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BREAKING: Possible Terror Attack in Canada by Reported ISIS Sympathizer, Dead Suspect Is Martin ‘Ahmad’ Rouleau

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

NOTE: Updates below this post

According to multiple reports, Canadian authorities are investigating a hit-and-run and subsequent high-speed car chase this morning in St. Jean sur Richelieu in Quebec province as a possible terror attack. (HT: Stewart Bell)

CBC reports:

A man in his 30s was shot by police in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., earlier this afternoon after he hit two members of the Canadian Forces with his car and led police on a dramatic high-speed chase.

The soldiers were hit in a parking lot of a commercial plaza at around 11:30 a.m. ET. Both were injured, one critically.

The incident was raised in the House of Commons this afternoon by Conservative MP Randy Hoback, who questioned Prime Minister Stephen Harper about “unconfirmed reports of a possible terror attack” targeting members of the Canadian Forces.

Harper, reading from a piece of paper, would only say he was ”aware of these reports” and that they are troubling.

Police have not named the soldiers but confirmed at an afternoon news conference that they were members of the armed forces.

Another report indicates that the suspect was inside the military office beforehand talking about ISIS and may be an ISIS sympathizer.

This incident comes weeks after ISIS called for Western supporters to attack and “slaughter soldiers” in their homes. The message made suggestions for such an attack:

“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”

“If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops. If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face.”

If this is a confirmed attack, it may be a copycat attack based off of the May 2013 killing of British Army drummer Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich.

UPDATE: Stewart Bell directs to this report that the suspect (who has died from his wounds) is Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau, who was known to Canadian counterterrorism authorities.

UPDATE2: Rouleau’s Facebook page is filled with caliphate imagery.

UPDATE3: Here’s a picture of Rouleau from his Ummaland (Muslim social networking site) page, where is user name was “Ahmad the Convert”:

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UPDATE4: Canadian Prime Minister’s Office says that Rouleau “had become radicalized”:

“The individual who struck the two CAF members with his car is known to federal authorities, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team,” said the statement from Jason MacDonald, the prime minister’s spokesman.

“Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual had become radicalized. As Canada’s national security agencies have said, Canadians should remain vigilant.”

UPDATE5: Stewart Bell of the National Post reports on Rouleau’s online activity:

A Twitter account under the name Ahmad Rouleau featured the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, the terrorist group that last month called on its followers to kill Canadians because of Ottawa’s role in the anti-ISIS military coalition.

“Islam is the only true religion. Anyone who want scientific proof of God that your terrorist Zionism Rothschild media hide, contact me or add me if you re open minded,” he commented beneath an online Time magazine article last May.

On a Facebook page under the same name, French and English posts — the last one on Friday — denounced Christianity and Judaism. “Allah has promised the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the disbelievers the fire of Hell, wherein they will abide eternally. It is sufficient for them. And Allah has cursed them, and for them is an enduring punishment,” he wrote.

UPDATE6: The Toronto Sun adds this interesting tidbit:

A source says the suspect called 911 during the chase to say that he carried out his acts in the name of Allah.

And also reports:

Couture-Rouleau became known to the RCMP after a relative alerted police to the man’s terrorist leanings, a police source told QMI Agency.

A neighbor told QMI that Couture-Rouleau had grown out his beard and started wearing a turban after converting to Islam a year ago.

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New Photo Caption Contest: Hollywood’s Flying Monkeys Are Supporting Hillary in 2016

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Credit: SABO

Credit: SABO in Hollywood Reporter

 

I can not wait until the day after the midterm elections when the 2016 presidential campaign “officially” begins. But in the meantime, our latest contest photo is an indication of the high-quality entertainment that awaits us on the campaign trail.

This photo and news appeared on October 17 in the Hollywood Reporter (so it must be true) with the headline:

Hillary Clinton Flying Monkey Signs Deface Brentwood Ahead of L.A. Fundraiser

Guerrilla street artist SABO, who made headlines with his Gwyneth Paltrow” Obama Drone” poster, has struck again — this time ahead of Hillary Clinton‘s upcoming Democratic fundraiser at Tavern restaurant in Brentwood. The Los Angeles artist early Friday hung signs depicting Wizard of Oz flying monkeys holding “Hillary 2016″ signs from traffic lights and pasted them on utility boxes near the San Vicente Boulevard restaurant. Although, as SABO told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, one poster near a Whole Foods had been “violently” torn down.

“All these leftists, I’m tired of their s—,” SABO said via email.

There is nothing I can add to that report except reveal your contest mission which is to answer the following questions:

What is the flying monkey’s name?

What is the monkey saying?

What is the monkey thinking but afraid to say?

Extra credit:  On the sign under “Hillary 2016,” add another pithy phrase.

The only rule for this contest is “be nice,” PLEASE be nice.

Now, here are the winners from our last photo caption contest which asked the question, “Is this Obama’s JV Team?”

Credit: Drudge Report

Credit: Drudge Report

The grand prize winner went to Chris Henderson for:

Never in the field of  human conflict has so much been botched by so few endangering so many.

Here are the three runners- up.

Allan Crowson:

Obama: “Just look at these water glasses. Did I not promise you the most transparent administration ever?”

Cfbleachers:

Obama: Just because the secret service puts on a Kobe jersey doesn’t mean the sex is consensual.

And finally, Chris Henderson won again for:

Obama: “The buck never got here!”

Thanks to all who played along and thanks in advance to our loyal contest goers who will fly along and help the monkey become an influential opinion leader in the 2016 presidential campaign.

 

 

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U.S. Attorney General Blocked Aid to Israel, Cost Soldier’s Life

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

When Israeli Sergeant Oron Shaul was captured by Hamas terrorists in the thick of this past summer’s Operation Protective Sheild, the Palestinian terror organization used the sergeant’s Facebook page to broadcast their sick achievement to his family and friends. It should have been easy for the IDF to electronically trace the gloating terrorists, but it wasn’t. Why not? Apparently the U.S. attorney general got in the way.

Israel issued a request for Facebook to turn over IP address information, and the Justice Department got to work. In the meantime, the FBI got the bureaucratic wheels rolling with the U.S. Attorney’s office in what should have been a cut and dry procedure that, in a few short hours, was inexplicably shut down. The Jewish Press reports:

Suddenly, and to the shock of the prosecutors working feverishly to obtain the information that possibly could reveal where Shaul (or his body) was being held, a shocking email arrived from the FBI. An email that spelled a death sentence for what many believed to be the best chance of finding Shaul and his kidnappers.

Thank you for your effort, input and assistance. I regret to inform you we have been denied approval to move forward with legal process.We were told by our management we need a MLAT [Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty] in order to continue to assist our partner with the request in question.

The MLAT requires a standardized process to wind its way through legal and diplomatic protocols and usually take weeks to process. They are used, [Steve] Emerson explained, for non-pressing legal matters in which the United States or another country is carrying out some legal process, such as a prosecution of a citizen in another country. They are not used in urgent, life-or-death or counter-terrorism scenarios, “especially with a close ally such as Israel,” Emerson was told.

…Three days after the stand down email was sent, the IDF concluded that Oron Shaul was dead. His body has never been recovered. Hamas is interested in using whatever parts of Shaul’s body they claim to have to swap for terrorist prisoners held by Israel.

According to Emerson’s investigation, those involved in the legal procedures in the U.S. believe the stop order was given by the attorney general’s office.

Add this to the list of reasons why Eric Holder stepped down just in time. It may also be on the list of reasons why Israel is choosing to wean itself from its strong dependency on American military aid.

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Your Tax Dollars Fund Retired Nazis

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

The United States spent $296 billion to defeat the Axis powers in World War II. That figure does not include “veterans benefits, interest on war-related debt, or assistance to allies.” The conflict resulted in 405,399 Americans killed and 670,846 wounded, making it the most costly war in the nation’s history by far.

In light of that, you may be surprised to learn that American taxpayers have since shelled out potentially millions more to “suspected Nazi criminals” living in the United States. Fox News breaks down the report from the Associated Press:

The payments flowed through a legal loophole that has given the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal government records…

Among those who benefited:

–armed SS troops who guarded the Nazi network of camps where millions of Jews perished.

–an SS guard who took part in the brutal liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland that killed as many as 13,000 Jews.

–a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland.

–a German rocket scientist accused of using slave labor to build the V-2 rocket that pummeled London. He later won NASA’s highest honor for helping to put a man on the moon.

The AP’s findings are the result of more than two years of interviews, research and analysis of records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and other sources.

You owe it to yourself to check out the rest of the article. Among the highlights, the Justice Department responded to a request from the AP to disclose the number of Nazis receiving payments, and the amount of those payments, by claiming no such records were kept.

A further barrier, [Spokesman William "BJ"] Jarrett said, is that there is no exception in U.S. privacy law that “allows us to disclose information because the individual is a Nazi war criminal or an accused Nazi war criminal.”

That’s right. Nazis have privacy rights. This from the same federal government which takes every opportunity to spy on its own citizens without cause or warrant.

This is what happens when “need” is democratized. We can get bend out of shape over suspected Nazi war criminals living off our tax dollars. But the root problem is Social Security itself, along with any redistributive tax scheme which removes individual consent from economic transactions.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how upset you are about funding the retirement of Holocaust participants. You’ll still be funding them tomorrow, because you don’t get to choose whether you pay your Social Security taxes.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 7:59 minutes long; 7.72 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

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N.Y. ‘Safe Act’ Strips 34,500 of Constitutional Rights, Stops Not One Mass Shooting

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

In the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary slaughter in Newtown, CT, New York state passed an “an expansive package of gun control measures” which read like a progressive fantasy: ban “assault weapons,” create a list of dangerous mental patients and confiscate their guns.

As today’s New York Times details, several problems arose on the road to peaceful Utopia. But, progressives can delight in the news that they’ve compiled a list of 34,500 Americans who no longer have 2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment or 14th Amendment rights. For these folks, New York state is a Constitution-free zone.

Under the “Safe Act,” county officials were to screen and forward names from mental health workers to a state agency. But those county employees did not, generally, have direct contact with the patient, nor did the bureaucrats in Albany. The county workers, quickly overwhelmed with the volume of submissions, began rubber-stamping. The much-touted government oversight became at best cursory, at worst, nonexistent.

Only 278 among the 34,500 were found to have gun permits, and guns were seized from an unknown number of them. But only New York City requires permits for long guns anyway, so a person on that list may go shopping elsewhere, and the government will not know about his purchase. In addition, there’s no way for law enforcement to know whether they’ve confiscated all of a person’s weapons. So, essentially, the program may seize SOME guns from people in a designated zone (NYC), but only if they obeyed the law by getting a gun permit.

Of course, if you have a mental health issue and you treasure your natural, God-given 2nd Amendment right to self-defense, then the law discourages you from seeking professional help with the threat of confiscating your property and your security.

This is all fine with the progressives who love to keep their women defenseless, their poor, disadvantaged thugs unperforated and out of jail, and their government ruling with an iron fist — but above all, who love to be SEEN as doing something about a problem.

Gun control supporters argue a wide net is appropriate, given the potentially dire consequences.

Even if just one dangerous person had a gun taken away, “that’s a good thing,” said Brian Malte, senior national policy director of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.

Now, Mr. Malte fails to consider the possibility that he may have taken that gun away from a person who then has to confront a pistol-packing burglar in his home, armed with nothing but a Salad Shooter, or a Swiffer mop.

Gov. Cuomo signs Safe Act

New York Governor Mario Cuomo signed the Safe Act in 2013, which has created a Constitution-free zone for 34,500 Americans, and has stopped not one gun crime or mass shooting.

The dangerous truth about all of this “gun control” is that none of it will save a single life. Worse, it will delude a certain portion of the population into thinking that they, and their children, are safer — after all, we passed the “Safe Act.”

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College Football Success in Mississippi Naturally Prompts HuffPo to Write About Race

Friday, October 17th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Painfully unoriginal.

It is beyond serious argument that the current success of this state’s football teams is directly attributable to the triumph of the Civil Rights Movement, which the vast majority of white Mississippians fiercely opposed. The same point applies to the other teams in the Southeastern Conference, which have won seven of the last eight national championships. (The other was won by Florida State, another formerly segregated university.) Can anyone imagine that happening if the teams were still all-white?

It is high time for people in this state and across the region to give thanks to the Civil Rights Movement for the changes it achieved–in realms far more important than football–to which the state and region’s majority population was only brought kicking and screaming.

First, it is high time for white male liberal media types to stop presuming to tell black people in Mississippi and the rest of America what they should, and should not, be thankful for.

This is progressive “whitesplaining” at its worst. A truly momentous occasion (for sports fans, anyway) that is a cause for celebration for the people in one state is seen as an opportunity for posturing by a lily white academic.

We’re all aware of the history of race in America, and specifically the American South, and the fact that sports at the professional, collegiate and high school levels were slow to integrate. It is taught in schools, they make movies about it and, while utterly shameful, it’s not exactly a family secret that’s kept locked in the attic.

What Professor Special Snowflake is doing here is using a dull knife (and wit) to reopen a wound that already has enough scar tissue to still be a painful reminder in daily life.

The sports fans of Mississippi deserve to celebrate progress without progressives wagging fingers and saying, “Oh yeah well but you used to suck!”

The supposedly forward-thinking progressives in this country are determined to make sure we never truly move beyond the racial politics of early 1960s America because it is the cornerstone of their philosophy of perpetual “The Republicans are going to take you back to (insert appropriate year)!” fear mongering.

Let the people of Mississippi celebrate.

Let sports be sports and stop killing the much-needed escapism of it with your political regurgitation.

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So…ISIS Now Flying 3 Captured Fighter Jets

Friday, October 17th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Long-term campaign getting longer?

Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time the militant group had taken to the air.

The group, which has seized swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report and U.S. Central Command said it was not aware of Islamic State flying jets in Syria.

These days it would seem that there is quite a bit that various United States government officials aren’t aware of and it is probably safer for the public to err on the side of, “OMG, do you people know ANYTHING?!?”

Obviously, three fighter planes with some hastily trained pilots does not an air force make, but ISIS doesn’t exactly seem to be reeling at this point.

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10-Year-Old Girl Seeks to Become Gun-Rights ‘Inspiration’

Friday, October 17th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Good for her.

Meet Shyanne Roberts, a 10-year-old competitive shooter who is out to prove something: Children with guns don’t always mean disaster.

“I want to be an inspiration to other kids and be a leader,” said the girl. “Kids and guns don’t always mean bad things happen.”

Shyanne competes alongside junior shooters, who are participants younger than 18, and even adults. Last year, she beat out adult women to place second in the Women’s Division of the New Jersey Ruger Rimfire Challenge.

On October 31, she will square off against 200 of the top women shooters at the Brownell’s Lady 3-Gun Pro-Am Challenge in Covington, Georgia. Shyanne is the youngest competitive shooter registered at the female-only event, according to the match director. The top shooter has a chance to win $5,000, as well as items from a prize table of guns, ammo and more.

The Franklinville, New Jersey, girl, who now has more than 20 sponsors, started learning gun safety when she was 5. After she could recite the rules and had grasped what guns can do, around age 6, her father started taking her to a gun range. Dan Roberts is a certified firearms instructor and a single dad. He has custody of Shyanne and her younger brother.

What the media bubble anti-gun nuts don’t understand is that the safe use of firearms is a fact of life in a lot of American homes from a very young age. I got my first rifle when I was six and grew up around people who all owned guns and knew how to handle them properly. When I first started going on the road, I found it very strange to meet people who not only didn’t own a gun, but had never fired a weapon. The experience that Brad Pitt recently described is a very normal American one.

Shyanne Roberts has some unique talent but her early involvement with shooting is a classic American family story that is all but ignored by the relentless anti-gun lobbyists and media types. Comprehensive gun legislation hasn’t been failing because of Republican obstruction, it’s failing because it is un-American and very unpopular with the citizens who are unwilling to see their rights gutted by an out-of-touch political ruling class.

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Forbes: Small Business Owners Should Be Single-Issue Voters

Friday, October 17th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Interesting take.

Say what you will about the Tea Party, it has not only given voice to those who hold dear conservative values, but to paraphrase Mr. Newton, it has engendered an equal and opposite reaction from those who inhabit the left side of the political spectrum. Ironically, this vociferous differentiation has placed greater import on the new electoral power brokers, independent voters.

Nothing bad happens when Americans get fired up about the political process, regardless of whether they spin to the left or the right, or mark time in the middle. Feeling pressure to take a political position typically manifests in becoming a more knowledgeable voter. If America is to ever solve its many challenges, those solutions will be demanded by an informed electorate who hire representatives to serve them, rather than anoint a self-serving political class.

Something good would happen if small business stakeholders were as politically organized and influential as other single-issue groups, like unions. If small business were a country, Wikipedia would describe Small Business USA like this: Population: 125 million (owners, employees and dependents). Economy: Largest on the planet. Contribution to society: Significant. Organized political influence for its own interests: Negligible.

What’s wrong with this picture?

With so much to contribute, Small Business America has many reasons to catch the tide of electoral fervor and become more involved in the political process.

Most of my immediate family are and were small business owners (different kinds, there is no “family business), and I know from that experience that they tend to be more conservative. The small business owners they do business with tend to be the same.

The point here about the SBA having political influence that is inversely proportional to its economic clout is important and one that isn’t talked about much. If ever a time existed to address it, it’s now. So many of the progressive left boondoggles that have been passed and are being fought for place and undue burden on small businesses. Boeing can absorb the ever-escalating costs of the PPACA without blinking an eye because it will have an easier time of spreading around how it passes those costs on. Joe’s Construction, however, will not.

The $15 an hour minimum wage is something that is championed by people who, by and large, have never run a business in their lives and think most money can be “POOFED” into existence by governmental mandate. This is another progressive favorite that disproportionately affects small biz owners.

Large industries (health care, insurance, etc.) and Big Labor all have powerful political lobbies. The Small Business Association has a seat at the table but it’s WAY at the end where almost no one can hear it and the good stuff is gone by the time the serving dishes are passed down there.

It would be good for the country if:

a) The SBA upped its political clout and,

b) One of the two major parties (hint, hint) gave them something to vote for again.

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Putin To Attempt Damage Control With Western Leaders In Milan Meeting

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

“Who,me?”

Russian President Vladimir Putin is mounting a diplomatic blitz on the sidelines of a summit of European and Asian leaders in a bid to escape Russia’s worst crisis with the West since the Cold War.

Putin on Friday will discuss Ukraine over breakfast with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and key European leaders on the sidelines of the 10th ASEM summit in Milan. He may also meet privately with Poroshenko.

The West has imposed a series of economic sanctions against Russia since its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in March and its support for a pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

One wonders how much Bad Vlad will be crossing his fingers behind his back while making assurances to Merkel, et al. He marches to his own drummer, and that drummer is usually preceded by a bullet or two.

In a dangerous world ridden with crisis fatigue, it would be comforting to find that sanctions alone are working in this case.

If not, we’ll always have something new to panic about tomorrow.

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In Other Bad News: It’s Been 6 Months Since Boko Haram Kidnapped Those Girls

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Annus Horribilis

Chanting “Bring back our girls now, and alive,” Nigerian protesters gathered outside the presidential residence in Abuja, the capital, on Tuesday.

They were demanding the Nigerian government do more to free the 200 or so schoolgirls still held captive by Boko Haram six months after the mass kidnapping from a school in Chibok, northern Nigeria.

Hosiah Lawan, a leader of the Chibok parents organization, told the crowd that, “hope is now fading fast,” Reuters reported.

Protests also took place in London, U.K. and New York.

It is truly a sad statement on the state of affairs in the world that something this awful was relegated to back page status so quickly. Just think of some of the the things that the world hasn’t been able to focus on for long in the past six months: Russia’s Ukrainian antics, Hamas bombing Israel, and the acceleration of the ISIS rampage. This week, it’s all Ebola all the time. The government’s handling of that has been so inept that people aren’t even noticing that Enterovirus D68 has actually killed more people in the U.S. so far.

All of this and not an adult in charge to be seen for miles.

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New Caption Contest: Is This Obama’s ‘JV Team?’

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Credit: Drudge Report

Credit: Drudge Report

Back in January, David Remick had an extensive interview with President Obama in the New Yorker Magazine. This is where Obama famously said the following about the Islamic terror group we now know as ISIS:

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.

That is how the phrase “JV team” made its way into today’s foreign policy discussions. (In case you needed a reference.) Now, it has become painfully obvious that ISIS is the varsity and Obama’s team is the JV.

These unfortunate circumstances were revealed, once again, in the following headlines:

Turkey denies U.S. base deal in place to battle ISIS (Drudge)

The Obama Administration has a kiss and tell problem  (Foreign Policy.com and below)

In its excitement to trumpet the coalition against the Islamic State, the U.S. is outing partners before they’re ready to go steady.

Drudge linked to the above Foreign Policy piece accompanied by the photo that is the subject of our contest.

Your mission is to write an appropriate overall caption.

Additionally, here are some questions that you are encouraged to answer:

What is President Obama saying?

What is John Kerry daydreaming about?

What is Susan Rice thinking?

Bonus Question: Since we can assume the flowers are bugged, what did the buggers learn from this meeting?

Now, moving ahead, here are the winners from our last photo caption contest entitled, Capitol Dome Restoration Project to ‘Stop Deterioration.’

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The grand prize goes to Allan Crowson for this zinger:

Guy on scaffolding: “Pelosi says we’ve got to cover this thing to find out what’s in it.”

The runners-up were:

Kuce for: The perfect political metaphor. If something is broken, cover it up and claim you’re fixing it.

And Zip Code won twice for:

Man on ledge talking,—- That’s one small step from the scaffolding, One giant makeover for America.

They don’t mind working till dawn’s early light, knowing the flag will still be there.

Yes, the flag is still there and we will stand by our flag — comforted and secure in the knowledge that the team pictured in our new caption contest photo is in charge of America’s foreign policy.  (Yikes, it’s time for my meds!)

 

 

 

 

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Facebook, Apple Pay for Female Employees to Freeze Eggs

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Are you a woman who wants it all? Career now, kids eventually? Now you can have it – as long as you work for Apple or Facebook.

Two Silicon Valley giants now offer women a game-changing perk: Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs.

Facebook recently began covering egg freezing, and Apple will start in January, spokespeople for the companies told NBC News. The firms appear to be the first major employers to offer this coverage for non-medical reasons.

“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com. By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women, she said, and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.
The coverage comes at an opportune time for a tech industry under (highly questionable) severe scrutiny for a lack of female representation in its ranks. Promoted as a perk open to female employees on a voluntary basis, “covering egg freezing can be viewed as a type of “payback” for women’s commitment.” The “payback” goes both ways:
The benefit will likely encourage women to stay with their employer longer, cutting down on recruiting and hiring costs. And practically speaking, when women freeze their eggs early, firms may save on pregnancy costs in the long run, said Westphal. A woman could avoid paying to use a donor egg down the road, for example, or undergoing more intensive fertility treatments when she’s ready to have a baby.
Now, for the real slap in the face:

But the emotional and cultural payoff may be more valuable, said [Extended Fertility founder Christy] Jones: Offering this benefit “can help women be more productive human beings.”

Egg freezing is marketed as the latest, greatest equalizer between women and men. So, long metaphor short, if you want to be a “more productive human being” you’d better start working like a man. I wonder, would George Bernard Shaw discount the reproduction of human life and the raising of good, moral, decent human beings as not being a “productive” enough member of society? If so, he might have found good company in Silicon Valley.

The real question is, as the science of egg freezing continues to develop, will these employer benefits go from being optional perks to potential requirements of the job? Will employers frown upon women who choose to take their chances on children now instead of freezing their options for another day?

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POTUS Official Twitter Account Instructs Fans to ‘Stick It To’ Climate Change Deniers

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Have to call them out for confrontational political language. Remember, these are the people who blame every act of violence in America on “right wing rhetoric”.

 

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5 Key Implications if Baghdad Falls to ISIS

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

Reports that ISIS has surrounded Baghdad and is quickly closing in on the Baghdad International Airport (armed with MANPADS, no less) are troubling. Baghdad itself has been rocked by a series of VBIED attacks in the past 24 hours by ISIS, indicating that the battle for Baghdad has begun.

The possible fall of Baghdad could be the most significant development in the War on Terror since 9/11. And yet many among the D.C. foreign policy “smart set” were not long ago mocking such a scenario.

So what happens if such a situation comes to pass? Here are five key implications (by no means limited to these) if Baghdad falls to ISIS:

1) ISIS will not be claiming to the be the Islamic State, they will BE the Islamic State

Symbolism doesn’t matter much to your average post-modern Westerner, but it still does in the Islamic world, and the capture of Baghdad will hold enormous value. For 500 years Baghdad was the seat of the Abbasid caliphate, and its fall to ISIS would allow the terrorist group to reclaim that mantle. Such an event will electrify the Middle East and beyond, with many Muslims holding firmly to the belief that the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924 by Ataturk was one of the key contributing factors in the decline of the Muslim world over the past century. No amount of State Department hashtags or tweets, or pronouncements by Sheikh Barack Obama and Imam John Kerry that there is nothing Islamic about the Islamic State, will be able to negate any claims by ISIS to be the revived caliphate.

2) The Great Reconciliation between jihadist groups will begin

Much of the Obama administration’s anti-ISIS efforts have been trying to leverage other “vetted moderate” groups in Syria against ISIS, with some “smart set” thinkers even advocating engaging “moderate Al-Qaeda” to that end. We are already seeing jihadist groups gravitating towards ISIS, such as the announcement this week by Pakistani Taliban leaders pledging their allegiance to the Islamic State. Other groups of younger jihadis are breaking away from Al-Qaeda franchises in North Africa and defecting to ISIS. Despite bitter rivalries between ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria, namely Al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, these other groups will be hard-pressed to deny ISIS’ caliphate claims if they do take Baghdad. In that part of the world, nothing succeeds like success. If Baghdad falls, jihadist groups, some of whom have been openly hostile or remained neutral, will quickly align behind ISIS. And the horrid sound coming out of Washington, D.C., will be of foreign policy paradigms imploding.

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Dallas Nurse’s Boyfriend in Isolation for Possible Exposure to Ebola

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

There is some good news today for Dallas nurse Nina Pham. The 26-year-old has Ebola, but has released a statement in which she says that she is “doing well.” She received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, the American missionary who contracted Ebola but survived it. Brantly survived in part thanks to a blood transfusion that he got from a fellow Ebola survivor. The blood of Ebola survivors has antibodies in it that fight the deadly virus, which kills about 70% of its victims.

There is also bad news. Pham’s boyfriend works at Alcon in Fort Worth, Texas. The CEO of Alcon, Jeff George, sent out an email today to all employees. The email says that an Alcon employee, Pham’s boyfriend, is now in isolation and is being monitored for Ebola symptoms.

According to the emailed note, the Alcon employee was admitted to the hospital on Sunday and is being monitored for Ebola symptoms. However, the man has not shown any signs of being sick. The name of the Alcon worker was not released.

The email also said that, after consulting with state health officials, Alcon is confident that no other employees were ever put at risk.

Isolating him is precautionary, but it highlights the fact that the potential for the virus to spread is great, to anyone who has had contact with Pham and any of the other healthcare workers who provided care to Thomas Eric Duncan — and anyone else who had contact with him once his symptoms appeared.

Ebola patients — not to be graphic here — erupt at both ends once symptoms appear. The fluids that emanate from them carry death. Pham’s case demonstrates clearly that our hospitals are not ready for Ebola, despite the CDC’s bland promises otherwise. The United States still has just four Ebola-ready hospitals, and the airport screening for fever is nothing more than Ebola screening theater.

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British MPs Vote to Recognize Palestine

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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BBC News reports:

The House of Commons backed the move “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution” – although less than half of MPs took part in the vote.

The result, 274 to 12, is symbolic but could have international implications.

Ministers abstained on the vote, on a motion put forward by Labour MP Grahame Morris and amended by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

…The full motion stated: “That this House believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”

Explaining Labour’s support, shadow foreign minister Ian Lucas said it would “strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence”.

“This is not an alternative to negotiations. It is a bridge for beginning them,” he said.

Conservative Nicholas Soames said: “I’m convinced that to recognise Palestine is both morally right and is in our national interest.”

Another former foreign secretary, Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, said he too wanted to see a two-state solution but added: “Symbolism sometimes has a purpose. It sometimes has a role. But I have to say you do not recognise a state which has not yet got the fundamental ingredients that a state requires if it’s going to carry out its international functions and therefore, at the very least, I would respectfully suggest this motion is premature.”

Britain is now one of over 100 countries who have cast a symbolic vote to recognize the State of Palestine. While the vote carries no real power over foreign policy, it is an undeniable push for a two-state solution in the face of what many see to be a failed peace process on the part of America and Israel.

“That awkward moment when Palestinians praise the old colonialist empire for giving it recognition,” noted Zionist Chloe Valdary commented via social media.

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Republican Gardner Buries the War on Women in Colorado Senate Race

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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GOP Rep. Cory Gardner is taking the lead over Democrat Sen. Mark Udall in a hot mid-term race in the purple state of Colorado. Ellen Carmichael explains what Republicans can learn from Gardner’s strategic campaign over at the Federalist. As it turns out, the lessons revolve around the Right’s tendency to play defense in the face of the Left’s only real weapon of choice, character assassination:

Udall’s fallacious accusations, misrepresentation of his record, or mischaracterization of his beliefs don’t shake Gardner. Instead, he redirects the debate to meatier issues, such as the economy and health care, without getting “in the weeds” on less pressing matters, like whether Julia’s birth-control pills should fall from the sky like Skittles. …Gardner’s consistency and restraint give Udall few openings for attack. When asked about his positions on birth control and abortion, Gardner responds clearly, calmly and with conviction. …We also know there’s no better way to frustrate a bully than to refuse to be bothered by him. Gardner’s disinterest in even entertaining Udall’s wild accusations demonstrate a political maturity. He knows he doesn’t have to fight every battle or feed a troll—even if that troll is a sitting U.S. senator.

Imagine, a politician that stays on point, refusing to waste voters’ time addressing baseless accusations. Could it be that, in the pot state of all places, electioneering hasn’t fallen to the level of a Real Housewives reunion?

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Even MSNBC Hates Wendy Davis’ Wheelchair Ad

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Texas Democrat governor nominee Wendy Davis’ wheelchair ad continues to destroy her campaign.

Davis, trailing badly in most polls, released this ad late last week.

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As Breitbart’s Sarah Rumpf reported, reaction to it has ranged from negative to really negative.

It’s that opening image of the empty wheelchair that is generating so much outrage. Republican nominee Greg Abbott was left paralyzed for life by an accident many years ago. There was no reason for the Davis campaign to go there, least of all for a campaign whose supporters have been caught on tape mocking Abbott’s disability in the past.

Add to that, the fact that the ad’s claims have been debunked in the past. It’s a dishonest, angrily negative ad that just seeks to tear Abbott down by any means necessary.

Outrage at the ad is bipartisan, with everyone from here to BuzzFeed to the Washington Post piling on.

This morning on MSNBC, Davis’ ad just keeps backfiring. Morning Joe discussed the ad on the “Lean Forward” network, and for many Americans, this was probably their first look at it. MJ played the entire ad. Professor Dorien Warren called it a “huge blunder” and predicted that it will depress turnout.

“This is not gonna motivate her voters to come out,” Warren said.

Host (and liberal) Mika Brzezinski admitted that she “cringed” watching the ad, and tried to distance Davis from the ad on Davis’ behalf. (For the record, Davis refuses to apologize for or take down the ad.)

“Yikes, I cringed watching that. Didn’t like it,” Brzezinski said.

John Heilemann wondered if the ad wouldn’t cause Davis to lose by even more than Democratic nominee Bill White lost to Rick Perry by in 2010.

“Wendy Davis was supposed to be the Democrat who turned Texas blue,” Heilemann said.  But because of this ad, “She’s gonna get creamed.”

Perry won the 2010 race, over the most credible nominee that the Texas Democrats had come up with in years, by 13 points.

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Should You Be Allowed to End Your Life?

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

Brittany Maynard suffers from an inoperable brain tumor which doctors expect to claim her life within months. In the face of a costly and painful defeat, Maynard has chosen to end her life. She moved to Oregon in order to legally seek physician assisted suicide.

Writing at The Blaze, Matt Walsh took issue with the praise and support which Maynard’s plan has garnered on social media. Specifically, he objected to the sentiment that we each own our lives and may therefore end them if we choose:

We are given life, we take part in life, we participate in life, but we do not own our lives. We can’t take possession of our lives like a two-year-old grabbing a toy from his friend and shouting ‘Mine!’ Our lives are bigger than that, thank God. Your life is not some incidental occurrence, or an accidental mutation, or a meaningless cause in a long string of meaningless effects.

Now, I admit, if we are nothing and we came from nothing and will return to nothing, then I suppose suicide makes some sort of sense. It returns the body to our natural state of nothingness. It brings us home into the abyss, where there is no self, no reason, no existence. But most people don’t think that. Most of us are not radical nihilists. Even Brittany Maynard is not, which is why she says she will die and go on to ‘whatever is next.’ She knows, deep down, that there is another dimension to this reality of ours, a deeper significance beneath the surface of everything. She knows, like I believe we all know, that we’re woven into the tapestry of creation — we play a role that we don’t fully understand, our decisions have ramifications that we can’t comprehend, and our lives have a meaning beyond whatever we find in it.

So if God reached out from the depths of eternity to hand us this life of ours, how can we think it acceptable — or worse, meritable — to throw it out before our time is finished?

Inevitably, that’s what this conversation comes down to. The old questions. The oldest questions. What is life? Why are we here? What’s the point of it all?

If you celebrate suicide, then you have answered these questions: life is nothingness, we are here for no reasons, and there is no point.

If you answer differently, then you must come to the conclusion that life has inherent value. That’s the concept that so many people struggle with nowadays. They scratch their heads and wonder why some of us kooky Christians get so upset about things like abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. For some reason they won’t listen when we try to tell them: life has value. It is a thing of value. It is worth something. It is worth something beyond our feelings about it, beyond circumstance, beyond context, beyond sickness, beyond development, beyond age. LIFE HAS VALUE.

This isn’t just a Christian concept. It is the concept on which western civilization rests. Every noble ideal — justice, fairness, equity, compassion, charity — all of it, all of it, is grounded in the notion that life, human life, has intrinsic value. Not value according to its usefulness, or value according to convenience, or value according to how enjoyable it is. Value. Life is valuable because it is life. If you deny this, then you deny everything. There is no reason for justice, fairness, equity, compassion, or charity if human life has no value, or merely a value contingent upon whatever parameters we’ve arbitrarily assigned. There can be no justification even for your ‘human rights’ if we are all commodities whose stocks fall or rise like something that can be bought, sold, and traded.

Walsh presents a compelling case. It’s also a dangerous one. He conflates two spheres of human concern, religion and public policy, which have no business interfering with each other.

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Chinese Officials: U.S. And UK Behind Hong Kong Protests

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sure, let’s go with that.

Some officials contend that the United States and Britain wield so much influence in Hong Kong that China cannot open the nomination process for candidates to succeed Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, in 2017 as protesters have demanded. Doing so, they argue, risks allowing voters to be manipulated and a puppet of the West to take power.

“Strategically, there is an American pivot to Asia still going on, so can you imagine it will not make use of the current turmoil?” asked Lau Nai-keung, a member of a Hong Kong committee that advises China’s legislature. “This is how the Beijing leadership views what is going on.”

Those who sympathize with the democracy movement tend to dismiss such concerns as paranoia. But many who back the government insist these worries are justified given the 155 years Hong Kong spent as a British colony and the unique autonomy it enjoys in China, not to mention the mixed record of the United States in toppling governments overseas in the name of spreading democracy.

Demographics are a cause for concern, too. Three-fifths of the population in Hong Kong grew up and went to school while it was governed by Britain. Many resident, as much as a tenth, have sworn loyalty to another government and carry passports from Canada, Australia, the United States and elsewhere, many acquired in the years immediately before Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule in 1997.

The first takeaway here is that commies are always afraid of democracy. No sane human being chooses communism. Communist leaders don’t even choose communism (see: Kim Jong Un and his Swiss boarding school education).

The second takeaway is the lengths that people who live in places that aren’t free will go to for free elections, perhaps the right we’ve become most complacent and apathetic about in the United States.

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‘Income Inequality’ Whining Commie Tries To Shame Boss Into A Company-Wide Raise

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Because fairness and stuff.

In what might be the ultimate power negotiating tactic, a Wells Fargo employee asked his boss for a raise over email and intentionally copied the entire company.

As the Charlotte Observer reports, Tyler Oates, age 30, wrote Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf asking him to give each of the company’s approximate 263,500 a raise of $10,000. According to the Observer, roughly 200,000 of those employees were copied on the exchange.

Why did Oates demand such a hefty pay bump? He wants to reduce the nation’s income inequality.

Aw, that’s sweet. You don’t really see that kind of altruism much anymore. Wait, what’s that?

“By doing this, Wells Fargo will not only help to make its people, its family, more happy, productive, and financially stable, it will also show the rest of the United States, if not the world that, yes big corporations can have a heart other than philanthropic endeavors.”

Oates told the Observer he currently makes $15 an hour processing requests from Well Fargo customers wanting advice on how to stop debt-collection calls. Despite working at the company for seven years, his hourly wage has increased by only $2 since the day he started.

So he’s mad that he’s not on the fast track to the Forbes list of richest people in America with his his highly skilled request processing job? GET THIS KID A “SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE” TROPHY AND A RAISE, STAT.

Or explain to him that his big, mean, corporate CEO of a boss is displaying all of the heart he needs to by not firing him.

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Wendy Davis’ Comms Director Doubles Down on Horribly Offensive Ad, But Even WaPo Has Had Enough

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Bottoming out.

Here is the headline:

Wendy Davis is running one of the nastiest campaign ads you will ever see

Even the progressive Mother Jones is not amused.

Despite all of this, Davis’ communications director, Zac Petkanas, is out trying to convince everyone this is a winner with voters:

 

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Joni Ernst Raises $6 Million For The Home Stretch

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Momentum?

Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has over $3 million in the bank going into the final stretch of the competitive race, her campaign announced Friday.

Ernst said that she raised $6 million between July 1 and Sept. 30. Of that, $302,000 went to pay off debt from her primary campaign. She concluded the financial quarter with $3.2 million in cash.

Ernst is locked in a tight race against Democrat Bruce Braley. She substantially outraised him in the latest quarter. Braley’s campaign said last week he had raised $2.8 million in the same time period. Braley’s campaign declined to say how much cash he has left.

This race has been a statistical dead heat for weeks and would be the crown jewel of pickups for Republicans if Ernst can pull it off. Her campaign has spent its money wisely on some good ad thus far so there is a real good chance they won’t blow it on the same old tired Rovian stuff that hasn’t moved a needle since 2002.

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ISIS’ European Poster Girls Now Regret Their Most Significant Life Choice

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

These 15-year-olds are learning the very hard way that jihadism isn’t a lot of fun.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, are believed to be married, pregnant and living in the Islamic State-controlled city of Raqqa in northern Syria, Central European News reports.

Dubbed by Austrian media as the poster girls for jihad, the young friends now believe their lives have been turned upside down by their new lifestyles.

The change of heart is a much different tune than the note they left behind for their parents when they fled back in April, which read: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah — and we will die for him.”

They thought life with Mom and Dad was a drag…

For weeks, social media accounts believed to belong to the girls have been posting pictures and information leading many to feel they enjoyed living a life of terror.

Authorities in Austria say this was all an elaborate plan set up by ISIS in order to get people to think the two wanted to be the poster girls for jihad in Syria.

Now they’re saying, “Look for us. We don’t like these animals who are telling us what to do all the time and we don’t want to die here.”

They have contacted their loved ones and told them they are sick of living with the Islamic State jihadis, but they also said they don’t feel they can flee from their unwanted new life because too many people now associate them with ISIS.

Well, that’s because they can’t. And they probably can’t get back into Austria either, since they volunteered for the jihad and are now at least suspected terrorists. Their alleged change of heart could also be an ISIS ruse to get them back into Europe.

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Is CDC Omitting Ebola Data in Its Weekly Reporting?

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is a time when the American public hangs on every official word about Ebola. And it’s a time when American’s are extremely sensitive and anxious about full transparency. Given this, it’s hard to understand why the CDC’s latest weekly infectious report may be missing vital Ebola data that the public already knows about.

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR, is the Centers for Disease Control’s premiere journal for reporting and tracking infectious diseases in the United States.

The MMWR was the first journal that alerted physicians nationwide to HIV. According to the career healthcare professional who brought the MMWR to our attention here, doctors, nurses and hospitals use the report to pick out trends in infectious diseases and take appropriate measures against them. The MMWR is also used to justify expenses for specific areas in healthcare funding.

“Mistakes in reporting rob healthcare professionals of information that may be vital for making good decisions,” the health care profession said.

The criteria the CDC has published for authors of the MMWR establishes that this is the case. Authors are reminded that the “MMWR Weekly publishes information useful to readers in the public health community, private clinicians, researchers, teachers and students, and the news media. Reports are based in science (especially epidemiology) or on public health policy or practice.”

We will not identify the healthcare professional or where the person works, but I have verified their identity and place of employment, as a manager on the funding side of healthcare, and positioned to have extensive knowledge of the CDC MMWR and how it is used.

The MMWR for the week ending October 4, 2014, is out, and may be found here. The important sections for this story are Table I and Table III.

Table Table I makes no mention of the Ebola case in Dallas, despite the fact that it was confirmed on September 30, 2014 — well within the week that this MMWR covers.

Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever. The CDC specifically lists it as a notifiable disease in this 2010 report.

Yet the column covering such diseases for the week ending October 4, 2014, is empty of any diagnoses. Here is a screenshot of the relevant section of that chart. Click to enlarge.

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As is readily apparent, the chart gives granular data for cases of reportable diseases, and breaks those numbers out by state in the column on the right-hand side. According to the healthcare professional who alerted us, Ebola should be listed in the “Viral hemorrhagic fever” column. If it was listed, then the chart would also show one case in Texas, over on the right. That would have been Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died this week of Ebola.

His case is not listed, and the table’s footnote explicitly states:

There were no cases of viral hemorrhagic fever reported during the current week. See Table II for dengue hemorrhagic fever.

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Does Obama Need ‘Time’ to Defeat or Forget ISIS?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

During U.S. President Obama’s televised speech on his strategies to defeat the Islamic State, he said, “Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL” (a reference to the Islamic State, “ISIS” or “IS”).

Now, why is that?

First, we know by “cancer” he is not referring to Islamic ideology—since he does not acknowledge that Islam has anything to do with violence and even banned knowledge of Islamic ideology from being studied by law enforcement and national security communities.

Were he referring to Islamic ideology, the need for “time” would of course be legitimate, to say the least.

No, the cancer he is referring to is the very real, tangible, and temporal Islamic State, which exists in time and space.

But this prompts the following question: Why did it take the United States military three weeks to overthrow the very real and tangible regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003 whereas “it will take time”— years, according to most military analysts — for the U.S. to defeat the Islamic State?

This question becomes more pressing when one considers that the Iraq conquered by the U.S. in less than a month had an actual government and longstanding military and was better organized and consolidated — certainly in comparison to the Islamic State, often described as a “ragtag team of terrorists” that seems to have appeared out of nowhere.

The reason it will take years is because Obama refuses to strike the Islamic State decisively and effectively, specifically by sending in U.S. ground forces — the very forces that were responsible for keeping the Islamic jihadis at bay; the forces he withdrew leading to the rise of the Islamic State; and the forces that he refuses to utilize again, even though they are necessary to decisively crush the “caliphate.”

Obama’s “it will take time” assertion prompts the following prediction: U.S. airstrikes on IS targets will continue to be just enough to pacify those calling for action against the caliphate (“we’re doing what we can”).  The official narrative will be that the Islamic State is gradually being weakened, that victory is a matter of time (remember, “It will take time”).

In the meantime, IS will slowly begin to fade away from the headlines.  After all and unreported in any Western media, soon after pictures and videos of the decapitations of Americans went viral prompting much media attention followed by international shock and outrage, the “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, called for an immediate stop to the videotaping and internet dissemination of such beheadings and other Sharia punishments.

He called on both official channels affiliated with IS as well as unofficial sympathizers and allies on social media to cease posting such pictures and/or video-clips, adding that the Islamic State “would follow any violation of this resolution seriously.”… Keep reading

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Have We Reached Peak ISISmania Yet?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

A few thoughts on the current bout of ISISmania and the systemic problems it exposes:

1) ISISmania has created a financial/legal incentive for sources (most of them “shady” to begin with) used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to manufacture info whole-cloth.

This is nothing new. Think “prison snitches.” Various foreign actors are passing along disinformation to us as well, so mountains of BS are being fed into the system from the get-go.

Imagine, for a purely hypothetical example, a member of Congress getting an authentic report from a senior agency official, but the report is later found to have originated with a non-credible source. So the member of Congress who repeated the report was actually correct that the intel had been shared with them — but the information itself wasn’t reliable.

It never should have been shared in the first place, but it’s the member of Congress who ends up with egg on their face when the agency issues its denial. No one, whether politicians or agency officials, wants to later admit they were duped, so erroneous info never gets corrected.

2) There are considerable problems on the collection and analysis sides of intel in both the intelligence community and law enforcement. In fact, very few know how to do collection — and good analysis is basically prohibited these days.

So the BS and disinfo never gets sifted out. It then gets passed on to elected officials, which is some of what we’re seeing. Then you have agencies and the administration selectively manipulating and leaking according to their own respective agendas. This is how the sausage is being made in DC these days.

3) There is only so much media space, and politicians compete with each other for that space.

So they need to come up with more outlandish claims to get a bigger share of that media space. That creates a disincentive to vet the info they get and publicly talk about. No one gets on Greta by saying: “We need to keep a cool head about this stuff.”

4) Because of that, the game of “I got a secret” is more prevalent than ever before.

Those secrets might be complete equine feces, but the desire to be “in the know,” whether they actually are or not, and the temptation to show that you’re “in the know” are strong.

5) Congress has no mechanism to vet what the agencies and administration tells them.

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ISIS Crisis: 10-Year-Old ‘Martyr,’ Turkey Won’t Help, Obama Speaks from the Faculty Lounge

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Islamic State is bragging that a young boy has died fighting for its cause.

Islamic State militants and sympathisers are triumphantly circulating images of a 10-year-old boy they claim has been ‘martyred’ while fighting alongside his father in Syria.

Describing the child as ISIS’ youngest jihadist, chilling photographs taken before his alleged death show him smiling at the camera, wearing military fatigues and brandishing a huge assault rifle.

ISIS sympathisers took to social media to identify the ‘cub fighter’ by his alleged nom de guerre Abu Ubaidah, adding that both he and his father were killed during clashes in Syria in recent weeks, but not specifying exactly where they died or who they had been fighting against.

Several images, which have not been independently verified, emerged on social media this week after a video reporting the deaths of the boy and his father was uploaded to YouTube in September.

The original video – distributed by the pro-Isis media group Al-A’amaq – is understood to have since been removed, but a number of photographs of the boy have since been widely shared by ISIS militants and their sympathisers on social media.

Kobane, Syria has yet to fall. A handful of allied airstrikes over the past couple of days have helped keep the city out of ISIS hands, according to reporter Jenan Moussa, who is tweeting from about 4 kilometers inside Turkey, near Kobane.

She spends nearly as much of her time debunking her fellow reporters as she spend reporting on the battle.

Turkey has placed tanks in its territory near Kobane, but so far it has not engaged in the battle. That is frustrating US leaders.

Islamic State fighters were battling outgunned Kurdish fighters in the heart of Kobane on Thursday as the Pentagon warned that U.S. airstrikes alone will not save the Syrian border town from being overrun by the militants.

The fresh push came amid rising tensions between the Obama administration and Turkey, a NATO ally, over who should take responsibility for helping to save the town.

The Islamic State made gains overnight despite stepped-up American airstrikes over the past three days, and senior senior administration officials expressed growing exasperation with Turkey’s refusal to intervene, either with its own military or with direct assistance to Syrian Kurdish fighters battling the militants.

“Of course they could do more,” a senior official said. “They want the U.S. to come in and take care of the problem.” The administration would also like Turkey to be more zealous in preventing foreigners from transiting its territory to join the Syrian militants.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu countered on Thursday that a unilateral ground operation by Turkish troops also would not be enough to halt the militants’ advance.

It also may not be welcomed by Kurds on the ground around Kobane.

As the battle rages on, President Obama is showing that brand of leadership that fails to reassure anyone.

“Our strikes continue alongside our partners. It remains a difficult mission,” Obama said. “As I’ve indicated from the start, this is not something that is going to be solved overnight.”

Obama said the good news was “that there is a broad-based consensus not just in the region but among nations of the world that ISIL (another acronym for ISIS) is a threat to world peace, security and order, that their barbaric behavior has to be dealt with.”

He just refuses to be the one to deal with it decisively.

President Obama has held up Yemen as a successful cast of counterterrorism, when describing what he believes ought to be done about ISIS.

About that…

SAN’A, Yemen—Two suicide bombers struck in Yemen on Thursday—one targeting a gathering of Shiite rebels in the country’s capital and the other hitting a military outpost in the south—in attacks that killed nearly 70 people, officials said.

The bombings underscored Yemen’s highly volatile situation following last month’s takeover of the capital, San’a, by the Shiite Houthi rebels, whose blitz surprised the impoverished Arab nation on the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The Houthis’ push into San’a also prompted threats of retaliation from their Sunni militant foes in al Qaeda’s Yemen branch.

If Yemen is the model for successful counterterrorism, then the Islamic State is here to stay.

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America’s New Defense Against Ebola: Ask Travelers How They Feel

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

On Wednesday the Obama administration announced that it is enhancing passenger screening for Ebola at five airports around the United States. Those airports include JFK, Newark, Washington-Dulles, O’Hare and Atlanta-Hartsfield.

Those airports account for about 90% of the travel that comes from the three Ebola-stricken countries daily, which is about 150 people. That obviously leaves a hole the size of 10% of that traffic, which would be about 15 people every day. It also leaves airports like Houston’s busy Bush International without enhanced screening, despite the fact that it has a daily flight from Lagos, Nigeria. Nigeria is not one of the three African countries which have been hardest hit by Ebola, but there is an ongoing Ebola outbreak there, which is said to be somewhat contained now. In fact, Texas, where the first US Ebola victim died Wednesday, has two of the nation’s busiest airports but neither of them will get enhanced screening.

The enhanced screening itself may not actually amount to very much. According to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the screening will begin on Saturday at JFK. It will consist of using laser-infrared thermometers to conduct non-contact fever readings. And it will consist of asking passengers how they feel.

Johnson told CNN, “The protocol is, first of all, our Customs personnel are very skilled at examining people, assessing people for a variety of reasons. And we’re asking passengers to fill out a declaration about what symptoms do you have? Are you feeling ill? Where have you been for the last 21 days and where will you be for the next few days?

“And, through a non-contact thermometer, we’re going to be taking the temperatures of every passenger that comes from one of the three affected countries.”

Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan lied on his exit form when he left Liberian on September 19 and brought Ebola to the United States. On the form he denied having been exposed to Ebola, when he knew that he had been on September 15. He was asymptomatic at a the time of his travel. He did not develop symptoms until several days after arriving in Dallas. The newly enhanced screening at Dulles International, where he entered the United States, would not have caught him.

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But Of Course, Record Antarctic Ice Is a Sign of Global Warming Too

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Just makin’ stuff up.

Scientists have recently learned and reported that the near record-high sea ice levels near Antarctica don’t mean that global warming is not a factor at play. In fact, scientists believe the opposite is true.

Last month, on September 20th the ice level peaked at 7.78 million square miles. The 2014 level shattered the previous record which was set just a year ago in 2013. While scientists are not sure what the exact meaning behind the record levels, they do know a few other things.

Follow what was said there: “scientists believe“, and “not sure what the exact meaning” is but, hey, CONSENSUS, right?

Here is the-ahem-logic that follows from all of that believing and not knowing:

The largest takeaway from the research and the remarks were made that the best answer scientists have right now is simply that the North and South poles are the most extreme places on earth. Furthermore, they are the most extreme differences on earth. Any issues, any changes, any climate anomalies, will be felt in the greatest proportion there, rather than in the middle of the earth where the extremes are less noticeable.

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Much of this comes back to the logic that many have tried to convey for some time. Global warming isn’t a matter of extremes, or a matter of swift – and well-defined changes to our overall climate. Instead, climate change – or global warming – is the middle, or the average – changing.

In essence, change the average of the planet – and you’ve effectively changed the entire planet – no matter how the extremes on the northern or southern ends behave.

In summation: we should worry about the average between literal polar opposites that are experiencing (per this article) opposite manifestations of all of this change (what’s freezing in Antarctica is melting in the Arctic). If one extreme gets hotter and one gets colder then the average gets…

Don’t worry, they’ll come up with a Common Core way of changing what “average” means soon.

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Documentary Critical of Lois Lerner to Hit 674 Theaters Next Week

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

I’ll have a large popcorn and an audit, please.

Perhaps unbeknownst to her, former IRS official Lois Lerner will be making her film debut Oct. 14 in a documentary where she’s one of the villains.

The film is called Unfair: Exposing the IRS, and it will screen in 674 theaters nationwide, though for one-night only, courtesy of Fathom Events, a company that brings sports, concerts, speeches and other alternative entertainment to movie screens.

The movie is about alleged abuse at the IRS, the agency responsible for collecting taxes in the U.S. Looming large is a scandal revealed last year wherein Republican and some Democratic lawmakers accused Lerner, at the time the director of the exempt organizations unit of the IRS, of delaying the applications of conservative groups seeking tax-free status from 2010-2013.

The writer of the movie claims that Lerner was just “one bad guy” in a corrupt system and that she was merely the scapegoat. He also claims that this isn’t about “rogue agents.”

Of course it isn’t. The orders came from the White House.

Oops, did I just type that out loud?

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New Poll Shows Both Roberts and Brownback Now Up in Kansas

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Some good news finally.

Two Republican incumbents are fighting to keep their jobs in Kansas.The new Fox News poll finds both of them — Sen. Pat Roberts and Gov. Sam Brownback — have jumped ahead of their challengers.

“We know that partisanship tends to assert itself as Election Day nears,” said Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News poll along with Democratic pollster Chris Anderson.“And that may be happening in Kansas.”

The Senate race clearly remains competitive, as 44 percent of likely voters in Kansas back Roberts, with 39 percent for independent Greg Orman and 3 percent for libertarian Randall Batson. Yet Orman was up by six points in a two-way matchup three weeks ago (48-42 percent).

This was looking very dicey the past few weeks, especially after the courts jumped in and tried to fix and election for the Democrats before the voting even took place. If Roberts loses, the GOP prospects for retaking the Senate become more of an uphill battle.

Honestly, it would be best for every Republican running to do so as if he or she is behind in the polls, whether that is the case or not. Complacency can be a killer in the midterms. Few people are paying attention anyway and it doesn’t take too many non-voters to sway results.

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Judicial Watch: Four ISIS Terrorists Arrested in Texas in the Last 36 Hours

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Fort Bliss, near El Paso, may be their target.

Islamic terrorists have entered the United States through the Mexican border and Homeland Security sources tell Judicial Watch that four have been apprehended in the last 36 hours by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.

JW confirmed this after California Congressman Duncan Hunter, a former Marine Corp Major and member of the House Armed Services Committee, disclosed on national television that at least ten Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) fighters have been caught crossing the Mexican border in Texas. The veteran lawmaker got the astounding intel straight from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Homeland Security agency responsible for guarding the 1,933-mile southern border.

“If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border,” Hunter proclaimed on a national cable news show this week. “It’s that simple. ISIS doesn’t have a navy, they don’t have an air force, they don’t have nuclear weapons. The only way that ISIS is going to harm Americans is by coming in through the southern border – which they already have.” The three-term congressmen went on: “They aren’t flying B-1 bombers, bombing American cities, but they are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.”

Judicial Watch first reported that the Islamic State was operating in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico — which is just across the border from El Paso — back in August. That report indicated that ISIS terrorists were looking to launch attacks inside the United States “imminently.”

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Kurdish Youth ‘Occupy’ Busy London Tube Station to Protest Against ISIS

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is nice to see, but…

…”occupying” a London tube station will do precisely nothing to stop ISIS from taking Kobane, Syria.

Only military action on the ground will do that. It takes people who are willing and able to fight.

Among those “occupiers” are several able-bodied young men and women who could be doing quite a bit more than annoying Londoners and posing for pictures in a tube station. They could be taking up arms to defend their homelands against ISIS. Instead of asking able-bodied Americans to do it for them.

While I favor putting US troops on the ground to wipe out ISIS — because it’s inevitable that it will take Americans to do the job, and it’s naive to think that anyone else can or will do it — this protest makes me favor that a little bit less. The people in that photo are enjoying life in London while at least some of them expect Americans and others, including other Kurds, to fight on their behalf. After the protest, they will head off to dinner or back to class or whatever.

Job done? Hardly — the fighting rages on, and will for a long time.

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