Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On shoes and celebrity

On Friday, all three network morning shows fretted over a woman throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton during a speaking event in Las Vegas. NBC Today co-host Tamron Hall was particularly melodramatic: "I mean, but how scary is that?...Had it hit her, that would have been awful. It would have been awful." Weatherman Al Roker added: "Jeez, that's frightening." Hall declared: "It's hard for me to watch, actually."

The shoe was on the other foot in 2008, when an Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at then-President George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference. At that time, ABC and CBS referred to the shoe-thrower as a "celebrity" and "folk hero" who "thrilled the Arab world." In 2009, then-MSNBC host David Shuster actually cheered the release of the footwear assailant from prison. Tamron Hall happened to be on the show at the time and observed that people would have been "more outraged" if someone threw a shoe at President Obama.

Source

Evil Koch Brothers also donate to Democrats

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to turn the Koch Brothers into the modern face of political evil, having mentioned them in the senate at least 134 times on the senate floor during the past few weeks. What he hasn't explained is if they are so evil why do so many Democratic Party members of congress take their money?

During the past five congressional campaigns (2006-14) Koch money went to President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Mark Pryor, Chuck Schumer and other members of Congress.

The chart below represents direct donations to Democratic Party candidates from Koch Industries employees since 2006 according to OpenSecrets.org (2014 donations are based on FEC numbers through March 10) Retired Democratic Party members of Congress received another $291,000 but were not included in the chart.

See the chart here

Cognitive dissonance, Obama says voting fraud doesn't exist

Speaking at Al Sharpton's National Action Network convention on Friday in New York City, President Barack Obama revealed that he believes voter fraud does not exist, everyone who wants to should be able to vote, even if they cannot provide identifying documentation, and Republicans are plotting to take the franchise away from minorities.

Obama, who hails from a city known for the Daley Machine and its "vote early and vote often" slogan, ripped Republicans for trying to preserve the integrity of the ballot by reducing voter fraud and requiring voter IDs.

He made the accusation that there is a "well-organized effort" to undo gains the Civil Rights Movement has made in the last 50 years, and he said voting rights are "under particular assault."

"Voters who want to vote should be able to vote," Obama said. "Period."

He told the activists to stay vigilant and always be on alert for shenanigans designed to strip the right to vote away from seniors, minorities, and women by requiring them to provide identification at the polls.

"The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago," Obama said.

More here

Dogs instead of babies

America’s next generation of youngsters should be called "Generation Rex."

If you’re wondering why playgrounds around the city are so quiet and dog runs are packed, a new report has an answer: More and more US women are forgoing motherhood and getting their maternal kicks by owning handbag-size canines.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a big drop in the number of babies born to women ages 15 to 29 corresponds with a huge increase in the number of tiny pooches owned by young US women, reports the business-news site Quartz.

Dog-crazy New York ladies told The Post that they aren’t surprised by the findings and that they happily gave up diaper changes, temper tantrums and college funds for the easy affection of their doggy "child."

"I’d rather have a dog over a kid," declared Sara Foster, 30, a Chelsea equities trader who says her French bulldog, Maddie, brings her more joy than a child.

"It’s just less work and, honestly, I have more time to go out. You ... don’t have to get a baby sitter."

More here

The wrong enemy

What if the United States has been waging the wrong war against the wrong enemy for the last 13 years in Afghanistan?

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Carlotta Gall, who spent more than a decade covering Afghanistan since 2001, concludes just that in her new book, "The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014."

Gall told "On the Radar" that Pakistan not Afghanistan has been the United States’ real enemy.

"Instead of fighting a very grim and tough war which was very high in casualties on Afghans, as well as NATO and American soldiers, the problem wasn't in the Afghan villages," Gall said. "The source of the problem, the radicalization, the sponsoring of the insurgency, was all happening in Pakistan."

More here
 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Bundy vs. BLM

Many Americans have been watching with great consternation the ongoing struggle between the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Marshals against Cliven Bundy and his family. There are no signs of either side relinquishing its position. Many onlookers have been informed that this dispute is over protecting the desert tortoise. But it is nothing of the sort. In fact, the reality of the dispute goes far underneath what is being talked about. The more appropriate source of the dispute is ground water as well as surface water this is a war over water.

Cliven Bundy and his family claim that they can trace their family ownership back to around the 1870s on their current property in Clark County. This is well before any federal offices such as the EPA, BLM, or water management were created. This corresponds with the Homestead rights that were established during the Lincoln administration in 1862 to entice people to settle the western frontier and expand the U.S. agricultural enterprises. This 19th century policy was meant to encourage and support settlement by families like the Bundys. Now, over 150 years later, what seemed to be borderless country surrounding small-town Bunkerville in Nevada is an inhospitable petri dish for the experiments of growing federal regulations.

The Bundy Ranch "VO" is now the last large cattle ranch standing in Clark County. According to an anonymous source who has lived in Nevada for thirty-five years, the other major ranches in Clark County have been driven out of existence for one reason or another by the BLM and the Feds. It is claimed that the BLM are masquerading as conservationists, using their federal power to wield the final blow to reclaim the settlement rights they once honored to settlers like the Bundys.

The real wealth is in the water to support the plush green golf courses, and surrounding housing developments, gleaming swimming pools, and other demands by hotels and households in Las Vegas, Arizona, and Southern California.

The same anonymous source claims that there has been a pattern of behavior: land in Clark County has been targeted as property that the BLM can use; the BLM makes an offer to buy the property from the owner (prices vary, but it can be a very low market price); the BLM purchases the land; the property is then stripped of the water rights; and the land is resold without the right to water resources. But what good is a farm or ranch without water?

In other words, the BLM is not only driving out the cattle, the cattle rancher, and potentially any wildlife that depends on the riparian environment. The BLM is setting up a situation whereby the surrounding small towns will also go extinct. The BLM’s actions are ensuring that no one will return to the area.

More here


(The BLM manages land about as well as the government manages health care)

Equal footing

In eleven western states, the federal government claims ownership of more than 50% of the land. Utah intends to get its land back. Utah's HR148, recently signed into law by the Governor, tells the federal government that federal land in Utah, other than specified national parks, monuments, and wilderness areas, will be taken by eminent domain by the state of Utah if it has not been transferred to the state by the end of 2014.

Democrats and environmental organizations say this Law is an exercise in futility, a waste of time. Republicans and producers believe that Utah was granted statehood on an "equal footing" with the original states. "Equal footing" means that the federal government should own no land in the state of Utah, since none of the original states contained land owned by the federal government. Republicans and business leaders contend that this is exactly what the term means. Democrats and environmentalists disagree.

In 1894, two years before Utah became a state, Congress enacted an "Enabling Act." This act says that:

"...the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof; ...." (Section 3)

In the very next section, the act says that:

"...the proposed State of Utah shall be deemed admitted by Congress into the Union, under and by virtue of this act, on an equal footing with the original States...." (Section 4)

It cannot be both ways. Chances are very good that the Supreme Court will have to resolve this conflict sooner or later. Utah is definitely moving forward with every intention of declaring eminent domain over those lands that the federal government now claims.

Source

Soviet history

Flashback to 1984....

An authoritative British military publication said today that an explosion at a Soviet naval base in May crippled the fighting capacity of the Northern Fleet, the strongest of the Soviet Navy's four high-sea fleets.

First reports of the blast came last month from United States intelligence officials, who said that it occurred May 13 in an ammunition depot at Severomorsk, northeast of Murmansk, on the Kola Peninsula. Severomorsk, a city of 55,000 people, serves as the base of the Northern Fleet.

The officials said the explosion had been the result of carelessness and had killed 200 to 300 people. It was so powerful that it was thought at first to have been a nuclear accident.

The latest information on the blast was reported today by Jane's Defense Weekly. Jane's spokesman, Richard Coltart, said the information had come from Western naval sources with access to intelligence material. 'Greatest Disaster Since War'

''The destruction represents the greatest disaster to occur in the Soviet Navy since World War II,'' said Jane's. ''It is conservatively estimated that it will be two years before the facility is fully operational again.''

The weekly said the Northern Fleet would not be ''a viable force for the next six months'' because it lost two- thirds of its surface-to-air and ship-to- ship missiles in the explosion. NATO naval sources said the report was ''substantially correct.'' But some defense specialists and United States intelligence sources disagreed.

More here

Stopping debate

Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to the Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.

The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the Left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.

The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences from social ostracism to vocational defenestration upon those who refuse to be silenced.

Sometimes the word comes from on high, as when the president of the United States declares the science of global warming to be "settled." Anyone who disagrees is then branded "anti-science." And better still, a "denier" a brilliantly chosen calumny meant to impute to the climate skeptic the opprobrium normally reserved for the hatemongers and crackpots who deny the Holocaust.

Then last week, another outbreak. The newest closing of the leftist mind is on gay marriage. Just as the science of global warming is settled, so, it seems, are the moral and philosophical merits of gay marriage.

More here

Saving the planet

What if you believed that the planet might not have warmed up over the last two decades, even though carbon emissions reached all-time highs?

Or, if the earth did heat up, you thought that it was not caused by human activity?

Or, if global warming were the fault of mankind, you trusted that the slight increases would not make all that much difference?

The Los Angeles Times would not print your letter to the editor to that effect.

The CEO of Apple Inc. might advise that you should "get out of this stock."

Or maybe if you were a skeptical climatologist, you would cease all research and concede that man-caused global warming needed no further scientific cross-examination as columnist Bill McKibben recently advocated.

If you were a drought-stricken California farmer and worried about diversions of irrigation water to support fish populations, you would be told by the president of the United States that the real problem is not a failure to build reservoirs and canals but is due entirely to global warming, which is a "fact" and "settled science."

What if you supported equality for all Americans regardless of their sexual preference, but like presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and about half the country today opposed making gay marriage legal?

If you were the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, you would be forced to resign your position.

If you owned a fast-food franchise like Chick-fil-A, boycotts of your business would ensue.

If you were a star of Duck Dynasty, your show would be threatened with suspension or cancellation. [...]

All of that them/us rhetoric has given a top-down green light to radical thought police to harass anyone who is open-minded about man-caused global warming, or believes that gay marriage needs more debate, or that supporting Israel is a legitimate cause, or that breaking federal immigration law is still a crime and therefore "illegal."

Our civil liberties will not be lost to crude fascists in jackboots. More likely, the death of free speech will be the work of the new medieval Torquemadas who claim they destroyed freedom of expression for the sake of "equality" and "fairness" and "saving the planet."

More here


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Say it ain't so, Mary

A Super PAC ad in support of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.) blasts the Koch Brothers, but declines to mention that the Democratic incumbent has received more than $50,000 from the philanthropists since 2000.

Town Hall reports:
According to a recent Politico investigation into the Koch brothers and how they spend their money, it appears that the Kochs don’t just give to Republicans, like so many people believe, and in fact have given money to Senator Mary Landrieu. They found that since 2000, Ms. Landrieu has accepted $55,000 from the KochPAC.
As the Washington Free Beacon previously reported, Landrieu has received $27,000 since 2000 from Koch Industries, and another $35,000 from KochPAC, including $15,000 in the current election cycle.

Senate Majority PAC, which is run by former aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), paid for the ad that blames the "out-of-state billionaire Koch brothers" for "cutting off hurricane relief for Louisiana families."

More here

Meanwhile, in Nevada

I was just told by commissioner Collins of Clark County NV that all of us folks from Utah are a bunch of "inbred bastards" and if we are coming to Clark Cointy NV to support Cliven Bundy we all "better have funeral plans". We should "turn our asses around on mind our own f-ing business". Now there's some classy leadership for you.

Source
  

Semper Fi simpleton

Lower pay and slimmed-down benefits will make Marines more disciplined and less wasteful, according to the Corps’ top enlisted Marine.

In comments before a Senate Armed Services Committee panel on Wednesday, Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett dismissed lawmaker concerns that proposed compensation trims in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal would hurt troops’ morale or desire to serve.

"Marines don’t run around asking about compensation, retirement modernization," he said. "That’s not on their mind. As I talk to thousands of audiences, they want to know into whose neck do we put a boot next.

"They want to know about what new equipment are we getting, are we continuing to modernize. Just because the budget sucks, does that mean we’re not going to get our new gear?"

More here

Reverse racism

An Alabama state lawmaker, Rep. Alvin Holmes, who rocked national headlines with his perceived racist claim that few whites in the nation would ever adopt black children and who then backed his view with a $100,000 bet may now have to pay up, or at least shut up.

Faces of Families in Alabama started a Facebook page for families in the state to post their pictures and stories about their mixed-race adoptions. So far, the page has more than 7,000 "likes," and the group is fielding new photos on a daily basis that show how families come in all colors and mixed races, The Blaze reported.

The group took their outrage to the steps of the State House this week as a more in-your-face demonstration to Mr. Holmes of just how diverse families in the state really were, the media outlet said.

But the peaceful protest hardly shook Mr. Holmes' views.

His original statement, made during a legislative session on abortion rights, was that the Republican Party would by and large support abortion if their daughters ostensibly white were impregnated by black men. He then said he’d pay $100,000 in cash to anyone who could show him "a bunch of whites" who have actually adopted black children in the state of Alabama.

More here

Saving secularism

School canteens will no longer offer non-pork meal options in towns where France's anti-immigration far-right Front National (FN) party won local elections, its leader Marine Le Pen has said.

Mrs Le Pen reignited debate on a sensitive issue about the substitution meals targeting mainly Muslim and Jewish pupils for whom pork is taboo.

"We will accept no religious requirements in the school lunch menus," Mrs Le Pen told RTL radio. "There is no reason for religion to enter into the public sphere."

She defended the decision saying it was necessary to "save secularism".

The FN, skilfully rebranded as more than just an anti-immigrant party, won control of 11 towns and more than 1,400 municipal seats nationwide in recent local elections, easily its best ever performance at the grassroots level of French government.

More here

First they came for the Jews....

Refuse to renounce your opposition to gay marriage, and you will be hounded out of your career and public life. That’s the lesson of Brendan Eich’s ousting at software company Mozilla.

After Eich was appointed CEO in late March, some Mozilla employees and software developers took to the internet to demand his resignation. Dating website OK Cupid called for a boycott of Mozilla, referring to opponents of gay marriage as ‘our enemies’. At issue was a $1,000 donation Eich had made in 2008 in support of Proposition 8, the ballot measure to ban gay marriages in California (which passed but was later struck down by a court).

There was no question that Eich, the technical guru behind JavaScript and the Firefox browser, was qualified for a senior-management role. There were no reports of Eich being biased towards colleagues during his tenure since co-founding the Mozilla Corporation in 2005. In a blog post written shortly after his appointment as CEO, he expressed the aim of making Mozilla ‘a place of equality and welcome for all’, and requested ‘the time to "show, not tell"; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain’. But Eich did not issue an apology for a donation made six years prior, nor did he recant his views on gay marriage. And, because of his failure to do so, he remained unacceptable to his opponents, who demanded he disappear.

The move to force out Eich appeared so intolerant, so driven by vengeance, that even some in favour of gay marriage sought to distance themselves from it. To his credit, Andrew Sullivan, the so-called ‘father’ of same-sex marriage, wrote: ‘Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.’

More here


Friday, April 11, 2014

Plot to oust Boehner (about time)

Several dozen frustrated House conservatives are scheming to infiltrate the GOP leadership next yearpossibly by forcing Speaker John Boehner to step aside immediately after November's midterm elections.

The conservatives' exasperation with leadership is well known. And now, in discreet dinners at the Capitol Hill Club and in winding, hypothetical-laced email chains, they're trying to figure out what to do about it. Some say it's enough to coalesce behindand start whipping votes fora single conservative leadership candidate. Others want to cut a deal with Majority Leader Eric Cantor: We'll back you for speaker if you promise to bring aboard a conservative lieutenant.

But there's a more audacious option on the table, according to conservatives involved in the deliberations. They say between 40 and 50 members have already committed verbally to electing a new speaker. If those numbers hold, organizers say, they could force Boehner to step aside as speaker in late November, when the incoming GOP conference meets for the first time, by showing him that he won't have the votes to be reelected in January.

The masterminds of this mutiny are trying to stay in the shadows for as long as possible to avoid putting a target on their backs. But one Republican said the "nucleus"of the rebellion can be found inside the House Liberty Caucus, of which he and his comrades are members. This is not surprising, considering that some of the key players in that groupJustin Amash of Michigan, Raul Labrador of Idaho, and Thomas Massie of Kentuckywere among the 12 Republicans who refused to back Boehner's reelection in January 2013.

More here

Tolerance in Saudi Arabia

This young girl was employed in Palmelkh Saudi Arabia had the audacity to say that Jesus Christ is her Savior.

This angered much of its official work, and who ordered his men to carry out the process was to sew the mouth of the girl in order to stop the expression and permission for their love for Christ Jesus, as they are ignorant of the Magi Bedouin herders of camels in the desert, barren, sewed her left eye as well as punishment , has been sewing her mouth and the same thread.

This underlines the strange and dangerous, but endorsing the reports issued by human rights organizations in the world, and women in particular, of what it considers a flagrant violation occurs in the deadly Saudi human rights system.

Story and photo here

Mozilla, fail

As has been widely reported, Mozilla (the maker of the Firefox search engine) recently forced its CEO, Brendan Eich, to resign because he donated $1,000 in 2008 to support California's Proposition 8, which would have banned same sex marriage. (The Proposition was approved by a majority of voters but invalidated by a federal district court).

The termination has generated a hot debate. Most commentators have framed the issue, however, as how to properly strike a balance between an employee's political free speech and his employer's desire to communicate a particular corporate "culture."

What these commentators seem to have overlooked, however, is that the California Labor Code has already resolved this debate. Under California law it is blatantly illegal to fire an employee because he has donated money to a political campaign. This rule is clearly set forth in Labor Code sections 1101-1102:
§ 1101. Political activities of employees; prohibition of prevention or control by employer
No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy:
(a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or participating in politics or from becoming candidates for public office.
(b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees.

§ 1102. Coercion or influence of political activities of employees
No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.

Donating money to a political cause is obviously the most core form of political participation. But employers and employees should also be aware that the California Supreme Court has broadly extended the scope of protected speech and conduct to include all types of advocacy. Indeed, in Gay Law Students Association v. Pac. Tel. & Tel. Co., the Court specifically held that one's espoused attitudes about homosexuality were a form of protected conduct.

More here

Northern segregation

The Buffalo Public Schools are just as segregated now as they were in the 1970s, essentially reversing the results of an integration program that once was heralded as a national model.

About 70 percent of the city’s schools were considered segregated in 1972, when parents filed the lawsuit that prompted a federal judge to order the district to desegregate.

Despite decades of programs aimed at striking a racial balance, a Buffalo News analysis found that in 2012, 70 percent of schools in the city were segregated, suggesting that any gains seen after the implementation of the court order have been erased.

The situation in Buffalo underscores a disturbing trend seen across New York state, which the Civil Rights Project identified as the most segregated state in the nation.

The difference in Buffalo, however, is that the district was one of the only cities in the state that once instituted a serious integration policy resulting in more racially balanced schools, and has since resegregated.

More here

Chinese guardian angels

Hospitals in Beijing will recruit 1,500 "guardian angels" to protect their doctors from violent attacks by patients.

In recent years, angry patients have killed a number of Chinese doctors, often citing frustration at how they have been handled by the healthcare system.

In the latest case, a 45-year-old man from Jiangsu province stabbed his doctor to death on Tuesday because he was unhappy with a circumcision operation. "(He) was dissatisfied with the treatment outcome and the medical expenses," the state media reported.

Doctors and nurses in hospitals are violently attacked every two weeks on average, the state media said, by patients angry at long waiting times, high medical bills and haughty or uncaring doctors. Many hospitals now have security officers on their premises.

More here


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lowering marriage age in Iraq

Children in Iraq could be legally married before the age of nine under sweeping legislation tabled on Tuesday that introduces new religious restrictions on women's rights.

As almost its last act before elections at the end of the month, the Iraqi parliament looks likely to pass new marital rules for its majority Shia community with a draft law criticised by human rights activists as "legalised inquality"

The legislation has been approved by the governing coalition in an effort to attract support from Shia Muslims in the April 30 vote.

Current Iraqi law sets the legal age for marriage at 18 without parental approval and states girls as young as 15 can be married only with a guardian's approval. It does not allow for special provisions according to sect.

But the legislation, known as the Jaafari law, introduces rules almost identical to those of neighbouring Iran, a Shia-dominated Islamic theocracy.

More here

Return to sender

Dear Majority Leader Cantor:

Conservative leaders were stunned to learn that you will be headlining a conference in Florida this weekend that is, purely and simply, a direct attack on Tea Party conservatives. Worse still, this event is sponsored in part by ultra-liberal financier/activist George Soros and organized labor both of which have openly, repeatedly and often viciously waged war on conservatives and Republicans for years.

What has possessed you to headline this event? Do you think so little of conservatives that you would directly insult them by attending?

Since Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential election a substantial rift has opened between the GOP’s congressional leadership and rank-and-file Republicans, grassroots conservatives and Tea Party supporters the very activists who provided the energy, enthusiasm and mobilization that fueled the historic Republican victory in 2010 and gave you and your colleagues the House majority you hold today. You would not be Majority Leader today but for Tea Party conservatives. And you’re headlining an event sponsored by a leftist organization committed to its destruction.

As we head in to midterm elections later this year, it would seem incumbent upon Republican leaders to do everything they can to actually heal this rift. Instead you are widening it further.

It is our understanding that Speaker John Boehner had planned to attend but is no longer doing so. We expect no less from you. Attending this event shows you are siding with the Democrat donors, unions, and other Soros-backed groups who have contributed over $1 million to attack conservatives.

More here

Spending on schools, fail

For decades, it's probably the most troublesome question facing education: Why are results for U.S. public school students so mediocre, despite the billions of taxpayer dollars spent?

Andrew Coulson thinks he's got the answer: Because there is no discernible correlation between spending and outcomes.

"The takeaway from this study is that what we've done over the past 40 years hasn't worked," said Coulson, director of the Center For Educational Freedom at the CATO Institute. "The average performance change nationwide has declined 3 percent in mathematical and verbal skills. Moreover, there's been no relationship, effectively, between spending and academic outcomes."

The CATO Institute is a free-market think-tank based in Washington, D.C.

Coulson just released his study, "State Education Trends: Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years," and he points to this chart that incorporates costs and the number of public school employees with student enrollment and test scores:

While spending has just about tripled in inflation-adjusted dollars and the number of school employees has almost doubled since 1970, reading, math and science scores for students have remained stagnant.

More here

(Everyone knows why schools suck but no one is allowed to speak up)

Stay-at-home mothers

After decades of decline, the share of mothers who stay home with their children has steadily risen over the last several years, a new report has found.

In 2012, 29% of all mothers with children under age 18 stayed at home, a figure that has steadily risen since 1999 when 23% of mothers were stay-at-home, the Pew Research Center reported Tuesday. The share of stay-at-home moms had been dropping since 1967, when about half of all moms stayed home.

Pew attributed the rise of stay-at-home mothers to a mix of demographic, economic and societal factors. The vast majority of married stay-at-home mothers, 85%, say they are doing so by choice in order to care for their families. That rate is much lower for single stay-at-home mothers, at 41%, and cohabitating mothers, at 64%.

The report also found a drop in women working because of the recession, a trend that has lingered as the economy recovers. Pew cited an increase in immigrant families, for whom it is more common to have a mother stay at home with her children, and an increase in the number of women who said they were disabled and unable to work.

More here

Ooparts

Oopart (out of place artifact) is a term applied to dozens of prehistoric objects found in various places around the world that seem to show a level of technological advancement incongruous with the times in which they were made. Ooparts often frustrate conventional scientists, delight adventurous investigators open to alternative theories, and spark debate.

A hammer was found in London, Texas, in 1934 encased in stone that had formed around it. The rock surrounding the hammer is said to be more than 100 million years old, suggesting the hammer was made well before humans who could have made such an object are thought to have existed.

Much mystery surrounds the so-called "London Hammer."

Carl Baugh, who is in possession of the artifact, announced that it was tested by Battelle Laboratory in Columbus, Ohio, a lab that has tested moon rocks for NASA. The tests found the hammer to have unusual metallurgy96.6 percent iron, 2.6 percent chlorine, 0.74 percent sulfur, and no carbon.

Carbon is usually what strengthens brittle iron, so it is strange that carbon is absent. Chlorine is not usually found in iron. The iron shows a high degree of craftsmanship without bubbles in the metal. Furthermore, it is said to be coated in an iron oxide that would not readily form under natural conditions and which prevents rust.

More here


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Leftovers, some good, some not

Feminist blogger Amanda Marcotte compares aborting a baby to a tooth removal, and calls babies "time sucking monsters".

Muslims being muslims. Ritual human sacrifice. Murder and mayhem.

Best intro to story this week...."If stupidity was a weapon Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) would be a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb."

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 78% of Likely U.S. Voters believe everyone should be required to prove his or her citizenship before being allowed to register to vote. That’s up from 71% a year ago. Just 19% oppose that requirement.

Last week Al Sharpton embraced convicted vote fraudster Melowese Richardson at a "voting rights" rally in Cincinnati. The United States Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done nothing to Melowese Richardson 410 days after she admitted on camera that she committed multiple federal felonies by voting six times for President Obama’s reelection. Story

A "Fat Justice and Feminism" seminar sponsored by Swarthmore College blamed Ronald Reagan for the suffering of fat people and accused the Body mass index (BMI) of having "direct links to a white supremacist." The workshop, taught by feminist activist Cora Segal and self-identified "angry, man-hating lesbian," Nicole Sullivan, took place Thursday and sought to "address the ongoing exploitation and oppression of fat people." Story

During Obama's recent visit to Europe only 1 person clapped after one of his speeches. Story

Clean coal plant in Indiana uses more energy than it produces. Story

Here are eleven hate crime hoaxes.

Authorities said the owner of a coffee stand who claimed someone spray-painted "Go back to China" outside her business and set part of her shop on fire carried out the crime herself. Story

The next issue of the New Yorker has barely hit newsstands and already a comment from Kobe Bryant hinting that he may not be in lockstep with the black community on the Trayvon Martin shooting has people calling for a boycott of the Laker superstar’s gear. (Good for you, Kobe)

A group of flight attendants as well as investigations by the EPA have exposed shocking revelations regarding the health dangers in the skies courtesy of most major airlines. The information should make you think twice before having that cup of coffee, using their pillows, headsets or even washing your hands in the lavatory. Story

Nineteen photos of weapons created by prisoners.

A columnist for a major Egyptian newspaper has called for a lawsuit to be filed against Israel for the damages caused by the ten Biblical plagues. I.shit.you.not.

A few pictures of abandoned malls.

An Arkansas mom was disturbed to learn her sixth grade daughter's homework was to "prioritize, revise, prune two and add two" amendments in the Bill of Rights. The homework, part of the controversial Common Core curriculum, said that the Bill of Rights is "outdated and may not remain in its current form any longer." Story

The Democratic National Convention has been over for 18 months, but it's still fresh in the mind of one company who filed a police report saying it can't find $75,000 worth of equipment. LG Electronics spoke with WBTV and explained why it decided to tell police now. Story

Some 700,000 Jews were expelled from Muslim countries where they had lived in many cases more than a thousand years before the advent of Islam, and most of them were absorbed into the new State of Israel with a territory the size of New Jersey; 700,000 or so Arabs left Israel’s Jewish sector during the 1948 War of Independence, most at the behest of their leaders, but few were absorbed by the vast Muslim lands surrounding Israel. Source

Quote of the day....by Liz Cheney, on Nancy Pelosi...."Her spine doesn't seem to reach her brain."

The House Ways and Means Committee will vote this week to formally ask the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against former IRS employee Lois Lerner, an official at the center of Republican probes of the matter. Story  (But will the Justice Department pursue charges? Don't count on it.)

The practice of intentional deformation of the skull was once widespread all over the world. According to current beliefs, this custom probably appeared independently in different regions of the world, beginning as early as the Late Paleolithic Period, but possibly even earlier. In the Carpathian Basin, elongated skulls date to the late Iron Age, known in this region as the Hun-Germanic Period (5th 6th century AD), and can be observed in all the people of the Carpathian Basin equally the Sarmatians, Alans, Gothics, Depidics, and Hun populations. More than 200 elongated skulls have been found in the Carpathian Basin to date. Story
 

What is the X-37B up to?

The Air Force’s secret space plane has been up in orbit for nearly 500 daysa space endurance record. But nearly a year and a half into the mission, the Pentagon still won’t say what the X-37B is doing up there, or when it might come back.

The U.S. Air Force boosted the robotic X-37B atop the nose of an Atlas-5 rocket in December 2012. Since then it’s orbited the Earth thousands of times, overflying such interesting places as North Korea and Iran.

Similar to the Space Shuttle in appearance, the diminutive X-37B is about a quarter the size of the old shuttles. But there are major differences. Lacking a crew, the spacecraft has no cockpit windows. The X-37B has a payload bay about the size of a pickup truck bed.

And while the original Space Shuttle could stay in orbit for up to 17 daysa limitation largely due to the needs of the crewthe first X-37B mission, OTV-1, spent 225 days in space under the guidance of Air Force space flight controllers at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The second mission, OTV-2, handily doubled that number, clocking 469 days in orbit. OTV-3 is currently at 482 days and counting.

Eventuallynobody knows whenthe pudgy space plane will glide back down to Earth like the Space Shuttle it resembles, rolling to a stop on an Air Force runway in California.

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Gun control bracelets

Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that gun tracking bracelets are something the Justice Department (DOJ) wants to "explore" as part of its gun control efforts. [...]

"I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe," he said.

"By making them either through finger print identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon."

Source

Venus and the Moon


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dawn of the computer era

In many ways, the modern computer era began in the New Englander Motor Hotel in Greenwich, Connecticut.

It was there in 1961 that a task force of top IBM engineers met in secret to figure out how to build the next-generation IBM computer.

A new design was sorely needed. IBM already sold a number of successful though entirely separate computer lines, but they were becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and update.

"IBM in a sense was collapsing under the weight of having to support these multiple incompatible product lines," said Dag Spicer, chief content officer for the Computer History Museum, which maintains a digital archive on the creation and success of the System/360.

Firty years ago on April 7, IBM announced the computer that the task force had designed, the System/360.

The system eventually became a huge success for the companyand a good thing too. IBM’s president at the time, Tom Watson, Jr., killed off other IBM computer lines and put the company’s full force behind the System/360. IBM’s revenue swelled to $8.3 billion by 1971, up from $3.6 billion in 1965. Through the 1970s, more than 70 percent of mainframes sold were IBM’s. By 1982, more than half of IBM’s revenue came from descendants of the System/360.

But its impact can be measured by more than just the success it brought to IBM.

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Sharpton, mob snitch

When friends and family members gathered recently at the White House for a private celebration of Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday, one of the invited partygoers was a former paid FBI Mafia informant.

That same man attended February’s state dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande. He was seated with his girlfriend at a table adjacent to President Barack Obama, who is likely unaware that, according to federal agents, his guest once interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families. He even secretly taped some of those wiseguys using a briefcase that FBI technicians outfitted with a recording device.

The high-profile Obama supporter was also on the dais atop the U.S. Capitol steps last year when the president was sworn in for a second term. He was seated in front of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two rows behind Beyonce and Jay Z, and about 20 feet from Eric Holder, the country’s top law enforcement officer. As head of the Department of Justice, Attorney General Holder leads an agency that once reported that Obama’s inauguration guest also had La Cosa Nostra contacts beyond Gotham, and engaged in "conversations with LCN members from other parts of the United States."

The former mob snitch has become a regular in the White House, where he has met with the 44th president in the East Room, the Roosevelt Room, and the Oval Office. He has also attended Obama Christmas parties, speeches, policy announcements, and even watched a Super Bowl with the First Family (an evening the man has called "one of the highlights of my life"). During these gatherings, he has mingled with cabinet members, top Obama aides, military leaders, business executives, and members of Congress. His former confederates were a decidedly dicier lot: ex-convicts, extortionists, heroin traffickers, and mob henchmen. The man’s surreptitious recordings, FBI records show, aided his government handlers in the successful targeting of powerful Mafia figures with nicknames like Benny Eggs, Chin, Fritzy, Corky, and Baldy Dom.

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Venezuela, fail

In September 2013 the Guardian wrestled with a mystery. "‘No one can explain why a rich country has no food’ Toilet paper, rice and coffee have long been missing from stores, as Venezuelan president blames CIA plot for chronic shortages."

Actually, an economist named Brad Schiller tried to explain it in March of the same year. He said the shortages were the result of Hugo Chavez’s war against the Law of Supply and Demand. Writing in the Los Angeles Times Schiller wrote: "two years before his death, Hugo Chavez tried to repeal the law of supply and demand … Chavez despised the law because he believed it robbed the poor and unjustly profited producers."
In its place, he persuaded the Venezuelan legislature to enact the 2011 Law on Fair Costs and Prices, a price-setting mechanism to ensure greater social justice. A newly created National Superintendency of Fair Costs and Prices was empowered to establish fair prices at both the wholesale and retail levels. More than 500,000 price edicts have been issued. Companies that violate these price controls are subject to fines, seizures and expropriation.
Not that he had any good experience with price controls. Chavez had been draining the state-owned Venezuelan oil industry for years using the same methods of price controls. "The most flagrant subsidy is for gasoline. Venezuelans pay only 4 to 6 cents per gallon for gasoline, the cheapest in the world. But it costs Petroleos de Venezuela, the government-owned oil company, close to $2 a gallon to extract, refine and distribute it. With domestic consumption now running about 600,000 barrels a day, the financial loss on subsidized oil is roughly $20 billion a year."

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They are fanatics

Way back in the olden thymes, I got a close up look at the Cult of Modern Liberalism. This was back in the early Reagan years when I was a part time employee for the Congressman Clarence Long. I was just a kid and a nobody, but Susanna, his wife, took a liking to me and that gave me the run of the place, so to speak. I used to have lunch with the Congressman two or three days a week. He was a nice man, but about as interesting as vanilla ice cream. That’s true of every elected official I met in Washington. privately, they were very dull.

The interesting people were the aides and activists. The ones on the Right were full of excitement about finally turning back the liberal tide. Even as a kid, I thought they were delusional, but they were fun. On the other hand, the old liberals defending the status quo were scary. They were deadly serious and ideology was everything. These were not people interested in free and open debate. They were not all that interested in the free market of ideas. They wanted to win and they were not interested in deviationists in their midsts.

The lesson I have carried with me ever since is this. Unless and until the Right comes to terms with what they are facing, America is doomed. These are not people with whom you can reason or compromise. They are fanatics. To quote myself, "The Liberal is out there! They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

The Bush years cured me of any hope for the American Right. Nice people in many cases. The problem is they are all like Jonah Goldberg. They make wonderful arguments in defense of civilization. They are often very good at warding off the zombie attacks from the Cult of Modern Liberalism. Their defect is they think the Left is just a bunch of people mistaken on matters of fact or reason. That’s not the case. The Left is a cult of lunatics no different from Islam. Even Obama thinks the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim. ...

I’ve mentioned a few times that the Obama administration has been doing, with reckless abandon, what Nixon was merely accused of doing, in the articles of impeachment drawn up by Congress. If you want to measure how far down the pit of fascism we have fallen, ponder that for a second. Nixon was forced out because he contemplated doing that which we associated with authoritarianism. Today, the mass media celebrates a President using the IRS as a political weapon, conducting political prosecutions, spying on the citizens and refusing to enforce the people’s laws.

Williamson is one guy so I’m not getting my hopes up about the Right. The only way to dig out the fanatics from the culture is through the rough methods of revolution. I don’t see that happening in my lifetime. Instead, we will stagger on toward a soft, feminine fascism. Heretics will be exiled to the fringes of life, but not thrown into camps. A sort or weird and semi-violent Shakerism amongst whites will eventually give way to a Latin authoritarianism as the white population is over run by Hispanic peasants from the south.

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