Monday, April 24, 2017

There will be blood

Last week Trump supporters and leftist social justice warriors met on the political field of battle in Berkeley, California. Words were exchanged, as were punches. And while an alt-right leader was punched in the face, by all accounts even the social justice warriors admit that they got a major beat-down.

This prompted a reddit discussion among the left’s tolerant resistance movement, with many asking how they can more effectively go to war against anyone who disagrees with their social, political, and economic views.

The anti-Trump protesters at the rally were ill-prepared for what they came to Berkeley to confront and now they are trying to figure out ways to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

In short, as predicted, they are turning to militancy and mob action by mobilizing individuals and groups to attend combat training seminars, acquiring better equipment like baseball bats and helmets, and of course, if things really go bad… guns.

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Fake hate crime of the day

A Muslim professor at Indiana State University lied about receiving threatening emails and being attacked on campus, police say.

Azhar Hussain, 56, assistant professor of aviation technology, was arrested on Friday and charged with felony charge of obstruction of justice and misdemeanor harassment, according to Terre Haute's Tribune-Star.

On March 8, Hussain claimed to have received threatening emails containing anti-Muslim sentiments. And on March 24, Hussain claimed that he was attacked from behind while entering his campus office.

But the professor fabricated all of the incidents, police say.

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Quote of the day


Catholics....We can live with abortion if the money keeps coming

Last fall, America’s Catholic bishops needed a victory. Their credibility and their bank accounts had been battered as the clerical abuse and cover-up scandals endlessly dragged on. Donations from the faithful had tanked. Thirty million had simply left the church, now identifying themselves as "ex-Catholics." So many had left, in fact, that Hispanics were now the largest population of Catholics under 35.

For years the bishops had set moral teaching aside and placed all their bets on the passage of legislation conferring amnesty on "undocumented immigrants." It was a financially rewarding campaign, since the Obama Administration had been giving them hundreds of millions of dollars a year to harbor illegal aliens and Muslim "refugees." Bishops undoubtedly expected that funding to grow under President Hillary Clinton, and they needed it desperately. So they decided that Hillary Clinton was the horse they were going to ride. She was going to win.

Granted, Clinton and her fellow Democrats were the bedrock of support for abortion "rights," which the Church considers to be support of murder of the most innocent. But there’s no federal funding for the bishops in fighting abortion, or in calling out those Catholic politicians who support it. Moreover, those same pro-abortion Democrats were also the bedrock supporters of amnesty, and, like any other federal grantee, bishops don’t like to bite the hand that feeds them. So they put abortion on the shelf.

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Fifteen foolish forecasts

What was once Earth Day has now morphed into Earth Hour and Earth Week. The success of the celebration can only be explained by the fact that no one ever bothers to go back to check the accuracy of the eco-wackos’ past predictions.

For example, the predictions made at the first Earth Day in 1970 were wrong. No, wrong isn’t a strong enough word. They were spectacularly wrong. Let’s cover all the tenses and say they were wrong, they are wrong, and then make our own prediction and say they will be wrong in the future.

Need proof? Here are some of the hilarious, remarkably wrong predictions made on Earth Day 1970....

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Capitulation to fear

Maastricht, in the Netherlands, is the picturesque city that gave its name to the famous treaty signed in 1992 by the twelve nations of the European Community at the time, and which paved the way for the foundation of today's European Union and the single currency, the euro.

Maastricht, however, is also the home of "Tefaf", the most important art and antiques fair in the world. The art work "Persepolis" by the Italian artist Luca Pignatelli was already scheduled when the commission ordered it removed. The work, built in 2016, combined a Persian Islamic rug and a female head. "We are all humbled and speechless", Pitnatelli declared, pointing out that his work had initially aroused the enthusiasm of the commission. The fair's explanation was that Pignatelli's work was "provocative".

The officials of fair presumably did not want to offend Islam and possible Muslim buyers with Pignatelli's combination of the mat (used by Muslims for prayer) with the woman's face. "We are shocked, this is the first time this has happened and I think it is legitimate to talk about it", Pignatelli said. "If in Rome it can happen that you decide to veil art works to avoid offending foreign visitors, well, I do not agree". The reference is at the Italian government decision to veil the antique Roman statues to avoid offending Iran's visiting President Hassan Rouhani.

If Europe wants a future, it should be less ideological about Maastricht's treaty and more against Maastricht's capitulation to fear. The brave Algerian writer Kamel Daoud said:
"Those (migrants) who come to seek freedom in France must participate in freedom. Migrants did not come to seek asylum in Saudi Arabia, but in Germany. Why? For security, freedom and prosperity. So they must not come to create a new Afghanistan".
Right. But it is the European mainstream that is letting them turn our cultural landscape into another Afghanistan. The Taliban have killed artists and destroyed art works. The West used to be proud of being the land of the free.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Odds and ends

According to environmentalists, if members of the EPA can't hide their data and refuse to show their calculations they'll be crippled. (or embarrassed)

Each person in the District of Columbia paid $37,000 in federal income, payroll, and estate taxes last year. Delaware was next highest at $16,000 per person. Meanwhile in West Virginia each person paid $3,600 per person.

Although the idea that a solid ice sheet covers the central Arctic has lingered stubbornly in the popular fancy, the northern cap of ice worn by our planet is actually a thin crust -- on the whole, only about seven feet thick -- over an ocean two miles deep in places.

The U.S. Postal Service lost $5.6 billion last year.

Baltimore has seen a 22 percent increase in violent crime in just the last year. While arrests in the city fell 45 percent based on some of these ill-advised reforms, homicides rose 78 percent and shootings more than doubled. Just in 2017, we’ve seen homicides are up another 42 percent compared to this time last year.

Associated Press says about 80 female officers and roughly 50 enlisted women are now serving on submarines, and their numbers are expected to climb into the hundreds over the next few years.

Maxine Waters denies she ever called for Trump's impeachment just days after chanting "Impeach 45."

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo made $783,000 in royalties from a book that only sold 3,200 copies.

Paris has now seen six terror attacks in the last three years.

New York City is going to raise prices for cigarettes to $13 per pack.

A lesbian teacher in Florida has prohibited students from wearing Christian cross necklaces because they are "gang symbols."

A professor at the University of Missouri says the NRA is more dangerous than ISIS.

Obama in 2012, "...we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices." Sarah Palin's answer to Obama, "Drill, baby, drill."

Three people have died as a result of the so-called "mother of all marches" taking place in Venezuela. Demonstrators are calling for the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro amid the country’s ongoing economic crisis. Massive rallies are being held in Caracas and other cities following weeks of violent demonstrations that had already left five people dead and resulted in clashes between anti-government demonstrators and security forces.

General Motors Co., the world's third-largest car maker, said it has stopped operating in Venezuela following the expropriation of its plant.

 

Violent behavior is ascendant

The uncanny power of words has featured prominently in recent news. Politico describes how Berkeley became "a hotbed of violence in the Trump era" in response to witches like Ann Coulter.

In canceling a planned speech by conservative author Ann Coulter at the University of California, Berkeley, school officials made a startling admission Wednesday: They could not guarantee the safety of the controversial speaker or her crowd. ... The entire episode, which follows a February riot and a melee in the city Saturday, served as a jarring acknowledgment that Berkeley, a one-time cradle of anti-war protests and the Free Speech Movement, has emerged as the leading theater of protest violence in the Trump era.

Apparently there are ideas, like the incantations that Coulter is likely to utter that are dangers in themselves, which summon devils from the vasty deep and provoke an involuntarily reaction in whoever is unfortunate to hear them. When Howard Dean tweeted "hate speech is not protected by the first amendment" he was warding a danger which does things to people from which they must be defended against. The need to block these spells has convinced the socialist leadership of Venezuela, until recently averse to civilian firearm ownership, to arm their supporters the better to gun down those who would invoke them. "The socialist leader of Venezuela announced in a speech to regime loyalists his plan to arm hundreds of thousands of supporters after a years-long campaign to confiscate civilian-owned guns."

"A gun for every militiaman!" Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said to uniformed militia members outside the presidential palace, Fox News reported on Tuesday. The Bolivarian militias, created by Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez, already number in the hundreds of thousands and are being used to supplement the regime's armed forces. Maduro is boosting the number of armed supporters in hopes of keeping control over the country from what he labels "imperialist aggression."

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John Brennan, dirty

An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election Hillary’s.

Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.

John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with "Hillary for president cups" and other campaign paraphernalia.

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Hate speech

Former Democratic National Committee chairman tweeted that "hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment." As Deanwho once ran for president of the United Statesshould know, this is completely wrong.

Dean's tweet was a response to another tweet from a former New York Times reporter who pointed out that Ann Coulter once joked about how Timothy McVeigh should have blown up The NYT instead of a federal building. Coulter is in the news because the University of California-Berkeley cancelled her planned visit to campus on grounds that administrators could not guarantee her safetyirate protesters have vowed mob violence if she speaks. The university has now reversed that decision, thankfully.

Coulter's history of engaging in hate speech might be a reason for students not to invite her to speak. But her speech, hateful though it may be, is not illegal. The Constitution does not exempt "hate speech" from First Amendment protection.

Similarly, the Supreme Court does not recognize "hate" as a category of speech outside the scope of the First Amendment. In the 2011 decision Snyder v. Phelps, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church's right to picket a military serviceman's funeral and wave signs displaying such messages as "God hates you," "fag troops," and "You're going to hell." If this kind of speech is constitutional, it seems obvious that Coulter's joke is as well.

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Chelsea

Clinton's jobs have apparently valued her quite well. Clinton was first hired at 23 by top consulting firm McKinsey & Company, earning a $120,000 annual salary. She was their youngest hire and made as much as fellow employees with MBA degrees, even though she only had a bachelor's in history.

In 2006, she moved on to work at hedge fund Avenue Capital Group, run by high-powered Democratic billionaire Marc Lasry. Lasry has contributed more than $460,000 to Democratic causes since the 1990's.

Most infamously, Clinton was hired by NBC as a special correspondent to the tune of $600,000 annually, or approximately $26,724 for every minute she was on air. Among her most probing interviews was her grilling of the Geico gecko.

Clinton serves as a member of the board of directors at Expedia, netting her $250,000 a year. Clinton also serves on the board of directors of Internet giant IAC/Interactive Corp, earning $300,000 a year. Both companies are led by Barry Diller, who coincidentally happens to be friend and a prominent fundraiser for the Clintons.

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Dumb people fall for Call center fraud

An Indian national pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in liquidating and laundering victim payments generated through various telephone fraud and money laundering schemes via India-based call centers.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) made the announcement.

Bharatkumar Patel, aka Bharat Patel, 43, an Indian national who had resided in Midlothian, Illinois, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. He also agreed to deportation following his sentence. Sentencing is currently set for July 7.

According to admissions made in connection with the plea, Patel and his co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money, and upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of "runners" based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Venezuela issued passports to Middle Eastern citizens

A former director of Venezuela’s Office of Identification, Migration and Foreigners said that during his 17 months in the post, the socialist government gave at least 10,000 Venezuelan passports and other documents to citizens of Syria, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.

In an interview with El Nuevo Herald, Colonel Vladimir Medrano Rengifo said the operation was headed by current Vice President Tareck El Aissami.

He said most passports and visas were granted in the Venezuelan Consulate in Damascus, Syria’s capital.

"Today we don’t know where these people are, nor what they are doing," said Medrano, who currently resides in the United States.

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German POW's in Texas

Some went to work as hospital orderlies. Others picked cotton, baled hay, or tilled soil, living in accommodations near farmland. They ate dinner with families and caught the eyes of single women, running off with them whenever and however they could.

The only thing separating the visitors from the locals of Hearne, Texas was the "PW" insignia stitched into their clothingthat, and the fact many couldn't speak English.

The men were Germans who had been captured by Allied forces, and from 1943 through 1945, more than 400,000 of them were sent to the United States for detention in barracks. Between 500 and 600 centers were set up across the country, but many of the prisoners wound up in Texas because of the available space and warm climate.

Almost overnight, the people of Huntsville, Hearne, Mexia, and other towns experienced a kind of cruel magic trick. Their loved ones had disappeared, sent overseas to contest World War II; captured Germans materialized in their place, taking on the role of laborer. Those that refused work peered from behind 10-foot tall fencing capped with barbed wire as teenagers drove by to stare at the faces of the enemy.

Whatever their imaginations had conjured up, it didn’t match the reality: The men behind the fence looked less evil than bored. And by the time the U.S. government was done with them, many would reconsider what they were fighting for.

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The hive minded

One of the many harms inflicted on us by the hive minded lunatics running our society is the binary world view. Everything is either all good or all bad. As such, everyone must either fully embrace something or completely reject something. Indifference, ambivalence and moderation are not permissible in a world run by zealous fanatics. The only things that matter, that can matter, are those things that require a moral position. Everything else falls outside the set of things that exist, at least to the hive minded.

The most obvious example is homosexuality. Like all normal men, I am mildly intolerant of homosexuals. I get that they cannot help themselves and I get that it is "natural" in the same way schizophrenia is natural. I’m fine with them doing what they must, just as long as they do it in private. Of course, that makes me a monster. In the hive, you must either fully embrace homosexuality and what comes with it, or you are a homophobe and not fit for decent company. There’s no room for indifference or mild intolerance.

Hive mindedness is much more of a female attribute, than a masculine one. That’s not to imply that all women are howling at the moon zealots. It’s just that the fairer sex is much more inclined to deal in absolutes. The reason is that men have ways to arbitrate disputes that do not require a transcendent set of rules. One chimp squares off with the other chimp and the winner is the one who was right about where to find the best bananas. Women don’t have that so they look for a set of rules to figure out winners and losers.

It’s why it was no accident, that as soon as the girls got the vote, and the boys were off fighting the Kaiser, the girls banned alcohol and prostitution. To quote Judge Roy Bean, "Drinking and gambling and whoring were declared unlawful. All those things which come natural to men became crimes." Morality, at least in the modern age, is the set of rules the girls use to control the boys, which is why the prim-faced moralizers of today are running around trying to stamp out anything that smacks of masculinity.

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Integration in Germany has failed

As painful as it is to write this, one cannot support an autocratic system, capital punishment, the arrest of critical journalists and the jailing of the political opposition and then turn around and complain that you are not accepted in Germany as a German. That’s unacceptable. It shows that integration in Germany has failed and that it isn’t just the Germans who are to blame for that.

A clear majority of Turkish voters living in Germany cast "yes" ballots for Erdogan’s autocratic presidential system. In Turkey, the result was so close that it’s possible that votes from Turks living abroad may even have proven decisive. Despite living in democracies and in freedom and safety, these people have essentially voted to eliminate democracy in Turkey.

Interestingly, many Turkish-Germans are now accusing me of "just trying to please the Germans," with my own criticism of Erdogan. I’m receiving hundreds of such emails right now. What they fail to recognize is that I am a German. They seek to deny my identity as a German in the same way that the right-wing populist, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and other right extremists do. In doing so, they also reveal their greatest problem: Namely that they constantly claim to be Turks and Germans, but that they have never truly felt themselves to be German and they haven’t sought to claim or ensure their right to a German identity.

They haven’t pushed back against those who have always dismissed them as "guest workers" or "migrants" who "should go back to where they came from." But it is precisely those individuals whom they should answer, self-confidently: We’re also German we help shape the country, we participate in society, we help mold German that is, our society, because we like Germany, even if it isn’t perfect. There is much to criticize in Germany and we also do that. But we value democracy and the fact that we even have the possibility of criticizing it without landing in jail.

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Hijab is for men also

In my day job, I’m a civil rights attorney fighting for Muslim women’s rights. So, when I saw #MuslimWomensDay trending on Twitter this week, I felt compelled to share my thoughts on hijab. The thread went viral, I believe, because it addressed an apparently novel point about hijab that too few people realise.

That is, when addressing hijab, the Quran does not address women first. It addresses men first. That’s not a typo. Islam places the primary responsibility of observing hijab not on women but on men. It’s critical to understand this point.

People often conflate "hijab" and "headscarf". Wearing the headscarf is one form of hijab, but men often forget that hijab is much more. And at the genesis of the hijab discussion, the Quran commands men to not stare at women and to not be promiscuous. The Quran 24:31 obliges men to observe modesty: "Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do."

This verse rebukes forced laws on women that claim "women must cover otherwise men are distracted". It destroys rape culture because it commands men to reform themselves first and exclusively. It demolishes complaints that what a woman is wearing is "too provocative", whatever that means, because it flat out forbids men from gawking at women.

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California, the sanctuary state

California governor Jerry Brown has pardoned "three veterans deported to Mexico," as the Sacramento Bee reported. Hector Barajas Varela, who came to the United States "without authorization," served more than year in prison for shooting at an occupied home. Brown also pardoned Erasmo Apodaca, who served 10 months in prison for burglary, and Marco Chavez, who spent 15 months in prison for reasons the report did not specify.

Brown issued the pardons as Easter approached, and shortly after President Donald Trump authorized more than $500 million in emergency relief for California, including $274 million for the damaged spillway on Oroville Dam. That federal largesse, after Brown’s tsumani of anti-Trump rhetoric, did not alter the governor’s determination to reinforce California as a sanctuary state for violent criminals. His pardon of criminal foreign nationals, after they had been deported, is merely the latest wave in the surge.

Major California cities and counties have long defied federal efforts to arrest and deport illegals, even violent criminals. Now San Francisco is appealing to a federal judge to block the Trump administration from withholding federal funds from such cities.

When repeatedly deported felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez gunned down Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier in July, 2015, that deadly act of gun violence had no discernable effect on Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, headquartered in San Francisco. The state’s Chief Justice, who like Brown has sworn to uphold the law, reserves her wrath for "meanspirited" ICE agents, whom she accused of "stalking" illegals in courthouses. As attorney general Jeff Sessions, explained, it is entirely legal and proper for federal agents to make arrests in public places.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Civility

Civility means to act as one would in a settled city wherein law and manners, not force and passion, guide the interchanges of the public order as well as the normal affairs of men within their homes and voluntary associations. Civility presupposes reason, but includes courtesy, compassion, and good taste. It usually involves a written or unwritten constitution that broadly defines the orders of procedure for ordinary human exchanges of opinions. It details, through proportionate sanctions, the degree to which the public order is violated by disordered actions. A constitution itself recognizes, at least implicitly, the possibility of a law higher than itself. A constitution’s own authority to be followed does not depend on itself, but on the citizens for whom it is intended. They in turn cannot will just anything. They too are subject to the reasonableness of the things that are, including what they are.

Incivility, by contrast, means the refusal to adhere to commonly accepted standards and customs. It indicates a breakdown, either minor or major, in the public order wherein differing opinions are normally and peacefully worked out among reasonable people who do not always agree with one another. Almost all incivility justifies itself by appealing to something higher than existing laws and customs. This "something higher" may be God, or one’s own will, a constitution, or a theoretical system we have usually come to designate as an ideology. An ideology is an idea or system of interrelated ideas that are self-justifying as the explanation of how things ought to be. They indicate a pattern or order that is to be put into effect as the solution to a given polity’s own inherent problems.

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Corruption in Mexico

Although Mexicans regard their government as "highly corrupt" they themselves accept having to pay bribes and avoid paying taxes and public transit fares, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Integrity Review of Mexico. Taking a Stronger Stance Against Corruption found that 33% of those polled had paid bribes in education, law enforcement, medical and health services, police, permits, taxes and public services sectors.

It also found that bribery is far more commonplace in Mexico than in other OECD member countries.

Ten per cent of OECD respondents had bribed police officers during the last year, but in Mexico the figure was 60%. The OECD average for bribes paid to law enforcement was 10%. In Mexico it was 55%.

The OECD also estimated that Mexico government revenues are between 20% and 38% lower as a result of tax evasion.

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Poor, pitiful me

A coalition of marginalized students at Pomona College are demanding that the president of Pomona (one of the Claremont Colleges) take disciplinary action against student-journalists who write for The Claremont Independent, a conservative paper.

That's not all. The students' letter to the president also stridently rejects the very mission of a liberal arts college. The search for truth is little more than an attempt to silence marginalized people, in the view of these students. Accordingly, the campus administration must revise its commitment to free speech such that no one who espouses hateful viewsas defined, in incredibly broad terms, by the offended parties themselvesis allowed to speak at Claremont.

"Free speech, a right many freedom movements have fought for, has recently become a tool appropriated by hegemonic institutions," the students wrote in their letter. "It has not just empowered students from marginalized backgrounds to voice their qualms and criticize aspects of the institution, but it has given those who seek to perpetuate systems of domination a platform to project their bigotry."

The students refer specifically to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald's recent visit to campus. MacDonald, a conservative critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, was prevented from speaking by student protesters. The students surrounded the doors of the building and denied entry to other students who wanted to hear from her. Multiple news outlets, including Reason and The Claremont Independent, wrote critically about the students involved in the incident, and Claremont President Chiram Hodash expressed dismay about the censorship.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Obama's BFF Erdogan

Not all that long ago we were lectured that Obama, with his charisma and savvy, had won over Recep Tayyip Erdogan and formed a new partnership with him that would lead to Middle East stability and a new Turkish omnipresence as a force for good. So, for example, on December 7, 2011, in the Washington Post, Washington insider David Ignatius gushed about the emerging duo:

They are unlikely partners: a cool and unflappable U.S. president and a proud, sometimes hot-tempered Turkish prime minister. But they have developed a working relationship that is one of the most important but least discussed developments shaping this year of change in the Arab world.

If you’re looking for factors that can keep the Arab Awakening from turning into a nightmare, the U.S.-Turkey partnership is mildly reassuring. President Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have worked closely to manage events in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and, increasingly, Iran.

They have talked by phone 13 times this year, according to the White House.

At the time, it never occurred to Ignatius that talking 13 times a year to the likes of Erdogan (apparently, the Obama White House was eager to get that fact out to court reporters) was not proof of a "relationship that works" but evidence that an Islamic autocrat had found a willing superpower enabler.

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Dead in the water

The "world" -- a phrase we will return to later -- has seemingly become more dangerous ever since the the U.S. has stopped running from challenges, even as critics complain it turns on them without a strategy. The EU by contrast has kept running but is now at a dead end, penned in by Brexit secession to the West, a new czar in Russia to the East, and by the bold claims of a new sultan to the South.

Erdogan's claim to new dictatorial powers on the basis of a narrow and disputed referendum victory has put him on a "collision course" with Europe, according to the Wall Street Journal:
European reaction to the vote was cautious. In a statement, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and two other top officials said they had taken note of the reported results in Turkey but would await the assessment of international monitors on the vote including on "alleged irregularities."
It vote effectively a Turkish withdrawal from membership application in the European Union. Even Eurocrats can't justify admitting an Erdogan under the banner of multiculturalism.

The EU is dead in the water. ...

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It's okay for Muslim men to rape non-Muslim women

A female Islamic professor sparked a controversy when she claimed that Allah (God) makes permissible for Muslim men to rape non-Muslim women in order to ‘humiliate’ them. The astonishing claim was made by Suad Saleh, who is a professor from the renowned Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt during the interview on Al-Hayat TV.

According to The Inquisitr News report, in the video posted by LiveLeak, Saud Saleh said that the rape is allowed during times of "legitimate war" between Muslims and their enemies. "The female prisoners of wars are ‘those whom you own.’ In order to humiliate them, they become the property of the army commander, or of a Muslim, and he can have sex with them just like he has sex with his wives," Saleh was quoted as saying.

While speaking on purchase of slaves from Asian countries for sexual purposes, Saleh said that Allah allows Muslim men to have sexual relations with slave women and that is ‘legitimate’. Saleh suggested that the only time it is acceptable for Muslim men to enslave a woman for sexual purposes is during a ‘legitimate war’ between Muslims and their enemies such as that with Israel.

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Climate scientists should actually use real science

All too many alarmist climate scientists have received millions in taxpayer grants over the years, relied on computer models that do not reflect real-world observations, attacked and refused to debate scientists who disagree with manmade climate cataclysm claims, refused to share their computer algorithms and raw data with reviewers outside their circle of fellow researchers and then used their work to make or justify demands that the world eliminate the fossil fuels that provide 80% of our energy and have lifted billions out of nasty, brutish, life-shortening poverty and disease.

A recent US House of Representatives Science Committee hearing on assumptions, policy implications and scientific principles of climate change showcased this. Testimony by climate scientists Drs. John Christy, Judith Curry and Roger Pielke, Jr. contrasted sharply with that of Dr. Michael Mann.

Christy noted that Congress and the public have been getting biased analyses and conclusions that begin with and attempt to confirm the belief that human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions drive climate change. He said government should "organize and fund credible ‘Red Teams’ that look at issues such as natural variability, the failure of climate models and the huge benefits to society from affordable energy, carbon-based and otherwise." He demonstrated how average global temperatures predicted by dozens of models for 2015 are now off by a full half-degree Celsius (0.9 F) from what has actually been measured.

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Carbon capture in Texas

The Trump administration remains committed to reducing greenhouse gases while promoting the energy industry, said Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday.

Perry joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at NRG Energy’s Petra Nova carbon capture plant in Fort Bend County, where the two Texans heralded the plant’s official opening as a the dawn of a new energy era of innovation under President Donald Trump.

The plant, the world’s largest and the only one of its kind in the United States, started operating in late 2016. It captures carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power plant, runs it through a chemical process to extract carbon and sends it through a pipe 80 miles southwest to help with enhanced oil recovery, a process that injects carbon and water underground to force oil to the surface.

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Deny white men the vote

Some of the biggest blows to the progressive cause in the past year have often been due to the votes of white men. If white men were not allowed to vote, it is unlikely that the United Kingdom would be leaving the European Union, it is unlikely that Donald Trump would now be the President of the United States, and it is unlikely that the Democratic Alliance would now be governing four of South Africa's biggest cities.

If white men no longer had the vote, the progressive cause would be strengthened. It would not be necessary to deny white men indefinitely the denial of the vote to white men for 20 years (just less than a generation) would go some way to seeing a decline in the influence of reactionary and neo-liberal ideology in the world. The influence of reckless white males were one of the primary reasons that led to the Great Recession which began in 2008. This would also strike a blow against toxic white masculinity, one that is long needed.

At the same time, a denial of the franchise to white men, could see a redistribution of global assets to their rightful owners. After all, white men have used the imposition of Western legal systems around the world to reinforce modern capitalism. A period of twenty years without white men in the world's parliaments and voting booths will allow legislation to be passed which could see the world's wealth far more equitably shared. The violence of white male wealth and income inequality will be a thing of the past.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

OPEC cutting production, wants prices to rise

OPEC producers took another 153,000 barrels a day off the market in March as part of its bid to drain the world’s oil glut.

In the cartel’s monthly report released Wednesday, independent sources reported the group of oil-producing countries has cut output by 1.1 million barrels a day since December.

Last month, Libya’s output dropped by nearly 9 percent, and production edged lower in the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Angola and other countries. Saudi Arabia raised production by 41,000 barrels a day.

That effort has pushed oil prices above $50 a barrel in recent months, breathing life into U.S. oil patches like the Permian Basin. U.S. crude rose 16 cents on Wednesday to $53.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as traders reacted to media reports that Saudi Arabia, the cartel’s de facto leader, wants to see OPEC continue production cuts into the second half of this year.

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Texas disaster of 1947

On April 16, 1947, one of the largest industrial explosions ever killed an estimated 576 people in Texas City, about 40 miles south of Houston.

A cargo ship called the Grandcamp, which had previously been docked in Houston, was docked in Texas City. While there it was being loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer, an extremely flammable substance.

A fire broke out in the ship's cargo hold and despite efforts to extinguish the flames, the fire spread and at 9:12 a.m., the ship exploded.

The blast was so massive that it leveled or damaged more than 1,000 surrounding buildings, shattered windows in Houston 40 miles away, and in Denver, over 900 miles away, a seismograph registered the explosion as if it were an earthquake.

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McMaster and Soros affiliation?

National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster’s past affiliation with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has created fresh concerns after research conducted by Disobedient Media revealed that the British think tank has taken funding from multiple governments in the Middle East and organizations tied to George Soros. McMaster’s former position with the IISS indicates a potential conflict of interest given the think tanks’ financial ties to sponsors who are anti-American and in some cases, states sponsors of terrorism.

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Trump effect, self deportation

Forty-plus years in financial journalism taught me that people aren’t really interested in economic data. They say they are, but (unless the sky is falling, as in 2008) what really grabs them is war, race, sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Nevertheless, data does sometimes matter and now may be one of these timesit looks like immigration, and immigrant displacement of American workers, has finally hit the wall.

The evidence appeared in the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics Household Survey, which was released last Friday. Most commentators grumped about the relatively low job growth rate. But I always look at the analyses prepared by economic consultant Edwin S. Rubenstein of ESR Research, previously of the Hudson Institute and National Review.

This month, Rubenstein points out that annualized growth in the foreign-born workforce has collapsed. It was only 56,000 over the 12 months through March, down from 1,711, 000 for the 12 months ended October 2016significantly, directly before the Presidential election.

Which is particularly interesting because annual legal immigration (the Household Survey doesn’t distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants) has been running at about a million a year. So this new foreign-born workforce total implies a really dramatic and accelerating exodus, which has been overwhelming any continuing inflow since Trump was elected.

Conversely, Rubenstein noted at the time that, beginning in the last year of Obama’s Presidency, the Household Survey showed immigrant workforce growth far in excess of the legal inflow. Obviously, an illegal alien stampede was underway, probably triggered by Democrat promises of Amnesty.

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Notes for a white kid

If you are a white student in college, you doubtless hear daily that white people are evil, the principal cause of everything wrong with the world. Whiteness is bad, white people are bad. We are to blame for everything.

If you believe this, you are being gamed. What you are being told is nonsense. If you have the intelligence and self-respect to think for yourself, ask:

"What have other races and ethnic groups accomplished in the world compared to what we white people have?"

This question will be shocking to you because you have been carefully programmed not to think such things. But ask. I think you will find that the groups who complain the most have accomplished the least. Check for yourself.

Look around you. Can you find anything with a moving part that was not invented by whites? Anything electronic? Cars, telephones, computers, aircraft, antibiotics, on and onall sprang from the minds of white people. You are not supposed to say such things, and could be run out of a university for itbut ask yourself, if you have the courage: Is it true? Do not think that because things are commonplace or easy to use that they are not products of fields of extraordinary difficulty.

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Sanctuary cities encourage illegals

Numerous cities have declared themselves to be "sanctuary cities," where local police are forbidden to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in enforcing our national immigration laws. Legislation is now moving through the California legislature to implement such a policy throughout that entire state. Why this energy to protect violators of our laws? Oddly, the answer goes back to the founding. Due to a residue of the notorious three-fifth compromise, sanctuary cities encourage illegal immigration because undocumented residents (to use the politically correct term) are counted in determining representation in the House of Representatives and state legislatures. The more undocumented a city has, the more seats it gets.

When the Framers were deciding how to apportion the House of Representatives, the southern states wanted to count slaves and the northern states wanted to only count free citizen residents. They compromised by counting three-fifths of the non-free population. To implement this, the House is apportioned on the basis of the gross total population rather than the citizen population. As illegal immigration was not a great issue in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment simply carried forward this practice. As a result, the Census Bureau explicitly includes both legal non-citizen and undocumented residents in the census.

In our era of historically high immigration, this has a major impact on legislative apportionment because these immigrants are very unevenly distributed. The Census Bureau estimates that the proportion of non-citizen population in the states varies from 14% in California to less than 1% in West Virginia. This has a direct impact on the states’ political power. California, on its way to becoming the first sanctuary state, has five or six more members of the House (and consequently Electoral College votes) counting its non-citizen population than if House seats and Electoral College votes were based on only citizen population. No wonder California politicians favor illegal immigration.

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