Thursday, July 2, 2015

How Islamists continue to devalue women's lives.

 FROM MAY 6: Afghan Judge Hands Out Death Sentences for Mob Killing 0:26
KABUL, Afghanistan — Four men convicted of the brutal murder of a woman who was falsely accused of burning a Quran had their death sentences overturned on Wednesday, a judicial source told NBC News. 
The men were sentenced to death in May for the killing of Farkhunda, a young Afghan religious scholar. Farkhunda was beaten, run over by a car, thrown into a river and set alight by a mob on March 19. A video of her murder sparked widespread outrage and protests in Afghanistan. 
The four men's terms were reduced to 20 years each during Wednesday's hearing. A caretaker of Kabul's Shah-Do Shamshira holy shrine and a local district police chief were also acquitted. 
Omran, the keeper of the shrine, was one of eight men sentenced to 16 years of jail time for inciting the murder. The police chief was one of 11 police officers serving one year for failing to prevent the attack. Seventeen men remain in prison for their involvement with their sentences unchanged. 
 FROM MARCH 23: Hundreds Protest Mob Killing of Afghan Woman 0:31
"We are very upset with the decision of the appeals court," Mohammad Nadir, Farkhunda's father, told NBC News. "We do not accept this ruling and will go to the Supreme Court. It is not justice." 
Violence against women often goes unpunished in Afghanistan despite constitutional guarantees of equality. 
"This is an indication of how unjust our justice system is," women's rights activist Wazhma Frogh told NBC News. "They made the decision under pressure from religious extremists and powerful circles." 
She added: "There is not much we can do, but I am very disappointed and hopeless." 
Image:  Afghan women carry Farkhunda's coffin on March 22
The coffin of 27-year-old Farkhunda, an Afghan woman who was beaten to death by a mob, is carried during her funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 22. Massoud Hossaini / AP

Middle Eastern Journalists Push Muslims to Acknowledge That Terrorism Is Connected to Islam

Middle Eastern Journalists Push Muslims to Acknowledge That Terrorism Is Connected to Islam

That seemingly forgiving attitude toward Islam as a whole, even while lambasting radical Islam, is the sentiment a prominent Middle Eastern journalist questioned in an article this week urging Muslims to embark on a soul-searching about the parts of their religious heritage that are inspiring terrorists.
Special forces of France's Research and Intervention Brigades (BRI) escort an unidentified woman as they leave the building housing the apartment of a man suspected of carrying out an attack in Saint-Priest near Lyon on June 26, 2015. A 35-year-old man arrested in connection with the attack on the Air Products gas factory was investigated nine years ago for radicalization and has links to the Salafist movement, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.  (Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)
Special forces of France’s Research and Intervention Brigades escort an unidentified woman as they leave the building housing the apartment of a man suspected of carrying out an attack in Saint-Priest near Lyon, June 26, 2015. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)
Eyad Abu Shakra, the managing editor of the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, took on the controversial topic in a column on Tuesday in which he criticized those who contend that perpetrators commit atrocities because they feel alienated from Western culture.
“As for the heinous atrocity committed in France, those still trying to defend it, and interpret crimes like it, may claim that it was a natural negative outcome of cultural alienation, a reaction against religious and racial prejudice, and a case of escapism from an ethnically rejectionist society,” Abu Shakra wrote, adding:
There is little doubt that each of the three crimes [in France, Tunisia, Kuwait] committed in the same day across three continents has its own specific traits; however, the common denominator is much more significant and dangerous.
Furthermore, it is the main issue while the rest are details. It is up to Muslims – particularly, Arabs – either to ignore the bitter truth and so leave the disease to get worse until it turns fatal, or to admit its existence as a first step to radically treating it.
The three crimes are nothing but parts of a whole. They are examples of criminal actions committed in the name of the “true Islam” for years all over the world, without being firmly encountered, although they are pushing all Muslims in a real war against the whole world.
Abu Shakra suggested it was unrealistic to expect the West to aid the Muslim world when Muslims are killing Muslims.
“What right do we have to call upon the countries of the world to help us and alleviate our suffering when we harm not only our own interests, but also our own people, killing each other and declaring segments of our people apostates or traitors?” he asked rhetorically, adding that “the time for excuses and apologies has long gone.”
To drive home his argument, Abu Shakra cited an articlewritten by a colleague in January after the terrorist attacks in Paris when Muslims asserted that the attackers were “not representative of the true Islam.”
Journalist Nadim Koteich – described by the Middle East Media Research Institute as a “Shi’ite known for his opposition to Hezbollah” – asked then, “What is this ‘true Islam’ those condemning crimes committed in the name of Islam are talking about?”
The Lebanese writer argued that terrorists use Islamic texts to justify their killings.
“The original texts that form an inseparable part of true Islam and inspire the ongoing crimes committed in its name are also guilty,” he wrote on Lebanon’s NOW website.
He also suggested that state constitutions based on Shariah law and religious schools, which he called “factories for crime,” are part of the problem.
“These killers are us. They are our religion at its most extreme. They are our true Islam taken to its furthest extent and they are not beyond the scripture. If the West says in one united voice ‘we are Charlie’ we should say ‘we are ISIS,’” Koteich wrote.

Medicare fraud. Why socialized medicine costs so much.

Doctor Accused of Medicare Fraud Donated $450K to Democrats

Dr. Asad Qamar received more than $18.2 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012
AP
BY:  
A cardiologist in Florida who has donated more than $450,000 to Democrats has been suspended from receiving Medicare reimbursement payments over “credible allegations of fraud” after reimbursements as far back as 2012 came under scrutiny.
Dr. Asad Qamar, a cardiologist based out of Ocala, Fla., was officially suspended from participating in the program in March, though the suspension was only recently made public. In January, the government intervened in a lawsuit against Qamar filed by whistleblowers who alleged the doctor had defrauded the government.
According to the Department of Justice, Qamar performed “excessive and medically unnecessary peripheral artery interventional services and affiliated procedures on Medicare patients.” Additionally, one lawsuit further alleges that the doctor “induced patients to undergo those unnecessary procedures by routinely waiving the 20 percent Medicare copayment, regardless of the patients’ financial need.”
Qamar’s practice, the Institute for Cardiovascular Excellence, was paid $18.2 million from Medicare in 2012, making him the second largest recipient of Medicare reimbursements in the nation that year and by far the largest recipient among cardiology practices in the United States. By way of comparison, a total of 880,664 health care practitioners billed Medicare in 2012 and received an average reimbursement of $87,883.
A little more than 2,000 practitioners received over $2 million in reimbursements, while seven physicians received over $10 million—including Dr. Salomon Melgen, a prominent donor to Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) who was indicted for Medicare fraud earlier this year. Menendez himself was indicted on federal corruption charges for his dealings with Melgen.
A contractor who monitors potentially fraudulent claims for Medicare placed Qamar on prepayment review in 2012, before the official numbers were released for the year. Physicians under such review are required to show medical records for each billed service.
While scrutiny increased on Qamar, he stepped up his contributions to Democrats. Some of these donations were made in his teenage son’s and daughter’s names.
Among the recipients of contributions from Qamar were the Democratic National Committee; the Obama Victory Fund; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), for whom he also held a fundraiser at his home in June 2012; Rep. André Carson (D., Ind.); and Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.).
In total, Qamar gave more than $450,000 to Democratic committees, candidates, and state parties in recent years.
In January 2013, Greg Kehoe, a lawyer from Greenberg Traurig, sent a letter to lawmakers on behalf of Dr. Qamar. Kehoe allegedly helped Qamar contact members of Congress asking for help addressing the scrutiny from his Medicare audit, according to the New York Times.
“Some members of Congress made calls on the doctor’s behalf,” the Times reported. “A lawyer for the doctor asked Representative André Carson, Democrat of Indiana, for help setting up a meeting with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to discuss the claims review, said Mr. Carson’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Wagner.”
Qamar donated $2,500 to Carson in 2012.
The DNC said in May 2014 that they planned on returning at least one of the hefty donations made to the committee. That donation, which totaled $32,400, was made in the name of Qamar’s son, who was only 16 years old at the time. Donations were made in his daughter’s name while she was attending the University of Florida. The contributions in her name amounted to $75,340.
Qamar’s office declined to comment when contacted.

Dishonesty seems to be a core principle of the left.

Meet the Native American Rachel Dolezal

Andrea Smith is a Native American activist and academic hailed for her Cherokee heritage. One small problem: She’s not Cherokee.
Andrea Smith—an associate professor at University of California, Riverside, the founder of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, and a leading Native American studies scholar and activist—may not, in fact, be a Cherokee woman, despite repeatedly presenting herself as such since at least 1991.
I first saw Andrea Smith in 2013 when she delivered a keynote at the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association (SEWSA) conference and, although her program biodid not explicitly mention that she was Cherokee, she was widely understood by conference goers to be a Native American speaker.
After all, she was the author of Conquest, a landmark text about state-sanctioned acts of violence against Native American women, she had been involved with the Chicago chapter of the organization Women of All Red Nations (WARN), and when she was denied tenure by the University of Michigan, students and faculty rallied around her, suggesting discrimination on the basis of her Native American descent.
She had a long history of speaking as a Native American woman on issues affecting Native Americans. Her tenure controversy, in particular, was legendary in academic circles. At the time, Inside Higher Ed referred to her as “[a] Cherokee,” adding that “she is among a very small group of Native American scholars who have won positions at top research universities.”
But that’s not so, as David Cornsilk—a research analyst who did genealogical work for the Cherokee Nation in the late 1980s and has operated his own practice, Cherokee Genealogy Services, since 1990—can attest. He confirmed to The Daily Beast that Smith reached out to him twice during the 1990s to research her own genealogy. There was no evidence of Cherokee heritage either time.
“Her ancestry through her mother was first and showed no connection to the Cherokee tribe,” Cornsilk told The Daily Beast. “Her second effort came in 1998 or around then with ‘new claims’ on her father’s lineage, which also did not pan out.”
At first, Cornsilk thought that she was “just another client, nothing out of the ordinary.” But when she came back the second time, Cornsilk told The Daily Beast, Smith “told [him] her employment depended on finding proof of Indian heritage.”

Smith allegedly continued to portray herself as Cherokee despite Cornsilk’s research. Her second attempt to establish her Cherokee descent came shortly before she established the renowned feminist of color activist organization INCITE!and about five years before her 2002 appointment as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan.
Cornsilk told The Daily Beast that he was “compelled to inform members of her field that she had no Cherokee ancestry.”
Smith and I interacted on Twitter during SEWSA but we can’t anymore. As WordPress blogger tequilasovereign discovered, Smith deactivated her Twitter account shortly after Annita Lucchesi, a graduate student at Washington State University, posted a now-viral Tumblr post entitled “Andrea Smith is not Cherokee.”
“Andrea Smith is not Cherokee. omg. [T]his is not new information,” Lucchesi wrote.
Although Smith’s deception may have been something of an open secret among groups of Native American scholars and activists, the news comes as a shock to a broader academic community that has long hailed her as a Cherokee voice.
“Andrea Smith does not rep being Cherokee unless you ask her, she usually introduces herself as a ‘woman of color or Native.’ [S]he has no ties to any Cherokee community, no record of her ancestry, and no known family that identifies as Cherokee or acknowledges Cherokee ancestry,” Lucchesi added.
Andrea Smith is a Native American activist and academic hailed for her Cherokee heritage. One small problem: She’s not Cherokee.
For the past week, an anonymous Tumblr has been posting evidence of Smith’s portrayal of herself as Cherokee alongside evidence debunking these claims. The emerging narrative is eerily similar to the case of Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP chapter president who portrayed herself as black for 10 years before being revealed to be white by her parents.
In 1991, Smith wrote an article for Ms. Magazine entitled “For All Those Who Were Indian in a Former Life,” (PDF) in which she chastises white feminists who want to appropriate aspects of Native American culture without experiencing any of the oppression:
“When white ‘feminists’ see how white people have historically oppressed others and how they are coming very close to destroying the earth, they often want to disassociate themselves from their whiteness. They do this by opting to ‘become Indian.’ … Of course, white ‘feminists’ want to become only partly Indian. They do not want to be a part of our struggles for survival against genocide…”
Her bio below the article refers to her as “a Cherokee woman” and “cofounder of Women of All Red Nations (WARN).” At the time, Smith, who was born in San Francisco, may not have had any proof of Native American descent. In other words, she may have been a white feminist trying to “become” Native American herself—a level of hypocrisy that recalls Dolezal’s own criticisms of cultural appropriation.
By the time Smith was denied tenure in 2008, she was serving as the director of Native American Studies at the University of Michigan. When students and faculty portrayed the denial as discrimination against a Native American faculty member, at least one Cherokee critic who was aware of Smith’s background decided to speak out.
Long before Rachel Dolezal was accused of “ethnic fraud,” Steve Russell, a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network, called Smith an “ethnic fraud” for portraying herself as Cherokee in the buildup to the UMich incident:
“I am Cherokee, and Smith has in the past claimed that same tribal affiliation. Her e-mail handle, I have learned, is ‘Tsalagi’ [meaning Cherokee]. In my last column, I mentioned her 15 refereed articles, two books written, book chapters written and books edited. These are the currency of academia: what you have done rather than what you are born.”
In the column, Russell describes the damage Smith causes by allowing the university and the public to perceive her as Native American.
“If the University of Michigan wants a researcher and teacher, it would appear by objective criteria they have one. If they want a Cherokee, not,” he wrote. “Ethnic fraud is harmful to tribes and sometimes to individual real Indians if they are passed over for a fake in a job that really does call for a tribal person.”
The piece was not widely read, however, and academic bios for Smith continued to refer to her as “a Cherokee woman” until as recently as December 2014. In the meantime, Smith took a position at University of California, Riverside. And although accusations of ethnic fraud continued, they appear to have flown under the radar until Lucchesi’s post.
In 2013, Mark Edwin Miller’s book Claiming Tribal Identity: The Five Tribes and the Politics of Federal Acknowledgment described an alleged confrontation between Smith and Cherokee scholars Patti Jo King and Richard Allen that occurred midway through her career. According to Miller, Smith agreed to stop claiming Cherokee descent after they “confronted her” in a private meeting. Judging from the long list of bios in the 2010s in which she is referred to as “Cherokee” or “aboriginal,” Smith did not respect King and Allen’s wishes.

At a conference in 2011, for example, Smith was introduced as “an anti-violence activist from the Cherokee nation” and speaks using the collective pronoun “we” when referring to indigenous people:
As for why Smith might have claimed to be Cherokee, David Cornsilk has his suspicions. He said that it’s “not unusual” for people to contact him on the basis that their employment depends on proving their descent.

“I just did a research project for a client [who] had some silly notion that by being certified he could do more for Indians than we could for ourselves,” Cornsilk told The Daily Beast. “It’s that kind of paternalistic arrogance that made me shut down my business for a few years.”
Like Rachel Dolezal and her work with the NAACP, Smith has a long history of advocating for and speaking on behalf of Native American women. But like Dolezal, her refusal to clarify her own background raises important and troubling questions about her role in that very work.
Andrea Smith could not be reached for comment. When asked for comment on Smith, INCITE! told The Daily Beast: “We support Andy Smith and the self-determination of all First Nations People. INCITE would rather place our collective resources into abolishing settler colonialism than in perpetuating this ideology by policing her racial and tribal identity.”
Update: Patti Jo King, a Cherokee historian, journalist and Interim Chair of American Indian Studies at Bacone College, confirmed to The Daily Beast via e-mail that she and her colleague Richard Allen confronted Andrea Smith about her claims of Cherokee descent at a conference in 2007. King wrote that Smith “admitted” to her and Allen that “she wasn’t sure about her connection to the Cherokee family,” that she “apologized profusely for making untrue statements as well as statements she said she was not sure about,” and that she “promised to set the record straight and never again claim to be Cherokee.” “She has allowed publishers, professors, conference organizers, publicists, and her many readers to continue to propagate the notion that she is indeed Cherokee, and by extension, speaks on our behalf,” King said.

Proof the State Department under Hillary tried to (and to some extent succeeded) censoring the news

Emails Show Hillary’s State Department Communicating With Google About Blocked Benghazi Video


Exchange shows administration concerned about video after it publicly declared Benghazi a preplanned act of terror

Gutted U.S. consulate / AP
Gutted U.S. consulate / AP 
BY:  
Emails among State Department officials show the administration was in contact with Google regarding a blocked YouTube video after President Obama conceded that the Benghazi attack was a preplanned act of terror.
On Sept. 27, 2012, Nora Toiv, a special assistant to the counselor of the Department, sent an email to other State Department officials with the subject line “RE: Google and YouTube.” The email referenced a phone conversation with a person named Sue who assured Toiv a block would remain on an unnamed video at least through Oct. 1, 2012. “Sue just called back and the block will stay through Monday,” Toiv said in the email. “They will not/not be unblocking it before then.”
Toiv’s message, sent at 1:35 pm, was in response to an email sent an hour earlier by Denis McDonough, current White House Chief of Staff who was then the Deputy National Security Adviser. McDonough’s email appears to contain the mobile and office phone numbers of Google CEO Larry Page and YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar. The numbers have been redacted in the copies made available to the public.
The email, which was made public in May as part of the State Department’s release of 296 emails related to the Benghazi attacks, was reported on by the Daily Caller and ABC News.
Although the emails do not name the video that is being blocked, much of the controversy following the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, centered on a YouTube video called The Innocence of Muslims. Hillary Clinton and other State Department and White House officials blamed the Benghazi attack on the video but later backed off the claim.
Radical Islamists in several countries did organize protests over the video, among other issues, including a large demonstration at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, that occurred on the same day as the Benghazi attack.
In her first public remarks after the Benghazi attacks, Hillary Clinton addressed the video. “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,” she said. “Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”
Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods who was killed in Benghazi, said in an interview with Glenn Beck that Hillary Clinton promised to arrest and prosecute the person responsible for making The Innocence of Muslims at a memorial for his son. That man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was later arrested and prosecuted in connection to producing the video. The Obama administration bought $70,000 of ads on Pakistani television featuring clips of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton disavowing the video.
In the days after the attacks the White House requested Google remove The Innocence of Muslims under YouTube’s policy against hosting hate speech. Google refused to do so, according to the New York Times. The emails from Toiv and McDonough show the State Department was still in contact with Google well after the White House’s request.
Although Google refused to remove the video from YouTube it did block it for residents of numerous Middle Eastern countries in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. “This video—which is widely available on the Web—is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube,” YouTube told CNN. “However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.”
It is unclear if or when Google lifted those blocks on viewing in those countries. However, YouTube remains banned by local governments in several countries including Pakistan.
The emails show the State Department was still concerned about the video after the president declared the attacks in Benghazi were preplanned. “It was a preplanned act of terrorism directed against American citizens,” President Obama told the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25, 2012, two days before the email exchange between McDonough and Toiv.
The State Department declined to comment on the content of the video. “I cannot offer further context on that specific email,” Alec Gerlach, a State Department communications adviser, told the Washington Free Beacon. “But if you’re asking about the Innocence of Muslims video, this has been addressed by the Administration.”
Gerlach then directed the Free Beacon to a May 1st, 2014, press conference by then-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
“What we know is that there was an attack, that there were extremists involved, and four Americans were killed,” Carney said in the briefing. “We have been saying that from the beginning.  Again, if you look at the language provided at the time by the IC to members of Congress and the White House, that’s what Ambassador Rice stuck to.”
“And as I said and others, it was based on what we believed to be true at the time, and they were caveating all the time about the fact more information might become available, more details might become available, and as they did there would be more information to provide.”
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Google did not respond to requests for comment.