At TheRebel.media, Marissa Semkiw interviews world religions professor Dr. Tony Costa.
He explains why, next to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, the otherwise unremarkable Syrian town of Dabiq is one of the key places in Islamic mythology.
As the Muslim equivalent of “Armageddon,” Dabiq is the alleged site of the final battle between Islam and the infidels.
That’s why ISIS considers it so important.
(Note that they named their propaganda magazine after it.)
This concise video gives you a terrific layman’s overview of Muslim end-times theology.
(It’s especially timely for Canadians, since today Parliament begins debating Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s proposed extension of Canada’s mission in Syria.)
You’ll feel smarter after watching it:
The idea of American exceptionalism has become a topic of debate in the Obama years. Both sides in this often heated debate dig their heels in and stand firm in their convictions. But regardless of one’s political convictions, it’s hard to argue against the idea that the United States is unique among nations. In the 19th century, French historian and political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville recognized this and was among the first to recognize that America was an exceptional nation.
A recent Pew Research survey demonstrates that, nearly two centuries after de Tocqueville, the United States stands out from other nations in some surprising ways.
One area where Americans rank well above citizens of other countries is in the notion of individualism.
When Pew Research Center surveyed people in 44 countries last spring, 57% of Americans disagreed with the statement “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control,” a higher percentage than most other nations and far above the global median of 38%.
The American work ethic stands far above that of other nations as well.
True to the stereotype, surveys showed that Americans are more likely to believe that hard work pays off. When asked, on a scale of 0 to 10, about how important working hard is to getting ahead in life, 73% of Americans said it is was a “10” or “very important,” compared with a global median of 50% among the 44 nations.
Americans are exceptional among wealthy developed nations as a people of faith who place their moral convictions within the context of religious belief.
In general, people in richer nations are less likely than those in poorer nations to say religion plays a very important role in their lives. But Americans are more likely than their counterparts in economically advanced nations to deem religion very important. More than half (54%) of Americans said religion was very important in their lives, much higher than the share of people in Canada (24%), Australia (21%) and Germany (21%), the next three wealthiest economies we surveyed from 2011 through 2013.
People in richer nations tend to place less emphasis on the need to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values than people in poorer countries do. While the share of Americans holding that view is far lower than in poorer nations like Indonesia and Ghana (each 99%), the U.S. stands out when compared with people in other economically advanced nations. In the U.S., 53% say belief in God is a prerequisite for being moral and having good values, much higher than the 23% in Australia and 15% in France, according to our study of 39 nations between 2011 and 2013.
Finally, Americans tend to be far more optimistic than their counterparts in wealthier nations — a fact researchers discovered almost by accident.
Americans are also more upbeat than people in other wealthy nations when asked how their day is going. While we ask this question to help respondents get more comfortable with the interviewer, it provides a glimpse into people’s moods and reveals a slightly negative correlation between those saying the day is a good one and per capita gross domestic product. About four-in-ten Americans (41%) described their day as a “particularly good day,” a much higher share than those in Germany (21%), the UK (27%) and Japan (8%).
These findings ought to lead some politicians to rethink their conceptions of American exceptionalism. The statistics prove that the United States is truly unique among its peers.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Rawpixel
Watch as the infamous activist, blacklisted by Brandeis University for her anti-Islam views, discusses her new book Heretic and the concept of reforming Islam. Martha Raddatz has no problem outing herself as a turncoat feminist, accusing Hirsi Ali, herself a survivor of female genital mutilation, of unfairly attacking Islam now that she has left the religion.
Raddatz and the pro-Islam Manalo Omar are also quick to gang up on Hirsi Ali when she highlights one of the many Qu’ranic calls for death to infidels currently being used to justify Sharia law and jihad, citing both “the Torah” and “the Bible” as containing violent verses. When Hirsi Ali replies by questioning where the Christians are who take these verses as literally as their Islamic counterparts, Raddatz changes her line of questioning without changing her politically correct tone.
“Doesn’t [your book] incite people to hate Muslims?” is Raddatz’s conclusion, not her query, proving once again that the West’s multiculturalist elite are the greatest threat to Islamic reform.
Let’s be clear about one thing: The only time Kathy Griffin shows up anywhere is when her fellow D-lister Andy Dick is unavailable. And apparently even Andy Dick didn’t want to touch the hot mess that is Fashion Police in the wake of Joan Rivers’ untimely death.
The chaos began when the Empress of E! Giuliana Rancic lamely joked that Disney Princess Zendaya’s dreads smelled like “patchouli oil…or weed.” Because Zendaya is African American, the entire world jumped to defend her Marleyesque hairstyle, raking Rancic through the standard hot coals saved for politically incorrect commentators like herself. In the wake of the “scandal” Kelly Osbourne decided to leave the show and yesterday Kathy Griffin tweeted her resignation, commenting:
“…I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance towards difference. I want to help women, gay kids, people of color and anyone who feels underrepresented to have a voice and a LAUGH!”
Sounding more like Patricia Arquette backtracking after her Oscars flub about “gay people and people of color,” Griffin proved she’s no Joan. None of them are. That’s why Fashion Police couldn’t survive a day without her.
Gen-X and Millennial hacks the lot, watch Griffin and her crew run and hide behind their beloved “gays” and “people of color” like a human shield designed to protect their own inflated egos in the wake of the minefield of political correctness. Only Joan Rivers, born before all this post-1960′s liberation activist schlock could navigate this battle unharmed. In seeking out her replacement the only thing these doobs saw in Joan was a woman unafraid to offend. They didn’t see the honesty in her “Can We Talk” comedy because, to them, talk is nothing more than a media appearance and a quick paycheck. They’re too busy hiding behind the latest cause celeb to begin to attempt the kind of self-honesty Joan emoted with every barb.
Fellow narcissist Lena Dunham, a common victim of Joan’s silver-tongued quips, tweeted support for Kathy Griffin “saying enough is enough to intolerance”. Spare me, you Queens of Intolerance hiding behind a human shield of your own making. Come up for some air in-between Tweet praises and go shopping for matching outfits. You’ll need new camo when your beloved “gays and people of color” turn to you and say, “Can we talk?” Now that’s a show I’d watch.
The New York Times reports:
Like many survivors of the Holocaust, after World War II, Saul Dreier and Reuwen (“Ruby”) Sosnowicz moved to America, started families and careers, grew old, and retired to Florida. For these octogenarians, settling near Boca Raton could have been the last chapter in their story.
But then, last summer, Mr. Dreier, 89, decided to start a klezmer band, drawing upon the music he grew up with in Poland. Playing the drums, he teamed up with Mr. Sosnowicz, an 85-year-old Polish accordionist. This Op-Doc video profiles the two men and their group, which they’ve named the Holocaust Survivor Band. In recent months they have performed for audiences at venues ranging from local nursing homes and temples to The Venetian in Las Vegas.
…For them, music is catharsis. The Holocaust Survivor Band summons the bittersweet memories of childhood, but more than that, it is a celebration of life.
Seniors Dreier and Sosnowicz prove that life doesn’t stop and start at the convenience of a radical dictator or cultural norm.
Republicans, who control Congress and criticize Obama’s foreign policy as too passive, want stronger measures against the militants and fewer limits on the use of U.S. combat troops than included in the plan.
But more serious opposition came from Obama’s fellow Democrats, who demanded a strict time limit for any combat troops. Many also want to repeal the 2001 AUMF the Obama administration has been using to justify the anti-Islamic State campaign.
“This AUMF, hardly anybody supports it that I know of,” Republican Senator Orrin Hatch told reporters.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee set its first major AUMF hearing, with testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, for Wednesday.
The panel’s chairman, Republican Senator Bob Corker, said he planned one or two more hearings. But without support from Democrats, he said he was not sure how it would move ahead.
I’m sure we will be hearing an outcry from domestic media sources (Reuters is international) about the “do-nothing” and “obstructionist” Democrats any time now, right.
It is infuriating that the Democrats still want to take the polite, “planned event” to war and let ISIS know exactly how long they have to lay low, because that worked out so well last time. At this point it seems Democrats in Congress or the press can’t remember anything that happened more than twenty four hours ago unless George W. Bush did it.
The terrorists are cunning, organized and committed to victory. None of those can be said about any of the politicians in charge of the military forces capable of battling them.
If you can bring yourself to ignore the contextual inconsistencies between his rhetoric and his record of action, President Obama’s speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma was pretty good. If you put aside the president’s bastardized definitions of words like “justice” and “freedom,” his observation that our American experiment plays out in continual societal change toward a libertarian ideal borders on insightful.
There was a snippet toward the end that stood out, however. As the president wove his 2008 campaign slogan into the tapestry of civil rights history, he expressed a sentiment precisely opposite that which should inform our thinking regarding Selma.
Because the single most powerful word in our democracy is the word “We.” We The People. We Shall Overcome. Yes We Can. It is owned by no one. It belongs to everyone. Oh, what a glorious task we are given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.
Confronted with this, my mind shifted to a lesser known novella authored by philosopher Ayn Rand entitled Anthem. Written in the first person, the story chronicles the struggle of a man living in a highly-controlled dystopian society which is so collectivized that each individual thinks of his self as “we.”
It’s the word “we,” and everything it represents when used in the manner that Obama wields it, which underscored the atrocities of Jim Crow. It’s collectivist thinking which enables and fuels racism in all is forms.
As Rand’s Anthem protagonist concludes:
The word “We” is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages.
What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?
One cannot judge a man by the content of his character without doing so individually. Thus the explicit goal sought by Dr. Martin Luther King, his resonate dream, requires us to dispense with “we” and deal solely in “I.” Individuals, not groups, exhibit character. Individuals, not groups, affect change for good or ill.
The appropriate call on this historic anniversary is not an appeal to “consensus,” as Obama makes. Rather, we each should seek a rational pursuit of life-affirming values. Reason defeats racism, as it does all forms of irrationality. Reason endows men both with the capability to judge character and to exhibit it. If we shall truly overcome the darkness which those who marched on Selma opposed, we will do so by individually embracing reason as our means of dealing with our reality and with each other.
(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here.)
It’s true — and, after all, you can’t argue with science:
Scientists have scrutinized the contents of four bottles of beer found in a Baltic Sea shipwreck from the 1840s, an amber ale that perhaps was brewed in Belgium and was on its way to ports in Russia or Scandinavia. The new analysis found that bacteria inside the beer bottles survived 170 years until it was discovered by divers in 2010, according to Brian Gibson, senior scientist at the VTT Technical Research Centre in Espoo, Finland.
“These bacteria were still alive,” Gibson said. The analysis “gave us some insight into the way that beers were brewed. We have a reasonably good idea about what kind of hops were used, different ones than today. These hops would have been harsher, these days they are quite mild. The one surprising thing is the beers were quite mild. The original alcohol level was 4.5 percent, nothing extreme.”
Alas, the taste was marred by seeping seawater:
Gibson and colleagues at the University of Munich published their chemical and microbiological analysis recently in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. While some breweries have recreated ancient beer recipes from colonial, medieval or even Egyptian eras, Gibson believes this is the oldest intact bottle of beer. Over time, seawater seeped through the cork and made the contents about 30 percent saltwater. As a result, the big tasting by beer experts in Finland was a bit of a bust.
“The beer was quite degraded, it had a sell by date and it appeared to be well past that,” he said. “For the analysis, it was difficult to pick out the original flavors. We invited some of the most experienced beer tasters in Finland. The flavors were from bacterial contamination and not the original flavors of the beer.”
The scientists turned to chemical analysis of the remaining sugars and alcohol compounds. “We looked at esters, which give beer a fruity or flowery taste. Most of the compounds that we would expect were there. In terms of the fruitiness, probably similar to modern beers. High level of 2-phenyl ethanol which gives a rose or floral aroma.”
Compared to modern craft brews, Gibson said it was like an amber or lambic ale, modern styles that are brewed with wild hops, floral and have sour notes.
Some things, it seems, are eternal and beer is most definitely one of them.
Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) led a congressional delegation down to Selma, Ala., today for the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday civil rights march.
It the first Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage for Scott, an annual event led by Civil Right Era veteran Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
Scott, the first African-American senator elected from the South since Reconstruction, and Brown kicked off the weekend by introducing a resolution before leaving Washington to commemorate the three 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery with a postage stamp.
Co-sponsors of the resolution are Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
“Fifty years ago, the nation watched as one of the defining events of the 20th century unfolded in Alabama,” said Scott in a statement. “As we prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of those historic marches from Selma to Montgomery, it is incredibly important to preserve the stories of those who marched and share their courage with younger generations. Each of these brave men and women risked life and limb to ensure that our country continued on the path to a more perfect union, and for their work, we should all be grateful.”
“The brave women and men who marched from Selma to Montgomery fifty years ago risked their lives to demand full and equal participation in our democracy,” Brown said. “We must honor their legacy and continue the fight to ensure that all Americans have the freedom and opportunity to exercise their constitutional rights.”
More than 100 lawmakers are expected to take part in the pilgrimage, which includes stops in Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Marion.
Portman is one of those, and explained why in an op-ed this week.
“Even as we celebrate what we have overcome, we must not forget how much further we have to go,” Portman wrote. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing on the steps of the capitol of Alabama in Montgomery at the conclusion of the march from Selma, said, ‘The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.’ He was right, but it does not bend on its own. That is the work of us all.”
Portman noted that “while Jim Crow and institutionalized racism were long ago consigned to the dustbin of history, challenges not quite as visible but just as insidious remain.”
“Too many children still grow up in poverty,” he said. “Too many families are broken by drug abuse or by the absence of parents who are in and out of prison.”
The office of Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.), who is also attending the commemoration, told Politico on Thursday that 23 Republicans from both chambers were signed up for the trip. Both Roby and Scott were reportedly lobbying their colleagues to attend.
Congressional Black Caucus members, though, said they were disappointed that GOP leaders in Congress won’t be attending, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “The Republicans always talk about trying to change their brand and be more appealing to minority folks and be in touch with the interests of African-Americans. This is very disappointing,” said CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).
President Obama and former President George W. Bush will be there.
“The irony of nearly 100 Republican and Democratic Members of Congress going to Selma on the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act this weekend will not be lost on the country,” said D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D). “The Voting Rights Act that we will commemorate has been dismembered by the Supreme Court, and only the Members of Congress on this trip and their colleagues can reshape and restore it. Yet, we go empty handed without a bill that could be the occasion for a real celebration of even the promise of a bill.”
This story broke a couple of weeks ago, but it’s worth a read. File under: you can’t choose your ancestors:
In the mid-1990s, near the end of the period during which she lived in Israel, Jennifer Teege watched Steven Spielberg’s film “Schindler’s List.” She hadn’t seen the film in a movie theater, and watched it in her rented room in Tel Aviv when it was broadcast on television.
“It was a moving experience for me, but I didn’t learn much about the Holocaust from it,” she tells me by phone from her home in Hamburg, mostly in English with a sprinkling of Hebrew. “I’d learned and read a great deal about the Holocaust before that. At the time I thought the film was important mainly because it heightened international awareness of the Holocaust, but I didn’t think I had a personal connection to it.”
Indeed, it was not until years later that Teege, a German-born black woman who was given up for adoption as a child, discovered that one of the central characters in the film, Amon Goeth, was her grandfather. Many viewers recall the figure of Goeth, the brutal commander of the Plaszow concentration camp in Poland – played in the film by Ralph Fiennes – from the scenes in which he shoots Jewish inmates from the porch of his home. But Teege, who had not been in touch with either her biological mother or biological grandmother for years, had no idea about the identity of her grandfather.
The discovery came like a bolt from the blue in the summer of 2008, when she was 38 years old, as she relates in the memoir “Amon,” which was published in German in 2013 (co-authored with the German journalist Nikola Sellmair), and is due out in English this April under the title “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past.”
Teege was born on June 29, 1970, in Munich, the offspring of a brief affair between her mother and a Nigerian man. At the age of one month, she was placed in a Catholic children’s home, and when she was three, she was transferred to a foster family, which adopted her formally when she was seven. That also marked the end of the loose ties she had had until then with her mother and her grandmother.
Wow. Have a look at this amazing woman and her story:
Today is the anniversary of one of the most controversial Allied decisions of the war in Germany: to destroy the hitherto untouched Saxon city of Dresden in a night and day of firebombing. As luck would have it, I was in Dresden thirty years ago today for the reopening of the historic Semper Opera House, which like most of the major buildings in the city had been destroyed. On a bitterly cold evening, I stood outside along with ordinary Dresdeners in the Theaterplatz to listen to East German party chief Erich Honecker give a stem-winding denunciation of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, aka “Star Wars,” a s part of the memorial observances.
Then we all went inside to hear a performance of Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischuetz, which was the last opera performed before the house was destroyed. Four years later, the German Democratic Republic vanished in the fall of the Berlin Wall, as gone as Nazi Germany before it.
The survivors recall the bombing, in which an estimated 25,000 people were killed — burned alive, sucked into the vortex, their bodies exploding in the heat, heads raining down out of the sky like bowling balls as people were ripped apart in the maelstrom. Here’s one:
Soviet troops were pressing into Germany from the east and the other Allies from the west, but for 12-year-old schoolboy Eberhard Renner the war seemed far away. Dresden had been spared the destruction suffered by other cities like Berlin and Hamburg, and Renner clung to the hope that the Saxon capital would stay off the target list with the war so clearly near its end.
Even as air-raid sirens started screaming 70 years ago Friday, Renner’s father dismissed the attack as another reconnaissance mission. Then the bomb fell into Renner’s backyard. It blew the thick oak door off the shelter where the family had taken refuge, slamming him and his mother to the ground. Somebody yelled that the roof was on fire, and they ventured out into the streets as the bombs rained down.
The raid left the city littered with corpses, and tens of thousands of Dresden’s buildings had been turned to rubble, including its famous opera house and museums in the historic old city. The baroque Church of Our Lady, appeared initially to have survived, but, weakened by the intense heat, it collapsed two days after the bombing under its own weight.
As Renner wandered the streets of Dresden, he saw a dead body for the first time in his life. In the days to come, he would see many more. Renner remembers the streets still being littered with bodies a week after the attack and coming across the corpse of a woman in a square. ”She was burned to a cinder, had become very small, but her hand was held up and on it was her gold wedding band, shining, not blackened at all,” said the 82-year-old retired architecture professor. “I will never forget this scene.”
The Atlantic has a vivid and moving collection of photos of the destruction here. And then there’s this:
An international team of archaeologists specialised in battlefield excavations is headed for Waterloo in Belgium on the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s famous defeat at the hands of British and Prussian forces.
Tony Pollard, head of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, told the press agency AFP that the excavations starting in April will allow a better understanding of the confrontation. ”We hope archaeology can provide answers to many of the questions about Waterloo that remain unanswered,” Mr Pollard said on Monday. ”These include the location of graves, which from accounts appear to have been scattered across a wide area,” he added.
Tens of thousands of bodies are believed to have been buried in mass graves at the site after the June 18, 1815 clash which forced Napoleon into exile. The project, named “Waterloo Uncovered”, is the brainchild of two British army officers from the Coldstream Guards, which played a decisive role in the battle under the Duke of Wellington’s command.
The team of Belgian, British, French and German archaeologists will be accompanied by British army veterans — some of them wounded in recent campaigns. The excavation will be supervised by Belgian authorities charged with preserving the historic site and the organisation that is overseeing preparations for a large-scale commemoration this summer.
It was a typical rambling Barry interview until 1:45 when he declared,
It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.
We’re in a War on Muslims, folks, and Offensive General Obama has no trouble causing much offense when it comes to the Jews. While American Jewish leaders scramble to speak out against Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress, General Barry is warning his soldiers not to “bow” to Jewish donors. He’s also paying lip service to America and Israel’s historic relationship while making it very clear that he and Netanyahu disagree on Iran. Then there’s that pesky “anybody but Bibi” V15 campaign kerfuffle that’s appearing more and more like an undercover op by the day.
But this isn’t just about the Jews. When he’s not picking on Christians for their near-thousand year-old response to the war crimes of the radical Islamic world, General Obama is meeting with his War on Muslims coalition, including representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood. The General is right when he states this isn’t a Republican/Likud versus Democrat/Labor thing. This is obviously a reality versus War on Muslims thing, and the General is doing everything he can to make sure the world knows he has 2 years left to use both Jews and Christians on the front lines of his own personal Operation Human Shield, better known as “Bunches of Random Acts of Violence.”
Canadian liberals have always been jealous of their American comrades for getting all the “cool” history, like the civil rights movement and Watergate.
But at least those two things really happened (if not always quite the way they’ve been reported).
In a new low, left-wing Canucks are now whining that our campus rape stats aren’t as high as America’s (aren’t, actually.)
Sex assault reporting on Canadian campuses worryingly low, say experts
Has the CBC hired that disgraced Rolling Stone rape beat reporter or something?
Ha! Show’s what you know. At a cost to taxpayers of over $1 billion a year, the CBC is perfectly capable of screwing up their own narrative all by themselves, thanks.
As they permit one of the libeled universities in this “study” to point out:
The CBC has chosen to ignore the flaws inherent in its research in an effort to present comparative data with no relevance to many of the universities in its survey sample. Presenting comparative data on a per 10,000 student basis has no relevance for a university campus with only 3,500 full time students unless it is a deliberate effort by reporters to sensationalize an otherwise extraordinarily important and complex issue.
Even commie pinko Ryerson “University,” which has never seen a “progressive” fad it didn’t like, suddenly doesn’t believe in a “campus rape epidemic” anymore. At least, not at their campus!
At Ryerson University, which is situated in downtown Toronto, 57 assaults were reported to the university between 2009 and 2013. In 2013, Ryerson had a full-time student population of almost 24,000.
“Regarding the data, unfortunately, there is little consistency in how Canadian post-secondary institutions collect and report sexual assault data,” the university told CBC News in a statement. “[At Ryerson] we also collect data that includes non-community members reporting incidents that have happened within our precinct, which extends over a large area of downtown Toronto.”
A likely story, Ry-High. What were you wearing?
Now hurry up and get yourselves raped, young ladies.
Don’t let math be the only thing hard around here!
We need to get those stats up, stat!
Want to see Obama’s 2008 campaign in a nutshell? Check out the young political activists recruited by the V-2015 campaign to elect “anyone but Netanyahu.” If you thought the “anyone but” goal was vague, try listening to their platform. Count how many times “hope and change” is repeated and remind yourselves that this is what got an American president elected — twice.
Dear God, let Israelis be smarter than us. With the polls neck-in-neck between Bibi’s Likud and the Livni/Labor “Zionist Camp” mashup, it’s questionable exactly how much impact the V15 campaign stands to have on the Israeli electorate. Likud came out swinging at V15, accusing the group of backing the Labor Zionist Camp. The accusation was later apologized for by Bibi’s lawyer, but that doesn’t leave lawmakers on this side of the ocean are without due cause to question Obama about V15′s involvement in the Israeli elections. Haaretz reports, “Two Republican lawmakers asked the Obama administration to explain OneVoice’s involvement in the election, given that it has received State Department funding.”
Anyone wishing to understand the Zionist Camp would be remiss to ignore Liel Leibovitz’s excellent analysis over at Tablet magazine:
Why, then, go to all this trouble to reclaim the ancient ideology? Why not just run, as generations of Labor leaders have in the past, as purveyors of new hopes rather than old ideas? In part, it’s because doing so would require Labor to state just how it distinguishes itself from Likud when it comes to safeguarding Israel’s security, a question that, in light of the Palestinian reluctance to engage in good-faith negotiations, is growing more and more difficult to answer. Livni herself was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s chief peace negotiator and was in agreement with the government’s policies on everything from the John Kerry peace initiative to last summer’s war in Gaza. She and her new partners in Labor can hardly claim to have an agenda that provides new answers to the tough questions of war and peace Israelis face each day. Instead of looking to the future, then, Labor is gazing longingly at the past.
That doesn’t sound like very much “hope n’change” to me.
Hat Tip: Grabien
When it comes to our relationship with the Islamic world, even well-known liberals are starting to wonder what the Obama administration is trying to get at. During a recent appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, MSNBC pundit Rachel Maddow chatted with the renowned host on the state visit to honor the late Saudi king. Both personalities were puzzled at America’s strange relationship with an obvious ideological enemy, with Maddow commenting, “The list of people who they sent… I mean, it’s amazing that we weren’t there! …They went way down the list of people you’ve ever heard of in the pages of foreign policy. Everybody!”
Maddow and Letterman raise a good point. Saudi Arabia was the fountain for Sunni Jihad, Iran was the fountain for Shi’ite Jihad. Both strains of Islam harbor a virulent hatred for each other that is currently playing itself out in the Sunni-backed ISIS revolution against Shi’ite-dominated governments. It seems that the only thing the two Islamic parties can agree on is their hatred of the Jews and, by virtue of their Biblical relationship with Jews, Christians. So, what are the leaders of a traditionally Judeo-Christian nation doing sucking up to the Sunni powerhouse of the Middle East?
Historically speaking, Saudi Arabia is the West’s creation, Brit T.E. Lawrence’s romantic notions carved into a losing deal with the Saud family exactly 100 years ago this year. As with any other regime, moral disagreements have been set aside over the generations in favor of political alliances, economic deal making, and a lot of bowing to the student on behalf of the supposed master. Moralists outraged by social media evidence of Sunni Islam’s humanitarian crisis playing out in Saudi Arabia have less sway over ending America’s “creepy, totally dependent” relationship with the kingdom (as Maddow dubbed it) than do the changing dynamics in the oil industry. It would seem that very little has changed in a century.
After all, this wouldn’t be the first time celebrities used their star power to address ideological threats abroad. Hollywood’s stars spoke out against Nazism in the late 1930s and were warned to shut up by FDR’s lackey, lest they be blamed for antagonizing us into an unnecessary war. So, when two of the most liberal pop personalities begin questioning America’s moral imperative in the Middle East, how far will they get? Will we see Maddow, Letterman or the like championing the cause of Christopher Cramer, the U.S. defense subcontractor who mysteriously died last month while working for Israel’s Elbit Systems in Saudi Arabia? Or will he be yet another forgotten casualty in the Obama administration’s defense in the War on Muslims?
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).