Patterico's Pontifications


ISIS Degenerate Beheads Second Journalist on Video

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:51 pm

We all knew this was coming.

A new video appears to show the execution of Steven Sotloff, the second American killed by a self-professed member of the Islamist terror group ISIS.

In the video, which appeared online today, Sotloff addresses the camera, saying, “I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing.”

“Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?” the journalist says calmly as the black clad militant holds a knife casually at his side.

Later the video then cuts to the militant who says, “I’m back, Obama. I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State [ISIS].”

“… [J]ust as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people,” the figure says.

The camera cuts again and the militant appears to kill Sotloff.


Your Prurient Interest Story of the Week

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:19 pm

[guest post by JVW]

I am loathe to blog about matters that better belong on a site like TMZ or Egotastic, but there is an interesting matter pertaining to cultural mores that is worth exploring, so here goes:

Over the weekend the Hollywood-gossip portion of the Internet was all abuzz with news that a hacker or a group of hackers had managed to access naked “selfies” of several pop culture icons and had begun posting them to places like Twitter and Reddit. These photos (and perhaps in some cases videos) were obtained by the hacker(s) allegedly figuring out the owner’s password on the iCloud, and downloading them from there. Roughly a dozen celebrities had their photos posted over the weekend, and some reports indicate up to one hundred total celebrities accounts compromised, with the hacker(s) promising more postings in days to come. Though the photos have very quickly been removed from Reddit and Twitter, they no doubt are still available on the more obscure and unregulated corners of the Internet.

So as of this week the new battleground for the culture wars is to what degree should any of the blame be assigned to those celebrities who took nude pics and somehow expected that they would never see the light of day. Girls actress and creator Lena Dunham, last noted here fawning over Barack Obama, seems to take an absolutist stance that her fellow celebrities are entirely blameless:

Meanwhile, over at Forbes, their cybersecurity reporter thinks that anyone who shares personal files on a cloud-based systems – especially celebrities – is setting herself (since thus far, the celebrities targeted have all be female) up for trouble.

I’ll open up the comments to anyone who wants to chime in: Do you feel sorry for the celebrities involved? Do you find Lena Dunham’s response vulgar and disrespectful to rape victims, or did she pretty much get it absolutely right? To what degree do you assign part of the responsibility to the celebrities who felt they could take these pictures and store them on the cloud without having any security breaches?


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I feel about this pretty much the same way I do about other behaviors that put one at greater risk of being victimized by criminals. Namely, I teach my children not to engage in the behaviors — but when someone else is victimized, I put the blame entirely on the criminal. I don’t see how it helps anything to get on a soapbox and start lecturing the victims on their poor judgment — and virtually all of the lecturers make their own data vulnerable to hackers in some form or fashion. Ultimately, criminals are the ones responsible for crime, not victims.

That doesn’t mean you can’t teach your children avoidance strategies. Just try to be less haughty about those who haven’t learned them. So my view is: Teach your children the lessons they need to learn, and then hold your tongue when criminals victimize people.

Fast Food Workers Taking Action — And That Action May Surprise You!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Then again, it might not.

Fast food workers across the country believe they are underpaid — so they are planning some action. They intend to band together and work extra hard for a week, to increase sales and productivity, and show their employers that they are worth more than they are currently being paid.

Sorry, my bad. Actually, they’re planning civil disobedience:

The next round of strikes by fast-food workers demanding higher wages is scheduled for Thursday, and this time labor organizers plan to increase the pressure by staging widespread civil disobedience and having thousands of home-care workers join the protests.

The organizers say fast-food workers — who are seeking a $15 hourly wage — will go on strike at restaurants in more than 100 cities and engage in sit-ins in more than a dozen cities.

But by having home-care workers join, workers and union leaders hope to expand their campaign into a broader movement.

“On Thursday, we are prepared to take arrests to show our commitment to the growing fight for $15,” said Terrence Wise, a Burger King employee in Kansas City, Mo., and a member of the fast-food workers’ national organizing committee. At a convention that was held outside Chicago in July, 1,300 fast-food workers unanimously approved a resolution calling for civil disobedience as a way to step up pressure on the fast-food chains.

Imagine if they showed this kind of commitment and resolve to doing their jobs well.

A Particular Kind Of Obscenity

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

I read about the horrendous child abuse situation in Rotherham last week and avoided posting about it because of the magnitude of awfulness. However, while the abuse is terrible, the situation also points to the inevitable consequences of political correctness run amok. Sadly, there are those who still won’t be able to put the pieces together and understand that this is what group think of the worst kind begets.

Last week a report revealed that at least 1,400 children had been subject to sexual torture in the northern England town of Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. The perpetrators were mostly Pakistani men. Professor Alexis Jay’s report found cases of “children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone”.

Rotherham has a population of just 250,000. You would think during those 16 years of systematic sexual abuse that someone might have noticed or that some of the victims and their families would have come forward. And, in fact, many did. But authorities, following the “no loud denunciation” rule, largely ignored them. Aside from the jailing of five men for sexual offences against girls in 2010, the attacks just continued.

Denis MacShane, the Labour MP for Rotherham from 1994 to 2012, explained why: “There was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat, if I may put it like that. Perhaps, yes, as a true Guardian reader and liberal Leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.”

Nobody did. According to Professor Jay’s report: “Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought as racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”

You can read the rest, but suffice it to say, 1,400 children were sacrificed on the altar of political correctness because certain individuals did not want to be labeled “racist”, and instead preferred to protect the guilty.

And adding to the disgrace, media outlets are still tiptoeing around the blunt fact that it was Pakistani men who were the majority of perpetrators:

UK writer James Delingpole noted that a BBC item on the Rotherham outrage ran for 20 paragraphs before mentioning the ethnic identity of the perpetrators. Not to be outdone, a piece on the ABC’s AM program last week took 23 paragraphs before this line appeared: “Most of the offenders in Rotherham were from the town’s Pakistani community.” And there was this classic line from the Guardian: “The scale of the sexual exploitation revealed in the Jay inquiry is shocking, but let’s avoid racial stereotyping.”

This should be an enormous cautionary tale, but unfortunately it will be lost on people much in the same way as courage, bravery and righteousness.

And for those who actually spoke up, diversity training was the directive:

A researcher who raised the alarm over the sexual abuse of teenage girls in Rotherham more than a decade ago was sent on a ‘ethnicity and diversity course’ by child protection bosses who refused to act on her evidence.

The researcher, who was seconded to Rotherham council by the Home Office, was told she must “never, ever” again refer to the fact that the abusers were predominantly Asian men.

Speaking to the BBC’s Panorama programme under the condition of anonymity, the researcher said that she identified more 270 victims of trafficking and underage prostitution by mainly Muslim gangs in Rotherham.

Indeed, the council tried unsuccessfully to sack the researcher after she resisted pressure to change her findings.

Something to consider: As political correctness is clearly one of the West’s greatest points of weakness, it only goes to follow that as such, we have given our enemies a clear opening to leverage and exploit this flaw. And like England now, America has already seen the disastrous results. The question is, when will we learn?


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