Rich Lowry, Special Report, 10-28-2014
In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.
Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.
“Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”
The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.
Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads. Read the rest of this entry »
Video purports to show Muslim men being targeted by patrolman
OCTOBER 21–In a cynical and duplicitous attempt to capitalize on New York City’s documented racial profiling problems, a pair of bloggers have created a video purporting to show an NYPD officer stopping and frisking a pair of Muslim men for the crime of wearing traditional Islamic garments.
But the viral video is a sham, a staged production aimed to go viral and pile up views and YouTube channel subscriptions for its young creators, Brooklynites Adam Saleh and Sheikh Akbar, who get a piece of the revenue generated by ads that run before their videos play.
[Akbar (left) and Saleh are pictured in the adjacent photo.]
The duo’s video operation–which is named “TrueStoryASA”–has racked up 60 million YouTube views and has more than 661,000 subscribers on the video-sharing site. While most of the pair’s videos involve pranks, sidewalk attempts at comedy and social commentary, or “Muslim-related stuff,” their latest clip seeks to latch onto an issue that has troubled many New Yorkers and tainted the NYPD.
Titled “Racial Profiling Experiment,” the 2:53 video (seen above) was uploaded Sunday to YouTube, where it has already been viewed in excess of 135,000 times. The clip has received coverage in several publications, including the British newspaper The Independent and The Huffington Post.
The video opens with Saleh and Akbar loudly arguing as they walk down a Queens street. The men, dressed in jeans and t-shirts, shove each other and appear on the verge of exchanging blows. While this is transpiring, a purported NYPD officer stands just feet away. With his arms folded, the impassive cop–whose face has been blurred–does nothing as the pair seems on the verge of fighting. The scene is apparently being filmed from a parked car by a friend of Saleh and Akbar.
The video then jumps ahead 20 minutes, when Saleh and Akbar are again seen arguing on the same sidewalk. This time, however, Saleh is wearing a headdress and a white robe. Akbar has on a keffiyeh scarf and an abaya, a long shirt. In their YouTube description of the video, the men describe these garments as their “cultural clothes.”
This time, the quarreling duo is immediately confronted by the cop, who asks, “What’s all the arguing about? Why are you dressed like this?” Motioning to their clothes, he demands, “What is this?” In short order, the patrolman shoves Saleh up against the wall and directs him to put his hands up and “open your legs.” During the cursory search that follows, the cop feels something in Saleh’s pocket and yells, “What is this? What’s in your pocket?” When Saleh responds that it is his phone, the officer asks, “Is this a gun? Is that a knife?”
Oddly, the officer never bothers to remove the item to confirm that it is a phone and not a deadly weapon. Also, the cop does not appear concerned that Saleh’s friend is hovering directly behind him. Read the rest of this entry »
TIME reports: The nun who won Italy’s version of The Voice is out with a music video for her single “Like a Virgin.” Her debut album Sister Cristina, out Nov. 11, will feature covers of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Alicia Keys’s “No One” — the song she performed during her audition that went viral, racking up nearly 62 million views on YouTube.
For comparison, here is Madonna’s music video for “Like a Virgin”:
[Also see - Japan Makes First Arrest Over 3-D Printer Guns - punditfromanotherplanet.com]
Yoshitomo Imura, an employee at the Shonan Institute of Technology in Japan, was arrested last may for printing and firing a 3D-printed gun called the ZigZag. He printed three guns in total and was arrested for running afoul of Japan’s strict gun laws.
[More – [VIDEO] How 3-D Printed Guns Evolved Into Serious Weapons in Just One Year – punditfromanotherplanet.com]
Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong’s government headquarters overnight on Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks-long political crisis.
The demonstrators blocked the underpass with tyres, metal and plastic safety barriers and concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches. Read the rest of this entry »
As often happens, I found this song on my way to look for something else. I was captivated by the scenic video, taken from a boat, apparently unrelated, but what a tasteful way to represent the feeling of listening to Astrud Gilberto‘s voice. I’m familiar with instrumental versions of this song, have rarely heard it with vocals, so I paused to take in the lyrics. I wasn’t aware that Astrid Gilberto recorded this 1949 classic song. She gives it her own signature sound. I swear, I could listen to Astrud Gilberto read the phone book, and think it’s musical, and romantic.
From Wikipedia, here’s some background on the song itself.
The music was composed by Victor Young and the lyric was written by Ned Washington. The song was introduced by the singer Martha Mears in the 1949 film of the same name. The song failed to escape critics’ general laceration of the film. Time wrote in its review that “nothing offsets the blight of such tear-splashed excesses as the bloop-bleep-bloop of a sentimental ballad on the sound track.” Nevertheless, the song was nominated for an Oscar, losing out to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser.
The song was also a popular success, with two recordings of the song listed among the top 30 on the Billboard charts in 1950. Gordon Jenkins‘s recording of “My Foolish Heart”, Sandy Evans, vocal, reached the top ten on the charts. However, Billy Eckstine‘s version became a million seller, spending 19 weeks on the charts and peaking at number six. Read the rest of this entry »
Journalists covering the protests include some who have been expelled from China amid crackdowns
Oct. 5, 2014 5:03 p.m. ET, L. Gordon Crovitz writes: Information has been the main currency of Hong Kong since colonial days, when word reached mainland Chinese that if they escaped to “touch base” in Hong Kong, they would get refuge under British rule. Hong Kong became Asia’s first global city thanks to hardworking immigrants who made the most of their open trade, English legal system and free speech.
“By breaking the promise that Hong Kong can select its own government, China’s current rulers are violating clear obligations.”
Hong Kong protesters are driven by hope that a leader selected by Hong Kong voters—as Beijing promised for 2017 before it reneged—can protect their way of life. But as the Communist Party narrows freedoms on the mainland, Deng Xiaoping ’s “one country, two systems” formulation for the 1997 handover entails a widening gap between life in Hong Kong and the rest of China. Without a government to represent them, Hong Kong people had no better choice than to take to the streets.
“This year has seen unprecedented physical attacks on journalists in Hong Kong, presumably at Beijing’s behest. China extorted advertising boycotts of pro-democracy publishers in Hong Kong. It forced critical bloggers to close down.”
Mainland China is in an era of brutal suppression. Beijing jails reformers, controls journalists and employs hundreds of thousands of censors on social media. Twitter , Facebook , YouTube and many global news sites are blocked. Instagram was closed down after mainlanders shared photos of Hong Kong people using umbrellas against pepper spray and tear gas.
“Hong Kong’s fate is to be the world’s window on an unpredictable China. “
As a financial capital, Hong Kong cannot survive without open access to information. It has more newspapers than any other city in the world. It’s been a window on China since the communist revolution. An unintended consequence of Beijing’s recent crackdown is that expelled foreign journalists now operate from Hong Kong, delivering news of the protests.
Google searches from China are routed to Hong Kong servers so that results can be delivered uncensored
The Wall Street Journal’s first overseas edition was launched in Hong Kong in 1976. A running joke among Journal opinion writers is that it’s the only place in the world where our free-market, free-people beliefs are mainstream. Google searches from China are routed to Hong Kong servers so that results can be delivered uncensored. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Volcano Erupts In Central Japan, Hiker Dead, Dozens Reported Stranded | 御嶽山 大噴火 山頂火口付近 衝撃の山小屋Posted: September 27, 2014
Dozens of hikers were stranded Saturday on the slopes of an erupting Japanese volcano that has reportedly killed one person and left 30 more seriously injured.
Ash, rocks and steam continued to spew from Mount Ontake more than nine hours after it sprang violently to life as around 250 people were trying to scale its peak.
“The speed of the smoke was too fast. You can’t escape.”I’m worried that many more people are still on the mountain.”
– A climber, reported by NHK
Four people were buried by the ash, with one having been dug out, Kyodo News reported.
“I first thought it was thunder as I heard a bang and another bang, two or three times,” a trekker told public broadcaster NHK. “Then volcanic dust fell noisily.”
“Amateur cameraman Keiji Aoki told Jiji Press: “It was tremendous. I prepared for death when I got caught in the dust under a pine tree.”
– Amateur cameraman Keiji Aoki, to Jiji Press
A suffocating blanket of ash up to 20 centimetres (8 inches) deep covered a large area of the 3,067 metre (10,121-foot) volcano, trapping climbers and forcing up to 150 into mountaintop shelters at one point.
Around 230 people have now reached the bottom but a further 40 are trapped at the summit where they will spend the night in shelters, local media reported.
A sheriff’s deputy shot the suspect, identified by officials as 30-year-old Alton Alexander Nolan. The deceased victim has been identified as 54-year-old Colleen Hufford.
(CNN) — A man has beheaded a woman after a workplace dispute in Oklahoma, U.S. law enforcement officials told CNN on Friday. He also tried to kill another woman, officials said.
The incident happened late Thursday afternoon at a Vaughan Foods processing plant in Moore, about 10 miles south of Oklahoma City.
There were no immediate indications of a link to terrorism, officials said.
A sheriff’s deputy shot the suspect, identified by officials as 30-year-old Alton Alexander Nolan.
He was taken a hospital and is expected to survive.
UPDATE: FBI looking into Moore beheading after suspect tried to convert others to Islam
UPDATE: No evidence of link to terror groups
New details from NBC:
The circumstances of Nolen’s firing weren’t made public. Some co-workers told police that he had recently converted to Islam and had been trying to convert them. Law enforcement officials told NBC News that his conversion took place during his recent stint in prison, which ended in March 2013, records show. A search of his home and car didn’t immediately yield any connection to radical fundamentalism and there’s no indication he had been in contact with terrorists groups such as ISIS, sources said.
Local authorities are working with the FBI to do an extensive background investigation on Nolen, Lewis said. Law enforcement officials say they are looking into his online activities and whether a Facebook page that contains materials with terrorist and fundamentalist themes was maintained by Nolen under an alias. Nolen does have an extensive rap sheet, including assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention, according to NBC affiliate KFOR.
The Moore Police Department released the 911 tapes associated with the attack.
MOORE, Okla. – KFOR-TV reports: Officials with the Moore Police Department say the FBI is now involved in the investigation related to a brutal attack of workers at a food distribution plant.
“No link to terrorism.” What does this mean? Is there like a terrorist guild that approves acts of terrorism?
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) September 26, 2014
Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says the alleged suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen had just been fired when he drove to the front of the business, hit a vehicle and walked inside.
He walked into the front office area where he met 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and began attacking her with a knife.
“Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former CEO of the business, shot him as he was actively stabbing Johnson.”
Sgt. Lewis confirms the type of knife used in the attack is the same kind used at the plant.
Lewis confirms that Hufford was stabbed several times and that Nolen “severed her head.”
At that point, Lewis claims Nolen met 43-year-old Traci Johnson and began attacking her with the same knife.
Officials say at that point, Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former CEO of the business, shot him as he was actively stabbing Johnson.
“He’s a hero in this situation,” Sgt. Lewis said, referring to Vaughan. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”
Authorities say it appears Nolen was attacking employees at random.
Johnson is in stable condition at a local hospital, recovering from her injuries.
The FBI is now looking into Nolen’s background after his former co-workers said he tried to convert them to Islam after recently converting himself. [See the text of the 911 tapes] Read the rest of this entry »
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The fact that ISIS focuses on beheadings rather than elaborate plots makes them that much harder to foil
Jonah Goldberg writes: On Thursday, Australian authorities claimed they thwarted a plot by supporters of the Islamic State to grab random people off the street and then behead the captured citizens on videotape. Australia’s attorney general said that the massive raid, the largest counterterrorism operation in the nation’s history, involving more than 800 police officers and raids of at least twelve properties, was necessary because, “If the . . . police had not acted today, there is a likelihood that this would have happened.”
“Al-Qaeda always had an odd obsession with destroying aircraft and committing dramatic acts of murder. This fixation had an advantage: Such elaborate plots were easier to be foiled by law enforcement and intelligence agencies…“
Australian prime minister Tony Abbott confirmed that the raids were prompted by intercepted phone calls, from an Australian of Afghan descent believed to be Mohammad Ali Baryalei. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that he is suspected to be the “most senior Australian member of the terrorist group Islamic State, having traveled to Syria in April last year.” A proselytizer for the “Street Dawah Movement,” Barylei “was outspoken and wouldn’t shy from speaking the truth regardless,” a former fellow Dawah member told Fairfax Media. “He wasn’t pleased with living in Australian society and wanted to live in an Islamic society away from open alcoholism, homosexuality, fornication, drugs, and capitalism.”
“The Islamic State has discovered that beheadings — which are cheap and relatively easy to conduct — have a huge impact in the West…It takes homework to build an IED. Beheadings require very little instruction.”
Baryalei is credited with recruiting at least two fellow Australians to the cause. One, Khaled Sharrouf, infamously tweeted pictures of himself executing prisoners in Iraq and images of his seven-year-old son holding a severed head in Syria. Another fellow Australian, Mohamed Elomar, has also released images of himself holding the decapitated heads of his “enemies.” Read the rest of this entry »
— ABC News (@ABC) September 18, 2014
ABCNews.com reports: A British citizen captured in Syria two years ago has resurfaced today in a new ISIS propaganda video released on YouTube. But unlike the previous gruesome beheading videos of three westerners, journalist Cantlie is seen alive, seated alone at a desk in a darkened room, delivering what he says is the first of a series of “messages” about ISIS.
Cantlie was abducted in November 2012 along with slain American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by his ISIS captors, according to a former law enforcement official and others familiar with the journalists’ kidnapping. Read the rest of this entry »
The red and black colors do not signify anything relevant to this demonstration. The federal government releases partial updates to the CFR on a quarterly basis and changes the color from one year to the next.
Book stacks for 1950, 1970, and 1990 are represented using the average size volume in 2013, which is roughly 750 pages long. Stack size is calculated by dividing the page count in those years by 750 pages. The data for page counts in the CFR comes from here.
95 Percent of BBC Viewers Think Multiculturalism Has Failed
A whopping 95 percent of respondents to a BBC straw poll have said that they think multiculturalism in Britain is a failure. The poll was taken yesterday morning during the BBC’s Saturday Morning Live show, and asked “Is multiculturalism working?” Just 5 percent said “Yes”; 95 percent said “No”.
“fortunately the actually scientific polling suggests that’s quite a pessimistic answer.”
Breitbart London’s James Delingpole was a guest on the show. During the discussion of the results, he said: “I think the thwacking great majority in that poll says it all. The multicultural experiment in Britain has failed totally and people have finally realised how much it has failed. Rotherham was just one example; we’re seeing cases all around the country. It has been a disaster. I think that this is going to be the turning point.”
Also on the show was the left-wing journalist Owen Jones, who extolled the virtues of interracial sex and claimed: “fortunately the actually scientific polling suggests that’s quite a pessimistic answer. Yes there are always tensions which we need to work on. We need to bring our communities together. But Britain has one of the highest levels of interracial relationships in the whole world.”
“We need to break down segregation like faith schools. We concentrate poor people in particular areas because of the lack of social housing, and that disproportionately affects people from black and minority ethnic communities.” Read the rest of this entry »
James Foley Murderer Identified: London Rapper Turned jihadist Believed to be Under Investigation for Beheading Journalist in SyriaPosted: August 24, 2014
The Independent‘s Lizzie Dearden reports: A former rapper fighting with the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria is believed to be one of several British jihadists under investigation following the beheading of James Foley.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 24, was known as L Jinny or Lyricist Jinn at home in London, where his rising music career saw him appear in videos and have his singles played on BBC Radio in 2012.
He came to national attention earlier this year, when he posted a picture of himself holding a severed head on Twitter after resurfacing in Syria.
The gruesome picture, believed to have been taken in the Isis stronghold of Raqqa, was captioned: “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him.”
Bary reportedly travelled to the country last year from Maida Vale, west London, where he lived with his mother and five siblings.
His father Adel Abdul Bary, an Egyptian refugee thought to be one of Osama Bin Laden’s closes lieutenants, was extradited from Britain to the United States on charges of terrorism in 2012 for his alleged roles in the bombings of two US embassies in east Africa in 1998. Read the rest of this entry »
The Rock Squirrel has been raiding our bird feeder, carrying away pounds of seed. Nancy figured a quick solution. I don’t know which is funnier, the squirrel or Nancy’s narration.
For anyone who is concerned about the squirrel, he still raids our other two feeders and the vegetable garden. The tiny amount of Vaseline used is non-toxic…He quickly learned that this feeder was not worth the trouble…(read more)
Prefer something a little more militant? In this marvel of modern aviation, witness this highlight reel of theft-prevention techniques involving what we charitably call “involuntary squirrel flight.”
Ultimate Squirrel-Launching Compilation
They didn’t…they didn’t…oh yes they did.
Visit VA Viper for more of these gems.