Saturday, December 31, 2016

Succinct

Have you noticed that so often it is after someone dies that we find out what a good person he or she was? That isn't the case with Thomas Sowell. He is alive and kickin' at 86, and, because he has ended his column at Creators Syndicate, he is now going to devote his energies to photography. He is much loved. The Atheist Conservative has a tribute, with 50 of his best quotes here.

What a mess!

The Atheist Conservative has an excellent post on the Iran deal here.

"Happy New Year indeed!"

Stephen Kruiser writes at American Spectator,
...The stunning thing here is that both President Obama and John Kerry truly believe that the Iran deal and their treatment of Israel are building a lasting legacy for them as great peacekeepers. This, of course, is the risk that is run whenever world leaders are surrounded by layers upon layers of sycophants. It is even worse when almost all media comprise several of those layers.

...President-elect Trump’s reaction to all of this indicates that the United States will soon return to doing more than paying lip service to our alliance with Israel.

Happy New Year indeed.

"Not much commonality with most of humanity."

Fred Reed writes,
Radical feminism is not just about women, or perhaps even mostly about women, but rather a package of far-left causes, usually including open borders, Islamophilia, affirmative action, gun control, socialism, unisex bathrooms, environmentalism, compulsory diversity, opposition to abortion, opposition to free speech (“hate speech”), hostility for white men, support for bigger government, intense focus on nonstandard sexuality, and using the schools as indoctrination centers.

Some of these things may be reasonable or even desirable, but how such a porridge can be called feminism is hard to imagine. It certainly is not the feminism of the suffragettes, of people who campaigned for various forms of equality. It has given way to neurotic anger looking for targets. It combines the vitriol associated with antisemitism with the intolerance of Scientology.

Sometimes feminism borders on psychosis, though on which side of the border is not always clear. “Psychosis” means “detachment from reality.” For example, years ago one radical feminist told me, “three-quarters of men want to hurt women.” She meant it, cold sober and not in the heat of argument. Another told me, “Sixty percent of men are misogynists.” This is loopy, around the bend, Haldol time. Among themselves men say with wry resignation that women are mildly crazy and have PMS, and women complain about the position of the toilet seat and why don’t men ever pick up after themselves. All true, but doesn’t approach hatred.

Invariably they describe as “women’s issues” things that are not. Abortion is a prime example. Check photos of any rally against abortion and you will see that a high proportion of the participants are women. An issue is not a women’s issue merely because some women favor it. Some women will favor socialism or compulsory military service, or longer hours for the library, but these are not women’s issues. They affect all.

Much of radical feminism evinces a profound dishonesty–though sometimes it may be simple confusion. Feminists paint opposition to abortion as hostility to women. Of course nobody opposes abortion for this reason. They oppose it because they think it morally wrong. Sane people may disagree on the notion, it isn’t misogyny.

...The dishonesty appears again in their attitude toward rape. Rape is packaged as a women’s issue, the implication being that men are unconcerned about sexual attacks on their mothers, wives, daughters, friends, and for that matter women in general. Oh sure. The fact is that a man’s usual response to hearing of rapes involves either rude surgery or a rope–but what do radical feminists know about men?

When there is conflict between concern for women and allegiance to leftist causes, the causes win. Feminists disapprove of rape, real or imagined, only when committed by groups they don’t like, such as white men. It has been infinitely documented that black and Muslim men are far more given to rape than white men, but they are “people of color,” and part of the coalition against white men, so they get a pass.

“Honor Killing: Two Men In Pakistan Rip Sister’s Eyes Out, Cut Her Feet Off“

If Donald Trump did this, he would get unfavorable press. Not Pakistani men, though. Have you seen radical feminists screaming to keep these animals out of the US, in which they would be utterly justified? Nope. Muslims are People of Color. Even when they are not.

It is telling that feminists do not criticize women who lie about being raped. Such prevarication puts innocent men in danger of having their lives ruined, being expelled from work or school, and jailed. Why no outrage from feminists? Would it not be moral to prosecute real rapists, and also prosecute the liars?

Apparently not. Why?

Well, Tawana was a black. The Duke-Lacrosse liar was black. Lena Dunham was a Democrat and feminist. All were women. Identity trumps gender. This behavior supports the view that radical feminism is just misandry wrapped in shiny cloth. I.e., a hate group like any other.

...One sees the same thing in their criticism of “Islamophobia.” Islam probably the most misogynist philosophy on earth. Islamic societies genitally mutilate young girls, kill them if they are caught kissing a boyfriend, forbid them schooling, and have far and away the worst track record for sexual assault. Not a peep from feminists.

Identity, identity, identity.

...For the record, female genital mutilation consists in a group of women holding a young girl down, forcibly spreading her legs, and cutting out her clitoris with a razor blade and no anesthetic. Speaking as a man, I believe that everyone involved in this, specifically including the father who allowed it, should be killed in some exceedingly unpleasant manner. Feminists are OK with it. Mustn’t criticize People of Color.

...Invariably feminists portray themselves as victims, when the American variety are the most privileged of their sex in the world. This desperate victimhood is the bedrock of radical feminism, without which it would have nothing to complain of. When your sense of self depends on being oppressed, you cannot afford to run out of oppression. Yet for all their obsession with imaginary misogyny, they practice a robust misandry. (A cynic might ask, can anyone be more sexist than a feminist, or more racist than a black? But I am not a cynic.)

...If anybody is more blisterishly sensitive even to disagreement, much less to ridicule, than a radical feminist, I haven’t encountered him. Or her. Or it.
Read more here.
As usual, I have tried to excerpt the ideas that I think are most poignant. However, this has to be one of Fred's best posts ever, and everything I left out in this re-post is as good as what I excerpted. Please do read the whole thing.

Propaganda

Errata Security writes,
In recent weeks, the New York Times has written many stories on Russia's hacking of the Trump election. This front page piece [*] alone takes up 9,000 words. Combined, the NYTimes coverage on this topic exceeds the length of a novel. Yet, for all this text, the number of verifiable facts also equals that of a novel, namely zero. There's no evidence this was anything other than an undirected, Anonymous-style op based on a phishing campaign.

...Evidence tying Russian attacks to the Russian government is thus the most important question of all -- and it's one that the New York Times is failing to answer. The fewer facts they have, the more they fill the void with vast amounts of verbiage.

In the end, the foundation of the NYTimes narrative relies upon leaked secret government documents and quotes by anonymous government officials [*]. This is otherwise known as "propaganda".

The senior government officials are probably the Democrat senators who were briefed by the CIA. These senators leak their version of the CIA briefing, cherry picking the bits that support their story, removing the nuanced claims that were undoubtedly part of the original document.

...The facts we actually see is an attack no more sophisticated than those conducted by LulzSec and Anonymous. We see an attack that is disorganized and opportunistic, exactly what we'd expect from an Anonymous-style attack. Putin's regime may be involved, and they may have a plan, but the current evidence looks like casual hackers, not professional hackers working for an intelligence service.
Read more here.

"The stakes get ever higher"

Christopher Taylor writes,
We are in a time in America where everyone is massively divided on politics, to the point of tooth-gnashing rage over every single issue and candidate. Not just divided like two friends, but turning into enemies with furious bitterness.

The last time this happened, we erupted into the bloodiest and most ghastly war in American history. And I know the cause. Its not "heated rhetoric" or the internet, or radicalism in candidates or culture wars, although all that contributes.

The cause is power.

...Even just thirty years ago nobody seriously believed the government would monitor all our phone calls and drag people off to prison. Nobody seriously believed that you could be arrested for how the dust blew off your property when you plowed a field or where you smoked. Nobody believed you could be fined or jailed for who you baked a cake for or didn't. And already by that time the federal government was far too vast.

...Every election becomes ever more important and the stakes get ever higher, because every election the federal government has spread further like a cancer devouring more and more freedom, power, and influence. Each election is a desperate bid to control that power, because of how it can and will be used.
Read more here.

2016, the year of "faux hate" crimes

Christopher Taylor is compiling some of the "faux hate" stories of 2016 here.

New Year's Eve attack in Istanbul leaves at least 35 dead

The governor of Istanbul now says at least 35 are dead in a New Year's Eve attack.

AP explains "Spearphishing:"

This is apparently what happened to Mr. Podesta and the Hillary campaign. Hat tip Associated Press.

Which should we pursue, meaning, or happiness?

An article in New York Magazine advises us to pursue meaning, instead of happiness.
Research by the two of us shows that the happy life and the meaningful life differ — and that the surest path to true happiness lies in chasing not just happiness but also a meaningful life. Psychologists have started to look more closely at how seeking happiness affects people, and unearthed some unsettling trends. The pursuit of happiness, it turns out, negatively affects our well-being.

...the defining features of a meaningful life are connecting and contributing to something beyond the self, which could be your family, your work, nature, or God.

But because meaning involves investing in something bigger, the meaningful life is often characterized by stress, effort, and struggle. In a survey of over 2 million people in more than 500 jobs by the organization PayScale, those who reported finding the most meaning in their careers were clergy, teachers, and surgeons — difficult jobs that don’t always cultivate happiness in the moment, but that contribute to society and bring those doing them satisfaction.

...After conducting an extensive review of the literature, the psychologists Login George and Crystal Park of the University of Connecticut identified the three features as purpose — the degree to which you feel directed and motivated by valued life goals; comprehension — the ability to understand and make sense of your life experiences and weave them into a coherent whole; and mattering — the belief that your existence is significant and valued. When people say their lives are meaningful, in other words, it’s because they feel their lives have purpose, coherence, and worth.

But meaning isn’t something you either have or don’t have. It’s an approach to life — a mind-set.

...Our goal this coming year shouldn’t just be happiness. Our goal should be meaningfulness. Instead of picking projects, hobbies, and relationships based on how happy they will make us, let’s focus on those things that make our lives more significant and worthwhile. If happiness ensues, great. But if it doesn’t, we can still take comfort in knowing that our lives matter and are contributing to the world in some way.
Read more here.

Arrogant acts

At Breitbart John Hayward discusses seven ways Obama is trying to make life difficult for president-elect Trump.
1. Betraying Israel at the United Nations

2. A new cold war with Russia

3. Ban on oil drilling: An overt act of sabotage directed at the American economy itself, leaving an especially heavy bootprint on Alaska.

4. National-monument land grab: The other theoretically irreversible presidential edict discovered by Obama’s munchkins is the ability to designate national monuments. Another 1.65 million acres in Utah and Nevada was yanked off the market in the last week of December, bring Obama’s Antiquities Act acreage up to an unprecedented 553 million acres.

“This arrogant act by a lame duck president will not stand. I will work tirelessly with Congress and the incoming Trump administration to honor the will of the people of Utah and undo this designation,” thundered Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Sixty-five percent of his state is now under the wise and compassionate environmental protection of the same government that turned the Colorado River into a toxic waste dump.

5. Eliminating the national immigration registry

6. The great Guantanamo jailbreak

7. Depicting Trump’s election as a disaster
Read more here.

"Humiliating themselves in the marathon group grovel that America insists on putting its presidential candidates through."

Dave Barry thinks 2016 should never have happened. for example, there was the election:
The fall campaign was an unending national nightmare, broadcast relentlessly on cable TV. CNN told us over and over that Donald Trump was a colossally ignorant, narcissistic, out-of-control sex-predator buffoon; Fox News countered that Hillary Clinton was a greedy, corrupt, coldly calculating liar of massive ambition and minimal accomplishment. And in our hearts we knew the awful truth: They were both right.

On the Democratic side, Clinton and Sanders are also in a tight and testy battle, although Clinton slowly gains the upper hand thanks to the Democratic Party’s controversial formula for allocating “superdelegates,” which is as follows:

▪ 57 percent go to Clinton.

▪ The remaining 43 percent also go to Clinton.

Responding to charges from the Sanders camp that the Democratic National Committee is tipping the scales in Clinton’s favor, chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz states that “the DNC is scrupulously neutral in the contest between Secretary Clinton and the senile Commie fart.”

...In March, But by far the most controversial political issue of the month — which nobody thought about before, yet which all of a sudden is the defining civil rights struggle of the 21st century — is the question of who can pee where in North Carolina.

...In April … England observes the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, who celebrates the occasion by wearing a large hat and smiling grimly at horses.

...In May, … tragedy strikes the Cincinnati Zoo when zoo authorities, fearing for the life of a 3-year-old who has climbed into the gorilla enclosure, are forced to shoot and kill a gorilla named Harambe, who instantly becomes way more revered on the internet than Mother Teresa.

...In August, the opening of the National Football League season provides a much-needed diversion to Americans who are sick of being bitterly divided over politics and welcome the opportunity to be bitterly divided over how players respond to the National Anthem.

...In October, In a chilling reminder of the nation’s technological vulnerability, a series of cyberattacks disrupts popular internet sites such as Twitter and Netflix, forcing millions of Americans to make eye contact with each other.

...In November, … which begins with yet another letter to congressional leaders from FBI Director Comey, who lately has generated more correspondence than Publishers Clearing House. This time he says, concerning the newly discovered emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop: never mind. This forces Republicans and Democrats to again swap positions on whether Comey is a courageous patriot or total scum. For a brief period members of Congress are so confused about who stands where that they are in real danger of accidentally working together and accomplishing something. Fortunately before this happens the two sides are able to sort things out and resume being bitterly deadlocked.

Trump’s victory stuns the nation. Not since the darkest days of the Civil War have so many Americans unfriended each other on Facebook. Some even take the extreme step of writing “open letters.” Angry, traumatized protesters cry, march, shout, smash windows, set fires —and that’s just the New York Times editorial board. Leading celebrities who vowed to leave the country if Trump won immediately start making plans to … OK, to not actually leave the country per se, but next time they definitely will and YOU’LL BE SORRY.

...Meanwhile, the Democrats — now on a multi-year losing streak that has cost them the presidency, both houses of Congress and a majority of the state legislatures — desperately seek an explanation for their party’s failures. After a hard, critical look in the mirror, they are forced, reluctantly, to stop seeking scapegoats and place the blame where it belongs: the Electoral College, the Russians, Facebook and, of course, James Comey.

In the month’s biggest non-election news, the death of Fidel Castro is greeted with expressions of sorrow from several dozen world leaders who never had to live under his rule, and tears of happiness from many thousands of Cubans who did.

Finally, mercifully, 2016 draws to a close. On New Year’s Eve, a festive crowd gathers in Times Square, and millions more tune in on TV, to watch the ball drop that marks the dawn of the new year. This is one of the great traditions that connect us as a nation, and it serves to remind us that, although we disagree on many things, we are all part of the same big family — the American family — and when all is said and done, we hate each other.

This is what we are thinking as the big lighted ball begins to slowly descend the pole, traveling roughly two feet before it is vaporized by Russian fighter jets.

Happy New Year, fellow Americans. It’s going to be exciting.
Read much more here.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Nine puppies. Three weeks old now.

Bernese Mountain Dogs. Many more photos to come.

Which is your favorite?



Via Cortesar

"an outbreak of hysteria fed by Islamist agendas and media noise"

At Sultan Knish David Greenfield takes a look at several recent examples here.

Persistent


This dude is in a jail in Junction City, Kansas,after being arrested and charged with raping a 13-year-old girl while traveling across Kansas in a Greyhound bus. He
had been deported 10 times and voluntarily removed from the U.S. another nine times since 2003, records obtained by The Associated Press show.
Read more here.

There are over one hundred billion galaxies in the universe!

"We pointed the most powerful telescope ever built by human beings at absolutely nothing, for no other reason than because we were curious, and discovered that we occupy a very tiny place in the heavens." 1996: over 3000 galaxies are discovered; 2004: over ten thousand galaxies racing away from us in an ever-expanding universe! 47 billion light years away from us! Now we think there are more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe!


h/t American Digest

House hunting in Detroit

You are looking at a house you might want to buy. You ask, "May I look at the garage?" You walk into the garage and see a mummified body in the back seat of a car. Do you still buy the house? Read more here.

Uber driver helps rescue a teen from sex trafficking


Breitbart TV reports,
Police credit Uber driver Keith Avila for helping rescue a teenage girl out of sex trafficking Monday night, says a Fox 59 report.

Avila had a feeling something was wrong after giving a ride to a young girl and two older women to a Holiday Inn in Elk Grove, CA, where the two women allegedly pimped the teen out to a man for sex.

Shortly after dropping them off, he called police to the scene.

“Police arrived fast. They don’t play. They do not play. Not when you’re doing child sex trafficking,” Avila described.

The two women, Destiny Pettway and Maria Westly, were both arrested for charges relating to pimping and pandering.

Police found the teen with 20-year-old Disney Vang in a hotel room. Vang was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a minor, and has been released.

Avila said the conversation in the car and how young the girl looked that led him to believe something was awry.

“I looked at her in the eyes. She had this face of innocence and (looked) insecure,” he recalled.

Avila told said when asked why he got involved, “Honestly, I didn’t think about it … they said what they said, and it’s one of those things that you just do … I can’t just drive away. I mean, of course not. That’s not even an option.”

The teen is a runaway and authorities are currently trying to locate her family.

California Democrats legalize child prostitution!

Travis Allen writes at the Washington Examiner,
Beginning on Jan. 1, prostitution by minors will be legal in California. Yes, you read that right.

SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.

This terribly destructive legislation was written and passed by the progressive Democrats who control California's state government with a two-thirds "supermajority." To their credit, they are sincere in their belief that decriminalizing underage prostitution is good public policy that will help victims of sex trafficking. Unfortunately, the reality is that the legalization of underage prostitution suffers from the fatal defect endemic to progressive-left policymaking: it ignores experience, common sense and most of all human nature — especially its darker side.

The unintended but predictable consequence of how the real villains — pimps and other traffickers in human misery — will respond to this new law isn't difficult to foresee. Pimping and pandering will still be against the law whether it involves running adult women or young girls. But legalizing child prostitution will only incentivize the increased exploitation of underage girls. Immunity from arrest means law enforcement can't interfere with minors engaging in prostitution — which translates into bigger and better cash flow for the pimps. Simply put, more time on the street and less time in jail means more money for pimps, and more victims for them to exploit.

As Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, a national leader on human trafficking issues, told the media, "It just opens up the door for traffickers to use these kids to commit crimes and exploit them even worse." Another prosecutor insightfully observed that if traffickers wrote legislation to protect themselves, it would read like SB 1322.

Minors involved in prostitution are clearly victims, and allowing our law enforcement officers to pick these minors up and get them away from their pimps and into custody is a dramatically better solution than making it legal for them to sell themselves for sex. That only deepens their victimization and renders law enforcement powerless to stop the cycle of abuse. SB 1322 is not simply misguided — its consequences are immoral.

Unfortunately for Californians, SB 1322 isn't an outlier — it's only the tip of the liberal iceberg. 2017 will see the Golden State subjected to wave after wave of laws taking effect that are well-intentioned but disastrous embodiments of progressive utopianism.

One such new Democratic-authored law throws open the door to even greater government dependency on the part of the poor by rolling back proven reforms. In 1996, welfare reform was one of the greatest social legislation achievements of the last century, ending the lifetime welfare system and putting millions of Americans on the road to self-reliance and self-respect. In its wake, California lawmakers passed a law barring increased payments to women who have more children while still on welfare, in order to encourage women to achieve independence before having more children.

It's a tough provision that works — which was apparently irrelevant to Gov. Jerry Brown, who just signed a bill repealing that prohibition. Henceforth, no matter how many children someone has while on welfare, the state government will ratchet up payments with each child, with no limit. Incredibly, the Democratic author of this bill claims she wants to discourage women from having more children while on welfare — but instead passed legislation replacing that effective reform with a law that restarts the cycle of welfare dependency.

Which blog is she reading?

Yesterday's quick sunset

Please move! Some of us would like to go inside to get warm!

He'll be heading to Denny's after the movie.

Z Man writes about movies. Females are in the lead roles in the action flicks. Men are home killing people on video games. But, don't lose hope:
Maybe that means the Girrrrl Power! era is coming to a close. Movie makers need to make money so they may be forced to bring back the normal male leads. Maybe the next big thing in movies will be men who are not sobbing pussies, but old fashioned tough guys doing the hard work of being men. I hope so as I’m getting old and it will not be long before I’m spending my days in the movie theater with the other geezers, before we head to Denny’s for a 4:00 PM dinner.
Read more here.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ring Out The Old, Ring In The New

Guest post by Suzann Darnall

Ring Out The Old, Ring In The New

~~~
Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
~~~

I know this was written for an earlier time and in a different country, but when I read through it, I was hit with how much it summed up a great deal of my hopes for the potential changes which may come about in the New Year. A year in which we will welcome a new president and many new people in political offices. A time for hope if ever a time did so exist!

I pray we do ring out the false and ring in the new. A time for lies to cease and truth be told. A new honesty in America and in government would be greatly appreciated by many citizens that have suffered greatly under Obama’s much less than transparent government!

I also hope that people will let go the false narrative of the Progressives who try to build political points on the idea of class warfare. And, racism. And, sexism. And . . . pretty much any other way they can divide and hope to conquer the citizenry into being their dupes.

“Dying cause” and “party strife” immediately called to my mind images of the useless gits who are the leadership and sheep we know as Democratic Party. I do hope we can replace their deceit, hate-mongering, and power-grabs with “nobler modes of life”, “sweeter manners”, and “purer laws”.

While I know we cannot simply wish away “want” and “care”, I do hope we can find better ways to help people lift themselves out of poverty. Ways far removed from the disastrous “war on poverty” than has accomplished nothing but every-increasing welfare rolls.

In short, I think Donald Trump will be a breath of fresh air throughout Washington, DC who will most assuredly ring a few people’s chimes as he makes some sweeping changes to how America does business. At home AND abroad. In the private AND public sectors. Sweet music to my ears, for sure!
Sayonara,
Suzann
http://www.suziezoo.com
http://www.woolymammoth.org

Self-appointed censors

Top investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson is pretty sure she knows what the "fake news" issue is all about.
And what’s the purpose of the anti-fake news movement?

“I think there’s an agenda to censor the news as opposed to actually trying to eliminate fake news,” she said.

Years ago, Attkisson noticed the emergence of what is now called fake news, only she called such stories by their traditional name: a smear. The reporter began researching the topic in earnest, and the result is her new book, coming out on May 22, titled “The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote,” due to be published on May 22, 2017.

“Unfortunately, it’s being applied right now to mean ‘news I don’t like.’ By whichever side you’re discussing it with. And the danger of the anti-fake news movement is the people who are forwarding the movement, I think, want to be the self-appointed censors who decide what is fake and what is not.

...What about plans to install gatekeepers to determine what news is fake and what is not?

“The problem with someone trying to stop fake news, someone like Facebook or Google, is these folks have deep ties to political people.”

Attkisson referred to Google officials meeting 427 times with White House officials, as of last May. Google executives attended 363 meetings with administration officials, including President Obama, his chief of staff and senior policy officials such as senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling. Google’s top lobbyist met with Obama four times and visited the White House 128 times since 2009, more than any top 50 lobbying firm.

...Attkisson observed, “These people who consult with political operatives or corporate interests, they are going to be the ones to censor our news? And tell us what truth is? And even when that truth is more a matter of opinion or not even fully known?”
Read more here.

"the diffusion of governmental powers helps to maximize personal liberty."

Andrew Napolitano writes at Newsmax about sanctuary cities,
...The high court has also prohibited the federal government from "commandeering" the states by forcing them to work for the feds at their own expense by actively enforcing federal law. As Ronald Reagan reminded us in his first inaugural address, the states formed the federal government, not the other way around. They did so by ceding 16 discrete powers to the federal government and retaining to themselves all powers not ceded.

If this constitutional truism were not recognized or enforced by the courts, the federal government could effectively eradicate the sovereignty of the states or even bankrupt them by forcing them to spend their tax dollars enforcing federal law or paying for federal programs.

Thus the Trump dilemma. He must follow the Constitution, or the courts will enjoin him as they have his predecessor. He cannot use a stick to bend the governments of sanctuary cities to his will, but he can use a carrot. He can ask Congress for legislative grants of funds to cities conditioned upon their compliance with certain federal immigration laws.

All of this is part of our constitutional republic. By dividing powers between the feds and the states — and by separating federal powers among the president, Congress and the courts — our system intentionally makes the exercise of governmental power cumbersome by diffusing it. And since government is essentially the negation of freedom, the diffusion of governmental powers helps to maximize personal liberty.
Read more here.

"Israel is in its best geostrategic position in decades."

Victor Davis Hanson observes,
... How?

Huge natural gas and oil finds off Israel’s Mediterranean coast and in the Golan Heights have radically changed Israel’s energy and financial positions. Israel no longer needs to import costly fossil fuels and may soon be an exporter of gas and oil to needy customers in Europe and the Middle East. (America recently became the world’s greatest producer of carbon energy and also no longer is dependent on Middle Eastern oil imports, resulting in less political influence by Arab nations.) Israel is creating its own version of Silicon Valley at Beersheba, which is now a global hub of cybersecurity research.

Rich Persian Gulf states see Obama as hostile both to Israel and to themselves, while he appeases the common enemy of majority-Shiite Iran.

After a “leading from behind” U.S withdrawal from the Middle East, many Arab nations now see Israel more as a powerful ally against Iran than as an old existential enemy. They also see Israel as a country that has likewise been snubbed by America.

...At the center is a far stronger Israel that has more opportunities than at any other time in its history. It will have an even brighter future after Obama has left office.
Read more here.

You need sharia for that!

At National Review Andrew McCarthy suggests John Kerry
might want to review the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan before lecturing Israel.

Kerry did not mention that Jordan was never subjected to international pressure to grant the Palestinians their own state during the 19 years that Jordan occupied Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem; nor did he acknowledge that the Palestinians would long ago have had their own state if they had recognized Israel’s right to exist and abandoned jihadist terror.

I thought it might be interesting, then, to review the Constitution of Afghanistan, which the State Department had a major role in drafting. Here are Articles One through Three: Article One: Afghanistan shall be an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state. Article Two: The sacred religion of Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals. Article Three: No law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam in Afghanistan.

...Then there is the Constitution of Iraq, the drafting of which the State Department similarly oversaw.

...First: Islam is the official religion of the State and it is a fundamental source of legislation: A. No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established. B. No law that contradicts the principles of democracy may be established. C. No law that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms stipulated in this constitution may be established. Second: This Constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice such as Christians, Yazedis, and Mandi Sabeans. Note that second clause carefully. It assures that Iraq will maintain its Islamic identity no matter what. It further reaffirms that, when it comes to an Islamic country, the State Department believes a country can be fiercely Muslim in character, yet be a democratic republic that respects the rights of religious minorities.

Of course, as things have worked out, we’ve seen that even Muslim minorities are not granted equal rights in these “Islamic democracies.” Concurrently, we watch Turkey, which gets less democratic and less respectful of minority rights as it becomes more Islamic. It is only in Israel, a Jewish state, that Muslims live with full democratic rights.

Yet, in Obama-world, Israel cannot be both Jewish and democratic. Evidently, you need sharia for that.
Read more here.

"Totally!"



h/t Maverick Philosopher

Unconstitutional government power

Francis Menton writes in Manhattan Contrarian,
Probably, somewhere in high school or even junior high school, you learned about the "separation of powers" in the U.S. Constitution. There are legislative, executive and judicial powers, each assigned to a separate branch of the government. There are "checks and balances" between and among the branches. Thus, our freedoms are preserved. Or so we are taught.

But if you study the U.S. government today, you quickly learn about vast areas of the government that have somehow broken free of the separation of powers. I'm talking about the so-called "independent" agencies, like the FTC, FCC, SEC, CFPB, CFTC, CPSC, PCAOB and others. These agencies are not explicitly part of any of the three branches, yet they promulgate thousands of pages of regulations (legislative power?), and then prosecute people and companies for violating the regulations (executive power?) before administrative judges (judicial power?) who are part of the agency rather than part of the court system. Where is this provided for in the Constitution?

The answer is that all of this is entirely unconstitutional. The Constitution provides for exclusive grants of the three types of power to the three branches of the government, and to no one outside that structure.
Read more here.

Get out!

Sarah Palin has this to say about the UN:
“This is such an encouraging time, where it’s not just us, but those across the pond, too, are understanding that their nation’s sovereignty and security are on the line here, with the ties that bind us to interests that really don’t further our agendas,” she declared.

“So when the U.K. made its move, it was just another reason to call yet again for the U.S. to get the heck out of the UN and get the UN out of the U.S. Let’s get going on putting America first so that we can sweep our own porch before telling other nations how to sweep theirs,” she advised.

...Palin said this urgent need for the people to regain control of national affairs was her most important message at the close of 2016.

“Our government, our bureaucrats and our elected leaders, work for us,” she stressed. “We are the ones that need to call for this, that the UN shackles be next on the chopping block.”
Read more here.

Tough guy kicks out Russian spies

Tyler Durden reports at Zero Hedge,
As promised (or threatened), the Obama administration has unveiled - via the US Treasury - new sanctions against Russia over election hacking allegations (that as yet have not been supported by any actual evidence). Despite president-elect Trump's comments that "we ought to get on with our lives," the sanctions apply to five entities and six individuals, and also including the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and closing two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment against American diplomats in Moscow, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

Amusingly, one of the entities is Russia's FSB, aka the Federal Security Service, i.e. the Russian spy service, to the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. Which, perhaps, means that previously the US would look the other way when known spies would enter the US.

The move against the diplomats from the Russian embassy in Washington and consulate in San Francisco is part of a series of actions announced on Thursday to punish Russia for a campaign of intimidation of American diplomats in Moscow and interference in the U.S. election.

The Russian diplomats would have 72 hours to leave the United States, the official said. Access to the two compounds, which are used by Russian officials for intelligence gathering, will be denied to all Russian officials as of noon on Friday, the senior U.S. official added.
Read more here.

How long will Europeans continue to surrender their sovereignty to the European Union?

George Igler writes at Zero Hedge,
The question remains, however, why any nation would want to throw out its sovereignty to institutions that are fundamentally unaccountable, that provide no mechanism for reversing direction, and whose only "solution" to problems involves arrogating to itself ever more authoritarian, rather than democratically legitimate, power.
Previous worries over unemployment and the economy have been sidelined: the issues now vexing European voters the most, according to the EU's own figures, are mass immigration (45%) and terrorism (32%).

The Netherlands' Partij Voor de Vrijheid, France's Front National and Germany's Alternativ für Deutschland are each pushing for a referendum on EU membership in their respective nations.

Given that the EU's institutions have been so instrumental as a causal factor in the mass migration and terrorism that are now dominating the minds of national electorates, some might argue that the sooner Europeans get rid of the EU, which is now doing more harm than good, the better.

Attention is beginning to focus on elections due to take place in three separate European countries in 2017. The outcomes in the Netherlands, France and Germany will determine the likely future of the European Union (EU).
Read more here.

"Government Destroys Couple’s Rights Over Rainwater: “If You’re Honest, They Take Everything Away”

Read here about the owners of two Oregon properties who lost water rights to local government.

Amazing!

Here is a family of 13 kids and 2 parents, and they are debt free!

Read about them here.

h/t Maggie's Farm

Naughtiness exposed



h/t Maggie's Farm

"The Virgin Birth proclaims the union of human flesh and the divine; God is breaking the barriers between the divine and the human."

Walter Russell Mead discusses the Virgin Birth of Jesus.
People have to make their own decisions about what to believe based on the evidence that already exists. I would only observe that if you believe (as I do) that God made the universe and everything in it, and if you believe that he upholds the universe and cares passionately about the well-being of each individual person on earth, then to reject the Virgin Birth as a physical impossibility seems a little forced. Swallowing camels and choking on gnats, as Jesus might put it. But that’s me: this is exactly the kind of question that everyone needs to face on his or her own.

...Mary wasn’t a single mother raising her child alone; her betrothed married her in the usual way and accepted the child as his. The early church wasn’t facing a sea of rumors about Mary’s prenuptial behavior, and if it had been there are more convincing ways of scotching rumors than proclaiming a miraculous virgin birth. Saying that she and Joseph had been secretly married a few months earlier than the official date of the wedding, accelerating the wedding, or claiming that the baby was premature would have been much easier approaches than claiming a unique divine miracle. If sweeping aside inconvenient facts about Jesus’ birth was the goal, the story about a virgin birth was the worst method ever. It’s like a student saying that her term paper is late is because she was swallowed by a whale for three days and couldn’t get wireless reception for her laptop from inside its belly.

...No, the story wasn’t concocted to squelch ugly rumors. The story caused the ugly rumors to circulate in the first place. The early church’s insistence on proclaiming the unique nature of Jesus’ birth more or less forced skeptics to suspect Mary’s virtue. The Church proclaimed a stark improbability as undeniable fact, and that naturally led people to ask the questions they still ask today and to develop alternative explanations for something that they well understood was, absent divine intervention, a biological impossibility.

Some see the idea of the Virgin Birth as part of a wider Christian discomfort with human sexuality. Believing that the baby Jesus didn’t get started in the usual way, in this view, is the result of wanting to keep the holy separated from the sexual. Self-consciously “enlightened” people who find it comforting to suppose that other people are much stupider than in fact they often find this view a comforting one. Those silly Christians and their absurd sexual hang-ups!
No doubt there are and always have been people whose attachment to the doctrine is rooted in feelings of anxiety or guilt about sexuality, but historically the idea of the Virgin Birth hasn’t been seen this way. In fact, the opposite is the case. The Virgin Birth doesn’t separate the holy realm of divine things from the “unworthy” world of flesh and blood human beings with their messy lives. The Virgin Birth proclaims the union of human flesh and the divine; God is breaking the barriers between the divine and the human.

So if the idea of the Virgin Birth isn’t a uniquely lame attempt to cover up Mary’s indiscretions or the manifestation of a sick Christian attitude about sex, what is it trying to tell us? The Virgin Birth has always been connected with two other ideas: one about Jesus as being both God and man, and one about Mary as an individual and more broadly about the place of women in the world.

In the first place, they were making a statement about Jesus. By making the outrageous and inherently doubtful claim that Jesus’ mother was a virgin, the gospels are stressing that this particular baby was unique. He wasn’t like all the other babies; he had a special relationship with God from the start.
At various points during his life, Jesus would talk about this unique relationship and later theologians would make it a centerpiece of their reflection on the meaning of Jesus’ life and career. But the gospels go out of their way from the beginning to make the assertion that Jesus was not just another baby in just another manger. Jesus isn’t important just because he had a special message, the gospels are telling us. He is important because he is a special person.

One of the most common mistakes people make about the role of Jesus in Christianity is to think that, for Christians, the most important thing about Jesus is his role as a teacher. Moses was the lawgiver of the ancient Hebrews; Confucius taught the ancient Chinese how to live; the Buddha taught his disciples how to walk a path toward enlightenment; Muhammad through revelation and example showed his followers how to submit to God’s will. Non-Christians often think that Christians think of Jesus along similar lines: as the Great Teacher who pointed out the True Way.
For Christians, Jesus’ role as a teacher — significant and inspiring as his teachings may be — is the least important thing about him. Not to denigrate an important vocation, but moral teachers are anything but rare. Humanity has many inspiring teachers and prophets. As a species, we have a talent for giving good advice and at our best, the advice that we give is very good indeed. Love your neighbor as yourself. Put God first. Duty before pleasure. Don’t use people as things. Judge by realities, not superficial appearances. Be generous and merciful to the weak and the poor. Act like a parent to orphans. Treat strangers well. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Honor your parents.

...The gospel writers believed that Jesus came here on another mission. He didn’t come here to be one more cosmic wise man telling us the right thing to do. He came here to do something about the real problem our species faces: our failure to take up the good advice we so readily dish out. He came to deal with the gap that opens up between a God who demands moral excellence and a human race that is simply incapable of living right.

...Christianity is much more than a group of people trying to fulfill the teaching of a revered founder; it is a community of people gathered around a world-changing hero. Jesus did not fulfill his mission by giving the Sermon on the Mount; he fulfilled it by dying on the cross and by rising from the dead.

...The figure of the Virgin Mary marks a turning point for humanity as a whole, but also for the role of women in the world. She is the Second Eve, the one who said “yes” to God when he asked her to be the mother of his son. When God really needed help, the Bible teaches, he went to a woman, not to a man. And the woman said “yes,” and out of her faith and obedience came the salvation of the world.

...it’s enough to understand that when Christians say that Jesus was born of a virgin, there are two main points they are making: that Jesus is the son of God, connected to the author of the universe in a unique and special way with a mission that is fundamentally different from that of all the prophets and teachers who came before, and that the free choice of a strong and faithful woman opened the door to salvation for the whole human race. Jesus is unique, and women are free and equal in God’s sight: that is what we should take away from this story.

...God didn’t send Jesus into the world because he was satisfied with the status quo. God sent him here because things needed to change — and right at the top of the list of the things God wanted to change was the position of women. The change didn’t happen overnight, and even today we haven’t seen the full consequences of giving half the world its rightful due, but from the day that Mary answered Gabriel a new force has been at work in the world, and what we see today is the blossoming of a tree that was planted a very long time ago.
Read more here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Learn a trade, then, freelance!

When you pay attention to people who have been ignored, amazing things happen. Rewarding work ethic.

Oh, oh, Hillary!

Thomas Lifson reports at American Thinker,
DC Court of Appeals re-opens search for deleted Hillary emails – this time with grand juries and subpoenas, if necessary.
Go here to read more.

Unspeakable evil

JWF headlines,
Jihadi Parents Send 7-Year-Old Girl into Police Station and Blow Her Up By Remote Control
Go here to see pictures and read the story.

Have you seen this photo of Kerry kissing Khameni?


Is this real?

A strange interruption

Manhattan Infidel has an exclusive interview with Barack Obama, and gets Hillary and Bill also!

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

Jonathan Lapook reports for CBS,
For more than two years, Lance Crowder was having severe abdominal pain and vomiting, and no local doctor could figure out why. Finally, an emergency room physician in Indianapolis had an idea.

“The first question he asked was if I was taking hot showers to find relief. When he asked me that question, I basically fell into tears because I knew he had an answer,” Crowder said.

The answer was cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS. It’s caused by heavy, long-term use of various forms of marijuana. For unclear reasons, the nausea and vomiting are relieved by hot showers or baths.

“They’ll often present to the emergency department three, four, five different times before we can sort this out,” said Dr. Kennon Heard, an emergency room physician in Aurora, Colorado.

He co-authored a study showing that since 2009, when medical marijuana became widely available, emergency room visits diagnoses for CHS in two Colorado hospitals nearly doubled. In 2012, the state legalized recreational marijuana.

“It is certainly something that, before legalization, we almost never saw,” Heard said. “Now we are seeing it quite frequently.”

Outside of Colorado, when patients do end up in an emergency room, the diagnosis is often missed. Partly because doctors don’t know about CHS, and partly because patients don’t want to admit to using a substance that’s illegal.

CHS can lead to dehydration and kidney failure, but usually resolves within days of stopping drug use. That’s what happened with Crowder, who has been off all forms of marijuana for seven months.

“Now all kinds of ambition has come back. I desire so much more in life and, at 37 years old, it’s a little late to do it, but better now than never,”he said.

CHS has only been recognized for about the past decade, and nobody knows exactly how many people suffer from it. But as more states move towards the legalization of marijuana, emergency room physicians like Dr. Heard are eager to make sure both doctors and patients have CHS on their radar.

"Bill Clinton says Trump knows how to get angry white men to vote for him. What angry white men? They’re all happy now."

Ann Coulter's column at Breitbart tonight is a collection of her tweets from 2016.

Tyrannical savages

Bookworm Room is very angry with the actions of Barack Obama and John Kerry. Her conclusion:
Obama loves to reward evil. Iran sponsors worldwide terrorism for almost forty years, so Obama gives it billions of American dollars and the green light for a nuclear program. Cuba sponsors terrorism and is a prison state for the Cuban people, so Obama gives it full recognition. Why shouldn’t he give the Palestinians — a people who have never had a state, who terrorize their own population, whose ties to the land go back at most 200 years, and who actively work towards the genocide of all Jews in the region — their own state? They’re the kind of people Obama loves: tyrannical savages.

Thanks to Obama’s actions, this can only end with much blood being spilled. I pray that Israel is able to minimize its people’s sufferings. And I pray that Israel completely destroys both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, freeing the people they control from their corrupt, tyrannical rule.

And I pray that God has something horrible in store for Obama, a man of unspeakable evil.

Will Obama and Kerry propose a two state solution?

Will Obama and Kerry acknowledge Israel's right to be free from terrorism, from military assault, from rocket attacks, and from diplomatic warfare?

What kind of man is Rex Tillerson?

A woman in her twenties served on a jury with Rex Tillerson on a sexual abuse case in Texas. She credits his analysis and persuasiveness for convincing the jury to bring to justice the perpetrator. He also made a contribution afterward to the foster care agency that had been helping the young victim. Read the story here.

Obama's historical ignorance


Jeb Babbin writes at the American Spectator,
President Obama’s enmity toward Israel, though often denied, has been obvious since his inauguration. Through many meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his attempt to force a false peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and his nuclear weapons deal with Iran, Obama has made it clear to anyone who wanted to see that his hatred of Israel coincided with his intention to diminish our national security as well as that of the Jewish state.

Obama is not just pro-Palestinian, he is anti-Israel. Set aside the issue of whether he and Kerry are anti-Semitic. They probably are. More importantly, to the narcissistic Obama, opposition to Israel and Netanyahu is a very personal fight.

Obama has always seen his presidency as a vehicle for the accommodation of Islamic nations. This is the president who ordered his director of NASA to make his primary mission an outreach to the Islamic world, rather than other planets. In his June 2009 speech in Cairo, Obama told the Islamic world that part of the job of America’s president is to fight against negative stereotypes of Muslims. There was no mention of the need to fight against Islamic nations’ aggression against our allies.

Obama’s approach was historically ignorant. Three times since 2000, Israeli prime ministers have offered land for peace and been rebuffed. Ehud Barak offered up East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank in a plan designed by Bill Clinton, but Yassir Arafat, then Palestinian “president,” walked out of the talks. In 2005, Ariel Sharon withdrew all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and pulled Israel back across the pre-1967 borders. The Palestinians answered by raining missiles on Israel from Gaza. In 2008, Ehud Olmert offered essentially 100 percent of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and a divided Jerusalem to be the capital of both the still non-existent nation of Palestine and Israel. Mahmoud Abbas took the offer to study it and left never returned to the negotiations.

...In March 2015, Netanyahu did something Obama never forgave. He addressed a joint session of Congress, at then-Speaker John Boehner’s invitation, forcefully warning against the Iran nuclear deal. Obama made that deal later in the year. As President-elect Trump has said many times, it was an awful deal. And, as this column has detailed many times, it is a deal that drastically diminishes America’s national security.

Instead of properly submitting the Iran deal to the Senate for ratification (as every preceding nuclear deal had been), Obama took it to the UN, obtaining a Security Council resolution blessing it. But it remains unratified, so Trump can void it any time he wishes.

...Some in Congress have advocated diminishing our funding of the UN which accounts for at least 22 percent of its annual revenue. Trump should demand that Congress drastically reduce our payments to the UN. We await his decision to press Congress to do so. We’ll see if he does. Part of history’s judgment of his presidency will be rendered on it.

It’s time to walk Reagan’s path again and not let the anti-American, anti-Israel United Nations decide our policies.

Was this Obama’s last betrayal of our national security interests? There are still 25 days left. What more damage will he do?
Read more here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What can Trump do to stop inequality?

Joel Kotkin writes at Daily Beast,
...Racial and class inequality is very much alive even in the most “progressive” cities. In New York, the poster child for urban revitalization, poverty and homelessness have worsened, in large part due to soaring housing costs. Since 2007, median rents in the city have gone up 8.5 percent while median renters’ incomes have gone down by 6.8 percent. Particularly shocking have been rent rises at the edge of gentrification, in places like Brooklyn’s Williamsburg—where rents have risen 80 percent since the 1990s.

...Overall, the outer suburbs and exurbs, home to more than 40 percent of the metropolitan population, have added population at more than five times the rate of urban cores.

...Bottom line: The suburbs and exurbs disdained by most urbanists and Democratic politicians continue to add residents and jobs as inner cities continue to languish.

In fact, roughly 80 percent of all job growth since 2010 has been in suburbs and exurbs. And tech, supposedly newly focused on the urban core, still concentrates largely in dispersed, suburban environments from Silicon Valley to Austin to Raleigh.

Increasingly, at least in the centers of the greatest hipster infestation, minorities and working class families are being driven into less desirable areas, often further from work locations. This helps create new social tensions and, in many places, notably Chicago, more social unrest, and now the most murders in more than two decades. Overall, the rate of violent crime in urban cores remains almost four times higher than the national average, according to FBI data. The worst violence, and the sharpest upticks over the decade have been in cities with large black populations, including Detroit, Oakland, St. Louis, Memphis, Cleveland, and Atlanta.

Left out of the urban revival, minority and poor communities face diminishing opportunities while others prosper. This is true not only in places like Chicago, notes researcher Daniel Hertz, but also in New York where class and race inequality are much higher than in the rest of the country. Generally speaking, it’s the bluest and largest cities that suffer the worst levels of inequality.

Indeed despite the media spin, in the core cities of the 51 metropolitan areas, 81 percent of the population increase over the past decade was under the poverty line, compared to 32 percent of the suburban population increase. Despite talk about “suburban ghettos,” the poverty rate in the suburbs remains roughly half that of urban centers (20.9 percent in core compared to 11.4 percent in the suburbs as of 2010). Crime rates in core cities, meanwhile, remain over three times higher than in the suburbs.

No surprise that discrete and genteel “ethnic cleansing”—in the form of HUD “affirmative action” or taxpayer funded redevelopment—appeals to many urban boosters. In contrast, the much sought after hipster and wealthy childless adults thrill developers and mayors; they love a population that will pay a premium to live there and that doesn’t need good schools or working-class jobs.

...Certainly, the new HUD should abandon its agenda of redirecting populations, or forcing high density on reluctant communities, whether in the poorer urban neighborhoods or the more comfortable suburbs. But there needs to more. One hopeful sign—particularly for cities in the heartland—would be attempts to keep industrial jobs in what’s left of the manufacturing economy, the loss of which has devastated cities such as Milwaukee. Similarly Trump’s stand against H-1B visas could help keep some white-collar positions in the hands of citizens residing in our cities, including on the coasts.

Other steps could be taken to reawaken the grassroots economy, particularly in hard-hit poorer neighborhoods. This might include such things deregulating some businesses, like in cosmetology, and making it easier for new restaurants and shops. Yet these things cannot be mandated from Washington; it will take some rise in the level of business savvy of our elected leaders in cities. Perhaps most critical will be addressing the escalating crime rate in many cities, where by far the vast majority of victims are minorities, as Trump himself pointed out.

Other parts of the potential Trumpian urban agenda, such as charter schools and vouchers, long supported by his Education Department nominee Kathy DeVos, could help address poor urban education, arguably the biggest reason why families don’t stay in cities like Chicago with their dysfunctional schools. Federal support for educational reform is vastly preferable to the kind of anti-charter agenda that, for example, Hillary Clinton, with her incestuous ties to the teacher unions, would have promoted.

Similarly, a shift away from “one size fits all” transportation policies might allow communities to build public transit options, ranging from bus rapid transit to innovative dial-a-ride services. Under the old regime, money tended to go into light rail and trolley projects designed to appeal to upscale riders and developers; a better focus on inner city needs might be actually helping working class people actually get to work as quickly and easily as possible, at reasonable cost rather than building dedicated lines that tend to push land prices up, and existing residents out.
Even if Carson can concoct such an agenda, this is unlikely to make Donald Trump popular among the retro-urbanist chattering class who have thrived under the current urban regime. But it is to be hoped that such a new approach, at very least, could finally make progressives, who control America’s big cities as virtual fiefs, reconsider policies that have led to tragic levels of impoverishment, violence, and inequality across our great urban centers.
Read more here.

Where are these Fast Radio Bursts coming from, and from whom?

Here is a story linked to by these words from Instapundit:
I’M NOT SAYING THAT IT’S ALIENS. BUT IT’S ALIENS.
From the website Science Alert,
Back in March, scientists detected 10 powerful bursts of radio signals coming from the same location in space. And now researchers have just picked up six more of the signals seemingly emanating from the same region, far beyond our Milky Way. These fast radio bursts (FRB) are some of the most elusive and explosive signals ever detected from space - they only last milliseconds, but in that short period of time, they generate as much energy as the Sun in an entire day. But despite how powerful they are, scientists still aren't sure what causes them.
CSIRO/Harvard/Swinburne Astronomy Productions
Read more here.

Sheriff announces end to unlawful sanctuary city policy.

The Sheriff of Suffolk County, New York, has announced that it will be reversing its sanctuary policy just ahead of President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. John Binder reports at Breitbart,
Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco announced that his county will no longer demand a judge’s order before detaining an illegal immigrant wanted by federal immigration officials, a major shift away from its previous sanctuary city policy, according to Newsday.
Read more here.

I am sure there will be other counties soon to follow this Sheriff's lead. However, there will be many more, like the county where I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that will not. This issue will be a hot one in 2017.

Gun-controlled Chicago


AWR Hawkins reports at Breitbart,
At first, the 2016 murder figures for gun-controlled Chicago drew attention by hitting 500, which was 32 higher than the total number of murders in 2015. Then the number of murders rose to 700, followed by a Chicago Tribune report that the number of murders between January 1, 2016, and December 6, 2016, hit 731.

...Now the figure sits at 768 and gun-controlled Chicago is fast-approaching 800 murders for the year.

For those paying attention, the carnage–and the possibility for more carnage–in Chicago has been evident for quite some time. After all, Chicago is a gun control experiment gone wrong; a city which enacted a total handgun ban in 1982, thereby guaranteeing that the only people who had handguns were the criminals. Law-abiding citizens were reduced to using baseball bats, sticks, pitchforks, etc., for self-defense. And the results were easy to predict–the Tribune reported the decade following the implementation of Chicago’s ban saw “murders [jump] by 41 percent, compared with an 18 percent rise in the entire United States.”

...Moreover, gun control remains the go-to solution for Chicago city leaders and many state politicians who refuse to admit it is actually gun control’s failure that caused this death epidemic to begin with. So state representatives like Sonya Harper (D-6th) react to 2016’s relentless murder spree by sponsoring a bill that would require serial numbers to be placed on every bullet and bullet-casing. Would Harper’s plan reduce crime or murder? No. But it would drive up the price of ammunition, thereby putting one more burden in the way of law-abiding citizens trying to acquire the tools they need to defend their lives.

...Seventy individuals were shot over Thanksgiving weekend and, more recently, over 40 were shot during the Christmas weekend. In fact, the murder rate in Chicago is so high that it is skewing national murder figures for 2016. Yet the media is largely mum on the soaring death rate, as covering it honestly would mean admitting that gun control has actually endangered lives, rather than saved them.
Read more here.

"The smug condescension from useless know-it-alls"

Z Man takes a look at different kinds of conservatism. He notes the decline in readership of the National Review, and that NR seems to think that all they need is a redesigned website. He quotes at length from Matthew Continetti, who is trying to understand how Trump thinks.
Guys like Continetti would not last five minutes in the world of real estate or the world of fast food, for that matter. If he were to get a job with Trump’s organization, it would be as a doorman or desk clerk. Maybe in a decade or so he could be in a position to make a decision, like selecting a cleaning contractor or a building maintenance vendor. The reason the Conventional Right is in crisis is that normal, conservative people, have grown weary of the smug condescension from useless know-it-alls like Continetti.
Read more here.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Scandals: cover them up, or investigate and reveal them?

Aedon Cassiel writes at Counter-Currents,
Whereas the mainstream critics of Pizzagate would have you believe that the dividing line is between paranoid conspiracy theorist followers of “fake news” and level-headed people who follow trustworthy news sources and rely on cold, hard reason to determine the truth, my goal has been to show that—whatever is or is not happening with Pizzagate itself—this framing of the issue is arrogant, insulting, and the product of extremely narrow tunnel vision.

...we know that high-level sex abuse is, in fact, a thing that happens in the upper echelons of power, and we know that it gets covered up when it occurs, and we know that the media is often complicit in the cover-up as well. This is why I introduced my first entry to the series with a discussion of the Rotherham child abuse scandal, and the second entry to the series with a brief discussion of MK Ultra, a program that was publicly confirmed to have gone on for some twenty years and involved the highest halls of power subjecting innocent civilians and mentally disabled children to the worst kinds of psychological abuse and manipulation without consent before any public evidence ever even emerged. Part of the point in these examples is to demonstrate that the basic mistrust of our elites that people investigating Pizzagate are demonstrating is entirely justified by facts that are known.

...And that is why I have entered the arena, not to say “Pizzagate is obviously real!!!” but to say “The people investigating Pizzagate do not deserve to be treated like kooks. They do not deserve to be called idiots or paranoid freaks. Because in fact even if they are wrong, the instincts they are demonstrating are clearly instincts our political situation calls for in general whether something is happening in this particular instance or not.”

If any compelling evidence were to come out of Pizzagate—and, as I have said in this series, I do think at least some of it is—who would catch on and express concern about it first? The record very clearly shows that it would not be the mainstream media. As the first article made a clear effort to point out, it was the far-Right blogosphere that caught wind of the Rotherham scandal well before the mainstream media did; and during his time at the BBC, Mark Thompson was credibly accused of lying to cover up evidence of the Jimmy Savile sex scandal. Jimmy Savile managed to abuse hundreds of young children, and associates and friends were accused of acting in complicity with the rapes and even sentenced for raping the very same victims. And that same Mark Thompson who helped cover up the Savile scandal now runs the New York Times which was so quick to dismiss Pizzagate in its entirety as a hoax as well.

In what follows, I’m simply going to give overviews of some known, documented cases of this in haphazard order. I’m going to set my search bar in the right direction, spend an hour or two compiling sources that stand out to me, and list everything I find simply from looking around for a few minutes. So this won’t even be anywhere near the most compelling research on the topic that I could do. The brevity of these research methods should only serve to highlight even more clearly how pervasive this problem really is, if I can find this much with so little effort. It also underscores the irresponsibility and dishonesty of the mainstream media, who either have not done even cursory investigation or are simply shills trying to cover up the truth.

...In 2006, the DHS’s Department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ran an internationally cooperative investigation into the purchase of subscriptions of child pornography online. Code-named Project Flicker, the investigation uncovered the identities of 30,000 child porn subscribers in 132 different nations. Some 250 of these identities belonged to civilian and military employees of the U.S. Defense Department, who gave their real names and purchased the porn with government .mil email addresses—some with the highest security clearances available. In response, the Pentagon’s Department of Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS) cross-referenced ICE’s list with current employment roles and began a series of prosecutions.

A DCIS report from July 2010 shows that 30 of these individuals were investigated, despite uncovering a new total of 264 Defense employees and contractors who had purchased child pornography online. 13 had Top Secret security clearance. 8 had NATO Secret security clearance. 42 had Secret security clearance. 4 had Interim Secret security clearance. A total of 76 individuals had Secret security clearance or higher.

...In the infamous Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal in Britain, we now know that Savile’s coworkers at the BBC knew that Savile was committing many of his sexual offenses right on BBC campuses. Paul Gamboccini, who worked next door to him, said “The expression which I came to associate with Savile’s sex partners was . . . the now politically incorrect ‘under-age subnormals’. He targeted the institutionalized, the hospitalized – and this was known. Why did Jimmy Savile go to hospitals? That’s where the patients were.”

Yet, the BBC’s official statement was that there was “no evidence” of misconduct, and they even dismissed claims that there was a cover-up. But now that Savile’s offenses have been confirmed, we know that indeed there was.

Significantly, victims claimed that Savile was not just an isolated abuser, but part of an organized—and Satanically-themed—ring.

...Many people refer to the so–called “Satanic Panic” from the late 80’s and early 90’s to claim that the probability of hysteria around false allegations is more likely, and an even greater threat to society, than actual ritualized sexual abuse. However, this appears to be rather convenient for actual pedophiles—because according to Kenneth Lanning, an FBI expert on both cult crime and child abuse, often child sex offenders “introduce occult into the abuse so the kids won’t be believed . . . That is their M.O. (mode of operation) . . . People are getting away with molesting children because we can’t prove there are satanic devil worshippers eating people. Pretty soon it becomes unprosecutable.”

The author goes on to take a look at a number of cases of sexual abuse of children. He then writes,
To repeat the conclusion I reached earlier: child sex abuse is, without question, a rampant, institutional, and high-level phenomena. It occurs on a large scale in the highest levels of power—in the fields of entertainment, government, and law enforcement—and members of these rings have been well-known to gain handles on the relevant positions of power to ensure their actions are successfully covered up. Whether anything unique or original comes out of Pizzagate or not, then, my take is that the basic spirit of concern and distrust towards the elite halls of power that Pizzagaters have demonstrated is their general disposition is still far closer to the spirit of the truth than the basic attitude of dismissiveness that such a thing could even occur being demonstrated by those who find it too quick and easy to dismiss all of Pizzagate in its entirety as nothing more than a hoax—and I would stand by this statement even if it turned out that the latter were right.

...For instance, if someone we now know was very active in denying allegations about a case that later turned out to be true is doing the same in Pizzagate (and for instance, Mark Thompson of the BBC was credibly accused of helping cover up the Savile scandal, and now runs the NYT), then we have evidence in the form of recognizing that what’s in front of us fits a certain pattern. Previous cases establish the “patterns” that take place when one thing or another happen, and therefore influence how we ought to interpret the patterns we see in front of us in a given case. If the patterns start to match, then that qualifies as evidence.

...Only for those who have it within them by nature to recognize that there are problems, untrustworthy elites, and a need to take some kind of action is there any purpose in discussing where to aim.
Read more here.

A Colorado Christmas in New Mexico

Though we are living in New Mexico, Colorado still has our hearts. This was made by Kim, on the right, and a tenant here who is a ferrier. The letters are made from horseshoes. I'll bet they could really sell these at the Cherry Creek art show in July. This was presented to Colleen, on the left, as a Christmas gift.

Was Jesus born on December 25?

At Sense of Events Donald Sensing has information about the Christmas star, King Herod, the Magi, Jews, and why Christmas is on December 25.

"We Have "Ironclad" Evidence That Obama Orchestrated Anti-Israel UN Vote"

Ace posts,
Israeli Ambassador to America: We Have "Ironclad" Evidence That Obama Orchestrated Anti-Israel UN Vote, and We'll Present This Information to Trump When He Becomes President
—Ace

Funny, I don't hear Obama denying it.

Obama abstains



h/t Ace of Spades

Losing

Misanthropic Humanitarian points out at Ace of Spades,
Obama's ego and the 2016 election results don't jive.
He links to IJR, which points out that
...what we do know is that during Obama's eight years in office, Democrats lost more than 1,030 seats in state legislatures, governorships, and the U.S. Congress — not to mention the 2016 presidential election.






"A mad long-shot sociopolitical experiment that can only end catastrophically."

Mark Steyn comments on the Berlin massacre of people in a Christmas market:
Since we seem to have wound up obsessing on percentages, I suppose twelve dead Germans is likewise an insignificant percentage, and far too trivial to sophisticates to warrant "Mark Steyn-esque hysteria". But it is December 20th, and for the victims' families in five days' time that will be 100 per cent of their children or parents or boyfriends or girlfriends missing at the Christmas table. Say a prayer for them: They died because of the recklessness of a western political class that has doubled down on a mad long-shot sociopolitical experiment that can only end catastrophically.
Read more here.

Hallucinogenic plant called ayahuasca is gaining a foothold in the US.

Veronica Dupont writes at Yahoo News about a hallucinogenic plant called ayahuasca that is gaining a foothold in the US.
Ayahuasca's proponents, who include celebrities such as Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Lindsey Lohan, say the plant offers a spiritual experience like no other. Many also say it has allowed them to overcome traumas that no other conventional therapy can tackle.

...According to Dennis McKenna, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing, some 100 clandestine ayahuasca ceremonies are held nightly in New York and other cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

McKenna said it is difficult to get a firm count on the number of ceremonies held across the country as ayahuasca contains the hallucinogenic drug dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is illegal in the United States and is in the same category as Ecstasy and heroin.

Firm believers in ayahuasca say they drink the foul-tasting tea only at intervals of several months and must observe a strict diet before sampling the brew.

...Still, scientists caution that the brew can be dangerous, especially if mixed with other drugs and should be avoided by those who have asthma, suffer from epilepsy and are bipolar or schizophrenic, as the concoction can trigger psychotic episodes.
Read more here.

"Maybe Obama should convert and run for pope."

Michael Ledeen writes at Pj Media that we are at maximum risk of jihadi attacks right now. Why?
As I promised, as the days of Obama draw down, the jihadis are stepping up the terror tempo. They know that there will be no reprisals from the Oahu links, and they fear Trump’s lineup of tough guys in the cabinet, so they’re in a hurry to kill infidels while the killing’s good. Therefore we, along with the other Western nations, are at maximum risk right now, until roundabouts January 20th.

And the killing’s plenty good, isn’t it? Berlin, Zurich, Ankara, Moscow, with a very nasty plot uncovered in Melbourne, and yet another involving terrorists in Detroit, Maryland, and Virginia. Not to mention the ongoing slaughter in Syria, and, on Christmas day, Cameroon.

What does the “western world” do in response? Declare the Western Wall “occupied territory.” This is no accident, since the jihadis believe that they have unleashed holy war against infidels. That war will not end, in their view, until we infidels have been crushed and subjected to the will of a caliph. They’ve got plenty of support from the Russians, without whom thousands of Iranians and Iranian proxies would have been killed in Syria and Iraq, and the Assad regime would have been destroyed.

That would have been a better world, but Obama did not want that world. Nor did the feckless Europeans, who act as if profits on Iran trade compensate for the open subversion of public order. Indeed, as Christmas arrived we were treated to the spectacle of the bishop of Rome—aka Pope Francis--blaming material misery for the jihadist assault on the West. Thus the first Jesuit pontiff surrenders the moral high ground to his mortal enemies.

Maybe Obama should convert and run for pope.
Read more here.

"The United Nations is a failed experiment." We need to take our $3 billion and get out.

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page Magazine,
The United States pays 22% of the total UN budget. What we get for our $3 billion a year is a corrupt organization whose dysfunctional and hostile agencies are united in opposing us around the world.

The United Nations does only two things consistently and effectively: waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time.

...We are not making the world a better place by being members of this anti-American organization which vacillates between being evil and useless.

...Like the League of Nations, the United Nations is a failed experiment. The only difference is that, despite decades of wars, genocides and terror, we still haven’t pulled the plug.

President Trump will have the opportunity to pull out of the UN and drain the swamp in Turtle Bay.
Like the League of Nations, the United Nations is a failed experiment. The only difference is that, despite decades of wars, genocides and terror, we still haven’t pulled the plug.

President Trump will have the opportunity to pull out of the UN and drain the swamp in Turtle Bay.tion
Read many more examples od UN corruption, evil, and incompetence here.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

"Not Caesar, but Christ."

Oregon Muse takes a look at the divinity of Jesus at Ace of Spades.

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2 King James Version (KJV)
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Cruz: deny funding to the UN until reversal of decision on Israeli settlements


The Hill reports that Senator Ted Cruz is leading an effort to deny funding of the UN until it reverses its Friday decision forcing an end to Israeli settlements. McCain and Graham are also complaining about the disgraceful Obama decision to abstain in the Security council.

Finding the good in tough times

In his USA Today column Glenn Reynolds finds some good in his father's last days.

Chinese Academy of Science claims EmDrive working on Chinese Space Station.

Instapundit linked to this at Chaos Manor:
Claim confirmed. Chinese Academy of Science claims EmDrive working on Chinese Space Station.

The question becomes, given the magnitude of this, why is it a surprise? We have 21 expensive intelligence agencies; not one of them knew the Chinese orbited an EM Drive? Of course it will be a while before we can do orbital tests. We have no rockets. That’s preparedness. Perhaps Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos can help? This is a signal larger than Sputnik. If the Intelligence Community knows about Russian hacking, why doesn’t it know about Chinese testing of a reactionless drive?