Deli Selling ‘Genderless Organic Vegan’ Gingerbread Cookies, And Another Bakery is Selling “Halloween gingerbread Fun People.” By Katherine Timpf

No leavening humor here…they make dough while battering sanity….rsk

A deli in Melbourne, Australia is apparently selling genderless, organic, vegan gingerbread cookies for those who may be offended by the phrase “gingerbread man.”

A picture of the quintessential Christmas cookie next to a sign that reads “organic, genderless gingerbread figures” and “vegan” was posted on Reddit this week.

The cookie is also rather environmentally friendly — after all, the Organic Food & Wine Deli also makes sure that its walls are painted with ”biopaint” and its shelves are made of low-emission timber, according to the Daily Mail.

The BBC reported that Internet commenters’ most common response to the cookie was one of annoyance, with posts such as “that’s so politically correct it makes my brain hurt,” and a tongue-in-cheek prediction that soon the word “ginger” will also be taken out of the name of the cookies so as not to offend redheads.

“$2.50?” a commenter wrote. “That’s just insensitive to broke people. This bakery needs to check its privilege.”

“Why they gotta be so white?” asked another.

By the way, Organic Food & Wine isn’t the only business on the genderless cookie bandwagon. A bakery in Dublin is apparently selling “Halloween gingerbread fun people,” according to a picture posted on Twitter as reported by

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.

The Clash of Conflicting Narratives About America is What’s Tearing us Apart. By Jonah Goldberg

There is an enormous amount of whining these days about our ideological debates. This gets the problem wrong. Ideological debates are fought over ideas, but politics is more often about competing stories, or, as the eggheads call them, “narratives.”

Much has been written about the power of ideas. “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood,” John Maynard Keynes famously wrote. “Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.”

Victor Hugo even more famously declared, “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”

Maybe so, but the only reason an idea’s time ever arrives is that some story gives birth to it.

Of course, the two overlap. You may boil down your beliefs to a series of ideas, but odds are that every lesson you ever learned came at the end of a story, either one you lived or one you watched unfold. All great religions are taught to us as stories. Every great journalistic exposé came in the form of a story. We evolved to learn through stories. We may as well be called homo relator, or storytelling man.

Ideas are surprisingly easy to let go of, if pried loose by the right story. Stories, meanwhile, are shockingly difficult to let go of, even if they convey a bad idea. Just try to tell someone who has gotten a raw deal in life that their story is not typical of America. Or, if you prefer, try to tell someone who’s been fortunate at every turn that their story isn’t typical either.

For much of the summer, large numbers of Americans insisted that the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., was one kind of story. It was a tale of institutional racism in which the police are the villains and young African-American men the innocent victims. This was the storyline many in the media wanted, and it was one they were determined to get.


The Poll Tax That Wasn’t If voter ID laws are such a nefarious scheme, why don’t the tools of social science detect it?

When the Supreme Court rejected a petition to stop a Texas voter-ID law from going into effect for the midterms, the left commenced its wailing and gnashing of teeth.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the law “purposely discriminatory,” and everyone piled in behind her with denunciations of the Lone Star State’s blatant racism.

For the left, voter ID is tantamount to a poll tax. If so, the nation is awash in neo-segregationist election rules. According to a recent Government Accountability Office report on voter-ID laws, 33 states now have them.

A valid ID is a necessity of modern life, and requiring one to vote hardly seems an undue imposition. Especially if you are willing to give one out gratis. Of the 17 states that have strict requirements for a photo or government-issued ID, the GAO notes, 16 provide a free ID to eligible voters.

The critics complain that people may not have the relevant underlying documents to get the free ID, and there is a cost to obtaining them.

Well, yes. In Indiana, for instance, it costs $10 to obtain a birth certificate. In Arkansas, it costs $12. In North Dakota, $7.

The GAO report focuses on the voter-ID states of Kansas and Tennessee, where voters whose eligibility to vote is in doubt may vote provisionally. Then they have a period after the election to establish their eligibility. How many voters are showing up to vote, only to be foiled by the ID requirement?

According to the GAO, in Kansas in 2012, 1,115,281 ballots were cast. There were 38,865 provisional ballots, and of these, 838 were cast for voter-ID reasons.

In Tennessee, 2,480,182 ballots were cast. There were 7,089 provisional ballots, and of these, 673 were cast for voter-ID reasons.

Barack Obama, Bewildered Bystander: He’s Angry, but not Angry Enough to Fix What’s Wrong. By Charles Krauthammer

The president is upset. Very upset. Frustrated and angry. Seething about the government’s handling of Ebola, said the front-page headline in the New York Times last Saturday.

There’s only one problem with this pose, so obligingly transcribed for him by the Times. It’s his government. He’s president. Has been for almost six years. Yet Barack Obama reflexively insists on playing the shocked outsider when something goes wrong within his own administration.

IRS? “It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,” he thundered in May 2013, when the story broke of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups. “I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS.”

Except that within nine months, Obama had grown far more tolerant, retroactively declaring this to be a phony scandal without “a smidgen of corruption.”

Obamacare rollout? “Nobody is more frustrated by that than I am,” said an aggrieved Obama about the botching of the central element of his signature legislative achievement. “Nobody is madder than me.”

Veterans Affairs scandal? Presidential chief of staff Denis McDonough explained: “Secretary [Eric] Shinseki said yesterday . . . that he’s mad as hell and the president is madder than hell.” A nice touch — taking anger to the next level.

The president himself declared: “I will not stand for it.” But since the administration itself said the problem was longstanding, indeed predating Obama, this means he had stood for it for five and a half years.

The one scandal where you could credit the president with genuine anger and obliviousness involves the recent breaches of White House Secret Service protection. The Washington Post described the first lady and president as “angry and upset,” and no doubt they were. But the first Secret Service scandal — the hookers of Cartagena — evinced this from the president: “If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry.” An innovation in ostentatious distancing: future conditional indignation.

These shows of calculated outrage — and thus distance — are becoming not just unconvincing but unamusing. In our system, the president is both head of state and head of government. Obama seems to enjoy the monarchical parts, but when it comes to the actual business of running government, he shows little interest and even less aptitude.

Records Show Obama Lied to Congress About Released Illegal Immigrants By Rick Moran

Records obtained by USA Today contradict White House claims that the 2200 illegal alien immigrants released from custody last year in order to “save money” all had been charged with “minor offenses.

Instead, the paper discovered that several of the released illegals committed far more serious crimes, including drug trafficking, murder, and sexual assault:

The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released “low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,” a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress.

The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed.

ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen acknowledged the discrepancy. She said “discretionary releases made by ICE were of low-level offenders. However, the releases involving individuals with more significant criminal histories were, by and large, dictated by special circumstances outside of the agency’s control.”

Lawmakers expressed concern. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it is “deeply troubling that ICE would knowingly release thousands of undocumented immigrant detainees – many with prior criminal records – into our streets, while publicly downplaying the danger they posed.”

Immigration authorities detain an average of about 34,000 people a day. Although the agency regularly releases immigrants who have been charged with serious crimes, it typically does so because their legal status has changed or because they cannot be deported — not as a way to save money. That distinction, combined with the fact that last year’s release happened abruptly and with no advance notice, fed the partisan firestorm that followed.

ICE pays an average of $122 a day for each immigrant it keeps in detention.

Texas Voter ID Survives the Race Card By Edward H. Stewart, Jr.

Thanks to the Supreme Court, the new Texas voter ID law was in effect when early voting began in the 2014 midterm. The court upheld the Fifth Circuit’s stay pending appeal of an October 11, 2014 District Court injunction barring implementation of the law’s voter ID provisions. The last-minute injunction was issued by Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in an opinion whose content and timing make it smell suspiciously like the grievance industry’s race card.

[E]ven where specific discriminatory practices end, their effects persist. It takes time for those who have suffered discrimination to slowly assert their power. Because of past discrimination and intimidation, there is a general pattern by African-Americans of not having the power to fully participate.

It smells that way because Ramos is channeling Rev. Peter Johnson, “an active force in the civil rights movement since the 1960s.” Johnson apparently possessed Ramos by denouncing the “brutal, violent intimidation and terrorism that still exists in the State of Texas” because “east Texas is Mississippi 40 years ago.” Although the abuse is “not as overt as it was yesterday” it still exists in the form of voter intimidation because “there are still Anglos at the polls who demand that minority voters identify themselves.” Amazing. Not only that Johnson would say it, but that Ramos would repeat it. Apparently, getting your name checked off a list on your way to the machine is as intimidating as paying a poll tax or being lynched.

Johnson’s narrative is, according to Ramos, the “uncontroverted and shameful history” of Texas’ suppression of the minority vote. And his conclusion that nothing has changed becomes her excuse for ignoring Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, the 2013 decision that struck down preclearance, the most oppressive and discriminatory feature of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA). If east Texas is still 1960s Mississippi, then Shelby County’s requirement that “current burdens” imposed under the VRA “must be justified by current needs” doesn’t apply, and white Texans deserve to have Judge Ramos in their face calling them racists.

To prove things are just the way they’ve always been, Ramos trots out a timeline that proves they aren’t. At one time or another, the post-Reconstruction Democrats who once dominated Texas politics had white-only primaries, a literacy test, a poll tax, and annual reregistration. But there’s a small problem. These abuses have about as much to do with the Texas voter ID law as Lyndon Johnson picking a dog up by the ears. The last white-only primary was in 1944. The poll tax went away in 1966. The literacy test in 1970. Roll-purging and annual reregistration ended in 1976. So, has there been enough time for black voters to recover from having been discriminated against in 1976? 1970? 1966? 1944?

Abbas’s Responsibility for Murder by Khaled Abu Toameh

To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.

The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas’s speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a “war of genocide” in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas’s crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.

Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.

While Hamas’s rockets and suicide bombers have been killing Israelis over the past twenty-five years, the Palestinian Authority’s rhetoric has not been less lethal.

In fact, it is this fiery rhetoric that has created the inviting atmosphere for launching terrorist attacks against Israel, such as the attack which took place in Jerusalem on Wednesday, October 22.

Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month-old infant, was killed when a Palestinian man slammed his vehicle into a crowd of people at a light rail stop in the city. Nine people were injured, three seriously, in the attack.

The Palestinian who carried out the attack was identified as 20-year-old Abdel Rahman al-Shalodi of the Silwan neighborhood in east Jerusalem. He was shot on the scene and later died in hospital.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority [PA] cannot avoid responsibility for killing the baby.

In order to understand what drives a young Palestinian man to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of PA leaders during the past few weeks. These are the kind of statements that encourage young men such as al-Shalodi to go out and kill the first Jews he meets on the street.

The Homegrown Jihadist Threat Grows By Joseph Lieberman And Christian Beckner

Mr. Lieberman, a former senator from Connecticut, is senior counsel at the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres and Friedman. Mr. Beckner is the deputy director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at the George Washington University.

ISIS’s online recruitment is reaching into North America, yet the Obama administration still has no strategy to fight it.

Three teenage girls from Colorado were on their way to join Islamic State, also known as ISIS, last week when they were caught by police in Frankfurt. Reports now suggest that the young women may have been victims of an “online predator” who lured them to travel to Turkey to link up with the jihadist forces in Syria and Iraq. ISIS has certainly proved skillful at using the Internet to spread its message of hatred and violence around the world, particularly through social-media sites like Twitter and the group’s online English-language magazine, Dabiq.

More Americans may be motivated to travel to the Middle East to join ISIS or other terrorist groups. The online radicalization efforts could also encourage “lone wolves” to undertake acts of terrorism within the U.S., similar to the two deadly terrorist attacks in Canada this week, both apparently motivated by ISIS’s online communications.

Islamic State “operates the most sophisticated propaganda machine” of any terrorist group today, as former National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen noted in a speech at the Brookings Institution in September. Mr. Olsen warned of the possibility of an ISIS sympathizer “perhaps motivated by online propaganda,” who could “conduct a limited, self-directed attack here at home, with no warning.”

Al Qaeda’s online efforts have evoked similar fears over the past decade, and played a role in inspiring a number of terrorist attacks, including the Islamist terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, where 13 people were killed; the unsuccessful car bombing in Times Square in 2010; and the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, which killed four people.

ELECTIONS ARE COMING: GOP Gains in Key Senate Races as Gender Gap Narrows In Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado. Janet Hook

Democrats’ Advantage Among Women Voters Has Diminished

In a warning flag for Democrats, recent polls suggest the party is failing to draw enough support from women in three key Senate races—in Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado—to offset the strong backing that men are giving to Republicans.

Surveys this week in Arkansas and Colorado for the first time also showed the GOP candidates pulling even or ahead of Democrats among women voters, threatening to close the gender gap that has been a cornerstone of Democratic electoral strategy for decades.

While the situation remains fluid, an erosion in the Democrats’ traditionally large advantage among women would be perilous for the party, especially in an election year in which men, who favor Republicans overall, are showing a greater enthusiasm for voting.

Democrats are making a particular effort to mobilize unmarried women—their strongest supporters, but a group that tends to skip midterm elections. However, the rise of national-security concerns and low approval ratings for President Barack Obama may undercut that effort.


Climate change worse than ISIS, singer Neil Young?

CO2 sinking Miami, EPA chief Gina McCarthy?

Cats and dogs gone by 2023, author Naomi Orestes?

Machine gun Santa, novelist Philippe Squarzoni?

With the Earth continually failing to warm as computer models project, climate campaigners are getting desperate.

Where do they turn? Fear, slander and propaganda.

Marc Morano, who runs CFACT’s award-winning Climate Depot, has rounded up a number of rather shocking accounts of activists veering the global warming debate way off the scientific track.

Climate Depot has become the indispensable, “go-to” source for news and information that challenges global warming alarmism with hard science and analysis. Many thousands of people around the world make Climate Depot a daily destination when reading the news. I hope you’ll bookmark it and join them.

If the media were doing their job, they would ignore the junk science that warming campaigners spew every day. They would at least present experts to counter the junk with facts. Sadly, we know we can’t count on the old media for balance.

Fortunately, today’s new media gives people a chance to examine for themselves the facts that Big Green advocates fear.