Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Oh my, whiteness

According to Portland State University Professor’s Rachel Sanders’ "White Privilege" course, "whiteness" must be dismantled if racial justice will ever be achieved.

The course description states that "whiteness is the lynchpin of structures of racial meaning and racial inequality in the United States" and claims that "to preserve whiteness is to preserve racial injustice."

Students taking the course will "endeavor to make whiteness strange." In order to make whiteness strange, the description says students must "interrogate whiteness as an unstable legal, political, social, and cultural construction."

The course readings and concepts are drawn, in part, from the field of "critical race theory." According to Harvard University, critical race theory "combine[s] progressive political struggles for racial justice with critiques of the conventional legal and scholarly norms which are themselves viewed as part of the illegitimate hierarchies that need to be changed."

The Portland State University course description claims the construction of "whiteness" attaches material and psychological benefits to "individuals who identify, or are identified, as white."

Students taking the course will also study the literary work of writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who referred to the 9/11 first responders as "menaces of nature" in his latest book. In addition to reading the work of Mr. Coates, students will consider questions such as "[w]hat is white normativity, and how does it interact with other normative orders, including male normativity and heteronormativity?"

More here


Putin, the Christian?

Few Western foreign policy analysts have taken seriously Vladimir Putin's radical reorientation of Russia from communism back to Russian Orthodox Christianity.

Putin is perhaps uniquely qualified to discern that his nation's identity has been for centuries within a spiritual, distinctly Christian narrative and that a violent rending of Russia's historically religious roots led to utter disaster for the Russian peoples.

Son of a militant atheist and a pious mother, Putin lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resurgence of capitalism as defined in Russian terms. Though raised a secularist, he is now a devout Christian in the Russian Orthodox tradition and has devoted himself to the advancement of Christianity and the repudiation of what he sees as Western decadence. While some may be dismissive of Putin's Christian beliefs, there is no doubt that Christianity informs the way he now chooses to shape his own narrative and the story of his country.

Putin's religious values are rooted in Russian Orthodoxy and personal religious experiences, including his wife's car accident in 1993 and a life-threatening house fire in 1996. Just before a diplomatic trip to Israel, his mother gave him a baptismal cross. He said of the occasion, "I … put the cross around my neck. I have never taken it off since."

More here


Don't mess with this Texan

A 10-year-old Texas girl shot and killed an 800-pound alligator Sunday with crossbow from about 15 yards on the Guadalupe River in South Texas.

Ella Hawk, who killed the 13-foot reptile with her first shot, told the Victoria Advocate she wasn’t nervous.

"They said it was really big," she told the newspaper. "I was so excited."

Ella and her parents embarked on the likely record-breaking hunt with guide Ryan Longer a few miles south of Victoria near U.S. 77 and the Guadalupe River, about 45 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico.

More here (and photos)


Slaves were immigrant workers? Who knew?

The publisher of one of Texas’ controversial social studies textbooks has agreed to change a caption that describes African slaves as immigrant "workers" after a Houston-area mother’s social media complaint went viral over the weekend.

On Wednesday, Roni Dean-Burren of Pearland posted a screen shot on Facebook of a text message exchange with her ninth-grade son who sent her a photo of an infographic in his McGraw-Hill Word Geography textbook.

"The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations," a caption on the infographic read.

"We was real hard workers wasn’t we," Dean-Burren replied, including an irked emoji. The next day, the mother a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston posted a video detailing more of the textbook. By Monday afternoon, it had garnered more than 1.7 million views.

More here


Can we survive a multitude of fools?

The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.

-- former Czech President Vaclav Klaus


Swedes having second thoughts

The Swedes see the welfare systems failing them. Swedes have had to get used to the government prioritizing refugees and migrants above native Swedes.

"There are no apartments, no jobs, we don't dare go shopping anymore [without a gun], but we're supposed to think everything's great. ... Women and girls are raped by these non-European men, who come here claiming they are unaccompanied children, even though they are grown men. ... You Cabinet Ministers live in your fancy residential neighborhoods, with only Swedish neighbors. It should be obligatory for all politicians to live for at least three months in an area consisting mostly of immigrants... [and] have to use public transport." -- Laila, to the Prime Minister.

"Instead of torchlight processions against racism, we need a Prime Minister who speaks out against the violence... Unite everyone. ... Do not make it a racism thing." -- Anders, to the Prime Minister.

"In all honesty, I don't even feel they [government ministers] see the problems... There is no one in those meetings who can tell them what real life looks like." Laila, on the response she received from the government.

More here


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Manning up in Iran

Iranian soccer fans were left reeling earlier this week after eight members of the women’s national team were found to be men, the Al-Arabiya website reported on Monday.

Mojtabi Sharifi, described as an official connected to the Iranian soccer league, said that the footballers "have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations."

He claimed that some of the men had enjoyed a whole career as female players and only outed themselves just before retiring from their teams.

It was not clear how many of the national squad players were born as men or how long they had been playing before their surplus credentials were uncovered. Iranian female footballers notably play wearing hijab head scarves and outfits that fully cover their arms and legs.

More here


Quote of the day

Mike Huckabee....If Umpqua Shooter Would Have Targeted Muslims not Christians, Obama Would Have Said Something


Waiting for rain and the end of Mugabe's rule

In Zimbabwe they are waiting for rain. The region’s worst drought in a decade has withered the maize (or corn) crop, which came in at only about half the size of last year’s. The poor harvest has left at least 1.5m peoplemore than one in every eightin desperate need of food aid.

For Zimbabwe’s long-suffering people, waiting has become a national vocation. For 15 years since he rigged a general election in 2000, Zimbabweans have waited for the chance to be shot of Robert Mugabe. He has ruled the country since its independence in 1980, and so gravely wrecked its economy that people are poorer today than they were 25 years ago. Of late, despairing of democratic change, they have simply waited for the 91-year-old to succumb to mortality.

The parched harvest and weak economy mean that their patience may soon be rewarded: if Mr Mugabe does not die first, it looks increasingly possible that he may be pushed out by his party, Zanu-PF, over which his ruthless control is slipping. To be sure, he has weathered economic and political crises before. But this time things are different.

One reason is that Mr Mugabe’s mental powers seem at last to be failing him. He recently read out the very same speech that he had delivered to parliament only three weeks earlier. Still more pressing is the fact that his government is running out of the money it needs to pay the public servants, especially policemen and soldiers, who keep it in power and whose wages gobble up more than 80% of public spending.

More here


Muslim persecutors

An Asian family who converted to Christianity claim they are being driven out of their home for the second time by Muslim persecutors.

Nissar Hussain, his wife Kubra and their six children said they have suffered an appalling ordeal at the hands of neighbours who regard them as blasphemers.

They claim they are effectively prisoners in their own home after being attacked in the street, having their car windscreens repeatedly smashed and eggs thrown at their windows.

Mr Hussain, 49, has even given up his career as a nurse due to the effect on his health.

Police have been called numerous times to deal with the trouble but are said to be reluctant to treat the problem as a religious hate crime.

More here


NASA using experience of submarine force

As NASA contemplates a manned voyage to Mars and the effects missions deeper into space could have on astronauts, it's tapping research from another outfit with experience sending people to the deep: the U.S. Navy submarine force.

The space agency is working with a military laboratory at the submarine base in Groton, Connecticut, to measure how teams cope with stress during month-long simulations of space flight.

While one travels through outer space and the other the ocean's depths, astronauts and submariners face many of the same challenges. Isolated for long stretches of time, they rely on crewmates for their lives in remote, inhospitable environments.

"We have a shared interest with the Navy in team resilience," Brandon Vessey, a scientist with NASA's human research program, told The Associated Press. "When you stick people together for a long period of time, how are they going to do?"

More here


Poles not too excited about Islamic Flooding

A massive rally against pro-migrant government policies and what has been dubbed the "Islamic flooding" of the country took place in the southwestern Polish city of Katowice.

Over 25,000 people were expected to take to streets in a protest against an influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, according to reports in local media ahead of the rally.

The demonstration, organized by a nationalist organization called All Polish Youth, comes after a decision by Poland’s authorities to accept some 2,000 refugees from Syria and North Africa by 2017.

"All Polish Youth expresses its strong opposition to the actions taken by the Polish government since it blindly does everything Brussels and Berlin say," Michał Nowak, representative of All Polish Youth, said.

"Polish media do not cover the situation accurately, saying that the majority of refugees, who are actually economic migrants, are women and children. In fact, 75% of those people are young men, according to the UN statistics," he declared.

More here


Monday, October 5, 2015

L.A. Times is making up sh*t

The gunman who carried out the deadly attack on Umpqua Community College was described Friday as a "hate-filled" individual, with anti-religion and white supremacist leanings who has long struggled with mental health issues, law enforcement sources said.

Officials said Friday they had recovered 13 weapons tied to the shooter, Chris Harper Mercer, 26. Six were found at the college, seven were found during a search of his apartmentand all were legally purchased, officials said.

During the Thursday rampage that left nine dead and 10 wounded, Mercer wore body armor and had extra ammunition, although it was unclear whether he carried it during the shooting or left it in his car, a federal source said Friday. Mercer was killed in a gunfight with sheriff’s deputies.

Armed with three handguns and an assault rifle, he stormed the college’s Snyder Hall about 10:30 a.m. Thursday and started firing. As the shots erupted, students cowered in their classrooms and frantically called 911, sending a stream of ambulances, their sirens screaming, to the campus.

More here

(White supremacist leanings? His mother is black and his father is white.)

The phony wage gap between men and women

California is set to enact a new law that will purportedly close the wage gap between men and women, which is allegedly due to discrimination (it's not).

But unless this bill, the California Fair Pay Act, controls the choices women make in their lives (an absurd idea), then the bill won't actually close the gap. It might, however, keep businesses from hiring new employees especially women due to increased red tape.

First, a review of some facts. The gender wage gap reported as somewhere between 77 cents and 79 cents earned by women to every dollar that men earn is not due to discrimination. It is due to the choices men and women make about their work habits. Women tend to work fewer hours than men and take more time off of work to have and raise children. Women also tend to take on lower-paying careers. These factors are often excluded even when comparing men and women doing the same work.

The White House knows this, despite the Obama administration and other Democrats continually trotting out the 77-cent figure in order to score political points and perpetuate the idea of a "war on women."

More here


Stepford students

Have you met the Stepford students? They’re everywhere. On campuses across the land. Sitting stony-eyed in lecture halls or surreptitiously policing beer-fuelled banter in the uni bar. They look like students, dress like students, smell like students. But their student brains have been replaced by brains bereft of critical faculties and programmed to conform. To the untrained eye, they seem like your average book-devouring, ideas-discussing, H&M-adorned youth, but anyone who’s spent more than five minutes in their company will know that these students are far more interested in shutting debate down than opening it up.

I was attacked by a swarm of Stepford students this week. On Tuesday, I was supposed to take part in a debate about abortion at Christ Church, Oxford. I was invited by the Oxford Students for Life to put the pro-choice argument against the journalist Timothy Stanley, who is pro-life. But apparently it is forbidden for men to talk about abortion. A mob of furious feministic Oxford students, all robotically uttering the same stuff about feeling offended, set up a Facebook page littered with expletives and demands for the debate to be called off. They said it was outrageous that two human beings ‘who do not have uteruses’ should get to hold forth on abortion identity politics at its most basely biological and claimed the debate would threaten the ‘mental safety’ of Oxford students. Three hundred promised to turn up to the debate with ‘instruments’ heaven knows what that would allow them to disrupt proceedings.

More here

Friday's poll

Friday, October 02, 2015

Washington, D.C. - Barack Obama’s approval is at 43%.

Donald Trump continues to lead among Republicans, currently with 32% of Republican support (up from 30% last week).
Ben Carson remains in 2nd at 12% among Republicans. Carson has lost some ground in the latest poll.
Jeb Bush remains in 3rd with 10%.

Carly Fiorina has held her gains from after the Republican debate, currently at 8% among Republicans, but has made no more progress.

Hillary Clinton continues to lead among Democrats nationwide, with 46% of Dems. Sanders (25%) continues to run in second with Joe Biden in third (19%) among Democrats.

More here


Shooter's mom supports open-carry laws

The mother of Oregon shooter Chris Harper-Mercer bragged about her collection of weapons and spoke out in support of open-carry laws on Facebook.

Laurel Harper, who worked as a nurse and shared an apartment with her 26-year-old son near the Umpqua Community College Campus, said on the social media site that she would 'sling' one of her many guns over her shoulder 'when the mood strikes'.

Harper names at least six guns in her long-winded dialogue about her support for open carry laws in Oregon according to

'It's ridiculously easy to understand the apprehension associated with open carry. I moved from So. Calif. to Oregon, from Southern Crime-a-mania to open carry. An open carry law won't work everywhere!' she wrote in the September 2014 post.

She continued: 'And when the mood strikes, and as long as we're tossing around brand names, I sling an AR, Tek-9 or AK over my shoulder, or holster a Glock 21 (not 22), or one of my other handguns, like the Sig Sauer P226, and walk out the door. I find the shotguns are a little too cumbersome to open carry.'

More here


Scientific misconduct

We need to talk about scientific misconduct. Just last week, a widely respected medical researcher admitted to fabricating her results, causing two major heart studies to be retracted.

She’s not alone in this, and we have no idea of the scale of scientific fraud. It’s something that’s incredibly difficult to measure, as obviously nobody wants to admit it until they’re caught and, even then, you’d imagine some reluctance when their entire career is on the line.

However, the repercussions are significant: it reduces trust in scientific research, and can mean that serious misconceptions become mainstream "fact", even if they’re later redacted. Take the 1998 study into vaccines and autism, The Times uncovered conflicts of interests and fabricated results, and the paper was withdrawn by The Lancet in 2010. Yet its effects are still felt, and even spouted by presidential frontrunners.

Heard of green coffee pills? The manufacturers got a $9 million fine for the studies they used to promote their alleged health benefits, which still get repeated today. Hwang Woo-suk received a prison sentence for falsifying papers and embezzling government research grants on stem cell cloning, but is now back working in animal cloning. Even the dry world of political science isn’t immune, as just last year Science had to retract a paper about the positive impact of gay marriage equality canvassers, after the results appeared to have been completely fabricated.

More here


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Illegal immigrants and their preparations for the worst case scenario

If immigration officials catch him some day and he is deported, Angel Estrada, 48, already knows whom he will call, and at what hotel in Mexico he will meet his family before attempting to rebuild his life in his hometown of Cuernavaca.

Estrada’s daughter, Karla, 24, who like her father is in the country illegally, has no plans to leave so easilyor quietly.

"If they are going to deport me, they are going to have a very bad taste in their mouth," said Karla, who has lived in the United States since she was 5. "I’m going to call this person, this organization, this lawyer. I’ll get on Facebook . . . Twitter. I’m going to do a media circus. I’m going to stay in this country."

The debate in the Estrada home showcases a generational divide in many Latino homes in California and elsewheredriven by a national debate over immigration and a steady move in California toward easing restrictions on people in the country illegally.

Angel Estrada and his wife, Gloria, came to "Pete Wilson’s California," as he calls it, during a period when hostility toward illegal immigration in the 1990s prompted voters to approve Proposition 187. They were young and in the country illegally at a time when they could be easily rounded up with little protest, and so they learned to keep their heads down, to trudge along without drawing attention to themselves.

More here


New York City's Draft Week

The New York City draft riots (July 1316, 1863), known at the time as Draft Week, were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of working-class discontent with new laws passed by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. The riots remain the largest civil and racial insurrection in American history, aside from the Civil War itself.

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln diverted several regiments of militia and volunteer troops from following up after the Battle of Gettysburg to control the city. The rioters were overwhelmingly working-class men, primarily ethnic Irish, resenting particularly that wealthier men, who could afford to pay a $300 (equivalent to $5,746 in 2015) commutation fee to hire a substitute, were spared from the draft.

Initially intended to express anger at the draft, the protests turned into a race riot, with white rioters, mainly but not exclusively Irish immigrants, attacking blacks wherever they could find them. The official death toll was listed at 119. The conditions in the city were such that Major General John E. Wool, commander of the Department of the East, said on July 16 that "Martial law ought to be proclaimed, but I have not a sufficient force to enforce it." The military did not reach the city until after the first day of rioting, when mobs had already ransacked or destroyed numerous public buildings, two Protestant churches, the homes of various abolitionists or sympathizers, many black homes, and the Colored Orphan Asylum at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, which was burned to the ground.

The demographics of the city changed as a result of the riot. So many blacks left Manhattan permanently (many moving to Brooklyn), that by 1865 their population fell below 10,000, the number in 1820.

More here


Deadliest storms in U.S. history

Despite the growing concern of hurricanes, the majority of the deadliest storms in U.S. history took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

As hurricane season approaches a time when panic-ridden residents categorically stock up on flashlights and non-perishables some might be surprised to learn that the majority of the most fatal storms in history took place long before any of us roamed the earth.

Here are the 10 most fatal storms in U.S. history....

More here


Agency Debt

Everybody knows that "greedy bankers" were to blame for the Crash of 2008. The Democrats and their willing accomplices told us that years ago and they are sticking to their story.

But there is another suspect that ought to be right in the dock along with the bankers. Its mild-mannered name is "agency debt." It’s the debt of federal agencies and government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that is not included in the National Debt. In other words, when you go to the U.S. Treasury’s Debt to the Penny page, and find that on September 27, 2015 the debt was $18,151,073,031,331.50 you wouldn’t find any agency debt in that number, nor in the $13,140,301,918,135.70 of Debt Held by the Public.

Who cares, anyway? Well, you might care if you went over to the Federal Reserve Board’s site and found that agency debt is tucked away in its Financial Accounts of the United States report in Table L.211 and found that that agency debt at the end of 2014 was about $6,920,000,000,000.

More here


Chamber of Commerce, enemy of conservatives

While many conservatives celebrate the abrupt resignation of Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), business groups backed by mega corporations are finalizing plans to neuter conservative lawmakers in 2016.

The U.S. Chamber will take the lead, planning to spend $100 million in 2016, a large portion of which will be devoted to defeat conservatives in Republican primaries.

Roll Call reports that "[s]ome of business’ top targets in 2016 will be right-wing, tea party candidates, the types that have bucked the corporate agenda in Congress."

The $100 million the Chamber plans to spend this cycle is close to triple the amount the group spent in 2012, when President Obama was running for reelection. In 2014, when the Chamber launched its effort to attack conservatives in primaries, the group spent close to $70 million.

The evolution of the Chamber’s political spending goes a long way to explain the current dysfunction in Washington. The organization will devote $170 million to combat conservatives in primaries and support establishment Republicans in the general, but only around $30 million when Obama is running for reelection.

More here


Sometimes there are no answers

Moritz Choinowski was a survivor. Before the Third Reich, he was a middle-aged man in robust health. His tailoring business was flourishing; his political affiliation with the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands was fulfilling. On 28 September 1939, however, the Gestapo dragged him from his home and deposited him in the Buchenwald concentration camp. He was stripped naked, given a convict uniform with a red-and-yellow triangle (signalling that he was both a political prisoner and a Jew) and forced to work as a slave in a quarry. He was routinely beaten. Three times he was subjected to the sadistic punishment known as "25 blows". On 19 October 1942 he was thrown into a freight car and taken to Auschwitz, where he barely avoided being selected for the gas chambers. Just over two years later he was moved again, this time to Dachau. When this camp was liberated on 29 April 1945, Choinowski was starving and suffering from typhus. Many of the inmates were so emaciated that they could barely acknowledge the American soldiers who came to free them. A teenage survivor recalled how he "watched the people sing and dance with joy, and they seemed to me as if they’d lost their minds. I looked at myself and couldn’t recognise who I was." Choinowski was one of those celebrating. He had endured more than 2,000 days in concentration camps. As he cried with relief, he asked a fellow inmate: "Is this possible?"

His question referred to the fact of liberation: could Choinowski’s suffering indeed be over? Was he truly free? How could he have survived when so many others had died? It also relates to the Holocaust itself. Totalitarianism, total war and the Holocaust were the results of decisions made by millions of rational, educated men and women. What made it possible for Buchenwald, Auschwitz and Dachau to be built? How could millions of human beings set about deliberately to enslave, torture and slaughter millions of other human beings? These questions continue to haunt us in the 21st century. Perhaps there are no answers. In If This Is a Man (1947), Primo Levi echoed Choinowski. Reflecting on his own torment in Auschwitz, Levi confessed: "Today, at this very moment as I sit writing at a table, I myself am not convinced that these things really happened."

More here


Friday, October 2, 2015


A recently approved Young Americans for Freedom student club at Gettysburg College made quite a debut on campus after its recruitment fliers used the term "anchor babies" and asked of abortion "do you enjoy hugging babies vs killing them," among other statements.

Shortly after posting the literature, left-leaning peers at the small liberal arts school a tight-knit community next to the historic Civil War battlefield went berserk.

They tore down YAF’s flyers and vandalized them with swastikas and curse words, according to pictures and student interviews.

On social media, students declared the posters "racist" for using "anchor babies," and the reference to abortion was called "triggering" and "offensive" to women who’ve had one, according to comments on Gettysburg College social media channels.

Soon after the initial round of posters went up, a parody poster was created and put up around campus that labeled the conservative students "fascists." A conservative chalk message stating in part "protect our veterans" that Young Americans for Freedom had drawn was also washed away.

More here


Jamaica wants reparations for slavery

David Cameron is facing calls for Britain to pay billions of pounds in reparations for slavery ahead of his first official visit to Jamaica on Tuesday.

Downing Street said the prime minister does not believe reparations or apologies for slavery are the right approach, but the issue is set to overshadow his trade trip to the island, where he will address the Jamaican parliament.

Ahead of his trip, Sir Hilary Beckles, chair of the Caricom Reparations Commission, has led calls for Cameron to start talks on making amends for slavery and referenced the prime minister’s ancestral links to the trade in the 1700s through his cousin six times removed, General Sir James Duff.

In an open letter in the Jamaica Observer, the academic wrote: "You are a grandson of the Jamaican soil who has been privileged and enriched by your forebears’ sins of the enslavement of our ancestors … You are, Sir, a prized product of this land and the bonanza benefits reaped by your family and inherited by you continue to bind us together like birds of a feather.

"We ask not for handouts or any such acts of indecent submission. We merely ask that you acknowledge responsibility for your share of this situation and move to contribute in a joint programme of rehabilitation and renewal. The continuing suffering of our people, Sir, is as much your nation’s duty to alleviate as it is ours to resolve in steadfast acts of self-responsibility."

More here


Resistence to mass immigration

Around 50 members of the right-wing Identitarian Movement of Austria (Identitäre Bewegung Österreich) blocked the Spielfeld border crossing in protest against policies they say encourage mass immigration to Europe over the weekend.

Evan Thomas spoke to some of the activists, who said they are frustrated by the recent refugee crisis and plan to continue carrying out acts of civil disobedience.

This media-savvy organization, primarily made up of college students, is changing the nationalist scene in Europe through their defiant, but nonviolent tactics.

A few years ago, old-style nationalist or neo-Nazi groups sought to attract young people opposed to multiculturalism and mass immigration. Now, the Identitarians have established themselves as an alternative, aiming to be a "patriotic Greenpeace-type organization", as their Vienna-branch leader Martin Sellner puts it.

More here


Murder rate in South Africa is up

South Africa’s murder rate has jumped 4.6% in the past year, with almost 49 people killed every day.

A total of 17,805 murders were committed from April 2014 to March 2015, an increase of 782 deaths from the year before in a population of 54 million.

The government admitted authorities were struggling to tackle the problem, but said the 10-year trend showed a decline in overall crime. Opposition parties and analysts criticised the numbers and said there was a lack of clear strategy to bring crime under control.

The murder figures, which have risen each year from a low of 15,554 in 2011-12, reflect a reversal of what many had hoped was a long-term progress in reducing violent crime.

"17,805 is a number I would expect from a country at war," said Dianne Kohler Barnard, shadow police minister of the main opposition, Democratic Alliance.

Armed robberies, carjackings and burglaries also increased, showing the country "lacks clear strategies to reverse this dangerous trend", Gareth Newham, of the Institute for Security Studies thinktank, said.

"That robberies have increased raises questions about the extent to which police resources are being effectively used. With some of the best technology in the world, and more than 194,000 personnel, the South African police service should be better able to reduce crimes such as robbery."

More here

Decline in resilience

A year ago I received an invitation from the head of Counseling Services at a major university to join faculty and administrators for discussions about how to deal with the decline in resilience among students. At the first meeting, we learned that emergency calls to Counseling had more than doubled over the past five years. Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life. Recent examples mentioned included a student who felt traumatized because her roommate had called her a "bitch" and two students who had sought counseling because they had seen a mouse in their off-campus apartment. The latter two also called the police, who kindly arrived and set a mousetrap for them.

Faculty at the meetings noted that students’ emotional fragility has become a serious problem when in comes to grading. Some said they had grown afraid to give low grades for poor performance, because of the subsequent emotional crises they would have to deal with in their offices. Many students, they said, now view a C, or sometimes even a B, as failure, and they interpret such "failure" as the end of the world. Faculty also noted an increased tendency for students to blame them (the faculty) for low gradesthey weren’t explicit enough in telling the students just what the test would cover or just what would distinguish a good paper from a bad one. They described an increased tendency to see a poor grade as reason to complain rather than as reason to study more, or more effectively. Much of the discussions had to do with the amount of handholding faculty should do versus the degree to which the response should be something like, "Buck up, this is college." Does the first response simply play into and perpetuate students’ neediness and unwillingness to take responsibility? Does the second response create the possibility of serious emotional breakdown, or, who knows, maybe even suicide?

More here


At a Thursday Congressional hearing regarding the Obama administration’s plan to welcome tens of thousands of additional refugees into the United States, the administration’s top refugees official revealed that she had no idea whether the Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston bombing arrived in the U.S. as refugees.

Barbara Strack, who serves as the chief of the Refugee Affairs Division at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service of the Department of Homeland Security, was grilled by the subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Sessions asked Strack whether it was accurate that the two Boston bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerian Tsarnaev, had entered the U.S. as refugees from Chechnya.

More here


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Normalizing perversion, just like the Roman Empire

Every time the topic of pedophilia and related sickness comes up, at least some of the people there get this jaded look on their face like you're talking about the earth being flat or moon landings being faked. There he goes again, warning about the slippery slope and predicting horrors just because we're nice to homosexuals.

Its long been a chorus over the years that cultural conservatives have heard. No-fault divorce will not cause a breakdown in marriage and family, you heartless jerk! Relaxing sexual mores will not result in increased teen pregnancy and social decline, you cold-hearted monster! The responses are remarkably consistent from the same groups of people: any resistance to moving away from proven and trustworthy social morals is a terrible, restrictive, and even fascist thing.

Repeatedly over the years I've noted that the trend is toward normalizing pedophilia and related evils in western culture. Each step has predictable and unpredictable results, and leads naturally and logically to the next slouch toward Gomorrah. The problem is that the sophist, emotionally-driven arguments for these changes always appeal not to the good of society and reason, but to feelings and how nice people are. And, of course, personal attacks, accusations of terrible motives, and insults.

More here


Mrs. Ben Carson

She’s smart, she’s talented, and she loves America.

After nearly seven years of the East Wing’s politics of mope and complain, it’s refreshing to see a presidential candidate’s spouse who is always smiling.

Candy Carson wife of GOP 2016 hopeful Dr. Ben Carson, mother of three sons, and grandmother of two is the antiMichelle Obama. She’s a quiet but confident ray of sunshine: down-to-earth, devoutly Christian, and proudly patriotic.

While Mrs. Obama first gained notoriety by carping about racism and trashing America, Mrs. Carson helped kick off her husband’s 2016 bid by playing the violin with a gospel choir as they performed a joyful, rousing rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

I met the couple, who recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, a few weeks ago during a campaign stop in Colorado Springs. Dr. Carson’s dazzling career as a Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon is well known. But Mrs. Carson’s own personal story is remarkable as a stand-alone exemplar of the American Dream achieved.

More here



A company in Bryan called Helibacon will take customers on a helicopter armed with high-powered rifles to help eradicate feral hogs and wild coyotes from the lands of farmers in the surrounding counties.

Chris Britt, one of the company’s owners, says that a good portion of the passengers that they are taking up on one of Helibacon’s choppers aren’t from Texas but visitors to the Lone Star State looking to partake in adventure.

Customers can even bring their own weaponry if they prefer but the use of an AR-15 and ammo is included in the price of a seat on one of the choppers.

Helibacon launched in 2012 sometime after the state of Texas allowed for the general public to help with aerial depredation of feral hogs and other animals with the passage of HB 716, the Texas Hog Depredation Act.

It was joking referred to as the "Pork-Chopper Bill" by many.

More here


Estimating and adjusting temperatures

We have written many times about the fact that the temperature data used in the alarmists’ global warming models are not original data as measured by thermometers. Rather, they are "adjusted" numbers, consistently changed to make the past look cooler and the present warmer, so that more billions of dollars will flow from the world’s governments to the climate alarmists who serve government’s cause. This is, in my opinion, the greatest scandal in the history of science.

This article at Watts Up With That? adds incrementally to that picture. John Goetz analyzes the U.S. temperature data that finds its way into "official" tabulations. This is particularly important because, while the U.S. represents only 6.6% of the total land area of Earth, we account for close to half of the data relied on by the Global Historical Climatology Network. This is a big topic, and you should study the Goetz article in its entirety if you have time. I am still digesting it.

But a few highlights are obvious. First, Goetz finds that approximately 92% (or even more, depending on how you calculate it) of US surface temperature data consists of estimated or altered values. Very little raw data finds its way into the warmists’ climate modelswhich, of course, is the way they want it. Second, the adjustments that are made to the U.S. data consistently skew the numbers as we have described many times beforethey try to make the present look warmer, compared with the past.

More here


Hypocrisy Alert! Buddhist-inspired college wants prairie dogs to disappear

One university’s plans to remove prairie dogs from its campus is drawing sharp criticism. The fact it’s a Buddhist-inspired school only adds to the controversy.

Naropa University in Boulder has been trying to resolve the prairie dog issue on its east campus at 63rd Street and Arapahoe Avenue.

The university says it’s counted 250 prairie dog burrows on its campus. School officials say they’ve spent four years trying to find a new home for the animals. While the city and county of Boulder has set aside 2,000 acres of prairie dog habitat, both say it’s full.

Naropa says it had no choice but to apply for a permit to kill the colony on its campus hoping it would raise awareness. It definitely got peoples’ attention.

Killing prairie dogs in peace-loving Boulder is always a touchy subject.

"The first precept of Buddhism is to not harm another living being," Deanna Meyer with Wildlands Defense said.


Immigrants bring their pathologies with them

Sixty people were hurt when a mass riot broke out over food at a tented refugee camp in Germany.

Police used tear gas to break up brawling between around 400 refugees.

The riot at Calden near Kassel came on the the same day Germany’s biggest police union called for a new ‘apartheid’ system to be enforced in refugee homesthe separation of people according to religionafter a number of flare ups in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Germany’s domestic intelligence chief warned of a radicalisation of right-wing groups amid a record influx of migrants as xenophobic rallies and clashes shook several towns at the weekend.

Conservative politicians back the calls for separated refugee centres, claiming Christians in the homes are being harassed and persecuted by hardline Muslims.

More here


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Immigration patterns in the U.S.

In a major shift in immigration patterns over the next 50 years, Asians will have surged past Hispanics to become the largest group of immigrants heading to the United States, according to estimates in a new immigration study.

The study looks in detail at what will happen by 2065, but the actual tipping point comes in 2055.

An increase in Asian and Hispanic immigration also will drive U.S. population growth, with foreign-born residents expected to make up 18 percent of the country’s projected 441 million people in 50 years, the Pew Research Center said in a report being released Monday. This will be a record, higher than the nearly 15 percent during the late 19th century and early 20th century wave of immigration from Europe.

Today, immigrants make up 14 percent of the population, an increase from 5 percent in 1965.

The actual change is expected to come in 2055, when Asians will become the largest immigrant group at 36 percent, compared with Hispanics at 34 percent. White immigrants to America, 80 percent back in 1965, will hover somewhere between 18 and 20 percent, with black immigrants in the 8 percent to 9 percent range, the study said.

Currently, 47 percent of immigrants living in the United States are Hispanic, but by 2065 that number will have dropped to 31 percent. Asians currently make up 26 percent of the immigrant population but in 50 years that percentage is expected to increase to 38 percent.

More here


One hundred percent wrong

Recall that it wasn’t long ago that Mr. Obama took a sunnier view of world affairs. The tide of war was receding. Al Qaeda was on a path to defeat. ISIS was "a jayvee team" in "Lakers uniforms." Iraq was an Obama administration success story. Bashar Assad’s days were numbered. The Arab Spring was a rejoinder to, rather than an opportunity for, Islamist violence. The intervention in Libya was vindication for the "lead from behind" approach to intervention. The reset with Russia was a success, a position he maintained as late as September 2013. In Latin America, the "trend lines are good."

"Overall," as he told Tom Friedman in August 2014shortly after ISIS had seized control of Mosul and as Vladimir Putin was muscling his way into eastern Ukraine—"I think there’s still cause for optimism."

It’s a remarkable record of prediction. One hundred percent wrong. The professor president who loves to talk about teachable moments is himself unteachable. Why is that?

More here


Baby, it's cold outside

Hundreds of predominantly Iraqi migrants who have travelled through Europe to reach Finland are turning back, saying they don’t want to stay in the sparsely-populated country on Europe’s northern frontier because it’s too cold and boring.

Migrants have in recent weeks been crossing back into Sweden at the Haparanda-Tornio border just an hour’s drive south of the Arctic Circle, and Finnish authorities have seen a rise in the number of cancelled asylum applications.

"You can tell the world I hate Finland. It’s too cold, there’s no tea, no restaurants, no bars, nobody on the streets, only cars," 22-year-old Muhammed told AFP in Tornio, as the mercury struggled to inch above 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) on a recent blustery grey day.

More here


A Vatican coup?

One thing that that has puzzled a lot of people since the selection of Pope Francis two years ago is how a left-leaning Pope could succeed two very serious conservative PopesJohn Paul II and Benedict XVIwho you would have thought had stacked the ranks of the Cardinals with clergy that would perpetuate their theological and philosophical outlook. Was Benedict hounded out of office by some kind of internal Vatican scandal perhaps? Was there some ecclesiastical version of a coup?

There’s no evidence that I’m aware ofuntil now. Three days ago the National Catholic Register ran a very curious article about the contents of a newly published authorized biography of retired Belgian cardinal Godfried Danneels. The Register article reports:
Further serious concerns are being raised about Cardinal Godfried Danneels, one of the papal delegates chosen to attend the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family, after the archbishop emeritus of Brussels confessed this week to being part of a radical "mafia" reformist group opposed to Benedict XVI. . .

At the launch of the book in Brussels this week, the cardinal said he was part of a secret club of cardinals opposed to Pope Benedict XVI.

He called it a "mafia" club that bore the name of St. Gallen. The group wanted a drastic reform of the Church, to make it "much more modern", and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it. The group, which also comprised Cardinal Walter Kasper and the late Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, has been documented in Austen Ivereigh’s biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer.

More here


Schools dropping football

There's a growing national debate in America about the safety of players in one of our most popular sports - football.

Now, there are more and more reports of high schools dropping their football programs out of concern for the safety of their student athletes.

The latest examples include Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in the St. Louis suburb of Maplewood, Missouri.

More here


Yeah, we need more crazy people

Hundreds of immigrants with mental disabilities who were deported from the U.S. after representing themselves in court may be allowed to return to the country under a settlement approved by a judge Friday.

Federal Judge Dolly M. Gee's ruling will let immigrants with serious mental disabilities request to have their cases reopened in hopes of returning to the U.S. The ruling covers immigrants deported from California, Arizona and Washington between Nov. 21, 2011 and Jan. 27 this year.

"This is really a historic settlement," said Carmen Iguina, staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California, one of the groups that filed the 2010 lawsuit that led to the settlement.

"We're really happy that our class members are going to be able to go back to their communities and families and follow up their cases here," Iguina said.

The government identified 900 immigrants who could benefit from the ruling, though there could be more and it's unclear how many would qualify to have their cases reopened, Iguina said.

More here