Saturday, August 31, 2013

Facebook

Yesterday, Facebook's market value topped $100 billion. Zuck must be smitten his baby is now worth close to last year's original IPO valuation. Market confidence, which Monday included a stock price increase of 1.9% to $41.34 with a daily high of $41.94 (the highest since the IPO), is said to be bolstered by belief Facebook just might deliver on its mobile advertising promise. The upswing is certainly positive news for the social network which hit a stock price low of $17.73 in September.

But can Zuckerberg, whose baby now realizes 41% of its quarterly advertising revenue from smartphone and tablet-centric promotions, really make a go of it when recent Pew research find teens have a "waning enthusiasm for Facebook"? The report states dislike for the incessant over-sharing that is part and parcel of the service. But, more importantly, teens are miffed all their parents and their parents friends are now on Facebook.

What could be more horrific to a teen than mom and dad commenting on a recent post with well-intentioned love, affection and pride that in teen-speak can only translate to extreme "did you see what Sally's mom posted?" embarrassment? No matter how well-intentioned, parents embarrass their kids. It's just a fact of life. And while many parents insist upon friending their children, there's not one out there under the age of, say, 20, who actually wants that online friendship.

So while mobile ad revenue may be boosting Facebook's health, it's no secret kids wants their own, parent-free playground. For example, Twitter has seen a 16% increase in teen usage from 2011 to 2012. Not that Twitter is parent-free but it's easier to avoid them.

More here

Smoking bans

Summer has officially begun and for many, it's time for sun, sand and swimming. But don't count on lighting up a cigarette while you're at the beach.

Over the last few years, you may have noticed more "no smoking" signs have cropped up on parks and beaches. They're part of a larger trend banning smoking at outside, public areas. In fact, smoking has been banned in 843 parks and more than 150 beaches in the last two decades.

What beachgoers probably aren't thinking about is the ethics behind these bans, which began taking hold in the early 1990s.

Public health officials have long argued the bans are meant to eliminate dangers from secondhand, or "sidestream smoke," reduce the environmental impact of cigarette butts and to keep young, impressionable children from picking up on bad habits. Makes sense, right? But a new article in this month's Health Affairs looks at the shockingly slim evidence behind these bans.

More here

Fatwa against cartoons

Islamic clerics in India have issued a fatwa against cartoons, saying the animated shows make a mockery of what they say are Allah’s creations.

The ban stems from religious leaders at Darul Uloom seminary in the India community of Deoband, BBC reported. It encompasses all animated shows, even those with comedic tones, such as cartoons, saying such watching violates the basic principles of Islam, the Deccan Herald reported.

"A cartoon is a picture," said senior cleric Mufti Arif Quasmi in the Deccan Herald. "Besides, it is not for the children. It should not be watched."

Strict Islamic law says nothing that Allah created should be mocked — and that cartoons actually mimic what Allah created. At the same time, other interpreters of Islamic law say photographs and real videos are permitted.

More here

Biggest embarrassment

A fired college professor writes to the administrator who fired him....

Dear Edward:

I want to take the time to thank you for writing and telling me that I should be fired from my position as a tenured professor because I am "the biggest embarrassment to higher education in America." I also want to thank you for responding when I asked you exactly how you arrived at that conclusion. Your response, "because you insist that marriage requires one man and one woman," was both helpful and concise.

While I respect your right to conclude that I am the biggest embarrassment to higher education in America, I think you’re wrong. In fact, I don’t even think I’m the biggest embarrassment to higher education in the state of North Carolina. But since you’re a liberal and you support "choice" – provided we’re talking about dismembering children and not school vouchers for those who weren’t dismembered – I want to give you some options. In fact, I’m going to describe the antics of ten professors, official campus groups, and invited campus speakers in North Carolina and let you decide which constitutes the biggest embarrassment to higher education. ...

Much more here

Friday, August 30, 2013

Nothing seems to change, et al

The global effort to eradicate polio, a disease that has been on the brink of extinction for years, is facing serious setbacks on two continents. The virus is surging in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, which had been largely free of cases for several years. And a new outbreak has begun in a part of Pakistan that a warlord declared off limits to vaccinators 14 months ago. Story

White-on-Black crime is a "hate crime". Black-on-White crime is "random". Got it?

Laugh of the day....Anti-fracking protestors in the UK.

Comment seen on the internet regarding the the New York Times.... "when they talk, they're lying, when they remain silent, they're lying."

In all, 79 congressional Republicans signed the letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., saying the Affordable Care Act, or what they referred to as Obamacare, leads to job losses, coverage changes and other negative effects. Story

The Obama administration issued a new policy Friday that says immigration agents should try not to arrest and deport illegal immigrant parents of minor children. The move adds to the categories of people the administration is trying not to deport. Story

Ayo Kimathi can now join Lois Lerner as an asshole being paid with our tax dollars and not having to do any work for it. After the discovery of the DHS employee’s website that called for the genocide of whites, Ayo Kimathi gets put on paid leave. That’s the Obama way. Hide someone controversial in paid leave for a few months, then bring them back when no one is looking. Meanwhile, most the media continues to ignore this story. Story

A few weeks ago we reported a bizarre story about Barry Soetoro being registered to vote in Washington D.C. Soetoro was registered with a White House address and had Barack Obama’s August 4, 1961 birthdate. We know that the birthdate was the same because that information was required to do a search. Below is a screenshot of our original findings.... Story 

Headline of the day....If gun control worked, Chicago would be Mayberry

Rush Limbaugh....“You know, if I had a father, he would look like “Shorty” Delbert Belton, and, if I had a son, he’d look like Chris Lane. Nobody’s gonna say that. Obama has not called the parents of Chris Lane. I don’t know if Obama has called anybody related to “Shorty” Delbert Belton, but these two were people killed by bored, thug-wannabe African-Americans. There still has been more outrage over a rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask than either of these two events combined. It’s this kind of thing — this cultural rot, this decay — that you can’t even address without being called a racist.” Source

Liberia's education minister says she finds it hard to believe that not a single candidate passed this year's university admission exam. Nearly 25,000 school-leavers failed the test for admission to the University of Liberia, one of two state-run universities. The students lacked enthusiasm and did not have a basic grasp of English, a university official told the BBC. Story

Before the US invaded...Iraqis were killing each other.
During the US occupation...Iraqis were killing each other and killing Americans
After the US left...Iraqis continue killing each other.

Quote of the day...."A womanized military will end up the Episcopal Church in uniform. The only men left will be gays and wimps." Source

A poll in Egypt showed that 69 percent don't want the Muslim Brotherhood involved in Egyptian politics.

A federal jury has convicted a former sailor of attempted espionage. Retired Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Hoffman faces the possibility of life in prison when he's sentenced in December. Hoffman was convicted in a Norfolk courtroom on Wednesday. Prosecutors said Hoffman gave classified information about tracking ships to what he believed were Russian spies. Story

The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance. Story

Edward Snowden accessed some secret national security documents by assuming the electronic identities of top NSA officials, said intelligence sources. “Every day, they are learning how brilliant [Snowden] was,” said a former U.S. official with knowledge of the case. “This is why you don’t hire brilliant people for jobs like this. You hire smart people. Brilliant people get you in trouble.” Story

So where's the Code Pink ladies hiding out? They've been awfully quiet lately.

And where are all the anti-war protestors that tried to smear George Bush for all those years?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

C.I.A.

The wickedness of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is at least to some extent a result of the failure of the United States Constitution to set forth proper moral restraints.

Diane Spignola writes: "The CIA’s activities, per the official government directive, included the following: propaganda; economic warfare; preventive direct action, including industrial sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrilla and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist or now anti-nationalist elements in countries around the world.

Such operations should not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations." She claims that, "At least six million people had perished by 1987 as a result of the CIA’s covert operations. Not only is the CIA not an intelligence agency, it distorts information and perpetuates misinformation and disinformation to justify its own goals.

This wide-range deception has resulted in organized terrorism throughout the world. Using the CIA, our government routinely dismisses or ignores national and international laws under the guise of ‘national security.’"

More here

Black senator not invited to March on Washington

Noticeably absent from the speaker line-up at the Let Freedom Ring event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington today: the nation’s only black Senator, Tim Scott.

Scott, a Republican Representative appointed by S.C. Governor Nikki Haley earlier this year to fill former Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat in the U.S. Senate after he retired, was not invited to participate in the historic event, a spokesperson for the Senator confirmed to Red Alert Politics in an email.

African-American leaders who did receive an invitation to speak at included Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) – who participated in the original March – Martin Luther King III, MSNBC host Al Sharpton and movie stars Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker.

More here

MLK against illegals

Pro-amnesty activists trying to co-opt the civil rights messages of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to push immigration reform through Congress seem to be directly contradicting the wishes of the late Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King. Mrs. King carried on her husband's civil rights activism after he was assassinated.

In a 1991 letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Coretta Scott King and other black community leaders argued that illegal immigration would have a devastating impact on the black community. At the time, Hatch was working his U.S. Senate position to undo some enforcement measures laid out in Ronald Reagan’s 1986 amnesty agreement, attempting to weaken interior enforcement and sanctions against employers who hired illegal aliens.

More here


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bombing Syria

From 2007...

Presidential hopeful Delaware Sen. Joe Biden stated unequivocally that he will move to impeach President Bush if he bombs Iran without first gaining congressional approval.

Biden spoke in front of a crowd of approximately 100 at a candidate forum held Thursday at Seacoast Media Group. The forum focused on the Iraq war and foreign policy. When an audience member expressed fear of a war with Iran, Biden said he does not typically engage in threats, but had no qualms about issuing a direct warning to the Oval Office.

"The president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach," said Biden, whose words were followed by a raucous applause from the local audience.

Biden said he is in the process of meeting with constitutional law experts to prepare a legal memorandum saying as much and intends to send it to the president.

More here

(But now it's okay for Obama to strike Syria, isn't it?)

 

 

Pants on fire

Despite mounds of evidence to the contrary, President Obama is convinced that the healthcare premiums under his signature legislative policy will be cheaper than the average American’s cell phone bill.

The president made the remark in an exclusive interview with radio hosts Tom Joyner and Sybil Wilkes from the Oval Office earlier this week.

"Anybody who doesn’t have health insurance in this country is going to be able to get it at an affordable rate, and we were just talking with some folks earlier about the fact that for a lot of people it’ll be cheaper than your cellphone bill," he said.

More here

Your food tastes like vomit

Students in a rural Kentucky county — and their parents — are the latest to join a growing national chorus of scorn for the healthy school lunches touted by first lady Michelle Obama.

"They say it tastes like vomit," said Harlan County Public Schools board member Myra Mosley at a contentious board meeting last week, reports The Harlan Daily Enterprise.

The growing body of USDA meal regulations implemented by the Department of Agriculture under the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010″ has long been a signature issue for the first lady.

Denizens of Harlan County don’t much care, though. Their primary concern at the board meeting was a bevy of complaints that local children are starving at lunch — and for the remainder of the school day — because the food on offer in the cafeteria is crappy and there isn’t nearly enough of it.

"Kids can’t learn when they’re hungry!" parents shouted to the board, according to the Enterprise.

Other gripes involved the new bread, which students don’t want to eat because it’s brown wheat bread, and the new milk, which is skim or one percent fat, not two percent or whole. The cafeteria’s chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk offerings are now nonfat.

Jack Miniard, the school district’s director of school and community nutrition, was on hand to explain that the federal government now governs both food choices and portion sizes in most American school districts including Harlan County.

More here

Alimony for life

Ari Schochet has grown so accustomed to being sent to jail for missing alimony payments that he goes into a routine.

Before his family-court hearing, Schochet, 41, sticks on a nicotine patch to cope with jailhouse smoking bans, sends an "Ari Off the Grid" e-mail to friends and family, and scrawls key phone numbers in permanent ink on his forearm.

Schochet, who said he worked as a portfolio manager at Citadel Investment Group Inc. and Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG) and once earned $1 million a year, has been jailed for missing court-ordered payments at least eight times in the past two years as he coped with the end of his 17-year marriage.

The reason he ran afoul of the law was simple. He was out of work for most of that time, a victim of a weak economy, and he ran through his savings trying to pay his wife alimony and child support that totaled almost $100,000 a year.

"It’s a circle of hell there’s just no way out of," Schochet said. "I paid it as long as I could."

More here

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Is Obamacare a good deal?

Progressives are becoming increasingly concerned at the prospect of millions of uninsured young people deciding to push the easy button next year by simply paying a very small fine rather than obtain health coverage. Consequently, they have turned to a new argument to get those under 30 to act against their self interest by signing up for the Exchanges. Now we are being told that Obamacare will be a good deal for young people in the long run since whatever short-term losses they incur in the form of higher premiums will be more than made up later when they are older and get to pay lower premiums than they would in today’s market.

But those making these arguments haven’t offered any analysis to back up their claims. The conceptual point evidently is supposed to be intuitively obvious. As Ezra Klein puts it:
Young people grow old. Healthy people get sick. Rich people become poor. The people overpaying to keep costs low today are the people underpaying 10 or 20 years from now.
As a health policy skeptic, I know that lots of intuitive ideas—such as that prevention saves money—turn out to be false upon closer examination. So when I did some actual analysis of this latest idea, it did not surprise me to learn that this claim is dead wrong. Once the time value of money is taken into account, the average young person will be worse off under Obamacare even if they live long enough to be a near-elderly person who pays premiums that are well below actuarially fair rates.

More here

Karma

Governor Jerry Brown on Friday called a "state of emergency" in San Francisco because a distant wildfire threatens the city’s electricity supply. Like so many other emergencies in California, this one is government-made and a warning about its green political obsessions.

The Rim Fire, which is slashing and burning through the Yosemite region, forced the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to shut down two Hetch Hetchy hydropower plants and the transmission lines that power its municipal buildings. While a government shutdown in San Francisco might have salutary effects, the city’s hospital, port and airport would also be affected. Hence the emergency.

The utility commission assured residents over the weekend that it doesn’t anticipate service interruptions because it can purchase power on the open market—though so far at a $600,000 premium. The bigger disaster, according to the utility, is that it "has been unable to generate and transmit clean, greenhouse gas-free hydroelectric power" and must rely on natural gas-fired plants. This contravenes the utility’s 100% renewable-energy goal.

The utility procures 97% of its power from Hetch Hetchy’s 400-megawatt hydroplants via roughly 150-mile transmission lines. New-generation renewables such as solar and biogas supply a mere 10 megawatts of municipal power because they require more space and capital to bring to scale. Trouble is, long transmission lines are at high risk to disruption in natural disasters…

-- Wall Street Journal

More Karma

Beirut’s perpetually traffic-clogged streets have become even more jammed in the past week in the southern neighborhoods of the Lebanese capital as the Shiite militant group Hezbollah implements intensive security measures to head off retaliatory attacks spurred by anger over its role in Syria.

Hezbollah men wearing rubber surgical gloves man checkpoints at the entrances to the southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, searching all vehicles entering the area. They open hoods, inspect trunks, and pat doors to see if they sound hollow or could be packed with explosives.

After a deadly car bomb attack in southern Beirut last week, Hezbollah finds itself in a position similar to that of its enemies in Israel and the West in the post-9/11era – trying to maintain security without causing too much disruption to people’s lives.

"It is annoying, but what choice do we have? We are under attack," says Mohammed Atwe, a local resident sitting in his car in a line at a checkpoint.

More here


Monday, August 26, 2013

Ted Cruz getting under the skin of Democrats, and some RINO Republicans

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean suggested Sunday it would be terrible if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ever became president.

"God help us if he ever becomes anything more than a senator from Texas," Dean said in comments on CNN. Dean, who ran for president himself in 2004, said Cruz "doesn’t know anything about healthcare" and faulted the Tea Party favorite for backing an effort to defund ObamaCare by threatening to not fund the government.

"These are crazy ideas that are from the far right," said Dean, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Cruz is seen as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016 and has quickly built strong support among the conservative grassroots, even as he has at times annoyed even some GOP senators.

Cruz said that despite his views on the healthcare law, his senate office would help constituents who called seeking assistance with signing up for its programs.

"We have a major constituent service operation that helps anyone deal with the government," he said.

Though Cruz said most people calling his office wanted him to fight the law rather than assistance in signing up for it.

"We have not been getting significant calls in that regard," Cruz said. "We’ve been getting calls from people saying, ‘Please stop Obamacare. Please stop this train wreck.’"

Source

Rodeo clown that mocks Obama appearing in Texas

A Texas rodeo isn’t shying away from controversy — instead, they are doing the opposite and promoting an appearance of a rodeo clown wearing a mask of President Obama this weekend.

"You’ve heard about the controversy surrounding the Obama clown in Missouri," read an announcement from the Mesquite Rodeo, according to the Dallas Observer.

"This weekend, an Obama clown is a special guest star as the Mesquite Rodeo puts on the grand finale to its 2013 season with non-stop action you will only find in the aptly named ‘Rodeo Capital of Texas,’" the announcement added.

As TheBlaze previously reported, an appearance of an Obama rodeo clown at a Missouri rodeo made national news in August, ultimately resulting in the rodeo clown being fired and banned for life from the fair.

Mesquite Arena General Manager Steve Gander reportedly said presidential rodeo clowns have been a long standing tradition at rodeos and that Obama will be joined at the event by three other presidents this weekend.

"Presidential and celebrity clowns and dummies have been in rodeo and other sports and entertainment events since before Richard Nixon," Gander reportedly wrote.

"We are just being current and exercising our freedom of speech," he added, assuring it will be "good clean family entertainment" and that the rodeo clowns will be "respectful."

Source

Underfunded pensions

In April we warned that dozens of cities in New York State were facing financial catastrophe stemming from underfunded pension liabilities. It turns out that we may have been lowballing it. Moody’s has just announced that the Long Island town of Huntington, NY could be downgraded for repeatedly delaying pension payments to fund short-term projects. The announcement is also a warning to the 200 other New York cities that engage in the same practice, as Reuters reports:
"Deferring current operating expenses to (a) future period is inconsistent with our view of strong financial management," Moody's Investors Service said in a statement. "Continued amortization of annual pension payments could result in a downgrade."…

Public employers deferred $1.1 billion in the fiscal year ended in March 2013, up from $293.2 million in 2011, a near fourfold increase, according to data from the New York state’s Comptroller’s office.

The number of public employers using deferrals jumped to nearly 200 in the fiscal year just ended from around 50 two years earlier. About 3,000 employers pay into the system.

One wonders how these cities plan to pay off these obligations in the future, particularly if investment returns come in lower than expected. And as Moody’s has warned before, new laws introduced over the past year that give cities more leeway to defer pension payments may make the problem even worse in the years ahead.

In city after city we’ve seen how mismanagement and underfunding of pension funds have led to financial ruin. Yet despite the cautionary tales presented by cities like Detroit and Stockton, cities still persist in kicking the can down the road, hoping that good times will return and strong investments will keep funds afloat. Until such a happy day dawns, they’re plagued by credit downgrades and massive debts, and face an ugly choice: either renege on their pension promises or slash public services to the bone in order to fulfill them. Any New Yorker counting on these pensions should begin to think seriously about a backup plan for retirement.

Source


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Conservatives are extremists, don't you know?

Judicial Watch obtained Defense Department training materials on Friday that described conservative and civil liberties organizations as "hate groups."

The training materials used by the Air Force were created to help students "recognize extremists ideologies." The materials identified conservative values, such as individual liberties and states’ rights, as recruiting rhetoric used by "extremists."

According to Judicial Watch:
Under a section labeled "Extremist Ideologies" the document states, "In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples."
The documents were published by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute in January 2013. They cited the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center repeatedly as a source to use when identifying hate groups.

The documents discussed Islamic extremism only in reference to Sudan and 9/11.

More here

Bigot or liar, pick one

"A statement of simple fact is not bigotry."

- Richard Dawkins

Alas, on this point Dawkins is wrong.

Increasingly, lots of statements of fact are bigotry.

IQ varies by race. This is an obvious fact and it’s bigotry (see Jason Richwine). Propensity to commit crime varies by race. Women have different abilities than men. (It may even be bigoted to consider women as independent moral agents). It’s probably best not to notice what percentage of transgenders in the military leak massive amounts of information, and if you do be careful how you do it or you’ll offend the thought and language police. Etc. The world is full of hatefacts.

In this framework, you can only be on one of two sides: the side of liars or the side of bigots. Do you choose to tell the truth or to defend the false gods of our times?

Source

Go south, young man

New York isn't just losing lots of people who each week depart for places like Florida, North Carolina or Arizona. The state is also bleeding money.

The story of people fleeing the Empire State for warmer and lower-tax states is an old one.

But a new study shows how New York escapees are also taking their money with them when they leave.

When it comes to the out-migration of income, New York leads the nation by a wide margin.

The Empire State saw a staggering $45.6 billion in income leave for other states between 2000 and 2010, according to a study by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group. The loss outpaced even California, which lost $29.4 billion, and Illinois, where $20.4 billion was lost over the same 10-year period.

The biggest winner between 2000 and 2010 was Florida, which gained net of $67.3 billion dollars in annual income reported by people who had moved there from other states.

In second place was Arizona, at $17.7 billion, and Texas with $17.6 billion.

More here

(Problem is they bring their same old voting habits along with them)


These counties want to withdraw from Colorado and form a new state.

Religious belief is beneficial

Thanks to a couple of surveys, it’s being put about in certain circles that atheists have higher IQs than believers. That may or may not be the case, but one problem with this argument is that, if you accept "average group differences in IQ", you get into all sorts of sinister debates which bien pensant atheist Lefties might find less to their liking.

So let’s not go down that unhappy road. Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently.

And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades, shows that religious belief is physically and psychologically beneficial – to a remarkable degree.

In 2004, scholars at UCLA revealed that college students involved in religious activities are likely to have better mental health. In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live. In the same year researchers at Duke University in America discovered that religious people have stronger immune systems than the irreligious. They also established that churchgoers have lower blood pressure.

Meanwhile in 2009 a team of Harvard psychologists discovered that believers who checked into hospital with broken hips reported less depression, had shorter hospital stays, and could hobble further when they left hospital – as compared to their similarly crippled but heathen fellow-sufferers.

More here

Friday, August 23, 2013

Some things never change...

Interesting quote....We tend not to be aware that King George III actively perpetuated the slave trade in the late 18th Century, vetoing laws by Virginia and other states trying to deter the inflow by raising import taxes on slaves. It is why Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the US Declaration of Independence contained a clause saying the king "has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us." Source

Balkanization of the U.S. continues....The New Mexico Supreme Court is cautioning trial courts and lawyers in the heavily Hispanic state that citizens who don’t speak English have the right to serve on juries—a right enshrined in the state constitution even if people are non-English speakers. Story

A group called The American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) is planning a one million Muslims march to Washington D.C. on September 11th. The timing of the group's march is seen by many as tasteless (to say the least) considering it is scheduled for the anniversary of the worst domestic massacre in American history perpetrated in the name of Islam. AMPAC ups the tasteless quotient by issuing "demands" for the American government.... Story

Something really, really stinks about that Navy SEALS raid (and assassination) on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011. Here are three big reasons why we can’t believe the story we’ve been told. Story

Muslims have some crazy rules and beliefs, but so does the Jewish religion.

The Obama administration support for Muslim Brotherhood Islamists in Egypt is driving the powerful military there against the United States and toward Moscow, according to U.S. officials and reports from the region. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance is undermining decades of U.S. policy toward the Middle East state and prompting concerns that the United States is about to "lose" Egypt as a strategic partner, said officials familiar with intelligence reports. Story

Gary, Indiana has 10,000 abandoned homes.

Do the Egyptian Copts hate Jews? Yes

Worst prediction ever...."Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama cannot win, and they are put in place to assure a victory by Mitt Romney… this is the plan of all the insurance companies that are owned by Mormon interests. It is unfolding as the Mormon Church planned over the last fifty years." (Roseanne Barr)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every 100-pound reduction in the weight of small cars increases annual traffic fatalities by as much as 715.

According to AsiaNews....At least 58 Christian churches, schools, institutions, homes and shops have been attacked, looted and torched over the (weekend) by the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the former Egyptian president who was deposed on 3 July . On August 14 the army has tried to evict the sit-in of the Islamists in Rabaa El Nahda Square and Adaweya. In a wave of devastating violence, over 600 people were killed and thousands injured. But violent attacks were also carried out on Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical churches as well as the homes and shops of Christians, as we have documented.

Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the UN panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities - chiefly the burning of fossil fuels - are the main cause of warming since the 1950s. That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995, steadily squeezing out the arguments by a small minority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame.

Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun photo.

A new paper (O’Dowd et al.) from the National University of Ireland presented this summer at the 19th International Conference on Nucleation and Atmospheric Aerosols suggests that clean air laws put in place in the 1970′s and 80′s have resulted in an increase in sunlight impacting the surface of the Earth, and thus have increased surface temperatures as a result. In one fell swoop, this can explain why surface temperature dipped in the 1970′s, prompting fears of an ice age, followed by concerns of global warming as the air got cleaner after pollution laws and controls were put in place. Story

The horror!....Fayah shuddered when she recalled the incident. "As soon as I bit into it, I knew there was something different. When I looked into the pot and saw the chicken pieces, I really didn’t know what to do." Story

Random (as in hate)....An Australian baseball player out for a jog in an Oklahoma neighborhood was shot and killed last week by three "bored" teenagers who decided to kill someone for fun, police said. Story  (The blogger Iowahawk writes...."I’m guessing the president won’t be commenting on their hypothetical resemblance to his hypothetical sons.")

A Department of Homeland Security employee who works on, among other things, the procurement of guns and ammunition for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, spends his nights and weekends preparing for a coming race war and advocating for anti-gay causes, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Meet Ayo Kimathi, a.k.a. "the Irritated Genie," who told his bosses at the DHS that his anti-white, anti-gay site, "War is on the Horizon," was just an entertainment site that sells concert and lecture videos. Story

President Obama’s half-brother in Kenya could cause the White House more headaches over new evidence linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and establishing that controversial IRS supervisor Lois Lerner signed his tax-exempt approval letter. Story

Ranchers saw a sharp jump in cattle rustling last year in Texas and Oklahoma. Over 10,000 cows and horses were reported missing or stolen. That’s an almost 40 percent increase from the year before. It’s a trend that’s surprised some in law enforcement. Story

Something's wrong, Barry....8.9% unemployment rate...jumped up from 7.7%.

Headline of the day....Why has global warming slowed? Scientists admit they don't know why - but are 95% sure humans are to blame for climate change.

"I'm a funeral director. Our entire industry is basically a pyramid scheme. It blows my mind how blindly people accept that certain things 'have to' be done to the body of their loved one. Think about that for a second: this is the last tangible remnant of someone you loved and you are now going to pay a stranger thousands (oftentimes HUNDREDS of thousands) of dollars to systematically mutilate that body." Story

One of the two students removed from Oberlin College earlier this year for allegedly circulating virulently racist, anti-Jewish and anti-gay messages around campus is an ardent leftist and committed supporter of President Barack Obama, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned. Story

Life is like a merry-go-round. We keep coming back to the same place.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dancing with the devil

In his August 19, 2013 PJ Media article entitled "Obama's Strange Love Affair with the Muslim Brotherhood," Roger L. Simon’s lede reads, "It’s hard to fathom how or why our administration ever thought the Muslim Brotherhood saw democracy as other than a means to an end — and a particularly repellent one at that — in the first place."

It’s true that Obama’s Brotherhood-infatuation is transparent. Those of us who have followed the machinations of Islamic radicals over the years know exactly who we’re dealing with. The question is: Does Obama?

When a great nation’s foreign policy is run by second-rate, radical academics, with virtually no real world experience or understanding of radical Islam, dancing with the devil seems "just" and "fun." Their thinking is that – if you just talk to people, their innate goodness comes out. They have such a rich culture, after all.

That mindset permeates Obama’s Middle East foreign policy.

It’s wrong-headed on all counts.

Where Islam exists, radicalism is close at hand. In fact, the Brotherhood is not radical, but orthodox. Unlike much of Christendom, they don’t consider the Quran and the Hadith quaint metaphors; they read them literally.

John Quincy Adams, 6th President of The United States, took it upon himself to research Islam. (Remember, our first foreign war was against Muslim pirates – the Barbary pirates – and our victory against them is why Marine officers carry a ceremonial scimitar to this day.) Adams wrote the following....

More here

Einstein, ladies man

Dr. Albert Einstein, the famous scientist, made an amazing discovery relative to America on his trip which he recently explained to a sympathetic-looking Hollander as follows:

"The excessive enthusiasm for me in America appears to be typically American. And if I grasp it correctly the reason is that the people in America are as colossally bored, very much more than is the case with us. After all, there is so little for them there!" he exclaimed.

Dr. Einstein said this with vibrant sympathy. He continued:

"New York, Boston, Chicago and other cities have their theatres and concerts, but for the rest? There are cities with 1,000,000 inhabitants. Despite which what poverty, intellectual poverty! The people are, therefore, glad when something is given them with which they can play and over which they can enthuse. And that they do, then, with monstrous intensity.

"Above all things there are the women who, as a literal fact, dominate the entire life in America. The men take an interest in absolutely nothing at all. They work and work, the like of which I have never seen anywhere yet. For the rest they are the toy dogs of the women, who spend the money in a most unmeasurable, illimitable way and wrap themselves in a fog of extravagance. They do everything which is the vogue and now quite by chance they have thrown themselves on the Einstein fashion.

"You ask whether it makes a ludicrous impression on me to observe the excitement of the crowd for my teaching and my theory, of which it, after all, understandable nothing? I find it funny and at the same time interesting to observe the game.

"I believe quite positively that it is the mysteriousness of what they cannot conceive which places them under a magic spell. One tells them of something big which will influence all future life, of a theory which only a small group, highly learned, can comprehend. Big names are mentioned of men who made discoveries, of which the crowd grasps nothing. But it impresses them, takes on color and the magic power of mystery, and thus one becomes enthusiastic and excited.

More here

Comanche captives

The 16-year-old girl’s once-beautiful face was grotesque.

She had been disfigured beyond all recognition in the 18 months she had been held captive by the Comanche Indians.

Now, she was being offered back to the Texan authorities by Indian chiefs as part of a peace negotiation.

To gasps of horror from the watching crowds, the Indians presented her at the Council House in the ranching town of San Antonio in 1840, the year Queen Victoria married Prince Albert.

‘Her head, arms and face were full of bruises and sores,’ wrote one witness, Mary Maverick. ‘And her nose was actually burnt off to the bone. Both nostrils were wide open and denuded of flesh.’

Once handed over, Matilda Lockhart broke down as she described the horrors she had endured — the rape, the relentless sexual humiliation and the way Comanche squaws had tortured her with fire. It wasn’t just her nose, her thin body was hideously scarred all over with burns.

When she mentioned she thought there were 15 other white captives at the Indians’ camp, all of them being subjected to a similar fate, the Texan lawmakers and officials said they were detaining the Comanche chiefs while they rescued the others.

It was a decision that prompted one of the most brutal slaughters in the history of the Wild West — and showed just how bloodthirsty the Comanche could be in revenge.

More here

Bradley Manning


Manning is a cross dresser, among other things.
He wants to be a girl
Yesterday he was sentenced to 35 years.
He could be released on parole after 7 years.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Appeal of welfare

Here’s an offer for you: $38,004 per year, tax free. No work required. Apply at your local welfare office.

The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.) State and local governments operate more welfare programs. Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time.

Today, the Cato institute is releasing a new study looking at the state-by-state value of welfare for a mother with two children. In the Empire State, a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, utility assistance and free commodities (like milk and cheese) would have a package of benefits worth $38,004, the seventh-highest in the nation.

While that might not sound overly generous, remember that welfare benefits aren’t taxed, while wages are. So someone in New York would have to earn more than $21 per hour to be better off than they would be on welfare. That’s more than the average statewide entry-level salary for a teacher.

Plus, going to work means added costs such as paying for child care, transportation and clothing. Not to mention that, even if it’s not a money-loser, a person moving from welfare to work will see some form of loss — namely, less time for leisure as opposed to work.

More here

False rape charges

That supposedly rarest of crimes, a false allegation of rape, is back in the news as a woman in Wales is given a 20 month sentence.

There have been so many of these worldwide of late that we can but scratch the surface. We begin with the UK.

In May last year, Angela England accused a taxi driver of rape. Last week she was given a 20 month sentence at Mold Crown Court, where earlier this year paedophile Mark Bridger was given a life sentence for the murder of April Jones. Fortunately for the victim, his vehicle was fitted with a tracking device which quickly established the truth, although according to the BBC, the allegation was enough to cause him the inconvenience and at times public humiliation any man accused of rape suffers.

Across the border in England, a false allegation of rape earned Essex girl Cathy Richardson a 12 month sentence for perverting the course of justice. Unlike most allegations of false rape which involve a single act - either by a person known to the non-victim or by a stranger - Richardson claimed to have been sexually abused over a period of two months. This compounds the felony, and she might consider herself lucky to escape with a year behind bars, which with remission will be half that.

Last month, an 18 year old claimed to have been raped in Ewell, Surrey. The unnamed teenager from London was lucky to escape with a caution because officers wasted an entire day investigating this non-offence.

A case that could have had extremely serious consequences was that of an unnamed Iranian woman in India who claimed to have been kidnapped, robbed and raped by two men.

More here

Pale, male, and stale

The feminist challenge to Enlightenment ideas of knowledge and rationality has undermined the project of HE.

In the 1860s, Emily Davies began her campaign for women to be allowed access to universities in the UK. One hundred and fifty years later and female students now outnumber their male counterparts at nearly every university in the country. Yet I suspect that rather than celebrate this apparent triumph for sexual equality, Davies might well have been more surprised to discover how the substance of higher education has changed - and not for the better - in the intervening years.

Upon co-founding Girton College for female students at Cambridge University in 1869, Davies expressed her intention for it to be "a college like a man's". What she meant by this was that the same subjects should be taught, in the same way, and to the same academic standard, as in the male colleges. She had previously suggested that the best girls’ schools ‘are precisely those in which the masculine subjects have been introduced’ (mathematics, Latin and Greek), and she carried this view into higher education, insisting that for women to have anything other than equal access to the same knowledge as men would result in their education being forever considered inferior.

How things have changed. Today, many feminist academics working in social science or humanities departments in British universities no longer campaign for female students to have equal access to the same knowledge as men; instead, they argue that the very notion of ‘a body of knowledge’ is oppressive, patriarchal and elitist, representing only the concerns of those who are ‘pale, male and stale’. They seek to replace the dominance of one hegemonic, patriarchal body of knowledge with the recognition that there are multiple bodies of knowledge, each one constructed according to the life experiences of traditionally subordinate groupings, with women (and feminism) to the fore. These other bodies of knowledge are to be afforded equal value with more traditional notions of academic knowledge.

More here


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Evidence against Obama?

In an interview with the Anatolia News Agency, Saad Al-Shater, the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader, the detained Khairat Al-Shater, said that his father had in his hand evidence that will land the head of United States of America, president Obama, in prison.

He stressed that the senior U.S. delegation currently visiting Egypt, knows full well that the fate, future, interests and reputation of their country is in the hands of his father, and they know that he owns the information, documents and recordings that incriminate and would condemn their country.

Such documents, he says, were placed in the hands of people who were entrusted inside and outside Egypt, and that the release of his father is the only way for them to prevent a great catastrophe. He stated that a warning was sent threatening to show how the U.S. administration was directly connected. The evidence was sent through intermediaries which caused them to change their attitude and corrected their position and that they have taken serious steps to prove good faith.

More here

Hillary, liar

At least two parents of men killed in Benghazi have said Hillary Clinton told them personally that spontaneous anger over the video was the reason for the attack. According to a GOP congressman, Hillary got testy with anybody who tried to make her a liar:

An Illinois Republican congressman told constituents at a town hall meeting on Wednesday that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton screamed at a fellow member of Congress two days after a U.S. diplomatic station in Benghazi, Libya was destroyed, merely for saying aloud that the attack was carried out by terrorist groups.

The Obama administration later acknowledged that reality.

But White House officials initially maintained that the deaths of four Americans and the firebomb attack on the State Department mission was the result of a spontaneous protest against a low-budget YouTube film that was critical of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

‘Two days after this attack,’ said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, ‘we were in a briefing with Hillary Clinton and she screamed at a member of Congress who’d dare suggest that this was a terrorist attack.’

More here

To hell with them

Maybe everyone is misreading America’s views on foreign policy?

Among Republicans, there’s a big argument between the so-called isolationist wing of the party and the ostensibly interventionist wing. On the left, there’s a similar debate (though liberals are never described as isolationists no matter how isolationist they might be).

The biggest boon to the anti-interventionists is the simple political reality that Americans just don’t want to intervene in Syria. They also want to get out of Afghanistan, and don’t seem to care much that Iraq is slowly sliding back into chaos. The footage out of Egypt may be horrific, but I’d be surprised by any groundswell of sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some paint all of this as part of a general isolationist or inward-looking attitude on the part of the American people. And lord knows that after so much American blood and treasure has been spilt since 9/11, nearly everyone is war-weary.

But there’s a simpler reason for American reluctance to intervene in the Middle East that plays a much bigger role in peoples’ attitudes about foreign policy. It can be summed up with the words "to hell with them."

I borrow the phrase from my colleague Rich Lowry. In 2006, as even the rosiest scenarios in Iraq turned gray, he wrote of how the Bush administration was losing the support of the "to hell with them" hawks. These were, in Lowry’s words, "conservatives who are comfortable using force abroad, but have little patience for a deep entanglement with the Muslim world, which they consider unredeemable, or at least not worth the strenuous effort of trying to redeem."

This was the time when the Palestinians held an election in Gaza and proceeded to elect a repugnant terror organization, Hamas, as their dictators. President Bush routinely responded to every fresh atrocity by insisting "Islam means peace" until it became a punch line.

Over the preceding two decades, America had sent troops into harm’s way five times to liberate Muslim people — in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq — and yet America’s reputation generally worsened. And whenever Muslim fanatics launched horrific and brutal terrorist attacks — mostly slaughtering fellow Muslims — the supposedly vast reservoirs of moderate Muslims rarely voiced much outrage.

More here

Discouraging food stamps?

It was not surprising that Texas held out.

For years, Texas was among a handful of states that required every resident seeking help with grocery bills to first be fingerprinted, an exercise typically associated with criminals.

Even though Republican Gov. Rick Perry ultimately got rid of the policy, Texas — always seeking to whittle down "big government" — remains one of the most effective states at keeping its poor out of the giant federal food stamp program.

But it is not No. 1. That distinction belongs to California.

Liberal California discourages eligible people from signing up for food stamps at rates conservative activists elsewhere envy. Only about half of the Californians who qualify for help get it.

That stands in contrast to other states, including some deeply Republican ones, that enroll 80% to 90% of those with incomes low enough to qualify.

That public policy paradox — one of the country's most liberal states is the stingiest on one of the nation's biggest benefit programs — has several causes, some intentional, some not. It also has two clear consequences: Millions of Californians don't get help, and the state leaves hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money on the table.

More here

(I'm not sure I believe this story's facts. Is this some kind of "trial balloon" for some future plan of action?)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Stinking laws

Barack Obama’s increasingly grandiose claims for presidential power are inversely proportional to his shriveling presidency. Desperation fuels arrogance as, barely 200 days into the 1,462 days of his second term, his pantry of excuses for failure is bare, his domestic agenda is nonexistent and his foreign policy of empty rhetorical deadlines and redlines is floundering. And at last week’s news conference he offered inconvenience as a justification for illegality.

Explaining his decision to unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act, he said: "I didn’t simply choose to" ignore the statutory requirement for beginning in 2014 the employer mandate to provide employees with health care. No, "this was in consultation with businesses." He continued:

"In a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what, this is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law . . . it looks like there may be some better ways to do this, let’s make a technical change to the law. That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do. But we’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to ObamaCare. We did have the executive authority to do so, and we did so."

Serving as props in the scripted charade of White House news conferences, journalists did not ask the pertinent question: Where does the Constitution confer upon presidents the "executive authority" to ignore the separation of powers by revising laws?"

The question could have elicited an Obama rarity: Brevity. Because there is no such authority.

Obama’s explanation began with an irrelevancy: He consulted with businesses before disregarding his constitutional duty to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." That duty does not lapse when a president decides Washington’s "political environment" is not "normal."

More here

Tip of a larger iceberg

Two Democratic senators warned Friday that a new report detailing thousands of instances in which the National Security Agency broke laws while spying was only "the tip of a larger iceberg" of surveillance violations.

"We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg," said Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mark Udall, D-Colo., in a prepared statement.

The senators’ comments follow a Washington Post report Friday that detailed the NSA breaking privacy rules or overstepping its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008.

Wyden and Udall said that while Senate rules prohibit them confirming or denying some of the details in media reports, "the American people have a right to know more details about of these violations."

"We hope that the executive branch will take steps to publicly provide more information as part of the honest, public debate of surveillance authorities that the administration has said it is interested in having," they said.

To help curb future surveillance violations, the senators said a "robust and well-staffed public advocate" is needed for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, often called the FISA Court, which oversees requests by federal law enforcement agencies for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign spies inside the U.S.

"Without such an advocate on the court, and without greater transparency regarding the court’s rulings, the checks and balances on executive branch authority enshrined in the Constitution cannot be adequately upheld," the senators said.

More here

4th straight $1 Trillion deficit

The Congressional Budget Office last week released updated historical budget data for the federal government, reporting a deficit of $1.087 trillion in fiscal 2012. 2012 marked the fourth straight year—and the only four years in the history of the nation--when the federal government’s deficit topped $1 trillion.

Last year’s $1.087 trillion deficit was even greater in inflation-adjusted dollars than the peak World War II deficit of fiscal 1943—which was $54.554 billion in 1943 dollars and $723.8714 billion in 2012 dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics online inflation calculator.

The deficit has also remained at a higher percentage of GDP over the last four years than at any time since the conclusion of World War II (which ended during fiscal 1946, which began in June 1945).

In February, the CBO had initially calculated that the deficit for fiscal 2012, which ended on Sept. 30, 2012, had been $10894 trillion. That was based on an estimation that the federal government had taken in $2.4491 trillion in taxes during the year and spent $3,5385 trillion.

In May, the CBO revised those figures, putting the fiscal 2012 deficit at $1.087 trillion, based on a slightly higher federal revenue intake of $2.4502 trillion and slightly lower spending of $3.5371 trillion.

More here

Voter ID

Last week, Hillary Clinton used a speech to the American Bar Association to rail against states that are requiring voters show a photo ID before they vote. She called ID requirements part of "the greatest hits of voter suppression," but she was ignoring evidence that minority turnout has gone up in states with even the toughest ID laws, even in elections where Barack Obama isn’t on the ballot.

Civil-rights activists are often of two minds on voter ID. Last year, when the NAACP hosted Attorney General Eric Holder at its annual convention, one of the requirements to cover his speech was that "all media must present government-issued photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license)." Meanwhile, NAACP president Ben Jealous introduced Holder by attacking ID laws.

"We must overwhelm the rising tide of voting suppression," he said.

Jealous isn’t the first minority leader to say one thing while something else is done right in front of his eyes. North Dakota blooger Rob Port has a hilarious post on how several Native-American tribes require an ID to vote in tribal elections, while vehemently opposing the concept for other contests.

In Montana, the Chippewa Cree election board has gone so far as to invalidate a July tribal election for chairman because some people didn’t show the proper ID when they voted. But just last January, Native-American groups testified against a bill in the Montana legislature that would have toughened ID requirements for state elections.

"So, if you want to require an official ID card to vote in the election for the U.S. House or U.S. Senate in Montana — you’re a racist," notes Montana talk radio host Aaron Flint. "But, when it comes to tribal elections on at least one American Indian reservation here in Montana, if you want to vote — you better have your ID."

When it comes to voting-rights issues, there appear to be no boundaries to one side’s hypocrisy.

Source



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Unjust aggressors

The Fordham University theologian who hosted pro-abortion ethicist Peter Singer on campus last year is now asking whether direct abortion to save the life of a mother could be justified, if the unborn child is deemed "an unjust aggressor."

Writing at the Catholic Moral Theology website, Fordham theology professor Charles Camosy criticizes Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s 2010 declaration of excommunication of Mercy Sister Margaret McBride for approving an abortion in a Phoenix hospital. Camosy writes that the moral issues in the case were "complex," making Bishop Olmsted’s decision "inexplicable."

"The Church can do better," he writes. If Catholics want to appear "coherent and sensitive" when arguing against abortion, he argues, they should "revisit some ideas that have been largely unexplored, and perhaps prematurely shut down"—such as whether a child in the womb can be regarded an "unjust aggressor," which might justify the use of lethal force to protect the mother when her life is in danger.

Camosy does not offer a firm answer to the moral question. In fact, in response to a reader’s comment, he writes:

"I am not ‘arguing for the direct targeting of the unborn child as an aggressor.’ I’m asking us to explore why, if at all, we should treat the cases [of unjust aggression]… differently from a prenatal child who threatens her mother’s life."

Nevertheless, Camosy publicly questions the judgment of Bishop Olmsted on a Catholic theology discussion website and erects the scaffolding for an argument for the direct killing of the unborn.

More here


ACORN still getting federal money

A spinoff of the scandal-ridden community organizer group ACORN received more than $200,000 in federal housing grants despite a ban on money going to ACORN affiliates, watchdog organization Judicial Watch announced Thursday.

ACORN, which officially folded in 2009 after a string of scandals, rebranded into more than 100 spinoff groups, including Affordable Housing Centers of America -- also now defunct -- and Mission of Peace, an affordable housing nonprofit.

In February, the Department of Housing and Urban Development transferred $201,222.07 from AHCOA to Mission of Peace "specifically to pay for the activities of former AHCOA affiliates," according to a memo obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request.

HUD approved the transfer despite a federal ban on tax dollars being used to fund any ACORN affiliate.

"None of the funds made available under this Act or any prior Act may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied organizations," according to the 2010 budget appropriations act.

More here

Pakistani militants eyeing India

Pakistan-based militants are preparing to take on India across the subcontinent once Western troops leave Afghanistan next year, several sources say, raising the risk of a dramatic spike in tensions between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan.

Intelligence sources in India believe that a botched suicide bombing of an Indian consulate in Afghanistan, which was followed within days last week by a lethal cross-border ambush on Indian soldiers in disputed Kashmir, suggest that the new campaign by Islamic militants may already be underway.

Members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit in Pakistan, the group blamed for the 2008 commando-style raid on Mumbai that killed 166 people, told Reuters they were preparing to take the fight to India once again, this time across the region.

And a U.S. counter-terrorism official, referring to the attack in Afghanistan, said "LeT has long pursued Indian targets, so it would be natural for the group to plot against them in its own backyard".

Given the quiet backing - or at least blind eye - that many militant groups enjoy from Pakistan's shadowy intelligence services, tensions from a new militant campaign are bound to spill over. Adding to the volatility, the two nations' armies are trading mortar and gunfire across the heavily militarized frontier that divides Kashmir, and accusing each other of killing troops.

More here

Born that way?

Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way.

"At best genetics is a minor factor," says Dr. Neil Whitehead, PhD. Whitehead worked for the New Zealand government as a scientific researcher for 24 years, then spent four years working for the United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency. Most recently, he serves as a consultant to Japanese universities about the effects of radiation exposure. His PhD is in biochemistry and statistics.

Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay.

"Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100%," Dr. Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. "If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women."

Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. "No-one is born gay," he notes. "The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors."

More here


Friday, August 16, 2013

Meet the new boss

EPA chief Gina McCarthy said Wednesday that the Obama administration is finished waiting for Congress to act on climate change and plans to bypass the legislative branch in developing a federal response.

Ms. McCarthy, who was confirmed last month as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, cited President Obama’s June 25 speech at Georgetown University, in which he unveiled his Climate Action Plan and vowed to make combatting climate change a priority of his second term.

Mr. Obama gave "what I really think is a most remarkable speech by a president of the United States," said Ms. McCarthy in remarks at the University of Colorado Boulder.

"Essentially, he said that it is time to act," she said. "And he said he wasn’t going to wait for Congress, but that he had administrative authorities and that it was time to start utilizing those more effectively and in a more concerted way."

She insisted that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions could be accomplished without harming economic growth, calling the tension between the two priorities a "false choice."

"We’re going to do this this year, next year, the following year, until people understand these are not scary things to do, these are actions we can all do, they’re actions that benefit everybody, that will grow the economy, and they’re actions that will protect the health and safety of individuals," Ms. McCarthy said.

More here

Cooking the weather books

Data from hundreds of weather stations located around the U.S. appear to show the planet is getting warmer, but some critics say it's the government's books that are getting cooked -- thanks to temperature readings from sweltering parking lots, airports and other locations that distort the true state of the climate.

Indeed, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has closed some 600 out of nearly 9,000 weather stations over the past two years that it has deemed problematic or unnecessary, after a long campaign by one critic highlighting the problem of using unreliable data. The agency says the closures will help improve gathering of weather data, but critics like meteorologist and blogger Anthony Watts say it is too little, too late.

"The question remains as to why they continue to use a polluted mix of well-sited and poorly-sited stations," Watts told FoxNews.com.

More here

Facial profiling

The Missouri State Fair has banned for life a rodeo clown who wore a Barack Obama mask during a bull-riding competition and suggested that "Obama" might be run down by an angry bull. "Hey, I know I’m a clown," the still-unidentified performer said. "He [Obama] is just running around acting like one. Doesn’t know he is one." Many in the audience were amused; at least some were offended. The event was captured on home video, which quickly made the rounds of news reports.

In a press release Monday, the State Fair said, "the statements and actions Saturday night were inappropriate and not in keeping with the Fair’s standards. The Missouri State Fair apologizes for the unconscionable stunt." The organization said it had decided "to permanently ban this rodeo clown from ever participating or performing at the Missouri State Fair again."

The controversy over the incident seemed to have two parts. One was outrage in some quarters over the obvious disrespect and ridicule directed at the president. The other was outrage over the suggestion of violence toward Obama — in the form of an encounter with the bull — that was the premise of the act.

Of course the Missouri State Fair can do what it wants, but the lifetime ban seems excessive. Any president comes in for a fair amount of public mockery, and what happened at the State Fair does not seem worse than the mockery of the president that occurred — without consequences like lifetime bans — during George W. Bush’s years in the White House. It’s not necessary to recite all the insults, threats, and other offenses directed at Bush during his presidency; if you were awake during those years, you know there were a lot of them. But perhaps it would be useful to list a few, and ask whether they resulted in punishment and professional exile for those involved. ...

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Business as usual

Why does the Tea Party attract such vitriolic opposition, whether from Obama's IRS or big-government Republicans like Karl Rove?

The answer is simple. People in Washington don’t like the Tea Party because this citizen uprising is making it difficult to engage in business-as-usual shenanigans.

I shared a couple of columns back before the 2010 elections about the potential impact of the Tea Party, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I put together some hard numbers showing that this small-government movement has made a difference.

Simply stated, Washington’s spending trajectory is still headed in the wrong direction, but we’re becoming Greece (or Portugal, Spain, Italy, etc) at a significantly slower pace.

That’s hardly libertarian Nirvana, to be sure, but let’s remember the golden rule, which is that fiscal policy is headed in the right direction so long as the private sector grows faster than the burden of government spending.

And that’s what’s been happening. Indeed, we’ve even experienced a couple of years with no growth in the size of the public sector! ...

More here

Avoiding town hall meetings

Though Republicans in recent years have harnessed the political power of these open mic, face-the-music sessions, people from both parties say they are noticing a decline in the number of meetings. They also say they are seeing Congressional offices go to greater lengths to conceal when and where the meetings take place.

"The whole thing is very anti-democratic, and it’s classic behavior of entrenched insiders," said Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, a Tea Party group that in 2009 helped send legions of demonstrators to town halls. Now, it is trying to draw out seemingly reluctant members by staging public events like mock meet-your-lawmaker meetings with empty chairs. "We’ve lost that Rockwell image of citizen participation in democracy."

With memories of those angry protests still vivid, it seems that one of the unintended consequences of a movement that thrived on such open, often confrontational interactions with lawmakers is that there are fewer members of Congress now willing to face their constituents.

Members of Congress and their aides were reluctant to talk about the lack of town halls on the record, mindful of the pressure from liberal and conservative groups alike. "Ninety percent of the audience will be there interested in what you have to say," one Senate Republican aide said. "It’s the other 5 or 10 percent who aren’t. They’re there to make a point and, frankly, to hijack the meeting."

More here

Actual debt of U.S. is $70 trillion

James Hamilton, an economics professor at the University of California, San Diego, just published his best estimate of the federal government’s "off-balance-sheet" liabilities, in which he concludes that the real national debt, popularly estimated to be $16.9 trillion, is in fact more than four times larger: $70.086 trillion. This is because of decisions to leave out certain unfunded liabilities when the national debt is counted. He explains:

This paper examines the growth of federal liabilities that are not included in the officially reported numbers. These take the form of implicit or explicit government guarantees and commitments … housing, other loan guarantees, deposit insurance, actions taken by the Federal Reserve, and government trust funds….

The biggest items in this category come from Social Security and Medicare which, if current policy is maintained, will require enormous sacrifices from future taxpayers.

He includes the implicit mortgage guarantees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: "With the federal government today being the sole owner of Fannie and Freddie, it seems appropriate to consider both the direct debt obligations … as well as their outstanding mortgage guarantees [which are now treated] as an off-balance sheet liability." Added together, housing guarantees ($7.5 trillion), FDIC guarantees ($7.4 trillion), Social Security ($26.5 trillion), Medicare ($27.6 trillion), and other government trust fund liabilities ($1.8 trillion) come to $70 trillion. That’s an increase of $13.5 trillion just since 2006, and is growing by more than $2 trillion a year.

More here

Climate catastrophe and politics

Had a 27 year old investor built a buy and hold retirement portfolio back in 1975, he would have almost certainly avoided "big oil" because President Jimmy Carter was telling the world that there was only a 10 year supply left of economical oil, and he would almost certainly have had an overweighting in stocks that would generate growing earnings during the coming ice age.
Now we have a choice. But if we wait, we will live in fear of embargoes. We could endanger our freedom as a sovereign nation to act in foreign affairs. Within ten years we would not be able to import enough oil -- from any country, at any acceptable price. Jimmy Carter
The arguments of the 1970s claiming a "coming ice age" are every bit as convincing as the arguments of the 1990s claiming "global warming," and now the 2000s claiming "climate change." Environmental fads are nothing new. Reading President Carter's energy speech highlights how the demagogic rhetoric remains the same regardless of which climate catastrophe the earth faces.
Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history... this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes...The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.
The trademark urgency, the greatest challenge claims and the call to action are all symbolic of the political nature of these "causes." Back in the 1975 Newsweek article titled "The Cooling World" the proposed solution was to put black soot all over the North Pole to melt the ice. Thankfully no one rushed to implement that strategy.

More here

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Scandals, prevarications, defenestrations, and other crimes

As the one year anniversary of the deadly attack on an American consulate in Benghazi approaches, journalists have begun to take another look into the scandal surrounding the government’s response to that terrorist event. Last week, CNN aired two striking reports revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency had a large number of agents on the ground on the night of the attack and that a suspect in the attack has never been interviewed by investigators. Following these revelatory reports, which some in President Barack Obama’s administration believe represent a political threat, some CNN reporters now fear for their access to the White House. They are not alone. Story

Bonnie Cleo Andersen is a mother of three and has been working as a prostitute since the age of 18. Her first time having sex for money was at a visit at a brothel in a small town. Bonnie and her friend were in need of money and tried it out. The experience was unpleasant and Bonnie was shy and ashamed of her body. But because of the money, she kept working. Photos here

Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot. Story

General Motors Co. is slashing the price of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt by $5,000, making it the latest automaker to lower prices of electric vehicles in the face of lagging consumer demand. Story

A Cadillac-driving OUI suspect — charged with running a Boston Globe delivery truck off Interstate 93 and onto the Leverett Connector — was carrying three EBT cards, mocked a cop "for paying for food when she gets it for free" and threatened to put a voodoo curse on him, according to a police report. Story (Your tax dollars at work)

New York City could face the same dire fiscal situation as Detroit unless the next mayor gets realistic with municipal unions and reins in soaring pension and health-care costs, Mayor Bloomberg warned yesterday. "Avoiding the hard choices is how Detroit went bankrupt," the mayor declared in a speech in Brooklyn. Story

Wendy Davis, Abortion Barbie.

Amazing fact of the day....The last time a major hurricane made landfall in the United States was Wilma in 2005. Source

Charles Krauthammer on Obama's use of words....Evacuation is not an evacuation, it is an ordered departure. I would have thought ordered departure is what happens at [Reagan] National Airport every couple of hours when a plane takes off on time. A coup in Egypt isn't a coup, it’s a change of government. The war in Afghanistan isn’t really a war, it’s an overseas contingency operation. What happened in Benghazi was not really a terror attack, it was a spontaneous riot. As the Secretary of State at the time said, 'what difference does it make?' This is the first administration in history ever to launch a lexicological war on the enemy. You know, they've thrown the book at them -- the dictionary. It really isn't enough.

President Obama’s reelection campaign has accused Mitt Romney of being a flip-flopper that changes his positions all the time. In actuality, it is the President himself who has a history of doing just that. Here is an extensive list of President Obama’s flip-flops, hypocrisies and broken promises: Story

Army Col. Lawrence Sellin was fired two days after his sarcastic rant was published by the United Press International wire service. Story

Headline of the day....Obama Warns Disabled Vets Sequester May Affect Their Benefits... Then Jets Off to Martha's Vineyard for Lavish Vacation

Record USA high and low temperatures by state

St. Ignatius of Loyola....The enemy is like a woman, weak in face of opposition, but correspondingly strong when not opposed. In a quarrel with a man, it is natural for a woman to lose heart and run away when he faces up to her; on the other hand, if the man begins to be afraid and to give ground, her rage, vindictiveness and fury overflow and know no limit.

In 1923 the great Kanto earthquake killed more than 142,000 citizens and 40,000 more were missing and presumed dead. The earthquake devastated Tokyo and the port city of Yokohoma. It caused severe damage to the surrounding cities and neighborhoods.

Bloomberg News caught the Department of Justice in a particularly noteworthy Friday-night news dump over the weekend. The Obama administration, stung by accusations from the Left that it hadn’t gone after fraudulent mortgages and the lenders that helped fuel the bubble, claimed that a year-long initiative run by the Mortgage Fraud Working Group in the DoJ had charged 530 people who had victimized 73,000 people. When Bloomberg’s reporters began digging into the claim, the DoJ stonewalled — and then finally admitted it cooked the books themselves.... Story

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan recently proposed that Islamophobia be designated as a crime against humanity.

A system of voluntary tax compliance cannot survive a dishonest IRS. Lois Lerner and company have virtually ruined the agency. For the foreseeable future, each time an American receives a tax query, he will wonder to what degree his politics ensures enhanced or reduced scrutiny — or whether his name as a donor, activist, or partisan has put him on a watch list. Worse still, when a high commissioner of the IRS takes the 5th Amendment, it sends a frightening message: those audited go to jail when they refuse to testify; those who audit them who do the same do not. Source

Pete Rose...."I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it. I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences. However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance. And to be honest with you, I picked the wrong vice. I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chances in the world of baseball."

The town of Bomont outlawed dancing in the movie Footloose, but the kids in Green Bank, West Virginia live with much worse: no electronics. That's because the small town of 149 people lies in the middle of the 13,000-square mile National Radio Quiet Zone. Scientists use this space to project satellites into space for research, and they can't have waves from personal electronic devices interrupting their signals. That means no radio, TV, WiFi, cellphones or bluetooth. Story

A week after The Post reported exclusively that rape hoaxer Tawana Brawley’s first $3,764 in garnisheed wages was sent to the man she defamed 25 years ago, she has lost her job — and her bed. Story

Hmmmm.....Journalist Michael Hastings was investigating CIA director John Brennan before his untimely death in a suspicious car accident it has been revealed, with the report set to be published posthumously by Rolling Stone Magazine within the next two weeks. Story

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released its "State of the Climate in 2012" report, which states that "worldwide, 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record." But the report "fails to mention [2012] was one of the coolest of the decade, and thus confirms the cooling trend," according to an analysis by climate blogger Pierre Gosselin. Story

Is the New York Times being guest edited by Rush Limbaugh? Today it runs with a fascinating takedown of the Clinton Foundation – that vast vanity project that conservatives are wary of criticising for being seen to attack a body that tries to do good. But the liberal NYT has no such scruples. The killer quote is this: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in. Story

Rush Limbaugh yesterday....Not a single person showed up at the Georgetown waterfront today for a climate change rally put on by Organizing for Action, Obama's group. Not one environmentalist wacko showed up at a climate change rally in DC today.