December 16, 2014

The Total Depravity of the Radical Islamists

A week of radical Islam striking the West began on Monday when a 'known wolf' Islamist terrorist and self-appointed 'Sheik Haron Monis took hostage ordinary citizens going out for coffee in the Lindt cafe in Sydney.  After 17 hours, he was killed when the Sydney police stormed the cafe.  So were the hostages cafe manager Tori Johnson and barrister Katrina Dawson and both were killed as they tried to protect others:  Katrina was killed trying to defend her pregnant colleague and Tori, after seizing the terrorist's shotgun, it went off killing him, triggering the police to storm the cafe before the terrorist set off his suicide bomb thus allowing others to escape.

 A Hostage Runs To An Armed Tactical Response Police Officers For-A-12 1418749507816

IBD.  The Plague Of Radical Islam Strikes Again, In Sydney

Monday's Sydney cafe attack is a reminder, as if we needed one, that radical Islam continues its lethal war on Western civilization. It remains critical for the West to get rid of this plague…..The flag of radical Islam enables lone-wolf lunatics like Haron to justify their attacks — and thus fuels them.  And the attacks are growing more common.
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Contrary to what you might hear, this isn't about a lone madman acting on insane impulse. It's about how Islamic radicalism continues to find new ways to attack the vulnerable West.

WSJ  ISIS has called for 'lone-wolf' Islamist attacks around the world

Then Tuesday  Children forced to watch their teacher being burnt alive in Taliban massacre at Pakistani school in which up to 130 children were slaughtered .Wearing security uniforms, nine militants entered the school and massacred at least 126 people, mainly children

The International Business Times reports that the Peshawar school attack was the Taliban's 'revenge' for Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize

Malala, the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, was shot by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012 for advocating education for women in Pakistan. She was attacked on a school bus in the Swat valley, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital.

A few days before the Peshawar attack, the Taliban warned that Malala had forged a pact with "Western satanic forces" and the Nobel committee gave their award to her to "promote Western culture and not education".

We also learned this week that ISIS using bombs containing live SCORPIONS in effort to spread panic, in tactic used 2,000 years ago against Romans  Canisters packed with poisonous varieties of scorpion are being blasted into towns and villages, which explode on impact - scattering the scorpions and causing panic among the innocent local population.

And they published a book on how to rape slave girls.  ISIS publishes shocking guidebook telling fighters how to buy, sell and abuse captured women

Islamic State (IS) has published a shocking guidebook for its fighters on how to rape slave girls – even if they have not reached puberty.  The Arabic manual, titled Questions And Answers On Taking Captives And Slaves, instructs IS fighters on how to buy and sell women and girls who have been captured in war as booty. The document, published by the Research and Fatwa Department of IS, gives its fighters the green light to turn captured women into slaves and concubines, and even give them as gifts to one another.

It was circulated on the Twitter accounts of senior IS leaders and on Friday was distributed by masked IS fighters outside a large mosque in Iraq’s second city Mosul, which is controlled by the group.
The document has been obtained by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute and translated into English.  British terrorism experts, who have studied the document, have concluded it is genuine.

Remember back in 2011 when a Muslim cleric said that saying 'Merry Christmas' is 'worse than fornication, drinking alcohol and killing someone'?  Here he is an the video that's going around again.

And still some people deny the existence of evil.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:52 PM | Permalink
Categories: Civilization - Can We Keep It?

Why did so many people fall for Rolling Stone's UVA campus rape story?

Glenn Reynolds in USA Today.  The great campus rape hoax

Americans have been living through an enormously sensationalized college rape hoax, but as the evidence accumulates it's becoming clear that the entire thing was just a bunch of media hype and political opportunism.
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the truth is that there's no epidemic outbreak of college rape. In fact, rape on college campuses is — like rape everywhere else in America — plummeting in frequency. And that 1-in-5 college rape number you keep hearing in the press? It's thoroughly bogus, too. (Even the authors of that study say that "We don't think one in five is a nationally representative statistic," because it sampled only two schools.)
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The truth  is exactly the opposite. According to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of rape and sexual assault is lower for college students (at 6.1 per 1,000) than for non-students (7.6 per 1,000). (Note: not 1 in 5). What's more, between 1997 and 2013, rape against women dropped by about 50%, in keeping with a more general drop in violent crime nationally.
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This kind of hysteria may be ugly, but for campus activists and bureaucrats it's a source of power: If there's a "campus rape crisis," that means that we need new rules, bigger budgets, and expanded power and self-importance for all involved, with the added advantage of letting you call your political opponents (or anyone who threatens funding) "pro rape." If we focus on the truth, however — rapidly declining rape rates already, without any particular "crisis" programs in place — then voters, taxpayers, and university trustees will probably decide to invest resources elsewhere. So for politicians and activists, a phony crisis beats no crisis.
---
Even one rape is too many, of course, on or off of campus. But when activists and politicians try to gin up a phony crisis, public trust is likely to be a major casualty. It's almost as if helping actual rape victims is the last thing on these people's minds.

Christina Hoff Sommers, the factual feminist, has a new video Here's Why Rolling Stone's UVA Story Went Viral.    NPR implicated.. Public perception about 'rape culture' began to change in 2010 when NPR teamed up with the left-wing Center for Public Integrity to produce a report which described a hidden wave of rape on campus.  Sommers calls the report as the 'worst kind of advocacy research' full of anecdotes and misleading statistics'  such as the claim that 1 in 5 woman could be expected to be raped on campus.  These investigative journalists never thought to investigate what serious researchers and criminologists have exposed as a specious statistic.  People who were skeptical of the story were denounced as 'rape apologists'.  Sommers said the story was not factual but a male-demonizing gothic fantasy nurtured by several decades of hard-line feminist theory.  Rolling Stone is to blame for publishing the story, but It was NPR, the Center for Public Integrity and the U.S. Office of Civil Rights that made it all seem so plausible

EIGHT Campus Rape Hoaxes Eerily Like The UVA Rape Story

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:02 PM | Permalink
Categories: Culture and Society

Turning the tables

From Gay Patriot Turning the Tables on Wedding Cake Fascists

A Christian group went to thirteen gay-owned bakeries and requested each of them to bake a cake promoting traditional marriage; and of course, recognizing that they were obligated to serve any customer regardless of ideological differences, they happily obliged.

Nope, just kidding. All thirteen not only refused, but some were very nasty about it.

Christian Man Asks Thirteen Gay Bakeries To Bake Him Pro-Traditional Marriage Cake, And Is Denied Service By All Of Them

Christian bakeries that refuse to make pro-homosexual marriage cakes are getting sued left, right, and center. They get fined, they get death threats, and they lose their businesses. ….

So Shoebat.com decided to call some 13 prominent pro-gay bakers in a row. Each one denied us service, and even used deviant insults and obscenities against us. One baker even said that she would make me a cookie with a large phallus on it just to insult us because we are Christian. We recorded all of this in a video that will stun the American people as to how militant and intolerant the homosexual bakers were. Even after we completed our experiment we got a ton of hate messages saying that we were “hateful” for simply giving them a taste of their own medicine by asking for a cake with the slogan “Gay Marriage Is Wrong” to be written on the cake.

Video at link

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:35 AM | Permalink
Categories: Culture and Society

Detroit today UPDATED

 Detroit Aerial Scrubland

Aerial photos show how downtown Detroit has been turned into a tiny urban island, surrounded by abandoned housing blocks

The photos taken by pilot and aerial photographer Alex MacLean, and first published in the New York Times, show the empty parking lots in the city bordering rows where only one or two houses are left.
Following the recession in 2008, the metropolitan area was covered in rubble left from demolished homes as the the foundations in between the remaining properties.
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Detroit, once the industrial capital of the nation, was voted the most dangerous city in the country in 2012, for the fourth year in a row.
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The city ravaged by dwindling blue-collar jobs, the decline of the auto industry and rising unemployment.  It has lost more than 200,000 residents in the last decade - and 1.3million since the 1950s - as citizens have fled the blighted city for better-off suburbs with lower crime and better education.
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It's now a tiny urban island surrounded by empty lots.

It's also been governed by Democrats for the past 51 years.  Arnold Ahlert describes How the Democrats Destroyed Detroit.

In March 2013, the Governor appointed an emergency manager for Detroit, but it was not enough to forestall bankruptcy which Detroit declared in July, 2013.  In November of this year, Federal Judge Rhodes approved the city's bankruptcy plan.  On December 11, all finances were handed back to the city.

UPDATE: Dozens Of Suspected Killers, Rapists Released In Detroit Due To Warrant Backlog

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:08 AM | Permalink
Categories: Government

Christmas in an Iraqi refugee camp

It's a level-three emergency -  the UN's highest classification of a humanitarian crisis.  Over three million Christians have been "displaced", two million of them Iraqis.  When ISIS came, they fled their homes without any possessions, even winter clothes, and most of them to Kurdistan. 

The autonomous region in Northern Iraq is being pushed to breaking point by sheer number of new settlers
Families are safe, for now, from any immediate danger but dropping temperatures pose another serious threat.

They take refuge in their faith and in the preparations for Christmas.

 Christmas-2014-Iraqi Refugees

Christmas in an Iraqi refugee camp: Moving pictures show nativity scene set up by some of the thousands of Christians fleeing ISIS

 Christmas Refugees Praying

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:39 AM | Permalink
Categories: Civilization - Can We Keep It? | Categories: Spirituality and Religion

December 11, 2014

"The press….just doesn't get religion."

In the Federalist, David Marcus writes Seven Things Atheists Get Wrong

In a spectacular and telling failure of journalism MSNBC reported recently that Pope Francis “broke with Catholic tradition” by asserting that the Big Bang theory is real. Instantly, the Internet responded with the name Georges Lemaitre, one of the creators of the Theory of Universal Expansion who also happened to be a Jesuit priest. He is also the first entry on a Google search of “Catholic Big Bang.”

That the MSNBC author did not bother to do one search before making a pronouncement about the faith of a billion people displays abysmal incompetence. But it also reflects very skewed and dangerous ideas about the nature of religion widely held in the media and creative class. As atheist Sam Harris put it in his article “Science Must Destroy Religion”: “the conflict between religion and science is inherent and (very nearly) zero sum.” This confrontational attitude, which is unnecessary and harmful, springs from a slew of misconceptions about religion as a human phenomenon.

1. Religion Is About Morality, Not Creation Myths
2. Religion Is the Foundation of All Morality, Not Merely an Expression of It
3. Religion Was the Foundation of Society, Not an Addition to It
4. Atheists Do Believe
5. Science Can’t Teach Us Right from Wrong
6. Religion Complements Science, It Doesn’t Oppose It
7. Ignorance of Religion Is Ignorance of History, For Atheists and Everyone

This brought to mind GetReligion.org which has as its tagline a quote from an old friend of mine, Bill Schneider, "The press….just doesn't get religion."

Terry Mattingly, the editor of the site, is a journalist who covers religion news.  He and other like journalists write about "the holy ghosts" in many mainstream stories which are  the  "facts and stories and faces linked to the power of religious faith. Now you see them. Now you don’t. In fact, a whole lot of the time you don’t get to see them. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there." They are just not explored because regular journalists can't see them or fail to see their importance.  He gives examples of such ghosts in What we do, why we do it.

Joseph Epstein wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal called Human Nature and the Fruits of Faith in which he tells atheists and agnostics, "Forget dogma—living a richer, fuller life is the true goal of religion."

He focused on William James, the Harvard professor and brother of Henry James and what he said about the nature of religion.

In his Gifford Lectures, James decided to exclude religious institutions or religion in its institutional settings. He chose not to argue, or even discuss, theology. He set aside the question of immortality, which he wrote about elsewhere in an essay called "Human Immortality" (1897), where he concluded that it would be "blindness" to rule it out as a possibility. He concentrated instead on the effect of religion on the individual, of its stirrings in the human heart….
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James remarks that "it makes a tremendous emotional and practical difference to one whether one accept the universe in the drab discolored way of stoic resignation, or with the passionate happiness of Christian saints." Religious sentiment, he asserts, "makes our highest happiness. Wonderful is its power to charm and to command. It is a mountain air…It makes the sky and hills sublime, and the silent song of the stars is it."
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The love of life, at any and every level of development, is the religious impulse."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:33 PM | Permalink
Categories: Spirituality and Religion

There was a time when things got done

Insty puts it together.

FROM THE COMMENTS OVER AT ACE’S some Pearl Harbor Day thoughts.

During the 3-½ years of World War 2 that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and ended with the Surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, “We the People of the U.S.A.” produced the following:

22 aircraft carriers,
8 battleships,
48 cruisers,
349 destroyers,
420 destroyer escorts,
203 submarines,
34 million tons of merchant ships,
100,000 fighter aircraft,
98,000 bombers,
24,000 transport aircraft,
58,000 training aircraft,
93,000 tanks,
257,000 artillery pieces,
105,000 mortars,
3,000,000 machine guns, and
2,500,000 military trucks.

We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the atomic bomb, and ultimately conquered Japan and Germany.

It’s worth noting, that during the almost exact amount of time, the Obama Administration couldn’t even build a web site that worked.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:51 AM | Permalink
Categories: Culture and Society

Blind spots

I was really glad to read What if I Told You That Vehicles Don’t Have Blind Spots? via Lifehacker

 Blind-Spot-Infographic

The Fix
I was taught a simple way to set my mirrors correctly and I’ll pass it on to everyone here. Sit inside your vehicle on level ground, while keeping your head level and looking forward. Now, lean to your left until your shoulder touches the inside of your door and then keep leaning until your head touches your window.

This may seem awkward, but stick with me. In this leaned over position to your left, now look into your mirror and adjust it to the normal picture you’re used to, picking up a small amount of your door. When you return to center you shouldn’t see the side of your car at all in the mirror. Now, lean your body and head over to your right, just above the center console and set the right side mirror to display what you saw in your left mirror while you were leaned over.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:27 AM | Permalink
Categories: Organizing and Practical Tips

December 9, 2014

In Praise of Melancholy

From last week's Brain Pickings, Maria Popova examines the importance of melancholy

[T]e modern happiness industrial complex seems bent on eradicating this dark, uncomfortable, but creatively vitalizing state — something Eric G. Wilson explores with great subtlety and wisdom in Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy .

I can now add another threat, perhaps as dangerous as the most apocalyptic of concerns. We are possibly not far away from eradicating a major cultural force, a serious inspiration to invention, the muse behind much art and poetry and music. We are wantonly hankering to rid the world of numerous ideas and visions, multitudinous innovations and meditations. We are right at this moment annihilating melancholia.

Considering what lies behind our desire to eradicate sadness from our lives, Wilson admonishes that our obsession with happiness – something he considers a decidedly American export – "could well lead to a sudden extinction of the creative impulse."

To be clear, I myself am deeply opposed to the Tortured Genius myth of creativity. But I am also of the firm conviction that access to the full spectrum of human experience and the whole psycho-emotional range of our inner lives – high and low, light and darkness – is what makes us complete individuals and enables us to create rich, dimensional, meaningful work.

It is important, then, not to mistake Wilson's point for romanticizing melancholy and glorifying malaise for its own sake – rather, he cautions against the artificial and rather oppressive distortion of our inner lives as we forcibly excise sadness and inflate happiness. He writes:

I for one am afraid that our American culture’s overemphasis on happiness at the expense of sadness might be dangerous, a wanton forgetting of an essential part of a full life. I further am wary in the face of this possibility: to desire only happiness in a world undoubtedly tragic is to become inauthentic, to settle for unrealistic abstractions that ignore concrete situations. I am finally fearful over our society’s efforts to expunge melancholia from the system. Without the agitations of the soul, would all of our magnificently yearning towers topple? Would our heart-torn symphonies cease?

He is especially careful to delineate between the creatively productive state of melancholy and the soul-wrecking pathology of clinical depression:

There is a fine line between what I’m calling melancholia and what society calls depression. In my mind, what separates the two is degree of activity. Both forms are more or less chronic sadness that leads to ongoing unease with how things are – persistent feelings that the world as it is is not quite right, that it is a place of suffering, stupidity, and evil. Depression (as I see it, at least) causes apathy in the face of this unease, lethargy approaching total paralysis, an inability to feel much of anything one way or another. In contrast, melancholia (in my eyes) generates a deep feeling in regard to this same anxiety, a turbulence of heart that results in an active questioning of the status quo, a perpetual longing to create new ways of being and seeing.

Our culture seems to confuse these two and thus treat melancholia as an aberrant state, a vile threat to our pervasive notions of happiness – happiness as immediate gratification, happiness as superficial comfort, happiness as static contentment.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:03 PM | Permalink
Categories: Happiness

December 5, 2014

Weekend Miscellany

The Detectives’ Lunch Club

Word soon got out and detectives from all over the country flooded the office with requests. Before long, the Vidocq Society upped its meeting schedule from four times a year to nine. Today, the 82 chartered members hail from all areas of the crime-solving trade. There are DNA specialists, experts on cults, psychoanalysts, Naval Intelligence men, polygraphers, and long-retired FBI special agents. They convene every month, except July, August, and December—even veteran sleuths need a vacation—in the upper reaches of the Union League, a stately old building in the heart of Philadelphia. And at each meeting, over a lavish multi-course meal, they hear the details of a single unsolved case.

From DeMilked, 23 Breathtaking Ice and Snow Formations  like these Baikal Ice Emeralds

 Baikal Ice Emerald

An amazing video if you want to know  What Sound Looks Like

An Hungarian art historian was watching a Christmas movie with his daughter when what did he see but a long lost Hungarian masterpiece in the background in a scene of the movie Stuart Little.   Researcher spots Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by Robert Bereny being used as a prop in Hollywood children’s movie

 Stuart Little  Still

Pantone's Color of the Year 2015 - Marsala

 Marsalapantone2015-1

The Motions Of Kayaking, Canoeing, And Swimming Captured With LED Lights And Long Exposure

 Led-Light-Water-Motion-Exposure-Stephen-Orlando-14

7 Minutes on Queen Victoria

Photographer Elena Sumilova captures the bonds between children and their pets

 Children+Pets Elena Shumilova

Artist Sacha Goldberg delights with Portraits of Superheroes in Flemish Style

 Spiderman In Flemish Style

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:46 PM | Permalink
Categories: Art | Categories: Just for Fun

Sexodus and Stepford Students

Two articles over the past week witness the toxic legacy of feminism and political correctness. 

An important, if depressing,  read.The Sexodus, Part 1: The Men Giving Up On Women And Checking Out Of Society by  Milo Yiannopoulos

So what happened to those boys who, in 2001, were falling behind girls at school, were less likely to go to college, were being given drugs they did not need and whose self-esteem and confidence issues haven't just been ignored, but have been actively ridiculed by the feminist Establishment that has such a stranglehold on teaching unions and Left-leaning political parties?

In short: they grew up, dysfunctional, under-served by society, deeply miserable and, in many cases, entirely unable to relate to the opposite sex. It is the boys who were being betrayed by the education system and by culture at large in such vast numbers between 1990 and 2010 who represent the first generation of what I call the sexodus, a large-scale exit from mainstream society by males who have decided they simply can't face, or be bothered with, forming healthy relationships and participating fully in their local communities, national democracies and other real-world social structures. 

Stepford Students.  Brendan O'Neill writes Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the ‘right to be comfortable’

I was attacked by a swarm of Stepford students this week. On Tuesday, I was supposed to take part in a debate about abortion at Christ Church, Oxford. I was invited by the Oxford Students for Life to put the pro-choice argument against the journalist Timothy Stanley, who is pro-life. But apparently it is forbidden for men to talk about abortion. A mob of furious feministic Oxford students, all robotically uttering the same stuff about feeling offended, set up a Facebook page littered with expletives and demands for the debate to be called off. They said it was outrageous that two human beings ‘who do not have uteruses’ should get to hold forth on abortion — identity politics at its most basely biological — and claimed the debate would threaten the ‘mental safety’ of Oxford students. Three hundred promised to turn up to the debate with ‘instruments’ — heaven knows what — that would allow them to disrupt proceedings.
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It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation…..

This is what those censorious Cambridgers meant when they kept saying they have the ‘right to be comfortable’. They weren’t talking about the freedom to lay down on a chaise lounge — they meant the right never to be challenged by disturbing ideas or mind-battered by offensiveness. …We’re witnessing the victory of political correctness by stealth. …This is a disaster, for it means our universities are becoming breeding grounds of dogmatism.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:13 AM | Permalink
Categories: New words for emotions and new words | Categories: The Sexes
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The Total Depravity of the Radical Islamists
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If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life. -Abraham Maslow

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