Friday, September 4, 2015

Marxism is like a bad case of the clap, it keeps coming back

Can unbelievers summon up the devil? Before answering the question, let’s digress.

For many years, the Third World has functioned as the sump of toxic Western ideas. Ideas too dangerous for any sane person to actually try were boldly exported there. Years ago, a Bavarian friend remarked that the most destructive German export of all time was Karl Marx; far more catastrophic in effect than that perennial rival for ideological malpractice, Adolf Hitler.

There’s something to this. Marx’s disciples like Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, and the Kim family have between them killed many more people than perished at the hands of Adolf. Yet after each catastrophe, the intellectuals would go back to the drawing board and try again with the highest hopes, since the inhabitants of Africa, Asia, and South America seemed perpetually ready to be sacrificed on the altar of "scientific" socialism.

One of the characteristics of Leftism is that it always works best for the "masses." The Vanguard are somehow always exempted from its strictures, as they have important work to do. Individuals who sincerely decry "carbon footprints" see nothing wrong in flying by private jet to denounce the use of fossil fuels. The bigger the private jet, the more credible the environmentalist.

Marxism is full of schemes that are beautiful at a distance, but only at a distance. Four years ago the Daily Mail noted how Chinese industrial areas were poisoned in the process of producing "clean" wind turbines for the First World....

More here

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Americans turning against illegal immigration

Why did the illegal-immigration issue launch Donald Trump’s campaign? Why did his recent tense press conference exchange with Univision’s Jorge Ramos please even some of Trump’s liberal critics? What is it about illegal immigration that has finally turned off so many Americans?

Over the years immigration activists successfully deconstructed the complex issue of illegal immigration into a race and class morality tale of privileged whites picking on poor brown people. The operative buzzwords were "racism," "nativism," and "xenophobia." That theme is now mostly bankrupt given that every great lie eventually falls from its own weight.

It was rarely the host, but more often the activists on behalf of the guests, who framed illegal immigration in racial terms. Activists foolishly fabricated the controversy as "we noble Latinos" against "you prejudiced non-Latinos." They forgot apparently two obvious truths: one, thirty percent of Americans are not so-called white; and, two, most people resent ethnic chauvinism. Is an unemployed African-American sympathetic to the argument that someone has a birthright to illegally cross into the United States and find instant employment? Is a Punjabi-American, waiting patiently for his engineer cousin to get a green card, eager to be told the United States must make special concessions to the Latino lobby? Does a third-generation Mexican-American prefer that his neighborhood school and emergency room be flooded with indigent illegal Mexican nationals?

Sometime in the last five years, the public woke up and grasped that Latino elite activists were not so much interested in illegal immigration per se, but only to the degree that the issue affected other Latinos. Were 3,000 Chinese illegally entering California per day by ship on the Northern California coast, Latino activists and politicians would probably be the first to call for enforcement of federal immigration law.

More here

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France preparing for civil unrest

French security forces are bracing for the eventuality of civil unrest and fear there could be a missile strike on a passenger airliner or a September 11-style attack, according to sources close to French intelligence.

"Airlines have been warned of a possible attack on a plane with an anti-tank missile," a source claimed. "But pilots are unsure how to take evasive action."

After last week’s thwarted attempt to massacre passengers on an Amsterdam-Paris train and a series of terrorist attacks and attempted murders in France this year, President François Hollande warned the nation to prepare for more violence, which is considered inevitable as the Islamist threat grows.

The French army has made contingency plans for the "reappropriation of national territory", meaning the winning back of control of neighbourhoods where the population become hostile to the security forces and where guns are easily obtainable, according to the source.

"There are a lot of alienated and angry fourth-generation immigrant kids in the suburbs and the prospect of radicalisation is increasingly likely," the source said.

"The idea that attacks like the one on the train are carried out by individuals acting on their own is not credible.

"We’re dealing with highly organised networks of militant Islamists embarked on a campaign of violence and determined to intensify it."

More here

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Jesus in the Talmud

Many Americans are of the opinion that Orthodox Judaism, the official belief system of the state of Israel, is the religion of the Old Testament, the faith of the patriarchs and prophets. We often hear it said that both Christians and believers in Judaism are "People of the Book," the book being the Bible. Certainly the patriarchs and the prophets are the sacred originators of the religion of the ancient Israelites but it is the rabbinic discourses known as the Talmud, not the Bible, that have been, since the close of the fifth century, the foundational texts of Orthodox Judaism, which has its offshoots in Reform and Conservative Judaism. The Talmud, as one rabbi put it, is the "starting point and the ending point, the alpha and omega of truth."* The Talmud teaches Orthodox Judaics how to think about Torah, or the Mosaic law.

The Talmud, meaning "instruction" or "learning" in Hebrew, consists of more than 6,000 pages of rabbinic commentaries on biblical texts. These commentaries were written after the crucifixion of Christ and the destruction of the Temple and constitute a religious, political and social code regulating the life of the Orthodox Judaic. Oral, not revealed, traditions called Mischna, Gemara, Halaka and Hagada make up these discourses. The first and lesser part of these commentaries originated in Palestine and the second part, much more important and influential, in Babylon.

Since the 13th century when the Jewish apostate Nicholas Donin came forward and revealed the contents of the Talmud to Pope Gregory IX, the descriptions of Jesus, his family and followers included in these rabbinic commentaries have alarmed Christians.

They have alarmed Christians for good reason. The Talmud contains, in intermittent descriptions, an ugly portrait of Jesus Christ, who is not the long-awaited Messiah but the sexually promiscuous son of a whore. He is the idolator, poor student and magician who fully deserves what he has coming to him. It is for this reason that the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages ordered the Talmud burned, an order that was not enforced in much of Europe, and also censored its descriptions of Christ.

More here

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Plagiarism and the Olympics

The logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games has been scrapped after allegations that it was plagiarised.

The Games organising committee said there were too many doubts over the emblem for it to be used. A Belgian artist had complained that his design was stolen.

Logo designer Kenjiro Sano had admitted copying online material for a previous project, Japanese media reported.

In July, a new Olympic stadium design was scrapped amid a row over its cost.

The logo was unveiled only last month, based around the letter T and a red circle representing a beating heart - which critics said resembled the Japanese flag.

Its withdrawal is a highly unusual move.

More here

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Multiculturism cause of shootings?

Rather than acknowledging the clear link between lax gun laws and deadly shootings, a Texas congressman has found a new culprit: multiculturalism.

On the Chris Salcedo Show last week, the radio host asked Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to weigh in on the horrific shooting on live TV of two journalists in Virginia. After acknowledging that widespread gun violence is a daily occurrence in the United States, Sessions zeroed in on what he viewed as the real cause.

"It has a lot to do with distrust of people. Chris, I have been in lots of societies, we could say like Japan, where they have a homogeneous society, where people are more alike," Sessions said. He went on to discuss "this thought process that we have to have diversity in America."

Although Sessions did acknowledge that "we should and we need to work for" a kind of mutual respect across diverse groups, the thrust of his remarks was that diversity breeds a kind of mistrust that sparks gun violence. "We have a group of people that are in our country that we’re afraid of, that have created chaos and confusion. And now our country is confused" he told Salcedo, without elaborating on precisely who that group of people is.

More here

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So who donates to the Clintons?


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Deport them all

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has called for an end to all immigration to France, legal and illegal. In a speech aimed at rallying her Front National (FN) ahead of regional elections, she failed to mention her father’s explusion from the party but did lay into immigrants, Islamists and President François Hollande.

"They don’t tell you this but the immigration situation in France is totally out of control," Le Pen said at a meeting to mark the start of France’s new political season. "My aim is clear: to stop immigration both legal and illegal."

The FN’s programme officially calls for immigration to be limited to 10,000 people per year but Le Pen went further, declaring, "We need national borders for France."

Undocumented immigrants should not receive state-funded medical care and social security payments to asylum-seekers should end, she said.

Repeating a demand she made after the 21 August failed attack on a high-speed train from Belgium to France, she called for "all foreigners on file for links with radical Islamist movements to be deported", adding that "radical mosques" should be closed and their imams be thrown out of the country if they are foreigners.

More here
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Climate forecasts, fail

It has been a glorious sunny week in Britain it feels as if summer is finally here. As Andy Murray was winning Wimbledon, temperatures on Centre Court exceeded 40˚C in the sun. Northern Ireland has been hotter than Cancun. The papers have begun their annual drip-feed of stories about ‘tombstoning’ young people throwing themselves from cliffs and bridges into water. It is hard to believe that it was just a few weeks ago that the Met Office braced us for a ‘colder-than-average’ July and a decade of soggy summers. Not so hard to believe that they held a crisis meeting recently, to discuss why they have got the weather so wrong for so long.

Only this week has Britain had a small taste of the kind of temperatures the Met Office has been promising for over a decade. In September 2008, it forecast a trend of mild winters: the following winter turned out to be the coldest for a decade. Then its notorious promise of a ‘barbecue summer’ was followed by unrelenting rain. Last year, it forecast a ‘drier than average’ spring before another historic deluge that was accompanied by the coldest temperatures for 50 years. Never has the Met Office had more scientists and computing power at its disposal yet never has it seemed so baffled by the British weather.

But there is no paradox. It is precisely the power of this technology in harnessing climate scientists’ assumptions about global warming that has scuppered the Met Office’s predictions and made it a propagandist for global warming alarmism. It has become an accomplice to a climate change agenda that now affects where and how we travel, the way houses are built, the lights we read by. And its errors are no laughing matter to tourism industry chiefs in Cornwall and the north-west, who say the Met Office’s false warnings of dire summers cost hundreds of millions of pounds in cancelled bookings.

More here

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The tax farmer

"Musk’s greatest success is as a tax-farmer," fumed one commentator, "a fact glaringly overlooked by his hagiographers. And the Mars fetish is on a par with the mad religiosity of Jim Jones." "Musk is a free lunching huckster," concluded another serious thinker. "Kimball is a dolt."

I’ll leave that last comment along with the witty "What a ghastly prose style!" to one side. But I think it is worth pausing over the criticisms of Musk and the issue of government subsidies.

I’ll be brief about Musk himself. The chap Ashlee Vance portrays is a fascinating specimen: driven, talented, personally difficult and professionally demanding. Like Steve Jobs, with whom he is often compared, he is a perfectionist who can’t countenance anything less than total commitment and stellar performance. Some knowledgeable observers agree with another CJ commenter that Musk is "just another fraud." No evidence was adduced for that judgment in the comment, but it is perhaps worth noting that the animus it expresses finds echoes elsewhere. In a personal communication, a friend who is a successful investor noted in response to my piece that he had shorted Tesla and SolarCity and opined:
The Tesla bubble rivals the dot com excesses. Green technology + scam accounting + crony capitalism + dishonest CEO = Tesla.
I agree that that tabulation spells disaster. But does Tesla belong on the right side of the equals sign? I am going to leave the charges of "scam accounting" and dishonesty to one side because I have no way of adjudicating the charges. But in a larger sense, I think we can say that the proof will be in the pudding, which is still on the boil. Maybe it’s all an elaborate Wizard of Oz fabrication and Elon Musk is but a cackling jokester manipulating a congeries of shiny baubles. Maybe.

More here

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Med School students and stress

Before medical students earn their MDs and start the hard work of being doctors, they have to make it through medical schooland that can be a grueling time, according to the results of a new survey published in the journal Student BMJ.

In the survey, which was taken by 1,122 medical students in the UK, 30% said that they had a mental health condition or had been treated for one, during medical school. Of the students who had a mental problem, 80% said they felt a lack of support from their medical schools. About 15% of all the students who took the survey said that they had considered committing suicide at some point during their medical school careers.

The survey was small and therefore not necessarily representative of all doctors in training in that country; the number of people who completed it represent only about 2% of medical students in the UK, according to the paper. But the answers highlight the stress that some doctors experience. Fierce competition between students and unforgiving exam schedule are some of the reasons that mental health issues are so prevalent, the authors say.

More here

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Race, race, and more race

As they picked over dinner inside a Mexican restaurant, a few dozen Iowans heard Joaquin Castro paint an ominous portrait of life under a Republican president, particularly for the Latinos he said have become a "piñata" in the GOP race for the White House.

The Democratic congressman from San Antonio, visiting this key early voting state for the third time in his life and the first on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ticked off the potential consequences: an abrupt rollback of birthright citizenship and reversal of other measures meant to bring people in the country illegally out of the shadows of society.

"I would submit to you that would be the largest and biggest and most brutal American dragnet this country has ever seen, and it would be scary and it represents the worst of America and it's not befitting of those who seek the presidency," Castro warned. "We've got to make sure these people are not elected to any office, much less the highest office."

"If this is how they're talking before the election, can you imagine what happens if one of those guys is sitting in the Oval Office, issuing executive orders?" he later said. "All of the advances that we've made, all the progress we've made towards comprehensive immigration reform if these guys are elected, they are gone. It's done."

More here

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Karma is a terrible thing

The resentment built slowly in Hardik Patel. It took root when he watched his younger sister lose out on a college scholarship because of India’s version of affirmative action, a system of strict quotas that reserves nearly half of government jobs and public college slots for those who come from disadvantaged castes or tribes.

It deepened as he talked to other young Patels from his farming village, where it seemed as if everyone had a story of a job lost, a door closed, or a dream thwarted all because the Patel clan is considered too well off to qualify for inclusion in India’s quota system.

This spring, with help from a loose network of friends, Hardik Patel began organizing Patels all over Gujarat, a western state of 63 million people, including roughly 10 million Patels. Meeting at farmhouses and restaurants, connecting on Facebook and WhatsApp, they quickly turned their shared resentment into an audacious plan that culminated on Tuesday when Hardik Patel, a baby-faced 22-year-old, stood on a stage here before 500,000 wildly cheering people, almost all of them young Patel men, and took dead aim at an entrenched quota system that India’s leading politicians have spent decades defending and expanding as a means to win votes from one caste or another.

In an act of political jujitsu, Mr. Patel demanded that the Patels, who belong to the Patidar caste, be included in the very quota system they despiseknowing that if the wealthy and politically powerful Patels of Gujarat can qualify for special quotas, then so must every other caste in India.

More here

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Some people see racism everywhere

The words are a part of everyday conversation–"swinging" by an address and going out in the "field."

But in the twisted mind of Virginia gunman Vester Lee Flanagan II, they were pure racismand saying them became a death sentence for Alison Parker.

The 24-year-old white reporter, who was murdered on live TV along with her cameraman, used the phrases as an intern at WDBJ TV in Roanoke in 2012, according to an internal complaint filed by Flanagan, who was black.

"One was something about ‘swinging’ by some place; the other was out in the ‘field,’ " said the Jan. 21 report by assistant news director Greg Baldwin, which refers to Parker as Alison Bailey (her middle name).

Parker was never disciplined over the remarks, but Flanagan never forgot them.

Hours after gunning her and Adam Ward down during their broadcast Wednesday, Flanagan revealed in tweets that the comments were still fresh in his mind.

"Alison made racist comments," Flanagan posted while he was on the run from cops.

More here

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Hillary will be forced to give up her presidential bid

A conservative watchdog group predicts that Hillary Clinton could be forced to give up her presidential bid.

"I think Mrs. Clinton and her immediate circle, they are in trouble. It's not going to go away," Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch says of the Democratic front-runner.

Clinton continues to be mired in controversy over her use of personal email while secretary of state, with the FBI investigating her under the Espionage Act for sensitive information that may have been unsecure on the email server, Fox News reported last week.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is closing in on Clinton and there's speculation that Vice President Joe Biden will enter the race.

Sanders, a far-left socialist, is trailing Clinton by just seven points in Iowa, the first caucus in the presidential primaries, The Des Moines Register reported in a weekend story.

More here

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Louche, louche, and more louche

Hillary Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal had nothing but bad things to say about incoming House Speaker John Boehner on the day Republicans won back the House from Democrats in 2010, according to new emails released by the State Department late Monday.

"Boehner is despised by the younger, more conservative members of the House Republican Conference," Blumenthal wrote to Clinton. "They are repelled by his personal behavior."

"He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle," he added.

According to dictionary.com, "louche" means "dubious, shady, disreputable."

More here

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Get out of Jail cards

The municipal court judge in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday announced sweeping changes to the city’s court system, including an order to withdraw all arrest warrants issued in that city before December 31, 2014.

Municipal Court Judge Donald McCullin, who was appointed in June, also changed the conditions for pretrial release. According to a press release put out by Ferguson, all defendants will be given new court dates with alternative penalties like payment plans or community service.

Those caught for minor traffic violations should be less likely to end up behind bars because of McCullin. Under the new policy, they won’t be arrested but instead will be released on their own recognizance and given another court date.

These moves come after a year of often emotional protests and an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department after racial tensions exploded over the August 2014 shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, who is white.

More here

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Rape as punishment for someone else's crime, makes sense if you live in a third world sh*thole

The rights group Amnesty International has called on Indian authorities to ensure the safety of two young women after their local village council ordered them to be raped and paraded naked after their brother eloped with a married woman.

The unelected all-male village council in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, on July 30 ordered that a woman, 23, and her sister, 15, be raped and paraded naked with their faces blackened after their brother ran away with a woman from the village’s dominant Jat caste.

The sisters and their family, from the underprivileged Dalit caste, have since fled the village and are hiding in New Delhi.

Earlier this month, the older sister filed a petition before India’s Supreme Court seeking protection for her family so they can return to their home.

On August 18, the Supreme Court ordered Uttar Pradesh authorities to reply to the petition by September 15.

But one of their brothers told Amnesty: "After we went to the Supreme Court, the villagers are even more aggressive."

"In the panchayat [council], the Jat decision is final. They don’t listen to us. The police don’t listen to us. The police said anyone can be murdered now," he said.

More here

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Clinton's adviser doesn't like the Tea Party

Sid Blumenthal unloaded on the Tea Party in a formerly confidential three-page memo to Hillary Clinton.

The August 2010 memo from the trusted Clinton adviser, revealed Monday night after the State Department released a new batch of Clinton emails, provided the then-secretary of state with "some language on extremism and the Republican Party."

"The Republican Party today is a captive party. It is captive to the swamp fevers of the extreme right," Blumenthal wrote at the outset of the memo. "It is captive to its out-of-power desperation for political powerwilling to do and say anything to grab itwilling to use extremists to help climb back to powerwilling to give the extremists power. No one is speaking up for responsible conservatism within the Republican Party."

"If the Republicans don’t have the nerve to speak up for their own best heritage, then someone has to do it. The Republican Party is in a state of political disorder. Into the midst of its chaos a Trojan Horse has been thrust in the form of a self-proclaimed Tea Party as though the extremists behind it have something to do with the American Revolution and are not a stealth takeover operation of a confused political party funded by the same people who paid for the extremist movements against President Eisenhower and President Kennedy," he continued.

Blumenthal blasted the John Birch Society that is "praised today by Glenn Beck."

More here

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fiduciary responsibilities

In 2013, in a little-heralded case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the Obama Labor Department's attempt to punish voluntary retirement plan service providers. The DOL, under the direction of the controversial, radical leftist Tom Perez, had tried to force providers of 401(k), 403(b), IRA, and related services to adopt a massive new set of regulations known as "fiduciary" responsibilities.

The Seventh Circuit slammed the door shut on Labor and the Supreme Court thereafter declined to hear the appeal, which meant that the Obama administration had lost in the highest court in the land.

Of course for the "most transparent administration ever", that step simply meant that the court's opinion was to be rejected and that Obama would use his infamous pen to rule by executive fiat. After all, the ends justify the means, correct?

On August 24th, Perez and the Labor Department confirmed they are moving forward with new regulations that would repudiate the court's opinion. Even Obama's SEC Commissioner issued an ominous warning that the Labor Department's new regulations would unleash havoc and create "a mess."

More here 

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Body temperature is closer to 98.2 deg F.

Pioneering 19th century German physician Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich is widely known for championing the empirical observation of hospital patients and sagely spreading the idea that fever is a symptom, not a disease, but he is best known for persistently sticking a one-foot rod in the armpits of thousands of people.

The rod was a thermometer, of course, and the temperature measurements he recorded led him to reveal in his 1868 magnum opus, Dos Verhalten der Eigenwarme in Krankenheiten, a number that remains with us even today: 37 °C, or 98.6 °F, the average human body temperature.

Except that number is wrong.

In 1992, researchers at the University of Maryland used the latest equipment and employed rigorous methodology to determine the average human body temperature from a sample of 148 healthy men and women aged 18 through 40 years. Taking over 700 temperature readings spaced out at various times throughout the day, they found that the average human body temperature is closer to 98.2 °F, and, in a bold conclusion that flew in the face of 120 years of common knowledge, stated:

"Thirty-seven degrees centigrade (98.6 °F) should be abandoned as a concept relevant to clinical thermometry."

More here

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Green energy tax credits

There’s a new study out, under the imprimatur of the Energy Institute of the Haas School of Business in Berkeley, California, entitled The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits. As the title implies, it looks at who actually profited from the various "green energy" tax credits across the United States. SPOILER ALERT! It wasn’t the poor folks.

How much money are we talking about? Well, the paper says that from 2006 to 2012, the taxpayers have been on the hook for $18 BILLION DOLLARS to fund these subsidies, money that would have otherwise gone into the General Fund.

And just how much money is eighteen billion dollars? Here’s one way to think about eighteen gigabucks, regarding safe, clean drinking water.

Water Wells for Africa reports from their ongoing projects that on average it has cost them about $3.50 per person ($7,000 per well serving 2,000 people) to provide people with clean safe well water. So eighteen billion dollars is enough money to drill drinking water wells for three-quarters of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants. (Yes, I know that’s a gross simplification, some folks don’t live over a subterranean water table, and so on, but it is still enough money to drill the two and a half million wells that would be needed.)

So what did we do with this huge amount of money, enough wealth to truly change the lives of the world’s poor?

More here

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Fake ads on smartphones

There may be much more advertising in apps than it seems. Thousands of mobile applications are secretly running ads that can't be seen by users, defrauding marketers and slowing down smartphones, according to a new report by Forensiq, a firm that tracks fraud in online advertising.

Over the course of the 10-day study, one percent of all devices observed in the U.S. ran at least one app committing this kind of fraud; in Europe and Asia, two to three percent of devices encountered fake ads. Forensiq identified over 5,000 apps that display unseen ads on both Apple and Android devices. Advertisers are paying about $850 million for these ads each year, according to the report, and the apps with the highest rate of ad fraud can burn through 2 gigabytes of data per day on a single device.

The sheer amount of activity generated by apps with fake ads was what initially exposed the scam. Forensiq noticed that some apps were calling up ads at such a high frequency that the intended audience couldn’t possibly be actual humans. The apps, says Forensiq, were hitting these numbers by showing as many as five ads in the background for every ad visible to users. Some apps continued to scroll through ads even after the app had been closed.

Unlike many other types of malicious software, the apps also serve a legitimate purpose. Many of them are simple games or utilities, and they seem to have real users."It’s not Angry Birds or Candy Crush, but these are apps that people play and enjoy and some real effort went into developing," says David Sendroff, Forensiq’s founder and chief executive.

More here

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Closing the gap, fail

In the years since Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), there have been many well-intentioned but unsuccessful efforts to close America’s racial and ethnic gaps in academic achievement. At the time of Brown, 75 percent to 85 percent of the nation’s Black students (and 75 percent of Latinos) scored below the median for Whites on standardized academic tests. That has been the case ever since. Despite extensive government intervention and numerous educational reforms, the disparities remain. This persistent "achievement gap" has become one of the most comprehensively documented facts in American educational history.

"Closing the gap"that is, ending racial disparities through new educational methods or public policieshas been a recurring political leitmotif for the past half-century. It has been a ubiquitous and deeply contentious meme, which has played a role in virtually every national election.

And yet so many reformers take up "closing the gap" as if for the first time. They ignore the complex history of education reformers, which I have recounted in my most recent book, The Long Crusade (2015), and the important lessons that can be gleaned from what can only be considered a history of failures.

More here

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Chasing the Hispanic vote

There is no greater political miscalculation, or fraud, than the notion that Republicans have to "moderate" their positions on immigration reform in order to appeal to Hispanic voters. This fiction began with President George W. Bush's aborted attempt at comprehensive immigration reform in early 2007.

For almost a decade, the Republican party has interpreted losses at the ballot box as its inability to attract Hispanic voters. This, in turn, is blamed on segments of the conservative wing of the party whose rhetoric allegedly turns off Hispanic voters. When conservatives empower a Republican victory, as in 2004, 2010 or 2014, the win is dismissed as almost an aberration. Oh, that victory you have there is because Hispanics didn’t vote, Republican leaders imply.

When relaying their great Hispanic creation story, Republican myth-makers will point to a recent Gallup survey that found Hispanic voters really, really don’t like Donald Trump. Hispanic voters dislike Trump by a massive 51 points over those that do.

Given that Trump has been actively campaigned against Hispanic as a group, this is hardly surprising. More surprising is how little regard Hispanic voters seem to have for Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, who have made a more "moderate" tone on immigration the centerpieces of their appeal.

More than half of Hispanic voters aren’t even familiar with Marco Rubio, who was the public spokesman of amnesty legislation in the Senate two years ago. Rubio mentions his family’s migration to the United States in every political speech and virtually every media appearance. Yet, his net-favorability with Hispanics is just 5 points.

More here

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Big changes are coming

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, may have gone into effect with the flip of the calendar on Jan. 1, 2014, but it remains a work in progress for much of America, which is still acquainting itself with the new health law.

Obamacare represents a vast departure from the previous way consumers searched and paid for health insurance, as well as the method by which insurers picked their members. Under Obamacare consumers shop for health insurance in transparent exchanges that are designed to make purchasing decisions easier to understand. The exchanges are also in place to help spur competition among insurers, hopefully pushing premium prices down for the consumer, or at the very least curbing premium inflation. Lastly, new minimum plan benefit requirements were implemented, and insurers were told they could no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

The idea was radical, but thus far it appears to be paying off for millions of Americans. Statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services following the end of 2014-2015's open enrollment period show that more than 11 million Americans signed up for health insurance, many of whom qualified for subsidies to make their monthly payments more affordable. Furthermore, a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the uninsured rate in the U.S. (including Medicare enrollees) had dropped to 9.2% in the first quarter, the first time in history the uninsured rate in the U.S. was in the single-digits.

But Obamacare as a law is constantly evolving, whether or not you realize it. As we move toward the end of the year, it's important you're aware of three big changes that are coming to Obamacare in 2016.

More here
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The best science that money can buy

For over 15 years an inordinate proportion of government and corporate research grants have been awarded to universities for a single specific purpose: to prove human activities and the burning of fossil fuels are the main driving mechanisms causing global warming.

Unfortunately agendas by strong arm politics and the suppression of contrary views have become the primary tools used to manipulate the media, local and state governments (and in turn the general public) into believing what they want us to believe.

Many former research department heads, such as Dr. Reid Bryson (known as the Father of Climatology), openly state that research grants are driven by politics, and in order to receive a government grant you have to play the game. Topics for grants go with the political wind.

In the mid 1990s government grants were typically advertised in such a way to indicate that conclusions should show a connection to human activity as the cause for anthropogenic global warming. The result: most of the research published in journals became one-sided and this became the primary information tool for media outlets.

More here

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Anglo ghettos

Some of Sydney’s most prestigious private schools have become Anglo-Australian ghettos as the education of high school students across the city is increasingly segregated along ethnic lines.

Students with a language background other than English made up 52 per cent of all enrolments in Sydney’s public high schools in 2011 while the share in independent schools was just 22 per cent, research by the University of Technology Sydney’s Dr Christina Ho has found. The proportion in Catholic schools was 37 per cent. "Schools are becoming more segregated in terms of both class and ethnicity," Dr Ho said. "More and more students are going to schools that do not represent the range of people in their neighbourhood, but rather a select group."

The segregation trend was very pronounced on Sydney’s lower North Shore, home to some of Australia’s highest fee private schools. Ho identified 11 private high schools in the area where the proportion of students from language backgrounds other than English was at or below 20 per cent. Queenwood School for Girls in Mosman had the lowest share (2 per cent) followed by St Ignatius College Riverview in Lane Cove (5 per cent) and Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College in North Sydney (6 per cent).

However, in two selective public high schools in the area North Sydney Boys and North Sydney Girls the proportion of students from a language background other than English was above 90 per cent. At the nearby comprehensive public schools Chatswood High and Willoughby Girls High the proportion was 76 per cent and 57 per cent respectively. "You can walk between some of these schools in a few minutes and yet one is like a white bubble and the other is like a non-white bubble," Dr Ho told the Herald. "Its astounding that this can be happening in the same suburb like say, North Sydney."

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Secession

A group backing Texas' exit from the United States wants secession to appear on the 2016 primary ballot.

The Texas Nationalist Movement is petitioning for 75,000 signatures by Dec. 1 to stick a measure backing "Texas independence" on the state's March 2016 primary ballot.

"The State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation. FOR or AGAINST," the proposed ballot measure reads.

Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, told RT last year that numerous reasons justify Texas heading back to its days as a sovereign country.

"One of the big issues in here Texas right now... is obviously the border and immigration," Miller said. "Over the last eight years, issues related to the border and immigration have consistently polled as the number one concern for Texans, yet the federal government continues to do absolutely nothing substantial about addressing the border crisis or the immigration issues."

More here 
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Xe, Zir, and Xyr

University of Tennessee tells staff and students to stop using 'he' and 'she' - and switch to 'xe', 'zir' and 'xyr' instead

Gay rights official at Knoxville campus wrote new language instructions

Tells students and staff to use unusual, gender-neutral pronouns like 'xe'

Donna Braquet said that the new regime would make campus 'inclusive'

University clarified that guidelines are not compulsory after critics called them 'absurd'

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Skewed financial claims, at your expense

Advocates for mass-migration are using skewed financial claims to smear Donald Trump’s popular border proposals, which actually would help revive the near-bankrupt Social Security and Medicare programs.

For every illegal migrant household that leaves the United States under Trump’s plan, Americans would recoup nearly three-quarters of a million dollars ($719,350), according to 2010 data collected by Heritage scholar Robert Rector.

The lifetime savings accrued from one deported illegal household would provide funds for 125 low-income inner city students to receive the maximum Pell Grant award in 2015-2016 ($5,775); it could cover the cost of pre-kindergarten for 90 at-risk children (around $8,000 per child); or it could cover the one year cost of Medicaid for 124 enrollees ($5,790 based on FY2011 data).

But business interests want the migrants to stay. That’s because migrants help lower the cost of Americans’ wages, but also because the migrants spend their wages plus taxpayer aid at retail stories and rental agencies.

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Donald Trump has a fan in Brazil

The Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa calls Donald J. Trump a "racist imbecile." In Mexico, people are gleefully bashing Trump piñatas after his caustic remarks about Latino immigrants in the United States. In Guatemala, a liquor company is putting up posters of Mr. Trump using a term that, when translated charitably, describes him as a jackass.

Then there is Brazil, where Mr. Trump’s new 171-room stamp on the Rio de Janeiro skyline has generated so little uproar that his business partner feels perfectly comfortable trumpeting his contentious stance on immigration.

"I’m a Latin and I have to say, I didn’t get offended at all with his comments," said Paulo Figueiredo Filho, 33, a Brazilian real estate mogul and self-described conservative libertarian who is building the lavish new Trump Hotel here.

"I spend a lot of time in the U.S.," Mr. Figueiredo added, "and I have seen a lot of illegal immigrants that are causing problems, causing trouble in the country, and I actually agree with him."

The relative paucity of tension around Mr. Trump’s lavish new hotel venture herein contrast to reactions elsewhere in the Americas, where some media giants and other companies have cut ties to Mr. Trumpmay reflect how Brazil is changing, and how it is not.

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When girls are exposed to extremism

A schoolgirl "fully-radicalised" by Islamist propaganda must be removed from her family home, a High Court has ruled, comparing her parent’s treatment of her to child sex abuse.

A Family Division judge said the 16-year-old from east London must be taken away from her "deceitful parents".

Describing the girl as "intelligent, educated, ambitious", the judge said she had already attempted to travel to Syria to become a jihadi bride.

The family home was full of propaganda from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the terrorist group also known as Isil and Isis, including pictures of beheadings, material on bomb-making and how jihadists should "hide" their identity, the court heard.

Mr Justice Hayden, sitting in London, said the girl, who can only be referred to as ‘B’, was suffering "psychological and emotional harm" through exposure to extremism of a kind similar to that seen in sex abuse cases.

More here

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Activists in training

Growing up in wealthy Marin County, Yaqueline Rodas didn’t know many people like herself: a young immigrant from Guatemala in the country without legal status. She knew even fewer political activists.

So it was with amazement and a little anxiety that she found herself standing one morning in June in a circle with 82 strangers, each of whom had also been brought to the U.S. illegally as a child, and each of whom was now officially an activist-in-training.

It was the first day of Dream Summer, an annual program that brings young immigrants from across the country to Los Angeles for a 10-week crash course designed to produce the next generation of immigrant rights leaders.

As the students sipped coffee and exchanged shy introductions in a meeting room in the basement of a Koreatown church, Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center, which organized the program, explained the objective.

"It is to build a powerful social justice movement that will transform this country," Wong said. He cracked a smile: "No pressure."

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reparations

If you want to shut down a conversation about race, just say the word "reparations." Even black Americans are divided over the idea that money can compensate for the vestiges of an evil institution that ended 150 years ago; only 60 percent think the government should make cash payments to descendants of slaves. White Americans, on the other hand, have reached a consensus: In a YouGov poll taken shortly after the Atlantic published Ta-Nehisi Coates’s viral feature, "The Case for Reparations," 94 percent were opposed.

Yet a year of protests over disparate law enforcement practices, a decade of particularly sharp income inequality and centuries of imparity in America show that racial reconciliation is impossible without some kind of broad-based, systemic reparations. Recognizing the original sin is simply not enough; we must also make moral and material amends for our nation’s treatment of African American citizens. But if a pecuniary answer can’t fix the structural disadvantageand it can’twhat can?

Thanks to a compromise between Southern slaveholders who wanted enslaved blacks counted in the population, for the sake of boosting Southern congressional representation, and Northern whites who didn’t, the framers enshrined the three-fifths clause in the Constitution. This agreement set the census value of a slave as 60 percent of the value of a free person. Even after the 13th Amendment neutralized the political (and moral) compromise by abolishing slavery, Jim Crow laws, which contravened the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equality, stopped blacks from voting. The just answer today is to invert that ratio. If black Americans were once counted as three-fifths of a person, let each African American voter now count as five-thirds.

More here

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Quote of the day

Jack Lew, speaking at the Brookings Institution in July, confidently assured that Americans were immune from weakening markets in China.

"I will say that China’s markets still are pretty much separated from world markets," the secretary of Treasury, said. "They're, obviously, moving towards being more integrated, but right now they're not."
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Pell Grant students not graduating

Billions of taxpayer dollars go to college students who never end up with a diploma in their hands, a new report found.

Pell grantswhich are given to low-income families and, unlike student loans, do not need to be paid backare the costliest education initiative in the nation. But little official data exists on whether they are a good investment, according to the education watchdog Hechinger Report.

Education Department Undersecretary Ted Mitchell last month lauded Pell grants as "one of the key levers that we have" to increase college completion rates. But an analysis published Monday by Hechinger revealed that Pell recipient graduation rates are often considerably lower than the overall graduation rateeven six years after a student starts college.

To make matters worse, the government keeps no official tally of what proportion of those who receive the grants end up getting degreesdespite the fact that money spent on Pell grants has quadrupled since 2000.

"There’s two scandals here. We have spent over the last decade one quarter of a trillion dollars on Pell grants, and if you ask the federal government what percentage of those kids graduate from college, they can’t tell you," said Richard Vedder, director of the non-profit Center for College Affordability and Productivity. "The second scandal is as far as we can estimate, that graduation rate is embarrassingly low."

More here

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Jeb Bush, confused candidate

The immigration debate currently consuming the presidential race found its way to this border destination Monday with a sometimes contentious visit by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who panned the proposals of Donald Trump but defended his use of a term the billionaire has injected into the 2016 race.

Speaking with reporters inside a Mexican restaurant, Bush grew visibly irritated when pressed about the term "anchor babies," a controversial label for children born in the United States to parents who are in the country illegally. He clarified in English and Spanish that his original use of the phrase had more to do with "organized efforts taking advantage" of birthright citizenship, not necessarily by Latinos seeking to live in the United States.

"Frankly, it's more related to Asian people coming into our country," Bush said, instantly setting off another round of Democratic outrage.

Bush showed flashes of frustration as questions about the label largely overshadowed an apparent effort to use his border trip to portray his immigration ideas as more thoughtful than Trump, who has proposed ending birthright citizenship. On "anchor babies," Bush said it was "ludicrous" for political opponents, including the campaign of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, to suggest he was using a derogatory term, nodding to the fact he is "immersed in the immigrant experience."

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Transforming the police, leftist style

As we’ve previously observed, the Obama jihad to fundamentally transform America's police, spearheaded by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, proceeds from the premise that police departments are corrupt institutions, beset by a culture of racism and law-breaking. This week, after a federal appeals court’s exposé of a breathtaking prosecutorial conspiracy to deprive indicted cops of their civil rights, and then cover it up, it is again time to ask: Which is the corrupt institution beset by a culture of racism and law-breaking the nation’s police, or the Justice Department, which presumes to tame them?

To remember how we got here: Under the stewardship of Eric Holder, and now Loretta Lynch, Justice pounces on every tragedy that Al Sharpton’s shock troops mau-mau into a racial crisis. Inevitably, the racism angle melts away under the spotlight of investigation, but that does not stop DOJ. Exploiting the intimidating power of its bottomless budget out of which the Republican-controlled Congress has not sliced a thin dime Justice extorts municipalities with the threat of prosecutions and costly civil suits until they say "Uncle," agreeing to adopt Obama-compliant policing. (Recall that in 1997, when former terrorist Bill Ayers penned a polemic that likened the American justice system to South Africa under apartheid, thenstate senator Obama blurbed it as "a searing and timely account.")

Predictably, the result is police paralysis, a condition Heather Mac Donald diagnoses as the "Ferguson effect." It has led to rising crime across the nation, particularly in municipalities that have signed consent decrees (i.e., that have surrendered on the Civil Rights Division’s terms). The principal victims are minority communities that bear the brunt of law enforcement’s retreat.

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Birth tourism

Peter and Ellie Yang," the subjects of Benjamin Carlson’s fascinating new Rolling Stone essay, "Welcome to Maternity Hotel California," paid $35,000 to have their second child in the United States. In 2012 Chinese state media reported 10,000 "tourist births" by Chinese couples in the United States; other estimates skew as high as 60,000.

Following Donald Trump’s call for an end to birthright citizenship, and renewed attention on "anchor babies," Carlson’s exposé on "birth tourism" seems to confirm that the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment works as a magnet for at least some parents across the globe. But just how big a magnet is it?

According to Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) legal policy analyst Jon Feere, who testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security in April, between 350,000 and 400,000 children are born annually to an illegal-alien mother residing in the United States as many as one in ten births nationwide. As of 2010, four out of five children of illegal aliens residing in the U.S. were born here some 4 million kids. Reporting that finding, the Pew Research Center noted that, while illegal immigrants make up about 4 percent of the adult population, "because they have high birthrates, their children make up a much larger share of both the newborn population (8 percent) and the child population (7 percent) in this country."

The cost of this is not negligible. Inflation-adjusted figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that a child born in 2013 would cost his parents $304,480 from birth to his eighteenth birthday. Given that illegal-alien households are normally low-income households (three out of five illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children live at or near the poverty line), one would expect that a significant portion of that cost will fall on the government. And that’s exactly what‘s happening. According to CIS, 71 percent of illegal-alien headed households with children received some sort of welfare in 2009, compared with 39 percent of native-headed houses with children. Illegal immigrants generally access welfare programs through their U.S.-born children, to whom government assistance is guaranteed. Additionally, U.S.-born children of illegal aliens are entitled to American public schools, health care, and more, even though illegal-alien households rarely pay taxes.

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