Nicholas Kristof devoted precious New York Times space to the pleadings of one Christian Pakistani family to save their wife and mother from a death sentence:
Note: Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman, was sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam in 2010. The year before, while picking fruit with Muslim women, she took a sip of water from the local well. She was immediately accused of making the water impure by the other workers, who told her that they could no longer use the well. According to her husband, Ashiq Masih, and others, men and women started beating her and accusing her of making derogatory remarks against the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a charge she denies. Asia is currently in prison waiting to be hanged after losing an appeal on Oct. 16. She has told her story in a memoir, Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced to Death over a Cup of Water, written with French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet.
Below is an open letter by Ashiq addressed to the world community. (Madam Mayor refers to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has offered her support to Asia.)
Her husband writes, in part:
I live in hiding with my five children as near as possible to Asia. She needs us very much to help keep her alive, to bring her medicine and good food when she is sick.
After my wife had spent four long years in prison in terrible conditions, we were hoping that the High Court of Lahore would free my wife. She did not commit blasphemy, never. Since the court confirmed the death sentence on the 16th of October, we do not understand why our country, our beloved Pakistan, is so against us. Our family has always lived here in peace, and we never had any disturbance. We are Christians but we respect Islam. Our neighbors are Muslims and we have always lived well with them in our little village. But for some years now the situation in Pakistan has changed because of just a few people, and we are afraid. Today many of our Muslim friends cannot understand why the Pakistani justice system is making our family suffer so much.
We are now trying our best to present the final case to the Supreme Court before the 4th of December. But we are convinced that Asia will only be saved from being hanged if the venerable President Mammon Hussain grants her a pardon. No one should be killed for drinking a glass of water.
IJReview picked up on one of the funniest SNL sketches in recent (a.k.a. post-original cast) history. It was a Schoolhouse Rock! parody that aired last night, mocking Obama’s latest immigration-related executive order and complete disregard for the constitutional process:
It starts out with the familiar boy climbing the steps of Capitol Hill and asking what kind of bill is on the Hill with him. The bill responds with a jingle that he is an “immigration bill” and that he hopes he can be passed into law someday.
Cue the President shoving the bill down the stairs before inviting his buddy, the cigarette smoking “executive order,” into the picture.
The boy exclaims in bewilderment that what the President is doing is unconstitutional, but the executive order just laughs at the boy’s belief that he still thinks that is how government works.
The sketch may be tongue-in-cheek payback on the part of NBC after being snubbed by the president, whose administration just so happened not to request air time from the Big 4 to announce his executive order plans in prime time. Dubbed “The Commander-in-Chief of MSNBC,” Obama has employed his “heckler’s veto” multiple times in the past, and Saturday Night Live sketches were far from immune. Last night’s humor is obviously a sampling of what can happen when Tina Fey no longer manages the Obama campaign from its 30 Rock location.
Despite the president’s latest appearance on Univision and Telemundo, the majority of Latino voters disagree with his executive order and rate amnesty low on their list of priorities:
By a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent, Hispanic voters oppose allowing illegal immigrants to obtain federal benefits, including Obamacare benefits, “while they are going through the legalization process and before the 90% goal is reached.”
When asked to choose which of four issues — the economy, immigration reform, education, or health care — is most important to them, registered Hispanic voters said immigration reform was their lowest priority. Just 31 percent ranked the issue first or second, compared with 62 percent for the economy, 57 percent for health care, and 45 percent for education. Non-registered voters, on the other hand, ranked immigration reform as their highest priority.
Apparently SNL did a better job of marketing to a new target demographic than the Big-O.
Watch the video on the next page.
Call it woman power, call it feminism, and you’d be right. Turns out that old story about the mother who is able to lift a car to save her trapped baby has a new application. Now we can tell the story of the Dutch mother, who goes only by the name “Monique,” who blew past the authorities and went straight into the heart of hell to rescue her daughter Aicha from the grip of Islamic terror.
“Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do,” the brave mother said. “This is what I think is right.”
At 18, Aicha converted to Islam and married a notorious Dutch jihadi named Omar Yilmaz, the Telegraph reports.
The young woman had fallen in love with the Islamic State militant and his lifestyle after seeing him interviewed on television. But as time passed, Aicha felt she had made a huge mistake.
“She wanted to go home, but could not leave Raqqa without help,” Monique said.
Authorities in the Netherlands urged the mom to stay home because it was too risky to try and get her back personally.
But once Aicha reached out to her mother last month for help, Monique decided to take off for Syria.
Donning a black burka to blend in, she made her way through Turkey and into the ISIS stronghold, where she met her daughter after coordinating a rendezvous through Facebook.
The pair crossed back over the Syrian border into Turkey, but since Aicha did not have a passport, she was promptly arrested along with her mother, according to the Telegraph.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey is now mediating their return home and expects that the two will be back in the Netherlands within the week.
Okay Hollywood, where’s the movie deal? Better yet, let a counterculture conservative get their hands on the story and “let their right brain run free.” While Emma Watson trolls UN podiums and Beyonce flails around in front of flashy signs, Monique the Mom single-handedly changed the face of Western feminism in the way only a parent could. Not only did she dismiss every argument against motherhood with a wave of her hand, she bravely confronted what contemporary feminists seemingly cannot: The fact that radical Islam abuses women.
Obama speaks on immigration via Univision in 2012.
President Barack Obama will finally make public tomorrow night his plan to overhaul immigration. However, while his primetime speech will postpone part of Univision’s 15th annual Latin Grammys, it will not be covered by the Big 4.
…Although Obama’s speech will be seen on cable news siblings Fox News and MSNBC, Fox and NBC are not carrying it live on their broadcast networks; CNN will show it live. A CBS News division spokesperson says the network will also not be showing Obama’s approximately 15-minute address on Thursday night. (UPDATE, 2:34 PM: An ABC spokesman “ABC is not carrying the president’s address on the television network — it will be carried on all our ABC News digital platforms, including Apple TV, and radio.” Which means it is still Shondaland on ABC on Thursday.)
In the biz that’s called “target marketing.” In politics, it’s called playing to your demographic. In America, it’s called race-baiting.
Keep it classy, B.O.
Israel suffered yet another murderous terror attack today. The government has responded by electing to relax gun control laws.
Let that soak in for a minute.
America suffers a horrific school shooting and the gun control lobby is out in full force before the bodies are cold, screaming about stricter gun control laws. Israel suffers a bloody synagogue terror attack and
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch pledged to ease controls on carrying weapons for self-defense after a gruesome terrorist attack at a Jerusalem synagogue that left four dead Tuesday.
It was not clear exactly what new measures would be put in place, but it was reported that the move would apply to anyone licensed to carry a gun, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers.
Aharonovitch added that “we have instructed synagogues to place security guards at their entrances.”
Israel’s gun laws are strict and the Israeli attitude towards carrying firearms differs greatly from the almost comedic depictions of gun ownership in America. A 2012 article published after the Sandy Hook massacre detailed:
“There is an essential difference between the two. In America the right to bear arms is written in the law, here it’s the opposite… only those who have a license can bear arms and not everyone can get a license.”
Amit said gun licenses are only given out to those who have a reason because they work in security or law enforcement, or those who live in settlements “where the state has an interest in them being armed.”
He added that former IDF officers above a certain rank can get a license.
Anyone who fits the requirements, is over age 21 and an Israeli resident for more than three years, must go through a mental and physical health exam, Amit said, then pass shooting exams and courses at a licensed gun range, as well as background checks by the Public Security Ministry.
Once they order their firearm from a gun store, they are allowed to take it home with a one-time supply of 50 bullets, which Amit said they cannot renew.
The gun owner must retake his license exam and testing at the gun range every three years. As of January, Amit said, a new law will go into effect requiring gun owners to prove that they have a safe at home to keep their weapon in.
The relaxed restrictions may relate to regulations imposed after a 2013 shooting in Be’er Sheva:
One day after a Be’er Sheva man shot dead four people in a local bank before turning his gun on himself, the Public Security Ministry on Tuesday announced new rules to limit the number of guns in circulation. School security guards will have to turn in their weapons, which guarding firms will reissue at the start of the new school year. Licensed gun owners will have to store their weapon in a safe at home. Security companies must obtain special exemptions from being required to store a weapon when its bearer is off duty, only one gun license will be issued to any single individual and anyone applying to renew a gun license must show why they need a weapon.
What “relaxed” means is yet to be seen. But for Americans weary of gun control arguments that continue to be completely irrelevant to the situations at hand, Israel’s response to gun ownership in the face of terror is refreshing and worthy of further examination by our own government and pro-gun lobby.
Dave Chappelle’s black white supremacist Clayton Bigsby was a blind man, but according to the Daily Mail, the Rocky Mountain Knights have taken their blinders off. The Montana chapter of the infamous white supremacist group has decided to “rebrand” and “stand for a strong America instead of irrational hatred.” Founder John Abarr hopes Jews, blacks, Hispanics and gays will be pounding down the doors for membership.
What inspired the attitude change? He met with the NAACP, of course. According to the report, “…some black people have apparently already expressed an interest in joining”.
“‘White supremacy is the old Klan. This is the new Klan. The KKK is for a strong America,’ said Mr Abarr.”
Not according to Imperial Wizard Bradley Jenkins. “That man’s going against everything the bylaws of the constitution of the KKK say. He’s trying to hide behind the KKK to further his political career.” According to Think Progress, “This is the same Abarr who in 2011 ran for Congress ’to draw attention to the fact that white people are becoming a minority and losing our political power and way of life.’”
The one thing that won’t change is the wardrobe. Members, regardless of race or sexual orientation, “…will still have to wear the white robes, masks and conical hats and take part in rituals.” The organization’s main goal: to fight against the “new world order”.
While it is unclear whether or not women are welcome into the Rocky Mountain Knights, Abarr is already taking a cue from the anti-feminist playbook: “Last week, he tweeted, ‘#notallklansmen,’ a hashtag based on the meme ‘#NotAllMen,’ which became popular on Twitter earlier this year to symbolize ‘mansplaining’ rebukes to feminist arguments.”
According to the New York Daily News, Abarr’s 15 minutes of fame may boil down to all talk and no action.
According to Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League, Abarr likely is the only member of the Rocky Mountain Knights.
The Ku Klux Klan has not officially existed since 1944, but anyone can create their own Klan group just by saying they created one, Pitcavage says. That’s exactly what Abarr did.
“He’s one guy, pretending to start a Klan group,” Pitcavage told the Daily News.
While the Klan is strongest in the South and Midwest, there are few people in the Western part of the U.S. with KKK views, Pitcavage says. Abarr’s only goal seems to be to draw attention to himself.
The only question is, which cable network will be pitching a reality show his way: TLC, looking to fill the vacancy created by Honey Boo Boo’s Mama June, or E!? I hear Kris Kardashian is dating again, and this guy is apparently very racially cool.
Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut succinctly detailed the crisis situation faced by women across the Islamic world. In doing so, she leveled her gaze at Western progressives, particularly feminists, who have a penchant for sweeping Islam’s crimes against women under the rug of “multiculturalism,” to the continued detriment of their sisterhood abroad:
Statements that come up with “multicultural” excuses to provide cover for the practices of fundamentalist Islam, however, never have, and never will, help to liberate women who suffer under Islamic misogyny, gender apartheid and jihad.
To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain. Yet in Muslim countries, it is impossible speak openly about what is in these Islamic teachings and traditions, without putting one’s life at risk.
There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries, in part thanks to the dangerous enchantment of Western progressives and feminists who romanticize Islamism.
Women in the Muslim world desperately need the voice of Western progressives and feminists. But when it comes to finding excuses to neutralize critical questions about Islamic violence, Western progressives seem endlessly creative.
Feminists in the Islamic world have a laundry list of Western progressive feminism’s “Excuses for Abuses” which include:
Criticizing Islam is racist and reveals “intolerance,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”
“Injustices against women take place all around the world, not just against Muslims or in Muslim countries.”
“What you are seeing is not the real Islam; Islam has been hijacked.”
“It is not about Islam. Crimes were committed and are being committed in all places throughout history.”
Bulut’s responses to the last two “Excuses” are particularly interesting:
“Not all Muslims are the same. There are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad people in all religions.”
First of all, thank you very much for this genius discovery. But how can it help reduce the Islamic violence around the world?
Of course it is true that there are many good Muslims, whose values do not follow Islamic teachings verbatim, but also include humanitarian values. They do not wage war on other religions or try to bring them under submission to Islam. In the eyes of jihadis or Islamists, however, who live by the harshest interpretation of most doctrinaire Islamic teachings, such a quality makes them “bad Muslims.”
“All religions are essentially the same.”
Well, not quite. Biblical values are far more benign than Islamic ones, and generally descriptive rather than proscriptive. Furthermore, the most violent of them were long ago abandoned.
No religion, for instance, other than Islam, has ever commanded that those who insult or leave it should be put to death. (See Surahs 6:93, 33:57, 33:61)
Bulut’s conclusion acts as a clarion call to Western feminists: You can defend Islam, or you can defend women, but you cannot defend both.
As Putin quietly rolls his tanks, weapons and soldiers into Ukraine, Russia Today opines on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. For Russian state media, the fall was the most pointless and indeed, detrimental moment of the 20th century, of course. If you can manage to get through the editorial’s monolithic rambling you learn that the fall of the Berlin Wall only allowed in the evils of NATO, McDonalds, blue jeans, the failing Euro, and pretty much every other thing that has made news in eastern Europe for the past 25 years.
This is your typical bloviated Russo-speak, the kind that makes most readers turn away from Ayn Rand in 30 pages or less thinking, “Get to the point, already!” But, there is no point. Like the Russian winter, their disinformation monologues are tedious, cold, dark and never ending. They simply continue their avalanche down from central command, collecting anything and everything in their wake until us proles at the bottom get knocked over by the sheer weight of it all and dragged along for the deathly ride.
Nevertheless, it is important for us in the West to keep an eye on what Putin’s media-bots are saying as well as doing, especially when their reflections on 25 years of freedom end with:
It seems to me the curtain is being drawn closed again, only this time by the NATO nations and not Khrushchev. It’s as if our roles are reversed somehow. Vladimir Putin acting like JFK, and western leaders bent on some convoluted socialism.
It should be no secret that Putin has forever been hellbent on controlling the narrative. Russia Today‘s editorial line only proves that glasnost and framing are Soviet art forms that Americans, with the possible exceptions of Olivia Pope and Cyrus Beene, still can’t seem to comprehend let alone believe. Disinformation is nothing more than controlling the narrative and twisting it to your advantage. Hence, Putin is JFK, NATO is the new evil dictator, and America is the land of the oppressive socialist regime. “Two legs good, four legs better,” indeed.
News just surfaced on Jezebel of Robert Downey, Jr’s excellent response to a Cambridge student who asked, ”Scarlett Johansson has never had her own superhero movie. Would you call yourself a feminist?”
“You bastard,” Downey, a new father to a baby girl, replied. “Yeah, that’s all make believe, son.”
Responding with appropriate shock and awe, Jezebel provided further evidence that they’re forever stuck in the ’90s (a.k.a. the Bill “I’d give him oral sex for keeping abortion legal” Clinton years) by referring to the Iron Man star as an “Ally McBeal guest star.”
RDJ wasn’t the only celebrity whose anti-feminist statement hit the news this week.
“I am not a feminist,” she said. “If men were going through the things women are going through today, I would be fighting for them with just as much passion. I believe in equality.”
That’s Salma Hayek speaking to People magazine at Equality Now’s “Make Equality Reality” event in Beverly Hills. Why was Hayek there? To be “honored as a women’s rights advocate.” A co-founder of the group Chime for Change, ”a global campaign to convene, unite and strengthen the voices speaking out for girls and women around the world,” Hayek is far from anti-girl power. She simply defines equality differently than contemporary feminists like Gloria Steinem, who also attended the event.
Much like the First Lady on Scandal, Obama, Inc. has no problem using babies for political gain. While campaigning in Rhode Island for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo last Friday, Barack Obama declared:
“Sometimes, someone, usually Mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”
Tying motherhood to the workplace proved to be a well-timed twist on the tired old War on Women routine. That same evening, Drudge picked up on a New York Times page one headline that read
before it was quickly softened to
The article revealed that Dems are
…second-guessing the party’s strategy of focusing more on issues like abortion and birth control than on jobs and the economy.
The danger for Democratic candidates is that their advantage among women could be so reduced by dissatisfaction with President Obama and the country’s course that it is not enough to offset Republicans’ usual edge among the smaller population of male voters. Should that happen, a party pollster, Geoff Garin, acknowledged, “They’ll lose.”
Conservatives should not fail to recognize Obama’s Rhode Island line as an acknowledgement of his and his party’s political failures. Yet, tied to the War on Women’s dead weight, they can’t free themselves from their own rhetoric even when attempting to bring the economy into the discussion at the 11th hour. And while some working dads may appreciate the idea of increasing government programs so mom can get back to earning a paycheck, the pay gap myth remains lost on male voters seeking real solutions to the economic problems they’re facing.
The New York Post reports on a disturbing mailing received by registered Democrats in New York state:
The New York State Democratic Committee is bullying people into voting next week with intimidating letters warning that it can easily find out which slackers fail to cast a ballot next Tuesday.
“Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record,” the letter says.
“We will be reviewing voting records . . . to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014.”
It ends with a line better suited to a mob movie than a major political party: “If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”
Apparently, the tracking has already begun:
“I’m outraged. Whether I vote or not is none of your business!” said a Manhattan voter, who was so incensed that she complained to a local Democratic leader.
“The letter is ludicrous and menacing,” said the voter, who requested anonymity.
The woman also received a report card of her voting record, pointing out that she had failed to vote in two of the last four elections.
Overall, the notices were sent out to 1 million registered Democrats who had failed to vote in previous midterm elections, according to the group.
The Democratic Committee spokesperson used his defense of the bullying tactic as an opportunity to disparage Republicans, as if they somehow had anything to do with this:
This flier is part of the nationwide Democratic response to traditional Republican voter-suppression efforts, because Democrats believe our democracy works better when more people vote, not less,” said Peter Kauffmann, a committee spokesman.
The difference between Democrats and Republicans is they don’t want people to vote and we want everyone to vote.
Everyone …as long as they’re a “registered Democrat.” Apparently Lena Dunham and the New York Dems have something in common. To quote Ed Driscoll in reference to the latest Dunham sex scandal, “as the late Sen. Pat Moynihan once told an interviewer, ‘Hannah Arendt had it right. She said one of the great advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.’” Glad to see Andrew Cuomo, Inc. is in good company.
According to the Post, voter-shaming is a common tactic on the Left and was employed by the Obama campaign in 2012. It is a strategy grounded in Ivy League research. National Review reports that similar letters are being mailed out in Alaska, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Colorado, and Iowa.
Note: This class did not make it into the sales pitch video.
Apparently technology has created a “new morality” and it’s up to University of Pennsylvania creative writing students to shame the hell out of it next spring:
Next semester at the University of Pennsylvania, students will walk into a classroom, pull out their laptops, their smartphones, their tablets, and sit there, for three hours, doing what they no doubt do pretty often: Waste time on the internet.
The Ivy League school’s newest creative writing class is trying to remove the stigma from an activity that millions of people do on a daily basis, in an attempt to explore how our minds might work when we’re totally aimlessly clicking through reddit or Facebook or Buzzfeed or watching porn or doing whatever the hell people do in their free time.
“I’m very tired of reading articles in the New York Times every week that make us feel bad about spending so much time on the internet, about dividing our attention so many times,” Kenneth Goldsmith, a world-renowned poet and the course’s professor, told me. “I think it’s complete bullshit that the internet is making us dumber. I think the internet is making us smarter. There’s this new morality built around guilt and shame in the digital age.”
Parents, before sending your children to college please watch PCU. It’s a cute little flick from the mid-90′s in which a group of misfits essentially throw a massive party to overcome PC culture. It also contains a lot of great commentary on the waste of time that college has become, especially for liberal arts majors. For instance, one guy spends the entire movie stuck in front of a television doing research for his senior thesis. The “Caine-Hackman Theory” argues that, at any time during the day or night, you can find a movie with either Michael Caine or Gene Hackman running on the tube. I’m convinced he now has more academic validity than 21st century Ivy Leaguers. That’s right, this ain’t state school material. G-chat, Facebook, and Reddit are now the stuff of the future “dreamers of dreams”.
So, his students will explore what, exactly, wasting time even means. Is it a waste of time to tap out some forum posts or internet comments? Is it a waste of time to gchat with your friends? Is it a waste of time to click through YouTube videos? Can we consciously or even unconsciously channel the things we do on the internet to make a work of art or the next great American novel or an autobiography?
His students will be tasked with trying. For much of the class, they’ll be wasting time online, sure, but at some point, they’re going to have to take the raw material of all that time wasting—browser histories, text messages, screenshots, who knows what else—and turn it into a “compelling and emotional work of literature.”
You’ve been warned. The next time you’re browsing for a good read and pick up something by an author with an Ivy League education, you may just wind up reading snippets of a Reddit feed. Suddenly Lena Dunham having drugged out sex with a college Republican and putting pebbles in her year 1 year-old sister’s vagina is high art, indeed.
Over at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg woke up from what must have been a self-imposed stupor and declared, “The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations is Here.” How did he come to this shock and awe (not) conclusion? A “senior Obama Administration official” called Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu a “chickensh*t” when speaking with Goldberg.
And apparently that’s the first time in history Goldberg’s heard a political official use a dirty word to describe another political official. Wait, actually, it’s not. Goldberg explains:
Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.) But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickensh*t.”
Goldberg makes it clear that he agrees with the Obama administration on the infamous two-state solution, the issue that “sits at the core of the disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem,” making him an impartial source, indeed. His observations about Netanyahu’s “near-pathological desire for career preservation” aren’t anything new. Ask any Israeli you meet and they’ll tell you Netanyahu will forge a coalition with any party, including the Ultra-Orthodox, to avoid early elections. Perhaps Americans like Goldberg are just shocked at the idea of a politician actually having to work, not play golf, to maintain his position of power.
What Goldberg’s thesis really boils down to is this:
Much of the anger felt by Obama administration officials is rooted in the Netanyahu government’s periodic explosions of anti-American condescension.
In other words, Netanyahu’s boys don’t spare their own Jeffrey Goldbergs from hearing what’s on their minds. If they were a private enterprise, the Obama administration’s company logo would be “You’re mean.” And Abe Foxman over at the ADL would be wearing the t-shirt:
“The Israelis do not show sufficient appreciation for America’s role in backing Israel, economically, militarily and politically,” Abraham Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, told me.
A new survey reveals that companies like Facebook are on the cutting edge of the abortion argument when it comes to offering employees the freeze-your-eggs perk. For a new generation of career women, abortion rights (a.k.a. “reproductive justice”) are becoming increasingly tied to “economic justice”. Reporting on the survey, Maya Dusenbery, Executive Director of Feministing writes:
Far from seeing abortion access as something that shouldn’t be included in the broader agendas–let alone a poison pill that would sink their support for the legislation–voters agreed that reproductive rights are pretty key part of ensuring gender equality. As the chart above shows, strong majorities in both states agreed that a woman’s ability to control whether or when she has children is important to her financial stability and equality.
When the question is about the impact of access to abortion specifically, the figure drops slightly to about half. But that simply suggests that we need to more clearly show that abortion is a very common way that people control their reproductive lives–by fighting the stigma that paints folks who have abortions as “the other” when in fact we’re not–and continuing to highlight just how precarious access to the procedure has become, particularly for those with the least financial stability.
Results of the survey illustrate that the highest supporters of government funded abortion are African Americans, Latinos, and those with household incomes less than $50,000/year. The racial statistics shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the majority of abortions are performed among the Black and Latino communities:
According to 2010 census data, African Americans make up 12.6% of the U.S. population but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that black women accounted for 35.4% of all abortions in 2009. The Guttmacher Institute (AGI) puts the percentage of black abortions at 30% of the U.S. total.Their most recent numbers are from 2008. Similarly, AGI tells us that Hispanic women accounted for 25% of all U.S. abortions in 2008, though Hispanics make up just 16.3% of the U.S. population.The CDC lists the percentage of Hispanic abortions at 20.6%. Compare those numbers to non-Hispanic whites, who make up 63.7% of America’s population, but account for only 36% of all U.S. abortions (37.7%according to the CDC).
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.