Friday, May 31, 2013

Lois Lerner, Democrat gangster

In 1996 Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the harassment of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status, was head of the enforcement division of the Federal Elections Commission(FEC). That year Al Salvi was the Republican nominee for the US Senate from Illinois, his Democrat opponent was then congressman Dick Durbin.

During the final weeks of the campaign Salvi loaned himself over a million dollars to buy ads in the Chicago media market. This in turn prompted the Democrat party’s campaign arms to file complaints with the FEC and in kind the FEC, specifically Lois Lerner, filed charges against Al Salvi.

That is when Mr. Salvi contends Lois Lerner made him the following offer, "Promise me you will never run for office again, and we’ll drop this case."

Al Salvi refused that offer and would fight the FEC complaint against him for several more years before a Judge tossed out the complaint.

More here

Gasoline myths

Plan to drive more this summer? Annoyed by the price of gas? Complaining that oil companies rip you off?

I say, shut up. Even if gas costs $4 per gallon, we should thank Big Oil. Think what they have to do to bring us gas.

Oil must be sucked out of the ground, sometimes from war zones or deep beneath oceans. The drills now bend and dig sideways through as much as 7 miles of earth. What they discover must be pumped through billion-dollar pipelines and often put in monstrously expensive tankers to ship across the ocean.

Then it’s refined into several types of gasoline, transported in trucks that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Finally, your local gas station must spend a fortune on safety devices to make sure we don’t blow ourselves up while filling the tank.

And it still costs less per ounce than the bottled water sold at gas stations. If government sold gas, it would cost $40 per gallon. And there would be shortages!

Another myth: Big Oil makes "excess" profit. Nonsense. The oil business is fiercely competitive. If one company charges a penny too much, other companies steal its business. Apple’s profit margin is about 24 percent. McDonald’s makes 20 percent. Oil companies make half that.

Per gallon, ExxonMobil makes about 7 cents. Governments, by contrast, grab about 27 cents per gallon. That’s the average gas tax. If anyone takes too much, it’s government.

More here

Bloated voting rolls

More than one out of every five registered Ohio voters is probably ineligible to vote.

In two counties, the number of registered voters actually exceeds the voting-age population: Northwestern Ohio’s Wood County shows 109 registered voters for every 100 eligible, while in Lawrence County along the Ohio River it’s a mere 104 registered per 100 eligible.

Another 31 counties show registrations at more than 90 percent of those eligible, a rate regarded as unrealistic by most voting experts. The national average is a little more than 70 percent.

In a close presidential election where every vote might count, which ones to count might become paramount on Election Day — and in possible legal battles afterward.

More here

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crap chute

The solar panels covering a vast warehouse roof in the sun-soaked Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles were only two years into their expected 25-year life span when they began to fail.

Coatings that protect the panels disintegrated while other defects caused two fires that took the system offline for two years, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

It was not an isolated incident. Worldwide, testing labs, developers, financiers and insurers are reporting similar problems and say the $77 billion solar industry is facing a quality crisis just as solar panels are on the verge of widespread adoption.

No one is sure how pervasive the problem is. There are no industry-wide figures about defective solar panels. And when defects are discovered, confidentiality agreements often keep the manufacturer’s identity secret, making accountability in the industry all the more difficult. ...

Most of the concerns over quality center on China, home to the majority of the world’s solar panel manufacturing capacity.

After incurring billions of dollars in debt to accelerate production that has sent solar panel prices plunging since 2009, Chinese solar companies are under extreme pressure to cut costs.

More here

Blood money

" A ‘celebrity’ Saudi preacher accused of raping, torturing and killing his five-year-old daughter has reportedly been released from custody after agreeing to pay ‘blood money’.

Fayhan al-Ghamdi had been accused of killing his daughter Lama, who suffered multiple injuries including a crushed skull, broken back, broken ribs, a broken left arm and extensive bruising and burns. Social workers say she had also been repeatedly raped and burnt.

Fayhan al-Ghamdi admitted using a cane and cables to inflict the injuries after doubting his five-year-old daughter’s virginity and taking her to a doctor, according to the campaign group Women to Drive.

Rather than getting the death penalty or receiving a long prison sentence for the crime, Fayhan al-Ghamdi served only a few months in jail before a judge ruled the prosecution could only seek ‘blood money’."

Source

(According to the Liberals, all cultures are equal)

Burning wood in Europe

In their own crunchy and progressive imaginations, at least, various European governments have been noble pioneers on the forefront of imposing the types of expensive but ostensibly necessary green-energy mandates and quotas that the entire world will eventually be forced to adopt in order to deter climate change… except that the unintended consequences of trying to forcibly integrate what are nothing more than politically-favored fledgling technologies, instead of competitive and price-efficient ones, are proving to be a little rough.

The European Union has been pushing their member states to derive no less than one-fifth of their energy from so-called renewable sources by 2020, and the major hope behind the whole thing was that supporting wind and solar energies would put them into a position where they could help everybody meet those goals. Unfortunately for them, however, wind and solar have yet to emerge as the miracle technologies that green-energy advocates have been so desperately insisting they will be, despite their many generous subsidies. Not only are the recession-wracked Europeans paying an average of 37 percent more than Americans for electricity, but they are increasingly relying on buying and shipping American resources to meet their green-energy goals to make up for their underperforming renewables’ shortcomings.

More here

Collapse of education

Get up off the floor. First, if you’re a believer, despair is a sin. And if you’re not a believer, despair is spitting on the graves of all the men and women who fought in much worse conditions than you face. The ghosts of Tiananmen Square rise up against you. The men who in the Gulags carried a hope of freedom accuse you. The victims of communism point fingers at you. The millions of dead at the hands of marching statism would like to remind you that to give up is to die. And that’s when you should give up. Not a second earlier.

But worse than that – despair is a sin and an insult on the brave dead… And it might be stupid too.

You’re going to point to the fact that the left – Marxists – control education and that even in Europe, even in countries that suffered under communism, they think socialism is great. This is because the left has education and the history books have been revised. I can tell you having been raised in Europe that people are taught to equate capitalism and monarchy, and all the crimes of monarchy are ascribed to capitalism, and socialism/communism is opposed to this.

Here is the problem for them, though – socialism doesn’t work. As Thatcher said, sooner or later you run out of other people’s money. They are. Yes, there will be fire and blood, but at the end of it there just might be sanity. Voices that point out that communism/socialism in their end result are much closer to monarchy than capitalism ever was are needed. People who hold aloft the ideals of individual liberty are needed. It’s not time to fall on your sword, yet. It might never be, because…

Yes they control the education system in most of the world. But education is already getting hit with the same sort of catastrophic change that hit publishing. I’ve seen the signs. I’ve seen the middle class kids who are home/online schooled up to the last two years, then go to school the last two years, just to establish records for college entrance. In ten years we’ve come this far. In another three or four, things will come tumbling down. And it will be sudden, as it’s been for publishing.

More here

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Obama, Golf, and other national distractions

While Obama plays golf....Fifteen wounded warriors rode with President Bush this year for the Third Annual Bush Center W100K Wounded Warrior Mountain Bike Ride. It was the first time that the mountain bike ride took place on his pastoral ranch outside Crawford Texas, where 43 miles of trails have been built. Story

Great comment I saw today...."I don't want to overthrow the government, I just want all of them in government to be fired!"

Great tweet...."Almost 100% of the bad news coming out of Washington was once a conspiracy theory." Source

Ted Cruz to McCain...."There may be more 'wacko birds' in the Senate than you think."

The Austin online newspaper reports that sexual assaults at Fort Hood have nearly doubled in recent months. I find it amazing that similar reports from all over the country are popping up all of a sudden. Can you say...manufactured crisis? And for what purpose? Hmmmm.

Chico, California has passed a new ordinance....No person shall produce, test, maintain, or store within the city a nuclear weapon, component of a nuclear weapon, nuclear weapon delivery system, or component of a nuclear weapon delivery system under penalty of Chapter 9.60.030 of the Chico Municipal Code. (I.Shit.You.Not) Story

A conservative wag says this about the Swedish riots..."They're not Riots, they're Diversity Bonfires."

Obama speaks to the Naval Academy graduation class..."Live with integrity and speak with honesty and take responsibility and demand accountability."

72 Chippendales?....A female suicide bomber has blown herself up in the southern Russian region of Dagestan, injuring at least 18 people. Two children and five police officers were among those wounded, authorities said on Saturday. The attacker was later identified as a widow of two Islamic radicals killed by security forces. Story

On Friday Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the DSCC sent out a fundraising letter claiming Tea Party "radicals" were carrying "Nazi symbols" at the IRS rallies this week. Story  (The "Nazi symbols" was the stylized SS which implied that the IRS was acting like Nazis.)

Ain't it the truth?...."We won't call jihadists "warriors" or "terrorists" or declare them to be a clear and present danger, or train our soldiers to beware of them. We are too busy training our soldiers to beware of Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Mormons and Evangelical Christians."

Swedish residents who banded together to hinder the rioters in Stockholm were referred to in the local press as right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis. LOL.

Question of the day...."If honesty is the best policy, then is dishonesty the 2nd best policy?"

Why one cop carries 145 rounds of ammo here.

Coming soon to the good old USA....Thousands of patients are dying due to a chronic lack of doctors in England's worst hospitals, according to a shocking new study. Story

Curious case of Gibson Guitars.

Why do dogs live a shorter life than humans? A six year old boy knows why. Story

Robert Stacy McCain...."Never accuse a liberal of hypocrisy, because they have no actual principles to violate."

Leftist legal experts Jeralyn Merrritt and Alan Dershowitz were stunned that Zimmerman was charged, and the latter wants the prosecutor Angela Corey disbarred for an overly political prosecution. This is like the Duke Lacrosse/Tawana Brawley case all over again, and I’ll be glad when it is over. Story

IRS scandal, Benghazi cover-up, James Rosen/Fox News scandal. Those are the main scandals in the news these days. There are also other scandals such as the HHS demanding private corporations fund ObamaCARE, the CIA giving bags of money to Hamid Karzai, and the EPA scandal with Lisa Jackson and her Richard Windsor e-mails. Colin Powell, who still claims that he is a Republican is doing a reasonably well in his second term. Did you know the economy was booming? Colin Powell thinks it is. Did you know the stock market wasn’t being artificially inflated by the Federal Reserve? Colin Powell thinks so. Check out what Powell said of Obama on Bloomberg News: Story

Fresh off the IRS scandal that has rocked the Obama administration and gotten official Lois Lerner in a lot of trouble, the IRS is releasing a new simplified form for Tea Party patriots!! And WE at the Sooper Mexy Blog have gotten our brown little greedy fingers on a copy before the big review!! Story

Varying tax rates for various U.S. companies. Story

Kickbacks as 'a natural part of business' at Fannie Mae alleged. Investigators are looking into assertions by an ex-Fannie Mae worker that kickbacks were 'a natural part of business' at the federal housing finance company. Story

Henry Kissinger is supposed to have once said...."Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy."

Le Gasp!....The French came out in huge numbers to protest the legalization of same sex marriage. Estimates range from 160,000 to 1,000,000. Source

Finally, after a week of riots the Swedish capital of Stockholm is almost back to normal. Only ten cars were torched Tuesday night.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

College is a giant money making scam?

Today, 34.9 percent of all student loan borrowers under the age of 30 are at least 90 days behind on their student loan payments.

Since 1986, the cost of college tuition has risen by 498 percent.

The cost of college textbooks has tripled over the past decade.

The average cost of a four-year college education is projected to soar to $120,000 by the year 2015.

Back in 1952, a full year of tuition at Harvard was only $600. Today, it is over $35,000.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, approximately 167,000 Americans currently have more than $200,000 of student loan debt.

At most U.S. colleges and universities, the quality of the education that you will receive is very poor. Just check out some numbers about the quality of college education in the United States from an article that appeared in USA Today….

More here

Code for Amnesty

Sen. Marco Rubio blocked numerous immigration-enforcement bills when he served as speaker in the Florida House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009.

"Rubio blocked any efforts to deal with the problems of illegal immigration on the local or state level," one former politician from South Florida, who has known Rubio since his city councilman days in West Miami, told The Daily Caller.

"He said it was because we had bigger things to deal with on the state level. Maybe that’s true. But he didn’t even let bills to the floor when they sailed through committees," the politician, who declined to speak on the record, added.

Rubio’s record is relevant now because he’s presented himself as a moderate backer for the Democratic-led "Gang of Eight" immigration bill. Proponents of the bill argue that its extensive loosening of immigration laws (including a "pathway to citizenship" that Rubio in 2010 described as "basically code for amnesty") will be balanced by tougher enforcement.

But the record shows that Rubio used his power in Florida to block popular immigration-enforcement bills prior to his election-trail conversion into an immigration-hawk.

In the 2010 race, he criticized one of his opponents, Gov. Charlie Crist, for backing the amnesty proposal developed by Sen. John McCain and Ted Kennedy in 2006 and 2007.

More here

Tea Party fighting back

The Republicans have a pretty good idea, if they follow through on it, this is actually not a bad idea. It is a story from the Washington Examiner: "Claims of political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service are flooding into the House Ways and Means Committee, bolstered by evidence that includes secretly recorded conversations with IRS officials."

It turns out that some of these Tea Party groups actually recorded meetings they had, and the Republicans in the House committee are urging them to send these materials in.

"Ways and Means has created a website inviting Americans who believe they were targeted to share their stories, and among the information being forwarded to committee investigators are surreptitious recordings of interviews with the IRS. The recordings and other evidence are coming from conservatives who believe they were subjected to tax audits because of their political activism, or from members of conservative groups who believe their organizations' requests for tax-exempt status was subjected to extra scrutiny."

So normally this is the kind of trick the Democrats pull, you know, the endless parade of victims in front of the cameras. Now, that hasn't happened yet, but at least they're collecting. They're asking Americans who believe they've been wronged if they have any recordings, to send the stuff in, link it up to their website at the House Ways and Means Committee. So American ingenuity isn't dead if some of this stuff ever pops up and is seen. See, that could cause something like this to break wide open even more so, when people can actually see how it happened, as opposed to just hearing about it, which is bad enough, but there's always more power in actually seeing it.

Source

Poor terrorists get no respect

You can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for your average Muslim terrorist. They go to all the trouble of blowing up children in Boston, killing US Army personnel in Texas, detonating bars in Bali, flying jets into New York skyscrapers and now basically removing a soldier’s head in a London street, all in the holy name of Islam.

But where’s the credit?

Where’s the respect?

Following yesterday’s murderous outrage, one of the alleged killers – easily identified by blood-covered hands and two dripping knives – stood in the street and declared to the world he’d slaughtered his victim as a direct consequence of Islamic beliefs.

There are "many, many ayat throughout the Koran," the man said, citing the book’s ninth chapter, that encourage followers to "fight them as they fight us."

That’s a fairly clear message. Also clear were the cries of "Allahu Akbar" as the two alleged murderers went about carving and hacking at the fallen soldier’s body, having already run him down with a car.

Then, as usual, the western media’s reflexive timidity kicked in. The default mode in any coverage of Islamic violence is a painfully cautious avoidance of Islam.

British television network ITV was among the first to broadcast the alleged killer’s speech, but neatly edited any mention of the Koran by talking over him. "In a south London street," a voiceover intoned, "a man with bloodied hands carrying a knife and machete approaches a camera and tries to justify what just happened."

More here

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Crusader aggression or Islamic expansion?

Let me put down here some facts that are worth returning to from time to time, as arguments over the history of Islam and Islamism are back in the news with today’s beheading in London. In debates over the history of tension between Muslims and Christians, the Crusades are often cited, out of their historical context, as the original cause of such clashes, as if both sides were peaceably minding their own business before imperialist Westerners decided to go launch a religious war in Muslim lands.

This is not what actually happened, and indeed it is ahistorical to treat the fragmented feudal states of the West in the Eleventh Century as capable of any such thing as imperialism or colonialism (although, as Victor Davis Hanson has noted, even in the centuries after the fall of Rome, Western civilization retained a superior logistical ability to project force overseas due to the scientific, economic and military legacies of ancient Greece and Rome). Moreover, when Islam first arose, much of what we think of today as Islamic ‘territory’ in Anatolia, the Levant and North Africa was Christian until conquered by the heirs of Muhammad, such that speaking of one side’s incursions into the other’s territory requires you to ignore how that territory was seized in the first place. That entire region had been part of the Roman and later Byzantine empires, and was culturally part of the West until it was conquered by Muslim arms – Rome is closer geographically to Tripoli than to London, Madrid is closer to Casablanca than to Berlin, Athens is closer to Damascus than to Paris.

All that said, it’s worth remembering that the Crusades arose in the late Eleventh Century only after four centuries of relentless Islamic efforts to conquer Europe, and the Christians of the Crusading era cannot be evaluated without that crucial context.

It’s somewhat hazy to identify the genesis of the first battle between the Byzantines and Islamic forces, which probably took place around 629 at the Battle of Mu’tah, before Muhammad had even completed the conquest of Mecca; the first sea battle between Muslim and Byzantine forces took place a few years later. The fall of Mecca in 630 solidified Muhammad’s control of the western side of the Arabian peninsula, and Muhammad died in 632. A decisive Muslim victory at the Battle of Ajnadayn in 634 spread Muslim control into modern Israel. Between 634 and 689, Muslim forces conquered Christian, Byzantine-held Syria and North Africa.

Starting in the middle of the Seventh Century, when Islam was still mostly united under a single political entity, you begin to see Islamic incursions into Europe (including Constantinople, which was effectively one of the leading European cities at the time) – and from there, the conquests and attempted conquests marched on. If you look on a map over this period, you see an almost continuous line of advance on Europe from all sides but the north – from Spain and France in the west to Italy in the center to Constantinople in the east to the frontiers of Georgia in the Caucusus, with the islands of the Mediterranean on the front lines....

More here

Comedy from the BBC

It's really hard not to laugh at the BBC account of rioting in Stockholm. Who do they think they are fooling?...

It's hard to discern a pattern in the violence that has wracked the Swedish capital Stockholm for five nights.

Rioting in the city's suburbs has raised the national debate about immigration, unemployment and social inequality.

The cars attacked in the violence are not high-end - not the BMWs and Porsches you might expect to see torched by class warriors - but the vans which ordinary people need to go about their business.

Schools, a station and a library have been attacked as well as a bank and a police station.

In the areas affected, local people said the motive of the youths making trouble was anger over joblessness.

Some said it was simply a matter of criminality and parents were to blame for not controlling their offspring better.

There was a widespread assertion that the violence was not motivated by Islamist ideology.

More here

Tesla, toys for the rich

The list of the Obama Administration’s industrial policy failures is long, from Solyndra to Fisker Automotive. But now we are hearing that one success redeems them all: Tesla Motors TSLA +5.92% . Tesla’s share price has soared this year on rave reviews for its electric car, growing sales and its first quarterly profit.

Rarely noted is how much this profit is a function of government subsidy and coercion. So let’s take apart Tesla by the numbers, if only to give our reader-taxpayers a better sense of what they’ve paid to make Tesla’s owners rich.

The decade-old Tesla debuted its first product, the Roadster, in 2006. With a base price of $109,000, it was discontinued before it hit 2,500 sales. Tesla introduced its Model S a year ago and had sold an estimated 9,650 at a bargain $70,000 through April. By contrast, Ford sold 168,843 F-series pickup trucks in the first quarter alone.

Tesla wouldn’t have sold even that many cars without the extraordinary help of government. In 2009 the company received a $465 million Obama loan guarantee, supplemented last year by a $10 million grant from the California Energy Commission.

That money has underwritten Tesla’s engineering and manufacturing, but federal and state governments also subsidize the purchase of Tesla products. Any U.S. buyer of a Tesla car qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit, while states like Colorado throw in up to $6,000 more in state income-tax credits. Taxpayers pay first so Tesla can build the cars and again to help the wealthy buy them.

Source

Hacking back

Foreign hackers do remarkable damage by breaking into American companies, stealing intellectual property worth enormous amounts of money, swiping proprietary secrets for military technology or other uses and, in the case of some recent Chinese attacks, even exposing U.S. counterintelligence efforts. The Obama administration has made clear that it takes the threat seriously and is escalating efforts to stop it.

One suggestion increasingly floated in the private sector is to allow companies to "hack back." Current U.S. law makes it illegal for private firms to launch retaliatory cyber-attacks and the issue is highly controversial. But it’s entering the mainstream. A new report, from a private commission on intellectual property theft chaired by former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and former director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, raised the possibility of changing the law to allow for hacking back. While it stopped short of directly advocating such attacks, it did call for a milder, legal form of hacking back and said that the United States should consider changing the law if other measures fail.

It can be tough to talk about allowing corporations to run their own mini cyber-wars because, like hacking itself, no one is exactly sure what sorts of norms will develop and where the technology will lead us. The conversations tend heavily toward the hypothetical. Advocates of "hacking back" point out that criminal and state-run hackers are only getting better, and that because they risk little by attacking purely defensive systems, they will simply persist until they succeed. Opponents warn that such a serious escalation could erode what few cyber norms already exist, turning the Internet into a battlefield where not just rogue states and freelance criminals, but a lot very rich corporations are invading privacy, stealing data and otherwise hacking for the specific purpose of doing damage.

What does hacking back actually mean? The lighter, legal version advocated in the report suggests that companies could load up sensitive data with a sort of self-destruct device: if, say, plans for a new kind of jet engine are stolen, then special code embedded within the plans might cause the file to become unreadable or even lock up the thief’s computer. Think of it kind of like the dye packs that some banks will toss in with cash if they’re being robbed: the pack explodes, covering the cash in ink and making it far less useful for the robber.

More here

Friday, May 24, 2013

Faux stone columns, and other disasters

The faux stone columns from his Denver acceptance speech are crumbling, the fireworks have fizzled and the unadulterated adulation of Barack Obama is a sour feeling of disillusion, as a new poll reveals half of America wants him impeached, including a stunning one in four Democrats. Story

Judge Jeanine Pirro of Fox News to Obama...."Why is it that you can mobilize the IRS to go after political enemies but you can't mobilize troops to save American lives in Benghazi?"

From Newsweek, April 28, 1975.....The Cooling World. Blames tornadoes on global cooling.

Rush Limbaugh...."There are miniature Obamas all over this government doing his bidding for him."

True or False?....Fraud flows from the top down, not the mid-level up."

Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, is still on the payroll. So far he's been paid $278,000 since killing 13 members of the military. Meanwhile, you or me would be in prison or executed by now.

In Iraq's deadliest day for eight months, 10 car bombs explode in Baghdad and other attacks hit Shia Basra and Sunni Samarra. Story

Five copper coins found in northern Australia could rewrite the country's history. The coins are thought to date back as early as the 900s and are believed to have originated in Africa. Written history of Australia only dates back to 1606, when Dutch explorers landed in the region, and researchers from Indiana University want to find out how the thousand-year-old copper coins ended up on the other side of the Indian Ocean six centuries earlier. Story

Labor unions are breaking with President Obama on ObamaCare. Months after the president’s reelection, a variety of unions are publicly balking at how the administration plans to implement the landmark law. They warn that unless there are changes, the results could be catastrophic. Story

Batshit crazy comment of the week....Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. joined HuffPost Live Tuesday and said that the scandal surround the IRS and the Tea Party can actually be blamed on Republicans. "This was really the result of Republican behavior," Kennedy told HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill, citing Republican-led cutbacks that he said "overwhelmed" an IRS Cincinnati field office. "It's the Republicans' own fault because the Republicans cut the budget and did the sequester so that the Cincinnati office doesn't have the personnel or the training [that it needs]." Source (He should not be allowed to reproduce)

Pesticides Make a Comeback....Many corn farmers go back to using chemicals as Mother Nature outwits genetically modified seeds. As more farmers switched to the modified seed, the share of corn acreage treated with insecticide fell to 9% in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, from 25% in 2005, according to USDA data. Those farmers who continued to use insecticide applied less in 2010, the data showed. Story

Stockholm has had 4 nights of rioting by muslim immigrants who are upset that the police shot and killed one of their own (who was threatening someone with a knife). Several businesses have been torched, as well as numerous automobiles which is referred to as "carbecues" in Sweden and France. Schools and community centers have also been torched.

Birth of the Oklahoma tornado.

Lois Lerner says she is "very proud of her work at the IRS" and then invoked the Fifth Amendment after blaming her subordinates. Comment by Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club, "America's a great place. You can undermine the First amendment, ignore the Second, disregard the Fourth and still take the Fifth."

Lois Lerner has a history of targeting conservatives.

Arkansas' state treasurer has resigned after federal prosecutors accused her of taking cash payments from a broker who handled a large amount of the state's investment portfolio. Democrat Martha Shoffner resigned effective Tuesday from the office she has held since 2007 and was re-elected to in 2010. She was barred by term limits from seeking re-election next year. Democrats and Republicans called for Shoffner to step down after the FBI arrested her in a sting operation. She's accused of taking at least $36,000 in cash. At least two of the payments from the broker were delivered to Shoffner in a pie box. Story

Quote of the day...."There is a criminal element in our government. Using the IRS to target political opponents is a crime."

Jay Carney on the numerous scandals in Obama's administration, "I mean, nobody's been more outraged by the reported conduct here than the president of the United States." LOL

The centuries old flag of England has been rejected by a local town council on the grounds the red cross on white background English colors may be "inappropriate" and "offensive" to Muslims, as reported by the on-line news portal The Bristol Post on 16 May, 2013. Story

Dr. Anthony Levatino is a pro-life physician from New Mexico but, before having a change of heart on the issue of abortion he was an OBGYN who also performed abortions. Levatino did as many as 1,200 abortions — some of them after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Then, after his daughter died in a tragic automobile accident, he re-evaluated his position on abortion and stopped doing abortions. Story

What's not widely reported is that Syria's civil war basically boils down to a conflict between the Sunnis and the Shias. Just like in Iraq.

Man haters

Do you believe that all human beings are equal? Then you're a feminist!

Well, such was my naïve belief, until now. While disagreements between supporters of any movement or system of beliefs are unavoidable, I thought that at least human equality was one area in which feminists would unite. I saw the notion of a feminist as being anti-men as merely one of many unjustified stereotypes, such as being ugly, or unwomanly.

Recently, however, I realised that man-hating feminism was all too real. My first experience of this was on Twitter. An article in the Independent had revealed that many men experience lasting psychological trauma at the birth of their children. I was horrified by the experiences described. Unfortunately, certain feminists of twitter were not. One lamented: "They can't even let us have childbirth without fucking whining about what a hard time they have"; another declared that the traumatised men were "just squeamish", a reaction ominously similar to men in decades past who have labelled women as "hysterical". When I tried to explain that the article made the obviously correct assumption that childbirth is more traumatising for women, and simply reported undeniable trauma also experienced by certain men, I was accused of "trolling", and of not knowing "much about feminism". Finally, when I responded by saying that my words were due to a belief that "feminism at its heart should be about women being equal to men", I was met with the response, "it's a women's movement. Men do not get a say in it and they take opportunities to hijack and derail."

When some of the most commendable feminists I know are men, this is a pretty confusing statement to be making. If we isolate roughly half of the population from the movement, what can we hope to achieve?

More here

Conspiracies

63 percent of registered American voters believe in at least one political conspiracy theory, according to a recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

That is indeed what the poll says, but phrased that way the figure is approximately 37 percent too low. Virtually everyone who has any political beliefs at all believes in at least one conspiracy theory. Imagining conspiracies is just part of how human beings tend to perceive the world: It's where our drive to find patterns meets our capacity for being suspicious, particularly when we're dealing with other nations, factions, subcultures, or layers of the social hierarchy. This habit manifests itself across the political spectrum, and it always has. And it is intensified by the fact that conspiracies, unlike many of the monsters that haunt us, do sometimes actually exist. (Koerth-Baker acknowledges that last point -- she mentions Watergate, Iran-contra, and the Tuskegee experiment -- so presumably when she writes "political conspiracy theory" she means "political conspiracy theory that is not accepted historical fact.")

As a result, the article's attempts to generalize about conspiracy believers fall flat. When Koerth-Baker quotes the psychologist Viren Swami, who says "The best predictor of belief in a conspiracy theory is belief in other conspiracy theories," Swami isn't really talking about conspiracy theories in general; he means a particular sort of conspiracy theory that stresses that "the official story" is wrong and that powerful people are covering up the truth. There have been plenty of conspiracy theories through the years that are not especially interested in debunking "the official story" (sometimes they are the official story) and that aim their suspicions at people who are not particularly powerful. Koerth-Baker cites a review-essay that Swami co-wrote for The Psychologist, reporting that it reveals "a set of traits that correlate well with conspiracy belief." But the Psychologist piece brushes too quickly past an important sociological question: What gets defined as a "conspiracy theory" in the first place?

More here

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Domestic violence

The most comprehensive review of the scholarly domestic violence research literature ever conducted concludes, among other things, that women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, as well as engage in control behaviors, at comparable rates to men. The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge project, or PASK, whose final installment was just published in the journal Partner Abuse, is an unparalleled three-year research project, conducted by 42 scholars at 20 universities and research centers, and including information on 17 areas of domestic violence research.

"Over the years, research on partner abuse has become unnecessarily fragmented and politicized," commented John Hamel, Editor-in-Chief of Partner Abuse and PASK Director. "The purpose of this project is to bring together, in a rigorously evidence-based, transparent and methodical manner, existing knowledge about partner abuse, with reliable, up-to-date research that can easily be accessed by anyone. PASK is grounded in the premises that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not to their own facts; that these facts should be available to everyone, and that domestic violence intervention and policy ought to be based upon these facts rather than ideology and special interests."

Among PASK’s findings are that, except for sexual coercion, men and women perpetrate physical and non-physical forms of abuse at comparable rates, most domestic violence is mutual, women are as controlling as men, domestic violence by men and women is correlated with essentially the same risk factors, and male and female perpetrators are motivated for similar reasons.

"Although research confirms that women are more impacted by domestic violence," stated Hamel, "these findings recommend important intervention and policy changes, including a need to pay more attention to female-perpetrated violence, mutual abuse, and the needs of male victims."

Hamel also argues that men are not only disproportionately arrested in domestic violence cases, but sometimes arrested for arbitrary reasons, citing, for example, that police often arrest the bigger and stronger party in cases where the perpetrator is unclear. "Such policies are not only ineffective but violate people’s civil rights," Hamel concludes. "People in the domestic violence field say that ‘it’s all about the victims.’ Well, the victim is not always the one hit, but sometimes the one arrested."

More here

Liberal fascism

Try and digest this....

Occupy Wall Street hippies and leftists can riot, break windows, rape and even sometimes kill people. No armed DHS guards were ever sent to their ‘camps’ or protests.

Peaceful, but frustrated Americans protest the IRS because of their targeting of conservatives and religious groups. Obama sends in armed guards with the DHS? Does anyone see something wrong here or is it just me?

Story and photos here

Justice, Saudi style

Saudi Arabia has today beheaded five Yemenis and displayed their bodies in public.

The men were found to have murdered a Saudi national and formed a gang that committed robberies across several towns in the kingdom, Saudi Arabia's interior ministry said.

The five were executed in the southwestern town of Jizan, bringing the number of people executed in the kingdom this year to 46, according to a tally kept by the Agence France Presse (AFP).

A witness in Jizan told AFP that the five men were displayed in public near a university.

A picture posted to Twitter shows the five men are hanging from a rope tied to their waists on a horizontal bar between two cranes.

Story and photo here
 

Keeping spending secret

A California law that created an agency to oversee national health care reforms granted it broad authority to conceal spending on the contractors that will perform most of its functions, potentially shielding the public from seeing how hundreds of millions of dollars are spent.

The degree of secrecy afforded Covered California appears unique among states attempting to establish their own health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's signature health law.

An Associated Press review of the 16 other states that have opted for state-run marketplaces shows the California agency was given powers that are the most restrictive in what information is required to be made public.

It's routine in government to keep bids secret until contracts are awarded, so one vendor does not get an unfair advantage over others. After a bid is awarded, contracts generally become fully public.

In setting up the California exchange, lawmakers gave it the authority to keep all contracts private for a year and the amounts paid secret indefinitely. "Except for the portion of a contract that contains the rates of payment, contracts entered into pursuant to this title shall be open to inspection one year after their effective dates," reads the code specifying what exchange records are exempt from public disclosure.

More here

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sexual trauma in the military

The VA says 1 in 5 women and 1 in 100 men screen positive for military sexual trauma, which the VA defines as "any sexual activity where you are involved against your will." Some report that they were victims of rape, while others say they were groped or subjected to verbal abuse or other forms of sexual harassment. AP

In the final six months of 2011, an average of 248 veterans per month filed for disability benefits related to sexual trauma. That rose by about a third, to 334 veterans per month in 2012, an increase the VA attributed in part to better screening for the ongoing trauma associated with sexual assault. Of those who filed in 2012, about two-thirds were women and nearly a third were men. AP

To get disability benefits related to sexual trauma, veterans must be diagnosed with a health problem such as PTSD, submit proof that they were assaulted or sexually harassed in a threatening manner and have a VA examiner confirm a link to their health condition.

Benefits depend on the severity of the disability. For example, a veteran with a 50 percent rating and no dependents would get $810 a month. A veteran with a 100 percent rating and a spouse and child to support would get nearly $3,088 a month.

Only a small percentage (17 percent) of sexual assault cases in the U.S. military are ever reported, according to The Washington Times.

President Barack Obama has said that he has "no tolerance" for sexual assault in the military, comments made in the wake of a new Pentagon report showing the instances of such crimes have spiked since 2010.

More here

Defining progressivism

I’ve recently been made aware of a strange new tribe who refer to themselves collectively—they do everything collectively—as "progressives." I think they used to call themselves "liberals" until it became clear that they don’t care much for liberty. Males and females in this tribe both tend to wear beards and gather in urban coastal areas, where they pay too much for apartments, water, coffee, and bean sprouts.

They speak a strange and exotic tongue unfamiliar to my ears. But they repeat certain terms so frequently, I feel as if I’ve begun to get a handle on what they’re driving at. To the best of my ability, I will try to decipher what these buzzwords mean.

ACTIVIST—A person who isn’t actively performing activities at an actual job.

ANTI-RACIST—A person who makes everything about race.

APOLOGIST—Explainer.

BLAMING THE VICTIM—Daring to suggest that conflicts between humans are often complicated and that it’s therefore childishly naïve to believe that one person is always entirely guilty and the other is always entirely innocent.

BULLIES—People who must be bullied into silence.

CHOICE—The act of forcing people to pay for a woman’s one-night stands.

CORPORATIONS—Malevolent yet generally non-coercive superorganisms that must be combated with a malevolent and entirely coercive superorganism known as government.

CRITICAL THINKING—The act of swallowing the laughably implausible tenets of blank-slate equality without asking a single question.

Much, much more here

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fictitious disease

"ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease."

More here

California pipe dreams

In October 2004, then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rolled up to a pioneering fueling station at Los Angeles International Airport in a hydrogen-powered metallic blue Hummer loaned to him by General Motors Corp.

The "California Hydrogen Highway," Schwarzenegger's vision to ensure that every Californian would have access to a hydrogen fueling station by the end of 2010, called for the state to spend more than $50 million to help deploy up to 100 hydrogen fuel stations that would serve 2,000 fuel cell vehicles. "We got 200 stakeholders around a table, literally, and mapped out who could get stations where," said Terry Tamminen, a top adviser to Schwarzenegger.

But nearly nine years later, California has just nine hydrogen stations open for the public, and only about 200 fuel cell cars that can use them.

The global financial crisis helped slam the breaks on dreams of a Hydrogen Highway, but the roots of green energy's mid-life crisis - marked by a rash of recent corporate collapses in everything from electric cars to solar panels - run far deeper.

More here

America is unhealthy to immigrants

A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents.

The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. It also demonstrates that at least in terms of health, worries about assimilation for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants are mistaken. In fact, it is happening all too quickly.

"There’s something about life in the United States that is not conducive to good health across generations," said Robert A. Hummer, a social demographer at the University of Texas at Austin.

For Hispanics, now the nation’s largest immigrant group, the foreign-born live about three years longer than their American-born counterparts, several studies have found.

Why does life in the United States — despite its sophisticated health care system and high per capita wages — lead to worse health? New research is showing that the immigrant advantage wears off with the adoption of American behaviors — smoking, drinking, high-calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles.

Here in Brownsville, a worn border city studded with fast-food restaurants, immigrants say that happens slowly, almost imperceptibly. In America, foods like ham and bread that are not supposed to be sweet are. And children lose their taste for traditional Mexican foods like cactus and beans.

More here

Fuzzy math

Were you to look at official government statistics that calculate our rate of price inflation for food, energy, clothing, and other consumer goods, you’d think that prices were as stable today as they were under the gold standard.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation rate remains well below the Federal Reserve’s 2.5% threshold. Insofar as the government is concerned America’s core inflation rate is just 1.7%, a testament to the economic prowess of our central bank and Chairman Ben Bernanke.

And because there is no significant price rise being realized in consumer goods based on the government’s calculations, the millions of Americans dependent on disbursements like social security, disability assistance and nutritional food support will see no adjustments to their monthly stipend. And why would they? Prices aren’t rising!

Or are they?

According to Peter Schiff, who is well known for his dire economic warnings leading up to the crash of 2008, the government is involved in a wide array of manipulations and fuzzy-math in an effort to convince us that the price increases we’ve seen in stores, restaurants and gas stations over the last decade are merely a figment of our imagination.
More here

Monday, May 20, 2013

It ain't news if it keeps happening

Last week in the Boston area....Shortly after midnight Tuesday, seven people were caught trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir. State Police say the five men and two women are from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, and "cited their education and career interests" for being in the area. The men told police they were chemical engineers and recent college graduates. Story

Angelina Jolie got a double masectomy recently. I am patiently waiting for the Photoshop deluge to begin.

Rush Limbaugh....Do you really think that the media is gonna end up divorcing Obama and end up opposing him over this? How's that gonna manifest itself? What are they gonna do, demand impeachment? Oh, you really think they're gonna start reporting more objectively on this? This is a lover's spat. They're gonna kiss and make up inside of a week.

A 36-year-old North Dakota woman recently married herself. ... Schweigert said the ceremony was a celebration of how far she'd come since her painful divorce six years ago that led to her two children to decide to live with her ex-husband. Story (she sounds like a real winner)

A University of Oregon grad student was arrested early Saturday morning after his neighbors reported hearing gunfire coming from inside his campus-area home. Officers arrested 30-year-old Jack McDowell on 39 counts of unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree disorderly conduct. McDowell is a candidate for a Political Science Doctorate and serves as a graduate teaching fellow for the university. Story (undoubtedly a Democrat)

More than 83,000 hunting birds are killed by windfarms each year but no wind energy company has been fined. Story

A very large rodent that looks like a beaver with a rat-like tail is destroying coastal Louisiana, chomping its way through the state's wetland vegetation and removing the plants and grasses that are critical to preventing these marshes from turning into open water. Story 

Something is rotten, or at least very creepy, in the Denver airport

Internal emails among U.S. military officers indicate that no American sailors watched Osama bin Laden's burial at sea from the USS Carl Vinson, and traditional Islamic procedures were followed during the secret ceremony. Story

Ann Coulter on the wisdom of amnesty...."If lots of uneducated, low-skilled workers boost a nation's gross domestic product, then Haiti should be an economic powerhouse. For that matter, so should Mexico."

Eric Holder...."I don’t have a factual basis to answer the questions that you have asked, because I was recused."

Venezuela....First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities – toilet paper. Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, as it does for other shortages, the government says it will import 50m rolls to boost supplies. Story

Ohio IRS employees...."We simply did what our bosses ordered."

Dzhokhar (pronounced Jahar) Tsarnaev left notes on the interior wall of the boat where he was hiding...."when you attack on Muslim, you attack all Muslims." And "Fuck America." And "Praise Allah."

Geography of hate...The eastern half of the U.S. must be sippin’ on haterade. California’s Humboldt State University helped the group analyze geotagged tweets, manually reading through 150,000 containing some kind of slur (read individually to determine if the context was, indeed, mean-spirited). They then figured the ratio of offensive posts compared to overall tweets in the country. Story

The Defense Department estimates 19,000 sexual assaults occur each year, but only 17 percent are ever reported. In 2010, there were an estimated 19,300 sexual assaults — 8,600 victims were female and 10,700 victims were male, according to Anu Bhagwati, executive director of Service Woman’s Action Network. Story

Obama, the "Lyin' King?" Suddenly he can't remember anything, as well as his subordinates. Do they know how incompetent they are?

Mounting evidence that the Tsarnaevs were involved in killing three Jewish "friends" on September 11, 2011. Story

IRS lawyer Sarah Hall Ingram received four bonuses totaling $103,390 between 2009 and 2012 while managing the tax agency's division that harassed conservative Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt non-profit status. She was then promoted to manage the IRS role in implementing Obamacare. Big bonuses like those awarded Ingram typically require presidential approval. Source

I'm not a big fan of Senator "Fauxcohontas" Warren of Massachusetts but I have to agree with her on this story.

Romney donor Frank VanderSloot...is discovering what it means to be on a president’s "enemies list." The top Romney donor says that Obama lackeys are attacking him and starting rumors about him and his family. "There’s been a ton of electronic media… that have lodged all kind of innuendo in my direction, accused me of all kinds of bad things. People have called my children. They’ve been surfing their LinkedIn sites. They’ve been asking interviews of my kids." Story

Less than a year after the Obama administration’s own lawyers determined Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could be fired for violating federal law, she’s embroiled in another scandal for unscrupulously soliciting money from healthcare companies to fund Obamacare. Story

Headline of the day...."No One in This Administration Knows Anything"

Here's where I get my car washed.



"We know nothing"

White House propaganda secretary Jay Carney finally said something that was true, which I can agree with… "This is not a scandal" referring to the IRS gestapo operations run by Obama henchmen.

He’s right, it isn’t a scandal. A scandal is something to read in the supermarket tabloid for entertainment value. No, this is a full-blown conspiracy to use the full weight and power of all federal agencies to go after and destroy all political opponents of "the one" Barack Hussein Obama.

No matter who you ask about what in this administration, you get the same answer…. "We know nothing!"

The current story involving Obama’s use of the IRS to target political opposition via going after more than 500 patriotic action groups, their donors and their volunteers, is but one piece of a much larger conspiracy to destroy the United States beginning with all who would stand in the way of that agenda.

Yes, the administration has been using the IRS to target all political opposition since taking office in 2009. They went after Tea Party, 912, Patriot, Liberty, Christian, conservative, republican, constitutional, pro-life and anti-global governance organizations.

These efforts were aimed at blocking "tax exempt" fund raising by placing the groups 501 status on hold. But they were also used to acquire lists of donors, officers and volunteers, individual American citizens who were then targeted for audits and delays in their individual tax refunds, a deeper attempt to cut-off the life blood of any political movement, the funding, and intimidate those who stand opposed to Obama.

More here

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Obama, fascist

Like an iceberg beginning to surface, the lawless activities of the IRS-OFA are becoming more and more obvious every day. Conservatives, Jews, Hispanics, Catholics, and Pro-Life groups in general appear to have been harassed, intimidated and humiliated.

As a reward for this criminal behavior, former head of the IRS' tax-exempt division now leads the agency's ObamaCare enforcement arm.

MSNBC, of all places, revealed this morning that the IRS covered up its unlawful activities prior to the election:


The IRS commissioner "has known for at least a year that this was going on," said Myers, "and that this had happened. And did he share any of that information with the White House? But even more importantly, Congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? Members of Congress were saying conservatives are being targeted. What's going on here? The IRS denied it. Then when -- after these officials are briefed by the IG that this is going on, they don't disclose it. In fact, the commissioner sent a letter to Congress in September on this subject and did not reveal this. Imagine if we -- if you can -- what would have happened if this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different."


And contrary to the president's standard assertion ("I only found out about this yesterday on the news"), Obama's Chief of Staff was aware of the IRS investigation last year:

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said today that he was aware in the fall of 2012 of the Treasury inspector general probe of the IRS targeting of conservative groups, but he claims he did not know the details of the investigation... Even if ... he was not aware of details, It’s not clear why Lew, as White House chief of staff, did not seek more information about such a potentially explosive matter as the IRS singling out the president’s opponents for special scrutiny.

Additional reports say that the IRS asked Tea Party groups for access to their websites:

The Obama IRS demanded that several Tea Party groups provide back-end access to their websites... And, from reliable sources: This happened to several Tea Party groups! The source has this in writing. It states they wanted access to everything the members had access to, which would be chats, email, contact information, etc...

There would be only one reason to request back-end access to a Tea Party group's website: to intimidate it from expressing it First Amendment rights to free speech.

And it gets better: the IRS is said to have asked pro-life group about "the content of their prayers":

During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., grilled outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller about the IRS targeting a pro-life group in Iowa.

"Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa: ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers,’" Schock declared.


This is fascism, flat out. I am not exaggerating. This is fascism.


Source

Speech codes

The Justice Department put its contempt for the First Amendment on full display with its snooping on journalists at The Associated Press. It's a display of contempt for freedom of the press equaled only by the administration's disdain for freedom of speech, another of the essential First Amendment protections. The military has lately demonstrated a similar contempt for freedom of religious expression.

The Justice Department is making common cause with the Department of Education to renew the push for "speech codes" on campus. The sordid scheme was revealed in a letter of May 9 to President Royce Engstrom at the University of Montana, where the federal government proposes to limit free expression as a "blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country."

Colleges were once the place where young men and women could explore new ideas and learn a thing or two that might be useful. No longer. When the fad for political correctness came down on us in the 1980s and '90s, administrators quickly surrendered to bullies, and stringent speech codes were adopted to "protect" students from words deemed to be insensitive, discriminatory or hateful. Some of these codes have been struck down as unconstitutional, but many remain.

Columbia University prohibits "belittling remarks" about "gender," and no "inappropriate sexual innuendoes or humor." The New Jersey Institute of Technology requires student groups to "have the content of their advertisements approved" before a simple flier or poster can be put up in the campus center. More advanced houses of learning have since realized that freedom of thought and expression takes precedence over whining and have eliminated these unconstitutional blights.

More here

Arizona's immigration law

The immigration debate in Arizona reached a boiling point in 2007 when the state passed a groundbreaking law targeting those often blamed with fueling the nation's border woes: Employers who hire immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

The law marked a bold step by a state into an area that had long been the domain of the federal government, and it paved the way for Arizona's landmark 2010 immigration law. It also represented a key moment in the immigration battles that continue today as Congress mulls a proposed overhaul of the immigration system.

But an examination of the law by The Associated Press found that it has done little to crack down on problematic employers. Only three of the state's 147,000 employers have been brought to civil court on illegal hiring allegations, while several hundred employees who are living in the U.S. illegally have been arrested under a section of the law that made it a felony to use fake or stolen IDs to get jobs.

While the law has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and hailed as a tool for states to confront illegal immigration, it has faced several problems:

— Hundreds of immigrant workers arrested under the law have spent months in jail on ID theft charges, while only two businesses — a sandwich shop and now-defunct amusement park — had their business licenses suspended for several days. The case against the third business, a custom furniture maker, is still pending.

— A high legal standard for proving violations by businesses and a lack of subpoena power in getting employment records are almost insurmountable barriers to making cases against employers.

— Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office is the only police agency in the state that has raided businesses in enforcement of the employment law. It has arrested hundreds of workers in 72 business raids since 2008. The office has since been accused by the U.S. Justice Department of discriminating against Latino workers, allegations the sheriff denies.

— Despite the small number of cases against employers, the county prosecutor's office in metropolitan Phoenix has spent $4.5 million since 2008 investigating businesses suspected of hiring workers who aren't in the country legally and to pursue criminal ID theft cases against employees. Nearly a third of the money — $1.4 million — was given by the prosecutor's office to Arpaio's agency to investigate such cases.

More here

Same to you, fella

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rig count

In case you were wondering whether there was really an oil Renaissance happening in Texas, the state has 838 drilling rigs – about 47 percent of all U.S. rigs and 26 percent of drilling rigs worldwide.

The Texas rigs are mostly operating in five fields across the state, according to the latest Baker Hughes Rig Count.

The Permian Basin in West Texas has 397 rigs, the Eagle Ford in South Texas has 234, the Granite Wash in the Panhandle has 44, the Barnett Shale in North Texas has 31 and the Haynesville Shale in East Texas has 19.

Eagle Ford: Chesapeake thinks it has 342 million barrels.

Our neighbors continue to see an enormous amount of oil and gas activity as well. Oklahoma has 190 drilling rigs, Louisiana has 106, New Mexico has 77 and Arkansas has 15 rigs, according to Baker Hughes.

Source

A nation of laws?

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Ranking Member and Chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, today released the following new information about the February 2013 release of ICE detainees with criminal records:

In February 2013, in a misguided effort to comply with anticipated budget cuts due in part to sequestration, without explanation or warning, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials released from custody 2,226 detainees into communities across the country. In response to requests for information by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), after a three month delay and under threat of a possible subpoena, finally disclosed details about those releases. DHS disclosed that, as part of the larger release, it freed 622 detainees with criminal records, including 32 with multiple felony convictions.

Among the 32 detainees, for example, ICE’s Phoenix District Office released a detainee who had a felony second degree robbery prior conviction and countless convictions for prostitution and solicitation for lewd conduct. The Phoenix office releases also included an individual who had been convicted of an extreme case of driving under the influence (DUI) and harassment, as well as having caused criminal damage to property, as well as a detainee who had prior convictions for carrying a loaded firearm, DUI with a controlled substance, felony possession of drugs, second degree burglary, vandalism, and trespassing. The San Francisco Field Office released someone with a prior felony conviction to manufacture fake identifications as well as a man with two DUIs and two stalking convictions, the last one as recent as 2012. The Houston office deemed a person convicted of felony possession of marijuana of up to 2,000 pounds acceptable for release.

More here

Utopian Universalism

The family of the accused Boston Bombers entered the U.S. claiming "asylum." Like so many other "refugees," the Tsarnaevs immediately went on welfare, and then flew back and forth to Russia for visits. How could they be escaping a life-and-death situation if they were returning to their home country for extended stays?

This is one small incident in a giant scam called Refugee Resettlement which is run by the State Department and originated in the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980. The federal program has settled tens of thousands of Somalis, Nigerians, and Muslims in small towns in Minnesota, Vermont, Tennessee and elsewhere, which of course destroys those communities forever. After decades many of these refugees remain on welfare, suspicious and resentful and dedicated to building in America the same failed culture they supposedly left behind. In this assault on our civilization, the U.S. taxpayer has had no vote, but he must, of course, pay the costs in terms of welfare, terrorism, endless expanded security.

One group that is making out nicely are the federal contractors aligned with the Catholic Church, Lutherans, and Hebrew Immigrant Services who all make big money at this scam. This has nothing to do with real religion and everything to do with their demonic new faux religion, Utopian Universalism.

More here

Because they could

The most striking characteristic emerging from accounts of the IRS audits of the administration’s political enemies is the sheer, unbridled malevolence of them. It was, like a friend told me over dinner, as if we had suddenly awoken "in the middle of the third Obama term" to find everything that could never happen, all that was said to be impossible — indeed unthinkable — suddenly upon us. I ate another mouthful of pizza before realizing that, in fact, the events now being decried had happened in his first term.

The IRS inquisitors even demanded printouts of Facebook pages, the minutes of meeting back to whenever, a detailed description of every statement, political or otherwise, under penalty of perjury.
Some of the letters asked for copies of the groups’ Web pages, blog posts and social media postings — making some tea party members worry they’d be punished for their tweets or Facebook comments by their followers…. And each letter had a stern warning about "penalties of perjury" — which became intimidating for groups that were being asked about future activities, like future donations or endorsements.
Moreover, there was a kind of capriciousness about the pattern of inquisition that defied rational explanation. One Catholic professor — an eminent but hardly a household name — was audited in 2010 by the IRS, which demanded to know what her politics were.

Someone at the IRS was even passing the content of conservative application forms to liberal NGOs.

It sounded like people were running wild, doing what they wanted because they could.

More here

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Democrats should be ashamed, but aren't

In May 2011, Drew Ryun, a conservative activist and former Republican National Committee staffer, began filling out the Internal Revenue Service application to achieve nonprofit status for a new conservative watchdog group.

He submitted the paperwork to the IRS in July 2011 for a research site called Media Trackers, which calls itself a "non-partisan investigative watchdog dedicated to promoting accountability in the media and government." Although the site has investigated Republicans like Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the site's organizers are unapologetically conservative.

"One thing we don't hide is: 'Yeah, we're conservative—free-market, free-enterprise, full-spectrum conservative,'" Ryun told Mother Jones magazine last year.

Eight months passed without word from the agency about the group's application, Ryun said. In February 2012, Ryun's attorney contacted the IRS to ask if it needed more information to secure its nonprofit status as a 501(c)3 organization. According to Ryun, the IRS told him that the application was being processed by the agency's office in Cincinnati, Ohio—the same one currently facing scrutiny for targeting conservative groups—and to check back in two months.

As directed, Ryun followed up with the IRS in April 2012, and was told that Media Trackers' application was still under review.

When September 2012 arrived with still no word from the IRS, Ryun determined that Media Trackers would likely never obtain standalone nonprofit status, and he tried a new approach: He applied for permanent nonprofit status for a separate group called Greenhouse Solutions, a pre-existing organization that was reaching the end of its determination period.

The IRS approved Greenhouse Solutions' request for permanent nonprofit status in three weeks.

Source

Cristero War

The Cristero War (1926–29) also known as La Cristiada, was a mass popular uprising and attempted counter-revolution against the anti-Catholicism of the ruling Mexican government. Based in western Mexico, the rebellion was set off by the enforcement of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 by former Mexican President and atheist Plutarco Elias Calles, in order to persecute the Roman Catholic Church and its sub-organizations.

The Mexican Revolution was the largest rebellion in Mexican history. It was based on the peasants' overwhelming demand for land and for social justice. The Catholic Church was cautious to not support the revolution, which at times threatened the property rights of many Mexicans. However, the Calles' administration felt its revolutionary reforms, such as those against private property and Catholic schools, were threatened by the Church. As a solution to the Church's influence over the Mexican populace, the anti-clerical statutes of the Constitution were instituted, and beginning a 10-year persecution of Catholics, resulting in the death of thousands.

After a period of peaceful resistance by Mexican citizens, a number of skirmishes took place in 1926; violent rebellions began in 1927. The rebels called themselves Cristeros, invoking the name of Jesus Christ under the title of "Cristo Rey" or Christ the King. The rebellion is known for the women who assisted the rebels in smuggling guns and ammunition and for certain priests who were tortured and murdered in public and later canonized by Pope Paul II. The rebellion eventually ended by diplomatic means brokered by the United States Ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Whitney Morrow, with the financial relief and assistance by the Knights of Columbus.

More here

Jon Stewart is pissed

Jon Stewart hasn’t had much good to say about Ted Cruz since the conservative Texan joined the Senate in January.

The Comedy Central "Daily Show" host often ridicules Cruz as a far-right wind bag, sometimes with bleeps hiding his unexpurgated disdain.

But television’s most popular liberal and the Senate’s most outspoken conservative share a common cause when it comes to one thing: unrelenting criticism of the Internal Revenue Service for targeting conservative and Tea Party groups for heightened scrutiny. (Should we say "enhanced interrogation"?)

"So unlike much of the Benghazi inquiry, this seems like a genuine scandal," Stewart said on his Monday show.

In a five-minute riff on the IRS scandal, Stewart even played a tape of Cruz warning of government overreach if gun background checks were expanded.

But instead of ridiculing Cruz — as he is wont to do — Stewart noted that the IRS scandal now gives Cruz and his conservative allies the political high ground against the federal government.

The IRS political retaliation, Stewart said, badly damages President Obama because it "removed the last arrow in your pro-governance quiver: skepticism about your opponents."

More here

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

IRS getting more powerful

The Internal Revenue Service scandal would be bad enough if the IRS just handled issues like collecting income taxes and granting nonprofit status. But the immensely powerful federal agency is about to become even more powerful with the arrival of national health care, and that makes the still-unfolding scandal even more troubling.

"When I hold town meetings, a great deal of distrust comes through about the size and increasing power of government," says Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. "The IRS targeting crystallizes that distrust in a very big way because of the IRS' reach into taxpayer information. What's happened heightens fears about how the IRS will handle taxpayer information and wield its power when it enforces Obamacare starting next year."

The IRS is critical to Obamacare. The structure created by the Affordable Care Act requires the government to know about both the health care coverage (or lack of it) and the financial resources of every American. The IRS, which already knows the latter, was the only agency with the reach to do the job.

A look at the text of the health care law reveals that much of it consists of amending the Internal Revenue Code to give the IRS more power. When Obamacare goes fully into effect in January, every American will have to prove to the IRS that he or she has "qualifying" health coverage, meaning coverage with a list of features approved by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. That will be done by submitting a document to the IRS, something like a W-2, to confirm coverage.

More here

Eating insects

Eating more insects could help fight world hunger, according to a new UN report.

The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution.

It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects.

However it admits that "consumer disgust" remains a large barrier in many Western countries.

Wasps, beetles and other insects are currently "underutilised" as food for people and livestock, the report says. Insect farming is "one of the many ways to address food and feed security".

"Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly, and they have high growth and feed conversion rates and a low environmental footprint," according to the report.

Nutritional value

The authors point out that insects are nutritious, with high protein, fat and mineral content.

They are "particularly important as a food supplement for undernourished children".

Insects are also "extremely efficient" in converting feed into edible meat. Crickets, for example, need 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein, according to the report.

More here

How to be Invisible

Book Review...

This a book about how to hide from people who want to find you, such as ex’s, disgruntled associates, opportunistic lawyers, private investigators, stalkers, the press, etc. Hiding means obscuring your identity. It is not about hiding from governments, because as Luna observes, "privacy" is a matter of economics; anyone can be found using enough money, which is what governments have. Luna classifies the 4 levels of obscurity one can achieve by assigning them 4 levels of money paid to find you. Level 1 is hundreds of dollars, Level 2 thousands, and Level 3 tens to hundreds of thousands. Level 4 is the government. The more it costs to find you, the harder you have to work to remain hidden.

This book reveals the many tricks one can do to hide your location, your assets, your identity, while still paying your taxes. Most of these tricks are legal, or at least in the gray zone of "not outright illegal." (For instance, by supplying true but irrelevant facts, rather than stating something false.) There are many legitimate reasons for not wanting to be found by someone (spousal abuse, escaping revenge, identity theft, etc.) but I think the overriding one that motivates this book is the fear of having assets seized in a frivolous "deep pocket" law suit.

More here

Street violence

Some of reactions to the FBI’s announcement that the New Orleans Mother's Day shooting was "a flare-up of street violence" as seen on Twitter are quite interesting.
Is this so they don’t have to say ‘gun violence?'

Wish the FBI wouldn’t use "street violence" as a synonym for "it’s just black people"

It’s terrorism when white folks are shot in mass and "street violence" when it’s mostly black folks.

FBI: New Orleans shooting street violence = Obama Voters Shooting it out over Drugs they SELL to other Obama Voters!

So the shootings in New Orleans are classed as "street violence" and not terrorism. The suspects aren’t Muslim…go figure.

So take your pick. How is this going to be framed? Partisan politics, gun control, racism, anti-Islamic bigotry, pro-Islamic bigotry, class warfare, the Zombie Apocalypse? Take your pick because nobody just dies any more. Every death, each effusion of blood on the sidewalk lately has been a narrative waiting to happen. And if we don’t know which narrative it is that is because it is still being worked out.

More here

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Benghazi, and other tall tales

The hearing on Benghazi has made one thing abundantly clear. The Democratic Party will do whatever it takes to bury the Benghazi consulate attack issue. The chief defense against the accusations raised is that there’s nothing to see in that ‘long ago’ event which is not simply partisan and political in nature. Everything from filibusters, administrative delays, backhanded intimidation — the works — has been thrown into the defense. And defenders of the administration will point out that these are merely the same tactics Republicans have used in the budget and gun regulation debates and are simply being paid back in their own coin. Story

John Locke wrote in his 2nd Treatise on Government...."Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence."

Most confusing headline of the year....Pope to nuns, don't be old maids.

Mother Forced To Pay Spousal Support To Man Who Raped Daughter. Story

A black Columbia University football player has been charged with a hate crime against an Asian student.

Funny and timely cartoon here.

The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday to conservative political groups for giving their tax documents extra scrutiny — validating the worst fears of Republican activists who have long accused the Obama administration of politicizing the process. Roughly 75 groups were singled out using words like "tea party" or "patriot" in tax documents, Lois Lerner, who is responsible for overseeing tax-exempt groups, said on a hastily arranged conference call Friday afternoon. Story 

Two of the Via Rail terror suspects allegedly contemplated poisoning the air or water before settling on the plot to target a passenger train, according to newly released U.S. court documents. The fresh details came to light Thursday as American authorities revealed an FBI sting operation scooped up a third man in connection to the foiled plot to derail a train between Toronto and New York. Story

According to voter registration records, Ariel Castro, the Cleveland kidnapper, is a registered Democrat. He was also the alleged leader among the three Castro brothers, who were arrested this week, and the owner of the house at 2207 Seymour Ave., where the three abducted local women had been kept in captivity for over a decade. Why is this important? Whenever a crime or a scandal captures national attention, the pattern in the mainstream media is to either identify the culprit as a Republican or hold silence -- in which case we can rest assured that the culprit is a Democrat. Source

Between 1993 and 2007, the number of full-time administrators per 100 students at America’s leading universities grew by 39 percent, while the number of employees engaged in teaching, research or service only grew by 18 percent. Inflation-adjusted spending on administration per student increased by 61 percent during the same period, while instructional spending per student rose 39 percent. Arizona State University, for example, increased the number of administrators per 100 students by 94 percent during this period while actually reducing the number of employees engaged in instruction, research and service by 2 percent. Nearly half of all full-time employees at Arizona State University are administrators. Story

"IRS admits it targeted conservatives." The director of the IRS should resign immediately. But I'll bet nothing will come of it.

Northwestern University continued to stumble over diversity issues this week as Mexican students voiced disagreement with a campuswide letter that advised students not to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by engaging in racially-offensive activities, such as eating tacos and drinking tequila. Story

Days after Hitler’s suicide a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and, yes, German soldiers defended an Austrian castle against an SS division—the only time Germans and Allies fought together in World War II. Andrew Roberts on a story so wild that it has to be made into a movie. Story

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that it will no longer use the terms "mother" and "father" when collecting information about a student's legal parents when those parents apply for federal student aid. Instead of using the words "mother" and "father," the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) will use "Parent 1" and "Parent 2." Story

A key Benghazi whistle-blower who has allegedly been punished for speaking out against the administration is a registered Democrat who voted for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Story

The federal government spent more than $2 billion to provide food stamps to Puerto Rico in 2012, up to 25 percent of which is untraceable because it is distributed in cash and there is "no way to verify that funds are spent on food," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Story

You knew the mainstream media was biased, but this is incredible. It was revealed today that CBS News President David Rhodes' brother is Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, who was instrumental in rewriting the Benghazi talking points. But it gets worse. It is now learned that ABC President Ben Sherwood's sister, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, is a Special Assistant to Barack Obama on national security affairs. But even this isn't it! CNN's deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is the wife of Tom Nides, who until February was Hillary Clinton's deputy. Story

Seen in the Los Angeles Times....Article 2 of the impeachment bill against Richard Nixon included the following, which PASSED the House Judiciary Committee (before he resigned): "He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."

Once upon a time, police were there to protect people like parents, children, the elderly, and pregnant ladies. But the lines are being drawn and great effort is being undertaken to create a new breed of villains for the "authorities" to fight – and those villains are us. Story

The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. Source

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) is exposing his ignorance of American history for all to see. On MSNBC, he recently called laws passed in Alabama and Kansas that sought to prevent enforcement of any new federal gun control laws "laughable." (Other states are preparing to pass similar laws.) While there are certainly legitimate questions as to how far states may go in this area, there is nothing laughable about the concept of state nullification: it is a fundamental part of U.S. history and constitutional law. Story

Rush Limbaugh says it's time to rename our president Barack Milhous Obama.

A man from Saudi Arabia was arrested after arriving at the Detroit airport with a pressure cooker in his baggage. Jeez.

For the naysayers who maintained that Tesla Motors wasn’t going to make it, with the Model S too expensive to be successful, here is a fact worth reflecting on: in the first quarter, Tesla outsold comparable cars from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. Story

False complaints of sexual abuse in the military are rising at a faster rate than overall reports of sexual assault, a trend that could harm combat readiness, analysts say. Story

Things Conservatives Have Been Proven Right About Lately: ☑ Benghazi; ☑ Pigford;☑ Obamacare; ☑ IRS. Next up: The immigration reform scam. Source  (and I would add Fast & Furious too)