Friday, March 31, 2017

State Department official arrested for spying

The FBI has arrested a State Department official who is charged with concealing extensive contacts with China's intelligence service.

Candace Marie Claiborne, an office management specialist who held a top-secret security clearance, faces charges of obstructing an FBI probe and making false statements about years-long contacts with two Chinese intelligence agents.

Claiborne, 60, worked for the State Department since 1999 and was posted at the headquarters in Washington, as well as U.S. diplomatic posts in Beijing and Shanghai, along with posts in Baghdad and Khartoum, Sudan.

A criminal complaint in the case said she conspired with two Chinese intelligence agents working for the Shanghai State Security Bureau. She also worked with a fourth person who is a male U.S. citizen and relative of Claiborne's who was not identified by name but labeled "Co-conspirator A" in court papers.

The case is one of the first Chinese espionage-related operations involving a U.S. citizen to surface in nearly 10 years.

More here
 

Democrats welcome illegals as future voters

The arguments for ignoring illegal immigration are as well-known as the self-interested motives that drive it.

In the abstract, open-borders advocates argue that in a globalized culture, borders are becoming reactionary and artificial constructs. They should not interrupt more natural ebbs and flows of migrant populations.

More concretely, an array of vested interests sees advantage in dismantling the border: employers in hospitality, construction, food processing, and agriculture prefer hard-working low-wage immigrants, whose social needs are often subsidized by the government and who are reluctant to organize for higher wages.

The Democratic Party welcomes in impoverished immigrants from Latin America and Mexico. It hopes to provide generous social welfare assistance and thereby shepherd new arrivals and their offspring into the salad bowl of victimization and identity politicsand thereby change the electoral map of key states from red to blue.

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A civil war has begun

This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.

The left has rejected the outcome of the last two presidential elections won by Republicans. It has rejected the judicial authority of the Supreme Court when it decisions don’t accord with its agenda. It rejects the legislative authority of Congress when it is not dominated by the left.

It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning.

It was for total unilateral executive authority under Obama. And now it’s for states unilaterally deciding what laws they will follow. (As long as that involves defying immigration laws under Trump, not following them under Obama.) It was for the sacrosanct authority of the Senate when it held the majority. Then it decried the Senate as an outmoded institution when the Republicans took it over.

It was for Obama defying the orders of Federal judges, no matter how well grounded in existing law, and it is for Federal judges overriding any order by Trump on any grounds whatsoever. It was for Obama penalizing whistleblowers, but now undermining the government from within has become "patriotic".

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It's our custom...

A Pakistani cricketer who hit his wife with his bat and made her drink bleach has been spared jail clearing his way to play for a top club, a court has heard.

Mustafa Bashir also slapped and choked his wife, berated her for wearing western clothing, tried to turn her against her own family and called her a "slag" when she went out socialising with friends he called "English slag girls".

He avoided jail after a judge said he was "not convinced" the victim was vulnerable.

Bashir’s lawyer claimed in court that the 34-year-old would sign a contract with former county cricket champions Leicestershire as a professional player after being offered a contract shortly before his arrest.

However a spokesman for the club denied those claims, saying it has never spoken to Bashir or his agent, or offered him a contract.

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Leftist intolerance

Middlebury gets all the attention. Before that, Berkeley. But progressives’ attack on intellectual freedom is wider and deeper than these spectacles of student outrage and violent protest.

Take, for instance, Springfield College in Massachusetts. Springfield College sounds like the school Homer Simpson may have dropped out of, but it is not a figment of Matt Groening’s imagination. It ranks as No. 27 on U.S. News "Best Colleges" rankings for "regional universities" in the North. But this middle-tier, vocationally-oriented, and very ordinary college is currently waging a bureaucratic war on one of its own faculty members, English professor Dennis Gouws.

On March 27, Anne Herzog, the college’s dean of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Studies, wrote a letter to Gouws placing him on "Official Warning Status." Herzog’s letter proffers a good deal of smug condescension and a small harvest of details, but none of that will explain what is really happening. The true story is this: a feminist jihad aims to remove from Springfield faculty an English professor who has refused to submit, even after two years of nearly constant bullying.

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Terror Central

When Muslims are in the minority, they complain about being oppressed. But the minute they become the majority, they become real oppressors because of the inherent intolerance of their culture. Nowhere is this more evident than in many parts of Birmingham, England.

Khalid Masood, 52, the Briton responsible for the deadly attack outside Parliament last week ... had a connection to Birmingham, having moved almost a year ago to this city of 1.1 million, where more than than [sic] one in five residents declare Islam as their religion. ... [T]he police also announced Sunday that they had arrested an unidentified man in Birmingham as part of the investigation of Mr. Masood.

Birmingham was the birthplace of Britain's first suicide bomber, the residence of a financier of the Sept. 11 attacks, and the place where Al Qaeda hatched a plot to blow up a commercial airliner in 2006. When a masked member of the Shabab, the Somali extremist group, celebrated the murder of the soldier Lee Rigby in a 2013 video, he listed Birmingham as the first source of its fighters.

So many Islamist militants have been born in Birmingham or have passed through that the Birmingham Mail newspaper once lamented that the city had the dubious distinction of "Terror Central."

More here

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Germany and rearmament

"The problem in Europe is that there are far too many people in uniform, and too few of them able to go into action." NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson.

"A majority of the German public opposes combat missions, and supports the Bundeswehr [German military] only as a quasi-humanitarian organization, a kind of Médecins Sans Frontières with guns". Konstantin Richter, Politico.eu.

The relative abundance enjoyed by the Western post-war generations have created a kind of shame instead of pride.

It has been said that when German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed the reconstitution of the military in 1955, he proclaimed: "It is crazy, gentlemen, that I have to create a German army, it is just crazy".

Sixty years have passed, but that sentiment still seems very strong in Germany. A few days ago Sigmar Gabriel, the German foreign minister, said: "We have to be a bit careful here that we don't over-interpret the 2 percent target." Gabriel then became clearer: "Maintain perspective, stay focused on the target, but avoid being consumed by the bliss of a new rearmament spiral!"

A few days earlier, Germany had made an announcement: to raise the number of soldiers from 170,000 to 198,000 by 2024 -- a modest "rearmament".

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Incompatible

A strong majority of French adults say Islam is incompatible with their society.

A new Ipsos poll finds that 61 percent of adults say Islam is incompatible with French society, compared to just 17 percent who say the same about Judaism and 6 percent who believe Catholicism is incompatible with French society.

The number of those who believe Islam is incompatible is trending upwards and has jumped 8 points since peaking in January 2015, when 47 percent of Frenchmen said Islam is compatible with French society.

Islamic dress codes are especially unpopular in France.

The poll found that 77 percent of Frenchmen want the burkini banned in public, and 79 percent want headscarves banned on university campuses.

More here

Illegals cancelling their food stamps

As the Trump era unfolds in California, fear of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement crackdown is disrupting the daily lives of immigrants and their families. In a state with 5.4 million noncitizen residentsand where nearly half of all children have at least one immigrant parentthe president’s promise to increase deportations may already be affecting the health and livelihoods of families, even those here legally, by discouraging them from turning to public-assistance programs or from working.

At the Alameda County Community Food Bank in the San Francisco Bay area, 40 families recently requested that their food stamps be canceled, according to Liz Gomez, ACCFB’s associate director of client services. Another 54 Spanish-speaking households that pre-qualified for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program turned down the opportunity to apply. Gomez says that the combination of a leaked draft executive order suggesting that legal immigrants could be deported for turning to public assistance within their first five years of arrival, as well as local ICE sweepsand stories about raids and arrests elsewhereare making immigrants afraid to give their information to service providers.

ACCFB has one of the largest SNAP outreach programs among food banks nationwide. It also provides enough food for 580,000 meals each week through food pantries, soup kitchens, childcare centers, senior centers, after-school programs, and other community-based organizations.

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Quote of the day


Mayor of London has ties to extremist groups

In 2016, Prime Minister David Cameron was widely criticized in the UK when he claimed that London mayor Sadiq Khan had ties to the terror group ISIS. An investigation by Disobedient Media has determined that Khan has ties not just to organizations associated with ISIS, but also groups such as Hamas, Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. During his time as mayor, London has seen an increase in terror incidents with concerning indications that terror groups wish to stage a major attack on the City of London. Rather than focusing on combatting terror, Khan has used his forum to tell Londoners as well as citizens in other parts of Europe and the United States that the West must learn to live with terrorism as a part of daily life. Khan's extreme flirtation with radical Islamic extremism raises serious questions about his commitment to fighting a wave of extremist fueled terrorism that only continues to spread after a number of attacks and police operations in London and other areas of the UK.

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Judges running amok

Did anybody else not pay any attention to what happened over the weekend? I found myself uninterested in March Madness, couldn’t summon the energy required to watch the Sunday Showboats spout off on why RyanCare was a disaster for whoever they were opposed to, not in the mood for Donald J.Trump’s tweets and couldn’t even manage to get appropriately agitated about the black-hooded New World Order Obots who showed up at the Trump rally to pepper spray the attendees.

But this caught my attention, possibly because it inadvertently provides insight and commentary on everything else that has run amok in this country over the past few decades:
An Oregon judge who last year ruled that a transgender person can legally change their sex to "non-binary" has given the OK for a Portland resident to be genderless.

Multnomah County Judge Amy Holmes Hehn on March 10 granted a petition allowing Patrick Abbatiello to go from male to "agender" and switch to the single name Patch…

The judge told NBC in an email her decisions were supported by facts and the law. Oregon Live

We’ve become inured to Federal judges who have assumed they are the ultimate arbiters of Constitutional law, but County judges who assume they are God seems a bit of an overreach even for liberals.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Unions squealing on illegals

Federal agents are not the only ones trying to remove people from the Buffalo area who have entered the country illegally.

If Bill Bing, a carpenters union official, discovers workers at local construction projects suspected of being in the country illegally, the union tips off authorities.

That information has led to some raids and arrests, he said, although the detention last month of 32 individuals suspected of being in the country illegally and working at projects was not his tip.

"We were not directly responsible for the information on those two raids," said Bing, the local representative for the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters.

Bing said he is glad to see the enforcement of immigration laws and makes no apologies for when he or other union members tip off federal and state authorities.

The jobs should go to American citizens and that it is not a union-versus-nonunion issue, he said.

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China selling junk around the world

More than 40,000 counterfeit condoms imported into Puerto Rico from China have been seized by federal authorities who warned that they just won't work as designed.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Food and Drug Administration made the seizure over five days, said a release from the Border Patrol.

"CBP works with its partners to protect consumers from imported products that threaten the health and safety of consumers," said Vernon Foret, acting director of field operations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "Counterfeit and pirated products threaten our economic security and undermine legitimate businesses that invest significant resources into manufacturing safe, quality products," he added.

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Bad boys of Brexit hired for Calexit

The ‘Bad Boys of Brexit‘ who led the campaign to break Britain away from the European Union have taken on a new exit challenge: splitting California into two states.

Former UKip leader Nigel Farage and Leave backer Arron Banks have just returned from the United States, where they helped raise $1million for a ‘Calexit’ campaign, which would split California into two eastern and western regions.

There are several ‘Calexit’ campaigns competing for a referendum in the United States, with one aiming to remove the state from America entirely as a response to President Donald Trump being elected last year.

Farage and Banks, who led the ‘Leave.EU’ campaign, appear to be pitting the eastern, more rural side of California against the western ‘coastal elite’ liberals in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

If broken apart, the eastern part of California would more likely vote Republican, giving the party two more senators and electoral college votes for a 2020 presidential election.

The Western side of the state would likely continue to vote Democrat in elections.

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Violence in Mexico

The first two months of the year saw historic levels of violence in 12 states, where homicide numbers were the highest recorded since the Interior Secretariat, or Segob, began keeping data.

Topping the list was Guerrero with 340 intentional homicides followed by Baja California with 254, Michoacán with 229 and Veracruz with 211.

Guanajuato followed with 179, Mexico City 170, Morelos 113, Colima 103, Zacatecas 81, Baja California Sur 75, Querétaro 23 and Yucatán 14. The figures were even higher than those recorded during 2010 and 2011, the worst years for violence in the war on drugs.

In 17 of the remaining states, while historic levels have yet to be reached, the data showed a significant increase nonetheless.

In Chihuahua, where the federal government admitted yesterday that things have gone awry, homicides have risen from 141 in the first two months of 2016 to 266 this year. Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong assured a gathering of businesspeople that the situation will not be allowed to worsen.

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Putin not a good puppetmaster

A week ago I wrote that "if Putin is the world's puppet master he's not doing very well. Russia's economy has been in crisis since 2014, with no end in sight. The Kremlin has been in the doldrums for two reasons: the continued decline in oil prices and economic sanctions imposed on Moscow for its incursions into Ukraine."

Those trends continued and indeed worsened in 2017. Despite predictions the Trump administration was eating out of Putin's hand the evidence was he would soon have his hand out unless oil prices rose and the US military buildup eased. "It is reasonable to suppose that puppetmaster Putin would prefer 1) less US oil production; 2) lower American defense spending; 3) a free hand in Syria; 4) lifting of sanctions," I wrote "but there is precious little evidence he is getting any of it. On the contrary Putin is doomed if current trends continue."

Today the headlines were dominated by news of unrest in Russia. "Hundreds of people were arrested across Russia on Sunday as protests erupted against corruption there, according to multiple reports," reported Politico. Although Putin may well survive the opposition's efforts to unseat him -- what relief is in sight? Public discontent probably reflects elite discontent that in turn is a reflection of a declining GDP.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gorsuch confirmation hearings

Throughout the weeks leading up to Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the Left took aim at his "originalist" view of the law, the philosophy he candidly shares in common with the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Liberal commentators have presented characteristically obtuse explanations of what "originalism" or "textualism" means. In the hearings, Democratic senators followed suit.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., asked whether, given the Constitution's use of the word "he" to describe the president, an originalist can believe that a woman could become president. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, grossly mischaracterized Scalia (who is no longer around to defend himself) in asking a question presumably written for her by a rabid staffer: "Do you agree with Justice Scalia's statements that originalism means that there is no protection for women or gays and lesbians under the equal-protection law because this was not the intent or the understanding of those who drafted the 14th Amendment in 1868?"

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Mexican government helping illegals

Openly and routinely, an arm of the Mexican government is at work, helping a convicted welfare cheater stay in America and eligible for all the subsidies that a mother of 12 qualifies for. It’s a heckuva lot more than she would get if she took herself and her kids back to her homeland. I am no expert on Mexican immigration law, though I understand it is tougher than ours, generally, but I suspect that a native born Mexican national could bring her children into that country and reside there legally.

KVUE TV presents the details of the case, accepting the view that deporting the illegal alien would break up the family, as if they could not live together legally in Mexico, an assumption I am not certain about.

An undocumented mother of 12 is fighting deportation and she’s getting help from the Mexican Consulate in McAllen, Texas.

She’s one of hundreds across the country targeted in renewed federal efforts to crack down on criminal aliens.

Norma Roman tries to keep herself and her children busy. The mother, whose kids were all born in the U.S., helps her kids with their homework to take their minds off a grim reality: the possible separation from their mother.

More here

Quote of the day

"You might remember a federal judge ruled that Obama's moratorium on drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico is unconstitutional. Obama just ignored the guy. He just ignored the guy and kept the ban on drilling. And nobody did anything. Why doesn't Trump try something like that? Just start vetting."

-- Rush Limbaugh

Is NATO still necessary?

It is a bit rich to hear Europeans insist that any Trump Administration doubts about NATO’s usefulness is heresygiven their occasional popular indifference to and ambiguity about the alliance.

In current journalistic groupthink, Donald Trump has endangered NATO by suggesting a) it does not have a clearly defined role and needs to find one for the 21st century; and b) the vast majority of European members have welched on their defense spending commitments, on the expectation that the U.S. defense budget would always take up the slack, protect Europe, and thus indirectly subsidize the European social welfare project.

No one really disputes the logic of Trump’s criticisms, only his supposed recklessness in daring to be so rude as to voice them.

But we forget that by the mid-2000s, especially after the invasion of Iraq, there was growing European unease with the trajectory of NATO. A different narrative was then in currency of a regrettable omnipresence of the United States (the "hyperpuissance") within NATO. Hundreds of thousands of soft-power Europeans hit the streets to protest the Iraq War and hard-power American imperialism, as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld earned furious pushback for characterizing Western NATO allies as "Old Europe."

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Religious disputes never end in India

In Gorakhpur, the power base of a firebrand monk, religious tension grows with Uttar Pradesh’s 40 million Muslims.

Pastor Ritesh Joshua had just called a tea break when he saw the men in the saffron scarves. More than a hundred, some wielding sticks, had massed outside his white stucco church on the outskirts of Gorakhpur, a temple town in eastern Uttar Pradesh. It was three days after Christmas.

"They started shouting, ‘You are converting people. We will not allow any conversions here’," he says. "They shoved people, turned over furniture, and told me, ‘You are the main culprit’."

The men, allegedly part of a religious activist group called the Hindu Yuva Vahini, cornered one of the parishioners. Smartphone footage shows the woman pulling her blue shawl tightly around herself as she answers questions about her involvement with the church. "No one is forcing me to convert," she insists.

"If the police hadn’t arrived, we don’t know what would have happened next," Joshua says. "After the men left, everyone in the church was silent, so frightened. This is a time of testing for us."

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Showdown in California

California’s clean-air agency voted on Friday to push ahead with stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks, setting up a potential legal battle with the Trump administration over the state’s plan to reduce planet-warming gases.

The vote, by the California Air Resources Board, is the boldest indication yet of California’s plan to stand up to President Trump’s agenda. Leading politicians in the state, from the governor down to many mayors, have promised to lead the resistance to Mr. Trump’s policies.

Mr. Trump, backing industry over environmental concerns, said easing emissions rules would help stimulate auto manufacturing. He vowed last week to loosen the regulations. Automakers are aggressively pursuing those changes after years of supporting stricter standards.

But California can write its own standards because of a longstanding waiver granted under the Clean Air Act, giving the state the country’s biggest auto market major sway over the auto industry. Twelve other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Washington, D.C., follow California’s standards, a coalition that covers more than 130 million residents and more than a third of the vehicle market in the United States.

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Shaquille O'Neal speaks


Monday, March 27, 2017

Stupid party

To a man and woman, nearly every one of the 237 Republicans elected to the House last November made the same promise to voters: Give us control of Congress and the White House, and we will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

On Friday, those lawmakers abandoned that effort, conceding that the Republican Party’s core campaign pledge of the last seven years will go unfulfilled. "I will not sugarcoat this: This is a disappointing day for us," House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a press conference after he informed Republicans that he was ditching the American Health Care Act.

"We did not have quite the votes to replace this law," Ryan said. "And, so yeah, we’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future."

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Jesse Jackson Jr. living well on government benefits

Records from former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s divorce case show how he has been able to collect hefty benefit checks from the federal government after serving time in prison for looting hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund.

Jackson, 51, receives about $138,400 a yearmore than he made as a freshman congressman in 1995. Most of thatabout $100,000is workers’ compensation and tax-free, according to Chicago attorney Barry Schatz, who is representing Jackson in his divorce proceeding.

The rest of Jackson’s benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance payments, some of which may be taxable, Schatz said.

The payments flow to Jackson because he has bipolar disorder and depressionthe issues that led to an extended leave from Congress in 2012and those conditions have been exacerbated by a "very difficult, contentious divorce" from former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, Schatz said.

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Quote of the day


No refugees wanted

Treviso Bresciano, a village of 550 people near the town of Brescia, in northern Italy, has voted against the acceptance of six asylum seekers. The decision was made by a vote at an assembly on Friday. Citizens responded anonymously to the question "Do you want refugees to come to our territory?". A total of 114 residents, one-fifth of the population, casted their vote and the majority said no: 68 people against, 46 for.

The public meeting was organized by mayor Mauro Piccinelli, who was elected in 2014 on a civic list. "We are using means made available by the Statute on issues that closely affect the community and it is right that citizens decide", said the mayor. During the meeting, which included a lively debate, the Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (Sprar) was presented. Treviso Bresciano, which is located in an area called Valle Sabbia, had been invited to join the System.

Valle Sabbia is already home to 170 asylum seekers who are cared for by external cooperatives without control by local authorities. However, prefecture said that the number could increase rapidly. The hypothesis is to accommodate six asylum seekers in the Valle Sabbia municipalities that have a population of less than two thousand. Treviso Bresciano is one of them.Some mayors of local municipalities belonging to the Northern League are against the reception of refugees.

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Comey is dirty

The Obama people started spying on Trump once he had the nomination or perhaps even earlier. They may have started earlier with an eye on helping the Republicans knock him off in the primary, but that’s not clear. They figured that Clinton was a lock so they were not careful about covering their tracks. The Clinton people are as dirty as it gets so they were not going to be ratting on anyone over it. If anything, they would expand on it.

This is where the Russian hacking story comes into the picture. Once disaster struck and Team Obama realized they had a problem, they needed cover, so they started with the Russian hacking nonsense. They would then claim that it was all an accident and they were just trying to prevent Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from attacking our democracy! It’s also why Obama signed a retroactive Executive Order giving cover to the intel agencies for their domestic spying activities. They were creating a cover story.

The complication is that it appears that at least one person has perjured himself over this and that one person is FBI Director Comey. There’s no way to square his testimony with these new revelations. The best he can do is split hairs and claim he was not part of the spying effort. Of course, there’s no way to touch him as he runs the FBI. In fact, there’s no way to investigate any of the intelligence organizations. This is the point where many of the robot historians of the future will say the American political class murdered itself.

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Cultural appropriation

Authorities charged a Hampshire College student with assaulting a member of Central Maine Community College's basketball team over a dispute about cultural appropriation. Really.

The Hampshire student, 20-year-old Carmen Figueroa, allegedly started a fight because the basketball player had braided her hair in a manner that upset Figueroa. She walked up to the visiting playerduring a basketball gameand demanded that the player remove the braids from her hair, according to masslive.com.

Figueroa is a female student of color. The basketball player was a member of the women's team. Her ethnicity is not stated in news articles, though it seems likely she's either white, or belongs to some other race whose members aren't allowed to braid their hair Latina-style, according to Figueroa's world view.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Odds and ends

Russian anti-smoking campaign....Smoking Kills More People Than Obama, Although He Kills a Lot.

Alaska has seen temperatures down to -54 deg. F. this winter.

Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.

Headline....Transgender Wins International Women's Weightlifting Title. (Yes, he's formerly male)

President Putin recently inaugurated an enormous statue of St. Vladimir, the patron saint of the Russian Orthodox Church, about 100 yards from the Kremlin walls. If you stand at a certain point across the street from the Kremlin, the cross that he bears is even taller than the star in the Red Square, so the symbolism is very potent.

In the past 20 years the U.S. has given $1.35 billion in assistance to North Korea to encourage them to abandon their nuclear program.

Recip Erdogan to European Turks...."Have five children, not three. You are Europe's future."

Headline....Philadelphia Cinco de Mayo celebration canceled over immigration crackdown fears.

Eric Idle, of Monty Python, says global warming skeptics should be executed "gently" for "crimes against humanity." (Fuck you, Eric)

The 31 Deadliest Atlantic Hurricanes / Tropical Cyclones (1492-2006

So how much money was spent by opponents to beat Trump? $735,803,000 at the latest count.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says terrorist attacks are part and parcel of living in a big city.

Chicken Little claim of the day....Global warming to increase number of diabetics.

President Recep Erdogan of Turkey is angry at Europeans and warns that it would not be long before they will be unable to walk safely on their streets.

Observation of the day....First of all, mohammedans have a terrible inferiority complex, which they compensate for by looking down on the rest of humanity. Sorry. They don’t. They are humanity. The rest of us are a kind of apes, according to mohammedans. Even the poorest mohammedan beggar in Mecca is infinitely superior to non-believers, no matter how rich they are or what accomplishments they have. It’s built into the religion, right from the start.

In 24 of the nation’s 50 states at least half of the babies born during the latest year on record had their births paid for by Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

London's diversity...."The victims were diverse, the killers were Muslim."

Headline....Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore lead nation in population loss; Maricopa County (Arizona) has biggest gain.

~
 

Lone Wolf

The recent attack on Westminster in London once again highlighted the phenomenon of the "Lone Wolf" terrorist. Although the term suggests the spontaneous and unpredictable transformation of an innocent into a kind of murderous beast such wolves are actually "lone" only in a very limited sense. They are differ from their background in degree, distinguished by a critical extras such as 1) the willingness to use violence; 2) the training to employ it; and 3) the means necessary for an attack.
A lone wolf or lone-wolf terrorist is someone who prepares and commits violent acts alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group. However, he or she may be influenced or motivated by the ideology and beliefs of an external group, and may act in support of such a group.
He starts as an outsider but without these criminal extras the pre-Lone Wolf remains essentially inside the law. While he might adopt behavior hostile to the host culture for so long no open incitement and acts of violence occurs he may not be hindered -- and may even be admired by the politically correct.

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Subprime mortgages

In 1988, a bank called Guardian Savings and Loan made financial history by issuing the first ever "subprime" mortgage bond.

The idea was revolutionary.

The bank essentially took all the mortgages they had loaned to borrowers with bad credit, and pooled everything together into a giant bond that they could then sell to other banks and investors.

The idea caught on, and pretty soon, everyone was doing it.

As Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera describe in their excellent history of the financial crisis (All the Devils are Here), the first subprime bubble hit in the 1990s.

Early subprime lenders like First Alliance Mortgage Company (FAMCO) had spent years making aggressive loans to people with bad credit, and eventually the consequences caught up with them.

FAMCO declared bankruptcy in 2000, and many of its competitors went bust as well.

Wall Street claimed that it had learned its lesson, and the government gave them all a slap on the wrist.

But it didn’t take very long for the madness to start again.

By 2002, banks were already loaning money to high-risk borrowers. And by 2005, all conservative lending standards had been abandoned.

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A RINO goes back to her roots

A Republican lawmaker in Hawaii has quit to join the Democrats, saying she cannot support President Donald Trump.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto, who says she was pressured to give up her leadership post at the statehouse after criticizing Trump, resigned from the GOP on Wednesday.

She tendered her resignation because she says GOP members refuse to oppose racism and sexism.

Rep. Fukumoto says she is hoping to become a Democrat but does not know whether the Democratic Party will accept her.

Fukumoto, one of Hawaii’s few elected Republicans, was asked to resign her post as House Minority Leader in February after criticizing Trump in a speech at the Women’s March in Honolulu.

She sought feedback from her constituents about leaving the Republicans and says three-quarters of the letters she received supported the move.

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Muslim immigration

The one thing that Europe has in common with America is the thorny issue of immigration, especially the problem of Muslim immigration. Europeans are also facing the problem of sub-Saharan African immigration, which is a different problem. Black Africans are not yet forming up terrorist rings and threatening to destroy Western civilization, at least not on purpose. The daily drumbeat of terrorism stories we see in the news are all tied to Islam and its hostility to Western civilization. The fact is, Islam is incompatible with the West.

The question that never gets asked is why are European politicians so wedded to the idea of open borders, when it means Muslim immigration? Letting Poles move from their homelands to London, as tradesman, is one thing. There’s an economic argument there, not a good one, but at least there’s an argument. Making it easy for Mercedes to build car parts in Slovakia has an economic argument to it. Again, it is a fallacious argument, but you can see how some people, especially politicians, could be dull enough to fall for it.

There’s no economic argument for importing Syrians or Turks. Muslims are overwhelmingly represented on the welfare roles. In Denmark, people from MENA countries make up 5% of the population, but consume 40% of welfare benefits. This is a story across Europe. It is not just the new arrivals. Turks in Germany have been there for a couple of generations and have been the worst performing economic group in the country. Estimates put the total working population at 20%, while the rest live off welfare benefits. Then there is the issue of sky high Muslim crime rates.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Apple and the CIA

New documents from WikiLeaks point to an apparent CIA program to hack Apple's iPhones and Mac computers using techniques that users couldn't disable by resetting their devices.

Security experts say the exploits are plausible, but suggest they pose little threat to typical users. They say that many of the tricks are older the iPhone hack involves the 3G model from 2008, for instance. The techniques also typically require physical access to devices, something the CIA would use only for targeted individuals, not a broader population.

"The most notable part of this latest WikiLeaks release is that it shows the CIA doing exactly what we pay them to exploit specific targets with limited attacks to support our national interests," said Rich Mogull, CEO of the security research firm Securosis.

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment. The CIA has not commented on the authenticity of this and earlier WikiLeaks revelations, but has previously said it complies with a legal prohibition against electronic surveillance "targeting individuals here at home, including our fellow Americans." The agency declined further comment Thursday.

More here
 

Take the money and go, please

As part of a campaign to speed up the repatriation of around 50,000 asylum seekers, Vienna said it would double the amount of money paid to migrants who voluntarily return home.

They would be paid €1,000 ($1,080) to leave the country instead of the €500 previously offered.

Austria’s Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said the plan is primarily targeting "those who are not likely to be granted the right to long-term residence."

The payment offer is currently only available to the first 1,000 interested people who have already filed an asylum application.

It is primarily aimed at nationals from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and sub-Saharan countries, excluding people from neighboring Balkan countries.

With a population of 8.7 million people, Austria has received more than 130,000 asylum applications since 2015.

Official figures showed about 10,700 refugees left the country last year, including 5,800 by choice.

More here  

Poor, poor Chicago

The site of the now-closed Michael Reese Hospital on the South Side was supposed to be where the athletes village for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Chicago.

But despite Barack Obama flying out to Copenhagen to personally plea for the games to be held in his hometown, the International Olympic Committee members chose Rio de Janiero.

Meanwhile Chicago taxpayers are in a familiar situation--paying for the expensive mistakes of the people they put in power.

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Without a trace

July 23, 2015 was the eve of Joseph Lloyd Keller's 19th birthday. The Cleveland, Tennessee, native had been spending the summer between his freshman and sophomore years at Cleveland State Community College on a western road trip with buddies Collin Gwaltney and Christian Fetzner in Gwaltney’s old Subaru. The boys had seen Las Vegas, San Francisco, and the Grand Canyon before heading to Joe’s aunt and uncle’s dude ranch, the Rainbow Trout Ranch, in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado.

The ranch is in Conejos County, which is bigger than Rhode Island, with 8,000 residents and no stoplights. Sheep graze in the sunshine; potatoes and barley are grown here and trucked north to Denver. Three new marijuana dispensaries in the tiny town of Antonito lure New Mexicans across the nearby state line.

ConejosSpanish for "rabbits"is one of the poorest counties in Colorado. It’s also a helluva place to get lost. While its eastern plains stretch across the agricultural San Luis Valley, its western third rises into the 1.8-million-acre Rio Grande National Forest, which sprawls over parts of nine counties. Go missing out here and your fate relies, in no small part, on which of those nine counties you were in when you disappeared.

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Your router could be hacked

Cisco Systems said that more than 300 models of switches it sells contain a critical vulnerability that allows the CIA to use a simple command to remotely execute malicious code that takes full control of the devices. There currently is no fix.

Cisco researchers said they discovered the vulnerability as they analyzed a cache of documents that are believed to have been stolen from the CIA and published by WikiLeaks two weeks ago. The flaw, found in at least 318 switches, allows remote attackers to execute code that runs with elevated privileges, Cisco warned in an advisory published Friday. The bug resides in the Cisco Cluster Management Protocol (CMP), which uses the telnet protocol to deliver signals and commands on internal networks. It stems from a failure to restrict telnet options to local communications and the incorrect processing of malformed CMP-only telnet options.

"An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending malformed CMP-specific telnet options while establishing a telnet session with an affected Cisco device configured to accept telnet connections," the advisory stated. "An exploit could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code and obtain full control of the device or cause a reload of the affected device."

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Reverse discrimination

A production team for Sean "Diddy" Combs' Revolt TV is suing the cable and radio network, claiming reverse discriminationsaying they were fired for being old white men.

Douglas Goodstein and four producers, who’d previously worked for "The Howard Stern Show," were hired by Revolt TV in January 2014.

The team produced its popular urban talk radio program "The Breakfast Club" that airs mornings on Power 105.1 FM.

But the producers, who are all white and over age 39, say they were "treated worse than other employees who were younger and African American."

Executive Vice President Val Boreland "was always rude, condescending and dismissive towards the Goodstein Production Team," the Manhattan civil suit claims.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ann Coulter on terrorism

Ann Coulter joined Sean Hannity to discuss the German refugee crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s feckless leadership on the issue, and the lessons the United States should learn from the whole sordid affair.

"Why can’t we learn from Western Europe?" Coulter asked. "Just a few weeks ago German intelligence reports that 1,000 German ‘residents’ have gone to fight with ISIS. Hundreds of them have come back to Germany, and what does Merkel do? She’s setting them up with welfare because, you know, if they don’t have a lot of welfare that could radicalize them."

All this, despite the fact that this particular group are "having a very difficult time learning not to rape women … What other immigrant group could not stop itself from raping masses of women? They marching around saying you’re going to live under sharia law. They commit terrorist acts…"

"Why would you do that in this country?" Coulter asked, adding along with Hannity that this whole Russia issue is "a distraction." In fact, Coulter insisted that Russia is one of "our better allies in the fight against Islam."

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Stooged

Washington Free Beacon senior writer Adam Kredo on Tuesday discussed the Department of Justice finding malware on servers for Trump Tower mimicking supposed Russian ties.

Kredo was talking with One America News Network's Liz Wheeler about the FBI investigating the Trump campaign for collusion with Russian ties.

Kredo first said that the investigation should go on, before discussing a rarely mentioned point.

"It wasn't very well reported, the Department of Justice revealed just last week that in fact some of these ties that they had witnessed between Trump Tower servers and Russian entities in fact, were stooged," Kredo said.

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Gandhi was a racist

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi will be removed from a university campus in Ghana after professors launched a petition claiming the revered Indian independence leader and thinker was racist.

The statue of Gandhi was unveiled in June at the University of Ghana campus in Accra by Pranab Mukherjee, the president of India, as a symbol of close ties between the two countries.

But in September a group of professors started a petition calling for the removal of the statue, saying Gandhi was racist and that the university should put African heroes and heroines "first and foremost".

The petition states "it is better to stand up for our dignity than to kowtow to the wishes of a burgeoning Eurasian super power", and quotes passages written by Gandhi which say Indians are "infinitely superior" to black Africans.

More than 1,000 people signed the petition, which claimed that not only was Gandhi racist towards black South Africans when he lived in South Africa as a young man, but that he campaigned for the maintenance of India’s caste system, an ancient social hierarchy that still defines the status in that country of hundreds of millions of people.

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Canadians sick and tired of illegal immigrants

It turns out our friendly neighbor up north may have more in common with President Trump than we thought. And this has nothing to do with hockey…

It turns out not every Canadian is doing yoga like their Prime Minister and holding their arms open for immigrants.

According to Reuters, Canadians are sick and tired of illegal immigrants entering their country:

Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.

A significant minority, four out of 10 respondents, said the border crossers could make Canada "less safe," underlining the potential political risk for Trudeau’s Liberal government.

The increasing flow of hundreds of asylum-seekers of African and Middle Eastern origin from the United States in recent months has become a contentious issue in Canada.

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Putting pressure on sanctuary cities

In a move to put public pressure on "sanctuary cities," the Department of Homeland Security on Monday published a list of 118 localities that have refused to cooperate with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants.

President Trump ordered the department to publish a weekly list of all detention requests turned down by local jails, listing the agency, the undocumented immigrants and the charges they face. In an executive order signed Jan. 25, Trump said the list is necessary to "better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions."

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to start producing the list last month, and on Monday, the agency issued its first public report.

It lists 206 cases in which undocumented immigrants were arrested on local charges and were set to be released from jails. ICE officials requested that the local authorities hold onto those people for up to 48 hoursa request known as a "detainer"but the requests were denied.

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Making the aberrated the new normal

They don’t want to see people identified by their birth sex. They would rather that people "identify" as whatever genderand I understand there are supposed to be about 40you feel you belong to. You can say you are whoever you think you are. And oddly enough, I’m somewhat sympathetic to that. I think you should be able to call yourself what you want, do what you want, say what you want, this is all fine. And let people judge you by how you identify yourself. Say that you’re a hermaphrodite dinosaur who was born on Mars, if you want. I don’t care; it’s your problem. But these PC types want to legislate that people have to treat the psychologically aberrated as if they were normal. They want laws and punishments governing what you can and can’t do and say and even feel. They want to force you to respect, and pay for, the fantasies of a minority. And change, overturn, actually, the whole social culture of the country. It’s a very disturbing trend. It’s likely to end in violence.

I believe I first heard the term "political correctness" used on a Saturday Night Live show back in about 1980. And I thought it was just a jokelike most of the things on SNL. But it turned out to be a real thing, and it’s been building momentum, for at least the last two generations. Where is it going to end? I’m not sure, but it’s just one more termite eating away at the foundations of Western civilization itself. People that go along with this stuff aren’t just crazy. They’re actually evil. They’re the same types who rallied around Robespierre during the French revolution, Lenin during the Russian Revolution, Hitler in ‘30s Germany, and Mao in China. It’s a certain personality type.

The fact that the average American still puts up with this kind of nonsense and treats it with respect is a bad sign. PC values are continually inculcated into kids that go off to collegewhich, incidentally, is another idiotic mistake that most people make for both economic and philosophical reasons. It’s a real cause for pessimism.

Source
 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The lady is a scamp

A recent series of articles about Palestinian-American political activist Linda Sarsour startled many in feminist and Jewish circles, me being one of them. In these articles, Sarsour states that feminism and Zionism are incompatible.

Sarsour said, "There is no country in this world that is immune to violating human rights. You can’t be a feminist in the United States and stand up for the rights of the American woman and then say that you don’t want to stand up for the rights of Palestinian women in Palestine."

I don’t know that I am even the authority to speak to this on an international level, but here’s what I have on a personal level. Feelings.

Why am I upset?

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The end of California's bullet train?

A few, short weeks ago, I reported that President Trump’s Secretary of Transportation halted the transfer of millions of dollars in funding for the California bullet train, our governor’s legacy project.

However, those monies were not the sole source of funding. The main source of ongoing support for the train is the income from the cap-and-trade auctions that California sponsors.

It appears as if the all the air (carbon dioxide included) has gone out of the cap-and-trade market:

Just hours before the report was issued, results of the state’s latest cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse gas emission allowances the only source of ongoing bullet train funds were released and once again it produced almost no money.

…A $9.95 billion bond issue that voters approved nine years ago was on hold for years because of lawsuits, and project managers have searched, so far in vain, for other sources of money for the $64 billion project.

In desperation, Brown and the Legislature gave the project 25 percent of cap-and-trade auction proceeds, and officials have been weighing a construction loan secured by auction money. However, recent auctions have generated very scant returns, and without a reliable revenue stream, securing a loan would be impossible.

More here
 

Who voted for Trump?

Assorted facts on Trump's vote share in the 2016 election...

Homosexuals 20.7%

Muslims 28.4%

Hispanics 32.2%

Hindus 34%

Asian women 33.7%

Asian men 40.7%

White protestants 68%

Married white protestants 70.6%

Mormons 71.6%

Single jewish men 35.9%

Single jewish women 11%

Married jewish men 58.8%

Married jewish women 42.9%

 

Boycott at Starbucks

Howard Schultz, the current CEO of Starbucks, is weeks away from stepping down from his role at the giant coffee chain next month.

The move was announced in December 2016, and Schultz will remain at the company as executive chairman. Kevin Johnson, Starbucks' chief operating officer, will take on the role as CEO on April 3, 2017.

Earlier this year, Schultz made a vow to hire thousands refugees in response to President Donald Trump's first travel ban. Trump supporters have called for a boycott of the chain since January 29, when Schultz vowed to hire 10,000 refugees over five years.

Afterwards, consumer perception levels took a hit as measured by YouGov BrandIndex's Buzz score, falling by two-thirds between January 29 and February 13.

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Fake news, fake sports, fake science

Unless you have been in a cave the last year, you are well aware of the fact that most of what we call news is just made up. Any story with "sources say" in it is fictional. The writer simply conjured the sources and most likely the things they would have said, if they existed. Maybe someone did say something like what was reported, but the so-called reporter was not there to hear it. At best, they got it from the gossip chain or from some C-level talking head, cooling his heels in a cable television green room.

The worst for this is sports reporting, as they no longer even pretend to do be doing real reporting. They just make stuff up and slap the words "according to sources" on it and it is posted as news. Trade rumors are where you see this all the time. Since the people doing the deals for the sports clubs are not talking about their business on camera, the fake news reporters are free to just make up what they want, so they do. It’s all pitched as "rumors" so when it never happens, the fake sports reporters can "report" on that.

Even fake news needs content, which is where fake science comes in. There’s nothing better for a fake news story than a quote from a fake scientist, especially when the topic is human health. Turn on the local fake newscast and there’s always at least one fake story on health or diet. Many of these shows now have a recurring health segment where one of the bubble heads puts on their serious face and talks into the camera about some new threat to your health, usually your diet. It's all fake.

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If social workers think you are guilty...

It's a parent's worst nightmarea stranger breaks into the home and sexually assaults a young child. But in Colorado Springs in 1996, things actually got much worse from there for Brad Pitman, the father of a 4-year-old girl hurt so badly she required five surgeries, per the Gazette. Through a convoluted series of events, suspicion was cast on Pitman; though he was never arrested, he ended up being denied parental rights to his daughter and then-6-month-old son. But in 2014, a federal grant supplied the resources needed to add old physical fingerprint cards from around the country to a national databaseand Pitman's name was cleared as a result. A handprint found on a kitchen window after the girl's rape matched up with Joel Market, a man who lived less than a mile away at the time, reports KDVR.

"I might not have went to jail, but I've been in prison for 20 years," says Pitman, 44, whose family still wants nothing to do with him. The crime took place in June 1996, two weeks after Pitman and his wife had separated. The girl's screams woke her mother, who called Pitman; he rushed over. In an interview, the girl described the perpetrator as a stranger. But in February 1997, she said her dad "hurted me." Cops determined there was no way Pitman could have assaulted his daughter and driven to his apartment in time to answer his wife's call, but social workers insisted that he participate in a "sex offender evaluation" and "take responsibility for the ... abuse." He said he wouldn't, and the El Paso County Department of Human Services had his parental rights terminated. Market was sentenced to 24 years for the crime in January.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Some blacks and latinos are against sanctuary cities

The small town of Cudahy, near Los Angeles, got a big surprise at a recent town hall meeting.

Officials were hammered by supporters of President Donald Trump for declaring itself a sanctuary city more than a year ago.

But what many might not have expected about these particular Trump supporters is they don’t fit the demographic, let alone the narrative, liberals and the mainstream media want people to believe about those who don’t support sanctuary cities.

Among the videos from the event that are going viral are a black woman and a Latino man who castigated the town for its sanctuary policy.

"Sanctuary cities are racist," the woman said.

"The black community has literally been destroyed by racist illegal immigration," she said. "When my people do a crime we get three strikes. Your people do a crime they get amnesty."

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Snowflake test

You’d better put on your safety pin. This article is sure to trigger some of you. Why? Because … gasp … you’re about to get some real talk from someone who makes hiring and firing decisions every single day.

Companies across the country do their best to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about them. They want EVERYONE to want to work for them. They want to create this grand illusion that they’re more magical than Disney. They sell the experience that they do things like donate socks to kittens and give each other foot rubs and all of that weird crap to make people happy. Their oxygen is your desire to work for them. Then, of course, you get there and realize it’s miserable actually working for the company.

But here’s the thing.

I don’t want most people to work for my company. No, seriously. Most people suck.

WHAT. DID. HE. JUST. SAY????

I said most people suck. Really. Not just professionally. Just as people. They are whiny, needy, entitled little brats.

Not just millennials. Their parents. Their grandparents. Their kids. Lots of people.

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Deported illegals not wanted in their home countries

Approximately 30 countries are refusing to accept the deportations of illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes in the U.S., according to Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar.

While these countries are refusing to accept the deportations of these criminals, the U.S. government is still issuing visas and student visas to citizens of those countries, according to the Texan congressman. There is already a law on the books which allows the U.S. to hold visas from a country that is not taking back its criminals, but according to Cuellar, the U.S. is not enforcing it.

"We’re not enforcing it, which is amazing. So now my intent is to go back to our committee on appropriations and affect their funding until they do that," Cuellar told Sharyl Attkisson, host of Full Measure, in an interview.

Cuellar, a Democratic member of the House Committee on Appropriations, told Attkisson that the Supreme Court has ruled that illegal immigrants arrested for criminal activity can only be held for a certain period of time before they must be released.

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Immigrant households

Almost a quarter of the nation’s public school students live in immigrant households, raising questions about America’s long-term ability to continue its tradition of assimilation, according to a study released Thursday.

The report, published by the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, indicates that 23 percent of public school students live in a household with at least one immigrant parent. That is more than double the percentage in 1990 and up from 7 percent in 1980.

Because immigrants are not evenly distributed throughout the country, however, some schools have significantly higher percentages of immigrant children. The report breaks down the data by census units called public use microdata areas (PUMA), which are roughly between 100,000 and 200,000 residents and generally respect county or city boundaries. The average number of public school students in each PUMA is about 20.600.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Acid attacks in Britain

Acid attacks in Britain’s capital are soaring to new heights, new data reveals.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Mirror shows that between 2011 and 2016, London had nearly 1,500 cases of the devastating crime, which burns the skin and leaves victims cowering from their injuries.

In the long term, the scale of the injuries are so scarring that victims can often suffer serious psychological damage as a result of the attacks.

Last year alone, there were 431 such acid attacks a rise of 170 cases from the year prior.

The figures match a general UK trend, in which the crime rate for such attacks has risen by 50% since 2005.

Globally, roughly 80% of victims tend to women. Attacks are often carried out by vengeful men who have had their marriage proposals or sexual advances rebuffed.

However, acid attack charities in the UK estimate that British victims are predominantly men, at roughly 71% of victims.

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Mexico still trying to keep open border

The head of Mexico’s governors’ association will lodge a complaint with the Organization of American States Saturday accusing President Trump of human rights violations, demanding the OAS help ensure protections for migrants facing raids or deportation from the U.S.

The Washington Times goes on to report that the complaint will be delivered personally, and that the governors also issued a lot of palaver about the economic importance of the border, meaning, open border on the northside (just try to get past a Mexican immigration officer without papers going south) as somehow necessary for both countries.

It's the ultimate hypocrisy, starting with the appeal to the Organization of American States. That august body is the one that, despite its democratic charter, has allowed Venezuela to become a hellhole as bad as Cuba, except even less competently run, with a massive crime and corruption wave to boot. In the OAS' eyes, the place is still a "democracy."

More here

Quote of the day


Cuba, tourist hellhole

President Obama made a big deal about the resumption of U.S. carrier travel to Cuba. JetBlue in particular got Obama's accolades. After all, when the president of the United States sets the example for Cuba tourist travel, showing how it's all tropical music, classic cars, Cuban cigars, mojitos, and dancing like Beyoncé out on the Malecón, who could resist?

Today, JetBlue has cut back its flights "to better match demand." And in the last few days, it has been joined by two other airliners, Silver and Frontier, fleeing for their lives like Marielitos. They all said demand isn't what they expected.

This is a fancy way of saying what's really going on: Cuba is a tourist hellhole. The service stinks, the amenities are gross, the place is thick with thieves and woman-gropers, the cost is high, and the alternatives are out there. In fact, the Caribbean is loaded with pleasant, accommodating destinations well worth a tourist's dollar for a vacation. Taking a vacation at a communist military-run resort really falls more into the Gulag category.

How is this for tourist hell? Observers noticed Cuban customs officials rummaging through tourist luggage and taking what they wanted. When the tourists complained, they were thrown in jail. Some tourist operation they've got there. In fact, the place is a security risk because no professional or U.S. or U.S.-standard officials are involved. Mangy street dogs are what pass for security dogs in Havana. You can expect cockroaches in your breakfast cereal and tourist bulletin boards such as this one say bring your own toilet paper.

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Swedish gang wars

Despite Sweden's attempts to whitewash its image at home and abroad with calming statistics that seem to disprove the recent years' crime wave, even Prime Minister Stefan Löfven had to admit that the country had a problem with organized crime. In blighted ghetto areas, children start their criminal careers early.

Swedish national broadcaster SVT interviewed two teenagers from Stockholm, who at age 15 and 17 had already become deeply rooted in organized crime. In Stockholm, which saw a dramatic surge of shootings in recent weeks, at least twelve gang wars were reportedly going on.

The boys, who chose to conceal their identity from both police and other local criminals, admitted to having committed crimes when they were as young as 11. Today, they are providing their neighborhood with drugs and stolen goods. By their own admission, they are not part of a criminal gang, but rather a loose-knit group, which nevertheless accepts "help" from similar-minded "not gangs."

A 2016 report by the National Council for Crime Prevention (Bra) named Criminal Networks and Groupings indicated that such loosely-knit groups often end-up in shootings in connection with unfinished business and turf wars. According to the same report, wide-spread drug-use makes things even worse.

"Today, you cannot go without weapons. Either you have a gun hidden in the bushes or in the woods somewhere, for as soon as something happens, weapons are drawn," one of the teenage criminals told SVT, acknowledging that he did not see any way out. "No, I'm not thinking forward. I think I will die when I'm 20 years old," the 15-year-old told SVT.

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Inequality and economics

There was only one dissent from Wednesday's rate-raising decision by the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee, and it came from Neel Kashkari. The former aerospace engineer and onetime Republican candidate for governor of California is now president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. You could see the seeds of Kashkari's dissent being sown back in January, when he gave a speech to the Minneapolis Urban League that decried the yawning gaps between blacks and whites in income, unemployment, test scores, and high school graduation rates.

The question that Kashkari posed in that speech is what the Federal Reserve could do about it. "Now the traditional view among central bankers is that there’s not much we can do about economic opportunity and inclusive growth," he said in the speech. "The reason is that monetary policy, our primary policy tool, is a blunt instrument. We have to set one interest rate for the whole nation, for all of our people and businesses. We can’t target it to certain sectors, industries, regions, communities, or ethnic groups." His answer was to create an Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute, housed at the Minneapolis Fed, that would "conduct and promote research that will increase economic opportunity and inclusive growth for all Americans and help the Federal Reserve achieve its maximum employment mandate."

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Greece is in continual crisis

The Greek people have just about reached the limits of their strength. The economic situation is tragic. Illegal immigration is out of control, criminality increases day by day. The political system is steeped in corruption and the media have stopped being the communication channel between citizens and the political system. The Greek media are functioning as the praetorian guard of the euro; they favor the massive admission of Muslim populations into Greece and they fiercely attack every voice that disagrees with them.

Bishop Ambrossios is urging people to revolt. He characterizes the illegal Muslim immigrants entering the country as conquerors. He also says that Christianity is under attack in Greece, while Islam is being daily reinforced. He says that Greek Orthodox churches are being desecrated, robbed and burned by Muslim immigrants while the state just sits by and looks on.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras does not fully control his political party; his biggest problem is his cabinet.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Odds and ends

Nancy Pelosi to Speaker Ryan on Republican health care bill....The American people and Members have a right to know the full impact of this legislation before any vote in Committee or by the whole House. (She's forgotten her earlier statement that "you have to pass it to know what's in it.")

Oilprice.com has announced discovery of 1.2 billion barrels of oil on Alaska’s North Slope, which they expect will revitalise Alaska’s oil industry.

The Obama administration spent $36 million trying to keep government records secret during its final year.

Pipeline protesters cost taxpayers $1.1 million to clean up garbage left behind.

For the 12th year in a row California has been ranked as the worst state for business.

U.S. Muslims make up only one percent of the population, but file 40% of workplace discrimination complaints

Hispanic student calls upon white people to pay for her spring break.

Petition to remove Congress members' health care subsidies gets nearly 500,000 signatures so far.

Sen. McCain....Rand Paul works for Putin. (he's off his meds again)

Comment of the day...."This move to criminalize and persecute all manner of truth under the guise of prosecuting hate speech is the last gasp of political correctness. It is a move of desperation, and the more they crack down, the more people they will awaken to the evilness of the left and the elites."

President Trump wants to end the Appalachian Regional Commission, a creation of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson that was meant to end the poverty and misery of a region that lagged behind the rest of the nation in income, education, health care, and transportation. After 50-plus years, the area still lags behind the rest of the nation in income, education, health care, and transportation.

More than $20 trillion has been spent on the War on Poverty since Johnson's declaration back in the 60's. Poverty seems to be winning.

People moving from New York outnumber arrivals by nearly two-to-one, a report says. New Jersey and Illinois are even worse.

Canada's border authorities detained more Mexicans in the first 67 days of 2017 than they did annually in any of the three previous years, according to statistics obtained by Reuters.
~
 

Send the refugees to Hawaii

There is more judicial tyranny to warn you about. The latest - Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii - he blocked President Trump's temporary immigration ban.

The president called Judge Watson's decision unprecedented judicial overreach.

Critics say it's a ban on Muslims. But that's not true. It's a ban on refugees from countries infested with jihadists.

What in the name of Don Ho is wrong with these people?

Judge Watson's decision puts all of us in grave danger.

More here
 

Muslim students bully teachers in Australia

Teachers at a primary school in Sydney, Australia have been threatened with beheading and other violence from young Islamic students, prompting one of them to quit her job.

Students as young as those in Year 5, according to the Daily Telegraph, are making the violent threats and pressuring others to read the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney.

Documents given to the newspaper allege that three staff members have taken a leave of absence owing to stress, received counselling and been awarded compensation after bullying from Islamic students.

One female teacher reportedly quit her job after it got too much for her. She claims she quit after receiving death threats to her family from her year 5 and 6 students, with some saying they would behead her.

The teacher also said she made numerous complaints back in 2014 about the extraordinary behavior in the class. For example, she said, she was abused by students after she stopped them from hanging a Syrian flag in the classroom.

In another example, she claimed she was pushed into a corner by students who began marching around her chanting the Koran.

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Flour war in Venezuela

Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad "economic war" aimed at destabilizing the country.

In a statement, the government said the bakers had been selling underweight bread and were using price-regulated flour to illegally make specialty items, like sweet rolls and croissants.

The government said bakeries are only allowed to produce French bread and white loaves, or pan canilla, with government-imported flour. However, in a tweet on Thursday, price control czar William Contreras said only 90 percent of baked goods had to be price-controlled products.

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Don't mess with Texas

The indoctrination to love and live Texas begins at a young age in the Lone Star State. Beginning in early childhood, Texans learn to "Remember the Alamo," chant the seemingly infinite lyrics to "Deep in the Heart of Texas," and recite the pledge of allegiance to the Texas flagafter, of course, pledging to the American flag. Most people quickly learn to "hook 'em," "gig 'em" "sic 'em" or put their "guns up" based on family loyalties to their respective Texas universities.

But "Don’t mess with Texas" is a phrase that inspires Texans of all regions and all alma maters and incites mass derision from the rest of the country. Although this mark of Texas swagger is used to elicit Texas pride in a myriad of situations, it was, and continues to be, a relatively trashy call to arms. Literally. The slogan was developed by the Texas Department of Transportation for an anti-littering campaign.

"It’s not just a prideful remark, trying to pick a fight," says Jeff Austin III, commissioner on the Texas Transportation Commission. "It’s don’t litter in Texas, don’t mess up Texas. We want to keep it a beautiful state. Texas is our home."

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Monkey trap

A "monkey trap" is sprung when a victim is so reluctant to surrender a temporary gain it fixes him in place allowing his enemies to inflict long term destruction. He can escape by letting go but it never occurs to him; and so ‘the monkey is trapped not by anything physical, but by an idea, unable to see that a principle that served him well has become lethal’. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, has been death on political monkeys. Its first victim was the Democratic Party which having hailed it as a step on the road to a single payer health care system, were so blinded to its financial and practical faults that they let it drag them to oblivion in the 2014 midterm and 2016 presidential elections rather than letting it go.

But its lethal career may not be over. Now it is Obamacare repeal-and-replace process which threatens to trap the administration of Donald Trump. If single-payer is the Holy Grail of liberal health policy, its conservative equivalent is a competitive health insurance market. In keeping with his election promises DJT must find some way to swap out the government-centric Obamacare engine with a completely different motor while keeping the car running -- that is to say without disrupting the public's health coverage. The public expects the administration to do radical things but without causing severe inconvenience. To do this Paul Ryan has devised a three step plan.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Chicago is the next Detroit

Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business attacked the Chicago-is-the-next-Detroit hypothesis last fall by citing property values in the larger city as "evidence" that the Chicago dystopians are wrong.

That's a fatuous argument.

Property values stay high and keep climbing until, well, they don't.

Fleshing that thought out a bit, a number of factors figure in to property values. Supply and demand is the most prominent. What if there are too many sellers and not enough buyers? That's the case right now with luxury homes in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood on the North Side.

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Mattis believes climate change is real

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves.

In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.

"Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today," Mattis said in written answers to questions posed after the public hearing by Democratic members of the committee. "It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning."

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Crime in Germany

Migrants in Germany have committed 142,500 crimes in just six months, police figures have revealed

This was the equivalent of 780 crimes a day an increase of nearly 40 percent over 2015, according to data from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office

It comes as German chancellor Angela Merkel remains under pressure over her open-door policy on immigration amid concerns over how to integrate 900,000 newcomers who arrived last year.

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Michelle's reign of terror coming to an end

The lobbying group for more than 54,000 school cafeteria workers is calling on the Trump administration to dump former first lady Michelle Obama's "healthy" school lunch program, citing its unpopularity with children.

The School Nutrition Association believes is has a sympathetic ear in the White House and is looking to offer tastier alternatives to Mrs. Obama's fare.

The reason is simple: Studies show that public school students aren't eating what cafeterias are serving, turning many operations into money-losers. While the school districts can opt out, doing so results in federal subsidy cuts for those programs.

"Overly prescriptive regulations have resulted in unintended consequences, including reduced student lunch participation, higher costs and food waste. Federal nutrition standards should be modified to help school menu planners manage these challenges and prepare nutritious meals that appeal to diverse student tastes," a new policy paper from the association said.

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Mexico has xenophobic past

Mexico has recently been on the receiving end of an ugly wave of xenophobia from some American politicians and members of the public.

In response, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, standing in solidarity with his country’s diaspora, made it a point to personally receive 135 deported Mexican nationals on February 7. Mr. Peña Nieto declared at the airport, "You are not alone, do not feel abandoned. The doors to this, your house, will always be open."

The president’s gesture was likely designed to portray Mexico as a principled and moral country. If this was indeed Mr. Peña Nieto’s goal, then perhaps it is an opportune time for Mexico to confront its own historical responsibility for xenophobic and exclusionary policies.

Almost a century ago, Mexico experienced a dramatic rise in xenophobia against immigrants from China, resulting in exclusionary policies and outright violence. Given the fraught political climate today, it is long past time for the Mexican government to apologize to the Chinese-Mexican community.

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