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And the World’s Sexiest Woman Is… Kate

Friday, December 19th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

Kate Upton, that is:

Mirror mirror on the wall, Kate Upton is the Sexiest Woman of all. So says People magazine.

The mag crowned the Sports Illustrated model, 22, with the title of “Sexiest Woman” on Thursday night during its first People Magazine Awards show in Beverly Hills. Hunky Eric Dane, no slouch in the sexy department himself, presented Upton with her award, saying, “There are a lot of reasons why Kate is sexy. Style, career, achievements, sense of humor, personality – oh and did I mention her … looks?”

Did somebody say looks?

Kate at work

Kate at work and in action

God Bless America.

Also read: 

Cameron Diaz or Kate Upton? 

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Put Back That Bottle of Booze You’re Thinking of Buying as a Christmas Present

Friday, December 19th, 2014 - by Chris Queen

So your exhausting search for the ideal Christmas present for that hard-to-shop-for friend has taken you to the package store. You browse the aisles looking for the perfect bottle — something that reflects good taste at the best price — when suddenly you’ve found what you’re looking for.

Not so fast. A new Consumer Reports poll has found that a quarter of Americans surveyed see hard liquor as the least desirable holiday gift.

One in four Americans surveyed cited whiskey, vodka, brandy, rum, and other spirits as the least desirable gift to receive; 23 percent identified flowers and plants as the biggest buzzkill, while 13 percent singled out candles, picture frames, and other home décor items as the most unwanted presents. Even socks would be a better choice.

The same poll showed that consumers are much more comfortable with the idea of receiving wine as a present.

Wine, however, proved a different story. It was far more acceptable—and desirable. Only 6 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t want to receive a bottle for the holidays.

Just outside of Charleston, SC, the assistant manager of package store Bottles says she doesn’t see the aversion to the giving of booze that the poll reflects.

“I was like, ‘hmm, I guess they’re not in South Carolina’,” Sara Capparelli says of her initial reaction to the finding. “We’re selling out of gift sets.”

[...]

…liquor remains popular with Christmas shoppers in Charleston. More than 100 gift givers this weekend attended a bottle-engraving that Capparelli called the most successful such event in the Mt. Pleasant store’s three-year history.

However, Capparelli says she does understand why many people might prefer wine to liquor as a gift.

The gulf between wine and liquor makes sense to Capparelli, who points out that most Cabernet drinkers could probably be coaxed into trying Merlot. But it’s significantly harder to persuade a whiskey drinker to sip vodka, no matter how nicely the bottle is wrapped. Additionally, Capparelli says, wine offers a better value for the gift giver.

“You don’t want to give someone a $5 bottle of value liquor,” she says, whereas many well-made wines are relatively inexpensive.

So the bottom line is this: unless you really need to buy the liquor for yourself, put it back and walk over to the wine section for a better gift-giving experience.

This article contains an image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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What the Stats Really Say About Racially Motivated Cop Killings

Friday, December 19th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Larry Elder at Real Clear Politics breathes essential statistical insight into the ongoing fight over whether or not white cops have a predilection for shooting black men:

In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops — and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.

Police shootings, nationwide, are down dramatically from what they were 20 or 30 years ago. The CDC reported that in 1968, shootings by law enforcement — called “legal intervention” by the CDC — was the cause of death for 8.6 out of every million blacks. For whites the rate was was .9 deaths per million.

By 2011, law enforcement shootings caused 2.74 deaths for every million blacks, and 1.28 deaths for every million whites. While the death-by-cop rate for whites has held pretty steady over these last 45 years, hovering just above or below the one-in-a-million level, the rate for blacks has fallen. In 1981, black deaths by cop stood at four in a million, but since 2000 has remained just above or below two in a million.

So what’s driving this notion that there is now an “epidemic” of white cops shooting blacks when in the last several decades the numbers of blacks killed by cops are down nearly 75 percent?

As Elder points out, there was no mention of race or racial motivation in the cases of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, or Michael Brown. When questioned about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict, “several jurors later said that during jury deliberations ‘race never came up.’” Elder asserts

This white-cop-out-to-get-black-civilian narrative advances the interest of many. The media loves what Tom Wolfe called the “Great White Defendant” — a bad white guy everybody can agree to dislike. For the Democrats, it furthers their assertion that race remains a major problem in America, that Republicans/tea partiers/black conservatives are out to get them, and you must vote for us. For “activists” like the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and local wannabes, it gives them continued relevance.

In reality, the facts provide a startling lack of evidence in support of the theory of racial motivation. At the same time, they do provide solid evidence that both the media and so-called community activists like the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson need to promulgate the myth of ghetto culture in order to maintain power over an audience and presumed authority over an entire segment of the American population.

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Hollywood Pulls More Movies in Dictator’s Wake

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

What Kimmy doesn’t want you to see.

Cinema Blend reports:

We might as well all pack up and go home, because at the moment the bad-guys are winning. The repercussions of Sony’s hacking are now starting to be felt around the movie industry, as New Regency has announced that work on Steve Carell’s potential new film set in North Korea had now been stopped.

At the time of its cancellation, the project was being developed for Gore Verbinski to direct with Steve Carell was going to play the lead. Steve Conrad, who has previously written The Weather ManThe Pursuit Of Happyness and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, had scribed what’s been described as a paranoid thriller. In fact, production had already been pencilled in for March. But the recent hacking of Sony and the consequent threats to any screening of The Interview has led New Regency to decide that there wasn’t any point in making the movie. According to Deadline, insiders from the studio explained to the website, “it just makes no sense to move forward.” This all apparently began internally, with the folks at Fox saying that they wouldn’t be distributing the film. Thus, the plug was pulled.

The plug might also impact a number of other Gore Verbinski films set to be released by the same studio, despite the fact that they have nothing to do whatsoever with North Korea.

Studios are now going to think twice about creating any movie that could lead to them being targeted. Now big, serious questions need to be asked. Why was Sony able to be hacked so easily? Where does cinema go from here? At the moment it feels like the movie industry is about to cave in on itself. Who would have thought that it would be all be because of a Seth Rogen movie?

In related news, the Kim Jong-un death scene (shown above) has been leaked:

Defamer first previewed the clip on Monday, but removed it shortly thereafter. They also explored the leaked emails between Rogen and Sony execs, in which the co-director and actor became exasperated with the studio’s repeated demands for a less graphic death scene.

And so this is the final product. The death scene that was apparently seen by the State Department and has effectively led to the movie being shelved altogether for fear of terrorism.

If Hollywood had any sense of history, they’d be asking WWCCD: What Would Charlie Chaplin Do? For those of you too young to get the joke, try this question: What would Hitler have done if he had the Internet? At least one Texas theater chain is fighting back against one of the most blatant violations of freedom of speech this side of the Pacific.

*Updated*: Another upload of video via Daily Caller.

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It’s Called Obama Privilege

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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In an interview with People magazine, Michelle Obama gets serious about “the impact of stereotypes” in the “wake” of the Brown and Garner incidents:

“Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Mrs. Obama said in the Dec. 10 interview appearing in the new issue of PEOPLE. 

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.” 

Word to the wise: The next time someone asks you to help them with an item on a shelf, they’re obviously racist. Michelle probably wanted to reply, “Can’t you see I’m the first lady?!” but instead checked her privilege. I’m sure she rewarded herself for that at Bergdorf’s later.

The president also chimed in:

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North Korea Threatens to Attack NYC Movie Premiere?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Apparently Kim Jong-un isn’t into Seth Rogen’s brand of humor.

While the North Korean dictator does not claim responsibility, he nonetheless praised a terrorist threat issued in advance of The Interview‘s Thursday night premiere in New York City:

Warning

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.

Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.

The world will be full of fear.

Remember the 11th of September 2001.

We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.

(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)

Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

All the world will denounce the SONY.

It has been widely suspected that North Korea is involved in the recent hacker attack on Sony performed by the “Guardians of Peace.” This email seems to confirm that suspicion:

The threat was included alongside the release of another set of emails, this time said to be those of Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton. Because the hackers post this information anonymously and are contacting reporters through reusable email addresses, it is possible that a separate party is behind this threat. However, that seems unlikely. The communications have been consistent, and it should be clear soon whether the leaked emails are genuine, confirming the authenticity of this note.

While Seth Rogen reportedly doesn’t regret making the film about two American TV boobs sent on a secret mission to assassinate the North Korean dictator, he and his co-star James Franco have cancelled all upcoming press appearances to promote the film. Meanwhile, the New York City police are busy ramping up for the now scaled-back screening.

The Interview is due out in theaters across the country on Christmas day.

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Oberlin College Prof Won’t Delay Exams for Students ‘Traumatized’ by Brown And Garner Stories

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sanity in the strangest of places:

Last week, [Robby Soave] wrote [at Reason's "Hit & Run" blog] about how “students are so coddled by the feelings-protection regime at university campuses that they now believe disheartening national news developments—such as the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases—entitle them to final exam extensions.”

Columbia Law School delayed final exams for students who felt unable to take them in the wake these developments. Students at Harvard and Georgetown began demanding their universities follow suit.

One might think that Oberlin College, known for it’s ultra-crunchy reputation, would be all about this. At least one professor at Oberlin, however, is having none of it…

What follows is absolutely epic.

Here is the Facebook exchange between a student (who is, sadly, a product of the self esteem and participation era) speaking out for minority groups to which she doesn’t belong and the professor’s response. (click to enlarge):

ferguson_oberlin_no_12-16-14-3

Look for this guy to be out of a job within the year. Dissent from the progressive orthodoxy is not tolerated.

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What’s Moving Millennials Into the Pro-Life Camp?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Millennials areincreasingly more pro-life and supportive of restrictions on abortion” than their Boomer and Gen-X parents. 

Blame science.

“There’s a window into the womb with ultrasound. Just having the look into the womb you can see, even in the first trimester, the early development of the child — you can see the humanity of the child,” Rose said. “Now that we have that imagery and it’s more prevalent, people are having that personal encounter with the child, so it’s easier to recognize their human rights.”

…”Years ago, it was the case that advocates for abortion would talk about the ‘thing’ growing in a woman’s womb as a lifeless blob of tissue,” Monahan explained. “And I think our advances in sonography and ultrasounds, and even our understanding of fetal development has dispelled those myths.”

She continued: “We know that, from the moment of conception, a baby has all of its DNA that it needs for the rest of its life. It has everything inherent that it will need for later on. Really, the only difference [between the preborn and adults] is in size and development.”

When most millennials were in the womb, ultrasound technology was still relatively new to pregnancy. Mothers of Gen-X/millennial crossovers most likely only had an ultrasound if there were suspected complications with the pregnancy. Today, however, those crossovers and their fellow millennials will have an ultrasound as early as 8 weeks to confirm pregnancy, including fetal heartbeat. One-dimensional sonograms will continue throughout the pregnancy. Parents will also have the option to have a 3-D or 4-D ultrasound done so that they may see their smiling baby in the womb.

Abortion is at an all-time low in the United States. And while abortion advocates are quick to note that the majority of women who are required to view sonograms before their abortions will choose to proceed with the abortion, the reality is that the majority of abortions in America are being performed before an 8 week ultrasound can be done. The women who abort after the ultrasound are in the minority that is growing smaller by the year.

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Christmas Tradition Warms Children to Big Brother-Style Government

Monday, December 15th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Think the Elf on the Shelf is a cute little holiday tradition to keep your young one on their toes? Think again.

Laura Pinto, a digital technology professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology recently published a paper concluding that Santa’s little spy  “sets up children for dangerous, uncritical acceptance of power structures.”

When children enter the play world of The Elf on the Shelf, they accept a series of practices and rules associated with the larger story. This, of course, is not unique to The Elf on the Shelf. Many children’s games, including board games and video games, require children to participate while following a prescribed set of rules. The difference, however, is that in other games, the child role-plays a character, or the child imagines herself within a play-world of the game, but the role play does not enter the child’s real world as part of the game. As well, in most games, the time of play is delineated (while the game goes on), and the play to which the rules apply typically does not overlap with the child’s real world.

“You’re teaching (kids) a bigger lesson, which is that it’s OK for other people to spy on you and you’re not entitled to privacy,” she tells the Toronto Star.

She calls the elf “an external form of non-familial surveillance,” and says it’s potentially conditioning children to accept the state acting that way, too.

“If you grow up thinking it’s cool for the elves to watch me and report back to Santa, well, then it’s cool for the NSA to watch me and report back to the government,” according to Pinto.

According to the report, some parent bloggers agree with Pinto’s conclusions. However, others think she’s gone overboard with a fun holiday tradition. Pinto also fails to criticize the Elf’s Jewish counterpart “Mensch on a Bench” for exhibiting the same surveillance state tendencies since the Mensch spends his nights watching the menorah, not the kiddies.

Is this another case of academia gone too far, or is there something to this notion of Big Brother Elf?

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Facebook’s New Scheme to Manipulate Your Emotions for Profit

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I loudly gave up Facebook last month, and decided to shift my social networking efforts to tweeting, shooting more Instagram videos, and exploring the potential of other emerging social networks: “7 Reasons Why Thanksgiving Will Be My Last Day on Facebook.”

Wired reported this week how Facebook is choosing to spend its money to develop robot babysitters for people supposedly too irresponsible to handle their social networking: “Facebook Envisions AI That Keeps You From Uploading Embarrassing Pics.”

Let’s say you’re out drinking with your buddies, things get out of hand, you pull out your smartphone, you take a selfie in the middle of all this drunken revelry, then you take 30 or 40 more, and, without hesitation, you start uploading them to Facebook.

It’s a common thing to do. But Yann LeCun aims to stop such unbridled behavior—or at least warn people when they’re about to do something they might regret. He wants to build a kind of Facebook digital assistant that will, say, recognize when you’re uploading an embarrassingly candid photo of your late-night antics. In a virtual way, he explains, this assistant would tap you on the shoulder and say: “Uh, this is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?”

The idea is more than just an idle suggestion. LeCun is the New York University researcher and machine-learning guru who now oversees the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab, a team of AI researchers inside the internet giant that spans offices in both California and New York, and this rapidly expanding operation is now laying the basic groundwork for his digital assistant.

Here’s the kicker, emphasis added:

The team’s deep learning algorithms now examine your overall Facebook behavior in an effort to identify the right content for your news feed—content you’re likely to click on—and they’ll soon analyze the text you type into status posts, automatically suggesting relevant hashtags. But LeCun and his team are also looking towards AI systems that can understand Facebook data in more complex ways—and guide you in directions you may not go on your own.

From Business Insider today, a look inside the emotionally manipulative approach driving the company: “Facebook: We Don’t Call Them ‘Users’ Any More, We Call Them ‘People’”:

The company also has an “empathy team” which is charged with helping its engineers and designers understand what it’s actually like to be a user, or a business paying for advertising.

Tech Crunch reveals the background game Facebook has been playing, quietly expanding beyond social networking, picking up tech companies left and right to figure out what they can plug into their user base to maximize profits (“Facebook Combines Atlas, Audience Network, And LiveRail Into An AdTech Voltron“):

So Facebook built what’s called Custom Audiences, which lets businesses upload their purchase data and identifying information about their customers to Facebook in a hashed, privacy-protected way. Facebook can both use this to let businesses target ads to their existing customers, but also to reference them against who saw ads to prove that impressions on web or mobile, even without clicks, lead to purchases.

Facebook also collects offline purchase data tied to people’s grocery loyalty cards and other identifiers through partners like Datalogix. The point of all this measurement is that when advertisers can see they’re getting a return on investment, they spend more.

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Noam Chomsky Gets ‘Invisible Hand’ Concept Completely Backwards

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 - by Kathy Shaidle

chomsky-by-shepard-fairey

One of the running gags in Canadian playwright Jason Sherman’s controversial 1995 work Reading Hebron sees its overwhelmingly liberal Jewish characters regularly sighing, “Ah… Chomsky…” with the kind of ecstatic reverence you’d expect from Catholic saints in the midst of a mystical trance.

The play is still semi-regularly revived, and I doubt any dramaturge has felt it necessary to single out that line as anachronistic.

“Progressive” Jews (and gentiles, and atheists) still think o Noam Chomsky as a secular prophet, despite (or because of) the Right’s thorough debunking of many of his predictions and prescriptions.

Unpopular opinion alert: Chomsky’s not all bad.

He was on the right side of the Great Canadian Hate Speech Wars.

And asking why it takes 90 minutes longer to get from Boston to New York than it did in 1970 is more than reasonable.

(Although I suspect his solution might not be…)

However, one of Chomsky’s recent speeches has just been uploaded to YouTube, and one of my fellow Canadian bloggers, Richard Klagsbrun, is tearing into it with relish, as you’ll see on the next page. (Language warning.)

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Lena Dunham Cries ‘Victim’ in Wake of Barry One Shakeup

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Artist Credit: Sabo

Breitbart pursued. Barry One threatened to sue. After days of media silence, Random House, the publisher of Not That Kind of Girl, issued a statement that was essentially a load of bull, claiming no wrongdoing but instead “regretting confusion” and offering to pay Barry One’s legal fees to date. Here’s the kicker:

Our offer will allow Mr. Minc and his client to donate all of the crowd-funding raised to not-for-profit organizations assisting survivors of rape and sexual assault.

Vomit. Go ahead. I did in my head. But wait until after you read Lena Dunham’s barf-worthy “woe is me” comment issued after days of media silence (and Olivia Pope-worthy legal strategics, no doubt):

Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me. Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun. I did not wish to be contacted by him or to open a criminal investigation. I am in a loving and peaceful place in my life and I am not willing to sacrifice any more of it for this person I do not know, aside from one night I will never forget. That is my choice.

…[Rape survivors] have the right to tell their stories, to take back control after the ultimate loss of control. There is no right way to survive rape and there is no right way to be a victim. What survivors need more than anything is to be supported, whether they choose to pursue a criminal investigation or to rebuild their world on their own terms.

Even if those terms include, well, lying about who raped you and then loudly crying victim before the entirety of the alleged rape incident could be publicly questioned. Hey, if UVA chicks can do it, why can’t “feminism is a brand” Dunham?

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Make a Liberal Mad, Shop Here

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

From deep in the bowels of Crazytown come these helpful hints for members of the Hive looking for places not to patronize. According to writer Mindy Fischer, the major don’ts include Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Exxon and Cracker Barrel. Sample entry:

3. Carl’s Jr. Carl’s Jr. has been notorious for objectifying women in most of their highly sexual and controversial ads. But they also have been huge supporters of extreme anti-abortion causes. And if that’s not enough reason to avoid this fast food restaurant, they are also totally against gay rights. As a matter of fact, gay rights groups actually started calling the food “Bigot burgers” after the company’s founder, Carl Karcher, came out in support for a 1978 proposition which would have allowed school boards to fire any teacher for being gay or for advocating homosexuality. In addition Carl’s Jr. is also a big time donor for Conservative Super PACs and the Republican Party.

Here’s No. 10, Urban Outfitters:

Urban Outfitters has a very well known reputation for being both anti-women and anti-gay. In 2008, the company’s president and founder, Richard Haney, decided to back one of the Presidential nominees. And of all of the choices out there he felt he most aligned with the homophobic Rick Santorum. And in addition this company is also a major donor for extreme Conservative causes and candidates.

Luckily for Regressive Left, the writer offers a balancing list of ten places you should shop at if you want to fight for rights and hug trees and stuff. Hold on to your hat: Starbucks makes the list, along with Microsoft and Martha Stewart. But here’s one you probably didn’t see coming:

No. 9, Heineken. The Heineken brewery is a major supporter of climate change. They have won many awards for their contributions and have a long history of working to cut both direct and indirect climate emissions. Earlier this year Heineken was recognized as a world leader for both transparency and corporate actions on climate change.

Waiter, make mine a… um… Coors. Mmmmm.

 

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Pew Poll: Support for Gun Rights Exceeds Support for Gun Control

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Surprise!

For the first time in over 20 years, Americans support gun rights more than gun control.

In a Pew Research poll released Wednesday, 52 percent are in support of the protection of gun rights and 46 percent support gun control. This is the first time in two decades that Pew has found more support for gun rights than gun control.

Backing for gun rights has been on the rise since January 2013, when it had 45 percent supporting protections. During that time period, support for gun control also fell from 51 percent to its current standing.

So…support for gun rights has been on the rise despite a full-court press from President Obama, the MSM, and gun-control Democrats throughout America in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Let us also not forget that Michael Bloomberg has been throwing money all over the place to gut the Second Amendment.

Now, state legislators have formed an anti-gun coalition to keep alive the liberal fantasy that Americans want comprehensive gun-control legislation.

The American people have no interest in onerous, comprehensive gun bills and they never will. The civil unrest we are seeing in the past few weeks isn’t going to change that. It will more than likely make law-abiding citizens even more steadfast about their rights to protect themselves.

The only people who want Americans to have restricted access to firearms are the same people giving tacit or overt approval to the lawless mobs who have been dominating the news lately.

Good luck with that.

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Making the Tough Calls: Cameron Diaz or Kate Upton?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

Via Ace of Spades, this splendid conversation starter in the Daily Mail:

According to their poll of 1,000 men and 1,000 women, when it comes to having the perfect body, men and women think differently about what is sexy. While women are hell-bent on achieving the slim, boyish shape of Cameron Diaz it is the curvy figure of Kate Upton that men most desire. Meanwhile, while Hugh Jackman’s beefy Wolverine look was the dream physique for men, more than half of women yearn for their man to look like Ryan Gosling.

Personally, I’m not much interested in the latter two, except as actors, but the Diaz/Upton question is worth pondering.  I’ve actually encountered Ms. Diaz (she’s taller than you think she’s going to be), so I can report that in the flesh she is a fine-looking woman. And Kate, well we’ve all certainly seen plenty of her.

According to Women’s Health readers, the sexiest body part of a man is his chest, closely followed by his face and bottom. And they would rather their man had hairs on their chest with just 28 per cent thinking it was acceptable for men to shave it. This contrasts to 44 per cent of men who think shaving their chest is an acceptable grooming ritual along with moisturising (84 per cent) and tweezing their eyebrows (43 per cent).

These statistics led Men’s Health Editor Toby Wiseman to comment: ‘Understanding what women want is one of the great mysteries all men have confronted down the ages, and some of our female respondents’ answers have been genuine eye-openers. ’The good news is we can stand down on the preening – women are still in the market for someone distinctly masculine.’

Yes, but back to Cameron and Kate: whom would you choose? Voluptuous Kate or is there something about Mary…?

something about mary

Ladies? Gentlemen?

 

 

 

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One Coffin, Slightly Used…

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

… by Lee Harvey Oswald, that is:

The original casket that Lee Harvey Oswald was buried in days after allegedly assassinating President John F. Kennedy in 1963 is at the center of a trial that began in Fort Worth on Monday. ”This is an interesting case; it has historical implications,” said Gant Grimes, attorney for Robert Oswald, Lee Harvey’s brother. “Parts of it are fascinating, but the facts are simple: One party sold what another party owned.”

Turns out that the presidential assassin’s coffin was auctioned off by a funeral parlor in 2010 for $87,000 after it was unclaimed. The casket became, um, available after Oswald’s Russian-born widow, Marina, had his body exhumed in order to make sure it was really his remains inside, and not those of a double. (JFK assassination conspiracy theories die hard.) The gunman, who in turn was assassinated by Jack Ruby on live television, was reburied in the Rose Hill cemetery in Fort Worth, where the location of his grave is kept private to avoid curiosity seekers. But Oswald’s brother, Robert, is suing to get back the casket — which he paid $710 in 1963.  Lawyers on the other side argue that only Marina and her daughters should be entitled to it, as part of Oswald’s estate.

More than half a century after Kennedy’s death, the case still haunts our dreams, and our nightmares.

 

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Jewish Worshiper Stabbed in Brooklyn Synagogue

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

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Cell phone video shot by witness. Graphic content.

The New York Post reports:

Police shot and killed a disturbed man inside one of Brooklyn’s most prominent synagogues Tuesday morning, apparently after he asked for a Bible and then stabbed someone there, sources said.

The bloodshed happened at the world headquarters of the Lubavitch Hasidic sect at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights shortly after 1 a.m., sources said.

Calvin Peters, 50, had walked into the basement of the synagogue where people were praying, sources said.

According to police sources, Peters asked for a copy of the Bible, then briefly walked out, sources said.

He returned and stabbed a an Israeli student in the side of the head for an unknown reason.

“He’s a very serious student he’d been studying all day,” witness Levi Deutsch said about the victim. “He was stabbed in the side of the head he was conscious but he was bleeding a lot.”

Another witness flagged down cops who were passing the headquarters.

Officers then confronted the man in an encounter that was captured on a dramatic video.

The cops warned Calvin Peters, believed to be homeless, to put down his knife several times. After finally putting it down, he grabbed it once more and lunged at the police officer, causing the officer to fire the fatal shot.

Mere weeks after the lethal stabbing attack conducted by Palestinian militants on a Jerusalem synagogue, CNN included this quote in their report:

“Most likely it is not a hate crime,” said Mony Ender, the deputy spokesman for Chabad Lubavitch in lsrael. “The assailant was not (running) amok. He stabbed one person, with an ordinary kitchen knife, although he could have attacked many more people who were there.”

However, according to the New York Daily News, the NYPD anti-terror unit was called out to the scene:

An Israeli student praying in a Brooklyn synagogue was stabbed in the neck early Tuesday after a knife-wielding maniac burst inside and yelled “I want to kill the Jew!”

…”I will kill the Jew! I want to kill the Jew!” a witness heard the attacker yelling as he entered the 24-hour religious center.

…A 25-year-old Israeli who was in the synagogue said he saw Peters enter and leave the building an hour before the attack.

“He was looking around, He asked for a book,” that witness said. “He looked not so much crazy, but different.”

When the man returned, he was armed with a knife in his hand and anger in his voice.

“I never thought it would happen in New York,” the witness told The News. “These things don’t need to happen.”

The stabbing victim is currently hospitalized in stable condition.

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Mostly Democrat ‘Nonpartisan’ State Legislators Form Gun Control Coalition

Monday, December 8th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

…try, try again.

State lawmakers have launched a nationwide non-partisan coalition to combat gun violence, in part because the Congress has failed to reform gun laws, members of the group said on Monday.

Some 200 lawmakers from 50 states have joined the alliance, American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, said the group’s founder, Democratic New York State Assembly member Brian Kavanagh.

Kavanagh told a news conference the group would focus on state-level gun control reforms, including the prevention of interstate gun trafficking and tightening background checks on buyers.

Congress hasn’t “failed” at all. In fact, they have been fulfilling their duties as representatives of the people for once when it comes to this issue. Sweeping gun control legislation is rejected because so many Democrats won’t vote for it. The coastal elites don’t grasp that Democrats who represent people from places that aren’t Manhattan, Los Angeles or San Francisco are very wary of the baby steps that progressives want to take on the way to one day completely gutting the Second Amendment.

Most Americans are also beginning to understand that once the Second Amendment is dismantled, the First will quickly follow.

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Kerry to Kennedy Center Crowd in Lengthy Speech: My Most Important Skill is Listening

Monday, December 8th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

In a nearly 2,000-word speech at the Kennedy Center Honors last night, Secretary of State John Kerry stressed that the most important thing about his job is listening to others.

Attendees at the gala ranged from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Steven Spielberg and Whoopi Goldberg.

President Obama and Kerry were also among those honoring Al Green, Tom Hanks, ballerina Patricia McBride, Sting and Lily Tomlin.

“The bad news is that for almost 30 years I was a senator, and some people are born to dance, some people are born to sing, but let me tell you, senators are born to talk,” Kerry told the audience.  ”…But today, I find myself in a job where nothing is more important than listening. It’s a job with incredible highs and devastating lows.”

Kerry said one of “the lowest of those lows” was learning “an idealistic young photojournalist named Luke Somers” was killed by terrorists in Yemen during a failed rescue attempt. “It was a sickening contrast — a young man who carried a camera to bring light to the world was struck down by those who know only darkness,” he said.

“We can’t defend those freedoms effectively unless we act but also unless we listen. And I can tell you that in the past two years I have packed a lifetime of listening into a very short period of time. In the process, I have heard and seen how the United States is perceived around the world,” he continued. “And through it all, I have found that some people have problems with our policies, some resent our prosperity, and even a few have doubts about how well our political system is functioning.”

Kerry lauded American culture as “a glorious blend of everything from Albanian to Zimbabwean, and every letter in between is filled.”

“And when all of our traditions come together, they create a kind of universal language that is a very significant asset for the American brand,” he said.

He then tried to connect his diplomatic prowess to the celebration at hand.

“People make connections in lots of ways, and sometimes that connection is quicker to take hold through music, dance, theater, film more so than the words of a diplomat, even a charismatic and handsome diplomat,” Kerry said. “Call it what you will, whether it was Nixon’s Ping-Pong diplomacy or today’s cultural diplomacy, all I can tell you is the connection of this endeavor of the arts connects — it touches, really, something deep in every human spirit. And whether it’s the pianists or dobro players, Zydeco bands, jazz singers, filmmakers, dance companies, and artists that we send to every single corner of the globe, this is about citizen diplomats who go to remote and troubled communities and open doors for conversations with the young, with the poor, and the too-often overlooked.”

“There’s no coincidence that among those who ignited revolution in Central Europe a generation ago was a playwright, Vaclav Havel; and that among those who sparked the democratic uprising in Tunisia, almost four years ago, was a rapper who grew up idolizing America’s hip-hop pioneers. In Beijing, the blogger and multidimensional artist Ai Weiwei is a voice of conscience. And yes, in Russia, a certain all-female rock band has gotten under the skin of you-know-who,” he said in a reference to punk band Pussy Riot.

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Saudi Billionaires Attack Bel Air!

Monday, December 8th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

Things are tough all over, especially in one of the richest places in America. From the Los Angeles Times comes this heartbreaking story of really rich people being outspent and inconvenienced by folks who are really, really rich:

At the end of a narrow, twisting side street not far from the Hotel Bel-Air rises a knoll that until recently was largely covered with scrub brush and Algerian ivy. Now the hilltop is sheared and graded, girded by caissons sprouting exposed rebar. “They took 50- or 60,000 cubic yards of dirt out of the place,” said Fred Rosen, a neighbor, glowering at the site from behind the wheel of his Cadillac Escalade on a sunny October afternoon.

Mr. Rosen, who used to run Ticketmaster, has lately devoted himself to the homeowners alliance he helped form shortly after this construction project was approved. When it is finished, a modern compound of glass and steel will rise two stories, encompass several structures and span — wait for it — some 90,000 square feet… Why are people building houses the size of shopping malls? Because they can.

It doesn’t help that some of “them” are Arabs and Muslims:

Mr. Rosen is hardly alone in his objection to the disruptions created by these pumped-up projects. Another house in Bel Air developed by Mr. Hadid — a Palestinian émigré with a flowing gray mane and a burnt sienna tan — is the scourge of nearby residents. The 30,000-square-foot house, a modern, circular colossus that has been nicknamed the Starship Enterprise by angry neighbors, who include Leonard Nimoy, looms 67 feet above grade (the height limit in Los Angeles is 36 feet)…

Then there’s the dream house of Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. A Saudi Arabian prince and deputy foreign minister of his country, Mr. Abdulaziz purchased a Spanish colonial residence in Benedict Canyon from the movie producer Jon Peters, tore it down, and submitted plans to build an 85,000-square-foot estate. Neighbors like Michael Ovitz, a founder of the Creative Artists Agency, promptly started a drive to stop him. (Mr. Ovitz — whose trophy house, a contemporary villa cum art museum designed by Michael Maltzan, measures 28,000 square feet — was able to persuade the prince to downsize slightly after pointing out that two of the structures he planned to build looked down on his backyard.) The project remains under review by the city.

Mr. Ovitz calling out a neighbor for overbuilding is a little like Lady Gaga accusing someone of overdressing. And some say that the pushback against the prince stems less from construction concerns than from ethnic enmity. “They don’t want a Saudi prince,” Mr. Abdulaziz’s lawyer, Ben Reznik, told Vanity Fair, which devoted a column to the controversy.

First World problems…

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How 19 Years Ago Today Al Sharpton Got Blood on His Hands

Monday, December 8th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Many thanks to Jeff Dunetz at Yid With Lid for his diligence in reminding the world about the truth of the shameful career of Al Sharpton, the baby boomer generation’s most effective and notorious radical activist:

Nineteen years ago, December 8, 1995,  Al Sharpton incited the violent firebombing of Freddy’s Fashion Mart in Harlem, causing the the deaths of Angelina Marrero . . . Cynthia Martinez . . . Luz Ramos . . . Mayra Rentas . . . Olga Garcia . . . Garnette Ramautar . . . Kareem Brunner…. names forever linked together as the seven victims of the Sharpton-caused massacre at Freddy’s Fashion Mart.

It all started as a rent dispute in the summer of 1995…  As he has done so often in his life, Al Sharpton turned this non-racial economic dispute into a racial conflict. …

Soon after the massacre, the Jewish Action Alliance, a New York-based civil-rights group, released audiotapes and transcripts of several of Sharpton’s weekly radio show in which Morris Powell, leader of the 125th Street Vendor’s Association, can be heard using racial and anti-Semitic language to encourage Harlem residents to boycott Freddy’s. Learning from his Crown Heights experience Sharpton let others push the anti-Semitic hatred but it was all done on his show.

….

In court papers filed the day before the fire, Harari and two employees described weeks of protests outside the clothing store. Sharpton’s National Action Network sets up picket lines; customers going into Freddy’s were spat on and cursed as “traitors” and “Uncle Toms.” Some protesters shouted, “Burn down the Jew store!” and simulate striking a match. “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers,” says Sharpton’s colleague Morris Powell.

Read the whole thing.

I think it’s very important to be cognizant of the facts and details of Sharpton’s numerous controversies. His acceptance (and prominence) — on MSNBC, embraced by Obama and Holder — is one of the most irrefutable symbols of the Democratic Party and Progressivism’s moral vacuum. This isn’t a political party that tolerates criminality, it’s a political party run by criminals dedicated to helping and promoting other criminals.

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Zionist Students Fight Back Against Students for Justice in Palestine

Monday, December 8th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach kvells some wise advice in the Jerusalem Post:

On Wednesday night, my son Mendy held a demonstration inside an event held by the Students for Justice in Palestine at New York University. They were screening a documentary by Israeli filmmaker (or should I say anti-Israeli filmmaker) Lia Tarachansky, called On the Side of the Road.

…My son sought to show the other side of the story. While there were indeed hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, there were even more Jewish refugees driven from Arab lands and Iran beginning at the same time. The number of these refugees amounted to 850,000 Jews. My son and his fellow students held 6-foot signs displaying this number. These refugees fled their countries due to the fierce anti-Semitic atmosphere that had begun to envelop them. In the 1940s, and especially after 1948, pogroms were set against the Jews of the Middle East, with hundreds killed. In Iraq in 1941, 180 Jews were murdered, with 900 Jewish homes, schools, businesses and synagogues destroyed.

In Tripoli, 1945, 140 Jews were massacred and another 4,000 were left without homes. In 1947, 75 Jews were murdered across Syria, and another 80 were killed in the anti-Jewish Cairo bombings of 1948. That year 82 Jews were murdered in Aden, in what has come to be known as the “Yemeni Holocaust.”

These killings were not carried out by armies, but by enraged civilian populations who stormed the Jewish areas of their cities.

My son put this information onto signs and set them before SJP’s audience for all to absorb.

…There was another side to this story. The NYU students deserved to see it.

Get ready to laugh. Apparently the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) kids didn’t think Mendy’s demonstration was permitted. That’s right, professional protesters didn’t think Zionists had the right to protest. Then again, perhaps it had less to do with “right” and more to do with being shocked that college kids would dare to go against the campus trend.

When the SJP organizers saw him and the other students protesting the event, they were shocked. “Is this allowed?” asked the director.

It was, and Mendy had the papers to prove it. She was at a loss for words, and just stared at the display. In the decade that the SJP has been operating, they had never seen something like this inside the walls of their very own event.

…The fight for Israel at leading Western universities is the singles greatest PR war on campus.

It’s a war that is winnable if Jewish and pro-Israel students learn that the time has come to fight back.

 

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Does Contemporary Feminism Need Campus Rape to Survive?

Monday, December 8th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The illustrious Mother Jones reports opinion contemporary feminists thrive on:

However, recent research shows that the broad contours of the environment described at UVA—where women report widespread sexual assault with no consequences for perpetrators—is not unique on America’s college campuses. As one expert told RS contributing editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely, “the depressing reality is that UVA’s situation is likely the norm.”

Except for the fact that we now know the “UVA situation” was a lie. And if you’re worth your weight as a scientist or statistician, your “norm” can’t be based on a lie. Therefore, neither can your “depressing reality” no matter how “broad contours” you stroke into the picture you are painting. (“Pretty little contours,” Bob Ross instructs.) And when it comes to the 1 in 5 undergraduate women are sexually abused stat, you’re talking some of the broadest strokes imaginable in both execution and interpretation. (“Pretty little lies,” Bob Ross chimes in.)

Mother Jones uses the art of the infographic to cite disturbing statistics regarding campus rape. For instance, 57% of sexually abused undergraduate women are “under the influence of alcohol and drugs.” No comment is made comparing that stat with the next one that reads “4% of college women are given drugs without their knowledge.” In other words, 53% of undergraduate women who are sexually assaulted have had that assault occur after knowingly imbibing in drugs and alcohol. Out of those women, 85% “have previously seen or spoken with their assailant.”

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Palin/Nugent 2016?

Monday, December 8th, 2014 - by Kathy Shaidle

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UltimateClassicRock just spotted something interesting on Ted Nugent’s Facebook:

That’s where the controversial rock legend posted this picture of he and his wife Shemane alongside former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her husband Todd. “Had a wonderful day with Sarah & Todd Palin at our home on SpiritWild Ranch in TX today,” he reported. “Great Americans, great people, great patriots & great warriors on the side of good in this vile culture war against the America haters & subfleebs on the mongrel left.”

To be clear, Nugent — who also presented Palin with a “priceless” custom-made rifle — gave absolutely no indication the pair were running for political office together. But within a half-hour of the picture going live, 300 people had commented on it, and the majority of those were strongly advocating for a Nugent /Palin-led White House. Oh, and this being the internet, at least one guy shared his opinion that Palin had “nice boobs.”

No word on whether or not Palin quizzed Nugent about a rather, er, Bill Cosby-sized hole in his credibility as a critic of “this vile culture…”

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Rangel: ‘This Great Country of Ours Has a Cancer Called Racism’

Friday, December 5th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) said “there’s no way in the world to deal with” the police brutality cases being protested around the country unless, “as awkward as it is,” we say “that this great country of ours has a cancer called racism.”

“The police are only symbolic of attitudes that people have. They’re not born with it,” the 84-year-old, 22-term congressman said this morning on CNN. ”They learn how to do it, and they treat people differently because of their color.”

“You know, when people start to think, it hasn’t been that long ago we were picking cotton without any names of our own, without any culture, and 60 years ago there was a question as to whether or not we had civil rights, whether we had voting. I say that because we’ve come a good distance from where we were when we were brought into this country.”

Rangel said the country needs to admit there’s still work to be done on racial equality.

“You know, when I marched with Dr. King, I never believed I would hear Lyndon Johnson saying what he did. I never thought this — I was out there politically more than believing in my heart that we were going to turn this country around,” he said. “But when the dogs came out, when the kids got bombed at church, when white folks said, ‘oh my God, that could be me,’ things changed, and things are changing now.”

He added that “we screw it up,” noting that “when God gives birth to these little kids, they haven’t the slightest clue as to who to hate and who to dislike.”

Rangel said being educated on what people go through isn’t limited to the African-American experience, stressing his conversations with an Irish friend who told him what Irish immigrants endured and the experience of the Italians who are “still are suffering with the Sopranos and whatnot, and they are treated really mean by people… even today.”

“If you can put your feet, or kids’ feet, into shoes that we have to walk because we are the kids of former slaves, I think as Americans you would say thank God I’m born in America, thank God it’s time that we can change, and thank God we can get rid of this cancer we have,” he said.

Rangel added that eradicating racism is also a matter of national security. “We have so many damn enemies, we cannot afford to be fighting among ourselves because of color and background,” he said.

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Beyonce Dons Niqab, Sexes Up Islam & Black Power Street Protests in New Video

Thursday, December 4th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Yeah, it’s that creepy.

Radical Islamists (and probably fairly traditional mainstream ones, for that matter) are already offended at Beyonce’s attempt to sex-up Islamic headwear by pairing the face-veiling niqab with a bare midriff and peek-a-boo boobs. So much for vowing to Qaddafi’s son to respect sharia law.

Mark Tapson breaks down the well-timed offense, a re-release of  a nearly year-old video, over at FrontPage:

The dirge drags on as Beyoncé pouts, scowls, and growls. Her mob smashes car windows with baseball bats, hurls Molotov cocktails, and burns cop cars while Beyoncé sings: “The laws of the world never stopped us once/’Cause together we got plenty super power.” Except for the music and the ultrachic posturing, it suggests the real-life “sensitive urban zones” of Paris, where immigrant “youth” go on nightly, car-immolating rampages and challenge the police in territorial skirmishes.

As the song draws mercifully to a close, the privileged Beyoncé – having peeled off the niqab and donned a camouflage jacket that costs probably $3000 – faces off with her defiant, multicultural mob of chiseled cheekbones against a line of cops in riot gear. She stands next to a man in a balaclava reminiscent of her niqab. The two of them clasp hands Thelma and Louise-style in anticipation of the confrontation to come. The message: rioting, property destruction, anarchy, and attacking cops are cool – and nothing influences youth more than the aura of cool.

…The video was actually first released last December, long before the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Why would Beyoncé believe that this is an appropriate time to put it back in the public eye?

Ratings. Tapson’s right, incitement, too. Because as the mainstream media has taught us so well in Ferguson, incitement garners ratings. And when you’re a brand you will absolutely pursue violence and death in the name of topping the charts. Will Beyonce brand this violent form of radical Islam-meets-black power the way she has so successfully branded feminism? Let’s hope so, only because Beyonce’s “feminism” has inspired so many celebs to leave the fold, and so many women to re-think exactly what a movement about freedom and equality should really look like.

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Netanyahu’s Early Elections May Yield Right-Wing Government

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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As is usual for a prime minister under fire, Bibi Netanyahu dissolved the Knesset this week in a call for early elections slated for March 2015. Those on the right rejoiced as Livni and Lapid, Leftist and Center-Leftist respectively, were kicked out of their high-ranking positions in the now defunct coalition. But, that isn’t the Right’s only reason for rejoicing. As David Horovitz reports in Times of Israel, the ultra-Right stands to claim a solid victory in March 2015:

The first three instant polls, taken late Tuesday and early Wednesday, for Channel 2, Channel 10, and Walla, predict a very different Knesset array three-and-a-half months from now. The three polls produce findings very similar to one another, indicating that Likud, Yisrael Beytenu and the former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon’s as-yet-unnamed new party will win 49-51 seats together — a staggering surge compared to the 31 won by Likud-Yisrael Beytenu last time. Jewish Home also gains five seats, in all three polls, to 17. That means the right wing could muster a 66- to 68-seat coalition — a healthy Knesset majority — with no need of outside assistance. Certainly no reliance on the likes of Livni or Lapid. And no reliance, either, on Shas or UTJ. The ultra-Orthodox parties could be invited into the coalition, but they wouldn’t have make-or-break leverage.

Let’s hope they don’t. The Israeli Left was abuzz this past September during my own visit to Israel. “Netanyahu will call for early elections. He’ll form a new coalition with the ultra-Orthodox,” they shook their heads, and with good reason. Yair Lapid may be playing politics, but the former TV news anchor-turned-politician made good points regarding Netanyahu’s timing:

The ultra-Orthodox Shas party entered the fray late Monday, with chairman Aryeh Deri reiterating his own demands for entering a post-election Netanyahu government. These included cutting the 18% sales tax on many basic grocery goods, raising the minimum hourly wage from NIS 23.12 ($5.87) to NIS 30 ($7.62), changing the recently passed ultra-Orthodox draft law, restoring some funds cut by the current government from ultra-Orthodox religious seminaries and schools – and the cancellation of Lapid’s tax-free housing program, which would only apply for those who served in the military, leaving many ultra-Orthodox out.

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Yale Study Concludes Babies are Natural Born Socialists

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Reporting on the most idiotic study involving babies to date, Mother Jones covers a Yale (that’s right, the Ivy League university) study performed by cognitive scientist Paul Bloom that is focused on answering the question: “ Can the youngest of our species distinguish good from evil practically from birth—or does morality need to be taught?”

Bloom’s thesis, in all its eugenic creepiness:

“I think all babies are created equal in that all normal babies—all babies without brain damage—possess some basic foundational understanding of morality and some foundational moral impulses,” says Bloom on the Inquiring Minds podcast. “They’re equal in the same way that all babies come with a visual system, and the ability to move around, and a propensity to learn language.”

To this end, Bloom showed babies a series of morality puppet plays, one-act jobs where cats either steal or return balls to dogs and babies choose which kitty they like better. They invariably choose the nice kitty. No comment on whether or not these babies prefer the color grey (the evil cat is orange) or the actor handling the grey kitty puppet for any particular reason — because those variables don’t matter in science. Even more stupefying to the scientists, “babies show a preference for characters who reward good and punish evil.” Isn’t it amazing that babies would respond well to rewards? I bet no parent alive ever guessed that one!

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This 1983 Clip of Star Wars Star Mark Hamill Is Just Creepy and Eerily Prescient

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

So here’s the setting. It’s 1983. Filming on Return of the Jedi has wrapped up that year and the film, the final in the original Star Wars trilogy, is a huge hit. Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker is a global star.

There is already speculation that creator/director George Lucas is working on prequels and sequels to the trilogy that Jedi completed. The prequels waited a long while but debuted in 1999 with The Phantom Menace.

In the 1983 talk show clip below, Mark Hamill aka Luke Skywalker casually mentions a discussion that he had recently had with Lucas.

“He at one time said, ‘Would you consider playing an Obi-Wan type character handing Excalibur down to the next generation?’” Hamill says Lucas asked him.

“I said ‘When would that be?’ and at the time he said, ‘Oh, around 2011.’”

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Lucas was only about four years off. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens comes out a year from now. Hamill/Skywalker is in the film, but not in a starring role.

Disney announced the film just one year off from Lucas’ prediction, in October 2012.

More: 

What’s With That New Lightsaber in The Force Awakens Trailer?

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NFL Reveals Double Standard in Treatment of RG3, Rams ‘Hands Up’ Player Protest

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

On Sunday, a handful of St. Louis Rams players entered the game mimicking the Ferguson “hands up, don’t shoot” protest.

The gesture is clearly a political statement intended to signal solidarity with the Ferguson protesters, who continue to insist that Michael Brown had his hands up to surrender when police Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot him on August 9. Witness testimony plus forensic evidence say that Brown started an altercation with Wilson and tried to grab the officer’s gun. Brown was shot when he charged at the officer.

The NFL says that the Rams players will not face any disciplinary action for making a political statement while they were in uniform.

But the NFL isn’t always so tolerant of players making personal statements. Earlier this season, now benched Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was wearing a T-shirt that said “Know Jesus, Know Peace” just ahead of a post-game press conference. RG3 is a graduate of Baylor University and an outspoken Christian.

Griffin flipped his T-shirt inside-out moments before the presser, and there were claims at the time that the NFL had forced him to make the change. An NFL spokesman denied forcing Griffin to change his shirt, but did point out that players can face a fine for wearing clothing that makes a personal statement on game days. So the threat of discipline was in the air, and RG3 responded to it.

The Rams players made a personal statement on network TV while in uniform, as they emerged to play their game versus the Oakland Raiders. But the NFL says that they will face no fines or any other disciplinary action.

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Commie Comedian Russell Brand HATES IT When You Point Out That He’s Fabulously Rich

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Russell Brand, English communist comic who hates corporations even while they make him rich, has been protesting corporations making profits in London. Huffington Post, a corporation that has made its namesake even richer than she already was, has been dutifully reporting on the anarchic proceedings.

A reporter for Channel 4 London did something daring. He pointed out to Brand that he’s rich enough to have property in London. Brand didn’t like that. At all. The action comes at the :39 mark, when the reporter asks Brand “How much did you pay for your place?” Brand responds angrily, which is ironically funny, and tells the reporter what his job is, which is even funnier.

The very rich comic says that “profit is a dirty word” and has called for a massive redistribution of wealth. Just, not his wealth.

Flashback: 

PJTV’s Michelle Fields: Are Climate Change Hypocrites Leonardo DiCaprio and Senator Bernie Sanders Out of Touch with Reality? (Video)

h/t Right Scoop

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‘There has been an awakening…’

Monday, December 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens is destined to hit theaters in December 2015. It will be the first J.J. Abrams Star Wars launch, and the first full live-action SW movie made since Disney bought the franchise from creator George Lucas.

In case you missed it, over the weekend the official teaser trailer for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens was released. And here it is.

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It took less than 24 hours for that teaser to be turned out in Lego.

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I have to admit, the Lego troopers look pretty good.

The movie’s international teaser also rolled out, and here it is. One of its key moments: The off-screen voice of Han Solo asks if there’s “room in this battle for an old war horse?”

Of course there is.

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Harrison Ford was injured during the production of SW7. The “old war horse” broke his leg on the set, and filming had to be delayed while he recuperated.

This frame from the first teaser-trailer is causing an Internet uproar. What’s up with the little jets off to the side of the red Sith lightsaber blade?

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That thing appears to be the Star Wars version of a greatsword.

The teasers and trailers for The Force Awakens look amazing. But I’m approaching the new SW films from the perspective of an adult who was burned by great teasers for The Phantom Menace. Even though it’s a new era, and Lucas isn’t directing, cautious pessimism is the way to go.

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NFL Player Benjamin Watson Says ‘Jesus’ on CNN

Saturday, November 29th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
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New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson, whose Facebook post on the Ferguson riots went viral last week, appeared on CNN to discuss his feelings about the rioting and the Michael Brown shooting.

Watson spoke with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Friday and read parts of his emotional Facebook post during the interview. “Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I feel like I’m just as prejudiced as the people I point fingers at and that’s not right,” he read. “How can I look at white skin and make assumptions and not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.”

Watson moved on to the last paragraph of his Facebook post, which struck a cord with many of his Facebook fans. Brown told Baldwin he wanted to close the piece on a positive note because after working through his emotions he is encouraged and wanted to share that with others. Watson wrote:

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope. [emphasis original]

“For whatever reason,” Watson said, “God kind of gave me the words to put on paper and it resonated with a lot of people but I think it’s really important that we take a step back sometimes and think about the other side before we make accusations and assumptions.”

If you watched the interview on the CNN website you would assume that it ended there, because that’s where CNN cut the online version of the interview. But there was more.

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Just in Time for the Holidays! Politico’s Embarrassing Abortion Advocacy

Friday, November 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The leftist media seems to have come out of its post-election denial phase and is getting back to what it does best: work as the PR wing of the Democrats. In that capacity, Job #1 is always to convince you that Republicans are the scary creatures that live under your bed, just waiting for the opportunity to take all Americans back to the 18th century.

Which brings us to this Politico headline:

The coming wave of anti-abortion laws

The piece pretty much reads like a NARAL press release so I’m not going to quote any of it here. Its entire purpose is to let everyone know about a whole bunch of things that might happen.

None of which will make abortion illegal.

Since they like to call themselves “pro-choice,” let’s play along with that. The changes in state law that get the pro-aborts in a tizzy always have to do with shortening the time frame in which an abortion is legal. The NARAL types won’t be satisfied until retroactive abortion is available until age five, so any restriction is unacceptable to them.

The high drama in Texas that made Wendy Davis a celebrity involved making clinics safer, which shouldn’t offend anyone after the Kermit Gosnell trial. However, the same media people who have been taking up residence in Ferguson, MO, for weeks to let us know about one grand jury decision were adamant in their refusal to cover the Gosnell trial because it was a “local story.” As a result, the general public isn’t moved by the need to keep an eye on these ghouls.

When they aren’t wailing about the time period or clinic regulations, the pro-abortion lobbyists are in classic leftist mode and demanding that taxpayers foot the bill for everything.

Even if this “wave” of time period, clinic oversight or restrictive taxpayer funding laws happens, women in America will still have the choice to have an abortion. The laws just won’t make it as easy.

Decisions about such grave matters that have lifelong consequences shouldn’t be easy.

The real scary people out there are the ones who want them to be.

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Teaching Little Girls to Hate Boys, One Barbie at a Time

Friday, November 28th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The latest cultural meme to make it big in feminist circles is Feminist Hacker Barbie:

Last week, the internet was disappointed to discover that, countary to the title, Mattel’s illustrated book Barbie: I Can be a Computer Engineer sends pretty much the opposite message. Instead, Barbie says things like: “I’m only creating the design ideas. I’ll need Steven’s and Brian’s help to turn it into a game.” She infects her sister’s computer with a virus and can’t even restart it on her own.

Enter Feminist Hacker Barbie. Real-life computer programmer Kathleen Tuite launched a website where you can hack the original book, creating re-captioned and much improved images. Check out some more of the user-submitted images here.

As if computer guys didn’t already have a hard enough time with chicks, now Barbie has to one-up their game. Is that how pathetic contemporary feminists have become, that in their absurd need to “do it all” they wind up emasculating the most de-sexualized men among us? As if The Big Bang Theory hasn’t already done a good enough job, there’s the incessant whining about the lack of female employees in the tech sector (because you should obviously hire based on boobs, not binary) and, of course, #GamerGate. If a guy so much as goes near a keyboard he’s obviously a misogynist. If he’s actually good at operating, let alone building, a computer, he’s an obvious threat to the female sex. And if Barbie dares to suggest teamwork with male participants, well, she’s obviously just a tool to empower the patriarchy.

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