Friday, January 31, 2014

Saudi Arabia bought Chinese missiles

Jeff Stein of Newsweek has reported that "a well-placed intelligence source" has confirmed that Saudi Arabia purchased Chinese-made DF-21 ballistic missiles in 2007 -- apparently with the approval of the George W. Bush administration.

It's the first intelligence source to confirm, albeit anonymously, something that's long been rumored. It is a good bit of reporting -- and I say this not simply because Stein quotes me. If Saudi Arabia bought the missiles in 2007, it has taken a long time for a reporter to get a source to actually confirm the suspected sale. But the timing of the leak isn't surprising. Saudi Arabia is growing increasingly concerned about Iran, and over the past few years it has started talking a lot about its Strategic Missile Force. In the course of doing so, Riyadh has hinted that it has bought at least two new types of ballistic missiles -- one of which is possibly the medium-range DF-21, which, in China, comes in both conventional and nuclear flavors.

The Saudi Strategic Missile Force dates to the 1980s, when Prince Khalid bin Sultan -- then commander of the Air Defense Force -- traveled to China to purchase DF-3 missiles. The Dong Feng 3, or "East Wind 3," is also medium-range and nuclear-capable, but it uses liquid fuel and is not very mobile. So, many folks expected that the Saudis would eventually replace or augment it, either with another purchase from China or with one from Pakistan. In 1999, Prince Sultan, then the defense minister, visited Kahuta Research Laboratories in Pakistan, where A.Q. Khan was enriching uranium and building copies of North Korea's Nodong missile, which Pakistan calls the Ghauri. At the time, one U.S. administration official told the New York Times that the visit was "definitely eyebrow raising."

More here

Nothing works, government-wise

Oh lord. Oh lord. Can the government do anything right? There is no evidence for it. None. Everything it touches turns to grotesque failure. It hurts me to contemplate the federal reigning monstrosity in the Yankee Capital. I may have to send out for a bottle of Padre Kino red to get me through it. The Great Purple Father is the worst wine known to man, thirty-nine cents a trainload. Never mind. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Nothing works, government-wise. Ponder healthcare, if you can stand it. One approach to keeping people alive and healthy is national healthcare, which many countries, such as France, have and it works. It’s because grown-ups run it. Or you can have private healthcare, which the US had and, though it was way overpriced and unwieldy, strangled by paperwork and corruption, more or less worked, sort of.

So the gummint comes up with Obamacare, that doesn’t work at all. The feds can’t even write the freaking computer program. Yes, here in the world’s greatest technological power. We ought to contract the software to Guatemala, which couldn’t do it either but would cost less.

"Drugs will get you through times of no government better than government will get you through times of no drugs."

The War on Drugsanother disaster. A half century, billions of dollars, countless stupid laws, Mexico a war zone. Result? Every drug known to man, woman, or hermaphrodite is for sale at great prices in every high school in America. Another triumph of private enterprise over governmental regulation. If Washington tried to provide free drugs, it couldn’t come close. No one would be able to get so much as an aspirin.

More here

Bang for a buck

President Obama is correct in wanting to make higher education more affordable and accessible, but Americans would also be correct in wondering just what they’re paying for.

The need for a better-educated populace is beyond dispute. Without critical thinking skills and a solid background in history, the arts and sciences, how can a nation hope to govern itself?

The problem isn’t only that higher education is unaffordable to many but that even at our highest-ranked colleges and universities, students aren’t getting much bang for their buck.

Since 1985, the price of higher education has increased 538 percent, according to a new study from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that encourages trustees and alumni to foster improvement where institutions may be reluctant to go against popular trends.

For perspective, compare tuition increases to a "mere" 286 percent increase in medical costs and a 121 percent increase in the consumer price index during the same period, according to the ACTA.

More here

A growing organism on Mars?

A California man who claims that a mysterious rock recently photographed on Mars is actually a growing organism has filed a lawsuit against NASA for failing to investigate the discovery.

Rhawn Joseph, who describes himself as an astrobiologist, filed a petition Jan. 27 in U.S. District Court in northern California. Joseph asked the court to compel NASA to "scientifically examine and investigate a putative biological organism."

"The refusal to take close-up photos from various angles, the refusal to take microscopic images of the specimen, the refusal to release high-resolution photos is inexplicable, recklessly negligent and bizarre," Joseph stated in the petition.

"Any intelligent adult, adolescent, child, chimpanzee, monkey, dog or rodent with even a modicum of curiosity would approach, investigate and closely examine a bowl-shaped structure which appears just a few feet in front of them when 12 days earlier they hadn't noticed it," his petition said. "But not NASA and its rover team who have refused to take even a single close-up photo."

More here


Thursday, January 30, 2014

2.4 million high capacity magazines missing

As the State of Connecticut went through the process of gearing up to push more gun bans and bans on high capacity ammunition magazines, it was estimated that The Constitution State had at least "2.4 million" of the offending magazines within its borders. But now, after the new forced registration law set in, only about 38,000 high capacity magazines were registered. So, where did they all go?

It seems that Connecticut’s set up for future gun confiscation is failing despite that officials are trying to claim that it is a great success.

Back in 2011 as legislators were mulling over new anti-Second Amendment proposals, the state’s Office of Legislative Research looked into several questions being asked by lawmakers eager to fashion a new gun ban. Lawmakers needed to know how many so-called assault weapons were in the state, how many high capacity magazines were manufactured and how many held in private hands, how many crimes were committed by people using these things, and the like.

One of the findings made by the OLR was that gun owners in the state owned at the very least 2.4 million high capacity magazinesand likely many hundreds of thousands if not millions more.

More here

Health care workers don't always believe in vaccinations

To protect the population at large against diseases, public health authorities generally aim to immunize 90 to 95 per cent of the population. To the dismay of the authorities, however, one segment of the population is surprisingly resistant to getting the flu and other vaccines recommended for them -- doctors, nurses and others working in the health care sector.

Public health authorities have good reason to want health care workers vaccinated -- they believe the vaccines will keep workers healthy, helping to protect patients while also saving the health care system money through fewer sick days. No less important, when highly knowledgeable people in the health care field balk at getting vaccines, they belie the common claim that only the misguided or misinformed question mass inoculation programs. As explained by Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan, "It makes it harder for health officials, it makes it harder for me as the health minister to encourage people to get their vaccinations when they only see half of health care workers getting them."

Officialdom's failure to convince its own health care workers to follow its vaccination policy spans much of the Western world. In the UK, only 46 per cent of health care workers -- slightly less for doctors (45 percent) and nurses (41 percent) -- are vaccinated for the flu, despite concerted government efforts according to Public Health England. This startling failure is similar to that seen in Canadian jurisdictions for health care workers today, and those seen in the recent past in the U.S.

More here

European killers

Flashback to a column in 2006....

A RASH of pop prophets tell us that Muslims in Europe are reproducing so fast and European societies are so weak and listless that, before you know it, the continent will become "Eurabia," with all those topless gals on the Riviera wearing veils.

Well, maybe not.

The notion that continental Europeans, who are world-champion haters, will let the impoverished Muslim immigrants they confine to ghettos take over their societies and extend the caliphate from the Amalfi Coast to Amsterdam has it exactly wrong.

The endangered species isn’t the "peace loving" European lolling in his or her welfare state, but the continent’s Muslims immigrants and their multi-generation descendents who were foolish enough to imagine that Europeans would share their toys.

In fact, Muslims are hardly welcome to pick up the trash on Europe’s playgrounds.

Don’t let Europe’s current round of playing pacifist dress-up fool you: This is the continent that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing, the happy-go-lucky slice of humanity that brought us such recent hits as the Holocaust and Srebrenica.

THE historical patterns are clear: When Europeans feel sufficiently threatened even when the threat’s concocted nonsense they don’t just react, they over-react with stunning ferocity. One of their more-humane (and frequently employed) techniques has been ethnic cleansing.

More here



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scamming an airport

Airports are often terrible places to be. There are too many people rushing somewhere combined with too many cranky folks leaving somewhere mixed with annoying obstacles in the form of TSA security and rolling luggages. But it’s just like that for us normal folk. For first class flyers? It’s like being a rock star. One genius man took advantage of his rock star status and used one single first class airplane ticket to eat food for free for an entire year.

It’s an absolutely brilliant ploy. You see, when you have a first class ticket, you can stroll into the fanciest VIP airport lounge and grab whatever you want because once you’re inside that VIP lounge, anything you wantyes, including foodis free.

News.com.au relays a report from Kwong Wah Yit Poh of a genius man in China who took advantage of the free perks of those airport lounges. He booked a first class ticket on China Eastern Airlines and went to the VIP airport lounge at the Xi’an airport in Shaanxi, China and ate a delicious meal before his flight. Just like any first class traveler would. Except he never takes the flight. After he finished eating, the man changed his flight’s departure for another day and went back home. Until tomorrow. Armed with a brand new first class ticket for a new day, he comes back to the airport lounge, eats another fantastic free meal and after he finishes up, yep, pushes his flight back again. Lather. Eat. Repeat. For free.

In fact, he pretty much got a year of free meals out of this trick because he changed his flight itinerary over 300 times in the same year. The man sure knows how to work a loophole.

The best part though? When China Eastern Airlines started investigating this heroic man for changing his flights too many times, he simply canceled his airplane ticket and got a full refund. Well done, sir. Well done.

Source

Reign of chaos

Glenn Reynolds recently revived the strategy of "Irish Democracy" as a way of pushing back against unlimited Federal Expansion. This policy was adopted by the Irish Republicans as an alternative to directly confronting the British Empire in the early 20th century. For those unfamiliar with the idea, its clearest expression was given in the movie "Michael Collins", when the main character counseled the crowds against going head to head with London: "we have a weapon more powerful… than any in the whole arsenal of the British Empire! That weapon… is our refusal! … There is one weapon that the British cannot take away from us: we can ignore them."

And that’s exactly what’s happening, Reynolds argues, across as a whole range of Federal Government programs from the War on Drugs, Border Control, War on Terror and even Obamacare. They are becoming dead letters. They exist but not really. People aren’t exactly refusing to obey the laws. There are just so many regulations out there and so little time to obey them that inevitably 24 hours runs out before you can comply with them all.
That seems to be happening right now, in two very different areas. In one area, we have the refusal of people to sign up for Obamacare in anything like the numbers that were predicted, or needed to make it work. …

Meanwhile, on the marijuana front, the people of states like Colorado are engaging in an odd, 21st century variety of nullification. Unlike the 19th century John Calhoun version, state laws legalizing marijuana don’t purport to neutralize the still-extant federal laws banning cannabis. But the state, and millions of Coloradans, are simply ignoring the federal law and, in essence, daring the feds to do something about it.

State laws, of course, can’t neutralize federal law, as the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause makes clear. But, bloated as it is, the federal law enforcement apparatus isn’t up to the task of prosecuting all the marijuana users in Colorado. And if it tried, it would have to bring them to trial before juries in Colorado, who would probably acquit most of them. There would also be massive political backlash, amplified in the coming 2014 and 2016 elections because Colorado is a swing state. And in response to Colorado’s example, other states look likely to follow suit, making the feds’ problem much bigger.

It’s less IRA conspiracy and more the reign of chaos. Neverthless Reynolds’ use of the word "Irish" is particularly apt because the ringleader of the current uproar is that well known denizen of the Emerald Isles, Murphy. Murphy is present wherever incompetence, bankruptcy and overreach are to be found. And Murphy right now is all over the place.

More here

Slouching towards authoritarianism

There is a certain darkness slowly absorbing ever more of the intellectual life in the West which seeks, for various reasons, to remove the common morality of mankind from our souls, to deaden normal and natural emotions and passions, to break up the family, to abolish honest and human sentiments, patriotism and gratitude among them, to abolish a belief in objective truth, to abolish love of beauty, to abolish all passion for virtue, to kill God, and, in sum, to abolish everything that makes us truly human.

By mainstream modern thought, I that unnamed general tendency which, in politics, is totalitarian; in economics, socialist; in morals, libertine, decadent and perverted. In art, this nameless drift of modern thought adores ugliness and distortion; and favors aborticide and euthanasia and holds human choice to be absolutely sacrosanct, but not human life; in epistemology, the drift of modern thought is mystical.

Modern thought oddly claims to be scientific and to rely on the certainty of empiricism, but in fact takes everything on authority, and on anonymous authority at that.

Anonymous means no modern man would dream of discovering the qualification of the members of the UN panel on climate change, or has any impulse to question the findings of bribed bureaucrats or political appointees drawing conclusion about the relative dangers of DDT. The modern man is ironically proud of skepticism, but has no ability to question the authority of experts utterly nameless, utterly faceless, utterly immune from question or contradiction. The Middle Ages, taking on faith some dogma decided at the Council of Ephesus, would know the name of the defenders of the faith, and the heretic had their names affixed to their beliefs; and the dogma were all carefully written down, not merely a drift of opinion.

More here

Bloated legacy costs vs. plummeting budgets

Like many cities in America, the Milwaukee Public School system (MPS) is in bad shape. Last year MPS had to cut 500 people from the payroll to try and bridge the gap between their bloated legacy costs and plummeting budget.

Despite these problems, the MPS is spending more than $1 Million a year maintaining costly and deteriorating empty school buildings. These are properties that have eager buyers chomping at the bit to snatch them up but MPS and the city refuse to sell!

Why would a cash strapped school system refuse to sell empty buildings while laying people off to pay retired union pensions? Because these eager buyers are private schools in the state voucher system and MPS sees them as competition.

So rather than take a massive infusion of cash for empty buildings, money that could be used to hire better teachers and improve the public system, MPS has done everything in it’s power to block any sale that would result in a high quality school that they can’t control.

More here

Eliminating witnesses

"In the three-year period which followed the murder of President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, 18 material witnesses died: six by gun fire, three in motor accidents, two by suicide, one from a cut throat, one from a karate chop to the neck, three from heart attacks and two from natural causes. An actuary engaged by the London Times calculated the probability that at least 18 witnesses would die of any cause within 3 years of the JFK assassination as 1 in 100,000 trillion." (Quoted in the promotion of the 1973 film Executive Action)

Authors Belzer and Wayne actually said the odds were much higher: ‘‘The obvious counter-attack to that will be that there weren’t really 15 ‘true’ deaths of witnesses we have verified that there were actually more than 15….The numbers get even worse, moving forward, because witness deaths increased dramatically at the time of the 1977 Congressional Investigation"; the authors quoted Richard Charmin in "JFK Related Deaths" and "JFK Assassination: A Probability Analysis of Unnatural Witness Deaths"

"In the 14 years following the JFK assassination, there were a minimum of 70 unnatural deaths out of approximately 1,400 witnesses. The probability is 1.40E-33 or 1 in 714,705,498,316,173,300,000,000,000,000,000."

The authors further quoted Richard Charmin: "That number is greater than all of the stars in the universe and grains of sand on earth. There are an estimated 300 billion trillion (3E23) stars in the universe. That’s three followed by 23 zeroes: 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. There are an estimated 700 thousand trillion (7E17) grains of sand on earth or 7 followed by 17 zeroes; 700,000,000,000,000,000."

In an email to the authors, dated December 4, 2011, Charmin stated emphatically, "I have proved mathematically what many have long suspected: the scores of convenient JFK unnatural witness deaths cannot be coincidental".

The House Select Committee on Assassinations (1976-1978) may have revealed even further "witnesses": "Some of the documents are still sealed; scheduled to be released at a future date. It was basically what is known in intelligence parlance as a ‘limited hangout’; they admitted it was a conspiracy but slammed the door on delving deeper into it".

More here

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Investigation of Adam Lanza continues, but reports not released

Adam Lanza, the purported Sandy Hook School shooter, is the subject of an ongoing investigation in Connecticut. No, it’s not a police probe, it’s about "mental health."

The investigation is all about Lanza’s medical history, what diagnoses were made, who the doctors were, what psychiatric drugs they prescribed Lanza.

The Governor of Connecticut is ultimately in charge, in order to make recommendations about improving "mental health" in the state and preventing future violent tragedies.

But the inquiry has stalled. And stalled.

Despite multiple agencies apparently having possession of Lanza’s medical/psychiatric history, these reports have been held close to the vest and not released.

Why?

There are a number of reasons.

First and obviously, the psychiatric drugs didn’t make Lanza better, they made him worse; and some of those drugs, like the SSRI antidepressants, are known to cause violent behavior, including homicide.

More here


Super PACs are bad, unless they hire me

In 2012, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm blasted the Supreme Court’s decision on the "Citizens United" case:
My experiences all took place before Citizens United. I can’t even imagine how much worse the pressures are now. That case has corrupted our political system, so our politics is no longer about doing the will of the people, it’s about raising the money from some of the people.
There just isn’t time to do anything else. You can see why so many good men and women are no longer willing to serve in elected office.

This isn’t a partisan issue this is a national crisis. And the fix to get money out of politics is clear: we need to amend our constitution to save our democracy.

Got it. Super PACs baaad.

Fast forward to January 2014:

Well, Super PACs aren't that bad:
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has been named cochair of the largest liberal super PAC in the country, giving her what could be a prominent public role in the 2016 presidential race.

Priorities USA Action announced its new leadership structure Thursday. Granholm, a Democrat who left office in early 2011 after two terms, was named co-chair along with Jim Messina, who was campaign manager of President Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign in 2012.

Priorities USA Action will back Hillary, whose potential candidacy somehow eliminates the threat to democracy posed by Super PACs.

Source

TSA, expensive security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spent approximately $900 million over the last 5 years for behavior detection officers to identify high-risk passengers but, so far, according to the General Accountability Office (GAO), only 0.59% of the passengers flagged were arrested and among those not one was charged with terrorism zero.

In 2003, the TSA started testing its Screening of Passengers by Observation Technique (SPOT) program, which was then fully deployed in 2007. About 3,000 behavior detection officers (BDO) "had been deployed to 176 of the more than 450 TSA-regulated airports in the United States" by fiscal year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011 Sept. 30, 2012), according to the GAO.

More here

Ancient timekeeping

Now for those without a degree in timekeeping the water thief was a large flaggon or amphora containing water with holes in the bottom: these water thieves served as crude clocks in the ancient world, the seconds being measured by the water slowing dripping out. Some were sophisticated: machines with moving parts, involving drops and floating rods; and it is possible to get water thieves to do things like bang gongs and drop bells. But more typically they were kept in a corner of the room, they had no widgets, and the only way to keep time was to come and look or to have someone watch them and shout out the hours.

Welcome to the world of the Water Thief Watcher, a slave whose job it was to sit in front of the dripping vessel and call every fifteen minutes out so that his master and mistress could get the kids to school on time. Sounds ok to you with your busy 9-9 job? But just imagine the horrible lack of activity, the torture of listening to that constant splash, splash that echoes so long in your head that eventually it enters your dreams. A modern equivalent would be a rabid Keynesian putting a member of the unemployed in front of a ticking clock and saying: count off the minutes and I’ll give you two hundred dollars a week.

If you want an even more diabolical version of the water thief watcher consider now the water thief officer (not a slave interestingly) in the Athenian judicial system. This man was repsonsible for ‘the drips’: a legal stopwatch. In Athenian legal cases, accused and accuser were given a certain amount of ‘water’ in a vase to speak: less important cases meant smaller containers, accused always got more water than accusers etc etc. The system was simple yet sophisticated. The watcher could, for example, plug the water if a long document had to be read out that took from the accused’s time to speak. But he also had to be ready to cry halt the moment the last drop descended from the flask: and this wasn’t just a matter of getting a cuff from your master; this was, at times, a question of life or hemlock.

Source

Monday, January 27, 2014

False pretenses

"I promise 100% transparency in my administration.".

"I promise NO NEW TAXES on a family making less than $250K a year.".

"I will allow 5 days of public comment before I sign any bills.".

"I will remove earmarks before I sign any bill.".

"I will end Income Tax for seniors making less than $50K a year.".

"I’ll put the Health Care negotiations on CSPAN so everyone can see who is at the table!"

"I’ll have no lobbyists in my administration."

"I'll close Guantanamo Bay."

"I'll resign if I don't cut the deficit in half by the end of four years."

"I believe marriage is between one man and one woman."

"I won't seek re-election unless unemployment falls below 5%."

"I'll unite the people of this great country."

"If you like your insurance you can keep it"

"If you like your doctor you can keep him"

"The ACA will save most family $2500.00 a year"

Republicans = Democrats

Let this seep in for a few minutes. The entire force of the GOP establishment is being applied towards Obama’s most cherished agenda item for his second term, not towards fighting Obamacare and the debt ceiling. While Americans are concerned about out-of-control government, Obamacare, debt, and jobs, these clowns are concerned about illegal immigrants, foreign lobbies, and special interests.

--Daniel Horowitz

Revolution

People from; the left, right, and center, cry out, "Take Back America."

The only way to take back our country is to do as our forefathers did in 1776, start a revolution against the powers that be.

We don’t want a violent revolution but we the people of America must revolt if we want to take back our government from the two party, Democrat-Republican oligarchy, now in power.

Imagine a government controlled not by political parties controlled by special interest and Wall Street but by parties controlled by the people and Main Street. The government might start representing the American people instead of the people at Goldman Sacks, Bank of America and, Koch Industries.

Imagine what would happen if all conservatives supported the Constitution Party, all progressives supported the Green Party and all libertarians supported the Libertarian Party. We would have three major parties in the United States, the Democrat and Republican parties would no longer dominate the American political system and we would have some honest debate on the issues facing the American people. We would have no one party majority rule or two party divided government, one the the three parties would always command the balance of power to break any gridlock.

More here

(I don't understand the criticism of the Koch brothers while George Soros is hardly ever mentioned)

Dying in vain

Yes, Marcus. Your friends died in vain. They went selflessly. They fought bravely. They sacrificed nobly. They lived in the best traditions of duty, honor, and country hallowed words which dictate what every American can and ought to be. But they died in vain for the exact reason that they went where their country sent them and did what their country told them to do. America failed you because it failed its obligation to those principles. It gives me no pleasure to write these words, because it applies as much to the friends I lost as it does to yours. But it needs to be said, because the sooner we acknowledge it as a country, the more lives we might save.

As I write this, America is two weeks into its 13th and presumably last year of war in Afghanistan. Already, two servicemembers have been reported killed there. The strategic outlook after our withdrawal is not optimistic. Indeed, current events forebode a harsh future for Afghanistan. We are only two years removed from our withdrawal from Iraq and the al Qaeda flag flies over the city of Fallujah, in which more than 120 American servicemembers died. The ultimate failure of American military might to secure Fallujah does nothing to diminish the honorable nature of their service. But likewise, all their gallantry cannot change the fact that they died for an unfulfilled cause. The honor is theirs alone. The disgrace belongs to America. …

It is my greatest hope that Luttrell’s response opens a national dialogue on this subject, and that people finally embrace the true, terrible nature of our self-inflicted losses. Let us as a nation finally feel the guilt we ought to for failing our civic duty. And let that be what we remember before we send the next servicemember to battle. For surely, there will be a next war.

More here

Are you ready for Hillary


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ted Cruz letter to Holder

Ted Cruz letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. seeking a special prosecutor to consider any potential criminal cases against IRS officials over the agency’s controversial actions against tea party and conservative organizations....

"To date, no one has been indicted. And it has been reported that the FBI plans not to file any criminal charges. This is a sad state of affairs. The widespread perception of partisan bias, of manifest conflict of interest, besmirches the reputation of the Department of Justice. And it undermines confidence in rule of law. I ask you personally to demonstrate the independence that so many of your predecessors have demonstrated, and act to preserve the integrity of the Department of Justice and immediately appoint a special prosecutor, with meaningful independence, to investigate the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups."

Gangster government

It was Michael Barone who, early in President Obama’s first term, described the Obama administration as "gangster government." With Obama now re-elected, his administration’s gangsterism has shifted into high gear. Consider the following news stories from just the last 24 hours:

* Dinesh D’Souza, who made a popular documentary film critical of Obama, has been indicted on felony charges by a U.S. Attorney in New York for using straw contributors to donate $20,000 to a friend’s Senate campaign in 2012. I have no idea whether the allegations are truthful or not. But in both 2008 and 2012, the Obama campaign deliberately solicited and received illegal campaign contributions online. By disabling standard security measures, the Obama campaign invited, and undoubtedly received, contributions from foreign citizens, contributors who had already donated the maximum permissible amounts, felons, and others. Where is the criminal investigation of the Obama campaign, or, for that matter, of any Obama donor? There hasn’t been one. Selective enforcement of the laws is a hallmark of gangster governments.

* For the last two years, Obama’s IRS has been investigating the Friends of Abe, Hollywood’s only conservative group, and has held up approval of the organization’s 501(c)(3) status. The IRS has asked for information that would include the Friends’ membership list, which would then allow it to harass individual conservatives. As far as I can tell from news accounts, the Friends of Abe have done nothing that isn’t universal among 501(c)(3) organizations that relate to current events or political philosophy. And, as far as has been reported, the IRS isn’t investigating any of Hollywood’s many liberal groups.

More here

Chamber of Commerce, fail

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a politically entrenched synod of special interests. These fat cats do not represent the best interests of American entrepreneurs, American workers, American parents and students, or Americans of any race, class or age who believe in low taxes and limited government. The chamber’s business is the big business of the Beltway, not the business of mainstream America.

If you are a business owner who believes your country should strictly and consistently enforce its borders and deport illegal immigrants who violate the terms of their visas, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t represent you.

If you are a worker who believes the feds should punish illegal aliens who use fake documents to obtain jobs instead of rewarding them with "legal status," the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t champion you.

If you are a parent or educator who opposes top-down federal education schemes such as Common Core that undermine local control, dumb down rigorous curricula and threaten family privacy while enriching big business and lobbying groups, the U.S. Chamber od Commerce doesn’t speak for you.

If you are a taxpayer who has had enough of crony capitalism and publicly funded bailouts of failing corporations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t work for you.

Last year, the chamber poured more than $52 million into K Street lobbying efforts on behalf of illegal alien amnesty, Fed Ed Common Core programs and increased federal spending. This year, chamber bigwigs are paving the perilous pathway to GOP capitulation. The left hardly needs to lift a finger against tea party candidates and activists who are bravely challenging the big government status quo. The chamber has already volunteered to spend $50 million subsidizing the Republican incumbency protection racket and attacking anti-establishment conservatives.

More here


Should we laugh or cry?

Chuck the schmuck attacks Tea Party

New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer will attempt to dilute the tea party in a speech today by arguing that its working-class base are nothing more than stooges for the wealthy donors who fill the party’s coffers, The Hill reports.

Addressing liberal think tank Center for American Progress, Schumer plans to characterize the donors many of whom are considered titans of American industry as prosperous puppeteers posing as libertarians to protect their pro-business agenda.

"Wealthy Tea Party leaders have convinced Tea Party rank and file and many other Americans that anti-government ideology is the answer to their problems but many Tea Partiers and sympathizers support government programs Democrats must exploit the difference," Schumer’s office said in a statement announcing the speech, according to The Hill.

Schumer also will suggest a two-party primary would undercut the tea party movement, according to The Associated Press.

Schumer says a number of states let voters of all parties participate in a primary, with the top two vote-getters deciding the election in a runoff. This can result in more moderate Republicans and independents prevailing, according to excerpts from his speech.

More here

No place in New York

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio emphatically backed New Governor Andrew Cuomo’s controversial remarks that "extreme" conservatives which he defined as being pro-life, second amendment advocates, or supporters of traditional marriage "have no place in the state of New York."

"I stand by that 100 percent," de Blasio told reporters at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

"I agree with Governor Cuomo’s remarks. I interpret his remarks to say that an extremist attitude that continues the reality of violence in our communities or an extremist attitude that denies the rights of women does not represent the views of New York State," he added.

Governor Cuomo riled up conservatives in New York state as well as all over the country when he told a local New York State radio program last Friday "extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay....have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are."

More here

Friday, January 24, 2014

Marxism-Leninism

It is beneficial to remind ourselves periodically of the realities in the struggle between Constitutionalism / Capitalism and Marxism-Leninism. It is a continual struggle, whether we acknowledge it or not. And the enemy of America as a constitutional republic with a capitalistic economic system is Marxism-Leninism, whether it be characterized as communism, socialism, progressivism, leftism, statism, or liberalism (in its current state).

Historically, we can consider the birth of the fusion between Marxism and Leninism to be in 1917, when Vladimir Lenin first took power as the leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, later to be known as the USSR. Lenin was the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution that gave the world its first taste of socialism, established as Communism. He transformed the political philosophy of Marxism into his own brand, Marxism-Leninism. Here are a few of his famous quotations1:
"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation."

"One man with a gun can control 100 without one."

"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."

"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."

"The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them in parliament."

"The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency."

"The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses."

"Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism."

"Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever."

"There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel."

"Democracy is indispensable to socialism."

"It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed."

More here
 

 

Cloward Piven Strategy

"Well, I think that we have to stop saying that the president’s economic policies are failing and we start looking at really what the trend is. We’re seeing an incredible growth of the welfare nanny state, We’re seeing the poverty roles explode. We’re seeing the food stamp roles explode. We’re seeing more dependency on the government largess and programs. Look at what just happened kicking part-time workers off of their health care insurance plans. We’re seeing a desperation and a despondency out there that’s being created by this administration.

And it caused me to go back and read about the Cloward/Piven strategy of Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven who were Columbia University professors. (And it just so happened that the president went to Columbia.)

They talked about overloading the welfare system to a point where it would collapse, you would cause such chaos and then you would have to move from a welfare system to almost a national income system. And when you think about this 11th extension of unemployment benefits, it’s almost like the federal government’s trying to pay people not to get out there and participate in the job market."

--Allen West

Learn more about the Cloward-Piven Strategy here

Smith & Wesson to California....F*** Off !

Smith & Wesson announced it will stop selling its handguns in California rather than manufacture them to comply with the new microstamping law. The other publicly traded firearms manufacturer in the U.S., Sturm, Ruger, also said this month that it will stop new sales to California.

The announcement late Wednesday came a week after the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, filed suit against California for requiring that all new semi-automatic pistols that are not already on the state’s approved gun roster have the microstamping technology.

Microstamping is a patented process that, in theory, would have a unique code on the tip of a gun’s firing pin that would engrave that information on the casing when fired.

More here

(Automakers should do the same...refuse to do business with those fools in California)

Liberal says Obama should be impeached

Worse than Richard Nixon. An unprecedented abuse of powers. The most un-American president in the nation’s history.

Nat Hentoff does not think much of President Obama.

And now, the famous journalist says it is time to begin looking into impeachment.

Hentoff sees the biggest problem as Obama’s penchant to rule by executive order when he can’t convince Congress to do things his way.

The issue jumped back into the headlines last week when, just before his first Cabinet meeting of 2014, Obama said, "I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone … and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions."

"Apparently he doesn’t give one damn about the separation of powers," Hentoff told WND. "Never before in our history has a president done these things."

And just to make sure everyone knew how extremely serious he regarded the situation, the journalist added, "This is the worst state, I think, the country has ever been in."

More here

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cheating by teachers and schools

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office is conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of widespread cheating among teachers and principals in Philadelphia schools, according to people with knowledge of the inquiry.

State prosecutors acted after receiving information from the state Inspector General's Office, which launched its own investigation in 2011.

Bruce Beemer, chief of the Criminal Prosecution Section of the Attorney General's Office, declined to comment Friday.

A spokesman for the School District also declined to comment.

News of the criminal probe, which one source said involves a grand jury, comes as 138 educators have been implicated in a citywide scandal. The revelation comes a day after three Philadelphia school principals were fired for alleged cheating. The School Reform Commission removed the principals as of Friday, and officials said further investigation and more discipline was to come.

Allegations of cheating in Philadelphia schools first surfaced in 2011, involving 53 district schools and three city charter schools.

More here

Siluria

The effort to replace oil-based gasoline in our cars with similar fuels derived from natural gas took a big step forward last week with the announcement that Siluria, a promising start-up, will build a $15-million demonstration plant in Texas.

The plant will produce ethylene, the most commonly produced industrial chemical in the world and the feedstock for a whole raft of products in the chemicals and plastics industry. But Siluria, which is not yet a public company, is also planning demonstration plants that will produce gasoline. Initial estimates are that the product could sell at half the price of gasoline derived from oil. If these projections prove to be anywhere close to reality, we could be on a path to a fuel economy that is finally able to cut its dependence on oil.

The idea of producing ethylene from natural gas has been around since the 1980s but achieved little success. Several major oil companies invested millions of dollars in the process but finally gave up on it. Jay Labinger, a Caltech chemist who did much of the initial research, finally wrote a paper in the 1980s warning other researchers that it was a waste of time. He may have given up too soon.

More here

Deja vu or something else?

I would like to share my story that is both funny and terrifying. I've read many reports of alien encounters and ghosts and so on but they all have one thing in common. They are all complicated enough to make room for a reasonable doubt. It might have been a plane, a weather balloon, a simple coincidence or some rare natural phenomenon. Not this time. I got 2+2=5 and there is no room for any doubt, and that is just the beginning of the terrifying part.

A quick introduction: I'm 28, man, living in Poland, completely healthy (no illnesses of any kind), working in marketing and living alone. Also, I am a man of reason, atheists and I choose logic over any superstition.

The story: Last night, around 11.00, I was getting ready for the next day. I was packing for the gym that I visit right after work every other day. I had no alcohol, I wasn't tired and what is most important I was concentrated and calm. I packed all the necessities in my bag and went to the kitchen to get bananas I had prepared for right after the workout. There were 4 bananas in one bunch. I had ripped 2 off and left 2 in the fridge. I packed the two I've taken and spend some more time watching youtube videos. However, I got worried that the fruits will wither in my bag through the night so I took them out and put them back in the fridge and wrote myself a note that I left on the table saying 'bananas' to not forget them the next morning. Then I went to sleep.

Right after I woke up and went through the bathroom routine I went to the kitchen and as I was remembering what I should do I took the bananas out and immediately and unmistakably noticed that they were again in a bunch, naturally connected. I have never before been so sure that it was an impossible error. I knew it in my guts and when I ripped them again, listening to the sound of them being torn, I knew that the yesterday's act of doing it was erased. My mind was speeding to cross out all the possibilities and the last one was eliminated when I saw the piece of paper saying 'bananas' on the table. It was not a dream. 2 of the fruits were in my bag for good 10 minutes and now they were again a bunch, not glued, not taped, not placed next to each other, a holding bunch. I examined the fridge, there were no more fruits in the whole apartment. as I mentioned, I live alone, no outside involvement was possible as I would easily woke up if someone entered the apartment.

And now the most terrifying part begins.

More here

And a similar story here.


Just like the Hotel California

Think it's hard to enroll in ObamaCare? Try getting out of it.

Missouri resident Lesli Hill learned the hard way that terminating an Affordable Care Act plan can be far more difficult than navigating the website to buy one. She spent six weeks being bounced from operator to operator, calling the help line, using the online chat, blasting out emails to anyone who would listen, before ultimately driving to Kansas City last week to enlist her insurance company's help. Only then was she able to break through the bureaucratic logjam, and cancel her policy.

"It's consumed my whole life," she told FoxNews.com, albeit with a hint of relief in her voice as she described the Kafkaesque experience behind her.

"I felt like I'd slipped into a parallel universe. ... It's just as hard to go off as it is to get on."

Hill's experience stands as a cautionary tale to anyone who, for whatever reason, is trying to bow out of insurance they purchased on the exchanges. Hill's troubles started last fall, after the high-risk pool coverage she had was discontinued due to the health law. For lack of options, she went on the exchange and bought a policy with a $950-a-month premium.

She wasn't thrilled about it, but at least she was covered.

However, shortly afterward Hill, 62, learned she could once again purchase an individual plan -- with better benefits -- outside the exchange. She checked with Blue Cross Blue Shield in early December and was told she'd have to cancel her ObamaCare plan first.

More here

(Good reason not to give permission to someone to automatically withdraw funds from your bank account)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Crippling Depression" among lawyers

CNN has a heartbreaking new story that examines America's growing epidemic of crippling depression and suicide among attorneys particularly male trial lawyers.

State bar associations in Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Iowa, and other states have taken action to protect lawyers' mental health in light of their high suicide rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says lawyers are the fourth most suicidal profession after dentists, pharmacists, and physicians.

There are a few theories about why lawyers are vulnerable to depression and suicide. For one thing, the law can attract workaholics who are prone to stress. The law particularly trial law also involves constant strife and conflict, which can be inherently stressful and depressing.

"There are a lot of high stress professions," Yvette Hourigan, who runs the Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program, told CNN. "Being a physician has stress. However, when the surgeon goes into the surgical suite to perform his surgery, they don't send another physician in to try to kill the patient. You know, they're all on the same team trying to do one job. In the legal profession, adversity is the nature of our game."

More here

We're screwed

An actress is facing a backlash in San Francisco’s Latino community, after she voiced support for a conservative candidate for California governor.

Maria Conchita Alonso starred in a campaign ad for Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County, a Tea Party favorite who is seeking the Republican nomination.

Donnelly has voiced strong views against illegal immigration and was once involved with the Minutemen Project, a group that patrolled the border with Mexico to catch immigrants coming across.

"Politicians and big government are killing our prosperity, pushing welfare costs through the roof and driving our schools into the ground," Donnelly said in the ad.

Standing next to Donnelly, Alonso jokingly translated in Spanish, "We’re screwed."

More here

Does Obamacare offer value?

ObamaCare's defenders say its troubles are over as more people sign up and, by the way, stop griping because the law is here to stay. Much evidence says otherwise, to the extent that the embroidered information the White House is willing to release counts as evidence.

Lifting the veil of secrecy last week, the feds revealed that 2.2 million people nationwide had selected a plan through December. That is a major improvement, especially for the 36 federally run exchanges, which gathered 1.19 million total enrollees. Traffic increased sevenfold over October and November.

The Health and Human Services Department still won't say how many people have enrolled in a plan by paying the premium. But even assuming an implausible 100% success rate, the exchanges are still well behind the original target of seven million, much less the 20 million or so necessary to ensure a viable insurance market.

This is a failure by President Obama's own standard. About one of six Americans under age 65 lack insurance in the official statistics. So where are they? Either Democrats exaggerated the problem to pass the new entitlement. Or else individuals don't think ObamaCare plans offer value, and they're choosing to stay uninsured or buy insurance off the exchanges where the regulations are slightly looser.

More here

British health service losing money

Many in Britain are beginning to question whether the country should continue its National Health Service (NHS), says Cal Thomas, columnist for the Washington Examiner.

Under the NHS, Britons have suffered for decades.
Already, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence determines whether new medicines can be approved in Britain, but most recently, the agency has sparked concern with its plan to license new drugs only if judged by NHS to "be a benefit to wider society."

A recent European Commission report found that Britain has fewer doctors per person than nearly every other European country (that's only 2.71 doctors for every 1,000 people).

In fact, the United Kingdom ranks behind even Bulgaria, Estonia and Latvia in the European Commission's rankings.

And while the NHS was intended to reduce the number of people who seek emergency room (ER) treatment, emergency room visits are actually up.
Some patients actually visit the ER up to four times per week, with the BBC reporting that "nearly 12,000 people made more than 10 visits to the same unit in 2012-13. A small number of those -- just over 150 -- attended more than 50 times."

Meanwhile, President Obama said that the Affordable Care Act would lower ER visits in the United States, but studies already indicate that newly insured are visiting emergency rooms at more frequent rates.

Chairman of the council at the British Medical Association, Dr. Mark Porter, described NHS's problems this way: "A growing and aging population, public health problems like obesity, and constant advances in treatment and technology are all contributing to push NHS costs well above general inflation."

Thomas warns that the United States could learn something from Britain's experience with a nationalized system of health care.

Source

El Guero Loco

A former Seattle-area man was deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operation (ERO) Thursday to Mexico where he faces homicide charges.

Fabian Godinez-Oseguera, 37, also known as "El Güero Loco," was turned over to Mexican authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border at El Paso, Texas. Godinez-Oseguera was escorted by ERO officers from the Seattle area, where he was held in ICE custody prior to his removal.

According to a 2001 arrest warrant issued by the Mexican state of Colima, Godinez-Oseguera is charged with aggravated homicide for the October 2000 murder of Arnoldo Farias Cisneros in the city of Tecomán. Godinez-Oseguera has an extensive U.S. criminal history, including felony convictions for weapons possession, drug trafficking and illegal reentry after deportation.

"Criminals who seek to escape responsibility for their actions by fleeing to the United States will find no sanctuary in our communities," said Nathalie Asher, field office director for ERO Seattle. "ICE works closely with law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable no matter where they commit their crimes."

Department of Homeland Security records show Godinez-Osegurea has been deported five times since 2000. ICE officials credit recent strides in the sharing of criminal record information between the U.S. and Mexican governments as the reason Godinez-Oseguera will now answer for the crime he allegedly committed more than a decade ago.

More here


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Good quotes and sorry stories abound

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana...."The Department of Justice proposal reeks of federal government intrusion and proves the people in Washington running our federal government are more interested in skin color than they are in education."

A CNN investigation found public universities across the country where many students in the basketball and football programs could read only up to an eighth-grade level. The data obtained through open records requests also showed a staggering achievement gap between college athletes and their peers at the same institution.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie apologized last Thursday for a traffic jam scandal involving his staff, saying he was embarrassed and humiliated, and fired a top aide "because she lied to me." Meanwhile, blogger Doug Powers notes that this firing means that Chris Christie has already publicly held more government officials accountable for vendetta-caused lane closures on a bridge than President Obama has canned for IRS abuses, Benghazi or the Obamacare debacle put together.

Hmmmm..... Despite widespread poverty, Appalachia's violent crime rate is half the national average.

The Obama administration Wednesday issued new guidelines on classroom discipline, seeking to end the apparent disparities in how students of different races are punished for violating school rules. Attorney General Eric Holder said the recommendations were meant to protect the civil rights of students, and disrupt the so-called "school-to-prison pipeline." Civil rights advocates have long said that overly zealous school discipline policies target black and Hispanic students, pulling them out of schools and into the court system. Story  (Surveillance cameras in classrooms would show who the troublemakers are)

Dennis Rodman seems to be handling North Korea better than John Kerry or his predecessors, doesn't he?

IMHO, Chris Christie has never been a viable Republican in my opinion. So if he gracefully disappears into the political sunset, I'd be okay with it.

(Here) ... is a list of prominent (mostly) leftist/progressive intimidation incidents, or profiles in preemptive cowardice in anticipation thereof, or firings because of ludicrous and exaggerated PC claims of ‘offensiveness’ (usually concerning mere jokes) that I wish had been deterred or handled differently. Also taboo-witch-hunts (is there a good word for a person who is a ‘taboo-truth-witch’ that is better than ‘heretic’, ‘apostate’, or ‘blasphemer’?) We are all Galileos now. Story

A group of Bay Area environmentalists has proposed labels that will warn drivers of their contribution to global warming every time they pull up to the pump. Story

As Tunisia gets ready to mark the three-year anniversary of the 2011 uprising, there has been a surge of nostalgia for the country’s former dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, currently in exile in Saudi Arabia. "Ben Ali, they fooled us! Come back soon!" is a slogan one could hear on Tuesday, January 7, in the streets of Tunis, Ariana, Mahdia, Sfax and other cities in Tunisia, as the country prepared to mark the three-year anniversary of the uprising that sent former dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali packing. Story

Headline of the day....Great Lakes iced over at earliest date since the 1930's.

The Big Three networks, in a frenzy over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's traffic headache dubbed "Bridgegate," have devoted a whopping 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage to the affair in just the last 24 hours. By comparison, that's 17 times the two minutes, eight seconds devoted to President Obama's IRS scandal in the last six months, according to an analysis by the Media Research Center. Story

From California....In 2011, the top 1 percent of tax returns accounted for 41 percent of the state's personal income tax revenues, and that was before Proposition 30 raised rates on the rich. Meanwhile, about half of California adults paid no state income tax that year, according to an estimate from the state Finance Department.

In a recent Gallup survey, physicians attributed 34 percent of overall healthcare costs to defensive medicine and 21 percent of their practice to be defensive in nature. Specifically, they estimated that 35 percent of diagnostic tests, 29 percent of lab tests, 19 percent of hospitalizations, 14 percent of prescriptions, and 8 percent of surgeries were performed to avoid lawsuits.

After a decade of exploring the Martian surface, the scientists overseeing veteran rover Opportunity thought they’d seen it all. That was until a rock mysteriously "appeared" a few feet in front of the six wheeled rover a few days ago. Story

Rush Limbaugh notices something odd...."Did you happen to see the size of those flags behind Obama at the National Security Agency speech? Those flags are getting bigger and bigger and bigger every speech he makes. And, you know, that's what dictators do. As our liberties and our freedoms shrink, the symbols get bigger and bigger and bigger. It happens all over the Third World."

Two odd stories here and here. Can you see a pattern forming?

"But the country has not voted to turn itself into Mexico. I love Mexicans, I love Mexican food. I don't want this country to be Japan or Sweden either. What's the matter with America as it is?" Story  (She criticizes Democrats but the Republicans support illegal immigration also for their cheap labor. Which one is worse?)

In 1963, one year before Johnson’s absurd declaration of "war" against a universal part of the human condition, the white illegitimacy rate in the United States was 3.07 percent, according to the Department of Labor. The black illegitimacy rate was 23.6 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Fifty years into the war, the illegitimacy rate THE SINGLE MOST CONSISTENT PREDICTOR OF POVERTY is 25 percent for whites, 42 percent for Hispanics and a truly staggering 72 percent for blacks. Story

More than 5,893 leaks from aging natural gas pipelines have been found under the streets of Washington, D.C. by a research team from Duke University and Boston University. Story  (Would I be upset if the entire city burned down?)

Governor Cuomo of New York...."Pro-life people have no place in the state of New York."

Purging the U.S. military. (And the female officers can move up faster)

So do you want a natural childbirth or do you want a C-section? Funny video here.

My conspiracy rant

Can the NSA itself be behind the Snowden affair?

Consider this comment I saw at the Belmont Club blog...."Another possibility, and I do not take credit for this thinking, is that Snowden was put in place by an alternative power center within the U.S. government in an attempt to save itself and what it perceived to be the true interests of this nation. This thinking is based on the belief or understanding that this nation is now governed by competing power structures within the government: one of the oldest structures is facing extinction as Obama and crew bring about the destruction of this nation and is trying to undo the damage."

Imagine all the personal secrets the NSA dredges up in their phone monitoring schemes....

Imagine all the information it collects that is ripe for blackmail....

Imagine all the RINO's who cave in to the Democrats without a fight....

Would Tom Clancy have done it this way?

Once upon a time US political leaders could at least identify the enemies of the United States. And, once upon a time, Hollywood could make movies about the enemies of the United States and the free world.

But those days are gone. Today US political leaders believe there are no enemies, no war just "overseas continency operations" and "man-caused disasters."

And, Hollywood is just as delusional. The California cowards are afraid to link Islam and terror and afraid to portray the horrors of fanatical Islamists who declared war on America over a decade ago.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is latest example of Hollywood cowardice.

More here

Oil Leases


Monday, January 20, 2014

Hillary fired from the Watergate investigation

Hillary Clinton might have a pretty hefty scandal brewing.

It turns when she was an attorney working on the Watergate investigation, she was fired by her supervisor for "lying, unethical behavior."

Jerry Zeifman, who said he is a lifelong Democrat, was a supervisor for 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. When the investigation was complete, Zeifman said he fired Hillary and refused to give her a recommendation.

"Because she was a liar," Zeifman said. "She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.

How could a 27-year-old House staff member do all that? She couldn’t do it by herself, but Zeifman said she was one of several individuals including Marshall, special counsel John Doar and senior associate special counsel (and future Clinton White House Counsel) Bernard Nussbaum who engaged in a seemingly implausible scheme to deny Richard Nixon the right to counsel during the investigation.

More here

China building new carrier

China has started constructing the second of four planned aircraft carriers, a top government official said according to media reports on Saturday.

The ship is under construction in the northeastern port of Dalian and will take six years to build, the reports said quoting Wang Min, Communist Party chief for Dalian's Liaoning province.

The country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was completed in September 2012 in a symbolic milestone for the country's increasingly muscular military.

Another two are in the pipeline, according to Wang, in a projection of power that could be seen as contradicting Beijing's long-stated policy of arming itself strictly for self-defence.

More here

The cost of illegals, paid for by taxpayers, for the benefit of Democrats who see them as voters, and Republicans who see them as cheap labor

After a brief hiatus that coincided with the worst of the economic recession, Texas’s illegal alien population is on the rise again. There are about 1,810,000 illegal aliens residing in Texas 70,000 more than resided in the state in 2010 when we estimated the fiscal burden at nearly $8.9 billion annually.

In 2013, illegal immigration cost Texas taxpayers about $12.1 billion annually. That amounts to more than $1,197 for every Texas household headed by a native-born or naturalized U.S. citizen. The taxes paid by illegal aliens estimated at $1.27 billion per year do not come close to paying for those outlays, but we include an estimate of revenue from sales taxes, property taxes, alcohol taxes, and cigarette taxes.

Examining Texas’s fiscal outlays from the perspective of the current debate over adopting an amnesty for illegal aliens, we find that the fiscal burden to taxpayers would not be significantly lessened even if an amnesty like that proposed in the Senate’s S.744 were enacted. In fact, it becomes clear that the only way to significantly reduce the fiscal burden is to reduce the size of the population that illegally entered the country. State and local policymakers have options available to accomplish that objective. In Arizona, efforts to discourage the arrival of additional illegal residents and to hold employers accountable for knowingly hiring illegal workers have been effective in reducing the illegal alien population and, thereby, the fiscal costs associated with that population.

Aside from emotional arguments about compassion, proponents of an amnesty argue that granting legal status would allow the illegal alien population to seek higher paying jobs, move out of poverty, and contribute more taxes. Opponents of the amnesty proposal argue that besides undermining respect for the law the measure would encourage future illegal immigration and put the illegal alien population on the path to collecting the full range of public benefits that currently are not legally available.

Source

Defrocking priests

In his last two years as pope, Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for raping and molesting children, more than twice as many as the two years that preceded a 2010 explosion of sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond, according to a document obtained Friday by The Associated Press and an analysis of Vatican statistics.

The data 260 priests defrocked in 2011 and 124 in 2012, a total of 384 represented a dramatic increase over the 171 priests defrocked in 2008 and 2009.

It was the first compilation of the number of priests forcibly removed for sex abuse by the Vatican's in-house procedures and a canon lawyer said the real figure is likely far higher, since the numbers don't include sentences meted out by diocesan courts.

The spike started a year after the Vatican decided to double the statute of limitations on the crime, enabling victims who were in their late 30s to report abuse committed against them when they were children.

The Vatican has actually made some data public year by year in its annual reports. But an internal Vatican document prepared to help the Holy See defend itself before a U.N. committee this week in Geneva compiled the statistics over the course of several years. Analysis of the raw data cited in that document, which was obtained by the AP, confirmed the figures.

More here

Moving to the Left

Not too long ago, everyone was declaring American politics a lost cause for progressives. The religious right supposedly had a stranglehold on elections. Then it was the tea party that had the political establishment initially Democrats and Republicans quaking. The media and the general public took hold of a narrative parroted by conservative candidates and opinion leaders: The United States was a "center-right" nation.

But after two consecutive elections in which the Democratic candidate for president garnered more than 50 percent of the vote a one-two punch last achieved by Franklin Roosevelt it is worth questioning that assumption. The country is getting more diverse, and as the proportion of white voters shrinks, so, too, does the conservative base. As demographics shift, so do political preferences in this case, toward the left. A close examination of U.S. attitudes in the past decade-plus reveals that the United States is steadily becoming more progressive.

It’s been well publicized how America has "evolved" on marriage equality. Washington Post/ABC News polling last year found that, by a margin of 58 percent to 36 percent, people believe their fellow Americans should be able to marry whomever they choose something that would have been unthinkable less than a decade ago.

More here


Saturday, January 18, 2014

MLK

...Monday is Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, and I just got off the phone with a reporter doing a story about it who wonders whether I or any other conservatives thought King’s teachings still had any "relevance" for today. I explained that King’s thoughts about the permanence of the "title deeds" of the American Founding in the "I Have A Dream" speech, and his embrace of the long natural law tradition in the Letter from the Birmingham Jail, are more popular with conservatives than liberals. (Nothing makes a liberal’s face scrunch up faster than drawing their attention to King’s embrace of the Thomistic account of natural law in the Birmingham Jail letter.) We’ll have to see how the story turns out, but I got to thinking more about it afterward.

If you want to watch a liberal or a lawyer drop his (or her) jaw, or especially a liberal lawyer, just make the condign suggestion that Brown v. Board of Education didn’t actually overrule Plessy v. Ferguson, the infamous case that upheld the noxious "separate but equal" doctrine.

Say what!!

It’s an audacious proposition to make, but Ed Erler of San Bernardino State University is extremely persuasive about this point. Instead, Erler explains how "separate but equal" is actually still very much alive today, but is concealed. And if Brown had been correctly reasoned, we wouldn’t be having these bitter fights about quotas and affirmative action today. Here he explains the matter in 17 fascinating minutes on this video from the Claremont Institute’s "American Mind" series:

More here

Ethnic cleansing

Muslim militants are crucifying children to terrorize their Christian parents and encourage them to flee Iraq, yesterday was told a parliamentary committee studying the persecution of religious minorities.

Since the beginning of the war in 2003, about 12 children, some as young as 10, were abducted and killed, then nailed to makeshift crosses near their homes to terrify and torment their parents.

The Committee was informed that a child has been snatched, decapitated, burned and left on the doorstep of his mother.

Filham Isaac, speaking on behalf of the Advocacy Committee Nineveh, told the committee of human rights as the Christian churches in Iraq were bombed, clergy murdered and unveiled women were raped or marked the acid.

This is part of a systemic campaign - and very effective it is- of the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in the region, he said. Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, known as the Assyro-Chaldeans, were once the largest Christian minority in Iraq. They are also the oldest, being the descendants of ancient Mesopotamians who adopted Christianity in the first century.

The Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Eastern Church are among the Christian churches in Iraq.

Today, about 300,000 Christians, or one out of three, fled, he said.

"It's a crisis point," said Zaya Oshana later, a colleague of Mr. Isaac. "Christians will be completely destroyed."

More here

White feminism

As a former Muslim and a feminist, the greatest issue I have with modern feminism is it's ineffectiveness caused by an insistence on political correctness. An example is the ongoing controversy surrounding "white feminism", an abusive term used against white Western women by a minority of women of color.

If there is in fact such a thing as "white feminism", its defining characteristic is not the exclusion of WOC, but rather the idea that white women internalize of having no right to speak out against injustice when they see it, out of fear of being perceived as racist or culturally insensitive.

It's interesting to note that most of the open critics of Islam from white backgrounds are not women, but rather men. This is important, because Islam as a political system is very patriarchal in nature compared to Western liberal democracy. And yet, many white men feel comfortable speaking out against these issues while Western feminists are afraid of addressing them.

The main explanation I see for this is internalization of a patriarchal gender role. Under patriarchy, men are the link between different groups, while women are forced to watch on the sidelines. Wars are declared and ended by men, while women are exchanged as goods by tribal elders to foment relationships between clans.

An example is the ongoing issue of female circumcision in many Islamic nations. In an effort to discover the effect political correctness has on hampering the fight against female circumcision Leyla Hussein, a woman who was circumcised herself as a child, asked people to sign a petition in favor of circumcision. Within half an hour, nineteen people had signed the petition. What is perplexing is that many of these signatories were women themselves!

More here

Victims of circumstance

Recently I have participated in more public debates and discussions than usual (for me, that is). I discovered what many people before me have discovered, namely that it is not logic that convinces but emotion, and that this is so even with highly educated audiences. A carefully constructed argument tends to bore rather than to impress, and even to make him who employs it look arrogant or self-satisfied in the eyes of those who attend. A joke is more effective than a statistic.

I also discovered how difficult it is to tell the truth in public, at least on certain matters. A few days ago, for example, I took part in a public discussion in a university on the question of whether prison works. This is a very loosely-framed question because there is almost nobody who supposes that we could do altogether without prisons, for example to incapacitate persistent robbers or other violent criminals. The question is rather whether we use prison wisely or foolishly.

The students were polite, attentive and lively, just what university students should be. Perhaps not all is quite lost in our civilisation, then.

On the panel of discussants was a woman, I should estimate in her late thirties, who had been in prison for ten years and since release had run a voluntary organisation to assist woman prisoners to a better life after their release. All honour to her for that, of course; even the most punitive among us do not want punishment in effect to continue for ever, beyond the term laid down by law.

So far so good, but the woman in question went further. She depicted women prisoners as pure victims of circumstances, for example of sexual or physical or psychological abuse. She cited her own case as proof. She came from a tough area of a once-industrial city where crime and disorder were endemic, where it was easy ‘to go with the wrong crowd,’ as she had done, and where no one bethought him or herself of a better life. She had formed a relationship with a man thirteen years her senior who had been violent and criminal to whom she had found it difficult to say no. She was not, as she put it, in the driving seat of her own life. When she was sent to prison for what she had done she was the victim of stigmatisation and ostracism by her family and the people around her. By going into prison she had lost her child, her home, everything. She appealed for a more understanding, tolerant society, where victims of circumstance were better treated, with more compassion, and were not just thrown into gaol as bad people. ‘I don’t believe I’m a bad person,’ she said.

This is the kind of emotional pabulum which it is very difficult to answer in public. The woman, who went round the country giving this speech, was clearly a reformed character and so her belief that she was not a bad person, in the sense of being irredeemably the Devil’s spawn, was perfectly true. To have pointed out the contradictions in her story would therefore have seemed like an attack on her person rather than on her argument and would have been a rhetorical mistake as far as gaining the sympathy of the audience was concerned. In any case I am not a ruthless person and would not have wanted to humiliate a person who, whatever the falsity of her argument, was almost certainly somewhat fragile but who had nevertheless made a creditable transition. It is much easier for me to write about her in anonymity than to have confronted her directly; but my scruple about confronting her directly, which I am sure I share with many others who appear in public with her, meant that she could continue unopposed to spread her fundamentally dishonest or at least sentimental gospel around the country. And what is unopposed unfortunately tends to go by default. Silence is taken for acceptance or agreement.

More here


Friday, January 17, 2014

Biden is an idiot, example no. 23875

Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday thanked Ford Motor Company executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. "for saving our ass."

Biden made the remark as he met with the auto executive and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., while they toured the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The vice president was referring to the 2008-2009 auto crisis, according to the pool report. Ford was the lone American automaker to not receive government bailout aid.

In a speech at the event, Biden touted the turnaround of the American auto industry and said that without the federal government’s help the nation faced the "likely collapse of the automobile industry."

"We bet on American ingenuity, we bet on you, and we won," said Biden.

More here

Shifting the blame for Benghazi

In a disgusting display of just how far the liberal media will go to preserve Hillary Clinton's presidential prospects, Katty Kay has blamed Ambassador Chris Stevens for his own death, while letting Hillary off the hook.

On today's Morning Joe, the BBC's Kay called the newly-released Senate report on the Benghazi attack "sad" because it showed that Stevens was "fallible." Kay claimed that "he didn't ask for and even rejected some of the security he might have had." This flies in the face of the report's findings that "State, then under Hillary Clinton, refused requests to boost security despite warnings from the CIA and its own staff about the danger of militant attacks."

There really are no words to describe what Katty Kay did in seeking to shift blame away from Hillary and onto a brave ambassador who because of Clinton's neglect is not here to defend himself. But let's try "contemptible" for starters.

Scarborough threw it to Kay after suggesting Hillary was to blame for failing to respond to cables from Stevens asking for more security.

More here


Weak men and disorderly women

In his classic study "Democracy in America", Alexis de Tocqueville included this gem....

"There are people in Europe who, confounding together the different characteristics of the sexes, would make man and woman into beings not only equal but alike. They would give to both the same functions, impose on both the same duties, and grant to both the same rights; they would mix them in all thingstheir occupations, their pleasures, their business. It may readily be conceived that by thus attempting to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded, and from so preposterous a medley of the works of nature nothing could ever result but weak men and disorderly women."