Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

Voting by ‘Non-Citizens’ May Decide Election

Saturday, October 25th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

A massive study of 2 recent elections reveals that hundreds of thousands of votes were cast illegally by “non-citizens.” And while it is not possible to say with any certainty that the illegal votes cost Republicans elections, the evidence strongly suggests that at least one Senate race was decided by the illegal votes.

The study appears in the journal of Electoral Studies and looked at 32,800 votes in 2008 and 55,400 votes in 2010.

Washington Post:

Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.

We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.

An alternative approach to reducing non-citizen turnout might emphasize public information. Unlike other populations, including naturalized citizens, education is not associated with higher participation among non-citizens. In 2008, non-citizens with less than a college degree were significantly more likely to cast a validated vote, and no non-citizens with a college degree or higher cast a validated vote. This hints at a link between non-citizen voting and lack of awareness about legal barriers.

There are obvious limitations to our research, which one should take account of when interpreting the results. Although the CCES sample is large, the non-citizen portion of the sample is modest, with the attendant uncertainty associated with sampling error. We analyze only 828 self-reported non-citizens. Self-reports of citizen status might also be a source of error, although the appendix of our paper shows that the racial, geographic, and attitudinal characteristics of non-citizens (and non-citizen voters) are consistent with their self-reported status.

Another possible limitation is the matching process conducted by Catalyst to verify registration and turnout drops many non-citizen respondents who cannot be matched. Our adjusted estimate assumes the implication of a “registered” or “voted” response among those who Catalyst could not match is the same as for those whom it could.

It’s not possible to differentiate in the study between the votes of legal residents with Green Cards and other documentation and illegal aliens. Hence, the term “non-citizen.” For electoral purposes, it hardly matters. Both groups are ineligible to vote and the fact that fully 80% of these illegal voters vote for Democrats gives the other party a huge incentive to drive these people to the polls.

The study’s authors claims that voter ID is useless in preventing this kind of illegal voting and they’re probably correct. The problem is illegal voters registering to vote in the first place, something that voter ID wouldn’t prevent. Clearly, Democrat-supporting voter registration groups don’t care if someone can legally vote or not. If it can be proven that they target these voters for registration, a massive fraud on the voter will be revealed.

This was another issue that anti-voter ID advocates said was a miniscule problem. Even if the study overstates the number of illegal votes by 50%, it is still a massive problem that needs to be addressed if the integrity of the ballot box is to be maintained.

Read bullet |

FEC Continues Push to Censor Political Speech on the Net

Saturday, October 25th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

The three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission have failed once again to impose draconian new rules that would stifle political speech on the internet. In a 3-3 vote — with the three Republicans voting against the new rules — Democrats were thwarted in their efforts to impose strict reporting requirements on certain kinds of political speech.

The issue involves political ads that are posted free on YouTube and other internet venues. The problem comes when other sites, large and small, seek to disseminate the ads. The act of placing the ad on their site might open the blogger or website owner up to the same reporting requirements that the ad maker is responsible for.

Listen to this justification by FEC Vice Chairman Ann Ravel:

“Some of my colleagues seem to believe that the same political message that would require disclosure if run on television should be categorically exempt from the same requirements when placed in the Internet alone,” said FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel in a statement. “As a matter of policy, this simply does not make sense.”

She said the FEC should no longer “turn a blind eye to the Internet’s growing force in the political arena,” and she vowed to force a conversation next year on what changes to make.

Oooh…we can’t have a “growing force in the political arena.” How else would the powers that be manage to control political thought?

The three Republican-backed commissioners, though, said in a joint statement that Ms. Ravel’s plans would stifle what’s become the “virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”

FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman said what Ms. Ravel is proposing would require a massive bureaucracy digging into the corners of the web to police what’s posted about politics.

“I cannot imagine a regulatory regime that would put government censors on the Internet daily, culling YouTube video posts for violations of law — nothing short of a Chinese censorship board,” Mr. Goodman said.

The case disclosed Friday involved a group Checks and Balances for Economic Growth, which produced two advertisements it ran online in 2012 accusing President Obama of lying about a Mitt Romney campaign event, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown of lying about the “war on coal.”

Initially, news reports had said the group was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to broadcast the ads on television, but the group says they were only shown on the Internet.

FEC lawyers said the ads don’t expressly push for the election or defeat of a candidate, and said the commission’s own rules say the costs of posting videos to the Internet doesn’t trigger disclosure requirements. Meanwhile, an FEC precedent from 2008 says the costs of producing an Internet-only video also don’t trigger disclosure.

Get that? The FEC’s own general counsel said an investigation wasn’t necessary, but the Democrats on the commission wanted to go ahead and start one.

What is it about freedom of speech that drives some people nuts? The manifest benefits of a free, open, unfettered internet should convince even the most rabid regulator that putting a chill on political speech only benefits those who can afford it.

Cyber bullying a problem? Don’t read what’s written about you. If it’s so painful that it threatens your mental health, you have other issues besides being told you’re fat, or worthless by anonymous trolls. This notion that we need to criminalize speech that offends is directly contrary to the idea of the First Amendment.

Freedom is about choice. And limiting choices is what the FEC proposed regulatory ideas are all about. In fact, the free internet is under attack from many sides. Taxing sales through the internet will probably become a reality next year. The independence of the internet is being threatened as the US withdraws from its management. There is an effort by big internet service providers to create a “fast track” internet for their paying customers while slowing down the net for the rest of us.

So far, internet users have been able to band together to resist these assaults. But powerful national and international forces are at work to control internet content, internet ideas, and internet speech. Unless we remain vigilant, these forces will overwhelm our collective efforts to safeguard liberty and the internet will change forever.

Read bullet |

New York, New Jersey to Begin Quarantine of High-Risk Travelers

Saturday, October 25th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

New York Governor Mario Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced on Friday a mandatory quarantine policy for travelers from West Africa who have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

The announcement comes as the White House mulls imposing a quarantine on health workers who treated Ebola patients in West Africa and travel to the U.S.

Both governors are bucking the White House, which has resisted quarantines as a measure to stop the spread of Ebola in its tracks. Such a quarantine would almost certainly have applied to Dr. Craig Spencer, who contracted the virus treating patients in Africa.

The Hill reports:

Anyone considered “high-risk” for Ebola flying into New York or New Jersey will be quarantined for three weeks, the states’ governors announced Friday.

“A voluntary Ebola quarantine is not enough. This is too serious a public health situation,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said during a late afternoon press conference with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).

The federal government already stipulates that passengers arriving from Ebola-affected areas self-monitor their temperature every day for three weeks.

Under the new policy in the two states, all travelers from high-risk areas will be interviewed about any contact with Ebola patients. If they have been exposed to the virus, they will be quarantined, and possibly medically monitored, until the incubation period has ended.

“There is no more ‘voluntary quarantine’ in New Jersey because you can’t count on people to do it,” said Christie, a possible presidential contender in 2016. Cuomo agreed, adding that a voluntary quarantine is “almost an oxymoron to me.”

“This is not the time to take chances,” Cuomo said.

The announcement could preempt a move by the federal government to require quarantines for healthcare workers returning from countries with Ebola outbreaks. The White House said it is considering all options, but has not expressly supported a quarantine policy.

Lawmakers from both parties praised the idea at a House Oversight Committee hearing Friday. Members noted that the latest U.S. Ebola patient, doctor Craig Spencer, failed to self-quarantine as he developed Ebola symptoms.

The briefing by Cuomo and Christie, which was announced just minutes before the governors spoke, came shortly after New Jersey officials quarantined a woman who reportedly cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. She has not presented symptoms.

Under federal law, states are given wide leeway in how they decide to respond to public health threats like Ebola. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have pledged to support states with whatever procedures they put into place.

Christie slammed existing federal protocols, which he said are too lax.

“We are no longer relying on CDC standards,” Christie said.

Cuomo said both states had received a greenlight to “establish their own guidelines” for Ebola.

A triumph for common sense over political correctness.

Dr. Spencer arrived at JFK Airport on October 17 from Guinea. Between the time of his arrival, when he was screened for the disease, and when he entered the hospital on October 23, Spencer came into contact with hundreds of people, although it is believed that since he was not symptomatic until Thursday morning, no one was in any danger of becoming infected. His fiancee and two friends are currently being quarantined as a result of their close contact with him after he became sick.

Read bullet |

General Suspects North Korea at Point of Capability to Build, Deliver Warhead

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The commander of U.S. forces in Korea, who met in Washington this week with South Korean officials, said at a Pentagon press briefing today that they fear “uncontrolled escalation” of the nuclear threat on the peninsula as North Korea continues its weapons program.

“Kim Jong Un remains in control of an isolated, authoritative regime that’s willing to use violence and threats of violence to advance its interests, gain recognition as a nuclear power, and secure the regime’s survival,” Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said.

In recent years, he said, Pyongyang “has focused on development of asymmetric capabilities,” including “several hundred ballistic missiles, one of the world’s largest chemical weapons stockpiles, a biological weapons research program, and the world’s largest special operations force, as well as an active cyber-warfare capability.”

North Korea violated UN Security Council resolutions by conducting its third nuclear test last year and “significantly increased their frequency of no-notice ballistic missile launches this year.”

“We are concerned that such events could start a cycle of action and counteraction, leading to an unintended, uncontrolled escalation. This underscores the need for the alliance to work together, to be vigilant and to be ready to act,” Scaparrotti said.

The general said the U.S. and South Korea have been working together to enhance readiness in the areas of “combined and joint command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, an alliance countermissile defense strategy, and the procurement of precision-guided munitions, ballistic missile defense systems, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms.”

Scaparrotti cautioned against reading too much into North Korea’s moves in which they’ve “reached out more,” including sending a representative to the UN or softening rhetoric.

“Right underneath that at the very same timed, they’ve continued apace their development of missile systems, their nuclear systems, other asymmetric means, working very hard at that,” he said. “And then secondly, they’ve picked up what I would term provocative actions in the northwest islands region and also along the DMZ.”

The U.S. believes that Kim dropped out of sight for weeks because of a health issue, but he’s now back “checking construction sites, visiting military units, and probably approaching, you know, a schedule that’s similar to what he had prior to his 30-some days of disappearance.”

“He has a large number of close-range and short-range ballistic missiles, but he’s working on medium, intermediate, intercontinental,” Scaparrotti said. “Most of those missile events were shorter-range. We believe that he’s got to continue to do some of this for just testing and development of these systems. Some of that is done in order to message to us, to the alliance, that he has the capability with mobile ballistic missile systems to move and fire from different areas.”

“One of the things that we’ve seen this year is that he has stressed more realistic training in his — his forces, conventional and his rocket forces. And so we’ve seen some of the training that has been more realistic and it has resulted in, I believe, some of these — the more frequent missile launches.”

Kim is also concentrating on a better developed cyber-warfare program, which “we need to protect ourselves against and be concerned about.”

“They claim they have an intercontinental ballistic missile that’s capable. You know, they paraded something at least a couple of times,” the general continued. “Personally I think that they certainly have had the expertise in the past. They’ve had the right connections, and so I believe have the capability to have miniaturized a device at this point, and they have the technology to potentially actually deliver what they say they have. We have not seen it tested. And I don’t think, as a commander, we can afford the luxury of believing perhaps they haven’t gotten there.”

He said North Korea is believed to have a launcher to accommodate a long-range functioning missile.

Later at the regular press briefing, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was “apprised” of the situation.

“We have no reason here in the Pentagon to doubt General Scaparrotti’s views on this. Certainly, there’s — there’s no question that the North Korean regime continues to try to pursue a nuclear weapons capability and program. There’s no question about that,” Kirby said.

“And we try to monitor that progress as best we can. I think the general was as honest with you as could be. And again, the secretary shares the general’s concerns about their — their attempts to acquire this capability. The secretary agrees with General Scaparrotti that this is a capability that they want. ”

But Kirby also tried to dial back the alarm, stressing the general “didn’t say that they had the capability to put a nuclear weapon on an ICBM.”

“He said he believes they have the capability to miniaturize — to get to that. But they have not moved — we have not seen evidence that they’ve done it. And we’ve not seen certainly any evidence that they’re testing or in development of it,” he said. “So, I think the general was also clear that they’re — that they are a way away — a ways away from developing that capability.”

“…We have no reason to doubt the general’s belief, but as the general also said, he has no facts or evidence to confirm that.”

Read bullet |

Your Civic Duty: Creating an Alibi for Election Day

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

SCRIPT FOR VIDEO ABOVE

SCOTT OTT: I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought…

On Tuesday, November 4th, most of the nation’s registered voters will dutifully do what they always do on the first Tuesday in November. They’ll get up a little early and head out to beat the traffic. That’s because it’s election day, and they’ve got work to do. That’s right, the majority of the nation’s registered voters will be hard at it, constructing alibis for their absence from the polls. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no good reason for waiting until then, when you can start work on your alibi now.

Fabricating an alibi for failing to vote is thirsty work, and it gets tougher all of the time.

After all, it’s not easy to make a legitimate excuse for missing a 20-minute appointment so near your home which you’ve known about for months, about which every news source has chattered since the last election day, and
upon which rests the destiny of the nation, and of all mankind.

In addition, the polls are open for roughly 12 hours on election day.  And need I mention that 47 states allow absentee voting by mail and most of those require no excuse to do so. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow early voting in person, with no excuse required. In other words, most folks could literally vote today, or tomorrow, or the next day.

All of this means that patriotic Americans will have to work extra hard to craft a solid alibi, because you can’t outsource this kind of work to illegal aliens. Many of them are much too responsible to skip voting.

November 4th will be upon us before you know it, so it’s never too early to start devising an air-tight alibi.

“Things got hectic at work today,” or “Car trouble again” or “MacKenzie had a temperature.” Those excuses will of course evoke sympathy, but only from people whose own alibis sound even more hastily slapped together.

Because of the ease and brevity of voting, the advanced warning and the variety of options in most places, some folks will resort to making their alibis sound thoughtful, anchored in deep-seated concerns about the American republic, rather than admitting to laziness or self-centered indifference or addiction to gaming and porn.

Here are some examples of thoughtful alibis.

I don’t vote because…

  • Big money has corrupted the system, so I’m going to drop my only weapon to fight it, or
  • Nothing ever changes anyway, which is why things are such a mess compared to how they used to be, or
  • My candidate lost in the primary to that cheater, so I’m going to a let bigger cheater beat him, or
  • The establishment controls the system, so I’m going to let them…that’ll teach ‘em,
  • I don’t trust electronic voting machines, because electrons are just so negative
  • I need to stay off the grid, because the NSA knows too much about me already.

Now, some folks might even try to blend the two methods by claiming that they were too busy to research the candidates and the issues.

“I’ve always valued the electoral process too much to engage in VWI — Voting While Ignorant.”

Whatever you decide, the important thing is that you do your civic duty, and develop a credible alibi for not voting. You see, there’s no excuse for making excuses that you have time to make excuses.

I’m Scott Ott, and there’s a thought.
——
Paid for by the Coalition to Maintain the Status Quo.

Read bullet |

Inspector General: DHS Pandemic Prep Includes Mismanaged Drugs, Expired Equipment

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today that the department “mismanaged” its program to prepare for a potential pandemic.

“First, we found that DHS did not adequately conduct a needs assessment before purchasing protective equipment and antiviral drugs. As a result, we could not determine the basis for DHS’s decisions regarding how much or what types of pandemic supplies to purchase, store or distribute,” Inspector General John Roth testified.

“As a result, DHS may have too much of some equipment and too little of others. For example, we found that DHS has a stockpile of about 350,000 white coverall suits and 16 million surgical masks, but hasn’t been able to demonstrate how either fits into their pandemic preparedness plans.”

The department, Roth said, “has a significant quantity of antiviral drugs, but, again, without a full understanding of the department’s needs in the event of a pandemic, we have no assurance that the quantity of drugs will be appropriate.”

“Second, DHS purchased much of the equipment and drugs without thinking through how these supplies would need to be replaced. The material DHS has purchased has a finite shelf life. For example, TSA’s stock of pandemic protective equipment includes about 200,000 respirators that are beyond the five-year usability date guaranteed by the manufacturer. In fact, the department believes that their entire stockpile of personal protective equipment will not be usable after 2015,” he continued.

“Likewise, the antiviral drugs DHS purchased are nearing the end of their effective life. DHS is attempting to extend that shelf life of these drugs through an FDA testing program, but the results of that are not guaranteed.”

The third finding in Roth’s audit found that DHS “did not manage its inventory of drugs or equipment.”

“As a result, DHS did readily know how much protective equipment and drugs it had on hand or where it was being stored. Drugs and equipment have gone missing, and conversely, our audit has found drugs in the DHS inventory that the department thought had been destroyed,” the inspector general said.

“We visited multiple sites and found drugs that were not being stored in a temperature-controlled environment. Because DHS cannot be assured that they were properly stored, they are in the process of recalling a significant quantity of them because they not — may not be safe or effective.”

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said it’s hard to tell constituents that America is prepared for an epidemic when reports like this come out.

“Almost all the equipment you cited in this report, in fact, is either out of date. It was — the purchasing made no sense. We don’t know the inventory. We don’t know who’s got it. And we don’t know who’s gonna get it,” Mica said.

“I’m always amazed that agencies like DHS don’t go to the General Accountability Office or something in advance to learn how to set up a protocol as opposed to waiting until they get audited later and find out that they didn’t do it correctly,” said Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.).

Read bullet |

Hillary Clinton: Business Don’t Create Jobs!

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This video is sure to make a glorious return in a couple of years. In it, Hillary Clinton disparages the entire capitalism system in one revealing sentence.

YouTube Preview Image

Aside from Hillary’s actual words, notice how she’s dry-washing her hands as she winds up to the line. It’s not an off-the-cuff mistake. It’s obviously a line that she knows is coming and is preparing to deliver with relish.

Politico plays this quote as a Hillary vs. Elizabeth Warren thing, which it undoubtedly is. Hillary spends a lot of time in the story driving a knife in Warren’s back while smiling that smile of hers the whole time.

But it tells us so much about Hillary Clinton.

“Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs,” Clinton said. “They always say that.”

“They” being the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which predicts that raising the minimum wage could destroy half a million jobs. Aren’t “they” horrible?

“I’ve been through that. My husband gave working families a raise in the 1990s,” Clinton said, saying she herself voted for raising the minimum wage when she served as a senator from New York. “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.”

The quote comes out of the context of Warren’s challenge to Clinton from the left, and charges that Clinton has been too close to Wall Street for the left’s liking. Clinton is trying to shore up her leftwing bonafides to head off Warren’t challenge.

But, if corporations and businesses don’t create jobs, then who does? Is it government? Does Hillary Clinton really believe that? Does Hillary Clinton really believe that no one should believe that businesses and corporations create jobs?

Really?

Or is she so unprincipled and such a coward in the face of even mild criticism of capitalism from the left, from a fake Indian academician no less, that she is prepared to attack it and even sacrifice it if that helps her achieve her ambitions?

 

Read bullet |

NY’s Top Cop: ‘It Was Terrorism’

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Finally, someone in a position of authority in this country says what is obviously true.

NEW YORK –  New York City police Commissioner William Bratton says the hatchet attack on four rookie officers was a terrorist act by a homegrown radical.

Bratton said Friday the suspect, Zale Thompson, was a Muslim convert who ranted online against America, but had no clear ties to international terrorism. He believes Thompson was self-radicalized.

Which is remarkably similar to Nidal Hasan, whose massacre is still called “workplace violence” by the Obama administration. Hasan was actually more directly connected to terrorism, though Anwar Al-Awlaki. It’s also similar to the beheading perpetrated by Alton Alexander Nolen in Oklahoma. The government and media labeled that clear jihadist act a case of “workplace violence.”

Canada has handled the lone wolf jihadi attack in its capital much more honestly than the US under Obama tends to. Obama and his ilk make us all dance around and argue over words and definitions. Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the Ottawa attack “terrorism” straight away, no games. Ministers even sharpened up flagpoles to fight off the attacker, but fortunately a “gun nut” — the sergeant-at-arms — had a firearm in his desk, which he used to take the jihadist down.

By the way, if you follow that last link, you can see the Daily Mail appear to mock Harper for hiding in a “cupboard” during the attack. It was actually a closet, and it was obviously right and prudent to protect him.

The image of a bunch of angry Canucks sharpening up sticks to protect him is just…Viking. On behalf of Texas I’ll lend Canada our “Don’t mess with…” phrase for a while.

Read bullet |

Iran Soon Expected to Hang Woman Who Stabbed Would-Be Rapist

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
YouTube Preview Image

Iran is just hours away from hanging a woman who stabbed a former Intelligence Ministry employee who she says was trying to commit sexual assault.

According to Amnesty International, Reyhaneh Jabbari’s mother was called this morning and told to visit one last time before her daughter’s execution Saturday at dawn.

Jabbari, 26, has been in prison for the past seven years.

Upon reports at the end of September that she would be put to death soon, the State Department issued a statement saying the U.S. government is “deeply troubled” by the sentence.

“Such an execution would mark a severe violation of the fair trial guarantees afforded to Ms. Jabbari under Iranian law and Iran’s international obligations. While we note reports that the execution may have been postponed, serious concerns remain about the integrity of the legal case against Ms. Jabbari, including reports of confessions made under severe duress,” press secretary Jen Psaki said. “We call for the relevant authorities to reexamine the evidence in this case with utmost transparency.”

A summary of the case from the Clarion Project:

Reyhaneh Jabbari was just 19 in 2007, when, speaking on her cellphone in a coffeeshop, she was overheard by Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, an older man who was a physician and, reportedly, a member of the Iranian secret intelligence service.

Sarbandi was in the same coffeshop with a friend.

Jabbari, an interior designer, had been speaking about her work. Jabbari remembers, “Morteza’s friend came closer and got my contact number to ask help to design a private health centre. After a couple of days, the doctor’s friend’s calls started and thereafter Morteza himself called and invited me to visit the flat, which was supposed to be converted to private health centre.”

Jabbari agreed and they set a date to meet about the project. On the given day, the doctor picked Jabbari up in his car, made a stop at a pharmacy (leaving Jabbari to wait in the car) and proceeded to his flat.

Once inside, Jabbari saw two drinks waiting on a table. Sarbandi quickly locked the door, approached Jabbari, putting his hands around her waist and telling her that “she had no way of escaping.” A struggle ensued. The doctor had locked the door from the inside and Jabbari was unable to open it.

Sarbandi make a number of attempts to rape Jabbari, who, in the end, pulled a knife out her purse and stabbed Sarbandi in his right shoulder.

Shortly thereafter, Sarbandi’s friend entered the apartment and Jabbari ran through the open door. Sarbandi, who was bleeding profusely, died from loss of blood. A later analysis of showed that the drink intended for Jabbari contained a sedative.

Human Rights Watch spoke by phone with Jabbari’s mother today, saying she was on her way to the prison to see her daughter.

Read bullet |

VIDEO — Josh Earnest Claims that DoJ Knows More About Obama’s Executive Privilege than Obama Does

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Fox’s Ed Henry and White House spokesman Josh Earnest got into a little Fast and Furious discussion today. The reporter asked Earnest to comment on why President Obama invoked executive privilege to cover more than 15,000 documents related to the deadly gun running scandal.

Earnest balked at answering, then relied on an irrelevant talking point. Take a look.

Here is a transcript of the exchange.

HENRY: “The conservative group Judicial Watch has just put out a statement yesterday I believe saying that the president months ago invoked executive privilege on Fast & Furious included 20 e-mails between the Attorney General, his wife, and his mother. And I was wondering, did the Attorney General talk about this sensitive gun-running operation with his wife and his mother and that’s why you had to invoke executive privilege?”

EARNEST: “Well, Ed, I refer you to the Department of Justice.”

HENRY: “It wasn’t Department of Justice privilege, it was executive privilege. It was invoked by the president, not the Attorney General.”

EARNEST: “I can tell you that it’s the Department of Justice that can discuss those e-mails with you. What is clear is that this lawsuit that has been filed by Judicial Watch actually doesn’t have anything to do with the actual Fast & Furious operation. It has to do with e-mails and documents related to the operation. More than 7,500 pages of those documents have already been turned over to Congress, which obviously has thoroughly reviewed this situation. They’ve conducted countless interviews. the Inspector General has as well. This is something that has been thoroughly investigated.”

HENRY: “But if there was nothing sensitive in the e-mails that the Attorney General sent to his wife and mom, presumably they could have been turned over.”

EARNEST: “Well, I know that, again, 7,500 pages of documents were turned over both to the Inspector General as well as to Democrats and Republicans in Congress who were investigating this issue. So, we have demonstrated I think a pretty clear commitment to legitimate oversight on this matter and others.”

Which intentionally does not answer the question that Ed Henry was asking, which was, why did Obama invoke executive privilege over documents including communications between AG Eric Holder, and his wife and his mother? That is not a question for Justice, but for the White House and the president. The “most transparent White House in history” won’t tell you.

Judicial Watch has had more time since yesterday to examine the Vaughn index, and has come to the conclusion that Obama friend Valerie Jarrett is right in the middle of the scandal.

Practically lost in the 1,000-plus pages of records is an index that shows Jarrett was brought in to manage the fact that Holder lied to Congress after the story about the disastrous gun-running operation broke in the media. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran the once-secret program that allowed guns from the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of hundreds of weapons which have been used in an unknown number of crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

The files received by JW include three electronic mails between Holder and Jarrett and one from former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke to Jarrett. The e-mails with Holder are all from October 4, 2011, a significant date because, on the evening of October 3rd, Sheryl Attkisson (then at CBS news) released documents showing that Holder had been sent a briefing paper on Operation Fast and Furious on June 5, 2010. The paper was from the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, Michael Walther.

This directly contradicted Holder’s May 3, 2011 testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, during which he stated that he, “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” The October 4, 2011 date may also be significant because it came shortly after the August 30, 2011 resignation of U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke and reassignment of acting ATF director Kenneth Melson to the position of “senior forensics advisor” at DOJ.

The description of one of the e-mails, written from Jarrett to Holder, reads, “re: personnel issues.” Another, also from Jarrett, reads, “outlining and discussing preferred course of action for future responses in light of recent development in congressional investigation.” Unfortunately, the index is vague and that’s all the information we have about them. Nevertheless, given the timing and subject of these e-mails, it seems clear that Jarrett quickly became a key player in the Fast and Furious cover-up in the immediate aftermath of the revelation that Holder had lied to Congress.

Read bullet |

Breaking: Kathryn Ruemmler Withdraws from Attorney General Consideration

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It looks like we’re stuck with Eric Holder atop the Justice Department for a little while longer, but we won’t be getting one of Barack Obama’s loyalist deputies in that post. We’ll get a different one, but not Kathryn Ruemmler.

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) — Former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler took herself out of the running to become the next U.S. attorney general, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Ruemmler had been President Barack Obama’s preferred candidate to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder, who said he will leave the job when a replacement is confirmed.

Obama had asked Ruemmler whether she would consider the job if offered, according to a White House official. She talked with Obama on Oct. 22 and said while she was flattered, she didn’t want to be nominated, one of the people said.

Unlike one of his many czars, Ruemmler would have had to undergo confirmation in the Senate. That was expected to kick off in the lame-duck session following November’s elections, and before the Republicans take control in January.

Ruemmler’s nomination would have resurrected the Secret Service prostitution scandal, as she was neck-deep in it when she was Obama’s White House counsel. Ruemmler would have had to testify, under oath, about how young Jonathan Dach went from being suspected of hiring a hooker in Colombia to being hired as a policy adviser on women’s issues (seriously) in the Obama administration.

While Ruemmler will not be the next attorney general, she will hold on to her fabulous shoes.

Read bullet |

Rising Threat of Attacks Resurrects Debate Over Government Surveillance Powers

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) argued in a USA Today op-ed this week that now is the wrong time to dial back surveillance powers of the federal government, arguing that the USA FREEDOM Act in Congress “would render our counterterrorism tools less agile and reliable.”

But the sponsor of the Senate version, Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), argued for “a common sense way of saying collect information, but do it in a way where you protect the interests of innocent people.”

The House version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), passed in May. The Senate version — the full name of the bill is the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act – has 18 co-sponsors but hasn’t advanced.

The GOP co-sponsors are Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Coats noted that the Senate Intelligence Committee arrived at a compromise FISA Improvements Act “to enshrine safeguards in law for the first time.”

“Our bill does not end the call-records program, thus preserving an important counterterrorism tool,” Coats wrote. “However, it prohibits access to phone data except under specific procedures and restrictions, and it bars the collection of content.”

“Currently, Americans and Europeans are joining the Islamic State, the wealthiest and most brutal terrorist group in history. By exploiting the passports of Western members, ISIL-trained operatives can come to our shores far more easily than the 9/11 hijackers,” he added. “The government’s interest is the most compelling imaginable: To the best of our ability, never again allow an attack on our homeland that costs innocent lives.”

Responding on CNN, Leahy said ”if you collect everything, in some ways you have nothing.”

The chairman added that if the NSA had kept tabs on its own house, “you never would have had an Edward Snowden.”

“I mean this was pure carelessness on the part of the NSA. They talked about how well they protect everything. They couldn’t even protect their greatest secrets from a subcontractor,” Leahy said.

He said drafting a bill that makes “sure you go after the real targets” is why it has support from the right and left.

“Those of us who lived back in the time of J. Edgar Hoover realize how tyrannical our government could be if it was allowed to spy on everybody with no checks and balances. We — you’re always going to find something that people say, oh my God, look at this. We’ve got a terrorist attack in Canada,” Leahy said.

“We forget one of the biggest terrorist attacks in this country was Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City, a retired military person, church-going American, and nothing that they talked about in all of these possible pieces of legislation would have stopped Timothy McVeigh from carrying out a horrific murderous attack on Americans.”

Read bullet |

Michelle Obama Just Nationalized Colorado’s Senate Race

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Pretty much everything that I wrote about the Georgia race applies to Colorado’s, with one notable difference: The Democrat, Mark Udall, is already trailing Republican Rep. Cory Gardner.

President Obama’s disapproval rating is 56% in Colorado, a state that was trending blue until Obama and his Bloombergian anti-gun agenda came along. Now no one is sure which way Colorado really tilts, but this mid-term is appears to be rejecting Obama and everyone associated with him.

So, it’s the perfect moment for Mrs. Obama to fly in and and connect Mark Udall to her unpopular husband.

“We have truly made so much of that change we were talking about,” FLOTUS said. “But here’s what I want you to remember, especially now: all this didn’t just happen because we elected Barack Obama. It happened because we also elected outstanding leaders in states across this country, leaders like Mark Udall …”

Gardner’s media team surely are cutting this clip into new ads right now. It will form the backbone of some great ads.

“ISIS, Ebola, Obamacare, skyrocketing energy prices, higher taxes, lost jobs, loss of your Second Amendment rights…(CUT) All this didn’t all this didn’t just happen because we elected Barack Obama. It happened because we also elected outstanding leaders in states across this country, leaders like Mark Udall. (CUT) Had enough of ‘leaders’ like Barack Obama and Mark Udall? Vote Cory Gardner…”

Either the Obamas are the least self-aware politicians in the country, or they really don’t mind losing the Senate to Republican control.

Read bullet |

Is Obama Half, Three-Quarters or ‘Full Mussolini?’

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Jennifer Hanin

Most of us are plenty confused where the president stands on most issues, especially any that deal with foreign policy, global terrorism and national security. It wasn’t that long ago when our POTUS was moving mountains to make sure Gitmo closes, that Gitmo terrorists were tried in NY courts vs. military trials, that Muslims would gain self-esteem via NASA, and that our guys (and gals) in uniform make a swift exit from Afghanistan. Even if it meant leaving locals in the lurch. So after reading Bruce Bartlett and Eric Segall’s tweets in reply to author, lawyer and talk show host Mark Levin‘s tweet, I am pondering whether they belifve Obama is only half or three-quarters Mussolini now?

obama-muss-tweets

Methinks not? In fact, I thought Obama was full Mussolini a long time ago.

And I know a little about Mussolini. After all, I’m half Italian (my paternal grandfather hails from Sicily and my paternal grandmother hails from Minturno, Italy) yet many who question Obama and his failed foreign policy and lax national security stance on terrorism, porous borders and failing to ban flights carrying epidemics like Ebola thought he was full-blown Mussolini when he put his mug over our stars and stripes. Many considered him more like Mussolini (or Stalin or Mao) depending on which dictator comes to mind first.

Yet there isn’t a U.S. citizen or politican who can get away with putting their image over our flag (won on the blood of patriots) short of the Messiah. But then again, no cigar on that one either. Those who falsly claimed Obama was the Messiah didn’t realize this is the same man who couldn’t save Syria from hostile hands, failed to provide Ambassador J. Christopher StevensSean SmithTyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty with enough security in Benghazi. The reason we’re seeing terrorsist factions worse than al Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guard, the IHH and the IRA, etc. combined is because Obama has had a policy that can be best described “ignore, duck and cover.” Now whether he’s half, three-quarters, two-thirds or full-blown Mussolini is another debate all together. I think it’s a debate this country will have publicly come November 4, 2014.

As Herb London, founder and president of the London Center for Policy Research said the other day via phone:

“ISIS would have never gotten off the ground if Obama hadn’t kicked the can on Syria. Obama has made one foreign policy blunder after the other.”

So give Washington an honest critique not just of the last two terms but of want you want for your future. For the future of all Americans. This means your kids, your kids kids,  your relatives kids, and your friends and neighbors kids. Send Washington a message that shows them know how you feel. And frankly, this is a not a time for hesitation, rationalization or willy-nilly votes. Midterm elections (like all elections) are the time where your vote should be top of mind like fact-based, rote memorization on a timestable math quiz.

Don’t debate it. Don’t give credit where credit isn’t due. And don’t give flunkies in Washington a “pass” because its your party or you feel sorry for them either. You either agree with the current Administration’s handling of Gitmo, Benghazi, kicking the can on Syria, spanking our allys like Israel, leaving our porous borders wide open, Obamacare, the IRS Lois Lerner scandal and how they just “lost” Lerner’s emails along with the emails of four other employees (yet not our tax bills), Eric Holder’s mishandling of Wall Street (by not putting a single banker behind bars), the CIA hooker scandal, Biden’s failed Middle East bid, backing the Muslim Brotherhood while turning our backs on the liberal intellectuals of Egypt (and their military), giving arms to terrorist funding Qatar and so much more.

Me? I know where I stand. This Administration doesn’t know the difference between its head and its keister. And I’m considered a swing voter by most as I voted for Clinton twice, Bush once, and Obama in his first term.

But we’ve all seen what forward means. Maybe it’s time to rewind. As my pre-teen politically-saavy kid chimed in the other day after watching Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her:

“Obama didn’t just get an F. He earned it. Full throttle.”

Read bullet |

Wendy Davis Now Seen as a Drag on Other Democrats

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This Washington Post story opens with a scene from a church. A Democrat politician who is there angling to get votes takes the pulpit, despite the fact that she is not an ordained minister. She is there and given a speaking role expressly for political purposes.

We’re sure that this scene, and the hundreds like it that will take place in many churches across the country this weekend and next, will not trigger subpoenas from Democrat mayors like Houston’s Annise Parker. They wage open war on one kind of church, but not another.

The Post’s Karen Tumulty was there and saw the electioneering from the pulpit. Why isn’t she using her press platform to ask questions about it?

Americans should ask why that is, at some point. Why would the likes of Mayor Parker harass one kind of church for taking a place in politics, but not another kind? Why don’t the media raise this issue whenever Democrats just take over churches and use them as adjunct campaign centers?

DALLAS — At St. Paul United Methodist Church, one of this city’s oldest African American churches, fiery young pastor Richie Butler delivered a message last Sunday that hit home with the white woman sitting at the center of the second pew.

“Don’t get confused between success and significance,” Butler said. “This day! This is your moment! Don’t miss your moment!”

When Wendy Davis’s turn came to give her own testimony, she began: “Very fitting with your sermon today, pastor.”

No subpoena from the Dallas mayor’s office.

Anyway, that’s not the gist of this post. The gist is that Davis has proven herself to be such a spectacularly bad candidate for Texas governor that she’s being accused of poisoning other Democrats’ chances.

The question that remains to be answered on Election Day is more about significance: How much will Davis’s candidacy have done, along with other Democratic efforts, toward making their party truly competitive in Texas?

Texas has 38 electoral votes — second only to California’s 55 — and putting it into play would change the balance of the nation’s politics.

Read bullet |

NY Hatchet Attacker, Zale Thompson, Had Islamic Facebook Page

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Zombie

The man who attacked four police officers in Queens, New York yesterday, Zale H. Thompson, had a Facebook page featuring Islamic imagery.

As reported by Agence France Press, Thompson’s Muslim connections are starting to emerge, indicating that the hatchet attack was either a case of “lone wolf Islamic terrorism” (most likely), or part of a coordinated terror campaign (although there is no evidence yet that he had any connection to any specific group).

Because none of the reports have yet posted the actual images from his Facebook page, I’m posting screenshots of it here, to preserve the evidence, in case it later gets taken down.

Here is his Facebook page, which as of this writing is still online:

Zale Thompson, Queens, New York.

Below are the screenshots, which speak for themselves.

The top banner features Islamic calligraphy and a warrior dressed in Arabic garb:

One of his only Facebook uploaded photos shows the Islamic calligraphy in greater detail, which presumably is of a religious nature — according to CNN, “A Quran quote in classic Arabic calligraphy mentioning judgment against those who have wandered astray serves as the page’s banner”:

Many of his Facebook “friends” had Muslim names (this is just a small sample):

The only other photo on his page showed what looked like Middle Eastern architectural designs:

Furthermore, as the AFP aricle linked above reports,

SITE, which monitors radical Muslim groups, said that in a comment Thompson had posted to a pro-Islamic State video on September 13, 2014, he described “jihad as a justifiable response to the oppression of the ‘Zionists and the Crusaders.’”

The New York Post reports that, in a private Facebook post, he wrote,

They will not be able to defeat our people if we use guerilla warfare. Attack their weak flanks.

The only conclusion to draw is that this hatchet attack was an act of terrorism inspired by fundamentalist Islamic ideology.

Read bullet |

When is a Possible Legal Violation by Lawyers Worthy of News Coverage?

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Leslie Loftis

gavelIn the upcoming election, North Dakota has a referendum on shared parenting on its ballot. The group running the opposition to shared parenting is mostly made up of ND family law lawyers. That is fine as lawyers may stand opposed to changes in the law. But these lawyers aren’t simply opposing the referendum, they are using the funds and resources of the State Bar Association of North Dakota Bar (SBAND) to run their opposition campaign.

The North Dakota Bar Association is a mandatory membership bar with mandatory dues. Under United States Supreme Court rulings mandatory membership organizations with mandatory dues cannot use those dues for political purposes without disclosure and opt-in requirements. (Our right to free speech includes not being compelled to donate money to causes we do not support.) In this case, the North Dakota bar would have had to notify its members about the campaign and only use the dues of the attorneys who opted-in to supporting the campaign.
That didn’t happen in North Dakota. There has been no notice or opt-in question presented to the members. And there is little question that Keeping Kids First, the name the referendum opposing attorneys gave to their campaign, has been using the resources of SBAND. Their financial statements show that they are funding the opposition, exclusively it seems, out of the ND bar budget. North Dakota Shared Parenting 4 Kids has raised less than $7,000 while SBAND has made 3 “donations” totaling $70,000. At first they were even so bold as to have email addresses domained at the SBAND website. They admit all of this, claiming that the referendum is not a political issue but a social one. (Note at the link, the ND code reads otherwise.)
The groups in support of the shared parenting referendum have tried, in vain, to notify the proper authorities about these documented violations. The ND Attorney General’s office referred the complaint first to the bar association, the party allowing the use of dues, and then to the county attorneys. Of 53 counties, only two county attorneys replied, one of which basically dismissed the complaints by stating, “It is hard for me to believe that SBAND didn’t research the appropriateness of their involvement prior to commiting funds - but if the activities of the association are improper, it will come to light and be handled as required by the law.”
Lawyer malfeasance may be hard to believe (stop snickering, dear reader) but how exactly will improper actions come to light if everyone in a position of authority or responsibility keeps assuming someone else will shine the light?  Despite the letters to State and SBAND authorities—with copies to the state Supreme Court and the Judiciary Committee—a press release, and three attorneys public posts of concern, no authorities have acted, and the North Dakota press seems uninterested in covering the story.
A referendum on a foundation of family law is favored in the polls, funded by individual small donations, and opposed almost exclusively by divorce lawyers who are appropriating state bar money to fund their opposition—this isn’t newsworthy?  Usually the press likes everyday citizens uniting against the corporate machine stories. Granted the big-bad here isn’t a corporate machine but a collection of lawyers. But since when do lawyers inspire less ire than corporations?
This individual referendum will soon be resolved at the ballot box, but the problems of powerful associations abusing their position and wealth to get their way and the press that enables them, they will remain.

Read bullet |

Obama Just Nationalized the Georgia Senate Race

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue remain in a statistical tie in Georgia’s nailbiter Senate race. Nunn leads slightly, banking mostly on the fact that she is the daughter of longtime Sen. Sam Nunn, a hawkish conservative Democrat who would be drummed out of today’s Democratic Party by its hard left netroots activists.

The Republicans need to pick up six Senate seats to take control of the Senate. Georgia’s race could therefore determine control.

Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Democrat, was famous for saying that “all politics is local,” meaning that whatever is going on nationally, good or bad for a particular party, a good candidate who pays attention to issues in their state or district and connects with the voters there can win. Even if their president is an unpopular incompetent, like Barack Obama. That’s among the reasons that Democrats like Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky are trying to run as far away from Obama as possible.

In a time when a candidate’s party leader/president is widely seen as a failure by the majority, and is unpopular and pushes unpopular policies, and in a state in which Democrats have mostly fallen apart over the past few years, O’Neill’s “All politics is local” ought to be the candidate’s and the party’s mantra. Keep the unpopular president out of it and you have a chance of winning.

But what if the unpopular president is also an egomaniac who thinks and says that literally every race in the country is really about him?

Obama did that a month before the mid-terms, when he reminded everyone that all of his policies — unpopular as they are — are on the ballot, with Democrats attached to them.

And now he has done it again, specifically to Michelle Nunn in Georgia. The president appeared on V-103 radio and reminded Georgia voters that a vote for Nunn is really a vote for both Barack Obama and Harry Reid.

“Michelle Nunn will win the Senate if there is high turnout among Democrats,” Obama said. “And if there is low turnout or just ordinary turnout, then she won’t win. And if Michelle Nunn wins, that means that Democrats keep control of the Senate, and that means that we can keep on doing some good work.”

That “good work” includes passing Obamacare, and then the Senate stifling every effort to repeal Obamacare, among other unpopular legislative atrocities. It includes Obama using the Democrat-controlled Senate to ram through more radical court nominees, and the Senate failing to serve as any kind of check on his abuses of power.

We’re less than two weeks away from the election now. The bolded sentence above is likely to appear in Perdue’s ads in the home stretch, and should help him eke out a win. Perdue might consider thanking the president for his gaffes in his victory speech.

Or, are they gaffes at all? The president’s comments are obviously about rallying the Democrat base. But there is a school of thought in which Obama wants Democrats to lose the Senate, so that he can provoke disputes with the GOP-controlled Congress for the last two years of his presidency. Community organizers such as Obama thrive on division and conflict. Unity and peace deprive them of leverage. Obama might use two years of conflict to race-bait, engineer constitutional crises, and inflame the Democrat base going into the 2016 elections. If that school of thought is right, then Obama’s recent comments that nationalize the election have a Machiavellian twist.

Read bullet |

Former Homeland Security Chairman: ‘No One Should Feel Safe’

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee warned “no one should feel safe” after a week that saw Canada weather separate attacks from ISIS sympathizers.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) stressed “we’re at war with Islamic terrorism and a particularly evil group in ISIS, and they want to attack as many people as they can.”

“They focus on the military and the police and monuments because it gives them attention. But they will kill anyone they can. If they can attack a shopping center, a subway train, an airport, they will do it. Right now, for the sake of symbolism, they are talking about the military. But, no, we should be protecting everything we can,” King warned.

“And we should be aggressive. We should be on offense. We should not be politically correct. And the only way to really stop this is to go into the Muslim communities and find out who is good, who is bad, get any kind of tips, informants, whatever we have to do.”

The congressman noted that the NYPD was doing that for years “until those people at The New York Times, those liberal ideologues, and the Associated Press, the Civil Liberties Union tried to stop that.”

“There is chatter among the terrorist groups about attacking the United States, attacking the infidels. That’s there. And we know that ISIS has a commitment to attack the United States, especially since we, rightly, began the war against them back in September. And they want to strike back and they want to show that they still have a lot of firepower in them and that we’re not going to be safe anywhere. Part of it is to break our will and our morale so we will back off from them. But in event, they want to attack us no matter what.”

Read bullet |

Islam: Victors Vanquishing Victims

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Editor’s note:  The following book review of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians was written by Terry Scambray for the New Oxford Review (October, 2014 issue).  

Throughout the Muslim world, from Morocco to Nigeria to Indonesia — and even occasionally in Western Europe and North America — Christians are being harassed, tortured, and murdered. Reuters reported in January 2012 that a hundred million Christians were being persecuted, while a few years earlier Britain’s Secret Service, M16, put the number closer to two hundred million. In November 2012 German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Christianity “the most persecuted religion worldwide,” a statement that elicited condemnation from many world leaders. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe estimates that a Christian is killed for his faith every five minutes.

What is the reason for such atrocity? By any measure, the persecution of Christians is one of the dramatic stories of our time. So why is it ignored? Raymond Ibrahim, a fluent speaker of Arabic and a fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, answers these questions and explains both the sources of Islamic violence and the infirmities that cripple the West in his new book Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians.

History provides a large part of the answer. Islam, from its beginnings, in contrast to Christianity, promised its followers worldly success and prosperity. From Mohammed’s first raids, down through the centuries of conquests that followed, Islam has been a religion of victors vanquishing victims. Contemporary Muslim lands in the Middle East and Africa include what were once great centers of Christendom, such as Jerusalem, Alexandria, Damascus, Antioch, and Constantinople. Lest anyone forget, imperialism is not a Western invention.

Having conquered vast territory, Muslims then went on to dominate it by imposing the cruelties of Sharia law and dhimmitude, both of which reduce “infidels,” non-Muslims, to servile positions. Ibrahim provides examples of brutal conditions under Muslim rule during these early conquests when, “according to one medieval Muslim historian, over the two year course of a particularly ruthless Christian persecution campaign, some 30,000 churches were burned or pillaged in Egypt and Syria alone.” Under the Abbasid rule in A.D. 936, the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, believed to have been built atop the tomb of Christ, was burned down. Nearly a century later, Caliph Hakim bi-Amr Allah (996-1021) ordered the dismantling of what was left of the church, including the digging up of its foundations, in addition to the destruction of “Golgotha and the church of Saint Constantine as well as all the sacred grave stones. They even tried to dig up the graves and wipe out all traces of their existence.” Though apologists for Islam admit that Hakim was a madman, they coyly offer him as an aberration, implying that Christians suffered only under his rule. Not so, writes Ibrahim, for there is “no dearth of Muslim leaders throughout the whole of Islamic history that have persecuted Christians and their churches.”

Many of us in our youth read stories of medieval Europe in which “Mohammedans,” “Moors,” “Saracens,” and “Turks” were fearsome antagonists. When we got to high school and university, somehow that feature of European life played a less prominent role or was even absent from history courses. It seems, though, that our earliest stories were accurate, and Ibrahim provides a broad set of facts to support this.

In the first decades of its existence, Islam had conquered half the Christian lands in the world and appeared to be on such a roll that it would soon squash Europe into a single Islamic polity. “In fact,” Ibrahim writes, “Europe as we know it was forged in large measure by the Islamic conquests, which severed the Latin West from the Greek East, turning the once highly trafficked Mediterranean into a ‘Muslim Lake’ — so that, in the words of medieval Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun, ‘the Christians could no longer float a plank upon the sea.’” Belgian historian Henri Pirenne makes the same point when he writes, “The classic tradition was shattered because Islam had destroyed the ancient unity of the Mediterranean” (Mohammed and Charlemagne, 1959).

In 1798 Napoleon invaded and handily conquered Egypt, in the heart of the Muslim world. This conquest was followed in the nineteenth century by other European powers subjugating and colonizing Muslim territories. These invasions traumatized Muslims, for prior to this their centuries-long winning streak intensified the triumphalism inherent in their religion. Muslims’ loss of confidence fell further as they witnessed close-up the power and dynamism of Western ideas and technology. Ibrahim quotes the late Osama bin Laden to the effect that “when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”

Muslims saw the West, synonymous for them with Christianity, as the strong horse, and they both feared and admired it. As Ibrahim writes with characteristic directness, “The reason for this admiration is simple: Islam, the quintessential religion of might makes right, teaches respect for power.” Some twentieth-century leaders like Mustafa Kemal Attaturk in Turkey, the Shah in Iran, and Gamal Nasser in Egypt attempted to emulate, at least in theory, Western ideas of nationalism, modernism, and secularization. During this time of Western confidence and hegemony, which extended to about 1950, Christians were tolerated in Muslim countries, and some even called this a “Golden Age for Christians” in the Islamic world.

Of course, some Muslims remained loyal to their old ways, but by the early twentieth century Western scholars saw Islam as “a spent force, an ideology on the wrong side of history.” That they would think this is understandable. After all, the much-extolled “secular city” had triumphed in the West, and it became difficult to imagine that the appetites for consumer items and sexual freedom it unleashed could abate.

But then the West began pulling up stakes in the Islamic world and elsewhere, while simultaneously adopting the religion of sentimentality as a replacement for Christianity. Soon, influential Westerners filled the air with mea culpas for their earlier imperialism and other alleged sins. Ibrahim shows in this book, as well as in his first book, The Al-Qaeda Reader, that the West’s orgy of self-criticism handed the Muslims all the propaganda weapons they required to rationalize the renewal of their attacks on the West. These rationalizations were so eagerly swallowed by our useful idiots that bin Laden poured it on even thicker by writing that the 9/11 attack was partly motivated by America’s failure to ratify the Kyoto treaty on climate change!

What few understood amid this confessional pose adopted by the West was that Islam sees imperialism as the normal exercise of power. So when Westerners began apologizing for what to Muslims were normal actions, Muslims’ respect for the West declined further. At the same time, they grabbed these propaganda clubs handed to them and proceeded to bash the infidels with their own words. Ibrahim argues further that this loss of respect spiraled downward into contempt when Islam saw “the new culture of sexual licentiousness, moral relativism, godlessness, and even the Western self-hatred that flooded Western societies in the late 1960s and 1970s, though they had roots going back decades earlier.” Sayyid Qutb, the twentieth century’s most renowned Islamic scholar and author of a thirty-volume commentary on the Koran, came to the U.S. in the 1940s. Though he had advocated that “Muslims should emulate Western science and technology,” visiting America radicalized him. Qutb insisted that, using Sharia law, Muslims must first clean up their own countries and then those of the rest of the world. Islamic supremacy and aggression, features of that old-time religion from the seventh century, were revived.

Nothing better exemplifies this revival than the Iranian Revolution of 1979, when Islam reasserted itself in the fiery leadership of the Ayatollah Khomeini and various bearded and morose mullahs who inveighed against “the Great Satan.” Their exaltation of Islam and loathing of America led to the overthrow of the Shah and the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran — not only an act of war but also a repudiation of centuries-old international protocols. “Islam is back!” these actions screamed loudly, though many people saw them as isolated episodes, perhaps the last gasp of an antiquated ideology, rather than the harbinger of thirty-five years of terrorism. Still wallowing in ignorance, many Westerners dismiss Muslims’ ravaging and killing as merely an extended bad-hair day, a departure from Islam’s enlightened and peaceful past. But the truth is the reverse: The former period of tolerance toward Christians in Muslim lands is an exception, and the present attacks on Christians are the norm.

American and European opinion-makers in the universities, among the intelligentsia, and in the media began to demonize Western tradition in the 1970s and to favor “indigenous peoples” and any exotic “ethnic identity.” Thus came the growth of “multiculturalism” and “diversity,” categories implicitly justified as compensation for centuries of mistreatment. Unfortunately, many ethnic traditions include varieties of tribalism, sometimes expressed as racism or anti-Semitism. Via “noble savage” quackery, Western intellectuals broadened the pathway for once Westward-looking Muslims to return to their roots. History became a melodrama wherein the West is the villain and Islam the noble victim. Within these assigned roles, the true history of the relationship between the West and Islam reversed, with the West cast as greedy, violent crusaders who invaded peaceful, prosperous Muslim lands.

From such melodrama, Ibrahim reports, we get Robert Fisk, correspondent for The Independent, who follows this script of “spot the victim.” Fisk has criticized Christians for supporting status-quo candidates like Ahmed Shafiq in Egypt, not understanding that Christians are the victims and that jihadist alternatives to these regimes will kill Christians and burn their churches while imposing Sharia law. Former President Bill Clinton misreads the situation in much the same way when he relies on materialist explanations. “What’s fueling all this stuff,” he says, is “inequality and poverty.” When the Nigerian government uses force against the Boko Haram jihadist gang for killing Christians, Mr. Clinton preaches that such “violence” will not solve the problem. Violence, however, is the problem. From these ignominious examples, Ibrahim points to a pathetic irony: The Muslims presently persecuting Christians are themselves descendants of Christians who were persecuted by the same ideology and in the same terrible circumstances.

Raymond Ibrahim was born in America of Coptic Christian parents and has traveled widely in the Middle East. He has appeared before the U.S. Congress and on national radio and television, and he writes regularly for major newspapers and scholarly journals. His comprehensive description of the persecution of Christians by Muslims is extensively documented. While Crucified Again might not provide much comfort, it is necessary reading for those who wish to understand the dynamic that propels the Islamic threat.

Read bullet |

Obama Urged to Reconsider Arms Sales to Human Rights Violator Vietnam

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Father-Ly

President Obama has decided to roll-back a longtime embargo and sell arms to Vietnam — but senators argue that should be contingent on the communist country showing progress in human rights.

Human Rights Watch says Vietnam’s human rights record “remains weak in all key areas.”

“The government suppresses virtually all forms of political dissent, using a broad array of repressive measures. Freedom of expression, association and public assembly are tightly controlled. Religious activists are harassed, intimidated and imprisoned. State-run drug rehabilitation centers exploit detainees as forced laborers making goods for local markets and export. The criminal justice system lacks independence and operates under the direction of the government and party.”

Reporters Without Borders says an “increasingly authoritarian” Vietnam is beating bloggers and sending them to prison. Dissidents are arrested on charges such as “abusing democratic freedoms.”

John Sifton, advocacy director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, notes that the Obama administration “defends the policy change by claiming that maritime equipment cannot be used to stifle dissent.”

“This argument misses the point. Of course, Hanoi won’t fire U.S.-made torpedoes at protesting crowds,” Sifton said. “…It sends a signal to Vietnam’s ruling party that they can choose to reform or not, and be treated the same either way. That is not the kind of message Hanoi needs to hear.”

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and David Vitter (R-La.) sent Obama a letter Thursday asking the president “to reconsider it or to delay the delivery of any services and equipment until the Government of Vietnam has substantially improved its human rights record.”

“We support efforts by the United States to help our partners and allies address concerns about China’s aggressive territorial claims in the Asia Pacific maritime domains. However, we believe that such security cooperation, especially with governments like Vietnam’s with a stubbornly poor human rights record, should be predicated upon progress towards respect of basic individual freedoms,” they wrote.

As the administration made new efforts to improve relations with Vietnam between 2011 and 2013, the senators noted, “the number of Vietnamese citizens arrested or convicted for peaceful speech or political activity increased.”

“There are more prisoners in detention today than at any time in recent history, and the number of prisoners released this year is outnumbered by the number of new detainees. Most releases in 2014 were conditional, and most of the prisoners were terminally ill or in poor health. Meanwhile, over 150 other Vietnamese convicted for free speech acts in recent years remain in prison, including high profile cases, like Le Quoc Quan, Nguyen Van Dai, Le Cong Dinh, and Father Ly.”

Father Nguyen Van Ly is a Catholic priest who has been speaking out for religious freedom and free speech in Vietnam since the 1970s. In 2006 he began publishing an underground newspaper called Free Speech. He has been imprisoned on and off for many years and has suffered strokes behind bars.

Father Ly has encouraged the U.S. government to reject trade agreements to protest deplorable human rights in Vietnam. At his 2007 trial, Vietnamese officials were photographed clamping a hand over the priest’s mouth when he shouted, “Down with the Communist Party of Vietnam!”

The senators wrote that Vietnam continues to demand state registration of churches, resulting in a country “in which there is little freedom of religion.”

“The U.S. has an interest in helping Vietnam improve its maritime defense capabilities, but such efforts will only be sustainable if accompanied by a verifiable commitment from the Vietnamese authorities to substantially improve their human rights record,” the lawmakers told Obama. “Such commitment could include the unconditional release of all independent journalists, bloggers, and democracy and labor activists; as well as the repeal of laws criminalizing peaceful dissent, such as articles 79, 87, 88, 89, 91, and 258. Another positive signal by Vietnam would be to return estates and properties confiscated from churches and religious communities, and a verifiable end to the use of tax laws to prosecute the government’s critics.”

“We urge you to reconsider your decision and to ensure that easing the arms embargo is tied to specific progress on human rights and political reform in Vietnam.”

Read bullet |

Is the CDC Bucking Obama’s Refusal to Halt Travel from the Ebola Zone?

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Obama administration continues to refuse to halt travel from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, even as the Ebola outbreak in those three countries continues to worsen. The administration backs that refusal with the absurd reasoning that a temporary travel ban might cause some in those countries to skip across the nearest border and fly to the US anyway, despite the fact that countries bordering the Ebola-stricken countries have closed their borders, and credit those closures with helping contain the disease. In fact, across Africa, countries have closed borders and stepped up security to stop Ebola in its tracks. The United States, however, continues to allow about 150 travelers to arrive here every day.

After 33-year-old doctor Craig Spencer, who had been in Guinea treating Ebola victims with Doctors Without Borders, tested positive for Ebola Thursday in New York, the Centers for Disease Control issued a series of tweets.

Both of those tweets back up what critics have charged — that the “enhanced screening” implemented at five US airports where travelers from the Ebola zone arrive has every chance of missing Ebola-exposed people arriving in the United States.

The enhanced screening consists of answering questions on a form, and having travelers’ temperature read by a laser-infrared thermometer. As long as an Ebola-exposed person is not yet symptomatic, they can get past that screening. Dr. Spencer underwent that screening, according to the CDC, yet he managed to carry Ebola around during a subway ride, an Uber ride, and a night out bowling.

Obviously, the “enhanced screening” did not catch him, stop him from entering the country or flag him for quarantine. And the CDC appears to be pointing that out for everyone to see.

President Obama’s Ebola czar, Ron Klain, is set to miss a House hearing on the disease today. The president appointed the career Democrat operative to head up his administration’s response to Ebola a week ago. Klain has failed to make any Ebola meetings since his appointment.

h/t Gateway Pundit

Read bullet |

CDC Says It Will Track Travelers with New CARE Kits

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.19.48 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be distributing “CARE” kits – Check And Report Ebola — to travelers coming from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The announcement came a day before a New York doctor who had volunteered in Guinea, and flown into JFK Oct. 17 with enhanced screening, tested positive for Ebola. On Thursday, Ebola also spread to a new country as a toddler tested positive for the disease in Mali.

The “active post-arrival monitoring” that will begin Monday is “an approach in which state and local health officials maintain daily contact with all travelers from the three affected countries for the entire 21 days following their last possible date of exposure to Ebola virus,” the CDC said.

Travelers receive a digital thermometer and packet with a visual list of symptoms and tracking sheets, as well as “a wallet card on who to contact if they have symptoms and that they can present to a health care provide.”

“Six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Georgia), where approximately 70% of incoming travelers are headed, have already taken steps to plan and implement active post-arrival monitoring,” the CDC said.

“Active monitoring establishes daily contact between public health officials and travelers from the affected region. In the event a traveler begins to show symptoms, public health officials will implement an isolation and evaluation plan following appropriate protocols to limit exposure, and direct the individual to a local hospital that has been trained to receive potential Ebola patients,” the CDC continued.

“Post arrival monitoring is an added safeguard that complements the existing exit screening protocols, which require all outbound passengers from the affected West African countries to be screened for fever, Ebola symptoms, and contact with Ebola and enhanced screening protocols at the five U.S. airports that will now receive all travelers from the affected countries. All three of these nations have asked for, and continue to receive, CDC assistance implementing exit screening.”

Read bullet |

New York Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola Hours After Lawmakers Ask Obama for Prep Update

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Just hours before news broke that a New York physician who had been treating patients in Guinea tested positive for Ebola, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans sent President Obama a letter asking exactly what’s going on with his preparation.

The committee was the first congressional panel to hold a recess hearing since Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive for the virus in Dallas.

Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be holding a hearing tomorrow morning, yet unlike the E&C hearing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden isn’t scheduled to testify. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Ebola czar Ron Klain won’t be testifying because he’s new on the job.

“So he’s very focused on the task in front of him, and we have heard expressions of concern from Democrats and Republicans in Congress about the need for the federal government and the international community to deal with the very serious threat of Ebola,” Earnest said.

The letter from the E&C Republicans offers recommendations: “We share the interest of the American people in using the most effective tools – including travel restrictions – to prevent additional Ebola infections here in the U.S., and we encourage you to examine all such options as quickly as possible.”

Initial reports suggest that New York physician Craig Spencer, 33, who was volunteering with Doctors Without Borders, did not self-quarantine after returning to the U.S. on Oct. 17, and was taking an Uber cab, riding the subway and hanging out at a bowling alley the day before seeking medical attention for a 103-degree fever, pains and diarrhea.

Spencer had posted on his Facebook page a photo of himself in full protective gear. His Harlem apartment was sealed off and his girlfriend is under quarantine.

“So that we may better understand the facts and analysis underlying your current position, please advise whether the White House has any analysis or modeling relating to the claim that restricting travel of foreign-national tourists from the Ebola-affected countries would increase the risk of importation of Ebola cases into the U.S.,” the 28 lawmakers wrote. “If so, please provide this information and/or explain how the White House is coordinating the collection of such information.”

“Please share all available information regarding how the White House is coordinating efforts within the Executive Branch related to diagnostic testing (including rapid tests) for Ebola, what process is or will be used to assess the information that is gathered, and what process will be used to help expedite deployment of rapid diagnostic testing for Ebola.”

They requested “any information, analysis, or modeling of how many actual Ebola cases can be expected to be imported into the U.S. over the next six months and/or how the White House is coordinating the collection of such information.”

“We also request any information about the capacity of the U.S. public health system (including the state and local public health agencies) and health care facilities to handle Ebola cases in the U.S., including cases involving U.S. medical and military personnel brought over from West Africa,” the letter continued. “With respect to U.S. medical and military personnel, we are also interested in the capacity of U.S. agencies and/or contractors for their transport.”

Appearing with Klain at a White House meeting on Wednesday, Obama called Ebola “so hard to catch, although it obviously is very virulent.”

“I’m, you know, confident that over the course of several weeks and months, each hospital, working in conjunction with public health officials in those states, are going to be able to train and develop the kinds of systems that assure that people are prepared if and when a case like this comes up, and that ultimately is going to be the most important thing,” Obama said. “You know, this is a disease where if it’s caught early and the hospital knows what to do early, doesn’t present a massive risk of spreading.”

“…If there’s a silver lining in all the attention that the Ebola situation has received over the last several weeks, it’s a reminder of how important our public health systems are. And in many ways, what this has done is elevated that importance.”

UPDATE 10 p.m.: At a late-night press conference, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said “there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed,” and stressed that a medical team is tracking down people who may have come into contact with Spencer.

“We are as ready as one can be for this circumstance,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, adding it was fortunate that it was a doctor who was able to recognize the symptoms when he came down sick.

Cuomo said he spoke with Klain. “The more facts you know, the less frightening this situation is,” he said.

The governor said four people were being looked at as having close contact with Spencer.

The CDC said in a statement that Spencer went through the new enhanced screening at JFK Airport for travelers coming from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. “He went through multiple layers of screening and did not have a fever or other symptoms of illness.”

Read bullet |

Official Ebola Toll at 5,000 With Real Number Closer to 15,000

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Rick Moran

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday that the official death toll of Ebola cases around the world stood at 4877 as of October 19, with nearly 10,000 cases recorded.

But the WHO noted that the real death toll was at least 3 times higher.

The WHO has said real numbers of cases are believed to be much higher than reported: by a factor of 1.5 in Guinea, 2 in Sierra Leone and 2.5 in Liberia, while the death rate is thought to be about 70 percent of all cases. That would suggest a toll of almost 15,000.

Liberia has been worst hit, with 4,665 recorded cases and 2,705 deaths, followed by Sierra Leone with 3,706 cases and 1,259 deaths. Guinea, where the outbreak originated, has had 1,540 cases and 904 deaths.

On Friday the WHO put the toll about 300 lower with more than 745 fewer cases.

In the past week, transmission of the disease was most intense in the capital cities of Monrovia and Freetown, while Guinea’s capital Conakry reported 18 confirmed cases, its second highest weekly total since the outbreak began.

Although Ebola has been contained in Nigeria and Senegal, the disease is spreading towards Ivory Coast in both Liberia and Guinea, including in Guinea’s Kankan district on a major trade route with Mali. Kankan saw its first case in the past week.

However, the WHO said the Liberian district of Lofa had seen a third consecutive week of decline in the number of cases, which reports from observers suggested was a result of disease control measures.

Among the thousands of cases are 443 health care workers, 244 of whom have died. The WHO said it was undertaking extensive investigations to determine why so many had caught the disease.

“Early indications are that a substantial proportion of infections occurred outside the context of Ebola treatment and care,” it said.

The reason for the vast difference between the official death toll and what is probably the real count is that more deaths are occurring in areas where there are fewer health care facilities than in population zones. That, and the lack of beds means that people are contracting the disease and being treated at home. Since authorities in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are doing a poor job so far of tracking those who comes in contact with infected people, many of those patients will die with health authorities not being aware of the casualty.

The world got a late start in addressing the crisis, fell way behind, and now faces the daunting prospect of racing a deadline set by WHO of December 1:

A U.N. plan to stop the epidemic, known as 70-70-60, involves isolating at least 70 percent of cases and safely burying at least 70 percent of those who die by Dec. 1, a 60-day deadline from the start of the plan. That is supposed to rise to 100 percent by the 90-day deadline on Jan. 1.

The number of isolation beds had increased substantially to 1,126 but remained only 25 percent of the 4,388 expected to be needed in 50 Ebola treatment units. There were also firm commitments from foreign medical teams to staff only 30 units.

Without those beds in those units, families have to care for sick relatives at home and risk infection.

The WHO also estimates 28 laboratories are needed in the three worst-hit countries, with 12 now in place, and 20,000 staff will be needed to keep track of people who have had contact with Ebola patients and may be at risk.

The three worst-hit countries will also need 230 dead-body-management teams by Dec. 1, it said. They have 140.

Can the international community create this kind of massive medical and health infrastructure in a few weeks? It’s 40 days until December 1 and it doesn’t seem likely that any of those goals will be met. And now that the virus has spread to large cities like Monrovia and Freetown, it is likely that many more people will be exposed to the virus, straining the capability of these third world government to track them all.

Part of the reason some African countries like Nigeria and Senegal have been able to avoid large outbreaks was a determined public education program about the disease. But in desperately poor countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, communications are poor and getting the word out to most of the population has proved to be a challenge.

And what information gets out to the people is not always welcome:

Even as Liberians fall ill and die of Ebola, more than half the beds in treatment centers in the capital remain empty, an unintended consequence of the government’s order that the bodies of all suspected Ebola victims in Monrovia be cremated.

Cremation violates Liberians’ values and cultural practices and the order has so disturbed people in the West African nation that the sick are often kept at home and, if they die, are secretly buried, increasing the risk of more infections

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf issued the cremation decree for Monrovia and the surrounding area in August, and the government has brought in a crematorium and hired experts. The order came after people in neighborhoods of the capital resisted burials of hundreds of Ebola victims near their homes.

Since then, a recent analysis of space at Ebola treatment centers shows that of 742 beds available, more than half — 391 — were vacant, said Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah, who heads the government’s Ebola response.

“For fear of cremation, do not stay home to die,” Nyenswah admonished Liberians at a news conference last week.

In her statement declaring the state of emergency and the cremation order, Sirleaf acknowledged the edict runs contrary to national tradition. “Ebola has attacked our way of life,” she said.

That way of life includes honoring deceased ancestors.

On the second Wednesday of March each year, Liberians flock to cemeteries to honor their deceased loved ones on a public holiday known as National Decoration Day, scrubbing the headstones of relatives, clearing away brush from graves and decorating them with flowers and other mementoes.

In many parts of Liberia, tradition has also called for relatives to handle the bodies of loved ones before burial. Bodies are kept in the home for days or weeks, during which time people honor their loved ones by dancing around the corpse, washing it and cutting and braiding the hair. Before burial, church congregations also pray over the body.

Since the latest outbreak of Ebola, these burial customs have been ordered halted when it comes to victims of the deadly virus because of the dangers they pose. The Ebola virus is spread through the body fluids of an infected person and can endure in corpses, posing a danger to those who handle them.

A million Ebola cases by the end of January, is what the WHO is saying unless they meet their goals. With that many infections, the math becomes grim, indeed, and the chances of the virus breaking out of Africa increase substantially.

Read bullet |

Chairman: Obama Should Follow Canada’s Example and Call Fort Hood ‘Terrorist Attack’

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee lauded the Canadian government for quickly labeling this week’s attacks as terrorism, with a dig at the Obama administration’s use of “workplace violence.”

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) noted in a statement that Canada “has always stood with us in troubled times, and we stand with them.”

“I was impressed with the Canadian government’s swift condemnation of what was obviously an act of terror,” McKeon said. “I wish the Obama administration used similar language during the Ft. Hood shooting, rather than pretending that ‘workplace violence’ was an accurate description of a tragic terrorist attack.”

Since the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, lawmakers in both chambers have been trying to get the administration to recognize the massacre as a terrorist attack and make those injured eligible for the Purple Heart.

“I hope the president will follow Prime Minister Harper’s example and recognize terrorist attacks for what they are,” McKeon added.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said today that “based on the fact that the Canadian officials have determined that this is a terrorist incident, you can expect — you should expect that U.S. officials who are responsible for our counterterrorism efforts have also been in touch with their counterparts in Canada to offer assistance and to coordinate both in the investigation and in any needed response.”

“…And there is a very important role for the mainstream Muslim community in this country and around the world to play in this effort, as well, that there are respected religious figures who can effectively counter the extremist messages that are being widely distributed in an effort to appeal to the youth in some communities, both in this country, but in countries around the world,” Earnest added.

“And the Obama administration has made it a priority to engage these local leaders and mobilize them in this effort. We’re pleased with the kind of strong partnership that’s been established in a number of communities across the country. But it’s important for us to continue to be vigilant, both about the threat, but also about our ongoing efforts to counter it.”

Read bullet |

Department of Homeland Security Runs a Royals Panty Raid

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Did you know that the war on terrorism is over, there are no threats to us whatsoever, and peace has broken out across the entire world?

I didn’t either, but if that hasn’t happened, I’m at a loss to explain this.

Emily Zanotti reports that the Department of Homeland Security recently conducted a heavily armed raid on panties to enforce copyright law.

Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.

“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”

“…what size he needed.” Cheeky.

She thought that since the underwear featured her hand-drawn design that she was safe. But the officers explained that by connecting the “K” and the “C,” she infringed on major league baseball copyright. (The officials involved could not be immediately reached for comment.)

They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn’t use the logo.

Sometimes it seems like our government cares more about MLB and the NFL than pretty much anything else. They’ll hide the budget and ignore the Constitution, but they’re all over the Redskins team name and somebody somewhere morphed the Department of Homeland Security, which is supposed to be to the security of the homeland what the Centers to Disease Control is supposed to be to disease (but clearly isn’t), into the federal copyright enforcement agency.

When did that happen? Will we start seeing the DHS logo replace the FBI logo at the front of DVDs?

Read bullet |

New York May Have Its First Ebola Case

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

He is a doctor who just arrived after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

A 33-year-old Doctors Without Borders physician who recently treated Ebola patients in Guinea was rushed in an ambulance with police escorts from his Harlem home to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, sources said.

Craig Spencer was suffering from Ebola-like symptoms — a 103-degree fever and nausea, sources said.

According to reports, the doctor not only did not self-quarantine after returning to the US from the Ebola zone, he mixed and mingled and partied in a way that could have endangered a whole lot of other people.

So that’s good.

Read bullet |

Canadian Police Offer New Details About Ottawa Shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Canadian police just held a press conference to detail Wednesday’s attack in Ottawa. The police also showed several surveillance videos taken from various cameras that allow them to trace the shooter’s path around the city.

The details reveal that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the son of Canadian immigration bureau worker and a man who fought in Libya in 2011 (on which side he fought is unclear). Bibeau had converted to Islam about three years ago. He was also known to be in contact with a person who is currently on Canada’s terrorism watch list. Bibeau was not on a terrorism watch list himself, but was known to publicly espouse radical views.

He also reportedly had a couple of friends at the Ottawa mission he stayed at.

Another man, who said his initials were P.M., said Zehaf-Bibeau was close with two younger anglophone Caucasian men, roughly 20 years of age, who would speak with him often about Islam.

“There was three of them all the time going around with each other,” P.M said. “He was teaching them about Islam and stuff. He had them doing the Islamic prayer. They were in the hallways here doing it.”

All three men disappeared from the Mission on Wednesday morning shortly after a fire alarm was pulled just after 8 a.m., said P.M.

Police say that Bibeau had dual Canadian-Libyan citizenship. He traveled to Ottawa earlier in October to obtain a passport. He intended to use that passport to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. He bought the first car that he used in the attack on Tuesday. He abandoned that car and stole a second one, which he used to drive to the Centre Block, where he opened fire and was killed.

Bibeau had a long rap sheet and may have been mentally ill.

Read bullet |

VIDEO: Emotional Standing Ovation for Canadian Hero Kevin Vickers

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
YouTube Preview Image

The sergeant-at-arms in Canada’s House of Commons, Kevin Vickers, is one tough guy. The 58-year-old New Brunswick native spent nearly three decades in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was appointed to his current post in 2006. The mountie got his man yesterday when he shot and killed terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as the gunman stormed through the parliament building.

Today was the emotional opening of parliament with an extended standing ovation for Vickers, who will assuredly never have to buy a drink again.

Read bullet |

Loyalty and Enmity: Parallels between Islam and the Mafia

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Editor’s note: The following is Part Two of a three-part series examining the many parallels between Islam and the mafia following Bill Maher’s recent exclamation that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”  Click here for Part One.

Death to Traitors (AKA “Apostates”)

Once a Mafioso takes the oath of loyalty to the mafia—including the Omertà code of silence and secrecy—trying to leave the “family” is instantaneously seen as a betrayal and therefore punishable by death.   Any family member, great or small, is given authority to kill the traitor, the “turncoat.”

Compare this to Islam.  To be born to a Muslim father immediately makes the newborn a Muslim—there are no oaths to be taken, much less an option in the matter.   And, according to Islamic law, if born Muslims at any point in their lives choose to leave Islam, they are deemed “apostates”—traitors—and punished including by death.   Any zealous Muslim, not just the authorities, is justified in killing the apostate (hence why Muslim families that kill apostate children are rarely if ever prosecuted).

In the words of Muhammad—the messenger (underboss) of Allah (godfather):  “Whoever leaves his Islamic faith, kill him.”

The charge of “traitor” is especially applicable when the Muslim converts to another religion—most frequently Islam’s historic competitor, Christianity—as opposed to simply losing faith in their hearts.  Put differently, the very recent plight of Meriam Ibrahim—a Sudanese Christian wife and mother who, while pregnant, was imprisoned and sentenced to death for “apostasy”—is the tip of the iceberg of the plight of apostates under Islam.

Loyalty and Enmity

Loyalty is an absolute prerequisite of the mafia.  Following elaborate rituals of blood oaths, mafia members are expected to maintain absolute loyalty to the family, on pain of death.

Compare this with Islam’s “Loyalty and Enmity” doctrine, which calls on Muslims to be loyal to each other and their appointed emirs, even if they dislike them.

For example, Koran 9:71 declares that “The believing [Muslim] men and believing [Muslim] women are allies of one another” (see also 8:72-75).  And according to Muhammad, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him…. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth, and his honor”—precisely those three things of a Mafioso that are inviolable for his mafia “brother.”  (This is why Muslims like U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan, whose “worst nightmare” was to be deployed to fight fellow Muslims, often lash out.)

Aside from loyalty to the family, mafia members are also expected not to befriend or associate with too many “outsiders”—who by nature are not to be trusted, as they are not of the “family”—unless such a “friendship” helps advance the family’s position.

Similarly, the second half of the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity—the enmity—calls on Muslims to maintain distance from and have hate for all non-Muslim “infidels.”

Thus Koran 5:51 warns Muslims against “taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies … whoever among you takes them for friends and allies, he is surely one of them.” According to the mainstream Islamic exegesis of al-Tabari, Koran 5:51 means that the Muslim who “allies with them [non-Muslims] and enables them against the believers, that same one is a member of their faith and community,” that is, an outsider and enemy.

Similar scriptures include Koran 4:89, 4:144, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22; the latter simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—“even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin.” Koran 60:1 declares, “O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy [non-believers] for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth [i.e., while they deny Islam]?”… Keep reading

Read bullet |

Lefty Gets Vapors Because Republican Says Something Obvious and True About Gun Rights

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Despite what the left believes and wants low-information voters to believe, the Second Amendment is not primarily* about hunting. It is about the human right of self-defense.

That misunderstanding leads to noise like this, from Daniel Strauss at Talking Points Memo.

During an National Rifle Association event in Iowa in 2012, state Sen. Joni Ernst, now the Republican nominee for Senate in the state, said she carries a 9-millimeter gun around everywhere and believes in the right to use it even if it’s against the government if they disregard her rights.

“I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere,” Ernst said during a speech at the NRA’s Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally in Searsboro, Iowa, as flagged by The Huffington Post on Thursday. “But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

And the problem with that is…?

That it doesn’t comport with the left’s worldview? That doesn’t make it incorrect.

If the last century or two have taught us anything, they should have taught us that government can turn feral quite quickly on the one hand, and that government can let its guard down against crime and other actual threats to its citizens on the other. It isn’t as though problems of corrupt and brutal government always stay outside America’s borders. Just look at Chicago. Or cast your eyes farther south. Thanks to Mexico’s endemic corruption and its violent drug war, corruption and worse have spilled right into the border states. Our own government refuses to defend Americans from that. Americans have the right and I’d argue the duty to defend themselves.

Our own government unleashed the IRS as a thought-police. That’s a short step from government going full rogue, shorter than many on the left want to admit since their own did the unleashing.

Ernst has done nothing more than recognize that a free person must make choices to remain free, or they will soon find themselves subjugated. We need Joni Ernst and more like her in Washington.

*I was being sloppy. The Second Amendment isn’t actually about hunting at all, of course.

Read bullet |

Latest White House Jumper Taken Down by Dogs, Hurts the Dogs

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations said that the latest White House fence jumper shows the need to “take down” anyone who tries to break into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Dominic Adesanya, 23, of Bel Air, Md., had previously been detained outside the White House, and jumped the fence last night.

Two Secret Service dogs ran after the jumper, who kicked one pup and punched another, according to CNN.

The dogs were treated for injuries and have returned to duty. Adesanya faces charges for assaulting the dogs, unlawful entry and making threats. He was reportedly unarmed and his father told media that he’s mentally ill.

“The United States capital, it’s one of the highly targeted terrorist facilities in the world, as is the White House,” Chaffetz told Fox on a day when the Canadian parliament was attacked and the White House got its second jumper in two months.

“You have got some jumper… these attacks, they are out there. And the men and women who perform the intelligence to try to prevent them and then the men and women who actually have to respond to those with dogs and other assets, they’ve just got to smother this as quickly as possible. So it’s something that we have been deal with for a long period of time,” the congressman continued. “But when you see, you know, an honor guard killed, murdered, you have got to think this is terrorism, not just, hey, let’s down play this. You have to think, is this part of a bigger, broader terrorist effort? We are in a fight and we have to win this fight.”

Chaffetz acknowledged “we can’t give up every liberty in the name of security.”

“At the same time, when we know there is a threat, there is a clear-and-present danger to the United States of America, then you go take out that threat,” he said. “We can’t be so politically correct as to say, well, let’s not just pretend that this particular thing — let’s just smooth that over. No, you can’t be talking about workplace violence when clearly it’s terrorism. Let’s get real about it and get aggressive about it. People need to know, for instance, in the fence jumping, I spent a lot of time looking at the Secret Service, and most every one of those men and women do awesome work. Awesome work.”

“But when somebody does jump the fence, they need to know that they are going to be taken down. Those men and women who are there, they can’t hesitate. They need to know we got their back, that nobody gets to the president, nobody gets in the White House, no one gets in that Canadian parliament. If that’s the message we continue to send, then I think they will think twice about making those types of attempts.”

The jumper reportedly got 20 yards or so across the lawn before the dogs got him.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said the latest incident shows that the height of design of the fence needs to be changed.

“The Secret Service has learned from the most serious breach in its history that dogs need to be on the job on the ground where the fence-jumpers want to be, not at an off-site location,” Norton said. “However, last night’s jumper scaled the fence when the president was in the residence. When will the Department of Homeland Security or the Secret Service seek a historically authentic, secure wrought-iron fence to thwart fence jumpers?”

“The potential effectiveness of such measures is clear, unlike the overreach of keeping the public farther away from the White House,” Norton added. “These two steps – updating the fence and keeping dogs close to the fence – show that what we need is common sense and attentiveness to every security detail at the perimeter.”

Read bullet |

Holder’s Justice Department Isn’t Interested in the Facts in Ferguson

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The official autopsy of Michael Brown leaked Wednesday. It strongly suggests that there was an altercation between Brown and Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson before the 18-year-old man was shot dead on August 9. The autopsy also revealed that Brown had been using marijuana, and had enough THC in his system to trigger hallucinations.

The Justice Department is angry — with the leak.

The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”

That’s rich coming from a Justice Department that bigfooted its way into Ferguson with the express intent to impact public opinion, after the media did its best/worst to turn what might have been an ordinary if tragic police shooting incident into a nationwide race case.

Supposing the leaker does want to influence public opinion, why might that be the case? Could it be because the rioters who menaced Ferguson for weeks after the shooting continue to demand that Wilson not only be indicted, but convicted, no matter what the facts say? Could the leak be an attempt to start slowly draining the story’s controversy away? Could it be because the leaker is aware that the grand jury’s failure to indict Wilson, if that’s what happens, could trigger a whole new round of riots and violence if it comes without some warning?

Here’s what we’re getting, in what looks like an effort to start pulling some of the rage out of the situation ahead of any grand jury decision.

The New York Times reported that investigators found Brown’s blood on Wilson’s gun, on the interior door panel of Wilson’s car and on Wilson’s uniform.

The Washington Post reported that several black witnesses had provided details in secret grand jury testimony that supported Wilson’s account.

Read bullet |

Dem Congressman: ‘Everybody’s Hair on Fire’ That ‘Somehow the Muslim Hordes are Going to Come Get Us’

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Democratic congressman decried reactions to this week’s terrorist attacks in Canada, arguing people shouldn’t get worked up about “Muslim hordes” coming to get the U.S.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) told MSNBC yesterday that President Obama was “very measured in his response.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the killing of a soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa followed by shots fired at the parliament building the work of a “terrorist” in his address to the nation. Obama stressed “we don’t yet have all the information about what motivated the shooting,” adding “it emphasizes the degree to which we have to remain vigilant when it comes to dealing with these kinds of acts of senseless violence or terrorism.”

“Usually people — the information we get immediately after one of this incident turns out to be partial or incorrect or wrong direction all together. I mean you have to look back to Timothy McVeigh when he blew up the building in Oklahoma City, or we had two guards killed in the Congress since I’ve been there by a young man who was trying to bring a gun in who was mentally not balanced,” McDermott said.

“You have to wait and get the information, and I think the president, by not getting his hair on fire is doing exactly the right thing. We don’t know who did this, we don’t know if there’s a conspiracy or anything else. All the speculation you’re seeing in the press is done by irresponsible people in my view.”

The shooter, killed by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vicker, has been identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Reuters cited U.S. officials saying Zehaf-Bibeau was a recent convert to Islam, and the Globe and Mail said his passport had been taken away by the Canadian government after he was designated a “high-risk traveler” who was planning to go fight overseas.

NORAD was put on high-alert posture after the Canadian attack. McDermott said that wasn’t necessary.

“You know, we’ve just gone through the Ebola virus. That was the crisis of last week. Everybody’s hair was on fire about Ebola and suddenly a shooting occurs in Canada and suddenly our hair is on fire that somehow the Muslim hordes are going to come and get us; there’s no evidence for that,” he said.

“And to me it sends the wrong message to the people, especially to those people who are inclined to do these kinds of things, it gives them ammunition to say, well I’d better do something now before — that kind of stuff encourages this kind of stuff.”

The congressman said he feels “very comfortable” with security on Capitol Hill.

“Walking around the campus as I have for the last few years, you occasionally suddenly see another layer of police, and you see people being directed away from certain areas. And you see things happening and you know that they’ve changed something because they’re concerned about something. I think that’s prudent, that’s what we create the police for, to do the things to protect us,” McDermott said.

“They don’t necessarily have to tell us everything that they’ve heard or worried about. They simply have to do their job. And I think that, sometimes the government official like President Obama doesn’t need to tell everybody everything he knows. He needs to deal with it in an appropriate way using the instruments of government. And so far I’ve seen him do a good job. I really think he’s handled this very well.”

Read bullet |