Another US journalist beheaded by ISIS

**Posted by Phineas

Murdered by ISIS

Murdered by ISIS

(Photo source)

The savages of the “Islamic State” have sent another message to the United States:

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against the backdrop of an arid Syrian landscape, [Steven] Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the group in Iraq.

In the video distributed Tuesday and entitled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is beheaded by an Islamic State fighter.

As Bryan Preston of PJ Media points out, our leaders have once again been caught unaware. Maybe they’re still trying to figure out a strategy for dealing with medieval lunatics who are butchering Americans. If Obama and his team are having trouble doing that, let me offer a suggestion:

Hunt these swine down and kill every last one of them.

UPDATE: At the end of the video of Sotloff’s beheading, ISIS shows another captive, Briton David Cawthorne Haines. The implication is clear: unless the US stops its airstrikes, Mr. Haines will be slaughtered like James Foley and Mr. Sotloff.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Let’s remember how #JamesFoley lived, but also how he was brutally murdered

James Foley

Photojournalist James Foley

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. 

And then there are the Iraqi Christians. And the Syrian Christians.  I could go on and on, but you get the disturbing picture.

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.  

“Why is racism treated differently when it comes from the left?”

Mitch Mcconnell & Elaine Cho

Mitch Mcconnell & Elaine Cho

A fantastic column from Ron Christie in today’s Daily Beast regarding the disgusting racist attacks being waged by Democrats in Kentucky against former Secretary of Labor (and wife of KY Senator/Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) Elaine Cho (hat tip):

But Democrats who imagine racist slights and “dog whistles” at every turn would be wise to look at the vicious anti-Asian bigotry on display in Kentucky, which is being fomented by supporters of their so-called progressive party.

[…]

This past weekend, as Senator McConnell spoke to supporters at the Fancy Farm event in Kentucky, he sought to confront the “War on Women” rhetoric of his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, by noting his wife’s accomplishments. “And the biggest asset I have by far is the only Kentucky woman who served in a president’s cabinet, my wife, Elaine Chao,” he said to applause from the crowd.

It didn’t take long for Kathy Groob, the founder of the pro-Democrat PAC Elect Women, to start mocking Chao’s heritage on Twitter. “She’s not from KY…She is Asian and [President George W.] Bush openly touted that,” Groob said. In other tweets, Groob referred to Chao as McConnell’s “Chinese wife,” and said McConnell is “wedded to free trade in China.

She later deleted her offensive tweets and deactivated her Twitter account. National and Kentucky Democrats, to their credit, quickly denounced her remarks.

Still, the incident left me scratching my head. A prominent Democrat attacks a spouse of a Republican candidate based on the color of her skin, but the reaction from the national media has been largely muted. One can only imagine the reaction had a GOP operative made the exact same slur against the spouse of a Democratic candidate. There would be wall-to-wall coverage on MSNBC, disapproving editorials from The New York Times, and warnings from the DNC that Republicans are looking to bring us back to the days of internment camps and Jim Crow. Talking Points Memo, a liberal website that delights in highlighting the ramblings of obscure GOP statehouse backbenchers, would use a story like that to insinuate that conservatives are, by and large, racist.

And this isn’t even the first time Democrats in Kentucky have attacked Chao’s ethnicity. Last year, a Democratic super PAC called Progress Kentucky tweeted that McConnell’s marriage to Chao “may explain why your job moved to #China.

Make sure to read the whole thing.

Double standards like this, which I’ve written about many, many times before, will never change – at least as far as the mainstream media is concerned. But all the same, they’ll always be worth pointing out.  Sunlight is the best medicine, and all that …

Awesome: persons from ebola-outbreak countries among illegal border crossers

**Posted by Phineas

"Ebola virus"

“Ebola virus”

I’m telling ya, this is how Act One of a bad science fiction movie would run. A report leaked to Breitbart Texas from the Customs and Border Patrol service (CBP) discusses how people from all over the globe are trying to exploit our porous southern border to get into the United States. People from more than 75 different countries have been apprehended. That’s frustrating enough. But what is truly scary is where some of them are coming from:

Among the significant revelations are that individuals from nations currently suffering from the world’s largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak across the porous U.S. border into the interior of the United States. At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by U.S. authorities between January 2014 and July 2014.

None of those people it seems were carrying ebola, for we’d surely know by now. But what if someone carrying the virus made it across the Rio Grande and successfully hid themselves in our inner cities, not knowing the danger he or she posed as a “Trojan horse?” By the time this person showed symptoms and was discovered, the virus might already have spread into the larger population. Even if safely contained, the news would spread like wildfire.

Can you say “mass public panic?”

Securing the border is looking better and better all the time.

via Rick Moran

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

GAO investigation: Non-existent ‘people’ able to sign up for #Obamacare coverage

Obamacare

Wowsers:

Investigators from the Government Accountability Office have been able to register fake applicants with fictitious identifying documents for health plans and federal subsidies through ObamaCare, according to a published report.

The Washington Post reports that investigators were able to obtain subsidized health coverage for eleven of twelve fictitious applicants online or over the phone. The investigators used invalid or missing Social Security numbers or inaccurate citizenship information in applying for coverage. In one of the eleven approved instances, the paper reported that the application was denied, but later approved at the second attempt.

The Post also reported that six attempts were made to sign up false applicants via in-person representatives. In five of those cases, the representative did not know that the applicant’s income was too high to receive a subsidy in the first place.

GAO officials will testify about the findings before a House Ways and Means subcommittee Wednesday. The office is expected to continue the investigation before reaching final conclusions sometime next year.

The inquiries were carried out in several different states. The Post reported that the GAO has not specified which states were investigated because the investigation is ongoing.

Republicans have claimed that the federal health insurance exchange does not properly verify the identity and eligibility of potential customers, leaving it open to fraud and abuse. The GAO investigation was requested last year by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.); Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-La.), chairman of the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee; and Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Gee, so Republicans were right about this aspect of Obamacare, too? Hmmm. I sense a pattern developing …

Malaysian jetliner carrying 295 reportedly “shot down” in Ukraine, near Russian border

Breaking news

Still too early to know exactly what has happened but here’s an initial report from Fox News:

A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane with 295 aboard was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in Ukraine near the Russian border, according to multiple reports.

The airline, the same one whose plane disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March, confirmed only that “an incident” had occurred involving the Boeing 777, which was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

“Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam,” read a tweet from the airline. “The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow,” read a tweet from Malaysia Airlines’ account.

Multiple reports said the plane was shot down at cruising altitude. Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister told The Associated press that the plane, carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew people onboard, was shot down.

Gerashenko says on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit Thursday by a missile fired from a Buk launcher. A similar launcher was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier Thursday.

The adviser also told Russian news agency Interfax that all onboard have been killed.

Prayers to the families of those hurt or killed, of course.

To keep up to date on the latest developments, all the major nets are all over this story. And, of course, there is the Twitter machine

Report: Government may have erroneously paid out $100 billion in 2013

Money on trees

Apparently, the government thinks money grows on trees.

And people wonder why we think a smaller government is a better government- via the AP:

WASHINGTON — By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them — tax credits to families that didn’t qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.

Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher.

The Obama administration has reduced the amount of improper payments since they peaked in 2010. Still, estimates from federal agencies show that some are wasting big money at a time when Congress is squeezing agency budgets and looking to save more.

“Nobody knows exactly how much taxpayer money is wasted through improper payments, but the federal government’s own astounding estimate is more than half a trillion dollars over the past five years,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. “The fact is, improper payments are staggeringly high in programs designed to help those most in need — children, seniors and low-income families.”

Mica chairs the House Oversight subcommittee on government operations. The subcommittee is holding a hearing on improper payments Wednesday afternoon.

Each year, federal agencies are required to estimate the amount of improper payments they issue. They include overpayments, underpayments, payments to the wrong recipient and payments that were made without proper documentation.

Some improper payments are the result of fraud, while others are unintentional, caused by clerical errors or mistakes in awarding benefits without proper verification.

Gotta love the smell of government incompetency first thing in the morning! /sarc o=>

Rewarding failure: GSA awards big contract to designer of #Obamacare web site

**Posted by Phineas

Obama foreign policy advisers

GSA contracts oversight team

Because they did such a great job with the federal Obamacare web site, why shouldn’t they be given the chance to compete for billions more of our tax dollars?

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, Jul 08, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — CGI Federal Inc. (CGI) GIB -1.59% CA:GIB.A -1.49% announced today that the General Services Administration (GSA) has chosen the company as a prime contractor under a new contract vehicle known as One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS). The multi-award contract has an unlimited ceiling, allowing CGI to compete for billions of dollars in complex professional services task orders across all agencies in the U.S. federal government.

GSA oversees the business of the federal government, among other things supplying federal purchasers with cost-effective, high-quality products and services from commercial vendors. CGI is one of 74 awardees under OASIS, an “indefinite delivery indefinite quantity” (IDIQ) contract that will allow awardees to compete on a range of program management, management consulting, logistics, engineering, scientific and financial management services. Awardees will also be able to offer technology solutions as an ancillary service. For the first time, agencies will be able to purchase high-value professional services along with supporting IT solutions through a single contract, saving customers time and money.

The Obamacare site rollout was such a fiasco that the Federal government refused to renew its contract with CGI when it expired last February. And this isn’t the only time they’ve been told to go away: the government of the Canadian province of Ontario fired CGI for missed deadlines and a failure to deliver a functional product, an online medical registry.

So, naturally the GSA decides that CGI warrants even more chances to deliver “quality IT solutions.” This being the same GSA that’s managed our dollars so well in the past.

What could go wrong?

via Iowahawk

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

As predicted, the #Obamacare system is turning into another V.A. fail

Obamacare - they knew

They knew.

Hate to say “Toldjah So”, but ….

Months after the deadline to enroll in a health insurance plan through ObamaCare has come and gone, thousands of Americans have found themselves without coverage due to backlogs or glitches in various enrollment systems, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reports that people in states like Massachusetts, California, and Nevada selected and paid for a private health insurance plan through state-run exchanges, only to find that they were not insured. Others have waited futilely for changes to their coverage brought about by marriage, childbirth or other “life events” to take effect.

As a result, some say they have put off seeking medical treatment or have paid out of pocket for certain expenses.

In Nevada, approximately 150 people have turned to litigation, filing a class-action suit against the state-run exchange and Xerox Corp., which helped set it up.

One of those plaintiffs, Robert Rolain, tells the Journal that he signed up his wife, Linda, this past October for a health plan through the state exchange that was due to take effect March 1. In the interim period, doctors found a tumor on his wife’s brain and planned surgery. When Rolain brought his wife to an oncologist to have the procedure done, he was told she wasn’t covered, and the surgery was pushed back two months, to May 14. A little more than a month later, Linda Rolain was dead.

It’d be an understatement to say that this report is seriously disturbing, but – like many other negatives related to the run-up to the passage of the so-called “Affordable Care Act”, it was entirely predictable, and in fact was predicted by many.  Make sure to read the full Wall Street Journal story on this and get outraged all over again at how there are so many stories you hear of people having to wait so long for answers and/or clarification on their “new” health care plans that they get sick or in some cases even die – and then remember how all of it perhaps could have been prevented had the administration chosen a different path.

And as if that story wasn’t bad enough for the Obama administration going into the summer months of this midterm election season, the New York Times of all places ran a similar story over the weekend on coverage issues and ridiculous wait times that are being and will be compounded in the extreme by Obamacare.  Politico  yesterday filed a report reaffirming that premium hikes will be hitting people at the end of the summer/beginning of fall at a time when Democrats – especially vulnerable ones like Senator Hagan here in NC – will be doing their level best to steer the focus off of this disastrous law and onto something else.   When they do try to, remember heartbreaking stories like that of the Rolain family, detailed above, and don’t let incumbent Democrats  – and voters – forget them.

Think Progress, Salon promote stifling of dissent over climate change

Tolerance

Yep.

Not exactly a surprise that these two ultra-liberal sites are proponents of shutuppery, but worth documenting all the same, no matter whether it happens here at home – or abroad.  Headline from Think Progress:

To Improve Accuracy, BBC Tells Its Reporters To Stop Giving Air Time To Climate Deniers

Got that? “To improve accuracy” – as if the BBC has ever given a rip about accuracy (or dissent, for that matter).

Headline from Salon:

BBC staff ordered to stop giving equal air time to climate deniers

Here are the headlines as they appeared on Memeorandum, just in case either site tries to change them:

dissent

How Salon celebrated, er, reported the news (bolded emphasis added by me):

Good news for viewers of BBC News: you’ll no longer be subjected to the unhinged ravings of climate deniers and other members of the anti-science fringe. In a report published Thursday by the BBC Trust, the network’s journalists were criticized for devoting too much air time (as in, any air time) to unqualified people with “marginal views” about non-contentious issues in a misguided attempt to provide editorial balance.

Think Progress gurgled:

When news outlets introduce false balance into its climate change stories, its audience then thinks those stories are less pressing than they actually are, a factor which contributes to uncertainty surrounding the issue and, ultimately, apathy. A 2009 study from the American Psychological Association confirmed this, noting that “perceived or real uncertainty” on climate change can lead to both “systematic underestimation of risk” and “sufficient reason to act in self interest over that of the environment.”

The far leftists at Hullabaloo cheered, “Kudos to the BBC for doing the right thing” while noting, “[o]ne of the hardest lessons journalism has had to learn over the last couple of decades is that sometimes truth doesn’t require balance.”  The Huffington Post, meanwhile, seemed hopeful this was a practice that would commence stateside – in short order.  The last sentence from their piece titled “The BBC Is Fighting Its Addiction To False Climate Change Balance“:

There was no word from American networks as to whether or not they were going to institute the same kinds of practices — though, given their recent output on climate change, it would be wise not to hold your breath.

And here you thought liberals were all about tolerance, and diversity, and freedom of thought and expression …