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POTUS [PHOTO] of the Day

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THE REPUBLAGEDDON of 2014

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Matt’s Manic Mischief: Drudge on Overdrive

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[BOOKS] Midterm Noir: ‘They Lied To Her…’

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And the Other 22% Say They Play the Card for Purely Recreational Reasons

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Cancel the Subscription: What Losing Looks Like: New York Times’ White Flag of Surrender

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[UPDATE: Enjoy Charle’s C.W. Cooke’s Let’s Not Cancel the Midterms]

The New York Times' editorial page is not exactly beloved by staffers, according to a New York Observer report. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

 


John Fund: Curtains for Reid? He May Not Even be Minority Leader After Tuesday

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Whether history will be cruel or kind to the political career of Harry Reid remains to be seen, but in the short term, one thing is for sure, the blame for Democrats’ upcoming election defeat will be served generously to Harry, in multiple helpings. Judgement day is almost here. Until as recently as a week ago, I was too superstitious and too cautious to predict that the Tuesday’s election will firmly close the book on the Reid era. Now that Tuesday is almost here, I’m throwing caution to the dogs. It’s half-past Reid-O’clock. Time to chill the champagne, unwrap the cigars, put sparkly icing on the cowboy cupcakes, and light the candles. Harry’s days as senate majority leader are in the final twilight. The show’s almost over. I get emotional just thinking about it, don’t you?

At The Corner, John Fund writes:

It looks as if Harry Reid is at high risk of losing any Senate leadership role after Tuesday’s election.

Reid said Saturday that it’s all up to Iowa to determine whether he keeps his job. He told Democratic donors that if Republican Joni Ernst wins her victory, it “would mean . . . that Mitch McConnell would be leader of the United States Senate.”

“Reid indicated to the newspaper that ‘other Democrats would only get their chance to lead the caucus if they pried the title from his cold, dead hands’.” 

Given that Sunday’s Des Moines Register poll shows harryreidclockErnst with a seven-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley, Reid can be forgiven some nervousness.

“But this year, at a news conference held in September, Reid declined to clarify whether he would stay on as minority leader if his party lost the majority.”

But Reid may also not even remain minority leader after Tuesday, though Democrats around him exude inside-the-Beltway loyalty to him in public. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 ranking Democrat and a man known for his ambition, told Meet the Press last month that Reid had a lock on the majority leader’s job. Read the rest of this entry »


NYTimes’ Condescending Quote of the Day

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You Know Who’s Dumb? You Are. Know Who’s Smarter? New York Times

“Few voters know that the 2009 stimulus bill contributed heavily to the nation’s economic recovery, saving and creating 2.5 million jobs.”

White House talking points, in the New York Times? Never!

 


Gun Range Poison Scare Story Conveniently Appears 2 Weeks Before Election Featuring Billionaire-Funded Gun Control Initiative I-594

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“Drafted under the guise of preventing crime and funded almost solely by elitist billionaires with a proud background of stifling the Second Amendment, I-594 is an 18-page document that does nothing but impose heavy legal burdens on law-abiding gun owners and serious penalties for violations.  These anti-gun billionaires believe that they can buy your rights out from under you, and I-594 is their attempt at doing so.  I-594 will do nothing to make the people of Washington any safer, but will instead create bureaucratic hurdles that could turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals simply for exercising their constitutional rights….” (read more)

THE WASHINGTON COUNCIL OF POLICE & SHERIFFS OPPOSES INITIATIVE 594

The Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs, the state’s oldest and largest law enforcement organization opposes Initiative 594. WACOPS represents more than 4500 active duty police and sheriffs deputies. Click here to read WACOPS position paper on Initiative 594 (read more)

 The National Rifle Association (NRA) has released a one-minute digital video as part of it’s online campaign to defeat Washington State Ballot Initiative 594. The video, titled  I-594 Will Not Make Washington Safer, features Seattle resident Anette Wachter, “The 30 Cal Gal” blogger and U.S. Long Range Rifle Team member.

In the video, Wachter explains, “I-594 wastes scarce law enforcement resources on something that will not make Washington safer.  And it will turn many law-abiding citizens into criminals for simply exercising their constitutional rights.”

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 Myths vs. Facts

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HOW MICHAEL BLOOMBERG IS TWISTING THE GUN CONTROL DEBATE IN THE EVERGREEN STATE WASHING-CON

BY DAVE KOPEL

One way scam artists make money is by peddling mislabeled goods. The label on the can says “Wild Alaskan Salmon,” but what’s really inside is codfish from a filthy breeding pen in China, plus some food coloring.

Selling mislabeled goods is illegal, but there’s nothing illegal about mislabeled laws. Michael Bloomberg knows that difference, and he is exploiting it.

[Also see I-594 UNENFORCEABLE by Scott Brennan]

Right now in the state of Washington, Bloomberg is pushing a November ballot measure that is promoted as being about background checks for private sales. But it is really a law to criminalize most gun owners, including those who never sell guns. If passed, the deceptive Bloomberg ban for Washington state is then going to become the national model, to gradually be imposed on gun owners nationwide.

Bloomberg plans to run a similar ballot measure in Oregon in 2015 and in a dozen or more states in 2016. One of them is Nevada, where the 2016 campaign is already in progress. Bloomberg’s Nevada operation calls itself “Nevadans for Background Checks” and is operated by Melissa Warren, the managing partner at the Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations & Government Affairs lobbying firm.

Bloomberg and his minions claim they are just promoting background checks on private sales. But as usual, they are lying.

One way to tell that Bloomberg is selling a mislabeled law is to read the actual proposal. In this case, it is 18 pages long. It would only take a couple of pages to require background checks on private sales of firearms, if that were all the law did.

Instead, the law is a comprehensive scheme to criminalize the normal use of firearms, thus turning most gun owners into criminals, from whom firearms can be confiscated. Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: Is an Ebola Flight Ban a Good Idea? Nate Silver Doesn’t Think So

editor-commen-deskIt’s exceedingly rare that I agree with an Obama administration decision (though the decision is infirm, and could be weaseled any way the wind blows over the next several weeks) but the increasing calls to impose an Africa travel ban strike me as reflexive, not founded on proven disease strategy. Unlike a lot of bellyaching conservatives, and a handful of election-panicked Democrats, I’m not convinced that declining to respond to pressure to impose a travel ban is a bad thing. And I don’t think it’s motivated purely by narrow political or economic interests. That said, I don’t claim to be informed enough to have a clear opinion either way. So this morning I saw this, and thought it might be useful reading.

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Nate Silver writes:

On Sept. 19, Thomas Eric Duncan boarded a flight in Monrovia, Liberia, possibly after having lied on a screening questionnaire about his contact with persons carrying the Ebola virus. The next day, Duncan arrived in Dallas to visit his fiancée and son. Initially complaining of a fever, Duncan would soon become the first person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola. Before dying of the disease on Oct. 8, Duncan would transmit it to two nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who treated him at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital.

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Duncan’s case has sparked calls to ban flights to the United States from the countries hardest hit by the recent Ebola outbreak — Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — possibly along with others in West Africa. While some of these APPROVED-non-stop-panicarguments have been measured, others seem to convey the impression there are thousands of passengers arriving in cities like Dallas each day from flights originating in these countries.

There aren’t. We searched on Kayak.comExpertFlyer.com and airline websites for direct flights from West African nations (as the United Nations defines the region) to destinations outside the African continent. Specifically, we looked for flights available for the week from Jan. 2 to Jan. 8, 2015, a time period far enough in advance that such flights are unlikely to have sold out.

There are no regularly scheduled direct flights to the U.S. from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone — and very few from other countries in West Africa. There are far more flights from West Africa to Western Europe instead. Duncan’s case was typical. Before arriving in the United States, he connected through Brussels.

Here are all the routes we identified:

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Our search may be missing a few flights here and there, but it ought to be reasonably comprehensive, especially for travel to and from the United States. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] George Will: GOP May Get a Surprise from Democrats’ Get-Out-the-Vote Effort

editor-commen-deskBefore we dismiss Will’s warning, let’s recall that during the last election cycle, while many influential conservative talking heads were forecasting a Mitt Romney victory, George Will submitted an early prediction that Obama would win. His contrary analysis was met with a collective groan. Karl Rove (who would have a legendary election-night meltdown) and Dick Morris (Morris’ Fox broadcast career effectively ended in the wake of his laughable Mitt Romney landslide claims) were in full triumphalist mode. Will’s unpopular early forecast, siding with Democrat polling predictions, that Barack Obama’s campaign organization would prevail and hand the GOP a loss, was regarded by Romney supporters as treasonous. And by many others (myself included) as a valid warning, but prematurely defeatist.

“This big-name list of losers should be tattooed on the sweaty palms of every GOP operative drawing a paycheck, and haunt the fever dreams of every conservative talking head in the green room.”

Will wasn’t just playing Johnny Raincloud. He was just among the few with his reading glasses on straight that week. Untainted by wishful thinking, Will called it correctly. But even his resolve didn’t last. Sadly, George Will caught the fever, and as election night drew closer, he, too, predicted a Romney landslide.

Blood on the playbook: whether the pundits are right or wrong, the banks still cash their checks

Blood on the playbook: whether the pundits are right or wrong, the banks still cash their checks

[Romney Landslide: Here Are the Biggest Names Predicting It & How It Will Happen]

That’s a Nov. 4th, 2012 list of the men who walked the plank, and made the wrongest election prediction in modern history. Conservative enthusiasts in need of a cold shower should revisit this list. In fact, this big-name list of losers should be tattooed on the sweaty palms of every GOP operative drawing a paycheck, and haunt the fever dreams of every conservative talking head in the green room.

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Perhaps hardened by that defeat, Will would prefer to be less vulnerable this time around. Similarly, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume was on a panel yesterday bitterly mocking the GOP’s misreading of the” voter enthusiasm gap” as a reliable election predictor. Hume sarcastically observed that a depressed, demoralized, unenthusiastic vote counts just as much as an enthusiastic vote. He’s right. The key thing is the actual voting. The GOP’s challenge to the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote supremacy is in the spotlight. And the GOP’s catch-up efforts remain unproven.

Then there’s the wild card. Though neither Will or Hume mentioned this — but we’ve reported on it here — that doesn’t even account for opponent advantages gained in close races by voter fraud.

So let’s update those sports metaphors: If the GOP doesn’t succeed in taking the Senate, it may not be only because of an inadequate “ground game”, or because the GOP “fumbled the ball”. It will also be because they aren’t employing special teams (legitimate vote boosting efforts, locally-organized vote fraud schemes, take your pick) and because election referees aren’t empowered to do their job. When no penalties are called on an opponent’s violations, it’s harder to win. Points won and lost in these hidden margins aren’t officially measured, but can change the outcome of the game. And can produce — or contribute to — some unhappy surprises.

“At this point in the campaign, they’ve saturated people with broadcast ads, so the utility of the last political dollar is pretty small. The return on ‘Get out the vote’ may be much larger, and we may get a surprise this year.”

From last night’s item at The Corner:

Republicans are too focused on how much money is being spent on ad buys in the final weeks of the election cycle, warned George Will. Instead, they should be wary of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts, which upended Republicans in the 2012 elections, he said on Tuesday’s Special Report. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Mail Online UK Reports on Ceylan Ozalp: ‘Did Kurdish Fighters’ Poster Girl Kill Herself to Avoid Being ISIS Hostage?’

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 Daily Mail Online


The Dark Side of the Digital Age: Censorship in China, ISIS Propaganda, Russian Disinformation, and Asymmetrical Warfare

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There’s been a bazillion pixels spent on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong — more media than we can adequately digest here — though with the help of our Hong Kong Bureau, we’ve been fortunate to be able to post a few exclusive updates and real-time images as resources allow. The Umbrella Revolution has spawned more news stories worldwide, in less time, than almost anything we’ve seen in our brief time here as an aspiring Global News Empire.

For many people inside China, however, accurate news and honest history — not just about the Tiananmen Square massacre, or the  Umbrella Revolution –  is either strictly limited, strictly forbidden, or hopelessly distorted by state propaganda. A topic our Hong Kong Bureau Chief might address in more depth in an upcoming post, but I will attempt to explore with a few impressions here.

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When the internet blossomed, with it came the hope of the global democratization of information. The emerging information revolution‘s potential for “global information equality” was believed to be organic, inevitable, and universally beneficial. A belief not completely without merit.

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In retrospect, the idealism and optimism that characterized those early predictions by the internet revolution’s most ardent proponents reeked of utopian overreach. The rhetoric of even the most cautious, moderately optimistic digital-age wizards was tainted. The smartest guys in the valley uniformly underestimated the digital age’s darker side.

People look at laptop computers in a cafe in Beijing on May 29, 2013

People look at laptop computers in a cafe in Beijing on May 29, 2013

A collective blind spot developed. Sure, there were a few dystopian warnings by a handful of Silicon Valley Johnny Rainclouds. These warnings were duly noted, then dismissed. The benefits of an interconnected world eventually seduced even the crankiest pessimists. The fantastically successful iPhone, its offspring, and imitators, ended up in the pockets of everyone. The wonderful gadgets turned the most pucker-assed dystopian soreheads into sugar-glazed gadget-addicted sweethearts.

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In 2014, however, some of the dissenters most unpleasant predictions are coming true.

For the sake of brevity, it can be narrowed to two categories, large, and small. Each with its own problems.

First, the small

A relatively small number of highly-motivated actors with a totalitarian death-cult religious ideology can exploit the medium’s flexibility, affordability, and ease of entry with the same degree of “equality” as their modern liberal democratic counterparts. The modern western world invested in the development of these tools, but civilizations’ most dangerous enemies equally enjoy the benefits, and are more than happy to maximize their potential for harm. In this case, size doesn’t matter. Bad, suicidal, damaged ideas can spread just as quickly as aspirational, benevolent, or democratic ones.

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A small tribe of stateless actors with internet connections, weapons, mobile devices, and apocalyptic ambitions can potentially unleash the kind of large-scale deadly force that was once only available to elite actors in large, heavily-armed totalitarian states. Such is the reality of 21st century asymmetrical warfare. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Al Arabia Reports on Ceylan Ozalp Story; Verification Remains Elusive

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The reports of her suicide, which follows the beheading of seven men and three women by ISIS in Kobane earlier this week, took social media by storm and appeared in several Turkish news websites such as the daily Radikal.

editor-commen-deskUPDATE: Readers familiar with our coverage of the Ceylan Ozalp story will note that while our efforts to find credible sources to confirm whether Ceylan is dead or alive have yet to produce any new information, we’ve begun to build up a list of references and links as the media’s interest in the story continues to develop momentum. We were among the first news sites to pick up the Ceylan Ozalp suicide story and stick with it, with the aim of verifying it.

Mostly it’s been an internet myth. The lack of good information is problematic. Some sites and social media outlets simply circulate the story as-is, noting that it’s not confirmed, and include a direct link to where they found it. Other sites are less skeptical. Some are opportunistic, with an agenda to promote, and understandably have less regard for facts or useful attribution. This ismusissue unfortunate. One site in particular undercut the effort to verify the Ceylan Ozalp story by posting text copied (from LIVELEAK) with a headline nearly identical to oursremoving the link to LIVELEAK’s original source (this site) then posting it, with uncorrected, misleading quote attribution, and no direct links anywhere. Their defense for a practice that’s closer to propaganda than journalism? Claiming it’s “reader submitted”.

Because it’s an advocacy (“educational purposes”) site run by self-described “human rights activists”, there’s a different standard at work. Disassociating content from sources, suggesting the content arrives to them as provided by “the public” (whatever that means) anything goes. Neglecting to make an effort to verify a rumor or credit sources happens frequently on advocacy sites, so this isn’t unusual. Since the internet is a global (mostly) open marketplace of ideas and information, readers are aware that false or incomplete information goes with the territory. Skeptical readers can take into consideration the nature of unconfirmed reports, and the chaotic and propagandistic reality of warfare, when they explore stories like this.

This story is unusual because a lot of readers are searching, and often finding the same incomplete information. Or perhaps misinformation? Since the majority of the traffic involves sites that aren’t in English, western readers have indirect or secondary exposure to the media storm.

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The question remains: Is the Ceylan Ozalp story true or false?

We don’t claim to know. We’re interested, but skeptical. If you see a site that unquestioningly promotes the image of Ceylan as a “brave fighter” and heroic martyr, (and there are many) you’re likely reading propaganda. Or if you see a site, or a tweet, that claims the story is false, you might also be seeing the flip side of a disinformation campaign. Or, it might simply be a healthy challenge to the current media slant, the unquestioned rumor of Ozalp’s suicide.

Legitimate news sites are uniformly guarded about the veracity of the alleged Ceylan Ozalp battlefield suicide report, as it makes its way from social media outlets to more mainstream news outlets. Which brings us to the most current crossover news story by Al Arabiya.

When we first reported last week the story was little more than an internet rumor circulating in social media. In the past several days, it’s been picked up in Germany’s BILD magazine, The International Business Times UK, and now, several hours ago, this appeared in Al Arabiya.

As described above, our view remains a skeptical one. Is Ceylan Ozalp a brave fighter who killed herself rather than fall into the hands of ISIS? Or is Ceylan’s merely an image that’s being used by unreliable or self-interested international actors as a fictional propaganda puppet?

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Some of the photos of Ozalp show her in fighting poses (like this one) or heroic, scenic poses that could be staged, or could be real. We simply don’t know yet.

As we see in the story below–like all legitimate mainstream media reports–responsibly include this important disclaimer:

“Al Arabiya News Channel could not independently verify the authenticity of the report on her suicide.”

Go here for the full text of the following news story.

By Staff Writer, Al Arabiya News
Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Syrian Kurdish female combatant, who appeared on a BBC report in September, shot herself with a last bullet during fighting with militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last week, according to media reports.

Ceylan Ozalp, 19, was reportedly surrounded by ISIS fighters near the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane also known as Ain al-Arab. After she run out of ammunition Ozalp said “goodbye” over the radio and spent her last bullet on killing herself.

Also read: Biden apologizes to UAE for remarks about ISIS

The reports of her suicide, which follows the beheading of seven men and three women by ISIS in Kobane earlier this week, took social media by storm and appeared in several Turkish news websites such as the daily Radikal.

But other reports suggested Ozalp, also known as Diren –which means “resist” in Turkish, never left the northern Syrian town of Jezaa, which is still under the Kurdish control, according to International Business Times.

Al Arabiya News Channel could not independently verify the authenticity of the report on her suicide.

During her interview with the BBC last month, Ozalp said: “We’re not scared of anything…We’ll fight to the last. We’d rather blow ourselves up than be captured by IS (ISIS).”

“When they see a woman with a gun, they’re so afraid they begin to shake. They portray themselves as tough guys to the world. But when they see us with our guns they run away. They see a woman as just a small thing. But one of our women is worth a hundred of their men,” Ozalp told the BBC. Read the rest of this entry »


ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING: Former Top Official Says Kim Jong-un Is No Longer in Control of North Korea: Coup Brewing?

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North Korea capital ‘under lockdown’

VICE News reports:

An elite group of exiles from North Korea gathered in September in the Netherlands to discuss the state of the regime they used to serve. The conference included top diplomats, an ex-senior official of the Ministry of Security, and a high-ranking military officer, but the keynote address was given by Jang Jin-sung, formerly a key member of Kim Jong-il‘s propaganda machine. Included in Jang’s speech was a surprising assertion: North Korea is in the midst of a civil war.

The Telegraph reports:

Kim Jong-un's failure to attend a session in parliament have prompted rumours about his health and suggestions that there had been a coup Photo: REUTERS/KCNA

Kim Jong-un’s failure to attend a session in parliament have prompted rumors that there had been a coup REUTERS/KCNA

“This sort of action suggests there has either been an attempted coup or that the authorities there have uncovered some sort of plot against the leadership,” Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University and an authority on North Korean affairs, told The Telegraph. 

“If it is a military-backed coup, then the situation in Pyongyang will be very dangerous and I have heard reports that Kim has been moved out of the capital,” he said.

Hot Air’s ALLAPUNDIT comments:

Another possibility, via the same professor, is that the city’s been locked down not to keep people out but to keep them in — specifically, to block the escape routes of any senior officials who might be trying to defect, whether because they’re complicit in the coup attempt or simply terrified of the chaos of the power struggle. Any reason to treat this as credible, given that the “lockdown” report originated on a website run by North Korean exiles opposed to the regime? Well, there’s the little matter of Kim Jong-un’s mysterious and coincidental disappearance from public view this month. Supposedly he’s ill but maybe his condition is, shall we say, a bit graver than that. Or maybe he’s just a puppet whose puppeteer doesn’t want him putting on shows right now for whatever reason. The founder of the website that broke the “lockdown” news told Vice in an interview that, in reality, Kim hasn’t governed the country for more than a year. He’s a figurehead. And figureheads can be replaced.

According to Jang — a former counterintelligence official and poet laureate under Kim Jong-il — members of the government’s Organization and Guidance Department (OGD), a powerful group of officials that once reported only to Kim Jong-il, have stopped taking orders from his son, Kim Jong-un. The OGD, Jang says, has effectively taken control of the country, and a conflict is simmering between factions that want to maintain absolute control over the economy and others seeking to gain wealth through foreign trade and a slightly more open market.

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A wall painting of a picture Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. (Photo via Flickr)

“Jang, however, believes the coup actually happened in 2013, and says Kim Jong-un is only serving as a puppet leader with officials from the OGD pulling the strings.”

“On one hand, it’s people who want to maintain a regime monopoly,” Jang told VICE News through a translator in an interview Thursday. “On the other hand, it’s not like people are fighting against the regime, but in a policy sense they want to take advantage to get influence. It’s not actually consciously civil war, but there are these two incompatible forces at play.”

“When Jang Sung-taek was executed that was, basically, that totally broke everything,” Jang said. “You just can’t touch a Kim family member publicly… It’s the OGD’s claim to legitimacy. It’s them saying no one is more legitimate than them. By Jang dying, Kim Jong-un is now surrounded by the OGD.”

Jang’s statements come during a moment of peak curiosity about the hermit kingdom. Kim Jong-un — the portly 31-year-old who assumed the title of Supreme Leader after his father’s death in 2011 — has been absent from public view for nearly a month. He was last seen walking with a pronounced limp during a July ceremony commemorating the death of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung. He typically presides over the Supreme People’s Assembly, a rubber-stamp parliament, but missed the meeting in early September, and was replaced by a propaganda video that again showed him limping. “Despite some discomfort, our Marshal continues to come out and lead the people,” the film’s narrator said.

Rumors abound about the cause of his absence, including a report from South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo that he recently underwent surgery after fracturing both of his ankles “during a grueling tour of military bases and factories in Cuban heels.” The South Korean news agency Yonhap cited anonymous sources saying that Kim, a heavy smoker who has become markedly plump since assuming the role of dictator, is “suffering from gout, along with hyperuricemia, hyperlipidemia, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.” Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: German Magazine BILD Features Ceylan Özalp Story — ‘Peshmerga Fighter: Suicide Out of Fear of ISIS Rape’

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Peschmerga-Kämpferin: Selbstmord aus Angst vor ISIS-Vergewaltigung – Politik Ausland – Bild.de

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This appeared online about an hour ago, the first I’m aware of the Ceylan Özalp story being picked up by traditional print media. Until now, we’ve only seen it in social media, and blogs. Note that BILD concludes, rather than begins, with the familiar disclaimer:

“The source for the fate of Ceylan Ozalp was not conclusively verify their validity is, however, the descriptions appears authentic.”

Though it’s a less-than-ideal Google translation from German to English, we can see that it remains an “as is” story. However, it includes graphics, maps, a video, and a little more background. Does BILDs confidence in its authenticity give it more credibility? Perhaps so. We’ll let the readers decide.

Turkish and French sites occasionally have references, and the BBC has coverage of Kurdish women fighters, but information about Ceylan Özalp is elusive, adding to her increasingly mythic status.

Since this particular European tabloid is the first mainstream news organization to put any effort into telling the story of Ceylan Özalp, I offer it here with minimal interference (other than this introduction) with the German-to-English translation errors untouched. To see it at BILD in the original formatting, go here.

[Do you have a source, or more information about the fate of Ceylan Özalp? If so, drop us a line]

The Kurdish soldier Ceylan Ozalp said to have shot herself after they had no more ammunition to fight against ISIS

When the terrorists had surrounded it to Ceylan Ozalp adopted by radio, took her gun and shot himself. Afraid of being raped by the jihadists like so many women before.

“To the Bitter End”: Peshmerga women fighting against ISIS

For days warriors deliver the terror militia Islamic State in Iraq and in Syria (ISIS, also IS) violent struggle for Kurdish enclave Ain Al-Arab (Kurdish: Kobane) and the surrounding villages. Already 300 villages are in the hands of terrorists, Ain Al-Arab have them surrounded from three sides. Only two kilometers – then they are in town!

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The embattled border town of Ain​​-al-Arab

The Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim told the news agency Reuters: When the ISIS-fighters should arrive in the city, “they will destroy everything and the people slaughtered.” Within a few days the decision would be like.

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[click image to go to video at BILD]

The brave Peshmerga fighters

Still trying fighters of the Kurdish people’s defense units, the jihadists to stop. With poor facilities face young, old and women terrorists in the way. Read the rest of this entry »


DEBUNKED: Hong Kong Protesters Used as Puppets in U.S. Media’s Ferguson Mythology

attn-US-journalists-HK-protests

Another self-serving media myth, masquerading as reporting, as debunked by Hot Air‘s Noah Rothman. Besides reliably good commentary I’ve long enjoyed Noah’s knack for humor and accuracy in headline writing, this one’s a good example.

Despite lack of any evidence, journalists positive Hong Kong protesters are mimicking Ferguson

Take special note of this:

Quartz’s Lily Kuo, the outlet’s emerging markets reporter who has been featured in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and Taipei’s China Post, took to the streets of Hong Kong where she learned, astonishingly, that a tumultuous St. Louis suburb was the furthest thing from the minds of the Occupy Central protesters.

editor-commen-deskI took the bait and read Lily Kuo’s article. Notice how her exceedingly thin phrase “perhaps unwittingly” is employed to help justify what is arguably a completely false premise. The headline says one thing, the body copy says the exact opposite? When the facts reported in the story are directly contradicted by what’s trumpeted in the headline, it’s opportunistic misdirection bordering on silliness.

A more jaded observer might conclude that this is an average day’s collateral damage in the link-bait ams race, but there are too many journalists singing from the same songbook for it to be dismissed that easily.

media-dishonesty

While we await our own Hong Kong Bureau Chief‘s input on this media catastrophe (see his exclusive reporting here) read the full text of Noah’s thing here. Here’s a brief sample: 

…As massive demonstrations engulf Hong Kong, protests which have been ongoing for weeks since the Chinese government revealed its intention to vet candidates for elected office in the former British colony for the first time since unification in 1997, demonstrators began marching with their hands up in a display of submission to police. The similarities to those protesters in Ferguson who adopted a similar pose are purely cosmetic, unless you are seeking to inflate your own sense of importance by reducing the actions of pro-democracy protesters challenging an authoritarian and violent government to mere mimicry. Read the rest of this entry »


In Memory: Ceylan Ozalp, Kurdish YPG Fighter

Ceylan-Ozalp

 See - The Mystery of Ceylan Ozalp

UPDATE 2: German Magazine BILD Features Ceylan Özalp Story — ‘Peshmerga Fighter: Suicide Out of Fear of ISIS Rape’

UPDATE 3: IBTimes Reports on Alleged Battlefield Suicide of YPG Fighter Ceylan Ozalp

UPDATE 4: AL Arabia Reports on Ceylan Ozalp Story; Verification Remains Elusive

Ceylan Ozalp (19), known from the BBC report about Kurdish YPG Women fighters led today with several comrades in the northern Syrian Kurdish city Kobani resistance against the ISIS terrorists.

In Kurdish areas of northern Syria, fighters have been battling Islamic State – or ISIS – for two years – and unlike Iraq’s kurdish forces, they get no help from the west. Gabriel Gatehouse has been northern Syria to meet some of those taking on the jihadists.

“We’re not scared of anything. We’ll fight to the last. We’d rather blow ourselves up than be captured by ISIS.”

– Ceylan Ozalp

Surrounded on all sides and set under attack, she lost all her friends. She fought alone against the supernumerary terrorists. When she had no more ammunition and recognized the hopeless situation, she said goodbye over her radio and killed herself with the last bullet so that she don’t to fall into the hands of the rapists. Read the rest of this entry »


How To Summarize 2014 News To Someone Who Wants to Sound Like They’re In The Loop

OPTICS-GROUND

Obama Orders Boots on the Ground!

Of Optics and Objectivity: How Journalism Is Failing

The Pleasant Fiction of “No Boots on the Ground”

Obama: ‘I Should’ve Anticipated The Optics’ Of Golfing

Boots on the Ground, But Whose?

Rice case ‘all about bad optics’

Carney Defends Obama: Not ‘Focused on the Optics

no boots on the ground

The New Presidential Optics

Boots on the ground: Obama sending “small number” of

Obama Regrets ‘Optics,’ But Not the Golf, After Beheading

In place of ‘boots on the ground,’ US seeks contractors..

Was Obama’s Golf Outing Just an Issue of Optics?

The Obama administration must put boots on the ground 

When Boots on the Ground Aren’t ‘Boots on the Ground’

Obama Considering Boots on the Ground in Iraq

Read the rest of this entry »


EXCLUSIVE: Nearing Retirement, Harry Reid’s Unusual Behavior Fuels Increased Speculation about Recreational Drug Use

reid-hand

“When I move my hand…like this…pretty colors…”

(WASHINGTON D.C.) Rumors are swirling in both Democratic and Republican campaign headquarters about Senator Harry Reid‘s alleged use of psychoactive drugs, recreationally, including hallucinogens, though what kinds remain uncertain. In the last few months, in advance of Reid’s near-certain retirement as Senate majority leader, Reid’s mood appeared to be melancholy, say sources close to the Senator.LSD-vial

“His attacks on the Koch brothers seemed increasingly insincere, as though he were just going through the motions,” said a campaign staff worker, who spoke to punditfromanotherplanet on the condition of anonymity.

Others near the Senator concur. “Even while blocking bills from reaching the floor, helping to raise money for negative TV ad campaigns, engaging in partisan attacks against Republican opponents in public, and complaining about president Obama in private, his voice seemed hollow, his posture, defeated,” said a reporter who covers the Capitol.

In recent weeks, however, according to close observers, Reid’s demeanor has improved. “He smiles for no reason, sings quietly to himself, and carries on stream-of-consciousness monologues to anyone who will listen”, complained a staff member. Reid’s mood is elevated, some say, to the point of euphoria, which has caused concern among his closest supporters. Read the rest of this entry »


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