Hackers Reveil How Volkswagen Secretly Cheated Emissions Tests by Gary McGath

Cars are part of the “Internet of Things.” They run not just on gas, which you’re free to analyze, but on computer code, which you aren’t. If this sounds worrisome, it is. Internal computers can greatly improve a car’s performance and safety, but they can have problems that show no symptoms under normal circumstances.

A couple of hackers, with a knowing volunteer at the wheel, took remote control of a Jeep Cherokee over the Internet and could have wrecked it at high speed if they hadn’t stopped when asked to. More recently, Volkswagen was caught rigging its emissions-control software to cheat during EPA testing, letting them publish false information about millions of cars.

Car computers are formally called “electronic control units” (ECUs). One car may have over a hundred of them, running millions of lines of code, networked together. Figuring out what they do takes determination; it’s necessary to pull out their memory chips, read them, and work backwards from machine code to the design logic.

But the biggest barrier may not be technical but legal; copyright laws make it illegal to do this kind of reverse engineering, and the EPA itself has helped automakers to keep their emissions-testing code secret.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act puts restrictions on extracting copyrighted information from computers, even for legitimate diagnostic purposes. Car makers like this; it puts serious limits on independently created diagnostic tools and gives the advantage to shops that pay for licenses.

The EPA has formally opposed a DMCA exception for car systems, arguing that it would let people modify the code to circumvent limitations on emissions. It said that “the majority of modifications to engine software are being performed to increase power and/or boost fuel economy.” That’s just what Volkswagen did, and it was harder to catch them precisely because of those prohibitions.

The Alliance of Auto Manufacturers, which includes Volkswagen, has taken the same stand. Ironically, their statement declares:

Many of the ECUs embodied in today’s motor vehicles are carefully calibrated to satisfy federal or state regulatory requirements with respect to emissions control, fuel economy, or vehicle safety.

Allowing vehicle owners to add and remove programs at whim is highly likely to take vehicles out of compliance with these requirements, rendering the operation or re-sale of the vehicle legally problematic.

John Deere explicitly opposes a free market in car software:

In contrast to the seemingly benign stated purpose of the proposed exemption, the practical effect of circumventing the TPMs [Technical Protection Measures] at issue will stifle creativity and innovation for vehicle software. Third-party software developers, pirates, and competing vehicle manufacturers will be encouraged to free-ride off the creativity and significant investment in research and development of innovative and leading vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, and authors of vehicle software.

The way to promote creativity and innovation is, apparently, to make it illegal for anyone but themselves.

ECUs can be subject to external attacks as well as internal cheatware. Some devices are connected to the Internet for purposes like traffic alerts and entertainment. If they’re part of the car’s internal network, attackers might be able to subvert the whole car, as the Cherokee hackers did. Good design requires firewalls against such attacks, but developers struggling with requirements and hardware limits may neglect security. With no other eyes on their code, it’s easy to be sloppy.

People have tinkered with cars ever since they were first made. They swap in their own parts, making their cars faster, powerful, and sometimes a lot more annoying. This tradition has helped people to learn how the original parts work and catch problems with them. Spotting flaws and cheats in computer code isn’t as easy as catching bad brakes, but it’s easier when the only barriers are technical. When the government and car manufacturers combine to keep the software secret, the rest of us are stuck in the breakdown lane.

Gary McGath

Gary McGath is a freelance software engineer living in Nashua, New Hampshire.

License to Kill: Wind and Solar Decimate Birds and Bats

According to a study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, every year 573,000 birds (including 83,000 raptors) and 888,000 bats are killed by wind turbines — 30 percent higher than the federal government estimated in 2009, due mainly to increasing wind power capacity across the nation.[i] This is likely an underestimate because these estimates were based on 51,630 megawatts of installed wind capacity in the United States in 2012 and wind capacity has grown since then to 65,879 megawatts. And, at one solar power plant in California, an estimated 3,500 birds died in just the plant’s first year of operation.[ii]

Over the past five years, about 2.9 million birds were killed by wind turbines. That compares to about 800,000 birds that a Mother Jones Blog estimated to have been killed by the BP oil spill that occurred in April 2010[iii]—5 years ago–despite not all of them showing visible signs of oil.[1] Nevertheless, BP was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds due to that oil spill. In comparison, the nation’s wind turbines killed more than 3 times the number of birds than did the BP oil spill over the past 5 years. And, wind turbines routinely kill federally protected birds and eagles.

Since the study estimating bird and bat deaths was completed based on 2012 wind capacity data, U.S. companies have installed more wind power due to federal and state incentives such as the Production Tax Credit that provides 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour of wind generated power over the first ten years of operation. Since 2012, the United States added over 14,000 megawatts of additional wind capacity with total wind capacity at 65,879 megawatts as of the end of 2014 — 16 times higher than wind capacity in 2001.[iv]

The Ivanpah Solar Power Plant

The Ivanpah solar power plant is a 377 megawatt solar facility located in the Mojave Desert in California and is owned by Google, BrightSource Energy, and NRG Energy. The facility has 350,000 heliostat mirrors that reflect heat toward central towers and scorch hundreds of birds in midair—turning birds into “streamers.” Ivanpah is the largest power tower project in the world and it has received a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

The mirrors at Ivanpah span across an area four times the size of New York’s Central Park and focus sunlight onto receivers atop three 45-story power towers, boiling a liquid that turns turbines to create electricity. Fish and Wildlife Service officials warned that Ivanpah may act as a “mega-trap,” where insects attract small birds that are killed or incapacitated by the solar flux. Those birds attract larger predators thereby creating a food chain vulnerable to injury and death.[v]

The facility is estimated to have killed 83 different species of birds. The most commonly killed birds were mourning doves (14 percent of fatalities), followed by yellow-rumped warblers, tree swallows, black-throated sparrows and yellow warblers. Of the birds that died from known causes, about 47 percent died from being toasted by the heat of the solar flux. Just over half of the known deaths were attributed to collisions.

Ivanpah is testing ways to reduce bird deaths, including with software to reposition the heliostats to reduce the level of elevated flux and minimize collisions; installation of light-emitting diodes that are not attractive to insects and help reduce the prey base for birds; anti-perching devices; and the use of avian deterrents like foul smells and the sounds of predators.

Fines for Killing Birds

Besides BP being fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds during the 2010 Gulf oil spill, in 2009, Exxon Mobil paid $600,000 for killing 85 birds in five states and PacifiCorp, which operates coal plants, paid more than $10.5 million for electrocuting 232 eagles that landed on power lines at its substations. The first wind farms to be fined took place in November 2013 when Duke Energy paid a $1 million fine for killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds at two wind farms in Wyoming from 2009 to 2013.[vi] To date, no solar facilities have been fined. The fines are related to protections in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The death of an eagle or other protected bird is a violation of federal law, unless a company has a federal permit.[vii]

The Obama Administration on December 9, 2013, finalized a regulation that allows wind energy companies and others to obtain 30-year permits to kill eagles without prosecution by the federal government. The American Bird Conservancy filed suit in federal court against the Department of the Interior, charging it with multiple violations of federal law. [viii] Nonetheless, the Shiloh IV Wind Project in California, for example, received a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowing it to kill eagles, hawks, peregrine falcons, owls and songs birds while not being subjected to the normal prohibitions afforded under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Treaty Act.[ix]

Other Bird and Mammal Deaths

According to a 2014 study by federal scientists in the journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, building collisions are estimated to kill 365 million to 988 million birds annually in the United States. And, according to a 2013 report from scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and FWS, stray and outdoor pet cats kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals, mostly native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles, annually. But these deaths do not excuse the wind and solar industry’s killing of birds. Unless, of course, BP and ExxonMobil should be excused as well–instead of playing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Conclusion

Despite bird and bat deaths at wind and solar farms, few have been fined for violating the law while oil and electric generating companies have paid heavily for such violations. It will be interesting to see if this will change as the wind and solar industries grow.


[1] In 2011, the Fish and Wildlife Service reported only 6,147 birds killed. Seehttp://www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/pdfs/ConsolidatedWildlifeTable041711.pdf

[i] Daily Caller, Wind Turbines Kill More Birds Than the BP Oil Spill, April 20, 2015,http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/20/wind-turbines-kill-more-birds-than-bp-oil-spill

[ii] Greenwire, 3,500 birds died at Ivanpah ‘power towers’ in first year, April 24, 2015,http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2015/04/24/stories/1060017406

[iii] Mother Jones, The BP Oil Spill Happened 5 Years Ago Today. We are Still Paying the Price., April 20, 2015, http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/04/five-year-anniversary-deepwater-horizon-bp-spill

[iv] American Wind Energy Association,http://www.awea.org/Resources/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=5059

[v] National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, Avian Mortality at Solar Energy Facilities in Southern California, http://www.eenews.net/assets/2015/01/19/document_gw_03.pdf

[vi] Forbes, Republicans Develop an Interest in bird deaths, March 29, 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2014/03/29/republicans-develop-an-interest-in-bird-deaths/

[vii] The Christian Science Monitor, Eagle Deaths: Unprecedented $1 million fine for Wyoming wind farms, November 23, 2013, http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2013/1123/Eagle-deaths-Unprecedented-1-million-fine-for-Wyoming-wind-farms

[viii] American Bird Conservancy, American Bird Conservancy Sues Feds Over 30-Year Eagle Kill Rule, http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/140619.html

[ix] Master Resource, Wind Power Slaughter, July 16, 2014, https://www.masterresource.org/cuisinarts-of-the-air/windpower-slaughter-shiloh-1/

Argentine President: Obama Administration tried to convince us to give Iran nuclear fuel

“Kirchner went on to say at the U.N. that when Samore was asked to provide the request in writing, all communications immediately ceased and Samore disappeared.” The Obama people knew that what they were doing was wrong, and would be hated by the American people.

“Argentine President: Obama Administration Tried To Convince Us To Give Iran Nuclear Fuel,” by Taylor Tyler, HNGN, September 30, 2015 (thanks to Banafsheh):

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner claimed Monday afternoon at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City that in 2010, the Obama administration tried to convince the Argentinians “to provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel,” reported Mediaite.

Kirchner said that two years into Obama’s first term, his administration sent Gary Samore, former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Argentina to persuade the nation to provide Iran with nuclear fuel, which is a key component of nuclear weapons.

Kirchner’s full remarks are as follows, per the Argentine president’s official website:

“In 2010 we were visited in Argentina by Gary Samore, at that time the White House’s top advisor in nuclear issues. He came to see us in Argentina with a mission, with an objective: under the control of IAEA, the international organization in the field of weapons control and nuclear regulation, Argentina had supplied in the year 1987, during the first democratic government, the nuclear fuel for the reactor known as “Teheran”. Gary Samore had explained to our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Héctor Timerman, that negotiations were underway for the Islamic Republic of Iran to cease with its uranium enrichment activities or to do it to a lesser extent but Iran claimed that it needed to enrich this Teheran nuclear reactor and this was hindering negotiations. They came to ask us, Argentines, to provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel. Rohani was not in office yet. It was Ahmadinejad’s administration and negotiations had already started.”…

Kirchner went on to say at the U.N. that when Samore was asked to provide the request in writing, all communications immediately ceased and Samore disappeared….

RELATED ARTICLE: Video: Netanyahu blasts UN’s “deafening silence” on Iranian threats to wipe out Israel

VIDEO: An analysis of President Obama’s disastrous Iran Nuclear “Deal”

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the TEA Party Fort Lauderdale. The topic was the nuclear deal with Iran. Please take the time to listen to my remarks.

50,000 Americans Sign Letter Supporting Dr. Ben Carson’s Stand Against Sharia Law

MERRIFIELD, Va. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Nearly 50,000 Americans have signed on to an open letter urging Dr. Ben Carson to stand firm in his position that Sharia Law is not consistent with the U.S. Constitution.  The 2016 Committee, a political action committee raising awareness and support for Carson’s campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, is circulating the open letter.

“The news media may have reacted with typical politically correct outrage at Dr. Carson’s bold stand against Sharia law, but the American people stand with him,” said John Phillip Sousa IV, chairman of The 2016 Committee. “Nearly 50,000 individuals have signed on to The 2016 Committee’s open letter since we began circulating it 10 days ago, because they know how important it is to have a leader who will say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done to protect American freedoms.”

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” this month, Carson said he would “have problems with somebody who embraced all the doctrines associated with Islam” becoming president. “If they are not willing to reject Sharia and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Quran, if they are not willing to reject that, and subject that to American values and the Constitution, then of course, I would” have a problem with it.

The open letter states:

Dear Dr. Carson,

I am appalled by the ignorance of the news media.  If Sharia law ruled the land, there would be no freedom of speech, no free news media.

Women would be second class citizens.  They would not even be allowed to drive a car.

Sharia law is completely inconsistent with the United States Constitution.  Islam is a theocracy ruled by Sharia law.

There would be no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom of religion, and the right to vote would be meaningless.

Cutting off someone’s hand for theft is barbaric.

Killing someone for converting to a religion other than Islam is not freedom.

In fact, no one who lives in an Islamic state is free.

I stand behind you.

I agree with you.

The vast majority of Americans agree with you.

Please stand firm.  Don’t give in one inch.

To view and sign the open letter, visit: http://www.2016committee.org/ben_carson_open_letter.

ABOUT THE 2016 COMMITTEE

The 2016 Committee is a political action committee raising awareness of and support for Dr. Ben Carson’scampaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. For more information, visit www.2016committee.orgor connect on Twitter @DraftRunBenRun or Facebook/RunBenRun.org.

How the Government Makes Data Hacks a Thousand Times Worse by David M. Brown

In May of 2015, the federal government suffered a massive data breach, a hack that exposed the names and Social Security Numbers of over 21 million people.

In a press release, the Office of Personal Management reported that as a result of its “aggressive effort to upgrade the agency’s cybersecurity posture,” the agency discovered the massive theft of background records, reportedly originating in China, including

identification details such as Social Security Numbers residency and educational history; employment history; information about immediate family and other personal and business acquaintances; health, criminal and financial history; and other details.

Some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators and fingerprints. Usernames and passwords that background investigation applicants used to fill out their background investigation forms were also stolen.

This was a new breach — not the same looting of 4.2 million of records that the agency discovered in April of this year.

The news didn’t stop OPM Director Katherine Archuleta, appointed to the post in 2013, from congratulating herself for the agency’s great strides in security. It was her “comprehensive IT strategic plan” that led to the knowledge that these incidents had happened.

Sounds like congratulations are in order. But now it’s September, Archuleta is long gone (she lasted about one day after praising herself for noticing the theft), and the latest news is that the fingerprints of 5.6 million people were also grabbed in the mega-hacking of OPM’s “cybersecurity posture.”

OPM assures us that “federal experts believe that, as of now, the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited.” As of right now… this second… as we hit the press… you probably have nothing to worry about if your fingerprints got stolen from OPM’s data banks. Hurrah.

Even Archuleta would probably concede that discovering a robbery is not quite as good as preventing it. Let’s even go so far as to say that she is less to blame for having failed to fix how her agency functions than is the nature of bureaucracy itself.

Of course, governmental organizations are not the only organizations vulnerable to being cyber-attacked in consequence of lax security. Other victims in recent years have included Target, Chase, and Sony.

But it’s the decades-old privacy-invading policies of the federal government that have routinely converted all such breaches of personal data into potentially limitless disasters for the victims.

The federal government which, decades ago, assured us on the cards stamped with our Social Security Numbers that these digits were “not to be used for purposes of identification” is the same government that now mandates the SSN’s ubiquitous deployment to monitor and tax us.

Today, the Social Security Number is like the number to a combination lock: perhaps not enough by itself to enable a bad guy to rob the safe, but a big, big help. Once your SSN-tagged info is out there in badland, your stolen data can be sold and re-sold and re-re-sold. And your cyber-housed, SSN-tagged stuff can be targeted again and again.

Yet it has become harder and harder to refrain from giving others that number. You can join a club without divulging your SSN. You can open an email account or buy a book, a hamburger, a refrigerator, or a gift card without reporting your SSN. But you cannot put ten dollars in the bank, nor open an investment account, nor apply for a credit card or a job without reporting it. Most often, you cannot rent an apartment or buy a house without reporting it.

Absent unusual efforts to protect your financial and personal privacy (of the kind outlined in J.J. Luna’s book How to Be Invisible), the most you can do by way of preventing cyber-assaults is to take such precautions as using different and non-obvious passwords for different cyber-accounts, and withholding your address, data of birth, and SSN from persons who may ardently request these data but will still do business with you if you refuse.

If your data has been grabbed, you can also — if and when you learn of the theft — arrange to monitor your credit and to block routine access to your credit reports, and perhaps take a few other barn-door-slamming measures. But you cannot, short of engaging in fraud, supply anything other than your actual Social Security Number when a government agency requires that it be supplied.

Our most personal information hasn’t always been thus exposed. Today we are so used to privacy-violating mandates like the Social Security Number tag that we take the necessity of such poisonous violations for granted. But poison does not become nutritious merely because it has become, for now, unavoidable.

David M. Brown

VIDEO: A Civilizational Manifesto

I advocate and defend a Civilization based on:

  • The ethical principle of a golden rule
  • Defending the victim and resisting the oppressor
  • The principle of rational thought
  • Free speech and expression
  • Freedom of ideas
  • Freedom of conscience
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom to defend our civilization

I oppose the evils of:

  • • Ethical dualism
  • Authoritative thought
  • Suppression of speech and ideas
  • The oppression of women and other human rights
  • The use of force, violence and power to silence ideas

I support the use of logic, reason, humor, irony, and satire to criticize ideas and people. I reject political correctness, multiculturalism, name calling and insults.

It’s official: 85,000 Muslim refugees coming to the U.S. starting October 1, 2015

Here is the White House announcement (posted in full below).

(I’m still looking for the very detailed report, like this one for FY 2015, that is supposed to have been available weeks ago.  If you see it let me know!)

One thing I would like to know, and you probably would too, is WHY ARE WE STILL BRINGING ANY ‘REFUGEES’ FROM CUBA?

Human Rights First (first out of the box) criticizes Obama, here.

Miliband al jazeer

Brit David Miliband of the International Rescue Committee on Al Jazeera lecturing Europe and America to take more refugees.

International Rescue Committee next in line to criticize the O-man.

Presidential Determination — Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2016

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT: Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2016

In accordance with section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the “Act”) (8 U.S.C. 1157), and after appropriate consultations with the Congress, I hereby make the following determinations and authorize the following actions:

The admission of up to 85,000 refugees to the United States during Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest; provided that this number shall be understood as including persons admitted to the United States during FY 2016 with Federal refugee resettlement assistance under the Amerasian immigrant admissions program, as provided below.

The admissions numbers shall be allocated among refugees of special humanitarian concern to the United States in accordance with the following regional allocations; provided that the number of admissions allocated to the East Asia region shall include persons admitted to the United States during FY 2016 with Federal refugee resettlement assistance under section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1988, as contained in section 101(e) of Public Law 100-202 (Amerasian immigrants and their family members):

  • Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25,000
  • East Asia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13,000
  • Europe and Central Asia . . . .  4,000
  • Latin America/Caribbean. . . .  3,000
  • Near East/South Asia. . . . . . . .  34,000
  • Unallocated Reserve . . . . . . . . . 6,000

The 6,000 unallocated refugee numbers shall be allocated to regional ceilings, as needed. Upon providing notification to the Judiciary Committees of the Congress, you are hereby authorized to use unallocated admissions in regions where the need for additional admissions arises.

Additionally, upon notification to the Judiciary Committees of the Congress, you are further authorized to transfer unused admissions allocated to a particular region to one or more other regions, if there is a need for greater admissions for the region or regions to which the admissions are being transferred.

Consistent with section 2(b)(2) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, I hereby determine that assistance to or on behalf of persons applying for admission to the United States as part of the overseas refugee admissions program will contribute to the foreign policy interests of the United States and designate such persons for this purpose. Consistent with section 101(a)(42) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(42)), and after appropriate consultation with the Congress, I also specify that, for FY 2016, the following persons may, if otherwise qualified, be considered refugees for the purpose of admission to the United States within their countries of nationality or habitual residence:

  • Persons in Cuba
  • Persons in Eurasia and the Baltics
  • Persons in Iraq
  • Persons in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador
  • In exceptional circumstances, persons identified by a United States Embassy in any location
  • You are authorized and directed to publish this determination in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

If you are wondering what that last bit is about, it is this:  refugees by definition are supposed to have left the country of their persecution.  We are not supposed to be plucking them from the place they claim to be persecuted, but over time this list has expanded (like everything else with this program!).

Don’t forget, the first hearing (since 9/11!) to address refugee resettlement in either the House or Senate will be tomorrow.  Click here for more.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Letters to the editor on Syrian ‘refugees!’ An example of what you can do!

Brenda Walker at VDARE tells us something positive about NYT article on South Carolina, Hijra mentioned

With added Syrian numbers, are cities and states prepared to help pay for more refugees?

Data: ‘Global warming’ NOT behind California drought

The media is once again attempting to portray the current California drought as historically unprecedented. See: Californian water source at 500-year low: “We should be prepared for this type of snow drought to occur much more frequently because of rising temperatures,” lead author Valerie Trouet, a professor at the University of Arizona, said in a statement. “Anthropogenic” –- or manmade –- global warming “is making the drought more severe,” she added. 

But recent peer-reviewed studies and historical data refute these drought claims.

Two new studies show that global warming is not behind California drought – there is a gigantic warm blob in the Pacific Ocean that is fueling California’s four-year-long drought, and it has nothing to do with global warming. Two new studiesreleased in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters”, explain how this large expanse of warm ocean water is affecting California’s weather as well as the East Coast’s past two brutal winters. Read more here.

Other studies counter the notion that California is experiencing unprecedented drought.

AMS Journal study finds California drought is ‘not unprecedented’ over past 440 years: 9 other droughts as bad or worse – Published in American Meteorological Society journal – Study: ‘An analysis of the October 2013–September 2014 precipitation in the western United States and in particular over the California-Nevada region suggests this anomalously dry season, while extreme, is not unprecedented in comparison with the ~120-year long instrumental record of water year (WY, October–September) totals, and in comparison with a 407-year WY precipitation reconstruction back to 1571. Over this longer period nine other years are known or estimated to have been nearly as dry or drier than WY 2014. The three-year deficit for WY’s 2012–2014, which in the California-Nevada region exceeded the annual mean precipitation, is more extreme but also not unprecedented, occurring three other times over the past ~ 440 years in the reconstruction.’

NOAA Study: Causes of Calif. drought are natural, not man-made – Natural weather patterns and climate variability, not man-made global warming, are causing the historic drought that’s parching California, says a study out today from federal scientists. “It’s important to note that California’s drought, while extreme, is not an uncommon occurrence for the state,” said Richard Seager, report lead author and professor with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. The report, “Causes and Predictability of the 2011-14 California Drought,” was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say – ‘The state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began’ – Scientists who study the West’s long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began. Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.’

E&E News on 2012 U.S. drought: ‘For the scientists who take the long view of history, it’s merely a climatological blip’ — 1930s ‘Dust Bowl & 1988 both eclipse 2012 drought, scientists say’ – ‘Scientists say [2012] drought is practically embryonic compared with severity & extent of others in America’s past…The Dust Bowl held on for as many as 8 years in some parts of Great Plains, with successive dry spells hitting in 1934, 1936 & 1939-1940. The multiyear drought of 1950s began in SW but eventually spread to cover 10 states before it ebbed in 1957. The current drought, in contrast, is just about 2 months old’

In addition, many other peer-‘reviewed studies and data refute the notion of unprecedented drought in California or elsewhere.

Extreme weather failing to follow ‘global warming’ predictions: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Droughts, Floods, Wildfires, all see no trend or declining trends – Extreme weather at or near historic lows.

NPR: 3 new papers make the case that forest fires in the West today burn less than in historical times

New Research Confirms Human CO2 Not Causing A Global Drought Increase

New Research Confirms Human CO2 Not Causing A Global Drought Increase – ‘Droughts in the U.S. are more frequent and more intense during COLDER periods’

New study finds drought 1100 years ago in southwest US was much more severe & extreme than any drought since – Published in PNAS

New paper debunked: Claims AGW pushed the ‘Western US toward the driest period in 1,000 years’ – The claim that AGW has “pushed the Western US toward the driest period in 1,000 years” is not supported by the proxy data shown in the paper. In addition, the modeling claim that AGW will cause “unprecedented risk of drought in the 21st century” is entirely based upon overheated climate models which have been falsified at confidence levels exceeding 98%.
Hillary Clinton’s ‘Drought’ debunked: Claimed ‘climate change was causing extreme weather and droughts’

Climatologist Dr. John Christy in testimony to Congress: ‘Extreme events, like the recent U.S. drought, will continue to occur, with or without human causation’ — ‘These recent U.S. ‘extremes’ were exceeded in previous decades’ — ‘The expression of ‘worse than we thought’ climate change as documented in [James] Hansen’s OpEd does not stand up to scrutiny’

Prof. Pielke Jr. on new Nature drought study: ‘It means that a widely accepted and oft-repeated consensus position expressed in IPCC 2007 now appears to have been incorrect’ — Pielke Jr.: ‘This should not be unexpected as a consensus position is a snapshot of perspectives, and in science, perspectives can change based on new evidence and study…This places drought into a category with tropical cyclones, floods, tornadoes & other phenomena where the evidence does not support claims that things are progressively getting worse — with more frequent and intense extreme events on climate time scales’

Prof. Pielke Jr. on new Nature drought study: ‘Once again the lesson is that if you are looking for a signal of human-caused climate change, it is best not to look at such extremes’ — Pielke Jr.:’There is very little evidence to support claims that the influence of such changes can be observed
in the observational record of extreme events. Advocates who justify action on climate change by appeals to the latest extreme event go well beyond what science can support, and in the process undercut the very cause that they are advocating for’

Nature paper: Global droughts unchanged in 60 years: ‘Worldwide drought is about the same now as it was in 1950′ — ‘Researchers finally accounting for fact that warmer world usually means more evaporation (especially from oceans) & thus more rain’ — ‘How many images have we seen of drought-stricken cracked land, or been told this is future?…Since end of WWII humans have produced 85% of all their CO2 emissions, but here is a new study showing that for all those emissions, & for all that warming, droughts back then were just as bad globally as they are today’

Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.: Over the climate time scales ‘droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century’ — ‘Some places have become dryer, others wetter, and not much confidence in asserting the presence of any trends at the global scale.’ — Pielke Jr. summarizing the bottom-line conclusions of two of the most recent major scientific assessments of extreme events and climate change, one by the US govt. released in 2008 then reaffirmed in the CCSP Unified Synthesis under the Obama Admin., and the 2nd from the UN IPCC.

Article in Nature says extreme weather events can’t currently be attributed to global warming — An editorial published in the current issue of nature notes that ‘Better models are needed before exceptional events can be reliably linked to global warming.’ — ‘One critic argued that, given the insufficient observational data and the coarse and mathematically far-from-perfect climate models used to generate attribution claims, they are unjustifiably speculative, basically unverifiable and better not made at all.’

1974: Flooding, Drought, Crop Loss And Mild Winters Blamed On Global Cooling: TIME Magazine June 1974: ‘Another Ice Age?’: ‘In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S.,
Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada’s wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest’

1976 CIA Shock News: Global Cooling To Kill Us All – ‘The CIA warned in 1976 that global cooling will increase the frequency of droughts’

1975: Newsweek Explained How Global Cooling Causes Extreme Droughts, Floods, Dry Spells And Heatwaves -Global cooling ’causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases – all of which have a direct impact on food supplies’
Scientists reject notion that human-caused climate change led to war in Syria – ‘Human-influenced climate change impact on the drought conditions was almost certainly too small to have mattered’

2014 Study: ‘The humanitarian crisis of the late 2000s largely predated the drought period.Focusing on external factors like drought and climate change in the context of the Syrian uprising is counterproductive as it diverts attention from more fundamental political and economic motives behind the protests and shifts responsibility away from the Syrian government.

Study: Drought Of 1934 In North America, During The Dust Bowl, Was The Worst In Thousand Years – ‘The drought of 1934 in North America was the driest and the most widespread of the last millennium, according to a new study based on a reconstruction of North America’s history of drought over the last 1,000 years. – Study published in the Oct. 17 edition of Geophysical Research Letters by researchers from NASA and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

“It was the worst by a large margin, falling pretty far outside the normal range of variability that we see in the record,” Ben Cook, a climate scientist at NASA and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

Obama Denying Restitution for Victims of Iranian Terrorism

Thursday, October 1, 2015, Congress is scheduled to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016. However, President Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA because one of the provisions would bar him from lifting Iranian sanctions under the JCPOA.  Among several amendments incorporated in the NDAA that the President objects to  is the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism  H.R.3457  sponsored by Rep. Pat Meeham (R-PA) as HR  and in the Senate by Senators Pat Toomey  (R-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill) , S 2086.  As Ken Timmerman noted in his Threat Blog, the Act would:

Require the Islamic Republic of Iran to pay an estimated $43 billion to victims of terrorism before the U.S. government would unfreeze Iranian government assets under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal.”

Adam Kredo in a Washington Free Beacon article on the legislation noted the background and comments of Senator Kirk:

The $43 billion in damages to American terror victims were assessed as a result of some 50 U.S. court cases in recent years, according to official government estimates.

[…]

Iranian-backed terrorist groups, for example, have killed more than 700 Americans, including at least 290 in Lebanon over the past several decades. This accounts for the 241 U.S. service members murdered during the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which Iran sponsored.

Kirk said in the statement on the legislation:

Iran-sponsored terrorists have killed more Americans than the Islamic State. Families of Americans killed by Iranian-backed terrorism have used U.S. laws to take Iran to court and lawfully win approximately $43.5 billion in unsatisfied damages, so if the United States fails to ensure Iran fully pays these judgments before Iranian terror financiers get over $100 billion in sanctions relief, we risk emboldening Iran and other state sponsors of terror to continue targeting and killing more Americans.

One of those Americans was US Navy diver Chief Petty Officer Robert Stethem, was murdered by Hezbollah terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyah during the 1985 hijacking of Trans World Airlines Flight 847. Another was  teenager Danny Wultz of Weston, Florida  who was mortally wounded in a suicide bombing  by an operative of Iranian – sponsored  terror group, Palestine Islamic Jihad at  a Tel Aviv outdoor café in 2006 while vacationing with his father,Tuly,  who survived the blast.

Stethem’s brother Kenneth, a former Navy SEAL joined Rep. Meeham and other Members of Congress Wednesday to draw attention to tomorrow’s vote on the NDAA incorporating the Iran Victims Terror Act.  The Washington Free Beacon cited  Kenneth Stethem’s comments:

Terrorism has become something more and more frequent because we haven’t developed an effective policy against it and we need to do that. I really believe this bill is the first step in doing that. He added that the passage of the legislation would offer “closure” for families of terror victims. My brother can never be brought back, but the people who perpetrated these acts on my brother and hundreds of other victims can and should be held accountable.

Watch this You Tube video that Rep. Meehan used to introduce the Justice for Iran Victims Act in the House:

Note what Meehan said:

We’re putting our victims to the side if we enable these dollars to be returned to Iran without any attachment to them.

Look, these are Marines who died protecting our barracks, these are American citizens who were sitting in cafes in Israel, and these are people who were hijacked in planes and murdered in cold blood after being tortured. It’s some small measure of accountability that [Iran] should be required to pay [these families] before the very money we now have some influence over is returned.

Rep. Meeham is running a Twitter campaign in support of the legislation using the hashtag, #NotOneCent.

Timmerman drew attention to the statement issued by the President’s Office of Management and Budget threatening a veto:

The Office of Management and Budget today issued a statement that it “strongly opposes” making Iran pay the terrorism claims, arguing that “obstructing implementation of the JCPOA would greatly undermine our national security interests.

President Obama will veto the bill if it makes it through to his desk, the OMB promised.

In the midst of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s Pentagon press conference over the controversial Russian bombing of Syrian targets, a thoughtful reporter, why the Administration would veto the NDAA incorporating the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism ActWatch this C-Span video excerpt of Secretary Carter’s response:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of American victims of Iranian terrorism. Screenshot, U.S. Rep. Meeham Facebook, September 29, 2015.

Italian Bishop: Why is the West silent on Muslim persecution of Christians?

“Why, we ask the western world, why not raise one’s voice over so much ferocity and injustice?” asked Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI).

The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III has also said: “I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”

Here is why: “Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” — Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013

That’s right, it’s all for the sake of the spurious and self-defeating “dialogue.” Bagnasco should ask his colleagues in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He should ask bishops like McManus, Kevin Farrell, Jaime Soto and others why they move actively to silence and demonize voices that tell the truth about this persecution. He should ask them why they tolerated dissent from so many core Catholic dogmas for decades, but move as ruthlessly as any Grand Inquisitor to suppress dissent from the idea that Islam is a Religion of Peace, which isn’t even a dogma of the Church. He should ask them why they are abandoning their Middle Eastern brethren and keeping their own people ignorant and complacent about the jihad threat.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is desperately corrupt and compromised, and needs a thorough housecleaning. But no such thing is on the horizon.

“West silent on ‘cull’ of Christians – Italian bishops’ head,” ANSA, September 30, 2015 (thanks to Insubria):

(ANSA) – Vatican City, September 30 – “The cull of Christians continues” in the Middle East and Africa where it “seems somebody has decided to uproot them to cleanse the territory,” Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) head Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco said Wednesday.

“Why, we ask the western world, why not raise one’s voice over so much ferocity and injustice?” Bagnasco asked opening a CEI Council meeting in Florence.

RELATED ARTICLE:

On 10th anniversary of publication of Muhammad cartoons, Danish newspaper submits: reprints original page without cartoons

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, talks to the media during a press conference at the Vatican, Thursday, May 21, 2015. (ANSA/AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Trump leads in Digital Presidential Campaign Proficiency Poll

IRVINE, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — EPiServer™, a leading provider of digital marketing and digital commerce solutions, today announced the results of its Digital Presidential Campaign Proficiency Poll, tracking the digital savviness of the top U.S. presidential hopefuls. The poll results can be viewed online at:www.episerver.com/knowledge-base/infographics/us-presidential-digital-campaign-proficiency

EPiServer evaluated seven top presidential candidates (based on aggregated national poll numbers from RealClear Politics as of Aug. 27, 2015) during the time period of Sept. 5-10, 2015, ranking them in order of digital campaign proficiency in the race to the White House. Candidates were ranked on various criteria, including quality of web site content and organization and volume of daily unique visitors, as well as breadth of social media use, volume of followers and level of engagement.

The polling shows clear digital campaign leaders and laggards. The candidate leading the pack in digital electioneering is Donald Trump, with an overall digital campaign score of 75. Bernie Sanders and Ben Carsonalso received top scores for their digital campaign efforts. On the flip side, while Jeb Bush may have the presidential bloodline, the poll results show his digital campaigning lacks luster; Bush received the lowest digital campaign score of 24. Slightly above Bush, but also lagging in digital campaign proficiency according to the polling was Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio’s and Hillary Clinton’s digital campaign proficiency scores put them in the middle of the pack, with only a three-point spread between the two candidates.

EPiServer has no affiliations to any presidential candidates or political parties, but does have more than 8,800 customers in some 30 countries that leverage its EPiServer Digital Experience Cloud. Encompassing the tools for the creation, management, and publishing of digital content, with personalization and analytics built in, the Digital Experience Cloud provides marketers, digital and online teams with the power, insight and agility to act on a business moment, and the confidence to realize their aspirations with a technology foundation that supports more than 30,000 websites worldwide.

EPiServer says studying the digital swagger of politicians can reveal best practices and innovative strategies that can be leveraged by commercial and non-profit entities, which aspire to deliver standout digital experiences.

“If you want to see cutting-edge digital marketing in action, keep an eye on the U.S. presidential campaign,” said Joakim Holmquist, EPiServer’s Director of Digital Marketing. “Digital media expertise and persona mapping/audience targeting was quintessential in Obama’s winning the presidential race in 2008. Now, eight years later, digital technologies and strategies have gotten even more sophisticated.

“The marketers managing these political campaigns have the marketing funnel worked out so clearly – they are employing sophisticated conversation mining, persona mapping and message personalization. They are ‘all-in’ and there’s a lot to be gained or lost.”

Holmquist goes on to say that this time around the next president of the United States will be Commander-in-Chief of the digital domain, even before being sworn into office.

“The Obama digital team was groundbreaking in its data driven marketing and testing of images, buttons and copy on landing pages to find the optimal mix that would make visitors opt in their e-mail addresses and eventually donate money. This time around anything digital will be tested and optimized. Whether it is online ads, email campaigns or social sharing, it will be subject to tests to determine the best headlines, copy, and images.”

Analytics is playing a greater role in digital campaigning, thanks to greater proficiency in aggregating and analyzing data. “Using advanced algorithmic attributing modelling, data from all different channels will be combined and crunched to show hidden correlations and provide insights into campaign efforts,” says Holmquist. “The savviest digital team will more accurately understand outcomes and reallocate spend to optimize campaigns for the overarching goals of getting more volunteers and more donors, which will eventually translate into more votes, which could ultimately translate into securing the presidency.”

More commentary from Holmquist on this topic can be found on the EpiServer blog at: www.episerver.com/about-us/our-blog/joakim-holmquist/us-presidential-digital-campaign-proficiency/

episerver logoAbout EPiServer

EPiServer connects digital commerce and digital marketing to help organizations create unique digital experiences for their customers, with measurable business results. The EPiServer Digital Experience Cloud™ combines content, commerce, multi-channel marketing, and predictive analytics in a single platform to work full-circle for businesses online – from intelligent real-time personalization and lead-generation through to conversion and repeat business – with unprecedented ease-of-use. Sitting at the center of the digital experience ecosystem, EPiServer empowers digital leaders to embrace disruptive, transformational strategies to deliver standout experiences for their customers – everywhere they engage. Founded in 1994, EPiServer has offices in Australia, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UAE, UK and the USA. For more information visit www.episerver.com.

Humanitarian Jihad: Dancing to the beat of the Islamic Street

jihad[This is an excerpt from the last chapter of The Black Flag of Jihad stalks la République, scheduled for release on December 10th]

After the Arab Spring the September 2015 refugee crisis. Once again our media and allied opinion-makers dance to the beat of the Islamic street. Moved to ecstasy by compact masses of Muslim men leavened with a sprinkling of women and children trampling the ground we stand on, they incite the citizens of Europe and beyond to abject surrender in humanitarian guise.

The photo of a child victim triggered a massive onslaught on the West. The doll-like body of Aylan Shenu (a.k.a. Al Kurdi), face down at the water’s edge looking like a peaceful toddler sleeping the dreams of innocence, has produced the al Dura effect: a white flash of emotion, hasty judgment, swift punishment of the guilty, total impunity for the aggrieved party.

Why in fact was this child washed up on the beach? His parents embarked with their two boys on troubled seas in an overloaded inflated boat that would supposedly carry them from the Turkish beach of Bodum to the Greek island of Kos and from there to A New Life. The father survived, his wife and two sons drowned.

Apparently none of them had life jackets, though I have no way of judging the veracity of various contradictory accounts of the incident. The father, Abdullah, says the boat capsized because the passengers stood up. He was holding on to his wife and children, lost them one by one. Five year-old Galip died, the father had to let go of him; he saw Aylan’s eyes fill with blood, and bid him farewell; his wife was afloat, puffed up like a balloon, unrecognizable. Zeinab Abbas, an Iraqi who lost two of her three children in the shipwreck, claims that Abdullah is a people smuggler who was piloting the boat; he went too fast, causing the accident. The boat was overloaded, there weren’t enough life jackets to go around. Survivors of similar crossings testify that the smugglers are never aboard; they choose one of the passengers to act as captain. What, then, justifies the payment of thousands of euros for the perilous crossing? Why wouldn’t people buy their own boats and life jackets, and increase their chances of survival by traveling in small groups? Obviously they don’t, as can be seen by the constant stream of overloaded dinghies arriving on Greek shores. Often it is the children who don’t have life jackets.

But practical questions of this nature were strictly verboten as the lethal narrative of the refugee crisis triggered by the iconic figure of Aylan unfolded. No pas d’amalgame for the dead child. When a Muslim commits an attack, the chorus chants pas d’amalgame, don’t blame Muslims collectively and besides, it has nothing to do with Islam. When I first saw the photo I thought it was taken on a Greek or Italian beach. The addition of the word “touristic” gave the Turkish beach of Bodum extraterritoriality, like a foreign embassy. The poor child was crossing the waters in an inflatable boat instead of taking a plane like the tourists. What about the 38 tourists gunned down on a beach in Sousse? They weren’t icons of Tunisian indifference; Tunisia was the victim of “a small minority of extremists who pervert Islam.” The photo of Aylan Shenu produced the al Dura effect: Guilty of his death, we are fair game for anything anyone wants to do to punish us. The only acceptable reaction was to blame Europe for criminal negligence. The campaign was kicked off with hashtags, slogans in the sand, heart-rending reiteration, and self-satisfied indignation. All the oceans of the world could not contain the tears that Europe should shed. No gesture of atonement-hospitality was deep and broad enough to save us from eternal damnation. The punishment was rapid and severe. Europe was deprived of its sovereignty, its borders, and the right to enjoy its just deserts.

Even as the Finnish prime minister offered his summer home to two families (how would they be chosen out of the hundreds of thousands marching as to war?) and a French woman created a free-of-charge “Airbnb” to lodge all comers, Europe was beating its breast, covering its head with ashes, and accusing itself of heartless indifference to the plight of the victims. First identified as migrants to avoid the shameful accuracy of “illegal immigrants,” the masses arriving by land, sea, and air were anointed as refugees and the default emotion was uncritical compassion. No, it was more like infatuation, adoration…swooning submission.

At least that is how mass media framed the story in Phase One. Government officials, with notable exceptions, were tearing their hearts out of their breast pockets to demonstrate compassion. It will take time to determine the degree of sincerity on each level of their discourse and action—follow-the-media emotion, desperate EU attempts to impose quotas for resettlement of asylum seekers, promises that economic migrants ineligible for asylum would be deported, and the frantic restoration of border controls within the Schengen free-circulation region and on its outer frontiers. On intellectual territory, the slightest deviation from the party line by analysts, specialists, and philosophers provoked a virtual lynch mob.

Day after day the refugee crisis dominated the news stream. Zapping from one channel to another, one online media to the next, we were faced with the irresistible flow of refugees and the ongoing lethal narrative of their inalienable right to come, to see, and to conquer the good life. Excited journalists, some of whom had starred in the Arab Spring show, camped in the Munich train station, ran through Serbian fields, pushed up against Hungary’s security barrier, crammed into trains and buses, shouted with the mob, cuddled wide-eyed babies, filling the screen with outpourings that drowned rational thought in the capsized dinghy of an orchestrated craze.

And yet there has been no popular refugee-welcome enthusiasm in France. Hopes of rousing another Je Suis Charlie movement fell flat. An estimated 8,000 people gathered one evening at Place de la République, there was at least one “Je Suis Syrien” sign, a solidarity concert attracted a few hundred in the City Hall square, nothing to compare with Germany’s open arms. The pernicious effect of the operation is to be found elsewhere, in a sort of quiet resignation to the violation of the basic attributes of sovereignty. The current unprecedented stampede is simplistically equated with previous waves of immigration, deliberately or unwittingly ignoring the difference in scope, context, attitude, and circumstances. One commentator compared it to the “immigration” of pieds noirs from the Maghreb. Never mind that the pieds noirs were French, forced to flee a newly independent Algeria, and the Maghrebi Jews that fled with them were not only French but also indigenous to the region where they had settled long before the Muslim conquest.

As could be expected, European Jews are caught in the crossfire. Again. Future victims of these Muslims that will add their dose of genocidal anti-Zionism to the abiding strain, Jews may well turn into the refugee’s refugees. At least we will be welcome in Israel! After each major atrocity – murders by Mohamed Merah, Mehdi Nemmouche, Amhadou Koulibaly respectively – Prime Minister Netanyahu invited European Jews to make Aliyah. This provoked an outcry from the same people who are melting with bounty today as they invite essentially Muslim refugees to make “aliyah” to Europe, their promised land. The Jews, defined by the Shoah, are enjoined to hand over their refugee costumes to the no less deserving newcomers. Shocked by the wishes of certain French local officials to give preference to Christian over Muslim refugees, the speaker of the Parliament Claude Bartalone exhaled: “After the yellow star the green crescent.”

Why is this stampede into Europe different from all previous immigrations?

RELATED ARTICLE: Concealing the Facts on Refugee Resettlement: A case study on how the media and duplicitous politicians hide the truth from the public

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Nidra Poller’s book Karimi Hotel is now available in English and Al Dura: long range ballistic myth is available in paperback and on Kindle.

VIDEO: Strong Male Leadership

Gender and gender roles are decided and assigned by God at conception.  Mess with them at your (and your nation’s) peril.

U.S. Muslim is top Islamic State Commander

How did a Muslim from the U.S. come to have the understanding that taking sex slaves and fighting for the Islamic State was his Islamic privilege and duty? After all, we’re constantly told that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, and that Muslims in the U.S. all reject its view of Islam. So was Abu Abdullah “radicalized on the Internet”? If so, why was the peaceful, benign Islam that he supposedly learned in mosques in the U.S. not able to withstand challenge from a twisted, hijacked version of Islam that is so un-Islamic that even non-Muslims like John Kerry and the U.S. Catholic Bishops can spot its un-Islamic character a mile away?

Also, as you read this poor girl’s story, think of what awaits the young women in Europe and the U.S., if the feckless policies of their governments aren’t reversed, quickly.

“EXCLUSIVE – Revealed, AMERICAN jihadi is ‘top ISIS commander’: Yazidi slave reveals that she was beaten and held captive by US citizen who directs attacks and keeps vial of poison to kill himself if he is caught,” by Jay Akbar, Mailonline, September 29, 2015:

A Yazidi slave girl has claimed the high-ranking ISIS commander who held her prisoner was a white American who directed the terror group’s attacks and received personal letters from its leader.

Nada, 19, told MailOnline that US citizen Abu Abdullah al-Amriki (the American), 23, boasted about how beautiful women from all over the world wanted to join him in Syria and that he always kept a vial of poison on him – in case he was captured in battle.

She was bought by the ISIS emir – or local leader – at a slave auction in Islamic State’s de-facto capital of Raqqa, Syria, in October.

The tall, pale man with black hair and short beard bought nine girls in total but sold seven of them on.

Nada was taken to one of his ‘many’ heavily-guarded houses in Manbij, Aleppo, where she lived with the other Yazidi girl and her son.

The teenager, who is now in America, told her harrowing story to the US government after escaping with her captor’s phone. Her fellow Yazidi hostage, known as ‘Bazi’, is also in the country – she will give evidence against Abu Abdullah to Congress and wants the FBI to press charges against him.

MailOnline cannot independently verify these claims and Nada said she has never seen his picture before on videos or images released by ISIS.

She said Abu Abdullah was a very important figure in Islamic State and a stream of armed balaclava-clad militants from all nationalities visited the house.

She said: ‘Many guests were coming and he was always explaining things to them. He was drawing maps of the fighting. He was telling everyone how to fight, about how to make an ambush.

‘He was always ordering people to move and how to make a plan. He always carried a pistol and an AK47.

‘There were also sniper rifles in the house, lying around. He also carried a policeman’s stick which he used to beat me and the boy [another prisoner] with. He also slapped the boy.

‘They didn’t let me enter the room when they were talking. They only let me enter the room when they were talking tea to them.’

Nada described the wiry commander, who spoke Arabic badly, as a ‘nervous’ man who doused himself in strong perfume and yelled at her constantly.

He was so frightened of being captured that he always kept a vial of poison in his pocket, so he could commit suicide if his enemies ever took him alive.

One group of four men – who were always masked – visited Abu Abdullah regularly to bring him letters from ISIS’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, said the woman.

Nada said: ‘If Abu Abdullah was not at home, I’d have to sign for it. I was just receiving it and putting it in his room.

‘The mail contained letters and the envelope was from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The masked man who brought the mail from al-Baghdadi talked in English.

Abu Abdullah, who converted to Islam around four years ago and has many different identities, told Nada that he regularly travels to the United States to see his family, but there is no way to verify his sensational boast.

She said: ‘He showed me pictures of his family – he had a girl and a boy. He said his family were not around, that they were far away.’

Nada was captured in the northern Iraqi city of Tal-Afar, around 32 miles from Sinjar, in around August 2014.

The terror group abducted more than 500 Yazidi women and young girls and slaughtered 5,000 as its fighters stormed through the region.

ISIS views Yazidis, whose religion includes elements of Christianity and Islam, as ‘devil-worshippers’.

The extremists take the females as their personal sex slaves and execute the men who do not convert to their twisted brand of Islam.

The teenager was taken to Manbij, a north-Syrian town which earned the nickname ‘little London’ because of the high numbers of British jihadists who live there.

Manchester twins Salma and Zahra Halane, 17, are thought to live in the town where English and German are commonly spoken.

Danish charity worker Ahmad Walid Rashidi, who was held captive in Manbij for over a month, met a blue-eyed British fighter in its police station.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘It’s like a little London or a little Berlin. Manbij is definitely the most foreign-influenced place in Syria.’

Rashidi, 23, said foreign fighters were paid around £20 a month and received free food and medicine, while jihadi brides got a £2 allowance.

During Nada’s 20-day captivity, the American jihadi also showed her pictures and footage of American girls who he claimed were coming to Syria to join ISIS.

She said: ‘There were beautiful girls or women from everywhere, from every country – he showed me them.

‘He said: “They are free and they want to come and join us, so why is it that you want to leave? Why do you want to run away? This is a good country.”

‘Abu Abdullah told me that I and the other girl will have a long life with him as servants – and our children will grow up to be jihadis like them.’

The ‘other girl’ was a Yazidi known only as Bazi, 20, who was held hostage alongside Nada after she was abducted during the ISIS assault on Sinjar in August 2014.

Bazi told CNN that Abu Abdullah would pray and wash himself before he raped her and how she pleaded with him not to touch Nada.

She said: ‘The first time he raped me, he tried to rape the other girl who was with me but I told him since I felt I’m already raped, I don’t want the other one [to be raped].

‘So I became responsible for the other one. I told him to treat her as a servant for him, because he was sheikh, an emir, so he would just have her as a servant. I convinced him the whole time until we were able to escape from his house.’

Bazi’s physical description of Abu Abdullah matched Nada’s and she also claims he told her about visiting his family in America but, again, the claims cannot be independently confirmed.

The American terrorist and his ‘team of bodyguards’ beat them after each of their five failed escape attempts. He once prevented Bazi from seeing her son for an entire week, Nada told MailOnline.

One day, when Abu Abdullah and his guards went to battle in northern Iraq, Nada stole his phone and ran to another house in Manbij.

She said: ‘When they were away fighting in Kobani, me and the other girl broke the door and left with the boy.’

They kept a low profile until the Assayish – police from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) – came to rescue her.

She gave Abu Abdullah’s phone to the KRG, who interviewed her and took her to a refugee camp in northern Iraq.

Here, she was interviewed by US government officials who visited the settlement and showed her pictures of another American jihadi who went by the nom-de-guerre, Abu Zeyd.

She said: I recognized it. Abu Zeyd was a beautiful man – he had long blond hair, and no facial hair. But I don’t know who he is. They had no pictures of Abu Abdullah.’…

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