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News That Makes You Think… 06.16.14

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The Obama administration said Sunday the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will remain open amid the growing sectarian violence in Iraq but will increase security and that some embassy staff will be temporarily evacuated.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the staff will be moved to U.S. Consulate Generals posts in Basra and Erbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman, Jordan.

The embassy is within the Baghdad's Green Zone. It has about 5,000 personnel, making it the largest U.S. diplomatic post in the world.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) -- swept across northern Iraq last week and captured the major cities of Mosul and Tikrit.


The radical Sunni militants rampaging through war-torn Iraq will bring their battle to the U.S. if they are not stopped, a prominent lawmaker warned Sunday.

"This is as dangerous as it gets," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers said on "Fox News Sunday, issuing a devastating warning that the growing Al Qaeda contingent in Iraq presents a problem that “we're either going to face in New York City or we're going to face it (in Iraq).”

“These are not monkey bar terrorists out in the desert somewhere planning some very low-level attack,” the Michigan Republican added, amid reports that a heavily armed and well-funded Al Qaeda-linked group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized two major Iraqi cities and seemed poised to march on Baghdad. “These are sophisticated, command and controlled, seasoned combat veterans who understand the value of terrorism operations external to the region, meaning Europe and the United States.”

Rogers’ fears were echoed by his colleague, Sen. Lindsey Graham, who issued dire caution of his own.

“Iraq and Syria combined are going to be the staging area for the next 9/11 if we don't do anything about it," the South Carolina Republican said on CNN's "State of the Union" of the radical Sunni militants marching through much of Iraq. ‘“If Baghdad falls, if the central government falls, a disaster awaits us of monumental proportions.”


Flagler County deputies said they were called to Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach on Wednesday after the raccoon was found high up in a tree with the container stuck on his head.

A deputy climbed a ladder to rescue the raccoon from the tree, but the raccoon was spooked and jumped to another tree, according to authorities. Fire Rescue used their hose to spray the raccoon with water to fall safely on a tarp held by deputies.

Authorities removed the container from the raccoon's head and released it back into the wilderness.

“The actions of Deputy Williams and all other rescue personnel saved this raccoon from certain death,” said Sheriff James L. Manfre. “Residents should not feed wild animals and should use caution when encountering them."


JERUSALEM (June 15, 2014) — Israeli troops on Sunday arrested some 80 Palestinians, including dozens of Hamas members, in an overnight raid in the West Bank as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Islamic terrorist group of kidnapping three teenagers who went missing nearly three days ago.

The crisis escalated already heightened tensions between Israel and the new Palestinian government, which is headed by Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas but backed by Hamas.

Netanyahu has condemned Abbas' agreement with the terrorist group, and said he would hold him responsible for the safety of the youths, who disappeared apparently while hitchhiking in the West Bank late Thursday. The three, one of whom holds American citizenship, have not been heard from since then.

Palestinian officials condemned the overnight crackdown and rejected Netanyahu's contention that they are responsible. Hamas, meanwhile, praised the apparent kidnapping but stopped short of accepting responsibility.


NY governor makes it easier for Tommy to be Tammy (at least on paper)

New York's governor is making it easier for the transgendered to be transgendered when what they need is counseling.

And he's is doing it through executive order.

Currently, the transgendered can't have their birth certificates changed unless they can prove that they have had surgery to alter them physically to the opposite gender.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an edict June 5 stating the birth certificates can be changed if the person requests it – without surgery.

Linda Harvey of Mission America is concerned, too, about children who want to be the opposite sex and some psychologists going along with it.

Harvey says: "Can 6-year-old Tommy become – if his parents go along and the doctors go along – to suddenly have his birth certificate changed to become 'Tammy.' I mean, is that where we're going?"

While surgery was once required, New York media reported the new change requires only an affidavit signed by a medical professional that the transgender is undergoing mental health treatment for "gender dysphoria."


To the list of bygone New York City pleasures, add one more slice of life — the sausage pizza.

While pepperoni and cheese remain the most popular, the sausage slice has been replaced by buffalo chicken and pineapples, artichokes and ziti.

Joe Pozzuoli founded the Greenwich Village institution Joe’s Pizza in 1975 and has seen pizza trends come and go. On a recent trip to Joe’s, four slice pies sat ready — traditional cheese, a fresh-mozzarella pie, pepperoni and a Sicilian.

And the owner of the Carmine Street spot, a favorite of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, discusses sausage pizza the way a musician might talk about that neighborhood’s folk singers — as a relic of times past.

“It’s fallen off over the past 10, 15 years,” says Pozzuoli. “Thirty years ago, I would order 30 to 40 pounds of sausage a week. Now, I order very little. Two or three pounds.”

When asked why he thinks the topping fell out of favor, even as its cousin, the pepperoni slice, remains popular, this old-school pizzaiolo can only shrug and guess.

“I wish I knew,” he says. “Sausage is more fat. Many people don’t eat fat [anymore].”


News That Makes You Think – 06.13.14

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Iraq is breaking up. The Kurds have taken the northern oil city of Kirkuk that they have long claimed as their capital. Sunni fundamentalist fighters vow to capture Baghdad and the Shia holy cities further south.

News-That-Make-You-Think Government rule over the Sunni Arab heartlands of north and central Iraq is evaporating as its 900,000-strong army disintegrates. Government aircraft have fired missiles at insurgent targets in Mosul, captured by Isis on Monday, but the Iraqi army has otherwise shown no sign of launching a counter-attack.

The nine-year Shia dominance over Iraq, established after the US, Britain and other allies overthrew Saddam Hussein, may be coming to an end. The Shia may continue to hold the capital and the Shia-majority provinces further south, but they will have great difficulty in re-establishing their authority over Sunni provinces from which their army has fled.


Orthodox Jewish woman says school fired her for observing Sabbath.

An Orthodox Jewish religious teacher says her temple bosses canned her — because she was too observant and doesn’t work on the Sabbath!

Ellen Gastwirth, 41, says in a new Brooklyn federal-court lawsuit that she was hired as the director of education at the reformed Jewish synagogue Temple Judea on Long Island in 2005.

Gastwirth said everything was kosher until Rabbi Todd Chizner was hired there in 2006 and learned she was a Sabbath-observant Orthodox Jew.

“What do you people do on that day that would prevent you from being here?” Chizner insultingly asked Gastwirth in October 2008, when she said she couldn’t work on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the suit states.


Parents, teachers and cheesy after-school specials have long tried to convince kids that being cool and popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Now scientists are chiming in as well.

Dating, flouting authority and surrounding yourself with good-looking friends may make you popular when you're 13, according to a study published online Wednesday. But don't believe the media hype, psychologists say. Kids who try to act cool in early adolescence are more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol, and have trouble managing friendships as they grow older. And their popularity tends to fade by the time they're 22.


US considers options as militants push closer to Baghdad.

Al Qaeda-inspired militants pushed into a province northeast of Baghdad Friday, capturing two towns there after having already toppled cities in the country’s north, as the Obama administration considered possible responses to the crisis.

Police officials said militants driving in machine-gun-mounted pickups entered two towns in Diyala province late Thursday.

Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts there without any resistance, the officials told The Associated Press.


Demonstrations continue today in Washington D.C. for the release of Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian wife and mother who is facing death for apostasy.

International Christian Concern is gathering with other organizations outside the Sudanese embassy.

The groups have been demonstrating outside the White House since Thursday morning. Ibrahim's husband is American, as well as the couple's two children, which are with her in a Sudanese prison.


Harrison Ford was taken to a local hospital in England after suffering an injury on the set of “Star Wars: Episode VII” on Thursday.

The 71-year-old actor was injured by a door of the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship that his character, Han Solo, pilots in the “Star Wars” films,reports The Hollywood Reporter.

“Harrison Ford sustained an ankle injury during filming today on the set of ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ He was taken to a local hospital and is receiving care. Shooting will continue as planned while he recuperates,” Disney said in a statement.

Ford was at Pinewood Studios, 20 miles west of London, at the time of the indecent, reports Variety.

“Episode VII” — which will be directed by J.J. Abrams and is also set to star Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, among others — is set to arrive in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.


Obama Dumping On States!

News That Makes You Think… 06.09.14

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News-That-Make-You-ThinkThe pair who fatally shot two Las Vegas police officers and one civilian before taking their own lives Sunday are believed to be a married couple who possessed white supremacist paraphernalia and spoke of targeting police officers.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported late Sunday that officers were searching a small apartment complex about four miles from the Cici's Pizza restaurant where the officers were killed and the Wal-Mart where the two killed one other person before executing an apparent suicide pact.

The identities of the suspects have not been officially released, but a law enforcement official close to the investigation told the Review-Journal that the suspects were married, in their 20s, and new to the area. The paper reported that investigators found swastika symbols during their search of the apartment. Several neighbors the paper spoke to said the man's first name was Jared, while one person gave the women's name as Amanda.


The mother of the accused Brooklyn butcher blamed the criminal justice system for failing her violent son, who is accused of fatally stabbing a 6-year-old boy and repeatedly knifing the youngster’s 7-year-old playmate.

Marie Bauzile — who watched her son, Daniel St. Hubert, get locked up five years ago after he viciously attacked her — said jail should not be a substitute for mental health facilities.

“Jail is not the answer,” Bauzile, 60, told the Daily News from her South Ozone Park, Queens, home on Sunday. “If people have a mental problem, it’s not jail. It’s not the answer.”

St. Hubert, 27, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia while serving time for trying to strangle Bauzile with an electrical cord in 2009. His sister, Judith Perry, has said he was given no meds or psychiatric referrals when he was released from the upstate Clinton Correctional Facility on May 23.


A 111-year-old New Yorker who lived on the Upper West Side and had been certified as the oldest man in the world died Sunday morning, according to friends who had been taking care of him.

Alexander Imich died peacefully at 9:03 a.m., according to his friends Michael Mannion and Trish Corbett. He had attained the rank of oldest man on the planet this April as determined by the Gerontology Research Group of Torrance, Calif.

Imich shrugged off the title in an interview with NBC 4 New York last month when asked for his secret to longevity.


The Justice Department is resurrecting a program designed to thwart domestic threats to the United States, and Attorney General Eric Holder says those threats include individuals the government deems anti-government or racially prejudiced.

The Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee was created in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing but was scrapped soon after the 2001 terrorist attacks as intelligence and law enforcement officials shifted their focus to threats from outside the country. The committee will be comprised of figures from the FBI, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.

In his statement announcing the return of the committee, Holder said he remains concerned about the specter of attacks prompted by Islamic extremists, but he said this committee will be tasked with identifying other threats.

“We must also concern ourselves with the continued danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice,” Holder said.

According to reporting from Reuters, the American Civil Liberties Union is pushing back against the DOJ plan, fearing “it could be a sweeping mandate to monitor and collect controversial speech.”

Conservative groups are alarmed on multiple levels. First, they see themselves once again the target of an administration that disagrees with them philosophically.


The accused Brooklyn Ripper, charged with butchering two young children in an elevator, is now terrifying even hardened staffers on the Bellevue psych ward.

Daniel St. Hubert has been threatening to beat up cops and hospital workers since being taken in for evaluation last week, sources told The Post on Sunday.

“Any hospital staff that have to deal with him are very nervous around him,” said a Bellevue source. “They are on high alert.

“He is extremely hostile and accepts no responsibility for anything,” the source said, adding that his colleagues describe the alleged killer as a “menacing brute” with “a bad look in his eyes.”


A Texas mom is angry over a school ban on sunscreen that she says led to her daughter getting a severe sunburn during a field trip.

The North East Independent School District has the restriction because it considers sunscreen toxic, and fears kids will eat it, parent Christy Riggs, of San Antonio, told Fox News.

“The reality is: Children don’t eat sunscreen and they’re not going to,” Riggs said.

School district spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor told ABC News that allergic reactions to sunscreen are one of the numerous reasons the district does not allow sunblock in its 72 schools.

“We don’t want students sharing sunscreen,” Chancellor told the station. “If students get it in their eyes or react badly to the sunscreen it can be quite serious.”

The district treats sunscreen as a medicine, Chancellor said, and requires a doctor’s note to apply it at school.


Thus it is time…

Goodbye to the 1st Amendment?

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If Speech Is No Longer Free…

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No words to describe… NONE…

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Media’s Moment of Sanity?

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News That Makes You Think… 06.04.2014

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The Taliban has released a video purporting to show the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl into U.S. custody over the weekend.

The video was emailed to media outlets Wednesday.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that the Defense Department was reviewing the video, but had "no reason to doubt [its] authenticity."


More than 100 Harlem gang members have been indicted in a massive conspiracy case surrounding the 2011 slaying of an 18-year-old high school hoops star, sources said.

The probe revolves around the deadly rivalry between crews from the Manhattanville and neighboring Grant Houses, which straddle Amsterdam Ave. near W. 125th St.


A 94-year-old World War II veteran from Alabama is making the trip of a lifetime to attend D-Day ceremonies in France, a journey he nearly wasn't able to make because he didn't have the proof of his citizenship needed to get a passport.

Sherwin Callander and his granddaughter Elaine Oakes landed in Paris Tuesday to attend the ceremonies for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, after getting help from social media and Callander’s local congressman to overcome financial and passport issues that threatened to thwart his trip. Oakes announced they had landed on her Facebook page.


President Obama acknowledged Tuesday that his Taliban prisoner swap could blow up in his face — or somewhere else around the globe.

The five hardened terrorists sprung from Guantanamo Bay for suspected deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s return could rejoin the jihad on America, the President conceded in defending his decision.


In an Instagram video posted by a straphanger on the city’s subway Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio challenges President Obama to a game of one-on-one hoops.

“I think it’s a great idea,” he said after a young man made a short phone video suggesting the Mayor take the Commander-in-Chief on one-on-one.

“President Obama and I are almost the same age,” de Blasio said in the clip, as he considered the idea. “He has more basketball skills and practices a lot more but I have height.”


The best part of waking up is about to get more expensive. Prices for Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts packaged coffee will be increasing by 9 percent, the J.M. Smucker Company announced Tuesday.

That means a 1-pound bag of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee that retails for about $8.99 will increase by 81 cents.



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