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CIA Contractors Fired for Stealing Snacks from Vending Machine

The spy group axed several contractors after it discovered they had stolen $3,314.40 in eats from compromised vending machines between fall 2012 and March 2013, according to a report obtained by BuzzFeed News.

When nosh began going missing from agency vending machines, the CIA did what it does best — it put up cameras and started spying on the break room, according to the report.

“Video footage recovered from the surveillance cameras captured numerous perpetrators engaged in the … theft scheme, all of whom were readily identifiable as agency contract personnel,” the report states. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ronald Bailey: Do Researchers Risk Becoming Just Another Leftwing Interest Group?

“We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely,” warns the march’s mission statement. “Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We must stand together and support science.”

From whom do the marchers hope to defend science? Certainly not the American public: Most Americans are fairly strong supporters of the scientific enterprise. An October 2016 Pew Research Center poll reported, “Three-quarters of Americans (76%) have either a great deal (21%) or a fair amount of confidence (55%) in scientists, generally, to act in the public interest.” The General Social Survey notes that public confidence in scientists stands out among the most stable of about 13 institutions rated in the GSS survey since the mid-1970s. (For what it’s worth, the GSS reports only 8 percent of the public say that they have a great deal of confidence in the press, but at least that’s higher than the 6 percent who say the same about Congress.)

The mission statement also declares, “The application of science to policy is not a partisan issue. Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone—without exception.”

I thoroughly endorse that sentiment. But why didn’t the scientific community march when the Obama administration blocked over-the-counter access to emergency contraception to women under age 17? Or dawdled for years over the approval of genetically enhanced salmon? Or tried to kill off the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility? Or halted the development of direct-to-consumer genetic testing? Read the rest of this entry »


Simon & Schuster Cancels Milo Yiannopoulos Book Publication; Milo Disinvited From CPAC

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Saker/REX/Shutterstock (1841558c) Milo Yiannopoulos Milo Yiannopoulos at 'Silicon Roundabout' Old Street, London, Britain - 13 Jun 2012 Milo Yiannopoulos is a journalist, broadcaster and internet blogger who speaks about technology, media, business, society, religion and celebrity culture . He is Editor-in-Chief of The Kernel, chief feature writer for The Catholic Herald.

Simon & Schuster’s Adam Rothberg announced that the company and its Threshold Editions division would be canceling its publication of Yiannopoulos’ book, ‘Dangerous.’ It was due for release on June 13.

UPDATED: Controversial far-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos has been disinvited from speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, it was announced on Monday.

The decision comes amid a controversy involving a video from January 2016, in which Yiannopoulos appears to defend pedophilia. It resurfaced after it was recently shared on a conservative blog, and has gained traction and backlash over the past week.

“We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt said in a statement. “It is up to him to answer the tough questions and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments.”

In the video, a 2016 episode of podcast “The Drunken Peasants,” Yiannopoulos discussed his own experience with sexual assault as a teenager. Read the rest of this entry »


TRUMPOCALYPSE: ‘Radical,’ ‘Dark’ Inaugural Speech Mystifies TV Talking Heads as News Crews Scramble for Metaphors

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The television anchors, reporters and analysts covering President Donald Trump’s inaugural speech may have appeared on different networks, but they were united in their depictions of Trump’s speech.

“A speech that, in the early 1960s, gave us ‘ask not,’ today gave us ‘American carnage,’” said MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.

“One of the most radical inauguration speeches we’ve ever heard … Pure populism,” CNN’s Jake Tapper said.

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“This was Donald Trump seizing power, in the sense that there is a new sheriff in town,” Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said. “The American carnage must stop right here, right now. … This was the speech of an insurgent, the leader of a revolt that has won and taken control of Washington.”

Even the more charitable descriptions of the speech noted the darkness of his rhetoric.

[Read the full story here, at POLITICO]

“I thought the speech was not poetic, but quite strong. It was very much Trump. While it wasn’t soaring he had many lines that were quite memorable,” said Fox News’ Brit Hume. “He painted this dark landscape of circumstances in this country, and promised to fix it all, basically.”

Some fact-checked Trump’s speech, which mentioned crime rates and Americans out of work. Read the rest of this entry »


Bloggers? Did Someone Say Bloggers? 

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Oliver Laughland reports: Talk radio hosts and bloggers could be invited to official White House press briefings once the Trump administration takes office, under a highly irregular proposal being floated that may also remove briefings from the West Wing.

“Some of the media outlets that I deal with are fake news more so than anybody. I could name them, but I won’t bother. You have a few sitting right in front of us.”

Trump’s pick for White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said on Sunday that due to “off the chart” interest in the new administration, the president-elect was considering moving briefings from the James S Brady press briefing room, which has been used by presidents to address the media since 1970, to a venue with a greater capacity.

“They’re very, very dishonest people, but I think it’s just something we’re going to have to live with. I guess the advantage I have is that I can speak back.”

— President-elect Donald Trump

A report published by Esquire magazine on Saturday indicated the venue could be inside the Old Executive Office Building, just west of the White House.

Spicer argued the proposal would mean “you can involve more people, be more transparent, have more accessibility”. He suggested that this would mean outlets that are not traditionally part of the White House press corps would be able to ask questions during presidential press briefings.

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“The WHCA will fight to keep the briefing room and West Wing access to senior administration officials open. We object strenuously to any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps.”

— Jeff Mason, the WHCA president and Reuters White House correspondent

There’s a lot of talk radio and bloggers and people that can’t fit in right now and maybe don’t have a permanency because they’re not part of the Washington elite media,” Spicer said, “but to allow them an opportunity to ask the press secretary or the president a question is a positive thing. It’s more democratic.”

Around 200 journalists make up the White House press corps. The Brady press briefing room holds 49 seats for major media organisations, which are granted space by the White House Correspondent Association [WHCA]. The Guardian is among those outlets allocated a space.

It remains unclear how the proposal would be implemented, but it is likely to be interpreted as a hostile rebuke to conventional media outlets around the country. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Cavuto to CNN: How Does it Feel?

“Take it from me, taking truth to power can be powerfully unsettling if that power sets its sights on you and attacks you and dismisses you and ignores you. It didn’t matter so much when it wasn’t about you before, CNN. Very different now that it’s you being singled out, CNN. Doesn’t seem very fair now, does it? …

Isn’t it obnoxious and unfair how some celebrate your plight? Kind of feels like the way you celebrated ours, doesn’t it? They say payback’s a bitch. If only you would take a moment to rewind the tape and see the shoe is on the other foot. Or am I confusing it with the one now kicking you in the ass?

You see, it’s hard to tell from where I sit. Back then, your silence was deafening. Very different now, isn’t it? And I suspect — just suspect — not much fun.”


Some of this is at least a little unfair. When Obama and Anita Dunn first uncorked the War On Fox in October 2009, they tried to freeze Fox out of the White House pool. That prompted the White House Correspondents Association to protest, and within a few weeks, that freeze ended — even if the combative nature of Obama et al on Fox did not. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] DEEP GOVERNMENT: Krauthammer on Buzzfeed-Russia-Trump

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BREAKING: Facebook Helps Users Block The New York Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, with ‘B.S. Detector’, Fake News Warning Plugin 

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Not only is Facebook not providing little red warnings along with links to potentially specious news—it’s now blocking links to the plugin that did.

Over the past week, some Facebook users reported seeing content warnings next to links from established fake news domains, apparently without realizing a third party was responsible. We reported this phenomenon, later clarifying that B.S. Detector is in fact a third party plugin that both we and a number of Facebook users mistook as a testing feature. Irony!

Now, if you attempt to share a link to B.S. Detector on Facebook, you’ll be met with this message. Apparently, blocking fake news (detectors) is quite simple!

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“I believe they are doing this because of TechCrunch article that came out yesterday, falsely identifying a screenshot of my plugin as a Facebook feature under development,” Daniel Sieradski, design technologist and creator of B.S. Detector, told TechCrunch. “It would seem I’ve caused them some embarrassment by showing them to be full of bull when it comes to their supposed inability to address fake news and they are punishing me for it.”

Jeff Fager (L), chairman CBS News and executive producer '60 Minutes', Scott Pelley, anchor and managing editor CBS Evening News and David Rhodes (R) president CBS News, speak at the CBS Television Network's 2011 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California August 3, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS) - RTR2PL1B

For now, the B.S. Detector plugin itself remains functional, as do links to the plugin on Product Hunt and the Chrome app store. Read the rest of this entry »


SUFFER, BITCH: New York Times Reports 95.7 Percent Fall in Quarterly Profit 

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The New York Times Co reported a 95.7 fall in quarterly profit, hit by restructuring charges related to headcount reductions.

Net profit attributable to the newspaper publisher fell to $406,000, or break-even per share, in the third quarter, from $9.4 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $363.6 million from $367.4 million.

The company, struggling to transition to digital, said online ad revenues grew 21.5 percent and now account for more than 35 percent of its advertising receipts.

But that increase failed to offset an 18.5 percent drop in print ad revenues — a situation faced by most traditional newspaper publishers.

The Times added 129,000 paid digital-only subscribers in the quarter, helping lift revenue for that segment by around three percent.

‘This quarter proved yet again that the New York Times has a very compelling digital revenue story to tell,’ said Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »


[CHART] How the Media Rigged the Election for Hillary Clinton

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Allapundit, via Twitter

More…

Source: New York Times


[VIDEO] Jeff Sessions Explains Why ‘Voters Are in Open Rebellion’

In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., voiced his concern about the $1.1 trillion government spending bill that lawmakers will vote on this week. Sessions cited these issues as most problematic: fully funding President Barack Obama’s refugee resettlement program, sanctuary cities, and the resettlement of illegal alien youths and their families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. He also criticized tax credits for illegal immigrants and quadrupling H-2B foreign worker visas.

Source: dailysignal.com


ECHO CHAMBER: Trump Gets 25 Times More Media Mentions than GOP Field COMBINED

 Chris Stirewalt reports: Just how much is the news media shaping the GOP primary race? In the past three Strange-Media-Planet-250days, Donald Trump’s name has been mentioned 25 times more than the rest of the Republican field combined.

The data gurus at The New Analytics Company measure “scrub” television, radio, print, internet and social media for mentions of the 2016 candidates to produce scores for each candidate that we bring you each week in The Edge.

But given this week’s absolute media meltdown over Donald Trump’s plan to refuse entry to the United States any Muslim from any country, there’s really no comparison.

So here’s a slightly different, ahem, angle on The Edge: On Monday, the day before he proposed the religious test for entry, there were 19,355 unique mentions of Trump across all media in the U.S. Way more than his rivals, but within a measurable range.

His average for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was 64,638 mentions, a 234 percent increase in the size of his already huge media footprint. The combined score of every other candidate combined added up to the paltry average of 2,566 mentions over the same time. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Timpf: See Something , Say Nothing? 

Political Correctness has once again dictated the outcome of more violent attacks , and Kat Timpf has something to say about it


[VIDEO] Man Saves Rack of Delicious-Looking BBQ Ribs from Disastrous Apartment Fire

A Fresno man risked life and limb to save the one thing that matters most – a rack of delicious-looking barbecue ribs.

 


Apple TV 4 Hardware Revealed: A8 Chip, Black remote, 8/16GB Storage, Same Ports, no 4K 

flat-screen-television

Priced at $149, will include universal search for finding content across providers.

Mark Gurman reports: The fourth-generation Apple TV, set to be unveiled at an event on September 9thand released in October, will feature a mix of new and familiar hardware, according to reliable sources. While the new device will sport a much faster processor than the current Apple TV, a color-matched remote control, and a somewhat larger body, it will lack support for 4K video streaming and have the same basic ports as the third-generation model…

[Next-gen Apple TV priced at $149, will include universal search for finding content across providers – AppleInsider]

[Also see – Apple TV Rumor Roundup: Everything We Think We Know – Gizmodo]

The current Apple TV design, first released in late 2010, has 8GB of internal storage for caching media, and the fourth-generation boxes in testing surprisingly range from 8GB to 16GB of storage. We are told that Apple has considered two pricing strategies: the simultaneous release of a $149 base model with 8GB of storage alongside a $199 16GB model, or the release of the 16GB Apple TV alone at $149. In either case, Apple will offer a $149 Apple TV.

Apple TV HBO

While the new Apple TV will include an App Store for deep support for gaming, sources say that the limited storage offered by 8GB and 16GB flash memory is appropriate for the new model, as all content outside of applications will be streamed directly from the Internet. Additionally, the new Apple TV runs an iOS 9 core, and iOS 9 includes several new features for reducing the file size of App Store apps, including the ability to load games in level-sized chunks and stream rather than store videos within app binaries.

[New Apple TV Will Feature Universal Search, Start At $149 – BuzzFeed]

[Also see – The next-gen Apple TV could be the most exciting product Apple has released in years – BGR.com]

Sources indicate that the new Apple TV will be powered by the A8 chip found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, coming in behind the A9-based iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. In iPhones, the A8 is notably less powerful than the A8X chip found in the iPad Air 2, which includes an additional processing core and improved graphics. Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Expected to Hold Sept. 9 iPhone/Apple TV Event at Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco

Apple recently has venturing out from the norm when it comes to where it hosts its product unveil events.

Chance Miller reports: The Planning Department documents simply list that a company has reserved the location for a “trade show” running from September 4th to September 10th, although no company has publicly confirmed that it has reserved the location. Given the length of the reservation and the amount of secrecy surrounding the details, it definitely seems more than likely that Apple is behind it. Hoodline claims that its source shared documents from event logistics that confirm Apple is renting the building.

[Read the full story here, at 9to5Mac]

Security personnel and police forces have been patrolling the building this week at all hours, while heavy equipment has been loaded into a stationed around the building. Furthermore, several planned street closures also corroborate the idea of Apple holding its event at the Bill Graham Civic Center:

Furthermore, planned street closures in the area reveal that Grove Street in front of the auditorium will be shut down to traffic from 6pm on Tuesday Sept. 8th to 11:59pm on Thursday Sept. 10th, while Fulton between Hyde and Larkin will be shut down on Wednesday Sept. 9th between 4am and 11:59pm. That block of Fulton is frequently used as a staging area for film crews and equipment in the Civic Center area, as it was during February’s filming of the upcoming Steve Jobs movie.

Apple recently has venturing out from the norm when it comes to where it hosts its product unveil events. For instance, last year’s fall iPhone and Apple Watch event was held at De Anza College. This move on Apple’s part reportedly cost it over $1 million due to fees for campus disruption, security, and the use of the Flint Center itself. Read the rest of this entry »


Stormfront Penetrating Deep into New England

boston

On Tuesday, AccuWeather.com shared a graphic that showed a rainy day in the Northeast.

Needless to say, the graphic certainly got a rise out of the news anchors at WGN.

The image made the rounds on social media on Tuesday…

[Read more here]

 


What Happens an Hour After Drinking Locally Sourced, Sustainable, Organic Kale Juice?

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View Larger Version

Michelle Minton and Gregory Conko write: We’ve all done it: shared a story about some study showing that chocolate is a weight-loss miracle food or a story about how KFC serves deep-fried rat before realizing—too late—we perpetuated an untruth. We spread an inaccurate, viral story and made everyone online a little dumber. Hopefully, such experiences make us a little more skeptical, a little less inclined to take hyperbolic headlines at face-value. You might have seen this infographic making the rounds lately, claiming to show “what happens to your body an hour after drinking a can of coke.” It’s the most recent example of why you shouldn’t always believe what you read. Read the rest of this entry »


Report: New Apple TV to be Unveiled in September, but Without Expected TV Subscription Service

tim-cook-apple-tv

The Apple TV is also expected to gain Siri voice search support in its update this fall, as well as more on-board storage.

Chance Miller reports: According to a new report from BuzzFeed News, Apple is currently planning to unveil its refreshed Apple TV in September. The company had originally planned to unveil the device at WWDC this summer, but scrapped it from the event at the last minute. A September unveil has seemingly been expected since the announcement was pulled from WWDC.

“It was reported in the past that the device will not feature support for 4k content, as Apple feels there is not a large enough market for the feature at this time.”

The report goes on to corroborate much of what we reported earlier this year. The refreshed Apple TV is expected to be slimmer than the current-generation device and will feature Apple’s new A8 chip. Read the rest of this entry »


Germany’s ZEIT ONLINE Covers Columbia University’s ‘Mattress Girl’ Rape Hoax Saga

mattress-german

Read the German version of this text.

Everything depends on just 56 pages: His reputation, his future, his life. The lawsuit “Paul Nungeßer versus Columbia University” starts with the statement: “Paul Nungesser has been an outstanding and talented student at Columbia University. He thrived in his first two years and then became the victim of harassment by another student. Columbia University first became a silent bystander and then turned into an active supporter of a fellow student’s harassment campaing by institutionalizing it and heralding it.”

New York in the spring of 2015. A few days before submitting his lawsuit to a New York district court, Paul Nungeßer walks across the Columbia campus. Stately buildings with columns and inscriptions frame the yard. On the lawns, students play soccer. Others laze in the sunshine with a cup of coffee.

Just like Paul did four years ago. Paul the German highflyer from Berlin. Paul, who attended an international school in Swaziland and loved cycling. Paul the responsible one, who was involved in development projects. And even Paul the feminist, who is now notorious around the world as an alleged rapist. Judged by the public, although he was never proven guilty. He is demanding compensation from the university, but more than anything, he just wants to have a court rule that Columbia’s treatment of him was unfair.

The incident made Emma famous and ruined Paul’s life

Paul points to the building. The library where he used to spend his days and that he now avoids. The student union, where he once worked and was later interrogated. The dorm that was the alleged scene of the crime and he was forced to vacate. He looks around repeatedly. Tomorrow there will be a new demonstration by female activists. “I emailed Columbia to request protection,” says Paul. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Hey America, Shut Up’: The War on Speech and the End of Discussion

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At Hot AirEd Morrissey writes: On June 9, Crown Publishers will release a new book, End of Discussion: How the Left’s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun), written by our own Guy Benson 51reT9PxDcL._SL250_and Mary Katharine Ham. “They want to shut you up,” Guy and MK write, “but don’t let this be the End of Discussion.” The book encourages all Americans who value the open exchange of ideas to fight back against this strategic effort to make America less free, less feisty, and less fun.

[Pre-0rder MK Ham‘s book “End of Discussion: How the Left’s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)” from Amazon.com

In an exclusive to Hot Air and Townhall readers, we are publishing the first chapter of End of Discussion, “Head Explosions.” At the same time, readers can sign up for the chance to win a free copy of the book!

[Read the excerpt of Guy Benson and MK Ham‘s book here, at Hot Air]

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In the meantime, the book’s website has the links to pre-order End of Discussion, so be sure to visit there and find out more about the book….(read more)

BONUS: You know who else has a book about the Left’s War on free speech? Kirsten Powers.

[Order Kirsten Powers book The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech” from Amazon.com]

 

Hot Air


Reed Humanities Professor: ‘In light of the serious stress you have caused your classmates, I feel that I have no other choice’

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Apparently, feelings are more important than facts

Katherine Timpfpage_2014_200_timpf writes: A student at Reed College in Portland claims he was banned from class discussions mainly because he questioned a rape “statistic” — even though that “statistic” has been debunked — just because other students said they were uncomfortable.

alice-in-wonderland-tea-party

Nineteen-year-old Jeremiah True told BuzzFeed News that his Humanities 110 professor, Pancho Savery, had warned him that his views on campus sexual assault were bothering other students — before ultimately sending True an e-mail telling him he was forbidden from participating in the “conference” portion of the class at all.

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“Please know that this was a difficult decision for me to make and one that I have never made before; nevertheless, in light of the serious stress you have caused your classmates, I feel that I have no other choice,” the e-mail stated, according to BuzzFeed. Read the rest of this entry »


APOLOGY UNNECESSARY: Minnesota Newspaper Reconsiders, Corrects, Apologizes for Calling Obama an ‘Assclown’

Adding to the list of “things Obama has been called in the past week,” which already included the Antichrist, the Seventh King, and a rape suspect, we now have “assclown.”

Kevin Cusick, a sports producer for the Pioneer Press, apologized Monday for using the term to refer to President Barack Obama in a slideshow that included Obama’s selfie-stick moment from a BuzzFeed video.

“A fool-proof way to make yourself look like a self-absorbed assclown,” the caption read.

Behold, a screengrab:

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“After further review, it’s a poor choice of word,” Cusick told local news station KMSP. “I must have been in an especially foul mood last night. I’ve toned it down a bit.” The caption has now replaced “assclown” with “celebrity.”

Follow-up: can there really be a fool-proof way to make yourself look like a fool? Isn’t that…(read more)

Mediaite

Read the rest of this entry »


Report: Intelligence Community Believes Kayla Mueller Given As Bride To ISIS Fighter

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PRESCOTT, Ariz. (CBSDC/AP) — Even while being held hostage by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria extremists, Kayla Mueller found good in everything.

She taught her guards how to do crafts and make peace birds out of paper. She stood on her head for exercise in her cramped quarters. And she wrote uplifting letters home despite being a prisoner of a brutal terrorist regime.

“I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it,” she wrote.

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The portrait of the 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona, came as her death was confirmed Tuesday by the U.S. government. Family members spoke fondly of her free spirit and efforts to ease the suffering of others as a small memorial of flowers and handwritten notes took shape near a sign calling on people to “Pray for Kayla.”

It’s the same space where people in the city of about 40,000 gathered not too long ago to honor 19 Prescott-based members of an elite fire crew who died in 2013 in the deadliest single day for firefighters since Sept. 11, 2011.

Kayla

Mueller was captured in August 2013, but her captivity had largely been kept secret in an effort to save her. President Barack Obama said a military operation last summer to recover Mueller and others failed when rescuers arrived only “a day or two” after the group had been moved.

Arizona Sen. John McCain and Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican who represents Prescott, were in close contact with the family and government officials throughout the ordeal, with the senator traveling to Syria at one point to meet with members of the army fighting President Bashar Assad.

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Gosar told The Arizona Republic that one effort to free Mueller involved a man who traveled to the Syrian prison camp where Mueller was being held. The man told the captors he was Mueller’s husband in a ruse designed to free her, Gosar said, but it didn’t work. The Republic reports that Mueller denied having a husband.

In addition, Gosar’s office said the name of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist convicted of shooting at two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, came up in discussions with ISIS over Mueller. Siddiqui is an American-educated woman whose release has long been sought by terrorists.

CBS News reports that the U.S. intelligence community believes that Mueller was given as a bride to an ISIS fighter. Read the rest of this entry »


Facebook and Instagram are Down, and Everyone is F-F-F-F-F-F-Freaking Out

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[VIDEO] ‘I Can Feel It Burning My Stomach’: Women Drink Whiskey For The First Time


[VIDEO] Americans Forget Martin Luther King and What He Did – First African American to Walk on the Moon?

Americans Forget Martin Luther King and What He Did. Mark Dice interviews beachgoers in San Diego about MLK for Martin Luther King Day 2015.

 


Kyle Smith: ‘2014 is the Year of the Liberal Lie’

yearofthelie

Kyle Smith writes: Bowe Bergdahl. The IRS’s missing e-mails. Lena Dunham. “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Jonathan Gruber. GM and that faulty ignition switch. Andrew Cuomo and that anti-corruption commission. The Secret Service and that White House intruder. Rachel Noerdlinger and her “disabled” son. Rolling Stone and gang rape.

2014 was the year when truth was optional. 2014 was the year when convenient fabrication was the weapon of choice for celebrities, activists, big business and politicians. 2014 was the Year of the Lie.

“In each case, the liars used their powerful positions to intimidate, harass, marginalize or just plain bilk ordinary people who lacked access to a megaphone with which to shout back.”

Mostly the liars didn’t suffer any repercussions for spreading falsehoods, and most didn’t even seem particularly embarrassed when they were exposed.

Activists told us Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, was a “gentle giant” who had his hands in the air and was running away when he was shot.

“Feminists keep saying that there is a ‘larger truth’ here — that we are suddenly living in a rape culture’ in which this hideous crime is widely condoned, even though the rate of forcible rate is at its lowest level in 40 years.”

Video images later showed that he had robbed a convenience store shortly before the police confrontation. Then an autopsy report confirmed that Brown was so close to Officer Darren Wilson that he had gunpowder residue on his hand, and that all of the bullets that hit him came from the front, none from the back. Nor where Brown’s palms raised, according to analysis by forensic pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek.

[Read Kyle Smith’s complete article here]

Protesters shrugged at all of this, declaring they would continue to honor Brown’s memory by chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Protests Continue In DC One Day After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Demonstrators chant “Hands up, don’t shoot!” on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery in protest a day after the Ferguson grand jury decision to not indict officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown case Nov. 25. Photo: Getty Images

“Even if you don’t find that it’s true, it’s a valid rallying cry.”

— Ferguson protester Taylor Gruenloh

“Even if you don’t find that it’s true, it’s a valid rallying cry,” Ferguson protester Taylor Gruenloh told The Associated Press. If a few black-owned businesses get destroyed, and others are forced out of business by rising insurance costs, who cares? At least the protesters feel righteous.

Similarly, we all know rape is a rampant problem in elite-college fraternities, even if the smoking gun turned out to be a toy pistol. After Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story led to protests, vandalism and cancelled donations, the magazine appended a shrug of a disclaimer to the story and continued to publish the 8,000 word opus on its website.

“If a few black-owned businesses get destroyed, and others are forced out of business by rising insurance costs, who cares? At least the protesters feel righteous.”

Feminists keep saying that there is a “larger truth” here — that we are suddenly living in a “rape culture” in which this hideous crime is widely condoned, even though the rate of forcible rate is at its lowest level in 40 years. When such data don’t bear out the narrative, activists rely heavily on anecdotal evidence like the Rolling Stone story — then say false anecdotes don’t matter either.

“We have a society where rapists are given the benefit of the doubt, often despite overwhelming evidence,” wrote Sally Kohn of CNN, adding that “[Feminists] cannot apologize for erring on the side of a fair, compassionate and credulous hearing of a woman’s account.”

Except being “credulous” with a liar means you aren’t being fair to those she is lying about.

Lena Dunham

If rape accusations serve as a useful weapon against despised groups, it doesn’t matter whether any individual rape story is accurate. Lena Dunham, who said in her book “Not That Kind of Girl” that she was raped at Oberlin College by Barry, the campus’s “resident conservative,” let this lie simmer for months without anyone calling her on it. Then National Review’s Kevin Williamson wrote that a few seconds of Googling led directly to a prominent Republican who was at Oberlin at the same time as Dunham and has the highly unusual name Barry.

This Barry, who was getting increasingly worried that people were whispering that he was a rapist, seemingly had no recourse against Dunham’s lie. Though he has never met her, filing suit would make him a public figure, one forevermore associated with rape (albeit a false accusation thereof). It wasn’t until he began soliciting donations for a legal fund that Dunham’s publisher offered to write a check and Dunham herself finally acknowledged that no “Barry” had sexually assaulted her. She had, she said, merely picked the name as a pseudonym.

So it was just one of those unfortunate coincidences that she happened to accidentally smear an easily identifiable proponent of a political party she despises. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s On: The Clowns Who Organized Occupy Wall Street Are Now Suing Each Other

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WASHINGTON — Activists who organized the dormant Occupy Wall Street movement are suing another activist for control of the main Twitter account, and one of the plaintiffs says there was no other option but to turn to litigation to solve the dispute.

“We can either go and beat him up or we can go to court.”

— Marisa Holmes, video editor, part of the core organizing team of Occupy

The conflict centers around @OccupyWallStNYC, one of the main Twitter feeds that distributed information during the movement’s heyday in 2011. The OWS Media Group filed a lawsuit against organizer Justin Wedes on Wednesday, which is also the third anniversary of the beginning of Occupy Wall Street. The group, led by activist Marisa Holmes, is seeking control of the Twitter account as well as $500,000 in damages.

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The Twitter account, which used to be shared among several activists, is now under the control of Wedes, who explained his decision to take over the Twitter feed in a blog post in August:

A thread about “self-promotion” became just another shaming session. If we start from a place of assuming bad intentions – i.e. discouraging “self-promotion” over encouraging solid, relevant content – we will end up with rules that shame rather than empower. Group members took on the task of limiting others to “1 to 2 tweets per day” (or week) on a topic, a form of censorship that would never have been allowed in the earlier days of the boat. I had to say enough!

“We can either go and beat him up or we can go to court,” Holmes, a video editor who was part of the core organizing team of Occupy, told BuzzFeed News. “And quite frankly if we go and beat him up then we could end up with countersuits against us, and that puts us in a more damaging position and we don’t really want to do that anyway.” Read the rest of this entry »


‘I AM Big. It’s the Devices that Got Small’

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How the Smartphone Ushered In a Golden Age of Journalism 

For WIRED writes: When I first arrived in New York, some time back in the last century, I gazed in awe and fascination at subway riders reading The New York Times. Thanks to a precise and universally adopted method of folding the paper (had it been taught in schools?), they could read it and even turn its pages without thrusting them in anyone else’s face. The trick? Folding those big, inky broadsheets into neat little rectangles—roughly the same size, in fact, as an iPad. It’s as if they were trying to turn the newspaper into a mobile device. And that, we can now see, is precisely what news is meant for. Today, New York newspaper origami is an all-but-lost art; straphangers have their eyes glued to their smartphones.

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Illustration by Oliver Munday

“Like Twitter, mobile has long been underestimated: People assume that because the screen is small, the content should be too. That’s turning out to be both simplistic and wrong.”

Journalism, however, is holding its own. Statistics from the Times say roughly half of the people who read it now do so with their mobile devices, and that jibes with figures from the latest Pew report on the news media broadly. But if you were to assume that means people have given up reading actual articles and are just snacking instead, you’d be wrong. The Atlantic recently reported that a gorgeously illustrated 6,200-word story on BuzzFeed—which likewise gets about half its readers through mobile devices—not only received more than a million views, it held the attention of smartphone users for an average of more than 25 minutes. (WIRED‘s in-depth web offerings have also attracted audiences. A profile of a brilliant Mexican schoolgirl garnered 1.2 million views, 25 percent of them from phones, and readers spent an average of 18 minutes on it.) Little wonder that for every fledgling enterprise like Circa, which generates slick digests of other people’s journalism on the theory that that’s what mobile readers want, you have formerly short-attention-span sites like BuzzFeed and Politico retooling themselves to offer serious, in-depth reporting. “Maybe we’re entering into a new golden age of journalism,” venture capitalist Marc Andreessen mused in a recent blog post, “and we just haven’t recognized it yet.”

Even just two years ago, such an assessment would have seemed almost ludicrous. Read the rest of this entry »


At Least There’s That: Buzzenfreude

plagNot being a regular follower of Buzzfeed (though it’s hard to avoid their media influence, unfortunately) this almost escaped my attention. It was plagiarism week in the news, this but one of the items in circulation.

From Slate‘s David Weigel:

…The added irony, which is upping the schadenfreude quotient, is that BuzzFeed has cornered a market in hitting politicians for plagiarism. In the fall of 2013, BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski made life hell for Sen. Rand Paul, pulling pages from his books and sections from his speeches that were lifted from Wikipedia or other sources. In 2014, Kaczynski expanded the franchise, shaming candidate after candidate for lifting grafs or phrases from other Republicans, usually (funny enough) Paul…

My following (reply to a) tweet was meant to be playfully insulting, but in retrospect, it looks fair, and harmless. Harmless enough that rather than be offended, David Weigel retweeted it:

…Kaczynski’s findings were baffling and pathetic. Who were these people, who cared enough about politics to mortgage their lives and reputations on runs for office, but didn’t care enough to come up with their own thoughts? The cases of plagiarism were much more blatant than what Johnson’s accused of. People have found him lifting sentences that included factoids; the pols were lifting bland political thoughts, word for word. But BuzzFeed was proving that catching plagiarism had become easy, and that lifting a few sentences without a link-back constituted outright fraud.

Read the rest of this entry »


TV: What “Mad Men” Characters Will Look Like In The 1980s

From Buzzfeed.com:

On the red carpet at Mad Men’s Season 6 premiere, BuzzFeed asked the show’s stars where their characters would be in the ’80s. Here’s what they’re predicting, along with our interpretations of them as contemporary ads.

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Peggy Olsen

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(see more) Buzzfeed.com


Can The Right Displace The Establishment Media?

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  writes:  In the internet era, the Left’s grip on the mediaspace has weakened, but not nearly to the degree needed to move America onto a better cultural or political trajectory.  Moreover, if the Right is not proactive and creative, the Left could regain the upper hand.  What follows is an immodest suggestion for the Right to compete and gain influence at the highest levels of media.

Mike Gonzalez, Vice President of Communications at The Heritage Foundation, recently wrote in these pages about the degree to which the internet — from independent, right leaning punditry to social media — has weakened the grip of traditional, left-leaning Big Media on our national discourse.

[See also Understanding The Left’s Grip On Media]

Although the piece recalls past themes of blogger triumphalism which may be unwarranted in the current political climate, it is undeniable that Big Media — an artifact of the industrial age — continues to struggle and perhaps wither in the internet age.  Mr. Gonzalez notes that Heritage’s Foundry is transforming from a blog to its own media outlet, a welcome development that likely fueled the optimism of much of his column.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Jerry Seinfeld On Diversity In Comedy: “Who Cares?”

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“…it is “anti-comedy” to approach the genre like it’s “the census…”

  writes:

At the height of Seinfeld’s popularity, the NBC comedy was repeatedly accused of presenting an exclusively “white” view of its diverse New York City setting. During Jerry Seinfeld’s BuzzFeed Brews with CBS This Morning interview on Monday, BuzzFeed Business Editor Peter Lauria asked about the enduring criticism…

Watch this video below to hear Seinfeld’s complete thoughts on the subject…

“People think it’s the census or something,” Seinfeld said of the assertion that all pop culture should accurately reflect society. “This has gotta represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.”

…Seinfeld went on to say that approaching comedy through the lens of race or gender or sexuality are “anti-comedy.”

“It’s more about PC nonsense than, ‘Are you making us laugh or not?’”

Read the rest of this entry »


Best. Selfie. Pic. Ever.

AkiHoshideSelfie

amilly_amilly_ h/t BlondesForReagan 


The Biden Mullet. Not Photoshopped

 

Twitter


Surprise Freedom Is Short-Lived: Iranian Access To Social Media Was A ‘Glitch’

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Iranian Netizens were overjoyed yesterday after discovering that they had unfettered access to baby pictures and Justin Bieber updates (a.k.a. Facebook and Twitter). The glimmer of freedom, however, was short-lived: in less than a day, the government firewall had once again blocked access to social media sites. Iranian authorities blamed a ‘glitch’ in the system. Read the rest of this entry »


Why do wonks lie about having a Ph.D.?

firedWSJDaniel W. Drezner writes: Until yesterday, Elizabeth O’Bagy was a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War and an increasingly prominent expert on the Syrian rebel groups. Then the institute announced the following:

The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University. ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately. Read the rest of this entry »


Tina Brown Departs The Daily Beast

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Tina Brown, the star editor-in-chief who five years ago launched the Daily Beast, is parting ways with investor IAC and launching a new media company.

Brown’s new company, Tina Brown Live Media, will produce live events, panel discussions, summits and debates. That will include the Woman in the World Conference that she has produced since 2010, with sponsorship from The Daily Beast.

News of Brown’s departure first broke on Buzzfeed and was confirmed on the Daily Beast site this afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »