Monday, September 26, 2016

Trump's plan is perfectly feasible

A former Mexican foreign secretary says that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plans to deport millions of illegal immigrants and force Mexicans to pay for a wall along the southern are "perfectly feasible."

Jorge Castañeda, Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs from 2000 to 2003, told an audience gathered at the Hudson Institute in Washington that there are several ways in which Trump could make good on his immigration-related promises.

President Barack Obama, despite his amnesty rhetoric, has deported 2 million illegal immigrants during his time in the White House, Castañeda noted, adding that Trump should have no trouble doubling that number.

More here


(I question the claim that Obama has deported 2 million illegals. Doesn't sound true to me.)

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No-go zones in Sweden

Police in Sweden continue to lose control of more suburbs in major Swedish cities as they have now admitted that there are more than 55 no-go areas where they have major problems enforcing the law.

According to a new report, crime rates are rising sharply in the no-go areas with police unable to react to crimes. Cases of thefts, sexual assaults, and gang violence are rising and Sweden’s top police authority notes the significant increase of migration in the past year and the number of crimes committed have seen a parallel rise, reports Kronen Zeitung

One case was highlighted to show how the police are having a tough time solving crimes. Earlier this year multiple cars were set on fire by organized migrant gangs in the multicultural border town of Malmo, sitting at the Danish frontier and the first place of arrival for thousands of newcomers who come to Sweden by foot, car, and train. Police say that although over 70 cars were burned over multiple days, they’ve only been able to catch one suspect.

Sweden has become so violent and unstable in these areas that even migrants from war-torn countries like Somalia are considering returning to their own countries. One migrant who fled Somalia 20 years ago said simply that Sweden was a "war zone."

More here

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George Soros behind Charlotte protests

Confirming what many had suspected when viewing the sudden and intense collapse into anarchy that occurred in Charlotte this week, Todd Walther, spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police told CNN's Erin Burnett:

"This is not Charlotte that's out here. These are outside entities that are coming in and causing these problems. These are not protestors, these are criminals."

"We've got the instigators that are coming in from the outside. They were coming in on buses from out of state. If you go back and look at some of the arrests that were made last night. I can about say probably 70% of those had out-of-state IDs. They're not coming from Charlotte."

As shocking as this statement is, it should not be a total surprise. 18 months ago, as the riots flared in Ferguson, there was one man pulling the strings of this 'domestic false flag'... George Soros. In an apparent effort to "keep the media’s attention on the city and to widen the scope of the incident to focus on interrelated causes not just the overpolicing and racial discrimination narratives that were highlighted by the news media in August," liberal billionaire George Soros donated $33million to social justice organizations which helped turn events in Ferguson from a local protest into a national flashpoint.

More here

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Liar, liar, pants on fire

President Obama said Saturday that he had learned only last week that Hillary Rodham Clinton used a private email system for her official correspondence while she was secretary of state.

In an interview with Bill Plante of CBS News, Mr. Obama said the policy of his administration was to "encourage transparency" and that he was pleased that Mrs. Clinton had instructed the State Department to turn over her emails for archiving.

"My emails, the Blackberry I carry around, all those records are available and archived," Mr. Obama said, according to an excerpt from the interview released Saturday evening. "I’m glad that Hillary’s instructed that those emails about official business need to be disclosed."

In the portion of the interview that was released, Mr. Obama did not address how he could have avoided noticing that Mrs. Clinton was sending emails from a "clintonemail.com" address throughout the years she served in his administration. Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email system was first reported by the New York Times last week.

Asked how Mrs. Clinton’s email practices met the standards of transparency that he has repeatedly called for, Mr. Obama said that "the fact that she is going to be putting them forward will allow us to make sure that people have the information they need."

More here

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Blacked out

On my way home last night, I saw a couple of young black women on a corner, holding signs that had "Black Lives Matter" on them with some other writing. I think one of them had something about Charlotte, but I don’t know for sure. They were hoping to get the attention of drivers, but it seemed like no one was paying any attention. As traffic slowed, I did not see any heads turning their way, but in the city, drivers look straight ahead out of habit. That way the bums and panhandlers are not encouraged to molest you.

I caught the light so I was sitting at their intersection with a chance to observe for a few minutes. They stepped into the street and starting taunting the white drivers by holding their signs up against their windows and chanting something. When young black women get worked up, their voices reach a pitch close to a dog whistle. It’s just high pitched echolalic babbling, that is intended to annoy, rather than convey information. I had my windows up so I could make out nothing. My guess is it was just some gibberish they saw on-line or on TV.

Before they got to me, the light changed and they had to retreat back to the curb, which was a surprise. In the ghetto, you run into this behavior a lot. Black females will wait for the light to change and then saunter into the cross walk, giving drivers the business, making them wait as they stroll across the street. It is just one of the many hassles that comes with dealing with people in the ghetto. At some level, they know the rest of us would just as soon ignore the ghetto entirely, so they spend their energy making that impossible. ...

Black America does not have a race problem. It ain’t honkies robbing, looting and killing in the ghetto. They don’t have a cop problem. The cops shoot fewer black offenders than white offenders. They don’t have a gun problem either. Black America has a black guy problem. They have far too many black guys robbing, looting and killing, almost always doing so at the expense of blacks. They won’t let me fix that problem, so stop demanding I feel bad about it. I’m done. I’m all blacked out.

More here

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Dreadlocks

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Catastrophe Management Solutions, effectively ruling that refusing to hire someone because of their dreadlocks is legal.

The lawsuit was filed by the EEOC on behalf of Chastity Jones, whose job offer was rescinded by Catastrophe Management Solutions, located in Mobile, Alabama. According to the case file, Jeannie Wilson, a human resources manager for CMS, commented on Jones’ dreadlocks during a private hiring meeting to discuss scheduling conflicts, telling Jones, "they tend to get messy, although I’m not saying yours are, but you know what I’m talking about." Wilson told Jones that CMS would not bring Jones on board with dreadlocks, terminating the job offer.

In their suit, the EEOC claimed that this was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s Title VII, arguing that dreadlocks are a "racial characteristic" that have been historically used to stereotype African-Americans as "not team players" and as unfit for the workplace.

More here

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Odds and ends

Muslims are now the most unpopular group in the United States, a new study by sociologists at the University of Minnesota has found. According to the findings, published in the Oxford Journals, Americans' disapproval of Muslims has increased from about 26 percent 10 years ago to 45.5 percent in 2016.

Donald Trump’s haters always end up being complete hypocrites. Take, for instance, this Hispanic activist who was oh-so offended when Trump said that Mexico was sending criminals and rapists across the US Southern Border, along with drugs and illegal guns. Now, the tables have turned.

George H. W. Bush is said to be voting for Hillary. (Doesn't surprise me, he's still pissed that Jeb! didn't get the nomination. And he was one of the first to proclaim the New World Order.)

Haha. Headline of the day.... Undercover Trump Supporter Crashes Hillary Event -- Only to Find Out He's the Only Attendee

Mayor de Blasio of New York City says Islamic terror is "vanishingly rare" and we should allow more Muslim immigrants.

Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea all referred to their Secret Service detail as pigs.

Carlos Lozada of the Washington Post reviewed the new book written by Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine...."By the time I finished this book, I resented its existence."

Hillary is hardly mentioning Climate Change now that Bernie Sanders has withdrawn from the race. (She knows it's all a big scam)

80% of Swedish police consider quitting over migrant danger.

The stranglehold that the Left have on American education strives to ensure that no part of history that might embarrass the Left becomes generally known.

There’s little doubt at this point that members of Team Clinton should have been charged with obstruction of justice, in addition to violation of federal law with regards to classified information. If we had anything resembling the rule of law, most of Team Clinton would be in Federal prison working on deals where they roll on the old bag. Instead, there’s a very real chance she ends up in the White House.

Obama promised to bring change. And now "Rioting is the New Normal."

Immigration drains the government, sapping as much as $296 billion a year from federal, state, and local taxpayers while depressing wages, at least in the short run.....

Clueless Hillary...."Why aren't I 50 points ahead of Trump?"

In sub-Saharan Africa, over 600 million people almost twice the population of the United States, and 70% of the region’s population still have no or only limited, sporadic electricity. Over 80% of its inhabitants still relies on wood, dung and charcoal fires for most or all of their heating and cooking needs, resulting in extensive smoke and pollution in their homes and villages.

A recent poll in Germany shows that 57% of its citizens are afraid of the Islamization of their country.

If the U.S. is so racist why aren't Asians complaining about oppression and discrimination? They are very successful unlike the more militant minorities who feel slighted at every little thing.

According to the Wall Street Journal....A sharp drop in the price of oil, Saudi Arabia’s main revenue source, has forced the government to withdraw some benefits this yearraising the cost of living in the kingdom and hurting its middle class, a part of society long insulated from such problems.

Ted Cruz...."I will vote for Donald Trump."

Hillary...."Love Trumps Hate."
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Quote of the day

Whitey hasn't kept blacks down. Whitey props 'em up and begs them to succeed. They don't. Perhaps they can't. There's a typification making the rounds that goes, "Give whites a pile of bricks and they'll make a city, give blacks a city and they'll make a pile of bricks". I'd be happy if it were otherwise. The evidence says it's not.

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Obama's Syria strategy

The devastation of Syria, according to the Guardian, will be Obama's legacy but it won't entirely be the story of naive neglect. Some pundits think active incompetence must have played a part too. After all, when the administration conceived of an alliance with Russia as a way the conflict could be shifted to the negotiating table, any reasonable person could have foreseen the possible dangers. Events proved the administration completely miscalculated the way in which Putin and Assad would act. How could they not have foreseen it?

"The crux of the deal is a US promise to join forces with the Russian air force to share targeting and coordinate an expanded bombing campaign against Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, which is primarily fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad." To say Obama was stabbed in the back would only be to repeat Samantha Power's belated regret at Putin's "uniquely cynical and hypocritical stunt".

Obama should have seen it coming but didn't. All too frequently he never does. Noting this, Charles Lister, writing at Foreign Policy, headlines his piece "Obama’s Syria Strategy Is the Definition of Insanity." He says "none of this should come as a surprise, even as the consequences are potentially devastating."

More here

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Trump Derangement Syndrome

People are losing it over Donald Trump. The people I’m talking about are mostly liberals and Democrats who are watching with horror as the election they happily thought Hillary Clinton had put away in August has become a squeaker in September. Their attitude is that any word uttered about the election that doesn’t serve as an open denunciation of Trump is an implicit endorsement of Trump.

Let someone mention the bad behavior of the Clinton Foundation and the response is likely to be a shriek of outrage that you didn’t say something worse about the Trump Foundation. Say that Hillary is a liar, which she is, and immediately you are told Trump is a WORSE LIAR!!!!

I’m enjoying this meltdown. I’m sorry if that’s mean. I can’t help myself. For months last year when Republicans and conservatives were raising alarm bells about his rise, the general response from Democrats and liberals was a certain measure of unholy glee at what they perceived to be the collapse and self-destruction of the GOP.

It’s not that they thought Trump was a good thing, but that as a bad thing, he was delivering to distressed Republicans and conservatives a just punishment for their sins.

Well, now they know. Now they know what it feels like to see Trump defy gravity to some degree and seem to lap a candidate they find acceptable at worst and at best a world-historical agent of change.

More here

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Airbus, a market distortion

Ten years after the Bush Administration brought a case before the World Trade Organization alleging persistent use of illegal subsidies by European aircraft maker Airbus, a WTO panel today confirmed the claim, finding that none of the jetliners Airbus makes would likely have been brought to market without the use of banned subsidies. In effect, the WTO found that Airbus has been a market distortion since its inception in 1970, stealing half of the global jetliner market from U.S. producers and destroying tens of thousands of U.S. jobs in the process.

Two of the three U.S. companies that built jetliners when Airbus began operations have since exited the business, leaving only Boeing to compete against the European company. The scale of illegality perpetrated by four European governments in subsidizing Airbus is indicated by a United States Trade Representative estimate that the U.S. may be entitled to as much as $10 billion in retaliatory duties annually to rectify the damage Airbus has done. Since Airbus has now exhausted its appeals in the WTO process, the next step is for Washington seek authority to levy those duties.

The U.S. began challenging European use of aircraft subsidies in 1992 before the WTO was even estabished. The European governments supporting Airbus initially agreed to reduce their subsidies to a third of aircraft development costs (most of the subsidies took the form of "launch aid"), and over time phase out the remaining payments. However, no such phase-out occurred, so in 2006 the U.S. Trade Representative brought a case before the WTO alleging illegal trade practices resulting in extensive harm to U.S. suppliers. That case has now been definitively upheld.

More here

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Government can't even get their stories straight

The number of individuals who were supposed to have been deported but were instead granted citizenship is far higher than was initially reported by media covering the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s office report on the matter.

On Monday, the Inspector General reported that 858 individuals from "special interest countries"meaning countries that are considered to be "of concern to the national security" of the USwere supposed to have been deported but were instead granted US citizenship.

But the truth is the report is even worse than reported, with more than 1,800 individuals naturalized who should have been deported from the country.

A reason for the underplaying of the number may have been the report’s focus, which was whether the US Citizenship and Immigration Services was using digital fingerprints effectively. The Inspector General determined that the agency granted citizenship to 858 individuals who had been ordered deported or removed under another identity but "their digital fingerprint records were not available" during the naturalization process.

More here

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Separate but equal? What goes around....

Last year’s college news was about demands for safe spaces, trigger warnings and bans on insensitivity. This year’s college news is about black student demands for segregated campus housing and other racially segregated campus spaces and programs. I totally disagree with these calls by black students. It’s a gross dereliction of duty for college administrators to cave to these demands, but I truly sympathize with the problems that many black college students face. For college administrators and leftist faculty, the actual fate of black students is not nearly so important as the good feelings they receive from a black presence on campus. Let’s examine some of the problem.

A very large percentage of all incoming freshmen have no business being admitted to college. According to College Board’s 2015 report, the average combined SAT score for white students was 1576 out of a possible 2400. Black student SAT scores, at 1277, were the lowest of the seven reported racial groups. The College Board considers an SAT score of 1550 as the benchmark that indicates a readiness for college-level work. Only 32 percent of white students scored at or above proficient in math, and just 7 percent of black students did. Forty-six percent of white test takers scored proficient in reading, and 17 percent of blacks did. The ACT, another test used for admission to college, produced similar results. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports, in an article titled "A Major Crisis in College Readiness for Black Students," that 34 percent of whites who took the ACT were deemed college-ready in all four areasEnglish, mathematics, reading and science. For blacks, it was only 6 percent.

These are significant differences in academic preparation between white and black students. I am sure that the differences give black students feelings of inferiority and being out of place. Black college students across the country have demanded segregated housing and other "safe spaces" on campuses designated for students of color. Students calling for segregated spaces do so because they allege their campuses are oppressive, are discriminatory and represent institutionalized racism. For decades, colleges have purchased peace by creating whole departments of ethnic, diversity and multicultural studies. All too often, these "studies" are about propaganda and not serious education. Plus, they provide students with an opportunity to get an easy A.

More here

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WTF? Concealing explosives in trail cameras

A man shot and killed during a confrontation with authorities Thursday night in Harlan County was previously accused of concealing explosives in trail cameras and putting them in the woods.

Mark Sawaf, 39, of Harlan had been indicted by a federal grand jury in July and was scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 13, according to court documents. He was ordered to remain in custody until trial and was indicted on eight charges, including owning and making unregistered destructive devices.

ATF had received information that Sawaf had placed more explosives in the woods and had gone with him to find them, Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Jacobs said Friday. ATF asked Lexington police and fire officials for help because of "an expanded area" that needed to be searched and the scale of the operation, state police said. The state police hazardous devices unit was also asked to assist.

Sawaf died at the scene, according to state police and the Harlan County coroner’s office.

The group had found several trail cameras in the woods before the shooting, and bomb technicians searched the area Friday for more explosives, Jacobs said. Trail cameras are usually affixed to trees and are motion-activated to take photos of deer and other animals, but Sawaf allegedly had modified some with explosive material.

More here

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American inventors

If you go to Google and type in American inventors you get back from Google pictures of the top American inventors of all time.

The #1 American inventor of all time is Lewis Howard Latimer, who, I just learned, worked with both Edison and Bell.

Thomas Edison is in 6th place and a well-tanned Alexander Graham Bell in 9th place, with ten black inventors rounding out the top dozen.

In the second dozen, Samuel Morse is 19th, Eli Whitney 20th, and Ben Franklin 23rd. Everybody else is black.

The Wright Brothers don’t make the top 50 American inventors, according to Google.

More here

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Quote of the day

"We live in a country run by people who tell us that if a man puts on a dress and says he’s a woman we are supposed to take him at his word. But, if a man goes on a murderous rampage in the name of Allah, and ISIS claims responsibility, we shouldn’t draw conclusions."

---Susan Stamper Brown

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We are the world

When Viorel Romanescu last year fled his Romanian village, he didn’t follow the well-trod path to Western Europe like his fellow Roma. Instead, he sold his pig and horse, and bought a plane ticket to Mexico.

He walked across the border from Tijuana, surrendered to U.S. border agents and applied for asylum.

"I decided to leave because I had problems surviving," Romanescu, 52, said through an interpreter at a church in Riverside, California, pointing to injuries on his scalp and upper lip that he said were inflicted by police. "We could not bear the way we were looked down on."

This year, almost 1,800 Romanians have been apprehended at the southern U.S. border, up from fewer than 400 in all of last year and just a few dozen in 2008, according to government statistics. They are propelled by an anti-immigrant wave sweeping Europe and pushing the Roma across the Atlantic Ocean.

The traditionally itinerant group, persecuted for centuries, is facing less-tolerant governments as more than 1 million migrants and refugees from Syria and other countries overwhelm the region. A resurgence of neo-Nazism from Romania to Italy has seen their camps demolished, businesses firebombed, neighborhoods walled off and children beaten.

More here

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Meet the Fraudster

Meet the newest factory worker: the fraudster.

In the latest iteration of the Meet The Fraudster Podcast Series, Forter fraud analyst Gilit Saporta takes PYMNTS inside another class of cybercriminals, those known simply as the "factory fraudsters."

The name conjures up, as Karen Webster noted, rows of workers populating a literal factory floor, with activity humming day in and day out in this case, on the prowl to lure merchants into fraudulent transactions for goods to be sent, yet no legitimate method of payment received.

And, concurred Saporta, that’s pretty much what the situation is.

One wrinkle here that belies the typical fraudster profile: These workers can actually garner the fraud expert’s sympathy since they are unsophisticated, fairly beginner-type fraudsters who are typically living in third-world countries. They’re committing fraud, using beat-up, old-fashioned laptops, because they have no other reasonable options of making a living for their family. Training is minimal, and these fraudsters do as they are told by the more experienced fraudsters who put them to work.

But, Saporta said, these factory fraudsters and their lack of sophistication is often a screen for the factory "bosses" who are perpetrating more nefarious actions.

More here

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Was Oswald Spengler right?

I owe the excerpt from Oswald Spengler below to statistician Briggs. It is indeed interesting. Spengler was a popular German thinker of the early 20th century. He thought that European civilization had just about reached its limit and was bound to fall while some other civilization arose. The gutless reaction to Islamic hostility in the Western world today certainly does bring Spengler to mind.

And it is notable that Spengler identifies socialism as the power-hungry but ultimately nihilistic force that is destroying the countries it dominates. His diagnosis of socialism as inherently totalitarian has certainly been borne out by subsequent events in Russia and Germany.

But in an indirect way, Spengler was responsible for the rise of Nazism. He never was a Nazi and rejected its antisemitism but his diagnosis of his own society as dying from its own weakness and lack of self-confidence did plant in people's minds the hope that a strong leader would emerge who would restore the national will and self-confidence -- make it great again -- and thus rescue European civilization from its decline. And we all know who came along in Germany to offer just that.

Hitler was of course an idol who had feet of clay but it is not unreasonable to hope that a new leader with fewer flaws could arise. And that seems to be where we are now. No matter how often Muslim terrorists murder us, our Left-dominated leaders refuse to do anything about it. And the rise of Trump has exposed the great discontent among the people about the lack of reaction to Islamic supremacism.

More here

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U.S. helping Mexico build wall on their southern border

President Barack Obama has slammed Donald Trump’s proposal to make Mexico pay for a border wall, but his own administration is spending $75 million for border security on Mexico’s southern border.

Since 2013, the Obama administration, through a partnership with the Mexican government known as the Mérida Initiative, has already spent at least $15 million helping Mexico secure its southern border, according to a nonpartisan Congressional Research Service report.

"With U.S. support, the Mexican government has been implementing a southern border security plan since 2013 that has involved the establishment of 12 advanced naval bases on the country’s rivers and three security cordons that stretch more than 100 miles north of the Mexico-Guatemala and Mexico-Belize borders," Congressional Research Service wrote in a February 2016 report.

More here

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Boys getting short end of the stick

I am obsessed with gender issues, and thus am constantly surfing the Internet, using various Google combinations to see what goodies I can find. My main problem is that after years of being a strong supporter of feminism, I discovered, nearly 25 years ago, that it was boys much more than girls who were struggling in school, not to mention in other even more significant ways for example, committing suicide at around four times the rate that girls were. Having three sons (the youngest of whom was 12 when I made this discovery), I realized that my children were being ignored. Having later been blessed by the birth of four grandsons, my concern about boys as a group has only increased.

But the concern of our country hasn’t.

For example, in spite of data overwhelmingly showing the problems that boys struggle with, there is no White House Council on Boys and Men to parallel the one established for women and girls very soon after President Obama took office this in spite of years of hard work by a bipartisan network of experts who have pushed for one (for full disclosure, I am part of this group). And the situation I wrote about here more than six years ago, in piece titled "Boys and Young Men: A New Cause for Liberals," has barely changed. If you do see an article or book in support of boys or men, it is usually by someone known to be a conservative or it is on a conservative website. Consider the first well-known book on this issue, The War Against Boys, in 2000, by Christina Hoff Sommers (now with the American Enterprise Institute). Or a 2015 article in the National Review, titled "Why Do More Women Than Men Go to College?" My fellow liberals continue to focus almost exclusively on women and girls.

More here

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So many shooters, Doomed People

The man who went on a deadly shooting rampage in Philadelphia after he shot an officer in an ambush had 16 prior arrests and left at the scene a "rambling" note expressing hatred for cops, according to reports Saturday.

Philadelphia police said Nicholas Glenn, 25, was armed with a 9mm Ruger semi-automatic handgun when he killed one person and wounded five others, including two police officers, overnight Friday. He was shot and killed by cops in an alley shootout.

"Obviously, he was hell-bent on hurting a lot of people," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Saturday afternoon.

Fox 29 Philadelphia said Glenn had been arrested 16 times in the past. Ross would only say that Glenn was well-known to police.

Ross said Glenn’s note was found at the scene in an envelope addressed "Doomed People."

More here

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New methods of reproduction

For 100 million years, all our ancestors reproduced basically the same way. A male reproductive organ deposited sperm into a female reproduction organ, where it could fertilize eggsleading to baby ancestral tetrapods, mammals, primates, and eventually humans. The past 60 years have seen this begin to change, first with clinically available artificial insemination and then with in vitro fertilization (IVF).

In the United States today, these two techniques lead to about 100,000 births each year, roughly 2.5 percent of the 4 million children born annually. Within the next few decades, that percentage will skyrocket. Developments in bioscience, galloping forward in most cases for reasons having nothing to with reproduction, will combine to make IVF cheaper and much easier.

These new techniques will allow safe and easy embryo selectionbut they will also open doors to genetically edited babies, "their own" genetic babies for same-sex couples, babies with a single genetic parent, and maybe babies from artificial wombs.

Starting in the next few decades, these new methods of reproduction will give people new choices. They will also raise a host of vexing legal and ethical questions, questions we need to start discussing.

Closest at hand is greatly increased genetic selection of embryos. For more than 25 years, clinicians have been able to take cells from embryos growing in vitro in petri dishes, do genetic tests on those cells, and use the test results to decide which embryos to transfer to a womb for possible pregnancy. This process, known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, led to about 2,500 births last year in the US.

More here

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Plan Columbia

The guerrillas summoned Camilo Gómez to the jungle on Dec. 24, ruining his Christmas.

It was 2001, and Gómez was the Colombian government’s chief negotiator in failing peace talks with the rebels. He grudgingly said goodbye to his family in Bogota and went to meet with the two most powerful men in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. As usual, he went alone, like an envoy from a foreign nation.

The Marxist rebel army was near the height of its power then, dominating a third of the country with nearly 20,000 fighters. Gómez said he met on a riverbank with FARC founder Manuel "Sureshot" Marulanda and legendary guerrilla commander "Mono Jojoy." But this time, their usual swagger was missing.

Colombia’s long conflict was changing. The Americans were intervening. They called it "Plan Colombia."

"I guess we’re really [screwed] now," Jojoy told Gómez.

The FARC’s leaders had been using the negotiations as a stalling tactic, Gómez said. Now the game was over.

More here

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Terror attacks are part and parcel of urban life

On a trip to New York City, London’s Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan has said terror attacks are "part and parcel" of urban life, just hours after an Islamic terrorist bombed the city.

Mr. Khan also seized the opportunity to launch an explicit attack on the Brexit vote and rise of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He compared to two movements, claiming they are both driven by "scapegoating".

 "All these problems will not be solved by voting to leave the EU or voting for I don’t want to name the candidate a president of the USA," he said.

He said that he and Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York, "believe in building bridges rather than walls" and that there are leaders "who address people’s concerns" and others "who play on people’s fears".

More here

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Voters get revenge on Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel’s party has made historic losses in elections for the Berlin state parliament after a mayor warned of a resurgence of Nazis in Germany.

Many voters turned to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which with 13 per cent of the vote will enter the German capital’s assembly for the first time, according to initial projections.

Before the election, mayor Michael Müller had warned that a double-digit total for the AfD would ‘be seen around the world as a sign of the return of the rightwing and the Nazis in Germany’.

Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union polled at 18 per centa drop of 5 points.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPU) dropped 6 per cent to 22, but remain the largest party, and are expected to ditch the CDU from their current coalition.

It comes as Mrs Merkel admitted she wished she could ‘turn back time’ to prepare herself over the refugee crisis that unfolded in 2015.

On Saturday Merkel announced plans to jettison her ‘we can do this’ mantra about accommodating refugees as her poll ratings continued to slump.

More here

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Women getting most of academic degrees as country goes downhill

For the seventh year in a row, women earned a majority of doctoral degrees awarded at US universities in 2015. Of the 76,240 doctoral degrees awarded in 2015 (Table B.25), women earned 38,933 of those degrees and 51.8% of the total, compared to 36,296 degrees awarded to men who earned 48.2% of the total (see top chart above). The 51.8% female share of doctoral degrees in 2015 was slightly lower than the 52.2% share in the previous three years (2012, 2013 and 2014). Women have now earned a majority of doctoral degrees in each year since 2009. Previously, women started earning a majority of associate’s degrees for the first time in 1978, a majority of master’s degrees in 1981, and a majority of bachelor’s degrees in 1982 according to the Department of Education. Therefore, 2009 marked the year when men officially became the "second sex" in higher education by earning a minority of college degrees at all college levels from associate’s degrees up to doctoral degrees.

More here

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Venezuela now has to import oil

Here’s a measure of the success of socialism for you Venezuela, the country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves now has to import crude oil.

Yep seriously, the country floating on the world’s largest pool of oil is having to import the stuff. And the reason is entirely simple 200% proof idiot economic policy. No, it’s not the imperialists sabotaging the Bolivarian revolution, it’s not the fall in oil prices, not the CIA and not the opposition. It’s simply crass ignorance of how to run an economy.

Here’s the specific problem. Venezuela’s really big oil reserves are of a very heavy crude. This needs to be mixed with lighter crude so that a refinery, without hugely expensive changes, can process it. Venezuela does have light crude as well:

The challenges ahead are ever-present here in the vast oil fields of El Furrial, in northeastern Venezuela. Beneath the flat, grassy expanses lies the very grade of oil that Venezuela must now import to blend with its large reserves of heavy oil to ship them abroad.

At its peak, El Furrial alone produced 453,000 barrels a day, equivalent to about 80 percent of the national production of Ecuador. But in 2009, Mr. Chávez nationalized Wilpro, an American consortium that handled the complex natural gas injection at the site designed to coax more oil out of the ground. Production has declined by more than half.

Workers at El Furrial today tell a story of decline and mismanagement. There is not even enough drilling mud the most basic fluid required to keep drill bits cool and well bores clear to keep all of the rigs running.

More here

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Liberal judges hindering deportations

Trump has promised to triple the number of ICE deportation officers, the people whose job it is to remove illegal aliens already in America, the ones that made it past the border regions.

Since public servants can never be fired, the ICE deportation officers (ERO) are still there, and are still theoretically deportation officers, but their status has been systematically lowered, and these days they push paperwork in circles rather than actually deporting anyone.

If you catch someone near the border, you can deport them pretty easily, but the huge problem with ERO is that in order to deport anyone, they have to go before a judge, and judges are extremely reluctant to deport anyone. There is an unending due process legal labyrinth in which illegals, even criminals, even murderers, circulate forever. If Trump empowers ERO officers, judges will continue to disempower them. Trump not only needs to triple the number of ICE deportation officers, he needs to empower them.

More here

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More money for riots than flooding

The Department of Education announced Friday that it will give up to $1.5 million to school districts in Louisiana hardest hit by recent flooding.

"This will support the state's recovery efforts as it works to restore the learning environment for students across the state," federal secretary of Education John King said while visiting Baton Rouge, La.

The announcement comes one day after the department announced more than $5 million in grants for school districts affected by rioting to establish mental health programs for students traumatized by "civil unrest." That money is going to students in Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis.

More here

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

California's pension crisis

With the stroke of a pen, California Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation that gave prison guards, park rangers, Cal State professors and other state employees the kind of retirement security normally reserved for the wealthy.

More than 200,000 civil servants became eligible to retire at 55 and in many cases collect more than half their highest salary for life. California Highway Patrol officers could retire at 50 and receive as much as 90% of their peak pay for as long as they lived.

Proponents sold the measure in 1999 with the promise that it would impose no new costs on California taxpayers. The state employees’ pension fund, they said, would grow fast enough to pay the bill in full.

They were off by billions of dollars and taxpayers will bear the consequences for decades to come.

This year, state employee pensions will cost taxpayers $5.4 billion, according to the Department of Finance. That’s more than the state will spend on environmental protection, fighting wildfires and the emergency response to the drought combined.

More here

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Obama is a "lazy" academic

On his recent Asian tour, President Obama characterized his fellow Americans (the most productive workers in the world) as "lazy."

In fact, he went on to deride Americans for a list of supposed transgressions ranging from the Vietnam War to environmental desecration to the 19th century treatment of Native Americans.

"If you’re in the United States," the president said, "sometimes you can feel lazy and think we’re so big we don’t have to really know anything about other people."

The attack on supposedly insular Americans was somewhat bizarre, given that Obama himself knows no foreign languages. He often seems confused about even basic world geography. (His birthplace of Hawaii is not "Asia," Austrians do not speak "Austrian," and the Falkland Islands are not the Maldives).

Obama’s sense of history is equally weak. Contrary to his past remarks, the Islamic world did not spark either the Western Renaissance or the Enlightenment. Cordoba was not, as he once suggested, an Islamic center of "tolerance" during the Spanish Inquisition; in fact, its Muslim population had been expelled during the early Reconquista over two centuries earlier.

More here

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Chinese banking crisis?

Risks of a Chinese banking crisis are mounting, according to a warning indicator from the banking industry's global watchdog.

A key gauge of stress in the banking sector is now more than three times above the danger level, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said in its latest quarterly review.

China's credit-to-GDP gap hit 30.1 in the first quarter of 2016, it said.

The BIS considers a credit-to-GDP gap of 10 to be a sign of potential danger.

A year ago the BIS quarterly review put the figure for China at 25.4.

The BIS calculates the gap by looking at borrowing in relation to the size of the economy, and comparing that with the long-term trend of that ratio.

When the two start to diverge, the BIS argues, a banking crisis could be on the way.

The BIS has a central position in global finance as it provides banking services to central banks and monitors the international flow of money and credit.

More here

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So who started the "birther" controversy?

Two supporters of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign reportedly shared the claim that then-rival Barack Obama was not born in the United States and thus was not eligible to be president.

One was a volunteer in Iowa, who was fired, Clinton’s former campaign manager said Friday. The other was Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, according to a former McClatchy Washington Bureau chief.

The issue arose Friday as Donald Trump finally acknowledged that Obama was born in the U.S. Trump, a leading champion of the debunked "birther" conspiracy theory for years, attempted to blame Clinton for starting it when she ran against Obama in 2008 for the Democratic presidential nomination.

More here

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Islamic State created by U.S.?

A columnist for a state-run newspaper in Egypt has suggested the US invented Isis and set up the 9/11 attacks to justify its military interventions in the Middle East.

"Is it possible to believe the official version, from the US government, of the events of 11 September 2001?" wrote journalist Noha Al-Sharnoubi in Al-Ahram, a major national Egyptian newspaper owned by the government.

Ms Al-Sharnoubi said the World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks could have been premeditated to "justify the war on terror" in her column, published on 23 August.

She also cast doubt over the veracity of the actions of the so-called Islamic State, alleging the extremist group could have been made up to "trick" the world and validate US foreign policy.

Ms Al-Sharnoubi does not appear to shy away from controversial subjects. Her weekly column has recently discussed issues such as burkini bans, French military involvement in Libya and whether it is acceptable to sacrifice chickens, duck and geese.

More here

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Suing Black Lives Matter

A Dallas Police sergeant has filed suit against Black Lives Matter leaders and others, blaming the movement for race riots and violence against police officers.

Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, president of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and a 17-year law enforcement veteran, filed the amended complaint in federal court Friday. Conservative news site Breitbart published the lawsuit in an article that evening.

The listed defendants include not only those associated with the Black Lives Matter movement but public figures such as the Rev. Al Sharpton, Louis Farrahkan, George Soros, the New Black Panthers Party and even President Barack Obama and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

According to the suit, the defendants "have repeatedly incited their supporters and others to engage in threats of and attacks to cause serious bodily injury or death upon police officers and other law enforcement persons of all races and ethnicities."

More here

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Overdosing on recreational drugs

Across Ohio, someone died from a drug overdose every two hours and 52 minutes on average all year long in 2015. That's 8 people a day.

Drug overdoses killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio last year, more than one-third of them from fentanyl, a super-potent opiate often mixed with heroin.

The annual report on unintentional drug overdose deaths released today by the Ohio Department of Health showed the increasing toll from all drugs was 20.5 percent higher than 2014, a disappointment to state officials who have worked for years on many fronts to curb the drug-related carnage.

While heroin deaths rose, fatalities from fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine, soared to 1,155 last year, more than double the 503 deaths in 2014. The vast majority involved illegally produced fentanyl, some of it from China, not the drug commonly prescribed to end-stage cancer patients.

More here

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Quote of the day

"I'm not saying we should apply a blanket rule overnight to exclude (from voting) anyone incapable of rational thought (animal welfare activists, Guardian columnists, single women over 30) but shouldn't we have a system in place that protects wealth-creators from the envy-driven politics of the lower orders and from unscrupulous left-wing politicians with a vested interest in getting everyone hooked on welfare?"

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Washington, D.C. is the richest place on the planet

Yesterday, my duties required me to go into the Imperial Capital for meetings. Not being a Cloud Person, and living among the Dirt People, it means I have to drive into the city, which is one of the worst things that can be asked of a man. Traffic around the Capital is some of the worst on the planet. I think I’d rather ride a scooter in Tijuana than drive around Washington DC. But, when duty calls you do what you must and that meant two hours of car time navigating the traffic of the capital.

One of the things you notice upon entering the capital area, if you are the noticing type, is the wealth. Sitting in traffic, I looked at the cars around me and I spied an Audi A8 to my left, a Mercedes S-class in front and a Tesla to my right. That was roughly a quarter million dollars within arms length of me. Looking around, I saw lots of other luxury cars. For the managerial elite, Audi and Mercedes are the safe choices so you see a lot of them. Lexus is another solid choice as their cars are well appointed, without being ostentatious.

The Imperial Capital is the richest place on the planet, which makes a lot of sense, given that it is the capital of the empire. Half of the ten richest counties in America are around Washington DC. The reason for that is the people living in those counties either work for the government or they work for companies that have one customer the Federal government. The average Federal salary is something north of $80,000 per year, while the average American salary is about $50,000. That’s before figuring in the lavish government benefits.

More here

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When paranoia wins

A dad in Ostego, Michiganpopulation 3,956terrified parents, police, and school administrators by handing out teddy bears to people he passed on the street, including children in the presence of adults. It was Ken Cronkhite's attempt to spread some happiness and help his 89-year-old father, the owner of an 800-teddy bear collection, to downsize.

And it backfired.

As news spread of a man, a plan, and his plush toys, the police department's phone lines lit up. Officers sped off to patrol the bus stops as at least one frantic mom ripped apart her kid's bear to see if it contained something insidious.

More here

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