Serious content warning. Serious enough that the original video was pulled from YouTube.
There’s a great episode of Modern Family in which Cam and Mitchell have to explain to their four year old daughter Lily that she can’t use the f-word. Every time Lily drops the f-bomb, Cam starts compulsively laughing, making it very hard to convince the child that using the f-word is inappropriate. Horrified, Mitchell rebukes Cam throughout the episode until Lily drops a big, fat f-bomb while standing in front of a church full of people, dressed as a flower girl in a wedding party. At that point everyone laughs. Point being: Adults get a perverse kick out of watching innocent little kids use bad words.
It’s probably why Will Ferrell made a series of videos for Funny or Die featuring his creative partner Adam McKay’s toddler daughter repeating loads of foul, inappropriate language in adult-like scenarios. Commenting on his child’s foul-mouthed role, McKay remarked:
“Fortunately she is in this great stage now where she repeats anything you say to her and then forgets it right away, which is key,” says McKay, who has two daughters by his wife of 11 years, actress Shira Piven (Jeremy’s sister).
Adds McKay, “She has not said the B-word since we shot the thing.”
Rumor had it that the videos ceased production once the toddler was old enough to realize what she was saying and repeat it.
Adults find kids cursing to be funny. The younger the kid, the better. So, when FCKH8 decided to have a load of little girls dress up as princesses and drop the f-bomb all over the Internet, they basically decided to give adults everywhere (except those with some sense of moral fiber) a laugh.
And mock feminism at the same time.
I laugh at the War on Women mythology quite frequently. The idea that beauty is somehow associated with helplessness, that abortion translates to career equality, and the whole 77 cents-to-a-dollar thing all really tickle my funny bone. But I do take feminism seriously. And I wonder, if the folks at FCKH8 really took feminism seriously, would they have chosen to market it by employing one of the gags that makes adults laugh the most?
Apparently, FCKH8′s real goal is to say American Feminism, with it’s slavish attachment to the War on Women is a complete joke best understood by those with the intellect of a 5 year old. Which is a shame, both for FCKH8 and American feminism, because, for the women facing real issues of inequality and gender-based persecution, feminism is no laughing matter.
Truth Revolt‘s Ben Shapiro (a.k.a. the guy who took over the Breitbart mantle) has jumped on Christina Hoff Sommers‘ Factual Feminist bandwagon with his own info short Women are Winning the War on Women. Knocking down the pay gap, birth control, and sexual assault myths with statistical evidence, Shapiro declares, “It’s a great time to be a woman, which means we don’t need Hillary Clinton and her magical X-chromosomes to save the day.”
In the short Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, touts the fact that his wife balances both motherhood and medical school, destroying the stereotype that religious men don’t (or can’t) support gender equality.
Using midterm hype to get ahead of 2016 Presidential electioneering, Shapiro applies his legal mind and quick wit to what is becoming a genre of informational videos geared towards the next generation of American feminists.
Check it out and pass it on.
When Israeli Sergeant Oron Shaul was captured by Hamas terrorists in the thick of this past summer’s Operation Protective Sheild, the Palestinian terror organization used the sergeant’s Facebook page to broadcast their sick achievement to his family and friends. It should have been easy for the IDF to electronically trace the gloating terrorists, but it wasn’t. Why not? Apparently the U.S. attorney general got in the way.
Israel issued a request for Facebook to turn over IP address information, and the Justice Department got to work. In the meantime, the FBI got the bureaucratic wheels rolling with the U.S. Attorney’s office in what should have been a cut and dry procedure that, in a few short hours, was inexplicably shut down. The Jewish Press reports:
Suddenly, and to the shock of the prosecutors working feverishly to obtain the information that possibly could reveal where Shaul (or his body) was being held, a shocking email arrived from the FBI. An email that spelled a death sentence for what many believed to be the best chance of finding Shaul and his kidnappers.
Thank you for your effort, input and assistance. I regret to inform you we have been denied approval to move forward with legal process.We were told by our management we need a MLAT [Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty] in order to continue to assist our partner with the request in question.
The MLAT requires a standardized process to wind its way through legal and diplomatic protocols and usually take weeks to process. They are used, [Steve] Emerson explained, for non-pressing legal matters in which the United States or another country is carrying out some legal process, such as a prosecution of a citizen in another country. They are not used in urgent, life-or-death or counter-terrorism scenarios, “especially with a close ally such as Israel,” Emerson was told.
…Three days after the stand down email was sent, the IDF concluded that Oron Shaul was dead. His body has never been recovered. Hamas is interested in using whatever parts of Shaul’s body they claim to have to swap for terrorist prisoners held by Israel.
According to Emerson’s investigation, those involved in the legal procedures in the U.S. believe the stop order was given by the attorney general’s office.
Add this to the list of reasons why Eric Holder stepped down just in time. It may also be on the list of reasons why Israel is choosing to wean itself from its strong dependency on American military aid.
Are you a woman who wants it all? Career now, kids eventually? Now you can have it – as long as you work for Apple or Facebook.
Two Silicon Valley giants now offer women a game-changing perk: Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs.
Facebook recently began covering egg freezing, and Apple will start in January, spokespeople for the companies told NBC News. The firms appear to be the first major employers to offer this coverage for non-medical reasons.“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com. By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women, she said, and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.
The benefit will likely encourage women to stay with their employer longer, cutting down on recruiting and hiring costs. And practically speaking, when women freeze their eggs early, firms may save on pregnancy costs in the long run, said Westphal. A woman could avoid paying to use a donor egg down the road, for example, or undergoing more intensive fertility treatments when she’s ready to have a baby.
But the emotional and cultural payoff may be more valuable, said [Extended Fertility founder Christy] Jones: Offering this benefit “can help women be more productive human beings.”
Egg freezing is marketed as the latest, greatest equalizer between women and men. So, long metaphor short, if you want to be a “more productive human being” you’d better start working like a man. I wonder, would George Bernard Shaw discount the reproduction of human life and the raising of good, moral, decent human beings as not being a “productive” enough member of society? If so, he might have found good company in Silicon Valley.
The real question is, as the science of egg freezing continues to develop, will these employer benefits go from being optional perks to potential requirements of the job? Will employers frown upon women who choose to take their chances on children now instead of freezing their options for another day?
Need a laugh? Check out Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin’s sit down on Russia Today’s Keiser Report. Make sure there’s no food in your mouth before I tell you the episode’s title.
It’s called “Meeting of Megaminds”.
The pair make an excellent duo of on-air Putin spambots. Russell Brand, better known as the former Mr. Katy Perry, is attempting to carve out a niche for himself as a comedian-cum-conspiracy theorist who makes Carrot Top look appealing. Alec Baldwin has devolved from Hollywood megastar to angry old man in a way that makes you wish a combo of Nicolas Cage and Clint Eastwood would magically appear every time he opens his tired old mouth. He promised to immigrate if George W. Bush were elected in 2004, but I guess pre-production for 30 Rock got in the way (thanks, Tina Fey). Fitting right in with the acting crowd, Russia Today host Max Keiser plays the typical role of upper crust yuppie-turned-commie (wouldn’t Alger Hiss be proud). He was an NYU theater student before working in stand up comedy, radio, and as a broker on Wall Street before making it rich with his creation, the Hollywood Stock Exchange. Until 2012 he was a regular on Iran Press TV. Now, when he isn’t on Russia Today, he busies himself making documentaries for Al-Jazeera and writing for the Huffington Post.
Think he might just have a bit of a bias? Then you’re the biased one, obviously. Capitalist pig.
You have to slug through most of the stereotypical socialist hyperbole to get to any actual meat in the discussion. Still, the inflated theoretical dialogue (calling it “intellectual” would be an insult to those with actual, functioning brain cells) provides a great learning experience for young folk looking to understand what Soviet propaganda sounded like before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s nice to know this kind of pompous hot air still floats around in our atmosphere. Perhaps Al Gore should start tagging it as the real cause of global warming.
The House of Commons backed the move “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution” – although less than half of MPs took part in the vote.
The result, 274 to 12, is symbolic but could have international implications.
Ministers abstained on the vote, on a motion put forward by Labour MP Grahame Morris and amended by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
…The full motion stated: “That this House believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”
Explaining Labour’s support, shadow foreign minister Ian Lucas said it would “strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence”.
“This is not an alternative to negotiations. It is a bridge for beginning them,” he said.
Conservative Nicholas Soames said: “I’m convinced that to recognise Palestine is both morally right and is in our national interest.”
Another former foreign secretary, Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, said he too wanted to see a two-state solution but added: “Symbolism sometimes has a purpose. It sometimes has a role. But I have to say you do not recognise a state which has not yet got the fundamental ingredients that a state requires if it’s going to carry out its international functions and therefore, at the very least, I would respectfully suggest this motion is premature.”
Britain is now one of over 100 countries who have cast a symbolic vote to recognize the State of Palestine. While the vote carries no real power over foreign policy, it is an undeniable push for a two-state solution in the face of what many see to be a failed peace process on the part of America and Israel.
“That awkward moment when Palestinians praise the old colonialist empire for giving it recognition,” noted Zionist Chloe Valdary commented via social media.
GOP Rep. Cory Gardner is taking the lead over Democrat Sen. Mark Udall in a hot mid-term race in the purple state of Colorado. Ellen Carmichael explains what Republicans can learn from Gardner’s strategic campaign over at the Federalist. As it turns out, the lessons revolve around the Right’s tendency to play defense in the face of the Left’s only real weapon of choice, character assassination:
Udall’s fallacious accusations, misrepresentation of his record, or mischaracterization of his beliefs don’t shake Gardner. Instead, he redirects the debate to meatier issues, such as the economy and health care, without getting “in the weeds” on less pressing matters, like whether Julia’s birth-control pills should fall from the sky like Skittles. …Gardner’s consistency and restraint give Udall few openings for attack. When asked about his positions on birth control and abortion, Gardner responds clearly, calmly and with conviction. …We also know there’s no better way to frustrate a bully than to refuse to be bothered by him. Gardner’s disinterest in even entertaining Udall’s wild accusations demonstrate a political maturity. He knows he doesn’t have to fight every battle or feed a troll—even if that troll is a sitting U.S. senator.
Imagine, a politician that stays on point, refusing to waste voters’ time addressing baseless accusations. Could it be that, in the pot state of all places, electioneering hasn’t fallen to the level of a Real Housewives reunion?
Millennial actress Raven Symone has dared to de-hyphenate her identity in the face of the goddess O:
“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American,” Raven said.
“Oh, girl, don’t set up Twitter on fire,” Oprah said. “You’re going to get a lot of flak for saying you’re not African-American.”
“What I really mean by that is I’m an American. That’s what I really mean,” Raven replied. “I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture,” Raven said.
“You are a melting pot in one body,” Oprah said.
“Isn’t that what America is supposed to be?” Raven declared.
The former child star, best known for her role on The Cosby Show caused television’s Goddess-in-Chief to nearly jump out of her chair. Perhaps generational difference is playing a key role in the Symone’s patriotic identification. According to a recent NPR story titled Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously:
“Forty-three percent of millennials are nonwhite,” says Eileen Patten, a research analyst at the Pew Research Center (and a millennial herself). “When we look at older generations — boomers and silents — less than 3 in 10 were nonwhite.”
Because millennials look different en masse than generations past, the future is going to look different too. They’ve already led the country to massive shifts in opinion on social issues over the past decade.
As Symone illustrated, not every social issue is about sex or pot. Her willingness to step outside the box confronts the political correctness of Oprah’s Baby Boomers exactly the way it should: With a peaceful, confident, fresh perspective.
Perhaps Millennials should be given a second look after all.
Those seeking further proof that “gay marriage” isn’t really about gay marriage at all need look no further than the op-ed pages of the New York Times.
The attempt to legitimize pedophilia may very well be the next chapter in the ongoing saga of reshaping America through the courts. The Daily Caller picked up on a New York Times op-ed written by Rutgers Law Professor Margo Kaplan, who argues in defense of pedophiles:
Kaplan says criminal law should be changed so that pedophiles are only stigmatized or denied jobs if law school graduates agree that they pose a “direct threat” to children.
That could be a bonanza for law school graduates, because they’d be paid to argue over whether the hiring of a particular pedophile for a particular job is a direct threat to particular children. “The direct-threat analysis rejects the idea that [prospective] employers can rely on generalizations; they must assess the specific case and rely on evidence, not presuppositions,” Kaplan writes.
But this shift would also be a loss for the 99 percent of non-pedophile American citizens and voters, because it would eliminate their longstanding civil right to simply and cheaply exclude pedophiles from mainstream society or from jobs near children.
That right would be handed over to the hourly-paid law school graduates, including judges, defense lawyers, arbitrators and prosecutors, if Kaplan’s career plan becomes law.
For Kaplan, the pro-pedophilia fight is more than a potshot at job creation for a generation of unemployed law school grads. It is a holy mission to obtain the right to classify kiddie fiddlers as suffering from a “mental disorder” and thereby deserving of all the employment protection the ADA allows.
“Acknowledging that pedophiles have a mental disorder, and removing the obstacles to their coming forward and seeking help, is not only the right thing to do, but it would also advance efforts to protect children from harm,” she insisted, without providing evidence.
In the 1970s, the Catholic Church accepted the advice of many experts in the new mental-health industry, and concluded that pedophile priests could be successfully treated with private therapy. The theory was not proven correct, and it helped protect many priests as they sexually abused thousands of boys.
Pedophilia isn’t the first sexual behavior to show up in the post-”gay marriage” courts. Back in December, Breitbart reported on Brown v. Buhman, a case in which
…a federal judge [Clark Waddoups] has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional. …Waddoups’ opinion would not only cover such groups, however, but also Muslims or anyone else who claims a right—religious or otherwise—to have multiple-person marriages.
The case, currently being appealed, has a very good chance of heading to the Supreme Court, giving our illustrious justices another opportunity to fundamentally change the way we live our lives with their “emerging awareness”. Such “emerging awareness” is already evident in the pages of the American Psychological Association’s diagnostic manual, which “…distinguishes between pedophiles who desire sex with children, and those who act on those desires.”
Gay marriage supporters who cheer legislation from the court bench should think twice about what they’re actually rooting for. It is their advocacy of un-Constitutional principles hidden under the guise of compassion that has opened the floodgates for judicial abuse. This abuse sets a horrifying precedent for what can be defined by a court as permissible behavior or, worse yet, protected as a faultless disability.
Put your emotions aside for a moment and read Ben Shapiro’s succinct explanation of the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s refusal to take on gay marriage cases from five states:
The Court clearly wants to wait until a majority of states have been forced to embrace same-sex marriage by lower-level appeals courts. Then they can determine that a “trend-line” has been established, suggest that society has “evolved,” and declare that a new standard must be enshrined. That, of course, was the logic of Lawrence v. Texas (2003), in which the Court waited 17 years to overrule Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), stating that anal penetration was a hard-fought Constitutional right; the Court in that case stated that Bowers no longer applied because of “an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.” Justice Scalia rightly pointed out that the Court’s statement was false – the state, he explained, still regulates “prostitution, adult incest, adultery, obscenity, and child pornography.” And Scalia also pointed out that “Constitutional entitlements do not spring into existence because some States choose to lessen or eliminate criminal sanctions on certain behavior.”
…This is the beauty of Supreme Court doctrine: they don’t even have to do their judicial dirty work anymore. They can rely on lower-level courts to violate the Constitution, then declare the Constitution magically changed because of an “emerging” consensus on violating the Constitution.
And the people have no recourse. They cannot pass laws that for two and a half centuries have been fully Constitutional. They cannot fight state attorneys general who betray their voters. They must sit by as the courts play legal games while awaiting the great Obama-esque “evolution” – an evolution that is almost entirely top-down, and that will then be dictated to us by our betters.
Shapiro’s legal insight, akin to that of Mark Levin, provides further evidence for my own previously stated belief that the Right needs to argue on the basis of law, not theology, if they want to keep America free:
Instead of rebutting those who argue that the Constitution is an amorphous idea that will bend to their will with the simple truth that they are empowering a court to render their individual vote effectively useless, we get caught up in arguments over whether or not God approves of homosexuality. We then get stereotyped as a bunch of Bible-thumpers who have no clue how government works – by a bunch of ideological terrorists intent on destroying the very government they claim to uphold.
When gay marriage is over there will be another hot-button morality issue to be abused in the name of raping and pillaging our individual rights through legal abuse. It is time to get out from under the theological rock and see the big picture. Conservatives, if you want a truly constitutional republic, start sending your kids to law school. We may be forced into play the game, but that just means we should play to win.
Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama’s top advisers, made an appearance on another kind of Sunday show — the prime-time drama “The Good Wife,” which trucks in steamy affairs, dirty politics, and courtroom fireworks.
Playing herself, Jarrett appeared in several scenes trying to convince the show’s main character, a Chicago lawyer named Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies) who also happens to be married to the governor, to run for state’s attorney. Alicia, who’s been battered by the political life and the scrutiny that comes with it, is insisting that she won’t run (she will), and Jarrett makes the case. More women, she says, need “to step up” if they want to change the world.
Alicia insists that she detests politics, and Jarrett agrees with her, saying she wouldn’t want a candidate who liked it. “We need leaders who understand what it means to be a public servant,” she says.
The Good Wife airs back-to-back with Madam Secretary, a drama following Tea Leoni’s attempt to imitate Hillary Clinton during her stint as Secretary of State. Think Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, only less mocky-mocky and more lovey-dovey.
This isn’t the first time Jarrett has appeared opposite Margulies. The pair hosted a cocktail fundraiser for President Obama in NYC in 2012.
Tablet Magazine is giving press to one of the Jewish world’s most truly feminist causes, the right of a woman to obtain a divorce decree, known in the Rabbinic world as a get. Rivky Stein has spent the past 2 years attempting to obtain a get from her husband Yoel Weiss who simply refuses to appear in court (a Rabbinic beit din) in order for the decree to be issued. Sick, tired, and more than ready to move on with her life, Rivky took to social media to publicly shame her husband into relenting.
A surge of news reports followed, adding to an ongoing saga that had been chronicled by publications ranging from The Daily Mail to Haaretz. A call to action was posted on a website devoted to Stein’s cause. Donations poured in to a crowd-funding website that has raised over $22,000 so far.
The coordinated use of publicists, Facebook, Twitter, donation sites, and rallies is becoming common for women like Rivky Stein who seek religious divorces from their husbands. Many Jews give little thought to the get, but in traditional Judaism only men can grant a divorce. Without one, a woman cannot date or remarry without carrying and passing onto her children what is widely considered in the Orthodox world to be a tremendous stigma. So, with few options in Jewish law, more agunot—Hebrew for “chained wives”—are embracing contemporary and high-tech tools to publicly shame men.
Rivky is far from the first woman to take her divorce demand to the court of public opinion. Statistics indicate that there are 462 agunot in North America, but due to the insular nature of the Orthodox Jewish community those numbers are far from reliable.
Rivky Stein’s case is a he-said, she-said story. She claims mental, physical and sexual abuse. He says she’s “a sham”. Still, the history of Orthodox men abusing their wives and refusing to grant divorces doesn’t bode in his favor. Get detectives rake in the bucks in Israel “…where all Jewish marriages and divorces must be made in rabbinic courts,” and in America, of course, we have the “Prodfather”:
While shame and exclusion have worked for centuries, another tactic has raised a great deal of attention: violence. A recent article in GQ details allegations against Rabbi Mendel Epstein, who is referred to as the “Prodfather” for his use of electric cattle prods to coerce reluctant husbands. At 69 years old, Epstein faces 25 years to life in federal prison after an elaborate FBI sting operation led to his arrest and indictment on multiple counts of kidnapping.
The power of social media can only go so far, and the women who do take their case to social media are internet-shamed in turn, orphaned by their own religious communities.
Although agunot may be better-equipped than ever, with the ability to instantaneously reach out to thousands of followers through social media, or bankroll an attorney through crowd-funding, the power of divorce is ultimately given to the husband, according to Jewish law. If Weiss is bent on staying married, there is little Stein can do.
…As for Stein, much of her effort at this point goes into prayer. “I feel like I did everything,” she said. “I don’t know what to do anymore, honestly.”
Streams of Judaism that require religious approval for a divorce have largely adopted the Lieberman clause in the ketubah (wedding contract) that give the wife the option to petition a reluctant husband through a secular court. Despite being promoted by some Orthodox rabbis, most Orthodox groups refuse to include the clause in wedding contracts.
An evangelical Zionist friend of mine sent me a link to pro-life Catholic Lisa Graas’s response to Ted Cruz’s shock-speech at the IDC Summit held earlier this month. Her opinions are illustrative of exactly how theology continues to impact politics in America. Threatening Cruz with the loss of the Catholic vote, Graas writes:
In Catholicism, Israel doesn’t have to be a “Jewish state.” We can accept it as a Jewish state, but we are in no way bound to it being so because we see the Church as the New Israel, theologically.
Graas is a believer in supersessionism, a.k.a. replacement theology. Replacement theology is an old school church teaching that the Christian Church replaces Israel in God’s eyes, that after Jesus, God was done with the Jews and has summarily dubbed the Church his “New Israel” to be the recipients of all the blessings Biblically directed to Israel. It is a nasty idea that was used to defend Crusades, expulsions, and pogroms. Now, Graas is using replacement theology to defend what she defines as the “high church”/Muslim relationship at the sake of Catholic support for the Jewish State.
In saying “no greater ally than the Jewish state,” he [Cruz] stepped over into theology and insulted Catholics who see the Church as the New Israel theologically. We can, and desire to be, friends with Israel, even as a Jewish state, but we cannot pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state in the manner that people of Ted Cruz’s religion pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state. We cannot say that if suddenly everyone in Israel converted to Catholicism and turned Israel into a Catholic state, that this would be a “bad” thing. Protestants, of course, would be horrified if that happened because they have some deeply-held theological views that Israel MUST BE a Jewish state. We can take it or leave it as a Jewish state, but they can’t take it or leave it. Catholics can be your friend, Israel, even as a Jewish state, but we cannot pledge unfailing loyalty to “a Jewish state” like Ted Cruz and evangelicals do. You ask too much there.
Graas rambles on about the evils of Protestant ideology, him-hawing over whether or not Israel should be considered a Jewish state with arguments that boil down to a valley girl’s, “Uh, yeah, well, I guess…whatever,” in her theological defense of Catholic replacement theology. Then, oddly enough, she comes out with this whopper:
Another thing is that many Christians in the Middle East see his statement “Jewish state” as being bad not because it’s “Jewish,”, per se, but because it is a “sectarian” statement. They distrust the advancement of ideas that promote theocratic rule over religious minorities who are in disagreement with that particular theology.
An old-school, Pope is “lower than man, but higher than God,” replacement theologian Catholic decides that Cruz isn’t to be trusted because he’s the sectarian one in the room. Apparently there hasn’t yet been an edict issued against irony.
You’ve heard of “attachment parenting” from moms like Mayim Bialik who breastfeed until the kid is out of high school. Now, thanks to Valerie Jarrett, we know what “attachment advising” truly means, via the headline:
You can’t make this stuff up.
President Obama ditched his uptown digs at the Waldorf Astoria to sample the offerings of downtown Manhattan.
With the First Lady and his trusty senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in tow, the presidential motorcade took over the Nolita neighborhood on Wednesday night for the first couple’s date night at Estela on E. Houston St.
They dined on burrata with salsa verde and bread, two endive salads, tomatoes and croquettes before they returned to their hotel shortly before 10:30pm, sources told Eater New York.
The restaurant said it was “humbled” by the presidential visit, posting an Instagram shot of the Obama’s order.
Apparently, the restaurant is “beverage driven,” so I guess Valerie Jarrett didn’t need to do a literal public feeding. But, have no doubt, Mommy was still very hard at work scanning the menu for healthy choices for the kids.
Paul Goble at Interpreter Magazine offers keen insight into the Western media’s dangerous love affair with Vladimir Putin:
…as has been true since the start of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, Putin has exploited the increasing proclivity of Western journalists to equate balance with objectivity. He and his minions have flooded the media with statements that are simply not true, but many Western outlets report them as part of the story, without identifying them as false or even questioning their veracity.
That allows such journalists to claim objectivity, but it creates a situation in which there is little or no pressure on Western governments to do the right thing. Many journalists (and governments) will not describe what Moscow is doing as an invasion because Putin says there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, despite massive evidence to the contrary.
As a result, in all too many cases, Putin’s lies have defined the situation rather than facts on the ground, and the Western media’s focus on balance – on presenting all sides of the case even if one or more is untrue – gives thuggish leaders like him an opening that they should not have but will not exploit.
Besides re-defining “balance” in pursuit of a deadline, eye-catching story, or political point of view, Western media also backs the White House’s post-Vietnam love-affair with the mystical cease-fire.
…Second, Western governments approach every conflict as an occasion to get a ceasefire rather than to defeat aggression out of a belief that diplomacy alone can solve the problem and reach a solution. …by signaling that it will not oppose a particular case of aggression, the West has taught Putin and his regime a lesson, but very much the wrong one: aggression works and after “a decent interval” will be ignored, have no consequences for relations with the West, and then can be repeated.
Interestingly, Goble also notes the West’s unwillingness to push real economic and cultural sanctions against Russia. His theory is that the West is afraid if such sanctions truly pushed Moscow to the breaking point, it would only result in a Kremlin that “would call Western profits into question”. In other words, the West may lose economic benefit, or worse, be shamed in the international community as capitalist pigs. Apparently Goble has no faith in Western media to attack such a claim should it arise. While he does not say this directly, his inference is another black mark on Western media’s character.
Especially relevant to more than just Russia-US relations, Goble questions of Putin’s passive-aggressive tactics,
Will Putin have any incentive to move toward peace if he can get everything he wants by dragging out a Western-backed “peace process” forever?
It is a rhetorical query, and one that should not be reserved for Putin alone. An equally rhetorical follow up: Could it be that the same Moscow that backed the PLO learned a lesson from Arafat and his political descendants? The Western audience should rethink their media’s relationship with Russia, for sure. But that should be the starting, not the stopping point in their analysis.
Lee Smith at Tablet reports on the scandal recently buried in a long-winded report published in the New York Times:
…buried deep in the Times’ epic snoozer was a world-class scoop related to one of the world’s biggest and most controversial stories—something so startling, and frankly so grotesque, that I have to bring it up again here: Martin Indyk, the man who ran John Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, whose failure in turn set off this summer’s bloody Gaza War, cashed a $14.8 million check from Qatar. Yes, you heard that right: In his capacity as vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at the prestigious Brookings Institution, Martin Indyk took an enormous sum of money from a foreign government that, in addition to its well-documented role as a funder of Sunni terror outfits throughout the Middle East, is the main patron of Hamas—which happens to be the mortal enemy of both the State of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.
But far from trumpeting its big scoop, the Times seems to have missed it entirely, even allowing Indyk to opine that the best way for foreign governments to shape policy is “scholarly, independent research, based on objective criteria.” Really? It is pretty hard to imagine what the words “independent” and “objective” mean coming from a man who while going from Brookings to public service and back to Brookings again pocketed $14.8 million in Qatari cash. At least the Times might have asked Indyk a few follow-up questions, like: Did he cash the check from Qatar before signing on to lead the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians? Did the check clear while he was in Jerusalem, or Ramallah? Or did the Qatari money land in the Brookings account only after Indyk gave interviews and speeches blaming the Israelis for his failure? We’ll never know now. But whichever way it happened looks pretty awful.
Smith notes Qatar’s financial backing of Hamas and cozy relationship with the terror group’s leader Khaled Meshaal. He also questions (and, perhaps answers) why John Kerry was so anxious to back a Qatari/Turkish sponsored truce designed to benefit Hamas during this summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
Smith’s piece should be read and shared for his simple, yet profound conclusion about the Israel Lobby that isn’t, and the Qatar Lobby that most definitely is:
Another fact buried deep inside the Times piece is that Israel—the country usually portrayed as the octopus whose tentacles control all foreign policy debate in America—ranks exactly 56th in foreign donations to Washington think tanks. The Israeli government isn’t writing checks or buying dinner because—it doesn’t have to. The curious paradox is that a country that has the widespread support of rich and poor Americans alike—from big urban Jewish donors to tens of millions of heartland Christian voters—is accused of somehow improperly influencing American policy. While a country like Qatar, whose behavior is routinely so vile, and so openly anti-American, that it has no choice but to buy influence—and perhaps individual policymakers—gets off scot free among the opinion-shapers.
Cui bono? Perhaps it is time for both urban Jews and heartland Christians to brush up on their Latin. Or, we could simply find out who benefits by going straight to the back pages and buried paragraphs of the New York Times.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
In a historic verdict, an 11 member jury on Monday found Arab Bank liable for knowingly providing financial services to Hamas – the first time a financial institution has ever been held civilly liable for supporting terrorism.
The Arab Bank trial took place in a federal court in Brooklyn for the last five weeks and revisited some of Hamas’ worst terror attacks, including the August 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem killing or wounding 130 and a range of 24 horrid terror attacks during the Second Intifada.
The verdict was 10 years in the making, and still may be subject to Supreme Court review.
The central question was whether the 11 member jury would find that Arab Bank knew or should have known that its account holders were using it to transfer “blood money” to Hamas for terror operations – or whether it checked for suspicious transactions as best it could, and simply imperfectly missed them.
On Thursday, during closing arguments, Plaintiffs’ attorney C. Tab Turner told the jury they were in a very special situation: “a situation that no jury in the history of this country has ever been in.”
He continued, “Never has anyone sat on a case of finance terrorism, with issues like you have to decide in this case.”
“You have more power today to change the way that this world operates, the world of banking operates, than anyone else on the face of the earth,” said Turner.
Gary M. Osen, another plaintiffs’ attorney responded, saying, “The jury has found Arab Bank responsible for knowingly supporting terrorism. It found Arab Bank complicit in the deaths and grievous injuries inflicted on dozens of Americans.”
According to an unclassified U.S. State Department memorandum released after the jury began deliberations, “In 2003, the United States provided evidence to Saudi authorities that the Saudi al Quds Intifadah Committee (“Committee”) founded in October 2000, was forwarding millions of dollars in funds to the families of Palestinians engaged in terrorist activities, including those of suicide bombers.”
“The timing of the State Department’s disclosure raises deeply troubling questions,” said Plaintiffs’ trial counsel Michael Elsner, who requested the records. “Obviously, the jury reached the same conclusion about the Saudi payments in finding Arab Bank guilty for its support of Hamas, but this last minute disclosure of this evidence six years after we requested it and hours after the jury began its deliberations is telling.”
“We don’t expect the State Department to take sides in a civil case, but by withholding critical evidence until the jury began its deliberations, the State Department continues its unfortunate pattern of siding with foreign interests against American victims of terrorism,” said Elsner.
This past week Jewish media was abuzz with stories of how hard journalist Steven Sotloff’s family and friends worked to hide his Jewish identity after he was captured by ISIS. It seemed strange to me that Jew haters would have such terrible Jewdar. After all, the guy’s name was “Sotloff”, but apparently that’s not a “tell” in the Muslim world:
One thing journalists quickly learn is that the Jewish “tells” in the West don’t mean much in the Middle East. Jewish names obvious in the West are not at all so in the region, and stereotypical “Jewish looks” among westerners are indistinguishable from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern features that are common throughout the Middle East.
“My name might have been Miriam Leah Goldbergstein, and I wouldn’t have worried,” said Lisa Goldman, who reported for various outlets in Lebanon and then in Cairo during the Arab Spring in 2011.
“A rose by any other name” would still be an infidel, so it would seem:
It’s not known whether ISIS was aware that Sotloff was Jewish. Colleagues believe his kidnapping by ISIS-affiliated terrorists in 2012 in Syria was one of opportunity and not a deliberate targeting. James Foley, another journalist kidnapped by ISIS and beheaded last month by the terror group, was Catholic.
Which is, perhaps, the overarching point of the latest rash of radical Islamist beheadings of Western journalists. We are all roses to be de-headed, whether we call ourselves Jews, Christians, or simply Westerners of a secular stripe. Iranian American scholar Haleh Esfandiari didn’t blink in her distinction of “The West” from the Muslim east when she commented on radical Islamist recruits:
These young men who grew up in Western cultures seem to have absorbed nothing regarding the value of human life and respect for women.
If you want real insider information in the medical world, speak to a nurse. Jill Stanek, R.N., provided keen insight into the risks surrounding outpatient surgical procedures gone wrong. Citing the importance of knowing whether or not your doctor has admitting privileges to the local hospital, Stanek writes:
The issue of abortionists having admitting privileges at nearby hospitals has become huge in recent years, and even recent days, as several states have moved to enact such laws. Abortion proponents always oppose these as an “undue burden,” “medically unnecessary,” and even an “assault” on women – a backdoor attempt by pro-lifers to shut down clinics.
Stanek, a pro-life advocate, admits that she has used this as a political tactic to shut down abortion clinics. Politics aside, as a medical professional she rightly argues:
But so what. This should be separated from the fact that such laws do indeed protect women’s health and safety. Who wants to go to a doctor who can’t get hospital admitting privileges? And why should abortion clinics be allowed to operate as substandard medical facilities simply to protect abortion? Abortion most certainly isn’t a benign procedure. Since abortion was legalized in 1973, at least 411 mothers (CDC Table 25 - as of 2009, the latest figures available) have died due to abortions at legal clinics. That’s just deaths.
Only hours ago a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of Louisiana’s admitting privileges law, due to take effect today.
And on Friday a federal judge blocked Texas from enforcing a law forcing abortion clinics to adhere to the same standards as ambulatory surgical treatment centers, which is related since some of these regulations ensure halls and doorways are wide enough to fit gurneys and wheelchairs.
…Such irrational legal decisions kill not just children but their mothers.
Last month we learned that feminists were unwilling to come to the defense of women forced into sex slavery in ISIS territory. Last week we learned that feminists were willing to turn a blind eye to rape if it meant empowering bureaucracy and justifying their own twisted ideology. Now we’re learning that feminists are willing to watch their fellow women die in order to protect the politics of abortion.
The Yazidis. Campus rape victims. The young girls of Rotherham. Women seeking abortions. All of these groups should logically fall under the care of feminists the world over. Unfortunately for these victims, they are nothing more than the poster children of goddess feminism, the enslavement of women to an ideology that corrupts and ultimately destroys the individual in favor of the communal pursuit of …what? Freedom? Please. This is not the freedom our foremothers fought for. This is only death.
Haleh Esfandiari is an Iranian American who escaped the revolution in ’79. Currently directing the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Esfandiari was held captive by the Iranian regime for 105 days in 2007. One of the few voices willing to speak up for the women being oppressed under the ISIS regime, she recently turned a critical eye toward Arab and Muslim governments in the region in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:
Arab and Muslim governments, vocal on the threat ISIS poses to regional stability, have been virtually silent on ISIS’s systemic degradation, abuse, and humiliation of women. To the men of ISIS, women are an inferior race, to be enjoyed for sex and be discarded, or to be sold off as slaves.
…Zakia Hakki, an Iraqi judge and a woman herself, says that the fighters leave behind pregnant women who, as “soiled goods,” are ostracized by their own societies, while their children are treated as illegitimate. These raped women become targets for honor killings in their own families and communities. The governments of Iraq and Syria have also failed to protect these women and give them any assistance; nor have Western NGOs been effective in looking after these abandoned women and children. ISIS’s men not only leave behind dead bodies in their wake but also women and children who are scarred for life.
In its propaganda, ISIS emphasizes women’s modesty and piety. It created the al-Khansaa female brigade to protect the morality of women and to ensure they appear totally veiled in public. The irony will not be lost on anyone.
Esfandiari’s damning evidence adds fuel to the fire most feminists are unwilling to take on. But, it is her cultural analysis that demands the West’s wholehearted attention (emphasis mine):
Volunteer fighters from around the world, including from Western countries, who have joined ISIS are complicit in these crimes against women. These young men who grew up in Western cultures seem to have absorbed nothing regarding the value of human life and respect for women. Why are there are no demonstrations in Western and Muslim societies against this barbaric onslaught on women and girls? How much longer will the Muslim and Arab world watch these horrors against women and children before speaking out and acting forcefully to protect them and rid the region of the ISIS calamity?
White, conservative male Rich Lowry provides further evidence for my argument that the East proves the West needs feminism. In his latest syndicated column, Lowry details the horror that has occurred in Rotherham, England, a small northern England town in which “more than 1,400 young girls have been raped and brutally exploited” for over 15 years.
England is the West, you may argue. And you’d be right. A Western nation that turned a blind eye to these vicious crimes against women because the perpetrators of said heinous offenses were Pakistani Muslims.
… the local government tolerated sexual violence on a vast scale. Why? In part, because the criminals who committed these sickening acts were Muslims from the local Pakistani community, and noticing their depravity was considered insensitive at best, racist at worst.
The British home secretary says “institutionalized political correctness” contributed to the abandonment of hundreds of girls to their tormentors. Imagine something out of the nightmarish world of Stieg Larsson, brought to life and abetted by the muddle-headed cowardice of people who fear the disapproval of the diversity police.
In Rotherham, multiculturalism triumphed over not just feminism, but over the law, over basic human decency and over civilization itself.
According to an “independent investigation released last week”:
”It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”
Law enforcement, government-funded social workers, and elected officials were all well aware of the crimes being committed and, by and large, did nothing fearing Orwellian punishment for attempting to defend these women against a perceived protected minority.
Last Thursday the California State Assembly passed the “Yes Means Yes” campus rape bill, which now awaits the governor’s seal of approval. Feminist site Jezebel reports:
As previously reported, Senate Bill 967 sets a standard of requiring “affirmative consent” in sexual assault investigations, which means that the students in question must have affirmed to each other verbally or physically that they wanted to have sex with one another. It’s different from the previous “No Means No” mantra that many college campuses went by, which often meant that the person alleging that they had been sexually assaulted was penalized for not saying specifically that they didn’t want to have sex. Additionally, under affirmative consent, “Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent.”
It should come as no surprise that an ideological movement that took up residency with cultural Marxism in the 1960s would view bureaucracy as the best weapon against sexual assault. As Stalin once said, “bureaucracy is the price we pay for impartiality.” And isn’t impartiality what feminists strive for in sexual encounters these days?
Annuo, a “sexual consent app,” launched on August 11 when the campus rape bill hit the California legislature:
Annuo is the world’s first app that rewards you for having sex; so long as it’s consensual. Here’s how it works:
1) You and your prospective sex partner both sign-in via facebook. (Nothing about your encounter will be posted to your wall)
2)Person A signs a prompt consenting to sex
3) Person B signs a prompt consenting to sex
4) The two of you get busy!!!!
5) You get mPoints as rewards which can be redeemed for cool stuff
Impartial, 21st century bureaucracy (electronic versus that tree-killing paper trail) turns sex into a legal agreement with the promise of being rewarded with “cool stuff” (way cooler than love, I’m sure). You know the old joke, Stalin and Mark Zuckerberg walk into a bar on ladies’ night…
The conservative right wing has risen to the defense of actress Sofia Vergara’s Emmys pun. I’m pretty sure they’re only doing this to annoy liberal feminists, which is a stupid reason to defend anyone’s bad joke. What conservatives fail to realize is that, by defending Vergara’s vapid display of beauty on the altar, they’re putting themselves in the same camp as those feminist liberals they claim to hate.
What made Vergara’s 360 on prime time acceptable? Her beauty and the fact that she was fairly modest in her presentation. Vergara’s is the safe, 1940′s glamour style that conservatives love, equal parts nostalgic, respectable, and most importantly, tantalizing tease for those strapping young American boys in bluchers and madras ties. Beyonce, villified by conservatives for her lascivious performance at the VMA’s, is everything right wing men loathe, despise and even fear from the feminist left. She is dangerous, grotesquely sexual, and lusts after deviance. Instead of addressing this, conservatives simply sought an alternative goddess to fit their metaphorical and sexual needs. In truth, there is nothing different from Beyonce and Vergara’s respective performances, except for the fact that Vergara kept her legs closed, abiding by that age-old Bible belt bit of advice: Who’s going to buy the cow when you give the milk away for free?
Even the strongest of conservative analyses of the Beyonce/Vergara dispute includes:
As for the examples being set for young women: if you have a choice between wearing a tasteful, expensive dress and standing on a turntable to make a joke, or doing whatever Beyonce is singing about, I believe most American mothers would join me in strongly urging their daughters to choose the turntable.
Matti Friedman, a former AP Correspondent, has written a brilliant, must-read analysis of why the mainstream media’s reporting on Israel is skewed, biased, and downright reprehensible:
The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.
While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.
The 3 page story explains a number of popular misnomers that are the result of mainstream media reporting techniques, including:
- In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.
- The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.
- Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the essence of the Israel story. In addition, reporters are under deadline and often at risk, and many don’t speak the language and have only the most tenuous grip on what is going on. They are dependent on Palestinian colleagues and fixers who either fear Hamas, support Hamas, or both. Reporters don’t need Hamas enforcers to shoo them away from facts that muddy the simple story they have been sent to tell.
Concluding with, “Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality,” the story is a must read for anyone willing to confront the mess of mainstream media and the reality of life in Israel and the Middle East.
Ms. Magazine has published one professor’s feminist response to the violence (can we call them “race riots” or is that too 60′s?) in Ferguson, MO. Loaded with the language of critical theory, Professor Williams cites numerous historical resources ranging from 1892 – 1977 in order to defend “reproductive justice” and rail against what she (of course) believes to be racially motivated “police brutality”. Her conclusion (again, based on research dating from 1892-1977) is the textbook leftist response that leaves the casual reader with a yawn:
Police brutality cuts across race, class, gender and sexuality. Feminists that believe in reproductive justice must speak out for the rights of mothers and fathers to parent their children without fear that police and self-appointed neighborhood watchmen will deprive them of a future. Feminists must also ensure that women and sexual minorities that are subject to profiling and police violence are not subsumed by male-centered narratives of racial trauma and oppression. And feminism is not just about women’s oppression. As advocates for social justice, feminists should respond to undue acts of police violence against women and men.
Yada, yada, yada. It’s odd how she begins by distinguishing between “white” police officers (who are presumably male) and “black and brown men” (what about burnt sienna, sandalwood, or any of Crayola’s 72 other colors?), but by the end has fallen into the classic feminist language pattern of railing against “male-centered narratives of racial trauma and oppression.” It could easily be argued that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the rioters in Ferguson are subjecting us law abiding citizens in all our 72 colors to a “male-centered narrative of racial trauma and oppression.” But, that doesn’t fit the Professor’s well-written screed of contempt against the white colonialist oppressors she’s being paid to hate.
Just as there must always be a boss and a prole, there must always be the oppressor and the victim if social justice is to survive and thrive as the lay movement du jour. Social Justice can’t save you if you don’t need saving, and without its redemptive power, it can’t compete with Biblical faith. Therefore, feminists are forced to defend the men they otherwise despise whenever their situation fits the victim narrative of social justice. This doesn’t mean that social justice feminists have had a change of heart, merely that the men placed before them suit their need.
Media gatekeepers following the social justice narrative have ensured that audiences have gotten their fill of violent images of “black and brown” (and even…white!) men and women rioting in Ferguson. Yet, when asked if the shooting of Michael Brown was “justified”, 64% of the viewing audience responded that they “didn’t know enough to say.”
Like sacrifices made to an ideological god, the lawbreaking population of Ferguson is praised in their 15 minutes of fame leading up to the altar. Law abiding bystanders look on as the flames wash the color from their faces, turning their once bright and brilliant world into a desperate, so-called “just” canvas of black and white. And the majority of Americans, subjected to the narrative of social justice through media and education, don’t know enough to stand up against this cultural tyranny.
Maureen Dowd has finally cast her trademark dowdful eye on Barack Obama. In her latest New York Times op-ed, Dowd reflects on how the President’s admitted desire to be left alone is now leaving him lonely among political colleagues and voters alike.
First the president couldn’t work with Republicans because they were too obdurate. Then he tried to chase down reporters with subpoenas. Now he finds members of his own party an unnecessary distraction.
His circle keeps getting more inner. He golfs with aides and jocks, and he spent his one evening back in Washington from Martha’s Vineyard at a nearly five-hour dinner at the home of a nutritional adviser and former White House assistant chef, Sam Kass.
The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.
Acknowledging the conservatives in the room, Dowd remarks on America’s political climate, which has “only gotten worse” since Obama took office, noting:
The man whose singular qualification was as a uniter turns out to be singularly unequipped to operate in a polarized environment.
Dowd’s complaints about Obama’s complete failure to address the racial tensions in Ferguson are hardly new observances. What makes her commentary notable, even intriguing, is the fact that she’s willing to use her platform as an unabashed liberal to criticize the President her party crafted into a god. For that reason alone, her commentary is strikingly refreshing, deserving more than a quick file into the “better late than never” column.
With her quick wit, the writer asks, “Why doesn’t he do something bold and thrilling?” Her suggestion is priceless:
Talk to someone besides Valerie Jarrett?
Tactical strikes are for military battles. This, Dowd acknowledges, is an ideological war in which taking prisoners is no option, leaving the entire Obama pantheon up for grabs. It starts to get ugly when the mob realizes their leader has let them down.
To be sure, there are still, and always will be, die-hard adherents. But apparently even they are no longer immune from the wrath of the disappointed liberal:
His boosters argue that we spurned his gift of healing, so healing is the one thing that must not be expected of him. We ingrates won’t let him be the redeemer he could have been.
Gorgeous. In two brief sentences Dowd manages to destroy the image of the messianic Supreme Leader the Obamaniacs have worked so hard to build. Dowd clearly defined Obama’s political, media, and voter following into a cult group fueled by the blind passion of idol worship. Sobered up, the dyed-in-the-wool liberal declares, let those still drunk on the Kool Aid be damned.
If you’re a fastidious pol who deigns to heal and deal only in a holistic, romantic, unified utopia, the Oval Office is the wrong job for you.
The right job? After reading this piece, I’m thinking something involving shoe sales and seminars on Hale-Bopp might be more appropriate. Or, perhaps, a retail job at the local golf shop just might do.
My two-word response to the beheading of James Foley and captivity of Steven Sotloff: Daniel Pearl. Americans still suffer under the delusion that oceans are borders. America is so physically huge that we can watch the riots in Ferguson the way we watch the rockets being fired from Gaza or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: From the comfort of our couch. Neither we, nor our families, nor our homes are physically in danger. In truth, we are disconnected. At best, those of us who do pay attention do so through screen media. We participate by commenting on internet forums or through social media, or perhaps writing a check to a charity to help those in need. But we should not confuse compassion or concern for actual awareness.
As I watch what is happening in my second home, Israel, I marvel at the reactionary comments I’ve seen from well-meaning Americans who are confident that if they lived next door to Hamas, they’d just go after the terrorists with Christianity-fueled faith in their Second Amendment rights. It’s so easy to see yourself as the next John Wayne from the comfort of your living room. It’s far more difficult when your family and your home are on the line. Much has been said about the right of those overseas to tell Israel how to run their military operations. From a writer’s point of view, I can remain at best pragmatic by saying that the surreality in which these armchair soldiers dwell is, at least, far more supportive than the stupor that plagues most Americans. For their sake, and the sake of America, I hope the bravado isn’t masking an army of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.
I recall watching my friends collapse in horror on 9/11. As profoundly moved as I was by the horrific tragedy of that day, my response was simply: Intifada. The reality of countless suicide bombers trolling city streets, blowing themselves and countless civilians up at nightclubs, hotels, or on city buses had become a way of life for Israelis in the ’90s. Because I am so deeply connected to that land I felt that impact in a way most overseas do not. There was no shock in 9/11 for me, only awe at the sleeping America that responded to their alarm clock by repeatedly hitting snooze.
Just a few days ago, we wrote about the outside agitation coming from Soros and major union funding, as they make sure not to let another crisis go to waste in Ferguson, Mo. Likewise, Rev. Michael McBride and the PICO Network (People Improving Communitites Through organizing) are on location and training organizers in Ferguson.
PICO and the good Reverend are no strangers to organizing for the latest leftist causes. In 2013, they worked for gun control legislation, featuring a “Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath”. Working with Obama, Hot Air reported the following:
President Barack Obama is trying an end run around the NRA — rallying groups as varied as churches, medical organizations, retailers and the Rotary Club to build support for new gun regulations…
During one session with a dozen religious leaders on Wednesday, Biden made a specific request to those gathered to preach to their congregations about the importance of enacting stronger gun control laws, said the Rev. Michael McBride, a participant in the meeting and a community organizer for the PICO Network, an alliance of faith-based organizations…
“He knows that it’s going to be a tough road to come up with the legislative package that would make everyone feel happy,” McBride said. “So he was appealing to our strength and our unique call as moral and faith leaders to help emphasize in our own faith traditions the importance of not only legislation but changing the culture of violence in our country.”
More gun control action took place as PICO worked with Jim Wallis/Sojourners. PICO had also worked with Wallis and his Faith in Public Life group (also Soros funded) in their 2009 healthcare promotion:
In 2009, FPL took a leading role in advocating for President Obama’s health-care reform initiative. Lamenting that town-hall meetings — where many citizens were expressing their opposition to reform — had “degenerated into armed shouting matches,” FPL staged a counter-effort in the summer, entitled “40 Days for Health Reform.” Working through its affiliate groups – Sojourners, PICO, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good – FPL produced and aired cable television ads and hosted a webcast call-in program with President Obama and faith leaders, in an effort to “reframe the debate” regarding healthcare. FPL also generated 20,000 (pro-healthcare reform) phone calls to Congress, as well as 100 visits to Congressional offices, in a single day.
PICO was proudly featured at Francis Fox-Piven’s infamous Occupy “Teach-in” with other assorted leftist groups and unions. They remain active in immigration reform as well. If there is a radical movement out there, it seems they are in the middle of it.
PICO, located in Oakland, CA, was founded in 1972 by an Alinksy trained Jesuit priest. Discover The Networks explains their background:
People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) was founded in 1972 under the leadership of Father John Baumann, a Jesuit priest who was trained in Saul Alinsky-style community-organizing tactics in Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s. Baumann then took his skills to Oakland, California, where he established PICO to serve as “a regional training institute to help support neighborhood organizations.”
PICO is a sponsoring organization of the We Believe Together – Health Care for All network. Other notable sponsors include the Center for Community Change, the Gamaliel Foundation, the Islamic Medical Association of North America, the Islamic Society of North America, School of the Americas Watch, Sojourners Magazine, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and Michael Lerner’s Tikkun Magazine.
Currently listed on PICO’s funding page, among many of the usual funders of the Left, you will find Soros’ Open Society as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Today on his Twitter feed, Rev. McBride of PICO is reporting from the scene in Ferguson. Among his tweets, he explains how the autopsy on Mike Brown proves he was shot with his hands up in surrender (although he seems to be the one and only source for this interpretation).
He is also sharing the latest PICO/LiveFreeUS activities on the ground and in training sessions with Amnesty.
As the Left continues to organize and fan the flames of racism in Ferguson, let us all be very clear on exactly who is always behind it, and make sure to educate others as well.
Via Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, a report from the UN News Centre:
Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.
…“We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov said.
“Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery….
While Iraqi women jump from cliffs to avoid becoming the next sex slaves of the Islamic State, American feminist publications spent their time focusing on male celebrities who’ve embraced the feminist demand that biology doesn’t matter:
This week, Joseph Gordon-Levitt pretty much nailed the definition of feminism…“What [feminism] means to me is that you don’t let your gender define who you are—you can be who you want to be, whether you’re a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever,” Gordon-Levitt said.
And complaining about university sexual harassment policies that still aren’t strict enough, even if they include the following caveat:
The school has also adopted an affirmative consent standard, defining consent as requiring “unambiguous communication and mutual agreement concerning the act in which the participants are engaging” and noting that “silence or absence of resistance is not the same as consent.”
Which leaves one to wonder if ISIS would be totally legitimized in their use of sex slaves if said slaves signed a waver of consent and mutual agreement beforehand. Feminists don’t believe in being defined by gender, so it’s not like those women jumping off the mountain in Iraq were due any unique respect for their biology. Not that American feminists would stop to notice the crisis of Iraqi women fleeing radical Islam’s sex trade, anyway: Lena Dunham got a new haircut and that’s taking up, like, all of their time.
While American feminists, by and large, do absolutely nothing to advocate for the sex slaves of ISIS, said slaves have done something amazing for the American feminist movement. Every time an Iraqi Christian woman jumps to her death to avoid becoming a sex slave of the Islamic State, she testifies to the fact that western feminism is nothing more than nihilism in a pretty dress.
The same article that praised Gordon Levitt for his anti-biology views also praised a myriad of actors for their pro-choice stance. How ironic that feminists who rail against absentee fathers praise an actor for saying, “It’s not about abortion being right or wrong. It’s about having that choice to decide what a person should do with their own body.” In their demand that biology be ignored, these women pursue the very behavior they claim to hate in the opposite sex: The right to irresponsibility.
Over 40 years ago feminists chose to walk away from their unborn babies. It should come as no surprise, then, that they are just as willing to walk away from their fellow women suffering now under ISIS. Because when you’re a nihilist, things like biology, sisterhood, and responsibility just don’t matter.
The Times of Israel reports:
A senior Israeli official confirmed to Israeli media that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over fighting in Gaza.
According to the report, the Israeli official corroborated a story published earlier in the Wall Street Journal. While the article focuses mainly on the souring relationship between Netanyahu and Obama, it pays a decent amount of attention to the fact that both the White House and the State Department are actively working to block the shipment of arms to Israel.
The decision to evaluate every request by the Israeli military separately came after the White House and State Department discovered last month that the Pentagon was supplying Jerusalem with arms without their knowledge, the newspaper report said.
While one US diplomat described the American reaction to the arms transfer as a feeling of being “blindsided,” another US defense official emphasized that the back channel transfers were legitimate and did not require a sign-off from President Barack Obama or the State Department.
“There was no intent to blindside anyone. The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have,” a US defense official told the paper.
After learning of these transfers, the Obama administration, perturbed that much of the ammunition was used by the IDF in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, revised the review process in a move that is likely to limit or at least delay Israel’s requests for weapons.
Israeli officials are, of course, concerned over the apparent worsening of ties between Israel and the U.S., with Likud Knesset members using the incident to both defend Netanyahu and the America-Israel relationship. However, it has become impossible to deny the fact that Israel and certain political leaders in America have differing perspectives on radical Islamic terrorism:
Numerous US officials say the Gaza violence “has persuaded them that Mr. Netanyahu and his national security team are both reckless and untrustworthy,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
As far as the Israeli view of the Obama Administration, the report cited John Kerry when noting that “…Israeli officials consider the US view of the Middle East ‘weak and naive.’” Despite their lack of faith in Obama,
Netanyahu is confident his supporters in Congress will back Israel, and remains unconcerned that the sparring with Obama will have significant adverse effects.
With the American politics of the situation sure to be addressed in the upcoming mid-terms, the actions on the part of the Obama Administration (and Britain, for that matter) also make a strong case for the timeliness of crowdsourcing for Israel’s military defense.
The IJReview picked up a story from the UK Daily Mail that featured the eye witness testimony of an Israeli Iron Dome commander responsible for protecting Tel Aviv, Israel’s business center, from incoming rocket attacks:
A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon) or [a central Tel Aviv railway station]. Hundreds could have died.
We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident.
Suddenly, Iron Dome (which calculates wind speeds, among other things) shows a major wind coming from the east, a strong wind that … sends the missile into the sea. We were all stunned. I stood up and shouted, ‘There is a God!”
The story, originally circulated in Israeli media, was translated into English by the Jerusalem-based news agency Israel Today. The commander’s testimony continued:
“I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.”
Israel Today noted that earlier unconfirmed reports circulating around the Internet had Hamas fighters have attributed the success of Iron Dome to the ability of Israel’s God to move Hamas rockets in mid-air. This is not the first report of Divine intervention in the midst of Operation Protective Edge. Following the Biblical terms of a pre-Jubilee year harvest, Orthodox farmers took enough wheat from their fields to reveal terrorists hiding in their midst. Most recently, it was reported that an Israeli soldier’s well-timed recitation of the Shema saved a Hamas female suicide bomber in Gaza.
Israel Today ended their Iron Dome miracle report by detailing another report of miracles in the midst of combat:
Also last week, Col. Ofer Winter, commander of the Givati Infantry Brigade, described a mysterious fog that favorably covered he and his troops as they advanced on an enemy position in morning light, after their nighttime raid was postponed.
Col. Winter labeled the covering as “clouds of glory.”
Earlier in the Gaza war, Col. Winter sparked heated national debate when he encouraged his troops to lead the charge against an enemy that “curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel.” Col. Winter concluded his letter by praying that the “Lord your God go with you, to fight for you against your enemies and to save you.”
Breitbart published an exclusive report on the details surrounding the deaths of three Israeli soldiers, including Lt. Hadar Goldin, originally thought to have been kidnapped after Hamas terrorists set off a suicide bomb near a tunnel entrance. The report highlights Hamas’s gross abuse of women in Gaza, including their willingness to turn young women into suicide bombers. The account also provides evidence of the life-saving power of faith at work on the front lines:
In the midst of this attack, a second force of IDF soldiers–which had gone into a mosque looking for weapons, explosives, and rockets– encountered a female suicide bomber who was about to detonate the belt she wore, which would have resulted in the deaths of the soldiers. One of the soldiers instinctively recited the opening words of the holiest Jewish prayer “Shema Yisrael”. The female suicide bomber hesitated and began trembling, giving the soldiers a chance to grab her and disable the device.
The soldiers then took her prisoner and turned her over to a counter-intelligence unit. Their investigation uncovered that the female suicide bomber’s mother was a Jew who had married a Palestinian in Israel and, after the wedding, was smuggled against her will into Gaza. There she lived a life filled with abuse and humiliation, and was basically a captive. In addition to the female suicide bomber, there were two smaller children as well. An armored force went in and rescued the two small children.
The Shema, “Hear O’Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One,” taken from Deuteronomy 6:4, was the last prayer recited by countless Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
After watching his fellow pro-Israel ralliers get attacked by a pro-Palestinian mob, one average Canadian citizen wanted to send a message, not just to the thugs who sent 6 people to the hospital, but to the entire world. If you doubt that average people can do big things, you haven’t met Ron from Calgary, the founder of StopARocket.com.
Amused by the idea of a crowdsourcing campaign for the Iron Dome, I reached out to the folks at StopARocket.com to see if I could get a handle on the folks behind the fundraiser. It turns out that the “folks” is one guy named Ron who was willing to do an email interview. Obviously the guy has a day job. Most of his responses were sent in the wee hours of the morning, illustrating how dedicated he is to what he refers to as a simple, but profound way for Israel lovers across the globe to show their support for the civilian defense of the free world. Ron’s humble, straightforward responses illustrate how much we can accomplish when we’re willing to embrace Ben Carson’s axiom “Think Big”.
Please start by telling me a little about yourself and the group ForCanada. What is the group’s purpose? What are the goals?
I’m a private professional in Calgary. I attended a pro-Hamas rally a few weeks ago that degenerated into a violent mob that sent six people to the hospital. I’m worried not just about Israel’s safety in the Middle East, but the safety of Jews and non-Jewish Zionists in the west, including in North America.
For Canada is the committee that organized the pro-Israel rally last Thursday in Calgary. They agreed to let StopARocket.com use their mailing address and bank account to collect cheques from people who don’t want to use PayPal.
What drove you to fundraise specifically for the Iron Dome, as opposed to some kind of humanitarian aid for Israel (i.e. supplies for soldiers, etc.)? Shouldn’t military aid be managed by government officials?
Supporting Iron Dome is merely symbolic. I read a CNN article that said each Iron Dome anti-missile costs $62,000 so that seemed like an achievable fundraising goal. As we say on our website, we will ask the Israeli government to put the money towards the cost of one anti-missile, or any other civilian defence expenses to protect Israelis. It’s only for defensive efforts to protect civilians. But Iron Dome has captured the world’s imagination as a symbol of Israel’s ingenuity and value placed on life.
Are you working with any officials in Israel to coordinate this effort?
Before we launched the website, we confirmed with the Israeli embassy in Canada that they would support this project and would help us direct the funds to the appropriate agency in Israel.
India’s NDTV has released exclusive footage of Hamas terrorists assembling a rocket to fire in a residential neighborhood in Gaza:
In the minutes before the ceasefire kicked in at Gaza this morning, Hamas fired a flurry of rockets towards Israel – 30 according to some counts.
Israel has argued that that these rockets are fired from civilian areas, and this is why its retaliatory strikes can result in civilian casualties.
But this morning, NDTV witnessed one such rocket silo being created under a tent right next to the hotel where our team was staying. Minutes later, we saw the rocket being fired, just before the 72-hour ceasefire came into effect.
NDTV made sure to note that the report was filed after their team left the Gaza Strip:
This report is being aired on NDTV and published on ndtv.com after our team left the Gaza strip – Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired. But just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel’s offensive on Gaza’s civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones.
Blogger Aussie Dave posted a report at the popular pro-Israel blog IsraellyCool mapping out the location of the launch site based on the footage within the NDTV report:
As you can see, right near not just the hotel but the beach and houses.
From the hotel room view, you can see a tall white building on the right, and a tall building with jagged balconies in the background. The building on the right partially blocks the view of building in the back.
You can see that the right side of the image, is the source of the sun in the morning launch, making it a view towards the north.
When the reporter walks away from the launch area, across the street, a bit to the north, lies the 5-star Commodore Hotel with its yellow and glass facade.
The International Business Times reports:
Pro-Palestine activists have shut down a factory in Staffordshire owned by an Israeli military company in protest at the current Gaza conflict.
Members of the London Palestine Action group scaled the roof and chained the doors of the UAV Engines Limited factory in Shenstone.
UAV states that it produces “engines for various size tactical UAVs, target drones and single mission platforms”. It is owned by Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems.
London Palestine Action are demanding a closure of the factory, as well as an “end to all forms of military trade and cooperation with Israel”.
The group unfurled banners on the roof of the factory with the slogans “Elbit Arms Israel Kills” and “UK: Stop Arming Israel” as part of the ongoing protest.
The link between UAV and Israel has long been a subject of British speculation. A 2009 article in the Guardian reported:
UAV Engines, of Lichfield, Staffordshire, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engines for drones - unmanned aerial vehicles that are becoming critical frontline systems for military and civilian use around the world.
The company, known as UEL, is owned by the Israel drone specialists Silver Arrow, a subsidiary of the Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems.
One of its rotary Wankel engines is used in Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone. A version of the 450 makes up a squadron of the Israeli air force and has been seen over Gaza in the current conflict, being used for surveillance and targeting for Israel’s F-16 strike fighters.
Commentators on reputable defence and aviation journals and Elbit’s own website suggest that the Lichfield factory produces engines for the Hermes.
But Elbit’s head of corporate communications, Dalia Rosen, has denied this. She said: “UEL engines are provided to the British UAV programmes and to other international customers, not to Hermes 450 in the service of the IDF [Israel Defence Forces].”
When provided with references she replied: “If you want me to confirm a false speculation you can do it, but I strongly recommend that you trust my comment.” She did not respond to a request asking which other engine could be used.
The Middle East Monitor, a pro-Palestinian media agency dedicated to “creating new perspectives,” issued a report on the factory protest in Staffordshire. Referring to the protesters as “occupiers” who are pursuing a new front in the battle against UAV and Elbit, the report detailed:
The occupation comes the day after the UK government pledged to investigate whether any of £8bn of arms exported to Israel in the last 5 years are being used in Israel’s ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Gaza.
Currently, British police have cordoned off the area around the factory and are working to “ensure the protest remains peaceful and safe.” An estimated 10 protesters are on the rooftop, many of whom are live tweeting photos and messages “…saying they have enough supplies to ‘last a week’.”