Survivors and world leaders are marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz today, but President Obama is not among them.
Obama wrapped up his India trip before flying to Riyadh to meet and dine with King Salman.
Vice President Biden is in Kentucky for the funeral of former Sen. Wendell Ford (D-Ky.).
“On the tenth International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the American people pay tribute to the six million Jews and millions of others murdered by the Nazi regime. We also honor those who survived the Shoah, while recognizing the scars and burdens that many have carried ever since,” Obama said in a statement released this morning by the White House.
“Honoring the victims and survivors begins with our renewed recognition of the value and dignity of each person. It demands from us the courage to protect the persecuted and speak out against bigotry and hatred,” he continued. “The recent terrorist attacks in Paris serve as a painful reminder of our obligation to condemn and combat rising anti-Semitism in all its forms, including the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust.”
Obama called the anniversary “an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made confronting this terrible chapter in human history and on our continuing efforts to end genocide.”
“I have sent a presidential delegation to join Polish President Komorowski, the Polish people, official delegations from scores of nations, and many survivors, at today’s official commemoration in Poland,” he said.
That delegation was led by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and included State Department officials and two Holocaust survivors.
“As a founding member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the United States joins the Alliance’s thirty other member nations and partners in reiterating its solemn responsibility to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration,” Obama continued. “We commemorate all of the victims of the Holocaust, pledging never to forget, and recalling the cautionary words of the author and survivor of Auschwitz Primo Levi, ‘It happened, therefore it can happen again. . . . It can happen anywhere.’ Today we come together and commit, to the millions of murdered souls and all survivors, that it must never happen again.”
Among those at Auschwitz today was director Steven Spielberg, who told CNN that he was “appalled” that on his first tour of the death camp the guide “never mentioned the word Jew… just said that ‘many innocent people had been killed here.’”
Spielberg, who has been documenting the histories of Auschwitz survivors, said at the ceremonies, “If you are a Jew today, in fact if you are any person who believes in the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom in free expression, you know that like many other groups, we are once again facing the perennial demons of intolerance.”
He noted “Facebook pages identifying Jews and their geographic locations with the intention to attack and the growing efforts to banish Jews from Europe.”
French President Francois Hollande and German Prime Minister Joachim Gauck are among about a dozen heads of state at Auschwitz today. Britain sent Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, according to the Daily Mail. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his chief of staff.
“London is full of Arabs.”
That’s a line from Elvis Costello’s 1979 song “Oliver’s Army.”
I’m not sure if it’s still on his set list, given the current climate, but the line refers to a fact of British life that many American probably first became aware of after Princess Diana’s death, when they learned that her (late) boyfriend’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, owned Harrod’s.
As per Costello’s lyric, oil rich “Arabs” have always coveted prime London real estate, so snapping up the city’s world famous luxury department store was an obvious move.
Then in 2010, Harrod’s changed hands, when Al-Fayed reluctantly sold it to Qatar Holding.
What I didn’t know, until I read it on my husband Arnie’s blog this morning, was that Qatar owns a lot of retail real estate in Paris, too.
Qatar owns a lot of things, actually…
But first, you need to know something else:
The Globe & Mail is Canada’s New York Times.
Now I’ll let walk you through my husband’s latest bit of blogging detective work:
First he notes that the Globe just published an article called “Islam: Far from ‘outsiders,’ Europe and Islam have long been intertwined,” written by one H.A. Hellyer.
Hellyer’s thesis is that Muslim majority “no-go zones” are an ugly, racist “urban myth.”
Oh, and he works for the highly prestigious Brookings Institution think tank.
That particular detail caught Arnie’s attention.
As my husband explains on his blog — and the Globe & Mail left out of their brief bio of Hellyer — the Brookings Institution is funded by… Qatar.
Arnie quotes Daniel Pipes quoting the New York Times:
Some of this funding has been given clandestinely, with think tanks taking money under the table while benefiting from a moral image of disinterestedness. In the most prominently egregious example, the government of Qatar, as the NYT reported, “funneled hundreds of millions to Hamas-led Gaza and encouraged its rocket and tunnel assault on Israel,” also signed a four-year $14.8 million deal in 2013 to fund the Brookings Institution.
Then Arnie, as he’s wont to do, dug a little further into other things Qatar owns.
Like that prime Parisian real estate I mentioned earlier:
The Champs-Elysees lures millions of tourists every year to enjoy shopping at the Elysees 26 mall, poker at the Aviation Club, plush cars and futuristic architecture in the Citroen showroom, or feather-clad showgirls at the Lido cabaret.
But for all their Parisian charisma, none of these attractions are French-owned. They belong to the royal family of Qatar, a resource-rich emirate about 3,000 miles away.
Arnie speculates sarcastically on why the Brookings Institution is so eager to debunk Muslim “no-go” zones (which, as has been established again and again by
Fox News the New York Times, Newsweek and the New Republic, really do exist.):
Now Paris’ Mayor Hidalgo has her own reasons to prevent the City of Light’s reputation from being dimmed, after all tourism is not well served by armed soldiers guarding Le Knick Knack shoppes. Les Infidels get jumpy and spend le less.
But what could Qatar’s interest’s be beyond the usual 24/7 stream of Islamist Propaganda we’ve grown used to?
Couldn’t be an effort to protect it’s French real estate investments could it? You know, those heavily tourist reliant real estate investments?
My husband and I can’t help but wonder:
Didn’t Canada’s highly respected paper of record owe it to its readers to connect all those dots before printing such an article?
Should it at the very least have been run under an “advertorial” banner?
Whether the Globe & Mail innocently accepted this article over the transom or they were paid to run it — don’t readers and citizens deserve to know?
And why is it left to mere bloggers like us to make these connections and ask these questions?
Perhaps we need a 21st century variation that mocks that city’s current fascist occupiers.
Hat tip: Grabien
In an address to the Israeli Bonds gala in Florida this past weekend, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer explained the reasoning behind Netanyahu’s willingness to accept John Boehner’s invitation to speak to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat:
The prime minister’s visit is also not intended to wade into your political debate… Rather, the prime minister’s visit to Washington is intended for one purpose — and one purpose only. To speak up while there is still time to speak up. To speak up when there is still time to make a difference.
…Now there may be some people who believe that the prime minister of Israel should have declined an invitation to speak before the most powerful parliament in the world on an issue that concerns the future and survival of Israel. But we have learned from history that the world becomes a more dangerous place for the Jewish people when the Jewish people are silent.
That is why the prime minister feels the deepest moral obligation to appear before Congress to speak about an existential issue facing the one and only Jewish state. This is not just the right of the prime minister of Israel. It is his most sacred duty — to do whatever he can to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons that can be aimed at Israel.
The question for both politicians and pundits to answer is, then, when do political relationships and foreign policy strategy take a back seat to moral imperative? Better yet, when do policy wonks and analysts begin to take moral imperative seriously? Or is “moral imperative” becoming yet another buzz word in the verbal parlay that belies a greater and deadlier battle?
In any case, history proves Dermer correct in his observation that the world is a better place when the Jewish people use their voice to speak out. And in an environment that is far too heavily governed by opinion and fear instead of fact and faith, the person – any person – who is willing to speak out against evil better be armed by a strong moral imperative and the confidence to go along with it.
Anti-israel activists unfurl protest banners in midst of NY city council mtg just as we voted on Holocaust commemoration reso. #Disgusting
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) January 22, 2015
The New York Daily News reported on a disturbing pro-Palestinian demonstration that took place in a City Council meeting last week. Just as the council was about to conclude a vote on a resolution commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp,
Pro-Palestinian activists disrupted a City Council meeting Thursday to protest Council members’ planned trip to Israel next month.
Protesters in the balcony of the Council chamber unfurled a Palestinian flag and began yelling “Palestinian lives matter,” “Don’t support genocide,” and “Melissa, you’re a hypocrite,” a slam on Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who will lead the Israel delegation.
…A few dozen protesters were booted from the chamber, with some physically removed, and were ordered off the City Hall property all together.
Council members were appalled at the timing and actions of the pro-Palestinian group. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito denounced their actions while Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) declared,
“What you saw here today was naked, blind anti-Semitism,” he thundered.
“That’s what you saw, and that’s what you watched, and that’s what you witnessed – people who were upset for one reason. Do you want to know why they’re upset, do you want to know why they’re angry, do you want to know why they unfurled that flag today? Because Hitler did not finish the job. He only wiped out half of my family.”
The real shocker? The demonstration was led, in part, by Pam Sporn of Jewish Voices for Peace. Sporn, a known BDS activist, continually broadcasts her Jewish identity to defend anti-Israel demonstrations around New York City. Sporn declared that the Council’s upcoming trip was designed to “legitimize the discriminatory practices of Israel.” Her’s were statements screamed out specifically during the recognition of the real genocide committed by “discriminatory” Nazis. The timing couldn’t have sent a clearer, more anti-Semitic message. How will Sporn’s Jewish identity dig her out of this one?
Hat tip: Grabien
So much for Barry’s quip about winning elections. John Boehner finally grew a pair and outwitted the Smug-in-Chief this Wednesday by inviting the White House’s greatest enemy to address Congress. No, not Iranian President Ahmadinejad, but the enemy both he and Obama share: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After a State of the Union that paid poorly-timed lip service to terrorism the speaker of the House took matters into Republican hands and made a big show of it. Like, Ed Sullivan big. Too big, in fact, for Barry and his cohorts according to the Israeli left-wing paper Ha’aretz:
“There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price,” he said.
Officials in Washington said that the “chickensh*t” epithet — with which an anonymous administration official branded Netanyahu several months ago — was mild compared to the language used in the White House when news of Netanyahu’s planned speech came in.
It’s the kind of delicious scandal you’d only expect from Downton’s Julian Fellowes. (There’s not enough sex in it for Shonda Rhimes, or is there?) After issuing a warning to his own fellow Democrats not to “bow” to (Jewish) donors, Obama supposedly calls Netanyahu and warns him to “tone down his pro-sanctions rhetoric.” His administration avoids Paris, deciding instead to throw an anti-terrorism conference that will talk about everything but radical Islamic terror, because that’s all been staged to create a “War on Muslims” of which Barry “Cairo” Obama wants no part. Then, the glorious king and savior of HopenChange descends on the Capitol to pay lip-service to the terror that has no name and makes sure to slap anti-Semitism in the face, noting:
“It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world. It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims, the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.”
At least he waited until the Jewish victims of the radical Islamic terror attack on a kosher supermarket were buried before lumping the hatred that murdered them in with Muslim stereotypes. If George W. Bush’s term was known for the War on Terror, dear God, let Barry’s term be known as the one that created, advocated, and fought on defense for the “War on Muslims.”
Oddly enough, as the general of the battle, Obama’s doing a darn good job of defending those radical Islamists he claims to despise, the Iranian regime in particular to the tune of 11.9 billion of your tax dollars. He’s doing an even better job of alienating his troops on the front line and their leader, Bibi. How does one say “forked tongue” in Arabic, or better yet, Persian? I know how Boehner and the Republicans in Congress say it: With the best invitation America’s ever issued to a foreign leader. And about damned time.
New technology that allows scientists to remove the glue from the masks of mummies without damaging the ink on the paper used to make the mask has yielded an exciting discovery: a piece of papyrus that may contain the oldest known copy of one of the gospels.
The finding, a fragment of the Gospel of Mark, which dates back to the year 90, is one of several fascinating texts that archaeologists are discovering in the masks of mummies.
This first-century gospel fragment was written on a sheet of papyrus that was later reused to create a mask that was worn by a mummy. Although the mummies of Egyptian pharaohs wore masks made of gold, ordinary people had to settle for masks made out of papyrus (or linen), paint and glue. Given how expensive papyrus was, people often had to reuse sheets that already had writing on them.
The first-century gospel is one of hundreds of new texts that a team of about three-dozen scientists and scholars is working to uncover, and analyze, by using this technique of ungluing the masks, said Craig Evans, a professor of New Testament studies at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
“We’re recovering ancient documents from the first, second and third centuries. Not just Christian documents, not just biblical documents, but classical Greek texts, business papers, various mundane papers, personal letters,” Evans told Live Science. The documents include philosophical texts and copies of stories by the Greek poet Homer.
Lest you worry that scientists are destroying valuable antiquities, the discoveries in the papyrus fragments yield more thrilling finds than these particular mummies are worth.
Evans emphasized that the masks that are being destroyed to reveal the new texts are not high-quality ones that would be displayed in a museum. Some are not masks at all but are simply pieces of cartonnage.
Evans told Live Science, “We’re not talking about the destruction of any museum-quality piece.”
The technique is bringing many new texts to light, Evans noted. “From a single mask, it’s not strange to recover a couple dozen or even more” new texts, he told Live Science. “We’re going to end up with many hundreds of papyri when the work is done, if not thousands.”
Naturally, Bart Ehrman, the leftist “Biblical scholar” that Kurt Eichenwald cited in his hit piece on the Bible in Newsweek, expressed his disdain for the find.
This complete disregard for the sanctity of surviving antiquities is, for many, many of us not just puzzling but flat-out distressing. It appears that the people behind and the people doing this destruction of antiquities are all conservative evangelical Christians, who care nothing about the preservation of the past – they care only about getting their paws on a small fragment of a manuscript. Can there be any question that with them we are not dealing with historians but Christian apologists?
Archaeologists are finding not just biblical texts, but fragments of writings by Homer and other Greek writers, as well as documents that capture slices of everyday life in that time period. The destruction of some masks that are less than museum quality is a small price to pay for such rich discoveries.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Patryk Kosmider
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was a pioneer who stood alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the march on Selma and the fight for civil rights in America. And viewers of the film Selma will never know that fact, because director Ava DuVernay elected to eliminate Heschel from the film.
In an op-ed for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Heschel’s daughter Susannah writes:
The 50th anniversary of the 1965 march at Selma is being commemorated this year with the release of the film “Selma.” Regrettably, the film represents the march as many see it today, only as an act of political protest.
But for my father Abraham Joshua Heschel and for many participants, the march was both an act of political protest and a profoundly religious moment: an extraordinary gathering of nuns, priests, rabbis, black and white, a range of political views, from all over the United States.
…My father felt that the prophetic tradition of Judaism had come alive at Selma. He said that King told him it was the greatest day in his life, and my father said that he was reminded at Selma of walking with Hasidic rebbes in Europe. Such was the spiritual atmosphere of the day.
…What a pity that my father’s presence is not included in “Selma.” More than a historical error, the film erases one of the central accomplishments of the civil rights movement, its inclusiveness, and one of King’s great joys: his close friendship with my father. The photograph reminds us that religious coalitions can transcend and overcome political conflicts, and it also reminds us that our Jewish prophetic tradition came alive in the civil rights movement. Judaism seemed to be at the very heart of being American.
In an interview with the Algemeiner, Heschel commented further:
“I felt sad and I had moments when I felt angry,” she said of the omission, describing it as “tragic.” …“This filmmaker seems to want to try and change the narrative,” she told The Algemeiner. “It is about black people trying to do it themselves.”
“I understand this as a Jew, because that is what Zionism is about, but I know that we were helped by others, and the Civil Rights Movement was about coalition, it was about Christians and Jews coming together, marching together, and feeling at that moment in Selma that something profoundly religious and moral was taking place.”
According to the Algemeiner, “The film’s producer, Ava DuVernay, defended her inaccurate portrayals in an interview on PBS, saying: ‘This is art; this is a movie; this is a film. I’m not a historian. I’m not a documentarian.’”
— Nora Abdulkarim (@Ana3rabeya) January 16, 2015
Counter Current News reports:
Recently, a number of representatives from the Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter and various Ferguson anti-police brutality protesters made history through a solidarity trip to Palestine. The purpose of last week’s trip was to connect with activists living under Israeli occupation. The 10-day trip to the occupied Palestinian Territories, specifically in the West Bank, was organized to show a link between oppression emanating from the Israeli State as well as that which victims of police brutality are experiencing in America.
The trip was organized by the legal and policy director of the Dream Defenders, Ahmad Abuznaid, Florida attorney and Palestinian native.
Over the past week, the delegation has met with refugees, Afro-Palestinians, a family that was kicked out of their house by settlers in East Jerusalem, and organizations representing Palestinian political prisoners, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). …[tour member] Carruthers recalled their delegation crossing paths with a tour group led by Israeli authorities. “They were clearly receiving a completely different story about the occupation. It’s deeper than just spreading lies, the false narrative is violent.”
Tour participants did not bother noting that a politically motivated trip covering only Palestinian territories obviously carries the implication of a “false narrative.” They did, however, identify with the Palestinians, commenting that blacks are “displaced refugees” in the United States. This trip followed a visit to Ferguson paid by a Palestinian delegation this past November who sought to forge relationships with black activist groups.
— ICantBreathe (@I_Cant_Breathe_) January 10, 2015
Financial backing for Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter, and a cohort of sister organizations has all been directly traced to George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, which reportedly spent $5.4 million last year funding the Ferguson protest movement.
The plethora of organizations involved not only shared Mr. Soros‘ funding, but they also fed off each other, using content and buzzwords developed by one organization on another’s website, referencing each other’s news columns and by creating a social media echo chamber of Facebook “likes” and Twitter hashtags that dominated the mainstream media and personal online newsfeeds.
At least 8 out of the 14 trip participants were members of organizations funded by Soros.
Support for these radical groups goes deeper into D.C. than Soros’s pockets. In 2012, Breitbart reported that Eric Holder’s
Department of Justice was facilitating the agenda of a group [the Dream Defenders] that appears to have been led by an employee of the law firm representing the Martin family, a stunning amount of bias for the federal goverment to show in a local crime case.
Most recently, Eric Holder joined President Obama and Vice President Biden in meeting with representatives of the Dream Defenders and other race-based organizations to sooth tensions in the wake of Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson’s non-indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown. Phillip Agnew, co-founder of Dream Defenders, attended both this meeting and the subsequent trip to the Palestinian territories.
With a White House bent on depicting radical Islamic terrorist acts as a “War on Muslims” and a president encouraging his fellow Democrats not to “bow” to pressure from pro-Israel donors, one can only wonder where such high level political support for groups such as the Dream Defenders will lead.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached nonviolence and finding the civil way to solve problems between people. Now, his children are at odds over what should happen to two of his most prized possessions – his traveling Bible and his Nobel Peace Prize — and they’ve taken the fight to court.
King’s sons – Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King – run his estate, and want to sell the relics to a private buyer. It is thought the Bible could fetch between $200,000 and $1 million, while the medal could go for more than $10 million.
However, King’s daughter, Bernice, controls their mother’s estate and contests that King gave the medal to his wife as a gift and therefore belongs to her. She opposes the sale.
Bernice King has said publicly that selling the items would be ”spiritually violent” and “outright morally reprehensible,” and some of Dr King’s contemporaries agree. Rev. Joseph Lowery, who marched alongside King in the 60s, said:
“I don’t even want to admit there’s a discussion about putting those items on the market,” he said.
“They are sacred items, not only are they sacred to the family but they’re sacred to the community. They represent Martin’s life work and commitment to justice and serving God.”
Rev. Timothy McDonald, who served at Ebenezer Baptist Church in the 80s, agreed.
You don’t sell Bibles and you don’t get but one Nobel peace prize. There are some items that you just don’t put a price on.
The items currently reside in a safe-deposit box controlled by the court, and after a January 13 hearing, the case will go before a judge. King’s sons have indicated that they would not necessarily sell the items but that they merely want to clarify the question of ownership of the Bible and medal.
One Atlanta judge has stated that the Martin Luther King Jr. estate, led by his sons, would likely win the case if it were to go to trial.
Featured image from Shutterstock / Olivier Le Queinec
It was the Gun that Won the West — the famous Winchester repeating rifle of 1873. And somebody just found one:
Archaeologists traversing the Great Basin National Park in Nevada came across an interesting find: a 132-year-old Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle. The Facebook page for Great Basin National Park said in a post last week that researchers found the rifle, known as “the gun that won the West,” leaning up against a tree.
“The 132 year-old rifle, exposed to sun, wind, snow, and rain was found leaning against a tree in the park. The cracked wood stock, weathered to grey, and the brown rusted barrel blended into the colors of the old juniper tree in a remote rocky outcrop, keeping the rifle hidden for many years,” Great Basin National Park said in a statement.
“Winchester Model 1873 rifles hold a prominent place in Western history and lore, commonly referred to as “the gun that won the West.” Between 1873 and the end of production in 1916, 720,610 rifles were manufactured. In 1882 alone, over 25,000 were made. Selling for about $50 when they first came out, the rifles reduced in price to $25 in 1882 and were accessible and popular as “everyman’s” rifle,” Great Basin National Park’s statement added.
“Everyman’s rifle.” How quaint. How un-PC. Gee, somebody should make a movie about it, just to help Americans remember what America was like when it still was America. Good guys and bad guys! Little boys ogling guns! Wild Indians attacking the cavalry! Say, what’re Jimmy Stewart and director Anthony Mann up to these days?
This image appeared with the below-quoted Tweet. Follow the image link to find that the Tweet was removed mere minutes after grabbing it for this article.
Don’t say we didn’t warn…. pic.twitter.com/YOzdOURnjf
— Israel in Ireland (@IsraelinIreland) January 12, 2015
The Israeli Embassy in Ireland published a far more provocative piece of art than did Charlie Hebdo this week. Far too angry to even broach forgiveness, the JPost reports that the Embassy
…posted a photograph on its Twitter account on Wednesday featuring Mona Lisa decked out in Islamic garb while holding what appears to be a rocket.
The post seems to be a common sentiment among Israelis who are angry over what they perceive as the international community’s inability to empathize with its precarious security situation.
Sensitive to criticism over its response to Hamas rocket fire, Israel has often sought to conflate its struggle against Palestinian terrorism with the jihadist violence that reared its ugly head in France last week, claiming the lives of 20 people.
The artwork was released amid news that French President Hollande did not want Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend Sunday’s unity march in Paris. Hollande felt the Israeli prime minister’s presence would “…divert attention from the theme of national unity the million-person event was intended to symbolize,” according to Israeli media reports.
…The French official who conveyed Hollande’s wish to Jerusalem said that Netanyahu’s presence and that of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, would “cause difficulties.” The French believed that Netanyahu’s presence among the foreign notables leading the march would inevitably introduce dissonant echoes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Jewish-Muslim relations that would jar the somber atmosphere.”
As France works to distance itself and its Jews politically from Israel, the Obama administration is hard at work crafting acts of radical Islamic terror into a War on Muslims. The White House refuses to employ France’s term “war against radical Islam,” instead choosing to refer “…to terrorists as ‘violent extremists who have sought to incite a religious war against Islam.’” The Orwellian doublespeak does not bode well for Jews abroad or in America. Despite the fact that anti-Semitism motivated many of the non-Muslim related terror attacks that will be discussed in February’s “summit on violent extremism,” Obama’s ultimate goal regarding radical Islamic terror is and always will be to defend Muslims. Even if it is at the risk of the Jewish population.
Perhaps the Israeli Embassy in Ireland is correct in saying that “Israel is the last frontier of the free world.” And perhaps that is the real reason their artwork is so disturbing.
I love a good Jewish conspiracy. I’ve even been known to dabble in creating a few myself. If you’ve heard that the “We’ve Taken Over the World” after-party will be hosted by the Free Masons and we (the Jews) have already signed up to bring the cake, that’s one of mine. The one about the “magical Jews” behind last week’s Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher being “a hybrid race of shape-shifters” who “know how to get everywhere” because “they are master manipulators” belongs to the Muslims in the “Park Slope” of Paris ghettos.
That’s right. In case you weren’t already aware, Jews are X-Men in disguise, Clark Kent-ish disguises, because somehow despite their shape-shifty ways they manage to look just like average human beings. This conspiracy theory is the kind best attributed to immigrant populations that embrace the hatred and radicalization common among the ignorant, willfully unemployed and unassimilated of western civilization. We, the assimilated, acculturated, intellectualized of the bunch like Jose Diaz-Balart have educated ourselves into romanticizing such situations with wacky theories of our own, like:
You can be surrounded by a very comfortable-looking situation but feel despair because you feel that you are so isolated within a society that has nice restaurants but ignores you and ignores your dreams and aspirations.
But how quickly Diaz-Balart and his intellectual compatriots forget that Western Europe, too, was a cultural victim of conspiracy theory-level ignorance, not that long ago. Dreams and aspirations grounded in that anti-Semitic ignorance led to world wars and the murders of millions of Jews. So, should we really be encouraging France to feed into the “dreams and aspirations” of today’s madmen?
Apparently Dana Kennedy thinks so. Or, at least, she’s resigned to it. After detailing the conspiracy theories in her article for The Daily Beast, she back-tracked on Telemundo when Diaz-Balart whipped out the “not all Muslims are like this” clause, turning an important piece on the roots of radical Islamic anti-Semitism into a tepid commentary on Paris housing projects.
Want the real scoop? Read the story. You know, before those shape-shifty Jews sneak on the Internet and remove it.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose latest drive to make kids learn Ottoman Turkish hasn’t gone over well with the Ataturk wing of Turkish society (or with their quest for EU membership), pulled out all of the stops to embellish his sultanate today. While welcoming Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Ankara, Erdogan hired 16 guys to dress as soldiers in various states of Turkdom over history, according to Hurriyet. Twitter took off…
I am officially announcing my retirement from satire, because there’s no way I can compete with this. No way. Done. pic.twitter.com/4Zo3NkIifc
— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) January 12, 2015
Erdogan the final boss in the new Assassin’s Creed pic.twitter.com/sQllNvhaUj
— Nineb ن (@LondonAssyrian) January 12, 2015
This is glorious. No image could possibly better sum up the absurdity of the Erdogan regime. pic.twitter.com/0HzDNcsHJV
— ∆Ð∆M (@adambrayne7) January 12, 2015
— Oren Kessler (@OrenKessler) January 12, 2015
— @Hevallo (@Hevallo) January 12, 2015
Spoiler alert: Erdogan and Abbas will be making cameo appearances in the next season of Game of Thrones. pic.twitter.com/hjO1nUp9Wx
— Gil Shefler (@Gilshefler) January 12, 2015
— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) January 12, 2015
The AFP via Yahoo News this morning:
“Two rooms on lower floors were damaged but the fire was put out quickly.”
The Hamburger Morgenpost, known locally as the MOPO, had splashed the Charlie Hebdo cartoons on its front page after the massacre at the Paris publication, running the headline “This much freedom must be possible!”
Police said the attack had occurred at about 0120 GMT and that two young men seen acting suspiciously near the scene were detained. State security has opened an investigation, a spokesman added.
Last year saw the beheading of journalists by ISIS, this year now sees the attack on free speech widened as whole publications are attacked. The newspaper recently increased its security:
Media reports said the newspaper’s publishers had ordered private security protection for the building in the western district of Othmarschen after publishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
German news agency DPA quoted a police spokeswoman as saying that the editorial team should be able to continue work in the building as the damage was relatively minor.
What we’re seeing now is a further expansion of the trend I identified in 2013 after the Boston Bombing. The Jihad has evolved. I described it then, April 19 2013, in the opening to a piece titled “10 Depressing, Morally Confused Reactions to 4/15/13, the Boston Jihad” that collected many of the same sorts of responses we’ve grown accustomed to in the years since. I’m not sure if this World War I/World War II comparison is still the best to utilize:
I will state my position about what has happened this way:
Al Qaeda’s Attack on America on September 11, 2001 = the beginning of World War 1
Two NON-ARAB, WHITE, WHOLLY AMERICANIZED Homegrown Millennial Jihadists Take America Hostage And Launch a New Template for How to Wage A DIY, Low Budget-Download-The-Instructions-Off-The-Internet Terror War = the beginning of World War II.
We are now entering a new phase of the Islamic war to replace liberal societies with Sharia law. This is World War IV, a multi-decade conflict that will be for our generation what the war against Nazism and Fascism was for our grandparents. Except it will probably be worse.
On May 8, 2013, in “Every American Needs to Read Books to Understand Islam,” I expanded the generational explanation of the war’s evolution:
Islam’s long Jihad against Judeo-Christian societies has entered a new cycle as members of my generation marry the ideology of Osama bin laden with the internet ethos of Mark Zuckerberg. The pressure cooker bomb plans the Tsarnaev brothers utilized were published in Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine. This easy availability to information for building lethal weapons is something Millennial men have known for most of their lives. I remember the subversive thrill as a seventh grader in the early days of dial-up internet — instructions for creating weapons of mass destructions are at the fingertips of anyone with access to a search engine.
In trying to describe how the Jihad war against the West has changed since 9/11, right now I’m leaning toward this 3-phase, on the next page, explaining how tactics have shifted as the world’s gotten smaller and smarter…
When Melissa Harris-Perry’s producers invited J.J. Goldberg on to speak about the Jewish community in France, they were probably expecting textbook politically correct responses from the editor at large of America’s largest left-wing Jewish newspaper, the Forward. Which is why it’s so funny to watch Harris-Perry attempt not to balk at Goldberg’s frank candor on the radical Islamist roots of anti-Semitism in France. “The anti-Semitism problem in France is not primarily a problem of anti-Semitism from French Muslims,” she rushes to clarify at 2:32. “There is a problem of anti-Semitism there, but it is not primarily a problem of Muslim versus Jewish populations there, but rather a question of – sort of — French citizens in the broadest sense.”
“Um, I don’t think so,” Goldberg begins before detailing in brief France’s dance with anti-Semitism over the past century, noting that the incidents happening now are “happening from the Muslim community.” He then rattles off a series of French leaders who are Jewish and have established bonds with the Israeli Jewish community. “The integration of Jews into France and the acceptance of Jews in France is very, very thorough,” he explains. He ends his segment by noting that 70% of Jews in France today have come from Sephardic countries of origin where they have experienced “tension with their Arab neighbors”.
Harris-Perry attempts to interrupt his scholarly explanation twice before giving in and going to the commercial break.
An unknown metal said to have been used in the sunken city of Atlantis has been found on 2,600-year-old shipwreck near the coast of Sicily. The 39 ingots of ‘orichalcum’ – described by Plato in his writings about Atlantis – are utterly unique. ‘Nothing similar has ever been found,’ an expert said. Plato described Atlantis as glittering ‘with the red light of orichalcum’, and he claimed that it was mined there, and used to build huge, glinting temples to the sea god Poseidon.
The real metal is a brass-like alloy, which was made in a crucible in ancient times. The ingots offer a tantalising hint that Plato’s stories of Atlantis might have been more than myth – many argue that his tale of the sunken city is fiction, meant to illustrate his political theories.
You can read Plato’s description of Atlantis in Timaeus here.
Another important archaeological find has been made:
archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago, officials in Egypt said Sunday. The tomb was discovered in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis southwest of Cairo where there are several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre. The name of his wife had not been known before the find, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement.
He identified her as Khentakawess, saying that for the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb”. That would make her Khentakawess III, as two previous queens with the same name have already been identified.
“This discovery will help us shed light on certain unknown aspects of the Fifth Dynasty, which along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids,” he added. Miroslav Barta, who heads the Czech Institute of Egyptology mission who made the discovery, said the tomb was found in Neferefre’s funeral complex. “This makes us believe that the queen was his wife,” Barta said, according to the statement. An official at the antiquities ministry said the tomb dated from the middle of the Fifth Dynasty (2994-2345 BC).
UK Guardian writer Peter Ormerod
…tells NPR’s Arun Rath that he’s not at all against gratitude. His argument has more to do with the spirit of the thing. “It’s really because gratitude is so important to me. I don’t, however, think that forcing children to write what’s often quite formulaic letters — I don’t think that’s necessarily the best way of helping children develop gratitude.”
Instead, he thinks the emphasis should be on getting kids to feel and experience gratitude, rather than just make a show of it. And once they feel it, he says, they can express it in fun or creative ways, “ways that feel much less like a chore.” That could involve drawing pictures, taking photos or baking. Ormerod says he’s even written songs for people.
Ormerod tags thank you letter-writting as an “anachronism” and an “exercise in lying” designed to “maintain respectability” among parents because no one wants to have a child who is an “ingrate.” So, would you dear parents of America choose to let your child feel gratitude by baking cookies or Instagramming their gift? In this social media age, where we share photographs of our meals and ruminations on our work lives, would expressing thanks through a written message add much needed veracity to an otherwise seemingly meaningless milieu? Would a handwritten note express deeper, longer lasting emotion than a public message? Or is it better to follow Ormerod’s advice and simply have the kid do nothing at all?
If “nothing at all” is the answer, take a look at the statistics. Not saying “thank you” in a written note may cost you big time down the line. According to a recent survey conducted by the Royal Mail:
New research by Royal Mail has revealed the true cost of not saying thank you for Christmas presents. Of those people expecting thank you letters, over half (52 per cent) say they would reduce the cost of their gift by up to £10 next year if they did not receive a thank you letter.
A further 10 per cent said they would cut their budget from £25 to £21 if they were not thanked properly in writing.
The survey also found that 20 per cent would be so offended that they would not bother buying their loved one a gift again.
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of those surveyed said it was important for children to say thanks via a note, while over half of adults (53 per cent) think thank you letters are important too.
Note that for all of his heavy-handed philosophizing about parenting, Ormerod is childless and bases his theory in having to arduously write out thank you notes as a child. If you’re looking to exemplify “petulant” to your child, have them read his screed. They’ll thank you, if not now then definitely later.
Over at Salon, the apparent temple of all things sex-worship, Tracy Clark-Flory chronicles “The Year In Sex Writing,” explaining in part:
I read about sex, constantly. At least five days a week, I do a Google News search for “sex.” It’s one of the first things I do each morning. …As I look back at the year in sex writing, these are the pieces that stand out, the pieces that most validated that daily sex-news slog. (I’m excluding myself and Salon in general from the list, because to do otherwise would be lame, wouldn’t it?)
Some of the less graphic stories highlighted include:
“The Japanese Firm Selling Videogames to Women, Using Sex” by Daniel Feit
Synopsis: A journalist reports on a Tokyo gaming convention, where women line up for the chance to interact with actors modeled after characters in hugely popular dating simulators.
Choice quote: “‘We’re basically hitting on them, without being too forward,’ said Kyle Card, an actor and model who lives in Tokyo. ‘A lot of the reactions are hands over the face, unable to speak, laughing to themselves. Lots of silence.’”
“For Women In Porn, The Personal Is Political And Profitable” by Susannah Breslin
Synopsis: A look at how women are faring in the new porn industry landscape.
Choice quote: ”‘Women control the industry,’ she opines. ‘They just don’t realize the power they have.’”
A growing number of pop culture outlets possess an evangelistic zeal for the act of sex. Whether it is through ever-more visible bodies on network television or full-fledged sexually oriented nudity on premium cable, shows like Californication and Masters of Sex now compete with basic cable’s Sex Sent Me to the E.R., Strange Sex and Let’s Talk About Sex. Sex was so prevalent this year that Slate declared 2014 to be a “banner year for sex on television.”
The war that destroyed Europe began 100 years ago. But its memory lives on:
His torn military jacket still hangs by his desk and his shoes are still tucked neatly by his bed — relics of a life lost long ago. In the small village of Bélâbre in central France sits the room of Hubert Rochereau, untouched for nearly a century as a memorial to the fallen solider, who died during World War I. It’s “an unforgettable journey back in time,” reported la Noveulle Republique, which described it as a “mummified room.”
Dragoons officer Rochereau died at age 22 inside an English field ambulance after a battle in Belgium on April 26, 1918. According to the Guardian, the officer’s parents decided to keep his room exactly as he left it — even after selling the house under the poignant, if legally unenforceable condition the room should not be changed for 500 years.
“When you walk into it it’s as if time has stood still,” Laurent Laroche, mayor of Bélâbre, told the Guardian. The story of Rochereau’s room gained notice in October and may help the mayor, who is now seeking a benefactor to ensure that the room will remain as it is for centuries.
You can see the pictures at the link. His books, his papers, his pipe, his simple bed, his regimental sword. Artifacts of a lost, better time.
In a painfully intellectual breakdown of the American struggle to comprehend ISIS, the New York Times discusses the educational endeavors undertaken by Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, to “defang” the Islamic State:
Trying to decipher this complex enemy — a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army — is such a conundrum that General Nagata assembled an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. Business professors, for example, are examining the Islamic State’s marketing and branding strategies.
That’s right, your tax dollars are paying for professors to develop even more politically correct terminology and intellectual strategy to dodge the dangers of radical Islamic militants in favor of convincing themselves and the American public that said religiously-motivated lunatics couldn’t actually be as powerful as they appear to be.
General Nagata’s frustration is shared by other American officials. Even as President Obama and his top civilian and military aides express growing confidence that Iraqi troops backed by allied airstrikes have blunted the Islamic State’s momentum on the ground in Iraq and undermined its base of support in Syria, other officials acknowledge they have barely made a dent in the larger, longer-term campaign to kill the ideology that animates the terrorist movement.
And when the President is losing on the ground, the President turns to think tanks to fix the problem. Stay tuned for the nomination of Obama’s “ISIS Czar” to lord over the
…disagreements among the experts over whether ISIS’ main objective is ideological or territorial — General Nagata encourages competing views, urging the group to have “one hell of a debate” over his questions.
But the panel raised doubts whether ISIS “has the bureaucratic sophistication necessary to govern.”
Apparently the panel of experts is unaware of a little militant group-turned-governing body known as Hamas.
“When I watch Americans use words like cowardly, barbaric, murder, outrageous, shocking, etc., to describe a violent extremist organization’s actions, we are playing right into the enemy’s hands,” General Nagata added. “They want us to become emotional. They revel in being called murderers when the words are coming from an apostate.”
The funny thing is, academic papers and speeches don’t motivate public opinion or soldiers the way the plain, simple truth does. But as long as Nagata is determined to avoid the truth of radical Islam’s dual ideological and territorial goals that are, indeed, barbaric, murderous and outrageous, ISIS and their radical Islamic terror allies will continue to gain ground in this global battle. Our bureaucratic waste is the Obama Administration’s tacit declaration that time is on radical Islam’s side.
As pilgrims flock to holy sites and Jews prepare to go to work the next day, Israeli Greek Orthodox Father Gabriel Naddaf continues his holy mission to recruit Christian soldiers into the Israeli Defense Forces. Unlike their Jewish neighbors, non-Jews in Israel are not required to serve in the IDF. Druze and Bedouin populations serve voluntarily, as do some 400 Arabs of both Christian and Muslim affiliation.The small number of Arab volunteers is largely due to nationalistic conflicts within the Arab world, conflicts that have made Father Gabriel Naddaf and his Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum (ICRF) a target of both Muslim and Christian Arab contempt.
Forum members, including the priest, said they have been threatened, and Father Nadaf’s son was attacked in Nazareth. “Some people may say we are traitors,” said the younger Nadaf, who after his compulsory service wants to make a career in the army. “But I tell them to go live in Gaza if they are against Israel. We live here. This is my country and I have to give back.” Arab members of the Israeli Knesset are among opponents of the forum’s work, including its support for the recently passed legislation creating a specific Christian seat on the equal employment opportunities advisory committee that addresses job discrimination. They accused Israel and the forum of ignoring discrimination concerns and trying to divide Israel’s Arab population.
The attacks faced by Christian Arabs affiliated with the ICRF haven’t just caused them to be accused of dual loyalties. They’ve also motivated these Christian Arabs to observe that they are “Arabic speaking Christians” who, if they lived in any other country in the Middle East, would be facing persecution for their religious beliefs. After his son Judaan was attacked in the streets of Nazareth, Father Naddaf commented:
[M]y son very much wants to enlist, in the near future, and serve in a combat unit. He believes in what I do, that we all have a home here, that he also needs to give to the country. The country gives him his rights, and should receive what it is due in return. We all need to live here in peace, and protect the existence of the country that we live in, since our future is here.
Only a few weeks ago Judaan enlisted in the IDF:
This is “…a historic and exciting day at the Nadaf household and a happy day for Christians in Israel.” Nadaf stated, adding that he “sees this step as a personal example to Christian parents who teach their kids to love, cherish, honor and serve their country and contribute to society!”
The father and his organization have increased voluntary Arab recruitment from 30 to 150 persons per year. On the eve of one of the holiest days in the Christian year, Father Gabriel Naddaf continues to put his faith into action, sending a powerful statement about the importance of Israel to Christians across the globe.
Apparently smear ads during campaigns can sometimes tell the truth. Compare Republican Joe Lhota’s ad from the 2013 New York City mayoral campaign to the big, fat Drudge header captured below. The article linked reads in part:
New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton said Monday that tensions in the city are echoing those in the 1970s — a fear he expressed only days prior to the ambush killings of two police officers.
“Who would’ve ever thought déjà vu all over again, that we would be back where we were 40-some-odd years ago,” Bratton said in an interview on NBC’s “Today.”
Actually, Joe Lhota thought as much. Too bad New Yorkers didn’t listen.
When asked whether he had seen such tensions or divide before, Bratton replied, “1970, when I first came into policing — my first 10 years were around this type of tension.”
…Lawmakers and police unions have accused New York Mayor Bill de Blasio of inciting anti-police rhetoric — or at least failing to do enough to cool tensions. Over the weekend, a video circulated online showing police officers turning their backs to the mayor as he entered the hospital where the two slain officers were taken.
“There’s blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what NYPD officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Saturday in a statement. “That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the office of the mayor.”
On “Today,” Bratton acknowledged the internal rift between City Hall and the police.
Not every HBO woman is one of Lena Dunham’s girls. Seventeen-year-old Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams made a brilliant observation about contemporary feminism in a recent interview:
We talk about actor Emma Watson’s recent UN speech, in which she talked about her reasons for becoming a feminist, and the need for men to be onside; Williams says she is impatient with this kind of “first-world feminism”. “A lot of what Emma Watson spoke about, I just think, ‘that doesn’t bother me’. I know things aren’t perfect for women in the UK and in America, but there are women in the rest of the world who have it far worse.”
Self-identified feminist or not, Williams appears to have fallen into a trap of, well, totally taking for granted the gains western feminism has made. The assertion that the inequalities that persist in the UK and United States “don’t bother her” is a milder version of women against feminism rejecting the progress wrought by the women’s movement only as they bask in it.
Kutner then lists a series of first-world feminist issues that Williams and feminists everywhere are obviously required to care about: “pay inequality” (myth), “restricted reproductive healthcare access” (myth), “rape culture” (BIG myth, BIG – like Rolling Stone big) and “institutional sexism” (that creates a hostile environment for men as much, if not moreso, than women). She then uses her own big, white, first-world feminist journo privilege to paint Williams’s honest observation about the inequalities within the women’s movement as an example of that ugly buzzword “privilege”:
Around the same time that Mississippi State University’s football team found themselves at the top of the college football rankings, an archaeological team from the school was getting ready to go public with some key finds from their three-year project at Khirbet Summeily, a site in southern Israel.
These finds shed light on life in the Old Testament era. One of the finds, a series of clay seals called bullae, lends credence to the Biblical accounts of the reigns of Kings David and Solomon.
Jimmy Hardin, associate professor in the MSU Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, said these clay bullae were used to seal official correspondence in much the same way wax seals were used on official documents in later periods.
“Our preliminary results indicated that this site is integrated into a political entity that is typified by elite activities, suggesting that a state was already being formed in the 10th century B.C.,” Hardin said. “We are very positive that these bullae are associated with the Iron Age IIA, which we date to the 10th century B.C., and which lends general support to the historical veracity of David and Solomon as recorded in the Hebrew biblical texts.
“These appear to be the only known examples of bullae from the 10th century, making this discovery unique,” he said.
“Some text scholars and archaeologists have dismissed the historic reliability of the biblical text surrounding kings David and Solomon, such as recorded in the Bible in the books of Kings and Second Samuel, which scholars often date to the Iron Age IIA or 10th century B.C,” Hardin said.
Other finds in and around the dig site help clarify what everyday life was like in Israel during that era. Jeff Blakely, another archaeologist involved in the Hesi Regional Project, notes that these finds change the way scholars have viewed economic life at that time.
From the start of the project, archaeologists have tried to determine what people were doing in the region of Khirbet Summeily, Blakely said.
“Generations of scholarship have suggested farming, but over the past few years, we have slowly realized that humans rarely farmed this region,” he said. “It was a pasture. Shepherds tended sheep and goats under the protection of their government. Finding the bullae this past summer strongly supports our idea that Khirbet Summeily was a governmental installation.”
This post includes an image from Shutterstock.
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.
What Kimmy doesn’t want you to see.
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 Man, The 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.
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.
France and the US have agreed a compensation package for Holocaust victims deported by a French rail company during World War Two.
The two sides announced a $60m (£40m) compensation fund, paid for by the French government, on Friday.
Reparations will be paid to those transported by state rail company SNCF to Nazi concentration camps.
US lawmakers have previously attempted to bar SNCF from rail contracts because of its actions in WW2.
The rail company moved 76,000 Jews to Nazi camps during the Holocaust. Only about 3,000 survived.
As this article states, the debate over this has always been about the culpability of SNCF, chiefly whether they only did it because the Nazis forced them. This may be an admission that they rolled over a bit too easily, or it may not. Hopefully, this will help those affected by this horror in some small way, albeit very late.
America is back in the manned space flight business, or at least, we’re getting closer. The Orion rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center this morning.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An unmanned NASA exploration capsule blasted off on its first ride to space Friday.
Onlookers cheered as a 24-story Delta IV Heavy rocket rumbled from slowly from its Cape Canaveral Air Force Station pad with NASA’s first Orion capsule at 7:05 a.m.
The launch marked the start of a planned four-and-a-half hour test flight intended to take Orion on two laps around the planet, flying 3,600 miles up to set up a high-speed re-entry through the atmosphere and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
For some perspective, the space shuttle and the Hubble Space Telescope orbit at about 350 miles above the earth’s surface. Orion went a whole lot higher than that. It’s a powerful beast. Orion’s mission today marks the first flight of a vehicle designed to carry humans, to go beyond low earth orbit since the Apollo moon missions. The moon is about 250,000 miles from earth. Orion will eventually traverse millions of miles.
NASA described the launch as “perfect.” Orion is the next generation of America’s space flight platforms. It will eventually take humans out to an asteroid, and to Mars. Those missions remain a decade or more away, but Orion’s first manned missions are set for around 2018.
NASA rocketry and research has transformed technology since the agency’s beginnings. A full list of all of the innovations that have their roots in NASA would take days to compile. Fortunately, NASA has been keeping track at its spinoff tech site.
What will we learn by putting humans on an asteroid and on Mars? We don’t know yet, and that’s the point of going.
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.
IJReview picked up on one of the funniest SNL sketches in recent (a.k.a. post-original cast) history. It was a Schoolhouse Rock! parody that aired last night, mocking Obama’s latest immigration-related executive order and complete disregard for the constitutional process:
It starts out with the familiar boy climbing the steps of Capitol Hill and asking what kind of bill is on the Hill with him. The bill responds with a jingle that he is an “immigration bill” and that he hopes he can be passed into law someday.
Cue the President shoving the bill down the stairs before inviting his buddy, the cigarette smoking “executive order,” into the picture.
The boy exclaims in bewilderment that what the President is doing is unconstitutional, but the executive order just laughs at the boy’s belief that he still thinks that is how government works.
The sketch may be tongue-in-cheek payback on the part of NBC after being snubbed by the president, whose administration just so happened not to request air time from the Big 4 to announce his executive order plans in prime time. Dubbed “The Commander-in-Chief of MSNBC,” Obama has employed his “heckler’s veto” multiple times in the past, and Saturday Night Live sketches were far from immune. Last night’s humor is obviously a sampling of what can happen when Tina Fey no longer manages the Obama campaign from its 30 Rock location.
Despite the president’s latest appearance on Univision and Telemundo, the majority of Latino voters disagree with his executive order and rate amnesty low on their list of priorities:
By a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent, Hispanic voters oppose allowing illegal immigrants to obtain federal benefits, including Obamacare benefits, “while they are going through the legalization process and before the 90% goal is reached.”
When asked to choose which of four issues — the economy, immigration reform, education, or health care — is most important to them, registered Hispanic voters said immigration reform was their lowest priority. Just 31 percent ranked the issue first or second, compared with 62 percent for the economy, 57 percent for health care, and 45 percent for education. Non-registered voters, on the other hand, ranked immigration reform as their highest priority.
Apparently SNL did a better job of marketing to a new target demographic than the Big-O.
Watch the video on the next page.
Obama speaks on immigration via Univision in 2012.
President Barack Obama will finally make public tomorrow night his plan to overhaul immigration. However, while his primetime speech will postpone part of Univision’s 15th annual Latin Grammys, it will not be covered by the Big 4.
…Although Obama’s speech will be seen on cable news siblings Fox News and MSNBC, Fox and NBC are not carrying it live on their broadcast networks; CNN will show it live. A CBS News division spokesperson says the network will also not be showing Obama’s approximately 15-minute address on Thursday night. (UPDATE, 2:34 PM: An ABC spokesman “ABC is not carrying the president’s address on the television network — it will be carried on all our ABC News digital platforms, including Apple TV, and radio.” Which means it is still Shondaland on ABC on Thursday.)
In the biz that’s called “target marketing.” In politics, it’s called playing to your demographic. In America, it’s called race-baiting.
Keep it classy, B.O.