Female Jihadis publish guide to life under Islamic State

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/05/jihadist-girl-marry-liberation-failed-islamic-state

English translation of Isis women’s manifesto is published by all-female al-Khanssaa Brigade

Thursday 5 February 2015

Girls can marry at the age of nine, should ideally have husbands by 16 or 17 and should not be corrupted by going to work, according to a treatise published by female Islamic State supporters in Iraq and Syria.

The document, Women of the Islamic State: Manifesto and Case Study, says women must stay behind closed doors and leave the house only in exceptional circumstances.

“It is always preferable for a woman to remain hidden and veiled, to maintain society from behind this veil,” the English translation says. Fashion shops and beauty salons are denounced as the work of the devil.

The semi-official Islamic State manifesto on women – believed to be the first of its kind – was published on a jihadi forum in Arabic last month and is purported to be by the media wing of the al-Khanssaa Brigade, an all-female militia set up by Islamic State (Isis).

It has now been translated into English by the London-based counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam Foundation.

The introduction to the treatise says it has not been sanctioned by “the state” – meaning Islamic State – or its leadership but is a document to “clarify the role of Muslim women and the life which is desired for them” and “to clarify the realities of life and the hallowed existence of women in the Islamic State”.

The manifesto says: “From ages seven to nine, there will be three lessons: fiqh (understanding) and religion, Qur’anic Arabic (written and read) and science (accounting and natural sciences).

“From 10 to 12, there will be more religious studies, especially fiqh, focusing more on fiqh related to women and the rulings on marriage and divorce. This is in addition to the other two subjects. Skills like textiles and knitting, basic cooking will also be taught.

“From 13 to 15, there will be more of a focus on sharia, as well as more manual skills (especially those related to raising children) and less of the science, the basics of which will already have been taught. In addition, they will be taught about Islamic history, the life of the prophet and his followers.

“It is considered legitimate for a girl to be married at the age of nine. Most pure girls will be married by 16 or 17, while they are still young and active. Young men will not be more than 20 years old in those glorious generations.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/05/jihadist-girl-marry-liberation-failed-islamic-state

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ISIS Reportedly Crucified, Buried Children Alive In Iraq: UN

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/04/isis-crucified-children_n_6613578.html

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Islamic State militants are selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive, a United Nations watchdog said on Wednesday.

Iraqi boys aged under 18 are increasingly being used by the militant group as suicide bombers, bomb makers, informants or human shields to protect facilities against U.S.-led air strikes, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said.

“We are really deeply concerned at torture and murder of those children, especially those belonging to minorities, but not only from minorities,” committee expert Renate Winter told a news briefing. “The scope of the problem is huge.”

Children from the Yazidi sect or Christian communities, but also Shi’ites and Sunnis, have been victims, she said.

“We have had reports of children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding,” Winter told Reuters. “There was a video placed (online) that showed children at a very young age, approximately eight years of age and younger, to be trained already to become child soldiers.”

Islamic State is a breakaway al Qaeda group that declared an Islamic caliphate across parts of Syria and Iraq last summer. It has killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes, in what the United Nations has called a reign of terror.

On Tuesday, the group, which is also known as ISIL, released a video showing a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive.

The U.N. body, which reviewed Iraq’s record for the first time since 1998, denounced “the systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities by the so-called ISIL, including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/04/isis-crucified-children_n_6613578.html

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How Does a Highly Sensitive Person Survive the Hell of the American Workplace?

Ever notice how these afflictions are afflictions of affluent privileged white people with advanced degrees and an overly developed sense of their own specialness.

Perhaps this illness is the result of their overly protected childhoods.  I really don’t much give a fuck.

Working class and poverty class people of all races aren’t coddled for their imaginary illnesses.  Bosses don’t treat us like we are special.  Our relaxation therapy is a beer after a day of physically punishing work.  A joint if we dare risking a surprise drug test.

All I have to say to the highly sensitive special people is:  Bite me!  Cowboy up or cowgirl up as the case may be and do your fucking job or get a job you can do.

Working people are tired of pandering to your specialness.

I have a program for these folks.  I think a couple of years doing farm labor, factory assembly line work or fighting forest fires would be wonderfully therapeutic.  Or perhaps a couple of years in the Infantry including some front line service and boot camp.

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/labor/how-does-highly-sensitive-person-survive-hell-american-workplace

HSPs of the world, unite!

By Lynn Stuart Parramore
February 3, 2015

For those who are new to the term, “highly sensitive person,” it was coined by psychologist and personality researcher Elaine Aron to describe a trait found in up to 20 percent of the population. People in this group react distinctly to their environments, both inner and outer. They tend to have a heightened awareness of emotions and respond more intensely to loud noises and other sensory stimuli. They also exhibit distinct patterns in the way they think and work. They are especially imaginative and have a tendency toward what Aron calls “deep processing” of information. HSPs tend to be conscientious, loyal, good at catching mistakes, and committed to high performance. (Take the online test to find out if you are an HSP.)

The good news is that HSPs are extremely valuable workers, contributing their intuition, wise counsel, conscientiousness, and creativity across a broad range of industries and professions. The bad new is that today’s typical office setup is completely at odds with their working and thinking styles. HSPs typically need quiet and calm, and do their best work when they can plunge into a task without interruption. They tend to be uncomfortable being watched and don’t like being drawn into office politics. They need downtime and they can become especially distracted if they are physically uncomfortable at work.

Unfortunately, in today’s work environment, employees are expected to tolerate noise, be good at multi-tasking, enjoy meetings, excel in networking, tolerate long hours under florescent lights, and thrive working in teams that sit face to face much of the day. The International Management Facility Association estimates that 70 percent of American employees work in open-plan environments — what used to be called “bullpens.” These layouts are designed to maximize space, minimize cost and reduce or even eliminate private spaces or offices. Basically, it’s goodbye doors and walls. Hello cubicle and group workstation.

Research shows that open-plan offices carry a number of risks that cost both employers and employees, including more bickering and conflict, high blood pressure, stress, plummeting productivity, and high turnover. The noise alone is a huge challenge: As a Cornell University study has pointed out, noise is the number one complaint of office workers, and numerous researchers have shown that the sound levels in open-plan offices can reduce productivity by as much as 66 percent.

It doesn’t take much. Even a conversation at normal decibels is enough to short-circuit the attention. Many workers in open-plan offices feel surveilled, unsatisfied, unable to concentrate, and constantly distracted.

Undoubtedly there are some people who thrive and feel energized by open floorplans — lucky them! But many people find them difficult, and for HSPs, they are close to intolerable. The noise problem alone, which Aron calls the “bane of the HSP’s existence,” is often enough to seriously impact their performance. The stress of these office spaces, which combined with long hours and the need to be “on” and available outside of work hours, can create a state of constant overstimulation, as if their bodies and minds are set on a single fight-or-flight channel.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/labor/how-does-highly-sensitive-person-survive-hell-american-workplace

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Tommy Chong On The Drug War: ‘We Won, We Totally Won’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/23/tommy-chong-drug-war_n_6533414.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000022


Tommy Chong remembers the day federal agents raided his glass pipe business, making arrests and smashing bongs along the way.

The 2003 raids, infamously known as Operation Pipe Dream, targeted 54 other individuals in a desperate attempt by the United States government to strike fear into marijuana smokers across the country. Chong became the face of the crackdown, largely due to his celebrity status from popular stoner movies, including “Up In Smoke” with partner Cheech Marin.

“They wanted [to arrest] a celebrity that wasn’t white. They wanted a headline,” Chong, 76, told HuffPost at a New York art gallery, where he was celebrating the launch of a roll-your-own smoke accessory for marijuana lovers.

Chong was convicted and sentenced to nine months in prison — and it did absolutely nothing to stop him from being an advocate for the use of marijuana. Even as he sat and answered questions, Chong passed a fat joint some odd-smelling incense around a small group of people.

While Chong was at the event to promote Futurola, an Amsterdam company that sells a wide variety of smoking paraphernalia, he also spoke at length about the growing marijuana movement, oil pipelines that should be turned into water pipelines and time travel.

“We won, we totally won,” Chong said of the drug war. “And I think [the government needs to] pay us back some money. They took a lot of money from me illegally, money that had nothing to do with bongs. They’re thieves.”

Despite recreational marijuana becoming legal in Colorado and Washington, Chong said the most significant progress will come when federal laws are changed. He implored President Obama to use an executive order to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II.

“Marijuana has never been a priority on [Obama’s] watch, just lip service,” he said. “Marijuana is a death sentence for any politician to get in favor of, because then you’re some crazed hippie.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/23/tommy-chong-drug-war_n_6533414.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000022

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Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say

From New York Magazine:  http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html

How the language police are perverting liberalism.

By Jonathan Chait
January 27, 2015

But it would be a mistake to categorize today’s p.c. culture as only an academic phenomenon. Political correctness is a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate. Two decades ago, the only communities where the left could exert such hegemonic control lay within academia, which gave it an influence on intellectual life far out of proportion to its numeric size. Today’s political correctness flourishes most consequentially on social media, where it enjoys a frisson of cool and vast new cultural reach. And since social media is also now the milieu that hosts most political debate, the new p.c. has attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old.

Liberals believe (or ought to believe) that social progress can continue while we maintain our traditional ideal of a free political marketplace where we can reason together as individuals. Political correctness challenges that bedrock liberal ideal. While politically less threatening than conservatism (the far right still commands far more power in American life), the p.c. left is actually more philosophically threatening. It is an undemocratic creed.

That the new political correctness has bludgeoned even many of its own supporters into despondent silence is a triumph, but one of limited use. Politics in a democracy is still based on getting people to agree with you, not making them afraid to disagree. The historical record of political movements that sought to expand freedom for the oppressed by eliminating it for their enemies is dismal. The historical record of American liberalism, which has extended social freedoms to blacks, Jews, gays, and women, is glorious. And that glory rests in its confidence in the ultimate power of reason, not coercion, to triumph.

The quotes above are from this very important article.

Around 2 a.m. on December 12, four students approached the apartment of Omar Mahmood, a Muslim student at the University of Michigan, who had recently published a column in a school newspaper about his perspective as a minority on campus. The students, who were recorded on a building surveillance camera wearing baggy hooded sweatshirts to hide their identity, littered Mahmood’s doorway with copies of his column, scrawled with messages like “You scum embarrass us,” “Shut the fuck up,” and “DO YOU EVEN GO HERE?! LEAVE!!” They posted a picture of a demon and splattered eggs.

This might appear to be the sort of episode that would stoke the moral conscience of students on a progressive campus like Ann Arbor, and it was quickly agreed that an act of biased intimidation had taken place. But Mahmood was widely seen as the perpetrator rather than the victim. His column, published in the school’s conservative newspaper, had spoofed the culture of taking offense that pervades the campus. Mahmood satirically pretended to denounce “a white cis-gendered hetero upper-class man” who offered to help him up when he slipped, leading him to denounce “our barbaric attitude toward people of left-handydnyss.” The gentle tone of his mockery was closer to Charlie Brown than to Charlie Hebdo.

The Michigan Daily, where Mahmood also worked as a columnist and film critic, objected to the placement of his column in the conservative paper but hardly wanted his satirical column in its own pages. Mahmood later said that he was told by the editor that his column had created a “hostile environment,” in which at least one Daily staffer felt threatened, and that he must write a letter of apology to the staff. When he refused, the Daily fired him, and the subsequent vandalism of his apartment served to confirm his status as thought-criminal.

The episode would not have shocked anybody familiar with the campus scene from two decades earlier. In 1992, an episode along somewhat analogous lines took place, also in Ann Arbor. In this case, the offending party was the feminist videographer Carol Jacobsen, who had produced an exhibition documenting the lives of sex workers. The exhibition’s subjects presented their profession as a form of self-empowerment, a position that ran headlong against the theories of Catharine MacKinnon, a law professor at the university who had gained national renown for her radical feminist critique of the First Amendment as a tool of male privilege. MacKinnon’s beliefs nestled closely with an academic movement that was then being described, by its advocates as well as its critics, as “political correctness.” Michigan had already responded to the demands of pro-p.c. activists by imposing a campuswide speech code purporting to restrict all manner of discriminatory speech, only for it to be struck down as a First Amendment violation in federal court.

In Ann Arbor, MacKinnon had attracted a loyal following of students, many of whom copied her method of argument. The pro-MacKinnon students, upset over the display of pornographic video clips, descended upon Jacobsen’s exhibit and confiscated a videotape. There were speakers visiting campus for a conference on prostitution, and the video posed “a threat to their safety,” the students insisted.

Continue reading at: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html


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