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PODCAST: Orlando and the power of Social Media on Islamic Terrorism and Politics

On Saturday June 18, 2016 we interviewed journalist and author Joe Newby. Newby is co-author with investigative journalist Adina Kutnicki of the upcoming book “BANNED: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad.”  He will discuss the book and the potential implications it has regarding the role of social networks on politics.

Learn more about the book here

Topics of Discussion:

  • How has Facebook treated articles concerning criticism of Islamic jihad?
  • What did Mark Zuckerberg discuss with Angela Merkel?
  • What legislation has been proposed to report terrorist activity on social networks?
  • Orlando and the Repercussions of FBI interviews with terrorist

and more . . .

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Do Facebook and Twitter want foes of jihad dead?

Over at PJ Media, I discuss a new example of the double standard Twitter and Facebook employ regarding those whose views they dislike:

Obaid Karki

Obaid Karki, @stsheetrock on Twitter.

The antipathy of Twitter and Facebook to conservatives is well-established. The social media giants’ hatred presumably therefore also applies to opponents of jihad terror, who are universally classified as “right-wing,” however absurd the label.

But do Twitter and Facebook draw the line at death threats against them?

The question arises because of one Obaid Karki, @stsheetrock on Twitter, who describes himself thusly:

I Ain’t Anglosexual Liberal Hippie, Neither Wolf nor Dog, I am a coyote. A Paulite Picassoic Provocateur Constitutionalist Libertarian.

Any doubt that he is quite spectacularly insane will be removed by a perusal of one or both of his incoherent and gleefully obscene websites. Karki is engaging in some bizarre parody of a deranged imam, or perhaps he is trying to make some other kind of inscrutable humor. One of his websites is titled “Obaid Karki St.Sheetrock’s Painfulpolitics Offensive Comedy Hepcat.” The offensive comedy is there, in spades.His other site is called “Suicide Bombers Magazine”, and bears this heading: “Dislaimer: we swear on Elvis’s pickled penis that ‘non-sapient beings’ I mean animals harmed during IED kahbooom.”

Hmm.

But just because Karki is insane or possibly joking doesn’t mean that he can’t be dangerous — especially if he is also making specific calls for people to be murdered.

Last Saturday, he posted this:

Robert Spencer mustn’t [be] featured but lynched from his scrotum along with Zionists scumbags, Pamela Geller, Pat Condell, Daniel Pipes, Debbie Schlussel and JIHADWATCH Jackass duo Baron Bodissey & Geert Wilders for inspiring Anders Behring Breivik to [kill] innocent students in 2011.

Actually, neither Bodissey or Wilders run Jihad Watch — I do — and I didn’t inspire Breivik to do anything, but there is no arguing with a crazy person. But what is interesting about Karki’s post, aside from his loony language, is that he posted this call for me and others to be lynched on Twitter, which has a clearly stated policy against death threats.

Per “The Twitter Rules”:

Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.

I therefore duly reported Karki’s threat, but as of this writing, it has not been taken down (in fact, Karki has since posted it again, and has posted variants of it several times).

Maybe Twitter is just slow to deal with the large number of complaints it receives? To buy that argument, you have to buy that they have a two-year backlog.

On May 12, 2014, Karki also posted this:

Robert Spencer must be arrested and lynched along the Zionists Dumbasses Daniel Pipes, Geert Wilders and JIHADWATCH …

You can see from this 2014 Twitter exchange linked above that several people claimed they reported Karki for this threat, as did I.

Not only does Karki still have his Twitter account — while many conservatives have lost their accounts for far less — but the 2014 threat remains there.

Hold on — I misspoke above.

I meant to say you would have to buy that Twitter has a three-year backlog of death threats to police.

Here, read a Karki tweet from September 18, 2013:

Robert Spencer must be shot head not only for comparing Alnoor 24:35 to Corinthians 11:14-15 satanically but for …

So now you have an example of how Twitter responded to death threats against a political opponent.

How about Facebook?

Not only is Karki on Twitter, but he also has a Facebook page containing the same lurid and paranoid content — including the threats. He did claim he was temporarily barred this Sunday:

I am axed outta Facebook for 7 days …

… but, I just read that on his Facebook page. What exactly this axing entailed remains unclear.

At least the social media titans are consistent. The site Epoch Times reported last March:

[W]hile Twitter says it is making strong efforts to shut down terrorist accounts, activists say that not only is the microblogging company not taking down the accounts that matter, but it has even been shutting down accounts of users trying to report terrorists.

The age of Obama has featured a rapid decline in appreciation for the freedom of speech. College students and — in many, many cases — their professors routinely avow that “hate speech is not free speech.” They cannot grasp that if they get their wish allows whatever the government subjectively deems “hate speech” to be criminalized, and the foremost protection against tyranny will have been removed.

At that moment, free society literally ends….

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Glenn Beck: Fooled by Facebook?

In the wake of reports that Facebook censors conservative voices, media figure Glenn Beck met with company chairman Mark Zuckerberg and emerged from the meeting, as he put it, “convinced that Facebook is behaving appropriately and trying to do the right thing.” Nothing to see here, move along. Unfortunately, this is nonsense.

Beck admits in his article on this subject, “I am not an expert on data or AI or algorithms.” Neither am I. But the Facebook censorship in the news isn’t about artificial intelligence but human intelligence — and its biases. In fact, the focus on technology could be (I’m not implying this is the case with Beck) an effort at Machiavellian misdirection: “Watch what the machine is doing, watch the machine, so you don’t see the man behind the curtain.

I’ll get right to the point. Fraudbook employs a group of young journalists, known as “news curators,” who are empowered to manage the algorithmic results and “refine” what qualifies for the site’s “Trending Topics” section. As company vice president of search Tom Stocky put it, the curators “audit topics surfaced algorithmically: reviewers are required to accept topics that reflect real world events, and are instructed to disregard junk or duplicate topics, hoaxes, or subjects with insufficient sources.”

So already evident is a Fraudbook deception: the Trending Topics section is supposed to reflect “popularity,” not politically correctness. Who decides what constitute “real world events”? What is a “junk” topic and who defines such? Should “duplicate topics” be disregarded if that duplication reflects trends and popularity? Why should “insufficient sources” disqualify a story, given that great breakthroughs — in science and news — often begin with one person’s endeavors? (When the story becomes well known, or “popular,” other journalists investigate the matter and separate fact from fiction; this can’t happen if it’s suppressed in the first place.) And while no one wants hoaxes promoted, we could even wonder how often incredible but true stories are labeled hoaxes by credulous or biased curators.

And who are these people empowered to decide who is an unreal-world, junky, topic-duplicating, insufficiently-sourced, possible hoaxer? Gizmodo.com, which broke the recent Fraudbook story, tells us they are “a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the ‘trending’ module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site.”  LOL, c’mon, Glenn, are you gonna let these people spit down your back and tell you it’s rainin’? While tech workers are notoriously liberal, as the statistics here show, journalism majors from “Ivy League or private East Coast universities” make them look like William F. Buckley2. Fact: giving people the power to “refine” news is synonymous with human bias entering the equation.

And you cannot give young, hardcore liberal journalists from “elite” schools that power without a strong liberal bias entering the equation.

Of course, the nature of biases is that people generally aren’t aware, at least not fully, of their biases. Just consider a Guardian defense of Fraudbook. The news organ interviewed an ex-Fraudbook curator who challenged Gizmodo’s report and related, writes the paper, “that newsworthiness was determined by how often a story appeared on a list of trusted news outlets including this publication [the Guardian], the New York Times and the BBC.” Are you getting this, Glenn?

That the ex-employee and Guardian consider this exculpatory of Fraudbook tells the tale: they’re so oblivious to their own biases they consider left-wing, mainstream-media news sources “unbiased” arbiters of newsworthiness. Obviously, if you use leftist entities to “refine” your algorithmic results, you’ll get Al Gore-rhythmic results.

So as Gizmodo put it, “In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation.” Without a doubt. Liberal journalists censoring the news? Check. Institutional guidelines elevating supposed real-world events and disqualifying supposed junk? Check. Reliance upon other left-wing sources to determine real-world quality, junkiness and newsworthiness, creating a liberal echo chamber? Check. Fraudbook’s trending team couldn’t be more like a traditional newsroom if it tried.

So while a selling point of big social media is that it’s a democratic arena in which “the people” determine what’s seen and heard, it’s instead more like professional wrestling circa 1980: certainly fake but still claiming authenticity. Of course, Fraudbook has a right (at least under our system, as opposed to the statist one Zuckerberg is working to visit upon us) to adopt whatever policies it wishes. But how about some truth in advertising? Don’t claim to be presenting merely what’s “popular.”

Beck should also note that Fraudbook has been caught censoring news time and again. As the Gatestone Institute wrote in February, “It was only a few weeks ago that Facebook was forced to back down when caught permitting anti-Israel postings, but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.” Even more damning, at a UN development summit in New York in September, Zuckerberg met with German chancellor Angela Merkel. “As they sat down,” continued Gatestone, “Chancellor Merkel’s microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.”

And I’m sure Merkel would describe Zuckerberg as someone who was “humble, open, and listened intently,” which, by the way, are the precise words Beck used to describe the Fraudbook figures (including Zuck) he met with. Zuck told Merkel what she wanted to hear, which happened to be the truth; and Zuck told Beck what he wanted to hear, which happened to not be. Zuck is concerned about making money and Fraudbook’s stock price, you see.

Having said this, I doubt Zuck is fully aware of the news curators’ shenanigans. Again, people, liberals especially, are often blithely unaware of emotionally satisfying biases woven into organizations. Stories of Fraudbook censorship of conservatives are legion, however. And while it involves not censorship but an effort at undermining, I have one myself.

Aside from my syndicated pieces, I write exclusive news/commentary articles for The New American (TNA), which has both a website and hard-copy magazine. And as many sites do, TNA has Fraudbook’s “Like” button at the top of every article; it indicates how many Fraudbook users read, liked the piece and chose to click the button. Well, for more than a year and ending only about a year ago, I and members of TNA’s staff noticed a strange and consistent phenomenon: likes would accumulate on a piece and then “poof!” they’d disappear with the counter having been dialed back to zero. This happened consistently across all TNA articles; in one case, one of my pieces had 30,000 likes before they were sent to the gulag.

One might consider this a glitch, but I never observed the phenomenon at any liberal/mainstream-media site. And why does it matter? Because likes are a good metric for not just popularity but also level of readership, and people are influenced by what’s popular. Make an article’s content appear unread and unpopular and people are more likely to dismiss it as a fringe view.

I always assumed, and this accords with Gizmodo’s findings, that the like-button manipulation was the work of one or two rogue (and petty) employees — who were operating in a liberal organization that would turn a blind eye to such shenanigans. Yet Beck’s thoughts are different. In a further glowing endorsement of Fraudbook, he was quoted in a May 19 Time piece as saying about his meeting with the company’s representatives, “I thought it was great. I thought they were sincere. And as I was leaving, I thought: ‘What company has done that with conservatives?’ Especially a media company.” That’s what he thought, alright. And here’s what I think: that Facebook has two faces, and one of them is seen only by big names that Zuck et al. can use for photo-ops and public-relations purposes.

And that’s likely what happened with you, Mr. Beck. You found Zuck and Company cordial — they just find you useful.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

20,000 Israelis Sue Facebook for Inciting Palestinians

The video below shows some of the incitement that led to this lawsuit. While counter-jihadists are frequently suspended or have their pages taken down altogether from Facebook, this naked incitement to hatred and murder is just fine in Zuckerbergland. No incitement to murder, no calls for violence against innocent civilians, should ever be tolerated against anyone. But when it comes to inciting violence against Israelis, it seems to be fine with almost everyone.

“20,000 Israelis sue Facebook for Palestinian incitement,” by Edna Adato, Israel Hayom, October 27, 2015:

Citing incitement against Israel, Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center on Tuesday submitted a lawsuit against Facebook in a New York court on behalf of 20,000 Israelis. The lawsuit was submitted over claims that Facebook is facilitating incitement against Israelis and encouragement to harm them.

At the onset of the current wave of terror, Shurat Hadin, which works to fight terrorism on the legal front, began a petition to recruit thousands of Israeli under the title: “Suing Facebook — Disconnecting Terror.”

The organization is asking the court in New York to issue an injunction against Facebook to remove the inciting pages, monitor the methods of incitement and block them, and hold the social networking giant responsible for allowing terrorists on its network.

“Facebook has the means to research and monitor every word that appears on its website. It cannot be that entire pages on Facebook are devoted to incitement to murder Jews and that terrorists are permitted to publish posts that become popular among their friends and encourage them to kill. It is absurd that Facebook is being transformed into a tool for supporting incitement and attacks against Jews, and we intend to put an end to it,” said Shurat Hadin.

According to the plaintiffs, “The terrorists do not come on their own. They write posts and encourage their friends to kill Jews. Facebook has been transformed into an anti-Semitic incubator for murder.”

As one example, Shurat Hadin cited the case of 19-year-old terrorist Muhannad Halabi, who wrote on his Facebook page, “I want to become a martyr,” prior to carrying out a stabbing attack the following day. Halabi stabbed Aharon Bennett and Rabbi Nehemia Lavi to death.

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat Hadin, said that “for every Israeli that is sitting now at home — there is something that can be done against terror. Join us now. This action is important in the same way as actions to increase security on the ground and its goal is to stop the terror. Today, Facebook has become a haven for terrorists: They publish their actions on their Facebook pages, garner support, receive instructions and direction to murder Jews — and all this under the sponsorship of a commercial company that has the power to stop it easily. At the time that Facebook suffices with words and tells us that it intends ‘to remove inciting pages’ — the website is filling up more and more each moment with severe incitement, and it is our task to do everything to stop this.”

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Che is Dead, Long Live Conchita: A New Rebel Icon

In addition to offering 51 gender options to its users, Facebook is also changing its male, female, and group icons in order to bring more fairness and equality among the 51 aforementioned genders. Thus, instead of the female appearing behind the male’s shoulder, she is now in front of the male, which makes hers a more equal gender.

New Facebook gender icons

The female’s new hairdo makes her look less like Darth Vader, and the group icon now features a third, metrosexual-haired silhouette that can be one of the remaining 48 genders. The Washington Post happily reports this revolutionary development as an important step towards eliminating cultural biases that have contributed to gender inequality.

Facebook Che iconUnnoticed and unreported, however, came another development in the world of Facebook icons: the appearance of a Comrade Che emoticon.

In other words, while Facebook, WaPo, and others are splitting hairs over the equality of multiple genders, along comes Che Guevara and puts them up against the wall, if only in Facebook terms. And that’s how revolutions happen in real life, too.

The website behind the Che emoticon offers this description:

“The rebel, the face of non-conformity. Che will add style to your Facebook chats and messages.”

Facebook Che iconReally? Is the face of a masculine cisgender-male person still in tune with modern times? Given that Che Guevara never questioned his sexual identity but merely accepted an assigned gender role that was expected of him by the patriarchal bourgeois society, just how much of a rebel and non-conformist was he?

Shouldn’t the new, more progressive generation also have a new, more progressive icon – a rebel who truly challenges the status quo?

Our research has led us to an ideal candidate. Meet Conchita Wurst, the Austrian Drag Queen of Eurovision, the new true face of non-conformity!

VIDEO: Conchita Wurst – Rise Like a Phoenix (Austria) 2014 LIVE Eurovision Second Semi-Final:

Please update your T-shirts, emoticons, and social media avatars. We know Che would comply!

A new rebel to replace Che
Share these PNG icons far and wide!

Che Conchita icon red Che Conchita icon black
A new rebel to replace Che

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

The Beauty of Bending Rules in a Complex World: Why pool attendants are better than bureaucrats by Isaac M. Morehouse

“We’re not checking IDs today,” the pool attendant told me.

We have a nice pool for the neighborhood, maintained with HOA dues. The homeowners association has tried different methods of monitoring who comes in to keep nonresidents from filling up the pool and squeezing out dues-paying members. A few times last summer, this was a problem. This year, a new company was hired to issue IDs and ensure that only residents use the pool. But not today.

Today the water was a bit cold and the pool wasn’t busy. The attendant realized this and didn’t hassle swimmers and sunbathers with an ID check. When he uttered those words it hit me in a flash just how profound it was. The ease with which he used common sense to bend the rules was a beautiful moment. Maybe you think I’m being dramatic, but let me offer a contrast.

A few years, ago I was in the security line at the airport with my wife. She removed her plastic baggy of size-approved liquids and gels and placed it in the container. The TSA agent picked it up and grunted, “Uh-uh.” Bewildered, I asked what the problem was. She said my wife needed to remove an item from the bag. I objected that every item was within the approved size and the bag was a recommended part of the procedure. The agent said that, according to regulations, the items are supposed to fit “comfortably” in the bag. They were pushing against the sides, ever so slightly stretching the plastic. We had to remove one. I asked her which individual item was a threat to security. She told us it didn’t matter which item was removed. The absurdity of the situation was beyond parody. There is no conceivable world in which a too-snug plastic bag of harmless toiletries could pose any possible threat to security. But it was the rule. Every bureaucrat knows rules must be followed without question.

If you’ve ever gotten a speeding ticket, as I have, for going 10 over at 3:00 a.m. on a five-lane road with no traffic, or for running a red light in a sleepy town with no cars for miles, you’ve felt the same. It’s clear that the reason for the rule — to keep drivers and pedestrians safe — is no possible explanation for its enforcement in these situations. Indeed, enforcement itself makes roads less safe due to police vehicles sticking out into the road and blocking other potential drivers. Meter maids handing out tickets for 2 minutes over in a lot surrounded by empty spaces is just as crazy. Parking meters and tickets are there to ensure spaces are available in high-demand times. What’s the point of ticketing when ample parking is available? Carding geriatrics for buying alcohol and so very many other examples of this silliness abound.

I posted a complaint to Facebook after the TSA incident. One of the commenters said, “Sure, following the letter of arbitrary laws in bad contexts is a pain, but would you rather have those agents doing whatever they want and using their own discretion on the spot?” The question becomes more poignant when you consider not just the bureaucrats armed with bad attitudes like those at the DMV but the ones armed with guns on the police force. Rule following is paramount in a bureaucracy because the alternative is also frightening.

It’s easy in the public sphere to get caught up in such debates. Is it more practical and just for government agents to use discretion in the moment when applying regulations, or for across-the-board universal application? It seems vexing: a problem without a solution. Whatever side of the debate you take feels uncomfortable. The letter of the law is oppressive and in some cases downright crazy, certainly counterproductive with respect to the law’s intended purpose; but discretion is a scary proposition as well, as many cases of selectively enforced law attest.

Outside of government, however, this is a nonproblem. When something is moved from the private, voluntary sphere to the public, coercive sphere, debates and division arise where none previously existed. The real problem is not rule following or flexibility; it’s monopoly. The absence of competition in the government sphere and all the attendant incentive problems create this unnecessary quandary.

It’s not that the police officers and TSA agents are worse people than my pool attendant; it’s that they face worse incentives. There is no metric for them to determine customer satisfaction or the value of their actions, because there is no profit-and-loss signal and no fear of losing our business. We are legally obliged to pay for and receive their service (or disservice.)

The pool attendant can be flexible with the rules when applying them strictly would annoy customers. He can become stringent when things get busy and residents complain about freeloaders. His company knows that at any time, they could lose the contract, and the only reason they are hired is to make residents happy and solve a problem. It’s the outcome that matters, and all procedures, policies, and rules are measured against that. This leaves ample room for experimentation and adaptation, with immediate feedback and accountability.

The public sector has no such flexibility because it faces no competition. The political sphere can make social and economic problems that have already been solved with incredible nuance seem unsolvable. It offers only yes-or-no, either/or, once-and-for-all-and-everywhere solutions, applied and enforced by people with almost limitless job security. It is a blunt tool, and incredibly unresponsive. It is unconcerned with outcomes and measures effectiveness only by inputs, intentions, and actions — not results.

Whether the letter of the law or individual discretion is preferable is the wrong question. Both are to be feared with state monopolized services. Neither is to be feared in competition because the choice is no longer binary but an ongoing dance of pluralistic discovery.

We’re not checking IDs today. Those five simple words reveal the beauty, complexity, and humanity of the voluntary market order.

Isaac MorehouseIsaac M. Morehouse

Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis.

Was it Terrorism or “Senseless Violence” that occurred in Canada?

At 9:52 AM EDT in Ottawa long haired 32 year old Michael Zehaf Bibeau wearing a black and white scarf and dressed in black   equipped with a double-barreled shot gun, stormed Canada’s War Memorial on Capitol Hill in Ottawa. He shot and fatally wounded a member of The Honor Guard , 24 year old Pvt. Nathan  Cirllio , a reservist with the Argyll and Sutherland Regiment who was on duty with a companion  who was wounded in the attack.  According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, Zehaf-Bibeau was considered to have been “a high risk traveller and had his passport revoked”.

bibeau facebook

Michael Zehaf Bibeau : Source ISIS Tweet. For a larger view click on the image.

kevin vickers

Kevin Vickers, Sergeant at Arms,  Ottawa Parliament.

Bibeau then drove to the Parliament building in a stolen black automobile with no license tags. He ran with weapon in hand into the Parliamentary center complex apparently running past  a room where Canadian PM Harper was speaking. In the ensuing gun battle Bibeau was shot dead at approximately 10:30AM by Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant at Arms before he could barge into the Caucus room filled with various party delegation  members.  Wednesdays are busy days in Canada’s parliament as  there are also tours   for visitors.   While the Sergeant at Arms is an honorific post at the Canadian Parliament, Vickers is in charge of protection for the Parliamentary Center complex.  He was appointed  to this post in 2005. In 2009, Vickers was given an award by a  Canadian Progressive Muslim group for his unbiased multicultural  security practices. He was a trained law enforcement officer, former member of the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police who served 25 years including stints in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

MPs gathered for the  Wednesday caucus overheard 20 to 30 shots fired. The entire parliamentary district, several embassies , including the US , and  the  nearby Rideau  Mall Center remained  locked down, while police comb the area in search for rumored accomplices. Prime Minister Harper was escorted to safety. However, his trip to Toronto to attend a ceremony conferring an honorary Canadian Citizenship on Pakistani teenage Noble Laureate Malala Yousafzai was unavoidably cancelled.

Upon hearing the news, social media in Ottawa and Canada lit up with expressions of thoughts and prayers for the family of Pvt. Cirillo and concerns for the safety of those in Ottawa under lockdown.

ISIS immediately sent out a picture of Zehaf Bibeau.  Bibeau, has had a troubled family life and  number of convictions for possession  and distribution of drug s and parole violations. In 2011, he was arrested  in Vancouver on assault and robbery charges. In 2012 he was arrested on additional charges of making threats in Vancouver. The ferocity of the attack in Ottawa by Bibeau  indicates he was highly motivated and aggrieved. Bibeau’s  murderous actions may have been  Jihadist inspired by ISIS given his use of the terrorist group’s Twitter site.

martin couture facebook

Martin Couture-Rouleau from his Facebook page.

Then is the similar  case of  25 year old Martin Couture-Rouleau, who flouted his newly adopted Islamic Jihadist faith and its doctrine of hate towards Jews, Christians and other unbelievers in posts on his  Facebook  page .  As a result of his new found faith he succumbed to the excesses of murderous and barbaric  ISIS.  What is interesting in Couture-Rouleau’s case was that the anti-terrorism unit of the RCMP had been monitoring his social media and  chatter focusing on his intention to leave to join ISIS.  That was prompted by his parents’ calls to the police concerned about his newly adopted  views  espoused at the local mosque he attended  near Montreal.   Apparently under Canadian law there wasn’t enough evidence to connect him to a terrorist group after his arrest In July, 2014,  before boarding a flight to Turkey to join ISIS.  He was  subsequently  released to regularly meet with Police until just before   he perpetrated Monday’s vehicular murder.  Like Bibeau, following his arrest, he had his passport removed as  “a high risk traveller”. Superintendent Martine Fontaine of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said at a televised news conference:

It’s very difficult to know exactly what an individual is planning to do before a crime is committed,” Superintendent Fontaine said. “We cannot arrest someone for thinking radical thoughts; it is not a crime in Canada.

Prime Minister  Harper announced Canada’s joining  the US led Operation Inherent Resolve with a Canadian Air Force  F-18 squadron to conduct air operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  That triggered a spike in social media by the Islamic State calling for Jihadist wannabees to attack Canadian and US military.  Couture-Rouleau’s  jihadist  attack  culminated Monday, October 20, 2014  in his running down two Canada Force soldiers  at  a strip mall  in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.  He killed  53 year old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and wounded the other serviceman. Police shot and apprehended   Couture-Rouleau.  Following  today’s Ottawa attack, the Canadian federal  government issued a  temporary ban on use of many public places to prevent a repetition.  Ironically, Canadian  Public Safety Minister  Blaney raised the Canadian national terrorism threat level to “medium” on Tuesday , just prior to today’s attack in Ottawa.

In the U.S.,  today’s attack that killed a member of  the Canadian Honor Guard  at the Ottawa National War Memorial ,prompted  the Administration to bolster security at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Virginia’s Arlington National  Cemetery. The U.S. is concerned about the emergence of self-actualized jihadist supporters in our midst.  An example is  the prison convert  to Islam who beheaded a fellow woman employee in Moore, Oklahoma. Then this week there was the apprehension of three underage Denver area girls from  Sudan and Somali émigré families who left unannounced, boarding a flight in Colorado only to be apprehended by German police when they arrived in Frankfurt before they  could board  a connecting flight to Turkey.  Their ultimate destination was Syria to join ISIS.  Both the Canadian attacks and US one  raises the policy question about how to combat the jihadist theocratic message of ISIS. That message is anchored in the Qur’anic canon of  foundational documents and  codified  under Shariah law in the ‘sacred manual’, The Reliance of the Traveler.

President Obama  was interviewed in the Oval Office following a phone conversation with  Canadian PM Harper. He  conveyed  the collective thoughts and concerns of this country  for what Canada has endured this week.  Choosing his language carefully to avoid any  controversy over what motivates such actions , he condemned what he termed “senseless violence”.  PM Harper said that “a terrorist murdered the  soldier in cold blood”.

Mark Steyn, American-Canadian  commentator and author of the recently released  book Undocumented, was interviewed on Neal Cavuto’s Fox News program today. He said, “violence against the state isn’t “senseless”.  Steyn  thought the President’s “senseless violence”  comment  brought to mind the  equivocating  term “ workplace violence”, as  in the Moore, Oklahoma beheading and Maj. Nidal Hassan‘s murderous jihad rampage at Fort Hood in 2009. Steyn instead  put the blame  for this week’s Montreal and Ottawa  attacks  squarely on Canada’s policy of multi-culturalism that tolerates Islamic theocratic doctrine supporting the barbarity of ISIS and similar Jihadist, Salafist groups.  He noted that while ISIS beheads  captive unbelievers  and violators of  Sharia, so does Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, an ally of the U.S. in the coalition of Operation  Inherent Resolve.

David B. Harris, former planning director for the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) and columnist on counterterrorism, spoke by phone with Cavuto about  Canada’s  dilemma. He was asked  if he thought the  Ottawa  event was a terrorist attack? He suggested  that, while it required confirmation, it certainly had the appearance of one. However, Harris  said that Canada may be unprepared for more such attacks in view of the significant number of Canadians who have left to join up with ISIS.  They  include  some who have become prominent ISIS  spokespersons, who may return to foster such domestic terrorism.  He drew attention to  a  Canadian Senate  testimony by Michel Coulombe the current head of  CSIS, who  indicated that Canada could be overwhelmed by such  ISIS inspired homegrown  terrorist  threats lacking the resources and legal means to combat them.

Watch this Fox News report  video report on the shootout today inside the Canadian Parliament:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured image is of police officers take cover near Parliament Hill following a shooting incident in Ottawa October 22, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Islamic State hoodies, flags and caps selling on Facebook, E-Bay, Twitter, Amazon.com

MEMRI reports:

Supporters of the Islamic State (IS) are now offering merchandise featuring the organization’s symbols for sale online. The items offered for sale include hats, clothing, and jewelry, all bearing the familiar black flag associated with the IS organization and its slogan – baqiyah (“will remain forever”).

One vendor, an Indonesian named Zirah Moslem, currently uses Twitter to sell his products after his Facebook page and website were shut down in June 2014. Products bearing the IS logo had also been sighted this summer in a local shop in Istanbul.

On Facebook, several pages still advertise T-shirts, baseball caps, flags etc. with the IS black flag logo, such as the “Baqiyah creation” Facebook page,  which is run by a French IS supporter based in Toulouse, France. This French salafi is a jihadi sympathizer who enjoys paintball and boxing, according to his Facebook posts. He advertises his products as being high quality and made for the true believers. He warns against wearing the clothes bearing the sacred Muslim creed of the shahada in impure places such as bathrooms. He also posts pro-IS comments and messages on his page.

Another Indonesian vendor who runs the “Al-Faruq Islamic Store” sells his products through Facebook and Ebay. One of the page’s banners on Facebook advertises: “We sell Islamic Flags, Badges, Headbands and other stuff.”

EDITORS NOTE: Screen captures courtesy of MEMRI. For a larger view click on the image.

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Mark Zuckerberg is promoting the Queerest of Folks on Facebook

Facebook has over 1.23 billion users of which 945 million are mobile users with 757 million daily users. There are many families that use Facebook to share photos, videos and leave updates about their lives. A companies culture is determined by its CEO and Mark Zuckerberg is no exception. His stand on various issues is well known and his relationship with President Obama is well publicized.

Zuckerberg appears to be concerned about NSA spying using his platform and has said so publicly and privately to President Obama. However, while they may disagree on who is better at spying on individuals, the NSA or Facebook, Obama and Zuck agree on one thing — gay is good. Zuck 4 gays may be the best way to describe his embracing of the homosexual lifestyle.

facebook gay logoZuck is so pro-homosexual that he is actively reaching out to and promoting the queerest of folks on Facebook in the United States and United Kingdom.

 from the UK Telegraph in her article “Facebook’s 71 gender options come to UK users: Following its successful integration in the US, US Facebook users can choose from one of 50 gender options” writes:

UK Facebook users can now choose from one of 71 gender options, including asexual, polygender and two-spirit person, following the feature’s successful integration in the US.

Users can choose a different gender option from the previous male and female choices by selecting ‘custom’ in the gender tab of their profiles.

In addition, people who select a custom gender will now have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly — male (he/his), female (she/her) or neutral (they/their).

Talking about gender is like talking about nature. There are only two genders, however, there are many forms of sexual behaviors and Zuck is tapping into that market. “Facebook worked with UK groups Press for Change and Gendered Intelligence to add 21 new options to ensure the list best reflected the ways UK users may choose to describe themselves,” notes Williams. Twenty-one new options on how to describe themselves? Really?

Let’s look at a few options that are so queer that they defy description: Female to male trans man, Female to male transgender man, Female to male transsexual man, F2M, Gender neutral and Hermaphrodite. To read the full list click here.

The Brits have many ways of describing a homosexual. Understanding this, there are some options that Zuck and his UK Facebook team may want to consider adding to the list: Bugger, BugR, Bugger2Bugger or the short form B2B (not to be confused with Business2Business unless one is giving the business to his/her M2F or F2M partner), Queer Mary or QM, F2F (you fill in the f-word of your choice), HomoUK, UKHomo and of course one of my favorites from Mel Brookssmuck“. You get the idea.

Ayn Rand warned,

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

Zuck is queering Facebook. Parents, families and the 98.4% of straight users in the U.S. beware. He is pandering to the 1.6% in the U.S. who are homosexuals.

Zuck recently friended us on Facebook. Let’s see if he unfriends us.

RELATED VIDEO: Before you share photos online, watch this video —

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo of Mark Zuckerberg marching with 700 Facebook employees in the 2013 San Francisco gay pride parade is by Mike Matas/Facebook.

Is Facebook censoring conservative content?

Recently I sat down with our website editor, Michele Hickford, to discuss social media analytics and recurring trends in order for us to better address the issues that matter most to our readers.

She looked at best performing stories, posts, and numbers of comments. We noticed there has been a precipitous decline in views and shares of individual stories in the first week of March on Facebook. The issue is that Facebook manipulates what stories show up in users’ news feeds. So if no one sees our stories, they don’t get read.

Of course in one year we went from about 197,000 to over 925,000 page “likes” overall. But you just have to wonder if someone at the Zuckerberg empire is regulating our traffic – is Facebook censoring conservative content? What’s curious about this is many of our fellow members of the Liberty Alliance are having the same issue.

So during my morning run, some thoughts and perspectives ran through my mind.

There is no debate that I am a strong conservative in my political ideology and governing principles. I believe wholeheartedly in the free marketplace of ideas where ingenuity and innovation thrive.

However, it seems the success of our Facebook page is being seen as a lucrative revenue source that Facebook wants a piece of. What I find so perplexing is that Facebook bubba Zuckerberg is a pretty cozy fella with President Obama — the most anti-free market president we have ever seen, a true progressive socialist.

So why is it that Zuckerberg — and let’s be honest, any business person, — jumps in bed with liberal progressives? If Zuckerberg is looking to make a profit off the endeavors of my conservative Facebook page, doesn’t that go contrary to the political crowd in which he circulates? I always found it ironic that someone like Michael Moore would say capitalism sucks, yet he charges money for people to see his movies — hypocritical?

So let’s see here, Mark Zuckerberg now wants to make more money off a conservative Facebook page so he can make more money to donate to more liberal progressive causes and candidates. So they can espouse their anti-free market ideology and expand the welfare nanny-state and cause my taxes to increase in order to pay for more “free stuff.”

Why shouldn’t we be able to utilize the Facebook traffic for free? After all, isn’t that the center of the progressive socialist mentality — shared prosperity and economic equality and all that?

The only other explanation for what we’re seeing with our Facebook page would be a blatant attempt to censor our message and limit its promulgation — and that wouldn’t be nice, Mark.

The hypocrisy of liberals seems to have no end. They like to make money, but apparently they want to limit who else gets to earn a prosperous living. It’s like the old Soviet politburo establishment where the ruling elite lived under the mantra of “do as we say, not as we do.”

Liberal progressives accept certain elites in their sphere, such as entertainment and sports figures, but not us saps out here just working hard to make a living. I applaud what Facebook has done and the platform it has created. And I certainly wouldn’t want to limit innovators seeking to better their business model and make a profit.

But I do wonder if Facebook throttles back traffic to the Obama social media machine, or is that all gratis since they share the same failed socialist beliefs? And if it is given preferential treatment, does that run afoul of campaign finance laws?

The liberal Left controls the message of the mainstream media, no question about it. Thank goodness conservative voices have alternative ways to disseminate our message through radio, cable and satellite networks, social media, podcasts and on our websites.

But there is also no question the liberal Left will do whatever it takes to strangle our free speech when it conflicts with the progressive agenda.

Mr. Zuckerberg, you believe in the First Amendment, don’t you? They may come after us first, but they’ll be after you too. Think about that next time you’re at one of those swanky liberal cocktail parties, little bro.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

Mind control 2013: Who is really controlling your mind?

Mind control is the subject of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four“, which has regained popularity. Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel published in 1949. The Oceanian province of Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain) is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes.

As George Orwell wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Citizens globally are concerned about their governments spying on them. Others are concerned about media pushing an agenda rather than holding government accountable. Recent scandals like the NSA gathering data on hundreds of millions of US citizens and our allies is front page news. In many cases the NSA, FBI and CIA are accessing personal information which is stored by phone companies, web hosts and social media sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Governments want this data and many of these same media giants will share it based on court orders or voluntarily.

So who controls the present?

Geo-Intelligence posted an infographic (below) to show who controls major print publications, media, Internet sites and entertainment outlets in the United States. These few “privileged Inner Party elite” can influence how you think about everything from the purchase of laundry detergent to your social and political behavior. What you read, hear and watch is controlled by about forty organizations. When they work in concert with government and freely share your information it can violate civil liberties according to the ACLU.

Take a quick look at this infographic, you will be surprised who is involved in “public mind control”.

For a larger view click on the image.

George Orwell wrote, “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.”

There is online a free full version of the movie Nineteen Eighty-Four released in 1954, click here to watch it. Below is the trailer to the movie Nineteen Eighty-Four release in 1984 and available on DVD: