels across the street. A couple of sniper shots were fired. They were clearly sniper shots, not Ak’s, as they came one by one. I could clearly see through the lens when they actually shot the rebel. The rebel next to him was also shot and injured but he should recover after being hit in the stomach.
So: the photographer is claiming that in this picture …
… the man in camo on the left has just been struck in the gut. By a sniper bullet.
Also note that nowhere in photographer’s comments does he mention where on his body the supposedly dead man was struck by the fatal shot.
This email just came in to PJ Media. Reprinted in its entirety:
1. A man came in at 7:30 to vote. He correctly gave his name and address. When told that someone had given his name and already voted, he was upset. He said he had just gotten off his shift at work and come directly there to vote. Obviously, since he was at work, it could not have physically been him who cast the earlier vote.
2. An older woman (I think 87 years old) came in to cast her vote. The records showed that someone had requested, filled out and submitted an absentee ballot in her name. She was VERY upset and the Chief called down to BOE Headquarters. She later came back with her daughter/granddaughter and they made quite a fuss. Threatened to call the TV stations and announced that they had contacted someone who was apparently well connected to complain. They left without voting.
3. At about 10:00, we had a curbside request from an older woman who was so infirm, she could not make it into the polling place. When the worker looked up her name, it reflected that she had already voted earlier in the day. She also left without voting.
So, in a matter of 3 1/2 hours at as relatively slow precinct, we had three different cases of pretty obvious voter fraud. As if it needed to be pointed out to those silly Democrats who claim that voter ID laws disenfranchise poor or minority voters, all three of these victims of fraud were black voters.