We’re the Only Animals With Chins, and No One Knows Why


“Little pig, little pig, let me come in,” says the big, bad wolf. “No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin,” say the three little pigs. This scene is deeply unrealistic and not just because of the pigs’ architectural competence, the wolf’s implausible lung capacity, and everyone’s ability to talk.

The thing is: Pigs don’t have chins. Nor do any animals, except for us.

The lower jaw of a chimpanzee or gorilla slopes backwards from the front teeth. So did the jaw of other hominids like Homo erectus. Even Neanderthal jaws ended in a flat vertical plane. Only in modern humans does the lower jaw end in a protruding strut of bone. A sticky-outy bit. A chin.

“It’s really strange that only humans have chins,” says James Pampush from Duke University. “When we’re looking at things that are uniquely human, we can’t look to big brains or bipedalism because our extinct relatives had those. But they didn’t have chins. That makes this immediately relevant to everyone.” Indeed, except in rare cases involving birth defects, everyone has chins. Sure, some people have less pronounced ones than others, perhaps because their lower jaws are small or they have more flesh around the area. But if you peeled back that flesh and exposed their jawbones—and maybe don’t do that—you’d still see a chin.So, why do chins exist?  Read the entire article 



Where Providing Water Is a Crime by EVELYN GORDON


How do you build a state for people who don’t want it built? That’s the obvious question that emerges from the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Rawabi, the first new Palestinian city. It’s a flagship project that international diplomats routinely laud as a model of Palestinian state-building, but it has won no such praise from fellow Palestinians. Instead, the very people it was meant to benefit are now accusing Rawabi’s founder of collaboration with the enemy for having committed such horrendous crimes – this is not a joke – as providing residents with electricity and running water.

Rawabi was founded with the goal of providing decent, affordable housing for middle-class Palestinians – theoretically a goal that should be welcomed by the Palestinian Authority and its residents, who routinely complain to the international community about how wretched their situation is. From the start, however, the PA did its best to undermine the project; despite repeated promises of support, it refused to provide even the basic infrastructure that most governments routinely provide to new residential developments. Thus as JTA reported last week, Rawabi’s water and sewage system, streets, schools and medical clinic were all financed, like the houses themselves, by entrepreneur Bashar Masri and the Qatari government.

The PA even tried to prevent Rawabi from obtaining running water, by refusing, for five long years, to convene the joint Israeli-Palestinian water committee that’s supposed to approve all new water projects. Rawabi got its water only when Israel finally lost patience and approved its connection to water mains unilaterally.

Despite this obstructionism, Masri persisted, and Rawabi finally opened its doors to new residents in August. But since then, only a trickle of people have moved in, even though Masri claims Rawabi has lower prices and better amenities than nearby Ramallah. Of the 637 apartments that are ready (out of a planned total of over 6,000), only 140 have been occupied, he told JTA.
 Read the entire article here 


The U.S. Spies While Hamas Digs

This week President Barack Obama reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security with the sort of ringing rhetoric that might have soothed the concerns of even his most strident critics. It was possible to point out a gap between the reality of American actions on the Palestinians and Iran and the president’s words. But, as I noted yesterday, there’s no denying that the administration has continued the security alliance with the Jewish state even if President Obama’s main goal in the relationship continues to be the establishment of more daylight between the positions of the two nations. But even as some pundits were touting the president’s appearance at an Israeli embassy event as a sign of a rapprochement between Washington and Jerusalem, we must now figure into the equation the news that the U.S. has been operating an extensive electronic spy operation against the Israelis for 18 years.

The revelations, which are part of the Edward Snowden leaks of classified data, were apparently published by his journalistic collaborator Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept as well as Der Spiegel. The anti-Israel hacking dates back to the Clinton administration and was a joint operation of U.S. and British intelligence that was conducted from a base in Cyprus that is used by the U.K. forces. Though the operation could be used against any number of nations in the Middle East, its primary focus was clearly the state of Israel and resulted in the U.S. being able to track the transmissions of Israeli aircraft and view videos and any commissions between planes, drones, and Israeli commanders. The point of the endeavor was apparently to keep tabs on any possible Israeli moves against Iran as well as to merely give U.S. spooks and their political masters the ability to know just about everything that Israel is doing in its efforts to defend the country from Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist bases.

It is being described in the Israeli press as the worst disaster in the history of Israeli intelligence, and it’s hard to argue with that. The point is, if the U.S. and the Brits have been able to crack Israeli encryption systems then not only must Jerusalem worry about what use its friends are making of this data, it must also worry about whether they will keep it secret. Just as scary is the prospect that enemies have also been able to snoop on Israeli military communications.

 Read the entire article 


Forget the Jews and Embrace Iran?

After nearly ten years in office, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was finally defeated last November by Justin Trudeau. The election was largely decided on domestic issues and was in no small measure the inevitable result of voter restlessness after Harper’s Conservatives were in power for so long. But outside of Canada, Harper was notable for one thing. He was Israel’s best and most articulate friend on the world stage. But after winning, Trudeau reassured Prime Minister Netanyahu that Canada would continue to be Israel’s friend but said, “there would be a shift in tone.” What the shift meant, no one at the time knew for sure, but this week we got something of an explanation.

The answer came partially in the form of a policy shift but also in a statement about the Holocaust. By embracing the opportunity to not only lift sanctions on Iran but also to join the gold rush of Western nations seeking to profit from business with the Islamist state, Trudeau made it clear that Canada was now fully aligned with a European view of the Middle East.

 Read the entire article 


How Oklahoma Is Looking to Reform Police Seizures

Last week, State Senator Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, introduced the latest version of the Personal Asset Protection Act, a sweeping overhaul of Oklahoma’s civil asset forfeiture laws.

Civil forfeiture is the legal tool that enables law enforcement authorities to seize cash and property, often on the mere suspicion that it was involved in, or the direct result of, illegal activity. Though it was originally ramped up in the 1980s to target the ill-gotten gains of drug kingpins and criminal organizations, today’s forfeiture laws are so broad that hundreds of crimes—from driving on a suspended license to making too many bank deposits—allow for property to be confiscated.

In most states, including Oklahoma, the government does not need to charge, much less convict, the owner of a crime in order to forfeit his property. In fact, the burden is usually on the owner to effectively prove his own innocence if he wants to win back his cash, car, or home.

Under Oklahoma law, the agency that seized the property gets to keep the proceeds generated by its forfeiture, giving law enforcement officials the ability to self-finance in a manner wholly separate from the normal political appropriations process. Historically, legislatures have held the power of the purse as a means of addressing competing priorities and of holding government agencies accountable to the people for how they spend the money they receive.
 Read the entire article 


California Joins the Effort to Persecute, Suppress Scientific Dissent on Climate Change

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in trying to prosecute ExxonMobil for supposedly lying to its shareholders and the public about climate change, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that Harris is investigating what ExxonMobil “knew about global warming and what the company told investors.”

Neither Harris nor Schneiderman recognizes the outrageousness of what they are doing—which amounts censoring or restricting speech and debate on what is a contentious scientific theory. In fact, they want not just to stop anyone who questions the global warming theory from being able to speak; they want to punish them with possible civil sanctions or even criminal penalties. As I said before about Schneiderman, Harris needs a remedial lesson in the First Amendment.

Perhaps we should investigate what Harris “knows” about global warming or climate change, which Harris (and Schneiderman) treats as if it is a proven, unassailable, incontrovertible fact. However, as the Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris has pointed out, “flaws discovered in the scientific assessment of climate change have shown that the scientific consensus is not as settled as the public had been led to believe.”
 Read the entire article 


The Obama Administration Joins The ‘Boycott Israel’ Mob By David Harsanyi.

This week we recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day. So, naturally, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon decided it would be an ideal moment to rationalize recent acts of Palestinian terrorism. Elsewhere, Europeans decided to cover up Western artwork so the prickly sensibilities of a visiting Holocaust-denying, terror-funding Islamist dignitary would not be offended. And here at home, the U.S. Customs Department began rejecting Jewish products made in the West Bank labeled “Made in Israel.”

Anti-Israel activists at J Street and elsewhere have pushed for implementation of a decades-old customs guidance (a 1993 regulation meant to spur Palestinian economic activity after the Oslo Accords — an agreement Arabs, in the end, abandoned) as a punitive measure aimed at Jewish-run companies in the West Bank. Strange, isn’t it, how so many of the same people who lecture us about insensitivity and “Islamophobia” propose laws specifically targeting Jewish businesses?

To put the administration’s new guidance into some perspective, it’s worth noting that The Simon Wiesenthal Center labeled a similar European ban as one of the most anti-Semitic acts of 2015 — a year in which it had plenty to choose from:
 Read the entire article 


Thousands Of Jewish Women Gather For Hasidic Conference In Brooklyn

More than 3,000 Hasidic Jewish women leaders from 81 countries are gathering in New York City this weekend for a conference to reconnect, build fellowship and discuss their approach to Judaism.

The conference is organized for women emissary-representatives of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, an Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement known around the world for its outreach efforts. Chabad sends emissaries — typically husband-and-wife teams — to all corners of the globe to serve as resources and representatives for all Jews, regardless of their affiliation. Women at the conference are coming from places as near as Long Island and as far away as Thailand. The five-day event started Thursday night and runs through Monday morning.

Dini Freundlich, 41, is a conference attendee who traveled all the way from China with two of her young daughters. Freundlich, who is originally from South Africa, runs a Jewish day school with her husband in Beijing, where the couple and their six children serve as pillars for a small, revolving Jewish community. Freundlich says her husband is the first rabbi in the Chinese capital’s history.

“Coming to this conference gives you a sense that you’re not alone,” Freundlich told International Business Times. “You recharge your personal energy and refocus on why you’re doing what you do. Our lives as emissaries are so communal, it’s nice to be at this conference and have a bit of time where your not working as the giver.”
 Read the entire article 


Lawsuit: Public school forced my child to convert to Islam

A public high school has been accused of radical Islamic indoctrination by forcing children to profess the Muslim statement of faith, ordering them to memorize the Five Pillars of Islam and teaching that the faith of a Muslim is stronger than the average Christian, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday. 

Thomas More Law Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of John and Melissa Wood. They accuse La Plata High School in Maryland of subjecting their teenage daughter to Islamic indoctrination and propaganda. And when Mr. Wood complained – the school banned him from campus.

“Defendants forced Wood’s daughter to disparage her Christian faith by reciting the Shahada, and acknowledging Mohammed as her spiritual leader,” Thomas More president Richard Thompson said.

The Shahada is the Islamic Creed, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

The Thomas More Law Center said that for non-Muslims, reciting the statement is sufficient to convert one to Islam.

 Read the entire article 

Is the US joining the BDS movement?

US issues telling reminder of labeling rules on Israeli products from West Bank
Days after ambassador slammed Israel’s policies, State Department stresses requirement to distinguish between Israeli, and settlement goods.

In a move that seemed designed to underline US opposition to Israel’s settlement policies, Washington has issued a reminder that products imported from the West Bank or Gaza Strip should not be labeled “Made in Israel,” the State Department confirmed Thursday.

The guidance was issued last week by US Customs. Debate has since erupted after media reports suggested Washington was hardening its stance against Israeli settlement policy. Sources in the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Thursday night that they were studying the new US notice.

 Read the entire article 


Huge Israeli intel breach

Have the US and UK Been Spying on Israel for approximately 18 years?
The information was reported Friday by The Intercept and the German newspaper Der Spiegel based on documents that came into the possession of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who worked for U.S. intelligence before publishing classified material and fleeing to Russia.

Britain and the United States have reportedly used this access to monitor Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip, watch for a potential strike on Iran and keep tabs on the drone technology that Israel exports.

“This is an earthquake,” an anonymous senior security source told Ynet. “It means that they have forcibly stripped us, and, no less important, that probably none of our encrypted systems are safe from them. This is the worst leak in the history of Israeli intelligence.”

By hacking encrypted transmissions of Israeli planes and drones, NSA and GCHQ intelligence services ‘monitor IDF operations in Gaza, watch for potential strike on Iran’

 Read more here    and here.  

PM Trudeau’s statement on the Holocaust doesn’t mention Jews

On the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the world’s most notorious extermination camps, Prime Minister Trudeau issued the following statement:

“On this day, we pay tribute to the memory of the millions of victims murdered during the Holocaust. We honour those who survived atrocities at the hands of the Nazi regime, and welcome their courageous stories of hope and perseverance.

“The Holocaust is a stark reminder of the dangers and risks of allowing hate, prejudice, and discrimination to spread unchallenged. It also reminds us that silence must never be an option when humanity is threatened.

“As we pause to educate ourselves and our families on the bitter lessons of the Holocaust, we also strengthen our resolve to work with domestic and international partners to continue defending human rights and condemning intolerance.”

Trudeau’s statement did not mention Jews even once.

In stark contrast to Trudeau’s statement, Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Official Opposition, issued a statement on behalf of the Conservative Party:

 Read the entire article