ISIS Releases Photo of Bomb It Used to Down Russian Passenger Jet

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by SuperJet International https://www.flickr.com/photos/superjetinternational/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by SuperJet International https://www.flickr.com/photos/superjetinternational/

ISIS has taken credit for the murder of the 224 people who were on board the Russian passenger plane that exploded last month. They have released a photo of the bomb they used to commit this crime.

From AP The Big Story:

CAIRO (AP) — The Islamic State group has released a photo of the bomb it says was used to bring down a Russian passenger plane in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last month, killing all 224 people on board.

The picture was published in the latest issue of the extremist group’s English-language magazine, with the caption “EXCLUSIVE – Image of the IED used to bring down the Russian airliner.”

The picture showed a yellow can of Schweppes Gold, a non-alcoholic beer marketed in Egypt, and what appeared to be other bomb components made of plastic and metal. It also published a picture of what it said were passports belonging to people who died in the plane crash.

The extremist group, which has a powerful affiliate in the Sinai, had previously claimed to have downed the plane, which was mainly carrying Russian tourists without offering further details. It said the attack was to avenge Russia’s air campaign against the group in Syria.

Russia’s FSB security service said Tuesday that a bomb brought down the plane. Most of those onboard were Russian tourists. Western officials had earlier said they suspected a bombing.

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Boko Haram Suicide Bombing Kills 32, Wounds 80

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by AK Rockefeller https://www.flickr.com/photos/akrockefeller/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by AK Rockefeller https://www.flickr.com/photos/akrockefeller/

Boko Haram used a suicide bombing to kill 32 people and wound 80 others in northern Nigeria yesterday. The attack occurred at a truck stop.

Nigeria’s military has reported that it has stopped several suicide bombers recently. It has also killed and captured militants and destroyed Boko Haram camps.

If this is true, it is a huge step forward and a big change for Nigeria whose military has often seemed to be colluding with the terrorist group. However, analysts says that Nigeria’s military is not able to hold ground. It takes an area and the muslim extremists move somewhere else. Twenty thousand Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram in the last six years.

From Fox News:

A night-time suicide bombing blamed on Boko Haram extremists killed 32 people and wounded 80 Tuesday at a truck stop in northeastern Nigeria, an emergency official said.

Tuesday night’s blast breaks a three-week hiatus in bombings after a string of suicide attacks culminated in twin explosions in mosques in two northeastern cities that killed 42 people and wounded more than 100 on Oct. 23.

One of the mosques attacked was in Yola, capital of Adamawa state, where the insurgents struck again. It was the third suicide bombing in as many months in a city overflowing with some of the 2.3 million refugees driven from their homes by the Islamic uprising.

At least 32 people were killed and about 80 wounded victims were evacuated to hospitals after Tuesday night’s blast, coordinator Sa’ad Bello of the National Emergency Management Agency told the AP.

 

 

 

 

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It’s Time to Discuss America’s Immigration Policy.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Anne Je suis Paris https://www.flickr.com/photos/je4vo1/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Anne Je suis Paris https://www.flickr.com/photos/je4vo1/

Not all Muslims are terrorists.

In fact, very few Muslims are terrorists.

ISIS, despite its successes, is a tiny percentage of the world’s Muslims. Also, much of the Islamic world is itself at war with ISIS, trying to end this evil.

At the same time, all of the recent terror attacks, such as 9/11, last weekend’s attacks in Paris, the bombing of trains in Spain, the massacre at the elementary school in Chechnya, and the repeated horrors within the Muslim world itself are Islamic in origin. Add to that the 70-year terror warfare against Israel, and the horror show that occurred in Lebanon. It is clear, for those who are not willfully blinding themselves to the unhappy facts of reality, that there is a consistent problem with Islamic terrorists in much of the world.

I am not saying this because I love being called a bigot and an Islamophobe. I certainly am not saying it because I think that everyone who follows Islam is a terrorist or a bad person. Far from it. I know beyond doubt that most Muslim people are good and moral individuals.

However, we are confronted with a hard reality, and if we want to survive, we need to begin, as the Alcoholics Anonymous people say, to accept reality on reality’s terms. The root reason why the Western world is being held hostage to repeated terrorist attacks is the disastrous and flat-out suicidal immigration policies that it has practiced.

Our media and political leaders push immoral “moral” arguments on us stating that, as we all know, all Muslims are not terrorists. In fact, almost none of them are.

So, in this la-la-land of betrayal of their responsibility to the truth, and in the case of political leaders, to the welfare of those they govern, they use this fact to deny the reality that their immigration policies are importing terrorism, unrest and the destruction of the civil order into our societies.

I am not a European, so I will not speak to what I regard as the obscene neglect of their responsibility to the welfare of the nations that they govern that their leaders have practiced. I am American. So I will address our own government’s refusal to govern on behalf of the welfare of America.

To put it bluntly, we need to change our immigration policies. Our immigration policies should reflect the first responsibility of governance, which is to maintain the domestic tranquility. The American people have an absolute right to expect that those they elect will act in ways that do not undermine their safety in the name of some nefarious political correctness.

The edifice of political correctness has become a thought prison that denies reality and punishes those who refuse to accede to its delusions with social approbation, and oftentimes, legal discrimination. It is being used in a crude and heavy-handed manner to bully and badger people into bowing before the lie du jour.

I won’t get into the obvious lies of moral and social machination which are constantly being pushed on the people of this nation. I will not address the way that our public education system is being used to propagandize our children into twisted thinking that flies in the face of reality.

I will simply address the craziness of immigration policies which continue to bring people into this country from parts of the world which are known to produce organized terrorists. This is being done in the face of nightly news reports that this army of terrorists we call ISIS actively recruits Muslims from America and Europe, trains them and sends them back to us with the intent of wreaking havoc on our lives, property and domestic tranquility.

Our political correctness has become suicidal. Unfortunately, the people who make these policies are well-guarded. They will be the last to pay for their neglect of duty.

It is the ordinary American citizen, going about their ordinary life who will find themselves staring down the barrel of the gun, or standing next to the bomb-packing murderer. It is the ordinary American citizen, going about their ordinary life who will be sent to fight the War on Terror.

At the same time that we are importing terrorists under the guise of “tolerance,” we use “illegal” immigrants for political demagoguery. The Republican political party is very fond of railing at Mexicans during certain election cycles.

Up until Donald Trump’s candidacy, they concentrated this in the off-election years and did not do it during presidential election years. The reason is simple. Attacking Mexicans can be used in off-year elections to win races in a selective way without harming the party. But in a national campaign, the large numbers of American citizens of hispanic origin who are concentrated in states that pack a powerful electoral punch come into play.

In short, the Rs can win a lot of local and statewide elections by attacking “illegal” immigrants, i.e. Mexicans, in by-elections. But they stand to lose the presidency if they go at them in presidential years. So, every off election, the right wing media machine cranks up a “crisis on the border” which they blast out at the public for about six months and then drop when the election is over.

Donald Trump has upset this a bit by raising this issue in a presidential campaign. We’ll have to watch and see what effect that has in November 2016.

I mention this now for one reason. Mexicans did not fly planes into the Twin Towers. Mexicans did not kill anyone in Paris last week. Mexicans did not burn that school in Chechnya. They did not bomb mosques in the Middle East. Mexicans are not committing genocide against the Christian population of a whole region of the world.

Politicians openly try to incite us to hate Mexicans during every off-year election. At the same time, they use appeals to “tolerance”  and telling us not to “hate” to cajole us into a suicidal immigration policy in which they continue to import immigrants from a part of the world which is exporting terror on a mass scale around the globe.

We don’t have to hate Muslims or anyone else to know that this is insanity. Worse, it is a clear dereliction of duty on the part of elected officials of both parties. Let me say that again: The fault lies with both parties.

Both parties are putting this nation and its citizens at risk with their intransigent support of insane immigration policies. They excuse this to We the People with babble about tolerance and how all Muslims are not terrorists. But their true reason is that they are, as they always are, acting on behalf of corporate interests.

In the meantime, we appear to be in a forever war with the people of the Middle East. This war is being sold to us as necessary to “keep us safe.” It would keep us a lot safer, and save the lives of American soldiers, if we just changed our immigration policies.

But — and this is the reason, never doubt it —  there’s a lot of money to be made in war. Not, mind you, by the American people who must fight these wars. The same Congress that could not agree on defunding Planned Parenthood got it all together to shuck the retirement of our men and women in the military. The same Congress that can’t change immigration laws that are allowing terrorists to enter this country somehow managed to agree to raid social security monies.

Our sons and daughters who fight the wars created by our bad politicians’ neglect of their duty do not get rich for their suffering. And the people who get rich from the wars do not fight them. Their children go to elite schools where they are slotted to run the country.

I’m sure that I’m going to be called everything but a nice person for writing this post. I’ll say for the record that I do not advocate hate of anyone. Far from it. Hate separates us from God. It can send us to hell. Hate clouds the mind and makes the hater incapable of thinking straight. Hate is an emotional cancer that destroys its host.

I think we should pray for the people of the Middle East and treat Muslim Americans as our brothers and sisters in this fight against terrorism. But I do not think we should allow further immigration from that region so long as this evil of terrorism reigns there.

I also think that instead of demonizing Hispanics to win elections, we should begin seriously to deal with the problems that create and fuel the illegal immigration in the first place. The first step is to use fines and loss of government contracts and tax benefits to stop businesses from employing them. The second step is to close down the drug cartels.

I would like to have an American government that cared about the American people. I would be gratified to hear a debate in Congress about how our elected officials can help the American people, rather than rip them off. I don’t expect that so long as we keep electing corporatist puppet people.

But that is another discussion. I think I’ve called enough lightning down on my head with this post.

I hope that commenters can engage in civil and fruitful discussion of what I’ve said. I hope I make you think and decide to ask more of our elected officials. If I do that, being called a few names is well worth it.

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Faithful Catholic Politicians Need Our Prayers and Support

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Kelly Minars https://www.flickr.com/photos/dokidoki/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Kelly Minars https://www.flickr.com/photos/dokidoki/

Kimberly Hahn, wife of prolific Catholic apologist Scott Hahn, got herself elected to an at large position on the Steubenville city council this week.

We need strong Christians in public office, as well as every other endeavor. I wrote a post about Mrs Hahn’s victory and what it means to get elected office for the National Catholic Register. 

Here’s part of what I said:

America reinvents itself every election. What’s so great about this, is that ordinary people like you and me are part of this process of reinventing.

We can vote, make phone calls, donate money, canvass neighborhoods, talk to our friends and otherwise participate in the electoral process by which Americans chose who will wield the powers of government. If we decide later that we made a mistake, there’s always another election to rectify that.

Perhaps the most important way that Americans can participate in the electoral process is to step forward and place their names on the ballot. Filing for office is the first step. What comes afterwards is usually a marathon.

The winner suddenly finds themselves with a lot of new best friends and a boatload of responsibilities, the complexity of which will daunt and overwhelm them at first. The loser ends with nothing but memories.

As we say here in Okieland, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. When it comes to elections, the winner takes all and no apologies.

Two people just learned that hard fact in Steubenville, Ohio. Kimberley Hahn, who is a prominent Catholic author, as well as the wife of the even more prominent Catholic writer Scott Hahn, won an election yesterday. She is the newly-minted member at large of the local city council.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/faithful-catholic-politicians-need-our-prayers-and-support/#ixzz3qjiPJe9o

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Misogyny 1, Girl Athletes 0. Where are the Feminists?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons, Public Domain by Rob Royce https://www.flickr.com/photos/coopersvillebroncos/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons, Public Domain by Rob Royce https://www.flickr.com/photos/coopersvillebroncos/

Where have all the feminists gone?

It appears they’ve gone to political correctness, save for one.

I wrote a post for CatholicVote discussing the recent ruling by the Department of Education that girls who participate in sports in the Palatine, Il school district must pay for this privilege by showering with boys.

That’s a small simplification, but only a small one. The boys in question are young men who claim that they think they are women. These young men then demand that they be allowed to play on all-girl sports teams, and — get this — shower and change with the girls.

This is an abuse of the young women involved. It trashes the hard-fought gains that women’s sports have made. It subjects the girls to a forced sexual violation by requiring them to undress and shower in front of a male student.

Almost all “feminists” are either silent about this, or they are taking the side of the violators and abusers of these girls. There are exceptions, and I discuss this a bit in the post.

Here is an excerpt of what I wrote:

The United States Department of Education has given Palatine, Illinois School District 30 days to reach a “solution” that allows a “transgendered” boy who says he is a girl to shower with the girls. Failure to comply could result in the loss of federal Title IX funds.

The young man in question “identifies” as a girl. The school district has allowed him to play on the girls’ sports team. He is called “she” by school staff who refer to him by a female name. He says his “rights” are being violated because the school district asks him to change clothes behind a curtain rather than in front of the girls on the team, and to shower separately from them.

So. We have a teen-aged boy who says that he is a girl. He wants to play sports on a girl’s team and shower and change with the girls. If he is sincere, he’s mentally ill. If he’s not sincere, it’s possible that he’s found a trendy way to gain access to the girl’s locker room for the ultimate peep show.

I know this question is not politically correct, but do the actual girls have any rights in this?

– See more at: http://www.catholicvote.org/teen-girls-dont-need-this-new-form-of-mysogyny/#sthash.qk0o9XH4.dpuf

 

For more on this topic, check out my colleague Jennifer Fitz. 

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What is All Souls Day?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Richard Hurd https://www.flickr.com/photos/rahimageworks/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Richard Hurd https://www.flickr.com/photos/rahimageworks/

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What is All Saint’s Day?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Art4theGloryofGod https://www.flickr.com/photos/4thglryofgod/

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So, What Do These Polls of Presidential Candidates Mean in Real Life?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Peter Stevens https://www.flickr.com/photos/nordique/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Peter Stevens https://www.flickr.com/photos/nordique/

I haven’t written about the obsessive early polling of presidential candidates for one simple reason: I think it’s ridiculous.

Asking voters a year or more out from an election who they will vote for is like asking a 12-year-old girl to describe her future husband. What you will get in either case is a dream scenario that does not resemble what will actually happen when things get real.

I also think that debates this far out are, in a word, stupid. It’s showmanship, aimed at getting ratings. By the time the first vote is cast next spring, the voting public is already going to be sick of the spectacle.

However, I got a request to talk about the debates yesterday, and that led me to explain a bit of how these things work in real life in a post for CatholicVote. Here’s a bit of what I said:

Donald Trump is now neck and neck with Dr Ben Carson in polling data. Despite this, Mr Trump’s numbers have not fallen all that much.

How has this happened?

It’s simple, really. It’s also what usually happens in political races with lots of candidates. First, candidates drop out. That has been occurring in the Republican presidential marathon. As candidates drop out, voters who were backing them shift to other candidates. Over time, support begins to consolidate behind one candidate.

Donald Trump came out of the gate ahead of the pack. He led the field by a wide margin. But I noticed something interesting about his lead. The numbers held steady. What that meant is that he had a certain group of Republican voters behind him and they were solid in their support. But it looked as if that group was all he might get.

In short, he had a great starter set, but his ability to get over 50% seemed weak. I kind of expected that as candidates dropped out and the field began to consolidate, someone besides Mr Trump would pick up the gains. That is what has happened.

At the same time, Dr Carson’s success has fueled a drop in Mr Trump’s support. Dr Carson is not only managing to consolidate support that was previously going to candidate who have dropped out of the race, he is beginning to leach support away from Mr Trump.

Does that mean that Dr Carson is the likely nominee?

– See more at: http://www.catholicvote.org/so-how-exactly-does-the-polling-work/#sthash.3uJyB9KW.dpuf

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If Douthat’s Critics Disagree with Him, They Should Say Why, Not Try to Get Him Fired

Photo Source Flickr Creative Commons by Torrenegra https://www.flickr.com/photos/alextorrenegra/

Photo Source Flickr Creative Commons by Torrenegra https://www.flickr.com/photos/alextorrenegra/

Ross Douthat write op-ed posts for the New York Times. He recently wrote a post that contained opinions that inflamed certain members of the administration and faculties of more than one prominent Catholic university.

Instead of making their own case for what they believed, these folks sent a letter to the New York Times that certainly sounds as if they want the newspaper to fire Mr Douthat for his wrong thinking.

I wrote a post about this nonsense for the National Catholic Register. 

Here’s part of what I said:

I didn’t know who Ross Douthat was until a few days ago. I realize that reveals me for the rube I am to all the whole wide world, but so be it.

My life the past couple of weeks has been an exercise in maintaining an even strain. I don’t feel like describing the details. It makes me tired to think about it, much less write it down. I’ll just toss you a couple of hints. My days have been taken up with ugly encounters with the family drug addict, troubles with my 90-year-old Mama with dementia, and a brush with the existential realities concerning my own health.

I’m still standing, but I feel used up with the effort.

Given all that, Ross Douthat, whose name set off a ping of vague recognition when I heard it, but whose identity was otherwise unknown to me, barely tapped my consciousness when he wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times last week. I’ve since learned that Douthat writes opinion pieces about the Catholic Church for the New York Times on a regular basis.

I saw a link to this particular opinion piece on a discussion board I frequent. It kind of entered my awareness that there was a bit of flapping and squawking about whatever he’d said. But I was slogging through a tough patch of real life. I didn’t care about what Douthat had said, and I also didn’t care about the squawking and flapping his opinions elicited.

That’s pretty much what the internet is about: squawking and flapping, huffing and puffing, hissing and spitting. I assumed that Douthat’s opinion piece shared his opinion about something or other, and the subsequent carrying on was just a matter of other people giving counter opinions. That’s not exactly dialogue. But it is fair play.

Then, today, while I was reeling from more bizarre stuff in my personal life, I saw an article about a group of Big Names in the Catholic academic u-verse who had signed a letter which appears to be an attempt to get the New York Times to either instruct Douthat about his opinions or fire him. They tried to dress it up with fancy talk, but their reason was that they didn’t agree with what he had written.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/if-douthats-critics-rely-on-censorship-maybe-theres-a-problem-with-their-id/#ixzz3pyxbJz9a

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Gay Activists Demand Secular, Non-Irish St Patrick’s Day Parade

Photo Source Flickr Creative Commons by Patrick Burgler https://www.flickr.com/photos/erestor0404/

Photo Source Flickr Creative Commons by Patrick Burgler https://www.flickr.com/photos/erestor0404/

This is unfathomable on the basis of discrimination or any of the other claims that have been made concerning this parade. It is, to use a word I frequently apply to today’s cultural deconstruction, nihilism.

From Crisis Magazine:

Twenty-five years ago, a small group of activists charged the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade with being a public gesture of pure homophobia. They built their case around the allegedly bigoted “Catholic character.” The trial was held before the judges of the left-leaning secular media.

A jury composed of the general public yawned, wondering why a 250-year-old civic and religious institution needed to become a battlefield in the culture wars. The activists found this lack of popular support impossible to fathom. Enraged, they determined to do more than just march up Fifth Avenue. They sought to humiliate their enemies, including the parade’s organizers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Catholic Church herself.

Then the unexpected: the committee responsible for sponsoring and staging the parade stopped defending itself against the worst of the charges. The case has now moved to the penalty phase.

This week, the victors revealed their demands: a Saint Patrick’s Day parade that is both non-Catholic and—incredibly—non-Irish. As outlandish as that sounds, all indications are that the activists will get what they want, because they’ve somehow managed to capture the imagination of the parade’s new boss—Quinnipiac University president John L. Lahey.

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