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How to Get US Marine Andrew Tahmooressi Out of Mexican Prison

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

US Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has spent the last six months in a Mexican prison. He is there because he made a wrong turn while transporting legally owned firearms in his car, and Mexico has chosen to throw the full weight of its legal system at him.

This is the same country that regularly berates the United States if we happen to enforce our own border laws.

The Obama administration has chosen to leave him there to languish in horrible conditions, even though he may have post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in combat. Tahmooressi has been beaten and threatened while he has languished in Mexican prison.

In hearings in Washington today, Navy veteran and talk show host Montel Williams tearfully laid into the Obama administration for failing to secure Tahmooressi’s release. “Make the call today,” Williams angrily begged the president.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) noted that President Obama, an avid sports fan, always makes sure to call sports teams when they win championships. But he has failed to call Mexico’s president to get Tahmooressi released.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) suggested that Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill, invite President Obama to play golf. Then, perhaps, the president would pay attention to the plight of her son.

That might get the president’s attention.

But we need to be sure that we have his ear. So here’s a suggestion.

Obama is a sports fan, as everyone knows, and he makes gay rights a top priority.

President Obama hasn’t made the call to Mexico’s president but he called NBA player Jason Collins and congratulated him when he announced that he is gay.

Obama also congratulated football player Michael Sam when he became the first openly gay player to be drafted for the NFL. Sam is currently on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

Isn’t the solution here obvious?

To get President Obama’s attention and get him to make the call that Montel Williams begged him to make, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi just has to announce that he is gay.

If he does that, President Obama and Eric Holder will be on Air Force One within the hour bound for Mexico City, and Sgt. Tahmooressi will be out of Mexican prison by the weekend.

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Rage Against the Maitre D’ Or, Celebrity Commies Are Full of It, Tom Morello Exhibit

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

A real man of the people.

Following his performance Friday night (September 26) at the El Corazon as part of a benefit concert for 15 Now, the grassroots organization that successfully fought for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, Morello and his entourage allegedly tried to get “a special room” at The 5 Point Cafe even though the place was already “at capacity” and there was “a line” of people waiting to get in. The restaurant’s doorman apparently told Morello and his crew that he could not accommodate them, after which the guitarist took to his Twitter to blast the eatery, writing: “Five Point restaurant in Seattle is the WORST. Super rude & anti-worker. Sh****st doorman in the Northwest. P***k. Spread the word.”

Morello was one of the more vocal supporters of the Occupy Stink-in, and portrays himself as a real man of the people. Only in the diseased mind of a wealthy commie can being denied a place to sit where there aren’t any mean the person passing along that information is “anti-worker.”

Morello’s Twitter bio beings with: “Feed the poor.” That should obviously have an addendum that reads, “But feed me first, you peasant, because I’m a rock star.”

After being called out by many, Morello isn’t backing down. He does, however, have the gall to offer forgiveness with conditions (thus not really understanding forgiveness) instead of asking for it, which he should be doing. It’s also classic commie-achieving an end through coercion, which is all they’ve got.

 

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ESPN’s Colin Cowherd: People Who Enlist in the U.S. Military ‘Have No Choices,’ Join ‘To Pay Bills’

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

ESPN’s Colin Cowherd went off on a rant today about Americans who do and do not, in his view, deserve his “sympathies.”

Those who do not include those who choose to smoke, eat fast food or drink “13 cokes” every day. “That’s on you,” Cowherd said, delivering a sentiment that many Americans would probably agree with.

Cowherd says that he does “sympathize” with Americans who enlist in the military, because of the reasons he believes they join.

“My sympathy goes to the military members in this country,” Cowherd said toward the end of Tuesday’s show. “Socio-economically, no choices, paid almost nothing, lose a limb, lose a life. That, I feel sympathy for.”

Military members past and present probably aren’t looking to Colin Cowherd in a feeling of gratitude for that. Americans who enlist or enter the officer corps do so for many reasons — family history of service, a desire to give back to their country, a desire to gain experience and education, and of course the need to do something positive to escape tough circumstances all factor in.

Cowherd wasn’t finished. He also said that police and firemen don’t join out of a sense of duty.

“What fireman becomes a fireman knowing that at some point he will at some point run into a house that’s burning?” Cowherd asked rhetorically. “It’s dangerous!”

The obvious answer is “All of them. Including the thousands of volunteer fireman around the country.”

Cowherd returned to explaining his understanding of why Americans join the military.

“We know most people that go into the military in this country — they need the military often to pay bills. That is is almost a federal safety net financially, and by the way you’ll take shots. You’ll be sent two or three times to a raging inferno in the Middle East. That stuff scares me. That stuff I’m worried about. There’s loss of life there.”

You can watch Cowherd make his remarks on the next page.

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Valerie Jarrett Takes Adviser Role to Prime Time

Monday, September 29th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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When she’s not busy playing third wheel on Barack and Michelle’s date night, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett is dishing out advice to TV lawyers in prime time:

Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama’s top advisers, made an appearance on another kind of Sunday show — the prime-time drama “The Good Wife,” which trucks in steamy affairs, dirty politics, and courtroom fireworks.

Playing herself, Jarrett appeared in several scenes trying to convince the show’s main character, a Chicago lawyer named Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies) who also happens to be married to the governor, to run for state’s attorney. Alicia, who’s been battered by the political life and the scrutiny that comes with it, is insisting that she won’t run (she will), and Jarrett makes the case. More women, she says, need “to step up” if they want to change the world.

Alicia insists that she detests politics, and Jarrett agrees with her, saying she wouldn’t want a candidate who liked it. “We need leaders who understand what it means to be a public servant,” she says.

The Good Wife airs back-to-back with Madam Secretary, a drama following Tea Leoni’s attempt to imitate Hillary Clinton during her stint as Secretary of State. Think Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, only less mocky-mocky and more lovey-dovey.

This isn’t the first time Jarrett has appeared opposite Margulies. The pair hosted a cocktail fundraiser for President Obama in NYC in 2012.

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Judaism’s ‘Chained Wives’ Facebook-Shame Delinquent Husbands

Monday, September 29th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Tablet Magazine is giving press to one of the Jewish world’s most truly feminist causes, the right of a woman to obtain a divorce decree, known in the Rabbinic world as a get. Rivky Stein has spent the past 2 years attempting to obtain a get from her husband Yoel Weiss who simply refuses to appear in court (a Rabbinic beit din) in order for the decree to be issued. Sick, tired, and more than ready to move on with her life, Rivky took to social media to publicly shame her husband into relenting.

A surge of news reports followed, adding to an ongoing saga that had been chronicled by publications ranging from The Daily Mail to Haaretz. A call to action was posted on a website devoted to Stein’s cause. Donations poured in to a crowd-funding website that has raised over $22,000 so far.

The coordinated use of publicists, Facebook, Twitter, donation sites, and rallies is becoming common for women like Rivky Stein who seek religious divorces from their husbands. Many Jews give little thought to the get, but in traditional Judaism only men can grant a divorce. Without one, a woman cannot date or remarry without carrying and passing onto her children what is widely considered in the Orthodox world to be a tremendous stigma. So, with few options in Jewish law, more agunot—Hebrew for “chained wives”—are embracing contemporary and high-tech tools to publicly shame men.

Rivky is far from the first woman to take her divorce demand to the court of public opinion. Statistics indicate that there are 462 agunot in North America, but due to the insular nature of the Orthodox Jewish community those numbers are far from reliable.

Rivky Stein’s case is a he-said, she-said story. She claims mental, physical and sexual abuse. He says she’s “a sham”. Still, the history of Orthodox men abusing their wives and refusing to grant divorces doesn’t bode in his favor. Get detectives rake in the bucks in Israel “…where all Jewish marriages and divorces must be made in rabbinic courts,” and in America, of course, we have the “Prodfather”:

While shame and exclusion have worked for centuries, another tactic has raised a great deal of attention: violence. A recent article in GQ details allegations against Rabbi Mendel Epstein, who is referred to as the “Prodfather” for his use of electric cattle prods to coerce reluctant husbands. At 69 years old, Epstein faces 25 years to life in federal prison after an elaborate FBI sting operation led to his arrest and indictment on multiple counts of kidnapping.

The power of social media can only go so far, and the women who do take their case to social media are internet-shamed in turn, orphaned by their own religious communities.

Although agunot may be better-equipped than ever, with the ability to instantaneously reach out to thousands of followers through social media, or bankroll an attorney through crowd-funding, the power of divorce is ultimately given to the husband, according to Jewish law. If Weiss is bent on staying married, there is little Stein can do.

…As for Stein, much of her effort at this point goes into prayer. “I feel like I did everything,” she said. “I don’t know what to do anymore, honestly.”

Streams of Judaism that require religious approval for a divorce have largely adopted the Lieberman clause in the ketubah (wedding contract) that give the wife the option to petition a reluctant husband through a secular court. Despite being promoted by some Orthodox rabbis, most Orthodox groups refuse to include the clause in wedding contracts.

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Obama Cites ‘Gulf of Mistrust’ Between Minorities and Law Enforcement

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

Evoking the shooting death of Michael Brown and the subsequent unrest in Ferguson, President Barack Obama focused on the intersection of race relations and law enforcement at a Sunday awards dinner hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Fox News reports:

Obama addressed the matter carefully but firmly, saying the young man’s death and the raw emotion that sprang from it had reawakened the country to the fact that “a gulf of mistrust” exists between local residents and law enforcement in too many communities.

“Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement — guilty of walking while black or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness,” he said.

He said significant racial disparities remain in the enforcement of law, from drug sentencing to applying the death penalty, and that a majority of Americans think the justice system treats people of different races unequally.

Real leadership on this issue would call for progress on two fronts. First, we should promote objective analysis of these perceived disparities. Far too often, raw statistics are cited as prima facie evidence of institutional bias without regard for case-by-case context or mitigating factors. The Ferguson case stands out as an instance where the community’s prejudice against the police fueled demands for “action” without due process. When we presume that a cop must be a racist, we prove no less prejudicial than when assuming a black man must be a criminal.

The second area where much progress remains to be made is the law itself. We need to take a hard long look at the drug war in particular. Why do we continue to pursue a legal crusade against acts which do not violate individual rights? We have the historical example of alcohol prohibition, which demonstrates the fiscal and cultural folly of criminalizing stupid behavior.

If the laws we commissioned officers to enforce dealt only with violations of rights, that would go a long way toward restoring trust, since all would know that police are there to protect us instead of bust us.

Note: More thoughts on the drug war and racial disparities in law enforcement on the next page.

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The Church is Afraid of Islam

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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An evangelical Zionist friend of mine sent me a link to pro-life Catholic Lisa Graas’s response to Ted Cruz’s shock-speech at the IDC Summit held earlier this month. Her opinions are illustrative of exactly how theology continues to impact politics in America. Threatening Cruz with the loss of the Catholic vote, Graas writes:

In Catholicism, Israel doesn’t have to be a “Jewish state.” We can accept it as a Jewish state, but we are in no way bound to it being so because we see the Church as the New Israel, theologically.

Graas is a believer in supersessionism, a.k.a. replacement theology. Replacement theology is an old school church teaching that the Christian Church replaces Israel in God’s eyes, that after Jesus, God was done with the Jews and has summarily dubbed the Church his “New Israel” to be the recipients of all the blessings Biblically directed to Israel. It is a nasty idea that was used to defend Crusades, expulsions, and pogroms. Now, Graas is using replacement theology to defend what she defines as the “high church”/Muslim relationship at the sake of Catholic support for the Jewish State.

In saying “no greater ally than the Jewish state,” he [Cruz] stepped over into theology and insulted Catholics who see the Church as the New Israel theologically. We can, and desire to be, friends with Israel, even as a Jewish state, but we cannot pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state in the manner that people of Ted Cruz’s religion pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state. We cannot say that if suddenly everyone in Israel converted to Catholicism and turned Israel into a Catholic state, that this would be a “bad” thing. Protestants, of course, would be horrified if that happened because they have some deeply-held theological views that Israel MUST BE a Jewish state. We can take it or leave it as a Jewish state, but they can’t take it or leave it. Catholics can be your friend, Israel, even as a Jewish state, but we cannot pledge unfailing loyalty to “a Jewish state” like Ted Cruz and evangelicals do. You ask too much there.

Graas rambles on about the evils of Protestant ideology, him-hawing over whether or not Israel should be considered a Jewish state with arguments that boil down to a valley girl’s, “Uh, yeah, well, I guess…whatever,” in her theological defense of Catholic replacement theology. Then, oddly enough, she comes out with this whopper:

Another thing is that many Christians in the Middle East see his statement “Jewish state” as being bad not because it’s “Jewish,”, per se, but because it is a “sectarian” statement. They distrust the advancement of ideas that promote theocratic rule over religious minorities who are in disagreement with that particular theology.

An old-school, Pope is “lower than man, but higher than God,” replacement theologian Catholic decides that Cruz isn’t to be trusted because he’s the sectarian one in the room. Apparently there hasn’t yet been an edict issued against irony.

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Alicia Keys Gets Naked to Support Gun Control and Other Leftwing Causes

Friday, September 26th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Alicia Keys’ timing on this probably couldn’t be worse. She strips down and paints a peace sign on her belly at the same time an Islamist army threatens the world and a monster beheaded an innocent woman in Oklahoma. Only a good guy with a gun stopped him.

Yet here she is, being all empowered. Naked, to push for gun control.

Try confronting an Islamist madman like this.

alicia-keys-nude

Body armor and a powerful firearm would be the smarter way to go.

The New York Times praises Keys, without noticing something awful.

ALICIA KEYS is a superstar singer who has mostly kept her clothes on and gossip off. So what is she doing in this photo, dressed only in a peace sign?

Her answer has to do with the purpose of life. Last month, as she was sickened by grim news — from the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., to the toll in Gaza and Syria — a friend of hers lobbed a provocative question about the meaning of our existence: Why are you here?

“Nobody had asked me that question before,” Keys recalled.

Alright, I doubt that that’s true. Surely someone, somewhere asked Alicia Keys what her purpose in life is. But that’s minor.

The awful thing that the Times notices and then fails to notice is that many celebrities take up some of the same causes that Keys is taking up. The Times hails Bono (who hasn’t really done gun control or gay marriage, but has done lots of other causes over the years) for being a cause-driven artist.

There is, of course, a tradition of socially conscious musicians, and Bono has done as much as anybody to highlight the challenges of global poverty. Keys seems less inclined to lobby at Group of 8 summit meetings; rather, she says, she wants to work with fans at the grass-roots level.

But Bono doesn’t have to get naked to support any of his causes. He has been pretty successful at his clothed activism, mostly because he chooses his issues carefully and he understands that offending and alienating people is counter productive. Too many artists just let their egos get in the way.

Keys feels the need to strip off. She and the Times see this as “empowering.”

Really? Is it empowering that an insanely successful woman and mother believes that getting naked before the entire world is the best way to draw attention to her cause?

Or is it just plain old attention-whoring from her, and sucking up to leftwing celebrities from the New York Times?

Also read: 

Was Julianne Hough’s Dress on Dancing with the Stars Too Revealing for a Family Show?

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Obama’s Creepy 3-Way Date Night

Friday, September 26th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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You’ve heard of “attachment parenting” from moms like Mayim Bialik who breastfeed until the kid is out of high school. Now, thanks to Valerie Jarrett, we know what “attachment advising” truly means, via the headline:

Obama takes Michelle, Valerie Jarrett for downtown Manhattan date night

You can’t make this stuff up.

President Obama ditched his uptown digs at the Waldorf Astoria to sample the offerings of downtown Manhattan.

With the First Lady and his trusty senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in tow, the presidential motorcade took over the Nolita neighborhood on Wednesday night for the first couple’s date night at Estela on E. Houston St.

They dined on burrata with salsa verde and bread, two endive salads, tomatoes and croquettes before they returned to their hotel shortly before 10:30pm, sources told Eater New York.

The restaurant said it was “humbled” by the presidential visit, posting an Instagram shot of the Obama’s order.

Apparently, the restaurant is “beverage driven,” so I guess Valerie Jarrett didn’t need to do a literal public feeding. But, have no doubt, Mommy was still very hard at work scanning the menu for healthy choices for the kids.

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Western Media Plays Submissive Lover to Putin’s Imperial Antics

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Paul Goble at Interpreter Magazine offers keen insight into the Western media’s dangerous love affair with Vladimir Putin:

…as has been true since the start of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, Putin has exploited the increasing proclivity of Western journalists to equate balance with objectivity. He and his minions have flooded the media with statements that are simply not true, but many Western outlets report them as part of the story, without identifying them as false or even questioning their veracity.

That allows such journalists to claim objectivity, but it creates a situation in which there is little or no pressure on Western governments to do the right thing. Many journalists (and governments) will not describe what Moscow is doing as an invasion because Putin says there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, despite massive evidence to the contrary.

As a result, in all too many cases, Putin’s lies have defined the situation rather than facts on the ground, and the Western media’s focus on balance – on presenting all sides of the case even if one or more is untrue – gives thuggish leaders like him an opening that they should not have but will not exploit.

Besides re-defining “balance” in pursuit of a deadline, eye-catching story, or political point of view, Western media also backs the White House’s post-Vietnam love-affair with the mystical cease-fire.

…Second, Western governments approach every conflict as an occasion to get a ceasefire rather than to defeat aggression out of a belief that diplomacy alone can solve the problem and reach a solution. …by signaling that it will not oppose a particular case of aggression, the West has taught Putin and his regime a lesson, but very much the wrong one: aggression works and after “a decent interval” will be ignored, have no consequences for relations with the West, and then can be repeated.

Interestingly, Goble also notes the West’s unwillingness to push real economic and cultural sanctions against Russia. His theory is that the West is afraid if such sanctions truly pushed Moscow to the breaking point, it would only result in a Kremlin that “would call Western profits into question”. In other words, the West may lose economic benefit, or worse, be shamed in the international community as capitalist pigs. Apparently Goble has no faith in Western media to attack such a claim should it arise. While he does not say this directly, his inference is another black mark on Western media’s character.

Especially relevant to more than just Russia-US relations, Goble questions of Putin’s passive-aggressive tactics,

Will Putin have any incentive to move toward peace if he can get everything he wants by dragging out a Western-backed “peace process” forever?

It is a rhetorical query, and one that should not be reserved for Putin alone. An equally rhetorical follow up: Could it be that the same Moscow that backed the PLO learned a lesson from Arafat and his political descendants? The Western audience should rethink their media’s relationship with Russia, for sure. But that should be the starting, not the stopping point in their analysis.

 

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DC Passes Concealed Carry Law

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Scrambling.

The Washington city council passed emergency gun legislation on Tuesday requiring residents and visitors to adhere to strict guidelines to carry a concealed weapon in the U.S. capital.

The move came after a federal judge in July overturned the District of Columbia’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it was unconstitutional. The judge’s order was under a temporary stay, giving the city time to fashion a new law.

“It’s a situation where we don’t really want to do this, but we have to,” Councilman Marion Barry said before the vote.

That’s right, a city whose residents are clinically insane and keep returning a dirtbag like Marion Barry to office is worried about legal gun owners.

One wonders just how many of Barry’s cocaine dealers over the years obtained their firearms legally and adhered to strict guidelines.

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U.S. Jury Holds Arab Bank Liable for Serving Hamas

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The Jerusalem Post reports:

In a historic verdict, an 11 member jury on Monday found Arab Bank liable for knowingly providing financial services to Hamas – the first time a financial institution has ever been held civilly liable for supporting terrorism.

The Arab Bank trial took place in a federal court in Brooklyn for the last five weeks and revisited some of Hamas’ worst terror attacks, including the August 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem killing or wounding 130 and a range of 24 horrid terror attacks during the Second Intifada.

The verdict was 10 years in the making, and still may be subject to Supreme Court review.

The central question was whether the 11 member jury would find that Arab Bank knew or should have known that its account holders were using it to transfer “blood money” to Hamas for terror operations – or whether it checked for suspicious transactions as best it could, and simply imperfectly missed them.

On Thursday, during closing arguments, Plaintiffs’ attorney C. Tab Turner told the jury they were in a very special situation: “a situation that no jury in the history of this country has ever been in.”

He continued, “Never has anyone sat on a case of finance terrorism, with issues like you have to decide in this case.”

“You have more power today to change the way that this world operates, the world of banking operates, than anyone else on the face of the earth,” said Turner.

Gary M. Osen, another plaintiffs’ attorney responded, saying, “The jury has found Arab Bank responsible for knowingly supporting terrorism. It found Arab Bank complicit in the deaths and grievous injuries inflicted on dozens of Americans.”

Most disturbingly:

According to an unclassified U.S. State Department memorandum released after the jury began deliberations, “In 2003, the United States provided evidence to Saudi authorities that the Saudi al Quds Intifadah Committee (“Committee”) founded in October 2000, was forwarding millions of dollars in funds to the families of Palestinians engaged in terrorist activities, including those of suicide bombers.”

“The timing of the State Department’s disclosure raises deeply troubling questions,” said Plaintiffs’ trial counsel Michael Elsner, who requested the records. “Obviously, the jury reached the same conclusion about the Saudi payments in finding Arab Bank guilty for its support of Hamas, but this last minute disclosure of this evidence six years after we requested it and hours after the jury began its deliberations is telling.”

“We don’t expect the State Department to take sides in a civil case, but by withholding critical evidence until the jury began its deliberations, the State Department continues its unfortunate pattern of siding with foreign interests against American victims of terrorism,” said Elsner.

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Roger Goodell Promises to Right the Ship

Friday, September 19th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

This still needs Condi.

During a news conference on Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell promised that the league “will get our house in order.”

Goodell announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller will lead an investigation of the way the league handled the Ray Rice case, and he said that at the end of the process the league will implement new conduct policies.

“I promise you that any shortcomings he finds will lead to swift action,” Goodell said. “The same mistakes will never be repeated.”

Goodell has faced intense criticism over the league’s handling of off-field violent behavior from some of its players. The issue came to a very public head when a video surfaced showing Rice, a star for the Baltimore Ravens, punching his then-fiancee.

As long as Goodell has the support of owners, he should have some breathing room to be more proactive. In a radio interview this morning, I mentioned that Goodell can’t get a complete grip on this until the surprises stop. He thought the Rice situation was handled, then the second video surfaced. Just when damage control was settling in there, the Peterson incident became public. Before almost anything could be done about that, a second allegation was made known. Then the Dwyer story happened. Goodell and the league have been reeling and on their heels in a purely reactive mode because of all of this.

They need the surprises to stop before anything substantive can be done. The PR department needs to be paid more too.

In other not-so-good news for the league, the Dept. of Defense is looking into its connections with the NFL.

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Sorry, Food Babe, But Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Does Not Have a ‘Toxic’ Dose of Sugar In It

Friday, September 19th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

If your neighborhood is anything like mine (or any other neighborhood, frankly), there’s a Starbucks in it, and that Starbucks was crowded with a line of cars around the block a week or two ago. That’s when the coffee chain rolled out its popular pumpkin spice latte drink.

I’m not a fan of that drink, but evidently everyone else who lives within about five miles of a Starbucks is. There were huge lines.

The pumpkin spice latte even got its own official Twitter feed.

 

The “verify” crack comes courtesy of Vani Hari, aka the “Food Babe.”

When Starbucks rolled its seasonal pumpkin spice latte out, Hari was ready with a damning infographic to attack the drink and you, if you drink it.

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Geez, didn’t Basher Assad just declare a bunch of these things chemical weapons and ship them out to be destroyed?

Look, it is a little problematic that the pumpkin spice latte doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin. I’ll even side with the Food Babe that a lot of this artificial stuff is bad. High fructose corn syrup is nasty stuff, in my opinion, and I avoid it as much as possible. By the way, it’s in pretty much everything.

But HFCS isn’t in that latte. It has 50 grams of sugar, which Hari describes as “toxic.” See the graphic above.

50 grams of sugar is a lot for one grande drink, but it’s a sweet drink. The grande is also a fairly big drink — about 16 ounces. So the grande pumpkin spice latte’s 50 grams tracks with the 39 grams of sweetener that’s in a 12-ounce can of Coke.

And 50 grams of sugar is nowhere near “toxic.” It’s about 3.5 tablespoons. Many, many people put nearly as much in a regular sized cup of coffee without thinking twice about it.

I suppose if someone did the Super Size Me thing and drank nothing but grande pumpkin spice latte drinks every day every time they got the urge, they wouldn’t feel very good. It would be bad for them. But no reasonable person is going to do that. So the sugar in the drink is not, in any way, “toxic.”

Healthy eating and living are good things. I’ve changed my own diet recently to get more nutrients and fewer processed items into my body.  Nothing to do with the Food Babe or any fad, I just want to lose a few pounds and be healthier. Fewer meats, more fruits and vegetables, more grains, you probably have heard the drill by now. If you haven’t, look into it. Yes, quinoa can be made edible. So far, about a month in, the results are inconclusive. But I’m sticking with it, with only an occasional dabble into a sweet item like a seasonal latte. And my grill is standing out back neglected. I need to rectify that soon.

This Food Babe is verging on becoming a Food Nazi, though. Hari makes her way through life being hot, and throwing out hyperbole. I get it, that’s how the Internet works. Hot gets you gigs on networks even if you don’t really know what you’re talking about. But Hari twists facts on ingredients when she lacks any sort of scientific background.

But before anyone enlists with the #FoodBabeArmy (yes, that’s a real thing), it’s worth pointing out that Hari is not a chemist or a scientist in any way. She’s an activist. More power to her, Army of Davids and all that, but reader beware. Now that she is a public figure and a known crusader, her livelihood will depend on her ability to “uncover” more things like non-toxic doses of sugar in a coffee drink. Having already successfully launched her “quackmail” campaigns against beer, Chick-Fil-A, Kraft, Panera, Subway and now Starbucks, who’s next?

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Another Day, Another Domestic Abuse Arrest In The NFL

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Time to punt?

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer head-butted his wife and broke her nose after she bit his lip to stop his sexual advances, and he punched her in the face the next day, according to a police report made public Thursday.

Dwyer later threatened to kill himself in front of their 17-month-old son if the wife alerted the police, according to the report, which detailed the latest domestic violence allegations against an NFL player. Dwyer was arrested Wednesday and benched by the team.

The police report describes two altercations between Dwyer and his wife, on July 21 and 22. In the first, Dwyer tried to kiss her and take off her clothes, according to the report. She told him to stop and bit his lip when he wouldn’t, the report said. Dwyer then head-butted her, it said. Police were called to the home by someone who heard arguing.

“Publicist for the National Football League” would now be a candidate for the old “Dirty Jobs” show if it were still on the air.

While it isn’t statistically an epidemic yet, it is now a problem that seems to be spiraling away from the previously cool, collected, and always in charge Roger Goodell. He is now in a difficult position where he has to be extremely proactive all the while avoiding turning the league into one that operates on a “guilty until proven innocent” policy.

Very often in large organizations, the best way to regain control of a situation is for some management heads to roll, even if management isn’t directly responsible. Goodell, however, isn’t removed from these actions anymore. His awful handling of the Ray Rice situation carries over to each new case now, despite his admission that he was wrong.

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Mullahs Happily Dish Out Suspended Sentences to Seven Iranians for Making ‘Happy’ Video

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Did the mullahs do this because of some “grievance,” or because they’re totalitarians who base their rule on the Koran?

A group of seven Iranian men and women who created and starred in their own version of a video for Pharrell Williams’ song ‘Happy’ have each been given suspended sentences of prison time and 91 lashes.

The fun-loving friends were arrested in May after posting their homemade music video ‘Happy in Tehran’ to YouTube.

They were forced to publicly confess and apologise on national television before being released on bail, with police chief Hossein Sajedinia warning others that the video was “a vulgar clip” which “hurt public chastity”.

The suspended sentences mean that the “Happy” seven won’t go to prison immediately, but the possibility of prison time hangs over their heads if they step out of line again.

Ironically:

“We wanted to tell the world that the Iranian capital is full of lively young people and change the harsh and rough image that the world sees on the news,” said Neda, one of its stars.

The end credits of the video – which can still be viewed online though the original has been made private – reads: “We have made this video as Pharrell Williams fans in 8hrs with iPhone 5S. ‘Happy’ was an excuse to be happy. We enjoyed every second of making it. Hope it puts a smile on your face.”

Instead, Iran’s harsh image has been reinforced. The only ones smiling are the mullahs who control everything.

And probably drink liquor and listen to “Happy” on their iPhones when they think no one is watching them.

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NY Times Best Seller List Ignoring New David Limbaugh Book, Despite Sales Numbers

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Common Core math?

There they go again.

The New York Times Book Review, which has a history of belatedly recognizing conservative bestsellers, has banished conservative legal author David Limbaugh’s latest, Jesus on Trial, from its upcoming best seller list despite having sales better than 17 other books on the list.

According to publishing sources, Limbaugh’s probe into the accuracy of the Bible sold 9,660 in its first week out, according to Nielsen BookScan. That should have made it No. 4 on the NYT print hardcover sales list.

Instead, Henry Kissinger’s World Order, praised by Hillary Clinton in the Washington Post, is No. 4 despite weekly sales of 6,607.

As Secrets wrote about a similar banishment early in the sales of conservative Dinesh D’Souza’s America, the Gray Lady is mysterious in how it calculates its list. A spokeswoman said, “We let the rankings speak for themselves and are confident they are accurate.”

The September 28 list of the top 20 print hardcover best sellers includes one book that sold just 1,570 copies.

It must be galling for the Times to have to constantly deal with the fact that, year in and year out, conservative authors dominate the Best Seller list. This, despite their nonstop marginalizing of conservative thought. Now if only we voted as well as we bought books.

J. Christian Adams posted a review of the book on PJ Media earlier in the week, and I just taped an interview with David that will be up soon on PJTV.

You can purchase “Jesus On Trial” here.

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After Sponsor Steps Back, Vikings Re-Suspend Adrian Peterson

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Money talks.

Running back Adrian Peterson will not play for the Minnesota Vikings until his legal issues are resolved, the team said early Wednesday.

It’s a reversal of course for the Vikings. The team had earlier said that Peterson, who is facing a child abuse charge, would practice this week and could play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints

In a statement early Wednesday, the team said Peterson has been placed on the NFL’s Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require him to “remain away from all team activities.”

Vikings: Peterson won’t play on Sunday Should fans stop watching NFL games? Lemon: I don’t condone what Peterson did

“While we were trying to make a balanced decision (Monday), after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian,” said a statement from owners Zygi and Mark Wilf. “We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right.”

The “balanced decision” on Monday came before the Vikings’ main sponsor, Radisson, backed off from its financial involvement with the team.

This is just another response from the NFL’s upper echelon that shows how remarkably out of touch they are with the people who spend money on their product. Roger Goodell shouldn’t have had to see the second Ray Rice video to know what Rice did was heinous, and the first allegation against Peterson should have been enough for the Vikings to keep Peterson suspended for a while. It seems as if they’re all trying to gauge the public’s tolerance for off the field violent behavior.

Or they’re just kind of dumb.

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NOW the NFL Has a Problem: Top Beer Sponsor Is Upset

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Downward spiral.

The top beer sponsor is weighing on the NFL for its handling of a string of highly-publicized abuse scandals involving star players.

On Tuesday, Anheuser-Busch — a big spender in Super Bowl advertising whose Bud Light brand is the official beer of the league — issued a highly critical statement of the NFL.

“We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season,” said the beverage maker in a statement released by a spokesperson. “We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league.”

Those “expectations” were not disclosed in the statement. However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been widely criticized over his handling of the domestic abuse scandal involving Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice and child abuse allegations leveled at Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson.

The company’s brand, Bud Light, has been the official beer of the NFL since 2010, when it replaced MillerCoors as the premier sponsor. Anheuser-Bush has been a top spending brand with the league from 2009 to 2013, spending $149 million during five Super Bowls, according to Nielsen statistics released in January.

This is where the calls for Goodell’s job will really heat up. His job is to manage the league’s image so the sponsor money keeps rolling in without interruption. If one of its biggest sponsors expresses concern, the problem has become unmanageable.

On a somewhat smaller scale, Radisson “suspended” its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings after they reinstated Adrian Peterson and another allegation of child abuse surfaced.

If more sponsors begin grumbling soon, all of Roger Goodell’s damage control to save himself will probably be for naught.

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If You Build It, They Will Slum: But Can THEY Build It? Yes, They Can!

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

NYCHA

When the federal government began trimming subsidies to the New York City Housing Authority (Nycha) more than a decade ago, the agency let the its repair list grow, to the point where overdue fixes and upgrades now run into the billions of dollars. U.S. taxpayers cover 80% of the agency’s funding.

But Jayne Merkel, seeing the rundown state of NYC public housing, and the still-high unemployment rate, synthesized a great idea, and it was published Monday as an op-ed in the New York Times. (Yes, the very one.)

Why couldn’t Nycha train tenants to do basic maintenance? Nycha’s professional staffs would still do the complicated work — roof repair, for example — but with some solid training, almost anyone can replaster a wall. At the same time, training for such work can be a first step toward a steady job.

Of course, this could never happen, because…unions.

But let’s run with that idea anyway. Some 650,000 New York Citians live in housing paid for (in part or whole) by taxpayers, according to Crain’s New York. They live there, many don’t have full-time jobs, and yet some $18 billion in repairs and upgrades languish on a government wait list. What would be wrong with teaching a new skill to some of the beneficiaries of this federal entitlement, and letting them spruce up their own surroundings?

While the idea may appeal to both fiscal conservatives and residents of the decaying structures (for differing reasons), the greatest benefit of such a project would be what it does for the sweat-equitists who do the work.

In Marvin Olasky’s book The Tragedy of American Compassion, he quotes U.S. Surgeon General Thomas Parran (1936-1948) , who told a Senate committee that…

“…self-reliance, the satisfaction of work, the joy of acquisition, the sense of equality, the opportunity of leading a normal family life” were vital to good health. He noted that our destitute citizens [must have] an opportunity of a livelihood earned by individual effort. I emphasize useful work; no other type fills the mental needs [or repairs] losses to human character and mental health….

Parran’s concerns echoed those of his boss.

In November 1933 [Franklin] Roosevelt stated, “When any man or woman goes on a dole something happens to them mentally and the quicker they are taken off the dole the better it is for them the rest of their lives.” And early in 1935 Roosevelt added, “We must preserve not only the bodies of the unemployed from destitution but also their self-respect, their self-reliance and courage and determination.”

Later that same year, FDR said, “Most Americans want to give something for what they get. That something, in this case honest work, is the saving barrier between them and moral disintegration. We propose to build that barrier high.

With inspiration from FDR and his surgeon general, I’d like to take Ms. Merkel’s concept a step further.

Every resident of public housing should help to maintain the common areas and facilities, in addition to cleaning his or her own residence, as a condition of the lease. That work can range from raking leaves, to rewiring a breaker box, depending on ability. This not only relieves budget problems, but fosters a sense of community, and chases off the deadbeats who want merely to live off the exertions of others. (I believe the latter cohort comprises a relatively small cluster.)

It’s time to restore dignity to the folks who’ve fallen on hard times with a plan that just might reduce their numbers, by  increasing their employment prospects.

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Miss America Discovered Interning for Planned Parenthood, Deletes Evidence

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America Sunday night. Today, she’s deleting her LinkedIn profile.That’s an odd thing for someone who has a position based entirely on publicity to do.

According to her Linked-In profile, Kazantsev interned at Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, New York. Her job duties at the company that snuffs out of the lives of young baby girls? “Assisted delivery of programs in local public schools, teaching children about mutual respect & self-esteem” and “Conducted research on Planned Parenthood Education.”

Kazantsev worked for the abortion giant just outside New York City proper for three months, from February 2013-April 2013. One month later, one of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in New York City botched an abortion. The incident occurred at the Margaret Sanger Center Planned Parenthood in New York City, New York.

Ambulances are usually only called to abortion clinics in the event of life-threatening medical emergencies. There has been a trend to bypass the 911 exchanges and call ambulance companies directly in order to keep pro-life groups from obtaining potentially damaging information about the abortion complications though open records requests.

In 2012, Planned Parenthood in New York City was also found to be willing to go along with arranging abortions for victims of sex trafficking.

That’s from LifeNews, and there’s more at the link.

The LinkedIn profile that’s linked above is out, now. Deleted. She is also protecting her tweets. Possibly out of justified shame that Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger.

Margaret Sanger was a Nazi-sympathizer who believed in eugenics and also believed in exterminating “human weeds” — working class people, racial minorities. Sanger was a segregationist who also wanted government to have control over who could and could not have children. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a monster. The business/lobby that Sanger founded is built on aborting babies in substandard clinics. Right now Planned Parenthood is opposing over-the-counter contraception. Why? It’s bad for their business.

 

 

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City’s Child Services Tells Mom: Don’t Let Your Kids Play Outside

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Back in my day, we rode our bikes far away from home and played all over the place without adult supervision.

But in this day, a mom in Austin, Texas, let her 6-year-old son play around a bench about 150 yards from his home’s front porch. The bench is visible from that porch. He knew how to get back home. The boy was never in any danger, until a neighbor and the busybody city got involved.

He’d been out there for about 10 minutes when Roy’s doorbell rang. She opened it to find her son —and a woman she didn’t know. As Roy wrote on her blog HaikuMama last week, the mystery woman asked: “Is this your son?”

I nodded, still trying to figure out what was happening.

“He said this was his house. I brought him home.” She was wearing dark glasses. I couldn’t see her eyes, couldn’t gauge her expression.

“You brought…”

“Yes. He was all the way down there, with no adult.” She motioned to a park bench about 150 yards from my house. A bench that is visible from my front porch. A bench where he had been playing with my 8-year-old daughter, and where he decided to stay and play when she brought our dog home from the walk they’d gone on.

“You brought him home… from playing outside?” I continued to be baffled.

And then the woman smiled condescendingly, explained that he was OUTSIDE. And he was ALONE. And she was RETURNING HIM SAFELY. To stay INSIDE. With an ADULT. I thanked her for her concern, quickly shut the door and tried to figure out what just happened.

It didn’t end there. These things never do, as you’ll see on the next page.

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Either This is the Dumbest Insurance Ad Ever, or Americans Are Becoming Really Horrible Drivers

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Liberty Mutual is running a series of ads on their accident forgiveness program. The program itself makes sense — one accident doesn’t mean that you’re a risky driver and deserve to have your rates go up. “Nobody’s perfect,” says this ad which explains the program very well, in fact. It’s probably the best ad of the series. Solid writing, sound idea, very good delivery.

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But the ad below… It’s terrible. It posits that you can be so bad at parallel parking that you can do extensive damage to someone else’s car and yet you won’t have to worry about your insurance rates going up.

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The actress, whose flat delivery all but kills the brief ad, says “You’re good a lot of things, but parallel parking isn’t one of them.” In fact, you’re so bad that “it’s only a matter of time before you rip some guy’s bumper off.”

Really? “Rip some guy’s bumper off?” If you’re that bad at parallel parking, you might be a menace to society.

How much force does it take to rip the bumper off of a stationary car? The answer depends on a whole lot of variables, but it’s probably “a lot of force. More force than you should be using during any attempt at parallel parking, when you’re probably going a max of 5 mph.” Enough that a competent driver ought to feel a tug and hear noises before they give their own car enough gas to rip the bumper off of another car.

When you rip some guy’s bumper off, the ad gives you two alternatives: Take the bus, or get Liberty Mutual insurance. Because Liberty Mutual doesn’t care if you can drive competently at all, as long as you’re paying your premiums.

Might I suggest two more alternatives to this dangerous parallel parker? They are: Learn how to parallel park, because cars belonging to to other people, and others who are also insured with Liberty Mutual, will depend on you to be competent behind the wheel; or quit driving, because the lives of innocent people may depend on it.

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Press Still Desperately Trying to Make Wendy Davis A Thing

Monday, September 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

“A” for effort?

Here is the headline:

Texas governor’s race heats up over new book

The race for Texas governor entered a new chapter this week with the release of a memoir from Democratic candidate Wendy Davis that rekindled attention on abortion and led to an ethics complaint from her opponent, Republican Greg Abbott.

Abbott, currently the state’s attorney general, is accusing Davis of misusing campaign contributions to promote the book called “Forgetting to Be Afraid,” in which Davis, a state senator, reveals she had terminated two pregnancies.

“Senator Davis’ book promotion has gone from ethically questionable to outright unlawful,” Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch said.

The gubernatorial race, which is set to be the most expensive in the state’s history, has heated up this month with both campaigns reaching into their war chests to start spending heavily on TV advertisements.

Davis campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas called the complaint frivolous and said it shows “how worried Greg Abbott is about the power of her story.”

The most recent RealClearPolitics polling average on this race has Abbott up by double digits, so “the power of her story” had better come with a wizard.

Wendy Davis is a creation of the abortion-on-demand obsession of the MSM. They created a gubernatorial candidacy out of whole cloth for her because she spent several hours championing their pet issue during a filibuster. Can you imagine this kind of breathless reporting about any Republican candidate who spent an entire race trailing so badly in the polls?

No.

The purpose Wendy Davis serves is to prove that the Democrats will go to any lengths to lie about their abortion goals and that the press will dutifully aid them in doing so.

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Adrian Peterson and the ‘Whooping’ Culture

Saturday, September 13th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

When I was growing up in the 1950s, corporal punishment was not only commonplace, it was an accepted adjunct to raising good, obedient children.

“Spare the rod and spoil the child” may have been a euphemism for “child beating” even back then. But spanking was considered an important part of child rearing, and few parents would have thought that it was abuse, much less unnecessary.

Taking a rod to a child’s backside — or a razor strop, or a paddle — might be stretching the point. But it was considered to be a parent’s absolute right to discipline his child any way he saw fit — even if that meant leaving marks on the child’s body.

Times have changed and striking a child anywhere for any reason can get you in trouble with state child service authorities. Some may think we’ve gone too far in protecting children while interfering with the right of parents to raise their child by their own lights.

If you believe that, allow me to introduce you to Adrian Peterson.

Peterson is not only star running back for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. He is the best back of his generation, a marvel of speed, power, and shiftiness. Yesterday, authorities in Texas handed down an indictment of Peterson for child abuse.

His unsettling and sometimes shocking explanations for beating his son with a tree branch because he misbehaved remind us that socioeconomic and cultural differences in parental attitudes toward child rearing are still with us, despite efforts to eradicate child beating disguised as “discipline.”

CBS Houston reports:

The “whooping” – as Peterson put it when interviewed by police – occurred in Spring, Texas, in May. Peterson’s son had pushed another one of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game. As punishment, Peterson grabbed a tree branch – which he consistently referred to as a “switch” – removed the leaves and struck the child repeatedly.

The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands. Peterson then texted the boy’s mother, saying that one wound in particular would make her “mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch.”

Peterson also allegedly said via text message to the child’s mother that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh” and also acknowledged the injury to the child’s scrotum in a text message, saying, “Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”

In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”

According to police reports, the child, however, had a slightly different story, telling authorities that “Daddy Peterson hit me on my face.” The child also expressed worry that Peterson would punch him in the face if the child reported the incident to authorities. He also said that he had been hit by a belt and that “there are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet.” He added that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit with the switch while his pants were down. The child told his mother that Peterson “likes belts and switches” and “has a whooping room.”

It seems apparent that Adrian Peterson experienced similar beatings as a child and was only “whooping” his son as he had been “whooped” as a boy. This becomes clear with Peterson’s bewilderment at thinking that anyone thought his intentions and motivations were anything but legal and proper.

Peterson, when contacted by police, admitted that he had “whooped” his son on the backside with a switch as a form of punishment, and then, in fact, produced a switch similar to the one with which he hit the child. Peterson also admitted that he administered two different “whoopings” to his son during the visit to Texas, the other being a punishment for the 4-year-old scratching the face of a 5-year-old.

In an interview with Houston police, Peterson was very matter-of-fact and calm about the incident, appearing to believe he had done nothing wrong and reiterating how much he cared about his son and only used “whoopings” or “spankings” as a last resort. He offered up information that the police didn’t have and was incredulous when asked if some of the numerous wounds and marks on the child were from an extension cord, saying, “Oh, no, I’d never hit my child with an extension cord. I remember how it feels to get whooped with an extension cord. I’d never do that.”

Peterson also said, “Anytime I spank my kids, I talk to them before, let them know what they did, and of course after.” Peterson also expressed regret that his son did not cry – because then, Peterson said, he would have known that the switch was doing more damage than intended. He didn’t realize the “tip of the switch and the ridges of the switch were wrapping around [the child’s] legs.” Peterson also acknowledged that this was administered directly to the child’s skin and with the child’s pants pulled down.

It would be a mistake to ascribe this attitude to black America only. It is more a product of one’s socioeconomic strata and tradition than a condition based on race. From what I can discover, Peterson grew up in a lower middle class home with loving parents. While his parents divorced when Adrian was seven and his father was convicted and given an eight-year sentence for money laundering when he was thirteen, Peterson maintained close contact with his father, even speaking to him before every game in high school despite him being in prison.

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Ohio State Sexual Assault Code About as Idiotic as it Gets

Saturday, September 13th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

I thought that the recent passage in California of the “yes means yes” bill was extremely problematic — especially for males, who are basically at the mercy of women when it comes to initiating a sexual encounter. The temptation to engage in false accusations for purposes of revenge or pique will be great, and given the temper of the times, rather than an incident becoming a “he said, she said” issue, it is likely to be a “whatever she said goes as the truth” matter.

That California law defines consent as “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” And it covers each step of the sexual encounter — from kissing to petting, to intercourse. Madness.

But Ohio State has gone California one better. If you’re a Buckeye male, it’s not enough that you get “consent” for every sexual act. You have to agree with your partner on why you are having sex.

Have they gone bat guano crazy?

Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute writing at the Liberty Unyielding blog:

Ohio State applies an impractical “agreement” requirement to not just sex, but also to a much broader category of “touching” that is sexual (or perhaps romantic?) in nature. First, it states that “sexual assault is any form of non-consensual sexual activity. Sexual assault includes all unwanted sexual acts from intimidation to touching to various forms of penetration and rape.” Then, it states that “Consent is a knowing and voluntary verbal or non-verbal agreement between both parties to participate in each and every sexual act. . .Conduct will be considered “non-consensual” if no clear consent . . . is given. . . .Effective consent can be given by words or actions so long as the words or actions create a mutual understanding between both parties regarding the conditions of the sexual activity–ask, ‘do both of us understand and agree regarding the who, what, where, when, why, and how this sexual activity will take place?’”

(emphasis mine)

College students, barely out of their teenage years with little sexual experience, are now expected to glean “consent” by the actions and supposed intent of their partner. If you kiss a girl without permission, that is considered a sexual assault — even if the girl liked it.

Bader takes us through the practical consequences of the policy:

This “agreement” requirement is impractical, because unlike sex (where there is generally an implicit agreement among the participants before it can even happen, since sex is difficult to do without active cooperation), no one agrees in advance – verbally or non-verbally – to have someone touch them in a particular place while making out. No one ever says, “may I touch your breast” before doing it while making out. They may (and usually do) welcome (and enjoy) it after it occurs, but they don’t specifically “agree” to it in advance (indeed, they may have expected the touch to occur in a different place, even if they found it pleasant). The very process of making out is a gradual escalation of intimacy step by step, without constant discussion or an endless series of agreements. That may be impossible under Ohio State’s policy, not just because it requires “agreement” (rather than mere “acquiescence”) but also because it expresses hostility to the concept of “consent to one form of sexual activity” being a signal of receptiveness to other, slightly more intimate “forms of sexual activity.” But that’s exactly what happens in making out: when you acquiesce in one form of touching or other “sexual activity” long enough, that signals a likely willingness to engage in slightly more intimate forms of touching — although you are free to rebut that presumption of willingness at any time simply by saying “no” or physically conveying your unwillingness. Such fluid interaction is threatened by Ohio State’s definition, which states that that “Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other . . . sexual activity,” that there must be “agreement between both parties to participate in each and every sexual act,” that only “clear consent” counts, and that “Consent can never be assumed, even in the context of a relationship.”

With so much going on prior to intercourse, can a woman having a sexual encounter under these circumstances ever use the excuse that she and her partner got “carried away” and had unprotected sex leading to an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion? If you’re going to slow down the process of becoming intimate, what excuse do you have for not using a rubber? Or some other form of contraception?

That’s a side issue, to be sure. But Bader’s practical guide to sex at Ohio State (and other schools that will likely adopt similar policies) is a clear warning to males; know your partner well before even initiating a kiss. Is she mentally stable? Does she have relationship issues? If you’re only interested in a casual encounter, is she OK with that? A woman who discovers that her sexual partner from the night before was not interested in a long term relationship and only wanted to “hook up” for the night, is that grounds for charging him with sexual assault?

This may be the zenith of political correctness on college campuses. To take perhaps the most joyous, fulfilling act a human being can perform and turn it into a laborious, awkward, artificial, and dangerous encounter is the height of stupidity.

You have to wonder if the people who developed this policy ever had sex themselves.

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America Can Heal Now: Chris Brown Weighs In on Ray Rice Situation

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

What we’ve all been waiting for.

On Thursday, CBS pulled the use of a Rihanna song from the opening of its Thursday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, avoiding starting the broadcast with the voice of someone who’s been the victim of domestic violence days after a shocking video surfaced of former Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee.

Many have pointed out that Rihanna’s involvement in the broadcast was an unfortunate choice in light of the scandal over the Rice incident and the NFL’s treatment thereof, which was the focus of most of the pre-game show. Now Chris Brown has linked his 2009 pre-Grammys Rihanna attack to the Ray Rice scandal.

On Thursday, MTV News’ Sway Calloway asked Brown, who was sentenced to five years of probation and one year of counseling after pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna, what advice he had for Rice.

Brown, who has a history of violent behavior, said it’s all about anger management.

“I think it’s all about the choices you make. With me, I deal with a lot of anger issues from my past — not knowing how to express myself verbally but at the same time not knowing how to cope with my emotions and deal with them and understand what they were,” he said. “For me, dealing with my anger issues and understanding myself and the life I’ve been through, where I’m headed and where I want to be has helped me focus on what’s really important and not F up. For anybody who’s going through that situation or anybody who’s dealing with it — it’s all about the choices. Every situation is different but it’s all about the choices you make and how you control your anger.”

In the never-ending tale of people making stupid decisions during this Rice story, the executive who thought, “Hey-let’s see what Chris Brown thinks…” just jockeyed him or herself into the top ten.

Presumably, MTV was unable to get clearance for an in-cell interview with OJ Simpson to see what sage advice he had for Ray Rice.

Here’s an idea: let’s not give serial abusers a public forum to cover their you-know-whats.

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Did the NFL Really Not See the Ray Rice Punch Video Until This Week? (Update: NFL Denies)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The AP reports that the NFL had this week’s “new” video of Ray Rice punching his then girlfriend five months ago.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive five months ago, while league executives have insisted they didn’t see the violent images until this week.

The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: “You’re right. It’s terrible.”

The law enforcement official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, says he had no further communication with any NFL employee and can’t confirm anyone watched the video. The person said he was unauthorized to release the video but shared it unsolicited, because he wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice’s punishment.

The NFL has repeatedly said it asked for but could not obtain the video of Rice hitting Janay Palmer — who is now his wife — at an Atlantic City casino in February.

Did the NFL not take the Rice situation seriously at the beginning, or did the league engage in a cover-up?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has even more questions to answer now. This will end up defining his time at the NFL helm.

Update: The NFL denies:

 

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Mourning in America: Gearing Up for the Post-Radio Shack World

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

We all paraded from the AMC Matador Ambassador station wagon into the Acme. Pop cashed his check from the Budd Company at the customer service window, bought a carton of Salems he’d share with Nan, and handed her a wad of cash to pay for the groceries. She steered the cart off among the aisles, for what must have been an island of sweet respite after a week trapped at home with four noisy, dirty, scuffling boys.

Then, most Wednesdays, if we didn’t need a haircut at the barbershop — a Princeton: tight on the sides, longer on top, looped over with a generous handful of Vitalis — it was off to one of three destinations in the Doylestown Shopping Center:

1) W.T. Grant: a five-and-dime, if we needed school clothes or supplies, or to look at the tropical fish, chameleons and pet rodents.

2) Sears: where my brothers and I played Pong, or fished through the discount 45′s bin while Pop shopped for tools.

3) Radio Shack: AKA Heaven for Boys

While the first two had their charms, it was Radio Shack that cast a spell on us, drawing us in at a dead run.

Gadgets and kits, lights and switches, buzzing and whirring and crackling — things that were cool before “cool” became “bad” or “sick” or “ridiculous” or whatever “cool” is now.

There was nothing like Radio Shack.

Today, I read that Radio Shack is sick — actually sick, perhaps dying — almost certainly headed for bankruptcy.

Troubled electronics retailer RadioShack Corp’s shares have lost nearly a third of their value since brokerage Wedbush Securities said on Tuesday the company could file for bankruptcy soon, making the stock worthless by the end of this year.

The stock fell as much as 20 percent to 76 cents on Wednesday, adding to a 23 percent plunge on Tuesday.

“Our price target reflects our expectation that creditors will force a reorganization and wipe out RadioShack’s equity,” Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note.

Oddly enough, I was just in a Shack in McKinney, Texas, on Sunday. Of course, it’s not really Radio Shack anymore…at least not the front half of the store. It’s a Frankensteinian amalgam of hipster brand names, competing for attention against a backdrop of their competitors’ products. It’s the Wal-Mart electronics department, in a third of the space with higher prices.

Cowling my eyes with my hands, I mumble to myself “not seeing anything, not seeing anything” until I reach the back of the store.

Here vestigial Radio Shack yet survives, like a pin-pithed dessicated frog with a faint heartbeat, but no will. My 18-year-old son asks what I’m looking for. It’s a logical question that not one of my brothers would have asked back in the day.

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Will Roger Goodell’s Mishandling Of Ray Rice Incident Cost Him His Job?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The chorus has begun.

As an uproar grows over a video showing star player Ray Rice’s ferocious blow on his now-wife, calls for the firing of the NFL’s leader are getting louder.

An increasing number of critics think National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, the man in charge of disciplining the star player, should be next.

“The NFL has lost its way. It doesn’t have a Ray Rice problem; it has a violence against women problem,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. “The NFL sets the example for college, high school, middle school and even elementary school football programs. And the example it is setting right now is simply unacceptable. New leadership must come in with a specific charge to transform the culture of violence against women that pervades the NFL.”

Goodell told CBS News on Tuesday that he was sickened by what he saw on a newly released video that showed Rice knocking out his now-wife with a ferocious punch.

Goodell’s bumbling on this was mystifying. He’s been micromanaging the league and obsessed with optics and image so it’s difficult to figure out how he was caught so off guard by this. For a man who has been trying to remove so much of the violence from an inherently violent game (much to the chagrin of many devoted fans) to not grasp the import of illegal real world violence seems problematic. The whole, “We hadn’t seen the newest video yet…” excuse is nonsense. The first video showed Rice dragging Janay Palmer out of the elevator after he knocked her out. Does anyone really need to see further video evidence to know that the knocking out part was bad? Do we really need pictures at all to know that a man knocking a woman out is bad? The league and the Ravens management still sound pretty tone deaf.

Still, the league did institute a new, much harsher policy to deal with domestic violence once Goodell realized that his initial response was weak. He also admitted he’d screwed up, which you don’t get from big ego higher-ups a lot.

As a hardcore fan, I have a number of football-specific reasons I don’t like Roger Goodell and I do think he has been mostly awful in his handling of the Rice situation. Would it be better for someone new to come in and deal with this or might there be more progress if a chastened, contrite Goodell were still in charge?

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Welfare Recipients Can Use Their EBT Cards at Pot Stores

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Six years ago, if anyone had made a campaign issue out of the potential for welfare users to buy pot with their food stamps, the media would have made great sport and mockery of that.

Yet here we are, six years later, with more Americans than ever on SNAP and various forms of welfare, and pot stores going up in a couple of states. The Washington Times reports  that the two things have been connected.

Welfare recipients can’t use their EBT cards at liquor stores but they can at marijuana dispensaries in states such as Colorado that have legalized pot, Sen. Jeff Sessions revealed Tuesday.

The Alabama Republican announced that he was drafting legislation to close the welfare-for-weed loophole after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to him that marijuana shops were not off limits to EBT cards, which replaced food stamps, or other federal benefits.

There’s no word on how many welfare users actually have used their EBT cards at pot stores.

Under current law, HHS claims that it has no power to stop welfare recipients from using their EBT cards at pot stores.

This is the same HHS that believes it does have the power to force nuns and everyone else to pay for other people’s birth control and abortion-inducing drugs.

 

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First Lady Michelle Obama Finds the Perfect Side Job. You Won’t Believe What Happens Next.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Look out, Clickhole, you have some competition. First Lady Michelle Obama has joined the original annoying viral content site, Upworthy. I’m not even kidding.

It’s not quite the gig that Chelsea Clinton had at NBC, but it’s something. A start.

The first lady is “guest curating” content at the site that perfected those cliffhanger headlines that even Facebook hates so much.

The first lady has already “curated” her first piece, with a very Upworthy title: “I Really Hope the Parents Of These People Get To See What They Said Here. They’d Probably Cry.”

If I saw what people say, I might cry too, and I’m a guy who has lived through the Jerry Jones Cowboys era without shedding a tear. Or I might run away. Or I might seek psychiatric help. It’s not common to see what people say. Visible words floating around while people are talking to me? That would freak me right out.

In her inaugural piece, Mrs. Obama allows that she is thankful for her three-week orientation at college.

Question: Three weeks? How long does it take to figure out where your classes are and which classes are the most skippable? That’s a week, tops. If you’re a little slow to catch things. Or if you’re distracted by seeing words floating around everybody’s heads.

The first lady’s first conclusion doesn’t really break any new ground.

Because our young people need to know that no matter where you come from or how much money your family has, you can succeed in college, and get your degree, and then go on to build a better life for yourself.

And the sky is blue. Sherlock would be impressed!

Anyway, the First Lady of Irritating Crap Writing That Has Ruined Blogging Forever still has a mountain of cliches and cliffhangers to climb if she wants to stay ahead of Clickhole. They have a stunning video piece up today. You won’t believe what happens next.

Seriously. You won’t.

My jaw…dropped.

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VIDEOS: Has Obama Lost the Late Night Comics?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

For years, President Obama has enjoyed the protection of the network’s late night talk show hosts. They wouldn’t mock him. Jay Leno would rip on him now and then, but the rest wouldn’t touch him.

That’s changed. Both Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon nailed Obama in their monologues Monday night.

Meyers gigged Obama for not having a plan to confront IS.

Meyers: “Turning to political news, this week, President Obama will announce his plans for addressing the threat posed by ISIS extremists in Iraq. It’s an incredibly difficult situation. I think at this point, you just tell Liam Neeson that they have his daughter. I think it’s ‘Code Neeson.’”

In other words, to get Obama’s attention on a crisis you have to relate it to pop culture. Or get someone else to do the job.

Fallon zinged Obama for spending so much time away from the White House, and popped VP Joe Biden’s habit of being an idiot at the same time.

Fallon: “On Friday, President Obama made a surprise visit to Stonehenge on his way back from the NATO summit in Wales. And even crazier, today he made a surprise visit to the White House. “What are you doing here, man?” Really exciting. That’s right, President Obama visited Stonehenge. It was going well until Biden was like, “Look at the size of these dominoes.” No Biden!”

Speaking of Stonehenge, here’s an Obama moment that the comics missed.

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What Did Dr. Ben Carson Say About Ray Rice?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This won’t do.

The Baltimore Ravens fired running back Ray Rice after a second video surfaced — this one showing him punching his then fiancee, Janay. The NFL also suspended Rice indefinitely so that no other team could sign him.

Carson, a former professor and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, said that he hoped the league would get some help for Rice. Then he added:

“Let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy. He obviously has some real problems. And his wife obviously knows that because she subsequently married him. So they both need some help.”

Mediaite has more, but it doesn’t help Carson’s case.

Rice obviously does have some problems. But it’s not “demonizing” to recognize that the horrific videos of him punching a woman out are in fact horrific. He punches her out cold and drags her out of the elevator. That’s domestic abuse. Yes, he needs help, and so may she. He also does not need to be representing the Ravens or the NFL while he gets help.

While we’re in the demonizing business, it’s worth taking a look at the Ravens and the NFL too. There are reports out — that the NFL deny — that the league already had the second video before it was made public yesterday.

If the team and the NFL already had the second video, and still only gave Rice that initial two-game suspension, then, what? They only fired Rice because he became an even bigger public relations problem for them?

The Ravens had Janay come out and apologize alongside Ray Rice, after the first video surfaced. If they had the full video at that time, or any other time between then and this week…

The “demonization” is only getting started.

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The Real Lesson of Steven Sotloff’s Hidden Identity

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

sotlofffoley

This past week Jewish media was abuzz with stories of how hard journalist Steven Sotloff’s family and friends worked to hide his Jewish identity after he was captured by ISIS. It seemed strange to me that Jew haters would have such terrible Jewdar. After all, the guy’s name was “Sotloff”, but apparently that’s not a “tell” in the Muslim world:

One thing journalists quickly learn is that the Jewish “tells” in the West don’t mean much in the Middle East. Jewish names obvious in the West are not at all so in the region, and stereotypical “Jewish looks” among westerners are indistinguishable from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern features that are common throughout the Middle East.

“My name might have been Miriam Leah Goldbergstein, and I wouldn’t have worried,” said Lisa Goldman, who reported for various outlets in Lebanon and then in Cairo during the Arab Spring in 2011.

“A rose by any other name” would still be an infidel, so it would seem:

It’s not known whether ISIS was aware that Sotloff was Jewish. Colleagues believe his kidnapping by ISIS-affiliated terrorists in 2012 in Syria was one of opportunity and not a deliberate targeting. James Foley, another journalist kidnapped by ISIS and beheaded last month by the terror group, was Catholic.

Which is, perhaps, the overarching point of the latest rash of radical Islamist beheadings of Western journalists. We are all roses to be de-headed, whether we call ourselves Jews, Christians, or simply Westerners of a secular stripe. Iranian American scholar Haleh Esfandiari didn’t blink in her distinction of “The West” from the Muslim east when she commented on radical Islamist recruits:

These young men who grew up in Western cultures seem to have absorbed nothing regarding the value of human life and respect for women.

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