Monday, February 20, 2017

 "I'm always looking for an interesting twist on a doll," says Robert Tonner, the CEO and founder of the Tonner Doll Company in Kingston, New York.
 World’s First ‘Transgender’ Doll 
Unveiled at New York Toy Fair 
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
 NEW YORK — A doll made in the likeness of a reality 
television star who was born a boy but identifies as a girl was unveiled
 this weekend in New York.
The Tonner Doll Company, led by Robert Tonner, introduced the Jazz Jennings doll at the International Toy Fair in Manhattan on Saturday.
“Jazz stands for everything I respect from a human nature point of view: She’s incredibly brave, intelligent, warm-hearted and creative,” he said in a statement.
As previously reported, Jennings is known for being the center of the TLC reality show “I Am Jazz,” which follows the now 16-year old’s life living as the opposite sex.

“Although born male, Jazz is a transgender female and has been living as a girl since kindergarten,” the network describes the show on its website. “Parents Jeanette and Greg have spent the years finding doctors to treat their daughter, while fighting the discrimination and misconceptions associated with what it means to be transgender.”
“Jazz is on a regimen of hormone therapy so that she can look and develop like the other girls in her school. But, Jazz struggles with comparing herself, and the lagging pace of her breast development to her friends,” it outlines.
Tonner said that he first learned about Jennings in 2007 when the then six-year-old was featured on “20/20” with Barbara Walters. Years later, after he noted that Jennings was becoming a prominent voice on “transgender” issues, he contacted the teen’s parents to advise that he would like to create a doll in Jennings’ image.

“Especially with the nastiest coming up in this political climate, I thought this is the perfect time for something like this,” Tonner told Forbes.
He said that while he may not include the word “transgender” on the doll box, his hope is that the figure initiates conversation.
“This is a great kid—an advocate, an entrepreneur, [and] one of TIME’s most influential teenagers. I’m doing the doll of a very accomplished kid,” Tonner stated. “I hope that it does get conversation started.”
“My trainer says, ‘What makes this a transgender doll if she has no parts?'” he outlined, speaking of a talk he had at the gym. “I said, ‘It’s about who it represents. It represents a person with an issue that 20 years ago, you couldn’t have done it. Now it’s opening up conversations, and that’s what I like about it.”
Jennings says that he is happy with the doll.
“Ever since I was little, I always loved playing with dolls,” the teen told the New York Times. “It was a great way to show my parents that I was a girl, because I could just express myself as I am. So this really resonates with me, because it was something so pivotal in my own journey.”
But some have expressed concern that the doll is a furtherance of the progressive agenda.
“Sorry, but I’m so tired of this ‘politically correct’ [thinking],” one commenter wrote on the Tonner Doll Company page.
“God help us!” another exclaimed.
The doll will be tested in approximately 50 stores beginning in July, and will be sold for $89 and $99, depending on the outfit.
Blurring Gender Lines? Pastor Concerned After American Girl Introduces First Ever Male Doll 
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
 MIDDLETON, Wisc. Hoping to offer a doll that 
will appeal to both girls and boys, American Girl has unveiled their 
first ever full-size male doll, which has lead to criticism from a North
 Carolina pastor who believes the move will blur gender lines and 
confuse young children about whether it is acceptable for boys to play 
with dolls like girls do.
For over 30 years, American Girl dolls, along with their accompanying books and accessories, have been popular toys for children in the U.S. The original dolls featured storylines and outfits of young girls from different periods of American history, but since 1995 the company has sold doll characters in various modern settings.
On Tuesday, in an effort to continue modernizing their line of dolls, American Girl announced the creation of its first-ever full-sized male character doll.
“A boy character has been a top request from our fans for decades,” said American Girl spokeswoman Stephanie Spanos in a statement.

The doll, whose name is Logan Everett, is advertised on the American Girl website as a bandmate and drummer to a female doll character named Tenney.
“Meet Logan, Tenney’s bandmate and drummer!” the company’s online description of the new doll states. “The 18” Logan doll has gray eyes that open and close, and short brown hair. Logan’s unique hand positioning helps him hold instruments! He arrives in a plaid button-down shirt, a T-shirt, jeans, underwear and shoes.”
The company hopes the new male doll will be of interest not only to girls, but to boys as well.

“We’re hopeful Logan will appeal to both girls and boys,” Spanos said. “For boys, we know Logan can speak directly to them and give them something unique and special to call their own.”
However, the unveiling of the new Logan Everett doll has left one pastor wondering why American Girl—whose mission is “celebrating girls and all that they can be”—is now also marketing dolls to boys.
Keith Ogden, pastor of Hill Street Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina, fears the new male doll will blur gender lines and confuse impressionable children as to whether it is the norm for boys play with dolls just like girls.
“This is nothing more than a trick of the enemy to emasculate little boys and confuse their role to become men,” he said in a statement.
“There are those in this world who want to alter God’s creation of the male and female,” Ogden continued. “The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy the minds of our children and grandchildren by perverting, distorting and twisting [the] truth of who God created them to be.”
He told the Asheville Citizen-Times that he believes the new American Girl doll is a reflection of society’s gender confusion and lack of morals.
“Now you are going to have little boys playing with baby dolls and that’s not cool,” Ogden said. “We need to get back to our old values and morals.”
He opined that churches need to be assisting youth during a time when gender identity has become a national issue, including in regard to youth activities. Ogden noted that the Boy Scouts of America recently announced that it will allow girls who identify as boys to serve as Boy Scouts.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” he remarked. “It’s not natural for a boy to act like a girl. It’s not natural for a girl to want to be a boy. … You’ve got the government and people who placate this mess instead of telling little boys they can’t change their biology.”
The Young Women’s Christian Association of Asheville (YWCA), however, said that it sees no issue with the doll.
“At the YWCA, we encourage play that helps all children explore what it means to be human and to accept each other’s differences,” CEO Beth Maczka told the Citizen-Times. “We are happy to see dolls that celebrate diversity and represent different races, abilities, body types and genders.”
  YWCA of Asheville 
185 S. French Broad Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
 Email the YWCA | Phone: 828-254-7206 | Fax: 828-258-8731
 Ami Irish Green, Director of Women's Empowerment - ext. 116;
 Kim Reed, Director of Empowerment Child Care - .ext 119;

 Focal Areas
The YWCA of Asheville is proud to be a host organization for The Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship, a unique one-year paid career and community development opportunity for emerging nonprofit and social justice leaders interested in becoming resilient agents of change in their communities.



 Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security advisor

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
 As Creeping Sharia memorably put it: “San Fran has essentially declared itself a 
sanctuary city for Muslim terrorists.”
“Rebel San Francisco P.D. Cuts Ties with FBI on Counterterrorism,” by AWR Hawkins, Breitbart, February 2, 2017 (thanks to Creeping Sharia):
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is ending its coorperation with FBI counterterrorism efforts as part of the city’s larger rejection of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.
On January 31, Breitbart News reported that San Francisco Police Chief William Scott, Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, and Mayor Ed Lee sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security informing them that city would not comply with the order.
The SFPD is now cutting ties with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), because it would couple SFPD officers with federal agents in carrying out the requirements of the immigration order.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the JTTF was formed in 2007,  “when the police force entered into an agreement with the FBI that authorized intelligence-gathering by San Francisco officers of people engaged in First Amendment activities such as religious services, protests and political assemblies.”
Opponent [sic] of Trump’s order — including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding operation –sent a letter to the San Francisco officials in January, asking them to adhere to “city and state rules” when working with the federal government….


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
The Economist reported in December that “a massacre of Coptic Christians” in Egypt is underway, and identified “disgruntled Islamists” who are out to revenge Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s crackdown of the Muslim Brotherhood. Coptic Christians strongly supported el-Sisi’s ouster of his MB predecessor, Mohammed Morsi.
Former Unit 777 (an Egyptian military counter-terrorism and special operations unit) chief-of-staff Hatem Saber, who is also visiting professor at the Egyptian Military Academy and an expert in international terrorism movements, states that he considers “the Brotherhood the source of all current extremist militant groups” in Egypt.
Most Westerners are familiar with the stealth operations of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the Brotherhood also can and does resort to armed jihad depending on political climate.
Regrettably, the Brookings Institution boosts the Muslim Brotherhood. A Brookings Institution report declared that  the MB “was left with no other option but to protest in a climate characterized by exclusion and McCarthyism” after Egypt’s military coup in 2013 that outlawed it and declared it a terrorist organization. The very nature of the MB from its founding is conquest and supremacicm; there is no way to appease it save to concede to its leadership, which el-Sisi has demonstrated that he is unwilling to do. El-Sisi said:
Vicious terrorism is being waged against the country’s Copts and Muslims. Egypt will emerge stronger and more united from this situation.
The Brookings Institution, which “bills itself as “the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tank in the world,” was bought off by the Qatari government in 2013, when it received 14.8 million dollars, casting “a dark cloud” over its “lofty claim to credibility.”
Meanwhile, President Trump affirmed support for Egypt’s fight against terror in a phone call with el-Sisi three days after Trump’s inauguration.

“Coptic Teacher Shot in the Head by Radical Islamists as Attacks on Christians in Egypt Escalate”, by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, February 17, 2017:
A 50-year-old Coptic Christian teacher was shot in the head by two Islamic militants in Egypt while on his way home from school Thursday, as attacks on Christians continues to rise at an alarming rate in the Muslim-majority country.
The Associated Press reported that the killing of Gamal Tawfiq took place in the coastal city of el-Arish when the teacher was attacked by two militants on a motorbike on his way home from El-Samran School.
Tawfiq’s death was confirmed by a school official, but no further details of the crime have yet been provided.
It’s the second murder of a Christian in less than a week in the same northern Sinai region, after suspected militants gunned down Bahgat Zakher, a local vet, on Sunday. Wale Milad, a merchant and Coptic Christian, was killed in late January after militants stormed his shop.
Copts make up only 10 percent of the nation’s 92 million population, and have often been victims of Islamic militants who have vandalized churches, Christian bookshops, orphanages, and other buildings.
As many as five Copts were murdered over a two-week timespan in January, with persecution watchdog groups criticizing the government for not doing enough to help protect Christians from such attacks.
“My brother had no enemies; he was a very simple man, and peaceful,” said a family member of one of the victims. “He left his wife and children to work in Cairo to support them. His family will now face difficulties as he was the primary bread-winner.
In December, Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral was bombed by Islamic State terror group supporters, killing 25 people, including women and children, in what was one of the deadliest attack against Christians in Egypt in years.
President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-day period of national mourning over the attack, insisting that the country stands against such violence.
“Vicious terrorism is being waged against the country’s Copts and Muslims. Egypt will emerge stronger and more united from this situation,” al-Sisi said at the time.
International Christian Concern, which monitors attacks on Christian communities worldwide, said that the bombing must serve as a “wakeup call to the Egyptian government and the international community that the Christian population in Egypt is in grave danger from religious attacks.”
“Entire Christian communities have been assaulted by mobs of Muslim radicals on four separate occasions in 2016 because there was a rumor that a church was being constructed. Now, we have witnessed one of the worst assaults on Egypt’s Christian community in years. More must be done to protect Christians and their places of worship in Egypt,” said William Stark, ICC’s regional manager….


 Hugh Fitzgerald: Salat and Zakat in Summerville, South Carolina


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
Recently, parents in Summerville, South Carolina became aware that their sixth-grade children were being taught about Islam in school. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with learning something of value about Islam. It was what, and how, they were being taught that some found objectionable. Part of what the students were required to do was, unsurprisingly, fill-in-the-blank parroting of propaganda. To wit: “Islam is a religion of (peace). If I believe in Islam, I am called a (Muslim). In the Islamic religion, we call God (Allah). I may dress differently than other kids. I feel (bad) that a few people of my religion committed terrorist acts. I (do not) believe in terrorists’ idea of a ‘holy war.’”
Then the children were dutifully taught to memorize the Five Pillars: the Shahada, or recital of the Muslim profession of faith; Salat, the ritual prayers said five times each day; Zakat, the alms given to help the needy; Sawm, or the fasting during the month of Ramadan; and the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that a Believer should try to make once in his lifetime.
Those objecting to this were reported in the press as if they — parents and non-parents alike — were merely Islamophobic know-nothings. School officials pointed out that this teaching had been going on since 2011 without complaint, and they suavely assured reporters that most of those now complaining about the curriculum in South Carolina were “right-wing activists” from Texas and Oklahoma, and thus, as both out-of-state people and as “right-wing activists,” they could not possibly have a point. Who could be against teaching our children about the Five Pillars of Islam?
Well, you could, and I could, for several reasons. The first is that the children are not being fully informed even about the Five Pillars. Take, for example, Salat, the five daily prayers. The children do not learn, and it is most doubtful that their teachers themselves know, what is contained in those prayers. As Robert Spencer repeatedly has pointed out:
In the course of praying the requisite five prayers a day, an observant Muslim will recite the Fatihah, the first surah of the Qur’an and the most common prayer in Islam, seventeen times. The final two verses of the Fatihah ask Allah: “Show us the straight path, the path of those whom Thou hast favoured; not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.” The traditional Islamic understanding of this is that the “straight path” is Islam — cf. Islamic apologist John Esposito’s book Islam: The Straight Path. The path of those who have earned Allah’s anger are the Jews, and those who have gone astray are the Christians.
In other words, every dutiful Muslim, saying the five prayers every day, is also cursing the kuffar seventeen times a day. Do you think these sixth-graders learning about the duty of Salat have any idea? Do you think they should be given that information? Or should they be offered only a sanitized version of Salat? Of course, even if their teachers knew what was contained in the Fatihah, and understood that it is recited as part of those daily prayers – perhaps by having done a little study on their own, outside the politically-correct Lesson Plan — would they dare to tell their pupils? Wouldn’t they worry, and with reason, that they might be reported on, and accused of bigotry by someone – a school administrator, a representative of CAIR, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the New York Times, the Washington Post — and likely suffer consequences to their careers, perhaps even lose their jobs, unless they cravenly apologized for this act of “Islamophobia” and “racism”? The textual evidence they might adduce in their own defense – the Fatihah itself — would be to no avail. For they would find, in the present hysterical atmosphere (“We are all Muslims now”), that the truth is no defense; you must say nothing ill about Islam.
And when these 12-year-olds are taught about another of the Five Pillars, Zakat, they are told that it is duty, incumbent upon Muslims, to “give alms to the needy.” Well, yes and no. Zakat is, it’s true, a tax levied to benefit the poor and needy. This of course sounds good, and not just to sixth-graders. What the children will not be told, and what one suspects that their teachers do not know, is that Zakat is meant to benefit only fellow Muslims. This is quite different from the Christian conception of charity, made available to all. The only non-Muslims to whom Zakat might, in rare instances, be given, are those who show signs of wanting to convert, if the giving of that Zakat encourages them to embrace Islam. And one other piquant detail: what teacher would know that one of the purposes for which Zakat can be given is not just to help the needy, but to support the mujahideen, the Jihad warriors of Islam? And if he knew, would he dare to tell his pupils?
So even if the Lesson Plan on Islam is already limited to the most outwardly anodyne part of the faith, the Five Pillars, it is made more anodyne still by leaving out the most disturbing aspects of Salat and Zakat. And the most objectionable part of this parody of pedagogy is that the children are not being taught anything of real significance about the ideology of Islam. What do they learn about Jihad? What do they learn about the status of non-Muslims as dhimmis under Muslim rule? What do they find out about the Jizyah? What do they discover about the hatred and hostility that Islam inculcates toward all non-Muslims? What do they learn of how Islam purports to regulate every area of a Believer’s life? Or of how Islam constricts the possibilities of freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience? Of course, none of this can be taught in our classrooms today, not to sixth-graders, and not even to college students. This is now the third rail of the American curriculum, at every level – truthful discussion of what Islam is all about.
If you are a parent, and your child is being subjected to classes on Islam similar to what the children in Summerville, South Carolina have been subjected, what ought you to do? Make an appointment to discuss your objections. It may be with the teacher, or school principal, or members of the School Board. Keep your complaints simple and specific, related only to the Five Pillars. Explain that of course you have nothing against your child learning about them. But you do have a problem with what has been left out. “What’s that?” the teacher, the principal, the members of the School Board, will ask. Then, as calmly and sweet-reasonably as you can, tell them about the sura that is recited seventeen times a day by Muslims as part of their prayers, and hand them a printed copy of the Fatihah so they can study it for themselves. Read out the final two verses: Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.” Make sure to include on the same sheet summaries of, or excerpts from Qur’anic commentators (stick to those who are Muslims themselves) that explain why those who are the “people who have gone astray” is a reference to Christians and why those who “have earned Allah’s anger are the Jews.” Here is one such example:
Some of the commentators believe that / dallin / ‘those gone astray’ refers to the misguided of the Christians; and / maqdubi ‘alayhim / ‘those inflicted with His Wrath’ refers to the misguided of the Jews.
This idea was formed because of the particular responses that these two groups showed in reply to the invitation to Islam. For, as the Qur’an has clearly pointed out in different verses, the misguided Jews used to show a special grudge and enmity against the invitation of Islam, though, at the beginning, their scholars and learned men were the bearers of the glad tidings of Islam.
Very soon, though, under the effect of deviation of thought, belief and notion, and, also, because their financial gains were being endangered, they became the most obstinate enemies of Islam and they did whatever evil they could against the progression of lslam and Muslims.
(Even today, Zionism and Zionists hold the same position regarding the manner in which they treat Islam and Muslims.)
Therefore, to render these people as ‘those inflicted with His Wrath’ seems very correct.
But, the misguided of the Christians, who upon encountering with Islam were not so grudging, but were misled because of their misperception of the Divine religion and therefore refusing the Truth, were rendered into / dallin / ‘ those gone astray’.
They believed in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost instead of clinging to true Monotheism, the worship of Allah. This is, in itself, one of the greatest examples of ‘astray’ and ‘aberration’.
In the Islamic traditions, too, / maqdubi ‘alayhim / ‘ those inflicted with His Wrath’ are interpreted as the Jews, and / dallin / ‘ those gone astray’ as the misguided of the Christians. The foundation of this interpretation is the same as was mentioned in the above.’
Bring with you a second sheet, on which you have printed the Zakat – the “duty to help the poor and needy.” Under that, provide excerpts, again from Muslim commentators, that state that zakat is ordinarily meant to be given only to Muslims, or (rarely) to those who are on the way to embracing Islam. And then, underneath, offer a few more excerpts from Muslim commentators, explaining that Zakat is also meant to support Jihad against the Infidels. Yusef al-Qaradawi, the favored cleric of the Muslim Brotherhood with a vast following, could head the list with his published remarks on zakat: “Today Muslim land is occupied in Palestine, Kashmir, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Somalia, Cyprus, Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Albania and several other occupied countries. Declaring holy war to save these Muslim lands is an Islamic duty, and fighting for such purposes in those occupied territories is the Way of Allah for which zakat must be spent.
Then ask that teacher, that principal, those members of the School Board, what they think should be made of this information? Anything? Nothing? What do they think of the imprecations against the kuffars in the Fatihah? Of the zakat that is meant for Muslims only, and that when needed “must (also) be spent” to pay for fighting against the Infidels? Of course, they won’t ever agree to include this information in the sixth-grade lessons on Islam. It’s not the kind of thing they think the children should be exposed to, and besides, it would spoil the whole why-can’t-we-all-get-along purpose of the classroom undertaking. But they will take home those pages on Salat and Zakat you’ve provided, look into the matter on the Internet, as nowadays we all must, and discover you were telling the disturbing truth. Perhaps the unease and doubt you have provoked, throwing that spanner in their mental works, will lead them to decide to pull the unit on Islam altogether. This is the most, at this point, you can expect.
And these days, that counts as a victory.