3 Reasons Every American Should Care About What’s Happening to a Website Called Alibaba

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3 Reasons Every American Should Care About What’s Happening to a Website Called Alibaba

No, Alibaba was not the character voiced by Robin Williams in the Disney movie Aladdin.

Alibaba is the China-based company that yesterday had the largest ever initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, raising over $21.8 billion in capital and vaulting its founder into the top ranks of the richest people in the world.

Think of them as a wholesale Ebay or Amazon for business. Founded in 1999 in an apartment in China by Jack Ma, it now accounts for 80% of online sales in China. It’s not a business for consumers, but rather more of a clearinghouse for buying in bulk.

For example, if you want to figure out the cheapest place to source a thousand – or ten thousand – patio chairs/paper boxes/hammers/radios/coffee mugs/widgets, simply entering the details of that requirement into Alibaba’s website will yield dozens of bids.

So what?

This matters for 3 reasons:

  1. It shows that capitalism is still relevant – and necessary. Its initial investors, including Japan’s Softbank and Yahoo, yielded a massive return on their seed money. This risk was massively rewarded and is now unlocked to pursue other opportunities. It’s beautiful. And according to Ma, the whole motivation of the company is to serve small businesses and make them more competitive.
  2. It makes businesses more efficient, saving them money and helping them set lower prices. By acting as a transparent platform for pricing bids and product requirements, the marketplace cuts out middlemen and encourages competition. The transfer of knowledge is immediate and can American companies make better decisions.
  3. It is coming to our shores. The founder has been very clear that his next sights are on the U.S. market, which is a big reason they held their IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The vast majority of their business is based and sourced in China, and the potential for impacting America is massive.

As inspiring as the story is, and who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches tale that results in huge success, the potential impact of this company is still in the future. Lowering costs, improving efficiency, and increasing global inter-connectedness cannot help but improve the lives of every American.

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Guess When Senate Democrats Plan to Vote on Military Action Against ISIS…

A recent poll shows that nearly half of Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the situation with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, which could explain why Senate Democrats are trying to avoid voting on use of force against ISIS until after November’s elections.

As reported by The Hill, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Senate would take up the issue after the current authorization expires December 11.

The authorization would focus narrowly on ISIS, likely bar the deployment of ground troops, and set a one-year time limit on military action.

 

The plan to vote on a resolution specifically authorizing strikes against the extremist Sunni group could help reassure liberal Democrats nervous about supporting a measure that authorizes President Obama to train and equip moderate rebels in Syria.

 

Durbin announced the roadmap at a Democratic leadership press conference shortly before the chamber was scheduled to vote on a government funding measure that included the so-called Title 10 authority to train the rebels.

Although ISIS is a rapidly growing threat to national security, Senate leadership seems to be okay with putting off action, giving hope to vulnerable Democrats who are running for re-election and could be harmed by supporting the President.

Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Mark Begich (D-AK), both in the middle of tough re-election battles, were critical of Obama’s plan. Other Democrat senators, such as Kay Hagan (NC), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Al Franken (MN) and Mark Pryor (AR) were cautiously supportive.

Democratic lawmakers – particularly those up for re-election – have been distancing themselves from the President on other issues as well, including Senator Hagan’s dodging of this question on Obamacare:

West Virginia Senate candidate Natalie Tennant’s ad criticizing the White House’s clean energy plan:

And Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes’s video of her shooting skeet and enthusiastically saying, “I’m not Barack Obama:”

Delaying the vote on officially fighting ISIS would enable the party to avoid having to make a potentially costly choice between supporting the President – or alienating progressive voters.

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22 Americans Stood In Front of DC Establishments And Voiced What They Wanted From Mid-Term Elections

Citizens all over the country have expressed their frustration with our government. Their anger is shared in person, on Facebook, in the comment sections of news articles – everywhere. That frustration can also be found just outside the Capitol.

While walking outside the U.S. Capitol building and the White House, we asked 22 strangers what results they want to see from the upcoming midterm elections in November. A few voiced support for their political party, but most want Washington to understand they are tired of constant gridlock and inefficiency. Do you hold the same concerns with the upcoming elections?

One frustrated student wanted a chance for his peers to be debt free.

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A young lady from Texas wanted her voice to be heard.

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Another Texas native pointed out there is still no consensus on how Americans should receive health care.

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Of course, many people had their own political agenda.

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This guy had a very specific agenda.

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But one of the most common trends? A strong desire for a functioning Congress.

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A balanced government would be nice, too.

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“Pono” means “righteousness.” This Hawaiian pointed over her shoulder at the White House, saying, “President Obama know what it means.”

These three Wisconsin citizens nailed it: A courageous leader taking action.

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Common sense? Yes, please.

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A federal worker couldn’t show his face, but wanted to make sure the message was received.

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Ultimately, people of all races, backgrounds and politics wanted peace and unity from the mid-term elections.

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Including a Vietnam veteran and his wife.

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The message was clear:

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Oh, and we found this guy, who brought his own white board… and more…

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Crowd Reacts in Horror as First Man in Perth to Buy iPhone Becomes First Man in Perth to Drop One

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Ah, the iPhone 6. As with virtually every incarnation of Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone, the 6 has been heralded with a wave of hype that has fans frothing at the mouth at the prospect of more features, a sleeker design, and the self-satisfying comfort that you’re “up to date” (at least until the next iteration).

These loyal iDevotees wait in interminable lines that stretch down blocks in hopes of being among the first to snag the latest version of the coveted iPhone. It goes without saying that a lot of value is attached to what may seem like a mere cell phone.

Here are just a few examples of what the happy disciples of Apple will endure to get their hands on the precious cargo that is the iPhone 6:

Some Twitter users were clearly over the “iPhrenzy:”

In New York City, iPhone 6 fans went the extra mile while waiting in line:

 The crowd cheerfully awaits their prized iPhones:

Our neighbors to the north aren’t immune to the iPhone craze:

This line in Adelaide is truly impressive:

Thus, when one of these cherished items is scraped, hurt, called names, or dropped (as in the above video), it is a VERY big deal. And you can see just how big a deal it is by the chorus of horrified gasps and ‘Ohhhs’ that occur when a once-proud interviewee drops his brand new iPhone 6.

Truly, it is a brave new world.

ISIS’ Latest Video Featuring British Hostage Pretty Much Spells Out the Terrorist Group’s New Strategy

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The saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad publicity,” but the brutality depicted in ISIS’ recent videos has done the impossible and united Americans in a desire to bomb ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

So in a video released Thursday, ISIS is attempting to show its kinder, gentler side and appeal to a Western sense of justice and reason.

The video, to be the first in a series titled “Lend Me Your Ears,” features British journalist John Cantlie, who was abducted in Syria in November, 2012.

John Cantlie pre-abduction.

John Cantlie pre-abduction. Image credit: John Cantlie / Getty Images.

Cantlie looks much different after being imprisoned two years. His eyes are sunken, face marked and discolored. When he speaks to the camera, his eyes are expressionless.

John Cantlie now, in a still from this week's video.

John Cantlie now, in a still from this week’s video.

He reads a prepared statement, proclaiming that he’s not under duress (as if we believe that), noting ISIS’ gain of territory and power. Then he appeals directly to those who are sick of war and promises to tell the truth behind ISIS and its motivations. A partial transcript from The Guardian:

After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?

 

I’m going to show you the truth behind these systems and motivation of the Islamic State, and how the western media, the very organisation I used to work for, can twist and manipulate that truth to the public back home.

 

There are two sides to every story – think you’re getting the whole picture? And I’ll show you the truth behind what happened when many European citizens were imprisoned and later released by the Islamic State and how the British and American governments thought they could do it differently to every other every other European country.

 

They negotiated with the Islamic State and got their people home whilst the British and Americans were left behind.

 

Join me for the next few programmes and I think you may be surprised by what you learn.

ISIS has studied branding and messaging, and it shows. They read the mood of the American public, who distrust the media and who are tired of having troops sent to the Middle East, and appeal to those biases.

Yet, the Islamic State misinterprets weariness as weakness. They might have believed that after the first beheading video, the US and British authorities would be more likely to pay ransom for hostages, yet all that happened were increased air strikes with greater public support for the strikes.

Thus the change in marketing tactic. ISIS’ next videos will surely be widely viewed, but a cynical American public will still believe actions over words.

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The 11 Stages of A Mom Realizing She Just Won the $1,000,000 Jackpot on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Sarah Manchester, a hardworking Math teacher from Maryland and mother of three, became the third contestant ever in the history of Wheel of Fortune to take home the $1,000,000 prize.

When the show’s host, Pat Sajak, opened the marker she had landed on to see her prize for correctly solving the puzzle, he simply asked, “Could you use a million dollars?”

Stage 1: Confusion.

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Uh, what?

Stage 2: Disbelief.

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You’re kidding.

Stage 3: Acceptance. 

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Seriously?!

Stage 4: Realization. (Nothing confirms a big win like confetti and streamers).

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This is happening! This is really happening!

Stage 5: Pure Unadulterated Joy. 

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THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!

Stage 6: Heart-Bursting Happiness. 

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You guys… We just won $1,000,000!

Stage 7: Uncontrollable Smiling. 

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Can anyone stop smiling? Me either!

Stage 8: Composure. 

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Okay, okay, just breathe…

Stage 9: Losing it All Over Again. 

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AAAHHH!! We won!!

Stage 10: Gratitude. 

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I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family… 

Stage 11: Euphoria. 

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 I don’t have to go into work tomorrow. 

Full Clip Here:

Former Navy Seal Offers Uncensored Look at Iraq and What Soldiers Really Think About the President

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Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL, spoke with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News’ On The Record and made some very strong assertions about the U.S. military and the current nightmare in the Middle East.

Higbie stated that the President’s speech Wednesday at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida was nothing more than a photo op and that soldiers don’t feel like he really cares about them.

He also said that most of the troops, over 90%, do not support the President. While this is statement is completely subjective and not based on polling, current and former military members have voiced frustration with many of Obama’s decisions, from his handling of the Bowe Bergdahl trade to his ISIS strategy.

That frustration is illustrated by the tepid response Obama recently received during a speech at an American Legion event:

Higbie also talked about the Iraqi troops he helped train, and concluded that they are ill-equipped to successfully fight ISIS. The veteran emphasized that the only thing that will work to defeat the terrorist organization are massive bombs, a surge of troops, and fear.

Remember, this is not a man who is merely well-informed on the subject or one who is able to present a cogent argument. He was a member of the most elite fighting force in the military and has fought and trained others to fight in this very region. His expertise is as good as it gets. As a result, his comments should be carefully considered.

According to Higbie, the troops want to fight, but to do so effectively they need to have the rules of engagement and the “handcuffs” removed.

A Loving Mother Suffering from Cancer Saved the Last Dance for Her Son On His Wedding Day

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Mary Ann Manning was battling breast cancer, but that wouldn’t stop her from sharing the traditional mother-of-the-groom and groom dance at her son’s wedding.

Unfortunately, Mary Ann lost her battle with cancer only three days after the wedding. But amid the sadness, her son and family will always have this precious moment to add to their beautiful memories of her.

What Homecoming Finalists Did for a Girl Who Was Bullied Is Befitting for a Queen

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In an era of degenerating civility, honor, and humanity, the actions of three teenage girls pushed back against the tide in a big way.

When a group of real life “Mean Girls” at Grand Prairie High School in Texas untruthfully told Lilly Skinner she had been nominated for homecoming queen, Skinner’s classmates and friends who had been nominated– Anahi and Naomi– made a pact to share the crown with Lilly in the event that either of them won.

And when Anahi was named homecoming queen, she fulfilled her promise, passing her tiara to a surprised and delighted Lilly.

Principal Lorimer Arendse described the moment:

In all my time in school, this is probably the greatest moment I’ve ever experienced as a principal.

Bullying is a hot-topic issue in our society. We are constantly bombarded by an influx of celebrity-endorsed PSAs, anti-bullying groups, and statistics detailing the impact of bullying.

According to StopBullying.gov, a website managed by the Department of Health and Human Services:

  • 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying.
  • 20% of U.S. students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.
  • Approximately 30% of young people admit to bullying others in surveys.
  • 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools
  • Only about 20 to 30% of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying.

But all the statistics in the world can’t capture the real world effect human cruelty can inflict– which is what makes the story of Lilly Skinner, Anahi Alvarez, and Naomi Martinez so inspiring.

Firefighters Uncover Glimmer of Hope in Ashes When They Find What A Woman Thought was Lost Forever

Firefighters were helping Kathy Besk sift through the rubble of her house she lost to a recent California wildfire when something glittery caught their eye.

First a firefighter found Besk’s 44-year-old engagement ring, and then her mother’s wedding ring, a family heirloom meant for Besk’s daughter when she marries. 

Besk is blown away by the finds. She told ABC that:

“We just found my wedding ring of 44 years — in all of this mess. God answers prayers, incredibly.”

This is one tiny miracle and a glimmer of hope for the Besks, as they rebuild their lives, that they are very grateful for.

This ‘Made-Up’ Term Uncovered In Benghazi Testimony Could Have Huge Implications For The State Dept

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During questioning on the first day of the Benghazi Committee Hearings, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) brought up a seemingly minor detail about the Benghazi compound that could have huge implications for the State Department’s fault in the 2012 attack.

In question was the designation of the embassy as a “Special Mission Compound.” Roskam asked Todd Keil, a member of the Independent Panel of Best Practices, what that term actually means. Keil stated:

To be honest, from our review, Under Secretary Kennedy, in authorizing that, made up that term in order to avoid the OSPB security standards.

Keil was referring to Patrick Kennedy, who is the Under Secretary for Management. Several bureaus, including the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, fall under his jurisdiction.

The OSPB, or Overseas Security Policy Board, security standards are in place to carry out “the statutory security responsibilities prescribed by the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986.”

They consist of “threat-indexed countermeasures (i.e., actions, devices, procedures, or techniques that reduce vulnerability),” according to State Department documents.

In searching for other instances of “Special Mission Compounds,” Roskam said he and his staff found nothing – Benghazi alone had this designation.

So if the category of the compound was changed to avoid important anti-terrorism security standards – as Keil confirmed – that mere word change could have drastic effects on how the crisis would be handled. Roskam continued:

“What does it mean if something is said, ‘Well, we’re just going to declare this as something other than that which is to be regulated.’ That means you have no regulations, isn’t that right?”

Keil’s brief response: “Correct, sir.”

This minor detail of a designation change has major implications for the State Department’s responsibility. It furthers the idea that State Department leaders, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were either in over their heads, or that they were preemptively covering their tails should they fail to protect the compound and its inhabitants.

Love Or Hate The Yankees, You’ll Want To See This Incredible Jeter Send-Off

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There’s no in-between with the New York Yankees. Baseball fans either love them or hate them.

But there’s something everyone can agree on: When Derek Jeter retires at the end of this season, it will be felt, good or bad.

For the fans of the Bronx Bombers, it’s a bittersweet time. Saying goodbye to the Captain who has exclusively played with the team for 20 seasons, bringing home 5 World Championships, and winning the hearts of fans young and old is no easy thing.

But Gatorade has encapsulated the love (or least, the respect) that we can all find in our hearts for the Yankees’ #2.

What better way to send off the shortstop with Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and a city full of people expressing their love? Baseball fans everywhere will miss you, Jeter!

Heartbreaking Tragedy Leaves Small Town Shaken, With Victims As Young As 3 Months

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On Thursday afternoon, the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a shooting at a home in Bell, Florida. When the responding officer arrived at the residence, he came upon a heart-wrenching murder scene.

The Associated Press reports:

A man killed six of his grandchildren, his adult daughter and himself in a shooting at a home in a small town in North Florida Thursday, a sheriff said.

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Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz at a news conference identified the man as 51-year-old Don Spirit. He said the children ranged in age from 3 months to 10 years old.

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Schultz said a deputy who arrived on a report of a shooting Thursday afternoon made contact with Spirit who then committed suicide. Authorities then found the other seven bodies.

All of the children who were killed were the oldest victim’s children.

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In addition, according to the Orlando Sentinel, in 2003 Spirit spent three years in prison after a felony arms violation in which he shot and killed his son in a hunting accident. But that’s not all: Spirit’s criminal history dates back to 1992, when it was found that he had deprived a child of food and shelter.

When Sheriff Schultz was asked if officers had been dispatched to Spirit’s home before, he told reporters that they have, for “various reasons.”

Furthermore, Schultz made it clear that to his knowledge that Gilchrist County had “never experienced anything like this”. He also told media that they didn’t know of any motive yet.

While such devastating tragedies are hard to comprehend, this Facebook user made an important point that America should table its political beliefs and focus on the victims:

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As this story continues to develop, it’s important to remember that we should try to remember the victims, not the heinous murderer who committed these unspeakable acts.

Race, Religion, Party & Region: 4 Charts Show How Americans Really Feel About Spanking

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The O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly invited fellow Fox News host Martha MacCullum on for a segment to discuss the merits, if any, of corporal punishment against children.

Specifically in response to the recent news surrounding NFL star Adrian Peterson, O’Reilly opined that, although he agrees some forms of corporal punishment can be used effectively to get a child’s attention, “taking a stick . . . akin to a whip” to beat a child crosses a threshold and constitutes child abuse.

The difference, according to O’Reilly, is inflicting pain on the child.

Although his comments, which included the suggestion to “give them a little whack when they’re younger” to teach children a lesson, raise some serious questions, O’Reilly is not alone is his opinions. The majority of Americans feel that spanking a child is acceptable.

During a similar conversation on CNN, anchor Don Lemon volunteered his own personal childhood experiences to justify corporal punishment as a means of preventing more serious injury to children.

“I have to say that when I was a kid, I would have to go and get the switch off the tree . . . And if I brought back a switch that wasn’t big enough, then my grandfather or my dad or my mom would go get a bigger one.”

When asked if he stayed out of trouble as a kid because someone “beat [his] ass,” Lemon responded, “My mom spanked me. That is not a beating. There is a difference.”

Lemon also brought up several points in agreement with some commentators who cite culture and religious upbringing as reasons for greater support of corporal punishment against children.

FiveThirtyEight found a difference in opinion among races:

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Religions:

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Political parties:

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And geographical regions:

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Despite the ever-prevalent controversy surrounding the issue, it should be noted that corporal punishment of children is legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, so long as the parental discipline does not escalate beyond a certain degree, which varies by each state’s interpretation.

However, not all of America can easily identify the reasonable amount of force necessary to distinguish normal parenting from excessive corporal punishment and outright child abuse.

In contrast to our courts, many groups, including the American Psychological Association and the Academy of Pediatrics, have spoken out against corporal punishment as a means of discipline.

These groups argue that corporal punishment has no merits and, in fact, inflicts more harm on the child as they grow into adulthood, leading to problems such as increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical injury and mental health issues. Furthermore, there is evidence linking child abuse to a unique form of PTSD.

Bottom line: This is a tough situation for all of those involved. As a society, there’s no doubt that we should ensure our children are safe; questions arise over the difference between disciplining a child and abusing him or her. Where should the line be drawn?

John Kerry Shows Just How Opposed He Is to ‘Boots on the Ground’ With Startling Admission

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Today, Secretary of State John Kerry testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS.

During the testimony, Sen. Marco Rubio grilled Kerry about the strength of the U.S. coalition to fight ISIS. Rubio said that the Syrian rebels are weakened from fighting a two-front war against Assad and ISIS, the Iraqi forces are incapable of fighting with the U.S., and Kurdish forces are only interested in defending their own territory.

He then asked Kerry if there was any point at which U.S. ground troops would be needed to introduced into the conflict. The Telegraph has more:

Mr Kerry repeated President Barack Obama’s pledge not to deploy ground troops under any circumstances but then raised the prospect of Iranian and Syrian intervention.

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“I’m not going to get into hypotheticals but you’re presuming that Iran and Syria don’t have any capacity to take on Isil. I mean, who knows? I don’t know what’s going to happen here,” he said. “If we’re failing and failing miserably who knows what choice they’re [sic] might make.”

Not all members of the Obama administration are completely against deploying ground troops, however. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, appeared to leave the door open to send combat troops to fight ISIS in his own testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Refusing to deploy U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS and instead allowing Syria and Iran to take over would give those regimes more regional influence than the United States should be comfortable with.

4 Suspected Terrorists Were Captured One Day Before 911 – But It’s Where That Should Concern You

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Today’s Homeland Security Committee hearing may have revealed what many have feared about our nation’s borders.

While questioning Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Rep. Jason Chaffetz made a startling statement, as reported by Breitbart:

Rep. Chaffetz, who also chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, told Johnson that four individuals with “ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East” were apprehended on September 10th trying the cross into the U.S. through two different stations in Texas.

Johnson responded by saying:

“I’ve heard reports to that effect. I don’t know the accuracy of the reports or how much credence to give them, but I’ve heard reports to that effect.”

The Secretary did confirm that he had previously expressed concern that something like that could happen. Many others have expressed similar sentiments. Nelson Balido of Fox News Latino stated:

Whether real or imagined, the infrastructure is in place for terrorist networks to exploit gaps in U.S. border security. This summer’s experience with thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America streaming across the border shows that human smuggling rings and drug cartels can easily adapt their perverse supply chain management techniques for new paying customers. Coyotes and kingpins don’t perform background checks on their clients.

In response to the surge of immigrant minors that crossed the border this summer, the Obama administration asked for $3.7 billion in emergency funds from Congress.

Of that $3.7 billion, half was earmarked for humanitarian assistance for the immigrant minors, and $1.6 billion was to go to the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to fund increased security and hire more immigration judges.

The Obama administration has also been pushing for amnesty legislation, and the President announced earlier this year his plans to push for immigration law reform that would include a path to citizenship.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey, 62% of Americans feel that tighter border security should be the Obama administration’s main focus, when it comes to immigration.

A Boy Who Was Raped When He Was 14 Years Old Now Being Ordered to Do the Unthinkable for His Abuser

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Eight years ago, Nick Olivas, who was 14 at the time, had a sexual relationship with a 20-year-old woman. By law, Olivas is a victim of statutory rape. The case was discussed by Dr. Drew and a panel on Headline News.

In 2012, six years later, Olivas found out that his former lover had become pregnant and carried his child, and was demanding that Olivas pay child support for the time he was absent, according to The Arizona Republic.

“It was a shock,” he told The Arizona Republic. “I was living my life and enjoying being young. To find out you have a 6-year-old? It’s unexplainable. It freaked me out.”

Olivas only learned of the allegations when he received a letter from officials demanding that he take a paternity test. A shocked Olivas didn’t know what to do and chose to ignore the legal documents.

He was eventually tracked down and now owes a hefty sum of money for all the time he has been financially absent in the child’s life.

According to The Arizona Republic, Olivas owes around $15,000 in medical bills which dates back to the child’s birth, plus 10-percent interest.

Olivas says that he wants to be a part of his daughter’s life, but feels that it is unfair for him to have to pay child support for the time that he didn’t know she existed.

In Arizona, it’s considered statutory rape for someone who is 18 or older to have sex with someone who is younger than 15, whether it’s consensual or not.

He states that it’s unfair that he is being held accountable for what he did as a child.

“Anything I do as an adult, I should be responsible for,” he said. “But as a teenager? I don’t think so.”

Olivas is legally responsible for paying the child support, even though he is technically considered a victim of rape, because the child’s mother was never charged with sexual assault. According to the Washington Times:

“The Department of Economic Security doesn’t exempt such situations, unless the parent seeking child support has been found guilty of sexual assault. The rule’s purpose is to ensure that the child is cared for, officials told The Republic.”

This case raised serious questions about whether or not Olivas should be held responsible for paying child support for the time he was unaware he had a daughter.

Mel Feit, director of the New York-based advocacy group the National Center for Men, commented on how ludicrous this case is. Feit asks people to think about this situation if roles were reversed.

“The idea that a woman would have to send money to a man who raped her is absolutely off-the-charts ridiculous,” he told the paper. “It wouldn’t be tolerated, and it shouldn’t be tolerated.”

Both sides are arguably understandable. What do you think should happen in this situation?

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Texas Woman Convicted of Starving 9-Year-Old to Death Marks 15th Woman on Death Row Executed Since 1976

On Wednesday evening, Lisa Ann Coleman was executed in Texas by lethal injection after her final appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Guardian described the grim details of the murder of Davontae Williams, the son of Coleman’s partner, which led to her conviction for capital murder:

Court documents indicated that Davontae Williams had been restrained and repeatedly beaten before his death from malnutrition with pneumonia in July 2004. A pediatrician testified that the boy’s emaciated corpse showed more than 250 separate injuries, including burns and scars. A blood stain suggested he had been struck with a golf club.

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Paramedics found his body at the home in an apartment complex in Arlington, near Dallas, that Coleman shared with her lover, Marcella Williams. He weighed less than 36 pounds (16.3 kg), about the average weight for a boy half his age.

Responses to Coleman’s execution varied. Some were vehemently against it and urged supporters to take action:

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Here, another tweet urges taking action to stop Coleman’s execution:

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Some responses were more informative and simply presented the information available:

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This tweet is an interesting contrast between Coleman’s humanity and the brutality of her crime:

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Other Twitter users raised questions of social justice:

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Lisa Ann Coleman is the 15th female death row inmate to be executed in the U.S. since 1976.

Commercial Honoring Troops Doesn’t Need Words To Overwhelm You With American Pride and the Value of Family

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Grocery store Food City did an outstanding job at creating this moving ad to honor our troops. The company’s press release on the commercial was as follows:

“At Food City, we honor those people that serve and protect our country, and we know that without the men and women who watch out for us, we would not have any of the luxuries we do. We are the land of the free because of the brave and we salute you!”

We will second that — to all of our brave troops who protect our freedom; we salute you.

The Mexican Flag is the Latest Thing to Be Desecrated by Miley Cyrus’s Butt – Now It’s in Trouble

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If reports about what Miley Cyrus’ butt did to a Mexican flag are to be believed, the pop singer could be the next American of notoriety to be in trouble for breaking the law in Mexico.

Miley Cyrus is about to learn the hard way that Americans have free speech freedoms that are not necessarily extended to people living in other nations. The raunchy event that could land her posterior in trouble with the Mexican authorities was reported by TMZ.

Miley was performing Tuesday night — on Mexican Independence Day, mind you — in Monterrey, Mexico when one of her dancers slapped her prosthetic butt with a Mexican flag.

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Apparently Mexican officials are super sensitive about disrespecting national symbols so the congress of the state of Nuevo Leon wants her prosecuted. The crime of desecration carries a $1,200 fine and a 36 hour jail sentence.

Miley could probably sell the flag she used at the event for a few hundred grand on eBay, so obviously the fine is no problem.

But Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi found out the hard way that there isn’t much leniency or opportunity to explain your actions to Mexican authorities.

Tahmooressi has languished in a Mexican jail since March after taking a wrong turn in San Diego and ending up in Mexico with firearms in his car.

This experience should serve as a clear reminder to Ms. Cyrus to treasure the freedoms she enjoys as an American, because she pushes social boundaries to the limits. If she continues to insult people with her acts, she risks winding up the butt of several more jokes at her expense.

Funny ‘Grease’ Parody Drags a Smoking Hot Issue Out of the Weeds to Get People to ‘Vote Yes on 2′

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The “After Party PAC” produced this fun parody video to support the pending medical marijuana-legalization amendment in the state of Florida.

According to the press release issued by Miami Beach mayoral candidate and comedian Steve Berke, who runs the political action committee, the production company traveled to Texas to film the skit.

The issue of legalized marijuana use has been a hot topic across the nation, and responses both for and against decriminalizing the drug tend to be vocal.

Some former Florida judges wrote a commentary article in a Florida newspaper against the amendment, giving a legal explanation for why it should be rejected. On the other hand, polling indicates strong support throughout the state and it is expected to be approved.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of marijuana legalization, this video is fairly well-done and pretty entertaining. No word, by the way, on whether Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta support the amendment…

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Air Force Members are No Longer Required to Recite Last Four Words of Re-Enlistment Oath

An airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was preparing to re-enlist in the United States Air Force, but, being an atheist, ran into trouble with the four words that conclude reenlistment oaths: “So help me God.”

He was told he would not be able to keep his job if he refused to end his oath with those four words. So he reached out to the American Humanist Association, which threatened a lawsuit against the Air Force if it should force him out of the military because of the oath, USA Today reports.

Prior to 2013, “so help me God” was an option for airmen, but it was reinstated as a requirement in October of last year.

So the Air Force, citing the religious freedom of its airmen, has now made “So help me God” once again an option for oaths, effective immediately.

The re-enlistment oath, which is the same across all military branches, also includes the phrase “affirm” in place of “swear” for members uncomfortable with the religious connotation of “swear.” Army.mil reported:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

While it was little surprise when atheist groups lauded the change, Hiram Sasser, the litigation director for the Liberty Institute, a conservative-leaning organization for religious freedom, also saw the upside to the decision. Fox News reports:

“I am glad the Air Force allows airmen to omit parts of oaths with which they disagree because one day the Air Force will ask airmen to take an oath regarding controversial subjects like marriage and Bible believing airmen will likewise refrain from such oaths.”

The Army, Navy, and Marines all include the similar opt-out option.

NFL Player’s Unexpected Show of Compassion for His Brother is a Story That America Needs to See

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The way these two brothers talk about it, they grew up in a “tough family.” Not surprising, knowing two sons have played for the NFL. But what one son did for the other shows that “toughness” can mean compassion, giving, and most of all, love.

One brother, Ma’ake Kemoeatu, played for the Baltimore Ravens. His younger brother, Chris, played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and helped bring the team to two Super Bowl Championships. But their biggest battle was yet to come.

When Chris was young, he started having kidney pain. Yet he played through the pain all the way through college and into the big leagues. In 2013, he was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease, USA Today reports.

And when doctors told him he needed a transplant, Ma’ake immediately stepped in, though it meant having to leave the NFL. He said it didn’t take a second thought. USA Today reports:

 “I’m the oldest of seven kids so it was my responsibility to take care of my younger brothers and sisters.”

 

“If my brother or any of my siblings needed blood, they have to have my blood. If any of my siblings needed a kidney, it would have to be my kidney.”

A year later, Chris underwent several surgeries to target other health issues, including heart surgery. The brothers both went into surgery in June, and the transplant was successful. When they have fully recovered, they plan to move home to Hawaii.

Ma’ake Kemoeatu will likely never play again in the NFL. But these two brothers will have something more important than the game: each other.