Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October surprise?

There are several material investigations underway, most notably that of Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz and special counsel Robert Mueller.

Horowitz is looking into alleged FISA abuses on the part of the FBI, DOJ, and others, while Mueller is continuing the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Regardless of one’s opinion of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the May 17, 2017, appointment of Mueller accomplished one very significant thing: It shifted control of the Russia investigation from the FBI and then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to Mueller.

Rosenstein’s apparent concerns about the involvement of the FBI and McCabe appear to have been borne out through subsequent events.

On July 27, 2017, Horowitz notified Mueller of the discovery of thousands of text messages sent between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok, which immediately resulted in Strzok being removed from the special counsel investigation. Horowitz had discovered the texts sometime earlier, on or before July 14, 2017.

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Should we believe whatever a woman says about sexual assault?

Many luminaries have urged us to believe whatever a woman says about her experience in sexual encounters. This view is widely held by feminists, the #metoo advocates, the Obama Department of Education, and many university administrators and bureaucrats, especially the university "equity, inclusion, and diversity" officers.

Should we believe whatever a woman says? Perhaps we should start with a complementary question: Should we believe whatever a man says? Or, more specifically, should we believe whatever a man says about his sexual experiences? Both men and women belong to the same species, homo sapiens sapiens. This is Latin for "wise man." But do we think that the "wise man" should always be believed?

It is commonplace for TV detectives and doctors to say that "everyone lies." The New York Times bestseller, and Economist Book of the Year for 2017, entitled Everyone Lies, argues that "Everybody lies, to friends, lovers, doctors, pollsters and to themselves."

I think that most people would agree that men’s stories of sexual conquest have to be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, the more someone speaks about his conquests, the less confidence we should have in their reality. I have over the years heard stories about sexual conquests and did not believe them.

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Nobody got indicted in Obama's administration

The usurper-in-chief Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah commented during a Democratic campaign event in Milwaukee about the number of indictments handed down to President Trump’s former advisers. During his comments, Obama uttered, "Nobody in my administration got indicted."

Well, now, why is that Mr. Obama? Could it be that your entire administration, including the Department of Justice, was so corrupt that you all were covering for each other? Could it be that your administration was so criminal that you wouldn’t turn over documents to the people’s representatives that they asked for so that they could conduct a proper investigation of you and those in your administration’s crimes? Was it because the criminals in your administration pleaded the Fifth instead of honestly testifying regarding their crimes?

Why yes, yes, that probably is the issue.

"They promised to take on corruption. Remember that?" Obama asked the crowd at Milwaukee’s North Division High School Friday.

"They have gone to Washington and just plundered away," he added. "In Washington, they have racked up enough indictments to field a football team. Nobody in my administration got indicted."

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Quote of the day

Who contributed to the national debt?

Donald Trump claimed on the campaign trail that, as president, he would completely eliminate the then$19 trillion in national debt. Let’s just say he’s not exactly on track.

Since he made that promise in early 2016, the debt has ballooned to $21.7 trillion, and his tax cuts are expected to drive that number higher.

But before you jump on the Trump-bashing bandwagon, it might be helpful to see how we got in this debt-riddled position.

Cost-estimating website crunched numbers from the U.S. Treasury as well as various data points uncovered by the Balance to come up with this colorful, and very telling, history of America’s debt problem....

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Voter suppression in Georgia?

In a startling Twitter thread by Erick Erickson of The Resurgent, massive voter fraud has been ousted and exposed in Georgia. A review by the Secretary of State (and even an independent investigator) set a massive lie straight about "pending" voters filed by Democrat Stacey Abrams.

As detailed by Erickson, the Associated Press ran a story on October 9th concerning "pending" voters, claiming that 53,000 people had been placed on a "pending voter" file in Georgia because of "exact match" law. "Exact match" requires voters to match their drivers license to their voter registration information.

In the story published by the Associated Press, hyphenated or changed last names were called out as an issue of voter suppression (among other things) by Stacey Abrams, the Democrat candidate for governorship of Georgia.

Abrams asserted that Republican rival Brian Kemp attempted to suppress minority and women voters via the supposed 53,000 "pending" voters.

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Caravan to the voting booths?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Threats to kill Trump

President Donald Trump has been threatened with death at least 184 times on Twitter, and 179 of those murder threats are still posted on Twitter’s website as of press time Monday evening.

The threats range from simple commands for others to kill Trump, to stated desires to kill President Trump, to more detailed fantasies and plans to kill the commander in chief.

A database compiled by Document the Left is ongoing, with more tweets appearing in real time as they are unearthed.

"someone go kill Donald Trump he’s currently on 5th ave," reads one of the tweets. At least one of the tweets was posted in response to a 2015 Business Insider graphic featuring crosshairs on President Trump’s head.

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Swetnick's support

Julie Swetnick, the woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct but then contradicted her sworn statement, lost the confidence of many. But she still draws support from her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, and from certain pro-choice activist groups, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

Recall that Swetnick was confused about the timing of Kavanaugh's nomination, changed her mind about whether she specifically saw Kavanaugh spiking girls' drinks, borrowed key phrases from the more plausible allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford, and offered witnesses who were deceased, unavailable, or had no idea what she was talking about. The Senate Judiciary Committee has referred her and Avenatti to the Justice Department, and wants the pair investigated for potentially making false statements.

Swetnick's accusation, simply put, is not credible. It may never be definitively shown as falseand she shouldn't be subjected to formal reprisals unless it isbut the information we have severely undercuts the story. To believe Swetnick now is to disregard the facts and embrace blind faith.

I have often criticized fourth-wave feminism for doing just this: asserting that we must always and automatically believe self-professed victims of sexual assault. In response, critics sometimes tell me that the activists do not literally mean to believe all survivorsthey only want society to show women respect, hear them out, and not dismiss their claims

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Dying robotics companies

Rethink Robotics shuttered its doors and closed for good on October 4, 2018. For many casual observers the collapse of a much-celebrated company, founded by preeminent artificial intelligence (AI) researcher and minor celebrity Rodney Brooks was a surprise. To others it’s just the latest indication of the trouble in robotics land. According to the company, Rethink Robotics was forced to shut its doors when it couldn’t find additional funding, and in a final attempt to sell the company and/or its assets it couldn’t find a buyer.

Rethink Robotics wasn’t the only robotics company forced to close its doors in the past year. Mayfield Robotics, developers of the social robot Kuri, closed down a few months before Rethink in August 2018, despite just making its debut one year earlier at CES 2017. Prior to that, Jibo, makers of a personal robotics device also shut down even after having raised over $70 Million. These companies shut down despite collectively raising several hundred million dollars in funding and developing their products over many years.

This is particularly perplexing since many AI companies are flush with cash and raising money at increasingly eye-watering levels and valuations. How could it be that these robotics firms, run and operated by some of the most celebrated people in the AI industry could be failing when seemingly less-compelling solutions such as process automation tools and facial recognition applications are raising billions of dollars? Is robotics really that hard or is there something else going on in the industry?

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Caravans are being paid for by Leftists

Vice President Mike Pence has spoken out on the caravan of thousands of migrants currently making it's way to the US Southern Border to say it is being "organized by leftist organizations" and "funded from outside forces."

Speaking during an interview with Fox News about the ticking timebomb of asylum seekers pushing north through Mexico, Pence cited intel that the US has received from abroad, namely from the president of Honduras, that the caravan is being heavily funded to politicize the crisis.

As the caravan - consisting mostly of people from Central America - heads for the US through Mexico, President Donald Trump has ordered the deployment of additional troops to help the 2,000 National Guard personnel already present to defend the United States from invasion by preventing the migrants from illegally crossing the border.

When the caravan arrived at Mexico's southern border with Guatemala, Mexican forces were overwhelmed and thousands flooded into the country unchecked.

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Mind of a Democrat

Monday, October 29, 2018

Toxic femininity

Sometimes I wish I could gather up all the women I’ve ever known, or encountered, and conduct this informal poll:

Raise your hand if you’ve ever behaved badly and blamed it on your period.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever acted helpless in the face of an unpleasant-if-not-physically-demanding task like dealing with a wild animal that’s gotten inside the house.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever coerced a man into sex even though he didn’t seem to really want it.

Raise your hand if you’ve thought you were at liberty to do this coercing because men "always want it" and should feel lucky any time they get it.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever threatened to harm yourself if a man breaks up with you or doesn’t want to see you anymore.

Raise your hand if you’ve been physically abusive with a male partner, knowing you’d be unlikely to face any legal consequences.

Raise your hand if you’ve lied about being on birth control, or faked a pregnancy scare, to see how a man would respond.

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UK police have become irrelevant

UK police risk becoming "irrelevant" to many people as they fail to investigate huge numbers of reports and bring a "shockingly-low number of charges" for some crimes, despite the number of reported crimes rising steeply, MPs have said.

The report, by Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee, argues there could be dire consequences for public safety if problems in the police are not addressed.

New data gathered by the committee reveals that recorded crime has surged by 32 percent in three years including steep rises in robbery, theft, and vehicle crime but charges and summons are down 26 percent.

It says that "in all neighbourhoods, without local engagement, policing is at risk of becoming irrelevant to most people, particularly in the context of low rates of investigation for many crimes".

The police in England and Wales are said to be "struggling to cope" thanks to out-dated technology, falling numbers of officers, and "fragmented" leadership.

More here

Quote of the day

Solzhenitsyn's reflections

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images) Solzhenitsyn’s reflections on his critics

In the winter of 1978 an invitation to give a commencement speech at Harvard suddenly arrived. Of course I could have declined, as I had done in 1975, and with hundreds of other invitations. But Harvard is a place of significance, and my speech would be heard throughout America. I had not given a speech in two years, and my temperament was pushing me once again to speak out. So I accepted the invitation.

When I began to prepare my speech in the spring, I found that, beyond my aversion to eternal repetition, I could not and did not want to return to previous directions or hit previous notes. For many years in the USSR, and for four years now in the West, I had kept slashing and hacking away at Communism, but in these last years I had also seen in the West much that was alarmingly dangerous, and here I preferred to talk about that. Giving expression to the new observations that had accumulated within me, I built my speech around Western matters, about the weaknesses of the West.

Unlike the case with my other speeches, I wrote this speech out, and Irina Ilovaiskaya [Solzhenitsyn’s secretary] translated it into English. Knowing the West very well, she was extremely worried and upset, and tried to persuade me to soften my ideas and words. I refused. After the speech had been translated and printed out, in tears she told Alya [Solzhenitsyn’s wife]: "He will not be forgiven for this!"

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Differing birth canals

The shape of a mother’s birth canal is a tug-of-war between two opposing evolutionary forces: It needs to be wide enough to allow our big-brained babies to pass through, yet narrow enough to allow women to walk efficiently. At least that’s been the common thinking. But a new study reveals birth canals come in a variety of shapes in women around the world.

The idea that women’s pelvises have been shaped by an evolutionary compromisealso known as the "obstetrical dilemma"has been influential in anthropology, says Jonathan Wells, an expert in human evolution at University College London who was not involved with the work. But recent studies have challenged it, and the new findings add to that research, he says. If the obstetric dilemma held true, one would expect birth canals around the world to be relatively standardized, Wells says. But that’s not what researchers found.

Lia Betti, a biological anthropologist at the University of Roehampton in London and evolutionary ecologist Andrea Manica of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, measured the pelvises of 348 female human skeletons from 24 different parts of the world. The birth canals were far from carbon copies of each other. Those of women from sub-Saharan Africa and some Asian populations were overall narrow from side to side and deep from front to back, whereas Native American women had wider canals. Native Americans and Europeans also had the most oval-shaped upper canals, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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Influencing the economy

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Odds and ends

Trump's Houston Rally on Monday night had over 100,000 requesting tickets but the arena only holds 19,000. Meanwhile in Reno, Obama had a rally with around 2000 (or less) people.

Congressman Joaquin Castro claimed without evidence that White House adviser Jared Kushner may have prompted the Saudi government to assassinate journalist Jamal Khashoggi by including his name on an "enemies list" provided to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Four of every 10 people who will move to Nevada this year will be from California, and most of those arriving in Reno and its suburbs are from the San Francisco Bay Area.

It's been nearly three years since an army of professional spies was unleashed on Trump - and he's still the President.

Good question...."If the FBI and DOJ were not institutionally corrupt wouldn’t we have seen multiple whistle-blowers this year?"

Headline....Muslim Jamal Khashoggi - the nephew of a billionaire Middle East arms dealer - was not a 'journalist' - he was a friend of Osama Bin Laden which is why the treasonous, anti-American mainstream media loves him.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is reportedly considering entering a likely crowded field of Democratic candidates for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

No new detainee has been sent to Guantanamo Bay since the Bush administration.

Guantanamo today has 40 prisoners, five cleared during the Obama administration. But a combination of military bureaucracy and their refusal to cooperate have left them there, at an annual cost of $11.1 million per prisoner based on 2015 operating costs.

85% of Americans oppose race-based college admissions.

To escape from the disaster of (Muslim) multiculturalism, numerous Western European "refugees" are moving to Hungary, a safe haven virtually free of Muslim migrants. The Dutch, the Belgians, the Germans, and now the French have 'fled from Islam' to Hungary to set up colonies in the Christian majority country of Viktor Orban.

Headline....Tesla employees describe Elon Musk as polarizing, wasteful micromanager.

Of France’s 18-24-year-olds, 72 percent are contemplating leaving France, reveals a Yougov study.

Headline....Ethanol fuel is a boondoggle that benefits Big Agra, corn farmers and refiners, and no one else....

October 24, 2016....Hillary was so far ahead in the polls, she didn’t even think about Donald Trump anymore.

What the Left hates about Trump is precisely what it hates about America.

Wall Street Journal on Trump....He’s the average American in exaggerated formblunt, simple, willing to fight, mistrustful of intellectuals.

Joke of the day....Trump says he needs to nominate Hillary to the Supreme Court so that the media will investigate her as much as they did to Kavanaugh.

Jorge Ramos of Univision....Mexican authorities are Trump's Police for attempting to stop the migrants from reaching the U.S.

Best euphemism of the day....House of Negotiable Affection

Headline....Texas Democrat Party sends voter registration applications to dead people - one woman died 29 years ago.

Unemployment is at a 49-year low of 3.7%. Two years ago it was 4.9%.

Sen. Kamala Harris visited Iowa for a possible presidential run. About 70 people turned out to hear her speak.

Most of the migrants in the caravan from Central America heading toward the U.S. will most likely end their trek in Mexico.

More than half of Republicans in a new American Barometer poll say they support "Medicare for all," also known as a single-payer health-care system.

Former President Obama lashed out at Donald Trump on Monday at a University of Nevada, Las Vegas rally, calling the President a "tin-pot" dictator while attempting to take credit for the economic progress made under Trump, reports BuzzFeed.

Obama referred to himself 92 times in 38 minutes at the Nevada rally.

The number of school children in the U.K. caught with potentially lethal weapons which were confiscated by police officers has doubled in just three years, according to police data. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been heavily criticized for the massive rise in violent crime in the British capital, but worryingly, the victims are children, some as young as nine.

Actor James Woods....brushed off the bomb sent to the Clintons as "an obvious political stunt. No one cares enough about the Clintons to send them a bomb. Who gives a rat’s ass about the Clintons enough to do this?"

Fidel Castro viewed drugs as "a very important weapon against the United States, because drugs demoralise people and undermine society," according to Cuban DGI intelligence defector Major Florentino Aspillaga Lombard.

Prince Harry, on his royal tour of Australia, asked some indigenous kids what they called the local kangaroos. A 12-year old girl said, "We don't give them names, we eat them."

Roy Rogers, the King of the Cowboys, real name was Leonard Franklin Slye.

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York’s 16th Congressional District...."It's illegal to stop illegals coming into the U.S."

Former Vice President Al Gore...."The language that the IPCC report on global warming used in presenting it was torqued up a little bit, appropriately how [else] do they get the attention of policy-makers around the world?"

Pope Francis has compared populists to Hitler and said the ‘sowing of hate’ was to blame for the Second World War.

Fake news. Fake bombs.

John Brennan was more concerned with how terrorism soiled the reputation of Islam in the United States than he was about keeping it safe, according to explosive revelations in a new book from intelligence insiders and highly secret government documents.

Nike stock is down from $85 to $73 since the Kaepernick ad came out.

Mark Levin....Every President in the history of this country was a Nationalist except Barack Hussein Obama.

Claim of the day....Genetically she (Sen. Elizabeth Warren) is about 100 times more Neanderthal than Indian.

Arizona senate race....Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has had a rough couple of weeks. Late yesterday her campaign hit another bump in the road when the Arizona State Troopers Association did an about-face and withdrew their endorsement.

David Mamet.…‘in order for democrats, liberals, progressives et al to continue their illogical belief systems they have to pretend not to know a lot of things’… By pretending ‘not to know’ there is no guilt, no actual connection to conscience. Denial of truth allows easier trespass.

Sinead O'Connor has converted to Islam. New name, too. Shuhada Davitt.

Frank Gore, running back for the Miami Dolphins, has rushed for over 1000 yards nine (9) times in his 14 year career.

A recent survey found that 5% of those polled say that individual acts of political violence are "often" or "very often" justified. And 9% say it's "sometimes" OK. Another 21% say individual acts of political violence are "rarely" OK, and 64% say never.

Trump to MAGA hat-wearing Black conservatives...."You guys have the most guts of anyone in America."

According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office....more than half of Americans receive more money in various types of government transfer payments (Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security) than they pay in federal taxes.

The last time a president had such a hot economy heading into the congressional elections in his first term was President Carter in 1978, who was sitting on a 4.1 percent growth rate. Trump took office with growth at 1.8 percent his first quarter, then saw it quickly heat up. He’s since posted quarterly growth of 3 percent, 2.8 percent, 2.3 percent, 2.2 percent, 4.2 percent and now 3.5 percent.

Remember when Megyn Kelly led the presidential debate by asking Trump if he had the temperament to be president, saying, "you’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and disgusting animals.’" (haha)

Texas law enforcement officials have arrested four women for allegedly targeting elderly voters in the 2016 elections in a "voter fraud ring" that was funded by a Democratic Party leader, according to court documents filed this week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.


California's legislation factory

The California Legislature’s 20172018 session just ended with an ocean of new laws inflicted upon its citizens. It’s actually difficult to discover how many new laws were passed. There were about 2,100 bills passed and signed by the governor, but many of them were bills supporting things like National Arbor Day or the Ritchie Valens Memorial Highway or Cinco de Mayo Week or Persian New Year. If you look up the legislative agenda there are about 50 pages of passed bills with 50 items on each page, of which about 7 pages of bills were vetoed by Governor Brown. I can’t tell you how many of them are "real" laws, but in the last session there were about 900 new laws. My guess is that there were more than 900 this session.

Does anyone seriously believe that these laws will materially improve our lives? What about the 900 passed last year? Or the 800 the year before that? What they will do is make life more complicated for Californians and drive businesses out of state.

The crown jewel of California’s Progressive-feminist policy this year was Senate Bill 826 which mandates publicly-held corporations to put women on their boards. It was passed and signed by Governor Jerry Brown. California now proudly leads the nation in identity politics. The law requires a minimum of one woman board member by 2019, and by 2020, two for boards with five members and three with boards of six or more.

More here

Let China win gracefully

China has more to lose in the Trade War game, and, therefore, it will have no choice but to concede to Washington’s demands. But it must lose the trade war gracefully, as was the case with the US-Japan trade war back in the 1980s.

"When China entered the war, the question became ‘who will lose more’," says Renee Mu, a currency analyst for DailyFX. "That's why China tried hard to avoid the war, until the first US tariff move on $34 billion Chinese goods went into effect on July 6. "

Once, the ‘first shot" of the trade war was fired, it set off three scenarios, according to Mu.

A ‘win-win’ scenario: the US and China could reach a consensus on major trade disputes, and the impact to both economies would be limited. This has failed.

A ‘lose-lose more’ scenario: disputes could stay within the area of trade, but the US and China remain unable to reach a deal to avoid major tariffs. A ‘lose more-lose more’ scenario: political issues could get involved in trade disputes and expand the scope of the disputes. Like the intensification of South China Sea disputes.

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Lifelong Republicans

Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has touted the fact that he is supported by his own mother. He has falsely claimed that she was a "lifelong Republican" before his candidacy. But as CNN points out, his mother has actually "voted in Democratic primaries in 15 of the last 17 primary elections she has participated" in, including Democratic presidential primaries "in 2000, 2008, 2012, and 2016." She also made campaign contributions to Democratic politicians such as Barack Obama and Congressional candidate Veronica Escobar.

This doesn’t surprise me. The words lifelong Republican are commonly used by sneaky liberals to peddle a liberal message, by giving it conservative camouflage. When you read a letter to the editor that begins with the words, "As a lifelong Republican," you know that what’s coming next is a liberal message, such as an appeal to support a Democrat in an election. The author of such a letter is seldom actually a "lifelong Republican," and a simple Google search often reveals their participation in liberal advocacy groups and the Democratic Party. Letters editors for left-leaning newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times must be aware of this, given the large number of such letters by bogus "lifelong Republicans" they have printed over the years, and the fact that comments beneath such letters on newspaper web sites occasionally point out the dishonesty of such letter writers.

NewsBusters has long tracked the phenomenon of "lifelong Republicans" who actually are Democrats or who have long endorsed Democratic politicians. In 2008, it gave the example of an ersatz "lifelong Republican," who claimed to be "switching parties to head a Sportsmen for Obama group." But he was already a Democrat, having been "mentioned by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader in 2003 as a possible Democratic candidate for Congress" and having "endorsed Democrat Senator Tim Johnson for reelection just a year earlier."

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We hate political correctness!

The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose political correctness. A recent survey of 8,000 Americans reveals that people of all ages, races, and educational levels oppose it by lopsided margins. None of the demographic categories presumed to be aligned with it, or to fall within its protective embrace, actually support it. Three out of 4 black people, 2 out of 3 people with postgraduate degrees, and 78 percent of people under the age of 24 all regard political correctness as a problem. While 79 percent of white people oppose political correctness, it is Asians (82 percent), Hispanics (87 percent), and American Indians (88 percent) who are most likely to be resistant to it.

The findings are as encouraging as they are distressing. They are encouraging because they affirm something that no one with a glancing familiarity with the character of the American public has had any cause to doubt. People long habituated to freedom of conscience and speech instinctively dislike attempts to place restrictions on them. A regime of policing speech and thought for adherence to an unprincipled, logically incoherent, and ever-changing array of progressive nostrums will always be unpopular everywhere, but especially so here.

The study demonstrates that the opponents of political correctness are not primarily the followers of Donald Trump. Nor are they in any significant sense the alt-right, a ragbag of at most a few thousand malcontents in a country of 350 million, who have been falsely magnified into a ludicrous simulacrum of a real social force. They are not predominantly the remnants of a dying white America brainwashed by Fox News. They are not a pitiable collection of angry white malesruddy, be-Dockered, pale, stale, males left behind by the timesclinging to their dwindling privileges in an ever more vibrant and diverse America.

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ObamaCare ain't so bad after all

The Kenyatta National Hospital is east Africa’s biggest medical institution, home to more than a dozen donor-funded projects with international partners a "Center of Excellence," says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The hospital’s website proudly proclaims its motto "We Listen ... We Care" along with photos of smiling doctors, a vaccination campaign and staffers holding aloft a gold trophy at an awards ceremony.

But there are no pictures of Robert Wanyonyi, shot and paralyzed in a robbery more than a year ago. Kenyatta will not allow him to leave the hospital because he cannot pay his bill of nearly 4 million Kenyan shillings ($39,570). He is trapped in his fourth-floor bed, unable to go to India, where he believes doctors might help him.

At Kenyatta National Hospital and at an astonishing number of other hospitals around the world, if you don’t pay up, you don’t go home.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

The birth of identity politics

The phrase "grievance studies" recently has entered public discourse thanks to a scandal by three liberal academics who set out to expose the vacuous nature of critical theory, post-colonial studies, queer theory and other sub-disciplines within the social sciences. Mathematician James Lindsay, writer Helen Pluckrose, and Portland State philosophy professor Peter Boghossian spent a year writing fake papers, which they then pitched to journals specializing in these fields. Seven passed peer review and were accepted for publication. As various commentators (including several here at Quillette) have noted, the hoax has shown what many have long suspectedthat ivory-tower academics who study in fashionable fields inhabit ideological domains far removed from those of ordinary people.

But while observers have correctly focused on the lessons that may be inferred about high academic culture in the United States, it should be noted that the drifts of the liberal arts into postmodern gibberish has not been an isolated phenomenon. The trend also has its cheerleaders in government, even in Donald Trump’s very own Washington D.C. backyard.

Few Americans have heard of the Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations (NAC). But when it comes to policymaking, the NAC effectively acts as a support network for grievance studies. Along with bureaucrats in other agencies, and various non-governmental "stakeholder" groups on the left, the NAC has for decades controlled the policy by which demographic datathe seedbed of identity politicsis collected and interpreted.

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The official price of Gold

People often whisper conspiratorially about the age-old U.S. practice of fixing the gold price at $42.22. "They're just trying to keep gold down," is a complaint I've heard more than a few times. But in this post I'll show that the monetary authorities have sound reasons for keeping the price of gold at $42.22.

Below, I've charted out the history of the U.S.'s official gold price. As you can see, the $42.22 price has been maintained since 1973, an odd-seeming state of affairs given that gold is currently hovering at around $1225. The practice of setting an archaic price for the yellow metal looks even stranger when we consider that central banks all over the world have adopted the habit of using the market price of gold to value their gold reserves.

To understand what is at stake, let's start with a few stylized facts about U.S. monetary gold:
Central banks that keep gold on their balance sheet tend to hold physical gold. But the U.S. Federal Reserve doesn't actually hold physical metal. Instead, it owns gold certificates.

The Fed registers the value of these gold certificates on its books at $11 billion (see screenshot below). It has used this same number for decades.

These certificates have been issued to the Fed by the U.S. Treasury, a different branch of the Federal government. (To learn about why and when the Treasury issued them, read my old posts on the topic)

To "back" these certificates, the Treasury in turn holds physical gold. According to the September 30, 2018 Status Report of U.S. Government Gold Reserve, the U.S. Treasury currently records 261,498,926 fine troy ounces of gold in reserves.

The Fed's Treasury gold certificates are quite odd. They do not provide the Fed with a claim on a fixed weight of gold held at the Treasury. Rather, they provide the Fed with a claim on $11 billion dollars worth of gold. It would be as if your coat check tag constituted a claim on $40 worth of coat, rather than the coat itself.

How many ounces of gold does the $11 billion claim entitle the Fed to? That depends on the price of gold that is used in the calculation.

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Food stamps for terrorists

Millions of taxpayers dollars trafficked through food stamp fraud went to terrorists who funded their activities at home and abroad, according to an explosive report from the Government Accountability Institute (GAI).

The report from GAI, where Breitbart News Senior-Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer serves as president, highlighted several instances where money obtained through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits fraud went to fund acts of terrorism, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.

Although this method of using food stamp fraud money for terrorism has been around since the 1980s, it gained notoriety when New York City detectives testified before a Senate subcommittee about the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

Detectives told the committee that $125 million in food stamp fraud had "unwittingly" gone to terrorist activities.

One of the masterminds of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, Mahmud Abouhalima, funded the attacks by operating a million-dollar food stamp fraud scheme out of a video store in Brooklyn.

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Progressive wolves

If the New Democratic Party was smart, it would do what the old Democratic Party did long ago: always sound centrist if not conservative in the last weeks of a campaign, get elected, then revert to form and pursue a left-wing agenda for a year or twoand then repeat the chameleon cycle every two to four years.

But although many Democrats in Trump states still dance the old bipartisan two-step, lots of blinkered progressive wolves don’t even bother to put on the sheep’s clothing.

Evidently, the new progressive and radical Democratic Party is far more honestor perhaps far more hubristicthan in the past. So what now looks and sounds like a wolf is a wolf. Democrats have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from 2016. Or rather, they still believe it is 2008 all over again, with a host of wannabe Obamas on the 2020 horizon, all appealing to identity politics, Maenad feminism, and neo-socialism. The hipster theory is that 30 percent of the present electorate will always vote en masse for unapologetic progressives, and that bloc number, due to changing demography and persuasive street theatrics, soon will grow to 50 percent of all voters.

More to the point, the strategy of hating Trump 24/7 and fueling the 90 percent negative media coverage of the president had seemed to be a winning handgiven that Trump has usually below 45 percent approval in most polls, and pundits promised a huge blue wave neutering what certainly would be Trump’s last two years in the White House.

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Globalist projections for the future are suspect

Globalization isn't going quite according to plan. The French president, in defiance of political correctness openly worries African immigration could swamp the whole of Europe and "aid" is powerless to stop it. "The challenge of Africa is completely different, it is ... civilizational ... failing states, complex democratic transitions, the demographic transition ... in some countries today seven or eight children [are] born to each woman," Emmanuel Macron said. It is one more indication, as Ross Douthat of the New York Times notes, that Western leaders are starting to worry that their assumptions about the global world could prove drastically wrong.
African birthrates haven’t slowed as fast as Western experts once expected ... by century’s end two in five human beings could be African ... but ... over the same period, Europe’s population is likely to drop by about 100 million. ... the experience of recent refugee crises has demonstrated to European leaders both how easily populations can move northward, and how much harder assimilation may be than they once hoped.
Projections that underpinned the liberal policies of population control, climate change, open borders, soft power are now suspect. Open borders advocates wait with bated breath as central American refugee "caravans" headed for the United States in a replay of the migrant crisis that changed the political landscape Europe. Even a giant column from Honduras wound towards the US border yet another U.S.-bound caravan was taking shape in El Salvador. "As the Trump administration makes preparations to combat the 6,500-member Honduran migrant caravan making its way toward the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is also tracking a new caravan taking shape this time from El Salvador."

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Was the CIA involved in Spygate?

Just weeks after the FBI opened a dramatic counterintelligence probe into Donald Trump and Russia, one of his presidential campaign advisers emphatically told an undercover bureau source there was no election collusion occurring because such activity would be treasonous.

George Papadopoulos says his spontaneous admission to London-based professor Stefan Halper occurred in mid-September 2016 well before FBI agents and the Obama Justice Department sought a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) warrant to collect Trump campaign communications in the final days before the election.

"He was there to probe me on the behest of somebody else," Papadopoulos told me in an interview this week, recalling the Halper meeting. "He said something along the lines of, ‘Oh, it’s great that Russia is helping you and your campaign, right George?’"

Papadopoulos said Halper also suggested the Trump campaign was involved in the hacking and release of Hillary Clinton’s emails that summer. "I think I told him something along the lines of, ‘I have no idea what the hell you are talking about. What you are talking about is treason. And I have nothing to do with that, so stop bothering me about it,’" Papadopoulos recalled.

The former campaign aide is set to testify behind closed doors Thursday before two House panels.

Sources who saw the FISA warrant and its three renewals tell me there is no mention of Papadopoulos’s denial, an omission of exculpatory evidence that GOP critics in Congress are likely to cite as having misled the court.

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It runs in the family

When kids choose a profession, they tend to follow in their parents’ footsteps: Doctors’ children often become doctors, lawyers produce lawyers, and plumbers beget plumbers. So, after 15 years of covering crime and criminal justice for The New York Times, I was fascinated by studiesconducted in cities across the United States and in London, England, with near-identical resultsshowing that crime, too, can run in families. In the most famous study, researchers followed 411 boys from South London from 1961 to 2001 and found that half of the convicted kids were accounted for by 6 percent of all families; two-thirds of them came from 10 percent of the families.

This intergenerational transmission of violence was first documented in the 1940s when a husband-and-wife team at Harvard Law School found that two-thirds of boys in the Boston area sent by a court to a reformatory had a father who had been arrested; 45 percent also had a mother who had been arrested. And, in 2007, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics concluded that half of the roughly 800,000 parents behind bars have a close relative who has previously been incarcerated.

Yet, despite the abundance of evidence showing the role of family in crime, criminologists and policymakers have largely neglected this factoras the University of Maryland criminologist John Laub told me, it’s because any suggestion of a possible biological or genetic basis for crime could be misconstrued as racism. Instead, researchers have looked at other well-known risk causes like poverty, deviant peers at school, drugs, and gangs. Of course, these are real issues. But, a child’s life begins at home with the family even before the neighborhood, friends, or classmates can lead them astray.

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Mueller is interfering with election, and obstructing justice

As November 6 approaches, news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is waiting until after the election to reveal the conclusions from his investigation belie a deeper, more disturbing point. Although Mueller’s decision is allegedly predicated on a desire to avoid even the appearance of impacting the vote, according to Justice Department policy and tradition the truth is Mueller already has interfered in the election.

Every shaky indictment, every illegal leak, and every sensational "breaking news!" bit of media speculation continues his interference in the election. All of these affect the media’s daily coverage of the story, which is overwhelmingly biased against the president and Republicans generally.

Casting aside all pretense of journalistic objectivity, the ethically conflicted "newsrooms" of the major legacy networks are hoping that Mueller will intervene in the election by dropping some kind of legal bombshell on the Trump family, inner circle, or administration in the run up to the vote.

Citing the Mueller probe, the only platform most Democrats are running on is one of investigation and impeachment of Trump, and several openly stateas factthat Trump has committed treason by "colluding" with Putin. The lack of evidence or even a believable motive on the part of either Trump or Putin does not bother them. This is just spun as "all the more reason to keep investigating." Being against Trump and convinced he is guilty is all they’ve got.

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White privilege tedium

It’s not a coincidence that many of the loudest critics decrying white privilege are . . . privileged whites.

"I’m a white woman. . . . And my job is to shut other white people down when they want to interrupt. My job is to shut other white people down when they want to say, ‘Oh no I’m not prejudiced, I’m a Democrat, I’m accepting.’"
Sally Boynton Brown, erstwhile candidate to head the Democratic National Committee

"These white men, old by the way, are not protecting women. They’re protecting a man who is probably guilty."
Joy Behar, cohost,
The View

"Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins? . . . Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men."
Sarah Jeong, newly appointed editorial board member, the
New York Times

Why are current monotonous slogans like "white privilege" and "old white men" finally losing their currency?

Who exactly is "white" in a multiracial, intermarried, and integrated society? How do we determine who is a purported victim of racial bias relative degrees of nonwhite skin color, DNA badges, an ethnicized last name, or nomenclature with two or three accent marks?

The reason that Arab-, Greek-, or Italian-Americans are more likely to be branded or to self-identify as "white" than Brazilian-, Argentinian, Spanish-, or Mexican-Americans doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with appearance or their DNA or their ancestors’ or their own historical experience in America. It has everything to do with the perversities of the devolving diversity industry in which claims to victimization bring greater careerist advantage or at least psychological satisfaction.

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The evil that Facebook and Google can do

The new documentary The Creepy Line explores how the Masters of the Universe in Silicon Valley can utilize their platforms to suppress speech and undermine democracy a topic of vital importance for elections in 2018, 2020, and beyond.

The Creepy Line is a new feature-length documentary that explores how Silicon Valley tech companies can use their vast influence to crack down on speech and undermine democracy. The film focuses specifically on Facebook and Google, and analyzes exactly what these companies do once they have unlimited access to user’s data. The film uses first-hand accounts, scientific experiments, and detailed analysis to explore the risks of allowing these two tech giants free reign over the personal information of millions of people.

The title of the documentary is lifted directly from the words of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, when during an interview in 2010 he explained Google’s code of conduct: "The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it."

The new feature-length documentary is directed by M.A. Taylor and features interviews with prominent figures such as Dr. Jordan Peterson, Dr. Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and Peter Schweizer, President of the Government Accountability Institute and author of Clinton Cash.

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I've never been much of a 👌 user, both in real life and in emoji. So when 👌 popped up as a suggested emoji when I was texting a friend last week, I was surprised and frankly, a little startled. My discomfort with 👌 had nothing to do with the emoji itself, and more to do with how a once innocuous hand sign is now being spread by white supremacists as a symbol of white power.

While the OK hand sign began to have associations with Trump supporters as early as 2015, its perception as a hate symbol has grown over the past two years to the extent that when Zina Bash, a clerk of Brett Kavanaugh's, appeared to make an OK sign with her hands during the judge's confirmation hearing last month, interpretations that Bash was making a white power gesture went viral on the internet.

According to Brad Kim, head of Know Your Meme, the hand sign now has multiple connotations in addition to its original meaning of "OK." There are those that employ it as a dog-whistle for alt-right affiliations and there are those that use it primarily for its shock value and to troll liberals. Although the OK hand sign hasn't been taken over by alt-right groups to the degree of, say, Pepe, growing association with white supremacists has prompted Emojipedia, one of the leading online resources on emojis, to recently publish an article declaring that the symbol and its emoji counterpart are not white power symbols.

Underlying Emojipedia's declaration is a sense of urgency and unease regarding the appropriation of a once relatively harmless sign. While emojis have never existed in a political vacuum, as more hand gestures are becoming increasingly politicized, so are the usage of their emojis. Should certain emojis, like 👌, therefore, now be avoided to ward off any possible association with groups such as the alt-right, or should we still insist on using them to prevent these symbols from being entirely subsumed by hate groups?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Democrats hate housewives

Just as Democrats try to woo suburban moms ahead of next month’s election, along comes Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to remind us how much the Left hates us.

Sinema is running against her Republican House colleague, Rep. Martha McSally, for the open seat vacated by retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. The 42-year-old unmarried bisexual atheist lawyer with a Ph.D. in Justice Studies has some interesting views on life, as you might imagine.

She once wrote that capitalism poses a danger to Americans; she was an anti-war activist in the early 2000sone of her protest groups distributed flyers portraying U.S. soldiers as skeletons with automatic rifles; she summoned witches to one anti-war stunt; and she mocks her own (adopted) home state as a "meth lab of democracy" whose residents are "crazy."

Not exactly a winning campaign message when you’re running in Arizona.

But it’s her 2006 profane comments ridiculing stay-at-home moms that now pose a major problem for her party, and could very well cost her the election. Then-state representative Sinema questioned the feminist cred of women who don’t work outside the home and instead chose to care for their families. "These women who act like staying at home, leeching off their husbands or boyfriends, and just cashing the checks is some sort of feminism because they’re choosing to live that life," Sinema said during an interview with a Scottsdale magazine. "That’s bullshit. I mean, what the f are we really talking about here?"

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The guy who wanted Sharia

The Washington Post is indignant that "hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a whispering campaign against Jamal Khashoggi," supposedly in order to "protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident journalist’s alleged murder by operatives of Saudi Arabia."

The Post hits these "hardliners" for highlighting Khashoggi’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and claims that "while Khashoggi was once sympathetic to Islamist movements, he moved toward a more liberal, secular point of view."

In reality, Khashoggi was the real hardliner, supporting jihad violence and Sharia right up to the time of his murder -- even in his recent Post columns. This raises questions about why the paper hired him as a columnist in the first place.

As recently as August 28, 2018, Khashoggi wrote in the Post:

The United States’s aversion to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is more apparent in the current Trump administration, is the root of a predicament across the entire Arab world. The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes.

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Rich ghost town

These days, walking through parts of Manhattan feels like occupying two worlds at the same time. In a theoretical universe, you are standing in the nation’s capital of business, commerce, and culture. In the physical universe, the stores are closed, the lights are off, and the windows are plastered with for-lease signs. Long stretches of famous thoroughfareslike Bleecker Street in the West Village and Fifth Avenue in the East 40sare filled with vacant storefronts. Their dark windows serve as daytime mirrors for rich pedestrians. It’s like the actualization of a Yogi Berra joke: Nobody shops there anymoreit’s too desirable.

A rich ghost town sounds like a capitalist paradox. So what the heck is going on? Behind the darkened windows, there’s a deeper story about money and land, with implications for the future of cities and the rest of the United States.

Let’s start with the data. Separate surveys by Douglas Elliman, a real-estate company, and Morgan Stanley determined that at least 20 percent of Manhattan’s street retail is vacant or about to become vacant. (The city government's estimate is lower.) The number of retail workers in Manhattan has fallen for three straight years by more than 10,000. That sector has lost more jobs since 2014, during a period of strong and steady economic growth, than during the Great Recession.

There are at least three interlinked causes.....

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Differences in men and women become more pronounced as basic needs are provided

Imagine an egalitarian society that treats women and men with equal respect, where both sexes are afforded the same opportunities, and the economy is strong.

What would happen to gender differences in this utopia? Would they dissolve?

The answer, according to a new study, is a resounding no.

The findings, published Thursday in Science, suggest that on the contrary, gender differences across six key personality traits altruism, trust, risk, patience, and positive and negative reciprocity increase in richer and more gender-equal societies. Meanwhile, in societies that are poorer and less egalitarian, these gender differences shrink.

"Fulfilling basic needs is gender neutral," said Johannes Hermle, a graduate student in economics at UC Berkeley who worked on the study. However, once those basic needs like food, shelter and good health are met and people are free to follow their own ambitions, the differences between men and women become more pronounced, he said.

The new work is based on data collected by the Gallup World Poll in 2012.

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Special Ops using hackable handheld devices

U.S. special operators and other troops have been using advanced war-fighting applications for hand-held devices that contain software weaknesses that render them vulnerable to hacking by hostile actors, a non-public U.S. Navy Inspector General investigation found earlier this year.

The mapping applications at issue are known by their acronyms KILSWITCH and APASS and have been widely disseminated and used in training and combat among special operators and other forces across the military for several years, beginning with the Navy and Marine Corps in approximately 2012.

The apps are used to accelerate precision targeting and facilitate situational awareness and data-sharing between ground forces and overhead aircraft.

Navy leadership, along with top Pentagon officials, were alerted to the security problems in the Spring of 2017 but continued to allow frontline troops from multiple military branches, including special operators, to use them without issuing sufficient warnings or attempting to pull the applications back from use.

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Black Knight satellite

Here follows one of the most interesting and complex stories of Space Conspiracy in existence. It’s the story of the Black Knight satellite, and so much more. We’re about to go from a misreported news item from 1960, to theoretical science and radio transmission, to the writings of Philip K. Dick, but there’s much ground to cover in between.

It begins in the beginning, sort of.

In March of 1960, Time magazine published a story in their hallowed rag, detailing the discovery of what ultimately became known as the Black Knight satellite. As the story goes, three weeks prior to publication, analysts working for the US ‘Dark Fence’ radar program had detected an object orbiting above the continental United States. It was labelled a ‘dark satellite’, in that it seemed to be a man-made object in a near-Earth orbit, but wasn’t transmitting any detectable signals.

The Dark Fence program’s purpose was to monitor known satellite objects, whether American or Russian, or otherwise, and to identify new objects, so as to stay abreast of Soviet spy satellites and other space-military operations that might have been undertaken over US airspace. This, of course, was at the very beginning of the global Space Race barely two years after the launch of Sputnik I and at the height of the Cold War, and the political climate around the world was focused on military secrecy and keeping up with the Russians.

What was strange about this ‘dark satellite’, was that it was apparently neither American nor Russian, or at least it didn’t conform to any known American or Russian satellite at the time. It was also in a ‘polar’ orbit, meaning that it passed over or near both the north and south poles once per revolution, which was reported to be impossible at the time.

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Border security plan

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Russian hybrid warfare

In 2014 Russia-backed separatists used a blend of digital and traditional fighting during their takeover of Crimea, and the Pentagon took note.

As the Russians blitzed the contested eastern region of Ukraine with cyberattacks, electromagnetic jamming and unmanned aerial systems, the U.S. military closely monitored the battle tactics, according to officials speaking Oct. 8 at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting.

What Pentagon officials observed sparked change.

The events in Ukraine helped the U.S. military become more "threat informed in how we develop our future capabilities," Maj. Gen. Garrett Yee told reporters while speaking about electronic and cyber warfare.

How the Russians embraced hybrid warfare showed just how effective overlapping these tactics could be.

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Happy Birthday, Karl

New York University is hosting a two-week celebration of Karl Marx’s May 5 birthday Oct. 17-28.

NYU Skirball, formally known as the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, will host a two-week celebration of the communist philosopher in commemoration of his 200th birthday.

The birthday bash, titled "On Your Marx," will feature a number of performances and events, including a "dance party," a professor-led lecture on "racial capitalism," and a performance highlighting socialism.

Admission to these events will be free, and students will be instructed to "pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth," according to the NYU Skirball. Attendees will receive a note featuring the cost of every facet of production and can then decide upon the production’s value, representing its demand, a process that the event description suggests will help artists learn how to earn money.

This structure is based on Marx's philosophy encompassed in a quote featured on the event website: "The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money."

NYU held the premiere event, titled "P Project" on Wednesday. Audience members were given cash if they participated in performances with Ivo Dimchev, a Bulgarian-born performing artist.

"P Project (2012) is an escalating, interactive performance where actual cash fuels participation based on several P words, such as Piano, Pray, Pussy, Poetry, Poppers, and so on," the description reads. "The People will be offered several opportunities to Participate in the P Project, for which they be [sic] Paid quite well."

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Why we should hate hate crimes

A popular football chant of my youth went ‘If you all hate Scousers/Cockneys/Scummers/Gas-heads/Add hate figures to taste, Clap your hands’. Sadly, it seems such light-hearted expressions of loathing have no place in contemporary society.

The mission creep of Britain’s hate-crime laws mean it may soon be illegal to hate anybody else at all, whether at football matches or in your own head. Even if you show your feelings through silent jazz hands rather than aggressive clapping.

The Home Office has asked the Law Commission to undertake a review which, reports the Guardian, ‘will look at whether there are any gaps in the hate-crime legislation’, and propose measures to fill them in with even more legal cement. The original plan, following a fuss led by politically loathsome Labour MP Stella Creasy, was to make misogyny prejudice against women a hate crime, so that police could send wolf-whistlers to the dog house.

Now, however, it is reported that the review will also consider whether ‘hostility to men and elderly people could be hate crimes’ (BBC). Hostility towards adherents of the ‘goth subculture’ might also be added to the list of hate crimes. Which would make it illegal to hate somebody not only for having black skin, but also for wearing black eyeliner.

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How to defeat global warming, according to left wing lunatic

Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Friday at a campaign event that the United States' blueprint for beating global warming needs to be the same as the blueprint the U.S. used for defeating Nazi Germany in the 1940s.

"So we talk about existential threats, the last time we had a really major existential threat to this country was around World War II," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And so we've been here before and we have a blueprint of doing this before."

"None of these things are new ideas," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "What we had was an existential threat in the context of a war. We had a direct existential threat with another nation, this time it was Nazi Germany, and axis, who explicitly made the United States as an enemy, as an enemy."

"And what we did was that we chose to mobilize our entire economy and industrialized our entire economy and we put hundreds of thousands if not millions of people to work in defending our shores and defending this country," she stated. "We have to do the same thing in order to get us to 100% renewable energy, and that's just the truth of it."

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Fertility rates still falling

As 2017 drew to a close, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) urged Americans to have more children.

To keep the country great, he said, we're "going to need more people."

"I did my part," the father of three declared.

Ryan's remarks drew some eye rolls at the time, but as new data about the country's collapsing fertility rates has emerged, concern has deepened over what's causing the changes, whether it constitutes a crisis that will fundamentally change the demographic trajectory of the country and what should be done about it.

Women are now having fewer babies and at older ages than in the past three decades, a change that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported this year, and which was confirmed this week with the release of additional data that shows that the trend holds across races and for urban and rural areas.

The CDC said Wednesday that the total fertility rate a theoretical figure that estimates the number of births a woman will have in her lifetime fell by 18 percent from 2007 to 2017 in large metropolitan areas, 16 percent in smaller metro areas and 12 percent in rural areas.

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Sexual assaults by police

A police officer in Prince George's County, Maryland, was charged this week with raping a woman during a traffic stop. He's pleaded not guilty, but it's a disturbing headline -- even more disturbing when you consider there are hundreds more like him.

Yes, hundreds. According to research from Bowling Green State University, police officers in the US were charged with forcible rape 405 times between 2005 and 2013. That's an average of 45 a year. Forcible fondling was more common, with 636 instances.

Yet experts say those statistics are, by no means, comprehensive. Data on sexual assaults by police are almost nonexistent, they say.

"It's just not available at all," said Jonathan Blanks, a research associate with the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice. "You can only crowdsource this info."

The BGSU researchers compiled their list by documenting cases of sworn nonfederal law enforcement officers who have been arrested. But the 2016 federally funded paper, "Police Integrity Lost: A Study of Law Enforcement Officers Arrested," says the problem isn't limited to sexual assault.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Exceptions to "Believe All Women"

After facing mounting criticism over apparent hypocrisy within its ranks, the movement using the hashtag #BelieveAllWomen has come out with an extensive list of exceptions to its directive to always believe all women no matter what.

While Americans from both sides of the aisle largely agree that women's stories shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, the far left's insistence that everyone always believe all women has gotten some pushback. This list of exceptions is designed to clarify the left's position, according to spokespeople.

Included in the list are the following:
Bill Clinton's accusers
Potiphar's wife
Conservative women
Women who accuse Democratic candidates
Sarah Sanders
Any woman the left suddenly decides they don't like anymore
Nikki Haley
Dana Loesch
Women the Democrats no longer have a political need to exploit
Melania Trump
Cersei Baratheon
Any woman who argues for pro-life causes

The full list goes on for another 8,000 pages, explaining exactly which women the left doesn't believe while still proclaiming that everyone should "believe all women."

More here

Air superiority

The F-22 also won’t fly into the 2060s without upgrades. In the government’s 2018 fiscal year budget, the stealth plane will get $1 billion for this purpose, which could possibly include new radars, antennas and avionics to include displays, datalinks and cryptographic software.

Three years ago, four F-22 Raptors taking part in the second-wave of the U.S.-led coalition’s opening airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria dropped their bombs. It was the first time the stealthy fifth-generation fighters had ever engaged in combat. The coalition’s war planners also used the F-22s to leverage their low-observable profiles and far-reaching sensors while escorting non-stealthy fighters in case Syrian fighters or air-defense systems engaged.

Fortunately, the Syrian military held its fire.

Fast forward to today, and F-22 Raptors are still flying over Iraq and Syria and have shifted almost fully into that latter role, according to Air Force Magazine. "When we first got here, we were 95 percent precision strike. And now we’re probably 95 percent air superiority," Lt. Col. "Shell" a callsign of the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron told the magazine.

Air superiority is what Lockheed Martin and the Air Force designed the F-22 to do. But in practice over the Middle East, this mission normally means acting as a scout. Lt. Col. "Shell" elaborated to the magazine that the Raptors are in the air helping "deconflict" the airspace, and helping keep Russian and Syrian planes away from U.S. troops and the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of militias spearheaded by the majority-Kurdish People’s Protection Units.

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Quote of the day

Different cultures, different realities

I am an American who taught philosophy in several African universities from 1976 to 1988, and have lived since that time in South Africa. When I first came to Africa, I knew virtually nothing about the continent or its people, but I began learning quickly. I noticed, for example, that Africans rarely kept promises and saw no need to apologize when they broke them. It was as if they were unaware they had done anything that called for an apology.

It took many years for me to understand why Africans behaved this way but I think I can now explain this and other behavior that characterizes Africa. I believe that morality requires abstract thinking as does planning for the future and that a relative deficiency in abstract thinking may explain many things that are typically African.

What follow are not scientific findings. There could be alternative explanations for what I have observed, but my conclusions are drawn from more than 30 years of living among Africans.

My first inklings about what may be a deficiency in abstract thinking came from what I began to learn about African languages. In a conversation with students in Nigeria I asked how you would say that a coconut is about halfway up the tree in their local language. "You can’t say that," they explained. "All you can say is that it is ‘up’." "How about right at the top?" "Nope; just ‘up’." In other words, there appeared to be no way to express gradations.

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The exhausted majority

Every few years one research group or another produces a typology of the electorate. The researchers conduct thousands of interviews and identify the different clusters American voters fall into.

More in Common has just completed a large such typology. It’s one of the best I’ve seen because it understands that American politics is no longer about what health care plan you support. It’s about identity, psychology, moral foundations and the dynamics of tribal resentment.

The report, "Hidden Tribes", breaks Americans into seven groups, from left to right, with names like Traditional Liberals, Moderates, Politically Disengaged and so on. It won’t surprise you to learn that the most active groups are on the extremes Progressive Activists on the left (8 percent of Americans) and Devoted Conservatives on the right (6 percent).

These two groups are the richest of all the groups. They are the whitest of the groups. Their members have among the highest education levels, and they report high levels of personal security.

We sometimes think of this as a populist moment. But that’s not true. My first big takeaway from "Hidden Tribes" is that our political conflict is primarily a rich, white civil war. It’s between privileged progressives and privileged conservatives.

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Europe bringing back the draft

For many young Europeans, a post-high-school "gap year" has become a rite of passage. Instead of proceeding straight to work or college, hundreds of thousands of newly graduated high school students enjoy a year of travel to see the world and celebrate their newfound freedom.

But a growing number of those young men and women face a much different post-graduation interlude: military service.

After the Cold War, many European countries abolished conscription, considering it an expensive relic. But with Russia resurgent and tensions on the rise, mandatory military service is making a comeback across the continent. This year, Sweden drafted its first new class of conscripts since abolishing the draft in 2010. Lithuania has also reinstated conscription, and Norway began drafting women for the first time in 2016.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Italy, Romania and Germany have debated reintroducing some form of conscription in recent months. French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for the introduction of a national service program that would include a military option and last between one month and a year. And there are no signs that Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Cyprus, Greece, Austria or Switzerland will get rid of their conscription systems anytime soon.

"A key reason for the revival of the draft is a changing security situation in Europe, especially after the Russian annexation of Crimea four years ago," said Elisabeth Braw, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London. "But there's also an economic argument: It has been very hard to recruit for the armed forces, especially in northern European countries, where the economy is doing well."

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Do you see four or three?

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Odds and ends

DuckDuckGo, a competitor to Google's search engine, has achieved a new milestone by performing more than 30 million direct searches in a single day.

Obama's favorite swearword is (reportedly) m*th*rfuc*er.

Blogger Don Surber has noticed that Trump and McConnell seem to be working well together lately. "Remember, Trump’s book was titled 'The Art of the Deal.' McConnell’s memoir was called 'The Long Game.' More personally apt book titles are hard to imagine."

North Dakota is getting an early winter....17 inches of snow already.

President Trump praises Neil Armstrong...."There was no kneeling on the Moon."

Bill Maher says Political Correctness is why Democrats lose elections.

Democrats are nervous....Could election day disaster strike again in November?

Four of the five worst-run states all have one thing in common and it’s exactly what you think it is. That’s right, states in the worst fiscal condition according to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University are almost universally run by Democrats. The worst-run states are, in order starting from the bottom: Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Kentucky.

The five best-run states are, in order: Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Florida, and Oklahoma.

MSNBC national political correspondent Steve Kornacki on Friday listed the Latino vote as a "worry area" for Democrats in November. "If there’s one worry area for Democrats in terms of November, that’s it right there," Kornacki told a panel on HBO’s "Real Time With Bill Maher." "And I think one of the issues there is it’s almost more fundamental."

The EU believes that it is able to accommodate 3.8 billion more refugees and migrants.

President Trump is likely to face at least five new House investigations -- plus a likely impeachment probe -- if Democrats take the chamber in the fall elections and make Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaker.

General Kelly on Sen. Elizabeth Warren...."Impolite, insulting, and arrogant."

Headline....Trump snubs Feinstein, Mouthy Kamala Nominates conservative judges to liberal 9th Circuit

The original use of the term "skyscraper" applied to topgallant masts of a sailing ship which reached up to catch the highest breezes.

Have you noticed that the impeachment talk has pretty much dried up? And how much have we heard from Brennan, McCabe or Comey lately? Something's up and they know it. Now they are getting nervous. They are realizing that Trump is not as stupid as they thought.

Elizabeth Warren is now claiming to be around 1/1024 Native American.

Democrats....75 year-old Joe Biden leads 2020 Democrat presidential poll, 77 year-old Bernie Sanders in second place.

Instapundit, on the midterms...."All they had to do to win was not act crazy."

Congressman Adam Schiff says he will ruthlessly open 5 Trump investigations if Democrats take control of the House.

Kevin McCarthy warned in an interview yesterday that far-left billionaires George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer are pouring millions into Democratic committees this election cycle in a bid to "buy our government."

Trump has raised at least $106 million since January 2017, according to his campaign and federal filings.

New York City goes entire weekend with no shootings for first time in 25 years.

Federal judge tosses Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump on free-speech grounds and forces porn actress to pay his legal expenses. (haha)

The King Ranch near Kingsville is the largest ranch in Texas. It has 825,000 acres. The 2nd biggest ranch is the W. T. Waggoner Ranch near Wichita Falls. It has 535,000 acres.

An online petition drive is underway to get a Black Lives Matter flag flown on Eastern Illinois University’s campus in February during Black History Month.

Trump refers to Stormy Daniels as Horseface and Stormy says, Game On, Tiny.

"A strategic leak is when a highly placed government official leaks classified or privileged information to the media to obtain a specific politicized outcome."

A "report card" on the best and worst governors in the United States has named the two chief executives in neighboring statesWashington and Oregonas achieving the "worst scores."

According to the Daily Mail, crimes in South Africa include 56 murders a day, 110 rapes a day, and 45 carjackings a day.

Robert Mueller to release "core findings" in his Trump-Russia Report immediately after midterm elections.

Democrat priorities when they take Congress....Protect illegals, gun control, investigate Kavanaugh and Russia, impeach Trump, etc.

Netflix has 137 million subscribers. At $11 per month, that's $18 billion per year. Content costs are projected to be about $13 billion in 2018.

What did socialists use before candles?.......electricity.

"When you look at the rabid psychopaths that tried to destroy Kavanaugh and his family there wasn't a single Democrat with a shred of honesty, integrity, or goodness. They're all a bunch of satanic monsters."

Headline....Not one Democrat leader has spoken out against video depicting Melania as a stripper.

MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski called for President Trump to be ousted by his own administration Tuesday, declaring that he is ‘not well’ enough to be in charge of the country.

Lou Dobbs on the DOJ...."The rats are running the place."

Only 22 percent of Native Americans in the U.S. actually live on a reservation.

Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel...."Clinton Foundation Is Charity Fraud Of Epic Proportions"

"I keep reading that Trump is bringing Fascism to America, but it always seems to be Democrats wearing the Brown Shirts."

Rosie wants a coup....Rosie O’Donnell said on MSNBC Thursday that she wants to send the U.S. military to the White House to "get" President Donald Trump.

The same Nobel Prize winning economist who predicted the worldwide, permanent Trump recession and market crash (Paul Krugman) now says President Trump is destroying the climate.

According to a new study, nearly 40% of Americans think elections are unfair.

Headline....Politico warns snowflakes...Prepare to be disappointed by Mueller Report.

Michael Moore lament...."Donald Trump outsmarted everyone, Republicans will probably win both houses."

Military Times poll....Nearly half of all U.S. troops think major war is coming.

Donald Trump....#JobsNotMobs


False sexual assault reports

Should deliberately false reports of sexual assault be subject to the same legal penalties as false reports of other felonies? Right now, accusers who lie about sexual abuse are criminally liable for filing a false report and perjury, as well as civil sanctions for defamation, but legal consequences rarely occur.

The question was spotlighted by the accusations surrounding Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh. It was clear during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing: An accusation of sexual assault can devastate a man’s life, family and future. Those who reject the account of his main accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, don’t suggest bringing legal proceedings against her. A sincere report of sexual abuse should not be penalized for being confused or mistaken.

Jeffrey Catalan and Julie Swetnick are different stories; in the wake of Ford’s accusations, Catalan and Swetnick claimed to have witnessed sexual abuse by Kavanaugh; Catalan quickly recanted. But the chairman of the Senate Committee that presided over Kavanaugh’s hearing has asked for an official review of the claim as a possible crime. In a NBC interview Swetnick contradicted a sworn statement to the Committee, which had implicated Kavanaugh in gang rapes. Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz has called for Swetnick to be investigated and then prosecuted for perjury, if appropriate.

The debate on how to handle blatantly false accusations of sexual abuse has re-opened. Feminists argue that punishing any accuser chills the willingness of victims to come forward. Rule-of-law advocates counter that false accusations are not victimless crimes. In most cases a real person is named as an attacker and he or she confronts severe consequences. Genuine victims are also damaged by false allegations. Every lie casts a shadow of doubt over every future report of sexual assault. So legal disincentives should attach to the act of lying not merely to protect those falsely accused but also to encourage real victims to make reports.

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Princess Spreading Bull

Paul and Scott have joined in the general hilarity over Elizabeth Warren’s disclosure that she might be something like 1/1,000 Native American. (Then again, she might not be. There is so little Native American DNA in the database that several Latin American countries, including Mexico, are used as proxies. Warren may have a better claim to being Hispanic than Indian.) It turns out that Warren likely has less Native American blood than the average white American. Not to mention the wag who noted that she has more bourbon in her blood than Warren has Indian. But Warren doggedly sticks to the one-drop rule that her Democratic forbears promulgated in the antebellum South. Good for her!

Here’s the point: Warren’s defense of her claim to being Native American is good for America. Because if Warren is an Indian, then so are most of the rest of us. And most of us are also African-American or Hispanic. If everyone is an Indian, then no one is an Indian. This logic is fatal to the whole corrupt affirmative action enterprise.

Harvard Law School billed Elizabeth Warren as the first "woman of color" on its faculty. On the contrary, if Warren’s 1/1,000 Native American ancestry counts, the law school has probably had any number of "women of color," both before and after her. Most of us qualify.

Affirmative action is teetering on the brink. Trial of the Asian students’ race discrimination lawsuit against Harvard University commenced today, I believe. Harvard’s denial that it discriminates against Asian applicants is transparently false, yet the academic world has rallied around the university in what likely will prove to be a vain effort to uphold the discriminatory regime in which nearly all are complicit.

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