Monday, February 8, 2016

Eminent domain

Following attacks from primary rival Jeb Bush about his past use of eminent domain, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump on Sunday accused the Bush family of using the practice to build a baseball stadium in Texas.

"Eminent domain is a very important thing," Trump said on ABC’s "This Week." "Jeb Bush doesn’t understand what it means, and if you look into the Bush family I found this five minutes ago they used eminent domain for the stadium in Texas, where they own, I guess, a piece of the Texas Rangers."

When host George Stephanopoulos said that was Jeb’s brother, former President George W. Bush, Trump said his point still stands.

"That doesn’t matter," he said. "It was the Bush family. They used private eminent domain. He didn’t tell anybody this. So, I mean, he should have told people."

"Maybe he probably doesn’t know because I don’t think he even knows what eminent domain is," he added. "But I just found that out five minutes ago."

More here

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Supply and demand

The world’s oil producers aren’t rolling over for $35 oil.

Though crude is cheaper than during the financial crisis seven years ago, global oil prices haven’t fallen far enough yet to force oil producers to shut in more than 0.1 percent of the world’s daily supply, a new oil-field analysis shows.

Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie says on a daily basis, 3.4 million barrels around the world currently lose money but only 100,000 barrels have actually been shut in. The world gets at least 1 million barrels a day more than it needs.

That suggests oil prices if oil prices stay at current levels, the oil market will have to wait out the slow, natural decline in worldwide crude production before the large oversupply that has kept prices low for months can be corrected.

"We’ve got to get through these two quarters of continued oversupply," said Anne-Louise Hittle, an oil market analyst at Wood Mackenzie. "But underneath that, there’s a rebalancing going on that’s due in 2016, and it’s pretty severe."

Wood Mackenzie’s latest tally shows global crude production increased 3 million barrels a day in 2015, "an unbelievable tidal wave of supply." But Hittle says year-over-year declines in oil production should begin this month, starting a downward trend.

More here
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Anti-immigrant protests getting larger in Europe

Thousands of people are taking part in protests against Islam and immigration in several European cities.

Police in Dresden say they expect about 15,000 protesters at a rally organized by the group Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West. Known by its German acronym PEGIDA, the group emerged in Dresden two years ago and has become a magnet for far-right and anti-immigrant sentiment.

About 10,000 people are expected to take part in a counter-demonstration Saturday on the other side of the river Elbe, which divides the city.

Similar, smaller PEGIDA-style protests were planned in France, Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

Nationalist groups in Europe have been galvanized by the unprecedented influx of refugees from Africa, Asia and the Middle East last year.

Source

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Some build, some destroy

There’s no doubt the University of Missouri-Columbia has been wounded by a chain of recent events.

First, graduate assistants were upset with the university about losing benefits. Then, some legislators were angry because the school had ties to Planned Parenthood.

And of course, the school came under national scrutiny when many students protested after a series of racist incidents the aftermath of which toppled top leadership.

What’s unclear is how all that discontent will affect enrollment and student recruitment.

Barbara Rupp, Mizzou’s director of admissions, sees cause for concern.

As it stands, applications and deposits made toward tuition are down. School leaders are projecting 900 fewer incoming freshmen for fall 2016 than fall 2015, according to currently available information.

More here

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Bits and pieces

Last month, feminists in Cologne responded to the mass molestation by predominantly Muslim migrants that occurred on New Year’s Eve by visiting the city’s largest refugee center and handing out roses as a "gesture against xenophobia". Another feminist group in Cologne responded to the attacks by denouncing "German born men".

Austrian police have finally confirmed that a 10-year-old boy was raped by an Iraqi "refugee" in a public swimming pool in Vienna back in December. The child was seriously injured and required hospitalization. The suspected alleged perpetrator says that he experienced a "sexual emergency" after going without conjugal relations for so long, having left his wife behind in Iraq several months before.

Imagine if you will, the NSA has been monitoring just about every communication in the U.S. for the past 50 or 60 years. Are the Democrats above using that information for blackmail purposes? Consider the last minute flip flop by Supreme Court Justice Roberts on Obamacare. Consider Speaker Ryan mirroring Boehner's actions in giving the Democrats almost everything they want. Consider Senator McConnell. Consider Congressmen Issa and Gowdy. Consider McCain and Romney in their half-hearted campaigns. And General Petraeus, don't forget about him.

"The culture has degraded such that seeking and/or holding office, especially national-level office, is, in and of itself, proof that a given person is psychologically and morally unfit to hold public office." --Ann Barnhardt

Santorum drops out of race, endorses serial liar Rubio. Was unable to name a single accomplishment of Rubio.

Jimmy Carter...."I prefer Trump over Cruz." (Wow)

From the Drudge Report...."Border Agents Ordered to Stand Down -- 'We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether.'"

Greg Gutfeld....Democrat debate was a "Competition Between Pickpockets."

Republican debate....Christie to Rubio on his sketchy voting record...."That's not leadership, that's truancy."

Lawrence Peter, author of the Peter Principle, once wrote, "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it."

Edgar Mitchell died last week. As of his death, now seven of the twelve who walked on the moon survive: Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, David Scott, John W. Young, Charles Duke, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.

Madeleine Albright tells young women voters "There's a special place in hell" for them if they don't vote for Hillary.
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A million to one odds?

What are the odds on something like this happening - a million to one?

On the very same day - February 2, 2016 - the Navy issued press releases about two men, both named Edward Byers. One was a submarine skipper relieved of command. The other, a senior chief and member of famed Seal Team Six. He was slated to get the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony later this month.

The same name, the same date, but their fates could not be more different.

CMDR Edward Byers had been the C. O. of attack sub Dallas since November of 2014. "Leadership shortfalls" was said to be the reason he got the boot. There was no alleged "misconduct," but the action is widely seen as a career-ender for the three-striper.

The other Edward Byers performed his heroism back in 2012 in Afghanistan when the burly SEAL threw himself over the body of a doctor held hostage as bullets flew between fellow American rescuers and the Taliban captors.

One SEAL, PO1 Nick Cherque, was killed in the firefight.

According to Byers' citation, the Ohio native "displayed extraordinary heroism at grave personal risk." The 36 year-old Navy man has been wounded twice in previous combat and is one of the youngest senior chiefs (E-8) in the military today.

The MOH recipient is a certified paramedic as well as proud member of the elite Navy SEALS. Byers is one of the few living service members to receive the coveted medal, our nation's highest decoration for military valor.

A majority of the Medal of Honor roll consists of heroes who lost their lives in combat.

Source

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Blaming Global Warming for just about everything

Leading pet behaviourists say the number of depressed and unsettled dogs they have seen in recent months is unprecedented.

A boredom epidemic is sweeping through Britain’s dog population and global warming could be to blame.

Across the country, there are reports of down-in-the-mouth mutts, and under-the-weather canines.

Leading pet behaviourists told The Independent that the number of depressed and unsettled dogs they have seen in recent months is unprecedented.

And they suggested that the spate of wet winters could be at the root of the problem, as owners cut down on the daily walks that are crucial to keeping dogs’ spirits up.

More here

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ideological boot camps

What do campus microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, speech codes and censorship have to do with higher learning?

American universities want it both ways. They expect unquestioned subsidized support from the public, but also to operate in a way impossible for anyone else.

Colleges still wear the ancient clothes of higher learning. Latin mottos, caps and gowns, ivy-covered spires and high talk of liberal education reflect a hallowed intellectual tradition.

In fact, today’s campuses mimic ideological boot camps. Tenured professors seek to indoctrinate young people in certain preconceived progressive political agendas. Environmental studies classes are not very open to debating the "settled science" of man-caused, carbon-induced global warming or the need for immediate and massive government intervention to address it. Grade-conscious and indebted students make the necessary ideological adjustments.

More here

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Caste system in India influenced genetic signatures

Over 1,500 years ago, the Gupta emperors ruled large parts of India. They helped consolidate the nation, but they also popularized India's caste system, making it socially unacceptable for people to marry outside their castes. Now, a new analysis of genetic variation among contemporary Indians has revealed that this social shift left a distinctive genetic signature behind.

A group of researchers in India conducted this analysis by comparing the genomes of hundreds of Indians from throughout the country. As they write in a paper published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, samples came from "367 unrelated individuals drawn from 18 mainland and two island (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) populations selected to represent geographic, linguistic, and ethnic diversities." Previous studies had suggested that today's Indians came from two ancestral populations, but the new analysis revealed four distinct "haplotypes," or bundles of genetic elements that travel through generations in a package. People with the same haplotypes likely came from the same ancestral groups. The researchers also found a fifth haplotype among people of the Andaman archipelago.

Careful examination of the variations between these haplotypes, compared with haplotypes of other people throughout the world, revealed that India's ancient populations probably came first from Africa. Later waves of settlement came from people who shared genetic similarities with populations in South Central Asia and East Asia. These groups remained genetically distinct, and the linguistic history of India suggests they spoke languages with dramatically different origins. Nevertheless, it appears there was a good deal of intermarriage, which shows up in genomes of people who possess genetic sequences typical of two or more haplotypes.

More here

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Don't mess with Russians

A group of 51 refugees were brutally assaulted outside a night club in Murmansk, Russia, after they groped and molested women at a night club Saturday.

The refugees had previously been ordered to leave Norway for "bad behavior" and tried their luck in Russia. What they didn’t realize when they went out clubbing in Murmansk is that Russians have less tolerance when it comes to sexual assault on local women than other European countries.

The refugees allegedly groped and harassed women in a similar manner as the assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. A group of male Russian took them aside to "educate" them that "Cologne is 2,500 kilometers south of here."

The refugees tried to flee but were quickly captured by the Russians. They then took them out to the street and gave them a beating they will remember. Police arrived to break up the fight but locals report that they threw a few punches at the refugees before arresting 33 of them. Eighteen refugees were in such bad condition they had to be take to the hospital.

Source

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Rubio, weasel

In a little-noticed interview late last year with Univision’s Jorge Ramos, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) declared that, as President, he would keep Barack Obama’s executive amnesty for DREAMers in place until it was permanently codified through legislation.
Rubio said, in part:
DACA…applies to young people that arrived in this country at a very young age before they were adults and I don’t think we can immediately revoke that… I’m not calling for it to be revoked tomorrow, or this week, or right away.
"I think it will have to end at some point and I hope it will end because of some reform to the immigration laws," Rubio said in English.

So Rubio is pledging to carry Obama’s policy: leaving the executive amnesty for DREAMers in place until Congress submits to the order by legislatively ratifying amnesty. After a legislatively ratified DREAM Act, illegal aliens would be able to vote in U.S. elections and bring their relatives to work and collect entitlements in the United States.

More here

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Gouge the oil companies, while Apple and Amazon park money overseas

President Obama’s budget request to Congress will include a new fee on oil companies, requiring them to pay $10 to the federal government for every barrel of oil they produce, the White House said on Thursday.

The money, which could bring in up to $32 billion in new federal revenue annually, would be spent on a variety of transportation and infrastructure projects, including bridges and highways, high-speed rail and research on advanced vehicles such as electric and self-driving cars.

The proposal to further increase costs for fossil fuel production is part of a broader effort by Mr. Obama to fight climate change. The goal is to make it more expensive to produce and consume energy sources that emit planet-warming greenhouse gases while stoking the market for clean, renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar.

More here

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Lightning, bugs

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the most expensive military program in the world, is even more broken than previously thought. The jet can’t tell old parts from new ones, randomly prevents user logins into the logistics information system, and trying to eject out of it will likely result in serious neck injury and maybe death. A Pentagon office is warning that the plane is being rushed into service.

The Pentagon’s office of testing and evaluation on Monday released a report detailing major problems, or "deficiencies" with the aircraft. The report follows the release of a December memo by Michael Gilmore, the Department of Defense’s director for Operational Test and Evaluation, or OT&E. The report goes on to question the logic of pushing other governments to purchase large blocks of the aircraft until the issues are fixed.

The Air Force is currently scheduled to announce their version of the plane is ready to begin flying, known as "initial operating capability," in August or December at the latest. That follows the Marines declaring their version flight ready last summer. After that, the next F-35 milestone is the initial operational test & evaluation phase, scheduled for 2017, in which program watchers test of the plane is operationally capable but also effective. That 2017 projection is unrealistic unless the Air Force takes some serious shortcuts in testing, according to the new report.

More here

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Gay blade?

Republican insiders have reported to WMR that Florida Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio was, as a high school and college student, known to be a very extroverted homosexual in both South Beach in Miami, a popular gay area, and at college in Gainesville, Florida.

In 1989, a year before Rubio was arrested with his friend Angel Barrios and another unidentified male friend in Alice Wainwright Park in south Miami, ostensibly for drinking beer in a car after closing time in a park known as a pickup locale for gays, Rubio sang and danced in a South Miami High School troupe. The song and dance troupe was based on the Chippendales but with a very gay theme: half Chippendales and half Village People. Rubio omitted his participation in the dance troupe in his biography, "American Son."

It is also significant that Rubio did not have the best parent models in growing up in Florida and Las Vegas. His Cuban parents, according to GOP insiders, did not emigrate from Cuba to escape Fidel Castro and Communism they left Cuba for America in 1956 but were Havana casino workers employed by Jewish mob boss Meyer Lansky and brought to Florida. From Miami, they eventually left for Las Vegas to work in mob-owned casino hotels. Rubio’s father, Mario Rubio Reina, worked as a bartender in Las Vegas casinos while his mother, Oriales Rubio, was a hotel maid. Rubio has falsely claimed that his parents fled Castro and Communism. In 1956, the U.S.-supported fascist dictator, Fulgencio Batista, was fully in control of Cuba.

More here

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All the news that's fit to print, and only what the government allows

A retired media boss at a major German state broadcaster has admitted his network and others take orders from the government on whatand what notto report.

National public service broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), which was recently forced into a humiliating apology for their silence on migrant violence and sex assault is being drawn into a fresh scandal after one of their former bureau chiefs admitted the company takes orders from the government on what it reports. He said journalists received instructions to write news that would be "to Ms. Merkel’s liking".

Former head of ZDF Bonn Dr. Wolfgang Herles make the remarks during a radio event (from minute 27) in Berlin where journalists discussed the media landscape.{snip} He said:

"We have the problem that now I’m mainly talking about the public [state] media we have a closeness to the government. Not only because commentary is mainly in line with the grand coalition (CSU, CDU, and SPD), with the spectrum of opinion, but also because we are completely taken in by the agenda laid down by the political class".

More here

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Seven years

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, 35 states were solidly Democratic or leaning that way, according to Gallup's analysis of party affiliation out Wednesday.

What a difference seven years make.

In 2015, the number of Republican or Republican-leaning states outranked Democratic or Democratic-leaning ones for the first time in the eight years that the polling organization has been tracking partisanship by state. Overall, 12 states are now solidly red, with another eight leaning in that direction.

More here

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From today's San Antonio newspaper website

Federal agents arrested five current and former Crystal City officials and an eight-liner operator Thursday on bribery and kickback charges after a long-running public corruption probe.

More South Texas officials will be arrested for corruption following Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño's guilty plea in April to federal money laundering charges, members from the worldwide "hacktivist" group Anonymous claim in a YouTube video.

Two Donna ISD school board members pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting bribes in connection with a services contract held by the school district, federal prosecutors said.

Texas Education Agency suspends entire Progreso school board.
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Venezuela importing American oil

Venezuela has more oil than any other country on the planet.

But it just bought a bunch of American crude.

A ship carrying half a million barrels of oil that was pumped in the U.S. docked at a terminal owned by Venezuela last week, according to oil data research firm ClipperData. The shipment was sent to a facility located on the Dutch island of Curacao in the Caribbean.

The fact that Venezuela is importing American oil is raising eyebrows because Venezuela has 298 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. That's more than Saudi Arabia, Russia or Iran and eight times the reserves of the United States.

But the oil extracted in Venezuela is very heavy and hard to refine and then sell to other countries. Venezuela needs to first mix its heavy oil with lighter types of crude to balance out the quality, according to Nilofar Saidi, an oil market analyst at ClipperData.

More here
 
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Isn't it strange?

There is a letter titled "Isn’t It Strange?" making the rounds in email boxes. It asks questions to which our fellow Americans should know the answers, save for those caught up in modernity.

It starts off asking, "Isn’t it strange that after a bombing, everyone blames the bomber, his upbringing, his environment, his culture but … after a shooting, the problem is the gun?" In other words, after a shooting, it is the gun, an inanimate object, that is the culprit, but after a bombing, it is not the bomb that receives the blame but the evil individual. In both cases it is the evil individual who is to blame.

Ronald Reagan had it right when he said, "We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."

Speaking of guns, the letter has a 1950s photo of high school girls at an indoor shooting range. The photo caption states: "Back in the 1950s and even later, many high schools had shooting ranges. Students even brought their own rifles to school." It asks, "What changed in society that we could trust such activities then, but not now?"

Youth involvement with guns has a long history. The 1911 second edition of the Boy Scout Handbook made qualification in NRA’s junior marksmanship program a prerequisite for obtaining a BSA merit badge in marksmanship. In 1918, the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. established its own Winchester Junior Rifle Corps. The program grew to 135,000 members by 1925. In New York City, high school gun clubs were started at Boys, Curtis, Commercial, Manual Training and Stuyvesant high schools. I would like to ask America’s anti-gun fanatics what accounts for today’s mayhem: Have guns become more evil or have people become more evil?

More here
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Men from failed cultures

Pundits and politicians assure the public that refugee males now storming the gates of Europe from the Middle East, Northern Africa and Central Asia will be required to learn that Western women are independent and sexually liberated. Such arguments, however, are obviously too weak to have any impact on the male cultures representative of certain refugee groups.

To these individuals, strong European women are ‘easy’ and easy victims; they have respect only for strong men and strong men aren't exactly thick on the ground in Europe.

The deficiency of masculinity in European culture renders it impotent in the face of the political and cultural chaos that has escalated along with growing immigration.

I would add one qualifier here. The male cultures that are represented in the tidal wave of immigrants are failed cultures, cultures whose men have failed in competition, have failed in combat and who have failed to provide for their families.

Europe’s feminized men are being overpowered by men who are reduced to showing off their ersatz manliness by abusing the wives and daughters of the men who have over time out-competed them.

More here

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Outside money

On January 17, in the final Democratic debate before the primary season begins, Bernie Sanders attacked Hillary Clinton for her close financial ties to Wall Street, something he had avoided in his campaigning up to that moment: "I don’t take money from big banks….You’ve received over $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year," he said. Sanders’s criticisms coincided with recent reports that the FBI might be expanding its inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails to include her ties to big donors while serving as secretary of state. But a larger question concerns how Hillary and Bill Clinton have built their powerful donor machine, and what its existence might mean for Hillary Clinton’s future conduct as American president. The following investigation, drawing on many different sources, is intended to give a full sense of the facts about Clinton and not to endorse a particular candidate in the coming election.

It’s an axiom of Washington politics in the age of Citizens United and Super PACs that corporations and the very rich can channel almost unlimited amounts of money to candidates for high office to pave the way for later favors. According to the public service website Open Secrets, in the 2016 campaign, as of October, in addition to direct campaign contributions, Jeb Bush had at his disposal $103 million in "outside money"groups such as PACs and Super PACs and so called "dark money" organizations that work on behalf of a particular candidate. Ted Cruz had $38 million in such funds, Marco Rubio $17 million, and Chris Christie $14 million.

Yet few have been as adept at exploiting this big-money politics as Bill and Hillary Clinton. In the 2016 campaign, as of October, Hillary Clinton had raised $20 million in "outside" money, on top of $77 million in direct campaign contributionsthe highest in direct contributions of any candidate at the time. But she and her husband have other links to big donors, and they go back much further than the current election cycle. What stands out about what I will call the Clinton System is the scale and complexity of the connections involved, the length of time they have been in operation, the presence of former president Bill Clinton alongside Hillary as an equal partner in the enterprise, and the sheer magnitude of the funds involved.

More here

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"Don't walk in these areas"

The Mayor of a small German town has caused outrage, telling concerned residence their children must stay away certain areas and "not provoke" migrants to avoid sexual harassment, as well as suggesting they need not worry because German men are a "problem" too.

"In your own country? You can’t even walk in your own city anymore!" screamed horrified residents, who had gathered in Bad Schlema town hall for meeting. As the shouting continued, the Mayor even threatened to call the police to silence the furious citizens.

The town of just 5500 residences has taken in around 85 refugees so far. The heated conversation begun when an older gentleman put a question to Mayor Jens Müller, of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party.

"I have a question regarding the school… about Physical education in the school gym", he began. "My Granddaughter, she’s under ten and it’s also happened in a nearby town, that’s right the girls have been harassed by the refugee ‘children’, the ‘asylum seekers’.

"They get harassed from the windows [of the shelter] and things like that. How will this be in the summer? When the School girls wear less clothing?" the grandfather asked.

"That’s easy; just don’t provoke them and don’t walk in these areas", responded the Mayor bluntly. Immediately, the room erupted in shock and disgust.

Source

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Sanctuary cities increasing in number, federal funding might be to blame

The number of so-called "Sanctuary Cities" has crossed 300 in a rapid expansion despite public protests and moves in Congress to cut off funding.

The Center for Immigration Studies has updated its list to include Dallas County in Texas, Philadelphia, five Kentucky counties and possibly the whole state of Massachusetts as areas where federal law enforcement demands for information and access to jailed illegals immigrants will be denied.

Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, gave some examples of the new cities, counties and states that have joined in the sanctuary movement of denying federal demandswhile also getting federal funding.

More here

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The real cleavage

LONG after the dust settles in Iowa and New Hampshire, and even the 2016 campaign itself one question will remain: Why, after decades of supporting the liberal and conservative establishments, did the white middle-class abandon them? Wherever Donald J. Trump and Bernie Sanders end up, their candidacies represent a major shift in American politics. Since World War II our political culture has been organized around the needs, fears and aspirations of white middle-class voters in ways that also satisfied the interests of the rich and powerful. That’s no longer true.

As we know, the rich are now quite a bit richer. In itself, this need not disrupt the old political consensus. More decisive is the fact that the white middle class is in decline, both economically and culturally.

This story of decline is often told in racial and ethnic terms: White America is being displaced by a multicultural America, and especially on the right, voters are retreating to racist posturing. There may be some truth to this story, but for the most part it’s a huge distraction.

In fact, the real cleavage is not interracial, but intra-racial: The populism we’re seeing stems entirely from the collision of whites who flourish in the global economy and amid the cultural changes of the last 50 years with those who don’t.

More here

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Warmists, you have a problem

In face of intense criticism from alarmist scientists, Dr. John Christy went to great lengths in a Tuesday congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming than surface thermometers.

"That’s where the real mass of the climate system exists in terms of the atmosphere," Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama and Alabama’s state climatologist, said in a Wednesday hearing before the House science committee.

"When a theory contradicts the facts" you need to change the theory, Christy said. "The real world is not going along with rapid warming. The models need to go back to the drawing board."

"When you look at the United States record of extreme high temperatures you do not see an upward trend at all. In fact, it’s slightly downward. That does fly in the face of climate model projections."

More here

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"You tweet too much"

Dutch police have been visiting the homes of people critical of asylum centres on Twitter, urging them to delete posts.

It was thus on a Monday, in the town of Sliedrecht, that Mark Jongeneel (28) got a very disturbing phone call. His mother was on the line, worried that two policemen were looking for him, but would not say why. As Jongeneel told the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, the police came to his office and told him: "You tweet too much. We have orders to ask you to watch your tone. Your tweets may seem seditious."

In Sliedrecht there had been a citizen meeting about a refugee center in the region. At the end, Jongeneel had posted a few tweets. One said: "The College of #Sliedrecht comes with a proposal to take 250 refugees over the next two years. What a bad idea! "Earlier he had also tweeted:" Should we let this happen?! "

In recent months, police have visited the homes of many more people that criticised the plans for asylum centres. In October 2015, in Leeuwarden about twenty opponents of the programs received police visits at home. It happened in Enschede, and in some places in the Brabant, where, according to the Dutch media, people who had been critical of the arrival of refugees and ran a page on social media on the topic were told to stop.

More here

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Beyond a shadow of doubt, well not always

Criminal exonerations hit a record high in 2015 due largely to district attorneys in places such as Houston, Dallas and Brooklyn, New York, setting up units to review cases where the legal system may have acted unjustly, a report released on Wednesday found.

There were 149 known exonerations in 2015, where the exonerated defendants served on average more than 14 years in prison, said the report from the National Registry of Exonerations. That topped the previous recorded high of 139 in 2014.

The issue has gained attention because of the hit Netflix documentary series "Making a Murderer," which suggests authorities planted evidence against two Wisconsin men convicted of murder, an allegation rejected by local law enforcement.

More here

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Quote of the day


Carte blanche for the EPA

Over the past six months, President Barack Obama has cemented his climate legacy with the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and the execution of the Paris climate agreement. But, as even he admits, neither of those policies will be enough to avert the worst effects of climate change. In fact, the laws on the books today aren’t even enough for the United States to meet its Paris obligations. The U.S. and the rest of the world must do much more.

Fortunately for the president, there’s a new way for him to right the U.S.’ greenhouse gas trajectory before leaving office: Buried in the Clean Air Act is an extremely powerful mechanism that effectively gives EPA carte blanche to tell states to make drastic cuts to their emissions.

This provision, which can now be used thanks to the completion of the Paris climate deal, raises important questions about national sovereignty and states’ rights questions that Republicans would undoubtedly use to try and kill such a proposal. But the benefits of using this mechanism dwarf those concerns.

A few weeks ago, a group of 13 prominent environmental law professors and attorneys released a 91-page report outlining this new approach, which would allow EPA to use existing laws to quickly and efficiently regulate all pollution sources, in all states not just power plants and cars. The experts concluded, "It could provide one of the most effective and efficient means to address climate change pollution in the United States."

More here

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Odds and ends

Since 2000, Texas has had a net gain of over 1.5 million residents from other states, second only to retirement-haven Florida. Big-state rivals California and New York had huge net declines over the same period.

A Marist poll released last week found that two-thirds of those who self-identify as pro-choice say abortion should be allowed, at most, in the first trimester or only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

"Refugees" at an asylum center in the town of Emmaboda in southeastern Sweden went on a rampage after a staff member refused a request to supply them with candy.

Trump referred to Ted Cruz as an anchor baby. Haha.

Fox News...."Oh, yeah, I like getting my news from half naked women."

One in four Californians were not born in the United States.

One in four federal workers would consider leaving their jobs if Trump were elected president, according to a new survey conducted by the Government Business Council, Government Executive Media Group’s research arm. (I don't believe that for a micro-second)

Jeb Bush reportedly spent $14.1 million in Iowa. Having garnered 5,165 votes, that works out to $2,700 per vote. They were reportedly paying kids $25 an hour to fill seats at his final Iowa rally.
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Defenestration, anyone?

The U.S. has fallen from the 6th freest economy in the world, when President Barack Obama took office, to 11th place in 2016. America’s declining score in the index is closely related to rapidly rising government spending, subsidies, and bailouts.

Since early 2009:
Government spending has exploded, amounting to $29,867 per household in 2015.

The national debt has risen to $125,000 for every tax-filing household in Americaa total over $18 trillion.

The government takeover of health care is raising prices and disrupting markets.
Bailouts and new government regulations have increased uncertainty, stifling investment and job creation.

This is not something to take lightly. Economic freedom is the foundation of U.S. economic strength, and economic strength is the foundation of America’s high living standards, military power, and status as a world leader. The perils of losing economic freedom are not fictional.

More here

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The importance of oil

The idea that oil wealth can be a curse is an old one and it should need no explaining. Every few decades, energy prices rise to the heavens, kicking off a scramble for new sources of oil. Then supply eventually outpaces demand, and prices suddenly crash to Earth. The harder and more abrupt the fall, the greater the social and geopolitical impact.

The last great oil bust occurred in the 1980s and it changed the world. As a young man working in the Texas oil patch in the spring of 1980, I watched prices for the US benchmark crude rise as high as $45 a barrel $138 in today’s dollars. By 1988, oil was selling for less than $9 a barrel, having lost half its value in 1986 alone.

Drivers benefited as gasoline prices plummeted. Elsewhere, however, the effects were catastrophic nowhere more so than in the Soviet Union, whose economy was heavily dependent on petroleum exports. The country’s growth rate fell to a third of its level in the 1970s. As the Soviet Union weakened, social unrest grew, culminating in the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Two years later, the Soviet Union itself was no more.

Similarly, today’s plunging oil prices will benefit a few. Motorists, once again, will be happy; but the pain will be earth-shaking for many others. Never mind the inevitable turmoil in global financial markets or the collapse of shale-oil production in the United States and what it implies for energy independence. The real risk lies in countries that are heavily dependent on oil. As in the old Soviet Union, the prospects for social disintegration are huge.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Academic fraud

National Science Foundation officials award $7 billion in grants annually based on funding proposals the agency’s watchdog estimates have hundreds of examples of plagiarism and "falsified or fabricated data."

The federal science research agency awards 11,000 grants to 2,000 research institutions annually, but Allison Lerner, the agency’s inspector general, only oversees about 1 percent of those recipients.

Researcher misconduct has drastically increased over the past decade, meaning millions of tax dollars go to fraudsters, according to Lerner.

The watchdog estimated that around 1,200 proposals for funding could contain plagiarism and another 800 proposals or results include "falsified or fabricated data," according the IG’s semiannual report.

Additionally, NSF has faced widespread criticism from the public and Congress for funding projects like two experiments that ran shrimp on a treadmill at a cost to taxpayers of $1.3 million. The agency refused to divulge information about the grants' budgets, The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.

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How to loot a country

Myself, Michael Hudson, John Perkins, and a few others have reported the multi-pronged looting of peoples by Western economic institutions, principally the big New York Banks with the aid of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Third World countries were and are looted by being inticed into development plans for electrification or some such purpose. The gullible and trusting governments are told that they can make their countries rich by taking out foreign loans to implement a Western-presented development plan, with the result being sufficient tax revenues from economic development to service the foreign loan.

Seldom, if ever, does this happen. What happens is that the plan results in the country becoming indebted to the limit and beyond of its foreign currency earnings. When the country is unable to service the development loan, the creditors send the IMF to tell the indebted government that the IMF will protect the government’s credit rating by lending it the money to pay its bank creditors. However, the conditions are that the government take necessary austerity measures so that the government can repay the IMF. These measures are to curtail public services and the government sector, reduce public pensions, and sell national resources to foreigners. The money saved by reduced social benefits and raised by selling off the country’s assets to foreigners serves to repay the IMF.

This is the way the West has historically looted Third World countries. If a country’s president is reluctant to enter into such a deal, he is simply paid bribes, as the Greek governments were, to go along with the looting of the country the president pretends to represent.

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Headline of the day


Sweden keeps getting weirder

There is something odd going on with the ratio between boys and girls in Sweden. The latest estimates suggest there are 123 boys for every 100 girls among 16 and 17-year-olds. That's an even greater imbalance than in the same age group in China.

The natural "sex ratio at birth" is 105 boys for every 100 girls, according to the World Health Organization - and official statistics show that in 2014, there were 108 boys for every 100 girls among Sweden's 16 and 17-year-olds.

But the country now has 123 boys for every 100 girls in this age group, according to Valerie Hudson of Texas A&M University.

If this is correct, it will be quite something. China's one child policy and a preference for sons led some couples to opt for sexually selective abortions, contributing to a sex ratio there of 117 boys for every 100 girls aged 16 and 17.

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Europe, you have a problem

Terror group ISIL has set up secret training camps across Europe to prepare fighters to carry out "special forces style" attacks in the UK or other EU countries, Europol has warned.

The international police agency said apart from bases in Syria, the barbaric organisation had "smaller scale training camps in the EU and Balkan countries".

They would include survival training and sports activities to help jihadists prepare for "combat and interrogation resistance".

And Islamic State in Iraq and Levant could look to recruit refugees who have fled to Europe to launch terror attacks in the countries that have given them shelter, the agency said.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Sergeant York

"I teched off the sixth man first; then the fifth; then the fourth; then the third; and so on. That’s the way we shoot wild turkeys at home. You see we don’t want the front ones to know that we’re getting the back ones, and then they keep on coming until we get them all. I knowed, too, that if the front ones wavered, or if I stopped them the rear ones would drop down and pump a volley into me and get me."

Alvin Cullum York (December 13, 1887 September 2, 1964), known also by his rank, Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated American soldiers in World War I. He received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest, taking 32 machine guns, killing 20 German soldiers, and capturing 132 others. This action occurred during the United States-led portion of the broader Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France masterminded by Marshal Ferdinand Foch to breach the Hindenburg line and make the opposing German forces surrender.

York was drafted into the United States Army and served in Company G, 328th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Infantry Division at Camp Gordon, Georgia. Deeply troubled by the conflict between his pacifism and his training for war, he spoke at length with his company commander, Captain Edward Courtney Bullock Danforth (18941973) of Augusta, Georgia and his battalion commander, Major Gonzalo Edward Buxton (18801949) of Providence, Rhode Island, a devout Christian himself. Citing Biblical passages about violence ("He that hath no sword, let him sell his cloak and buy one." "Render unto Caesar …" "… if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight."), they persuaded York to reconsider the morality of his participation in the war. Granted a 10-day leave to visit home, he returned convinced that God meant for him to fight and would keep him safe, as committed to his new mission as he had been to pacifism.

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Mexico, you have a problem

Falling oil prices have reduced Mexico’s oil revenues by more than 70 percent, the secretary of the nation’s Energy Ministry said Sunday.

"Pemex has posted a loss of more than 70 percent due to a drop in oil prices," Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said.

Coldwell added that, on the bright side, the state-run oil producer was able to raise $5 billion in well-placed bonds. The money will be invested in projects that have been suspended until recently, he explained.

Mexico is the world’s tenth largest oil producer. It relies on oil for only 10 percent of its total exports, which account for some 18 percent of its budget.

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Follow the money

Forget for one moment everything you’ve been told about September 11, 2001. 9/11 was a crime. And as with any crime, there is one overriding imperative that detectives must follow to identify the perpetrators: follow the money. This is an investigation of the 9/11 money trail.

Forget for one moment everything you’ve been told about September 11, 2001. Instead let’s ask ourselves one question: What was 9/11? A terrorist atrocity? An attack on America? The first salvo in a new war? "A day that changed everything"?

The question may seem simple, but how we answer it is of vital importance. It determines how we proceed with our investigation of that day. And once you strip away the emotional rhetoric and the fear-inducing imagery, we’re left with a simple truth: 9/11 was a crime. And as with any crime, there is one overriding imperative that detectives must follow to identify the perpetrators: follow the money.

This is an investigation of the 9/11 money trail.

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Sweden, you have a problem

Swedish police have dealt with 5,000 incidents involving migrants since October as they revealed they are concerned the problems are getting worse.

Officers in the country have been called out to nearly 600 assaults in the last three months as well as four rapes, two bomb threats and 450 fights.

Migrants and asylum seekers have also been involved in 194 violent threats, 58 fires and nine robberies, according to data obtained by SvD.

Dan Eliasson, police commissioner, told SvD an increasing number of officers were needed to deal with the problems.

He said: ‘I am concerned about these developments. I fear that there may be even more trouble.’

He added: ‘The unrest in asylum accommodation is something that requires more and more of us.

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Cooking the books

One of the least reliable sources for data on climate change is the U.S. federal government. Now, a group of 300 scientists and academics want Congress to investigate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for cooking the books on climate data in order to erase the pause in the rise in temperature cited by, among other sources, the IPCC. ...

"We, the undersigned, scientists, engineers, economists and others, who have looked carefully into the effects of carbon dioxide released by human activities, wish to record our support for the efforts of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology to ensure that federal agencies complied with federal guidelines that implemented the Data Quality Act," some 300 scientists, engineers and other experts wrote to Chairman of the House Science Committee, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith.

"In our opinion… NOAA has failed to observe the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] (and its own) guidelines, established in relation to the Data Quality Act."

The Data Quality Act requires federal agencies like NOAA to "ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information, including statistical information."

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Pushing history farther into the past

The slashed and punctured bones of a woolly mammoth suggest that humans lived in the far northern reaches of Siberia earlier than scientists had previously thought, a new study finds.

Before the surprising discovery, researchers thought that humans lived in the freezing Siberian Arctic no earlier than about 30,000 to 35,000 years ago. Now, the newly studied mammoth carcass suggests that people lived in the area, where they butchered the likes of this giant animal about 45,000 years ago.

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Gropers

A Danish nightclub boss facing prosecution for banning all migrants who don’t speak his language says he would rather go to jail than back downbecause they ‘need to learn a smile isn’t an invitation for sex’.

Tom Holden Jensen has excluded all men from Syria and Afghanistan who cannot speak Danish, English or German from his Buddy Holly club in Søenderborg after a number of women said they felt threatened and intimidated by sexually aggressive men who groped and ‘raped them with hands’ on the dance floor.

The problem was compounded by no one being able to explain to the men that what they were doing was wrongwhich led Mr Jensen to ban the men, for the good of his female customers.

But the decision means he could face as long as six months behind bars for breaching Denmark’s racial discrimination laws, yet he has vowed to uphold the controversial policy.

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