Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Un-Feminist Un-Hero

Lowry

She is defying the jihadi censors, the misbegotten hate-speech laws and the polite conventions of Western debate that all limit what can be said about the relationship of Islam to modernity. So what’s Feminism’s problem? 

Rich Lowry writes: Ayaan Hirsi Ali should be the perfect feminist hero.

In theory, she fits the role on multiple levels: She’s an escapee from an abusive patriarchy.

[Read the full text here, at the New York Post]

She’s an African immigrant who made her own way in a Western country, the Netherlands. She’s a fierce advocate for women’s rights.

YAAN - FEB28 - Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali talks about her autobiography. tb (Photo by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images) By: Tony Bock Collection: Toronto Star

Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali talks about her autobiography. Photo by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images. 

“Raised a Muslim in Somalia, subjected to genital mutilation and married off to a distant cousin, she is famously a critic of Islam.”

She’s a target for deadly violence by angry men who want to shut her up. She left her religion and became a scourge of its repressive practices.ayaan-hirsi-ali-1

Except for the blemish on her record: Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a dissident from the wrong religion.

“Ayaan Hirsi Ali has more confidence in Western civilization and its values than people who have never had to live outside it, or face down the enemies who want to destroy it.”

Raised a Muslim in Somalia, subjected to genital mutilation and married off to a distant cousin, she is famously a critic of Islam.

She has excoriated it at extraordinary risk to her own safety, and makes the case again in her latest book, “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now.”

When she collaborated on a film in the Netherlands in 2004 cataloging abuses against Muslim women, her fellow filmmaker Theo van Gogh was assassinated by an Islamist who left a note threatening her pinned to van Gogh’s chest — with a knife.

“In the fashionable neologism designed to be a conversation-stopper, she is “an Islamophobe’.”

But Hirsi Ali wouldn’t be silenced. She is truly a hero of our time. She is defying the jihadi censors, the misbegotten hate-speech laws and the polite conventions of Western debate that all limit what can be said about the relationship of Islam to modernity.

[Order Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now” from Amazon.com]

Our society, and especially the left, tends to reflexively celebrate dissenters. But some heretics are more welcome than others. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Reasons Why Democrats Are the Party of Slavery and Victimization

Zo thinks that Democrats are really the party of slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK. Hear why.


[VIDEO] Comedian and Former ‘Good Times’ Star Jimmie Walker Kicked Out of Seattle Hotel for Brandishing a Finger Gun

Seattle Does Not Think That’s Funny. 

SEATTLE —  Comedian and former sitcom star Jimmie Walker says he was asked to leave a Seattle hotel for reportedly making his fingers into the shape of a gun and pointing it at a clerk.

Walker recounted the story, which he says happened several years ago, on Q13 FOX News This Morning. Read the rest of this entry »


Jon Hamm Breaks Silence on Rehab: ‘Life Throws a Lot at You Sometimes’

Originally posted on TIME:

The last 24 hours haven’t been easy for Jon Hamm.

As the cast of Mad Men promotes the final season of their hit show (set to premiere April 5), the star has been forced to take his private struggle with alcohol addiction public after news broke Tuesday he recently completed a 30-day treatment program.

“Life throws a lot at you sometimes, and you have to deal with it as much as you can,” Hamm told Australia’s TV Week on Wednesday. “I’ve been very fortunate that throughout the most recent 24-hour period, I’ve had a lot of family and friends support me.”

And though it’s easy to draw parallels between Hamm and his troubled character Don Draper, the actor, 44, demurred to make a concrete connection between his personal life and onscreen work.

“Obviously there can be a lot of discussion about how much of this is related to…

View original 59 more words


[VIDEO] Obama Fails To Show After Being Introduced at ObamaCare Event

The president finally arrived eight minutes after being introduced, but did not offer an explanation

Today at 10:30 AM ET, President Obama was scheduled to speak at the White House’s “Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network Kickoff Meeting.” His introducer, seemingly sensing the president was tardy, gamely tried stretching out his remarks. Then, at around 10:35, apparently receiving word the president was ready to go, the audience was encouraged to applaud for the next speaker, “the president of the United States!” Read the rest of this entry »


With a Straight Face, Obama on the Affordable Care Act’s Fifth Anniversary: ‘It’s Working’

LIAR

President Obama had a simple message on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act: It’s working.

Speaking in the Executive Office Building next to the White House, Obama argued that his signature health care law was “working better than many of us — including me — anticipated” at increasing health insurance rates and improving the quality of care.

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“The bottom line is this for the American people: this law is saving money for families and for businesses,” he said. “This law is also saving lives, lives that touch all of us. It’s working despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund and defame this law.” Read the rest of this entry »


Victim Advocates Worry That Journalism Based on Facts Could Hurt Their Movement

UVa Fraternity

Rolling Stone‘s Worrisome Discredited Rape Account

BALTIMORE — With the account of an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia debunked by police, advocates for sexual assault survivors are worried a movement that gained tremendous momentum in the past year could suffer a setback.

“The average American might say, ‘If she lied, they must all be lying so we shouldn’t pay attention to the issue at all,’ and there will be an immediate chilling effect.”

– Liz Seccuro, explaining her sincere belief that Americans, after encountering one debunked rape story, will no longer care about potential rape victims and decide to permanently stop paying attention to all rape allegations

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A Rolling Stone article about a student identified only as “Jackie” described an alleged rape on campus and a culture of binge-drinking and looking the other way when students filed sexual assault complaints. The story intensified the national conversation about rapes on college campuses and prompted changes at the university, but on Monday, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said a months-long investigation turned up no evidence of a sexual assault, or any wrongdoing by the school.

“I do think, unfortunately, that such a high-profile discredited story will have negative impacts on people’s willingness to believe survivors when they come forward.”

– Daniel Carter, director of 32 National Campus Safety Initiative, missing the ‘positive impact’ of honest, fact-based reporting, compared to the ‘negative impact’ of corrupt, dishonest, agenda-driven reporting by Rolling Stone

“One false report should not diminish the seriousness with which we take on the challenge of sexual assault on campus,” said Daniel Carter, director of 32 National Campus Safety Initiative and an advocate for sexual assault survivors for more than two decades. “I do think, unfortunately, that such a high-profile discredited story will have negative impacts on people’s willingness to believe survivors when they come forward.”

Police said Jackie refused to talk to them after the article was published in November. In the article, Jackie said she was gang-raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house two years earlier, and the school systematically mishandled sex assault complaints. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘White Supremacist’ Cops Hop Out of Patrol Car and… Join Kids’ Football Game

It’s usually a really bad sign when a police car pulls up and two cops jump out and head towards you.

KARE 11 viewer Michelle Keenan thought that was the case Monday night when a Plymouth squad car pulled up to her apartment complex, two officers got out and began walking towards her son and his friends who were playing football on the lawn.

Her heart started racing as she watched from the balcony. “What’d they do?”, Keenan thought to herself.

“It’s a good feeling to know that we live in a community where police officers are willing to do this and be there for us.”

– Michelle Keenan

She was about to run down and investigate when she saw Officers Matt Kaley and Mike Passig each join one of the teams and start playing. Keenan says the game lasted for 20 to 25 minutes, and her son later told her it was the coolest thing ever.

“Just a friendly game of football, and the kids loved it.”

– Officer Matt Kaley

“It’s a good feeling to know that we live in a community where police officers are willing to do this and be there for us,” said Keenan, who thought the story was a good one in light of the negative attention police have received lately. As a parent, she tells KARE 11 that she appreciates what the officers did, building trust with the kids and creating a memory they will always remember. Read the rest of this entry »


CORPORATE RETREAT: Starbucks Baristas Stop Writing #RaceTogether on Cups

SB-cup

BRAND DAMAGE: According to a recently released internal memo, Starbucks baristas will no longer write ‘Race Together’ on customers’ cups starting Sunday

Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson says the campaign to create discussion on diversity and racial inequality will continue without the handwritten messages, which are phasing out as originally planned….(read more)

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CBS DC – TIME


GOP Senate Finance: At Least $5.7 BILLION Wasted on ObamaCare so Far

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‘That is $5.7 billion down the drain’

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee say they have found at least $5.7 billion in wasted ObamaCare spending from the last five years.

Panel Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said his staff have tallied the costs of five programs that have failed or “added no value,” from the dysfunctional HealthCare.gov website to the national sign-up navigator program.

[Also see – CBO: Obamacare to Hit Only 65 Percent of 2015 Coverage Target]

“That is $5.7 billion down the drain,” Hatch said during a hearing Thursday to mark the fifth anniversary of ObamaCare’s passage.

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The federal government’s HealthCare.gov, which broke down in the fall of 2013, has been one of the most criticized components of ObamaCare’s rollout. Some estimates have put the cost of the botched launch and the series of tweaks to fix the website at $2 billion, a figure that Hatch’s staff cited Thursday.

[More – Many Uninsured Choose Penalty Over Enrollment Offer Under Health Law]

The analysis includes $1.3 billion spent on now-defunct state exchanges: Minnesota, Massachusetts, Oregon and Maryland. These systems, all in blue states, were plagued by technical issues and eventually scrapped or majorly reformed. Republicans have frequently pushed federal health officials to recoup the costs of the exchanges. Read the rest of this entry »


Jon Gabriel: ‘I suppose I could categorize my friends by ethnicity, but the thought makes my skin crawl. They’re friends, not racial statistics’

coffee-black

The Broader Problem with Starbucks’ Racialism

 writes: In an effort to solve America’s race issues once and for all, Starbucks is offering a discussion guide named “Your Race Relations Reality Check.” The document is featured to the right. This is not a Photoshop. This is real. One of the biggest companies on Earth thought this was A Good Idea.

“I’ve grown accustomed to the hand-wringing of rich white liberals, the smug preachiness of corporations, and the intrusion of politics into everyday life. But this ‘Reality Check’ revealed something deeper.”

Starbucks asks how many of your friends are of a different race and how that compares to your parents’ and kids’ racial quotas. They want to know the racial makeup of your neighborhood, workplace and Facebook stream. Have race-relations-reality-check-SByou let people of other races into your home? Have you entered theirs? And why didn’t you keep up with that childhood friend of a different race?

“I can’t even answer the Starbucks questionnaire. I have no idea the races of my parents’ or kids’ friends and even if I did, why would it matter? I suppose I could categorize my friends by ethnicity, but the thought makes my skin crawl. They’re friends, not racial statistics.”

For the past few days, I’ve tried to identify what most bugs me about this Starbucks stunt. I’ve grown accustomed to the hand-wringing of rich white liberals, the smug preachiness of corporations, and the intrusion of politics into everyday life. But this “Reality Check” revealed something deeper.

[Read the full text here, at Ricochet]

Let me veer onto a tangent; I’ll get back to the point in a minute. Starting with my first job out of college, I’ve had to mingle at trade shows, launch parties and corporate events where I was ordered to chat up complete strangers. I’m an introvert, so this was almost a fate worse than death. I’m some punk kid and they’re middle-aged bankers and software developers — what on earth am I supposed to talk about?

“This reveals one of my fundamental issues with the progressive mindset: they are obsessed with dividing Americans into discrete, controllable categories.”

So I came up with a conversation hack to sidestep my inner wallflower. I needed them to tell me something — anything — we might have in common. It would go like this:

“Where is your office located?”

“Nebraska.”

“So, what’s going on with those Huskers? Could be an interesting year…”

Then I’d shut up and nod for 10 minutes.

black-coffee-matters

In that first job, most of the guests were male and often from rural areas, so I would just mention the name of the nearest college and let them educate me on the sports there. Read the rest of this entry »


Democrats Are the New party of No

Democrats

It’s depressingly clear that what Democrats aren’t thinking about was the needs of vulnerable people, mostly young women and girls, who are the victims of sex trafficking

Democrats who have been filibustering the Senate’s consideration of legislation to combat human trafficking cited concerns with language they claimed would greatly expand the reach of Hyde Amendment restrictions on abortion. But when John Cornyn (R-Tex.), chief sponsor of the trafficking bill and Senate majority whipoffered a compromise that would seem to answer their stated objections, it was rejected out of hand. Perhaps Democrats thought they could score political points, or maybe they didn’t want to anger their traditional allies in the abortion rights lobby.

[Also see Harry Reid Filibusters on Behalf of Slaveholders – by Kevin D. Williamson]

Either way, it became depressingly clear that what they weren’t thinking about was the needs of vulnerable people, mostly young women and girls, who are the victims of sex trafficking.

No

“The answer was no. Democrats unfortunately seem to believe that response is in their political interest.”

The stalemate over the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 has now occupied two weeks, and with the Senate next set to take up the budget, it’s unclear when — or how — the impasse will be resolved. At issue in the legislation, which had been expected to glide through the Senate with bipartisan support, is a provision — backed by Republicans and initially overlooked by Democrats — that would prohibit a new trafficking-victims compensation fund from being used for abortions save for exceptions covered by the Hyde Amendment. Democrats didn’t like the application of Hyde restrictions to funds that are not taxpayer dollars — the compensation fund was to be drawn from criminal fines — and they objected to the anti-abortion provision being in place for five years.

neon-NO

Mr. Cornyn responded by offering to create the compensation fund with an annual congressional appropriation drawing on the fines. Since all such appropriations are already covered by the Hyde Amendment, there would be no change in the political status quo on abortion. “Can they take yes for an answer?” asked Mr. Cornyn on Thursday, contending, “We’ve made a proposal to them to give them what they’ve asked for.” The answer was no. Read the rest of this entry »


Citizens, Wake Up and Smell the Starbucks: Does American Capitalism Have a New Flavor?

capitalism-new-flavor!


[VIDEO] ‘Dana’ Takes on Starbucks and #RaceTogether

Dana Loesch explores the new Starbucks campaign #RaceTogether.

See more at TheBlaze.com/TV


Turn on, Tune In, Get Old: Aging Baby Boomers Bring Drug Habits into Middle Age

BOOMER-WSJ

Older adults are abusing drugs, getting arrested for drug offenses and dying from drug overdoses at increasingly higher rates. These surges have come as the 76 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, reach late middle age. 

UPLAND, Calif.— Zusha Elinson reports: From the time he was a young man coming of age in the 1970s, Mike Massey could have served as a poster child for his generation, the baby boomers. He grew his hair long to the dismay of his father, surfed, played in rock bands and says he regularly got high on marijuana and cocaine.

“I thought, no big deal—my knee hurts and they’re prescription drugs. The fact of the matter was I was abusing them the second day I had them.”

– Mike Massey

The wild times receded as he grew older. In his 30s, he stopped using drugs altogether, rose into executive positions with the plumbers and pipe fitters union, bought a house in this Los Angeles suburb and started a family. But at age 50, Mr. Massey injured his knee running. He took Vicodin for the pain but soon started using pills heavily, mixing the opioids with alcohol, he said.

“After surgeries to repair his knee and an arm he also injured, prescriptions brought him a steady supply of pain pills. He would down about 40 every day while drinking heavily. By that time, he had become executive director of the trust fund and several associated businesses.”

“It reminded me of getting high and getting loaded,” said Mr. Massey, now 58 years old, who went into recovery and stopped using drugs and alcohol in 2013. “Your mind never forgets that.”

[Read the full text here, at the Wall Street Journal]

Today, the story of this balding, middle-aged executive continues to reflect that of his generation.

Older adults are abusing drugs, getting arrested for drug offenses and dying from drug overdoses at increasingly higher rates. These surges have come as the 76 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, reach late middle age. Facing the pains and losses connected to aging, boomers, who as youths used drugs at the highest rates of any generation, are once again—or still—turning to drugs.

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The trend has U.S. health officials worried. The sharp increase in overdose deaths among older adults in particular is “very concerning,” said Wilson Compton,deputy director for the federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The rate of death by accidental drug overdose for people aged 45 through 64 increased 11-fold between 1990, when no baby boomers were in the age group, and 2010, when the age group was filled with baby boomers, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mortality data. That multiple of increase was greater than for any other age group in that time span.

“He is a very valued employee and does a lot for the organization. He was worth the effort of saving.”

– Sid Stolper, Mr. Massey’s boss for 21 years

The surge has pushed the accidental overdose rate for these late middle age adults higher than that of 25- to 44-year-olds for the first time. More than 12,000 boomers died of accidental drug overdoses in 2013, the most recent data available. That is more than the number that died that year from either car accidents or influenza and pneumonia, according to the CDC.

“Generally, we thought of older individuals of not having a risk for drug abuse and drug addiction,” Dr. Compton said. “As the baby boomers have aged and brought their habits with them into middle age, and now into older adult groups, we are seeing marked increases in overdose deaths.”Still Turning On

Baby Boomers are developing drug problems at increasingly higher rates. What is the profile of a Boomer at risk? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer. Illustration: Arielle Ray

“Rehab centers that were designed for younger people are adjusting to the new clientele. Getting rid of bunk beds, hiring more experienced addiction counselors and providing medical care on-site are some measures being taken.”

Experts say the drug problem among the elderly has been caused by the confluence of two key factors: a generation with a predilection for mind-altering substances growing older in an era of widespread opioid painkiller abuse. Pain pills follow marijuana as the most popular ways for aging boomers to get high, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which conducts an annual national survey on drug use. Opioid painkillers also are the drug most often involved in overdoses, followed by antianxiety drugs, cocaine and heroin.

Wall Street Journal interviews with dozens of older drug users and recovering addicts revealed an array of personal stories behind the trend. Some had used drugs their entire lives and never slowed down. Others had used drugs when they were younger, then returned to them later in life after a divorce, death in the family or job loss.

“Amid prescription painkiller abuse, old-age aches and pains are treated with acupuncture and nonaddictive painkillers. Another change is therapy sessions that are designed for older adults.”

“If you have a trigger, and your youth is caught up in that Woodstock mentality, you’re going to revert back,” said Jamie Huysman, 60, clinical adviser to the senior program at Caron Treatment Centers, a residential drug treatment organization that plans to break ground this summer on a $10 million medical center in Pennsylvania catering to older adults. “We were pretty conditioned that we could be rebellious, that we could take drugs, and so this is how we respond today.”

Drug-rehabilitation programs are grappling with how to handle the boom in older patients. More than 5.7 million people over the age of 50 will need substance-abuse treatment by the year 2020, according to estimates from government researchers. Meanwhile, hospitals have seen a sharp increase in the number of older adults admitted for drug-related health problems, government statistics show.

BOOKS-ACIDTEST

“Over the past decade, illicit drug use among people over 50 has increased at the same time that the rate for teens—the group that draws the most public concern when it comes to substance abuse—has declined, according to the federal government’s annual survey on drug use.”

“We’re still in the process of figuring out: How do we ensure we have a strong workforce that can address this, and the appropriate settings to address this?” said Peter Delany, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Over the past decade, illicit drug use among people over 50 has increased at the same time that the rate for teens—the group that draws the most public concern when it comes to substance abuse—has declined, according to the federal government’s annual survey on drug use. A similar pattern exists for drug arrests: rates fell in nearly every younger age group in the country between 1997 and 2012, but not for those between the ages of 45 and 64.

“The rate of drug use among boomers has fallen significantly as the cohort has aged, but it is about triple the percentage of people in the previous generation who reported drug use in their older years.”

Boomers have always ranked high on the charts that measure drug use. In 1979, high school seniors, born in 1961, set the record for self-reported illicit drug use in the past year, according to an annual national survey called Monitoring the Future. The rate of drug use among boomers has fallen significantly as the cohort has aged, but it is about triple the percentage of people in the previous generation who reported drug use in their older years. Read the rest of this entry »


World’s Hottest Pepper Saves Man’s Life

Jolokia

Randy Schmitz Survives: ‘The Tumor Would Not Have Been Discovered had it not been for the Hot Sauce’

MYRTLE BEACH (WITI) —  reports: A man claims hot sauce saved his life!

Randy Schmitz of Orland Park, Illinois has always loved hot sauce. So when he was vacationing in Myrtle Beach last summer, he decided to stop at a hot sauce store and take their challenge.

Flashbang

Contestants had to dip a toothpick in the hot sauce and put it on their tongues. One of the hot sauces in this hot sauce challenge is so incredibly hot, people are required to sign waivers before sampling it.

“The next thing I knew, I had woken up on a stretcher in a hospital room — covered in vomit.”

It’s called “Flashbang” and combines Carolina Reaper, scorpion, and habanero peppersaccording to the Huffington Post. The Carolina Reaper was crowed the world’s hottest pepper a few years ago.

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“Schmitz was rushed to an emergency room for an MRI scan of his brain. That’s when they discovered a cancerous brain tumor in its early stages.”

“I made it the five minutes. My sister then said she wanted to take the challenge, but I said, ‘you might want to hold off. I’m feeling really sick,’” Schmitz told ABC News.

The sauce caused Schmitz to suffer a seizure.

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“Within a few days, he had the tumor removed and the treatment was complete. The tumor would not have been discovered had it not been for the hot sauce.”

“The next thing I knew, I had woken up on a stretcher in a hospital room — covered in vomit,” he said in the letter he sent to the Pepper Palace, the business that hosted the challenge. Read the rest of this entry »


REPORT: Vladimir Putin ‘Neutralized’ by Stealth Coup; Health Rumors Intensify

Putin-DailyMailUK

For MailOnlineWill Stewart reports: Vladimir Putin is ‘alive’ but ‘neutralised’ as shadowy security chiefs stage a stealthy coup in Moscow, it was claimed last night.

Former FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev was behind the plot, claimed chairman of the pro-Kremlin national Islamic Committee, Geydar Dzhemal.

  • Vladimir Putin is supposed to hold public meetings on Monday
  • The Russian leader has not been seen in public for the past nine days
  • Putin reportedly met the head of the Supreme Court on Friday for talks
  • However, the video is now believed to have been taken from file footage

There have been no confirmed sightings of Putin for nine days, while in the febrile atmosphere engulfing Moscow a convoy of large trucks parked outside the Kremlin fueled rumours of a flit by the president.

In fact, the lorries close to St Basil’s Cathedral were more likely connected to a nationalist celebration of the first anniversary of the return of Crimea to Russia – seen by Putin’s supporters as his ultimate masterstroke.

Despite this, bloggers likened it to Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych’s treasure-grab as he fled into exile just over a year ago in Kiev.

“There are allegations that a security official closer to Kadyrov ordered the Nemtsov murder, and that the FSB and Interior Ministry in Moscow have full proof.”

‘I think that Putin is neutralised at the moment, but of course, he is alive,’ said Dzhemal, seen as a Kremlin loyalist.

FLASHBACK: Wax figure of Vladimir Putin Attacked by Topless Feminist

‘He is under the control of the power-wielding agencies, who have, in my opinion, organised a coup d’etat.’

“His slaying has triggered bitter factional infighting in the Kremlin, which includes talk of defence and security service generals seeking to replace Putin.”

Recent pictures of Putin supposedly working during a nine day absence from public sight was ‘playing for time’ by the plotters, he claimed.

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MORE: Topless Feminist Stabs Wax Putin in France, Wax Figure in Critical Condition

‘My information is that Patrushev met Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in Pyatigorsk on 11 March and tempted him over to his side.’

“I think that Putin is neutralised at the moment, but of course, he is alive. He is under the control of the power-wielding agencies, who have, in my opinion, organised a coup d’etat.”

– Dzhemal, a Kremlin loyalist

He also pointed to a recent visit by Patrushev – head of Putin’s security council – the US.

The visit came despite sanctions barring visits by most senior Russian officials.

‘I think he was offered something there that he failed to reject,’ said Dzhemal on Georgian TV channel Rustavi-2.

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Several large trucks were parked near Kremlin Square fueling rumours connected with Putin’s absence

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Putin has not been seen in public for nine days which has caused certain consternation in Russia

Putin failed to reappear again on Saturday – the ninth day without a confirmed sighting – as his Chechen enforcer suggested the Russian strongman is in danger of being overthrown.

“With feverish speculation in Moscow over Putin’s health and whereabouts, and claims of a bitter power struggle in his entourage which could even trigger an attempted coup, the head of Chechnya spoke emotionally of people ‘trying to harm the president of Russia – and Russia itself’.”

Ramzan Kadyrov – a devout Muslim whose security apparatchiks are seen as being behind the brutal murder of Boris Nemtsov – said he would remain devoted to the Kremlin leader ‘whether he is in his position or not’.

This came amid a claim that pictures issued by the Kremlin on Friday of Putin meeting Supreme Court head Vyachevslav Lebedev may date from 2011. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Dwarf Village': A Shining Example of North Korea’s Spectacular Human Rights Record

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Little people sterilized, forced to live in remote area

TOKYO –   reports: The abuse of North Koreans who have dwarfism, a genetic condition that produces short bodies and disproportionate limbs, is the latest disclosure of widespread human rights abuses within the country. A U.N. commission report a year ago charged the regime with “crimes against humanity.”

Several North Korean defectors disclosed the existence of the village, called Yeonha-Ri, and said it is located in Kimhyongjik County, a border region in northeastern Ryanggang Province. The province is named after North Korea’s founding dictator Kim Il-Sung’s father, Kim Hyong-Jik.

“It is tempting to see the treatment of little people as evidence of the revolutionary state’s obsession with the purity of the race…”

Dwarfs are persecuted by the regime under a policy that combines Korean superstitions about physical deformities manifesting from personal or ancestral sin, and the hardline communist regime’s demand that all citizens must work, according to North Korean defectors.

“…But when you consider that Kim Il-Sung himself had a goiter the size of a fist on his neck that didn’t appear to disqualify him from leadership, I fear we have to look for other explanations.”

– Michael Breen, a Seoul-based specialist on North Korea

As part of the anti-dwarf measures, all people under 120 centimeters in height, or just under four feet, have been forced to relocate to the farming village at Yeonha-Ri.

One defector, who disclosed details of the village on condition of anonymity, said the North Korean government originally planned to exterminate the dwarfs as part of a policy of eliminating those within the population with undesirable physical traits. But concerns about international reaction to the population “cleansing” instead resulted in allowing the dwarfs to set up the farming village.

“I think that in this case…the nanny state in its zeal for social engineering is simply expressing the harsh and superstitious culture that it derives from.”

The goal of the separation is to prevent the dwarfs from marrying and reproducing. To that end, they are forced to undergo sterilization.

Also, North Korean dwarfs face a greater risk of starvation because they are not given the same food rations as other North Koreas.

Travel is also restricted under the dubious claim that as little people the dwarfs could be crushed while riding on crowded train cars.

The defector said stories related to the village include reports that during some of North Korea’s frequent famines, women would move in with Yeonha-Ri’s men who had reputations for being resourceful and good providers.

Michael Breen, a Seoul-based specialist on North Korea, said the treatment of the dwarfs is typical of the systematic abuse of human rights in the country. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. Headed in the Right Direction! (Say 29%)

Obama-zzz

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey for the week ending March 5.

This finding is down one point from the previous week.  The week ending January 25, the percentage of voters who felt the country was heading in the right direction hit 35%, the highest level of confidence in nearly two years,  but has been trending down since then. The number of voters who think the country is heading in the right direction had been 30% or higher since mid-December after being in the mid- to high 20s most weeks since mid-June 2013.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters now believe the nation is headed down the wrong track, up two points from the week before.

A year ago at this time, voters held an identical view of the country’s trajectory.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from March 1-5, 2015. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Democrats say the country is headed in the right direction. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Republicans and 71% of voters not affiliated with either major political party disagree.

Black voters by 50% to 42% margin think the country is headed in the right direction. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of whites and 57% of other minority voters say it’s headed down he wrong track.

The more money one earns, the more likely he or she is to think the country is heading in the right direction, but even among those who earn $100,000 or more a year, roughly 60% say the country is headed down the wrong track. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] UPDATE: Officers Suffer ‘Very Serious’ Injuries in #Ferguson Shooting St. Louis County Chief says

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Two police officers were shot and seriously wounded early Thursday outside the police department in Ferguson, Mo. amid protests that followed the resignation of the town’s police chief.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told a news conference just before 2 a.m. local time that a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, while a 32-year-old officer from suburban Webster Groves was shot in the face. Both officers were taken to a local hospital. Belmar said both men were conscious, but had no further word about their condition except to describe the injuries as “very serious.”

Belmar said that at least three shots were fired and were believed to come from a house across the street from the police department. He said he did not know who shot the officers.

The shooting was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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KTVI reported that as many as 200 protesters had gathered outside the police station to demand more changes in the city’s government after the resignation of Police Chief Tom Jackson Wednesday afternoon. The station reported that at least one person had been arrested and that protesters were blocking traffic on nearby Florissant Road.

The Associated Press reported that the crowd had appeared to be dwindling when the shots were heard. The Missouri Highway Patrol told the AP that troopers were heading to the scene. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: In Wake of Scandal, Fraternity Members To Undergo Racial Sensitivity Hazing

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EVANSTON, IL—In the wake of a controversial video depicting two individuals in the fraternity’s University of Oklahoma chapter leading a racist chant, Sigma Alpha Epsilon officials instituted a new national policy Wednesday requiring all members to undergo mandatory racial sensitivity hazing.

“Effective immediately, pledges nationwide will engage in a hazing program designed to combat racially insensitive behavior by requiring them to pound a shot of pure grain alcohol for every one of their personal prejudices until they puke.”

Effective immediately, pledges nationwide will engage in a hazing program designed to combat racially insensitive behavior by requiring them to pound a shot of pure grain alcohol for every one of their personal prejudices until they puke, read a statement released by the organization, which also reveals that the undergraduates must participate in a frank group discussion regarding the hurtful effects of discrimination after being blindfolded, stripped naked, and forced to stand in the campus quad for an entire night.

“We take these infractions extremely seriously, and if our members fail to properly memorize and recite the major provisions of the Civil Rights Act while tied together in a dark closet, they will be urinated on by every senior fraternity member present.”

Make no mistake: We take these infractions extremely seriously, and if our members fail to properly memorize and recite the major provisions of the Civil Rights Act…(read more)

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