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Mr. Spock, RIP

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Leonard Nimoy has died:

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).

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Don’t Despair About ‘Net Neutrality’ Yet

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
FDR, making use of the very latest communications technology

FDR, making use of the very latest communications technology

It ain’t over ’til it’s over:

Despite the Federal Communications Commission’s historic vote Thursday in favor of net neutrality, the fate of the Internet is far from settled. The FCC’s action triggered jubilation among open Internet enthusiasts, but the powerful telecom industry is poised for a legal challenge to the new rules. And Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that would supersede the FCC’s approach.

In a 3-2 vote along party lines, the FCC acted to implement net neutrality rules designed to ensure that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all legal content equally, eliciting howls of protest from the ISPs.

Responding to the outcome with mockery and defiance, Verizon dismissed the new guidelines, which are based on a 1934 law, as a set of rules “written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph.” And in a clever PR gambit that was shared widely on social media, the company issued statements opposing the FCC action written with a typewriter in Morse code.

Remember that the FCC is a creature of Congress and Congress could abolish it tomorrow should it wish to. Of course, it won’t. Because what is more permanent than the legacy of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration? For Democrats, the New Deal is far more important than the Mosaic Law.

AT&T raised the prospect of court challenges that would block the FCC from enforcing the rules. “We once again face the uncertainty of litigation, and the very real potential of having to start over — again — in the future,” said Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president external and legislative affairs, in a statement.The FCC’s previous net neutrality rules were thrown out by a federal court last year.

That won’t stop these devils from trying until they get what they want, however.

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Ready for LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM? Wesleyan University Sure Is

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The nuns warned us it would eventually come to this. Welcome to the world the satanic Left is building for your children:

Open House is a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.

And in case sadism and masochism aren’t dangerous enough, the university, located in central Connecticut, offers this warning:

Lead Paint Disclosure: Housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead from paint, paint chips, and dust can pose health hazards if not taken care of properly. Lead exposure is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women.

Glad we got that, er, straight.

 

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True Romance

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Who doesn’t love a love story like this? But remember, while you’re reading it, that these are the faces of a vanishing America, demonized at every turn by the satanic Left as exemplars of “white privilege.” For this, they fought for their country?

A California couple, married 67 years, died hours apart while holding hands this month, their daughter said on Thursday. Floyd Hartwig, 90, and wife Violet, 89, died on Feb. 11 in their home in Easton, California, outside Fresno, their family said.

The couple had known each other since they were children and married in 1947 while Floyd was on leave from the Navy, going on to settle in a ranch in Easton.”They enjoyed working side by side their entire lives,” said daughter Donna Scharton. “They were very loving. Very hard-working. Not into materialistic things.”

Each had battled illnesses in recent years. Violet had dementia and had suffered strokes. Floyd, who survived bladder and colon cancer, had been diagnosed with kidney failure, family said. Floyd and Violet had been given hospice care in the last weeks of their lives, and with the end near, family members pushed their beds together, Scharton said.

Floyd died first, holding Violet’s hand. She passed away five hours later, she said.

God bless these two. The world of “fundamental transformation” they’ve just departed will be a meaner, poorer, nastier place.

 

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IMF Chair’s ‘Conspiracy Against Women Working’ as Effective as Obama’s Generic ‘Extremism’

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Lip Service

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde followed Obama’s trendsetting “War on Muslims” narrative, thus failing the cause of women’s equality across the globe. The Feminist Fail started out on the right track:

Nations should remove laws that prevent women from working in order to increase the female labour supply and boost their economies, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said.

“In too many countries, too many legal restrictions conspire against women to be economically active,” Lagarde wrote in a blog. “In a world in search of growth, women will help find it, if they face a level playing field instead of an insidious conspiracy.”

What exactly is this “insidious conspiracy” Lagarde is referring to? Don’t worry, she hasn’t taken the Patty Arquette pill, although she’s definitely drinking the Obama Kool Aid, because it’s all downhill from here:

But the IMF has to tread a careful line on this issue to avoid explicitly critiquing the laws in its 188 member countries, including states like Mali and Yemen, which have been among the worst performers on indices of gender equality.

Mali and Yemen, both Muslim-dominated states. Mali’s logo, “one people, one goal, one faith” is a contradiction in terms, at least when it comes to fostering economic growth, which is the only topic up for discussion on Lagarde’s watch:

The IMF has sought to couch its arguments in economic terms, saying in a previous study that having as many women in the labor force as men could boost economic growth by 5% in the United States, 9% in Japan and 34% in Egypt.

Note the radical climb in potential economic growth when the stats begin speaking to Muslim nations? Oops. Guess Lagarde’s staffers didn’t get the “War on Muslims” memo until after they prepared their findings, to which they quickly tacked on the following caveat:

“In recommending equal opportunities …this study does not intend to render a judgment of countries’ broadly accepted cultural and religious norms.”

Classy. Let’s talk about an obvious problem without directly drawing attention to it, since the problem is defended by radicalized terrorists. Is that called the White Elephant defense strategy?

 

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Over 50% of Jewish College Students Encounter Anti-Semitism on Campus

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The JTA reports:

More than half of current American Jewish college students have personally witnessed or experienced an anti-Semitic incident, according to a new study.

Some 54 percent of Jewish college students participating in the survey  released Monday by the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College said they had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism within the past academic year. The survey was taken in the spring of 2014, prior to the outbreak of hostilities last summer in Gaza.

The online survey of 1,157 students, conducted by Trinity College Professor Barry Kosmin and Associate Professor Ariela Keysar, found that percentages of students reporting encounters with anti-Semitism were relatively consistent across gender, religious outlook, and geographical region.

Students who affiliate with the Conservative and Reform movements were more likely to report such experiences than Orthodox students, with 69 percent of Conservative students, 62 percent of Reform students and 52 percent of Orthodox students responding that they had reported anti-Semitic encounters. Those who said they were always open about their Jewishness on campus were roughly as likely to have encountered anti-Semitism as those who said they were never open about their Jewishness, at 58 percent and 59 percent respectively.

According to the report, those taking the survey defined the term “anti-Semitic incident”. The organization Jew Hatred on Campus, a new organization established by the David Horowitz Freedom Center,

…compiled a list of the 10 U.S. campuses having the worst anti-Semitic activity in 2014.  Universities included in the top 10 played host to numerous incidents of anti-Jewish acts, such as Israeli Apartheid Week (a week-long event that demonizes the Jewish state); interrupting university activities by staging mock “checkpoints” on campus; campus speakers that call for the destruction of the Jewish state; and verbal or physical harassment and violence against Jewish and pro-Israel students.  These anti-Semitic incidents occur on university property, often with the support of university funds, despite the fact that such behavior is explicitly forbidden under campus codes of conduct.

From my own personal experience I’d add to the list a set of individual encounters with various students who questioned me as to why “there are so many of you in the media” and demanded my opinions about the”injustice” of the non-massacre at Jenin. In the case of these encounters, each oddly enough motivated by foreign students from Middle Eastern Muslim nations, the interrogators waited until we were alone with no witnesses before launching the “conversations”.

Perhaps it’s time campus Jewish groups start offering Krav Maga classes.

 

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Farewell to the Shrink’s Couch…

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

… and perhaps to the nation’s unaccountable love affair with Viennese Voodoo:

The couches have gone cold on the Upper West Side.

Lying down and talking to a psychoanalyst, a practice once as synonymous with New York City as the street-vendor hot dog, has fallen out of favor thanks to shifting fads, pharmaceuticals and the Internet, experts say.

Of the 3,109 members of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the largest group of its kind in the country, the average shrink age is 66 — up four years since 2003. And shrinks’ average number of active patients on the couch has fallen to 2.75, according to a study of US analysts. Many of those surveyed said they meet with no patients.

One of the greatest intellectual frauds of the 20th century — Freudian analysis — seems to be falling upon hard times, and not a moment too soon. A profession that pretty much defines “quackery” has separated millions of Americans from their time and their money… and for what?

It’s a far cry from the height of Freud mania — with its egos and ids, subconscious, Oedipal conflicts, Freudian slips and death wishes — in the 1950s and 1960s, when everyone and their mothers were in therapy. In those decades, therapists would see between eight and 10 patients a day, according to analysts interviewed.

Analysts now struggle with competition from all manners of self-actualization projects, from yoga/meditation retreats to “The Secret” and, of course, everyone’s nanny and distraction: the iPhone…

“We are living in an age of narcissism. We think we’re so unique, so special, we know it all, we take our selfies,” Upper West Side psychiatrist Sebastian Zimmermann says. “This is very different from the world Freud was dealing with.”

Just how badly did Americans — especially, of course, New Yorkers — fall for this load of pseudo-intellectual codswallop?

At one point in the 1960s, according to Jonathan ­Engel’s “American Therapy,” there were more analysts on 96th Street and Fifth Avenue than there were in Tennessee, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Delaware, Minnesota and Vermont combined.

But shrinks and their constant excuse-making for bad behavior (root causes!) did give us one unforgettable moment in American musical theater:

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What Did Proto-Indo-European Sound Like?

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

That would be the original mother tongue of most us.

Linguists have recently reconstructed what a 6,000 year-old-language called Proto-Indo-European might have sounded like. This language was the forerunner of many European and Asian languages, and now you can listen to what it may have sounded like.

Over at Archaeology magazine, Kentucky linguist Andrew Byrd does a dramatic reading of a story written using only the vocabulary we are certain existed 6,000 years ago. Eric Powell explains:

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) was spoken by a people who lived from roughly 4500 to 2500 B.C., and left no written texts. The question became, what did PIE sound like? In 1868, German linguist August Schleicher used reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary to create a fable in order to hear some approximation of PIE. Called “The Sheep and the Horses” . . . As linguists have continued to discover more about PIE, this sonic experiment continues and the fable is periodically updated to reflect the most current understanding of how this extinct language would have sounded when it was spoken some six thousand years ago. Since there is considerable disagreement among scholars about PIE, no one version can be considered definitive.

There’s audio at the link, should you want to give a listen. It sounds like Irish to me, but what do I know? Be sure also to check the story in Archaeology magazine, here:

By the 19th century, linguists knew that all modern Indo-European languages descended from a single tongue. Called Proto-Indo-European, or PIE, it was spoken by a people who lived from roughly 4500 to 2500 B.C., and left no written texts. The question became, what did PIE sound like? In 1868, German linguist August Schleicher used reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary to create a fable in order to hear some approximation of PIE. Called “The Sheep and the Horses,” and also known today as Schleicher’s Fable, the short parable tells the story of a shorn sheep who encounters a group of unpleasant horses. As linguists have continued to discover more about PIE (and archaeologists have learned more about the Bronze Age cultures that would have spoken it), this sonic experiment continues and the fable is periodically updated to reflect the most current understanding of how this extinct language would have sounded when it was spoken some six thousand years ago. Since there is considerable disagreement among scholars about PIE, no one version can be considered definitive.

Enjoy.

 

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Hollywood’s Rich & Famous Trumpet Wage Inequality

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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By the time most folks at home had passed out from boredom, or gone to bed because they have real jobs to wake up for on Monday morning, Patricia Arquette sobered up enough to use her Best Supporting Actress win to preach to the choir about wage inequality.

Snort, blink, roll over, resume snooze.

The speech stood in stark contrast to host Neil Patrick Harris’s earlier joke about the $160,000 SWAG bags being given to those nominated in the Oscars’ top 5 categories. After saying that the bags were loaded with such goodies as two vacations and a $20,000 astrology reading, Harris joked that the bags also contained “an armored car ride to safety when the revolution comes.” The stars clad in gold and diamonds responded with appropriate Marie Antoinette-style laughs and gloved claps.

Having won the Oscar, Arquette won’t be getting any SWAG. Those bags are only for the runners-up. Perhaps that’s what she meant when she referenced wage inequality among the rich and famous. Shouldn’t all the beautiful people get $20,000 astrology readings for free?

92.5 million of the Oscars’ potential viewers are currently jobless. For Arquette’s reference, that’s boys as well as girls. Those 92.5 mil and their employed compatriots just spent a week listening to their president tell them he could solve the problem of terrorism (not Islamic, just terrorism) by offering ISIS members (ironically notably all Islamic terrorists) the power of job creation. While the men of ISIS would argue that they already have jobs, I bet the women that have been kidnapped by ISIS and forced into marriages/sex slavery would really dig some income equality right now. Or perhaps just some equality in general.

But hey, Hollywood women suffer. They don’t get paid “as much” and they definitely don’t all get the SWAG at the parties. Thanks, Patricia, for addressing the economic inequalities in our society that, much like the revolution preached and fostered by your fellow stars, is the responsibility of none other than Hollywood’s favorite politicians.

Had Arquette really wanted to bring a much-needed laugh to the boring ceremony, she would’ve threatened that Hollywood’s women would join ISIS if their wage issues weren’t resolved. If there’s anything that can’t wear down radical, non-descript terrorists, it’s the incessant whining of spoiled socialists.

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Gah, Mom, Why Don’t You Want to Watch Me in Pseudo-Porn?

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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And the award for capturing the complete immaturity of the Oscars goes to …Dakota “Fifty Shades” Johnson!

Caught on the red carpet before the show, the Fifty Shades star and her infinitely-more-famous-even-though-you-haven’t-seen-her-since-Working Girl mother, Melanie Griffith, illustrated how awkwardmMillennial parenting can be. When asked if she’s seen her daughter’s turn as Anastasia in the fanfiction-turned-film, Griffith replied in the negative. At that point Johnson’s eyes fell towards the ground as she mumbled that her mother would probably, eventually see the movie.

Griffith was having none of it.

As E.T.‘s Lara Spencer proclaimed what a fabulous actress Dakota “I stole the flogger from the set” Johnson was in the movie, Griffith pulled a master mother move. “I don’t need to see the movie to know that.” Tsk tsk, don’t accuse a mother of not supporting her baby, despite the ramifications of her burgeoning porn career.

Did Griffith just come out as the anti-Kris Jenner? There’s only one of two ways to react when your daughter sexually exploits herself on camera. Griffith’s response was downright Downton dowager, politely and quickly cutting to the point: Griffith isn’t going to be one of those Hollywood mothers who praises, let alone cashes in on what she obviously feels was her daughter’s bad decision. 

In what is quickly being dubbed as one of the most awkward moments on the red carpet, Johnson rolled her eyes and threw a fit befitting a 15 year old who’s about to lose their iPhone privileges. Apparently sexual maturity doesn’t maketh the woman the way “manners maketh the man.” The behind the scenes conversations regarding this acting choice would make a better movie than the Snowdragons Icequeen could ever have conjured up.

Apparently Johnson’s maternal relationship isn’t her only pairing that’s on the rocks following the release of Fifty Shades. Days before the Oscars, the news broke that Johnson was dumped by her boyfriend of six months because “her life was getting too crazy and it wasn’t something that he wanted to be a part of.”

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The Idiocy of ‘Leaning In’ and Thinking You’ll Win Because You’re a Woman

Friday, February 20th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Laugh as the New Yorker attempts to trumpet the struggles of professional women through the story of an academic who grounded her negotiating skills in Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In:

This spring, an aspiring professor—W, as she’s chosen to call herself in a blog post about the experience—attempted to negotiate her tenure-track job offer with the Nazareth College philosophy department. She wanted a slightly higher salary than the starting offer, paid maternity leave for one semester, a pre-tenure sabbatical, a cap on the number of new classes that she would teach each semester, and a deferred starting date. “I know that some of these might be easier to grant than others,” she acknowledged in her e-mail. “Let me know what you think.”

Nazareth didn’t hesitate to do just that: W wrote that the college promptly let her know that she was no longer welcome. “The institution has decided to withdraw its offer of employment to you,” the terse reply concluded. “We wish you the best in finding a suitable position.”

What a dope.

Head over to Nazareth College’s website and you’ll learn rather quickly via their faculty manual that most of the items she attempted to “negotiate” are already set in stone, most likely via union negotiation and past practice. Regarding her “paid maternity leave” request, Nazareth’s policy is generous to say the least. Fully paid disability period, ability to apply paid time off towards FMLA, and the ability to request up to 2 semesters of leave without pay, “but with paid employee basic health insurance and major medical insurance only to which the faculty member would otherwise be entitled”. That’s one heck of a good faith investment put forth on behalf of the college for new parents (moms and dads) to stay at home for up to a year.

As far as a “pre-tenure sabbatical” goes, this woman apparently hasn’t worked a day in academia in her life. She’s applying for a tenure-track position. Time worked is what allows you to accrue tenure. A sabbatical doesn’t count towards time worked, so essentially she just asked them to delay her own job advancement so she could have paid time off to wander the libraries of the world. Combine that with the class cap request and ask how either measure, both of which illustrate a total lack of work ethic, would possibly work to her advantage?

Higher salary within reason? Sure. Lean in all you want. Deferred start date? Depends on the circumstances. But before you decide to negotiate a first job based on the musings of a high-level executive, try reading about the job for which you’re actually negotiating. Or, just whine to the world that your demands were rejected because you’re a woman. That’s much more empowering.

 

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With Only a Few Months Left to Live, What Would You Do?

Friday, February 20th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
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The great neurologist, Dr. Oliver Sacks, is now facing just such a scenario:

A MONTH ago, I felt that I was in good health, even robust health. At 81, I still swim a mile a day. But my luck has run out — a few weeks ago I learned that I have multiple metastases in the liver. Nine years ago it was discovered that I had a rare tumor of the eye, an ocular melanoma. Although the radiation and lasering to remove the tumor ultimately left me blind in that eye, only in very rare cases do such tumors metastasize. I am among the unlucky 2 percent.

I feel grateful that I have been granted nine years of good health and productivity since the original diagnosis, but now I am face to face with dying. The cancer occupies a third of my liver, and though its advance may be slowed, this particular sort of cancer cannot be halted.

It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can. In this I am encouraged by the words of one of my favorite philosophers, David Hume, who, upon learning that he was mortally ill at age 65, wrote a short autobiography in a single day in April of 1776. He titled it “My Own Life.”

Few if any of us have lived the kind of productive life Dr. Sacks has. A best-selling author, he’s seen his book, Awakenings, turned into an Oscar-nominated movie with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, and had another book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, turned into an opera by composer Michael Nyman.

I have been lucky enough to live past 80, and the 15 years allotted to me beyond Hume’s three score and five have been equally rich in work and love. In that time, I have published five books and completed an autobiography (rather longer than Hume’s few pages) to be published this spring; I have several other books nearly finished…

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming. This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.

Read the whole beautifully written thing and then ask yourself — what would you do?

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

 

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Congressmen Jump Into the Fray in Georgia’s Religious Freedom Fight

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

When Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed dismissed fire chief Kelvin Cochran over a book the latter wrote, he ignited a firestorm of controversy that led to a renewed call for a religious freedom law in Georgia. And now, six members of the state’s congressional delegation have gotten involved in the fight, siding with Cochran.

In a move that escalates the fight between Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and supporters of Kelvin Cochran, lawmakers led by Rep. Barry Loudermilk this week said the firing robbed the former chief of his religious freedom to speak and write his view.

“Your action against Chief Cochran appears to violate fundamental principles of free speech and religious freedom,” they wrote to Reed. “As fellow Georgians, we are extremely troubled that a capable and long-standing public servant in our state can be targeted for retaliation and dismissed solely because of his religious views,” they added.

While the city said Cochran’s religious beliefs had nothing to do with his November suspension and eventual firing last month, he and his supporters claim it was retaliation for a book he published over a year ago that, among other things, equates homosexuality with bestiality.

[...]

The letter from the six House members raises the political element in the controversy. In it they said Cochran’s belief in the Bible is at stake.

“Chief Cochran relied upon religious text from the Bible to express his opinions in his personal writings. The only way Chief Cochran cold avoid his views would be to disown his religion,” they wrote. “What could be more intolerant and exclusionary than ending a public servant’s 30 years of distinguished service for his religious beliefs?”

Cochran has filed suit against the city of Atlanta and Reed with assistance from the non-profit group Alliance Defending Freedom. The former chief’s firing has become a cause célèbre among certain circles in Georgia, with multiple petitions popping up on his behalf and supporters such as Ralph Reed and Erick Erickson. One local pundit on the other side of the issue referred to Cochran as “the face of ‘religious liberty’ bills.”

Reed, a Democrat, issued a statement of his own, stating, “It was a decision that was not made lightly because I appreciated Chief Cochran’s service to the City of Atlanta.”

In the meantime, a group of lawmakers have introduced SB129 into the Georgia legislature, a bill designed to “provide for the preservation of religious freedom” in the state. Erickson has already issued a call to action for his listeners to voice their support to their state senators.

Will Cochran’s firing and the firestorm surrounding it be the catalyst for Georgia to pass a religious freedom bill? That remains to be seen, but we’ll stay on top of it and report it here.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

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The Real Reason Conservative TV Died in Canada

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle
(Photo: Toronto Life)

(Photo: Toronto Life)

Last week, I told you the sad news:

The Sun News Network, Canada’s only conservative/libertarian alternative to the state-sponsored Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and other equally liberal TV channels, went off the air after four years.

Because the media’s favorite topic is “the media,” you can imagine the avalanche of “analysis” that followed, from Canada’s pundits and papers.

(By “analysis” I mean “unrestrained gloating bordering on slander,” although I also saw former Sun employees on social media, thanking particular fellow journalists for their words of support.)

It didn’t take long, though, for that story to get pushed aside by another one:

The launch of a new media venture to take Sun’s place.

And it “didn’t take long” because the face of this new venture — called TheRebel.media — is Ezra Levant.

This tweet says it all:

 

Ezra Levant was arguably the most famous, daring and controversial of all Sun’s hosts.

Before joining the network, he became world famous for printing the “Danish Mohammed” cartoons (and being taken to “court” for doing so).

While doing his daily TV show, he wrote a number of books, and remained in demand as a public speaker.

Even before Sun News came along, I was comparing Ezra to Evil Knievel, and now that description seems more apt than ever.

He’s up and around already with TheRebel.media, a web-based media play that’s still in the very early stages.

You can sign up at their website or follow them on Twitter to stay in the loop and find out when it rolls out.

For now, here’s Ezra Levant explaining what went wrong with Sun News — he calls it “the best job he ever had” — and what the future holds:

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Leslie Gore, R.I.P.

Monday, February 16th, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

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I always said I’d never get married, but that if I did, I’d walk down the aisle to Leslie Gore’s recording of “You Don’t Own Me.”

Well, time marches on. I got married after all, the Las Vegas chapel didn’t have much of an aisle to speak of, and now I’m hearing that the queen of the 1960s girl singers is gone, aged 68.

Girls loved Leslie Gore, I think, because her voice and songs (“It’s My Party” being the best known) aptly expressed the little dramas and heartaches of female teenaged life in the early 1960s, and beyond.

That voice was ringing, if a bit raw — all the better to belt out those songs, ones that sounded like Sylvia Plath’s journals set to AM radio-friendly music.

If so many of her song titles contained the word “cry,” it wasn’t just a way to cash in on that first monster hit. Gore’s voice, like her country counterpart Tammy Wynette’s, came complete with a natural, inimitable, soul-rending catch.

And if Gore wasn’t intimidatingly, show-biz beautiful, well, neither were the millions of girls who cried and consoled themselves as she sang, just to them, in their bedrooms, like a best friend.

Nobody knew then that Gore was a lesbian. Maybe she didn’t quite know either. I have no idea.

I do wish she hadn’t used “my” never-was wedding song in a “reproductive rights” PSA a couple of years ago, but there’s nothing I can do about that, then or now.

I prefer to remember her as my imaginary friend of sorts, whose singles can still quicken my middle-aged heart.

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Hollywood Heresy: In The Kingsman a Climate-Change Believer Villain Plots The Final Solution

Monday, February 16th, 2015 - by Scott Ott

The only way to save the planet is to cull the herd of humanity.

That’s the threat facing a band of super-secret modern-day British knights in The Kingsman, an epic parody/tribute to (old) James Bond movies.

I’m not going to review the film, just note this: Despite its over-the-top brutal comedic violence, and dialog brought to you by the letter “F” and the number 3,723 (my estimate of F-bomb drops) — it may be the most effective take-down of the global climate-change cabal ever. I left the theater marveling that The Kingsman had survived the Hollywood development, funding and casting process.

In the story, a tech genius billionaire villain, played by a lisping Samuel L. Jackson, acknowledges to Harry Hart (Colin Firth) that no amount of environmental regulation can save the doomed planet, and so the only solution is to nearly wipe the planet clean of humans and start again.

“Mankind is the virus, and I’m the cure,” Jackson’s character says. World leaders, including a certain black American president, sign on to his final solution.

This is a most succinct statement of Leftist doctrine regarding man-made climate change. The final solution won’t be found in international carbon-reduction agreements, or even taxes, but in the reduction of carbon dioxide exhalers among our own species.

I don’t know, or care, about the politics of the film’s creators, but what they have wrought does more to expose the anti-AGW movement than a stack of National Review magazines, a subscription to Rush 24/7, or 713 hours of programming on PJTV.

I saw an interview with Mr. Jackson in which the reporter noted that he plays the villain. Jackson takes mock umbrage at the suggestion, and notes that his character is “just a guy who’s got a different agenda than everybody else.”

It’s a reminder that those who pose the greatest threat to us, typically believe that they yearn to perform a great service.

(Although I’m not contending anything about the ideology of the filmmakers, some might argue that a gleefully-violent scene that eliminates all of the members of a Westboro-like “church” is a slap at conservative Christians. I disagree. True Christian conservatives are more eager than most to witness the swift end of that vitriolic bolus of heretical idol worshippers — albeit by actually coming to Jesus, rather than by having Colin Firth smite them vigorously.)

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Majority of Israelis Believe American Government Interfering in Israeli Elections

Sunday, February 15th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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IMRA picked up on a report for the Israeli daily Maariv based on an Internet poll of 589 respondents including Israeli Arabs) conducted on February 11:

Is Netanyahu justified in wanting to present his position on the Iranian
nukes before the American Congress?
Yes 56% No 36% Don’t know 8%

Is the American Government interfering in the Israeli elections?
Yes 61% No 31% Don’t know 8%

What should Netanyahu do in the wake of criticism regarding his planned
address to Congress?
41% Go and speak regardless
17% Go but speak at AIPAC
36% Don’t go at all
06% Don’t know

According to the Jerusalem Post, the poll had a margin of error of 4.5%.

The interference on the part of the American government, specifically the Obama administration, appears to be nothing less than a part of Obama’s well-orchestrated “Bulworth Plan” to “be more honest” in his second term, as Seth Mandel at Commentary writes:

So what does it mean for Obama to be “authentic?” Here’s CNN:

In addition to revealing his actual position in favor of legal same-sex marriages, and working on immigration reform and to combat climate change, the president singled out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Axelrod wrote. Specifically, he wanted to be tougher on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Just to put this in perspective, Obama had been working to collapse Netanyahu’s government almost immediately. What Obama was saying was that trying to collapse the duly elected Israeli government was his way of pulling punches, of not being tough enough on Netanyahu. It’s easy to see why Obama thought this might make some of his advisors nervous.

Mandel is right that Obama’s strategy is “morally bankrupt and ill advised,” although I wonder why he’d think Obama was out to gain the trust of an already doubtful Israeli electorate. Based on Obama’s “War on Muslims” platform, gaining the support of the Israeli population is furthest from the American president’s mind. Obama’s real end-game is simple: Destroy whatever is left of the Israeli-American political alliance by fostering as much distrust as possible among the Israeli and American electorates towards one another and their respective governments.

Don’t let the Messiah motif mask the reality that Obama is only the figurehead of a very large, very powerful snake that seeks to crush more than any one human being, no matter how powerful, could possibly control or destroy on their own.

Also read: In ‘Bipartisan’ Move, J Street Unites with Republicans Who Bash Israel

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In ‘Bipartisan’ Move, J Street Unites with Republicans Who Bash Israel

Sunday, February 15th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

J Street, a progressive organization that encodes itself as “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” has just released the slate for their 5th annual conference to be held in March. The list contains the usual suspects with one attempt at a surprise addition in the form of former Republican Secretary of State James Baker.

Pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon gives a concise summation of exactly why this union is anything but a bipartisan move:

…according to the Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov, James Baker is the keynote speaker.

Baker is of course infamous for reportedly saying in private conversation, while George HW Bush’s secretary of state, “F**k the Jews, they didn’t vote for us anyway.”

But his antipathy towards Israel is well documented. He wanted the US to punish Israel for destroying Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. He hated Netanyahu as early as 1990, barring him from entering the State Department’s building. And last but not least, he co-wrote the Iraq Study Group’s 2006 paper that recommended (among other things) that the US tilt its foreign policy away from Israel and towards Syria and Iran, advice that President Obama seems to have taken to heart.

So who says that J-Street isn’t bipartisan? It loves anti-Israel, antisemitic Republicans too!

Who’s next on the J Street line up, Pat Buchanan?

Note to parents of public school children: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, is also listed as a featured speaker. Perhaps she’ll enlighten the audience as to how the J Street platform ties into Common Core.

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Wendy Davis Wants to Make a Killing on the Abortion Speakers Circuit

Friday, February 13th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Loathsome woman.

Jill Stanek from Life News highlights some points from a Houston Chronicle article on the subject. What is sickening is that there is probably a market for a woman whose only claim to fame is being a champion for extremely late term abortions and that she is obviously thrilled with making that her legacy. Here’s the YouTube vid from her new speakers bureau:

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Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

As I was just saying, these people lie about anything and everything, they lie even when they don’t have, and they even lie about their lies:

President Obama is denying a former top political adviser’s contention that he intentionally deceived voters about his position on gay marriage in an interview published Wednesday. The president said David Axelrod, his former senior adviser, was “mixing up my personal feelings with my position on the issue” when he said Obama publicly backed civil unions rather than gay marriage because it was more politically palatable.

“I always felt that same-sex couples should be able to enjoy the same rights, legally, as anybody else and so it was frustrating to me not to, I think, be able to square that with what were a whole bunch of religious sensitivities out there,” Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed. The president said he sincerely felt that civil unions were “a sufficient way of squaring the circle,” but learned over time that gay couples felt they were stigmatized by being denied full access to marriage.

“I think the notion that somehow I was always in favor of marriage per se isn’t quite accurate,” Obama said.

Um, yeah. Here’s how my old employer, Time Magazine, reported on this very subject yesterday:

As a state senate candidate in 1996, Obama filled out a questionnaire saying “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” But 12 years later as a candidate for president, Obama told Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church that marriage could only extend to heterosexual couples. “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” Obama said at the time. “Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”

After two years in office, Obama began telling reporters he was “evolving” on the issue, and supported the repeal of the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act. But Obama didn’t publicly support same-sex marriages as president until Vice President Joe Biden got out ahead of him in an interview with Meet the Press, saying he was “absolutely comfortable” with the unions.

Who ya gonna believe? Barry or your lying ears?

 

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LensCrafters Offers Nine Marital Status Choices

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

# LensCrafters offers 9 marital status choices. Interlocutors rejoice! #marriage

A photo posted by Paula Bolyard (@pjbolyard) on

 

If you list your marital status as “Interlocutory,” LensCrafters wants you to feel included. Polygamists, too.

Today at LensCrafters I was handed an iPad and instructed to “update my medical history” prior to my eye exam. Purportedly for the sake of greater efficiency and accuracy, I was confronted with screen after screen of repetitive requests for information, most of which should have already been in their database. I had to type in my home address no fewer than three times. (Can we all agree that any computer programmer who creates such an illogical and repetitive form should be banished to the computer-programmer equivalent of Gitmo — perhaps an endless loop of Disney’s “It’s a Small World” ride with only a dial-up modem?)

In addition to the repetitive requests for my address and phone number(s!!) were more intrusive demographic questions, including an inquisition about my race and ethnic background.

And right there on the very first screen was a mini-interrogation about the intimate details of my marital status.  Am I married? Divorced? Widowed? Never Married? Interlocutory?

Inter…what?

We’ve all become accustomed to intrusive questions about our personal lives when we’re accosted by the endless forms, without which, we’re told, life as we know it will come to a grinding halt. Years ago doctors asked about your marital status so they’d know where to send the bill and they asked about your race and ethnic background solely because there were certain diseases and disorders endemic to some ethnicities.

Is LensCrafters making a grand statement about the definition of marriage? Perhaps. Or maybe the form is just a reflection of where we are as a culture. Either way, when a company recognizes “Polygamy” as a marital status, it cannot escape making a powerful cultural statement at this historical moment of marital revolution.

But these days, it’s much more likely that a company is asking you “demographic” questions — and even questions about your “health” — because they are data mining. The more they know about your personal life, the better they can “serve” you, they would say. There is a gold mine of data for marketers who learn that you list your marital status as “Interlocutory” (which is apparently some sort of legal purgatory between marriage and divorce) because it will influence your buying habits. Likewise, if you’re a 50-year-old man who claims to have multiple wives, your purchasing decisions will be different than those of a never-married female in her 20s.

I suspect that LensCrafters won’t turn away customers who refuse to reveal their marital status or other purely demographic data, and hopefully, they won’t give me the wrong glasses if I accidentally checked “Interlocutory” instead of “Married.” After all, it’s not my fault those checkboxes were so tiny, so there’s an outside chance that I registered as a 16-year-old polygamous, African American male of Serbian ethnicity with questionable near vision.

 

 

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VIDEO: Obama Dubs Paris Jewish Supermarket Attack ‘Random Shooting’

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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It was a typical rambling Barry interview until 1:45 when he declared,

It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.

We’re in a War on Muslims, folks, and Offensive General Obama has no trouble causing much offense when it comes to the Jews. While American Jewish leaders scramble to speak out against Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress, General Barry is warning his soldiers not to “bow” to Jewish donors. He’s also paying lip service to America and Israel’s historic relationship while making it very clear that he and Netanyahu disagree on Iran. Then there’s that pesky “anybody but Bibi” V15 campaign kerfuffle that’s appearing more and more like an undercover op by the day.

But this isn’t just about the Jews. When he’s not picking on Christians for their near-thousand year-old response to the war crimes of the radical Islamic world, General Obama is meeting with his War on Muslims coalition, including representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood. The General is right when he states this isn’t a Republican/Likud versus Democrat/Labor thing. This is obviously a reality versus War on Muslims thing, and the General is doing everything he can to make sure the world knows he has 2 years left to use both Jews and Christians on the front lines of his own personal Operation Human Shield, better known as “Bunches of Random Acts of Violence.”

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Oh Great — Now Your TV Can Spy On You, Too

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

You knew this was coming:

Samsung is warning customers about discussing personal information in front of their smart television set. The warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its voice activation feature.

Such TV sets “listen” to some of what is said in front of them and may share details they hear with Samsung or third parties, it said. Privacy campaigners said the technology smacked of the telescreens, in George Orwell’s 1984, which spied on citizens. The warning came to light via a story in online news magazine the Daily Beast which published an excerpt of a section of Samsung’s privacy policy for its net-connected Smart TV sets.

The policy explains that the TV set will be listening to people in the same room to try to spot when commands or queries are issued via the remote. It goes on to say: “If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”

Wow. Here’s the link to the Daily Beast story, which has lots more details:

Judging by the privacy policy, it seems Samsung is collecting voice commands mostly to improve the TV’s performance. “It looks like they are using a third-party service to convert speech to text, so that’s most of what is being disclosed here,” said Corynne McSherry, the intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. So this may just be an effort to make your SmartTV smarter.

But, said McSherry, “If I were the customer, I might like to know who that third party was, and I’d definitely like to know whether my words were being transmitted in a secure form.” If the transmission is not encrypted, a SmartHacker could conceivably turn your TV into an eavesdropping device.

Samsung didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

How about that. Well, you can always do what I do — and not have a TV at all. Believe me, you’ll be much happier that way.

 

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Lies and Redemption Fuel a Grammys Bent on Sex

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Oh for the days when music was about music. Perhaps that hasn’t truly existed since the pioneers strummed banjos on their front porches, but hey we can dream. Anything is better than the farce dished out at this year’s Grammy Awards by the likes of sinner-turned-saints Katy Perry and Queen Bey and the Grand Poobah of Liars Barack Obama. Kanye was still Kanye, terrorizing the stage with his unwanted opinions, but at least he’s being true to his Messiah complex. The rest of them cracked open the Eau de Hypocrisie in their SWAG bags way too early.

On the Sunday night preceding the release of Fifty Shades of Grey in movie theaters nation-wide, the music industry famous for turning women into greased-up, slimmed-down sex objects suddenly decided it gave a damn about sexual assault. Not because they really do, but because sexual assault sells. Just ask Lena Dunham and that chick who lugs a mattress around Columbia U. Autism replaced AIDS and now that we’ve decided vaccines aren’t an assault on our children we’ve turned our collective head and trumped up statistics towards sexual assault.

Big Brother Barry broke into the awards show to lacquer us with the false 1 in 5 narrative before commanding us to hashtag our support for the White House’s campaign against sexual assault on campus. Cue “domestic violence activist” testimony neatly leading into a performance of “By the Grace of God” by Katy Perry sans beach-ball bikini and shark dancers.  Beyonce, far from the wet, lap-dancing prostitute of last year, appeared in angelic white garb to sing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” for the show’s holiest of finales. Pop-meets-penance, it was a spectacle worthy of a holy institution. The only thing missing was Steve Martin in his sparkling jacket promising to heal us all, at least the straight men, of their demon sexuality.

Prior to this tent revival escapade, Madonna touched on the music industry’s pagan affair with lusty sexuality in her trademark style. Clad as a matador, men dressed as faceless bulls with Satanic horns danced around her while she declared her ability to rise up (via harness, apparently) and “live for love” despite being “knocked down” by previous lovers. Lyrically she hasn’t generated anything unique since the ’80s and the techno-pop beat was more worthy of Cher or Kylie Minogue than Madonna at her most innovative. But her visual style paid homage to the reality of a Hollywood soaked in bizarre, painful sex and enjoying it thoroughly.

Were honest statistics and less theatrics used in addressing the real issue of sexual violence, the Grammys would have seemed more authentic and less like damage control following Rolling Stone‘s massive faux pas when it came to reporting on the campus rape epidemic that isn’t. When Perry and Bey quit getting naked on their knees, call me. Until then, regardless of how many layers of white they wear they’re just dancing in the shadow of Madonna, the music industry’s reigning pagan priestess.

Also read: 

1%ers: Take a Look at the $25,000 Swag Bag at the Grammy Awards

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Leftist Livni Declares Israelis Have Been Brainwashed

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Yediot reports:

Co-chairwoman of the Zionist Camp Tzipi Livni said on Monday that “Israel is becoming more and more isolated and withdrawing itself from the world.”

According to Livni, “there are citizens who have been brainwashed to think that we are a ‘nation unto itself’ and that the entire world is against us, and that there is nothing that can be done, everyone is anti-Semitic and that we do not need to communicate with the rest of the world. We deserve more than a government that starts with the words Bibi-Bennett.”

It’s a mentality common among Israel’s Left. Livni recently partered with the Labor Party’s Isaac Herzog to form “The Zionist Camp”, a party that could be criticized as anything but Zionist, at least by those who value Israel’s security above their own internal spats over redistribution of wealth.

After the V15 story broke, the Free Beacon reported on a “confidential strategy memo” sent out last December by Ameinu, the American wing of Israel’s Labor movement, soliciting funds for a “massive, non-partisan Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign” in Israel. Touting their American contacts “…with experience in similar recent operations, including the Obama presidential campaign,” the memo details a direct link between Ameinu and the organization tagged to operate the GOTV campaign, Givat Haviva, a recipient of State Department funding.

Ameinu claims it broke from the alliance with what eventually became V15 before the V15 campaign was formed, instead choosing to direct its non-partisan fundraising efforts specifically towards Israel’s Arab community who, while traditionally Left-leaning, were not necessarily registered with any particular party. Still, as the leading representative of the Labor Party in America, Ameinu’s strange ties to what eventually became V15 defend the notion that V15 was, indeed, a Labor initiative to oust Bibi despite claims to the contrary.

To a foreign audience, the idea of a group of Jews, Israel or American, sponsoring an Arab “get out the vote” campaign sounds patently absurd. An American audience, attuned only to the threats from Israel’s bordering states and radical Islamic militias, can’t begin to comprehend an Israel where Jews and Arabs live in peace. It does happen. I’ve witnessed it. I’ve also lived the flip-side and experienced first-hand the hatred that comes out of radical Islam that reminds me we are a “nation unto ourselves” for very good reason. If you want to encourage voting in Israel, targeting a specific demographic is not the way to be “non-partisan”.

In all their consistent pandering to the international community in pursuit of peace, the Labor Party and their compatriots have bowed so low, so deep that their heads are now thoroughly buried in the sand. With asses in the air the party that made the modern state of Israel is quickly becoming the laughingstock of the Jewish world, billions be damned. There isn’t enough cash or land in the world to redistribute in order to make everyone happy. For their part, Ameinu walks a fine line, protesting the BDS movement on the Left while fundraising against the Right. Bottom line: no one really knows where Labor stands, including Labor. They proclaim themselves a “Zionist Camp” the way Obama proclaimed “hope and change”. Both blame their opponents for their own lack of results, but how can you accomplish anything when you’re only breathing your own hot air?

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Survey Says Millennials Think Gender Is a Myth

Sunday, February 8th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Hat tip: Grabien

HuffPo reports on a Fusion survey of 1,000 adults ages 18-34 that concluded “half of young people believe gender isn’t limited to male and female“:

The survey, which polled 1,000 people between the ages of 18 and 34 on topics including politics and race issues, found that 50 percent of millennials felt that gender is actually a spectrum, and that “some people fall outside conventional categories.”

…The results are a good sign, particularly compared with previous polls, which found issues of gender identity to be particularly divisive. A 2014 CBS News poll, for example, found that 59 percent of Americans believe that transgender individuals should use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth, while 26 percent are comfortable with self-determination when it comes to choosing which bathroom to use.

Fusion details:

Some subsets of Millennials are even more progressive on the issue: 57 percent of female Millennials believe that gender falls on a spectrum, according to the poll, compared with 44 percent of men. And Millennials in the Northeast were even more likely to say so, at 58 percent. (In the South, that number fell to 42 percent.)

The poll found that race created substantial differences on views of gender identity.

White Millennials were the most likely to support the concept of a non-binary gender system — 55 percent of whites said gender is on a spectrum, compared to 47 percent of Latinos and 32 percent of African Americans.

In short, if you’re a white, college-educated liberal from the Northeastern United States, you probably think gender is a concept created by society instead of a biological identity developed in the womb. (Can we still say “womb,” or is that genderist? Give it time.) This is absolutely not news to anyone who has paid one whit of attention to Northeastern academia since the incarnation of women’s liberation. In the past week alone, the New York Times has informed us that the University of Vermont is “recognizing a third gender: neutral,” while Columbia University reports it has changed its peer-led discussion group “FemSex” to “AllSex” in order to be “inclusive to all genders.”

What the Fusion survey is, however, is further proof of the impact of gender feminism on yet another entire generation of women, a large swath of whom believe that in order to be fully integrated into society, they must dump their biological womanhood in favor of flat chests and gender-neutral hobbies, careers and, apparently, bathrooms.

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Advocacy Group Sues Bar Association, Will the Media Care Now?

Saturday, February 7th, 2015 - by Leslie Loftis

Last fall I wrote an election and lawyers behaving badly piece, “When is a Possible Legal Violation by Lawyers Worthy of News Coverage?” The short answer, as most readers here can guess, is that any violation by anybody is only worthy of coverage if it advances the preferred media narrative. This one didn’t.

The State Bar of North Dakota had misused mandatory dues to oppose a public referendum on a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting. Studies suggest that shared parenting assumptions lower legal bills as the court expects irreconcilable differences couples, that is those without complications like addictions or abuse issues, to create custody arrangements that allow for at least 30/60% time splits for the children. (Thirty percent is the threshold at which father absence risks fade from statistical significance.) It is usually, but certainly not always, fathers on the receiving end of reduced custody and its nasty complication, parental alienation. And so shared parenting is lazily associated with men’s rights issues, and the media doesn’t much care for stories about men’s hardships in culture. (How many have heard of FACE or seen mainstream news coverage of the Due Process violations men face under Title IX?)

Accordingly, back during the election, the State Bar of North Dakota’s malfeasance didn’t receive much coverage. But now they’ve been sued for First Amendment violations. Here is the press release, The Goldwater Institute Sues North Dakota Bar Association for Violating First Amendment Rights of Local Attorneys.

Why is it a First Amendment case? Basically, when a group, such as a union or bar association, has mandatory membership and mandatory dues requirements, then that group cannot use those compelled funds for political speech. If the group wants to engage in political speech, then they have to give the members an opportunity to opt out, otherwise the group is forcing members to engage in political speech when they do not wish to or do not agree with the group’s position.

A similar suit last year against the Nebraska Bar Association resulted in a complete and close to catastrophic restructuring of that body from a mandatory association to a voluntary organization. Interestingly, it too involved family law and shared parenting. From the National Parents Organization:

But in Nebraska, shared parenting forces have doggedly forced the legislature to confront the realities of children’s suffering in the wake of their parents’ separation. Year after year, they’ve improved legislation that would establish in law what’s actually in children’s interest — meaningful relationships with both parents.

That disturbed the anti-shared-parenting folks to such an extent that Nebraska State Bar Association President Marsha Fangmeyer was driven to outright public lying about the bill.

Embarrassing as that was, though, it was nothing to what came next. The same NSBA routinely lobbied the state legislature on behalf of or in opposition to whatever bills it chose, including shared parenting ones. As a mandatory state bar, that very plainly violated Supreme Court precedent holding that doing so violated the free speech rights of dissenting members. So blatant were the NSBA’s many violations that it found itself on the losing end of a lawsuit brought by aggrieved lawyers. The state Supreme Court’s ruling in the matter all but destroyed the NSBA altogether, slashing its fee structure and sharply restricting its regulatory functions.

The media likes First Amendment stories…when they are about suppression of PC approved speech. Therefore, I hope, but do not expect, much coverage now.

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VIDEO: Obama Exports ‘Hope & Change’ Loop to Israel via V15

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Want to see Obama’s 2008 campaign in a nutshell? Check out the young political activists recruited by the V-2015 campaign to elect “anyone but Netanyahu.” If you thought the “anyone but” goal was vague, try listening to their platform. Count how many times “hope and change” is repeated and remind yourselves that this is what got an American president elected — twice.

Dear God, let Israelis be smarter than us. With the polls neck-in-neck between Bibi’s Likud and the Livni/Labor “Zionist Camp” mashup, it’s questionable exactly how much impact the V15 campaign stands to have on the Israeli electorate. Likud came out swinging at V15, accusing the group of backing the Labor Zionist Camp. The accusation was later apologized for by Bibi’s lawyer, but that doesn’t leave lawmakers on this side of the ocean are without due cause to question Obama about V15′s involvement in the Israeli elections. Haaretz reports, “Two Republican lawmakers asked the Obama administration to explain OneVoice’s involvement in the election, given that it has received State Department funding.”

Anyone wishing to understand the Zionist Camp would be remiss to ignore Liel Leibovitz’s excellent analysis over at Tablet magazine:

Why, then, go to all this trouble to reclaim the ancient ideology? Why not just run, as generations of Labor leaders have in the past, as purveyors of new hopes rather than old ideas? In part, it’s because doing so would require Labor to state just how it distinguishes itself from Likud when it comes to safeguarding Israel’s security, a question that, in light of the Palestinian reluctance to engage in good-faith negotiations, is growing more and more difficult to answer. Livni herself was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s chief peace negotiator and was in agreement with the government’s policies on everything from the John Kerry peace initiative to last summer’s war in Gaza. She and her new partners in Labor can hardly claim to have an agenda that provides new answers to the tough questions of war and peace Israelis face each day. Instead of looking to the future, then, Labor is gazing longingly at the past.

That doesn’t sound like very much “hope n’change” to me.

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Saudi Arabia: America’s Frenemy — Part Two

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
Actions speak louder than words

Actions speak louder than words

“Pre-9/11 Ties Haunt Saudis as New Accusations Surface.”

Doing excellent work, the New York Times follows up on the sordid tale of U.S.-Saudi relations and the “kingdom’s” role in 9/11 with more good reporting. The piece is capped with a particularly disgusting picture of President Bush in Riyadh in 2008, shaking hands with the murderers of 3,000 Americans, and opens like this:

During the 1980s and ’90s, the historic alliance between the wealthy monarchy of Saudi Arabia and the country’s powerful clerics emerged as the major financier of international jihad, channeling tens of millions of dollars to Muslim fighters in Afghanistan, Bosnia and elsewhere. Among the project’s major patrons was Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who last month became Saudi Arabia’s king.

Some of those fighters later formed Al Qaeda, which declared war on the United States and later mounted major attacks inside Saudi Arabia as well. In the past decade, according to officials of both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, the Saudi government has become a valuable partner against terrorism, battling Al Qaeda at home and last year joining the American-led coalition against the extremists of the Islamic State.

Yet Saudi Arabia continues to be haunted by what some suspect was a tacit alliance with Al Qaeda in the years before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Those suspicions burst out in the open again this week with the disclosure of a prison deposition of a former Qaeda operative, Zacarias Moussaoui, who claimed that more than a dozen prominent Saudi figures were donors to the terror group and that a Saudi diplomat in Washington discussed with him a plot to shoot down Air Force One.

Ask yourself: are you surprised? Why else would the Bush administration have hustled bin Laden’s relatives out of the country as quickly as possible at the Saudis’ behest in the aftermath of the attacks? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane:

Two dozen members of Osama bin Laden’s family were urgently evacuated from the United States in the first days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, according to the Saudi ambassador to Washington. One of bin Laden’s brothers frantically called the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington looking for protection, Prince Bandar bin Sultan told The New York Times. The brother was sent to a room in the Watergate Hotel and was told not to open the door.

Most of bin Laden’s relatives were attending high school and college. The young members of the bin Laden family were driven or flown under FBI supervision to a secret place in Texas and then to Washington, The Times reported Sunday. Many were terrified, fearing they would be lynched after hearing reports of violence against Muslims and Arab-Americans. They left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks.

King Fahd, the ailing Saudi ruler, sent an urgent message to his embassy in Washington pointing out that there were “bin Laden children all over America” and ordered, “Take measures to protect the innocents,” the ambassador said.

“Prince” Bandar — that name sounds familiar! From the Times story:

Among the donors Mr. Moussaoui said were in a Qaeda database that he helped create were Prince Turki al-Faisal, then the head of Saudi intelligence, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to Washington. Both held high positions in the very government that Al Qaeda was by the late 1990s seeking to destroy, Mr. Gause said.

“Bin Laden children all over America.” I bet there are. The Saudis put them there.

Our geniuses in government can’t seem to wrap their minds around the fact that the duplicitous Saudis have always played a double-game (a trick they learned from their British masters); like Mr. Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera, they are both for rogues and against them. Anything to keep the “kingdom” functioning while merrily destabilizing the West with their money and their mosques. As soon as we break their oil weapon, we need to break them as well. The souls of 3,000 dead Americans demand it.

 

 

 

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Enjoy This Amish Buggy Doing Donuts in a Snowy Parking Lot in Ohio

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
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Who knew you could do this with a horse and buggy?

Shayla Buhl, who was working at the Polk Market and Deli in Ashland County, Ohio, filmed this scene of an Amish buggy doing donuts in the parking lot.

“This made my night.. lol. Amish buggy doing donuts,” Buhl wrote on her Facebook page.

“I just looked out the window and grabbed my phone. They had it up on two wheels at one point,” she said.

Ohio is home to the largest Amish settlement in the world. Approximately 40,000 Amish live in the region that includes Holmes, Wayne, and Ashland Counties. The Swartzentruber Amish, considered to be among the most conservative of the Amish sects, call Ashland County home. They shun nearly all modern technology and drive simple black buggies with two kerosene lanterns and no windshields.

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Feminist Mother Questions, Praises Her Ability to Indoctrinate ‘Princess’ Daughter

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Over at the New York Times, gender feminist Sally Kohn chronicles her recent experience taking her five-year-old, princess-obsessed daughter to Disney World for her birthday. To read her account of the event, you’d presume the mother would’ve rather experienced a root canal without anesthesia than be forced to spend quality time celebrating her daughter’s birth. Every choice her five year old made, from wearing dresses to having her hair done at the Bippity-Boppity Boutique, drew nothing more than a cringe from her self-described “tomboy” mother, who whined and moaned through the article, oddly enough, like someone her daughter’s age:

I don’t know how it is that in the modern era, I still can’t get decent reception on my cellphone but somehow traditional gender norms are silently communicated and crystal clear. My partner and I certainly didn’t teach our daughter to like pink and ruffles and such. And I can’t fathom some genetic or biological nodule that predisposes my girl to like dolls while little boys like trucks. Baloney. But somehow, even in the midst of our hyper-liberal and hyper-diverse neighborhood with girls and boys of all kinds on display every day, it happened. Did I do something wrong? Is feminism mysteriously skipping a generation? Meanwhile, I have to bribe her to wear jeans.

People say it’s a phase and not to resist it or else Willa will just dig in longer.

If you’re looking for the loving, supportive parenting and expressions of affirmation and joy a mother would normally take in a child, you’ll need to scroll down to the end of the article to find the reason for the praise:

“But you’ll have to wait awhile to marry your prince,” one Fairy Godmother says to Willa.

“No,” Willa replies. “I don’t have to marry a prince if I don’t want to. I could marry another princess. Or I don’t even have to get married.”

The Fairy Godmothers-in-Training are momentarily speechless. And then, one by one, they start to applaud. One even pumps her fist in the air. Feminism didn’t skip my daughter, it was just hiding underneath all that pink and glitter.

Glad to know Komrade Mommy eventually did reward her good little Fem-bot. Even if it did mean stealing her tiara out from underneath her, the self-aggrandizing theft was done in the spirit of wanting “to be just like” her well-trained daughter. God help little Willa if she ever dares to make a decision of her own. That’s clearly not in Mommy’s gender feminism handbook.

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Of These 25 ‘Most Dangerous’ Jobs, Only 8 Are Morally Defensible in the 21st Century

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

#trollface jajaja

A photo posted by Vale Acosta Barreto (@vale.cota_barreto) on

So as the number of comments and some of my twitter replies revealed, it seems that even when I warn right up front that I’m trolling, some people will still take me seriously. (See my Super Bowl piece yesterday, which some had a hard time grasping.) I suppose a significant chunk of people just can’t understand how to read something other than in an earnest, straight-forward, literalist way. So from now on, when I’m trolling, I’ll be sure to have an overt picture indicating as such. How about the one above as a default? Or do you like the one below more, a Wario variation of the infamous meme?

#TrollFace

A photo posted by {|}W•I•L•L•I•A•M{|} (@william_eliassen) on

But somebody who did take me a little too literally did share an interesting article in response:

It’s an entertaining list. By my count, only 8 of the jobs are defensible as worth dedicating one’s life to in the 21st century. Some of the deadly jobs may have been respectable as careers in 19th century America (making steel, chopping down trees, mining coal, etc.) but they really aren’t at all anymore, unless you plan on doing it with a robot instead of risking your own body. (And I’m skeptical of a few of the list’s claims — the microchip manufacturer entry seems to rely on facts from the 1980s.)

But these jobs from the list where one risks life and limb for a higher purpose are still worthy of respect in my estimation:

25. Smokejumper [firefighter who leaps out of planes in forests]

21. Bounty Hunter

20. War Correspondent

18. Maximum Security Prison Guard

16. U. S. President

14. Urban Cop

10. Urban Firefighter

5. Soldier In Battle

There are a number of other occupations more honorable and moral than a professional athlete sacrificing their body for sport. Which others do you think were neglected from the list?

(And have I made my point obvious enough yet for all the slow people? That “real men” don’t dedicate their lives to playing and obsessing over sports. They put their lives on the line to fight evil barbarians, bring down slave states, and crush criminal death cults.)

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Adam Carolla + Dennis Miller = The Next Great Comedy Podcast?

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

mc300

Regular readers already know I’m a “Carolla-tard” (as Marc Maron dubbed us).

And I’ve written elsewhere that downloads of Dennis Miller’s radio show helped me survive my last cubicle job.

So I’m primed to enjoy a podcast co-hosted by both comedians.

Their new weekly “PO’d Cast” just debuted on PodcastOne.

The podcast is already #2 on the iTunes chart.

The first episode, below, saw Miller and Carolla getting to know each other a little better, and prepping listeners for what to expect in the weeks to come.

Given their great chemistry (and spectacular guest contact lists), this could shape up to be the next great comedy podcast, especially in a field crowded with boring lefties. (See, Marc Maron, above.)

You can subscribe free via iTunes or PodcastOne.

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VIDEO: Maddow & Letterman Disgusted By Obama’s ‘Creepy’ Embrace of the Saudi Slave State

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Hat Tip: Grabien

When it comes to our relationship with the Islamic world, even well-known liberals are starting to wonder what the Obama administration is trying to get at. During a recent appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, MSNBC pundit Rachel Maddow chatted with the renowned host on the state visit to honor the late Saudi king. Both personalities were puzzled at America’s strange relationship with an obvious ideological enemy, with Maddow commenting, “The list of people who they sent… I mean, it’s amazing that we weren’t there! …They went way down the list of people you’ve ever heard of in the pages of foreign policy. Everybody!”

Maddow and Letterman raise a good point. Saudi Arabia was the fountain for Sunni Jihad, Iran was the fountain for Shi’ite Jihad. Both strains of Islam harbor a virulent hatred for each other that is currently playing itself out in the Sunni-backed ISIS revolution against Shi’ite-dominated governments. It seems that the only thing the two Islamic parties can agree on is their hatred of the Jews and, by virtue of their Biblical relationship with Jews, Christians. So, what are the leaders of a traditionally Judeo-Christian nation doing sucking up to the Sunni powerhouse of the Middle East?

Historically speaking, Saudi Arabia is the West’s creation, Brit T.E. Lawrence’s romantic notions carved into a losing deal with the Saud family exactly 100 years ago this year. As with any other regime, moral disagreements have been set aside over the generations in favor of political alliances, economic deal making, and a lot of bowing to the student on behalf of the supposed master. Moralists outraged by social media evidence of Sunni Islam’s humanitarian crisis playing out in Saudi Arabia have less sway over ending America’s “creepy, totally dependent” relationship with the kingdom (as Maddow dubbed it) than do the changing dynamics in the oil industry. It would seem that very little has changed in a century.

After all, this wouldn’t be the first time celebrities used their star power to address ideological threats abroad. Hollywood’s stars spoke out against Nazism in the late 1930s and were warned to shut up by FDR’s lackey, lest they be blamed for antagonizing us into an unnecessary war. So, when two of the most liberal pop personalities begin questioning America’s moral imperative in the Middle East, how far will they get? Will we see Maddow, Letterman or the like championing the cause of Christopher Cramer, the U.S. defense subcontractor who mysteriously died last month while working for Israel’s Elbit Systems in Saudi Arabia? Or will he be yet another forgotten casualty in the Obama administration’s defense in the War on Muslims?

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Maybe He Should Talk to Jar Jar Binks

Sunday, February 1st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

George Lucas says the motion picture business is “more and more circus without any substance behind it.”

George Lucas offered a bleak assessment of the current state of the film business during a panel discussion with Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, saying that the movies are “more and more circus without any substance behind it.”

However, the “Star Wars” director hit back at critics who said his role in kicking off the blockbuster film business has watered down cinematic storytelling. “If you go into ‘Star Wars’ and see what’s going on there, there’s a lot more substance than circus,” he argued.

In its day, “Star Wars” represented a major breakthrough in technology, and it’s easy to discern a throughline from the galaxy far, far away to the comic book movies and special-effects driven productions that dominate today’s movie screens. The tools he helped popularize were all in the service of plot, he argued.“All art is technology,” said Lucas. “That’s the one thing that separates us from animals.”

Well, one of the things, anyway. Meanwhile, there is still the little matter of Jar Jar Binks, not to mention the Ewoks. In fact, when you stop to think about it, Star Wars is pretty terrible, with the exception of the first two films. But since Lucas was also the unsung-ish hero of the Indiana Jones saga, which made Harrison Ford a major star, perhaps we can forgive him. Perhaps.

One thing he did get right, however:

Lucas seemed more puzzled by the current state of culture. The man who took bigscreen fantasies to bold new worlds said he never could have predicted the smallness of popular entertainment options on platforms such as YouTube.

“I would never guess people would watch cats do stupid things all day long,” said Lucas.

I guess there really is a sucker born every minute.

 

 

 

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