Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lois Lerner's emails

Newly released emails by Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the tea party targeting scandal, show "deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as ‘holes,’" according to a House committee.

The emails were among a batch of new evidence the House Ways and Means Committee turned over Wednesday to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in support of an investigation of criminal wrongdoing at the IRS.

"Despite the serious investigation and evidence this Committee has undertaken into the IRS’s targeting of individuals for their beliefs, there is no indication that DOJ is taking this matter seriously," Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan Republican and chairman of the committee, said in a letter to the department.

"In light of this new information, I hope DOJ will aggressively pursue this case and finally appoint a special counsel, so the full truth can be revealed and justice is served," he wrote.

Mr. Camp argued that the newly discovered emails demonstrated Ms. Lerner’s "personal hostility toward conservatives," who were targeted by the IRS office run by Ms. Lerner.

More here

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Hamas, fail

Hamas planned to use the tunnels it dug from Gaza to Israel to execute a massive attack on southern Israel, an Israeli newspaper reported, citing unnamed Israeli security sources.

Under the plan detailed Friday by the Hebrew-language Maariv daily, Hamas planned to send terrorists through the more than 30 tunnels uncovered by Israeli troops and into six southern Israeli communities on Rosh Hashanah in September of this year.

The plan was to kill and kidnap as many Israelis as possible, according to the report.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told the security Cabinet about the discovered plot during late last week.

Maariv quoted the security sources as saying the "unplanned war with Hamas prevented a disaster on the order of the Yom Kippur War."

Source

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Quote of the day

Barack Hussein Obama...

"As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families. This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate. While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease. In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy."
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Come fly with me

Harvard prof Naomi Oreskes likes to fly. She has to, you see, in order to warn as many people as possible around the globe about our impending doom by global warming climate change climate disruption. But somehow, she misses the irony:
It’s not clear when Oreskes will take her next lengthy flight, but in her lengthy and very impressive curriculum vitae, she outlines with a scholar’s specificity her penchant to fly around the globe routinely.

Truly, Oreskes has been an airline’s very best friend for years now. With a carbon footprint most climate change deniers could only rub their hands together deviously and dream about, she has spoken in a slew of American cities and at countless prestigious campuses domestically.

Abroad, her important environmental work has taken her on emission-emitting trips far and wide.

Just since June 2008 when then-candidate Barack Obama promised that his presidency would usher in "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal," Oreskes has visited Norway, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand and Switzerland just to name a few places. She also took an extensive tour of Australia in 2010 to promote a book she co-wrote, "Merchants of Doubt: How A Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming."

More here

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Laws, what laws?

Do we pass laws any more?

I ask because of the reaction to the federal appeals court decision in Halbig v. Burwell, in which the court enforced what the Affordable Care Act actually saysnamely, that federal subsidies for health insurance are available only through state-run exchanges and not through exchanges set up by the federal government.

This is important because the majority of states declined to set up those exchangesdeciding to reject a system and a set of obligations foisted on them by Washington. And ObamaCare is just a big, complicated mechanism for delivering subsidies. Without that, all it does is cancel everyone’s insurance policies and force them into more expensive plans they didn’t want. So you can see why ObamaCare’s defenders really need to keep those subsidies.

So they screamed that the court’s decision was totally ridiculous and implausibleand then up pops a two-year-old video from one of the Affordable Care Act’s architects, Jonathan Gruber, in which he clearly explains that this is exactly what the law saysthat denying subsidies on the federal exchanges was a way of pressuring the states to get on board. More recently, Gruber has been telling everyone that this provision was just a typo and was never intended at all. He even claims his 2012 statement was also a mistake, a "speak-o." Except that he said the same thing on at least one other occasion. So that gives you a good idea of the honesty of ObamaCare’s supporters.

But the big question is: why do they think they can get away with this? Why do they think they can write something into the law, go around for a couple of years explaining that provision to audiences, and then pretend later that it wasn’t there at all and it’s patently ridiculous for anyone to think it ever was?

More here

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quote of the day

Nancy Pelosi...

"Again this has to be something where we try to have the two state solution, that we have to support Abbas and his role as leader there. We have to support Iron Dome to protect the Israelis from the missiles. We have to support the Palestinians with what they need. And we have to confer with the Qataris who have told me ‘over and over again’ that Hamas is a humanitarian organization. And maybe they could use their influence to calm matters."
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I am a terrorist, according to Obama

The Obama administration has quietly rewritten the rules on how it goes about designating Americans as terrorists, according to a new report by Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept online investigations project.

The report details how Obama has expanded the terrorist watchlist system, "authorizing a secret process that requires neither ‘concrete facts’ nor ‘irrefutable evidence’ to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist," according to a key government document obtained by the Intercept.

Instead of actual evidence, all the government needs is the nebulous "reasonable suspicion," which is considered one of the lowest standards of proof in the American legal system. It’s less than "probable cause," which is required to make an arrest.

Greenwald, a former investigative reporter for the U.K.-based Guardian who broke the Edward Snowden story about NSA spying on Americans, left the newspaper late last year to start the Intercept.

A 166-page document obtained by Intercept titled "March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance" was issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center. It identifies for the first time the government’s secret rules for placing people on its main terrorist database, as well as the no-fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings.

More here

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Boston protests illegals

Illegal immigration protesters descended upon historic Boston on Saturday decrying Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s decision to offer shelter in the state to unaccompanied minors.

While Bree Sison of WBZ-TV estimated the crowd numbering in the hundreds, Boston.com described the area in front of the State House as "teeming with protesters," noting that rally organizer Jeff Kuhner, host of WRKO’s The Kuhner Report, put the number closer to 10,000.

Sison did note that the rally was the largest she’s ever seen on Beacon Hill:

More here
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For the children

Central American parents send their unescorted children northward in hopes of remittances and eventual anchor amnesty for themselves. Our friend Mexico facilitates the exodus through its own sovereign territory (hoping that no one stops along the transit, and happy that the border is further shredded). Central American governments seem happy too. More money will be sent back home. Fewer mouths will be left to feed. Possible dissidents will emigrate. A new generation of expatriates in the U.S. will grow fonder of and lobby for Central America the longer they don’t have to live there.

We utter "the children," and discussion about proper culpability, cynical manipulation, and disinformation ends. In such a fantasy world, parents don’t manipulate "the children" as pawns; countries don’t try to export what they see as their surplus population; Mexico doesn’t stir the pot; and liberal activists don’t cynically calculate electoral advantage. There are children in need at the border but there is a great deal more as well. When the president of the United States renders his nation’s immigration laws irrelevant, people notice. And when he establishes a radical expansion in entitlements, those abroad likewise notice. And when he offers a narrative that "they" are culpable and owe much to the exploited, people arrive.

More here

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Third World doctors

Third World levels of corruption in our health care system are an inevitable consequence of welcoming Third World doctors, especially when large amounts of money can so easily be extracted from our loosely monitored Medicare and Medicaid bureaucrats. Hence the latest scandals involving Asian Indians running diagnostic imaging centers and other clinics.

Rehan "Ray" Zuberi, owner of Diagnostic Imaging Affiliates (DIA) of Hackensack, was recently arrested along with twelve others for running 10 imaging centers that defrauded the New Jersey Medicaid program and the Department of Health. Zuberi and his fellow defendantsincluding Humara Paracha (his wife), Faisal Paracha (brother-in-law), Nawqab Zuberi (father), Babar "Bob" Eskar, Rohit Gupta, and Salman Siddiquiallegedly gave hundreds of thousands of illegal kickbacks to physicians for referrals.

In addition, they are accused of "submitting fraudulent applications to the New Jersey Medicare Program and the Department of Health, and evading paying income and franchise taxes." The investigation took up the time of more than 100 investigators from thirteen law enforcement agencies.

More here

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Marry me, Sarah

My Challenge to the Washington Post

To reclaim your credibility (and the mainstream media’s, at large), I challenge you to engage in the same aggressive investigative journalism you courageously employed 42 years ago covering President Nixon. The public knows of our current president’s incompetence, denials, and cover-ups, but would be well served if we could count on your resources to dig deep for truth in all matters pertaining to Team Obama.

One example: your reporters kept tracking an obscure break-in story and that led to revealing a grave problem in the White House. The Washington Post’s reputation soared as the model of good journalism. Today, you’ve fallen like a lead balloon. Whereas you once doggedly covered the 18.5 minute gap in Nixon’s White House communications, you’ve virtually ignored the Obama Administration’s 1.2 million minutes of deleted communications by just one of the agencies under Obama’s executive branch. I’m speaking of the Lois Lerner IRS harassment-of-conservatives scandal wherein Lerner "lost" pertinent email communications. You’ve allowed Obama to skate with his proclamation that absolutely no wrongdoing occurred at the IRS, "not even a smidgen."

The list of Obama abuses and impeachable offenses is long. I challenge you to lift a finger and help protect democracy, allow justice for all, and ensure domestic tranquility by doing your job reporting current corrupt events fairly. If not, you prove yourselves incompetent and in bed with Obama, not caring one iota about media integrity.

Those running the Washington Post’s show now, compared to those during the Nixon era, are too afraid of being uninvited to the permanent political class’ cocktail parties and petty gossip fests, making you all a bunch of wusses. I challenge you to get to work.

- Sarah Palin

Source

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Out of Africa, not

Scientific evidence refuting the theory of modern humanity’s African genesis is common knowledge among those familiar with the most recent scientific papers on the human Genome, Mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosomes. Regrettably, within mainstream press and academia circles, there seems to be a conspicuous and dare we say it deliberate vacuum when it comes to reporting news of these recent studies and their obvious implications.

Australian historian Greg Jefferys explains that, "The whole ‘Out of Africa’ myth has its roots in the mainstream academic campaign in the 1990s to remove the concept of Race. When I did my degree they all spent a lot of time on the ‘Out of Africa’ thing but it’s been completely disproved by genetics. Mainstream still hold on to it."

It did begin the early 90’s. And the academics most responsible for cementing both the Out-of Africa theory and the complementary common ancestral African mother given the name of "Eve" in the public arena and nearly every curriculum, were Professors Alan C. Wilson and Rebecca L. Cann.

In their defense, the authors of this paper were fully aware that genealogy is not in any way linked to geography, and that their placement of Eve in Africa was an assumption, never an assertion.

More here

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Our way or the highway

Representative Luis Gutierrez addressed the National Council of La Raza in hyper tones, calling not only for more amnesties but also for the crowd to "punish" their adversaries who would oppose them. Apparently, Eric Holder’s prior separatist reference to "my people" when talking of African Americans, and President Obama’s earlier 2010 racialist call for Latinos "to punish our enemies" have filtered down as mainstream nomenclature and emboldened others. But how strange that "raza," "my people," and "our people" are now politically correct words in a linguistically sensitive age when referents like the Washington "Redskins" or "illegal" immigrants are considered racially insensitive.

More here

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Polyamory in a brave new world

When I met Jonica Hunter, Sarah Taub, and Michael Rios on a typical weekday afternoon in their tidy duplex in Northern Virginia, a very small part of me worried they might try to convert me.

All three live there together, but they aren’t roommatesthey’re lovers.

Or rather, Jonica and Michael are. And Sarah and Michael are. And so are Sarah and whomever she happens to bring home some weekends. And Michael and whomever he might be courting. They’re polyamorous.

Michael is 65, and he has a chinstrap beard that makes him look like he just walked off an Amish homestead. Jonica is 27, with close-cropped hair, a pointed chin, and a quiet air. Sarah is 46 and has an Earth Motherly demeanor that put me at relative ease.

Together, they form a polyamorous "triad" one of the many formations that’s possible in this jellyfish of a sexual preference. "There’s no one way to do polyamory" is a common refrain in "the community." Polyamorywhich literally means "many loves"can involve any number of people, either cohabiting or not, sometimes all having sex with each other, and sometimes just in couples within the larger group.

More here

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Dark Alliance

Gary Stephen Webb (August 31, 1955 December 10, 2004) was an American investigative reporter best known for his 1996 Dark Alliance series of articles written for the San Jose Mercury News and later published as a book. In the three-part series, Webb investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had smuggled cocaine into the U.S. Their smuggled cocaine was distributed as crack cocaine in Los Angeles, with the profits funneled back to the Contras. Webb also alleged that this influx of Nicaraguan-supplied cocaine sparked, and significantly fueled, the widespread crack cocaine epidemic that swept through many U.S. cities during the 1980s. According to Webb, the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by Contra personnel. Webb charged that the Reagan administration shielded inner-city drug dealers from prosecution in order to raise money for the Contras, especially after Congress passed the Boland Amendment, which prohibited direct Contra funding.

Webb's reporting generated fierce controversy, and the San Jose Mercury News backed away from the story, effectively ending Webb's career as a mainstream-media journalist. In 2004 he was found dead from two gunshot wounds to the head, which the coroner's office judged a suicide. Though he was criticized and outcast from the mainstream journalism community, his reportage was eventually vindicated; since his death, for example, both the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune have defended his "Dark Alliance" series. Esquire wrote that a report from the CIA inspector general "subsequently confirmed the pillars of Webb's findings." Geneva Overholser, who served as the ombudsman for The Washington Post, wrote that major media outlets including the Washington Post had "shown more passion for sniffing out the flaws in the Mercury News's answer than for sniffing out a better answer themselves."

More here

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Monday, July 28, 2014

John Kerry, delusional

The ferocity of Friday’s unanimous rejection by the Israeli government of Secretary of State John Kerry’s cease was kept quiet to prevent a formal rupture of relations between the two erstwhile allies, reports Israel's Channel 2 Television.

The popular and widely-watched Saturday evening newscast quotes several unnamed high officials in the Israeli government who claimed that Kerry’s cease fire proposal represented a "complete cave-in" to Hamas’s demands for an end to fighting in its war against Israel.

The official, and others cited in The Times of Israel, claimed that Israel was "stunned" and "absolutely horrified" that Kerry’s ceasefire proposal, which contained no demand that Hamas dismantle or destroy its terror tunnel network. It demanded that both Israel and Egypt open their border crossings with Gaza, from where all the devastating weapons of war were initially imported. Furthermore, the Kerry plan did not simply call for Hamas to be allowed to build a seaport on its Mediterranean coast; but that Israel and Egypt should help pay for it.

More here

 
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Pro-choice

Being "pro-choice" is seen by many as being an open minded and progressive stance, and is one of the most popular single-issue voting topics in the country. It is a common sight on college campuses to see individuals flaunting a dozen pieces of "pro-choice" flair on their backpack or bumper. But too often this label is proudly worn by someone who interprets it as narrowly as possible, refusing to extend the same basic dignity of choice to any individual outside the abortion clinic.

Let’s have a little thought experiment on what it really means to be pro-choice:

Would most self-described "pro-choice" crusaders support abolishing the compulsory school system? Being able to buy drugs not approved by the FDA? Engaging in so-called "price-gouging"? What about allowing private businesses to choose to do business with whomever they want?

I’ve never seen a sign at a "pro-choice" rally for any of these choice-related causes.

Yet this is one of the premiere talking points that American progressives love to hold over their opposition: they are the party of social freedom and liberalism. This right to not be interfered with, they often claim, arises from the concept of self-ownershipthat a woman must be able to do as she pleases with her bodya vital pillar of liberty that must be protected at all costs.

But just how consistent are "pro-choicers" in fighting for this sacred principle of self-ownership? I don’t see them lobbying for the right of individuals to sell sex for money. Or choose to take jobs below the minimum wage. I don’t see them campaigning for the right to choose to put whatever you want in your bodyranging from raw milk to heroin. And, of course, don’t even think about choosing to peacefully opt out of the political system itself. In fact, this radical but logically consistent extension of choice would surely be met with condescending scoffs by most "pro-choicers."

Actually, most "pro-choicers" seem to hold something much closer to their hearts than freedom of choice: government force.

More here

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Drugs, drugs, and more drugs

Three former high-ranking officials in the late President Hugo Chávez’s administration in Venezuela have been charged in the last 48 hours as part of a long-secret criminal investigation by federal U.S. officials.

It is the first time high-ranking Venezuelan officials in the Chávez administration are linked to a case involving Colombian drug dealers.

Among those arrested are Hugo Carvajal, who was Chávez’s close confidant and head of the country’s military intelligence from 2004 to 2009. Carvajal was arrested in Aruba at the request of U.S. prosecutors and is expected to appear in an Aruban court Friday.

Meanwhile, in Miami, former judge Benny Palmeri-Bacchi was arrested on his way to Disney World for a two-week vacation with his family. According to The Miami Herald, Palmeri-Bacchi pleaded not guilty to providing protection for a convicted Colombian drug trafficker.

More here
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Islam and Jihad

A story from 2005....
A heated debate rages over the instigators of murderous jihad. Hawks often portray Islam as essentially violenta creed for Holy Warriorswhile doves usually make a distinction between the Koranic text and the murderous practices of its extreme adherents. Doves argue that Islam is one of the Great Religions, a "religion of Peace," whose Koran has been hijacked to serve the purpose of jihad.

Maybe it is. But in 1948, my Hagana officers told us grunts to kill ourselves rather than face capture by jihadists: "Always keep a bullet or a grenade for yourself" was their considered advice. I doubt that they would have given the same warning were we facing Unitarians or Anglicans.

Nevertheless, I do not agree with many hawks that Islam by itself is the prime mover of Arab violence. When I consider the obsessions, the language and the actions of the extremists, it becomes evident that, perhaps even more than religion, overlooked aspects of national character contribute to the fevers of jihad. As a Jew who owns a Koran (Oh Imams, is this permitted?) it appears to me that the more lurid stanzas of that generally inflammatory text are being used, by Islamic extremists, to rationalize their fury over perceived insults that have nothing to do with Islam per se.

That fury is not a product of the Koran. Rather, it has to do with a prior, psychological cause: the vulnerabilities of Arab national character, which is centered on the maintenance of honor and the avoidance of shame. Some readers will probably accuse me of psychobabbling. Note, however, that some very smart observersthe Israeli anthropologist Rafael Patai, for instancehave already documented the Arab phobia against the experience of shame.

That sensitivity is now at fever pitch. The Arab world is suffering a crisis of humiliation. Their armies are routed not only by Americans, but also by tiny, Jewish Israel; and as Arthur Koestler once remarked, the Arab world has not, in the last 500 years or so, produced much besides rugs, dirty postcards, elaborations on the belly-dance esthetic (and, of course, some innovative terrorist practices). They have no science to speak of, no art, hardly any industry save oil, very little literature, and portentous music which consists largely of lugubrious songs celebrating the slaughter of Jews.

More here

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Negative outlook for U.S. education

The 2013 outlook for the entire US higher education sector is negative, including the market-leading, research-driven colleges and universities, says Moody's Investors Service in its annual industry outlook. Previously Moody's had a stable outlook for these leading institutions and a negative outlook for the rest of the sector since 2009. Moody's perceives mounting fiscal pressure on all key university revenue sources.

"The US higher education sector has hit a critical juncture in the evolution of its business model," says Eva Bogaty, the Moody's Assistant Vice President -- Analyst who is the lead author on the report "US Higher Education Outlook Negative in 2013." "Even market-leading universities with diversified revenue streams are facing diminished prospects for revenue growth."

The rating agency says that most universities will have to lower their cost structures to achieve long-term financial sustainability and fund future initiatives. Universities have been restraining costs in response to the weak economic conditions since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, but they have only recently begun examining the cost structure of their traditional business model.

"The sector will need to adjust to the prospect of prolonged muted revenue growth," says Bogaty. "Strong governance and management will be needed by most universities as they navigate through this period of intensified change and challenge."

One critical factor behind the negative outlook is that price sensitivity continues to suppress the growth in revenue from net tuition. Moody's says all but the most elite universities face diminished student demand and increased price sensitivity. Reasons include the prolonged period of depressed family income and household net worth, as well as the dip in the number of domestic high school graduates since the peak of 3.34 million for school year 2007-2008.

More here
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chamber of Commerce is not your friend

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) said Thursday that he refused to accept an award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of that group’s position on immigration, and called the Chamber the "biggest pro-amnesty group" in the country.

"The Chamber of Commerce is beholden to special interests and has long since forgotten the main street businesses that struggle everyday to make payroll and keep their company afloat," Bentivolio said. "It is with great pride that I reject their award, and call on them to stand on the side of America, instead of on the side of China and corporate interests seeking to exploit people for profit.

"I am with main street, not Wall Street."

Bentivolio’s chief of staff, Rob Wasinger, added that the Chamber is "in the pocket of Communist China and big companies seeking cheap labor in the United States."

"We think it is morally repugnant for the chamber to pursue, as a matter of public policy, initiatives which exploit the poor and oppressed, just so they can keep labor costs down for their fortune 500 member companies," Wasinger said.

The Chamber was trying to give Bentivolio the Spirit of Enterprise Award.

Several Republicans have turned on the Chamber after the group came out in favor of the immigration legislation passed by the Senate. Many GOP members say the Senate bill would legalize millions of additional non-U.S. citizens to work, at the expense of millions of Americans who have been out of work so long they are no longer looking for work.

The labor force participation rate in the U.S. has fallen to historic lows over the last few years. But while Republicans say Obama’s immigration policy and expanded federal regulations are the reason why millions of people aren’t working, the White House has said it’s because people are aging out of the workforce, and not enough younger immigrants are being allowed into the country.

Source
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You have no right to know

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, angrily sputtered during a congressional hearing Friday that the White House should not be held up to scrutiny, saying that there was no right to know what it was doing behind closed doors.

"You don't have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government," Norton said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

It was, to put mildly, a significant departure from the more traditional liberal stance that openness and transparency are must to prevent abuses of power by government officials. Instead the leading advocate for statehood for the District of Columbia literally argued that even the congressional committee charged with oversight shouldn't be asking questions in the first place.

More here
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EPA, loose cannon

"The EPA has to learn that you can’t save the planet by destroying the rule of law," Levin said. "It also must understand that some of our most precious resources are the principles of limited government and official accountability enumerated in the Constitution. If we don’t protect those, saving the snail darter or the spotted owl won’t mean a thing."

More here

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The deceit of amnesty

The shocking announcement that Microsoft is cutting 18,000 jobs is still sinking in. Most of those employees do not have a realistic chance of obtaining as good a job as the one they are losing.

In the United States, the number of engineering jobs has been sharply declining.

In 2002 the number of electrical engineering jobs in the United States was 385,000, but despite increased demand for technology, the job total dropped to only 300,000 last year.

And that number is not even for American workers, because thousands of these jobs are soaked up by the H-1B visa racket, whereby companies like Microsoft can import and pay foreign workers less than it costs to hire an American.

High-tech companies have thousands of foreign employees working on H-1B visas who are almost like indentured servants to the company, because they lose their right to be in our country if they leave their job.

Microsoft's massive layoff makes downright ridiculous the op-ed recently published by Bill Gates and his billionaire pals, Warren Buffett and Sheldon Adelson.

More here

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Silicon Valley, hip and cool

Silicon Valley is an American success story. At a time of supposed American decline, a gifted group of young entrepreneurs invented, merchandized, and institutionalized everything from smartphones and eBay to Google and Facebook. The collective genius within a small corridor from San Francisco to Stanford University somehow put hand-held electronics into over a billion households worldwide and hundreds of billions of dollars in profits rolled into Northern California, and America at large.

Stranger yet, Silicon Valley excelled at 1950s-style profit-driven capitalism while projecting the image of hip and cool. The result is a bizarre 21st-century 1-percenter culture of $1,000-a-square-foot homes, $100,000 BMWs, and $500 loafers coexisting with left-wing politics and trendy pop culture. Silicon Valley valiantly tries to square the circle of driving a Mercedes or flying in a Gulfstream while lambasting those who produce its fuel.

But the paradox finally has reached its logically absurd end. In medieval times, rich sinners sought to save their souls by buying indulgences to wash away their sins. In the updated version, Silicon Valley crony capitalists and wheeler-dealers buy exemption for their conspicuous consumption with loud manifestations of cool left-wing politics.

More here
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Murder and mayhem

A relative of an elderly Omaha woman who was raped and killed last year said Saturday that the brutal crime may have been prevented if the United States strictly enforced immigration laws.

"What we’d like to have is the federal government to secure our borders," said Bill Hartzell, 60, of Council Bluffs. "There’s a chance my grandmother would be still alive if our borders were secured."

Hartzell is the husband of Teresa Hartzell, a granddaughter of 93-year-old Louise Sollowin. Sollowin died three days after Sergio Martinez- Perez, a Mexico native in the U.S. illegally, broke into her South Omaha home, beat her and sexually assaulted her. Nineteen at the time of the attack, he was sentenced to life in prison. The attack occurred one year ago today.

About 70 people, mostly proponents of strict immigration laws, gathered Saturday at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs to discuss immigration reform and a memorial scholarship fund created in Sollowin’s name at St. Cecilia School in Omaha.

"We have people coming across our southern border illegally," Bill Hartzell said. "We’re not against immigration."

Sollowin was an immigrant who moved from Italy to the United States. She spent 60 years helping her sister, Frances Orsi, at Orsi’s Italian Bakery in Omaha. Her late husband, Joe Sollowin, did the books for the family business.

"She certainly had more life to live and more love to give," said Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh, who spoke at the event. "That life was taken from her by inexplicable evil."

Martinez-Perez pleaded guilty April 9 to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped their pursuit of the death penalty.

Martinez-Perez said he had spent the night partying and drinking and became "mad at women" because he had been rejected by a couple of women at a party. That anger apparently led to the random breakin, beating and sexual assault.

More here
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Lunatic, Inc.

Somewhere in the Bush years, I threw in the towel on the Republicans. It was not the endless and largely pointless wars that did it for me. Iraq and Afghanistan were understandable blunders. Maybe not excusable, but certainly understandable. No, what did it for me was the domestic side. They did not do a damn thing to roll back the welfare state, despite having control of both houses and the executive. Not only did they not cut a single penny, they went on a spending spree. Worse yet, they expanded the portfolio of every domestic agency. It became clear that all the talk about small government and liberty was a big fat lie

Given that the other party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lunatic Inc, I’ve been in a funk for a decade now. The election of 2010 did not offer much hope. One look at Boehner made it clear he was a timid, unimaginative man with the charisma of an old sneaker. The nomination of Romney for the 2012 election was comical, in many respects. Romney is a decent man and would be an able administrator, but he represented more of the same. You cannot be a credible alternative to the lunatics if you’re just offering more of the same.

Up until a month ago or so, I was pretty sure the upcoming midterms would be uneventful. A president’s second midterm is always rough as his own base has run out of steam while the other party’s base is motivated to send a message. Given the state of the GOP, but adjusting for the endless list of scandals and buffoonery from Obama, I was thinking the GOP adds to their margin in the House and maybe wins the Senate by a seat or two at most. The people may be pissed at the HLIC (That’s Head Lunatic In Charge), but the warm bowl of mush on offer from the GOP would temper their enthusiasm. Honestly, who can get excited about putting Mitch McConnell in charge of the Senate?

More here

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Japan and citizenship

Japan’s Supreme Court made a controversial and potentially damaging ruling concerning the country’s long-term foreign population last Friday. The Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court ruled that foreigners in Japan with permanent residency status are not guaranteed to receive social welfare benefits under existing law. This would be the first time Japan’s highest court has ruled against foreigners receiving welfare under the current legislation. While it will still be up to the discretion of local and municipal government’s as to whether these residents receive benefits, this ruling sets a very serious precedent for Japan’s long-term and permanent foreign residents. Without the ability to access this social safety net, an already vulnerable portion of the population could become further marginalized, possibly posing a risk to social stability that Japan is ultimately seeking to avoid.

The Supreme Court ruled that only "citizens" have the right to public assistance, and that foreign residents do not meet the legal definition of that term. The court further said that, "Foreigners do not possess the right to receive assistance based on the law and are only limited to being subjects for public assistance in a practical sense based on administrative decisions." The case before the court was brought by an 82-year-old woman Chinese woman who was born and grew up in Japan. Her initial application for assistance was declined by the Oita municipal government in 2008, which claimed the woman had sufficient savings to survive without welfare. The case was then appealed to the Fukuoka High Court and overturned, which stated that foreigners were entitled to public social welfare programs under the Public Assistance Law. The Supreme Court then overturned the Fukuoka court’s decision. Despite Japan’s highest court’s ruling, Oita public officials have said that the ruling would not affect their current policy of providing assistance to permanent foreign residents, "including the plaintiff."

More here

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A reader's comment

When my ancestors were immigrants and the "bring us your tired, your poor" cliches were coined the US was an underpopulated and solvent frontier nation of self-reliant small farmers. Now it is a gridlocked, urban-sprawling and bankrupt welfare state where 8% unemployment is considered a new norm. Times change.
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Consider Sandy Hook


* that the final report from Connecticut authorities does not included the names, the ages or the sex of the alleged victims of the shooting: THAT IS EXTRAORDINARY!

* that the Clerk of Newtown entered into secret negotiations with the state legislature to avoid releasing their death certifications: THAT IS EXTRAORDINARY!

* that the Connecticut State Attorney General opposed the release of the 911 calls and had to be denied withholding them by courts: THAT IS EXTRAORDINARY!

* that a special panel of the state legislature recommended state employees who released information about Sandy Hook be subject to an E-felony: THAT IS EXTRAORDINARY!

* that those who were involved in the demolition of the school building itself were required to sign life-time gag orders about anything they saw or did not see: THAT IS EXTRAORDINARY!

More here

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Failed experiments

So you spent 17 years and $5 billion to build a fusion experiment. You built a facility wider than the length of three football fields. You built a 400-foot-long laser with more than 33,000 optical parts; it is currently the highest energy laser in the world. You've been through more budget overruns and management problems than you'd care to admit.

Now, you finally turn the thing on at full power and carry out your experiment. And it fails monumentally. Now what?

This is the dilemma facing the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Built with the promise of providing ignition -- creating fusion energy greater than the energy needed to release it -- NIF fell 28,000 times short of its goal. No one knows how to fix it. So NIF has now been finding other things to occupy its time.

There are many useful things to do with a 1.8 MJ laser system.

One recent experiment tested whether diamond can take on a new crystalline form if you squeeze it hard enough. A pressure of 49 million Earth atmospheres was applied to a tiny sliver of the hardest natural material by placing it in the target chamber and firing the giant laser. The predicted crystal restructuring didn't occur. As the pressure increased, the diamond remained resilient instead of abruptly reordering its atoms. This tells us more about diamond and also about the behavior of carbon structures in the cores of extremely dense planets like Jupiter.

More here

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Earthquake prone

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ACORN for illegals

Are you curious who has been facilitating the transport of illegal alien children throughout the country? Look no more… meet La Raza connected Southwest Key Programs. This organization is the pipeline for the children into US refugee camps and homes across the nation. They provide immigrant youth shelters. It is a well-oiled machine that was set up to educate and reintegrate youth into American society. They also provide training for jobs. And baby, they are hiring.

Southwest Key Programs is funded by government and state programs. Here is an overview of what they do:
Southwest Key Programs is a national nonprofit organization providing transformative education, innovative safe shelters and alternatives to incarceration for over 200,000 youth and their families annually, while creating opportunities for their families to become self-sufficient. The inspiring youth and parents we work with are seeking the American dream: equality, education, and a higher quality of life. At Southwest Key, we simply open the doors to opportunity so they can achieve these dreams.

Southwest Key Programs ranks 5th among the Top Hispanic Nonprofits in America, employing a creative and diverse staff of over 2,200 employees. Because of Southwest Key’s work, thousands of youth have been diverted from prisons, jails, and institutions, enabling them to stay at home with their families and out of trouble. Southwest Key has reunified thousands of immigrant children with their families and provided these unaccompanied minors with 24-hour care and education. Southwest Key is one of only three nonprofits in Austin to be accredited by the Council on Accreditation, the nation’s leading human service accrediting body.

From the start, a cornerstone of all of our programs has been culturally-relevant education. Since 1999 we have refined our model by operating leading alternative schools throughout Texas, preventing hundreds of youth from dropping out of school by providing them with individualized education in a therapeutic setting. In 2009, East Austin College Prep opened at Southwest Key’s El Centro de Familia campus.

Over $8 million went into building their facility for this. This business was founded in 1987 and was made-to-order for Obama’s manufactured chaos on the border. Fast facts on Southwest Key Programs....

More here

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Give us amnesty

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) believes Hispanics should get amnesty and citizenship to punish Americans who are against illegal immigration.

After he told the La Raza conference in Los Angeles that President Barack Obama gave the Latino community a "down payment" with his temporary amnesty program that halted the deportations "of our people," Gutierrez urged Hispanics to seek retribution at the ballot box.

"We need to raise our voices, make ourselves citizens, sign up to vote and punish those who speak ill and criminalize children who come to our border," Gutierrez reportedly said in Spanish this weekend.

Gutierrez addressed the conference this weekend and also spoke on a panel. He said Obama assured him in a White House meeting last week with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he would use executive actions to be a "generous and broad" as he can to "stop the deportation of people each and every day," as Breitbart News reported.

Gutierrez has been one of the biggest proponents of a pathway to citizenship for all of the country's illegal immigrants.

Source
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Ringtail possums are the new polar bears

Embarrassed by the stubborn refusal of polar bears to die out, or even to appear convincingly rare, climate scientists are touting a new poster child species for our collective climate guilt the white lemuroid ringtail possum.

The possum is restricted to just one mountain range in tropical Australia. Previously numbered in the thousands, the species was almost wiped out by a heatwave in 2005.

"I think this really should be a wake-up call," tropical rainforests expert and James Cook University researcher Professor Bill Laurance told AAP.

"We’re arguing this is a better icon for global warming than a polar bear because it typifies the type of biodiversity we will lose in the future."

JUST four white lemuroid ringtail possums have been found in the wild and scientists say the species could soon become the first creature to be wiped out by global warming.

More here

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Liar, liar, pants on fire

Rush Limbaugh....

The Economist, the British version of Time Magazine, has found out that socialists and communists lie much more often about what they believe than capitalists do.

"Lars Hornuf of the University of Munich and Dan Ariely, Ximena García-Rada and Heather Mann of Duke University ran an experiment last year to test Germans’ willingness to lie for personal gain. Some 250 Berliners were randomly selected to take part in a game where they could win up to €6 ($8).

"The game was simple enough. Each participant was asked to throw a die 40 times and record each roll on a piece of paper. A higher overall tally earned a bigger payoff. Before each roll, players had to commit themselves to write down the number that was on either the top or the bottom side of the die. However, they did not have to tell anyone which side they had chosen, which made it easy to cheat by rolling the die first and then pretending that they had selected the side with the highest number. If they picked the top and then rolled a two, for example, they would have an incentive to claim -- falsely -- that they had chosen the bottom, which would be a five."

And it turns out that there is a link between socialism and dishonesty, that socialists and communists lie about pretty much everything, but particularly about the economics of their belief system. They lie about how well they're doing. They lie about how well other people will do under their system. And of course when you stop and think about it, of course they do. They have no choice because socialism itself is a lie, just as liberalism is a lie. In fact, the headline of the story is: "Lying Commies -- new research suggests that the Soviet system inspired not just sarcasm but cheating too: in East Germany, at least, communism appears to have inculcated moral laxity." It's just a great piece.

 
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Back to the Border

As the government allocates resources to South Texas, it is systematically leaving areas within the U.S., as well as vast swaths of land along the border, unguarded, outspoken former Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent Zach Taylor says in an excerpted clip taken from an upcoming documentary entitled, "Back to the Border."

"This gives people that are trying to get their infrastructure, their personnel, their drugs, their dirty bombs, their biological weapons, their chemical weapons into the United States without being noticed" the opportunity to do so, "because this part of the border is open, it is not being controlled," the 26-year Border Patrol veteran outlines in the extensive interview.

"If asymmetrical warfare is going to be successful, the first thing that has to be done is to compromise America’s defenses against invasion," Taylor says, "because they have to have their personnel inside the United States to affect the infrastructure.. they have to affect the degeneration from inside the United States."

The retired federal agent claims that by magnifying the mere ten percent of the influx that is actually apprehended, and by mostly centering on the one percent who are immigrant minors, the government is deliberately drawing attention away from the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who evade capture who may or may not be harboring communicable diseases, or may or may not have gang affiliations.

In Central America, children as young as 10 join violent gangs, like MS-13, an intelligence report notes, and according to an FBI report, many are initiated by having to commit murder.

More here
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Boston's "die-in", diversity and vibrancy on display

In a corner of America’s oldest public common, some 200 anti-Israel demonstrators held a so-called "die-in" Saturday to protest Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

For the third time in eight days, Boston police were forced to intervene when a small group of student Israel supporters was swarmed by demonstrators screaming anti-Semitic epithets and initiating physical contact, said students involved in the incident.

The two-hour "die-in" on the Boston Common climaxed when protest leaders read the names of Palestinians killed in Gaza since the fighting started. Holding signs printed with each victim’s name and age, demonstrators fell to the concrete as each corresponding name was read.

On Friday, the day before the "die-in," more than 1,000 Israel supporters gathered in the same spot of the Boston Common to support the Jewish state’s right to self-defense. Organized by the Israeli American Council, the Friday rally featured speeches from Jewish leaders and calls to defend Israel on social media.

More here

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Obamacare and fraud, goes together like love and marriage

Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The weak link in the system seemed to be call centers that handled applications for thousands of consumers unable to get through online.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office was to tell a House committee on Wednesday that its investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts.

More here

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Join or die

As I have written many times, Fourth Generation war is such a vast phenomenon that it will take a century for it to reveal itself fully. A new and surprising manifestation is the flood of unaccompanied children across our southern border, a surprise that uncomfortably suggests The Camp of the Saints. The children are fleeing gang violence. A story in the July 10 New York Times reported that
"While many children and parents say the rush of new migrants stems from a belief that United States immigration policy offers preferential treatment to minors, studies of Border Patrol statistics show a strong correlation between cities . . . with high homicide rates and swarms of youngsters taking off for the United States."
Children are given two choices by the gangs: join or die. However, joining also probably means dying at an early age. Because children mimic what they see elders doing, they are not only joining gangs but copying their behavior. The Times reported that "Last week, in . . . Santa Barbara (Honduras), an 11-year old boy had his throat slit by other children, because he did not pay a 50-cent extortion fee."

Welcome to the world without the state. Life is, as Thomas Hobbes put it, nasty, brutish, and short. Gangs are a common element in 4GW, which is what these children find themselves caught up in. Childhood as we know it, which is a Victorian creation, vanishes. Child fighters were common before the Victorian period; 18th century Royal Navy warships often had 12-year old midshipmen and children as young as eight serving as powder monkeys. In other parts of today’s world where the state has broken down, child soldiers are normal.

More here
 


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Right wing women

Not long ago I was out drinking with a group of friends and we started playing the If-You-Had-To game. The idea is to present players with two people they would never want to sleep with and then make them choose which they’d sleep with. Here are some of the fiendish alternatives I had to face: Imelda Marcos or Wallace Simpson? Ayn Rand or Yoko Ono? Gertrude Stein or Virginia Woolf?

Then one joker said: Theresa May or Jemima Khan? Everyone laughed at this no-contest choice. Everyone except me. How could I tell them the ugly truth: I’d prefer a night of passion with right-wing Theresa over lefty Jemima any day of the week.

But then I belong to that small, deviant group of liberal-lefty-pro-feminist men who find conservative/right-wing women super sexy. In an age when anything goes at least in terms of sexual pleasure ours is a lust that dare not speak its name.

I know this because later that evening, I turned to one of the group and confessed my secret longing for the likes of Theresa May, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin ideally all at once. I thought my fantasy night of passion would be received with sympathy and understanding. After all, this friend of mine pays a woman in Earls Court to put him on a rack and do things you don’t want to read about. He just looked at me and said: ‘You’re sick!’

More here

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Eugenics, and leftist suppression

The monstrous eugenics movement, based on the idea of Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton, was dominant in intellectually circles in the United States from 1900 to World War II, and it survived legally until the mid1970s.

The United States passed the first forced sterilization laws before World War I. The Supreme Court case, Buck v. Bell, legalized the practice in 1927. Only one justice dissented, a conservative. It has never been overturned. Hitler openly said that the sterilization laws in the U.S. were models for his similar program.

Rockefeller money was behind much of this research. So was Carnegie money. So was Harriman money. The great foundations, funded by the great fortunes, funded it.

This story of this misuse of state power has been kept out of the history textbooks. Historians have known about it for over 40 years, and there are monographs on it, but the story still remains suppressed by means of the liberals’ "gentlemen’s agreement." But occasionally some aspect of it gets out.

More here

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

IRS, joke

IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to "less than 20," and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.

The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens.

"You stated at the time that document was produced to Congress, the document, the white paper in Exhibit 3[the June 13 memo], that it was accurate to the best of your knowledge. Is it still accurate?," a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigator asked Kane.

"There is an issue as to whether or not there is a -- that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the 6-month retention schedule," Kane replied.

"So some of those backup tapes may still exist?," the investigator asked.

"I don’t know whether they are or they aren’t, but it’s an issue that’s being looked at," Kane said.

More here

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Wind turbines, fail

There are lots of claims on how successful Germany’s renewable energy program has been. Feed-in tariffs mandated by the government guaranteed profits for windpark investors and operators. You couldn’t lose. So it seemed at first.

Unfortunately outputs promised by wind turbine manufacturers and proponents have fallen short of expectations. Moreover, high maintenance costs have in many cases eliminated profits and resulted in losses for investors. As generous as the subsidies may be, profit from wind can be elusive.

So it comes as no surprise when we here how a group of 60 limited partners near Ettenheim southwest Germany have decided to dissolve the wind turbine operating company they had set up in December, 2000. It lost money.

More here

 
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Tranquility of the global community

Barack Obama’s team recently took credit for improving the "tranquility of the global community," and the president made it clear just what a calm place the world has become during his tenure.

But this summer Obama's tranquil world has descended into medieval barbarism in a way scarcely seen in decades. In Gaza, Hamas is banking its missile arsenal in mosques, schools and private homes; even Hitler did not do that with his V2s. Hamas terrorists resort to trying to wire animals to serve as suicide bombers. Aztec-style, they seek to capture Israeli soldiers to torture or trade a sort of updated version of parading captive soldiers up the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan.

Hamas cannot build a hotel, but instead applies its premodern cunning to tunneling and killing in ever more insidious ways. Yet it proves incompetent in doing what it wishes to do best kill Jewish civilians. Its efforts to kill Jews while getting killed in the process earn it sympathy from the morally obtuse of the contemporary world who would have applauded Hitler in 1945 as an underdog who suffered greatly as he was overwhelmed by the Allies that he once tried to destroy.

More here

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Unlikely YouTube hit

To 3-year-olds, she is an obsession. To their parents, a mystifying annoyance. To YouTube marketers, an elusive moneymaker no one’s been able to tap for profit.

To the rest of us, DisneyCollectorBR is a faceless YouTube channel giant that is consistently among the site’s top most viewed per month. In April, the channel was the third-most viewed worldwide, coming in right behind Katy Perry. During the week of July 4, the DisneyCollectorBR channel received more views in the United States 55 million than any other channel on YouTube.

Despite the channel’s massive, sweeping, and somewhat perplexing popularity, no one neither the toddlers who watch with near-religious fervor and their parents, nor executives deeply embedded in the YouTube ecosystem and its economics seem to have much of a clue who’s behind it. In an earlier, more anonymous internet era, popularity and anonymity were more commonly paired. But today, where marketers have wrangled nearly every viral hit and YouTube stars’ faces are on billboards in Times Square, staying anonymous amid billions of views is not only unusual, but damn near impossible to pull off.

More here

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Tunnels for a death cult

If you’re looking for a reason for the supposed impoverishment of Gaza, look no further than the maze of tunnels some of them miles long Hamas has built under their territory and beyond their borders into Israel. It’s the jihadist version of Boston’s "Big Dig." The construction is so extensive that nearly every able-bodied man must have been employed in the occupation of tunnel-building, not to mention the huge diversion of funds, much of it donated by the West, for material like concrete originally trucked into Gaza by the Israelis and others for "humanitarian purposes."

A huge complex is reported to have been built under Gaza City that houses the wealthy Hamas leadership, including Ismail Haniyeh, who is said to be a multi-millionaire. He is undoubtedly a "strong" critic of "income inequality," along with the Hamas capo di tutti cappi Khaled Meshal, said to be a billionaire and currently residing in a luxury hotel in Qatar safely out of harm’s way.

(For those, like most members of the MSM, who are unaware, Gaza before Hamas was considered one of the more opulent areas of the Arab world and was frequently used by Egyptians as a honeymoon spot.)

Although the tunnels have been employed for smuggling of some consumer goods, their main purpose, of course, was and is transporting and storing arms and killing or kidnapping Israelis. (I was going to be blunt and say "killing Jews," but Hamas appears not to be quite so discriminating, as they lob missiles over Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, areas filled with Muslims. What would happen if one of their missiles hit the Dome of the Rock? I don’t even want to go there.)

This obsession with tunnel-building, driven as it is by a rancid cocktail of hate and envy leavened with religious fanaticism and the psychotic lust of a death cult, is clearly not commercially productive. It is also only one aspect of a rapidly metastasizing global phenomenon, replete with beheadings and crucifixions, that is unlikely to end and may only be at its beginning unless someone puts a genuine stop to it.

More here

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Palin vs. Holder

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hit back at Attorney General Eric Holder on Saturday for criticizing her call to impeach President Obama over the border crisis.

"I don't need lectures from Eric Holder, a guy get this so incompetent that he denied voter fraud existed even after someone claimed that they were Eric Holder and they got his ballot and they voted in D.C.," Palin said at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver.

Palin was referring to an April 2012 video by a conservative activist that showed a man entering a Washington, D.C., polling center and requesting Holder's ballot, offering up the official's mailing address. The video did not actually show a ballot being cast in Holder's name.

Earlier this month the former Republican vice presidential candidate called for the president's impeachment for his handling of illegal immigration. "This unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say ‘no mas,’" Palin wrote on the Breitbart website.

Holder said in an interview aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that Palin "wasn't a particularly good vice presidential candidate" and "an even worse judge of who ought to be impeached and why."

"Oh dear, Eric. Not many cabinet members in U.S. history have been held in contempt of Congress, but he still wants to weigh in," Palin said.

More here

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Why do Jews vote Democrat?

American Jews overwhelmingly tend to vote Democrat for one simple reason: they see the choice as being between 1) the Democrats and their belief in nothing versus 2) the Republicans and their beliefs based on their Christian faith and heritage.

Given that choice, then, rather than side with people of faith which they see as a different and potentially antagonistic belief system they feel safer in the party that is devoid of any values or convictions.

The "thinking" behind this is that, if people believe in things then they might fight for those things. They might even commit atrocities in their name. Only those who believe in nothing have nothing to kill or fight for. If everyone just believed in nothing, the "thinking" goes: then the Jews would be safe, for if one doesn’t believe in anything then they can’t believe the Jews are bad.

These people believe that it is beliefs and not what was believed that led to the Holocaust and to all of the other world’s atrocities. It’s why the Modern Liberal’s Blueprint for Utopia as rendered by John Lennon sought a world without countries, religions or any other values or convictions (just all the people living for "today.")

This fear was perhaps best articulated by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman who declared that "Emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burn mosques [or by extension engage in pogroms, crusades and holocausts], bash gays [or, by extension, bash Jews] or indiscriminately banish immigrants [including the Jews]."

More here

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Islamic prayer bump may cause brain damage

As reported by the Voice of America, the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood has called on its members and supporters to rally in support of fellow member, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Reportedly, supporters of the Shari'a-friendly movement number in the millions in the North African nation.

A physical characteristic that many of its members, as well as millions of Muslims throughout the world share is the noticeable prayer bump, or more correctly, the zebibah (Arabic for raisin).

Seen by many of its bearers as a sign of true devotion to Islam, the cranial bruising is caused by the repeated hitting of their foreheads to the ground while making their daily Salah, or prayers required of every male Muslim.

Great Britain's Oxford University published an academic research paper entitled "Repeated mild injury causes cumulative damage to hippocampal cells," in which repeated Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (rMTBI) has;
"An emerging hypothesis in the study of neurotrauma is that repeated mild traumatic brain injury (rMTBI) may cause cumulative damage to the brain, which could ultimately result in memory and learning dysfunction."
More here

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Fascists in saffron robes?

Shortly before Buddhist mobs made a deadly rampage through Muslim neighborhoods near the town of Aluthgama, Sri Lanka last month, a man with cropped hair and glasses stood before expectant crowds to deliver an explosive speech.

Video footage of the rally, called following a traffic altercation between Muslim youths and a Buddhist monk in the coastal town, captures the speaker in full flight.

In a pointed reference to the security forces stationed nearby, he declares that the Sri Lankan police and army are Sinhalese, the mostly Buddhist ethnic majority that accounts for three-quarters of the island's 20 million people.

Then, his arm raised and his voice rising to a shriek, he issues an explicit threat to Muslims, using a derogatory term for the minority.

To roars of approval, he vows that if any Muslim, were to lay a hand on a Sinhalese -- let alone a monk -- that would "be the end" of all of them.

What is striking about the clip, aside from the viciousness of the rhetoric, is that the firebrand behind the microphone is dressed in the saffron robes of a Buddhist monk.

More here

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Dirty, messy, non-renewable energy and stupid New Englanders

In 1980, under the first administration of Governor Jerry Brown, California decided it wasn’t going to build any more power plants but would follow Amory Lovins’ "soft path," opting instead for conservation and renewable energy. By 2000, with the new digital economy sucking up electricity, a drought in the Pacific Northwest cut hydropower output and the state found itself facing the Great California Electrical Shortage.

You know what happened next. For weeks the Golden State struggled to find enough electricity to power its traffic lights. Brownouts and blackouts cascaded across the state while businesses fired up smoke-belching diesel generators to keep the lights on. Governor Gray Davis finally got booted out of office but the state didn’t rescue itself until it threw up 12,000 megawatts of new natural gas plants.

At that point California officials decided that the whole thing had been engineered by Enron and other out-of-state merchant providers and the charges and lawsuits flew. No Democrat ever learned a lesson. The state is now 60 percent dependent on natural gas for its electricity twice the national average and its electric bills are almost twice that of surrounding states. Industry is headed for the door.

So how have California’s liberal counterparts on the East Coast managed to avoid the same fate? You’d think a region that could produce Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders plus legions of college students trained to hate fossil fuels would have no trouble pursuing the same green dreams. Well, it’s about to happen. In the next few years New England will be facing a full-scale power shortage.

Last week the governors of the six New England states met in an emergency session at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to discuss what to do about the pending crisis. Significantly, they asked the premiers of five of Canada’s provinces to attend. That makes sense because if the region is going to get electricity from anywhere it is probably going to be from north of the border.

In a hell-bent campaign to rid itself of any form of dirty, messy "non-renewable" energy, New England has been closing down coal and oil plants for the last decade. In 2000, 18 percent of New England’s electricity came from coal and 22 percent from oil. Today it’s 3 percent coal and 1 percent oil. Meanwhile, natural gas the fuel that everybody loves until you have to drill for it has risen from 15 percent to a starkly vulnerable 52 percent, just behind California.

There’s only one problem. New England doesn’t have the pipelines to bring in the gas. Nor is anyone going to allowed to build it, either. Connecticut and Massachusetts are only a short distance from eastern Pennsylvania, where fracking for natural gas has leapfrogged the Keystone State into third place for overall energy production. Yet a proposal by Sempra Energy of Houston to expand its existing pipeline from Stony Point, New York, has already met fierce resistance from people who want nothing more to do with fossil fuels and construction is highly unlikely.

More here
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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Four wives in Islam

During a recent Arabic program devoted to how religions view marriage, Islamic clerics endeavored to answer the host’s question, "Why does Islam permit exactly four wives, as opposed to only one or more than four?

One of these clerics responded by saying that, before Islam, there was no limit to how many wives an Arab man could have. But when Koran 4:3 appeared, telling Muslim men to "Marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four," a man came to Islam’s prophet Muhammad saying, I have 19 wives, what do I do now? Muhammad told him, keep four and divorce the rest.

The cleric then said that in another hadith, Muhammad said a woman should be married for one of four reasons: 1) her beauty, 2) her lineage, 3) her wealth, and 4) her piety.

However, argued the cleric, it is impossible to find all four traits in one woman. That is why a Muslim man, who deserves the best that womanhood can offer, is permitted to have four wivesideally, one that represents each of the four aforementioned traits sought after in women.

Source

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IRS, fail, fail, fail

Lois Lerner was apparently patient zero of deadly computer viruses within the United States government as it has been learned that some of her former colleagues at the Federal Election Commission also mysteriously lost their computer hard drives. Of course, they had to be destroyed as well.

The evidence must be pretty damning to have involved what appears pretty clearly to be an interdepartmental cover up.

Two separate federal courts are now involved demanding an explanation from the IRS about how they could have destroyed all of the pertinent records in the case due to separate cases filed by Judicial Watch and True the Vote.

Now in a bi-partisan vote, the House of Representatives has signaled that they have had enough, going on a cutting frenzy on the IRS’ enforcement budget.

Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) started the action by authoring a $353 million cut saying, "The use of a government agency to harass, target, intimidate and threaten lawful, honest citizens was the worst form of authoritarianism." Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., followed up with an amendment to cut an additional $788 million, all on top of the $72 million cut from last year’s $5 billion enforcement budget in the underlying bill. The overall cuts to the IRS’s enforcement budget when the smoke cleared $1.2 billion or 25 percent, all on a voice vote.

The IRS abuse of power has gotten so politically toxic that no Democrat wanted to be on the record voting to defend them, allowing them to go forward without a recorded objection.

The news is even worse for Lerner personally, whose pension would be defunded under the House passed legislation so long as she remains in contempt of Congress.

More here

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Moral high ground is for losers

In our modern age, things no longer exist to perform their function. Washing machines aren't designed to clean clothes, but to save water and energy. Food isn't there to be eaten, but not eaten. And armies aren't there to win wars, but to be moral. And the truly moral army never fights a war. When it must fight a war, then it fights it as proportionately as possible, slowing down when it's winning so that the enemy has a chance to catch up and inflict a completely proportional number of casualties on them.

Forget charging up a hill. Armies charge up the slippery slope of the moral high ground and they don't try to capture it from the enemy, because that would be the surest way to lose the moral high ground, instead they claim the moral high ground by refusing to try and capture it, to establish their moral claim to the moral high ground, which they can't have because they refuse to fight for it.

Israel has been engaged in a long drawn out struggle for the moral high ground. The moral high ground is to the modern Israeli what the land of Israel was to their pioneer ancestors who drained swamps, built roads and shot bandits. Then some of the bandits were discovered to be the oppressed peoples of the region, fresh from Syria or Jordan, who then got busy retroactively protesting the settlements built on that stretch of swamp that had been set aside in their revisionist history as belonging to their great-grandparents while dangling oversized house keys to the swamp.

Sadly the only way to win the moral high ground is by losing. Just look at the massive Arab armies who repeatedly invaded Israel, did their best to overwhelm it with the best Soviet iron that the frozen factories of the Ural could turn out, and lost the bid to drive the Jews into the sea, but won the moral high ground. Then their terrorist catspaws spent decades winning the moral high ground by hijacking airplanes full of civilians, murdering Olympic athletes and pushing old men in wheelchairs from the decks of cruise ships.

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Female Kurdish fighters

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have moved into parts of northern Iraq abandoned by the army in the face of an advance by jihadist-led rebels. The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil met members of an elite female unit as they prepared to go to the front line.

Morning assembly is in full swing at a military facility on the outskirts of Sulaimaniya, a city in the autonomous Kurdistan Region.

The troops look serious and focused despite the scorching heat of the Iraqi summer.

Standing straight in their fatigues with Kalashnikovs on their shoulders, this looks no different than any other training camp.

But it is the long hair tied back in a bun under caps, and the hint of make-up on some faces, that spells out the difference.

More here

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Incorruptible corpses

All living things are meant to one day eventually die. As morbid as it may seem, it is an inevitable part of an ancient, ongoing natural cycle. We are born, we grow old, we die, and our remains turn to dust with the relentless passage of time. However, there are mysterious cases of those who mysteriously defy this unstoppable process of death and decay.

An enduring enigma in some parts of the world is the strange phenomenon of corpses that simply refuse to rot or decompose, remaining pristine for years and years after after a person’s death. The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches refer to these remains as "incorruptible corpses," and claims that they are able to avoid the ravages of time and decomposition due to their holiness or some divine power. In fact such incorruptibility is considered to be an important part of the process of glorification into sainthood. Not only corpses, but also objects are said to be capable of becoming incorruptible, with such divine relics withstanding the ravages of time and remaining in a perfect condition free of rot or grime.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Falling apart

The summer of 2014 will go down in history as the season when America fell apart. Let’s take a tour of the disasters.

Germany in 2008 enthusiastically hosted candidate Barack Obama for his so-called Victory Column speech. Now, Germans suddenly sound as if they are near-enemies of the U.S. Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly was furious that her cell phone was tapped by American intelligence agents. She just kicked the top CIA official out of Germany, further enraged that the U.S. had recruited at least one German official to provide intelligence on the German government. Polls show that Germans find Vladimir Putin’s Russian tyranny to be almost as popular as Barack Obama’s America.

Japan is becoming similarly frustrated with the U.S. It is rearming like crazy to confront an aggressive China. Both Asian powers apparently assume that Obama won’t guarantee the security of the Japanese as America has in the past.

The Middle East is dissolving. Taking U.S. peacekeepers out of Iraq proved a disaster. The radical jihadists of ISIS are overrunning Syria and Iraq, as they extend their destruction even to the mute stones of religious sanctuaries.

War looms between Israel and the Palestinians as they exchange rockets and bombs. Older Americans had an idea of what Afghanistan will look like by 2016 after Obama announced a pullout of all U.S. troops. They remember Saigon of 1975 all too well.

Crimea has become a Russian satellite. The fate of the Ukraine hangs in the balance. In between his conquests, Russia’s Putin openly ridicules the impotence of the U.S. He is often called to the Middle East on the perception that he can address problems that America runs away from.

From his sanctuary perch in Russia, National Security Agency turncoat Edward Snowden is once again releasing top-secret data that shreds the credibility of the Obama administration.

More here

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Chick-fil-A, enemy of the people

The First Lady of these United States has declared war on Chick-fil-A.

It seems the home of plump juicy breasts and hot buttered buns has run afoul of the new Smart Snacks in School program. The program is a component of Mrs. Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

The new government regulations require snack items served in public schools to have less than two hundred calories. That includes vending machines, lunch rooms and other campus food venues.

And that’s really bad news for kids at South Carolina’s Socastee High School. They’ve just learned they will no longer be allowed to buy Chick-fil-A sandwiches at school.

More here

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Tea Party not dead yet

Rev. Mark Walker (R) has pulled off an upset over Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. (R), the establishment favorite to replace retiring Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.).

The Associated Press has called the race for Walker, who led Berger by 56.5 percent to 43.5 percent with 59 percent of precincts reporting.

Berger was the favorite heading into Tuesday's election. He had the backing of Coble, a political track record and the help of his father, North Carolina state Senate leader Phil Berger (R). He outspent Walker by a comfortable margin in the race, had help from outside groups and led in the first round of voting in May, with 34 percent to Walker's 25 percent.

But Walker, a Baptist minister and a solid social and fiscal conservative, worked hard to build a ground game for the race. He also locked in endorsements from four of the other candidates who'd run in the primary, as well as some influential local social conservative activists, and pulled off the upset in a low-turnout race.

Walker will be the heavy favorite in the general election in a district that gave 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney 58 percent of its vote.

Source

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False charges

A 23-year-old woman has told police she lied about her father raping her when she was 11 - accusations that put him behind bars for nine years.

But Cassandra Kennedy, from Longview, Washington, will not be charged as prosecutors fear it could stop others from reporting sexual assaults.

Kennedy said guilt forced her to tell police she had lied about Thomas Edward Kennedy raping her at least three times in 2001.

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(True justice would require her to also serve 9 years)

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Border Patrol Mutiny

Border Patrol agent Hector Garza, in a recent interview with Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, said that despite agents along the U.S. southwest border being inundated with tens of thousands of illegal border crossers in recent weeks, most nevertheless went to work with positive, upbeat attitudes.

It appears, however, that attitudes might be taking a hit, as the Obama administration pushes policies that are anathema to American ethics and national security requirements.

According to the Guerilla Media Network (GMN), an "exclusive expose" regarding the standoff in Murrieta, California, between local and federal law enforcement and residents opposed to the government's shipping of scores of illegal aliens to the community, "a confidential informant inside the Murrieta U.S. Border Patrol facility" says "the real reason busses stopped delivering illegal immigrants was due to a virtual mutiny" within the agency's ranks at the station.

GMN reported further that a recorded telephone interview with "a highly credible and prominent Murrieta community leader" on July 14 "revealed that frontline U.S. Border Patrol agents threatened to stand down if the Department of Homeland Security executed a plan to use force upon protestors if they impeded buses transporting undocumented immigrants into the Murrieta processing facility."

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Civilizations that want to die

It’s like the old joke: Why do Jewish men die before their wives? Because they want to. Civilizations for the most part die because they no longer want to live. That is the nub of my 2011 book How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying, Too). They cease to believe in their own future and distract themselves from the prospect of extinction as best they can. Hellenistic Greece was the first universal demographic disaster; it gave us prototypes of the steam engine and the computer (via Hero of Alexandria) as well as the modern literary forms. But even wealthy men exposed their daughters and the population imploded. When Aristotle taught that men naturally seek the good, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence had already turned against him. Most men seek nothingness. Soon the last surviving remnants of the classical world will disappear. In another generation, more people will speak Hebrew than Greek.

Hamas wants to die, obviously and visibly. That thought horrifies Westerners. As a number of Israeli commentators observe, Hamas doesn’t particularly care about having a Palestinian State. It wants to destroy the Jewish State and is willing to die in the process. It wants to die in such a way that Israel will die, too. There is something utterly surreal to Hamas crowding civilians around military targets, and Israeli pilots declining to attack them. It recalls joke about the sadist and the masochist. The masochist says, "Beat me!," and the sadist says, No…suffer."

Hamas, to be sure, proposes to die in an accelerated time frame and a particularly disgusting fashion, but it should be kept in mind that self-willed extinction is the norm. West of the Indus, Israel is the only survivor among the thousands of little nations that flourished between 10,000 BC and 600 AD. To be sure, there have been plenty of small tribes that wanted to live but were trampled by conquering hordes. The rule, however, is that civilizations die of their own disgust with life. Most of the industrial nations are dying, some very quickly. Most of the Muslim world would rather die than accommodate modernity (although some of it may choose to cease to be Islamic).

More here

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