Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cuba no longer is a state sponsor of terrorism, says Obama

On the very day after Obama took Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism, a terrorist group that for decades has been sponsored and funded by Cuba killed 10 soldiers in Colombia. So much for Cuba’s innocence.

Cuba has been funding and training members of the terror group FARC since the 1960s and this is one of the big reasons that Cuba has been on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. But Obama is now trying to open relations with Cuba so he has taken Cuba off that list in a purely political move not in one that reflects whether or not Cuba has stopped exporting terror.

More here

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Sarah Silverman, Liar

"To the maniacs who want to use this as a chit against women’s issues, I ask that you please don’t."

Comedian Sarah Silverman admitted that a story she told about wage discrimination (in which she even went so far as to call out a specific employer by name) was a lie and then said people who might consider her lie a reason to question the movement she was supporting were "maniacs."

In an April 6 wage-discrimination-activism video for Levo League, Silverman accused New York Comedy Club owner Al Martin of having paid her less than a male comic for doing the same work:

"I was out with my friend Todd Barry and we were doing sets around town together, and I was pretty well-known already, and we both did back-to-back 15-minute sets at this club, the New York Comedy Club, and he paid me 10 bucks . . . and we were outside talking and Todd somehow brought up that he, you know, mentioned that he got 60 bucks," she said.

More here

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Deportation no longer an option

As the Obama administration prepares for a new surge of illegal immigrant children this year, some of those from previous waves are turning up on court dockets across the country, charged with serious crimes such as capital murder and aggravated rape.

The cases are exposing many of the holes in the immigration system and the way the U.S. has tried to grapple with children fleeing economic troubles, domestic abuse or gang violence in Central America and sometimes bringing those very troubles to the U.S. with them.

From the law, which requires most of the children to be turned over to social workers, to immigration authorities and the court system, which allow most of them to abscond, never showing up to be deported, to the lack of a safety net to help the children once they’re free in the country, the cases suggest a broken process nearly from start to finish, with some children getting lost in the system and others being released because of overcrowding, only to reappear when they're called before a judge to answer for a bigger crime.

More here

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Meet the new slave owners

An IT worker is accusing Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) of discriminating against American workers and favoring "South Asians" in hiring and promotion. It’s backing up its complaint, in part, with numbers.

The lawsuit, filed this week in federal court in San Francisco, claims that 95% of the 14,000 people Tata employs in the U.S. are South Asian or mostly Indian. It says this practice has created a "grossly disproportionate workforce."

India-based Tata achieves its "discriminatory goals" in at least three ways, the lawsuit alleges. First, the company hires large numbers of H-1B workers. Over from 2011 to 2013, Tata sponsored nearly 21,000 new H-1B visas, all primarily Indian workers, according to the lawsuit’s count. Second, when Tata hires locally, "such persons are still disproportionately South Asian," and, third, for the "relatively few non-South Asians workers that Tata hires," it disfavors them in placement, promotion and termination decisions.

More here

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China suffered because of Doolittle's raid

At midday on April 18, 1942, 16 U.S. Army bombers, under the command of daredevil pilot Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, thundered into the skies over Tokyo and other key Japanese industrial cities in a surprise raid designed to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the 80 volunteer raiders, who lifted off that morning from the carrier Hornet, the mission was one-way. After attacking Japan, most of the aircrews flew on to Free China, where low on fuel, the men either bailed out or crash-landed along the coast and were rescued by local villagers, guerrillas and missionaries.

That generosity shown by the Chinese would trigger a horrific retaliation by the Japanese that claimed an estimated quarter-million lives and would prompt comparisons to the 1937-38 Rape of Nanking. American military authorities, cognizant that a raid on Tokyo would result in a vicious counterattack upon free China, saw the mission through regardless, even keeping the operation a secret from their Pacific theater allies. This chapter of the Doolittle Raid has largely gone unreporteduntil now.

Long-forgotten missionary records discovered in the archives of DePaul University for the first time shed important new light on the extent to which the Chinese suffered in the aftermath of the Doolittle raid.

More here

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Muslims being muslims

Isis fighters are committing widespread, organised and systematic rape and sexual assault on Yazidi women and girls in what may amount to a crime against humanity, a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) has found.

HRW said fighters from Europe are among those from Iraq, Syria, other countries in the Middle East and Central Asia abusing girls and women, according to harrowing accounts from victims. The organisation spoke to girls as young as 12 after they escaped their captors in northern Iraq, who described being gang-raped by brutal fighters multiple times. Many had witnessed other women and young girls being sexually assaulted.

A doctor in charge of treating survivors in Dohuk said at least 70 of the 105 female survivors she had treated appeared to have been raped while being held hostage by the extremist group.

One woman, Rashida, described militants choosing women by drawing their names out of a "lottery". The 31-year-old says she tried to kill herself by swallowing a toxic chemical after being ordered by the fighter who picked her name to bathe.

More here

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Friday, April 17, 2015

The war on children

Government schools have been hurting children and destroying America for a long time. Common Core is only the latest assault in the 100 year war on American minds and hearts. Given the long history of the monopoly Education Establishment of secularizing education, removing it from church and family, making good citizens rather than well-rounded, fully educated people, its history of developing and spreading anti-American, and anti-Christian sentiments-- it cannot be fixed.

Richard Mitchell's often hilarious little book, "The Graves of Academe," was a good first look at the incompetence and ideology of the education establishment. The 1918 meeting of the NEA's Committee For The Reform Of Secondary Schools aimed at eliminating the classics in high schools, claiming that the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake is "elitist." Few went to college anyway, so why bother? The high school must instead train future factory workers and home-makers, thus starting a trend.(1) We can see the result today.

Nowadays parents are appalled at textbooks with more pictures and fewer words. Historical content has been diluted and polluted, ignoring much true history, focusing instead mostly on the less important that fits the progressive template: America Bad, Everybody Else Good! What little is taught about Christianity is generally libelous, refusing to admit its essential role in Western progress and liberty and the United States. The program exists to dumb-down, demoralize, and destroy the American spirit of individual responsibility, authentic patriotism, and Christian culture. Ronald Reagan said it best: "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

More here

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Alcohol abuse and false rape

Of all the incredible details in Rolling Stone's now-discredited story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, there was just one that struck me as unbelievable from the start. No, it wasn't the astonishingly high number of assailants, the implication that the violence was ritualistic, or the inhumane behavior of the victim's friends.

It was actually the very first thing in the story: Jackie claimed she wasn't drunk. That detail made her story unusual, given that alcohol abuse is both the issue undergirding the campus rape crisis and the problem for which there is a more obvious solution.

And yet Sabrina Rubin Erdely ruled out the influence of alcohol in the first sentence she wrote. Jackie had taken a single sip from a spiked drink, according to Erdely, and then deliberately spilled the rest onto the floor of the Phi Kappa Psi house. The story described her as "sober but giddy"in other words, perfectly lucid enough to remember "every moment of the next three hours of agony" while she was brutally raped by nine members of the fraternity.

Her story is a false from beginning to end (thank goodness), as recent investigations by The Washington Post, Charlottesville police, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism have demonstrated. But even if Jackie's story were true, it wouldn't have been a particularly representative example. Despite what Erdely would have had us believe, rape cases don't typically involve a cult of secret sociopaths executing an elaborate and premeditated ritual that necessitates luring a fully conscious victim to her doom. Reality is more boring: Alcohol abuse is almost always the real culprit.

More here

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Suing false accusers, about time

A Vancouver Island teacher who was falsely accused of raping and torturing a student is seeking compensation after the girl's claims were found to be based on a popular TV crime show.

Donald Barber was suspended in 2012 after the then-Grade 10 student came forward saying the veteran teacher had been sadistically assaulting her for years.

The girl reported being raped, tortured, and burned to the point of scarring, according to an arbitration decision last year. Diary entries describe her alleged encounters with Barber, including one where she said she was sold to a uniformed police officer for sex.

More here

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Give us your tired, poor, and criminals

The administration is deporting fewer criminal aliens than it did last year, according to new statistics released Tuesday that undercut President Obama’s justification for his new amnesty, which he said was intended to free agents to focus on the most dangerous of criminals by focusing on "felons not families."

Instead, both arrests and deportations of criminal aliens are down about 30 percent through the first six months of fiscal year 2015, signaling that agents, who have been told to stop focusing on rank-and-file illegal immigrants, have not been able to refocus on criminal illegal immigrants instead.

The data, released by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte at the beginning of a hearing with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana, also showed that the 30,558 criminal aliens ICE knowingly released back into the community in 2014 had amassed nearly 80,000 convictions, including 250 homicides, 186 kidnappings and 373 sexual assaults.

More here

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A leftist's view on the rise of anti-immigration movements

Here in the U.S., it’s hard to imagine that Europe could go back to its old muscular and expansive ways. But the Continent is turning in that directionand it’s a move that carries huge and unsettling implications.

In all likelihood, what happens to Europe in this regard will freak us Americans out. It will make us painfully, perhaps angrily, aware of our differences. It will throw our similarities into doubt. But if it happens, we’ll be stuck with it. We’ll have to figure out how to deal.

Because here’s the thing: Europe is on track to rediscover what looks to us like a highly unsettling form of white pride.

The demographic tale is straightforward. As of 2010, Pew has noted, 13 million Muslim immigrants resided in the European Union. That year, their median age was 32, eight years younger than the median for all Europeans. According to Pew, "the Muslim share of the population throughout Europe grew about 1 percentage point a decade, from 4 percent in 1990 to 6 percent in 2010. This pattern is expected to continue through 2030, when Muslims are projected to make up 8 percent of Europe’s population."

More here

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Black privilege

Everybody acknowledges the existence of socioeconomic privilege in which wealthy people have more opportunities than poor ones, but white privilege makes the racist assumption that skin color is a principal factor. As defined in Wikipedia (and there are numerous references on the page), white privilege is "a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances." It is past time to confront the politically correct Left with the issue of Black privilege, as shown by the following public figures.

Al Sharpton demanded and obtained the dismissal of radio show personality Don Imus for Imus' reference to black women as "nappy headed hos". While Imus' remark was inexcusable under today's standards of behavior, no black women were killed or injured as a result of his words. Seven employees of Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem were not so lucky when Al Sharpton and his National Action Network came to town.

More here

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Marriage

If you are a young man, and contemplate matrimony with the love of your life, it is well to look at marriage from the standpoint of reason rather than sentiment. Men are, after all, male, and occasionally capable of reason. The first question to ask yourself is: Why marry? What would you gain? Would your troubles disappear? Would sex be better? Would food be more savory? Would you get tax breaks, enjoy more freedom? Do stock options come with marriage?

Is there any practical advantage at all?

For you, I mean. For her, the advantages are considerable, and the drawbacks few. Your salary will allow her an upscale house, something more important to her than to you, which on the odds she will get in the divorce. Marriage locks-in child support. Since men die younger, she will get to pick your bones. For her, it is a good deal.

For you, no. Marriage has one purpose only, which is to get her legal hooks into you. Do not forget that American women, under the evanescent ivory skin, are eternally adolescent spoiled brats, feminine as a wrestler's jockstrap and primed, as soon as life's inevitable shocks come, to blame men for their unhappinesses. That means you.

Do not dismiss the foregoing as clever cynicism. Nobody goes into marriage expecting divorce, but it comes very frequently, and she really does get the house and the children. In divorces, men lose. Your child support will be based on what the judge thinks you should earnthis is called "imputed income"so that, if you are a stock broker, you cannot decide that you would rather work on a fishing boat in the Caribbean. If the judge thinks you may be a flight risk, she can confiscate your passport. Your wife’s lawyer may advise her to accuse you of sexually molesting the children. (So help me, this happens. In a divorce, the man wants to get out, the wife to get even.) You may be denied visitation.

In the eyes of the court, the children are her property, to be done with as she chooses. She may remarry with an Air Force colonel she met in a meat bar, and be stationed in Okinawa. So much for your kids.

More here

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Renewable energy's shortcomings

The proliferation of renewable energy will never please environmentalists. In fact, the more efficient and inexpensive energies like solar and wind become, the more environmentalists will fear and eventually hate them.

Currently, arguments against renewable energy are based on the accurate claim they are too inefficient to become widespread. The technology behind solar and wind power are just not where they need to be to justify widespread use.

In October 2014, data revealed the massive Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert fell well short of its anticipated output. During an eight-month period in 2013, the solar plant missed its goal by a whopping 40 percent.

Because of stories like these, many are reluctant to support large government subsidies for renewable energy projects. The lackluster performance of alternative energies have led several states to reconsider legislation requiring a portion of their energy to come from renewable sources. In January, West Virginia made headlines when the state ended its mandate in full.

More here

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Anti-immigrant violence in South Africa

Attacks on foreigners continued this weekend, with two Ethiopian brothers being petrol bombed on Friday evening.

AFP reports that one of the brothers succumbed to his injuries last night.

"The hospital has informed us that our brother (meaning a fellow Ethiopian) died. They said he died shortly after arriving in hospital," said Ephraim Meskele, leader of the Ethiopian community in Durban.

Meskele said the other brother had severe burns and was "fighting for his life" in hospital.

"This is like a war zone. It's like we are in Syria. I have never seen such cruelty," Meskele told AFP.

More here

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Quote of the day


California's manmade drought

If you drive through California’s Central Valley, you will see, along both sides of the ribbon of highway, acres of scorched earth. The arid land goes on in some places as far as the eye can see. This land was once rich in fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Now it is a wasteland, a seemingly endless expanse of brown, dry, and barren earth.

Periodically you will see a billboard, welcoming you to the manmade California desert, which displays mocking appreciation for some of our more notable Democratic elected officials who have helped in this creation.

California is experiencing the fourth year of a severe drought, a condition not exactly uncommon in a climate that has only six months of rain. Political and legal decisions made over the last forty years have added to the drought’s severity.

If you want to know what life would be like in an environmentalist-dominated society, take a drive up Interstate 5. Environmentalists sacrificed this productive land on the altar of the Endangered Species Act. President Barack Obama has vowed to keep it that way.

More here

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Cold Air Outbreaks

Keep a winter coat and mittens handy. A new climate analysis from scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Reading (UK) found that under climate warming, cold air outbreaks, or CAOs, are projected to continue over North America but less frequently. In a geographic swath stretching from Alaska and southwestern Canada to the northwestern and mid-western United States, the top five coldest historical events may still happen. Indeed, as humans, ecosystems, and societal infrastructures adapt to an average warmer climate, these findings show continued future challenges in coping with extreme cold events.

"Our research isolated the changes of future cold air outbreaks to changes in the mean, the variance, and the skewness of daily surface air temperature" said Dr. Yang Gao, postdoctoral researcher and atmospheric scientist at PNNL. "Our analysis identified processes that will regulate future CAOs and climate factors that conspire to produce a distinct spatial pattern of CAO changes in North America."

Even as the climate warms, cold air outbreaks may continue to impact certain regions in Earth's mid-to-high latitudes and the Arctic.

"Understanding which atmospheric and surface processes modulate the CAO changes can provide valuable insights on how, in a changing climate, those processes interact to influence climate extremes," said Dr. Ruby Leung, PNNL Laboratory Fellow, atmospheric scientist and corresponding author on the study. "This will then help us improve climate models to more faithfully capture those processes and improve our predictions."

More here

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Transgenders

Imagine walking into a women's locker room at your local gym and you see someone disrobing only to reveal they have male private parts. According to Planet Fitness, that's no problem at all, if the male sincerely thinks he is a female with male parts.

Yvette Cormier had an experience like this in Midland, Michigan, and because she is NORMAL it bothered her. In her case the man was not naked, but clearly had access to see women without clothes. She complained to management, assuming that they would tell the man dressing like a woman that their ladies' locker room is not the place for him. But because the management is NUTS, "a gym employee notified her of the 'no judgment' policy, which allows members to use locker rooms based on their self-reported gender identity."

Ms. Cormier wanted other women to know a man was allowed to see them naked, so returned to her gym and informed other members. She was accused of making inappropriate comments about a transgender woman and her membership was cancelled.

First of all, there is no such thing as a transgender woman, only people who are confused about their gender. Just so we are clear, the word transgender does not refer to one's sexual orientation or whether or not someone has had a sex-change (I mean, gender reassignment) operation. It refers to someone who may be male or female but his or her gender expression doesn't match his or her assigned sex. I feel for someone in such a predicament and we should do everything to help him or her. But telling them they are actually women does not help them, but leads to further confusion.

More here

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Joke of the day

The National Institute of Health wants to use lawyers instead of lab rats for their experiments. And here's why....

1) there is a present oversupply of lawyers
2) the researchers won't get emotionally attached to the lawyers
3) there are certain things that you just can't make a lab rat do.
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IRS acted like NAZIs

Judicial Watch has just released a new batch of documents forced out of the IRS that show the Obama administration’s scandalous misuse of the IRS to target Tea Party and other conservatives goes far deeper than realized.

Included in the new batch of documents is a February 2012 email from Lois Lerner, who was then head of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Branch, asking that a special program be set up to "put together some training points to help [IRS staffers] understand the potential pitfalls" of revealing too much information to Congress. Amid the hundreds of released pages, Judicial Watch also found a remarkable Lerner email from 2013 in which she says she is willing to take the blame for not having provided sufficient direction to her underlings on how best to investigate the targeted groups, and then concedes that she "understands why the IRS criteria" leading to targeting of Tea Party groups and other opponents of President Obama "might raise questions."

In May 2013, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an audit revealing the IRS had used "inappropriate criteria" to identify potential political cases. "Early in Calendar Year 2010," TIGTA wrote, "the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status to (e.g., lists of past and future donors)." The illegal IRS reviews continued for more than 18 months and, TIGTA reported, "delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications" preparing for the 2012 presidential election."

More here

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Blaming the victim

Louisville has a new hero: A black judge unafraid to stand up to the relentless white racism that is everywhere, all the time, and explains everything.

And the racist at the receiving end of Judge Olu Stevens’ courageous scorn? A three-year-old girl.

This profile in courage began two years ago when two black men burst into the home of Jordan and Tommy Gray, parents of the aforementioned offender. They held the family at gunpoint, making all the required threats about hurting them if they did not turn over all the valuable things that were probably hiding in their modest domicile.

The little girl was watching the Sponge Bob Square Pants cartoon show which, as any capable observer would know, is just another example of the embedded and unconscious racism that is buried so deeply is so many white people, to borrow a phrase from the President of the United States.

Not buried so deeply were the family’s valuables: The home invaders left with a cell phone and $1000 cash the family had been saving for vacation.

More here

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Homeschooling by Blacks increasing

Homeschooling, common among white Americans, is showing an increase among African-Americans kids, as well. African Americans now make up about 10 percent of all homeschooled children in this fastest-growing form of education. However, the reasons for black kids to be homeschooled may not be the same as for white kids. My research shows that black parents homeschool their children due to white racism.

This may come as a surprise since, for many, we live in an age of alleged color blindness and post-racialism, characterized by the declining significance of race and racism. My research found strong evidence to suggest that racism is far from being a thing of the past. I found covert institutional racism and individual racism still persist and are largely responsible for the persistence of profound racial disparities and inequalities in many social realms. Schools, of course, are no exception, which helps one understand why racism is such a powerful drive for black homeschoolers.

In the spring and fall of 2010, I interviewed 74 African-American homeschooling families from around the U.S. While the size of my sample does not allow me to claim that it is representative of the whole African-American homeschooling population, it was nonetheless large enough to allow me to capture the main reasons why black parents tend to homeschool their children.

More here

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A leftist's view of climate change deniers

Everyone loves a courtroom drama--especially one that pits a feisty, but a determined criminal defense attorney against the awesome power of a prosecutor who has the resources of the state behind him or her. We see such David and Goliath stories every week on television.

We cheer as the defense attorney pokes one hole after another in the case of the prosecutor, raising what the audience now perceives as reasonable doubt. But will the jury see it that way? We'll return after these messages....

This is just the sort of metaphorical setting into which the climate change denial lobby is trying to place the debate over climate change without the public or even most policymakers realizing it. The deniers in the fossil fuel industry and elsewhere are attempting by sleight-of-hand to get both the public and policymakers to abandon the preponderance of evidence standard used primarily in civil trials--and which is similar to evidence-based public policymaking--in favor of another judicial standard designed for criminal trials, namely, beyond a reasonable doubt.

So long as the deniers get to claim the role of defense attorney in this public fight, their task will be much easier. The reason that the deniers want to change the standard of proof, of course, is because climate scientists have already shown through an overwhelming preponderance of evidence that human activities are a major cause of climate change. The deniers have no hope of winning the intellectual argument if this standard of proof is used.

More here

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Burglary

An estimated 2,000,000 burglaries occur in the United States each year: there is good reason to be mindful of your home security. However, when most of our ideas of break ins are from Hollywood and video games, we need to look at the facts to make sure we’re protecting our homes from facts and not myths. SimpliSafe went out to find the most common burglary myths. Then, we looked at what actually happens during a burglary. When you know the facts, you can make sure that you can best protect yourself against a break in! When do Break Ins Occur?

In movies and advertisements, breaks ins occur during the dead of the night. With the darkness a cover, a burglar covertly enters a home. Most people believe this to be true, but the majority of burglaries actually occur during the day! In fact, over 40% off break ins occur during the day- typically during business hours! Another common myth is that you will be home during a break in. Thankfully that is not the case! Burglars do not want to meet people when they enter a home: they want as little trouble as possible. The average burglary is only 8 minutes!

More here

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Obama's approval rating dropping among American Jews

American Jews’ approval of President Barack Obama has dropped 23 percentage points since 2009, and the gap between Jewish approval and general American approval of Obamawhich has been marked by higher Jewish approvalis narrowing, a new Gallup poll found.

The survey revealed that in the first quarter of this year, 54 percent of American Jews approve of Obama’s job performance, compared with 46 percent of all Americans. The gap of eight percentage points between those numbers is lower than what Gallup called a 13-point gap over the course of Obama’s presidency. American Jewish approval of Obama peaked at 77 percent in 2009, according to Gallup’s figures.

The new data comes against the backdrop of skepticism over the recently reached framework nuclear deal between Iran and a group of negotiating partners that includes the Obama administration, as well as the administration’s increased rhetoric against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he was re-elected last month.

Source

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Quote of the day

"The assumption is that, in Islam, there are a few rotten apples, not the entire basket. I'm saying it's the entire basket." --Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Will Detroit ever rollover and die?

As the city of Detroit’s financial condition deteriorated, its employee-pension funds made hundreds of millions of dollars in bonus payments to retirees. Those extra checks swelled the city’s retirement debt and played a role in the Motor City’s eventual bankruptcy. Yet Detroit’s struggles haven’t stopped the retirement systems of other cities and statesincluding some with severely underfunded pensionsfrom continuing to dole out bonuses.

The Philadelphia school system, with less than half the assets it needs to meet its future obligations, is set to hand out $62 million in bonuses, sometimes referred to as 13th checks, to its retirees this year. The payments are authorized by 2007 legislation that grants the extra checks when the pension system exceeds its investment projections, regardless of the system’s debt. Rising retirement costsup from $55 million in 2011 to $154 million last yearhave aggravated a financial crisis in the city’s schools. Despite a state-approved $60 million boost in cigarette taxes last year to bolster their finances, Philly schools project an $80 million deficit next year, partly because of another $34 million spike in pension costs. Still, the Philadelphia city council has refused to rescind the 2007 bonus law, arguing that the extra retiree payments this year will be only a small component of the system’s $5 billion in debt. Mayor Michael Nutter, by contrast, has called the payments irresponsible and tried to stop them.

Extra pension payments also remain a problem in some communities surrounding Detroit. Wayne County’s finances, for example, are so shaky that Moody’s has downgraded the government’s debt rating to junk-bond status. County executive Warren Evans recently released an audit showing that the county could run out of cash by June, raising the prospect of a state takeover or bankruptcy. But the county’s retirement system, which is only 45 percent funded, keeps handing out extra pension checks from a bonus pool, established by county ordinance in 1985, which receives money when investment gains beat projections. The checks cost the county $16 million annually. In 2010, the county began taking money out of the bonus pool and transferring the cash into its underfunded pensions. Retirees sued to stop the practice, and a state appeals court backed them. A Michigan court had similarly blocked Detroit officials from suspending its bonus program before the city entered bankruptcy court. Eventually, federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes allowed Detroit to stop the 13th checks and revamp its troubled pension system.

More here

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War of the Triple Alliance

They appear little more than a bunch of old black-and-white photos the size of an A4 sheet of paper, with poorly defined images of armed men, battlefields and lifeless bodies.

But this collection of pictures has immense historic value.

They are the first ever photographs documenting a war in Latin America.

They show the War of the Triple Alliance, a conflict which raged from 1865 to 1870 and which pitched Paraguay against Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

It was one of the deadliest military conflicts in South American history with approximately 400,000 fatalities.

More here

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Monday, April 13, 2015

American POW's and medical experiments during WWII

A Japanese university has opened a museum acknowledging that its staff dissected downed American airmen while they were still alive during World War Two.

The move is a striking step in a society where war crimes are still taboo and rarely discussed, although the incident has been extensively documented in books and by US officials.

A gruesome display at the newly-opened museum at Kyushu University explains how eight US POWs were taken to the centre’s medical school in Fukuoka after their plane was shot down over the skies of Japan in May 1945.

There, they were subjected to horrific medical experiments - as doctors dissected one soldier’s brain to see if epilepsy could be controlled by surgery, and removed parts of the livers of other prisoners as part of tests to see if they would survive.

More here

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Government wants to shutdown wireless service (for your safety)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is questioning the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to keep secret its plan to shut down mobile phone service during "critical emergencies." The court originally sided with the federal government that the plan should not be disclosed under a Freedom of Information Act request, but has since revisited the ruling and has ordered the DHS to explain the secrecy.

According to Ars Technica, the Department of Homeland Security plan, known as Standing Operating Procedure 303, was created after mobile phones were used to detonate explosives in London.

Court documents explain that SOP 303 is a "unified voluntary process for the orderly shut-down and restoration of wireless devices during critical emergencies such as the threat of radio-activated improvised explosive devices."

More here
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Native Americans don't like same-sex marriage

If a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this spring makes same-sex marriage the law of the land, it would leave pockets of the country where it isn’t likely to be recognized any time soon: the reservations of a handful of sovereign Native American tribes, including the nation’s two largest.

Since 2011, as the number of states recognizing such unions spiked to 37, at least six smaller tribes have revisited and let stand laws that define marriage as being between a man and a woman, according to an Associated Press review of tribal records. In all, tribes with a total membership approaching 1 million won’t recognize marriages between two men or two women.

Several explicitly declare that same-sex marriages are prohibited. And some have even toughened their stance.

In December, just weeks after North Carolina began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the state’s Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians updated its law to add language preventing gay couples from having marriage ceremonies performed on tribal land. The resolution changing the law, which passed 8-1, says court cases around the country prompted the tribe of about 13,000 enrolled members to review its own laws.

The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma and the Navajo Nation, with about 300,000 members each, maintain decade-old laws that don’t recognize same-sex marriage. Neither tribe has shown much sign of shifting.

More here

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700 million acres

All across the western states, a grass-roots movement has risen to reclaim states’ Constitutionally mandated public lands from federal government control.

Presently, resolutions and bills are in motion in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and now Alaska.

For decades, significant clashes between the western states and the federal government over public land jurisdiction and ownership have led states to press the issue concerning some 700 million acres of federally controlled ‘public lands’ which including national parks, national forests, and national monuments, environmental zones and other ‘protected areas’. Millions of residents in the western states believe that this land belong to the states, and that Washington DC must observe its own legal and Constitutional limitations as stipulated in Article One, Section 8, of the United States Constitution.

This battle is just beginning…


More here
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Black sheriff to Sharpton: Why aren't you in jail?

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) wondered how Al Sharpton has avoided going to prison for tax evasion on Thursday’s "Your World With Neil Cavuto" on the Fox News Channel.

"I’m trying to figure out why Al Sharpton isn’t in federal prison for tax evasion" he declared.

Clarke then blasted Sharpton’s call for a national police force, saying that national police are a bad idea because of civil liberties and states rights concern, he added "I find it interesting he has so much faith in the federal government, when in the 1960s the FBI surveilled Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement, and then went on a smear campaign to discredit him, now all of a sudden he trusts the federal government." And "I bet he wouldn’t make this recommendation if a Republican president was in the White House, and who had appointed a more conservative United States Attorney General."

Clarke then stated that Sharpton was attempting to politicize policing and, "we have 50 different states in this country, and they’re all unique, that’s why I say it’s a states rights issue. They know how to police their communities best. The guiding principle for all 50 states, and every law enforcement agency in the United States, is the United States Constitution."

More here

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Command economies don't work

This isn’t perhaps the sort of thing that we normally congratulate people on, managing to so entirely screw up a national economy so as to generate 200% annual inflation. But we really should give credit where such credit is due. It is an achievement to manage to follow economic policies that blockheaded so, in the spirit of being entirely fair, congratulations to Venezuela’s Bolivarian socialism. It’s worth noting further that the reason for this stunning success of theirs is not because they’re a bit left wing, nor because they’ve tried to make the lives of the poor a bit better. It’s because they’ve ignored the most important rule of trying to run an economy, they’ve failed to understand that markets really do work. Something that we all need to recall in our own countries as various people tell us that we’ve got to excise market forces from one or another part of our own economies. There’s ways to deal with the effects that we don’t want from market forces: but ignoring or trying to abolish them leads to, well, to success like that that Venezualan Bolivarian socialism is currently experiencing.

Here’s the news of that inflation rate:
Venezuela, which already has the world’s fastest inflation rate at a reported 69 percent in December, could see that rate more than double this year as it struggles to respond to falling oil prices.
"We may end up this year with inflation at close to 200 percent," Alberto Ades, co-head of global economics research at Bank of America, said in an interview on Bloomberg /companies/bloomberg/Surveillance Friday. He forecast the economy would shrink 4 percent. "Venezuela is in a dire crisis."

We need to understand why it is that the Venezuelan economy is in such a pickle. And no, it’s not because the oil price is falling. It’s also not because the government there is lefty, nor that they were trying to take a bit of the money off the rich and make sure the poor thus had better lives. It’s because the methods by which they tried to achieve these things were simply pig ignorant. And I’m afraid this speaks to many more lefties than just those Bolivarian socialists. A potential Prime /companies/prime/Minister, Ed Miliband, in my native UK is marching around shouting about "predistribution" and how he’s going to fix the prices of energy. Which is the mistake that Venezuela under Chavez and Maduro made. And the mistake that the equally lefty Nordics haven’t made.

More here

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Alinsky's Rules for Radicals

Since the year before his disciple, Barack Obama, was elected president, many of us have been raising alarms about how Saul Alinsky’s brass-knuckles tactics have been mainstreamed by Democrats. It was thus refreshing to find an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this week, by Pete Peterson of Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy, expressly calling out a top House Democrat for resorting to the seminal community organizer’s extortion playbook.

But in the end, alas, Mr. Peterson gets Alinsky wrong.

He does a fine job of exposing the hardball played by Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee. Grijalva attempted to intimidate scientists and professors who fail to toe the alarmist line on "climate change" by sending letters to presidents of their universities. He wrote the letters on congressional letterhead and purported to impose a March 16 due date for a response creating the coercive misimpression that the letters were enforceable demands for information, made by a government official in a position to punish noncompliance. The missives sought information about the scientists and academics (among them, the excellent Steve Hayward of Pepperdine and Power Line), including whether they accepted funding from oil companies. Peterson adds that the letters were followed up by officious calls from Grijalva’s staff. The abuse of power is blatant and reprehensible.

Peterson is quite right that Grijalva’s "targeting [of] institutions and their leaders is pure Alinsky; and so are the scare tactics." He goes astray, however, in contending that this leftist lawmaker’s adoption of Alinsky’s tactics "may not fit with Alinsky’s philosophy."

In essence, Peterson contends that Alinsky’s systematizing of extortionate tactics can be divorced from any particular ideological agenda. He urges, as did Alinsky himself in Rules for Radicals, that the latter’s system was devised for the "Have-Nots," advising them how to take power away from the "Haves." Therefore, Peterson reasons, "an existential crisis for [Alinsky’s] vision" arises once the Have-Nots acquire power: i.e., the system is somehow undermined by its own success because the Have-Nots are not Have-Nots anymore.

This overlooks a crucial detail. There is a reason why Alinsky’s self-help manual is called Rules for Radicals, not Rules for Have-Nots.

More here

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Quote of the day

Have you noticed the dearth of original ideas coming out of Hollywood? The problem is that a good idea needs a companion in the truth. And our culture has turned violently away from the truth. Consequently, novel ideas in all art forms are getting rarer.

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Dysfunctional immigrants

During the week when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on all 30 counts as a result of his terrorism at the 2013 Boston Marathon, that killed three and injured over 250 people, it’s worth recalling just exactly how this character ended up in our country. It’s particularly relevant since, as you read this article, the fifth-column Obama Regime is in the process of making sure that we have hundreds of thousands of more potential Tsarnaevs, who like them, will receive education, health care, food stamps and other freebies, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.

What? The Tsarnaevs weren’t just hard-working, striving immigrants, here to do the work Americans won’t do, eager to come out of the shadows, and make a better life? Sadly, no, fellow Clasher. Ruslan Tsarni, Dzhokhar’s uncle, also an immigrant, now living in Maryland, called the family "losers," which is a very charitable understatement.

The Tsarnaev family was a ridiculously dysfunctional bunch, with few marketable skills, a history of run-ins with the law, including domestic violence, 9/11 trutherism, and just general aggravated mopery. Both parents sought psychiatric treatment, and the two future pressure-cooker bomb makers were enthusiastic and frequent pot smokers. And the whole lot were able to take advantage of our generous "social safety net". According to the Boston Herald, they received over $100,000 in government benefits, including Section 8 housing and food stamps. Their four children all attended public schools, although only two of them graduated from high school.

More here
 
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Change you can believe in

Back in the 60's young liberals criticized the rest of the population for their uniformity. They hated popular music of the day, they hated the popular clothing styles, they hated the suburbs with all those ticky-tacky houses, etc.

Now 50 years later young liberals call you a hater if you don't conform to their uniform beliefs.
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Texas law

In Texas, a law enforcement officer may use deadly force to prevent a suspected felon from fleeing.

Traffic violations are not a felony.

Assaulting a law enforcement officer could rise to the level of a felony.
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Weather blob

The one common element in recent weather has been oddness. The West Coast has been warm and parched; the East Coast has been cold and snowed under. Fish are swimming into new waters, and hungry seals are washing up on California beaches.

A long-lived patch of warm water off the West Coast, about 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal, is part of what’s wreaking much of this mayhem, according to two University of Washington papers to appear in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

"In the fall of 2013 and early 2014 we started to notice a big, almost circular mass of water that just didn’t cool off as much as it usually did, so by spring of 2014 it was warmer than we had ever seen it for that time of year," said Nick Bond, a climate scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, a joint research center of the UW and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Bond coined the term "the blob" last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington’s state climatologist. He said the huge patch of water 1,000 miles in each direction and 300 feet deep had contributed to Washington’s mild 2014 winter and might signal a warmer summer.

More here
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