Sunday, November 02, 2014

Inside the plot against the middle class
Ever get the sense that the middle class is downwardly mobile, being pressed to the floor and squeezed to the limit? It’s not happening by accident. Someone is doing the squeezing: a new class of entertainment and tech plutocrats, cheered on and abetted by a priesthood of media, government and academic elites.

Joel Kotkin’s “The New Class Conflict” (Telos Press Publishing) paints a dire picture of the undeclared war on the middle class. What he calls the Oligarchy (Silicon Valley and Hollywood) and the Clerisy (the media, bureaucrats, universities and nonprofits) enrich themselves and gratify their own strange obsessions at the expense of the middle class....

...Higher education is increasingly unaffordable, and many of the same forces are at work.

The government, with the media Clerisy cheering its efforts, offers cheap loans to “help the middle class.” Those subsidies are in effect a tax that everyone pays in order to aid the next generation of elites. The extra money siphoned out of your wallet gets filtered through the government and into the pockets of the government-promoting universities, whose costs are shooting up because they keep fattening their payrolls. Over the last 40 years, university bureaucracy has more than tripled in population — to some 750,000 administrators, who now outnumber professors on campus. All told, the universities employ 1.7 million people, most of them licking their lips at the prospect of indoctrinating 20 million students.

President Obama let the mask slip when he offered to cap payments on, and ultimately forgive, student loans when the graduate becomes a paid-up, fully vested member of the Clerisy — spending 10 years in a government or nonprofit job.

Yep, the regulators will happily pass along the costs of your tuition to the taxpaying suckers — as long as you join their cult and keep the cycle going. It’s as if the Vatican spared no expense to educate the next generation of cardinals, then simply decreed that the general public pick up the tab....
Yet More IRS Employees Busted for Stealing Taxpayers' Identities
It's hard to keep up with the privacy-threatening shenanigans at the Internal Revenue Service, but let's give it a try. Just days after revealing that the tax agency's failure to follow its own rules put the private data of 1.4 million people at risk, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration publicized the sentencing of Tax Examining Technician Missy Sledge for aggravated identity theft and mail fraud, and IRS employee Monica Hernandez for making and subscribing a false income tax return, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the Inspector General's Office, "as part of her official IRS duties, Sledge had access to taxpayers’ personal identifiers, including names, Social Security Numbers (SSN), dates of birth, and addresses, as well as information about tax professionals. Sledge used this access in furtherance of an identity theft scheme which included the filing of fraudulent tax returns and the subsequent theft of refunds."...
At U-M, Sexual Violence Includes 'Discounting Feelings,' 'Withholding Sex'
...Examples of sexual violence include: discounting the partner's feelings regarding sex; criticizing the partner sexually; touching the partner sexually in inappropriate and uncomfortable ways; withholding sex and affection; always demanding sex; forcing partner to strip as a form of humiliation (maybe in front of children), to witness sexual acts, to participate in uncomfortable sex or sex after an episode of violence, to have sex with other people; and using objects and/or weapons to hurt during sex or threats to back up demands for sex...
DHS secret revealed: Tens of thousands of illegals released during the border crisis didn’t show up for their immigration hearings
...An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that about 70 percent of immigrant families the Obama administration had released into the U.S. never showed up weeks later for follow up appointments.

The ICE official made the disclosure in a confidential meeting at its Washington headquarters with immigration advocates participating in a federal working group on detention and enforcement policies. The Associated Press obtained an audio recording of Wednesday’s meeting and separately interviewed participants.

On the recording obtained by the AP, the government did not specify the total number of families released into the U.S. since October. Since only a few hundred families have already been returned to their home countries and limited U.S. detention facilities can house only about 1,200 family members, the 70 percent figure suggests the government released roughly 41,000 members of immigrant families who subsequently failed to appear at federal immigration offices....
Robert Kennedy Jr., Aspiring Tyrant
Blissfully unaware of how hot the irony burned, Robert Kennedy Jr. yesterday took to a public protest to rail avidly in favor of censorship. The United States government, Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, is not permitted by law to “punish” or to imprison those who disagree with him — and this, he proposed, is a problem of existential proportions. Were he to have his way, Kennedy admitted, he would cheer the prosecution of a host of “treasonous” figures — among them a number of unspecified “politicians”; those bĂȘtes noires of the global Left, Kansas’s own Koch Brothers; “the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber”; and, for good measure, anybody else whose estimation of the threat posed by fossil fuels has provoked them into “selling out the public trust.” Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.”...

...Kennedy’s insidious aspirations are the inevitable consequence of his conviction that he is in possession of the truth and that all who have the temerity to question him are, in consequence, wreckers. At the best of times, and on the least shaky of epistemological ground, this is a dangerous instinct. In this area in particular, it is downright frightening. Of late, it has become drearily standard to hear the Kennedys of the world pretend that if one acknowledges basic climate mechanics, one is forced to take notoriously unreliable computer models at face value and, further, to acquiesce in whatever political “solutions” are currently en vogue. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever “consensus” can be said to exist in the realm of climatology is largely limited to the presumption that industrial activity is bound by the same chemical, biological, and physical rules as is any other human pursuit, and to the acknowledgement that if one changes the makeup of the atmosphere, the atmosphere will change. Quite how it will change, to what extent, and to what degree any such transmutation represents a problem for life on earth, however, remain open questions. At present, there remain serious disagreements as to what has caused the current “pause” in global warming; as to what accounts for the embarrassing failure of so many of the forecasts on which we are expected to rely; as to how much of an effect modulations in the climate are having on extreme weather events; and as to how much we can possibly know about the future anyhow....
For Gun Shop Owners, It’s No Longer Hip to Be ‘Square’
...Today, the Square’s terms prohibit gun-shop owners from using the credit-card processor not only when they are conducting gun sales at their brick-and-mortar stores but even more so when they are offsite, representing their stores at gun shows where they often need the wireless Square Reader to ring up sales on smartphones or tablets. Gun show have been a target of anti-gun activists for nearly 20 years....

...Square’s revised terms of agreement immediately forced vendors to halt the processing of transactions of citizens who simply wish to buy or sell firearms or ammunition.

The timing of the release of the Square’s new, more stringent terms just so happens to coincide with Operation Choke Point’s initial targeting in the spring of 2013, as reported by The Daily Signal.

The timing also coincides with banking relationship cancellations of pro-Second Amendment candidates and campaigns throughout the United States, including last year’s Colorado recall elections over gun control....
Global Warming Heat Not "Hiding" in the Deep Ocean After All
One of the leading explanations for why the postulated rise in global average temperatures due to man-made warming has "paused" for nearly 18 years now is that the "missing heat" is hiding in the deep ocean. Two new papers in Nature Climate Change look at how much heat the oceans are supposed to have absorbed since the 1970s. The press release from the Jet Propulsion Lab whose researchers did much of the analysis notes:

The cold waters of Earth's deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years....
George F. Will: The nastiest political tactic this year
The early-morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens’ homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children’s, were ransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told that it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids....

...From the progressivism of Robert La Follette to the conservatism of Gov. Scott Walker (R) today, Wisconsin has been fertile soil for conviction politics. Today, the state’s senators are the very conservative Ron Johnson (R) and the very liberal Tammy Baldwin (D). Now, however, Wisconsin, which to its chagrin produced Sen. Joe McCarthy (R), has been embarrassed by Milwaukee County’s Democratic district attorney, John Chisholm. He has used Wisconsin’s uniquely odious “John Doe” process to launch sweeping and virtually unsupervised investigations while imposing gag orders to prevent investigated people from defending themselves or rebutting politically motivated leaks.

According to several published reports, Chisholm told subordinates that his wife, a teachers union shop steward at her school, is anguished by her detestation of Walker’s restrictions on government employee unions, so Chisholm considers it his duty to help defeat Walker....

...Such misbehavior takes a toll on something that already is in short supply: belief in government’s legitimacy. The federal government’s most intrusive and potentially punitive institution, the IRS, unquestionably worked for Barack Obama’s reelection by suppressing activities by conservative groups. Would he have won if the government he heads had not impeded political participation by many opposition groups? We will never know.

Would the race between Walker and Democrat Mary Burke be as close as it is if a process susceptible to abuse had not been so flagrantly abused to silence groups on one side of Wisconsin’s debate? Surely not.

Gangster government — Michael Barone’s description of using government machinery to punish political opponents or reward supporters — has stained Wisconsin, illustrating this truth: The regulation of campaigns in the name of political hygiene (combating “corruption” or the “appearance” of it) inevitably involves bad laws and bad bureaucracies susceptible to abuse by bad people....
Plan to use teen as bait leads to rape at school, suit alleges
It's an unimaginable horror. A 14-year-old girl with special needs allegedly was raped at school after a teacher's aide persuaded her to act as bait to catch an accused sexual predator, a fellow student. "It has essentially devastated her life," attorney Eric Artrip -- who represents the girl and her father -- said of the alleged January 2010 incident....

University event says men can prevent rape through taco runs
A student event at Arizona State University suggested that intoxicated men just grab tacos with friends in order to prevent rape.

The event, sponsored by the student group I Always Get Consent, made the claim that teaching women self-defense techniques perpetuates “rape culture” and advised men to tell their drunken buddies at the bar that a woman is ugly to prevent him from going home with her and raping her....
Oklahoma Federal Court Rules IRS Attempt to Save Obamacare's Subsidies for Federal Exchange Enrollees "Arbitrary, Capricious, an Abuse of Discretion, and Otherwise Not In Accordance with the Law"

More: The Judge in Pruitt Scolds the Obama Champions of the Judicial Branch

Josh Kraushaar: Obama's Pass-the-Buck Presidency
...Obama takes daily intelligence briefings in writing, he explained, because no one will be able to testify about warning the president in person about threats that the White House doesn't act on...
Conservative Super PAC: Iowa TV Station Won’t Run Our Ads Against Democrats

Judge Wants To Force A Printer To Make Pro-Gay T-Shirts
Trends in American Public Schooling since 1970
George Will: ‘Government Is Not Competent’
Will: “Government is not competent. Frankly it’s not competent under Republicans or Democrats because it is always a monopoly and monopolies are not disciplined by market forces that are connected with reality. Teasing this segment, you asked “can we have faith in government?” I think we have much more to fear from excessive faith in government than from too little faith in government. You asked “can we trust the government to do its job?” What isn’t its job these days? I’ve just made a list. It’s fine-tuning the curriculum of our students k-12, monitoring sex on campuses, deciding how much ethanol we should put in our gas tanks, it’s designed our lightbulbs, and it’s worried sick over the name of the Washington football team. Now this is a government that doesn’t know when to stop.”
Study: Non-Citizens Are Voting And Could Decide The Election
Jesse Richman and David Earnest, professors at Old Dominion University, conducted a study into how many, if any, non-citizens have voted in U.S. elections. It turns out there are enough to be difference makers in close races.

They write, “we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races.”

Putting a finer point on it, the professors continue, “How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.”

It is illegal for non-citizens to vote in U.S. elections.

It is conceivable, they say, that the non-citizen vote could have been the difference in Democrats winning the filibuster proof 60-vote majority they enjoyed in 2009, resulting in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“Non-citizens,” they found, “tended to favor Democrats [Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample], we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections.”

In Minnesota, the 2008 Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman was decided by 312 votes. Just .65 percent of Minnesota’s non-citizen population, barely 10 percent of the rate of non-citizens they found voted that year, pulled the lever for Franken, that could have been the difference.

They find similar possibilities in President Obama’s slim victory in North Carolina....

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat."
-- Hillary Clinton
Is Eric Holder Trying to Protect the IRS?
...The aide, Brian Fallon, is a former senior aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and a well-known personality on Capitol Hill. The letter describes Fallon as “audibly shaken” when he realizes his request to leak documents to help get ahead of news stories about them was mistakenly made to the very office he was seeking to undermine. Issa believes the call was intended to be made to Democratic Rep. Elijah Cumming’s staff, the ranking member on the oversight panel, the letter said.

According to the letter, Fallon – who is not named in the letter but confirmed he made the call – asked if the aides could release the IRS scandal documents to “selected reporters” to give Fallon an “opportunity to comment publicly on it.”

Fallon explained to Issa aides that the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs had not permitted him to release the documents to the public and he wanted to get ahead of the story “before the Majority” – meaning Issa – could share it, according to the letter.

Issa aides – who had placed the call on speakerphone – were “caught off guard by the unusual nature of the call and the odd request” and asked Fallon to “e-mail the material for evaluation.”

“At this point,” Fallon “abruptly placed the call on hold for approximately three minutes.” When Fallon returned to the call, “he was audibly shaken. He immediately stated that there was a ‘change in plans’ and that there would be no effort” by DOJ to release the material early....
‘CATALIST’: Obama’s Database for Fundamentally Transforming America
...During the 2012 election, a producer for a conservative news network received a knock at his door in a key swing state. Two neighbors were standing on his stoop campaigning for Obama. They weren’t there to talk to him — they were there to talk to his wife. They knew that she was employed in a profession which the Obama campaign had decided to microtarget: folks who deliver services to special needs children. The two neighbors were already armed with this personalized information. The Obama campaign didn’t just send a direct mail piece to the target or make a telephone call. Instead, the campaign matched a microtargeted demographic (special needs service providers) with a highly motivated Obama volunteer in close neighborly proximity to the target. Then they armed the neighbor/volunteer with data to visit the target....

...Similarly, the data feeding the central Catalist database are coming from a wide swath of sources. Public records, pollsters, campaigns, non-profits, activist groups, unions, parties, commercial data — scores and scores of sources are feeding the central database data.

For example, when an environmental group does neighborhood door knocking for cash, the results of those contacts are fed into Catalist.

You have your own individual voter file in Catalist. Everyone does. Under that file might be a massive amount of information about you — more than probably exists in any other database in the world. Whom you work for, what car you might drive, donations you have made, assumptions based on your neighborhood, anything in a public government database about you, consumer preferences, partisan preferences, what licenses you have, what you might have said to pollsters on the phone, memberships, how you treated the young left-wing activist knocking on your door a few years ago, and on and on and on.

Each group working with Catalist feeds the central database. Different groups have different types of data about you. Some data relate to economics. Other data relate to politics. Either way, the Borg all work in unison to fill the database with a massive amount of information about every American — and all of it is perfectly legal....

Academic ‘Dream Team’ Helped Obama’s Effort
...“In the way it used research, this was a campaign like no other,” said Todd Rogers, a psychologist at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a former director of the Analyst Institute. “It’s a big change for a culture that historically has relied on consultants, experts and gurulike intuition.”

When asked about the outside psychologists, the Obama campaign would neither confirm nor deny a relationship with them. “This campaign was built on the energy, enthusiasm and ingenuity of thousands of grass-roots supporters and our staff in the states and in Chicago,” said Adam Fetcher, a campaign spokesman. “Throughout the campaign we saw an outpouring of individuals across the country who lent a wide variety of ideas and input to our efforts to get the president re-elected.”...
Gotta be considerate of the kiddies


The War on Poverty Has Been a Colossal Flop
...Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

One third of the U.S. population received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013.

The federal government currently runs more than 80 means-tested welfare programs. These programs provide cash, food, housing and medical care to low-income Americans. Federal and state spending on these programs last year was $943 billion. (These figures do not include Social Security, Medicare, or Unemployment Insurance.)

Over 100 million people, about one third of the U.S. population, received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013. If converted into cash, current means-tested spending is five times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty in the U.S....

...How is this possible? How can the taxpayers spend $22 trillion on welfare while poverty gets worse?

The typical family that Census identifies as poor has air conditioning, cable or satellite TV, and a computer in its home.

The answer is it isn’t possible. Census counts a family as poor if its income falls below specified thresholds. But in counting family “income,” Census ignores nearly the entire $943 billion welfare state....



America's new class system
...Once a state where the middle class reigned supreme, the apotheosis of the American Dream, California now has the wealth distribution — and, in some disturbing ways, the political underpinnings — of a Third World country. In Silicon Valley, a group of super-wealthy tech oligarchs live lives of almost unimaginable wealth, while only a few miles away, illegal immigrants live in squalor.

The oligarchs feel free, and even entitled, to choose the direction of society in the name of a greater good, but somehow their policies seem mostly to make the oligarchs richer and more powerful....

...The oligarchs are assisted in their control by what Kotkin calls the "clerisy" class — an amalgam of academics, media and government employees who play the role that medieval clergy once played in legitimizing the powerful, and in implementing their policies while quelling resistance from the masses. The clerisy isn't as rich as the oligarchs, but it does pretty well for itself and is compensated in part by status, its positions allowing even its lower-paid members to feel superior to the hoi polloi.

Because it doesn't have to work in competitive industries, the clerisy favors regulations, land-use rules and environmental restrictions that make things worse for businesses — especially the small "yeoman" businesses that traditionally sustained much of the middle class — thus further hollowing out the middle of the income distribution. But the lower classes, sustained by government handouts and by rhetoric from the clerisy, provide enough votes to keep the machine running, at least for a while....
Stimulus bill enabled billions in waste, exploitation of employees
...The largest government infusion of cash into the U.S. economy in generations – the 2009 stimulus – was riddled with a massive labor scheme that harmed workers and cheated unsuspecting American taxpayers.

At the time, government regulators watched as money slipped out the door and into the hands of companies that rob state and federal treasuries of billions of dollars each year on stimulus projects and other construction jobs across the country, a yearlong McClatchy investigation found.

A review of public records in 28 states uncovered widespread cheating by construction companies that listed workers as contractors instead of employees in order to beat competitors and cut costs. The federal government, while cracking down on the practice in private industry, let it happen in stimulus projects in the rush to pump money into the economy at a time of crisis.

Companies across the country avoided state and federal taxes and undercut law-abiding competitors. They exploited workers desperate for jobs, depriving them of unemployment benefits and often workers’ compensation insurance.

Exactly how much tax revenue was forfeited on stimulus projects isn’t clear. This is: The government enabled businesses bent on breaking the rules. Regulators squandered the chance to right a rogue industry by forcing companies’ hands on government jobs....
Minnesota's Biggest Obamacare Insurer Leaves Exchange
PreferredOne was the least expensive insurer in the Minnesota's state-run Obamacare exchange last year. It was also the most successful at signing up customers, capturing 59 percent of the state's market for private plans, according to CBS Minnesota.

And now it's leaving the exchange, and the 30,000 people who had enrolled in its coverage.

As Jed Graham from Investor's Business Daily explains, this was due to an unusual feature of Obamacare in Minnesota—the existence of a "basic health program" option for lower-income households. ...
Read 8 damning emails from behind the scenes of the Healthcare.gov meltdown
..."Officials at CMS and HHS refused to admit to the public that the website was not on track to launch without significant functionality problems and substantial security risks," the report says. "There is also evidence that the Administration, to this day, is continuing its efforts to shield ongoing problems with the website from public view."

The worst look comes from the internal emails excerpted in the report (including one that from CMS chief Marilynn Tavenner that begins "Please delete this email.") Not many officials lost their jobs in the wake of the Healthcare.gov debacle — CMS CIO Tony Trenkle's resignation was one of the only staff changes immediately following the launch — but this report may change that. Things look especially bleak for Tavenner, who signed the approval saying the site could go live and also reportedly told her subordinates to delete emails in addition to deleting her own, a violation of federal record-keeping rules....
Liver transplant plan could punish donor-rich South
...UNOS may redraw liver-sharing regions. The new map would result in more donations from Tennessee being shipped to states beyond its existing district, which also includes Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Vanderbilt’s liver transplant center is one of 60 across the nation that have gone on record against the redistricting proposal. Directors of those centers have signed a letter saying the proposal represents “the most drastic change in liver allocation ever and would significantly disadvantage many areas of the country currently able to serve their patient populations.”

Although he is not on a transplant list, Wyatt is keeping a close watch on the proposal because his doctor has told him he may someday need a new liver. He compares it to political gerrymandering and says areas of the country with low donation rates simply need to get more people to sign up as organ donors.

“What they are wanting to do is take the areas of high donation rates, like the South, and turn them into an organ farm to send them from areas of high donation rates to areas of low donation,” Wyatt said. “That is their proposal in a nutshell.”...
Rotherham child-sex victim confronts her alleged abuser in the street... but SHE is arrested by a van load of police
A victim of Rotherham's child sex abuse scandal confronted a man she says groomed her - but was left shocked when she was the one arrested.

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

But she was tackled by two police officers and pushed up against a wall during her 'thuggish' arrest, a witness has said....
Democrats’ Push to Criminalize Dissent
...Democrats pushing the measure to repeal free speech pretend that it is a campaign-finance measure, but the only criteria it establishes for Congress to ban an advertisement — or a book, or a film, or a television show, or a magazine — is that money is expended in an attempt to influence a political outcome. Under those rules, the Ohio Inquisition’s successful move to ban billboards critical of an embattled Democratic congressman would have been totally acceptable under the provisions of a gutted First Amendment.

The Ohio Inquisition, and the Minnesota Inquisition, and Harry Reid’s war on the First Amendment are hardly isolated episodes. Consider that the same Texas prosecutor that has indicted Governor Rick Perry on two felony counts for the so-called crime of exercising his constitutional authority to veto a bill — a bill providing funds to that prosecutor’s office — is now preparing to indict University of Texas regent and whistleblower Wallace Hall, on charges of . . . hmm.

The charges against Mr. Hall are odd even by the standards of Rosemary Lehmberg, the vodka-pickled Texas prosecutor whose videotaped tirade after a DUI arrest — she threatened to have sheriff’s deputies jailed if she was not given special treatment — led to Governor Perry’s veto of funds for her office, on the theory that he could not in good conscience sign off on funding for an agency under such non-credible leadership. Mr. Hall is accused of leaking private information regarding academic records; short of that, prosecutors want to charge Mr. Hall with the crime of leading people to “speculate” about certain information protected by privacy rules. For the record, I should note that, though I never have spoken to the man, the party to whom Mr. Hall is accused of leaking information and whose speculation he is accused of encouraging is me....
GAMERGATE: ANGRY FEMINISTS, UNETHICAL JOURNALISTS ARE THE ONES NOT WELCOME IN THE GAMING COMMUNITY
...I'm exaggerating, obviously. But not by much: these bizarre campaigners, deploying a series of disingenuous and morally questionable tactics, such as goading people into making unpleasant remarks and then using those statements to publicly beg for sympathy and cash, have made gamers' lives a misery these last few years.

And yet, to the confusion of the troublemakers, barking orders and concocting bogus allegations of misogyny have not yielded results. Nor have the distraction tactics deployed by journalists sympathetic to the social justice warriors' causes, designed to draw attention away from those journalists' own moral failings -- shortcomings which have been known about for a long time, but which are only now being called out by readers en masse, because industry sites such as Kotaku and Polygon have chosen rather than to defend their industries to attack their readers....
Army officer is told not to enter his daughter's high school because he's wearing his uniform
...Baker's wife Rachel Ferhadson says, "Before he was allowed in, the security guard stopped him and said sorry you're not allowed in the school. Security told him men and women in uniform weren't allowed because it may offend another student."...
Clinton insiders screened Benghazi documents before ARB probe, official says
...As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

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

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisors.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”...
Obama campaign’s open door to China
...Obama’s campaign refuses to use industry-standard safeguards against online credit-card fraud. For example, some 90 percent of e-commerce companies (and Romney’s site) use Card Verification Value data, which checks those three or four numbers on the back of the credit card to make sure the card user matches the card holder. The Obama site uses it if you want to buy a T-shirt or hat — but not if you make a donation....

...Why suspect so much Chinese giving? Consider the site Obama.com. It’s owned by Shanghai-based Obama campaign bundler Robert Roche. More than two-thirds of its traffic comes from non-US visitors, nearly 90 percent of them Chinese. And visitors there immediately get directed to barackobama.com, where they become part of the fund-raising mill.

Roche, one of Obama’s top advisers on trade with China, runs a Shanghai-based media company called Acorn, Inc. Chinese banks use Acorn for — what else? — credit-card transactions. One has to be very naive to believe those banks chose Acorn on their own, instead of at the behest of the Chinese government — or that none of those transactions involve contributions to the Obama campaign.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time China has seen fit to intrude itself in our electoral process. Who can forget Charlie Trie, the Little Rock restaurateur who channeled money from China’s intelligence service to the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign, or then-Vice President Al Gore gathering all that Chinese cash at a California Buddhist temple?...
Federal Obamacare Officials Once Recognized the Falsity of Their Current Argument about Tax Credits
...most importantly, the original contract does not include any specific language related to technology which would allow consumers, who sign up using the Federal Exchange website, to determine their individual tax credit eligibility, and calculate and display comparative pricing options after any tax credits. . . if the law was intended to provide tax credits to the residents of states included in the Federal Exchange, the HealthCare.gov original design contract would have included functionality to provide tax credits to individuals in these states.

Shortly after Obamacare was enacted, HHS provided guidance documents to states regarding tax credit technology and systems. . .By stating in the introductory paragraph that “IT systems should be simple and seamless in identifying people who qualify for tax credits”, HHS made it clear that tax credits for consumers was one of its highest priorities...
Rape and Rotherham
...So instead of looking for ideological vindication in these stories, it’s better to draw a general lesson. Show me what a culture values, prizes, puts on a pedestal, and I’ll tell you who is likely to get away with rape.

In Catholic Boston or Catholic Ireland, that meant men robed in the vestments of the church.

In Joe Paterno’s pigskin-mad Happy Valley, it meant a beloved football coach.

In status-conscious, education-obsessed Manhattan, it meant charismatic teachers at an elite private school.

In Hollywood and the wider culture industry — still the great undiscovered country of sexual exploitation, I suspect — it has often meant the famous and talented, from Roman Polanski to the BBC’s Jimmy Savile, robed in the authority of their celebrity and art.

And in Rotherham, it meant men whose ethnic and religious background made them seem politically untouchable, and whose victims belonged to a class that both liberal and conservative elements in British society regard with condescension or contempt....
UKIP MEP SENT DEATH THREATS AFTER SLAMMING ROTHERHAM COUNCIL OVER CHILD ABUSE SCANDAL
UKIP's Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire, Jane Collins, has reported that she has been on the receiving end of death threats and warnings about her staying away from Rotherham after she attacked the local council for its negligence in the ongoing child abuse scandal....

Researcher who tried to expose Rotherham abuse ‘feared for life after police officers’ threat’
A Home Office researcher whose report into child sexual exploitation problems in Rotherham was ‘suppressed’ more than a decade ago has claimed she was threatened by two police officers.

The researcher claims she was approached by two officers while she was in her car at night, to be told it would be a ‘bad thing’ if the abusers she was investigating found out her home address....

Alimony for Your Eggs
...Mr. Lieberman is asking his client’s soon-to-be-former husband of eight years to pay $20,000 to cover her egg-freezing procedure, medication costs and several years of egg storage. “When they got married, the expectation was they would start a family,” he told me. “Now she might not have the chance much longer.”...

...All of a sudden, fertility has been assigned a value. If the point of a divorce settlement is to take inventory of a couple’s joint life and divide the assets, then that commodity belongs on the negotiating table — alongside vacation time-shares and projected earnings from his and her M.B.A.’s.

In the New Jersey couple’s case, they decided to divorce after undergoing several failed attempts at in vitro fertilization. Mr. Lieberman’s argument is that since fertility treatments were part of the marriage, they should be considered part of the marital lifestyle, which should be maintained as much as possible post-divorce. The only difference is, in the future, she’ll use another man’s sperm....
"Or to paraphrase, those who pound the table the loudest voicing complaints about micro-"aggressions" are fighting off the nagging thought: If the person who committed them isn't particularly evil, then maybe I'm not particularly special."
-- Ed Driscoll
The Varieties of Liberal Enthusiasm
...The first signs of the spiritual zeal that would eventually play a significant part in Obama’s election came not from Washington or Chicago but from Hollywood. Our moviemakers are adept at measuring the zeitgeist of the nation—of its liberal half, anyway—and are a powerful force in shaping it. And for more than a decade, they’ve been churning out what critics call “black-angel” movies. These films feature a white protagonist guided to enlightenment by a black character, usually of divine or supernatural origin or, at the very least, in touch with spiritual experiences that the main character lacks. With the black angel’s help, the white hero finds salvation....

...Barack Obama must be elected President of the United States. . . . I have thrown myself into a new world—one in which fluffy chatter and frivolous praise are replaced by a get-to-the-point directness and disciple-like devotion. It’s intense and intoxicating. . . . When I attended my second “Obama Live” fund-raiser last week at New York City’s Grand Hyatt, . . . I was on my feet as Senator Obama entered the room. Fate had blessed me in this moment. . . . In a moment of divine intervention, he saw me, . . . grabbed my hand, and gave that brilliant smile of his. I literally said out loud to the woman next to me who witnessed my good fate, “I’ll never wash this hand again.”...
Internal emails: EPA rules part of 'progressive' agenda
Emails between top Environmental Protection Agency officials reveal they saw their fight against global warming as putting them at “forefront of progressive national policy.”

“You are at the forefront of progressive national policy on one of the critical issues of our time. Do you realize that?” former EPA chief Lisa Jackson asked former EPA policy office head Lisa Heinzerling in a Feb. 27, 2009 email.

“You’re a good boss. I do realize that. I pinch myself all the time,” Heinzerling replied that same day to Jackson, who was using an alias email account under the fake name “Richard Windsor.”...
VA Supervisor Made Her Employees Renovate Her House, Used Gov’t Money To Do It
A former Veterans Affairs supervisor has been sentenced for stealing up to $20,000 of government property, a recent Justice Department release announced.

From 2010 to 2013, 48-year-old Venita Godfrey-Scott directed her employees to use materials and supplies intended for VA medical center upkeep on her own house. These taxpayer-funded home improvement projects included “a deck in her backyard, carpet installation, and various kitchen, bathroom and basement improvements.” She also instructed employees to buy other necessary materials with her government-issued credit card, and had them work on these projects during normal work hours, when they were being paid by the VA.

Godfrey-Scott was a facilities supervisor, responsible for “carpentry, paint, locks, doors, and other minor construction projects,” for the VA Medical Center in West Haven, Conn....

Sunday, September 07, 2014

IRS SAYS IT HAS LOST EMAILS FROM 5 MORE EMPLOYEES
...On Friday, the IRS said it has also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status....
Rotherham Whistleblower 'Sent On Diversity Training For Saying Most Abusers Were Asian'
A researcher was sent on a diversity awareness course - and faced the sack - for raising the alarm about the appalling abuse of children in Rotherham and the fact most of the perpetrators were of Pakistani descent, it has been reported.

Some 1,400 children were abused between 1997 and 2013 in the South Yorkshire town, including cases of them of being made to witness brutal rapes, being covered in petrol and threatened with being set alight, according to a devastating report last week.

Many of the victims were young girls in care of the council - which was accused of "blatant" failures in not dealing with the problem.

The researcher, who was seconded to Rotherham Council from the Home Office in 2002, spoke to BBC Panorama anonymously and said she was told she must "never, ever" again mention the fact they most of the abusers were Asian men....

..."And her other response was to book me on a two-day ethnicity and diversity course to raise my awareness of ethnic issues."...
Whatever Happened To Global Warming: Now come climate scientists’ implausible explanations for why the ‘hiatus’ has passed the 15-year mark.
...On Sept. 23 the United Nations will host a party for world leaders in New York to pledge urgent action against climate change. Yet leaders from China, India and Germany have already announced that they won’t attend the summit and others are likely to follow, leaving President Obama looking a bit lonely. Could it be that they no longer regard it as an urgent threat that some time later in this century the air may get a bit warmer?

In effect, this is all that’s left of the global-warming emergency the U.N. declared in its first report on the subject in 1990. The U.N. no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades. Last September, between the second and final draft of its fifth assessment report, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change quietly downgraded the warming it expected in the 30 years following 1995, to about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 0.7 (or, in Fahrenheit, to about 0.9 degrees, from 1.3).

Even that is likely to be too high. The climate-research establishment has finally admitted openly what skeptic scientists have been saying for nearly a decade: Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began. First the climate-research establishment denied that a pause existed, noting that if there was a pause, it would invalidate their theories. Now they say there is a pause (or “hiatus”), but that it doesn’t after all invalidate their theories.

Alas, their explanations have made their predicament worse by implying that man-made climate change is so slow and tentative that it can be easily overwhelmed by natural variation in temperature—a possibility that they had previously all but ruled out.

When the climate scientist and geologist Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia wrote an article in 2006 saying that there had been no global warming since 1998 according to the most widely used measure of average global air temperatures, there was an outcry. A year later, when David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London made the same point, the environmentalist and journalist Mark Lynas said in the New Statesman that Mr. Whitehouse was “wrong, completely wrong,” and was “deliberately, or otherwise, misleading the public.”

We know now that it was Mr. Lynas who was wrong. Two years before Mr. Whitehouse’s article, climate scientists were already admitting in emails among themselves that there had been no warming since the late 1990s. “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998,” wrote Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia in Britain in 2005. He went on: “Okay it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

If the pause lasted 15 years, they conceded, then it would be so significant that it would invalidate the climate-change models upon which policy was being built. A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) written in 2008 made this clear: “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more.”

Well, the pause has now lasted for 16, 19 or 26 years—depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere. That’s according to a new statistical calculation by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada....
Venezuelan Socialist Party swaps God for Chavez in new prayer
..."Our Chavez who art in heaven, the earth, the sea and we delegates," red-shirted delegate Maria Estrella Uribe recited on Monday at the PSUV party Congress.

"Hallowed be your name, may your legacy come to us so we can spread it to people here and elsewhere. Give us your light to guide us every day," she said in front of an image of Chavez.

"Lead us not into the temptation of capitalism, deliver us from the evil of the oligarchy, like the crime of contraband, because ours is the homeland, the peace and life forever and ever. Amen. Viva Chavez!" she exclaimed to applause....
Video: Dead American jihadi once worked at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport
This exclusive last night from the local Fox affiliate in the Twin Cities certainly will shake up anyone who’s flown through our international airport, which includes my whole family and all of my friends out here. One of the two Americans confirmed to have been killed while fighting for ISIS turns out to have had a pretty good job here in the US that he left behind — cleaning commercial passenger jets at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport....
NEW EMAILS: IRS Obtained Donor Lists For ‘Secret Research Project’
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) improperly obtained donor lists from nonprofit groups as part of a “secret research project” being run by Lois Lerner and other officials.

IRS official David Fish revealed the “secret research project” in a June 27, 2012 email to Lerner’s direct subordinate Holly Paz, according to emails released Thursday by the nonprofit group Judicial Watch, which obtained the emails in a pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

“Joseph Urban [IRS Technical Advisor, Tax Exempt and Government Entities] had actually started a secret research project on whether we could, consistent with 6104, argue that [REDACTED],” Fish wrote.

“Joe was quite agitated yesterday when I told him what we were doing. (He was involved when the initial question was raised, but we didn’t continue reading him in),” Fish continued. “At one point he started saying that this was a decision for Steve Miller–I told him we were already doing it, and that I didn’t know whether Lois had already talked to Nikole [Flax, former IRS Chief of Staff to IRS Commissioner Steve Miller] about this. Would not be surprised if he already started working on Lois.”

“Thanks for the heads up,” Paz replied. “The decision was made by Steve, based on advice from P and A. [Procedure and Administration].”...
Statutory rape victim forced to pay child support
...Nick Olivas became a father at 14, a fact he wouldn't learn for eight years.

While in high school, Olivas had sex with a 20-year-old woman. As he sees it now, she took advantage of a lonely kid going through a rough patch at home.

State law says a child younger than 15 cannot consent with an adult under any circumstance, making Olivas a rape victim. Olivas didn't press charges and says he didn't realize at the time that it was even something to consider.

The two went their separate ways. Olivas, now 24 and living in Phoenix, graduated from high school, went to college and became a medical assistant.

Then two years ago, the state served him with papers demanding child support. That's how he found out he had a then-6-year-old daughter....

...Olivas said he owes about $15,000 in back child support and medical bills going back to the child's birth, plus 10 percent interest. The state seized money from his bank account and is garnisheeing his wages at $380 a month....

Before declaring that there’s a ‘rape epidemic’ in the US, has anybody bothered to check the actual data? Apparently not
...From 1972 to 1992, the rate of rapes in the US almost doubled from 22.5 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants in 1972 to a peak of 42.8 in 1992. Then for the next 21 years, the rate declined in almost every year, and fell to a 41-year low of 23.6 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013 (based on January-June data), the lowest rate since 1972. Also note that the current rate of 23.6 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants means that there would be approximately 23.6 rapes per 50,000 women, or 1 in about 2,100....
What Makes Young Evangelicals Less Conservative? Results of New Study May Surprise You
...White Millennial Evangelicals who did not know any non-Christians or non-whites among their closest associations were more likely than white Millennial Evangelicals with diverse social networks to agree that "religion causes more problems in society than it solves," "under God" should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, and disagree that "it is important for children to be brought up in a religion so they can learn good values." The only exception to this trend is that those with the more homogenous social networks were more likely to believe that one needs to believe in God to be moral.

The authors reasoned that Evangelicals with more exposure to the Evangelical subculture are reacting negatively to that subculture.

"Therefore, we have gathered some evidence that is suggestive about why young Evangelicals are different from their elders — they are reacting negatively to the embattled, political subculture of their parents," they wrote....

New Book Warns of Evangelical Left Influence on Millennials
...“The goal of the Christian Left is to undermine the authority of the Bible by painting inconsistencies in Scripture, which they hope will breed confusion and, at times, doubt. Once the lines of truth are blurred, young Evangelicals start to reconcile their faith with liberal political platforms like same-sex marriage, taxpayer funded abortions and contraception, feminism, pacifism, and big government....
Rotherham: A Quintessentially Liberal Scandal
...You don’t have to imagine the outcry that would ensue, because something similar to what I describe above (with the possible exception of the petrol dousing) happened only recently, when hundreds of schoolgirls were kidnapped by the Islamist Boko Haram group in Nigeria. The international outrage was unanimous, and when the Nigerian authorities appealed for help the response was swift, with President Obama sending troops and drones to hunt for the girls; meanwhile his wife and various celebrities lent their support to a facile and self-indulgent social media campaign to “Bring Back Our Girls.”...

...Other than the starkly different locations and the fact that Boko Haram is a recognized terrorist group, the notable difference between the two episodes is that the Nigerian schoolgirls were black, and the Rotherham abuse victims were white...

Do The Rapes of Rotherham Tell a Tale of Conquest?
...What Rotherham puts me in mind of is the behavior of the conqueror. One of the terrible after-effects of invasion and war has been the subjugation of the women, the rape of wives and daughters, the seed of the conqueror, inserted into a culture and a society — yet another tactic meant to subdue and eradicate.

And yet, there has been no old-fashioned “invasion” and no “war” in the southern part of Yorkshire. This conquering was invited, and it was invited throughout Europe, where Rotherham will be discovered to have been replicated. Why wouldn’t it be? Who in Europe would dare to prosecute?

Rotherham will not be the last “conquest”. There are radical Islamists — not “observant” mind you, just radical — living in the West and determinedly unassimilated to it, on every continent....

Obama Invents ‘Immigration Rights’ For Foreigners
President Barack Obama believes that many foreigners have a right to immigrate into the United States, regardless of what Americans prefer, say immigration experts.

The evidence emerged from the president’s mouth on Labor Day, as Obama was urging his supporters to vote in November, despite the struggling economy.

“Cynicism is a bad choice… Hope is what gives young people the strength to march for women’s rights, and worker’s rights, and civil rights, and voting rights, and gay rights and immigration rights,” Obama told union supporters gathered Sept. 1 in Milwaukee, Wisc.

That “immigration rights” phrase “implies that some people have the right to move here,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center of Immigration Studies....

U.S. Hikes Fee To Renounce Citizenship By 422% Over the last two years, the U.S. has had a spike in expatriations. It isn’t exactly Ellis Island in reverse, but it’s more than a dribble. With global tax reporting and FATCA, the list of the individuals who renounced is up. For 2013, there was a 221% increase, with record numbers of Americans renouncing. The Treasury Department is required to publish a quarterly list, but these numbers are under-stated, some say considerably.

The presence or absence of tax motivation is no longer relevant, but that could change. After Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin departed for Singapore, Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey introduced a bill to double the exit tax to 30% for anyone leaving the U.S. for tax reasons. That hasn’t happened, but taxes are still a big issue for many....

Breaking: Obama to delay immigration action until voters can’t punish Democrats for it
...Abandoning his pledge to act by the end of summer, President Barack Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after the November congressional elections, White House officials said.

The move is certain to infuriate immigration advocates while offering relief to some vulnerable Democrats in tough Senate re-election contests.

Two White House officials said Obama concluded that circumventing Congress through executive actions on immigration during the campaign would politicize the issue and hurt future efforts to pass a broad overhaul...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

'NHS doctors would not give Ashya the treatment we wanted': Father who fled with brain tumour boy, 5, to Spain posts heartfelt video explaining move - but police say 'no apology' for arresting parents
...'We just want to be left in peace. He's very sick. I just want to get on with his treatment. I'm not coming back to England if I cannot give him the treatment I want, which is proper treatment. I just want positive results for my son.'

In the video, Mr King told how they had wanted to leave the hospital because the NHS could not fund the proton beam treatment that they wanted for their son, but that he would raise the money to pay for it.

'We couldn't take it any more - not knowing and not being able to question anything in fear that they say, "Sorry Mr and Mrs King, emergency protection order, you're no longer allowed in the ward",' he told the camera.

'Under that stress, our son has grade four brain tumour, we couldn't discuss or question them at all in fear that our son would be in that ward all day long by himself without his parents being able to come in.

'We couldn't be under that system any more. I was going to get the money to pay for the proton beam therapy but they have prevented that now because the Spanish police are involved and I can't do want I wanted to do.'...
Holder Cut Left-Wing Groups In On $17 Bil BofA Deal
Extortion: Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder's record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.

Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation's largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.

Besides requiring billions in debt forgiveness payments to delinquent borrowers in Cleveland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago and other Democrat strongholds — and up to $500 million to cover personal taxes owed on those checks — the deal requires BofA to make billions in new loans, while also building affordable low-income rental housing in those areas.

If there are leftover funds in four years, the settlement stipulates the money will go to Interest on Lawyers' Trust Account (IOLTA), which provides legal aid for the poor and supports left-wing causes, and NeighborWorks of America, which provides affordable housing and funds a national network of left-wing community organizers operating in the mold of Acorn.

In fact, in 2008 and 2009, NeighborWorks awarded a whopping $25 million to Acorn Housing....
Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path....

Models challenge temperature reconstruction of last 12,000 years
...A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and led by the University of Wisconsin’s Zhengyu Liu delves into a problem with that pattern—and it’s not what climate models say should have happened....

...The new paper concludes, “If the [Holocene temperature] reconstruction is correct, it will imply major biases across the current generation of climate models. To provide a credible benchmark for future climate models, however, the proxy reconstructions will also need to be reexamined critically.”

Is the SUN driving climate change? Solar activity - 'and not just humans' - could be increasing global warming, study claims
It's not just humans that are to blame for global warming - natural activity from the sun also has an impact on climate change.

This is according to a Swedish research team that has reconstructed the sun's activity at the end of the last ice age, around 20,000 to 10,000 years ago.

The study shows that the sun's variation influences the climate regardless of whether the climate is extreme, as it was during the Ice Age, or moderate, as it is today....

WARMING STOPS WARMING
...Warming haults due to climate change...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The skulduggery of ousting Illinois candidates
...The Sun-Times has reported that armed investigators who work for Palos Township GOP Committeeman Sean Morrison's security firm visited the homes of people who had signed or circulated Libertarian petitions. The newspaper cited two examples of security company employees, with holstered weapons visible, allegedly telling the people that the petitions were fraudulent — a lie — and urging them to retract their signatures.

If true, this was a last-ditch effort to invalidate Libertarian signatures after a two-month fight at the State Board of Elections. Allies of the Republican Party had challenged the Libertarians' signatures line by line — then dragged petition circulators before the board to testify about their signature-gathering. The elections board found the circulators to be credible and enough of their signatures to be valid. So the Libertarian Party's statewide slate will appear on the ballot....
Revealed: How fear of being seen as racist stopped social workers saving up to 1,400 children from sexual exploitation at the hands of Asian men in just ONE TOWN
The sexual abuse of about 1,400 children at the hands of Asian men went unreported for 16 years because staff feared they would be seen as racist, a report said today.

Children as young as 11 were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers of men between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, the council commissioned review into child protection revealed.

And shockingly, more than a third of the cases were already know to agencies.

But according to the report's author: 'several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist'. ...

Nurse struck off after she was jailed for falsely accusing her own grandfather of rape in bid to get her inheritance early
A nurse has been struck off after being jailed for falsely accusing her grandfather of rape in a bid to claim his inheritance money.

Natalie Mortimer, from Aberdeen, was disciplined at a one-day standards hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in London.

The 25-year-old was jailed for 22 months at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in January after being convicted of wasting 175 hours of police time by fabricating claims that her grandfather Gordon Ritchie sexually abused her.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard at the time how she had falsely accused her grandfather of raping her when she was a child so she could get her hands on inheritance money....

She Accused Her Husband of Downloading Child Porn. Now She’s the One with a Felony Conviction.
...“She download[ed] in excess of 40 images of different acts of child pornography to the family computer, took it to the state police and said, ‘My husband downloaded all this porn,’” District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said.

Investigators found that the images Woods claimed her husband sought out were date-stamped between Aug. 11 and 14, 2013, which meant they were downloaded after Woods’ husband had been forced out of the house by a protection-from-abuse order...
Report: Simon & Schuster imprint rejected book about Bergdahl because it might hurt Obama
...“I’m not sure we can publish this book without the Right using it to their ends,” Sarah Durand, a senior editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, wrote in an email to one of the soldiers’ agents.

“[T]he Conservatives are all over Bergdahl and using it against Obama,” Durand wrote, “and my concern is that this book will have to become a kind of ‘Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’”...
NY Times: Is There Anything Good About Men? And Other Tricky Questions
...Citing recent DNA research, Dr. Baumeister explained that today’s human population is descended from twice as many women as men. Maybe 80 percent of women reproduced, whereas only 40 percent of men did....

HuffPo: Why Great Husbands Are Being Abandoned
...Fifty percent of marriages are still ending in divorce, and women continue to be the gender that initiates those endings. In the past, their reasons for leaving most often had to do with infidelity, neglect, or abuse. Now they're dumping men who are faithful, attentive, and respectful, the very men they said they have always wanted. Why would women who have accomplished the female dream suddenly not be satisfied with it? Why are they leaving these ideal guys, and for what reasons?

I am currently dealing with several of these great husbands. They are, across the board, respectful, quality, caring, devoted, cherishing, authentic, and supportive guys whose wives have left them for a different kind of man. These once-beloved men make a living, love their kids, help with chores, support aging parents, and support their mate's desires and interests. They believe they've done everything right. They are devastated, confused, disoriented, and heartsick. In a tragic way, they startlingly resemble the disheartened women of the past who were left behind by men who "just wanted something new."

You may think that these women are ruthless and inconsiderate. Those I know are far from that. More often, they still love their husbands as much as they ever did, but in a different way. They tell me how wonderful their men are and how much they respect them. They just don't want to be married to them anymore....

'I am Charles Manson's wife'
Afton Burton was 16 and living with her parents in Illinois when she discovered Charles Manson.

Now, nine years later, her name is Star, she's 25 years old, and she considers herself Charles Manson's wife, even though it isn't official yet.

"He filed for the first round of paperwork," says Star, who says she's in love with the 79-year-old convicted murderer. "I'm completely with him, and he's completely with me. It's what I was born for, you know. I don't know what else to say."...
Will IRS’s Strategy of Destroying Evidence Pay Off?
...In two elusive and nebulous sworn declarations, we can glean that Ms. Lerner had two Blackberries. One was issued to her on November 12, 2009. According to a sworn declaration, this is the Blackberry that contained all the emails (both sent and received) that would have been in her “Outlook” and drafts that never were sent from her Blackberry during the relevant time.

With incredible disregard for the law and the Congressional inquiry, the IRS admits that this Blackberry “was removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.” This is a year after her hard drive “crash” and months after the Congressional inquiry began....

IRS back-up baloney
Some 15 months after Americans learned about the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, we still have no clue how such an abuse was allowed to happen. And every day, the story only gets murkier.

This week, for instance, a government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, said administration officials admitted that all the “missing” e-mails belonging to Lois Lerner (the woman at the heart of the scandal) had been backed up after all — as part of a practice to back up all the government’s e-mails.

No government official had said anything like that before....
Irish Times David Robert Grimes Foams At The Keyboard…Mounting Frustration Now On The Verge Of Anger
...He writes: “If greenhouse emissions continue their steady escalation, temperatures across most of the earth will rise to levels with no recorded precedent by the middle of this century, researchers say.” Notice here how Grimes writes “temperature will rise” and not “temperature is rising“. He is telling us not look at the current model performance, but to just wait another 40 years. He has to do this because all the models have been dead wrong. And what Grimes fails to understand is that if the models are wrong today, then they can’t be used for the future. In fact neither Grimes nor any scientist has even a single scrap of data that would allow them to predict the future. It’s all scenario and speculation.

Misinterprets the warming stop as “bleak”

He writes: “The findings are bleak, but not unexpected.” False. The findings are unexpected. Not a single IPCC model got the temperatures for the last fifteen years correct. All overstated the temperature rise. So this is good news and certainly not “bleak”. Only psychologically abnormal persons would not feel some sense of relief. The stop in temperature rise is unexpected and thus can be nothing but good news – period....

...Grimes also hints that climate science is too complex to be decided by the public: “Climate is a deeply complex system, not a simple thermostat.” Unfortunately this is not what the alarmist climate scientists told us for more than 20 years. In fact they told us just the opposite: Climate and global temperature boil down to the concentration of trace gas CO2. Even Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber said so on camera. And all their simple climate models told us the same. It is us skeptics who have been telling the world that the climate is far more complex and that the simple CO2-global temperature correlation was preposterous. And now that there has not been any warming in 15 years, the alarmists are now finally waking up and coming around to this reality...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Suicides are surprisingly high among middle-aged men in the US
...Men are more likely to commit suicide when they’re without traditional support systems—family and employment, for example. This isn’t just an American occurrence: in the UK, another society where men’s careers often are touted as a key part of their identity, middle-aged men were far more likely to commit suicide during the last economic recession compared with people in other demographics....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cops Kill Man In Wal-Mart Carrying An Air Rifle That He Might Have Planned To Buy
A man who was carrying an air rifle in an Ohio Wal-Mart told the police officers that fatally shot him that the gun was “not real,” according to a family member.

John Crawford was shot by police Tuesday evening at a Beavercreek store. The Ohio attorney general’s office announced Thursday that he was merely carrying a brand of air rifle that Wal-Mart sells....

Store Owner Says Bank Accounts Closed Because He Sells Guns
...Williams, who opened up two checking accounts with SunTrust in 2006, was given little explanation for the bank’s sudden decision.

“The only thing that they will tell us is that we have been deemed a prohibited business type,” he told Fox Carolina, adding that he believes his shop was targeted by the federal government because he sells guns.

Williams wouldn’t be the first to make such a claim. Lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups have blamed a Department of Justice initiative called Operation Choke Point for pressuring banks to cut off relationships with customers like Williams.

Operation Choke Point was designed to prevent crooks from using the banking and financial payments systems to conduct their business. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation also created a list of industries which it deemed “high-risk.” Those industries included gun sellers, pawn shops, coin dealers, pay day lenders and about two dozen industries....
Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
Obamacare plans have shrunk payments to physicians so much that some doctors say they won’t be able to afford to accept Obamacare coverage, NPR reports.

Many of the eight million sign-ups in Obamacare exchanges nationwide already face more limited choices for physicians and hospitals than those in the private insurance market. But with low physician reimbursement rates, the problem could get even worse.

For a typical quick patient visit, Dr. Doug Gerard, a Connecticut internist, told NPR a private insurer would pay $100 while Medicare would pay around $80. But Obamacare plans are more likely to pay closer to $80, which Gerard says is unsustainable for his practice.

“I cannot accept a plan [in which] potentially commercial-type reimbursement rates were now going to be reimbursed at Medicare rates,” Dr. Gerard told NPR. ”You have to maintain a certain mix in private practice between the low reimbursers and the high reimbursers to be able to keep the lights on.”...
Study: Climate Models Overestimated Global Warming For The Last 55 Years
Climate models relied upon by scientists and governments may be greatly overstating the warming that has occurred since the late 1950s, argues a paper analyzing the discrepancies between modeled and observed temperatures.

The paper, which was published in the journal Environmetrics, found that observed temperatures differed greatly from modeled temperatures in the tropical lower troposphere and mid-troposphere.

“Over the 55-years from 1958 to 2012, climate models not only significantly over-predict observed warming in the tropical troposphere, but they represent it in a fundamentally different way than is observed,” says Ross McKitrick, economist with the University of Guelph in Canada and co-author of the study.

According to McKitrick, all climate models predict that rising carbon dioxide levels will cause rapid warming in the troposphere over the tropics. But that’s not what has happened, as neither satellites nor weather balloons have detected much warming in the tropical troposphere — meaning something is likely wrong with the models.
Downscale
... It matters — a great deal — what government spends that money on. Even the wooliest anarcho-capitalist must look with some sympathy and admiration upon the small-scale model of township government that once characterized New England and the West. “But who will pave the roads?” is a standing libertarian punchline (“The federal government spends enormous sums of money getting monkeys addicted to cocaine, the police have murdered your puppies — But who will pave the roads?”) and, as noted in a certain volume of political speculation, the first paved intercity road in these United States was in fact privately built, suggesting that private enterprise is more than capable of road-making....

...Progressives argue that we need deeper government involvement in the economy in order to assuage the ill effects of economic inequality. But, as Joel Kotkin points out, inequality is the most pronounced in places where progressives dominate: New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago. The more egalitarian cities are embedded in considerably more conservative metropolitan areas in conservative states. “Part of the difference,” Mr. Kotkin writes, “is the strong growth of higher-paid, blue-collar jobs in places like Houston, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake, and Dallas compared to rapidly de-industrializing locales such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Even Richard Florida, the guru of the ‘creative class,’ has admitted that the strongest growth in mid-income jobs has been concentrated in red-state metros such as Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Nashville. Some of this reflects a history of later industrialization but other policies — often mandated by the state — encourage mid-income growth, for example, by not imposing high energy prices with subsidies for renewables, or restricting housing growth in the periphery. Cities like Houston may seem blue in many ways but follow local policies largely indistinguishable from mainstream Republicans elsewhere.” In Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia, African Americans earn barely half of what whites earn — and in San Francisco, African Americans earn less than half of what whites earn....

...Progressivism is a luxury good for college-educated white people. It is the Hermes sneaker of political tendencies. California is not an especially wealthy state — its median income is right between Wyoming’s and Nebraska’s — but it is a state in which one needs to be pretty well off to live decently. The value of the median home in San Francisco is more than ten times the median income; in San Jose, it’s nine and a half times the median income; in Houston, it’s only four times the median income. California is a great place to be a technology executive or a screenwriter, but it’s a rotten place to be a truck driver. California-style progressivism is oriented toward serving the needs of rich people in San Jose, not those of middle-class people in Riverside County or poor people in the agrarian villages. If you’re a well-off lawyer in the gilded suburbs of Los Angeles, you have a great selection of poor, brown gardeners and housekeepers to lessen life’s burdens, which is great for you but stinks for them. It is not an accident that our nation’s most segregated cities are mostly strongholds of the Left: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Boston....
HOW YALE BRANDS INNOCENT MALES AS RAPISTS
...In the second case, the accuser (after discussing matters with Yale’s Title IX coordinator) elected not to file a formal complaint against the accused student. But even in a case without an accuser, Yale went ahead, and charged the student with “sexual assault.” (To Yale, the Anglo-Saxon tradition of an accused being able to confront his accuser seems quaint and old-fashioned.) And in a case relying wholly on hearsay, words of an accuser who chose not to participate in the proceedings, Yale deemed the student a rapist and expelled him....
Obamacare Enrollment Is Sinking Rapidly
...Aetna’s enrollment reached 720,000 by May 20, after the final end to the the extended open enrollment period. But by the end of June Aetna had less than 600,000 paying customers, IBD reports, and the company expects paying customers to fall to “just over 500,000″ by the end of 2015. That would be a drop of just under 30 percent from the May sign-up numbers — the last time the Obama administration released its official Obamacare enrollment tally.

Aetna’s reported drop-off rate appears to be more extensive than other companies. Cigna reported that between both its exchange customers and those in the private individual market, it expects to lose around 20,000 paying customers throughout the year, out of 300,000....

Americans Subsidize the World’s Medical Costs – Fair?
...In the best case scenario, Americans pay twice as much for popular prescription drugs. In the worst case, we pay five times more. Prescription drugs are not the only medical goods where this cost disparity exists. Prices in the United States are always higher for any medical good than in any other global market.

How the World Screws the US on Health Care

The key difference between American medical care and the medical care in foreign countries is not profit motive. It is not a public or private model, nor is it the role of health care insurance companies. The sole difference between American health care and health care around the world is the role of government in setting prices.

In other countries governments negotiate prices for every medical good from hospital beds to prescription drugs. They lowball on prices, paying for only part of the true cost of research and development. Americans then pay for the remainder....
Fifty Years Of Government Intervention Fails To Boost Home Ownership
Despite decades of federal intervention in the housing market, home ownership rates are virtually the same today as they were in 1968, according to an brief released by the Heritage Foundation on Monday....

...The pace of government intervention was especially frenetic in the 1990s, the report says, such that, “from 1990 to 2003, Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac] went from holding 5 percent of the nation’s mortgages ($136 billion) to more than 20 percent ($1.6 trillion),” all with implicit government backing....
If You Have "Visit the Mosul Dam" on Your Bucket List, Better do it Soon
...This isn't a condemnation of Saddam's Iraq per se: It's a condemnation of ANY country where political connections among contractors and subcontractors, sketchy material suppliers and corrupt or frightened quality control inspectors come together in a big Venn Diagram of "Oh Shit!" Hell, it's hard enough to keep infrastructure standing tall in America (remember the I35 West bridge collapse in Minneapolis/St. Paul?), but The Third World? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Three Gorges? Toast. The Mosul Dam? Toast. Burj Dubai? Toast. It doesn't matter how many First World engineers and architects participate in the design process. As long as the construction or maintenance process is left up to a 3rd cousin of the King in the Middle East, or a business subsidiary of the PLA in China, the structure will never live up to the promise of its design life. Ozzymandias by any other name is still a big pile of debris. And a big-name project that is touted as a crowning achievement of a country where a significant portion of its population has to burn animal dung for cooking or haul their own "night soil" out to fertilize the crops will fail before it should. Every time....
'The border fence is a joke': Filmmaker crosses from US to Mexico dressed as Osama bin Laden as Border Patrol says 'we can't be everywhere at once'
...In Monday's video release, O'Keefe focuses on the implications for national security: He illegally crosses into Mexico twice and returns – first in street clothes and again in army fatigues, wearing an Osama bin Laden Halloween mask...