home

Jihadi John's Travel to Syria

I see many news reports saying Mohammed Emwazi, aka "Jihadi John" went to Syria in 2012. CAGE says it was 2013.

In early 2013, Mohammed's father suggested that he should think about changing his name by deed poll, so that perhaps the name that he had been known under thus far, might not cause him further problems as he sought to travel. He complied with his father's suggestion, and before long officially became known as Mohammed al-Ayan.

With one final roll of the dice, Mohammed bought a ticket for Kuwait, and attempted to travel there. Once again, he was frustrated as he was barred from travel, and once again questioned by the security agencies.

p.[More....]

(3 comments, 393 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

"Jihadi John" Identified

The black-clad executioner in ISIS beheading videos has been identified by the media as Mohammed Emwazi. He grew up in London, graduated college, and according to CAGE, which corresponded with him, was harassed by British intelligence and prevented from leaving several times. He is originally from Kuwait. The BBC has more. [More...]

(50 comments, 642 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Twitter vs. ISIS

I really wish Twitter would stop deleting ISIS accounts. In the last three hours, 20 accounts I've been following are gone. This has been going on for weeks. I don't like one-sided news. ISIS accounts are a source of information. Following them and reporting about what they write or depict is not support. When I do write about something violent that I've read or watched, I don't provide the link or reproduce the content and insist commenters not post them in comments.

The pro-Kurdish accounts with equally violent graphics (and name-calling) aren't being deleted. There are also a lot of Jabhat al-Nusra twitter accounts being given free reign. Twitter should at least be consistent. If one side gets to stay, they all should. [More...]

(42 comments, 306 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Indonesia: The Coffins Have Arrived, Widodo Holds Firm

Today it was announced ten coffins have arrived on Nusakambangan island, Indonesia's island of death.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has refused to budge on the imminent executions of drug offenders, which by all accounts will proceed as soon as possible. He has tuned out requests by leaders of Brazil, Nigeria, France, the Philippines, and especially Australia.

What is fueling his stubborn resistance? He says other countries need to butt out and let Indonesia enforce its laws. He says this is about legal sovereignty and Indonesia's dignity. Shorter version: the politics of pride and nationalism. [More...]

(1 comment, 1088 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Tuesday Night Open Thread

The Voice is on fire this season. Incredible performers, and I'm glad to see Christina Aguilera back -- it's not really The Voice without her.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

(200 comments) Permalink :: Comments

Indonesia President: Religious Tolerance Best Response to Terrorism

Indonesia President Joko Widodo said this month Indonesia's approach to terrorism is one of tolerance, not security.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Wednesday that Indonesia practiced religious tolerance and was using cultural approaches to eradicate terrorism in the country, rather than adopting a security approach.

“We have shown that tolerance and mutual respect is strong and we always take the middle ground [...]. So there is no immense extremism and that is what other countries see [in us],” said Jokowi on the last day of the sixth Indonesian Muslims Congress (KUII) in Yogyakarta.

Widodo and Indonesia insist on executions of drug mules as a response to the problem of drug trafficking, but for the danger of terrorists, they urge “soft” religious and cultural approaches." Just like Indonesia offers "get of jail free" cards to terrorists.[More...]

(7 comments, 592 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Marijuana Possession Now Legal in Alaska

In November, Alaska voters voted to legalize the personal use and possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The law went into effect today.

Alaska's new law, passed by voters in 2014, means people over age 21 can legally consume small amounts of pot, but individuals are not allowed to sell it or buy it. They are allowed to grow up to six plants and possess up to an ounce of weed. Smoking in public is not allowed.

[More...]

(6 comments, 212 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

DOJ: No Civil Rights Charges Warranted for Zimmerman

The Department of Justice has announced the closure of its civil rights investigation against George Zimmerman. No charges will be filed due to insufficient evidence.

After a thorough and independent investigation into the facts surrounding the shooting, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a violation of these statutes. Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed. This decision is limited strictly to the department’s inability to meet the high legal standard required to prosecute the case under the federal civil rights statutes; it does not reflect an assessment of any other aspect of the shooting.

[More...}

(79 comments, 369 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Bali Ticket Sales Decline from #BoycottBali Campaign

The social media campaign to boycott Bali as a result of its execution of non-violent drug traffickers is picking up steam. Ticket sales are down.

Within days, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan of the Bali Nine and 9 other drug traffickers will be flown to Nusakambangan Island, put in isolation cells, and within three days, taken to one of the island's two killing fields, tied to a wooden cross and shot.

Military jets, including a squadron of Sukhoi and a Hercules CN-295 military transport airbus, and hundreds of soldiers will be deployed to transfer Andrew and Myuran. [More...]

(309 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

The Oscars

The Oscars are about to begin. Here's a thread to discuss. Neil Patrick Harris is hosting. The red carpet hosts were unwatchable, where do they find these people? Even Robin Roberts is way too over-animated and seems phony.I hope the show is better.

Best Picture:

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

[More...]

(193 comments, 98 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Sunday Open Thread

I've been catching up on my reading this weekend, the snow that began more than 24 hours ago is still coming down.

It's also Oscar night, which means the Red Carpet should be starting soon.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

(205 comments) Permalink :: Comments

"El Chapo" Guzman: One Year Later

One year ago today, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was captured in Mazatlan. He's been held at Altiplano prison in Mexico ever since. He has not been extradited. His assets have not been seized or forfeited. There has been no dent in the drugs produced and trafficked by the associated Sinaloa organizations. (Via google translate):

However, one year of "El Chapo" capture, the Sinaloa cartel continues supplying methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana to consumers in Los Angeles, area that has been the one of the main markets for Mexican drug traffickers since the 90's, from the time that "El Chapo" was partnered with the Reynoso brothers.

[More...]

(5 comments, 908 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

ISIS: Pass the Shock, Hold the Awe and Ground Troops

The photo above is from ISIS' latest atrocity video depicting Peshmerga soldiers captured in Kirkuk. They are put in individual cages, driven in a caravan through the streets of Kirkuk which are filled with excited onlookers, and then lined up for execution. The video doesn't actually show their final fate, leaving it to the viewer's imagination. While there is a flash image inserted of the burning Jordanian pilot and another of the beheaded Coptic Christians, all of the ISIS figures appear to be have guns drawn, not knives.

This post is not about them, or the video, but why we shouldn't let our reactions to these propaganda videos -- usally a mix of shock, disgust and fear --lead us into war. [More....]

(69 comments, 1910 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Indonesia Says Executions to Proceed Without Delay

Indonesia President Joko Wikodo says there will be no delay in the executions of Bali Nine members Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. Hopes were raised earlier this week when their transfer to the Nusakambangan island prison was delayed.

Boycott Bali. There are beautiful beaches all over the world. Visit the Seychelles, Mauritius, the Maldives or any other country that does not execute non-violent drug offenders. [More...]

(227 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Rudy Giuliani Knows All About Love

Rudy Giuliani spoke at a private fundraiser last night. He said President Obama does not love America or Americans.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said Wednesday during a private group dinner in Manhattan, Politico reports. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

That Rudy Giuliani would even venture an opinion about love or how to raise a family is laughable. Ask his ex-wife and his children. More from the New York Times on that here. A blast from the past: This 2006 Salon article profiling Rudy as the authoritarian narcissist. [More....]

(144 comments, 254 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Next 15 >>