Category Archives: Middle East

Obama’s America: Army morale is low, job satisfaction low, and more than half have poor nutrition and sleep

tired soldier

USA Today: More than half of some 770,000 soldiers are pessimistic about their future in the military and nearly as many are unhappy in their jobs, despite a six-year, $287 million campaign to make troops more optimistic and resilient, findings obtained by USA TODAY show.

Twelve months of data through early 2015 show that 403,564 soldiers, or 52%, scored badly in the area of optimism, agreeing with statements such as “I rarely count on good things happening to me.” Forty-eight percent have little satisfaction in or commitment to their jobs.

The results stem from resiliency assessments that soldiers are required to take every year. In 2014, for the first time, the Army pulled data from those assessments to help commanders gauge the psychological and physical health of their troops.

The effort produced startlingly negative results. In addition to low optimism and job satisfaction, more than half reported poor nutrition and sleep, and only 14% said they are eating right and getting enough rest.

The Army began a program of positive psychology in 2009 in the midst of two wars and as suicide and mental illness were on the rise. To measure resiliency the Army created a confidential, online questionnaire that all soldiers, including the National Guard and Reserve, must fill out once a year.

Last year, Army scientists applied formulas to gauge service-wide morale based on the assessments. The results demonstrate that positive psychology “has not had much impact in terms of overall health,” says David Rudd, president of the University of Memphis who served on a scientific panel critical of the resiliency program.

army morale

The Army offered contradictory responses to the findings obtained by USA TODAY. Sharyn Saunders, chief of the Army Resiliency Directorate that produced the data, initially disavowed the results. “I’ve sat and looked at your numbers for quite some time and our team can’t figure out how your numbers came about,” she said in an interview in March.

However, when USA TODAY provided her the supporting Army documents this week, her office acknowledged the data but said the formulas used to produce them were obsolete. “We stand by our previous responses,” it said in a statement.

Subsequent to USA TODAY’s inquiry, the Army calculated new findings but lowered the threshold for a score to be a positive result. As a consequence, for example, only 9% of 704,000 score poorly in optimism.

The Army said the effort to use the questionnaire results to gauge morale Army-wide is experimental. “We continue to refine our methodologies and threshold values to get the most accurate results possible,” it said in the statement.

The Army’s effort to use positive psychology to make soldiers more resilient has been controversial since its inception in 2009. A blue-ribbon panel of scientists from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded last year that there is little or no evidence the program prevents mental illness. It argued there was no effort to test its efficacy before the Army embraced it . The panel cited research arguing that, in fact, the program could be harmful if it leaves soldiers with a false sense of resiliency.

The Army disputed the findings, pushing ahead with its positive psychology program that now costs more than $50 million a year. At least 2.45 million soldiers have taken a self-assessment test that is a crucial part of the resiliency program, and 28,000 GIs have been instructed on how to teach other soldiers the curriculum.

“The Army funds this program because the Army values the lives of soldiers and wants to instill skills and competencies that will enhance their connections, relationships and ability to mitigate stressors and exercise help seeking behaviors through their life,” says an Army statement released last month.

But the internal data obtained by USA TODAY shows most soldiers today trending in the wrong direction. Two-thirds were borderline or worse for an area called “catastrophic thinking,” where poor scores mean the soldier has trouble adapting to change or dwells on the worst possible things happening.

Other results:

  • Forty-eight percent or about 370,000 soldiers showed a lack of commitment to their job or would have chosen another if they had it to do over again. Only 28% felt good about what they do.
  • About 300,000 soldiers or nearly 40% didn’t trust their immediate supervisor or fellow soldiers in their unit or didn’t feel respected or valued. Thirty-two percent felt good about ab bosses and peers.
  • In one positive trend, more than 400,000 soldiers or 53% said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with their marriage, personal relationship or family. About 240,000 expressed dissatisfaction.
  • For physical fitness, nearly 40% were in good shape, 28% were borderline, and 33% did poorly.

Retired vice admiral Norb Ryan, head of the Military Officers Association of America, and Joyce Raezer, executive of the National Military Family Association, said the results are not surprising. Fourteen years of war and recent decisions to downsize or cut funding for the military have left morale low, they said.

A recent survey by the Military Times and a Navy Retention Study also show troops increasingly unhappy.

Saunders defended the Army resiliency program, known officially as Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, as an effort that has resonated with soldiers.” When we talk to soldiers, soldiers tell us about the life changes they’ve had,” she says.

Morale is low? Shocker, not.

Hillary Clinton what difference does it make

See also:

NY-Post-Frontpage-Obama-Islam-2-19-2015

DCG

Assbakistan Loses Another Homie

Urban Dictionary
hom·ie  noun
  1. an acquaintance from one’s town or neighborhood, or a member of one’s peer group or gang.

The Telegraph

Male model from Australia dies fighting for Islamic State

Sharky Jama, 25, a member of Melbourne’s tight-knit Somali community, is believed to be the 20th Australian to die fighting for Isil

Sharky-Jama_3269582b

By Jonathan Pearlman

Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, has urged Australians not to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) “death cult” after a 25-year-old male model from Melbourne became the latest foreign recruit to die while fighting with militants in Syria.

Sharky Jama, a former model and keen football player from Melbourne’s Somali community, had been based in Iraq but was shot dead in Syria.

His family said they received a text message and phone call from someone on Monday informing them that he had been killed.

Hussein Haraco, a Melbourne Somali community leader, said he had known Jama’s family for ten years and he was known as a good person who assisted other community members.

“They haven’t got any idea what is the reason,” Mr Haraco told ABC News.

“He was just a young man playing soccer and being at other activities and suddenly something happened and he went to Syria. [It’s] really shocking for the whole community and we are really confused.”

Read more at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11541318/Male-model-from-Australia-dies-fighting-for-Islamic-State.html


Shocked? Confused? Really? 
Anyone sane knows exactly what motivated him to go. 

What’s with Time magazine giving élites sinister devil’s horns?

Time magazine has a penchant to give élites devil’s horns on its cover.

The latest to receive that treatment is Hillary Clinton, on the cover of Time‘s March 13, 2015 issue:

Time's Hillary cover

The cover caught the attention of many media outlets, including Drudge Report, Fox News, National Review, and Politico.

But Time was quick to deny that the horns were intentional, and responded with a tongue-in-cheek article on its website titled “34 TIME Magazine Covers That Appeared to Give People Horns.”

Here are some examples of Time‘s other élites sprouting horns, including even Jesus. The elites can be grouped into 3 groups:

  1. Political leaders — presidents, other heads of state, and Bill Gates.
  2. Entertainment élites, including actors Russell Crowe, Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno, and Darth Vader.
  3. Religious leaders — all Christians, including the three most recent popes of the Catholic Church (Francis, Benedict, John Paul II), Billy Graham (whose horns are especially striking), and even Jesus Christ.

time-cover-bill-clinton-devil-hornsTime7Time9Time8060925_DomCNNL1R1.apnTime5Time10Time3Time4time-cover-bill-gates-devil-hornsTime2Time1time-cover-graham-devil-hornstime-cover-jesus-devil-horns

The magazine coyly insists:

Given the shape of the letter “m” in the magazine’s name and its location on the cover, many other subjects in the past have also appeared to sprout extra features (in fact this happened to Hillary Clinton at least once before. Same goes for Bill Clinton. George W. Bush too). Check out everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Pope Francis to Jesus to Darth Vader who have received the rough end of TIME’s “horns.” Any resemblance to cats, bats or devil horns is entirely coincidental.

Do you buy Time‘s excuse?

I don’t! For surely the magazine’s graphic artists could have positioned the élites’ heads underneath the letters T I M E, or have the heads to the side of the letters so that the two horns of the letter M aren’t right on top of their heads.

Time is also being disingenuous when they say the horns may “resemble” cat ears, bat ears, or devil horns, for the magazine itself labels the pictures of the élites as “devil horns.”

Verify this for yourself by going here and saving the pictures to your hard-drive. You’ll discover that every one of the 34 covers, except the first one of Hillary Clinton, is labeled “devil horns,” e.g., “time-cover-pope-francis-devil-horns.” This gives the lie to Time‘s disclaimer that “Any resemblance to . . . devil horns is entirely coincidental.” On the contrary, any resemblance to devil horns is precisely intentional and deliberate.

The Hillary cover of March 13, 2015 alone is not labeled “devil horns.” Instead, the pic is labeled “hillary-final.”

So what exactly is Time trying to tell us? What do you think?

~Éowyn

Catholic Church’s chief exorcist: “ISIS is Satan”

ISIS jihadists about to behead captive Coptic Christians

ISIS jihadists about to behead captive Coptic Christians

Catholic News Agency reports today (April 15, 2015) that well-known Roman exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth, who founded the International Association of Exorcists, says the Islamic State (ISIS) is Satan.

In an April 8 post on his Facebook page, Padre Amorth writes (translation from Italian):

Isis is Satan. Things first happen in the spiritual realms, then they are made concrete on this Earth. There are only two spiritual realms: The Holy Spirit and the spirit of the demon. The demonic enters in because evil is disguised in various ways: political, religious, cultural, and it has one source of inspiration: the devil.  As a Christian I fight the beast spiritually. 

The exorcist also questions the lack of response from Western nations:

The political world, which today seems to lack a response in face of the massacre of Christians, will also have to fight ISIS and it will do it in a different way. If it advances as it seems to be doing, we ask ourselves what has the West done over the course of the last decades.”

Amorth explains that Satan “keeps saying that the world is in his power, and what he says is true. Biblically speaking we are in the last days and the beast is working furiously.”

Fr. Amorth is 90 years old and has performed over 70,000 exorcisms during the past 29 years. The number is so high because carrying out an exorcism can require multiple sessions and each time the rite is administered it is counted as one instance. Amorth has previously spoken about the danger posed by people no longer believing in the devil, as well as a shortage of exorcists.

ISIS took control of the largest Christian city in Iraq, Qaraqosh, in August last year, causing tens of thousands of people to flee. The apocalyptic genocidal group has persecuted and murdered Christians and other religious minorities in parts of Syria and Iraq.

See also:

~Éowyn

World-renown Islamic university teaches it’s okay for Muslims to cannibalize Jews and Christians

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

Egypt Independent is the sister English-language publication of Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt’s flagship independent daily newspaper. Founded in 2009 as a news website, Egypt Independent launched a weekly print edition in 2011.

According to an article in Egypt Independent, April 14, 2015, religious jurisprudence textbooks at Al-Azhar University teach students that Muslims are allowed to eat the dead flesh of Jews and Christians.

Al-Azhar University and mosque in Cairo, Egypt

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Note:Al-Azhar University is Egypt’s oldest degree-granting university, renowned as “Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university.” Founded in 970 or 972 as a center of Islamic learning, Al-Azhar was one of the first universities in the world and is today the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world. Its mission is to propagate Islam and Islamic culture. To this end, the university’s Islamic scholars render edicts (fatwas) on disputes submitted to them from all over the Sunni Islamic world regarding…

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‘Nine-year-old pregnant’ after being raped by at least 10 Islamic State paedophiles

Afghan child brides

Express: Hundreds of Yazidi women and children who were taken hostage by the brutal regime were released this week after more than eight months in captivity. ut volunteers in huge make-shift refugee camps have given a distressing account of trauma and abuse at the hand of the jihadist group, which continues to wage a bloody war across the region.

Charity workers said one nine-year-old girl, who was left pregnant after being raped by at least 10 different men, was so young and weak she was likely to die during childbirth.  “Even a caesarean section is dangerous,” Yousif Daoud, a Canadian-based aid worker who recently returned from the region, said.

The freed group of 200 girls and women was taken hostage last summer after intense fighting in northern Iraq.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis – a minority group based mainly in the Kurdistan region of the country – were attacked and besieged on a mountain side in August 2014. Hundreds were killed during the fighting and estimates put the number of girls still being held by extremist fighters at up to 4,000.

Aid workers said releasing the 200-strong group of girls and women this week might have been done simply to shame them when they returned to their families. “Sending back those girls and women is a way of shaming the whole community,” Mr. Daoud said.  “I don’t know what the future would be for their babies. The girls and women don’t want them. They have suffered so much they just want to forget.  If they are married, their husbands won’t take them back if they are pregnant. And it’s clear that the babies will never be accepted.”

There are fears that some of the pregnant women will attempt to have an abortion, but healthcare provisions are so poor that many will die in the process, aid workers claim.

messed up

DCG

“And you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction…”*

college_isis_support

James O’Keefe and Project Veritas sting more academics

The complete ignorance of these people takes my breath away!

“When you watch this video, you’ll see members of California universities and colleges – who have received FIVE BILLION DOLLARS from the federal government – pledging to support ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah.

As with most who signed our petition, Professor Bruce Burnam gave his John Hancock after our journalist said: ‘Sign, print and address to pledge our financial, our money to Islamic State and Hamas and Hezbollah and groups like that.'”
– James O’Keefe

* Headline quoted from Barry McGuire “Eve of Destruction”