Human trafficking—and sex trafficking in particular—has become something of a Christian cause célèbre. There are prayer weekends, movies, magazine covers, Sunday school curricula, and countless church-based ministries. More unusual efforts include lipstick sold to help “kiss slavery goodbye” and tattoo alteration services for victims who say they have been “branded” by their captors. An extraordinarily complex global issue has somehow become one of the most energetic Christian missions of the 21st century.
I think we can all agree that human trafficking is horrible and fighting it is rather noble, right? We should all be able to come together to battle some of the world’s most heinous ills and get along for awhile.
Not so much for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits.
When evangelicals picked up the issue of trafficking around the turn of the millennium, they drastically expanded the existing movement’s influence and reach. By now it has spawned major institutional efforts by nonprofits like World Relief, not to mention both state and federal legislation. According to some critics, however, Christians also changed the movement’s character. “It wasn’t until this evangelical coalition emerged that sex trafficking became this huge everyday issue,” said Soderlund. “Once the evangelicals got on board, it became a much more mainstream issue, and less feminist. You had innocent victims, and you had evildoers, and it wasn’t as much about patriarchy.”
If you’re still trying to figure out why bringing greater awareness to a global travesty merits criticism, I’ve started a club. Awareness itself seems to be a pervasive 21st Century goal. The NFL spends a month every season dressing football players in pink to “raise awareness” for a disease that roughly 99% of the adult population knows about.
The desperate search for negatives in this article would be humorous if the subject matter weren’t so serious. The biggest complaint here seems to be, “Dammit, it was our issue and you’re muddying the narrative with all your kind assistance!” You can almost feel the tortured flailing as the author tries to see the bad side.
What the article is really about is the fact that leftists don’t feel alive unless they’re absolutely miserable. They want the world to perpetually be in need of saving, but only as long as it’s their brand of saving that is being done. Crazy Jesus people need not help, even if they’re a great help.
From the “Let’s Start A Race War Where There Is None!” department:
This should have been an easy one. That it wasn’t speaks volumes.
Much ado is being made about this by more mainstream outlets than the Kos Commie Show. The GOP is being portrayed as “still” (per the Dem narrative, certainly not reality) being insensitive. Just how insensitive? So much so that they sent an African-American United States Senator from the South to represent them.
Rest assured that this was always a no-win situation for the Republicans as far as the media goes. Had McConnell and/or Boehner headed the delegation, we’d be hearing about how lily white GOP leadership is. That they’re spinning this as yet another racist Republican tale when Sen. Scott is co-leading a delegation with Sen. Sherrod Brown just shows how committed they are to ignoring reality.
Three days into the rolling controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email address as Secretary of State, Democrats are showing signs of stress.
In interviews with more than three dozen Democratic activists, donors, and officials from across the country — including many in the influential presidential nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina — some were scathing in their criticism over the revelations, while others admitted to being unnerved.
Predictably, those who automatically defend Hillary act as if trouble like this is conjured up out of nothing by detractors, which always makes me wonder if we’re talking about the same woman. Even the most partisan Democrat should be able to admit that the Clintons are in the habit of inviting controversy after it was proven lo those many years ago that Monica Lewinsky wasn’t an RNC plant. Bless their hearts though, they stick to the conspiracy stuff, just as Madame instructed.
The real problem, as this post points out, is that the Democrats are just now realizing that all of their eggs are in one basket and there isn’t much of a contingency plan when the whole thing goes rotten at once. Politico first explored this yesterday, which probably kept the poor dears up all night.
The fact that they’re bringing it up again today might mean that the lapdogs know more than the general public at the moment.
A train carrying crude oil derailed Thursday in Illinois, and smoke from the burning crude could be seen for miles.
A BNSF Railway train carrying 103 cars of crude oil and 2 “buffer cars” loaded with sand derailed at 1:20 p.m. Thursday just south of Galena, Illinois, according to a statement from BNSF.
No injuries were reported, according to BNSF.
Firefighters on scene reported crude oil burning at the site, according to TH Media. Grant County, Wisconsin, hazardous materials responders were at the scene, as were fire departments from Galena, East Dubuque and Menominee-Dunleith, Illinois, according to the TH.
Here is the tweet of the day on the subject:
— Cuffé (@CuffyMeh) March 6, 2015
Free health care. Safety from environmental hazards. Victory in Iraq.
How much more of this pampering can we endure?
This is pretty bold, given that even the Holder DOJ couldn’t bend the rules enough to find wrongdoing and witnesses were afraid to contradict the “Hands up, don’t shoot!” lie.
In an amazing project at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a quadriplegic flew a fighter jet simulator by way of signals from her brain.
Jan Scheuermann, 55, lost the use of her body in 2003 due to a rare hereditary disease, according to the Washington Post.
In 2012, the mother of two had two tiny electrodes put into her brain so she could operate a robotic arm in a series of experiments conducted by DARPA and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
But after mastering both right- and left-handed versions of the arm, Scheuermann wished to test herself even further.
At the first annual Future of War conference last week, DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar announced the woman had asked to fly simulators of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and a single-engine Cessna.
That’s a pretty good story right there, but Scheuermann wanted to push the boundaries and go beyond controlling the joystick:
“Instead of thinking about controlling a joystick, which is what our ace pilots do when they’re driving this thing, Jan’s thinking about controlling the airplane directly,” Prabhakar said. “For someone who’s never flown — she’s not a pilot in real life — she’s flying that simulator directly from her neural signaling.”
Every hint of a major technological advance brings a host of questions and nightmare scenarios along with it, but the initial sense of wonder should be savored before worrying about what could go wrong.
Finally, an in-depth response from Her Madameship!
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015
See? Everything is on the up and up. Hillary is going to have the State Department release emails from her private server. No word on how many people she has chained in a basement and scrubbing those emails first, all the while screaming, “Remember what happened to Vince Foster!” to make them work faster.
Meanwhile, the press was quick to pretend this nothingburger tweet was a thing.
Second Amendment supporters in Congress are rallying against a controversial ammunition ban from the Obama administration.
Hundreds of lawmakers wrote to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Wednesday, urging it to “abandon” a proposed ban on a popular armor-piercing bullet commonly used in AR-15 rifles.
The ATF’s proposed ban is intended to protect law enforcement officers from armor-piercing bullets and keep them out of harms way, but Republicans say the prohibition unfairly targets hunters, who sometimes use these guns.
“Under no circumstances should ATF adopt a standard that will ban ammunition that is overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for legitimate purposes,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to ATF Director B. Todd Jones.
The letter was signed by 239 House lawmakers, including Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and seven Democrats.
This follows the introduction last week of the Protecting Second Amendment Rights Act from Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) that would roll back the ATF’s power to regulate ammunition.
If he can’t do it through Executive overreach, President Obama is more than happy to let federal regulations run amok and choke the freedom out of America. He made gun control a focal point of his second inauguration speech and has spectacularly failed at getting anything done about it. Never mind the fact that the failures have come because the American people don’t support his fringe-left position on guns, this president does not like to be told “no”. The new Boehner/McConnell Republican majority just rolled over for the funding of the Obama’s amnesty plans, which makes one question whether he’s in for more than a strongly-worded letter on this issue.
New York City public schools will now observe two Muslim holidays, officials announced Wednesday, making the district — the nation’s biggest — one of the few to put Islamic holy days on its calendar.
Under the change announced by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and city Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, there will be no class for Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, starting next September 24. Another Muslim holiday, Eid al-Fitr — a festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan — will become a holiday for those in summer school starting in 2016.
“This is a common-sense change,” de Blasio said Wednesday, “and one that recognizes our growing Muslim community and honors its contributions to our city.”
The decision affects some 1 million students in New York City. While it’s not known exactly how many of them are Muslim, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said that almost 1 million of the more than 8 million people in the city’s five boroughs practice Islam.
The move isn’t a surprise, given de Blasio’s campaign pledge to alter the school calendar with Muslim families in mind.
Leftists’ priorities would be pathetically amusing if they weren’t almost always ultimately destructive. Public schools aren’t supposed to be in the business of catering to a religious population anymore, remember? If a Christmas tree so much as passes within 500 feet of public property, radical atheists appear out of the ether with pitchforks in hand.
What is awful about the timing for this is that it plays into the false narrative that we need to be more sensitive to a religion that may or may not be telling its adherents to kill us because we really are the problem. Yes, there are a handful of moderate Islamist voices who claim that the violence isn’t an inherent part of the religion.
It’s difficult to hear them over the noise ISIS makes, however.
Well, here’s one now. With a Monkey God, too!
The jungle-choked remains of a “lost city”, abandoned by a mysterious civilisation several centuries ago and long fabled for reports of its gold and “monkey children”, have been uncovered in the depths of the rainforests of Honduras. A team of American and Honduran archaeologists, aided by the bushcraft and survival skills of former British SAS soldiers, has just emerged from one of the most remote locations on Earth with news of their stunning discovery.
The expedition was seeking the site of the legendary “White City”, also known as the “City of the Monkey God”, a goal for Western explorers since the days of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century. The city, believed to be one of many lost in the Mosquitia jungle, was home to an unknown people that thrived a thousand years ago but then vanished without trace – until now.
Unlike the Maya, so little is known of this pre-Columbian culture that it does not even have a name.
“It shows that even now, well into the 21st century, there is so much to discover about our world,” said Christopher Fisher, the lead archaeologist. ”The untouched nature of the site is unique and if preserved and properly studied can tell us much about these past people and provide critical data for modern conservation,” he told the Telegraph.
The site is located deep in the Mosquitia, a vast and barely inhabited region of swamps, rivers, and mountains. To navigate the choking foliage, the team was guided by Steve Sullivan and Andrew Wood, the former SAS soldiers who are experts in bushcraft survival skills.
Like this, you mean?
(And, yes, that’s Alfred Molina as the treacherous native guide.)
U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Collapses, U.S.-Supplied Weapons End Up in Al-Qaeda Hands. Unexpectedly.
Reports this week revealed that a U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group, Harakat al-Hazm, had officially dissolved itself under pressure from Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, and many of the fighters have joined up with the jihadist Islamic Front. With the group’s dissolution, the U.S.-provided TOW anti-tank missiles have reportedly falled into the hands of al-Nusra.
Hazm was the first U.S.-backed group to receive TOW missiles, the Washington Post reported last April – and at the time the Washington D.C. foreign policy establishment hailed Hazm as “rebels worth supporting.”
But now with the demise of Hazm it seems the fantasy of backing “vetted moderate” groups in Syria is effectively at an end.
Word of Hazm’s demise began early this week:
The first Syrian rebel group to be given U.S. weapons dissolves itself after major defeat http://t.co/3Z4Wf1h8Qd
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 2, 2015
— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) March 2, 2015
— Bill Roggio (@billroggio) March 2, 2015
And word began spreading of Hazm fighters joining up with other more hardline groups:
Fighters in Hazm Movement join Nour al- Din Zenki Movement and al- Ansar Brigade http://t.co/3DNO0cdXRb
— المرصد السوري (@syriahr) March 2, 2015
Many member of the Hazm Movement joined the Shamiah Front, itself an Islamic rebel group based in Aleppo http://t.co/snP1ypEMGH
— Mariah (@OceanoDeAzahar) March 3, 2015
And now comes evidence that the U.S.-supplied weapons given to Hazm are now in Al-Qaeda hands:
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) March 2, 2015
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) March 2, 2015
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) March 2, 2015
And one astute observation:
— Kyle Shideler (@ShidelerK) March 2, 2015
As I reported throughout the past year here at PJ Media, the U.S. reliance on the so-called “vetted moderate” groups was doomed to failure for no greater reason than that these groups were never moderate to begin with. Back in July I was reporting that U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) units were defecting to ISIS.
By early September I reported that even more FSA units were operating openly with ISIS and al-Nusra, and two Hazm fighters were telling the L.A. Times that they fight alongside al-Nusra and approve of the group. A day later a FSA commander publicly admitted that his forces were fighting with ISIS and al-Nusra – both designated terrorist organizations — along the Syria/Lebanon border, confirming my earlier reporting.
As Congress approved an Obama administration request in mid-September for an additional $500 million in support for the “vetted moderate” rebel groups and the U.S. began bombing ISIS positions in northern Syria, Hazm issued a statement condemning the U.S. bombing campaign, calling it “an attack on the revolution.”
By mid-October, Obama officials were publicly throwing the “vetted moderate” rebel groups under the bus, saying they were going to instead train an entirely new force to confront ISIS. This happened just a few weeks after Obama persuaded the GOP leadership to buy into his failing Syria policy.
In early November reports began to emerge of Hazm, FSA and Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF — another U.S.-backed group) units surrendering and defecting to al-Nusra. Those surrenders and defections continued up until now.
Then in December I reported on al-Nusra deploying U.S.-provided TOW missiles that had been previously supplied to the “vetted moderate” groups. By the end of the year, even the New York Times was reporting that the FSA was under effective control of Al-Qaeda.
And yet despite these developments some — namely Senator John McCain and his crew — continued to back the FSA:
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) December 28, 2014
While some will complain that the complete collapse of the three-year Obama Syria strategy was because we didn’t support the “vetted moderate” rebel groups… ENOUGH…
So many disingenuous uses of the demise of Harakat Hazm to illustrate flawed argument that arming Syrian rebels was doomed from beginning
— Emile Hokayem (@emile_hokayem) March 3, 2015
…the simple fact is that any fool with a pair of eyes and not blinded by the foreign policy establishment’s narrative could see this result coming. In fact, a few of us, myself included, warned of this end game going back to when the conflict in Syria began in 2011. And here we are.
With the Middle East in tatters in the wake of Obama’s “Arab Spring,” it is past time for the D.C. foreign policy establishment to admit to total failure. The evidence of this bipartisan policy disaster is written across the map.
As Instapundit is wont to say, this has all happened rather… unexpectedly.
Temple activists were euphoric Monday after a precedent-setting ruling by Magistrates’ Court Judge Malka Aviv in the case of Yehuda Glick vs. the Israeli Police, a day earlier. The judge ruled that the police “must make sure that Jews are able to pray on the Temple Mount” – in a ruling replete with harsh criticism of the police’s policies on the Temple Mount.
Activists were quoted on a Temple activists blog as saying: “This day will be remembered for generations in the annals of the struggle for the return of Jews to the Temple Mount.”
The police are legally bound “to ensure that Jews are able to pray on the Temple Mount, and not to act sweepingly to prevent Jews from praying on the Temple Mount,” the judge determined.
Attorneys for Rabbi Glick pointed out the historic nature of the ruling.
Attorney Aviad Visoly, who represented Glick said Tuesday that the verdict “has made prayer on the Temple Mount ‘kosher’. In essence, the court took the Supreme Court’s rulings about the Jews’ right to pray on the Temple Mount, and implemented them.”
“This is almost the first ruling – and certainly the most sweeping – in which the court implements the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. From today, every Jew is allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. The prayer itself is not an offense.”
Prior police policies had barred Jewish prayer at the site for fears that such actions would spark Palestinian violence. Judge Aviv ruled the policy “arbitrary” and “without appropriate consideration” and awarded Glick roughly the equivalent of $125,000 in damages and $37,700 in legal fees.
Temple Mount is considered to be one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. Jews, Christians and Muslims all consider it sacred, making it one of the most contested sites in the world. Among Christians and Jews, there is some dispute as to whether it is the biblical Mount Moriah or Mount Zion.
According to Jewish tradition, it is the place where God’s presence is most manifested, and followers of rabbinic Judaism believe it to be the site where God gathered dust to create Adam.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Mikhail Markovskiy
The committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize has demoted its chairman for the first time in the 114-year history of the award, after years of pressure from Beijing for his removal….
Mr Jagland also oversaw the controversial award handed to newly elected US President Barack Obama in 2009, shortly after becoming chairman that same year.
The move stunned the world and the recipient alike, as Mr Obama had been in office for fewer than nine months and the United States was still waging simultaneous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr Jagland said at the time that the organisation wanted to praise the US leader’s early vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and capture “the spirit of the times, the needs of the era”.
The article tries to blame it on politics but this is the first time in the award’s 114 year history that a chairman has been demoted. There certainly have been political shifts in Norway and on the committee in 144 years and no one else got canned. Maybe the Nobel laureate who had a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons can explain why he is so intent on making sure Iran gets some.
Fast-forward to 19:12 (or better yet, just watch the whole thing).
In the world of contemporary feminist politics, criticism of Islam is off the table. Unless, of course, you’re a female Muslim in a Muslim-dominated country who desperately seeks reform. If you are, you’re stuck banging your head against the wall as your sisters in the West do everything to ignore you in pursuit of wage equality, sexual consent apps, and chronicling Lena Dunham’s latest hair adventure.
Most women who follow feminist media is sadly too drunk on the Kool Aid to realize that popular sites like Jezebel, Feministing, the Mary Sue, Everyday Feminism, and the Feminist Majority Foundation have all failed to comment on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic address to Congress. Their flagrant ignorance of the most important foreign policy issue of our time is inexcusable. The willful blind eye they continue to turn towards women oppressed by radical Islamic rule is unforgivable. In one simple, powerful sentence Netanyahu did what contemporary feminists in the West refuse to do:
In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
His Game of Thrones mention received more attention than did the fact that Netanyahu equated “freedom for anyone” with “no rights for women.” There’s your meme. There’s your platform. There’s your unifying fact: If women are not free, no one is free. And yet here Western feminists remain embroiled in a heated debate over Patricia Arquette’s lack of “intersectionality“. There’s an age-old meme for that one, too: It’s the pot calling the kettle black.
In appearing before Congress today, Bibi Netanyahu did more for women oppressed by Islam than the feminist movement has on a worldwide scale. He joins a small but powerful group of real feminists including Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali who are brave enough to use their western platforms to speak out on an issue vital to women across the globe. Israel’s Prime Minister ended his speech by quoting Moses: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them…“. It’s time contemporary feminists ask themselves what they are so afraid of.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner cleared the way for a vote as soon as Tuesday on a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for the rest of the fiscal year, dealing a blow to conservative Republicans who wanted to include language blocking President Barack Obama’s immigration actions.
If successful, the vote would end a legislative standoff that began late last year over security funding and Obama’s immigration actions, which have been put on hold by the courts.
Spending authority for the department that spearheads domestic counter terrorism operations ends at midnight on Friday.
Boehner was left with few if any viable procedural options to continue the fight over Obama’s executive actions that last year bypassed Congress to lift the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented residents.
Obama and Democrats have backed a so-called clean funding bill passed by the Senate, and Senate Democrats have repeatedly blocked a House-passed bill that includes the immigration provisions.
I’m sure that we were all imagining last November that the incoming Republican majority would do all it could to encourage Executive overreach by President Obama, right?
The Republicans are drawing lines in the sand that are immediately blown away by hot air from the MSM. This new majority is so afraid to be portrayed badly by the press they’re legislating like scared children who experience perpetual angst about disappointing mommy and daddy.
Barely two months in, and Obama has already seen that the GOP can’t mount any real opposition to his most outlandish attempts at fundamental transformation.
January, 2017 seems to be getting farther away, not closer.
Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says he can’t think of a good reason why Hillary Clinton would have used a personal email address for all correspondence when she was secretary of state.
“I think it is, obviously, highly unusual,” he said on NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday morning, following a report by The New York Times that Clinton used a non-government email to conduct official business, possibly in violation of federal record requirements. The State Department acknowledged to POLITICO on Monday that thousands of her emails were not preserved as a result.
Clinton and her people need to explain the situation in detail, Gibbs said.
Her Madameship’s explanation will probably be what it usually is: “Why are you picking on me?” This is the weakest, whiniest “strong” feminist icon you’ll ever encounter. More than likely, some staffer will be blamed for not properly informing the Smartest Woman In The World about the rules.
Predictably, MSNBC got right to “B…b…but SCOTT WALKER!”
Meanwhile, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reportedly used a “secret” email system to conduct political business while county executive of Milwaukee.
Those dastardly county executives! Hillary is totally off the hook now!
At the end of a circus of a trial in the case of alleged cheating within the Atlanta Public School System, a key figure in that case, former Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall, has passed away, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta. She lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 68.
Hall has been battling breast cancer as dozens of educators stand trial for a cheating scandal that happened during her tenure as head of the school district.
Hall faced racketeering and conspiracy charges but has not been well enough to stand trial.
The former administrator, who received an award as National Superintendent of the Year in 2009, resigned her post in 2010 following a report from the State of Georgia which stated that Hall ignored widespread cheating on standardized tests throughout the system. Hall denied involvement and placed the blame for the cheating on others on her staff.
Hall first received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2004. Last summer, her attorneys argued that she was unfit to stand trial because the stage 4 cancer had spread throughout her body.
Her legal team issued a statement that read, “Dr. Hall fought this disease with great courage and dignity. For the last year and a half, Dr. Hall’s directions to her doctor have been simple: get me well enough to stand trial; and to her lawyers: see to it that I get a fair trial. She was never concerned about the outcome of such a trial, only that the process be fair. She never doubted that in a fair trial, with the jury hearing the state’s contentions and her rebuttal, to include her own testimony, she would be acquitted. In the end, she was not strong enough to go to trial although that had been her earnest hope.”
“I’m just saddened by her passing and my condolences to her family,” defense attorney Gerald Griggs told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot.
Griggs said he thinks Hall’s death will have some impact on the jury, but “I think we have to look past that at this point,” he said.
In all, 20 educators stood trial in the case. Testimony in the trial wrapped up last week, and closing arguments will begin on March 16.
Featured image courtesy of YouTube.
L.A. is freezing. The sharks have chewed through all the heating vents! #Sharknado3
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 2, 2015
The Hollywood Reporter details:
Mark Cuban and Ann Coulter have joined the growing list of guest stars for the third TV movie in the phenomenon, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Launching in July, Sharknado 3 will be set in Washington, D.C., this time and, per Syfy, will “cause mass destruction in the nation’s capital” before it roars down the Eastern Seaboard.
Entrepreneur/Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban of Shark Tank will play the president, while conservative commentator/author Coulter will play the vp.
They join a rapidly growing list of guest stars set to cameo in the third film, including Bo Derek as May, the mother to star Tara Reid‘s April; Jerry Springer, appearing as Mr. White, a manic tourist; ‘N Sync’s Chris Kirkpatrick as a pool lifeguard; and Chris Jericho, who will play Bruce, a roller-coaster ride operator.
It would seem like an odd place to find one of the most hawkish conservative commentators in America. Then again, it’s far more entertaining to consider the fact that political commentators who are also well-known actors, like Janeane “Where the hell did she go?” Garofalo, didn’t make the cut. Apparently it doesn’t pay to ditch your sense of humor for the sake of your politics after all. So much for being accused of embodying every nasty conservative female stereotype under the sun: Coulter proves she’s hipper and funnier than any liberal elite with a pop culture pedigree.
Let’s just hope this doesn’t turn into another Iron Sky. The 2012 Finnish schlock film that pitted moon-Nazis against a pseudo-President Palin has been accused of abusing the same old tired jokes about the former VP-nom. As long as the Sharknado team sticks to the camp sensibility that has turned a low budget TV movie into an international sensation, chances are Coulter will get a fair shake — and perhaps even a trademark dry line or two.
Yesterday it was exactly three years ago that the great conservative warrior Andrew Breitbart passed away. Breitbart was a hero and example to many – myself included. I first met him in Azerbaijan, where we were both invited to talk about Azeri-U.S. relations. I was immediately struck by his passion, determination, knowledge of how the Internet works, and his great love for his family. The man was truly a walking, talking and fighting happy warrior.
The last couple of days I’ve been impressed by the amount of people who knew Andrew personally and who were inspired by him. As David Swindle wrote in 2012: the man has become immortal.
Senator Ted Cruz is one of them. At an exclusive reception at CPAC 2015, he raised his glass in a toast to the man who is still “with us, he’s watching, and let me tell you: he enjoyed election day 2014.” The senator went on:
The voice of Andrew Breibart said: “No matter what the threat, no matter what the peril, stand up, speak the truth. Speak truth to power and call evil by its name. And while you’re at it, have a heck of a lot of fun.” So to Andrew!
Watch the video:
That’s Andrew in a nutshell: fight the good fight… and don’t forget to enjoy it!
SNL did a spoof of the Toyota Camry commercial involving a proud father taking his daughter to meet up with fellow military recruits at the airport. In the SNL version, 50 Shades star Dakota Johnson played the daughter who, this time, joined ISIS.
I could get all uptight over this, but I’m not. The entire sketch played out rather well by SNL standards. It wasn’t too long, too overbearing, too improvised. It played on the fact that yes, young women in the West are joining ISIS, and it did so in a rather clever way, contrasting the proud military dad with the teary-eyed dad asking the ISIS commanders to take care of his daughter. All in all, why wouldn’t the sketch have been green lit for production?
The fact that the sketch also highlights the audience’s relative naivete and passive-aggressive, ultimately non-responsive attitude towards the threat posed by ISIS shouldn’t be dismissed as a typical conservative take-down, either. As a member of the generation who grew up with SNL, I am battle-hardened by the cynical, borderline nihilistic thread in the show’s ironic humor. We are the powerless generation, after all. Our baby-boomer parents gave up, gave in and didn’t give a crap about us, so why should we care about anything? The target audience might be so-called “hopeful” millennials now, but the dark Matt Groening/Kurt Cobain reality is what informed the show’s current set of writers and producers. Had they wanted to take the irony to a newer, funnier and even more relevant level, they would’ve had Johnson present the ISIS commander with a sex contract app via iPhone. But that’s still a little too 21st century for this obviously ’90s crowd.
SNL’s original baby boomer generation cast had their own ironic take for sure. But it was a hopeful one that mocked the system with the goal of improving it, if by no other means that simply inspiring thought-provoking conversation. Today we just throw our hands up at the threat, laugh and look around for that joint we keep misplacing backstage. And that’s the real shame of the now-infamous Dakota Johnson/ISIS sketch. Not that it wasn’t funny, but that its humor doesn’t really matter at all.
Six individuals of Bosnian origin from St. Louis; Rockford, Illinois; and Utica, New York, were indicted last month on charges of supplying money and equipment to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
And yet late last week it was revealed that one of those terror suspects, Nihad Rosic, who is also one of two suspects additionally charged with conspiring to kill and maim others in a foreign country and had attempted to board a plane back in July 2014 to fly to Syria to join ISIS, had actually been apprehended in the small town of Plainfield, Indiana, right outside Indianapolis.
As the Indianapolis Star reported on Friday:
A Bosnian national indicted on charges of funneling resources to terrorists overseas was arrested earlier this month in Plainfield, officials confirmed Friday, but it was unclear why the man was in Indiana.
U.S. marshals booked Nihad Rosic, 26, in the Marion County Jail on Feb. 6, jail records show, though his connections to the state appear to be minimal.
A federal indictment alleges that Rosic and five others communicated on social media with coded language to organize financial support and send equipment to terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq.
Jan Diltz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, where the indictment was handed up, said she doesn’t know why Rosic was in Indiana.
While at first glance it may seem odd that Plainfield, Indiana, might be a haunt for an international terror operative for perhaps the most dangerous Islamic terrorist group in the world today, it perhaps might be more clear when considering that Plainfield is the headquarters the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of the most terror-tied Islamic organizations in American history.
As one former federal law enforcement official told me this weekend, if Rosic was not in Plainfield related to ISNA it would be an “extreme coincidence bordering on the unbelievable.”
ISNA’s ties to terrorism go back even before its founding in the early 1980s when the organization was operating in the Indianapolis area as an amalgam of Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, including the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Islamic Teaching Center (ITC) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA). I’ve previously reported on the MSA’s extensive terrorist lineup here at PJ Media.
Two of the visitors to the area in those early days included Al-Qaeda founder Abdullah Azzam and his protege, Osama bin Laden.
According to a book published by Bin Laden’s first wife, Najwa, the Al-Qaeda leaders and the Bin Laden family visited the U.S. for two weeks in 1979 with stops in Los Angeles, and yes, Indianapolis. A clue why Bin Laden and Azzam might have been in the area might be an ITC newsletter dated February 1978 I uncovered that documents a previous visit to their Indianapolis offices in January of that year by Azzam and several other well-known extremist Islamic clerics. ITC now operates as a subsidiary of ISNA.
From its earliest days ISNA was a hub for international Islamic terrorists. Terrorist figures associated with ISNA include:
- Al-Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi, who started ISNA’s political action committee in November 1988 and who was convicted in 2004 for his role in an international assassination plot targeting then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. In 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department admitted that Alamoudi had operated as one of the top Al-Qaeda fundraisers in North America.
- Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian, one of ISNA’s self-admitted founders, was convicted in 2006 for his role in supporting the terrorist organization and was deported from the U.S. last month. Prior to his indictment, Al-Arian was deeply involved in numerous ISNA activities and organizations, and was a regular speaker at the ISNA annual conferences.
- Pakistani intelligence agent Ghulam Nabi Fai, who not only worked for ISNA but also served for years on ISNA’s shura council, was convicted in 2012 for failing to disclose nearly $4 million he had received from the Pakistani ISI intelligence service to influence members of Congress on behalf of the Muslim separatist cause in Kashmir (I reported on Fai’s operation in a two-part series here at PJ Media, noting that Fai spoke at ISNA’s annual convention two weeks before his arrest). Fai’s co-conspirator, Zaheer Ahmad, reportedly met with both Bin Laden and Zawahiri just weeks before 9/11 to discuss their weapons of mass destruction program. As reported in an in-depth ProPublica expose of Fai’s activites, not only was Fai working for Pakistani intelligence at the same time he was working for ISNA, but key ISNA figures and affiliates helped start his Kashmir American Center.
- As I reported exclusively here at PJ Media in September 2012, one speaker featured at ISNA’s 2001 annual conference held just days prior to the 9/11 attacks was Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a CIA drone strike in Yemen in September 2011. For years Awlaki’s ISNA speech had been cited, but we were the first to actual provide the video to the Al-Qaeda operative’s ISNA conference talk.
- One other senior terror leader with deep ties to ISNA is current Hamas deputy head Mousa Abu-Marzook. I’ll elaborate on the ISNA/Hamas ties below, but will note here that when Marzook was arrested in the U.S. in 1995 and designated a global terrorist by the Clinton administration, and was later deported in 1997, Marzook took out an advertisement in the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs thanking his supporters, including ISNA:
In October 2014, Mohammed Hamzah Khan was arrested trying to board a flight to travel to Turkey to join ISIS. According to postings on Khan’s Instagram account, he had attended ISNA’s annual convention held in Detroit less than a month before.
But ISNA’s role in the international Islamic terror network isn’t just associational. Rather, it has taken a much direct role in supporting international terrorism.
According to forms filed with the IRS, ISNA provided $170,000 in start-up funds for the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), which was designated a global terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury in October 2004 for supporting Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, and other Islamic terrorist organizations. Exhibits entered into trial evidence in court by federal prosecutors showed extensive payments from ISNA to IARA over the years in increments of tens of thousands of dollars. According to the Justice Department, IARA sent at least $130,000 to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Another ISNA-supported Islamic terror charity was the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA). As reported by Thomas Jocelyn at the Weekly Standard, German investigators found transactions between ISNA and TWRA in 1992 at the same time that TWRA was financing the U.S.-based terror cell that conducted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the planned “Day of Terror” attacks targeting New York City landmarks.
Despite evidence of ISNA’s support of a long list of Islamic charities tagged by the U.S. government and the United Nations as terrorist organizations, ISNA’s most notorious role in supporting international terrorism came up in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history in the successful prosecution of the executives of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) for supporting Hamas.
Not only did HLF receive ISNA’s longtime support, but it began as the Occupied Land Fund as an arm of ISNA operated out of the group’s Plainfield headquarters.
ISNA was named unindicted co-conspirator in the case, and extensive documentation entered into trial evidence by federal prosecutors (available on the Texas federal court’s website) shows that even after HLF was spun off of ISNA, the money transferred by the HLF to Hamas actually was moved by ISNA and the ISNA-affiliated North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and payments made directly by ISNA to Hamas officials, including Mousa Abu-Marzook.
So intertwined was ISNA in conspiracy by the international Muslim Brotherhood to finance Hamas, in one court filing federal prosecutors lay out ISNA’s role in providing “media, money and men” to Hamas (page 13 in the file):
The federal judge in the case, Jorge Solis, agreed with the prosecutors about ISNA’s role, stating in a ruling that was later unsealed that there was “ample evidence” that ISNA and other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups had supported Hamas.
ISNA’s terror support was even profiled by Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR in a 2003 two-part series entitled “Images in Conflict“:
But if it is the case that ISIS operative Nihad Rosic was in Plainfield meeting with ISNA officials it is highly unlikely that the Justice Department would ever admit to it since ISNA has been the closest Islamic group to the Obama White House.
That’s right, despite what federal prosecutors have said in federal court about ISNA’s role in supporting international terrorism, its ties to convicted terror leaders and supporting designated global terrorist organizations, and even Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez under the Bush administration cancelling meetings because of the presence of ISNA officials, as I noted here at PJ Media in the early days of this administration, ISNA has been openly embraced by the Obama White House.
In 2013, Obama even provided a video greeting to open ISNA’s annual convention:
So what is the connection between Nihad Rosic and ISNA, and why exactly was he arrested in Plainfield, Indiana? Most likely federal authorities will never say, but an educated guess about the possible involvement of ISNA given their lengthy track record on these types of activities is hardly out-of-order.
Popular radio host Mark Levin truly destroyed the GOP and the Democratic Party in his speech at CPAC earlier today. In a truly amazing speech, Levin explained what’s wrong with America these days, who’s to blame for it, and what can be done to “save the republic” from progressives bent on destroying her.
From the very start of his speech Levin showed that he did not attend CPAC to defend the Republican Party. Better yet, he immediately lashed out at the party’s establishment.
We are here today, not because we are Republicans. In fact, many of us are here in spite of that fact. We are here today, because we are losing our republic, and we are the sunshine patriots who intend to secure it.
Levin continued to bury Democrats and Republicans alike for selling out the constitutional values and principles they’re supposed to uphold. One of his best attacks was aimed at Obama:
You Mr. Obama do not have any legitimate authority to fundamentally transform what does not belong to you!
Another great quote, this time about… well, I’ll let you guess:
The only dynasty I like is the Duck Dynasty!
Watch the video below. Before you tell me that you’re “too busy right now”: no you’re not. Levin explains exactly what the problem is and how actual conservatives (so I’m excluding the entire Republican leadership such as McConnell, Boehner, Bush, and all the others) can fight back.
The “Great One” killed it at CPAC! Right on Mark Levin, “Don’t damn care care how we do it…” We need a true Conservative PERIOD!
— bert robinson (@berticus33) February 28, 2015
How? By upholding the United States Constitution. That document is, quite simply, the best constitution of any country, anywhere in the world. If you want to improve the economy, protect individual liberty and defend traditional American values, all you have to do is uphold it.
Here’s the video. Watch it. Be inspired by it. Act on it.
At the moment Senator Ted Cruz gave his well-received speech at CPAC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a proposal “granting the federal government the authority to regulate Internet broadband providers under the same law as public utilities.” The Blaze explains what this means:
Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will have to act in the “public interest” when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone, under new rules approved by the FCC. The rules put the Internet in the same regulatory camp now as the telephone, banning providers from “unjust or unreasonable” business practices.
That’s the official line, at least. The unofficial truth is that the Internet will be less free than it currently is; the president will suddenly have the authority to regulate it as he pleases. What do you think that means for conservatives websites if the president is a Democrat? President Obama in charge of your Internet? If that doesn’t cause you nightmares I don’t know what will.
As Glenn Beck said shortly before the proposal was approved:
So they’ll say, “Well, we need something. We need some sort of regulation.” And you morons, you morons on the left, do you realize what you’ve just done? The next president that gets in — you put me into the Oval Office, you want me running your Internet?
Here’s the video of Beck’s radio show this morning. Watch it: there’s nobody else who understands as well as he does what this actually means. In short: we’re screwed.
As ISIS suffered a couple of setbacks in their conquest in the Middle East and as leaders in the region gear up to fight them, the terrorist group captured at least 90 Assyrian Christians, and many people in that part of the world are wondering the same thing many Americans are: where is a response from the West?
Juliana Taimoorazy, with the Assyrian Philos Project, described the situation.
“These women were sobbing, saying, ‘What is our fault? Why is the West silent? Why is the Church not talking about our persecution?’” Taimoorazy said.
“And they’re asking, they’re questioning the foreign policy of America and also other world powers and Europe, saying, ‘Why is it that there’s nothing; there’s no agenda.’ There’s really nothing being done to help the persecuted in the Middle East,” she continued.
Arab Americans are getting involved in the act, questioning their leaders as to why their response has been so tepid.
On Tuesday, a group of Egyptian-American Coptics gathered near the White House, demanding the Obama administration do more to protect Egyptian, Syrian, and Iraqi Christians.
“Obama, Obama, did you see? Christian blood in the sea,” they chanted.
Featured image is a modified image courtesy of Shutterstock / Steve Allen
After receiving a hero’s welcome at CPAC today, Senator Ted Cruz proved to the assembled conservatives that he is at least as passionate as they are. In his speech, the senator from Texas lashed out at Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Washington D.C., his own party included:
Washington wants power over the Internet, the people want freedom online! And don’t believe President Obama when he promises that if you like your Internet, you can keep it.
He went on to lambast Obama for failing to call ISIS what they are: a radical islamist organization. Oh, and about those Christian Egyptians? They weren’t slaughtered because they happened to be Egyptian citizens, Mr. President, they were killed because they were Christians.
And Hillary Clinton? She “embodies the corruption of Washington.” That’s that. Goodbye, Hillary — good luck trying to convince the American people that you didn’t cover up what happened in Benghazi.
Tellingly, Cruz used the opportunity to explain what he believes has to be done to put America back on track.
“We need to take the power out of Washington and bring it back to the American people,” Cruz said. And then he went after his fellow Republicans. “Every single person here,” Cruz said, pretends to be ultra conservative now, but how did they actually vote in the past? “When have you stood and fought? If a candidate says they oppose a nuclear Iran, fantastic! When have you actually fought?” Cruz continued:
If a candidate says they oppose the debt ceiling and the debt that’s crushing our kids and grandkids, we should ask show me where you’ve stood up to stop it. If a candidate says they support the First Amendment or free speech or liberty, if a candidate says they support the Second Amendment—the right to keep and bear arms—we should say show me where you’ve stood up and fought to protect them.”
And then came the death blow: the question isn’t whether there are any Republican candidates for president who have stood up to Democrats, but “when have you stood up to Republicans?”
To finish it off, Cruz quoted his father, the well-known Christian preacher who escaped from Cuba and built a new life for himself in America:
I saw freedom taken away once, and I’ll die before I let it happen again.
The response from the audience, conservatives on Facebook (“he’s killing it!”) and on Twitter, clearly showed Cruz hit a nerve — well, more than one, actually. He received a roaring standing ovation and was immediately approached by everyone in the room.
All of this proves once again that conservatives are hungry for a Republican candidate who takes the fight to Democrats and his (or her!) own leadership.
Here’s the video! Enjoy!
Hillary Clinton’s Charity Took Major Donations from Dirt-Poor Nations That Received U.S. Taxpayer Aid
Embattled presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is taking some rhetorical sniper fire for her charitable foundation, which received large contributions from several nations while she was secretary of State.
1) A potential presidential candidate becomes beholden to certain foreign nations.
2) A Secretary of State whose private foundation grows in prestige from foreign donations, while those same nations lobby the State Department for special treatment on human rights.
Both questions merit vigorous exploration, but for two of the Clinton Foundation’s “donor nations” there’s a third, perhaps more troubling, specter: taxpayer money laundering.
Algeria and the Dominican Republican each contributed to the Clinton Foundation, and both are recipients of U.S. development aid.
In the year 2010, Secretary Clinton’s foundation received $500,000 from Algeria designated to help Haiti in the aftermath of an earthquake. But the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) reports that Algeria received from U.S. taxpayers a total of $8.58 million in development assistance that same year — three-quarters of it as “emergency response” money.
At the same time, as the Post reports, Algeria spent another $422,097 lobbying the U.S. government, largely to take the heat off for human rights abuses in the 99% Sunni Islamic North African country.
So, in effect, U.S. taxpayers gave Algeria money to pressure us to stop hassling it about human rights, and we also gave Algeria money to curry favor with Madame Secretary by buffing the global reputation of Hillary Clinton’s private foundation. (This is not to minimize any good work that the Clinton Foundation may have done in Haiti. That’s irrelevant to this question.)
The real issue: Should needy nations like Algeria make contributions to other needy nations, channeled through the charitable foundation of the sitting U.S. secretary of State, while needy nation #1 is also lobbying us over human rights abuses — all with U.S. taxpayer dollars?
Meanwhile, the perennially impoverished Dominican Republic (DR) also donated to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary’s stint at State. Meanwhile in 2010 the DR received $35.52 million in U.S. development aid.
No matter what kind of accounting gymnastics one might perform, the fact of the matter is that U.S. taxpayers gave the DR and Algeria money that they then channelled to, or through, the Clinton Foundation.
There are, certainly, more troubles soon to emerge for a presidential hopeful with a foundation laid on such shifting sands of geostrategic relationships.
For example, Ukraine’s second-richest billionaire, Victor Pinchuk, a steel king whose wealth flows from trade with Russia, is also a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. When President Hillary Clinton takes the 3 a.m. phone call from Mr. Pinchuk, how will she tell him that the United States stands with those who want an independent Ukraine, rather than a Russian puppet?
A man seen in multiple ISIS propaganda videos speaking with a British accent and beheading Western hostages had his identity revealed in the Washington Post this morning, and yet again the suspect is another case of what I have termed “known wolf” syndrome since he was already known to authorities before engaging in acts of terrorism.
The Washington Post reports:
The world knows him as “Jihadi John,” the masked man with a British accent who has beheaded several hostages held by the Islamic State and who taunts audiences in videos circulated widely online.
But his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.
But the article goes on to reveal that Emwazi had been detained by authorities not once, but twice:
Emwazi and two friends — a German convert to Islam named Omar and another man, Abu Talib — never made it on the trip. Once they landed in Dar es Salaam, in May 2009, they were detained by police and held overnight. It’s unclear whether the reason for the detention was made clear to the three, but they were eventually deported.
Emwazi flew to Amsterdam, where he claimed that an officer from MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency, accused him of trying to reach Somalia, where the militant group al-Shabab operates in the southern part of the country, according to e-mails that he sent to Qureshi and that were provided to The Post.
Emwazi denied the accusation and claimed that MI5 representatives had tried to recruit him [...]
In June 2010, however, counterterrorism officials in Britain detained him again — this time fingerprinting him and searching his belongings. When he tried to fly back to Kuwait the next day, he was prevented from doing so.
The Daily Mail adds that after that June 2010 encounter with law enforcement, Emwazi was put on the UK terror watch list:
They allegedly fingerprinted him and searched his belongings, and he was not allowed to fly back to Kuwait. Emwazi was put on a terror watch list and banned from leaving the UK.
The BBC added that Emwazi was part of a known network of jihadist sympathizers:
We don’t know when the British or the American security services worked out that the masked man in the killing videos was Londoner Mohammed Emwazi.
But we do know that he was a “person of interest” to MI5 going back to at least 2011 because he features in semi-secret court cases relating to extremism overseas and back in the UK.
Nobody in official security circles is going to comment on what they know and why they know it.
Emwazi has been previously described as a member of a network involving at least 13 men from London – and at least two of them were subjected to house arrest control orders or T-Pims. One absconded. The chances of Emwazi ever returning to the UK are vanishingly small.
So yet again, as we’ve seen in practically every recent terrorism case, the suspect was already known to authorities.
I’ve reported here at PJ Media on the long line of “Known Wolf” terror suspects who committed acts of terror:
- Earlier this month I reported that the Copenhagen shooter was Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, who had been convicted in a stabbing in December, and yet remarkably released by authorities despite being branded as “extremely dangerous.”
- Also this month I noted that Moussa Coulibaly, who stabbed three police officers outside a synagogue in Nice, France, had just days before been deported from Turkey for attempting to join ISIS.
- The two Kouachi brothers behind the massacre on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices last month in Paris had been long known to law enforcement, with one of them already having been in prison on terror-related charges, and yet they had been removed from the radar by authorities just last summer because they were deemed no longer a threat. They were also on the no-fly lists of both the U.S. and the UK.
- Man Haron Monis, aka Sheikh Haron, who in December took hostages at a chocolate shop in the heart of the commercial district in downtown Sydney, Australia, was not only known to law enforcement, but was out on bond on two separate cases and had previously been convicted of harassing the widows of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Authorities had been tipped off via their hotline to extremist statements Haron had been making on his website 48 hours before the attack.
- I first noticed this “Known Wolf” trend back in October after two separate attacks in Canada by Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, both of whom reportedly had their passports stripped by Canadian authorities because they were deemed “high risk” to travel overseas to join ISIS.
Yesterday, an interview I had with Erick Stakelbeck aired where I discussed the “Known Wolf” terror phenomenon (the first 11 minutes of the program):
Needless to say, if the currently growing track record of Western authorities missing these “known wolf” suspects is any indication, the next terror case will undoubtedly be a subject already known to law enforcement and intelligence authorities, but sufficient action not taken to stop their terrorism.
Although Republican leaders love to talk tough when they’re the center of attention, they quickly side with Democrats when they think nobody’s watching. Case in point: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to cave on funding for the DHS:
McConnell announced [Tuesday] that the Senate would vote on a “clean” bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security past Friday, as well as a separate measure freezing President Obama’s November executive actions to shield certain illegal immigrants from deportation.
In other words, he’s going to give President Obama what he wants.
Luckily for conservatives, there still are some Republicans in Congress and the Senate who aren’t willing to let McConnell get away with it. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) responded angrily that he does not plan to vote for the bill, whether McConnell wants him to or not. “If I was a donor to some of these senators that just won election and was told things would be different in a new Senate, I’d be pretty pissed. We put Harry Reid back in charge of the Senate again?”
He went on: “It’s stupid. It doesn’t go anywhere. He knows that. Does he take us all for a fool that somehow that’s going to solve the problem that he was going to fight tooth and nail against?”
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) already let McConnell know that House Republicans will turn their backs on him if pushed: “The Senate majority leader’s plan to divorce the funding bill from the unlawful actions it is restricting is tantamount to surrender, and won’t meet with support in the People’s House.”
Although McConnell could ordinarily get away with giving into Obama’s demands once again, he probably faces a Republican revolt this time. The reason? Numerous conservative Republicans are gearing up for the presidential elections. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is one of them. And no, he isn’t planning to take any prisoners on what he hopes will be his way to the presidency:
Leadership’s current plan — to pass clean DHS funding and separate legislation barring executive amnesty — is a mistake. Congress is obliged to use every constitutional check and balance we have to rein in President Obama’s lawlessness, and that includes both our confirmation authority over nominees and the power of the purse.
Lately, Cruz has become one of the most outspoken and loved Republicans in the Senate. He and his supporters have a strong presence on social media, where one after another “Ted Cruz for president“-group is created. These groups have attracted a large following; see for instance the Facebook group Ted Cruz 45: more than 10,000 conservatives joined that group in a mere three weeks’ time. This proves that conservative voters are hungry for someone who is one of them, who is willing to stand for something and who is principled to his core.
The question now is whether Cruz, Salmon, Huelskamp and others can unite and fight back against McConnell’s plan together and prevent House Speaker John Boehner from following his lead. If they do, McConnell will be humiliated like never before. If not, well, then I guess that conservatives will have even more evidence that Republican leaders don’t care about them and their values. The good news? They can then proceed to open the attack on McConnell and Boehner in an attempt to remove them from power. After all, why would conservatives continue to settle for a Republican leadership that sells them out whenever it can?
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde followed Obama’s trendsetting “War on Muslims” narrative, thus failing the cause of women’s equality across the globe. The Feminist Fail started out on the right track:
Nations should remove laws that prevent women from working in order to increase the female labour supply and boost their economies, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said.
“In too many countries, too many legal restrictions conspire against women to be economically active,” Lagarde wrote in a blog. “In a world in search of growth, women will help find it, if they face a level playing field instead of an insidious conspiracy.”
What exactly is this “insidious conspiracy” Lagarde is referring to? Don’t worry, she hasn’t taken the Patty Arquette pill, although she’s definitely drinking the Obama Kool Aid, because it’s all downhill from here:
But the IMF has to tread a careful line on this issue to avoid explicitly critiquing the laws in its 188 member countries, including states like Mali and Yemen, which have been among the worst performers on indices of gender equality.
Mali and Yemen, both Muslim-dominated states. Mali’s logo, “one people, one goal, one faith” is a contradiction in terms, at least when it comes to fostering economic growth, which is the only topic up for discussion on Lagarde’s watch:
The IMF has sought to couch its arguments in economic terms, saying in a previous study that having as many women in the labor force as men could boost economic growth by 5% in the United States, 9% in Japan and 34% in Egypt.
Note the radical climb in potential economic growth when the stats begin speaking to Muslim nations? Oops. Guess Lagarde’s staffers didn’t get the “War on Muslims” memo until after they prepared their findings, to which they quickly tacked on the following caveat:
“In recommending equal opportunities …this study does not intend to render a judgment of countries’ broadly accepted cultural and religious norms.”
Classy. Let’s talk about an obvious problem without directly drawing attention to it, since the problem is defended by radicalized terrorists. Is that called the White Elephant defense strategy?
With no sense of irony to speak of, some of the biggest and most profitable companies on the Internet have succeeded in masking their pursuit of subsidy as a campaign for “an open internet.” Now, they stand ready to close the con. From the New York Times:
The Federal Communications Commission is expected on Thursday to approve regulating Internet service like a public utility, prohibiting companies from paying for faster lanes on the Internet.
Republicans had aspired to counter any such regulation with legislation, but conceded on Tuesday that they lack the bipartisan support necessary to get such a bill passed.
As a result, when the FCC moves forward with regulating the internet, big businesses will be legally empowered to violate the free association rights of Internet service providers and compel subsidy from everyone else online.
The FCC plan would let the agency regulate Internet access as if it is a public good. It would follow the concept known as net neutrality or an open Internet, banning so-called paid prioritization – or fast lanes – for willing Internet content providers.
… an avalanche of support for [the FCC] plan – driven by Internet companies as varied as Netflix, Twitter, Mozilla and Etsy – has swamped Washington.
Since the cost of providing bandwidth to these companies will not change, Internet service providers will be forced to make up the difference by charging their other customers more – customers like you. Either that, or they’ll have to trim costs somewhere else, which could translate to lost jobs and hampered innovation.
Beyond the blatant violation of free association and the negative economic impact, establishing the legal perception of the Internet as “a public good” sets the stage for further rights violations in the future. If the Internet is public, it’s not yours, and you won’t be able to claim ownership over your activity on it. At the whim of regulators or legislators, your online relationships, your online speech, and your online property will each be subject to disruption or seizure.
It’s a sad day for liberty. The world’s most practical example of market success is about to be leashed to Washington cronies.
My colleague, Bridget Johnson, just beat me to the punch on this one, but still a few things are worth adding. Such as: what the hell is wrong with these people? Are they psychotic? Or simply typical Democrats, i.e. habitual liars?
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized Monday for misstating that he served in the military’s special forces. McDonald made the erroneous claim while speaking to a homeless veteran during a segment that aired last month on “CBS Evening News.”
In a statement released Monday by the VA, McDonald said: “While I was in Los Angeles, engaging a homeless individual to determine his veteran status, I asked the man where he had served in the military. He responded that he had served in special forces. I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces. That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement.”
The VA website says McDonald is an Army veteran who served with the 82nd Airborne Division. The Huffington Post website, which first reported on McDonald’s mistake, noted Monday that the 82nd is not considered part of special forces.
I’m calling B.S. on this one, big time. How do you “incorrectly state” you were in the special forces? You don’t. You lie. You lie the same way your boss, Obama, does in just about everything he says. You lie because there is no downside to your lying. You get to keep your cushy job. A day or two passes and the storm blows over; it’s just another one of those, “they all do it” stories. You get away with it.
This is how a republic dies. And the rot starts from the top.
Remember “Cap and Trade?” The anti-market allegedly “market-based” “solution” to man-faked global warming climate change?
A central authority (usually a governmental body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that may be emitted.
The limit or cap is allocated and/or sold by the central authority to firms in the form of emissions permits which represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of the specified pollutant.
Permits (and possibly also derivatives of permits) can then be traded on secondary markets.
Only if (you) want government to raise energy prices, make coal uneconomical as an electricity fuel, or restrict Americans’ access to carbon-based energy.…
“Cap and trade” is a policy so disastrous it couldn’t pass a Democrat-majority Congress – with Democrat President Barack Obama eagerly waiting with pen at the ready.
Except with this President, no terrible idea dies just because the Constitutional process demands it.
And so they have. Here’s the EPA’s “Cap and Trade” page.
And in government, terrible ideas are like kudzu – they rapidly, illegally spread everywhere.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced an expanded partnership to support water quality trading….
Oh look – the government is assaulting our farmers’ water supply. Where else have we seen that?
The EPA exists to assault the private sector. And it is teaming up with other government departments to maximize the damage.
The USDA is a complete waste of money, time and space. Humans have engaged in agriculture for 10,000 years – we did so for 9,900 of those years without a government department. I think we’ve got this.
And, of course, there is zero Constitutional authority granted to the federal government to have a USDA.
Having no useful purpose, the Department of Agriculture works day and night to make private agriculture more difficult and expensive. Which raises our food prices – and makes our farmers less competitive on the now-global market.
These government-inflicted regulations and costs – by a department that shouldn’t exist – foster other government programs that shouldn’t exist.
Like the horrendous Farm Bill. Government makes it nearly impossible for farmers to turn a profit – then subsidizes them.
Like Food Stamps. Government jacks the price of food – then buys tens of millions of people food at the government-inflated prices because they can no longer afford it.
The Obama Administration is assaulting the private sector with every department, agency, commission and board at its $4-trillion-a-year disposal. Including unilaterally imposing “Cap and Trade” across multiple agencies. And what has transpired during the Obama Administration’s tenure?
It would seem there is a correlation there.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei recently told a group of religious minority leaders in the country that they are safe and have always been under Iran’s watch.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, stated that based on Islamic teachings, followers of other religions should be treated with justice and fairness.
He went even further and added, “Muslims in Europe and America face death threats. There is a great propaganda campaign against them, and their places of worship are under constant attack.”
He claimed, “Such treatment of non-Muslims is nonexistent in the history of our Islamic regime. Even our hotheaded conservative youth do not allow themselves to attack a non-Muslim.”
Naturally, Khamenei’s statements hold no water whatsoever when stood up against the facts.
Such claims of tolerance of non-Islamic faiths by the Iranian Supreme Leader are made while a large number of religious minorities have been imprisoned and executed since the establishment of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Even religious minorities that are recognized in Iran’s constitution have been harassed, persecuted and marginalized since the early days of the Islamic Revolution, which has led to a mass migration of many religious minorities, especially Jews and Christians.
In 1979, when the Islamic Revolution took place, the Armenian-Iranian population was around 180 thousand. Comparing this number to the new census of the community, 60 percent of Armenian-Iranians have left the country. There has been a significant drop in the Iranian Jewish population as well.
Several United Nations special reports and resolutions have condemned the violation of Human Rights, especially the violation of the rights of religious minorities.
Also, Ahmad Shaheed, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Iran, wrote in his report, “At least 307 religious minorities are being held in Iran’s prisons for their faith, including 136 Bahai’s, 19 Dervishes, 50 Christians, 90 Sunni Muslims, and two Zoroastrians.
In addition, Open Doors’ 2014 World Watch List ranked Iran among the ten countries where Christians are persecuted the most. Its 2013 list put Iran in the 9th spot, but in 2014 Iran was moved to the 7th spot.
Christians face persecution and death, while practitioners of the Baha’i faith lose all social rights and face execution. Sunni Muslims may not build their own mosques in Tehran.
There’s no word on what, if any, statistics and facts Khamenei attempted to use to back up his claims.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Bruce Stanfield
The JTA reports:
More than half of current American Jewish college students have personally witnessed or experienced an anti-Semitic incident, according to a new study.
Some 54 percent of Jewish college students participating in the survey released Monday by the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College said they had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism within the past academic year. The survey was taken in the spring of 2014, prior to the outbreak of hostilities last summer in Gaza.
The online survey of 1,157 students, conducted by Trinity College Professor Barry Kosmin and Associate Professor Ariela Keysar, found that percentages of students reporting encounters with anti-Semitism were relatively consistent across gender, religious outlook, and geographical region.
Students who affiliate with the Conservative and Reform movements were more likely to report such experiences than Orthodox students, with 69 percent of Conservative students, 62 percent of Reform students and 52 percent of Orthodox students responding that they had reported anti-Semitic encounters. Those who said they were always open about their Jewishness on campus were roughly as likely to have encountered anti-Semitism as those who said they were never open about their Jewishness, at 58 percent and 59 percent respectively.
According to the report, those taking the survey defined the term “anti-Semitic incident”. The organization Jew Hatred on Campus, a new organization established by the David Horowitz Freedom Center,
…compiled a list of the 10 U.S. campuses having the worst anti-Semitic activity in 2014. Universities included in the top 10 played host to numerous incidents of anti-Jewish acts, such as Israeli Apartheid Week (a week-long event that demonizes the Jewish state); interrupting university activities by staging mock “checkpoints” on campus; campus speakers that call for the destruction of the Jewish state; and verbal or physical harassment and violence against Jewish and pro-Israel students. These anti-Semitic incidents occur on university property, often with the support of university funds, despite the fact that such behavior is explicitly forbidden under campus codes of conduct.
From my own personal experience I’d add to the list a set of individual encounters with various students who questioned me as to why “there are so many of you in the media” and demanded my opinions about the”injustice” of the non-massacre at Jenin. In the case of these encounters, each oddly enough motivated by foreign students from Middle Eastern Muslim nations, the interrogators waited until we were alone with no witnesses before launching the “conversations”.
Perhaps it’s time campus Jewish groups start offering Krav Maga classes.
BREAKING: Islamic State Attacks Assyrian Christian Villages in Northern Syria, Taking Captives and Torching Churches
Breaking news late yesterday and this morning bring reports of an assault by the Islamic State in Northern Syria targeting Assyrian Christian villages along the Khabour River that began early yesterday morning. Other reports indicate that ISIS has taken captives and torched several churches, including one of the most ancient churches in Syria, and hundreds are fleeing the area downriver to Hassake. ISIS is meeting resistance from Christian and Kurdish militias.
European Syriac Union rights activist and journalist David Vergili reports:
Assyrian Christian villages along the Khabour river in the Hassake region are under heavy attacks of ISIS. Hundred of people left the region and number of women and children have been kidnapped by ISIS. Clashes continue between MFS, YPG against ISIS.
On Monday around 5am ISIS carried out an attack on the Assyrian villages in the Khabour region leaving casualties and another exodus of Christians from the region. ISIS attacks are concentrated in the Khabour villages of Til Hirmis, Til Shamiram, Qabre Shamiye and Til Khebish. Local sources confirm that there are ongoing clashes in all front lines against ISIS. Various reports suggest casualties of civilians and burning of churches.
A Demand For Action, another Christian rights organization, published this map to show the area of activity:
The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported late last night of captives taken and churches torched by ISIS (Warning: graphic images at link):
ISIS has abducted dozens of Assyrian men, women and children, including 12 from Tel Hurmiz, 15 from Tel Goran. They have been brought to Jabal Abdul Aziz. The residents of the villages of Tel Shamiran (approximately 50) and Tel Jazira (about 40) are being held captive in their own villages by ISIS.
According to a report by Newsweek, ISIS will use the Assyrian hostages for a prisoner swap with Kurdish fighters.
A number of churches have been destroyed, including the church in Tel Hurmiz, one of the oldest churches in Syria, the Mar Bisho church in Tel Shamiran, the church in Qabr Shamiy and the church in Tel Baloua.
The Newsweek report referenced above cited threats made against the lives of the captured Christian villagers if a prisoner exchange doesn’t happen:
The terrorist organization demanded a prisoner exchange with Kurdish fighters; they are seeking the release of ISIS members in exchange for the villagers. The exact number of prisoners ISIS is looking to swap for is not known. They have threatened the lives of the village men, estimated to be more than 100, if the swap does not go through.
A Reuters report published this morning provides a report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that ISIS has taken at least 90 captives and notes the strategic importance of the area for Kurdish and Christian militias, as well as for ISIS:
Syrian Kurdish militia have renewed their assault on the militants, launching two offensives against them in northeast Syria on Sunday, helped from U.S.-led air strikes and Iraqi peshmerga who have been shelling Islamic State-held territory from their side of the nearby border.
This part of Syria is strategically important in the fight against Islamic State because it borders territory controlled by the group in Iraq, where last year the ultra-hardline group committed atrocities against the Yazidi community.
Tel Tamr, a town near the Assyrian Christian villages where the abductions occurred, has witnessed heavy clashes between Islamic State fighters and the Kurdish YPG militia, the Observatory said.
— Conflict News (@rConflictNews) February 24, 2015
— Eshu Polis (@EshuAssyrian3) February 23, 2015
— Save Assyria ن (@assyrian_anon) February 24, 2015
— steven nabil (@stevoiraq) February 24, 2015
— A Demand For Action (@DemandForAction) February 24, 2015
— steven nabil (@stevoiraq) February 24, 2015
~ PRESS RELEASE ~ pic.twitter.com/lnJG9CVA93
— EuropeanSyriacUnion (@esu_int) February 24, 2015