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How about ban beheadings? How about ban evil?
The jihadist terror group Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS, has become a particularly dangerous threat to the West through its guerrilla-style war tactics and decentralized organization, making targeting leaders more difficult for Western militaries.
ISIS leaders are now cracking down on social media, however, according to reports that leaders are calling for a ban on uploading beheading footage to the Internet.
A report first appearing in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, and later in Israel's i24 News and Iran's Ahlul Bayt News Agency, claims that Islamic State leaders are calling for jihadi commanders to order their underlings to stop uploading beheading videos online "without explicit permission." Reports from i24 state that it is believed that these leaders are cracking down on the graphic footage because of fear that a deluge of violent social media coverage will damage the jihadist organization's reputation.
In addition to the ban on beheading videos, i24 reports that top ISIS commanders have begun a purge of jihadist leaders who do not conform completely to the teachings of the Islamic State, even those who may promote beliefs too radical for the rest of the group. One commander allegedly killed for dissidence has been accused of calling al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri an apostate for his refusal to exclude Shia Muslims from the jihadist cause.
Clamping down on criticism of al-Qaeda appears a new line to tow for ISIS jihadists, who once formed the deadly al-Qaeda in Iraq wing of the group, but the two parted ways in February, as Islamic State members--and particularly leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi--refused to obey al-Qaeda's leadership. After losing a significant number of members to the Islamic State, some wings of al Qaeda have begun to recognize the Islamic State's sovereignty and ally with the group.
The ban on beheading videos appears to be a response to an increase in Islamic State beheading footage circulating on the Internet since the execution of James Wright Foley, an American journalist kidnapped in Syria. Videos depicting the beheading of a Kurdish man and Lebanese soldier, in particular, have made the rounds online and served to continue establishing the Islamic State as one of the most brutally violent jihadist groups in the world.
The Islamic State's propaganda outfit has gone out of its way not to depict itself as such, however. ISIS's Al Hayat Media, an English-language online propaganda outlet, has instead released videos of Western jihadists describing the joy of living in the Islamic State, emphasizing a promise of peace of mind to Muslims who seek to live in IS-controlled areas.
The Islamic State has never depicted itself as a softer version of jihad, but it has done what al Qaeda never has: promised death to all infidels, of course, but also peace and security to jihadists. It has promised a tight-knit family of extremist Islamists to feed, clothe, and protect Muslims from the non-existent threat of Western decadence. They have branded themselves as one of the few jihadist groups with a public sense of humor, love of animals, and knowledge of Western culture. Islamic State jihadists may spend their days stoning, beheading, and preaching hate, but at the end of a long day of jihad, they come home to chat about Jumanji on Twitter. This makes them a much more efficient recruitment tool for their target demographic, adolescent and young adult Western Muslim males for whom leaving the luxury of Western life may prove more difficult than for the average Syrian or Iraqi Sunni Muslim.
A complete switch from videos of children singing the Islamic State's official song to videos of violent beheadings threatens to scare away Westerners who may have a soft spot for the concept of jihad; thus, the crackdown on beheading videos. It is yet another reminder that the Islamic State is a much more sophisticated machine than the assortment of rag-tag (yet still extremely dangerous) jihadist groups the West has faced in the past--an Islamist cult possessed of a vanity that has significantly strengthened its numbers in both Iraq and Syria.
I’ve got a question, when do you stop the back and forth via newspaper? I don’t think the other person is trying to have a productive conversation. I’d like to find common ground and work on the Big problems our nation is facing but when you cannot get beyond color and gender, I have to ask myself, what’s the point? How have others responded to this problem?
Here is the letter that I felt, begged a response, followed by Ms. Doherty’s response. Seems as though, we made no headway.
“I hope you are keeping your subscription to The Banner-Press current. There are so many interesting articles about our cheerful, sturdy community. Then, on the other hand, there is the letters to the editor, where a grumpy old man meme predominates.
Last week, Bill Sickels and Don Davidson came out to mansplain this Texas gal on the limits of her First Amendment rights. Now, in Wednesday’s paper appears Mr. Walker West to tell us the disaster of President Obama’s election was caused by not enough conservative voters. He is so right: there are just not enough white male voters.
I understand Mr. Walker West’s anxiety. Texas conservatives have been preoccupied with white male superiority and control since Reconstruction. Minority voters and single women turned out in high numbers in 2012. Panic ensued, and laws were passed to ensure the “integrity” of elections by making it harder for the usurpers to vote.
Senator Lindsey Graham said of his Republican Party, “We are not generating enough angry white guys.” I am sure Senator Graham would be consoled to know how many of them there are here on the opinion pages of the Banner.
“Dear Ms. Doherty, I happen to be a Navajo and female and I agree with your assertion that you have the right to your first amendment rights. I also agree that others do as well. Exercising one’s rights does not mean we all have to agree and it also does not mean you are being attacked. Develop thicker skin madam. They have as much right as others to voice theirs and respond to you.
As for Sen. Graham, he may be in the Republican party but I do not believe he is a conservative. When asked about Common Core, he had no idea, therefore, his opinion does not weigh heavy with most true conservatives.
As for the conservative valued voters that Mr. Walker spoke of, I agree. If we all took a look at the genesis of the Republican Party, Mr Obama would not have been elected. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican as was Fredrick Douglass and the first platform of the Republican Party brought about a beating of State Senator Charles Sumner because he believed that slavery was an abomination. Read the following link for the more information, http://www.history.com/topics/charles-su...
While you call Mr. Walker’s letter to be full of anxiety, I see it as a call for people of any stripe to get involved. Our Founders knew we could only keep this Republic with proper involvement of the citizenry.
As a female American Indian, I’m proud to call my self a Conservative and would like you, Ms.Doherty, to please debate the merits and not vilify. I ask all to do the same. The last I checked, I’m certainly not an angry white guy. That does not further the debate nor does it do anything to find common ground.
“In 1970, Nadezhda Mandelstam’s heroic memoir “Hope against Hope” was smuggled out of the Soviet Union and published in English. Mrs. Mandlestam’s moving story of life under Stalin became a huge hit.
The book is a monument to independent thinking in the face of totalitarian Communism. It especially resonated with conservatives in the United States, and was taken up by a lively and growing conservative movement. For years, the book appeared on recommended reading lists for young conservatives.
Forty years later, the conservative movement has changed. The Communist threat is gone. Young conservatives are advised to read Ann Coulter. Independent thinking is out, and dogma is in. Mandelstam warned everyone against getting your politics predigested.
Today, conservatives huddle in epistemic closure by taking in only their own media. This is the direct cause of the crazy letters which appear in the opinion section of the Banner (an otherwise excellent newspaper). The assertions are made in these letters are so divorced from reality they do not invite reasoned response.
No one is allowed to depart from strict popular conservative thinking. Even Rick Perry was mocked for his humane view of young undocumented residents.
According to Ms. Sandra Kindt, who in Thursday’s paper refers to the “true conservative,” not even Sen. Lindsey Graham can make the cut. I wonder how many readers of the Banner who consider themselves “conservatives” for many years are prepared to be judged by the likes of Ms. Sandra Kindt.
Should I continue or let it go? I don’t believe that another letter will help but then again, I’m leaving my reputation open without rebuttal. Do we as Conservatives give up to easily? Most Conservatives and Southerners I know will walk away shaking our head not wanting to cause a confrontation, but when do we fight and for how long? Till the end? Who decides the end? Any ideas?
Keeping the Faith!
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It was always obvious what Obama’s supporters wanted. They weren’t willing to settle for a Hillary, just another politician who would punch the clock, deliver tepid speeches and push their leftist agenda.
They wanted someone larger than life. A head made for Mount Rushmore and a body that would be cast in statues across the country. Speeches meant to be studied in classrooms for the next hundred years.
They compared him to JFK and Reagan. He was treated as the icon that his backers wanted him to be. His election was supposed to be a watershed moment in American history.
Instead it ends in miserable failure.
At home, Obama is caught in a desperate tug of war with Republicans. He won the budget battle by sending park rangers to shut down national monuments. His last ditch gamble for holding on to the Senate is using racial tensions in Ferguson to promote black voter turnout.
And if he wins, all he’ll have is what he has now.
This is how shoddy and tawdry the reality of Hope and Change has become. Trapped in a corner, Obama is dragging out the dirtiest Chicago politics. He’s trying to hold off the inevitable by using the same types of tactics that the crooked mayor of his hometown would.
There’s no inspiration here. No words that will resound across time. Just dirty rats on a sinking ship.
Blame Congress has become the new Blame Bush. ObamaCare is a slow motion disaster that requires constant course corrections to keep it from coming apart. It’s not the new Social Security or Medicare. It’s the new HMO; a clumsy construction that most Americans are unhappy with.
Obama’s only power comes from his abuse of his authority, but what one man does, another man can undo. Instead of creating a lasting legislative legacy, Obama’s executive orders and legislation by administration are a house of cards that his successor can topple with the same pen and phone.
They seem intimidating in the way that the actions of tyrants are, but tyranny can be undone with tyranny. What Obama failed to do was build a consensus. He didn’t change the course of American history. He didn’t win the hearts and minds of Americans. Now he’s reduced to vandalizing America.
Obama said that Putin’s actions in Ukraine weren’t a sign of strength, but a sign of weakness. There is some truth to that. Putin’s economic policies have failed and he was unpopular at home. But the Obama tyrannical reign of phone and pen also isn’t a sign of strength. It’s a sign of weakness.
Like Putin, Obama has run out of options.
Unpopular with voters, shunned by his own party in battleground states, he rules by executive order and parties with influential executives while ignoring his responsibilities.
That’s not Reagan. It’s not JFK. It’s not even LBJ.
Stumbling to the microphone in a tan suit, he admits that he has no strategy for ISIS. Why should he? A few months ago he was calling a force that controls much of Iraq and Syria a junior varsity team while claiming credit for defeating Al Qaeda. Now his spokesman insists that the US is not at war with ISIS.
What Obama says has no relationship to reality. It’s always been that way. It’s only becoming obvious to those talking heads inside his media bubble now.
Obama’s foreign policy consisted of a flowchart of how things were supposed to work. There was an arrow from “Outreach” to “Reconciliation” to “New Middle East”. Instead Iraq is on fire. Libya is on fire. Syria is on fire. Everyone else is either mocking him or begging for his help without seriously expecting him to do anything useful.
And the flowchart doesn’t mention any of it.
ISIS was supposed to be a JV team. Iraqis are supposed to reconcile. ISIS isn’t supposed to be at war with the United States. Like most ideologues, Obama confuses what his reading of the inevitable forces of history says should happen with what is actually happening. Political Islam was supposed to stabilize the Middle East. Instead the future will be defined by a clash between national armies and Islamist militias.
Removing US troops from Iraq was supposed to fix the problem. The best anti-colonialist scholarship said it would. Instead combined with the Arab Spring, it let Al Qaeda take over much of the country.
But what else was an ideological fanatic big on theory and short on life experience going to do?
Obama is Fareed Zakaria. He’s Thomas Friedman. He’s Paul Krugman. He read all the books and he talks a good game so that it’s easy to miss the fact that his ideas don’t have much to do with real life.
Friedman babbling about the flattening world, Krugman pretending that money is infinite and Zakaria jumping from one ridiculous globalist idea to another sound good in a lecture hall or a column.
But only an idiot would actually listen to them.
Obama’s speeches sounded good, but only idiots would elect a man with no life experience, no executive experience and no meaningful experience of any kind for speaking well, instead of doing well.
Of course Obama doesn’t have a strategy for ISIS. Why would he?
ISIS wasn’t supposed to happen. His schedule, in between golfing and fundraising, had amnesty and Global Warming unilateral orders penciled in. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine also wasn’t on the schedule. Killing missile defense and being incredibly flexible were supposed to fix that.
As a last resort, sanctions, the universal failure of global diplomacy, were supposed to keep this from happening. But like everything else that Obama tried, they didn’t work.
Obama doesn’t live in the world of “What is” but the world of “What should be”. Inspiration does come from the world of “What should be”, but when it isn’t grounded in the world of “What is” then it manifests as insanity or leads to miserable failures.
The difference between the brilliant architect and the lunatic on the street corner is that while both of them know “What should be”, only one of them knows “What is”.
Obama’s inspiration came from “What should be”. He never did understand “What is”. His followers thought and think that “What is” can be waved away, ignored or beaten down as a last resort. That is what he is doing now with his executive orders and his unilateral rule. He is trying to salvage his miserable failure as a leader by forcing his way on the whole country.
It hasn’t made him popular. It hasn’t made his way into the American Way. It has isolated him. The American people have rejected him in poll after poll. Now the media is slowly accepting their verdict.
And no, he doesn’t have a strategy for that.
Daniel Greenfield: FrontPage Mag.
I guess he really was multitasking out on the golf course. The President’s team has been hard at work behind the scenes, coming up with a strategy … well, maybe we should say plan, to address the nation’s many challenges.
Spurred by President Obama’s climate action plan, the Department of Energy is pumping out new standards for refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, lamps and many more appliances.
The administration says the standards will not only help the planet but also stimulate the economy by saving consumers money on their energy bills that they can spend elsewhere.
After what we’ve been through with energy regulations, you’d think the administration would be at least a little hesitant to leap in for another grab at that brass ring. I mean, won’t a sudden raft of new requirements for the products everyone has to purchase have some, er… unintended consequences? William Teach seems to have been thinking along the same lines.
While the rules may save a bit of energy (and there is nothing wrong with that, though it should be the consumer choice, not Government Mandate), it will also drive up the cost of the appliances/devices, which will harm the lower and middle classes.
Apparently this was obvious to everyone except the White House, and industry representatives were quick to chime in.
But industry groups argue the standards, which will apply to both commercial and household appliances, could slow the economy, and that the Energy Department is rushing the new rules while overestimating the savings. Other critics argue the push to regulate household appliances is evidence of a nanny state.
“They’re not taking the time to get it right,” said Steve Yurek, president and CEO of the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. “That’s what we’re concerned about,” he said.
For some reason which I can’t quite put my finger on, this sounds awfully familiar. Changing regulations for everyone’s benefit without taking into account the real world fallout and secondary costs which would inevitably be passed on to the consumer? Give me a minute. I’m sure it will come to me.
(Breitbart) – On August 28, Geraldo Rivera responded to the accidental death of firearms instructor Charles Vacca by calling the Second Amendment “blind and stupid.”
Vacca worked at Bullets and Burgers, a popular stop outside Las Vegas for tourists who want to legally shoot a machine gun. He was shot and killed when a nine-year-old allowed the gun she was shooting to jump back during recoil.
Rivera responded to the terrible accident by blasting the Second Amendment:
FAX BLAST SPECIAL: Don’t Let The Government Take Your Guns! Protect Your Second Amendment Rights!
Like I’ve always said, the Second Amendment, the provision that gives every American the right to keep and bear arms, is blind and stupid. In its relentless pimping for the gun industry, the NRA has unleashed an avalanche of deadly weapons on this gun-crazy country. Just as [it] protects access to weapons for cops and hunters, it also protects access to weapons for domestic abusers, mental patients, jerk-offs on the no-fly list, all-around dim bulbs, and now little children.
Rivera went on to reference the accidental death of the firearm instructor and said, “It is obscene and uncivilized to let a third grader shoot a fully-automatic Uzi machine gun. What was she training for, revolution? Invasion? Service in the coming post-apocalyptic social disorder?”
He failed to mention the one thing the nine-year-old was doing–taking time on vacation to shoot a gun under the supervision of an experienced firearms instructor and her parents. A terrible accident happened while she was doing so, and Rivera blames “gun nuts” for it.
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