Please vote for a winner of FOTM’s Writing Contest!

Inspired by our Mike’s on-going tutorial on writing in the interest of encouraging us to help change our culture toward the good by writing, FOTM conducted our very first Writing Contest.

Contestants were asked to submit the opening paragraph(s) of a story or novel.

There were 11 entries. Before we continue, as the owner of FOTM and recognizing that creative writing is an arduous task,  I want to congratulate every one of the 11 readers who submitted an entry. I thought they were all well done, in that each entry piqued by interest to read more.

FOTM writers’ job was to winnow those 11 into a smaller group of 6 finalists, so that you — the reader — can then vote for a winner.

Here are the finalists in the order of the number of votes they’d received from FOTM’s writers, although that should not influence your choice, followed by a poll. 

1. evh

(This is from my short story, A Dog Named Bill)

He didn’t belong to the aristocracy of dogdom. The uncharitable called him a mutt, but those of us who loved him didn’t care that he’d never win a blue ribbon. His warm brown eyes were alight with devotion and his square, tufted muzzle seemed to wear a delightful grin when he looked up at a friendly face. His favorite pastime was rounding the park at night and he often came home bearing the aroma of a skunk that he had unexpectedly met up with. He could never understand why we would give him the cold shoulder until he smelled like a dog again.

Bill had affection for us all, but Sister was the one he chose to worship and adore. When she married and left home, Bill left too. It was a case of “whither thou goest, I will go.” Sister and her husband, Joe, moved to Birmingham, Alabama and Bill had the indignity of riding in the baggage car. Sister wrote, “When Joe and I got Bill from the crate, he alternately licked us and pee peed. I was so embarrassed.”

Bill’s happy, secure world fell to bits when sister became ill. He grimly understood that something was wrong when his beloved could no longer play with him. He’d pad softly into her room and lovingly lick the hand that lay so quietly on the bed. Then he’d give a sigh and lie unobtrusively in a corner. The day came when that dear hand was gone and once again Bill took a train ride — this time back to New Orleans. Bill was welcomed by Mama, Brother, and me, but he never stopped looking for Sister. He walked weary blocks to the place where he had started his life and went into the house he had known as a puppy.

2. Tim Shey

Here are the first two paragraphs from my non-fiction book High Plains Drifter: A Hitchhiking Journey Across America:

Chapter One

Hebrews 11: 8: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”

1986-1987

I had been working on an apple farm in northern New Mexico when I thought it was time to hit the road. Or maybe I should say that the Lord inspired me to hit the road. As you grow stronger and deeper and more intimate with God, He uses your eyes, your ears and your circumstances to teach you things, and show you things and to point what direction you should go in. Who can resist God’s will? I knew that I knew that I knew that I must go, so I headed north into Colorado and by that evening I had made it to a community called The Spiritual Life Institute of Crestone, Colorado where I stayed one night.

The next day I hitched to Leadville, then Vail and then stopped at Glenwood Springs, where I turned off Interstate 70 and headed towards Snowmass. There is a Cistercian Monastery near Snowmass where the monks let me stay for four or five days. It is a beautiful place up in the mountains. The first day there I helped put away some pipe and the remaining few days I did some work in the garden. I remember well that it was very hot–it was the first week of July in 1986–and every half hour I would take a towel and go to a nearby water hydrant and soak it in water and then wrap it around my head to keep me cool. The monastery is–I am guessing–around five thousand to seven thousand feet in elevation so the air is thinner and the sun is hotter than at lower elevations. It really wore you out. That’s why many people wear broad-brimmed hats when working outdoors at that elevation.

3. Huntingfororcs

The shocking news began as whispers, passed from one Being of Light to another.

“Psst, there’s a mutiny! The First Born has rebelled and is taking a third of us with him!”

The whispers became louder and louder, like waves crashing on waves, until they became a deafening roar, as confusion and panic radiated down the ranks.

“What are we to do?”

“Should we follow First Born or stay true to Unus sint Deus?”

“Isn’t there someone who can lead us?” . . . .

Then, from amidst the lower ranks a voice spoke. At first small and hesitant, the voice grew stronger and bolder, “Who is like unto God?”

Raising his sword, the voice cried, “I am Micha-El, and I will lead you. Follow me!”

And so began the first battle in the Great War of the Angels that shook the very foundations of the cosmos.

4. I 53:5 Project

Not fully awake, I heard the voice but ignored it; it was part of a dream.

“Last stop!” I heard the voice again as I opened my eyes, expecting to find myself safely at home in the quiet darkness of my bedroom.

The zipper on the backpack I had been using as a pillow had dug into my cheek, my neck ached, my head was pounding.

“Last stop!”

I sat up and, as my eyes began to adjust to the light, I realized I was somehow on a bus.

“Last stop!”

“Alright, I’m going.” I shot back at the impatient driver as I moved through the impossibly white all plastic interior of the bus to the door.

“Enjoy your stay, Sir” I heard the impeccably dressed driver with a face as pale, cold, and lifeless as the hard plastic interior of the bus say as I stepped out into blazing hot sunlight.

Head, neck, and cheek aching, my eyes now burned as if I had just walked out of a movie theater in the middle of a sunny afternoon.

Where was I? What I had I been doing on a bus? Except for a handful of times in my 40 years, I never, ever traveled anywhere by bus, not since school anyway.

I sat on the curb, reached around to my back pocket, retrieved my cigarettes, opened the crushed and half empty pack, and; broken, broken, broken…all of them.

“Perfect.” I thought to myself.

“And the creepy bus driver took off with my backpack, wallet, keys, phone.”

I had to get out of the heat. I looked around and, as far as I could see in either direction, other than an endless rocky brown desert, was a freshly blacktopped two lane street with a sidewalk on either side, lined with blood red Japanese Maples, evenly spaced, all the same height and shape, none capable of providing any shade.

So I started walking. There had to be something or someone, somewhere, and some relief from the oppressive heat.

Although I could feel the heat of the sun it was impossible to determine its location, judge what time of day it was, or know what direction I was traveling in because, horizon to horizon, there was nothing above but blinding, hot, featureless, white.

So I walked.

And walked.

And walked.

5. Jason

Everything changed today. Change is a fascinating narrative for our lives. Slow, monotonous change. Beginning at the moment of our conception, our decisions, their outcomes, reactions and so on; this collective of instants make up the unique and precise intersection of these accumulated changes. This infinitely momentary juncture determines who and where we are, at any given point in time. Sometimes change is much more abrupt. A car accident, murder, these things are violent and malevolent in their intent. Only one person wins the lottery everyday but, there are countless devastating events that could affect any one of us during that same day. Every so often, life changes suddenly, sometimes it’s hard to tell if that change is violent and malevolent or benign and gentle in its purpose. Perhaps in the moments following these types of changes we determine its impact on our lives by how we react. Or, conceivably, we are doomed to fate. Without free will, our entire universe predetermined, nothing unique, nothing beautiful, no responsibility; Barren and lifeless. At least that was how I used to think, before the first time she came to see me.

6. TheSmaug

There is a monster that roams society, without any regard for decency. It eats pregnant women whole and spits them out… Without the baby. It is not stoppable, and the government helps it. It is a disgrace. It’s name is Abortion.

Here’s the poll, which will end this Sunday night. The winner will be announced next Monday, followed by the return of our Caption Contest on Tuesday morning!

For the other writing contest submissions, go here.

~Éowyn

Fox TV goes to the Devil

“Even the Barbarian and Roman and Egyptian times, however, even Visigoths, might seem tame in regards to what transpires and gains fame in the age of media; hard-pressed, would they have been, the Goths, to exceed what now is in progress and accelerating.” -Michael Brown of Spirit Daily

A show glamorizing Lucifer, aka Satan, aka the Devil, is on Fox TV’s schedule for 2016.

From Fox.com:

Lucifer coming to Fox in 2016!

Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, The original fallen angel, Lucifer Morningstar has abandoned his throne and retired to L.A., where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub.

The TV series Lucifer is a loose adaptation of the DC Comics book series Lucifer written by Mike Carey. In Los Angeles (City of Angels), Lucifer becomes a consultant for the LAPD and gets his kicks helping the police punish criminals.

Here’s a trailer depicting Lucifer as a handsome man with a British accent, played by actor Tom Ellis:

See also:

~Éowyn

Texas House repeals First Amendment to restrict citizen journalism

Jay Root reports for the Texas Tribune that, by a vote of 102-44 in favor, the Texas House on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, gave final sign-off to SB 19, a far-reaching ethics reform package that would shine light on so-called “dark money” while heavily restricting undercover recordings in the state Capitol.

The bill’s language dealing with secret recordings sparked the most heated debate — and demonstrated the degree to which legislators have been rattled by activists who have been following them around and, according to published reports, capturing their movements and conversations.

The bill’s author, Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, didn’t name the American Phoenix Foundation, but it was clear he was referring to the group, which is supported in part by donations from conservative businessmen. Cook said its tactics represented an aggressive new strategy, ominously telling his colleagues that “this is a dark and evil force that’s on us now. This is the people’s House right here and everybody can watch and participate, but chasing people back and forth between offices, sneaking up on people — that’s not what this should be about. It’s never happened before.”

Rep. Byron Cook & Morgan Meyer

Before its final vote, the House added an amendment from state Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, that describes the conditions under which someone can record conversations in the state Capitol. Under the amendment, those who fail to disclose or falsely disclose that they are recording a conversation would be opening themselves to civil lawsuits.

According to Clash Daily, SB 19 is a repeal of portions of the First Amendment, effectively ending citizen journalism in the Capitol. The new law is an attempt for legislators to shield themselves from scrutiny even in public areas of the Capitol building. Civil penalties for video reporting could now include $10,000 fines per occurrence.

Below are the 46 Texas State House Republicans who voted to repeal the First Amendment. Let them know what you think of them.

 

  1. Trent Ashby (HD 57) @TrentAshbyTXtashby@communitytitle-tx.com
  2. Jimmy Don Aycock (HD 54) @Aycockjdajim@jimarenterprises.com
  3. Cindy Burkett (HD 113) @CindyBurkett_TXcindy.burkett@hotmail.com
  4. DeWayne Burns (HD 58) @BurnsForTexas
  5. Angie Chen Button (HD 112) @AngieChenButton
  6. Giovanni Capriglione (HD 98) @VoteGiovannigio.cap@gmail.com
  7. Travis Clardy (HD 11) @TravisForTexas
  8. Byron Cook (HD 8) byron@byroncook.com
  9. Tony Dale (HD 136) @TonyDaleTX
  10. Drew Darby (HD 72) @drewdarby4Txdrew@suretytitleco.com
  11. Sarah Davis (HD 134) @SarahforHD134sdavisatty@aol.com
  12. Gary Elkins (HD 135) gary@garyelkins.com
  13. Wayne Faircloth (HD 23) @WayneFaircloth
  14. Dr. Marsha Farney (HD 20) @DrMarshaFarneymarsha@marshafarney.com
  15. John Frullo (HD 84) @FrulloForTexasjohn@johnfrullo.com
  16. Rick Galindo (HD 117) @GalindoForRep
  17. Charlie Geren (HD 99) @charliegeren
  18. Larry Gonzales (HD 52) @larrygonzales52larry@larrygonzales.com
  19. Patricia Harless (HD 126) @PatriciaHarlessphar77379@aol.com
  20. Dan Huberty (HD 127) @DanHubertydan@danhuberty.com
  21. Todd Hunter (HD 32) @toddahunter@Dist32StateReptodd@hunterhandel.com
  22. Kyle Kacal (HD 12) @KyleKacalkyle@tonkaway.com
  23. Jim Keffer (HD 60) @RepJimKefferlbkeffer@sbcglobal.net
  24. Ken King (HD 88) @KingForTexasken@kingwell.com
  25. Linda Koop (HD 102) @LindaKoopHD102
  26. John Kuempel (HD 44) JLKcampaign@hotmail.com
  27. Lyle Larson (HD 122) @RepLyleLarsonlyle@lylelarson.org
  28. Jose Manuel Lozano (HD 43) @RepJMLozanotexasreplozano@gmail.com
  29. Morgan Meyer (HD 108) @MorganMeyerTXmorgan@morganmeyerfortexas.com
  30. Doug Miller (HD 73) @DougMiller73doug@miller-miller.com
  31. Rick Miller (HD 26) @Vote4Rickrick4tx26@gmail.com
  32. Jim Murphy (HD 133) @JimMurphy133jim@votejimmurphy.com
  33. John Otto (HD 18) @RepJohnOttoj-otto@comcast.net
  34. Tan Parker (HD 63) @tparker63tanparker@rr.tx.com
  35. Larry Philips (HD 62) shmdad@yahoo.com
  36. Four Price (HD 87) @FourPriceTX
  37. John Raney (HD 14) @RaneyForTexastxag@txag.com
  38. Debbie Riddle (HD 150) @debbieriddle
  39. Dr. J.D. Sheffield (HD 59) @dr_sheffieldjsheffield@cmhos.org
  40. Ron Simmons (HD 65) @RonSimmonsTexasrsimmons@raa.com
  41. Wayne Smith (HD 128) waynesmith128@comcast.net
  42. Ed Thompson (HD 29) @RepEdThompsoned@edthompson29.com
  43. Gary VanDeaver (HD 1) @GaryVanDeaver
  44. Jason Villalba (HD 114) @JasonVillalbajvillalba@sbcglobal.net
  45. Paul Workman (HD 47) @PaulWorkmanpaulworkman@austin.rr.com
  46. John Wray (HD 10) @wrayfortexas10

~Éowyn

Useful Idiot of the Year: Lesbian rabbi objects to ban on sharia law

Definition of “useful idiot“:

An individual who sympathizes or propagandizes for a cause, the goals of which he or she is not fully aware or understand, who cynically is used by the leaders of the cause. Typically, the sympathizers are the first to be killed after the cause succeeds and comes to political power.

Rabbi Robin Nafshi

Rabbi Robin Nafshi, who identifies herself as “the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Jacob in Concord,” New Hampshire, is just such a useful idiot. Does she not know that if America were to come under Islamic control and Americans ruled by sharia law, she — a Jew and open lesbian — would be among the first to be exterminated?

Robin Nafshi at Roe v Wade celebration 2012

Below is Rabbi Nafshi’s op/ed in the Concord Monitor.

My Turn: The misguided push to ban Sharia Law

By Rabbi Robin Nafshi – Dec. 6, 2014

As the leader of a religious community with a wide range of political views, I am always cautious when speaking out on partisan issues. But sometimes, I must. Now is that time.

On Sept. 20, the delegates of the New Hampshire Republican Party adopted a Platform of Republican Principles. It contains 83 bulleted goals. Number 83 reads as follows:

“Take any and all actions possible to protect against the implementation of any part of Sharia law in New Hampshire, including legislation outlawing Sharia law.”

Sharia means “the way” in Arabic, and Sharia law guides all aspects of Muslim life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Quran and the Sunna – the sayings, practices and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

Sharia law for Muslims is quite similar to Halakhah for Jews. Halakhah means “the way” in Hebrew and it guides all aspect of Jewish life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud – the sayings, practices, and teachings of the early Jewish Rabbis.

Why has the Republican Party singled out Sharia law? Why doesn’t it seek to protect against the implementation in New Hampshire of any part of Halakhah, or for that matter, Roman Catholic Canon Law?

Because the New Hampshire Republican Party and other states that have sought similar bans are playing off of what they believe to be a growing fear in this country. We live in a difficult time, historically. Extremist Muslims – a very small percentage of the overall Muslim population – have hijacked a peaceful religion and perverted it into something narrowly construed and intolerant of the West, Jews, Israel, democracy, women’s education and more.

The politicians who endorse anti-Sharia laws are exploiting Americans’ legitimate fears of ISIS, al Qaida, Hamas and other extremist groups in order to ostracize and discriminate against the American Muslim community.

Were the platform’s position to become law in New Hampshire, it would most likely be deemed unconstitutional. In 2010, Oklahoma voters passed a measure banning the use of Sharia law in the state. A federal appeals court declared it an unconstitutional singling out of a particular religion, a violation of both the establishment clause and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Oklahoma introduced a modified version. It passed, and Oklahoma joined Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota and Tennessee in enacting laws that prohibit courts to consider foreign law.

Such laws are unnecessary – and sometimes result in unintended consequences.

Our state courts apply foreign law only when two parties have negotiated a contract that calls for the application of foreign law. This is done frequently in business, especially when a foreign-based business has a presence in the state. For example, a Canadian business and a New Hampshire business might agree that in the event of a dispute, the matter would be decided in Canada. They have the right to do that, and a New Hampshire court might then be asked to enforce a Canadian judgment. This kind of thing happens all the time in the U.S. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. But a ban on foreign law in our courts might no longer permit it.

And sometimes, on personal matters, parties agree to be governed by religious law. Many Jewish couples, for example, draw up a prenuptial agreement governed by Jewish law. In the event the marriage ends, it requires the couple to not only obtain a civil divorce, but also to comply with the requirements of divorce under Jewish law. A New Hampshire court would be asked to enforce that contract clause. But a ban on foreign law in our courts might no longer permit it.

While these two examples apply to a “foreign law” ban, we must remember that the Republican Party Platform position would ban only Sharia law. Two Muslims might use the principles of Sharia law to guide a financial contract just the same way the New Hampshire and Canadian businesses might use Canadian law to guide them. In the event of a dispute, however, a court might refuse to recognize the agreement between the two Muslims if the anti-Sharia provision becomes law, while the agreement between the New Hampshire and the Canadian businesses would remain in tact.

Too many people in our world – including, apparently, members of the New Hampshire Republican Party – believe that Sharia law is violent and contrary to our way of life.

Even if that were true, calling for its ban in our courts isn’t necessary. Our courts cannot enforce contractual provisions that violate public policy. If my congregation and I have an employment contract that requires disputes to be settled by a religious arbitrator who would apply Biblical principles, we can do that. But if the arbitrator rules that the congregation should stone me to death for working on the Sabbath, obviously a New Hampshire court would not enforce that ruling. This is the law in every state, making the adoption of a ban on Sharia law – or any foreign law – unnecessary.

There is only one reason for the inclusion of the anti-Sharia law in the Republican Party platform: hostility to Muslims. Muslims who live in America have a deep commitment to American law and the Constitution’s promise of religious freedom. Anti-Sharia proposals serve only to tell Muslims that they are less a part of the American family and less entitled to the protections of the First Amendment than their non-Muslim counterparts.

As a Jew, I know that my people have been persecuted for thousands of years, and that nations throughout history have passed laws to make it more difficult for Jews to practice our faith. I will not stand by and watch that happen to another minority religion. The New Hampshire Republican Party platform position is nothing more, in the words of Abraham Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, than “camouflaged bigotry.”

In her studies and learnedness, Rabbi Robin Nafshi must have missed the following from the Quran:

Sura 9:5– “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.”

Sura 9:29– “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Nor does the lesbian rabbi know about these:

And since Robin Nafshi and her partner clearly love dogs (see pic below), she really should acquaint herself withWhy Muslims hate dogs.”

Rabbi Robin Nafshi at home with partner & dogsSource of pic: Concord Monitor

God help us, please, from left-wing rabid pro-abort useful idiots like this rabbi.

See also our Mike’s brilliant “Are You a Useful Idiot?“.

H/t John Molloy

~Éowyn

Court Rules Pro-Life Views Are “Patently Offensive,” Bans Choose Life License Plates in New York

license plate

Life News: A federal appeals court has issued a ruling banning Choose Life license plates in New York state and claimed in its decision that pro-life views are “patently offensive.” The court issued ruling in The Children First Foundation v. Fiala,  which rejects a pro-adoption group’s application to sponsor a “Choose Life” specialty plate with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.

The appeals court ruling overturned a lower court decision upholding the right of drivers in New York to purchase the pro-life plates.

As the Daily Caller reports:

A new decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals holds that New York’s state government has the right to ban “Choose Life” license plates on the grounds that such a statement is “patently offensive.”

The dispute stems from a now-suspended program offered by New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which allowed private organizations to create custom license plates. If drivers purchased the plates, the purchasing price was split between the DMV and the non-profit.

The Children First Foundation (CFF), an organization promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion, submitted a design for a “Choose Life” license plate, which featured a drawing of two children’s faces in front of a yellow sun.

The proposed plate was rejected, with the DMV citing a policy that allows it to ban “patently offensive” plates in order to prevent incidents of road rageThe “patently offensive” category in U.S. speech is typically related to public obscenity laws, and allows for limitations on things like the public display of pornography or other materials that blatantly violate community standards.

Judge Rosemary Pooler, a Clinton appointee, agreed with New York’s position in her majority opinion. She took this view even though she also ruled that license plates are private speech subject to First Amendment protections. Despite these protections, however, she said that so many New Yorkers could find a plate advocating an anti-abortion position “patently offensive” that the DMV was justified in suppressing the speech.

In a strong dissent, Judge Debra Ann Livingston said the court was essentially granting the New York DMV the right to suppress any viewpoints it did not like.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco decried the decision.

“Pro-adoption organizations should have the same speech rights as any other organization. While the district court affirmed this basic freedom, the circuit court denied free speech in favor of government censorship. The state doesn’t have the authority to target The Children First Foundation specialty plates for censorship based on its life-affirming viewpoint. The state has wrongly gotten away with speech discrimination against our client for more than 10 years. We will review our legal options.

The battle to allow motorists to purchase Choose Life license plates has been going on in the Empire State for years.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of The Children First Foundation in 2004 against state officials who denied its attempt to allow motorists to purchase Choose Life license plates. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles rejected CFF’s design in August 2002 — considering it “too political and controversial” to approve. The organization redesigned the plate, adding the group’s web site to it to better explain its purpose, and the DMV rejected it again.

The state dismissed the attempt to create the plate and said it was rejected in order “to avoid any appearance of governmental support for either side in the divisive national abortion debate.”

Saying its free speech rights were denied, Children First filed suit with assistance from Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and, in January 2005, a federal judge ruled it had sufficiently argued its First Amendment rights would be violated.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s second attempt to ban the plates and allowed the lawsuit to move forward. The DMV eventually suspended review of specialty plates — a move that Elizabeth Rex, president of the Children First Foundation, says was done specifically to block the Choose Life plate.

Guess which license plates the New York DMV does sell that could be labeled “patently offensive”?

National Police Defense Foundation

license plate2

Copshot

license plate3

War on Terror Veteran

license plate4

Guess the state is ok with the appearance of governmental support for these divisive national debates.

DCG

Womyn dress as tampons to protest the ‘Tampon Tax’

tampon idiots3'

Daily Mail: Giant dancing tampons and a mobile billboard addressed to Prime Minister Tony Abbott could be seen outside the Parliament today, in a woman’s campaign to abolish GST for sanitary products.

Vimalarajah

Vimalarajah

University student Subeta Vimalarajah, who has gathered more than 98,000 signatures for her Stop Taxing My Period petition, exposed the billboard and assembled a group of women dressed as giant tampons on the lawns of the Parliament House this morning.

The campaign follows Joe Hockey’s appearance on ABC’s Q&A on Monday, where he agreed that the tax should be scrapped, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott indicated that this is a matter for the state treasurer to figure out.

‘Mr. Abbott has backed away from addressing this inequality at every opportunity, diverting responsibility to anyone but himself,’ Ms Vimalarajah said in a press release.

‘Sanitary items are an essential health item, used at least once a month by at least half the population. It’s time our Minister for Women recognised that periods aren’t paychecks, they’re a pain.’

tampon idiots

Ms. Vimalarajah, got the opportunity to ask Mr Hockey a direct line of questioning regarding the tax on the ABC TV program Q&A on Monday night. ‘Mr. Hockey, do you think that sanitary products are an essential health good for half the population?’ she asked.

After the audience laughed and applauded Ms. Vimalarajah’s for being so straightforward, Mr. Hockey simply replied with: ‘I think so.’

When probed further by host Tony Jones if the GST should be removed from such products, Mr. Hockey added: ‘It probably should, yes, the answer’s yes.’ After the segment, Treasurer Joe Hockey promised to broach the topic of tampon tax with his state counterparts.

‘I’ll give you this undertaking, I’ll raise it with the states in the next meeting of the treasurers in July, I think,’ he said. Ms. Vimalarajah beamed as she replied: ‘Thank you so much, that would be great.’

After the billboard launch, a community picnic was put together to celebrate – with ‘period friendly’ snacks like chocolate, biscuits and sweets.

Read the rest here.

Boo hoo…life isn’t fair, get over it. Lots of “essential health items” are taxed. Why should you get a special break? Besides, I thought liberals loved paying their taxes to support the poor and needy. Oh wait, guess when it comes to their wallets they want an exemption.

special snowflake

And if you want to be taken seriously as a womyn, recognize that your periods aren’t an inequality. It’s a God-given bodily function that is your personal responsibility.

If Ms. Vimalarajah truly cared about taxes on sanitary items that affect the WHOLE population, she’d be demanding a recall of the toilet paper tax (which is a rate of 10%).

DCG

State of anarchy in post-riot Baltimore: Homicides spike; police presence scarce; residents fearful

If Americans want to see the result of the war on cops, go to Baltimore, Maryland, especially western Baltimore, where the streets now resemble the anarchic wild, wild West.

As reported by the AP, in the wake of the protests/riots/looting ostensibly about Freddie Gray, Baltimore’s homicide rate of 36 murders for May is the highest in 16 years, since 1999. Ten of May’s homicides happened in the Western District, which has had as many homicides in the first five months of this year as it did all of last year. And the month isn’t over yet.

To compare, Baltimore’s homicide rates in the months preceding May were 22 in April, 15 in March, 13 in February and 23 in January.

Non-fatal shootings are spiking as well. So far in May there have been 91 — 58 of them in the Western District.

At the same time, arrests have plunged more than 50% compared to last year.

Even before Gray’s death, police were making between 25% to 28% fewer arrests each month than they made in the same month last year. But in May arrests declined far more sharply. So far this month, arrests are down roughly 56%. Police booked just 1,045 people in the first 19 days of May, an average of 55 a day. In the same time period last year, police arrested 2,396 people, an average of 126 a day. In fact, police did not make any arrests in the triple digits between April 22 and May 19, except on two occasions. On April 27, when protests gave way to rioting, police arrested 246 people. On May 2, the last day of a city-wide curfew, police booked 140 people.

All of which leaves residents fearful for their safety. West Baltimore residents worry they’ve been abandoned by the officers they once accused of harassing them. Residents say that in recent weeks, some neighborhoods have become like the Wild West without a lawman around.

Antoinette Perrine, 47, whose brother was among the 36 killed this month on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore, has since barricaded her front door. She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the gunfire. Perrine said, “I’m afraid to go outside. It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside. People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.”

Donnail “Dreads” Lee, 34, who lives in the Gilmor Homes, the public housing complex where Gray, 25, was arrested, said, “Before it was over-policing. Now there’s no police. I haven’t seen the police since the riots. People feel as though they can do things and get away with it. I see people walking with guns almost every single day, because they know the police aren’t pulling them up like they used to.”

Anthony BattsLast week, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts denied that his officers deliberately are “holding back” from policing tough neighborhoods, but that police are encountering dangerous hostility in the Western District: “Our officers tell me that when officers pull up, they have 30 to 50 people surrounding them at any time.”

At a City Council meeting Wednesday, Batts said officers have expressed concern they could be arrested for making mistakes: “What is happening, there is a lot of levels of confusion in the police organization. There are people who have pain, there are people who are hurt, there are people who are frustrated, there are people who are angry. “here are people, and they’ve said this to me, `If I get out of my car and make a stop for a reasonable suspicion that leads to probable cause but I make a mistake on it, will I be arrested?’ They pull up to a scene and another officer has done something that they don’t know, it may be illegal, will they be arrested for it? Those are things they are asking.”

baltimore-mayor-stephanie-rawlings-blake

Protesters said Gray’s death is emblematic of a pattern of police violence and brutality against impoverished Blacks in Baltimore. That prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who recklessly had given a green signal to protesters “to purge” (which she subsequently denied doing), to ask newly installed U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for a full-fledged probe into whether the department employs discriminatory policing, excessive force and unconstitutional searches and arrests.

See “A movie becomes real: Baltimore race riots understood mayor’s words as permission to Purge.”

Baltimore riots The Purge

At a news conference yesterday, Rawlings-Blake said there were “a lot of reasons why we’re having a surge in violence…there’s a lot of distrust and a community breakdown. The result is routinely increased violence.” She said her office is “examining” the relationship between the homicide spike and the dwindling arrest rate: “It’s clear that the relationship between the commissioner and the rank-and-file is strained. He’s working very hard to repair that relationship.”

Michael Greenberger, an emergency response specialist and the founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security, cautions against blaming the police for the violence. He said it’s more likely a response to Gray’s death and the rioting: “We went through a period of such intense anger that the murder rate got out of control. I think it’s been really hard for the police to keep on top of that.”

Resident Donnail “Dreads” Lee disagrees. He says rival gang members are taking advantage of the police reticence to settle scores: “There was a shooting down the street, and the man was standing in the middle of the street with a gun, just shooting. Usually, you can’t walk up and down the street drinking or smoking weed. Now, people are everywhere smoking weed, and police just ride by, look at you, and keep going. There used to be police on every corner. I don’t think they’ll be back this summer.

Veronica Edmonds, a 26-year-old mother of seven in the Gilmor Homes, while saying that she wishes the police would return, still places the blame on the police. She said if the police “focused more on criminals and left the petty stuff [like drug use] alone, the community would have more respect for police officers.”

MD Sheriff Mike Lewis

Ian Hanchett reports for Breitbart that on yesterday’s Fox News “Hannity,” Wicomico County, MD Sheriff Mike Lewis (R) said that police officers are plain “fearful” of doing their jobs. Lewis told Sean Hannity:

“Sean, the Baltimore City Police Department, the officers particularly on the street, have been eviscerated, they’ve been disemboweled, their guts removed to have the courage to go out there and do this job. They’re very fearful that if they go out there and be proactive, which we all should be doing in law enforcement today, we can’t afford to be reactive, especially in urban areas. Those officers are no longer being proactive, and as you see, the violence has surged. … And I hope this is a shot fired across the bow of mayors and urban leaders across this country. Once you disembowel your law enforcement officers, then you can no longer expect them to go out there and protect you, or protect your communities. This is very troubling the worst I’ve ever seen in 31 years of law enforcement. I’m hearing it all the time. They’re [police officers] fearful at doing their jobs.”

See also:

~Éowyn

Video of Egyptians mocking Obama is a spoof

There’s a video of an Egyptian news show in Arabic mocking Obama which has gone viral via email and social media. Conservatives, especially, are gleefully passing it to one another.

Before you pass it to your family, friends and acquaintances, you really should read this post first because the video’s a spoof.

On May 20, 2015, in New London, Connecticut, in his commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy, Obama called “climate change” — the new PC word for “anthropogenic (man-made) global warming” — “a serious threat to global security and an immediate risk” to U.S. national security.

In the video below of a news show in Egypt, supposedly translated by MEMRI TV, the show’s host and guests heaped derision on Obama, beginning with the host asking incredulously about Obama: “Is he insane?”

One guest says: “He’s on drugs.”

Another guest says: “What did you expect from an Affirmative Action president?”

Then a man identified as retired Egyptian General Mahmoud Mansour says: “This guy has never served in the military, never worked a day in his life.”

“Have you seen his wife? Who do you think makes the decisions? He does what she says. It’s that simple. Did you see that video of him working out? My 8-year-old daughter has bigger biceps than him.”

The show host then wonders if Obama is “deliberately trying to destroy his country.” To which one of the guests replies, “Of course, he is.”

Gen. Mansour: “Look at what he did in Libya. It’s all a part of his plan. This is a man who ignores the evidence of his own eyes. He is too afraid. He doesn’t want to admit the truth. Look at how he deals with ISIS and their Muslim fighters. He thinks if he is just nice to Muslims, then ISIS will stop trying to kill them and give them a big hug.”

Gen. Mansour asks the host, “You don’t think it [what Obama is doing] is deliberate?” Then, turning to address the camera, apparently speaking directly to Americans, Gen. Mansour says:

“You people need to wake up now. America is getting weaker by the day under this president. Your enemies no longer fear you, and your allies no longer trust you. How do you fix it? You start dealing with the problem. You start focusing on what it is. Like Egypt, you get rid of this ISIS-loving president and start defending America.”

There’s just one thing wrong about the video.

It’s a spoof.

How do I know that?

I know that because I actually read the comments posted to the video’s YouTube page.

The video was uploaded to YouTube by IPhoneConservative. This is what he wrote in a comment:

“Folks…….this a spoof. It was never intended to be taken as a legitimate news report. Obviously two things are at play here. One, I did the job too well. Two, we have come to the stage in the Obama presidency where quite literally……….anything is possible.”

One more thing: There is no Egyptian general, retired or active, named Mahmoud Mansour. I did an Internet search, and the closest I found is a man named Adly Mansour, who was Egypt’s interim president from July 3, 2013 to June 8, 2014.

Please stop passing the video around as truth. You’ll just make yourself look gullible and foolish.

~Éowyn