And it was a beautiful thing. Via NBC News:
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee, walked back comments she reportedly made about the dilution of the Jewish community.
The DNC is now walking back those comments, releasing this statement from Wasserman Schultz saying she does “not oppose intermarriage.”
“At an annual Jewish community event in my congressional district, I spoke about my personal connection to Judaism and in a larger context about the loss of Jewish identity and the importance of connecting younger generations to the institutions and values that make up our community. I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it,” the Florida Demorat said in a statement.
The conservative Daily Caller recently reported that Wasserman Schultz criticized Jewish intermarriages at an event last month in Florida.
From that DC piece:
The Florida congresswoman’s eye-opening comments came at a breakfast event held earlier this month at a south Florida branch of the Jewish Federation.
Previously unpublished audio of the event was obtained by The Shark Tank, a Florida-based political blog.
“We have the problem of assimilation. We have the problem of intermarriage,” Wasserman Schultz said after mentioning her husband, who she seemingly met through the Jewish Federation.
“We have the problem that too many generations of Jews don’t realize the importance of our institutions strengthening our community — particularly with the rise of antisemitism and global intolerance, which obviously we saw in horrific technicolor in just the last week in Paris.”
Wellll, she’s right about the rise of anti-Semitism and global intolerance towards Jewish people, but unfortunately she’ll never admit that her side of the aisle is the one that routinely perpetuates dangerous myths about Islamofascism and who the true aggressors really are in the global war on terror.
But her remarks on “the problem of intermarriage”? Wow – can you imagine if a Republican in her position had said anything remotely similar to that??
This morning I find myself in the very rare position of being able to say I’m proud of our First Lady. Why? Read on:
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — For first lady Michelle Obama, just a few hours in Saudi Arabia were enough to illustrate the stark limitations under which Saudi women live.
Joining President Barack Obama for a condolence visit after the death of the King Abdullah, Mrs. Obama stepped off of Air Force One wearing long pants and a long, brightly colored jacket — but no headscarf.
Under the kingdom’s strict dress code for women, Saudi females are required to wear a headscarf and loose, black robes in public. Most women in Saudi Arabia cover their hair and face with a veil known as the niqab. But covering one’s head is not required for foreigners, and some Western women choose to forego the headscarf while in Saudi Arabia.
As a delegation of dozens of Saudi officials — all men — greeted the Obamas in Riyadh, some shook hands with Mrs. Obama. Others avoided a handshake but acknowledged the first lady with a nod as they passed by.
The Washington Post reports that Mrs. Obama’s actions caused an uproar among Saudi women on social media:
Barack Obama was in Riyadh on Tuesday to pay his respects to the late Saudi King Abdullah. His visit, for which he cut short a much-hyped trip to India, underscores how important the U.S.-Saudi relationship remains to the American leadership. On social media, however, much of the attention has focused on something else: His wife’s attire.
More than 1,500 tweets using the hashtag #?????_??????_???? (roughly, #Michelle_Obama_immodesty) were sent Tuesday, many of which criticized the first lady. Some users pointed out that on a recent trip to Indonesia, Michelle had worn a headscarf. Why not in Saudi Arabia?
The response wasn’t entirely negative — Ahram Online notes that some Twitter users said Michelle shouldn’t be criticized too much, it being a short, impromptu trip and all. Saudi state television did show images of Michelle and her uncovered head, despite some claims that they had digitally obscured her (a widely circulated video with the first lady entirely blurred seems to have been an amateur production).
The headscarf thing wasn’t the only issue some Saudis took with the First Lady’s attire, as Josh Rogin with Bloomberg View notes:
The alleged blurring wasn’t the only controversy. Some Arab media outlets criticized Michelle Obama for wearing a blue dress, rather than a black one.
Politico points out other First Ladies (and former First Ladies) have been known to throw aside the headscarf as well:
In 2011, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Abdullah in New York, she did not cover her face or hair. Nor did then-first lady Laura Bush during a 2006 visit with Abdullah in Saudi Arabia.
American women: Rebels, with a clue. Sometimes.
For those of you who were under the radar and missed this horrifying news from earlier this week:
In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley – and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. Even so, the U.S. military pressed ahead, conducting nearly a dozen airstrikes in Iraq since Tuesday.
Foley, 40, from Rochester, New Hampshire, went missing in northern Syria in November 2012 while freelancing for Agence France-Presse and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. The car he was riding in was stopped by four militants in a contested battle zone that both Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control. He had not been heard from since.
The beheading marks the first time the Islamic State has killed an American citizen since the Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011, upping the stakes in an increasingly chaotic and multilayered war. The killing is likely to complicate U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Obama administration’s efforts to contain the group as it expands in both Iraq and Syria.
The group is the heir apparent of the militancy known as al-Qaida in Iraq, which beheaded many of its victims, including American businessman Nicholas Berg in 2004.
The video released on websites Tuesday appears to show the increasing sophistication of the Islamic State group’s media unit and begins with scenes of Obama explaining his decision to order airstrikes.
It then cuts to a balding man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling in the desert, next to a black-clad militant with a knife to his throat. Foley’s name appears in both English and Arabic graphics on screen. After the captive speaks, the masked man is shown apparently beginning to cut at his neck; the video fades to black before the beheading is completed. The next shot appears to show the captive lying dead. The video appears to have been shot in an arid area; there is no vegetation to be seen and the horizon is in the distance where the sand meets the gray-blue sky.
At the end of the video, a militant shows a second man, who was identified as another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warns that he could be the next captive killed. Sotloff was kidnapped near the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2013; he had freelanced for Time, the National Interest and MediaLine.
I was on Twitter when news of Foley’s murder broke. The expressions of outrage towards his killers, the condolences posted to his family – all were understandable. For a brief moment, I joined in with the calls for people to always remember how he lived, and to put out of mind how he died. It seemed fitting at the time. But as the week went on, and the more I thought about it, the more I concluded that – while it is indeed important to remember Foley’s work as a photojournalist, something he felt called to do in war-torn countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq, it was also vitally important to keep his murder fresh in people’s minds as a reminder of just how radicalized the “religion of peace” has become, and how we simply cannot continue the policy of appeasement towards Islamofascists that has taken place under the Obama administration.
Like many, I have not been impressed AT ALL with the “official response” communicated by the Obama administration to Foley’s brutal murder, because there is a continued insistence by them and other dangerous liberal moral relativists that terrorists like ISIS simply “pervert” the Islamic faith. There’s the implication that if we stop and try and “understand” these inhumane swine who behead innocents in the name of “Allah” and bury alive rape victims as punishment in countries like Iran then maybe we could all just “get along”, sing “Kumbaya” and all that.
No. I wrote this in 2010, and I still believe it to this day:
For a brief time long ago, I used to subscribe to the belief that there was a “moderate” element to Islam. I don’t anymore. Yes, there are Muslim Islamists out there who are not hateful, who are respectful of the religious beliefs and faiths of others, etc, but my opinion is that these Muslims are not full-fledged Islamists – and that’s a good thing. There is hope for that minority of Islamists that they can turn away from the evil “religion” we know as Islam.
That is, if they’re not murdered first.
No, Mr. President – I will not be “tolerant” of this religion, not in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Doesn’t mean I’ll get violent, but it DOES mean that I will speak out strongly against it, loudly and often. Islam, which is the law of the land in many Muslim countries via the use of the Koran as their “standard,” stands for everything we’re supposed to be against. Secularists and non-secularists alike can see this. It’s a crying, outrageous shame that you and so many of your fellow “enlightened” liberals do not.
If Foley’s sickening, torturous death does not wake people up as to the horrors of radical Islam, perhaps the ongoing persecution of non-believers by ISIS will:
Reports coming in from Sinjar, a small town that was once home to Iraqi minority community, Yazidis, suggest that the Islamic State militants are carrying out a “genocide” in the town.
For the Sunni militants, the Yazidis are a race of “devil worshipers” and killing them would only amount to a “holy act.”
The 4,000-year-old religious group has faced persecution for centuries for its unique belief and practices.
Earlier on Sunday, the Islamic State captured the town after driving away the Kurdish forces in the region. Witnesses claim that the militants are executing dozens of Yazidis for refusing to convert to Islam.
The Gulf News report claimed that 67 young men were shot dead by the militants. Besides executing the Yazidis, the Al Qaeda offshoot, is also reportedly taking Yazidi women for “jihad” marriage.
Mohammed al-Khuzai, an official with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society told NYTimes that ISIS took more than 100 Yazidi families to the airport at the nearby town of Tal Afar, where it executed the men.
“ISIS killed all the men,” Khuzai said, “and are planning to keep the women for jihad marriage.”
Reports have also come in claiming that the Islamic State militants have forcefully taken away a large number of children from the Yazidi town. A resident told McClatchy DC that militants were taking away young children from their families.
Several Sinjar local government and municipal workers also have been executed by the ISIS.
It’s time for world leaders to stop being silent, time to stop sitting back hoping the problem will just “go away.” Time for “leaders” here at home to stop largely ignoring the issue or downplaying because it’s “not happening here.” Time for dangerous left wing moral relativists like the President, Reps. Keith Ellison, and Sheila Jackson Lee to stop playing the religious equivalency games. Condemn it, call it out, STOP making excuses for it, stop rationalizing it. Stop putting it “in its proper context.” 9/11 wasn’t the first time radical Islam used its might to kill innocents in its quest to punish “infidels”, and James Foley’s beheading won’t be their last radical act of cold, sickening brutality, either. Pretending otherwise on all counts will only ensure that more will die.
- Flashback – October 2013: The global persecution of [Christian] churchgoers is the unreported catastrophe of our time
From our very own Phineas:
— Phineas Fahrquar (@irishspy) July 9, 2014
CNN has more President’s visit to the Lone Star State:
(CNN) — President Barack Obama travels to Texas, the epicenter of the immigrant influx, on Wednesday.
But the trip has come under criticism from Republicans and some Democrats because, while it includes a Democratic Party fundraising event, it doesn’t stop at the border area where the flood of immigrants cross illegally into the United States.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a possible GOP presidential nominee in 2016, called the situation similar to the much-disparaged federal response to Hurricane Katrina by the Bush administration.
“For him to go to Texas and spend two days shaking down donors and never even getting near the border mess he helped create would be like flying into New Orleans in the highest waters of Katrina to eat Creole cooking, but never getting near the 9th Ward, the Superdome, or the Convention Center where thousands languished in squalor,” Huckabee said.
Ouch! Huckabee can be annoying sometimes, but when he’s right, he’s right.
In related news, after back and forth posturing over the specifics, the President and Texas Gov. Rick Perry plan to meet today to discuss the situation. Grab the popcorn … and the video recorders.
- National Journal – Why Isn’t Obama Going to the Border?
The Associated Press reports that an Egyptian Christian has been sentenced to six years prison time by an Egyptian court because he “insulted Islam” on Facebook:
LUXOR, Egypt – A court convicted an Egyptian Christian to six years imprisonment for blasphemy and contempt of religion on Tuesday.
The Luxor court issued its verdict against Kerolos Ghattas, 30, after his arrest earlier this month for posting pictures deemed insulting to Islam on his Facebook page.
Ghattas’ arrest sparked fears of sectarian conflict in his village, where unidentified assailants have hurled molotov cocktails at shops owned by Christians. Local authorities beefed up security in the village on Tuesday.
The verdict can be appealed. Egypt has witnessed a rise in the number of cases of Coptic Christians — estimated as 10 percent of the population — over the past three years.
On Monday, another Christian journalist — a convert — was sentenced to six years in prison over his coverage of recent sectarian strife.
I’m curious to see what the various “COEXIST” factions think about these two disturbing cases. Well, not really …
Not one to mince words, Texas Governor Rick Perry today issued a written invite to President Obama to come take a look at the Texas/Mexico border himself to see how bad the illegal immigrant influx has become, especially in recent weeks:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is inviting President Obama to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, saying he needs “to see firsthand” the humanitarian crisis from an influx of illegal migrants.
In a letter sent to the White House on Friday, Perry called the president to Texas to survey the areas where tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have illegally crossed the border.
Perry also asked Obama to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to the border, authorize the use of Predator drones for surveillance flights, and direct the Centers for Disease Control to survey facilities where detained children are being held.
“There is no doubt that I have disagreed with you and your administration on many policies over the years,” Perry wrote. “This crisis, however, transcends any political differences we may have.
“The safety and security of our border communities is being threatened by this flood of illegal immigration, and the crisis worsens by the day,” he added.
Perry also called on Obama to “modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration,” in particular the so-called catch-and-release program. That program releases illegal immigrants into relatives’ care and orders them to appear at a later date for deportation proceedings.
“The complex situation along the border is deteriorating, and it requires a multifaceted approach to resolve, and must begin with border security,” Perry wrote.
Earlier Friday, the White House announced it would send tens of millions of dollars to Central American countries to help them improve security and repatriate immigrants who had attempted to enter the U.S.
How many want to bet that this emerging humanitarian crisis comes as a direct result of the Obama administration’s astonishingly naive and politically motivated executive actions that have relaxed immigration rules and regulations over the last few years? It’s something even they seem to be acknowledging indirectly, if this report from the New York Times is any indication.
Make sure to read Hot Air’s Noah Rothman for much more on this developing story. And pray for those children a safe return home, no matter what you think on the issue of illegal immigration.
In case you were thinking that Cosmopolitan magazine was going to dial it down a notch or two in the aftermath of the outrage and disbelief over comments one of their managers made in response to Miss USA’s remarks on self defense in the context of campus rapes, think again. Cosmo sex editor Anna Breslaw stomped her feet and churned out this head-scratcher:
During the question-and-answer portion of the Miss USA pageant, 24-year-old Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez, who took home the crown, said she believed some colleges might sweep campus rape under the rug to prevent bad press. Sanchez, a fourth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, added, “more awareness [of the issue] is very important so that women can learn to protect themselves … You need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. That’s something we need to start to implement for a lot of women.”
Self defense isn’t icky, and anyone with a fifth-grade reading comprehension level can understand that’s not what Elisa was saying.
Actually, yeah – it was:
Can’t get much more plain that that. And as I noted in my prior piece on this issue, she was far from the only one.
Breslaw went on:
What is icky is the idea that we’d pour the entirety of our time, energy, and federal funding into training every 18-year-old girl in America to be jacked, gun-toting Lara Crofts rather than, oh, I don’t know, teaching boys not to rape or shaming college administrators for not taking sexual assault allegations seriously.
What’s “icky” is Ms. Breslaw assuming that most people who did a double take at Ms. Benson’s remarks believe there’s only room for one solution. Also “icky” is her implicit assumption that boys aren’t taught from a very early age to respect women. Disturbing is her obvious belief that if respect is taught then it automatically means that a young man won’t grow up and eventually hurt a woman. We can and should drill it into the heads of every single one of them that respecting women is not optional, but that doesn’t mean on down the line he’s going to abide by that.
Which is where self-defense comes into play. Fortunately, Breslaw is on board with women learning self-defense. Sorta:
Self-defense is a fantastic thing for every woman (or man) to have under their belt — in fact, experts say would-be attackers are often deterred by the confident manner in which women educated in self-defense carry themselves — but this limited view of campus sexual assault prevention perpetuates dangerous myths about sexual assault and shames victims for not adequately “preparing” to defend themselves against rape. It’s the same mentality as blaming sexual assault victims for wearing provocative clothing and therefore “brought it upon themselves,” rather than blaming their attackers for the actual assault.
Do me a favor and please re-read the bolded part of the above paragraph. Then digest it. Self-defense “perpetuates myths about sexual assault” and …. “shames victims” for not preparing to defend themselves?? SAY WHAT? She actually thinks promoting self-defense is the equivalent to those who snidely say “but she was wearing a short skirt so she was asking for it”? And it “shames” women who have been victims of sexual assault? In what universe does Ms. Breslaw reside? One wonders if she’d say that exact thing to victims of sexual assault who take up self-defense training and who tour and give speeches promoting that very thing as a very useful tool in preventing an attacker from doing a woman harm?? Good grief!
She says she believes all this but yet wants you to think that she harbors a “big tent” approach to the issue combating violence against women that includes incorporating self-defense into the mix? I don’t think so. Here’s the shorter version of Breslaw’s ridiculous argument: ‘Let’s not emphasize self-defense because we don’t want to risk hurting the feelings of women who have already become victims. In fact, let’s put the onus for trying to stop future assaults entirely on “society” rather than try to educate women on how to better protect themselves.’ Maybe that “solution” would work flawlessly in Breslaw’s Feminist Utopia but here in the real world, the reality is that there are bad people out there and no matter how much we try and communicate that it’s not ok to hurt women, those who want to WILL.
Rape is more of a crime of opportunity than it is some guy hiding in an alleyway waiting for you to walk by. With increasing frequency, a rapist is more likely to be someone you know or are otherwise somewhat acquainted with, perhaps casually, than not. Either way, it’s best to be prepared for any situation. Travel in groups. Hold tight to your beverage of choice at all times. Don’t binge drink. Do not walk to your car alone at night. Lock your car doors and windows – and the doors and windows to your house. Do NOT answer the front door if you don’t know who the person is or if they just make you uncomfortable. Do not get into a car with a man you don’t know. Do not be free-flowing with personal information about yourself (such as where you live and your phone number) with guys who you’re just getting to know. The list goes on and on.
It goes without saying but I’ll repeat it anyway: You could do all of the above and then some and still end up a victim of a sexual assault – and if it does happen, it is imperative that you understand that it is/was NOT your fault. Unfortunately, there is no “fool-proof” way of avoiding the possibility of something happening to you. But you’ll lessen the chances of it happening if you take precautions. We tell young kids they can’t walk half a block to the store alone because someone might snatch them. We instruct teenagers to run away if someone they don’t know approaches them in a vehicle. These are common sense precautions that no one ever thinks twice about. Why would anyone on earth hesitate to make sure women are given the vital tips they need in order to try and avoid becoming a victim of a violent crime, in addition to continuing to educate young men that they must respect women?
Unlike Ms. Breslaw, I don’t speak out of both sides of my mouth. I really do believe we should do everything we can to prevent future assaults, not just by continuing to instill values at a young age to boys (and girls) that they should respect each other, but also by trying to ensure that women have every available tool at their disposal – both knowledge and physical power – to protect themselves. Nothing “icky” or shameful about it. The phony, warped political correctness behind Breslaw’s “but we’re shaming victims by doing this!!” mentality only serves to create more victims of rape down the road. She might be ok with that, but I’m not.
**Posted by Phineas
Historian Victor Davis Hanson writes at PJ Media about Obama’s poll numbers and why they’re not likely to hit the dismal late-term numbers of, say, George W. Bush or Harry Truman, in spite of the man’s obvious incompetence. While he discusses Obama’s support among minorities and the cover given him by a protective media, it’s what he wrote about a third group, wealthy liberals, that I want to share:
3) The well-off are indifferent to the Obama record, interested only in its symbolic resonance. Doctrinaire liberalism resonates mostly with the very wealthy. We see that by the voting patterns of our bluest counties, or the contributions of the very affluent. In contrast, Republicanism is mostly embedded within the middle class and upper middle class, while liberalism is a coalition of the affluent and the poor.
The result is that the Kerrys, Gores, and Pelosis are dittoed by millions of the affluent in Malibu, Silicon Valley, the Upper West Side, the university towns, Chicago, academia, the arts, highest finance, corporate America, foundations, the media, etc. Their income and accumulated wealth exempt them from worries about economic slowdowns, too much regulation, higher taxes, or the price of gas, electricity, or food. That under Obama gasoline has gone from $1.80 a gallon to $4.10 is as irrelevant as it is relevant that he has so far not built the Keystone Pipeline. That the price of meat has skyrocketed or that power bills are way up means little if global warming is at last addressed by more government.
For the liberal grandee, there is a margin of safety to ensure that the California legislature takes up questions like prohibiting the sale of Confederate insignia or ensuring restrooms for the transgendered or shutting down irrigated acreage to please the delta smelt. In their view, Obama represents their utopian dreams where an anointed technocracy (1), exempt from the messy ramifications of its own ideology, directs from on high a socially just society — diverse, green, non-judgmental, neutral abroad, tribal at home — in which an equality of result is ensured, albeit with proper exemptions for the better educated and more sophisticated, whose perks are necessary to give them proper downtime for their exhausting work on our behalf.
In other words, unlike the rest of us, the liberal elite can actually afford the society they want to impose on us all. For our own good.
And of such times are populist revolts born.
(1) Seems like VDH and I were thinking along the same lines. As usual, though, he says it a lot better than I.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
A Democratic Alabama state representative is under fire for a racially charged challenge he made last month that has backfired big time. TheBlaze reported that during a legislative session discussion on abortion rights, Rep. Alvin Holmes speculated his Republican counterparts would be in favor of abortion if black men impregnated their daughters. Rep. [Holmes] then offered to pay $100,000 cash to anyone who could show him a “bunch of whites” who have adopted black children in Alabama.
Well, the representative is now being asked to put his money where his mouth is after a Facebook group entitled Faces of Families in Alabama began posting photos of multi-racial families in the state. The Facebook page has already garnered more than 7,000 ‘likes,’ and on Wednesday, the group gathered on the steps of the State House to demonstrate just how many multi-racial, adoptive families reside in Alabama.
The Daily Mail has pictures of some of the beautiful families that were in attendance at the Wednesday rally. Time to put up or shut up on your offer, Rep. Holmes. But he won’t, and here’s his “official” reason why. In shorter terms, he’s a shameless race-baiting welcher.
Holmes, you may recall, also sneered on the floor of the Alabama state House a couple of months ago that he didn’t like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas because Thomas is “married to a white woman.” Guy sounds like a real winner, eh? Now just imagine for five seconds Holmes was a Republican …