Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Suits and countersuits

A group of Muslim women who claim in a lawsuit they were kicked out of a California restaurant for wearing headscarfs have been accused of "civilizational jihad" by a lawyer for the restaurant, which has launched a countersuit.

The seven women, six of whom were wearing hijabs, were kicked out of Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach in April.

They claim that they were targeted for ejection because of their hijabs, though the cafe denies that, claiming that they were violating a policy which limited seating time to 45 minutes, and have also claimed that there were other women wearing headscarves present who were not thrown out.

David Yerushalmi, the lawyer representing Urth Caffe, said that one of the owners of the cafe, Jilla Berkman, is also a Muslim.

He said that the discrimination suit was "an extortion", called the women’s lawyers "ambulance-chasers", and said that he planned to bring a suit against both the plaintiffs and their legal team for malicious prosecution. The countersuit that he has brought in this case, however, is for trespassing.

More here


Fair housing policies in your hometown

A divisive issue has arisen in Hillary Clinton’s tony adopted hometown of Chappaqua (population 1,400), in New York’s Westchester County: affordable housingspecifically, whether to permit the construction of subsidized apartments for low-income families near the train station. In 2009, the county reached a settlement with the federal government of a lawsuit alleging that it had failed to remove racial and income-related barriers for poor residents seeking better housingin effect, that it had discriminated. Since then, HUD has doggedly pushed Westchester, including its wealthy localities, to finance hundreds of new units of subsidized housing and to market them aggressively, particularly to minorities.

What’s at stake goes beyond Westchester County. Through its expansive "fair housing" policies, the Obama administration wants to ensure that poor minorities, who have historically clustered in low-income urban neighborhoods, can avail themselves of the better schools and greater safety of high-income suburban locales. As HUD puts it: "No child’s ZIP code should determine her opportunity to achieve." Support for "deconcentrating poverty"that is, reducing the percentage of poor people within specific localities by relocating them elsewherehas gained additional momentum from a recent Supreme Court decision and new social-science research.

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Black incarceration rates

The spurious claim that blacks are disproportionately imprisoned because of the war on drugs is by now a familiar one. It is sometimes accompanied by an even more audacious argument: namely, that incarceration itself causes crime in black neighborhoods, and therefore constitutes an unjust and disproportionate burden on them because blacks have the highest prison rate. This idea has gained wide currency in the academic world and in anti-incarceration think tanks. Professor Jeffrey Fagan of Columbia Law School offered a representative version of the theory in a 2003 law review article coauthored with two public-health researchers. Sending black males to prison "weakens the general social control of children and especially adolescents," Fagan writes. Incarceration increases the number of single-parent households. With adult males missing from their neighborhoods, boys will be more likely to get involved in crime, since they lack proper supervision. The net result: "Incarceration begets more incarceration [in] a vicious cycle."

A few questions present themselves. How many convicts were living in a stable relationship with the mother (or one of the mothers) of their children before being sent upstate? (Forget even asking about their marriage rate.) What kind of positive guidance for young people comes from men who are committing enough crimes to end up in prison, rather than on probation (an exceedingly high threshold)? Further, if Fagan is right that keeping criminals out of prison and on the streets preserves a community’s social capital, inner cities should have thrived during the 1960s and early 1970s, when prison resources contracted sharply. In fact, New York’s poorest neighborhoodsthe subject of Fagan’s analysisturned around only in the 1990s, when the prison population reached its zenith.

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Flawed data from the feds

Nearly two decades and $108 million worth of "disturbing" data manipulation with "serious and far ranging" effects forced a federal lab to close, a congressman revealed Thursday.

The inorganic section of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colo. manipulated data on a variety of topics including many related to the environment from 1996 to 2014. The manipulation was caught in 2008, but continued another six years.

"It’s astounding that we spend $108 million on manipulated research and then the far-reaching effects that that would have," Rep. Bruce Westerman said at a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing. "We know how research multiples and affects different parts of our society and our economy and … if you’re working off of flawed data it definitely could be in a bad way."

"The problems were so severe, in fact, that the USGS has already closed the inorganic lab in question permanently," the Arkansas Republican said. The lab was terminated in January.

More here

Monday, June 27, 2016

Democracy, democracy, and democracy

For my final broadcast to the nation on the eve of Britain’s Independence Day, the BBC asked me to imagine myself as one of the courtiers to whom Her Majesty had recently asked the question, "In one minute, give three reasons for your opinion on whether my United Kingdom should remain in or leave the European Union."

My three reasons for departure, in strict order of precedence, were Democracy, Democracy, and Democracy. For the so-called "European Parliament" is no Parliament. It is a mere duma. It lacks even the power to bring forward a bill, and the 28 faceless, unelected, omnipotent Kommissars the official German name for the shadowy Commissioners who exercise the supreme lawmaking power that was once vested in our elected Parliament have the power, under the Treaty of Maastricht, to meet behind closed doors to override in secret any decision of that "Parliament" at will, and even to issue "Commission Regulations" that bypass it altogether.

Worse, the treaty that established the European Stability Pact gives its governing body of absolute bankers the power, at will and without consultation, to demand any sum of money, however large, from any member state, and every member of that governing body, personally as well as collectively, is held entirely immune not only from any civil suit but also from any criminal prosecution.

That is dictatorship in the formal sense. Good riddance to it.

More here


George Will comes unhinged

George Will has thrown down his pacifier and stomped off in a huff, breaking with the Republican Party and officially becoming un-enrolled. Of course, Will lives in Washington DC so being a Republican was pointless in the extreme. The GOP rarely fields local candidates in the District and they don’t get to vote in national elections, except for President. The last Republican to hold office in DC was Mathew Emory in 1870. His office was abolished the following year. Being a Republican in Washington DC is an entirely symbolic act.

It’s also in keeping with Will’s long-time role as a conservative on television. The bow-tie, the wig, the round spectacles and the elaborate speaking style were all in furtherance of his job as a domesticated conservative, who would not scare the horses. All of it was a pose, a gesture, carefully choreographed so he could set the right tone for conservatives at home, by endorsing the terms of the debate as set forth by the Left. He was the candy coating for the liberal nut inside every ABC chat show.

Like so many of the Official Right, Will earned his spot in the mainstream media by attacking his own side. In his case, he was a rabid Nixon hater. That made him useful to the Left and got him a job in the Washington Post Writer’s Group and eventually a TV gig. He was also no fan of Reagan, but once it became clear that Reagan was going to be successful, Will shifted gears and became a Reaganite. Unlike Charles Krapphammer, Will saw which way the wind was blowing before the ’84 election.

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Quote of the day

Is diversity working?

Businesses started caring a lot more about diversity after a series of high-profile lawsuits rocked the financial industry. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Morgan Stanley shelled out $54 millionand Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch more than $100 million eachto settle sex discrimination claims. In 2007, Morgan was back at the table, facing a new class action, which cost the company $46 million. In 2013, Bank of America Merrill Lynch settled a race discrimination suit for $160 million. Cases like these brought Merrill’s total 15-year payout to nearly half a billion dollars.

It’s no wonder that Wall Street firms now require new hires to sign arbitration contracts agreeing not to join class actions. They have also expanded training and other diversity programs. But on balance, equality isn’t improving in financial services or elsewhere. Although the proportion of managers at U.S. commercial banks who were Hispanic rose from 4.7% in 2003 to 5.7% in 2014, white women’s representation dropped from 39% to 35%, and black men’s from 2.5% to 2.3%. The numbers were even worse in investment banks (though that industry is shrinking, which complicates the analysis). Among all U.S. companies with 100 or more employees, the proportion of black men in management increased just slightlyfrom 3% to 3.3%from 1985 to 2014. White women saw bigger gains from 1985 to 2000rising from 22% to 29% of managersbut their numbers haven’t budged since then. Even in Silicon Valley, where many leaders tout the need to increase diversity for both business and social justice reasons, bread-and-butter tech jobs remain dominated by white men.

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Stopping mass shootings

If strict gun laws can stop mass shootings in Australia, why not in the US?

New research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that there have been no mass shootings "mass" defined as five or more victims, not including the perpetrator in Australia in the two decades since the country enacted stricter gun control measures.

These measures were introduced in 1996, following a mass shooting in Tasmania that claimed the lives of 35 people and injured 23 more. Within 12 days, Australian lawmakers agreed to ban certain semi-automatic and pump-action weapons, and forced residents who already owned high-powered rifles to sell them back to the government.

In the years prior to the ban, between 1979 and 1996, there had been 13 mass shootings, researchers noted.

More here


Shorting Tesla

"This deal feels like (Musk) has lost his Midas touch. I also feel like Musk is trying to do too much," said well-known investor Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive at DoubleLine Capital, which does not hold Tesla shares.

Investors who short Tesla, betting that shares will fall, pointed to the conflict of interest and raised financial concerns about uniting two money-losing companies which both regularly raise cash to support their expansion.

"When a company's executives misunderstand modern corporate finance and technology strategy, they can make profound miscalculations and errors of judgment," Salome Gvaramia, chief operating officer of Devonshire Capital, which has a short position in Tesla, said in a statement.



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Odds and ends

Headline....After #PulseIslamistMassacre Democrat Lawmakers Hold Meeting to Discuss Right Wing Terrorism

News flash....Bikers to protect Trump supporters at Phoenix rally from violent Leftists

Plenty of wives have tried to poison their husbands over the years, but when Mrs. Zhang decided to take care of her matrimonial problem, she didn't want to go the traditional method of poisoning her husband's food. Instead she soaked her husband's underwear in herbicide before he wore the briefs to his daughter's wedding.

Tucker Carlson says....Paul Ryan is working for the Hillary campaign.

Up to 70% of child migrants in Sweden are actually adults.

Fake hate crime of the week....A University student received a 90-day county jail sentence, along with five years’ probation, and must pay over $82,000 in restitution for making threats against black students at protests she attended, with the aim of stoking racial tensions.

So who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela these days? Hint, she's a daughter of Hugo Chavez.

China has spent billions on building some of the largest and most modern airports in the world but its planes seem unable to run on schedule. In 2013, only 18 per cent of the 22,000 flights out of Beijing's Capital airport departed on time, according to the aviation research company FlightStats, making it the worst major airport in the world in terms of punctuality.

Lou Dobbs says Paul Ryan is a tool for the Democrats. (and he's not the only one)

Trump says...."I do regret calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas. It was a tremendous insult to Pocahontas."

US military personnel have committed over 5,800 crimes on Japan's Okinawa Islands since the territory was returned to Japan in 1972, according to police figures cited by protesters rallying against US presence in Japan's southernmost prefecture.

More than a week after the Orlando shooting Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the investigation is still ongoing and that a motive has yet to be established. (Most of us knew the motive last week)

At least 380 of the 580 individuals convicted of terrorism-related charges in the U.S. since September 11, 2001 are foreign-born, according to an analysis of Justice Department data conducted by the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.

Trump spent $64,729,675 to vanquish 16 opponents who spent a combined $701,293,230.

Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) refers to mainstream media reporters as Democrats with bylines.

Headline on Brexit....The Rebellion is Real.

It doesn't seem possible but in 2008 Obama was supporting reduction of the national debt as well as opposition to gay marriage and opposition for amnesty for illegals.

Hillary's IT guy took the 5th Amendment 125 times during his deposition.

Germany says the Brexit vote may prompt the exit of at least 5 or 6 more member states from the EU.

Someone was shot in Chicago every 150 minutes during the first five months of 2016. Someone was murdered every 14 hours, and the city saw nearly 1,400 nonfatal shootings and 240 fatalities from gunfire. Over Memorial Day weekend, 69 people were shot, nearly one an hour, topping the previous year’s tally of 53 shootings. The violence is spilling from the Chicago’s gang-infested South and West Sides into the business district downtown.


Bass ackwards

A House Democrat said Wednesday that it "really bothers me" when people claim the U.S. Constitution was designed to limit the federal government's power.

At a Wednesday House Judiciary Committee hearing focusing on whether Congress should consider impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the founding document of the U.S. was designed for the "opposite" purpose.

Koskinen is being accused of making misleading statements and failing to produce essential evidence for the committee's investigation into the targeting of politically conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.

"The Constitution was enacted to strengthen government power to enable central government to lay taxes and to function effectively. We put limits on that through the Bill of Rights, but the Constitution was enacted for the opposite purpose," said Nadler.

More here


Vice President Julian Castro? A wise Latino?

Julián Castro is potentially on the verge of the biggest moment of his life: being tapped to serve as the running mate for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

One hang up, according to reports, may be his experience, or lack of it. The 41-year-old Castro, long regarded as a rising star in Democratic politics, has a relatively thin resume for a vice presidential prospect, serving five years as mayor of San Antonio before being plucked out of the job by President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Now Castro is on the vice presidential short list for a nominee who has called her running mate's ability to fill her shoes the "most important qualification."

Fiercely protective of his legacy, Castro's supporters chafe at the suggestion he is not qualified to be vice president. They acknowledge the obvious he has little to no foreign policy experience but argue he is the living, breathing embodiment of an American Dream that transcends mere lines on a resume.

More here


Obama's convoluted rules of engagement

U.S. spy drones had no trouble spotting the Taliban fighters. There were more than 20 figures snaking through sparsely wooded hills, trying to outflank the Afghan government commandos in the village below.

In the starry darkness overhead, American helicopters loitered armed with precision-guided missiles, along with a flying gunship capable of drenching the area with cannon-fire. It would have been a hard shot to miss.

But before they could fire, the Americans knew they would have to get past the lawyers.

In the amorphous twilight of the Afghan war, it isn’t enough to draw a bead on the enemy. Before they shoot, U.S. troops have to navigate a tricky legal and political question: When is it OK for them to kill Taliban?

The operation late last month in Elbak, a flyspeck village in Kandahar province, exposed the complexity of implementing President Barack Obama's Afghan strategy in the mud-brick villages, steep mountains and vast poppy fields where the combat takes place. With their Afghan allies walking into a possible ambush that night, U.S. commanders, monitoring video feeds and radio traffic miles from the front, had to judge whether enemy fighters who weren’t actually fighting constituted an imminent threat.

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Killing the Donald

A British man accused of telling authorities that he wanted to kill Donald Trump at a rally was unemployed, living out of his car and had been treated in the past for obsessive compulsive disorder and anorexia, authorities and others say.

Court statements and accounts Tuesday from a family friend in England offered a complex picture of 20-year-old suspect Michael Steven Sandford, who was arrested Saturday in a Las Vegas casino where the Republican candidate was speaking.

People who knew Sandford told The Associated Press he was intelligent and said signs of his Asperger's syndrome became more obvious as he got older.

"I just didn't imagine that he would do what he was doing," said Julie Debnam, 59, whose son attended primary school with Sandford and often spent time with him. "I still think he has a lot of low esteem. He needs help rather than going to prison, basically."

More here


Australian military has some odd initiation rites

Teenage recruits were raped by staff and forced to rape each other as part of initiation practices in the Australian military going back to 1960, a public inquiry heard on Tuesday.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse is hearing evidence from men and women who say they were sexually abused when they were as young as 15, in certain divisions of the Australian defense force.

This commission is focusing on alleged abuse at the naval training center HMAS Leeuwin in Western Australia and the army apprentice school Balcombe in Victoria during the 1960s, '70s and '80s and also among cadets with the Australian defense force since 2000.

More here


Trump on a shoestring budget

When Donald Trump released campaign finance numbers on Monday revealing he had just $1.3 million in the bank at the end of May, collective jaws dropped. His presumptive opponent in the general presidential election, Hillary Clinton, reported having $42 million cash on hand.

But while Trump's numbers are certainly low for a presidential candidate, they'd even be disappointing for some Texas candidates: 14 current Texas elected officials and three former or outgoing officials have more money in their campaign coffers than Trump.

More here


Friday, June 24, 2016

Gun control and murder rates

Surely murder is a serious subject, which ought to be examined seriously. Instead, it is almost always examined politically in the context of gun control controversies, with stock arguments on both sides that have remained the same for decades. And most of those arguments are irrelevant to the central question: Do tighter gun control laws reduce the murder rate?

That is not an esoteric question, nor one for which no empirical evidence is available. Think about it. We have 50 states, each with its own gun control laws, and many of those laws have gotten either tighter or looser over the years. There must be tons of data that could indicate whether murder rates went up or down when either of these things happened.

But have you ever heard any gun control advocate cite any such data? Tragically, gun control has become one of those fact-free issues that spawn outbursts of emotional rhetoric and mutual recriminations about the National Rifle Association or the Second Amendment.

If restrictions on gun ownership do reduce murders, we can repeal the Second Amendment, as other Constitutional Amendments have been repealed. Laws exist to protect people. People do not exist to perpetuate laws.

More here


Orlando shooting a false flag?

Religious fanaticism, homophobia, domestic violence and male rage, mental illness and self-hatred, impassioned demands for gun control, dire warnings about the Internet’s role in creating terrorists, alarms raised about immigrants, and questions about how law enforcement could have let a future killer they were watching slip through their fingers. How many of these elements are real and how many implanted in a contrived official version of events is the big question.

The June 12 shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida that apparently left 49 dead and 53 injured is full of oddities, anomalies, and elements that are disturbingly reminiscent of past false flag deceptions. Did the suspect do what he is accused of doing? If he did, did he have accomplices? Did others know this was going to happen and even encourage it to happen? Why did there seem to be no ambulances at the scene or even arriving with injured people at the hospital (a nurse interviewed in one report said injured people were brought in private vehicles)? Why were injured club patrons being carried by other club-goers past cameras towards the club rather than away from it? And why did they set that person down and stop walking as soon as they appeared to be out of camera range?

Important aspects of the story as we have it now don’t make sense, and people connected to the event have some very intriguing associations.

More here


Increasing diversity without affirmative action

In the minds of many Texans, the Lone Star State’s two flagship universities are polar opposites: The University of Texas at Austin is perceived as diverse, urban and liberal. Texas A&M University is viewed as white, rural and conservative.

On the surface, the two universities’ admissions policies reflect that view. UT-Austin proudly practices affirmative action to bolster its minority student ranks and has spent years defending the policy in federal court. A&M eschews giving minority applicants any kind of advantage. If you get into A&M, its administrators say, you are doing it solely on your merits.

But a surprising shift has occurred at A&M over the last decade. Despite its reluctance to formally consider the race of its applicants, the university has worked hard to convince black and Hispanic students to apply and enroll. Since 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the legality of affirmative action in college admissions, A&M has continued not using it, yet the share of black and Hispanic students has more than doubled at its College Station campus from 10.8 percent to 23.1 percent.

More here


Free fall?

Before the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), where Philip II of Macedon prevailed over a common Greek alliance, the city-states had been weakened by years of social and economic turmoil. To read the classical speeches in the Athenian assembly is to learn of the democracy’s constant struggles with declining revenues, insolvency, and expanding entitlements. Rome between the First Triumvirate (59 BC) and the ascension of Caesar Augustus’s autocracy (27 BC) was mostly defined by gang violence, chaos, and civil war, the common theme being a loss of trust in republican values. Russia was in a revolutionary spiral for nearly twenty years between 1905 and the final victory of the Bolsheviks in 1922, ending up with a cure worse than the disease. And Europe between 1930 and 1939 saw most of its democracies erode as fascists and communists gained powereventually leading to the greater disaster of the outbreak of World War II.

The United States has seen periods of near fatal internal chaosin the late 1850s leading up to the carnage of the Civil War, during the decade of the Great Depression between 1929 and 1939, and in the chaotic 1960s. Something similar is starting to plague America today on a variety of political, economic, social, and cultural fronts.

The contenders for president reflect the loss of confidence of the times. Bernie Sanders is an avowed socialist. Yet scan the record of big government redistributionism here and abroadfrom Chicago and Detroit to the insolvent Mediterranean nations of the European Union and failed states like Venezuelaand there is no encouraging model of socialist success. Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nominationif she is not the first nominee in American history to be indicted, on possible charges of violating federal intelligence laws, and perhaps perjury and obstruction of justice. Donald Trump has neither political experience nor a detailed agenda, but has charged ahead on the basis of his vague promise to "make America great again"a Jacksonian version of Obama’s equally vacuous 2008 promise of "hope and change."

President Obama, in response to attacks on his record by Trumpand by Bill Clinton, who has spoken of "the awful legacy of the last eight years"is entering the campaign to brag about the current economy.

More here



‘Our own administration has allowed the reputation of a majority of the student body to be torn to shreds’

One Clemson University student says he is very upset at campus leaders for their decision to allow the student body and the nation to wrongly believe that bananas hung from a pole on campus was a hate crime.

The incident took place in mid-April, but emails released a few weeks ago by the school show officials knew the same day the bananaing occurred that it was not racially motivated.

But "Bananagate," as some now call it, had thrust South Carolina’s second largest university into the national spotlight because the day after the pictures of the hanging bananas spread like wildfire on social media students launched an eight-day sit in over claims of campus racism.

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Banning muslims has been done in the past

Citing authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the president moves to ban certain foreigners from entering the United States in order to counter human rights abuses in Syria and Iran.

A first 100 days action taken by a future President Trump?

Try President Obama, who issued the proclamation on April 23, 2012. He cited his authority under Section 212(f) of the immigration law to prohibit entry of people from Iran and Syria using computer technology to commit human rights abuses or threaten U.S. national security interests.

More here


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Weapons in mosques

According to information from the Hessian CDU delegate Ismail Tipi, a "top secret assignment" of the SEK (Spezialeinsatzkommandos, special operations commandos) in North Rhine Westphalia was carried out. In the cooler room of a vegetable vendor near a mosque, weapons were found and seized. "According to my information on this particular operation, an arsenal with heavy war weaponry was found. The danger of arming of the fundamentalists and Salafists willing to resort to violence is very high in Germany. This was shown clearly by this secret operation," said Tipi on Friday at a press conference.

The expert on extremism also assumes that weapons are have been stockpiled in other cities. For instance, the Hamburg intelligence service for the protection of the constitution also speaks of an increased number of supporters of armed jihad.

In the meantime more than 300 people in Hamburg have been identified as supporters of armed jihad. "Information about this is increasing. The fear is that Salafist sleepers, jihadists and IS terrorists in Germany may find support through foreign intelligence services that aren’t friendly to German interests. Through these weapons arsenals, militant jihadists and sleepers will be equipped with weapons in their preparations for attacks," the Turkish-born delegate says.

More here


Trump says profiling isn't so bad after Orlando shooting

Donald Trump said Sunday that in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, it’s time for the United States to start looking at racial profiling as a preventative tactic.

"Well I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country," the presumptive GOP nominee said in a phone interview with CBS’ "Face the Nation. "Other countries do it, you look at Israel and you look at others, they do it and they do it successfully. And I hate the concept of profiling but we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads."

"It’s not the worst thing to do," he added.

More here


Making money with migrants in Sweden

Hardened criminals are reported to work at or even run asylum accommodations through front men around Sweden. Four of Sweden's seven police regions admit that organized crime in asylum accommodations is present in their area of responsibility, a new survey by Swedish Radio showed.

"There is a rather scary development with many cases of professional criminals and other unscrupulous people breaking into this line of business, obviously thinking that it is possible to earn big money and to do it fast," police press spokesperson Christer Nordström told the radio program Ekot.

"I cannot disclose any exact figure, but a serious increase has been noticed. At present, we are concerned about how many criminals in different ways gets into this business and earn big money," Nordström added.

More here


Feasting on dogs

The celebrities get emotional over the Yulin Meat Festival, an annual Chinese event in which 10,000 dogs are tortured and killed for feasting.

It begins with Joaquin Phoenix peering into the camera, his sea-green eyes filled with tears. A similarly distressed Matt Damon appears next, followed by Rooney Mara, looking even more ashen than usual. What has rendered Hollywood's biggest stars so distraught? In a season fraught with senseless gun massacres and racially charged political upheaval, the source of their torment, believe it or not, is a food festival held halfway around the world.

But this is no ordinary food festival. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival is an event held annually in the southern Chinese city of Yulin. Timed to the summer solstice which begins this year on June 21 the fest involves the slaughter of approximately 10,000 dogs. The animals are cooked and served as stews, typically accompanied by lychee fruit, in hundreds of restaurants throughout the region.

More here


Protests by Mexican teachers union getting violent

Violent clashes between police and members of a radical teachers’ union on Sunday left six people dead and more than 100 injured, officials said.

The violence erupted as anti-riot police moved in to dislodge protesters blocking a highway in the southern state of Oaxaca.

The teachers from the National Coordinator of Education Workers, or CNTE, are opposed to the mandatory testing of teachers as part of Mexico’s sweeping education reform and are also protesting the arrest of union leaders on money laundering and other charges.

In Sunday’s clashes, protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails, and burned vehicles, while Associated Press journalists saw riot police firing on protesters. Clashes took place in several municipalities in Oaxaca, but the most violent were in Nochixtlan, north of the state capital also called Oaxaca.

More here


Plain-meaning American English

A new Department of Homeland Security report urges rejecting use of Islamic terms such as "jihad" and "sharia" in programs aimed at countering terrorist radicalization among American youth.

The Homeland Security Advisory Council report recommends that the department focus on American milliennials by allocating up to $100 million in new funding. It also urges greater private sector cooperation, including with Muslim communities, to counter what is described as a "new generation of threats to the Homeland related to the threat of violent extremism."…

Under a section on recommended actions on terminology, the report says DHS should "reject religiously-charged terminology and problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English."

More here


Texas Ranger

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

More condoms led to more teen births

In the early 1990s, with panic over the AIDS epidemic rising, hundreds of school districts began making condoms more accessible to students. The hope was to encourage students to practice safe sex and better protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases.

A new research paper suggests that decision may have backfired. It finds that access to condoms in school led to a 10 percent increase in teen births. The effects were concentrated in schools that offered condoms with no required counseling. Those schools also saw that gonorrhea rates for women rose following the condom programs.

It's possible that teens did engage in riskier behavior with the condoms available. Or teenage girls might have decided to use the condoms which have an especially high failure rate instead of birth control pills, which are more effective at preventing pregnancy. The research paper isn’t able to answer why teen births went up in the areas where schools gave out free condoms. But it does call into question some of the unintentional side effects of making the contraceptive more freely available.

More here


Best explanation for 2008 meltdown

Using the Community Reinvestment Act of 1997 Clinton officials urged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into financing homes for tens of millions of people who simply could not pay for them.

When millions of homeowners defaulted on their mortgages in 2008, Wall Street firms made billions on "reverse credit swap mortgage derivatives."

Time for pitchforks and torches yet?

Islamic terrorists sometimes wave large red flags prior to their killing sprees (e.g., Omar Mateen, Nidal Hassan). Why aren’t they stopped in advance? Possibly because at the top of the security chain sits an anti-American Islamophile who appoints people like Laila Alawa:

One of the sitting members on the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s (HSAC) Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism [the Obama Regime won’t even use the words "Islamic terrorism"] is a 25-year-old immigrant of Syrian heritage who said that the 9/11 attacks "changed the world for good" and has consistently disparaged America, free speech and white people on social media.

Laila Alawa was one of just 15 people tapped to serve on the newly-formed HSAC Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism in 2015 the same year she became an American citizen.

Despite her new citizenship, assimilation into a society she openly hates is not on Laila’s agenda:

"I will always be Syrian. I will always be from Syria. I will always be of Syria," she wrote in November 2015, calling the country her "homeland."

In 2014, Alawa commemorated the September 11 attacks by tweeting that "9/11 changed the world for good, and there’s no other way to say it."

More here


Turks living in Germany don't want to assimilate

Almost half the ethnic Turks living in Germany consider following Islamic teaching more important than abiding by the law, a new survey claims. They also view Islam as the "only true religion" with about one in five justifying violence if it is provoked by the West.

The study by the University of Münster titled "Integration and Religion from the viewpoint of the Turkish Germans in Germany" outline some deep divisions within the German society as 47 percent of ethnic Turks living in the country said that following religious dogmas was "more important" to them than obeying "the laws of the land in which I live," particularly if the two were incompatible. Moreover, 32 percent from those questioned said they yearn to live in the society of the times of the Prophet Mohammed.

The results, gathered by surveying over 1,200 people, came as a surprise for the researchers from one of the biggest German universities. Detlef Pollack, spokesman for the "Religion and Politics" Excellence Cluster said that the authors "didn’t expect that," Deutsche Welle reported.

More here


Monday, June 20, 2016

They're still coming

The number of illegal immigrant families jumping the border so far this fiscal year has already topped all of 2015, according to Homeland Security statistics released Friday that show the administration’s border problems continue to grow.

Some 6,788 people traveling as families were caught on the southwest border in May a leap of more than 20 percent over April, and putting the total for the first eight months of the fiscal year at nearly 45,000.

That’s already well above the 2015 yearlong total of fewer than 40,000, though it’s short of the record pace set in 2014, when a massive surge exposed massive holes in the U.S. immigration system.

Federal and local authorities have struggled to explain the latest surge in families, but a government lawyer gave one explanation to a federal judge earlier this month, saying that the Obama administration’s own lax enforcement policies, set in part by the courts, have enticed ever more people to make the harrowing journey.

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Report students who question government

New federal guidelines have just been introduced across the country, and what they mandate is quite disturbing to civil libertarians. The FBI has now instructed high schools across the nation to report students who in any way criticize government policies and what the report phrases as "western corruption."

The FBI is interested in determining as part of some warped "pre-crime" program who might become potential future terrorists.

The FBI warns in the report that that "anarchist extremists" are no different that ISIS terrorists.

They further caution teachers against young people who are poor, as well as immigrants and others who travel to "suspicious" countries. These, they explain, are teens who are more likely to commit terrorism.

Sarah Lazare, writing for AlterNet, notes that "based on the widely unpopular British ‘anti-terror’ mass surveillance program, the FBI’s ‘Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools’ guidelines, released in January, are almost certainly designed to single out and target Muslim-American communities."

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Trump's supporters are driven by rage

Author and activist Michael Eric Dyson is calling on blacks to march on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with "revolutionary intentions" and preparedness for violence.

Mr. Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, said it’s imperative for black people to rise up against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, as well as his supporters who are "driven by rage" that a black man is president.

"I know that these words can be read as a call to violence unseen at a national political convention since Chicago in 1968. So be it," Mr. Dyson wrote Wednesday in an op-ed for The New Republic. "As Martin Luther King Jr. taught us, it is a risk we must take. We have a positive moral obligation to protest the nomination of this racist demagogue for president.

"It is not simply a matter of voicing disapprobation for Trump; his supporters, too, must be answered. They are driven by rage that a black man today still represents a nation that once held black folk in chains, and which still depends on the law to check their social and political aspirations," he continued. "Barack Obama so spooked the bigoted whites of this country that we are now faced with a racist explicitness that hasn’t emerged since the height of the civil rights movement.

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Quote of the day

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, 1934......

"Feeble-minded persons, habitual congenital criminals, those afflicted with inheritable disease, and others found biologically unfit by authorities qualified judge should be sterilized or, in cases of doubt, should be so isolated as to prevent the perpetuation of their afflictions by breeding."


Orlando shooter was gay?

On Tuesday, Marco Diaz, the current fiancé of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen’s former wife Sitora Yusufiy, told Brazilian television station SBT Brazil that Yusufiy believed Mateen was gay and that she had witnessed Mateen’s father call him gay several times, but that "the FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media."

The FBI and law enforcement in the United States have steadfastly stuck to a narrative of "Islamist terrorism," with their alleged demand from Mateen’s ex-wife to remain silent about his homosexual proclivities suggesting they want to downplay the glaring personal and self-hating nature of the attack in favor of the Islamic terrorism-related one that helps increase governmental power and control.

Following the Orlando massacre, Mateen’s action had been labeled as an act of "Islamic terrorism" by a wide spectrum of talking heads and politicians after widespread reports of his pledging support to the Islamic State (ISIS), but there’s much more to this story than what is being generally reported in the mainstream media.

Yusufiy says that just months into their marriage, Mateen started emotionally and physically abusing her exploding in anger and often beating her. She claims her family "literally rescued" her from the abusive relationship and his mental instability.

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Immigration problems

The aftermath of Islamist Afghan-American Omar Mateen’s murderous rampage against American gays seems disturbingly familiar, an echo of past themes that never stop playingand lessons that never get learned. The post-911 debate over "why do they hate us" should have been settled long ago with a resounding "because of who we are," rather than the refrain from the blame-America crowdvoiced from the Ron Paul libertarian Right to the Michael Moore Leftthat the answer is "because of what we do." Mateen did not cite the usual ISIS foreign policy boilerplate so much as reportedly express his furor over gay men kissingsuggesting that, like Mohammed Atta et al., he despised the essence of Western liberality and popular culture, yet, like a moth to a flame, was both repelled by it and attracted to it.

Once again, as in the case of the Tsarnaevs and San Bernardino murderers, the shooter and his associations were on federal authorities’ radarand again to no avail. Apparently, dozens of Americans must be massacred every so often so that the rest of us can avoid the politically incorrect charge of being "Islamophobic." At some point, intelligence authorities will have to take seriously American-born Muslims who consume ISIS propaganda and espouse radical Islamic hatred.

Still more monotonous themes: as in the case of Major Hasan (the Fort Hood jihadist), the Tsarnaev clan (Boston Marathon), and Syed Rizwan Farook (San Bernardino), there is something deeply wrong with American immigration policy and the attitude of us, the lax host, to newcomers. In too many deadly cases, a generation of Muslims goes to great lengths to reach the United States only to raise an American-born or naturalized ungracious and unappreciative generation that apparently grows to hate the bounty and freedom of America to such a degree as to blow up, shoot, and maim innocent Americans. Immigration to the U.S., and citizenship itself, should be seen, again, as a privilege, not a rightand assimilation and integration, not multicultural separatism and ethnic and religious chauvinism, should be the goal of the host. We need not single out Muslims in terms of restricting immigration, but we should take a six-month timeout on all would-be immigrants from countries in the Middle East deemed war zonesAfghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemennot only for our own immediate security but also to send a general message that entrance into the U.S. is a rare and prized opportunity, not simply a cheap and pro forma entitlement.

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