Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Project Veritas strikes again

Battleground Texas (BGTX) may have failed to take any action regarding the "admission" of an undercover volunteer with BGTX that she had broken multiple election laws, according to a new video investigation by journalist James O'Keefe's organization Project Veritas. The allegations come on the heels of sting earlier this year that busted BGTX, a group attempting to turn Texas blue, for illegally copying voters' personal data for campaign purposes.

Project Veritas claims that BGTX personnel did not take action after being told by a volunteer that voters were registered by an individual who did not have the authority to do so, and that completed voter forms were lost.

Under Texas law, voter registration can only be performed deputized voter registrars. Volunteer deputy registrars must deliver completed forms to the registrar, and they must receive proper training.

These rules are "very important. It's a crime to handle a completed registration form without being officially certified as a [volunteer deputy registrar]," Mimi Marziani, the Voter Protection Director for BGTX says in a video on the organization's website.

"We wondered how seriously they took their own advice, and the laws of Texas," O'Keefe said.

More here
~

Oddity of the day

George Reeves played Superman on television.

Christopher Reeve played Superman in the movie.

Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves played a similar "superman" type of character in The Matrix.

~

The bear who almost started WWIII

The story is often told because it is a thrilling and terrifying one. In the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 a bear triggered an alarm at a US base leading personnel to believe that their airfield was under attack by Soviet saboteurs. US nuclear bombers on the airfield were scrambled and were racing for the skies when they were pulled back by a fast-thinking official who happily knew what a black bear looked like. Now is the story accurate? Beach is going to try and sort the historical grain from the legendary chaff and remind readers that humans will never let a good story be ruined by the truth.

More here

~

Shooting at the White House in 2011

The gunman parked his black Honda directly south of the White House, in the dark of a November night, in a closed lane of Constitution Avenue. He pointed his semiautomatic rifle out of the passenger window, aimed directly at the home of the president of the United States, and pulled the trigger.

A bullet smashed a window on the second floor, just steps from the first family’s formal living room. Another lodged in a window frame, and more pinged off the roof, sending bits of wood and concrete to the ground. At least seven bullets struck the upstairs residence of the White House, flying some 700 yards across the South Lawn.

President Obama and his wife were out of town on that evening of Nov. 11, 2011, but their younger daughter, Sasha, and Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, were inside, while older daughter Malia was expected back any moment from an outing with friends.

Secret Service officers initially rushed to respond. One, stationed directly under the second-floor terrace where the bullets struck, drew her .357 handgun and prepared to crack open an emergency gun box. Snipers on the roof, standing just 20 feet from where one bullet struck, scanned the South Lawn through their rifle scopes for signs of an attack. With little camera surveillance on the White House perimeter, it was up to the Secret Service officers on duty to figure out what was going on.

More here
~

Poverty in the Pacific

It’s a deeply troubled nation that has been plunged into a nightmare scenario, struggling with a failed economy, health crisis and the destruction of its natural beauty. But life wasn’t always like this in Nauru.

At just 21 square kilometres, it’s the smallest island nation in the world and has a population of just over 10,000. Yet this former British colony, which lies approximately 4000km from Sydney in the Pacific Ocean, was once so prosperous that it was the envy of the entire world.

And it was all thanks to bird poo.

We’re not kidding. The discovery of huge deposits of fossilised bird poo that had accumulated for over 1000 years changed this nation forever. It made for an excellent fertiliser and sparked a huge mining effort, first by foreign companies, then by the islanders themselves in 1968 when they achieved independence from Britain.

By 1980 Nauru had become the wealthiest nation on the planet, per capita. A monumental achievement for such a tiny, remote island.

More here
~

Monday, September 29, 2014

Now we are all thought criminals, and violent, and abusive

The University of Michigan has released a list of relationship behaviors that it considers violent and abusive including "withholding sex."

"Discounting the partner’s feelings regarding sex," "criticizing the partner sexually," and "having sex with other people" are also examples of "sexual violence," according to the list.

The school also offers definitions of domestic abuse. Under the section for "verbal or psychological abuse," it states that not only is "insulting the partner" considered "abuse," so is "ignoring the partner’s feelings."

Janet Bloomfield, social media director for A Voice for Men, explained the dangers of such broad definitions of "violence" in an e-mail to the College Fix.

"When things like ‘withholding sex’ and ‘ignoring a partner’s feelings’ are framed as a pattern of behavior that is abusive, they are not only pathologizing normal relationship behaviors, but they are opening the door for vindictive or spurned partners to make allegations that can have profound effects for the accused," she said.

Source
~

Beheading becoming popular in Oklahoma

In a bizarre coincidence, a fired Oklahoma City nursing home employee was arrested Friday after a co-worker reported he threatened to cut her head off.

Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, 30, is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on a terrorism complaint. His bail is set at $1 million.

"We take these threats very seriously," Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said.

The arrest came on the same day police in Moore revealed fired Vaughan Foods worker Alton Alexander Nolen beheaded a co-worker after he was fired Thursday. Nolen is a Muslim convert.

Muriithi was identified as a native of Kenya who is living in Oklahoma City. He worked at Bellevue Nursing Home in northwest Oklahoma City, police reported.

The co-worker reported Muriithi threatened her while they were both working at the nursing home Sept. 19, a police detective wrote in an arrest warrant affidavit.

More here
 
~

Obama has strange friends

President Barack Obama favorably quoted and praised on Wednesday in his speech before the United Nations a controversial Muslim cleric whose organization has reportedly endorsed the terror group Hamas and supported a fatwa condoning the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Obama in his remarks offered praise to controversial cleric Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah and referred to him as a moderate Muslim leader who can help combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL or ISIS) radical ideology.

However, Bin Bayyah himself has long been engulfed in controversy for many of his views, including the reported backing of a 2004 fatwa that advocated violent resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq.

More here
~

Quote of the day

NBC News’ Chuck Todd tipped his hat Thursday to outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, praising President Obama’s top law enforcer for being a "very non-political person."

~

Incest is best?

With traditional sexual morality discarded, the last taboo is under attack by the fairness mafia. The UK Telegraph reports:
Laws banning incest between brothers and sisters in Germany could be scrapped after a government ethics committee said the they were an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination.

"Criminal law is not the appropriate means to preserve a social taboo," the German Ethics Council said in a statement. "The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination is to be weighed more heavily than the abstract idea of protection of the family."

Their intervention follows a notorious case in which a brother and sister living as partners in Saxony had four children together. The couple had been raised separately and only met when the brother, identified only as Patrick S, was an adult, and his sister Susan K was 16.

More here

~

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Meet the newest version of Al Qaeda, renamed because Obama had them on the run

There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the "Khorosan Group" suddenly went from anonymity to the "imminent threat" that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.

You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan the Iranian–​Afghan border region had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.

The "Khorosan Group" is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, "Jabhat al-Nusra." Its leader, Mushin al-Fadhli (believed to have been killed in this week’s U.S.-led air strikes), was an intimate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaeda who dispatched him to the jihad in Syria. Except that if you listen to administration officials long enough, you come away thinking that Zawahiri is not really al-Qaeda, either. Instead, he’s something the administration is at pains to call "core al-Qaeda."

"Core al-Qaeda," you are to understand, is different from "Jabhat al-Nusra," which in turn is distinct from "al-Qaeda in Iraq" (formerly "al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia," now the "Islamic State" al-Qaeda spin-off that is, itself, formerly "al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Sham" or "al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant"). That al-Qaeda, don’t you know, is a different outfit from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula . . . which, of course, should never be mistaken for "al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," "Boko Haram," "Ansar al-Sharia," or the latest entry, "al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent."

Source

~

Eric Holder leaving, but why now?

In the late breaking development concerning the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder, the mainstream media news outlets failed to report the reason for Holder's departure. For example, although CBS News mentioned that Holder had been the only attorney general in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress, the network failed to cite this as a key reason Holder decided to bail. The omission speaks volumes.

Holder's resignation comes on the heels of a ruling today by a federal judge that the contempt of Congress citation against Holder can proceed to the next level. House leaders had been stymied by the refusal of Holder and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to comply with requests for appropriate documents in the ongoing investigations into the Fast and Furious debacle. The House further was thwarted by the refusal of DOJ personnel to cooperate with Congress in the ongoing investigations.

The Obama administration had argued that the courts should stop the contempt citation from moving forward in the courts. Thus, the ruling today is a victory for the U.S. House of Representatives, which had found itself unable to move forward in the Fast and Furious investigation due to stonewalling and the refusal to cooperate on the part of Holder and other top DOJ officials. The ruling, further, is a major setback for Holder and Obama, who had been hiding themselves behind "executive privilege" in refusing to cooperate with Congress.

Judicial Watch had taken the Obama administration to court in order to force the DOJ's hand in turning over the pertinent documents, which it had withheld from Congress. Now that the court has ruled against Holder and Obama, the House Committee can proceed to the next level of its investigation. And Obama and Holder can no longer claim executive privilege in continuing to withhold evidence.

More here

~

New program to root out violent extremism, ignores Islam

With Islamic State threats mounting and at least 100 Americans known to have traveled overseas to train or fight with the brutal terror group, Attorney General Eric Holder this month announced a new program designed to identify and root out sources of "violent extremism" across the nation.

The problem? It isn’t a new idea. National security experts say the concept has already proven to be "a complete failure." And lacking from a description of the program is any reference to radical Islam.

"These programs will bring together community representatives, public safety officials, religious leaders, and United States attorneys to improve local engagement; to counter violent extremism; and ultimately to build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe," Holder said.

On the surface, it sounds reasonable. Shouldn’t we embrace every effort to combat homegrown terror? Jonathan Gilliam, a former Navy SEAL and former FBI special agent said yes. But, he told TheBlaze, programs like these get muddled because the politicians at the top of the food chain stop listening to the operators on the ground.

"How can you target something without a scope, without proper sights?" he said. The former special operator finds it especially frustrating that the Justice Department refuses to allow monitoring of mosques where known terrorists gather.

"When political correctness becomes your scope you probably aren’t aimed at the right target anymore," Gilliam told TheBlaze.

More here

~

Quote of the day

This spring, the Black Star Project published findings that just 10 percent of eighth-grade black boys in the U.S. are considered proficient in reading. In urban areas like Chicago and Detroit, that number was even lower.

~

More Luddite nonsense from Homeland Security

Protecting the infrastructure of American cities from the effects of climate change is rising on the agenda of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a top agency official.

"Increasingly, we've moved not only from a security focus to a resiliency focus," said Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at Homeland Security, an agency better known for its fight to curb terrorist threats.

Durkovich spoke Thursday on a panel at the Rising Seas Summit, a three-day conference organized by the U.S.-based Association of Climate Change Officers to discuss tools and ideas on building resiliency, particularly against rising sea levels.

In the aftermath of 2012's Hurricane Sandy, which devastated large swathes of the Northeastern U.S and caused over $60 billion in damages, Durkovich said her department reviewed the task of rebuilding with a new focus on "how to think about baking in resilience from the get-go."

More here

~

Proficiency in English

Almost one in 10 adults of working age in the U.S. has limited proficiency in English, more than 2.5 times as many as in 1980, curbing their job prospects and ability to contribute to the economy.

Two-thirds of the 19.2 million people who have limited English are Spanish speakers. However, Asians and Pacific Islanders are most likely to have limited proficiency relative to their size of the overall population, according to a new report produced by the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution.

Immigrant workers and their children will account for most of the growth in the U.S. labor force in the coming decades, independent projections show. Therefore, investing in English instruction is "critical to building and maintaining a skilled workforce," the study by the progressive Washington-based think tank says. ...

About 45 million people in the U.S., or more than 20% of working-age adultsdefined as those 16 to 64 years oldspeak a language other than English at home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While more than half of them speak English very well, many of them struggle.

More here

~

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ousting Boehner, hopefully

For months, several clusters of conservative lawmakers have been secretly huddling inside and outside the Capitol, plotting to oust John Boehner from the Speaker’s office when House Republicans regroup after the November elections.

The strategy for now seems disorganized and fluid: Find a way to push the Speaker’s race to a second ballot, create turmoil in the conference, portray Boehner as highly vulnerable and offer up an alternative.

The behind-the-scenes effort is taking place as Team Boehner is projecting confidence he will coast to a third term as Speaker, pointing to his unrivaled fundraising prowess and ability to corral his rowdy caucus, for example, to keep the government open and provide arms to moderate Syrian rebels.

Boehner is "back on top," The Wall Street Journal declared.

Yet behind all the chest-thumping, the picture is less rosy for the 64-year-old Ohio Republican.

A number of conservative lawmakers, both in interviews on the record and on background, described enormous frustration with Boehner and his top lieutenants for taking too safe a political route ahead of the 2014 elections.

More here

~

A higher calling...

Islamic State barbarians are raping thousands of women in Iraq and Syria to mass-produce spawn who’ll follow in their vile footsteps, The Post has learned.

Young militants are running wild to the chagrin of their more sophisticated and p.r.-savvy commanders, an Iraqi official told The Post.

The motivation of the rapists is twofold: They want to make ISIS babies and they are just plain out for twisted thrills.

"You have these young ISIS fighters carrying machine guns and they ... want to have sex," the official said.

But their commanders, who are focused on their savage war, have ordered the young fighters to keep their zippers closed.

"The ISIS commanders take a more official position," the source said. "They don’t want them to mess around with the women. They only want them to fight."

The young rebels, however, aren’t listening to their commanders; they claim that they’re answering to a higher calling.

More here

~

Tsunami Bomb

The tsunami bomb was an attempt during World War II to develop a tectonic weapon that could create destructive tsunamis. The project commenced after US Navy officer E.A. Gibson noticed small waves generated by explosions used to clear coral reefs. The idea was developed by the United States and New Zealand military in a programme code named Project Seal.

Tests were conducted by Professor Thomas Leech, of the University of Auckland, in Whangaparoa off the coast of Auckland and off New Caledonia between 1944 and 1945. British and US defence chiefs were eager to see it developed, and it was considered potentially as important as the atomic bomb. It was expected to cause massive damage to coastal cities or coastal defences.

The weapon was only tested using small explosions and never on a full scale. 3,700 test explosions were conducted over a seven-month period. The tests revealed that a single explosion would not produce a tsunami, but concluded that a line of 2,000,000 kg (4,400,000 lb) of explosives about 8 km (5.0 mi) off the coast could create a destructive wave.

Details of the experiments codenamed "Project Seal" were released to the public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1999 and are available at Archives New Zealand in Wellington and at the Scripps Institution Of Oceanography Archives in San Diego, California.

A 1968 research report sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research addressed this hypothesis of coastal damage due to large explosion-generated waves, and found theoretical and experimental evidence showing it to be relatively inefficient in wave-making potential, with most wave energy dissipated by breaking on the continental shelf before reaching the shore.

Analysis of the declassified documents in 1999 by the University of Waikato suggested the weapon would be viable.

No specific targets for the weapon were identified, but in 2013 New Zealand broadcaster and author Ray Waru suggested coastal fortifications in Japan ahead of an invasion of the Japanese home islands.

Egyptian magazine Al-Osboa claimed that the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami was intentionally caused by a nuclear weapon detonated in a strategic position under the ocean.

Source

~

Quote of the day

If we take feminist ideology seriously, if we study the doctrines and objectives of the movement especially as manifested in the teachings of Women's Studies professors we must admit that these revolutionary goals are incompatible with everything most people take for granted about women, about men, about sex. Feminists have declared war on human nature. -- Robert Stacy McCain

~

It all depends on what "peace" means

Shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, President George W. Bush established a protocol still observed by politicians worldwide more than 13 years later. According to the Bush protocol, any mention of Islamic terrorism must quickly be followed by a disclaimer pointing out that Islamic terrorism is nothing to do with Islam.

"Islam is peace," Bush said six days after the attacks, which killed nearly 3000 people. "These terrorists don’t represent peace." Bush returned to that theme during his second term: "I believe that Islam is a great religion that preaches peace."

~
 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tattoos

The motives for tattoos are many, but they all have a common subtext. A tattoo can mark a group identitysailors, soldiers, inmates, gangs, motorcyclists. It can memorialize a person or event, as in a virtual archive of snapshots of tattoos showing names and faces of deceased loved ones (I attended a presentation of the archive by two academics in Toronto last year). Sometimes they happen by blunt peer pressure, a set of 20-year-olds on Saturday night getting drunk, knowing not what to do until one of them blurts, "Let’s go get a tat and a ring!" (a good friend tells me of pulling out just as his turn came up).

Beneath the variety, though, is the same call: "Look at me." The bearer may think it’s cool or lovely or poignant, a certification of membership, a work of art, or a testimonial, but a selfish demand accompanies each message, not because of what they say but where they say it. Tattoos go on a person’s skin, and so they can’t be separated from the ego of that person. It’s always there as part of one’s being, and others must register it as much as they do one’s face and speech. A tattoo has form and color and meaning, but it also solicits a social recognition, a "This is me, check me out."

At least that’s how many people regard the sight of a tattoo on a nearby shoulder. Perhaps it’s an ungenerous attribution, but they can’t help finding tattoos obnoxious. The tattoo seems to summon their eyes, to draw their focus even if they have other things they wish to think about. In that sense, a tattoo is narcissistic, and narcissism is coercive. It lives off of others’ notice, and when the narcissist fails to draw attention, he feels disturbed and wounded.

Whenever we sense that need, we recoil from it. Unless you’ve learned to favor those forms of self-expressionand, certainly, a segment of our culture is now devoted to approval of such personal displaysthey strike you as distasteful no matter the overt details of the body art. The psychedelic arms of the NBA player at the free throw line aren’t benign or conventional. They’re aggressive.

More here

~

Quote of the day

In 2007, Senator Barack Obama made remarks about the War Powers Act and the war in Iraq. He blamed Congress for giving the president the power to wage war that he later abused.
"The American people weren’t just failed by a president, they were failed by much of Washington. By a media that too often reported spin instead of facts… And, most of all by Congress, a co-equal branch of government, that voted to give the president the power to wage war that he uses to this day. Without that vote, there would be no war."
~

Drug cartels stealing oil from Mexico

Mexico overcame 75 years of nationalist pride to reform its flagging, state-owned oil industry. But as it prepares to develop rich shale fields along the Gulf Coast, and attract foreign investors, another challenge awaits: taming the brutal drug cartels that rule the region and are stealing billions of dollars’ worth of oil from pipelines.

Figures released by Petroleos Mexicanos last week show the gangs are becoming more prolific and sophisticated. So far this year, thieves across Mexico have drilled 2,481 illegal taps into state-owned pipelines, up more than one-third from the same period of 2013. Pemex estimates it’s lost some 7.5 million barrels worth $1.15 billion.

Pemex director Emilio Lozoya called the trend "worrisome."

More than a fifth of the illegal taps occurred in Tamaulipas, the Gulf state neighboring Texas that is a cornerstone for Mexico’s future oil plans. It has Mexico’s largest fields of recoverable shale gas, the natural gas extracted by fracturing rock layers, or fracking.

Mexico, overall, is believed to have the world’s sixth-largest reserves of shale gas equivalent to 60 billion barrels of crude oil. That’s more than twice the total amount of oil that Mexico has produced by conventional means over the last century.

More here

~

Chicago crony

Lee Cary at Doug Ross' blog did some investigation of Democrat Congressman Luis Gutierrez' (IL-4) campaign finances. As Cary writes:
Gutierrez’s reputation in Chicagoland’s politics is not untarnished. There’s that sweetheart deal he got from Tony Rezko in the purchase of a condo for his daughter. There’s the $500,000 plus he paid in taxpayer money over 10 years to a Chicago lobbyist to advise his congressional staff. And, the 2004 allegation that Gutierrez lobbied Mayor Daley for a residential development owned by a man who loaned Luis $200,000. The developer was later federally indicted concerning the same development.
Nowadays, Gutierrez seems to be making political fund-raising a family business.

More here
~

Scrap the 2nd Amendment

NJ.com, a consortium of reliably left-wing newspapers in the Garden State, has published an op-ed calling for the scrapping of the Second Amendment:
Having fewer guns lying around could mean they won’t end up in the hands of a curious child, abusive spouse or suicidal person. Having a gun at home makes it three times more likely that you’ll be murdered by a family member or intimate partner, or successfully attempt suicide.

But let’s not kid ourselves: Gun buyback programs are not going to reduce murders in cities like Newark and Camden. Studies have found that buyback programs don’t have much effect overall on either gun crime or gun-related injury rates.

They don’t directly target the guns that are more likely to be used in violence, and in general, the guns collected haven’t overlapped much with crime guns. These are old weapons that some middle-aged guy found in his basement. What criminal is going to trade in his $700 Bushmaster for $250 from the state?

The biggest problem with this approach, though, is that it tiptoes around the one reform that could really make a difference, but that Americans would never accept: Mandatory gun buybacks. That’s what Australia did, after its own version of Newtown.

More here

~

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

No conscience, no shame, and no new ideas

Three things I’ve learned about my former political party: they have no conscience, no shame, and no new ideas. Confronted with serious competition from Republican candidates, they seldom show us any new, creative concepts in their television advertising. In fact, they could probably save a lot of bucks by simply running their old campaign ads and dubbing in the current names of the candidates. I’m serious: how many years now has the Democratic Party in the closing months of political campaigns trotted out the old political chestnuts that Republicans are going to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, in the hope they’ll terrify the old folks into voting a straight Democrat ticket?

Mark Pryor, the Democrat senator running for re-election, is in a very tough contest, as he should be. A senator from an essentially conservative state, Pryor has shown his constituents that in his eagerness to adhere to holy Democrat dogma, he is willing to be one of Father Reid’s all too eager altar boys. Any examination of his voting record shows that Mark votes Democrat, not Arkansas. His reward for that loyalty to the party and disloyalty to his constituents has brought him some serious backing from liberals in California, where he goes to raise campaign funds. I can just hear the behind-the-hands snickering by those Left Coast sophisticates as Mark offers up his pleas and promises in his best Arkansas lawyer delivery.

But all that aside, what truly pains this seasoned citizen is the Democrats’ willingness nay, eagerness to open up the graves of past campaigns and extract the malodorous corporeal remnants of their old poisonous lies buried there and try to prop them up as alive and well in 2014. They know it’s worked for them in the past, so who cares how bad it smells to the general electorate? It will scare the hell out of the old folks...and they always vote.

More here

~

The U.S. is unstable

Unstable countries are unstable, this not always being obvious in those countries, and then comes a man on a horse. The United States, methinks, is not particularly stable.

That anything seismic might happen is an idea doubtless inconceivable to most Americans, who still remember the America of Reader’s Digest, but is daily less improbable. Weimar America is not stable. The cracks in the foundations, the social crumbling and virulent antipathies grow daily more evident.

The economy declines, jobs leave for other climes, the petroyuan looms, college graduates crushed by debt find no work, the middle class shrinks, and the young begin to live perforce with their parents. Times of diminishing expectations are dangerous.

City after city joins the ranks of the bankrupt, semiliterate, corrupt black Bantustans which by honest naming would be called Lower Third World. Their culture is utterly alien to that of Eurowhites. Across the open border to the south pour huge waves from the Latino slums, less alien to Eurowhites, less hostile, but nonetheless threatening to form yet another country within a country. The Third World proportion of America closes rapidly on a full third. Despite desperate attempts to impose multicultural harmony, experience shows that widely disparate peoples who do not like each other do not enjoy happy endings. My country ‘tis of three, sweet land of dystrophy….

America can no longer be called a democracy. The Constitution recedes in memory. Congress and the Supreme Court amount to nothing. Washington rests uneasily in the hands of a half-mad clique of geopolitical illiterates, warlike misfires playing dangerous games like little Kaiser Wilhelms in a sandbox. Presiding over the city is Septimius Severus, Bokassa III, a negligible pol from Chicago who doesn’t like whites or understand European norms of government. He will keep the borders open and civil liberties in retreat.

More here

~

Quote of the day

Local media is reporting that the Obama administration has taken control of access to two Ferguson, Missouri townhall meetings on the Mike Brown shooting being held Monday evening. The Department of Justice has limited attendance to Ferguson residents only and has ordered ID checks to gain entry. DOJ banned reporters. In a First Amendment irony, the meetings are being held in churches: Wellspring and Pour Lady of Guadalupe.

~

Sober sex is rare in Australia

For most Australians, dating and drinking go hand-in-hand. Pubs and clubs set the scene for hook-ups, and first dates tend to be at bars where we turn to a glass or bottle of wine to take the edge off our nerves.

But what starts out as social lubricant can lead to sexual dysfunction. Sex therapist Jacqueline Hellyer told news.com.au that she’s seen a rise in the number of couples who have never had sober sex.

"It’s not unusual for me to meet couples who only ever have sex in substance-induced states," she said. "When they meet, they’re on alcohol or drugs, and when they first have sex they’re drinking or doing drugs. It develops into a relationship but they are still only having sex when they go out and drink or get on drugs."

Desiree Spierings, sex therapist from Sexual Health Australia, said it’s been an increasing problem in the past two years.

"We’re seeing an increase in couples who have only had sex with each other while using drugs or alcohol and cannot get aroused without it," she said.

More here

~

Shape shifter?

A recently translated, 1,200-year-old religious text written in the Coptic language tells the story of Jesus' crucifixation in a way that departs significantly from Biblical accounts.

The text was orginally from an Egyptian monastery that seems to have ceased operating in the tenth century. The manuscript resurfaced in 1910, and was purchased by New York financier J.P. Morgan. According to Utrecht University historian Roelof van den Broek, who translated the text, it is written in the name of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, a fourth-century saint.

Among other apochrypal claims, the text says that Jesus had dinner with Pontius Pilate before the crucifixation, and that Judas used a kiss to identify Jesus for those who came to arrest him because he was constantly changing his shape. Van de Broek says that while the Bible was canonized by the fifth century, apocryphal stories remained popular among Egyptian Christians long after that.

The manuscript is on display at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.

Source

~

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Five deadliest pandemics

Epidemics made our civilization what it is today, and new outbreaks like Ebola could completely change our world. Studying the history of these plagues can give us a sense of a pandemic’s power and help us prepare for future outbreaks.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation a philanthropy devoted to public health listed the five deadliest pandemics in history accompanied by eye-opening and frightening statistics.

More here

~

A black who gets it

James Golden considers his 26 years working with Rush Limbaugh to be the greatest professional blessing he could ever imagine. Originally from Queens, New York, James met Rush while working for a major media network and hasn’t looked back since.

Most Rush listeners know James as either "Snerdley," the call screener, or the "Official Obama Criticizer." Golden was in Washington recently for a CURE meeting and that’s where we got the chance to sit down with him for this exclusive 30 minute video interview.

For the first half of the interview, Golden waxed passionate about race in America, and how America’s first black president has only harmed race relations in this country.

Recalling when strong, two parent families were the norm for blacks, when hard work and merit allowed blacks to rise in society, and when homicide wasn’t the major cause of the death for young black males, Golden said with genuine regret, "Isn’t it a shame that for most of black people, the good old days were the days when things were segregated legally in this country?"

He concludes, "What liberalism has done to black communities is horrific."

More here

~

Quote of the day

Regarding the White House fence jumper...

"I thought we were supposed to welcome people that jump fences. I thought we're supposed to welcome people who crash our borders."


~

Don't plant trees, please

As international leaders gather in New York next week for a United Nations climate summit, they will be preoccupied with how to tackle the rising rate of carbon emissions. To mitigate the crisis, one measure they are likely to promote is reducing deforestation and planting trees.

A landmark deal to support sustainable forestry was a heralded success story of the last international climate talks, in Warsaw last year. Western nations, including the United States, Britain and Norway, handed over millions of dollars to developing countries to kick-start programs to reduce tropical deforestation. More funds are promised.

Deforestation accounts for about 20 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide. The assumption is that planting trees and avoiding further deforestation provides a convenient carbon capture and storage facility on the land.

That is the conventional wisdom. But the conventional wisdom is wrong.

More here

~

Women as victims

Warren Farrell rose to fame as the author of a feminist book called The Liberated Man. He went on to give talks to sold-out crowds of mostly women and routinely got standing ovations. According to Farrell, such responses began to trouble him. He suspected that he was unintentionally pandering. So, he started including the male perspective on some gender issues. His audience fell away. Whereas famous American talk show host Phil Donahue had picked him up from the airport in person, Farrell was now persona non grata. Feminists called radio and TV stations to say that if Farrell was interviewed, they would boycott those outlets.

The story that Farrell tells about the recent history of gender relations begins with Betty Friedan in the 1960s. Friedan was enthusiastic about women entering the work force. However, she had some major caveats about how women ought to go about doing this. Friedan figured that if women wanted access to jobs traditionally done by men, they ought to emphasize that many women are capable of exhibiting characteristics more traditionally associated with men and with doing jobs well. These would include such things as being strong, capable, competent, self-reliant and so on. Friedan was emphatic, according to Farrell, that under no circumstances should women claim to be victims. Victimhood implies weakness, subjugation, inability to look after oneself, and the need to be saved and protected. None of that seemed compatible with being chosen for employment, especially in more traditionally male occupations, nor with the likelihood of gaining respect for a job well done.

Many 1980s feminists were scathing about fairy tales and the depiction of princesses being passive and helpless and waiting to be rescued by the knight in shining armor. In the context of the women’s movement since the 1960s, this seems like rank hypocrisy because against Friedan’s wishes and advice, the women’s movement did indeed describe themselves as victims. It was just too tempting a strategy to give up, never mind the inconsistency with what they were trying to achieve a sense of equality with men and the notion that women were just as capable and strong.

More here

~

Monday, September 22, 2014

Science is finally settled?

The science is settled, as the climate change supporters like to say. Only this time, science confirms the safety of hydraulic fracturing. According to a new study published by the National Academy of Sciences, fracking is safe. End of discussion.

Funded by the National Science Foundation and Duke University, a team of scientists at Ohio State and other universities conducted extensive research into the purported link between groundwater pollution and fracking. (The full title of the report, available online, is "Noble Gases Identify the Mechanisms of Fugitive Gas Contamination in Drinking-Water Wells Overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales.") In an examination of 130 wells, the researchers found that, when properly conducted, no groundwater or aquifer pollution resulted from the practice of fracking itself.

Among the 130 wells studied, the researchers found only a subset of cases, including seven in Pennsylvania and one in Texas, in which faulty well construction or cementing was to blame for the seepage of gases into groundwater. According to Professor Avner Bengosh of Duke University, "[t]hese results appear to rule out the migration of methane up into drinking water aquifers from depth because of horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing." That is to say, in the rare cases where it occurs, gases are entering the water supply from outside the borehead as a result of faulty well construction or poor cementing, both of which are manageable problems.

More here

~

Quote of the day

In the war on women, Teddy Kennedy scored the first kill.
~

Way to go, GOP

Now the concerned whispers are becoming audible groans. Turns out after premature high-fiving in certain Republican circles, the GOP just may be on the verge of blowing its opportunity to take control of the U.S. Senate in November. A few of us have been warning for months that unless the GOP responded smartly to the huge public outcry over the border surge, it would miss a chance to energize disaffected voters. We also urged our friends in the establishment that they shouldn’t take their primary victories against more-conservative candidates as a sign that they could "play it safe" during the campaign.

The public wants policies to strengthen the American workforce, raise its standard of living, and renew and protect the homeland. It wants to see an affirmative agenda to spur growth and economic opportunityone that goes beyond "dump Obamacare." But the voters are enduring uninspiring candidates, boring political ads, and wishy-washy campaign statements on immigration enforcement. One of the only Senate campaigns playing the immigration issue correctly is that of moderate Scott Brown in New Hampshire. And guess what? After trailing Jean Shaheen for months, he is now in a dead-heat race with the pro-amnesty Democrat incumbent. Go figure.

Then there’s the issue of money. Writing in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, establishment fave Karl Rove says the GOP Senate majority is "still in doubt," noting that the GOP Senate candidates are being outspent $109 million to $85 million in media buys. He urges Republicans to "open their wallets to candidates whom they have never met." Here’s what I say to this entreaty: How much money did the establishment spend to save Thad Cochran? How much did they spend to try to save Eric Cantor? How much did they spend to save Lamar Alexander, and Lindsey Graham, and all the other incumbents who they defended earlier this year? None of those dollars were spent to fight the Democrats they were all used to beat and in many cases malign the Tea Party.

More here

~

GOP, the stupid party

The geriatric and senile Republican establishment could very well have destroyed their ability to take the Senate this year, a year that should have been ripe for a GOP landslide.

From Mitch McConnell's vow to "crush the Tea Party" all the way to rampant vote fraud in Mississippi, the Reince Priebus- and Karl Rove-led band of numbskulls have wagered that corrupting the primary process, demonizing the conservative activist base, and using borderline criminal tactics would unify the party.

As it turns out -- despite an onslaught of horrific news regarding the very real policy failures of Democrat governance -- it now appears that the Senate may not change hands after all. The latest aggregate poll numbers assembled by RCP appear to have Rove's panties in a bunch as evidenced by his hilarious plea for more donations in The Wall Street Journal.

More here

~

Navy morale

The U.S. Navy recently ran an opinion survey which confirmed that morale was low and getting worse, with a growing number of experienced sailors eager to get out of the navy. The most common gripe was the length of time spent at sea and the belief that those long voyages to distant waters were going to get longer. There was also growing disillusionment with navy leadership. Sailors saw senior officers more concerned with political correctness and "zero tolerance" than with legitimate complaints of sailors and junior officers. Some 42 percent of respondents said their last deployment (aboard a ship and away from home) was seven months or longer. Nearly half the sailors expect their next deployment to be even longer. Nor surprisingly only 21 percent of sailors were satisfied with the amount of time they spent at sea. When asked about morale only 42 percent felt it was good or better. A major reason for low morale is the growing talk in Congress for reducing pay and benefits. In particular many sailors feared the long-standing custom of retirement (at half pay) after twenty years’ service was in danger. Most (63 percent) were certain they could get a good job if they left the navy. Worse, nearly half the respondents did not want to get promoted because of the growing amount of paperwork and petty rules that had to be enforced. Over half the respondents had a low of opinion of senior leadership, believing the admirals did not pay attention of the problems of those they commanded and were not themselves held accountable for bad decisions.

More here

~

Chicken Little in D.C.

A trespasser scaled the fence around the White House, ran across the front lawn and slipped through the U.S. president’s front door, bypassing one of the world’s most sophisticated security systems before being arrested. ...

A man wearing jeans and a T-shirt jumped the north fence and ran across the lawn at 7:20 p.m. He ignored agents’ orders to stop before agents nabbed him just inside the north portico, the building’s main ceremonial entrance.

The breach forced a partial evacuation of the mansion just minutes after President Barack Obama and his two daughters had left to spend the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, where First Lady Michelle Obama was waiting.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary identified the fence-jumper as Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, Texas. According to court documents, he was carrying a folding knife with a 3.5-inch serrated blade. ...

Margarita O’Donnell, a lawyer representing Gonzalez at his court appearance, said he served 18 years in the military, including three tours in Iraq, and reported living in the Washington area for about three months.

Gonzalez told Secret Service agents he was "concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing" and wanted to alert the president, according to an affidavit filed with the court.

More here

~

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saving civilization

Earlier this week, a climate declaration published as a full-page ad in the international edition of New York Times tried to frighten us. It told us that:
the UN Climate Summit in Paris in December 2015 may be the last chance to agree a treaty capable of saving civilization; [bold added]
The declaration insisted that global warming may "cause the very fabric of civilization to crash." It said charitable foundations should therefore divert resources away from other projects presumably building hospitals and schools, preventing blindness and malaria, ensuring basic sanitation in order to "save civilization" from the climate scourge.

Problem is, we’ve heard this before. Not so very long ago, the British Prime Minister, a prominent economist, EU officials, professional activists and green politicians were all insisting that our last chance to save civilization was the 2009 climate summit held in Copenhagen.

More here

~

U.S. flag tee shirts are not allowed

It’s official: the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an order declining a request for an en banc hearing in a case involving four students in at a California high school who were sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

The full slate of Ninth Circuit judges has thus agreed with a lower district court and with a trio of appellate judges that officials at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif. could censor students who wanted to wear flag-emblazoned shirts.

The federal appeals court issued its denial of an en banc hearing on Sept. 17 Constitution Day.

"[N]o further petitions shall be permitted," the court ordered.

More here
~

It's only money

A village of just 1,000 residents in Switzerland has been forced to raise taxes because an African refugee and her seven children cost the local authority £40,000 in benefits every month.

Hagenbuch, in the Swiss canton of Zurich, is understood to be spending close to a third of its total annual budget on the family after they arrived from Eritrea in East Africa three years ago.

The massive benefits bill covers day-to-day living expenses such as groceries and cleaning costs, as well as paying for four of the woman's children to be housed in an orphanage and even bills for general entertainment - such as guided tours of local attractions and entry fees for the zoo.

More here

~

Quote of the day

If multitudes of cheap labor is the way to create a prosperous society, then Mexico should be a superpower.
~

Work and pot

Showing up to work high? You’re not alone.

A new report has found nearly 1 in 10 Americans are showing up to work high on marijuana. Mashable.com conducted the survey in partnership with SurveyMonkey, and found 9.7 percent of Americans fessed up to smoking cannabis before showing up to the office.

The data analyzed the marijuana and prescription drug habits of 534 Americans. What’s more, nearly 81 percent said they scored their cannabis illegally, according to the survey.

Cannabis and the workplace seem quite linked lately. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel recently chimed in on marijuana and work. While criticizing Twitter during an appearance on CNBC Wednesday, Thiel said Twitter is a "… horribly mismanaged companyprobably a lot of pot smoking going on there."

More here

~

Woodstock

Bobbi Kelly and Nick Ercoline were girlfriend and boyfriend, 20 years old. Bobbi lived in Pine Bush, N.Y., and worked at a bank. Nick lived in Middletown, N.Y., and worked two jobs while going to college.

They had heard so much on the radio about an approaching festival called Woodstock that "we just had to go," Bobbi says. They took back roads to Bethel, N.Y., parked their car when they couldn't drive farther and walked the final two miles.

They stayed only one night. They never saw the stage because they were so far away. But at some point, and they have no idea when, a photographer took their picture hugging, draped in a quilt, on a muddy hillside.

The photo appeared on the cover of the Woodstock soundtrack. And Bobbi and Nick became part of the legend.

"Woodstock was a sign of the times," says Bobbi, now Bobbi Ercoline. "So many things were churning around in our world at that time: civil rights, the Vietnam War, women's rights. It was our generation.

More here
~

Friday, September 19, 2014

Workplace accident

At least 14 members of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group were killed Tuesday near Baghdad when a rocket whose warhead they were filling with chlorine gas exploded.

Iraqi security officials said seven more IS militants were injured in the incident, which occurred near the town of al-Dhuluiya, about 90 km north of Baghdad.

Al-Dhuluiya was also where four members of the Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen suffered symptoms of asphyxiation after inhaling chlorine gas released by two improvised explosive devices.

It was the first time that chlorine has been used as a weapon in Iraq, although it is not uncommon in neighbouring Syria, where the regime’s use of it has been denounced by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

More here
~

Ancient North Eurasians

It has long been believed that modern Europeans descended from indigenous hunters and Middle Eastern farmers.

But a new study suggests all Europeans today have DNA from a third mystery group: Ancient North Eurasians.

This group appears to have contributed DNA to present-day Europeans, as well as to the people who travelled across the Bering Strait into the Americas more than 15,000 years ago.

The study is based on analysis of ancient DNA which has shifted scientists' ideas of how groups of people migrated across the globe thousands of years ago.

It also revealed that ancient Middle Eastern farmers and their European descendants can trace much of their ancestry to a previously unknown, even older lineage called the Basal Eurasians.

More here

~

Wichita massacre

The mainstream media does not publish many stories where blacks victimize whites because it doesn't fit into their narrative that whites are the evil oppressors and blacks are innocent victims of racism. I would bet that most people in the U.S. have never heard of the following incident....

The Wichita Massacre, also known as The Wichita Horror, was a murder, assault, rape, and robbery spree perpetrated by brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr against several people in the city of Wichita, Kansas in December 2000. The Carrs killed five people and a dog. A sixth victim, a woman known as HG, survived a gunshot wound to the head. The crimes shocked Wichitans, and purchases of guns, locks, and home security systems subsequently skyrocketed in the city. The brothers were tried, convicted and sentenced to death in October 2002. ...

The Carr brothers, 22-year-old Reginald and 20-year-old Jonathan, already had lengthy criminal records when they began their spree. On December 8, 2000, having recently arrived in Wichita, they committed armed robbery against 23-year-old assistant baseball coach, Andrew Schreiber. Three days later, they shot and mortally wounded 55-year-old cellist and librarian, Ann Walenta, as she tried to escape from them in her car; she died three days later.

Their crime spree culminated on December 14, when they invaded a home and subjected five young men and women to robbery, sexual abuse, and murder. The brothers broke into a house chosen nearly at random where Brad Heyka, Heather Muller, Aaron Sander, Jason Befort and his girlfriend, a young woman identified as 'H.G.', all in their twenties, were spending the night. They initially scoured the house for valuables. In a much-remarked point of tragedy, H.G. learned of Befort's intent to propose marriage when the Carrs, by chance, discovered the engagement ring hidden in a can of popcorn. After the search, the Carrs forced their hostages to strip naked, bound and detained them, and subjected them to various forms of sexual humiliation, including rape and oral sex. They also forced the men to engage in sexual acts with the women, and the women with each other. They then drove the victims to ATMs to empty their bank accounts, before finally taking them to a snowy deserted soccer complex on the outskirts of town and shooting them execution-style in the backs of their heads, leaving them for dead. The Carr brothers then drove Befort's truck over the bodies. ...

Since there was reportedly no prima facie evidence of racial motivation, only that the victims were white and the Carr brothers are black, Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston decided not to treat the incident as a hate crime. Media commentators David Horowitz, Michelle Malkin, and Thomas Sowell all stated that the crime did not garner much airtime or space in the national mainstream media due to political correctness. Sowell went on to claim that the media has a double standard regarding interracial offenses, tending to play up "vicious crimes by whites against blacks" but play down equally "vicious crimes by blacks against whites".

Source
~

Quote of the day

The IRS claims they only lost the emails of the 7 individuals out of 100,000 employees that happen to be involved in the targeting of Obama's political opponents for only the two year time requested and the Contract to backup their email servers was cancelled a few days after Congress began their probe.

~

False racism charge

Accusing someone of racism is a serious matter. Unfortunately, when the charge is Black against White, particularly with a cop, the media typically believes the charge regardless of any lack of evidence.

It is rare for that false claim to be busted wide open. But that happened in Oakland, California, with a Black firefighter caught in a series of "racism" lies against a White officer.

Keith Jones and his sons were walking back to their vehicle after a Raiders game when he noticed that the garage door to the fire station he works at had been left open. Mr. Jones entered the building to make sure it was secure and was exiting the open door when a police officer, who was already responding to a call about a possible burglary at that location, pulled up and told Jones and his boys to put their hands up.

According to Jones, the officer had his hand on his gun and was in a shooting stance. Jones said he tried to let the officer see his ID, but the officer refused to let him. He said his boys were terrified that the belligerent officer would shoot their father.

More here

~

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Math is the domain of old, white men

According to a Teach for America website, culturally responsive teaching in math is important because "math has traditionally been seen as the domain of old, White men."

As reported earlier this week, Teach for America groups across the country are committing themselves to "culturally responsive teaching," a radical pedagogy used by communist Bill Ayers and other blatant anti-American indoctrinators.

The site, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Teach for America, says that because math is seen as a domain for old, white men, many students cannot identify with it. Therefore, educators should find ways to relate math to the lives of their students.

Judging from the math curriculum recommended, this TFA group, like all other social justice educators, wants minorities to believe that what relates most to their lives in America is racism and oppression.

More here

~

Great Britain is insane, example #2347

A victim of Rotherham's child sex abuse scandal confronted a man she says groomed her - but was left shocked when she was the one arrested.

The woman was shocked when she saw the man walking through the town's centre on Friday and decided to challenge him over the allegations.

But she was tackled by two police officers and pushed up against a wall during her 'thuggish' arrest, a witness has said.

More here
~

Quote of the day

A study by Rutgers University at Newark claims that minorities are obese because racial microaggressions cause them to eat fast food and avoid exercise.

~

Redefining warming

Despite hype to the contrary, the world has seen a slowdown in the rate of warming over the past few years. The change is causing many scientific organizations to adjust their climate change projections. Late last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reduced its projected warming from a range of 0.4 to 1.0 degrees Celsius to 0.3 to 0.7 degrees Celsius between 2016 and 2035. More importantly, nobody seems to know why the warming has slowed.

The leading theory is that the increased heat has been partially absorbed by the ocean. A group at the Scripps Institute suggested the extra heat is being absorbed by the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean. Other scientists suggest that the deeper, colder parts of the ocean are absorbing the heat. Another theory is that active volcanoes are suppressing global warming by spewing ash and gas that reflect the sun’s heat back into space. Some have suggested particulate matter from coal power plants in developing countries spewed into the atmosphere may be reflecting sunlight thereby reducing heat. Others think that an exceptionally active solar cycle may be influencing temperatures.

The scientific method has always been a five-step process involving a question, a research hypothesis, experimentation and data analysis. While most scientists now believe humans play a significant role in global warming, the exact level is up for debate. And past projections have been off sometimes significantly. In one of the first predictions, Dr. James Hansen told Congress in 1988 that the world would warm 1.0 degree Celsius every 20 years until 2050. We now know that figure was 2-3 times too high.

More here

~

War on Poverty, fail

From the Rush Limbaugh show....

Our old buddy at the Heritage Foundation, Robert Rector, is back with yet another great paper on what a total, total abomination the War on Poverty has been. I mean, the numbers he cites in his piece are just mind boggling.

For example, the U.S. has spent $22 trillion in its War on Poverty, three times the amount we have spent on all wars combined, and still the percentage of people in poverty is the same as it was before the War on Poverty began. And Rector said, "How is this possible? How in the world can we spend $22 trillion and not even change the circumstances of people?" And he gets into the original purposes of LBJ, and of course, just like FDR, it was to create a permanent Democrat majority with all these things.

When the War on Poverty began, 7% of children in America were born outside marriage. Today, 42% of all kids born in this country are born out of wedlock. And in the African-American community, it's 73%. War on Poverty. That's the beginning point for these numbers. Seven percent birthrate outside marriage in 1965, now 42% nationwide, 73% in the black community.
~

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Protecting Hillary

What are the odds this mysterious weekend described is the long Thanksgiving weekend of 2012? If Raymond Maxwell is describing "Sunday" of that specific Thanksgiving weekend then a whole lot of other dots connect….

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to "separate" damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

More here

~

Lip balm banned, but abortions okay

A news story has been making the rounds about a ridiculous elementary school regulation against students’ use of lip balm. A fifth-grader named Grace Karaffa requested some Chapstick while on the playground and was denied.

Eleven year-old Grace started a petition to allow Stuarts Draft Elementary School students to use the product and gained 236 signatures before testifying to the school board.

She explained, "I was told I couldn’t use it. Then later that day, they started to bleed so I asked for Chapstick again and I was told that it was against the school policy for elementary kids to have Chapstick."

The assistant superintendent of administration for Augusta County Public Schools informed reporters that Chapstick is considered an over-the-counter medication by the school board. In Augusta County Public Schools, Chapstick may only be administered by a school nurse and only if a physician has prescribed its use.

This may seem like a somewhat silly story about bureaucracy gone too far. However, it is outrageous and infuriating when you consider that a child may need a physician’s note to apply Chapstick but, in 26 states and Washington, D.C., teenagers and pre-teens don’t even need parental permission to obtain an abortion.

More here
~

Quote of the day

"Even if Scotland stays in [the UK], the British political establishment has been tried and found wanting in this referendum; unfortunately it is not alone. The leaders of the European Union have conspicuously and repeatedly failed to master the vital and urgent issues that confront them. The euro has ruined and embittered a third of the European Union; populist movements of protest and resistance are bringing fascism back from the grave in more than one country. Outside, the enemies of every European ideal are gathering strength; inside, voters across Europe increasingly find the post-War social-democratic order bland, remote, and overbearing."

 -- Walter Russell Mead

~

Lung cancer

An unusually high number of women from east Asia develop lung cancer. Few smoke, but that's only part of the mystery.

Lung cancer snuck into the lives of Angela Tan (not her real name) and those she loved. When she died her family and friends were stunned. The Chinese schoolteacher who lived in Singapore was in her early 40s and had never smoked a cigarette in her life.

Tan's death seemed to challenge the prevailing assumption that lung cancer is a smoker's disease. In fact, she had plenty of company: non-smoking east Asian women have been diagnosed with the disease in high numbers. "There is a striking disconnect between smoking rates and lung cancer incidence, particularly in Chinese women," says Adeline Seow, a cancer epidemiologist from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore.

More here

~

Makeup

Republicans have three Hispanic senators (Democrats have one), a black senator (Democrats have one), two Hispanic governors (Democrats have none), and two governors whose parents were born in India (Democrats have none).

Where Republicans fail is in electing black candidates.

Democrats own the Congressional Black Caucus, but this comes at a price.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires racial gerrymandering, which herds black voters into districts that are overwhelmingly Democratic.
~

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The lure of Communism

...editor St├ęphane Courtois states that "...Communist regimes... turned mass crime into a full-blown system of government". He claims that a death toll totals 94 million. The breakdown of the number of deaths given by Courtois is as follows:

65 million in the People's Republic of China

20 million in the Soviet Union

2 million in Cambodia

2 million in North Korea

1.7 million in Africa

1.5 million in Afghanistan

1 million in the Communist states of Eastern Europe

1 million in Vietnam

150,000 in Latin America (mainly Cuba)

10,000 deaths "resulting from actions of the international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power."

Courtois claims that Communist regimes are responsible for a greater number of deaths than any other political ideal or movement, including Nazism. The statistics of victims includes executions, famine, deaths resulting from deportations, physical confinement, or through forced labor.

Source

~

Quote of the day

NATO is just a bunch of Europeans organized to decide how America will defend them. (No Action Talk Only)

~

Vietnam redux?

Vietnam analogies are often overused, particularly by people who want to stay out of a proposed war or get us out of one we are fighting. Although I agree that the Islamic State, or whatever it is calling itself this week, must be dealt with militarily; the strategy with which the Obama administration is going about it is deeply disturbing and its basic elements bring vividly to mind the War in Vietnam which began in earnest when I was in the Tenth Grade; American involvement did not end until I was a senior Marine Corps First Lieutenant in 1973. I am not yet senile enough to have forgotten key details.

President Obama is repeating three key strategic mistakes that President Johnson made in Vietnam. First, he has embarked on an open ended commitment; there was no measurable end state. In a similar manner, President Obama throws around the words degrade, defeat, and destroy as if they are interchangeable. Degradation and defeat are things that have to be accomplished before an enemy is destroyed. In some cases, the aim of a conflict is only to defeat the enemy as it was in ejecting Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in DESERT STORM. Degrade is something you do to his command and control along the way to defeating him.

It is nearly impossible to completely destroy a movement as we have seen with al Qaeda for thirteen years. It is possible to destroy the armed forces that allow the enemy to occupy territory and protect his seat of power. The president did not make it clear which goal he has in mind. If he cannot clearly define the end state, we will have a conflict every bit as open ended as Vietnam.

More here
~

Prison rape

Recently on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver delivered a great segment on the American prison system. One of the issues he addressed was the public’s apathy toward and alarming amusement by the occurrence of rape in prisons. "It’s so easy not to care about prisoners," he said. "They are, by definition, convicted criminals. In fact, it’s so easy not to care that we are really comfortable making jokes about one of the most horrifying things that can potentially happen to them." Rape.

Sexual assault is prevalent in our prisons and jailsa fact most Americans have probably gathered from popular media wherein prison rape jokes are common. According to the 2011-2012 National Inmate Survey, 4.0 percent of federal and state incarcerated persons and 3.2 percent of those in jails reported being sexually assaultedfrom unwanted touching to rapein the last twelve months. A prison or jail staff member was said to be responsible for more than half of these incidents. These numbers are open to question, of course. Other studies have suggested higher percentages, and sexual assaults are traditionally under reported.

Sexual violence should not occur in any space, yet its appearance in correctional facilities is especially troublingprisons and jails are, in theory, controlled environments. Realistically, they cannot be completely controlled, but the rape of an inmate is a far greater oversight than the entry of contraband. Because the majority of these incidences occur at the hands of staff members, the crime is an even worse insult to our criminal justice system and our humanity.

More here

~

Monday, September 15, 2014

The marathon masturbator

A marathon masturbator in China died after he donated his seed to a sperm bank four times in just 10 days.

Zheng Gang was found slumped over and unconscious in a private booth at the Wuhan University facility in Hubei Province after staff noticed he hadn’t come out in two hours, The Daily Mail reports.

When the medics broke down the door, they discovered the 23-year-old lying on the floor and immediately tried to resuscitate him. Doctors ultimately pronounced him dead of a heart attack.

More here

~

Mob violence, again

Nothing is more obnoxious than calling someone a liar just because they disagree with you.

Unless of course, it is true.

And it is getting harder and harder to describe the recent black mob violence near Milwaukee without using the word L-word aimed directly at reporters and public officials who ignore, deny and try to wish it away.

The latest case happened Saturday night in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. Every year, they have a Tosa Fest, complete with ring tosses, pretzel booths, and this year, a free outdoor movie, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs II.

It is supposed to be a family affair. Not this year. A large group of black people were milling around, then attacking people, then throwing things.

It got so bad they cancelled the movie.

More here

~

German wind farm, fail

Germany’s flagship Bard 1 offshore wind farm has been described as "a faulty total system" as technical problems continue to plague the project, casting major doubts on the feasibility of large scale offshore projects.

The wind farm was officially turned on in August last year but was shut down again almost immediately due to technical difficulties that have still not been resolved and now lawyers are getting involved.

The wind farm comprises 80 5MW turbines situated 100 km off the north German coastline. The difficulty facing engineers is how to get the electricity generated back to shore. So far, every attempt to turn on the turbines has resulted in overloaded and "gently smouldering" offshore converter stations.

Built at a cost of hundreds of millions and costing between €1 and €2 million a day to service, the project is estimated to have cost €340 million in lost power generation over the last year alone. And if the problems with the technology are deemed not to be the fault of the operator, German taxpayers will be on the hook for the running and repair costs, thanks to the German Energy Act 2012.

More here
~

Quote of the day (or week)

"It would be very important for the Democrats to retain control of the Senate. Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate." -- Nancy Pelosi

~

California will not split up, for now

A ballot initiative that would have asked voters to split California into six separate states failed to qualify for the ballot in 2016, the secretary of state’s office reported Friday.

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper submitted 1.37 million signatures in July in support of the measure, saying the state with 38.3 million people has become ungovernable because it has too many diverse interests for politicians to effectively represent their constituents.

A random sampling of ballot initiative signatures from all 58 counties found that just 66 percent were projected to be valid, and that it would fall more than 500,000 signatures short of the number needed to make the ballot.

Draper sought to split California into six states called Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.

More here
~

Culling the herd

Got to think about the motivations of the kind of person who chooses to work for the UN or its sub-units -- the kind of person who seems to be more likely than most to get exercised about Anthropogenic Global Warming, Peak Oil, and other such phobias, all of which lead a certain kind of person to believe there are too many humans on the planet.

The Black Death killed about 40% of the population of Europe; no disease kills everyone. If something like Ebola had a similar effect worldwide, it would reduce global population to about 4 billion human beings -- a big step towards the 2 billion which some have postulated is the sustainable carrying capacity of Planet Earth.

A rampant disease would tend disproportionately to kill the sick & elderly, thereby fixing the problems which Western governments have with unaffordable health care costs and unpayable pension promises. Such a disease would also tend to kill the very young, especially those who are less well looked after -- the children of the poor.

There are probably those in WHO and other governmental organizations who would not be too disappointed if they fail to contain Ebola.

Source
~

Saturday, September 13, 2014

First scientists

In 1925 the renowned philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead speaking to scholars at Harvard said that science originated in Christian Europe in the 13th century. Whitehead pointed out that science arose from "the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher", from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.The audience, assuming that science and Christianity are enemies, was astonished.

Equally astonished are scientists writing in the March 12 edition of Nature, the respected science journal. These scientists are studying a treatise written in 1225 by Robert Grosseteste, a bishop and theologian, which is "dense with mathematical thinking" as it describes the birth of the universe "four centuries before Newton proposed gravity and seven centuries before the Big Bang theory."Science itself developed from the medieval university, another uniquely Western institution. And universities were favored by popes and kings, who were protective of the institutions which they chartered and funded. In fact, "tenure" was instituted in universities in order to maintain their independence when "town and gown" battles erupted.One of the singularly important pioneers in science was the Franciscan, Roger Bacon, called "the first scientist" because he emphasized experimentation as opposed to accepting things on authority. He published a recipe for gunpowder in 1242 about the same time as the Chinese invented it.

More here

~

So how do the Russians deal with terrorists?

Flashback from January, 1986....

The KGB has adopted novel, brutal and apparently effective methods of dealing with terrorists who attack Soviet interests in the Middle East, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday.

The Jerusalem Post said the Soviet secret police last year secured the release of three kidnaped Soviet diplomats in Beirut by castrating a relative of a radical Lebanese Shia Muslim leader, sending him the severed organs and then shooting the relative in the head.

The incident began when four Soviet diplomats were kidnaped last September by Muslim extremists who demanded that Moscow pressure the Syrian government to stop pro-Syrian militiamen from shelling rival Muslim positions in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

The militiamen, the Jerusalem paper said, did not cease their attacks, and the body of one of the Soviet diplomats, Arkady Katkov, was found a few days later in a field in Beirut.

The KGB then apparently kidnaped and killed a relative of an unnamed leader of the Shias' Hezbollah (Party of God) group, a radical, pro-Iranian group that has been suspected of various terrorist activities against Western targets in Lebanon.

Parts of the man's body, the paper said, were then sent to the Hezbollah leader with a warning that he would lose other relatives in a similar fashion if the three remaining Soviet diplomats were not immediately released. They were quickly freed.

The newspaper quoted "observers in Jerusalem" as saying: "This is the way the Soviets operate. They do things--they don't talk. And this is the language Hezbollah understands."

Six Americans, missing for up to two years, are presumed to be kidnaping victims in Lebanon.

Source

~

Quote of the day

Obama has a "flawed world view, which deep down, regards the United States (and Israel) as akin to colonial powers, whose actions should always be examined under a presumption of distrust. His ingrained uneasiness with the values of western civilization makes it impossible for him to think and act as the leader of a western nation. Instead, he much prefers to regard himself as a nonpartisan critic and a bystander to world affairs. He has no firm conviction in the rightness of his cause, and hence no confidence in his ability to get others to act as perils mount."

~

We follow the law whenever we can

Uh, John, this isn’t one of those things where you follow the law when it’s convenient. Might be difficult to fathom considering you work for a lawless punk.
During another grueling hearing on the ObamaCare rollout, the head of the Internal Revenue Service tried to offer lawmakers an assurance about the soon-to-open enrollment period.

"Whenever we can, we follow the law," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the House Ways and Means subcommittee on health on Wednesday.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who leads the subcommittee, immediately expressed his concern with the remarks.
"I encourage you to follow the law in all instances," Brady said.

Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change?
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) cautioned against what he described as unchecked power given to the IRS under the healthcare law. He demanded to know how the Obama administration would prevent a "Lois Lerner 2.0 situation."
"It seems to me that the IRS is just poised to go swimming in a big pool of money," Roskam said. "Are these the same IT people that can’t find Lois Lerner’s emails or deal with her hard drives?"
Why yes, yes they are.

More here
~

Unaccompanied Alien Children

The Virginia Department of Education issued a memo to its 132 divisions this week outlining how schools should handle the expected influx of more than 2,850 illegal immigrant children. In addition to giving them "homeless" status, which comes with benefits under the Homeless Assistance Act, the state is also ordering schools to "immediately enroll" the students and waive the health and immunization requirements of other students.

Breitbart reports:
The memo to Virginia’s school divisions stressed the need to provide all children "equal access to an education" and highlighted the updated guidance from the Obama administration providing more flexibility on the documentation students need to enroll in public schools.

"Such equal access extends to children who come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian. These children are referred to as unaccompanied alien children (UAC) in federal statutes," the memo explains.

The memo explains that many of these immigrant minors will be deemed "homeless," which provides protections and benefits under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, including immediate enrollment, "educational services for which they are eligible," and "referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other appropriate services."

More here
~