Sunday, April 17, 2016

The House That Uncle Sam Built
...These problems were created by actions by the Federal Reserve combined with government housing policy (especially the government- sponsored enterprises - Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae). Misguided government interference in the market is the real culprit in laying the foundation for the Great Recession.

This paper provides a “common sense” and understandable outline of fundamental causes and cures. The analysis is based on long proven economic laws. Despite the wishes and hopes of politicians, economic laws are just as immutable as the laws of physics. If you jump off a ten story building, hitting the ground will not be pleasant. If the Federal Reserve holds interest rates below the natural market rate by rapidly expanding the money supply (“printing” money) as Alan Greenspan did, individuals and businesses will make bad investment decisions and there will be negative consequences to our long term economic well-being. There are no free lunches....
BUYING 'REFORM'
...But this money didn't come from little old ladies making do with cat food so they could send a $20 check to Common Cause. The vast majority of this money — $123 million, 88 percent of the total — came from just eight liberal foundations.

These foundations were: the Pew Charitable Trusts ($40.1 million), the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy ($17.6 million), the Carnegie Corporation of New York ($14.1 million), the Joyce Foundation ($13.5 million), George Soros' Open Society Institute ($12.6 million), the Jerome Kohlberg Trust ($11.3 million), the Ford Foundation ($8.8 million) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ($5.2 million).

Not exactly all household names, but the left-wing groups that these foundations support may be more familiar: the Earth Action Network, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, the Public Citizen Foundation, the Feminist Majority Foundation . . .

What did this liberal foundation crowd buy with its $123 million?...

..."We had a scare," Treglia says. "As the debate was progressing and getting pretty close, George Will stumbled across a report that we had done and attacked it in his column. And a lot of his partisans were becoming aware of Pew's role and were feeding him information. And he started to reference the fact that Pew had played a large role in this — that this was a liberal attempt to hoodwink Congress."

"But you know what the good news is from my perspective?" Treglia says to the stunned crowd. "Journalists didn't care . . . So no one followed up on the story. And so there was a panic there for a couple of weeks because we thought the story was going to begin to gather steam, and no one picked it up."...
In Defense of Washington
The Charge: We’re out of touch with the heartland. The Defense: The whole country should be grateful for that.

Yes, yes, America, even here in Washington—the city that can’t feel your pulse—we have a dim sense of how you feel. You consider us cloistered elitists, unaware of how life is lived. All of our ideas, you sneer, are based on books and white papers, not the gritty reality of “real” America.

In fact, that view of Washington is unlearned, impoverished, and un-American. Because the sad truth is this: Washington is not out of touch enough....

...The Charge: We’re obsessed with power and position. The Defense: Maybe—but at least we’re not obsessed with money....
University introduces website to report microaggressions
The University of Michigan-Flint has launched a website where "students who experience any form of bias or micro-aggressions whatsoever" can tattle on members of their community.

In a campus-wide email sent Tuesday afternoon (and shared with the Washington Examiner), UM-Flint staff announced the new website and encouraged students, faculty and staff to begin reporting. They can even do so anonymously....

Socialism has created a humanitarian disaster in Venezuela
...But a couple of years ago, the then minister of education admitted that the aim of the regime’s policies was “not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escu├ílidos” (a derogatory term to denote opposition members). In other words, the government wanted grateful, dependent voters, not prosperous Venezuelans....

...The economic crisis is having a particularly nasty impact on healthcare. According to the Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation, only 20 per cent of the drugs that doctors require are available. People must rely on social media to scout the country for medications for their loved ones. The lack of spare parts means that much medical equipment is useless: 86 per cent of X-Ray machines are out of service, for example. “Babies born prematurely are dying like little chicks” was a February headline of El Nacional, Venezuela’s last independent daily. It quoted a resident doctor in one of the public hospitals saying that, due to the shortages, they cannot save the lives of all patients. “We are operating under war conditions,” she said....
Europe’s Pension Reckoning Approaches
...State-funded pensions are at the heart of Europe’s social-welfare model, insulating people from extreme poverty in old age. Most European countries have set aside almost nothing to pay these benefits, simply funding them each year out of tax revenue. Now, European countries face a demographic tsunami, in the form of a growing mismatch between low birthrates and high longevity, for which few are prepared.

Europe’s population of pensioners, already the largest in the world, continues to grow. Looking at Europeans 65 or older who aren’t working, there are 42 for every 100 workers, and this will rise to 65 per 100 by 2060, the European Union’s data agency says. By comparison, the U.S. has 24 nonworking people 65 or over per 100 workers, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which doesn’t have a projection for 2060....
Obamacare Hits Another Bump in the Road
Well, the hammer has fallen: The largest health insurer in the U.S. has started pulling out of select Obamacare exchanges.

Five months ago UnitedHealth, which had been singing sunny songs to investors about its bright future on the exchanges, abruptly began crooning the blues. In an earnings call barely a month after executives assured investors that all was going swimmingly, they confessed that they were losing a ton of money on their Obamacare policies and described a pattern that sounded as if consumers were gaming the system -- signing up for a few months, using a ton of services, and then canceling their policies. If this continued, they said, they would have no choice but to pull out of the exchange business....

Obamacare Was Going to Lower Health Care Costs. What Actually Happened.
...Courtesy of the Affordable Care Act, public spending is outpacing private spending. For 2015, the Congressional Budget Office reports that the federal government spent a total of $936 billion on health programs (for example, Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act), a 13 percent increase over the 2014 level....

Even NPR agrees that Obamacare has failed
thorough repudiation of the (un-)Affordable Care Act comes from, of all places, state-run National Public Radio. Timed to be buried by Super Tuesday coverage, NPR this week released a new study that indicates that Obamacare has failed on almost all levels.

The poll, by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, shows that three quarters of Americans think health care in their state has not improved under Obamacare. The survey says more people think health care has gotten worse (26%) than better (15%). Forty-nine percent of people think health care has stayed about the same.

And I hope you haven’t been making plans of what to do with that $2,500 a year you’ll be saving on premiums. The NPR poll confirms that that was just another in Obama’s litany of lies. Forty-five percent of respondents said their premiums had gone up, while 46% said their premiums had stayed about the same. Only 4% said their premiums had actually gone down, as Obama promised they would.

Along with higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles have gone up for 35% of people. Fifty-six percent say they’ve stayed about the same. Again, only 4% of those surveyed said their copays and deductibles have actually gone down.

Meanwhile, the increased benefits Obama swore we’d get apparently haven’t materialized. Seventy percent of people said their benefits have stayed about the same. Twelve percent said their benefits have actually decreased. Only 16% of people polled said they have better benefits now than before Obamacare....

OBAMACARE AT SIX: A LEGACY OF DECEPTION
...This not only highlights the president’s most notorious lie about Obamacare (“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”), it dovetails with CBO projections about things to come: “Over the next few years, more employers are expected to respond to the availability of coverage through the marketplaces by declining to offer insurance to their employees. As employers change their insurance offerings, some of their employees are expected to enroll in coverage through [Obamacare exchanges].” Presumably, this will also be celebrated by the White House, at least until Obama is finally evicted....

...Another fraud perpetrated by the president during his 2009 speech to Congress was included in his list of allegedly inaccurate statements made by opponents of his health care plan: “There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false.” That was too much for Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who responded by shouting “You lie.” Representative Wilson took a lot of heat from the media over this, but he was later vindicated when it was discovered that illegal immigrants have indeed been receiving hundreds of millions of Obamacare subsidies....

Chelsea Clinton reveals her mom thinks it is ‘important’ to extend Obamacare to illegal aliens
...CLINTON: “It’s such an important question. Thank you for supporting my mom. My mom has very strong feelings that we must push as quickly as possible for comprehensive immigration reform, and this is a real difference between her’s and Senator Sanders’ record, she supported comprehensive immigration reform at every possible chance and she was one of the original supporters and sponsors of the DREAM Act. She does not believe that while we are working towards comprehensive immigration reform we should make people wait, like the families you are talking about. Which is why she thinks it’s so important to extend the Affordable Care Act to people who are living and working here, regardless of immigration status, regardless of citizenship status. ...
U.S. state prosecutors met with climate groups as Exxon probes expanded
A coalition of U.S. state attorneys general received guidance from well-known climate scientists and environmental lawyers in March as some of them opened investigations into Exxon Mobil for allegedly misleading the public about climate change risks, documents seen by Reuters showed.

Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has urged action on climate change, and Matt Pawa, who litigated against Exxon in a global warming case, were listed as presenters at a March 29 meeting of more than a dozen state prosecutors, according to emails between the offices of attorneys general in New York and Vermont.

The previously unknown level of coordination with outside advisers offered a glimpse behind the scenes in an increasingly pitched battle between Exxon and environmental groups....

IPCC Official: “Climate Policy Is Redistributing The World’s Wealth”
...Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated. – Ottmar Edenhofer [co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III.]

Does Transit Save Energy?
...The key issue turns out to be occupancy -- how full is the train or bus. And it turns out that occupancy is probably lower than most people think. That is because everyone rides on buses or trains as they commute -- they are going in the direction of most people's travel at the time of day they travel, so the transit is totally full. But no one thinks about those trains having to go back the other direction, usually mostly empty....

Friday, April 01, 2016

Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare
One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn’t really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that “the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Salon: Let’s nationalize Fox News: Imagining a very different media
...In a socialist society a portion of the media would be reserved for news disseminated by the democratically elected governing bodies, that is, working people elected by and for working people.

But state ownership is not the only way media can represent the interests of working people, to speak with or through their voices. In most cases, the media would be owned and operated by working-class organizations—labor unions, neighborhood associations, and cultural centers.

So news (and views) in a socialist society will be brought to you by a plethora of noncommercial sponsors. The government media will report on and discuss, for example, the major government plans for production, how to improve education, and more. But other media—newspapers, TV and radio stations, and Web sites sponsored by workers’ organizations, cultural organizations, youth groups, sports teams, and neighborhood groups will report on issues specific to their interests....

...Union dues today pay for the publication, including staff salaries, of many union newspapers. In a socialist society, where money is allocated based on assessed social need and not on projected profits, government will subsidize many salaries in social, economic, political, and educational areas....

...Indeed, will “Autoworkers News and Views” on TV have a regular segment devoted to union members’ criticisms?
Why not? Who better to discuss and debate problems inside a union than the members who live with and often suffer from those problems? If unions or neighborhood councils are truly trying to make things better for their members, what more effective tools than media outlets to spur such improvements?...
Is Trump’s Rise Giving Progressives Second Thoughts?
Herewith, an under-asked question for our friends on the progressive left: “Has Donald Trump’s remarkable rise done anything to change your mind as to the ideal strength of the State?”

I make this inquiry because, for a long while now, I have been of the view that the only thing that is likely to join conservatives and progressives in condemnation of government excess is the prospect that that excess will benefit the Right. Along with their peculiar belief that History takes “sides” and that improvement is inexorable and foreordained, most progressives hold as an article of faith that, because it is now a “consolidated democracy,” the United States is immune from the sort of tyranny of which conservatives like to warn. As such, progressives tend not to buy the argument that a government that can give you everything you want is also a government that can take it all away. For the past four or five years, conservatives have offered precisely this argument, our central contention being that it is a bad idea to invest too much power in one place because one never knows who might enjoy that power next. And, for the past four or five years, these warnings have fallen on deaf, derisive, overconfident ears....

Immigration: the mother of all issues
...When politicians want to import tens of millions of new immigrants it can look like Washington is trying to remake the electorate. This isn't pure fantasy. In 1996, Bill Clinton's White House instructed the Immigration and Naturalization Service "to streamline the naturalization process and greatly increase naturalizations during 1996." Sure enough, Hispanics more than doubled as a portion of the electorate for Clinton's 1996 reelection, according to exit polls.

Conservatives won't win any fights — over guns, marriage, taxes, spending, health care, or anything — if the U.S. electorate is remade in the image of California....

Why Poor White Males Are the Core of Trump’s Support
...Do not tell me, or them, that they are “privileged.” Yes, it is better to be poor and white than poor and black, and better to be a poor white man than a poor white woman, but people who are in pain do not react well to some smug, upper-middle-class jerk telling them they are privileged when their lives are clearly terrible...

...Now, when I say “poor whites,” smart people should hear “people who are willing to be violent.”

Who mans America’s actual fighting regiments? That’s right, poor whites.

Who are your police? Who are your prison guards?

Right. Even if they make decent money as a cop or guard, they’re poor whites by culture: Scots-Irish core.

These are bad people to alienate to the point where they are willing to turn, en-masse, to a demagogue.

Just saying....

The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy
...What’s really important is Brian and Ilsa: What’s really important is that law-abiding middle-class citizens are deciding that playing by the rules is nothing but a sucker’s game.

Just like the poker player who’s been fleeced by all the other players, and gets one mean attitude once he finally wakes up to the con? I’m betting that more and more of the solid American middle-class will begin saying what Brian and Ilsa said: Fuckit.

Fuck the rules. Fuck playing the game the banksters want you to play. Fuck being the good citizen. Fuck filling out every form, fuck paying every tax. Fuck the government, fuck the banks who own them. Fuck the free-loaders, living rent-free while we pay. Fuck the legal process, a game which only works if you’ve got the money to pay for the parasite lawyers. Fuck being a chump. Fuck being a stooge. Fuck trying to do the right thing — what good does that get you? What good is coming your way?

Fuckit.

When the backbone of a country starts thinking that laws and rules are not worth following, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to anarchy.

TV has given us the illusion that anarchy is people rioting in the streets, smashing car windows and looting every store in sight. But there’s also the polite, quiet, far deadlier anarchy of the core citizenry — the upright citizenry — throwing in the towel and deciding it’s just not worth it anymore.

If a big enough proportion of the populace — not even a majority, just a largish chunk — decides that it’s just not worth following the rules anymore, then that society’s days are numbered: Not even a police-state with an armed Marine at every corner with Shoot-to-Kill orders can stop such middle-class anarchy....

Law Professor Suggests Overthrowing Democracy To Rob Trump Of Presidency
...Muller’s solution to the Trump problem is simple: If voters appear likely to commit the egregious error of electing Trump, state legislatures should simply redefine how presidential electors are chosen. (RELATED: Professor Pegs Trump Presidency Odds At 97 to 99 Percent)

“State legislatures should consider whether to retake [the authority to choose electors] in the 2016 election in an effort to stop Trump,” he says. “Many could consider this proposal, but the Texas state legislature is a natural place to start. It could easily pass a law returning power to the legislature. On Election Day, the legislature could decide whether to vote for Trump or Mitt Romney, the prior Republican nominee; former Texas governor Rick Perry, who dropped out of the 2016 race early on; a popular GOP figure such as Condoleezza Rice, whose name has recently been floated as an alternative; or their own junior Sen. Ted Cruz, presently trailing Trump in the Republican Party delegate count.”

Muller’s strategy is, at the least, entirely constitutional. ...
El Chapo found with Fast and Furious .50 caliber as exec-privilege claim quashed
...A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.

A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car, or as it was intended, take down a helicopter. …

When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives checked serial numbers of the eight weapons found in his possession, they found one of the two .50-caliber weapons traced back to the ATF program, sources said....

...Emails released in 2011 revealed that ATF big shots wanted to use the illegal gun sales in operation Fast and Furious to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. The new rule would require U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” The fancy name, Demand Letter 3 comes from the fact that it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information. If that’s how then name projects, why didn’t they name Fast and Furious, “Asinine Project 1?”

Fast and Furious was a sick attempt to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights by selling guns to Mexican Gun cartels. The program was a train wreck whose effects are still being discovered....

Australia’s Gun 'Buyback' Created a Violent Firearms Black Market. Why Should the U.S. Do the Same
...As a result, concluded one academic assessment, "Suicide rates did not fall, though there was a shift toward less use of guns, continuing a very long-term decline. Homicides continued a modest decline; taking into account the one-time effect of the Port Arthur massacre itself, the share of murders committed with firearms declined sharply. Other violent crime, such as armed robbery, continued to increase, but again with fewer incidents that involved firearms."

A largely peaceful country remained peaceful, with alternative weapons sometimes adopted in place of guns by those who weren't so well-intentioned....

...In Australia, part of the supply of banned firearms comes from defiance of the original prohibition. The Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia estimates compliance with the "buyback" at 19 percent.

...Other researchers agree. In a white paper on the results of gun control efforts around the world, Franz Csaszar, a professor of criminology at the University of Vienna, Austria, gives examples of large-scale non-compliance with the ban. He points out, "In Australia it is estimated that only about 20% of all banned self-loading rifles have been given up to the authorities."...

Much as the Mafia and other organized criminal outfits rose to power, wealth, and prominence by supplying illegal liquor during Prohibition in the United States, outlaw motorcycle gangs in Australia appear to be building international connections and making money by supplying guns to willing buyers.

It's as if Australian politicians looked at America's experience and said: what the land down under really needs is its own Al Capone—but Mad Max-style, with leather and a hog....

...By contrast, without Australia's confiscation policy, the United States has seen its murder (including nonnegligent manslaughter) rate drop from 9.3 homicides per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1992 to 4.7 in 2011 and decline further, to 4.5 per 100,000 in 2014, the last year for which full data is available. During this time, the number of firearms in civilian hands increased by roughly 50 percent, to an estimated 300 million....

Saturday, March 26, 2016

‘Propaganda’: Top MIT Climate Scientist Trashes ‘97% Consensus’ Claim
...Cook’s paper found of the scientific study “abstracts expressing a position on [manmade global warming], 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.” But Cook’s assertion has been heavily criticized by researchers carefully examining his methodology.

A paper by five leading climatologists published in the journal Science and Education found only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate studies examined in Cook’s study explicitly stated mankind has caused most of the warming since 1950 — meaning the actual consensus is 0.3 percent...

...A 2013 study by Andrew Montford of the Global Warming Policy Foundation found that Cook had to cast a wide net to cram scientists into his so-called consensus. To be part of Cook’s consensus, a scientific study only needed to agree carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that human activities have warmed the planet “to some unspecified extent” — both of which are uncontroversial points....

...He said it’s part of a political machine that’s used by scientists and politicians to direct more taxpayer dollars to pet projects. “If you can make an ambiguous remark and you have people who will amplify it ‘they said it not me’ and he response of the political system is to increase your funding, what’s not to like?” Lindzen said...

NOAA Radiosonde Data Shows No Warming For 58 Years
In their “hottest year ever” press briefing, NOAA included this graph, which stated that they have a 58 year long radiosonde temperature record. But they only showed the last 37 years in the graph.

Here is why they are hiding the rest of the data. The earlier data showed as much pre-1979 cooling as the post-1979 warming....
HALF of women have a fall-back partner on standby who has always fancied them, in case their current relationship turns sour
...The survey of 1,000 women also found Plan B is also likely to be someone whom she has known for around seven years, who will be 'ready and waiting' because of 'unfinished business'....

...Furthermore, around one in ten women said their Plan B had already confessed his undying love, while one in five said they were confident he would 'drop everything' for her, if she asked him to.

Slightly more than four in ten said they had got to know the man whilst they were with their partner, while a similar percentage said he was 'on the scene' long before.

Around one in four women who have a back-up plan have feelings as strong for him as they do for their other half.

Incredibly, 12 per cent went as far as to admit their feelings were 'stronger' for Plan B, and close to seven in ten admitted they are currently in contact with him.

But despite the secrecy involved in having a close friend or ex to turn to, around half of the women who took part in the poll said their other half was aware of the 'third party'.

Of those, one in five said they were able to joke about it, but one in three said their man was 'uncomfortable' discussing him.

One in four admitted their current partner had met their Plan B, while one in five admitted he was a friend of the man in her life....

Why do women age so fast in their fifties? FEMAIL investigates why gender age gap problems increase the older you get
...He was 49 and I was 54 at the time.

I've always looked young for my age and when we met I didn't look five years older than my partner. However, as the years slipped by, well, I did.

And then, as time seemed to slow down for him, it somehow sped up for me. The truth is I suddenly feel as if I'm ageing faster than my partner and now that age gap shows.

We met through online dating. He was one of the few men in my age group who deigned to go out with me. Most of the fiftysomethings, even those with comb-overs and anoraks, were looking for bendy 35-year-olds willing to squander the last of their good years on an over-the-hill couch potato...

‘Our teenage daughter dumped her boyfriend - and we’re heartbroken’
The last time I sat across a kitchen table from a heartbroken teenage boy, I was just a girl myself, and I was the one doing the heart-breaking. Thirty years on, I find myself in the same situation – only this time the distraught boy in question is in love with my 18-year-old daughter Katie*, who has decided she doesn’t want to be with him any more.

Over the last year, I’ve grown to love this boy – who sits before me now with his head in his hands, looking for advice as to how to win her back – as a son. My husband feels the same way. Alex*, also 18, is kind, hard-working, respectful and good-looking. He adores our daughter and wants to keep her happy and safe.

What more could you want for your girl? But for Katie, what he offers isn’t enough. Safe is for later. For now she wants excitement and freedom. However much we adore him, for her he isn’t ‘The One’....

This University of Oregon Study on Feminizing Glaciers Might Make You Root for Trump
...Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions. ...
Winter 2000: The Trillion-Dollar Bank Shakedown That Bodes Ill for Cities
The Clinton administration has turned the Community Reinvestment Act, a once-obscure and lightly enforced banking regulation law, into one of the most powerful mandates shaping American cities—and, as Senate Banking Committee chairman Phil Gramm memorably put it, a vast extortion scheme against the nation's banks. Under its provisions, U.S. banks have committed nearly $1 trillion for inner-city and low-income mortgages and real estate development projects, most of it funneled through a nationwide network of left-wing community groups, intent, in some cases, on teaching their low-income clients that the financial system is their enemy and, implicitly, that government, rather than their own striving, is the key to their well-being....

... Ignoring the sweeping transformation of the banking industry since the CRA was passed, the Clinton Treasury Department's 1995 regulations made getting a satisfactory CRA rating much harder. The new regulations de-emphasized subjective assessment measures in favor of strictly numerical ones. Bank examiners would use federal home-loan data, broken down by neighborhood, income group, and race, to rate banks on performance. There would be no more A's for effort. Only results—specific loans, specific levels of service—would count. Where and to whom have home loans been made? Have banks invested in all neighborhoods within their assessment area? Do they operate branches in those neighborhoods?

Crucially, the new CRA regulations also instructed bank examiners to take into account how well banks responded to complaints. The old CRA evaluation process had allowed advocacy groups a chance to express their views on individual banks, and publicly available data on the lending patterns of individual banks allowed activist groups to target institutions considered vulnerable to protest. But for advocacy groups that were in the complaint business, the Clinton administration regulations offered a formal invitation. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition—a foundation-funded umbrella group for community activist groups that profit from the CRA—issued a clarion call to its members in a leaflet entitled "The New CRA Regulations: How Community Groups Can Get Involved." "Timely comments," the NCRC observed with a certain understatement, "can have a strong influence on a bank's CRA rating."...
Liberals Are Simple-Minded
...The more interesting and telling results were found when comparing the liberal and conservative results derived from the environmentalism and religion dogmatism scales. The researchers report, "Conservatives are indeed more dogmatic on the religious domain; but liberals are more dogmatic on the environmental domain." In fact, they note that "the highest score for simplicity was for liberals"...

CHINA FORCES ITS POLITICAL PRISONERS TO SELL BODY PARTS
It sounds too unbelievable to be true, but dozens of highly respected investigators, scholars and government officials around the world claim the Chinese government is harvesting organs from groups considered to be political or cultural enemies of the regime currently in power.

It’s no secret that there is a shortage of desperately needed organs in China (and around the world), and with tens of thousands of healthy Chinese prisoners locked away for all sorts of absurdities, experts say the government has secretly turned to the prison population as its source to fill the growing demand for organs and to provide “organ tourists” from Western nations with potentially life-saving treatments.

It’s been widely known the Chinese government has been allowing what they call “organ donations” from prisoners, especially those prisoners on death row, for many years. Leaders in the international medical community, government officials and organizations have actively protested against this practice, arguing prisoners locked away in a government’s prison don’t actually have the true “freedom” necessary to “donate” anything....

SOCIALISM, THE NIGHTMARE THAT NEVER DIES
...The United States within nearly a century of its founding became the wealthiest nation in the history of mankind. It accomplished this without an income tax, free university tuition, universal health care, or even Social Security. In Bernie Sanders’ lifetime, he witnessed the fall of National Socialists, Soviet Socialists, and more benign iterations of the collectivist ideology. But he imagines the command economy, rather than the free market, as our savior....

...“The struggle under the competitive system is not worth the effort,” a dejected J.A. Wayland — who first serialized The Jungle, once provided winter lodging for Mother Jones, and transformed Girard, Kansas, into America’s unlikely Socialist Mecca — wrote five days after his friend Eugene Debs’ six percent finish in 1912. “Let it pass.” The publisher of one of America’s most-widely read weeklies then wrapped a bedsheet around his rifle, and let loose a muffled shot that ended his life...

Eugenics: The Progressive Race Policy
...Leonard meticulously reconstructs the influence of Darwinism, racial science, and eugenics on scholars and activists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, revealing a reform community deeply ambivalent about America’s poor. Economic progressives championed labor legislation because it would lift up the deserving poor while excluding immigrants, African Americans, women, and "mental defectives," whom they vilified as low-wage threats to the American workingman and to Anglo-Saxon race integrity....

...A legal minimum wage, applied to immigrants and those already working in America, ensured that only the productive workers were employed. The economically unproductive, those whose labor was worth less than the legal minimum, would be denied entry, or, if already employed, would be idled. For economic reformers who regarded inferior workers as a threat, the minimum wage provided an invaluable service. It identified inferior workers by idling them. So identified, they could be dealt with. The unemployable would be removed to institutions, or to celibate labor colonies. The inferior immigrant would be removed back to the old country or to retirement. The woman would be removed to the home, where she could meet her obligations to family and race....

Socialism Has Created a Humanitarian Disaster in Venezuela
Venezuela’s accelerating economic meltdown is rapidly turning into a full-fledged humanitarian crisis. For too many in that country, the pervasive shortages of food, medicine, electricity, and other basic goods are making everyday life a nightmare. It is Venezuela’s version of the “winter of discontent,” except that it has been brewing for much longer and its unfolding consequences are far more frightening.

Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that the problem with socialists is that “they always run out of other people’s money” faced a unique challenge in Venezuela: during the course of a decade and a half, the government received nearly $1 trillion in oil revenues— the equivalent in today’s money of more than seven Marshall Plans. This was enough to mask the effect of hundreds of expropriations, stifling economic controls, and otherwise running the private economy into the ground....

...Not long ago Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingstone, and other Labour bigwigs were praising this Bolivarian revolution. Sycophantic Hollywood stars, such as Sean Penn and Oliver Stone, flocked to Caracas to voice their admiration for its socialist policies. The lovefest continued even when many of the aforementioned problems were becoming apparent. Today, all we hear from them regarding Venezuela is deafening silence.
#DemDebate preview: Michael Moore (!) reminds us who was in charge of Flint for ‘84 straight years’
Flint has voted for Dems for 84 straight yrs. What did it get us? For 18 months Dems remained silent &ignored pleas while Flint was poisoned

— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) March 6, 2016

The Nation: Note to Hillary: Clintonomics Was a Disaster for Most Americans
...How could Clinton have undergone such a lightening-fast reversal? The answer is straightforward, and explained with candor by Robert Rubin, who had been co-chair of Goldman Sachs before becoming Clinton’s Treasury secretary. Even before the inauguration, Rubin explained to more populist members of the incoming administration that the rich “are running the economy and make the decisions about the economy.”

Wall Street certainly flourished under Clinton. By 1999, the average price of stocks had risen to 44 times these companies’ earnings. Historically, stock prices had averaged about 14 times more than earnings. Even during the 1920s bubble, stock prices rose only to 33 times earnings right before the 1929 crash....

...What was Clinton’s overall record with respect to improving living standards for working people and the poor? During the eight full years of Clinton’s presidency, the average real wage for non-supervisory workers, at $13.60 an hour (in 2001 dollars), was 2 percent lower than the average under Reagan and Bush and nearly 10 percent less than under Jimmy Carter’s “years of malaise.” The average individual poverty rate under Clinton, at 13.2 percent of the population, was modestly better than the 14 percent rate under Reagan and Bush. But it was worse than the 11.9 percent figure that was maintained, on average, under Nixon and Ford, as well as Carter....

Obama orchestrated a massive transfer of wealth to the 1 percent | New York Post
...Surely if you inject $4.5 trillion into the economy, you will get economic growth. You will get a 4% to 5% increase in Gross Domestic Product for at least a year or two.

Yet the Obama administration is the first two-term presidency that has not posted a 3% GDP growth on an annualized basis for 8 years. Even Franklin Delano Roosevelt posted 3% growth year during the Great Depression.

That’s because the $4.5 trillion was not given to any infrastructure program — it was given to banks, under the misguided notion that they needed the money to remain solvent. The banks promptly invested this money, which kept the stock market humming, but did nothing for jobs, wages or the GDP.

This was by design. The Fed could not allow the bank’s largesse to be circulated into the public for fear of rapid inflation.

The banks also funded company mergers, company debt offerings and stock buybacks. This activity kept the money sequestered and allowed a greater return for the banks. After all, they were getting free money to invest — there was no way to lose.

Who did this help? The 1%, and pretty much only the 1%.

These actions are the reasons the American middle class has been decimated and no longer makes up the majority of the population.

If liberals are angry about inequality, they should look no further than President Obama. He has done more to contribute to the gap between rich and poor than anyone....

Bubba bashes Obama's 'pretty picture' economy, says millions left behind
Former President Bill Clinton rapped President Obama's "pretty picture" of economic recovery, claiming in a campaign stop for his wife Monday that millions of Americans have been left behind.

He referred to Obama's State of the Union address and his claims of economic prosperity as a "pretty picture" most haven't experienced.

"Millions and millions and millions and millions of people look at that pretty picture of America he painted and they cannot find themselves in it to save their lives," he said in Raleigh, N.C....

Bernie Sanders: ‘Real unemployment’ rate under Obama is 10.5 percent
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday that the Obama administration is not being forthright with the American people about the real unemployment rate.

The Vermont senator told a Portland, Maine, audience of 7,500 that the Labor Department’s 5.3 percent unemployment rate is a ruse.

“There is another set of government statistics,” the independent senator said, The Daily Caller reported, “and that real unemployment if you include those people who have given up looking for work and the millions of others who are working part-time 20, 25 hours a week when they want to work full-time, when you put all of that together, real unemployment is 10.5 percent.”...

Bernie Supporters’ Hatred Of Work Is Why Trump Supporters Are So Mad
...But if there’s another piece of advice here that absolutely disqualifies Clinton for the presidency, it’s “do what you love.” The truth is, that is simply not an option for most people. When it’s 39 degrees and raining in February, do you think the guy who picks up your trash is staring at your acrid, bacteria-laden refuse at 6 a.m. and saying, “Thank God, I love what I do”?

Indeed, it is precisely this cultural disconnect about the value of work that explains why there’s an open revolt in both parties and the future seems so uncertain....

...Many Portlanders like their lives that don’t contribute much, and if they could just get free health care—the governor who created the failed Oregon Health Plan and screwed up the state’s Obamacare exchange to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars was just run out of office on corruption charges in his fourth term—and erase their absurd college debt, they could afford the harissa-spiced Bloody Marys at the trendy new brunch spot and slide by selling colorful hemp guitar straps on Etsy without having to make any difficult or unselfish choices....

Don’t Tell Bernie, But Capitalism Has Made Human Life Fantastically Better
...5) Finally technology has lowered the cost of essentials, raising disposable incomes and creating new demand and jobs. In 1871, there was one hairdresser for every 1,793 English and Welsh citizens; now there is one for every 287. In 1948, a Freed-Eiseman 16-inch TV cost $795 in the US, roughly a quarter of the average annual salary, or roughly $12,000 today. A top of the range TV can be bought today for less than $1,000. On a quality-adjusted basis, the decline in prices is even more pronounced. US CPI data show that the price of a TV has fallen by 98% since 1950....

Mark Zuckerberg And The New Progressive Plutocrats.
...But tyrannizing his employees isn’t the worst thing Zuckerberg’s done.

That would be his Orwellian pandering to the German government, whose disastrous immigration policies he recently praised as “inspiring.” Under Zuckerberg’s leadership, Facebook has become Germany’s lapdog, acting as the terrifying new Stasi of Angela Merkel, who is desperate to contain her citizens’ anger at her failed immigration policies. Facebook has promised to work with her government to monitor “anti-migrant hate speech” on the platform, which is another way of telling ordinary Germans that, once again, someone will be looking over your shoulder if your conversation gets too politically inconvenient.

Here’s what’s more troubling: Zuckerberg isn’t just doing this to appease an overbearing government: he wants to do it....

When Bernie Sanders Thought Castro and the Sandinistas Could Teach America a Lesson
...In the 1980s, any Bernie Sanders event or interview inevitably wended toward a denunciation of Washington’s Central America policy, typically punctuated with a full-throated defense of the dictatorship in Nicaragua. As one sympathetic biographer wrote in 1991, Sanders “probably has done more than any other elected politician in the country to actively support the Sandinistas and their revolution.” Reflecting on a Potemkin tour of revolutionary Nicaragua he took in 1985, Sanders marveled that he was, “believe it or not, the highest ranking American official” to attend a parade celebrating the Sandinista seizure of power....

...But despite its aversion to elections, brutal suppression of dissent, hideous mistreatment of indigenous Nicaraguans, and rejection of basic democratic norms, Sanders thought Managua’s Marxist-Leninist clique had much to teach Burlington: “Vermont could set an example to the rest of the nation similar to the type of example Nicaragua is setting for the rest of Latin America.”...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Conman Blair's cynical conspiracy to deceive the British people and let in 2million migrants against the rules: Explosive new biography lays ex-PM's betrayal bare
Tom Bower's new book Broken Vows: Tony Blair - The Tragedy of Power lays bare how PM presided over a silent conspiracy to change face of UK
Book reveals how Blair instructed ministers to wave tens of thousands of asylum seekers into the UK under cover of their being ‘economic migrants’
Also sheds light on his shocking dealings with some of the world's worst dictators, his relationship with Wendi Deng and Cherie's jealousy

Tony Blair presided over a silent conspiracy to change the face of Britain for ever with mass immigration, an explosive book reveals.

He ordered his Labour government never to discuss in public the supposed ‘advantages’ of the unprecedented influx.

But behind the scenes ministers were instructed to wave tens of thousands of asylum seekers into the UK under cover of their being ‘economic migrants’. Astonishingly, the minister Mr Blair put in charge of borders ruled against deporting failed claimants because it would be too ‘emotional’.

The main aim of allowing in millions of people was to make the country ‘see the benefit of a multicultural society’. The Blair government did not see its job as being to ‘control immigration’. The policy is revealed today in a Daily Mail serialisation of an authoritative biography of the former prime minister by Tom Bower, an internationally-acclaimed investigative journalist....

Labour's 'secret plan' to lure migrants
The release of a previously unseen document suggested that Labour’s migration policy over the past decade had been aimed not just at meeting the country’s economic needs, but also the Government’s “social objectives”.

The paper said migration would “enhance economic growth” and made clear that trying to halt or reverse it could be “economically damaging”. But it also stated that immigration had general “benefits” and that a new policy framework was needed to “maximise” the contribution of migration to the Government’s wider social aims. ...

Police conspired to protect Rotherham child sex abusers
Corrupt police and an influential politician fuelled a culture of impunity that allowed three brothers to “own” the town of Rotherham and abuse children until their crimes were exposed by The Times.

One officer had sex with under-age girls, passed drugs to the sex-grooming gang and tipped them off when colleagues were searching for missing children, a court was told.

Another helped to broker a deal in which one brother returned an abused girl to police after receiving an assurance that he “wouldn't get done”...

‘I loved her, I wanted children. Then she started reading the Koran’: Cuckolded husband of female prison guard on the run with migrant who raped 15-year-old girl fears they are going to Syria
Hassan Kiko has escaped from jail after seducing a female prison guard
The 27-year-old was serving a sentence for raping a 15-year-old schoolgirl
He received asylum in Switzerland in 2010 after fleeing his native Syria
Police are now hunting for Kiko as well as prison officer Angela Magdici
Husband says she was fascinated with Syria and fears the pair will go there

The husband of a female prison guard who has gone on the run with with a Syrian rapist fears they will go to Syria.

Vasili Magdici, 25, has revealed how his estranged wife, Swiss prison officer Angela Magdici became fascinated with Syria and started reading the Koran before helping her asylum seeker lover break out of jail.

Police say 32-year-old Mrs Magdici freed Hassan Kiko, a Syrian migrant jailed for raping a schoolgirl, from Limmattal jail in Dietikon, Zurich, this week.

Kiko is a serial sex offender who was jailed for raping a 15-year-old schoolgirl and the attempted rape and sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman, MailOnline can reveal. ...
Mrs. Clinton’s Ode to Serfdom
...Terry Shumaker, former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad (I wonder what that gig cost him) and current abject minion in the service of Mrs. Clinton, quotes Herself telling an audience in New Hampshire: “Service is the rent we pay for living in this great country.”

There is a very old English word for people who are required to perform service as a rent for their existence, and that word is serf. Serfdom is a form of bondage.

Americans are not serfs. We are not sharecroppers on Herself’s farm or in vassalage to that smear of thieving nincompoopery in Washington that purports to rule us.

We don’t owe you any damned rent.

The American proposition is precisely the opposite of what Herself imagines: The U.S. government exists at our sufferance, not the other way around....

...Herself’s invocation of serfdom is the logical extension of “You Didn’t Build That”-ism, the backward philosophy under which the free citizen is obliged to justify his life and his prosperity to the state, in order to satisfy the economic self-interest, status-seeking, and power-lust of such lamentable specimens as Elizabeth Warren, a ridiculous little scold who has never done a single useful thing in her entire public life. The American model is precisely the opposite: Government has to justify itself to us. The states created the federal government, not the other way around, and the citizens created the states, not the other way around.

We don’t owe these jackasses any service. They owe us service: services they routinely fail to perform....

These Are Not the Good Guys
...Is it really so difficult to believe that there is widespread wrongdoing, and widespread lying about it, among U.S. law-enforcement agencies, particularly those in big, Democrat-run cities infamous for the corruption of their other municipal institutions? Why do conservatives find it so plausible — obvious, even — that the IRS and the EPA and the Atlanta public schools are corrupt and self-serving, but somehow believe that the Baltimore police department isn’t?...

...There are a great many investigations of police misconduct in Baltimore, where the local police behave more like the militia of a third-world warlord than a police agency. The results of those investigations are kept secret, even from city prosecutors. (Odd, no?) Three police officers have just been suspended on allegations of felony child abuse — and the inevitable subsequent perjury — in the matter of an underage suspect who was assaulted by police while in custody. The city has paid out millions of dollars in police-brutality and civil-rights settlements in recent years....

...Why conservatives and Republicans should be defensive about the fact that Baltimore, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Honolulu are misgoverned to various degrees of criminality is a mystery. Conservatives with real political power in those cities are as scarce as hen’s teeth. Could it really be something so simple as the fact that we do not feel comfortable standing on the same side of a bright red line as the malefactors in Ferguson and such opportunists as DeRay Mckesson, now a Baltimore mayoral candidate, and Al Sharpton? Sharpton is a grotesque and one of the most dishonest men in American public life, but that does not mean that the people running Baltimore and its police department aren’t also crooked. Some police officers are indeed heroes. Some are villains. Most are ordinary, time-serving municipal employees like any other, and telling ourselves otherwise is sentimental rubbish....
Shouldn’t Bernie Sanders Want to Underpay Teachers?
...Take public education. There is essentially a “single payer” for education within school districts. The teachers, principals, custodians, textbooks, and school buildings are all paid for by the government. Yet Bernie Sanders would never argue that the government should use its near-monopoly to push teacher salaries below market levels. In fact, raising teacher pay to be on par with the salaries of other college graduates is a perennial goal of progressives. Americans “must do everything we can to support our educators,” Sanders says on his website. “Something is very wrong when, last year, the top 25 hedge fund managers earned more than the combined income of 425,000 public school teachers.” But by Sanders’ own cost-cutting standard for single-payer systems, the supposedly low pay of teachers should be celebrated as a major success of public education!

To see the inconsistency another way, imagine Republicans trying to portray a cut in education spending as merely “savings” generated by “limiting reimbursements to education providers.” Sanders would have an arm-waving fit, warning that education quality would suffer. Somehow he has no similar concern when doctors are the ones being squeezed. So here is a question for a reporter to ask: “Senator Sanders, given the benefits of single-payer systems you’ve described, shouldn’t you want to underpay not only doctors, but teachers as well?”

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The illegal implementation of Obamacare
...Note that by “administrative delays” Bagley is actually referring to multiple decisions made over many months, including the multiple delays of the employer mandate and the so-called “if you like it you can keep it” fix. Characterizing all of these delays as a single episode — one of the eight he examines — seems to stack the deck a little bit. Nonetheless, Bagley’s candor about the paltry legal justification for these actions is refreshing, even if he insists on stressing that there are still lots of legal rules the administration hasn’t violated. (As Mike Stern quipped, “Think of all the buildings Nixon didn’t break into.”)

Where Bagley finds admirable restraint, I suspect calculation. It seems to me the administration has strayed from the ACA’s text law when and where it thinks it’s difficult for critics to obtain judicial review, though other explanations are possible, too. In any event, the paper helps further a discussion about the appropriateness of what some consider administrative “self-help.” This is not the first administration to take liberties with a statute when Congress refused to cooperate (see, e.g., what the Bush administration did with the Clean Air Act), and it won’t be the last.

A real question is whether the Obama administration’s actions with regard to the ACA are an augur of what is to come in the future. I hope not, but there are reasons for concern. As Bagley notes in the paper, it is increasingly rare for legal commentators to flag the legal violations of those on their own “side,” and that’s a problem....

Aetna CEO Has `Serious Concerns' About Obamacare Sustainability
The head of the third-biggest U.S. health insurer said he has “serious concerns” about whether or not Obamacare’s new markets are sustainable, echoing criticism from other top for-profit insurers. “We continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges,” Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini said on a call Monday while discussing the company’s fourth-quarter results. “We remain concerned about the overall stability of the risk pool.”...
Researcher Says Women's Initiation of Domestic Violence Predicts Risk to Women
How can we prevent Intimate Partner Violence and injury to women? IPV researcher Deborah Capaldi, Ph.D., a social scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, finds that the best way for women to be safe is to not initiate violence against their male partners. According to Dr. Capaldi, "The question of initiation of violence is a crucial one... much IPV is mutual, and initiations -- even that seem minor -- may lead to escalation."...

...Dr. Capaldi's research examined the different relationship violence scenarios -- violence by him only, violence by her only, violence by both with him initiating, and violence by both with her initiating. Of these, the most likely to result in future injury to women is when she initiates violence against him and he responds, although both mutually aggressive groups were close in danger levels.

Dr. Capaldi notes that in a study of women who were in a battered women's shelter, "67% of the women reported severe violence toward their partner in the past year." ...

...The study found that a young woman's IPV was just as predictive of her male partner's future IPV as the man's own past IPV. In other words, whereas we often think of men as the only abusers and also as serial abusers, the OYS found that a woman's violence against her man was as predictive of his violence to her as his own history of violence....
Guvmint Is Not Done Screwing Over Flint Water Victims Yet
...The main reason why Flint residents won't get more is that, unlike private companies, they can't sue the government, thanks to the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which protects government from tort lawsuits. In fact, prestigious law firms that are representing victims of the recent California gas leak in a class action lawsuit against Southern California Gas Co., owned by the non-governmental Sempra Energy, are so far declining to help Flint victims because the odds that they will succeed against the government are low to zero....

The Flint Water Crisis Is the Result of a Stimulus Project Gone Wrong
...Snyder's office did not return my call, but sources close to the situation at the time tell me that it was essentially because Genesee County and Flint authorities saw the new water treatment as a public infrastructure project to create jobs in an area that has never recovered after Michigan's auto industry fled to sunnier business climes elsewhere. And neither Snyder nor his Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz nor the state treasurer Andy Dillon had the heart to say "no," especially since to hand Flint to DWSD would have made the whole project less viable. What's more, they felt that just as Detroit was receiving an infrastructure boost post-bankruptcy (with the state-backed $650 million ice-hockey-arena-cum-entertainment center that I wrote about here) it was only fair that Flint get one too.

All of this shows two things:

One, the Flint water crisis is the result of a Keynesian stimulus project gone wrong....

Liberals Still Say Austerity Poisoned the Water in Flint, Damn the Evidence
...As Reason’s Shikha Dalmia reported on Monday, sources told her that the state-appointed emergency manager went along with the plan because “Genesee County and Flint authorities saw the new water treatment as a public infrastructure project to create jobs in an area that has never recovered after Michigan's auto industry fled to sunnier business climes elsewhere.”...

...But Flint’s principal problem—one that pre-dates the water crisis by decades—is that its economically-underprivileged taxpayers can’t afford to pay the pensions of retired city workers. Excess government spending landed Flint in its current, sorry state, not austerity. Likewise, the disastrous decision to go with a more expensive water option was not austerity, but government-sponsored stimulus gone (predictably) wrong....

Walmart, Other Corporations Are Donating Water Bottles to Flint: Guess Who Can’t Stand That
...Let me get this straight: when corporations put profits first, they are accused of undermining social institutions with their greed—when they unquestionable put people first… they are also accused of undermining social institutions!

In any case, it’s worth asking whether the private sector supplanting government functions is actually a bad thing. Despite what liberals like Dana Milbank and Katrina vanden Heuvel think, privatization and austerity are not the causes of the Flint water crisis: government mismanagement, regulatory failure, and Keynesian fiscal stimulus are. If the private sector can deliver affordable, clean water to Flint, why shouldn’t people prefer it? Is government-managed delivery of public goods really an absolute moral necessity, even if the government is bad at delivering said public goods?

Michael Moore: Don't Send Bottled Water to Flint
...Amen! If you want to help, he says, be a part of the “revolt” that will help overhaul a broken water system, and hold the people who did this accountable.

Moore outlines a detailed plan that includes a call to arrest Governor Rick Snyder and put the federal government in charge, echoing support for the NRDC lawsuit filed today which requested that a federal court force Flint to replace all lead service lines immediately....

Stop Drinking Bottled Water
...Drinking municipal tap water means connecting yourself to your local water system, where the goals are to think holistically about the conservation of natural resources, replenish local aquifers, and build a resilient infrastructure to distribute water to the public.

Drinking bottled water means colluding with a corporation which is not required to release any public information about how it plans to cut costs, exploit workers, dig wells, or employ a fossil-fueled supply chain in its quest to get a bottle of overpriced water into your hands....
Feds Cover Up Numbers On Fake Science
...The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards about $7 billion for research annually, but an agency report on the foundation’s merit review process doesn’t mention “plagiarism” or “misconduct” – problems that have increased tenfold since 2004, according to NSF’s inspector general.

“NSF declines approximately 37,000 – 40,000 proposals per year,” according the report.

“You will need to submit a FOIA request for more specific information than what’s contained there,” NSF spokeswoman Jessica Arriens told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Such information is critical since NSF’s watchdog estimates that 1,200 proposals contain plagiarism and another 800 proposals or results include “falsified or fabricated data,” according to the IG’s semiannual report.

NSF grants account “for about one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions for basic research,” Arriens previously told TheDCNF. The foundation awards 11,000 grants to 2,000 research institutions, according to the IG....

Scientist Ruthlessly Debunks One Of NOAA’s Central Climate Claims
...Christy recently co-authored a study with veteran meteorologist Anthony Watts that found the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was basing its temperature adjustments on “compromised” temperature data.

The study found most of NOAA’s 1,218 thermometers were sited near artificial surfaces and heat sources like concrete, asphalt, and air conditioner exhausts that were causing more warming to show in the U.S. temperature record than was present at weather stations that were well-sited.

Christy and Watts surmised NOAA was basing its temperature adjustments (efforts made to get “biases” out of the temperature record) on bad data....

EMT 2/5/16 The First World edition.
...Forty-five years. It has been forty since the last time a human being (Harrison Schmitt) has set foot on any rock other than Earth.

Forty years in the past, the first world was the place where miracles of science coupled with indomitable spirit to do the impossible lifted the hopes and dreams of the human race.

Forty years ago, the apolitical scientific method for empirical studies of chemistry, physics & math based on actual data still trumped the politicized sciency-tific madness of psychology & climatology & math based on fabricated data.

Now we spend our resources chasing rainbows and unicorns, and man's sole mission to escape this rock Earth that will otherwise ultimately be our tombstone has been sacrificed to the gods of progressivism.

Because the First World is no longer interested in science, or the survival of the survival of its long-distant progeny....
Germany Considers $5,450 Limit on Cash Transactions
BERLIN — The German government is considering introducing a limit of 5,000 euros ($5,450) on cash transactions in an effort to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism....
Five migrants among seven young men who 'laughed, danced and sang in Arabic as they gang raped unconscious girl of 17'
HORRIFIC footage has emerged of a group of young men, including five migrants, laughing, dancing and singing in Arabic as they gang rape an unconscious 17-year-old girl.

It is believed the attack happened after the girl passed out after drinking at a party.

One of the rapists later told police: "She can't complain. Women must obey men."...

Iraqi migrant rapes a 10-year-old boy at a swimming pool in Vienna and tells police it was a 'sexual emergency' because he hadn't had sex in months
Migrant, 20, arrived in Austria via Balkans in September and was taxi driver
Raped boy in cubicle of Resienbad pool - then had fun on the diving board
Told police he knew it was wrong - but he had not had sex for four months
Said that he was not 'always sick' as he has a wife and a child back in Iraq

German feminist welcomes refugees: ‘Better rapists than racists’
A Facebook page for the radical left in Germany had a message for young women: “diversity is more important than your security.”

Rote Antifa posted a picture of young feminist on Thursday, holding a sign that stated she preferred rapists from Syria and North Africa over nationalists in Germany who have demanded Chancellor Angela Merkel stop taking in more refugees.

“Prefer sexually active fugitive as German racists,” was featured as the pictures caption....

Former German Broadcaster Admits State-Operated News Organization ZDF Takes Marching Orders from the Government
I guess this is sort of a no-brainer, but it's useful to know for certain.

Here's a story I assume ZDF won't be publishing. At a town hall in a town called Bad Schlema, some citizens complained of "harassment" of young schoolgirls by migrants, as those girls passed the hostels and buildings the migrants were housed in.

He asked, what will happen in the summer, when the girls wear less clothing?

The mayor said, "That is simple to solve, just don't walk by those places."...

6′ tall “unaccompanied minor” refugee in Sweden raises questions
...Just how old do you think these migrant ‘children’ are? Alarming pictures of refugees – including ‘the fastest 14-year-old in Sweden’ – that shed light on a growing scandal amid Europe’s asylum crisis.

Ahmad [Farid] appears to have hair on his chin, and his powerful physique can be seen under his shirt.

The second is of Saad Alsaud, reported to have been the fastest 14-year-old in Sweden, dwarfing schoolboys and girls as they join him for a run.

He looks old enough to be the father of the children he is jogging with.

The other shows a Somalian named Youssaf Khaliif Nuur who claims he is 15 though he is 6ft tall and, according to one unconfirmed source, shaves his beard and moustache....
Serfs up with California's new feudalism
...Rather than a land of opportunity, our “new” California increasingly resembles a class-bound medieval society. The proportion of aggregate income taken by the top 1 percent is greatest in a couple of Californian metros, San Francisco and San Jose, as well as New York. California is the most unequal state when it comes to well-being, according to the report by Measure of America, which is a project of the Social Science Research Council....

...This inequality is being justified – and made worse – by attempts to turn California into a mecca for the most extreme measures to reduce greenhouse gases. Like a good medievalist, Brown blames this one phenomenon for virtually everything, from wildfires to the drought and mass migrations. Like a medieval cleric railing against sin, Brown seems somewhat unconcerned that his beloved “coercive power of the state” is also largely responsible for California’s high electricity prices, regulation-driven spikes in home values and the highest oil prices in the continental United States....

Friday, January 29, 2016

Do 'experts' believe their own predictions?
...So to probe the seriousness of these economic experts' stated beliefs about the impending consequences of climate change, it's fair to ask if they personally put their own money where their mouths are. How many of these economists are, for example:

• Buying land in the upper Midwest and inland Canada (the price of which will rise significantly if global temperatures make much of the South, as well as coastal areas, quite unpleasant places to live)?

• Investing in pharmaceutical companies that own patents that extend beyond 2025 on medicines to treat illnesses that are especially prevalent in the tropics and subtropics?

• Shorting shares of companies that specialize in attracting tourists to subtropical and tropical destinations, especially those on or near seacoasts?...

If ocean’s rising, why is Al Gore in Montecito?
...If the ocean’s rising, why is Al Gore in Montecito?

In response to the recent fanatical post by a global warming drone who fears that the rising tides will drown mankind, let him take solace in the fact that his climate guru, Al Gore, recently bought a $9 million beach front home in Montecito. Guess Al is not really afraid of sinking into the sea....

2006: Al Gore Does Sundance, January 26, 2006
...And politicians and corporations have been ignoring the issue for decades, to the point that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return, Gore said....

Fraud Detected In Science Research That Suggested GMO Crops Were Harmful
...Three science papers that had suggested that genetically modified crops were harmful to animals and have been used by activist groups to argue for their ban have been found to contain manipulated and possibly falsified data. Nature reports: "Papers that describe harmful effects to animals fed genetically modified (GM) crops are under scrutiny for alleged data manipulation. The leaked findings of an ongoing investigation at the University of Naples in Italy suggest that images in the papers may have been intentionally altered. The leader of the lab that carried out the work there says that there is no substance to this claim. The papers' findings run counter to those of numerous safety tests carried out by food and drug agencies around the world, which indicate that there are no dangers associated with eating GM food. But the work has been widely cited on anti-GM websites — and results of the experiments that the papers describe were referenced in an Italian Senate hearing last July on whether the country should allow cultivation of safety-approved GM crops. 'The case is very important also because these papers have been used politically in the debate on GM crops,' says Italian senator Elena Cattaneo, a neuroscientist at the University of Milan whose concerns about the work triggered the investigation....

Stunning Rejection of Scientific Values of Transparency and Skepticism at New England Journal of Medicine
The headline is taken from a dismayed tweet from prominent open science advocate Brian Nosek. University of Virginia psychologist Nosek is the co-founder of the Center for Open Science. He was also the team leader for the massive project that sought to replicate 100 psychological studies taken from leading journals. The researchers reported in Science that only about one-third of the results from the selected studies could be reproduced....

...Evidently, Drazen hasn't changed his mind even as evidence has continued to pile up over the past 10 years that researchers are massively producing and publishing false positives.

If NEJM's editors are afraid that other researchers won't understand the choices, procedures, and parameters made by the original researchers, Nosek's Center for Open Science has a solution—use its Open Science Framework.

The Open Science Framework is organized around a free, open-source Web platform that supports research project management, collaboration, and the permanent archiving of scientific workflow and output. The OSF makes it easier to replicate studies because outside researchers can see and retrace the steps taken by the original scientific team.

It should go without saying that "research parasitism" is wrong. Researchers who use the results produced by other investigators should fully acknowledge that fact and give them credit when they publish their additional findings. But the lack of replication and the proliferation of false results in the scientific literature is a far bigger problem than "research parasitism."...

Are the Global Warmistas Simply Juicing Up the Latest Years' Temperatures With "Adjustments" While Reducing the Temperatures of Previous Years, To Always Make the Current Year "The Hottest"?
...But now they may have gone too far -- in order to declare 2015 the "hottest on record," they apparently had to revise and "adjust" the previously declared all-time "hottest on record," 1997.

Because 1997 was more than three and half degrees warmer than 2015 -- going by NOAA's published data.

If they've now adjusted 1997's temperature down by three and a half degrees or more -- thus making the former All Time Hottest Year On Record not particularly hot -- this should be the lead, no?...

Feds Give Billions To Research Based On ‘Falsified Or Fabricated Data’
National Science Foundation officials award $7 billion in grants annually based on funding proposals the agency’s watchdog estimates have hundreds of examples of plagiarism and “falsified or fabricated data.”

The federal science research agency awards 11,000 grants to 2,000 research institutions annually, but Allison Lerner, the agency’s inspector general, only oversees about 1 percent of those recipients.

Researcher misconduct has drastically increased over the past decade, meaning millions of tax dollars go to fraudsters, according to Lerner.

The watchdog estimated that around 1,200 proposals for funding could contain plagiarism and another 800 proposals or results include “falsified or fabricated data,” according the IG’s semiannual report....
Muslim migrants not as stupid and simple as politically-correct Europeans seem to believe
...It strikes me that the really stupid, naive, unsophisticated people here are the Europeans who actually believe that this anti-social Muslim behavior comes about because Muslims are primitive people who are, for the first time, confronting an advanced society. To hold this position, Europeans must be willfully blind. Didn’t any of them notice the number of migrants who showed up with smart phones intact?...

...Here’s what I think is going on: The refugees are acting as they are, not because they see themselves as charity cases, but because they see themselves as conquerors. They know perfectly well that one doesn’t defecate in a pool in which people (especially children) are swimming. They’re doing it because they are performing the literal equivalent of the expression “I don’t give a shit about you.” They know you’re not supposed to rape women . . . that is, unless those women are the products of conquest, in which case raping them is one of Mohamed’s commandments....

Muslims are not like us, race equality chief says
Muslim communities are unlike others in Britain and the country should accept that they will not integrate in the same way, the former head of the equalities watchdog has said.

Trevor Phillips said that it was disrespectful to suppose that Muslim communities would change, claiming that we should accept that they “see the world differently from the rest of us”.

“Continuously pretending that a group is somehow eventually going to become like the rest of us is perhaps the deepest form of disrespect,” he told a meeting at the Policy Exchange think tank on Monday night. ...

'Who knows what horrors he has been through?' Swedish police chief sparks anger by SYMPATHISING with Somali boy, 15, charged with social worker's murder
The head of the Swedish police has sparked outrage by expressing sympathy with the teenage asylum seeker accused of murdering social worker Alexander Mezher.

National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson, who has already admitted police cannot cope with the wave of migrant crime, said he has concerns about the ‘horrors’ and trauma the accused murderer may have witnessed.

He said he was ‘distraught’ on behalf of Miss Mezher’s family but also for the killer, saying: ‘What has that person been through? Under what circumstances has he grown up? What is the trauma he carries?’...