Thursday, December 18, 2014

Robots Get Smarter in the Workplace–Time To Rethink Low -Skilled Immigration | VDARE.COM

Robots Get Smarter in the Workplace–Time To Rethink Low -Skilled Immigration | VDARE.COM: "But while the article underlines the uncertainty of future labor markets and suggests more attention be paid to the looming revolution of the workplace, there is no mention of the vastly reduced need for importing workers, who are not needed now and even less so in coming years.


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Jason O’Reilly destroys Obama’s false narrative on racism and black victimization » The Right Scoop -

Jason O’Reilly destroys Obama’s false narrative on racism and black victimization » The Right Scoop -: "In an interview on the Kelly File, Jason O’Reilly destroys Obama’s recent comments on race in an interview with People Magazine, explaining why they are so far off base and what the objective is of this false race narrative.


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Diplomacy Obama Style: Reward the Dictator in Exchange for ... Nothing | National Review Online

Diplomacy Obama Style: Reward the Dictator in Exchange for ... Nothing | National Review Online: "In his excellent column on the homepage, Elliot Abrams concludes that President Obama’s prisoner swap with Cuba was essentially the shiny object to divert our attention from the real, underlying deal: Obama gave away the store – normalization of diplomatic relations, international legitimacy for a brutal dictatorship, and the consequent lavish income streams that will prop up the regime – in exchange for … nothing. As Elliot puts it, “The Castros made no promises at all to reduce oppression, allow freedom of speech or assembly, or make any political reforms or foreign-policy adjustments.”


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Don Surber: Vermont gives up on socialized medicine

Don Surber: Vermont gives up on socialized medicine: "Sticker shock has forced Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont to cancel plans for having the state run health care in his state -- under a "single-payer plan," which is actually an "everyone pays plan" because there ain't no Santa Claus picking up the bill.

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Has the West Lost the Will to Live? | FrontPage Magazine

Has the West Lost the Will to Live? | FrontPage Magazine: "The West is in decline for a number of reasons, one of which is its cultural capitulation in the face of an ascendant Islamic fundamentalism. It is as if we, or at least our leaders and elites, have lost the cultural will to live. We need to get in touch with a sort of cultural rage, a fierce determination to crush threats to our culture, our values, and our liberty. We need to demonstrate that our tolerance has reached an end, that there will be no more coexistence with an ideology openly dedicated to our destruction. “Never mind normal,” as Jack Engelhard put it. To paraphrase his wish for Israel, for once let our blood “be exceptional and cause for nausea and trembling” among our enemies. Show the jihadists that there will be no more business-as-usual capitulation, and that they can expect us to unleash hell in retaliation for a single drop of Western blood.

We have a President who actually announced to the world that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” At the rate we’re going, it won’t. One thing is certain: the future will belong to the culture that is not hamstrung by cultural self-doubt, that is not mired in apologetic self-abasement, that is not burdened by historical guilt induced through decades of politically correct indoctrination, and that burns with a will to win, no matter how long it takes or what it costs. The future will belong to the lions, not the lambs.


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Has the West Lost the Will to Live? | FrontPage Magazine

Has the West Lost the Will to Live? | FrontPage Magazine: "The West is in decline for a number of reasons, one of which is its cultural capitulation in the face of an ascendant Islamic fundamentalism. It is as if we, or at least our leaders and elites, have lost the cultural will to live. We need to get in touch with a sort of cultural rage, a fierce determination to crush threats to our culture, our values, and our liberty. We need to demonstrate that our tolerance has reached an end, that there will be no more coexistence with an ideology openly dedicated to our destruction. “Never mind normal,” as Jack Engelhard put it. To paraphrase his wish for Israel, for once let our blood “be exceptional and cause for nausea and trembling” among our enemies. Show the jihadists that there will be no more business-as-usual capitulation, and that they can expect us to unleash hell in retaliation for a single drop of Western blood.

We have a President who actually announced to the world that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” At the rate we’re going, it won’t. One thing is certain: the future will belong to the culture that is not hamstrung by cultural self-doubt, that is not mired in apologetic self-abasement, that is not burdened by historical guilt induced through decades of politically correct indoctrination, and that burns with a will to win, no matter how long it takes or what it costs. The future will belong to the lions, not the lambs.


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North Korea Attacks America's Moral Cowardice - Charting Course

North Korea Attacks America's Moral Cowardice - Charting Course: "The problem isn’t that Sony once again was embarrassed by a data hack; it’s likely that most corporate IT security would wither in the face of a sustained operation led by a rogue government, whose resolve, assets, and ability to navigate the criminal world probably exceeds even the most sophisticated independent hackers.  The problem is, rather, that America hasn’t taken this nearly as seriously as we should.

And the people who take it the least seriously are the biggest cowards and hypocrites in the room:  progressive liberals.  The same liberals who cheer Snowden and Julian Assange’s release of sensitive U.S. intelligence data, the ones who cheer Bradley a.k.a. Chelsea Manning’s document dump of classified Army documents, who rush to their TOR and BitTorrent networks to download the latest pirated movies, shrink before the North Korean threat against their own wellbeing because they might go see a movie in a theater.


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Krauthammer's Cuba Take: 'Is There No Tyrant in the World Obama Will Not Appease For Nothing?' | National Review Online

Krauthammer's Cuba Take: 'Is There No Tyrant in the World Obama Will Not Appease For Nothing?' | National Review Online: "The columnist noted that time and again — from Russia and missile defense to Iran and nuclear sanctions — the Obama administration seems determined to surrender in negotiations with autocratic regimes.


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Nuclear May Be the Key to a Green Future - The American Interest

Nuclear May Be the Key to a Green Future - The American Interest: "These new nuclear technologies are at least as deserving of government support as solar or wind—perhaps more so when you factor in to the decision the fact that nuclear lacks that intermittency problem. For their part, greens need to get over their emotional biases against the energy source, as it could do more for their cause than any wind or solar farm ever could.


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The Two-Party Illusion | The Daily Rant: Conservative Mychal Massie's Hard Hitting Commentary on Race, Obama and Politics

The Two-Party Illusion | The Daily Rant: Conservative Mychal Massie's Hard Hitting Commentary on Race, Obama and Politics: "Conservative Republicans were appalled when Speaker of the House John Boehner and his crew of RINOs passed a budget that provided Barack Obama with all the funds needed to enact his unconstitutional atrocities; otherwise known as amnesty and Obamacare. Boehner, along with other House RINOs, continues to act in a manner at odds with the wishes of Republican voters. If it weren’t for the “R” after his name, you might think he was a member of the Democratic Party. This peculiar mode of operation has fueled rumors of blackmail being perpetrated against the Speaker, which are consistent with a man being coerced into acting in a manner adverse to his Party’s platform and the wishes of his constituents. However, logic would demand that if the rumors were true and Boehner held a modicum of loyalty for America, he would have most assuredly resigned from this powerful position post haste. Boehner did no such thing.

So, the question now arises: are the actions of Boehner’s Band of RINOs simply inconsistent with the American voter or is there something more subversive going on?


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pakistan: Incubator of Evil « Commentary Magazine

Pakistan: Incubator of Evil « Commentary Magazine: "Sooner or later the Pakistani army must learn that it cannot fight some Islamist extremists while making common cause with others. My fear is that after decades of cooperation with these fanatics, the army itself may be so sympathetic to this extremist ideology that significant elements of it have essentially gone over to the enemy. Aside from an Iranian nuke, it is hard to imagine a scarier scenario in the world today than these Pakistani extremists-in-uniform getting access to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

For too long America has tended to look away from the problem or pretended that Pakistan is really our friend. I don’t know what the solution is to this enormous menace, but at a minimum we need to stop lying to ourselves and recognize Pakistan for what it is: an incubator of evil.


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Top Watchdog: The VA LIED To Media And Congress Over Deaths - Freedom Outpost

Top Watchdog: The VA LIED To Media And Congress Over Deaths - Freedom Outpost: "The top watchdog at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has confirmed allegations that the agency has repeatedly lied to the media and Congress about how many veterans suffered and died from treatment delays."

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The income inequality obsession « Adam Smith Institute

The income inequality obsession « Adam Smith Institute: "The focus on income inequality is the smoke and mirrors of well-intentioned rhetoric. The focus on wealth redistribution rather than the opportunity to engage freely in wealth creation, on compulsory, ever-more rigid education instead of free thought, on dividing society according to income instead of encouraging social cohesion… this focus provides supposed justification for the legal privileging and normative elevation of income pursuit and, therefore, enables subtle homogenisation and, ultimately, degradation of peoples’ capacity for free thought. Addressing income inequality through redistributive policies is, as is all too often the case with such proposals, conservatism in the guise of social liberalism.


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You’ve got to hear this: A rant on black culture and Democrats that ought to go viral

[VIDEO] You’ve got to hear this: A rant on black culture and Democrats that ought to go viral: "This gal identifies herself as “Honestly Speaking” and, boy, does she speak honestly. She tells “her people” that she’s not a “race traitor” for demanding that black people listen to their best angels, rather than their worst demons. She also explains, with great detail, why she’s a Republican. I wish there where millions of this lady all across America:


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Bishop E.W. Jackson weighs in on protests, says it’s time to appreciate our cops » The Right Scoop -

Bishop E.W. Jackson weighs in on protests, says it’s time to appreciate our cops » The Right Scoop -: "Bishop E.W. Jackson was on with Fox and Friends this morning talking about what liberalism has done to the black community and the anti-cop protests that are going on around the country.


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The MSM Misleads Again: Housing Starts Didn’t ‘Weaken’ A Tad In November, They Plunged | David Stockman's Contra Corner

The MSM Misleads Again: Housing Starts Didn’t ‘Weaken’ A Tad In November, They Plunged | David Stockman's Contra Corner: "Don’t believe everything you read in the mainstream media. Especially don’t believe anything in the financial news media until you’ve looked at the data yourself.  It’s no wonder investors are so often caught flatfooted in the markets. Financial “journalists” feed their readers and viewers a constant stream of misinformation and bad data. Financial reporters are so atrocious at serving their audience I have to believe that they are, wittingly or unwittingly, part of a deliberate and elaborate campaign of disinformation… unless you believe in Coincidence Theory.

Housing starts collapsed in November. They weren’t good, they weren’t even so-so as media reports intimated. The seasonally adjusted annualized number which the paid flacks report is absolute nonsense. It’s fiction.


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Commonsense & Wonder: When did the UN get the power to decide America's immigration policy? The aim? To dilute western society.

Commonsense & Wonder: When did the UN get the power to decide America's immigration policy? The aim? To dilute western society.: "The federal government is preparing for another “surge” in refugees and this time they won’t be coming illegally from Central America.
The U.S. State Department announced this week that the first major contingent of Syrian refugees, 9,000 of them, have been hand-selected by the United Nations for resettlement into communities across the United States.

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Obama Finally Tells The Truth | The Daily Rant: Conservative Mychal Massie's Hard Hitting Commentary on Race, Obama and Politics

Obama Finally Tells The Truth | The Daily Rant: Conservative Mychal Massie's Hard Hitting Commentary on Race, Obama and Politics: "Racism exudes from the very pores of the Obamas and he comprised his inner most circle with just as racially bigoted as himself. I reference Valerie Jarrett and Eric Holder for starts.
There are those who argue Obama has exacerbated racial problems in the United States. I disagree. I say Obama has created problems where none existed and with the deftness of an evil alchemist, he fomented a zeitgeist of unbridled black antipathy toward whites.


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Tortured Reasoning | The American Spectator

Tortured Reasoning | The American Spectator: "itics and defenders of the harsh interrogation methods applied to captured terrorists can argue forever over whether those methods were “torture.” But any serious discussion of a serious issue — and surely terrorism qualifies as serious — has to move beyond semantics and confront the ultimate question: “Compared to what alternative?”"

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The Death Cult Called Shariah

Center for Security Policy | The Death Cult Called Shariah: "The murderous hostage-taking in Sydney by a jihadist who sought to tie his action to the so-called Islamic State prompted Australia’s Prime Minister to describe the perpetrator as part of a “death cult.”


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Replace the partisan sham, or liberty dies

Replace the partisan sham, or liberty dies: "By Alan Keyes

What will it take to get the people who are supposed to represent us in government to realize that America's survival as a free nation urgently requires that Barack Obama and his collaborators be called to account? The situation of the United States today reminds me of the period during the 9/11 terrorist attack, between the moment when each tower was struck and the moment of its breathtaking collapse (about 2 hours, as I recall)."

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White commies taught blacks to protest

White commies taught blacks to protest: "Blacks didn’t begin rioting in America until white Communists taught them how. In fact, the Watts riots were the first urban race riots driven by blacks.

Acting a fool has never affected change for the better. Eric Garner is dead, due in part, to excessive liberal regulations. Michael Brown is dead because he beat down a cop, attempted to take his gun and then charged the officer like he was trying out for the NFL. Berkeley students burdened and trained in the art of “white privilege” are incensed because their professors tell them they should be, and though Al Sharpton has lost a lot of weight, his pockets continue to grow fat despite his irrelevancy. In the end, with the exception of more regulation to spark more protest, the riots and picket signs will all be for naught.


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Dem Congressman: ‘Obama needs to listen to others’ because ‘he really doesn’t understand’ politics | Washington Free Beacon

Dem Congressman: ‘Obama needs to listen to others’ because ‘he really doesn’t understand’ politics | Washington Free Beacon: "While on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, Democratic representative Jim McDermott (D., Wash.) called out President Obama for his poor political acumen, particularly as it relates to the recent $1.1 trillion spending bill.

“The president is going to have to listen to some people other than the little group of people around him now,” McDermott said. “He is all by himself. He doesn’t have the Senate to save him as they have in the last six years. He is really in danger of really doing some awful things because he really doesn’t understand.”

McDermott was baffled by Obama’s move announcing his intent to sign the bill if passed, comparing it to a bad move in poker.

“But he got into it way too early and put his cards on the table face up. You could see what he had,” McDermott said, and because of that Obama and congressional Democrats lost political leverage.


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BLACK SHERIFF TO OBAMA: 'You Built This Racial Divide’ | Doug Giles | #ClashDaily

BLACK SHERIFF TO OBAMA: 'You Built This Racial Divide’ | Doug Giles | #ClashDaily: "Appearing on FOX News’ “The Kelly File” with Megyn Kelly on Thursday, Sheriff Clarke responded to a new FOX News poll that indicated that 19 percent of Americans think race relations have improved under the Obama Regime, while a whopping 62 percent say they’ve worsened (17% say “no difference”), saying that Obama has benefited from a “divide and conquer strategy” that has been “destructive for America.”
“He built this racial divide,” Sheriff Clarke told Kelly. “It was a wound that had been healing for a number of years, a number of decades…and he reopened it with his divisive politics,” Clarke asserted.

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Increasing Economic Growth Means Shrinking the Size and Scope of Government | Cato Institute

Increasing Economic Growth Means Shrinking the Size and Scope of Government | Cato Institute: "There is a growing body of evidence that bigger government means slower growth of real GDP. Once the level of total government spending as a percentage of GDP reaches a tipping point, estimated to be from 15 percent to 25 percent of GDP, additional expansion crowds out private productive investment and slows economic growth. When government overreaches, economic freedom is diminished and private exchange opportunities are lost — that is, the range of choices open to individuals is restricted.

In a pioneering study of the link between the growth of government and the wealth of nations, which appeared in the fall 1998 issue of the Cato Journal, economists James Gwartney, Randall Holcombe, and Robert Lawson found that a 10 percentage point increase in government spending as a percentage of GDP decreases real GDP growth by 1 percentage point. Thus, if government spending went from 25 percent of GDP to 35 percent, real GDP growth would slow over the longer term by a full percentage point. They also found that a 10 percentage point increase in the government’s share of GDP lowered private investment by 1.6 percentage points.

One of the key findings of their study was that secure property rights — which includes a legal system that protects persons and property, enforces contracts, and  limits the power of government by a just rule of law — play an important role in promoting economic growth.

The positive relationship between property rights and economic growth was developed more fully by the late Bernhard Heitger, an economist at the Kiel Institute for World Economics, in his path-breaking article in the Cato Journal. In that article, Heitger distinguished between proximate and ultimate determinants of economic growth. The former are well known: additions to physical and human capital and technological progress (also known as total factor productivity). But Heitger was interested in the question of what drives capital accumulation and innovation. His answer: the structure of property rights and the associated incentives."

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News from The Associated Press: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming.

Ethanol isn't so green, either.

"It's kind of hard to beat gasoline" for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. "A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean ... are not better than gasoline."


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There is NO “Senate Report” on Torture | Gingrich Productions

There is NO “Senate Report” on Torture | Gingrich Productions: "There is NO Senate Report on torture.
Two big lies have been perpetrated on the American people.
The first lie is the partisan, dishonest, irresponsible, and destructive left-wing attack disguised as an Intelligence Committee report.
The second lie is the elite media deliberately overlooking the partisan, divisive and deeply disputed report and pretending it represents the verdict of the U.S. Senate.

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Actually, Obama Doesn’t Know “Who We are as Americans” | The Blog on Obama: White House Dossier

Actually, Obama Doesn’t Know “Who We are as Americans” | The Blog on Obama: White House Dossier: "Once again, President Obama has claimed to speak on behalf of the American people. And once again, the l’état, c’est moi president is actually just speaking for himself.

Obama, as chronicled recently by Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard, is a self-professed expert on “who we are as Americans” and loves to represent us all on any number of topics. Like all left-wingers, the president assumes his moral judgment and values are unassailable and must by default be shared by Americans, the election of the biggest Republican House majority in 50 years notwithstanding.


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Gruber Reflects the Undemocratic Left

Gruber Reflects the Undemocratic Left: "Don’t get me wrong: Gruber’s erstwhile opinions about his fellow Americans are despicable. But he was only echoing a common sentiment among the American Left: you are too stupid to run your own life. It’s just rare that they tell us directly.

The attitude of the Washington political establishment in general—and liberal elites in particular—is that Americans aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions. The public must be cajoled, mislead, threatened and flat-out lied to in order to achieve the greatest good.


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Rising Seas are Nothing New | Somewhat Reasonable

Rising Seas are Nothing New | Somewhat Reasonable: "Rising seas are never a lethal threat to life on Earth. The danger sign is falling sea levels caused by return of the great ice sheets. This would quickly put high-latitude farming into the deep freezer, thus creating widespread starvation. Trying to grow crops on emerging salty mudflats in an icy climate will give future farmers a real climate concern.

And despite World Heritage listing, when the next ice age comes, the skeletons of the stranded Great Barrier Reef will become bleached limestone deposits on the coastal plain. The indestructible coral populations will abandon their marooned homes and build new reefs further out under the retreating seas.


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THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS: PIGS FLY: BBC ADMITS ARCTIC ICE IS NOT DISAPPEARING, AND THAT THERE IS NO SIGN IT EVER WILL: "And while the ice is still much reduced compared with the 20,000 cu km that used to stick around in the Octobers of the early 1980s, there is no evidence to indicate a collapse is imminent.

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Racism is Bad, But Lawlessness is Worse -

Racism is Bad, But Lawlessness is Worse - "Racism is an egregious sin when committed. But greater still, no matter the race, is the sin of him who will not govern himself and demands that he be served rather than to serve.

Indeed. And may God hasten the day, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, when all men will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.


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DHS insider: Sydney to be the game changer

DHS insider: Sydney to be the game changer: "It was just a few hours into the hostage crisis at the Lindt Café in Sydney, Australia when I received information from my source within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that this evolving incident will be a catalyst for many events inside the U.S. and throughout the West. According to my source, the hostage crisis created by an Islamic terrorist in Sydney, Australia “is not, nor will it be, a ‘one off’ event. “Don’t be fooled, this will be a ‘game-changer’ in many ways for not just Australia, but for all of the West. Maybe not immediately, but in short order. And this [Obama] regime will use it to their tactical advantage.”

According to this DHS source who is well-embedded at a fairly high level within this political leviathan inside the beltway, high level DHS briefings made late Sunday (Washington, DC time) confirmed that various police and intelligence agencies throughout New South Wales and Australia not only know the identity of the perpetrator at the Lindt Café, but “[they] have had numerous dealings with him over the last several months.” This source stated that “he is not just some random unknown perpetrator without a history, but has made his intentions known for some time. Once,  or if the truth comes out, you will see that he is also known by the CIA.”

It is important to consider that the event started at a time when the Western media was on weekend autopilot, allowing U.S. intelligence agencies time to manage the outflow of information more adeptly. Nonetheless, much of what the event was designed to do has already been accomplished.

According to this DHS source, “the war has officially reached Oceania. The cancer of ISIS, created by Western intelligence and government agencies will quickly metastasize within the U.S. and throughout the West. The political movement disguised as a religion (Islam), and its armed wing known as ISIS, along with the Muslim Brotherhood as their political ambassador will take up their respective roles in a Hegelian dialectic created by the West in short order.”


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How the Obesity Epidemic Drains Medicare and Medicaid | The Fiscal Times

How the Obesity Epidemic Drains Medicare and Medicaid | The Fiscal Times: "Federal and state officials are growing alarmed over the mounting share of government-provided health care going toward treating obesity as the number of overweight Americans continues to rise.

In the past half century, the share of obese adults has increased from just one in eight in 1960 to over one in three today. More than a third of all adults and 17 percent of young people are obese, according to some experts. Many overweight people are plagued by related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, arthritis and cancer.


Federal and state officials can no longer take lightly the financial burden the obesity epidemic puts on Medicaid, Medicare and other government health care programs. If the new GOP-led Congress wants to find ways to reduce health care spending, a nationwide initiative to reduce obesity is a key way to go..

Related: Budget Busting U.S. Obesity"

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Life in Post-Truth America

Life in Post-Truth America: "Progressives don’t only live in a post-American world; they live in a post-Truth world. A world without facts and without truth is one in which the America that was cannot exist.

America had prospered because of a firm belief in a discoverable and exploitable reality. That was the country that could build skyscrapers and fleets in a year. Post-Truth America has little interest in big buildings because it’s too busy enacting a psychodrama in which the earth is about to be destroyed. And fleets, like horses and bayonets and facts, are 19th century toys that are much less interesting than the manipulation of people through lies and deceit.

Lena Dunham’s Barry and Obama’s Barry are both imaginary creatures. They are the sophisticated products of disordered minds and a disordered civilization whose leading figures lie as instinctively and as shamelessly as any pre-rational culture that could not distinguish between lies and truth.


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Sunday, December 14, 2014

BBC News - Arctic sea ice volume holds up in 2014

BBC News - Arctic sea ice volume holds up in 2014: "Arctic sea ice may be more resilient than many observers recognise.

While global warming seems to have set the polar north on a path to floe-free summers, the latest data from Europe's Cryosat mission suggests it may take a while yet to reach those conditions.


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Haha! Corrupt-to-the-core UN calls for arresting, prosecuting Bush administration officials

Haha! Corrupt-to-the-core UN calls for arresting, prosecuting Bush administration officials:


By Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters

A U.N. human rights expert said a report that the U.S. Senate released on Tuesday revealed a “clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration” and called for prosecution of U.S. officials who ordered crimes, including torture, against detainees.
Ben Emmerson, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said senior Bush administration officials who planned and authorized crimes must be prosecuted, along with as CIA and other U.S. government officials who committed torture such as waterboarding.

“As a matter of international law, the U.S. is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice,” Emmerson said in a statement issued in Geneva. “The U.S. Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible.”

The CIA routinely misled the White House and Congress over its harsh interrogation program for terrorism suspects, and its methods, which included waterboarding, were more brutal than the agency acknowledged, a Senate report said on Tuesday.

Emmerson, a British international lawyer serving in the independent post since 2010, welcomed the belated release of the report, commending the Obama administration “for resisting domestic pressure to suppress these important findings”.

“It is now time to take action. The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today’s report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes,” he said.

Read more….

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It’s an act! Pelosi, Feinstein faking ignorance, outrage about terror interrogations, ex-CIA official says

It’s an act! Pelosi, Feinstein faking ignorance, outrage about terror interrogations, ex-CIA official says:

The former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center dropped a bombshell on “Fox News Sunday,” with Chris Wallace.

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Diane Feinstein, both D-Calif., knew all about the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA and they approved, Jose Rodriguez said.

The disclosure came in response to a question Wallace asked about what members of Congress knew about the interrogation program.

“You in many cases, for all I know all the cases, were the man who was briefing members of Congress dozens of times, including Nancy Pelosi when she was one of the top people on the House Intelligence Committee and Diane Fienstein,” Wallace said.

“How specific were you in what you told them about these enhanced interrogation techniques and did they ever raise any concerns?”

“I remember very clearly briefing Nancy Pelosi in September 2002,” Rodriguez said. “We briefed her specifically on the use of the enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah. So she knew back in September of 2002 every one of our enhanced interrogation techniques.”

“Let me ask you specifically,” Wallace continued. “Did you tell her about water boarding? Did you tell her about sleep deprivation?”

“Yes. Yes, we did. Yes I did,” Rodriguez said

”Did you tell here about slapping or pushing into walls? All of the techniques?” Wallace pressed.

“I briefed her on all of the techniques,” Rodriguez said.

Wallace asked Rodriguez, “Did she ever object to the techniques that you mentioned?”

”She never objected to the techniques at all,” Rodriguez replied.

The host also asked Rodriguez if reports that Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., wanted more done to the detainees than the CIA was doing were true.

“Yes,” Rodriquez answered. “I can remember going back to hearings and meeting with the Congress back in 2002 and their biggest thing that they told me was ‘You know your problem is that you guys are risk averse. You’ve got to go out and use the authorities that you were given to protect America.’ All of these people were briefed, Rockefeller in particular.”

When Wallace asked Rodriguez his thoughts on the Senate report and the backlash he didn’t mince words.

“This report throws the CIA under the bus,” he said. “I am just shocked that the United States of America would betray its liaison counterparts who actually stepped up to the plate to help us after 9/11.”

Pro-Abortion Study Admits Thousands of Women Hospitalized Every Year From Botched Abortions

Pro-Abortion Study Admits Thousands of Women Hospitalized Every Year From Botched Abortions: What if you walked into the waiting room of any of the country’s abortion clinics and told the young mothers waiting there in the lobby that there’s a new study indicating that the “procedure” they’re about to undergo will, in the coming year, send thousands of women to the emergency room or back to the clinic to deal with a complication or a “failed abortion”? How many of them would say that makes them feel more comfortable with their decision? None, you would suspect. Yet if one actually reads a new study (as opposed to the press release) out of...

GREEN ARROGANCE: Peru Is Indignant After Greenpeace Makes Its Mark on Ancient Site. “The Peruvian …

GREEN ARROGANCE: Peru Is Indignant After Greenpeace Makes Its Mark on Ancient Site. “The Peruvian …:

GREEN ARROGANCE: Peru Is Indignant After Greenpeace Makes Its Mark on Ancient Site. “The Peruvian authorities said activists from the group damaged a patch of desert when they placed a large sign that promoted renewable energy near a set of lines that form the shape of a giant hummingbird. . . . Greenpeace issued a statement apologizing for the stunt at the archaeological site, about 225 miles south of Lima. Its international executive director, Kumi Naidoo, flew to Lima, but the Peruvian authorities were seething over the episode, which they said had scarred one of the country’s most treasured national symbols.” Worrying about environmental impacts is for the little people.

Dianne Feinstein’s flawed torture report

Dianne Feinstein’s flawed torture report:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s report last week on enhanced interrogations under the George W. Bush administration suffers from fundamental flaws. The Senate Intelligence Committee took the unprecedented step of proceeding without Republicans even though previous investigations have always been bipartisan. It cherry-picked from millions of CIA documents and, unbelievably, refused to interview any witnesses.

Without bipartisanship and testimony, the report’s claims cannot be trusted. CIA directors from both parties, including George Tenet (who served under Presidents Clinton and Bush) and John Brennan (who serves under President Obama), have rejected many of the report’s factual findings and its central claim that the CIA systematically misled the White House and the president and covered up the abuse of terrorists.

But the Feinstein report has one positive virtue: It has moved the debate beyond legality to effectiveness. To be sure, the senator takes a stab at claiming the interrogation methods amounted to illegal torture. The CIA, she writes, “decided to initiate a program of indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations, and our values.” But the report does not analyze the federal anti-torture law, which in 2001 prohibited interrogation methods with “the specific intent” to cause “severe physical or mental pain and suffering.”

Attorneys in the Bush Justice Department, including me, reviewed whether the CIA’s proposed interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda planner captured in March 2002 in Pakistan, met that law. The brief statute provided neither further definitions nor examples of prohibited methods (in 2005, Congress passed a detailed law, the Detainee Treatment Act, because the earlier law was vague). For us, as I think for most reasonable Americans, almost all the CIA’s proposed interrogation methods did not constitute torture — the only one close to the line was waterboarding.

Three reasons persuaded us to approve waterboarding. First, Al Qaeda terrorists were not POWs under the Geneva Conventions, because they fought for no nation and flouted the laws of war by killing civilians and beheading prisoners (such as Daniel Pearl). Second, the U.S. armed forces had used it in training tens of thousands of officers and soldiers, without any physical injury or long-term mental harm. Finally, the United States had suffered the deaths of 3,000 civilians and billions of dollars in damage; we knew little about Al Qaeda, and intelligence indicated that more attacks were coming, perhaps using weapons of mass destruction.

Even under these extraordinary circumstances, the CIA would use harsh interrogation on only Al Qaeda leaders thought to have information about pending attacks — in the end the CIA approved the waterboarding of only three Al Qaeda leaders. If some CIA interrogators went beyond these methods, they would not have received Justice Department approval; they could have been disciplined, even prosecuted. Two sets of Justice Department prosecutors, however, investigated the same claims of abuse in the Feinstein report and ultimately brought no charges.

Feinstein implies that the CIA should have chosen standard interrogation methods, which depend on developing a relationship with the detainee. This may work for law enforcement, but not for any reasonable American president in 2001 and 2002. Building rapport with Al Qaeda leaders could take weeks, months, years — or never. Our prisons still hold convicted terrorists, such as those tied to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, who have never cooperated with authorities.

In the end, Feinstein makes her case against the CIA on effectiveness, not law. And yet, the report cannot quarrel with the ultimate fact: Contrary to the expectations of terrorism experts inside and outside of government, the United States has succeeded in preventing a second large-scale terrorist attack for the last 13 years.

Feinstein and other Senate Democrats can only attack this record by arguing that the interrogations yielded nothing new. But a central element of the CIA’s success — killing Osama bin Laden and destroying Al Qaeda’s leadership — belies her claim. The U.S. found Bin Laden by tracking a courier to his location. Feinstein’s staff discovered the courier’s name in CIA files before interrogations began, and so claims that they added nothing to the effort. This ignores the fact that the names of hundreds, if not thousands, of Al Qaeda suspects sat in CIA files. Only the interrogation of Al Qaeda leaders singled out that individual as the courier.

The report’s fatal flaws continue with the capture of Al Qaeda leaders, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, the planners of the 9/11 attacks, or Indonesian terrorist Hambali, who was working on airplane strikes on the West Coast. As the responses of the CIA and the Republican minority make clear, interrogations led the U.S. to one leader and then the next in succession. The Feinstein report cannot explain how the CIA brought down Al Qaeda’s leadership.

If the interrogations were effective, all that is left of the Feinstein report is an appeal to “our values.” Even if she were to admit that intelligence was gained, Feinstein clearly believes it would not justify the harm inflicted on terrorists. She appears to believe that the U.S. should never interrogate beyond standard relationship-building, no matter the threat to American lives.

But Americans are a practical people, nowhere more so than in war. In the Civil War, Gen. William T. Sherman marched through the South to destroy civilian support for the Confederacy. In World War II, U.S. bombs killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Germany and Japan. President Truman used nuclear weapons to end that war. Obama has deployed drone strikes that have not only killed terrorists, but also hundreds of innocent civilians. Feinstein is not accusing Obama of war crimes, despite the far greater loss of life.

War forces us to confront tough decisions and trade-offs. Current polls indicate that a large majority of Americans support tough interrogation measures, including waterboarding, to get information from terrorists. They could have turned Bush out of office in 2004, after details of the interrogation program came to light. And as the 2014 midterm elections show, Americans remain worried about national security and terrorist threats, especially Islamic State.

Americans rely — where the Feinstein report and Senate Democrats will not — on the men and women of the CIA to protect the nation as foreign dangers and disorder rise around us.

John Yoo is a law professor at UC Berkeley and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. When he served in the Justice Department from 2001 to 2003, he co-wrote memos supporting the legality of enhanced interrogation.

Terminal Ignorance!

Terminal Ignorance!:

The post Terminal Ignorance! appeared first on Monty Pelerin's World.

Terminal ignorance has no cure! Ever wonder how the country got to this point? Here is how and why it is over! There is no recovery from terminal ignorance. Even rocks are not this dumb!   If these [...]

The post Terminal Ignorance! appeared first on Monty Pelerin's World.

Michael Savage: Charge Dianne Feinstein With Treason Over What She Just Did

Michael Savage: Charge Dianne Feinstein With Treason Over What She Just Did: Senator Dianne Feinstein has always been seen as having an anti-American streak in her. However, if a famous radio talk-show host is right, she ought to be charged with high treason. Michael Savage has never been shy about castigating liberals whom he feels have a hate-America agenda. However, this time, he has a very good point about

What Was Greenpeace Thinking?

What Was Greenpeace Thinking?:

It was with a mix of shock and sadness that I read word of the environmentalist organization Greenpeace’s recent stunt at the Nazca Lines in Peru. I had first learned about the Nazca Lines when I was in elementary school, and had always harbored a desire to visit them. Three decades later, I had the opportunity. My wife and I honeymooned in Peru, and on our second day there, we flew over the lines. Alongside a visit to the nearby Ica museum (home to the famous elongated and trepanned skulls), it was a highlight of Peru and part of a trip of a lifetime.

That the Nazca Lines were incredibly fragile is Environmentalism 101. The Nazca desert is inordinately dry, and the Nazca plain being largely shielded from wind means that anything that disturbs the desert—a footprint, for example—lasts for centuries if not millennia.

The Argentine, Austrian, Brazilian, Chilean, German, and Italian activists that conducted the stunt broke environmental regulations and permanently damaged a UNESCO site; they should be punished to the full extent of Peruvian law. That they left the area should not end the matter; they videotaped their actions and Greenpeace, if it truly cares about the environment, should cooperate fully, identifying those who perpetrated the crime so that the Peruvians, if necessary, can sue for damages and extradite if possible. Kumi Naidoo, the international executive director, should also make providing restitution a Greenpeace priority. As Greenpeace leader, he sets the tone for the organization. If he was aware of the stunt ahead of time, he is as culpable as those who executed it, and if he was not, then that also reflects poorly on his management. Indeed, he should be personally liable—financially and criminally—for the damage. After all, isn’t the organization he leads at the forefront of the campaign to hold executives from oil companies criminally liable for damage caused by climate change denial?

But, beyond the sheer stupidity of the Greenpeace activists’ actions, a broader question—not addressed by the New York Times or much of the press—was what the purpose of the Greenpeace action was. Certainly, perpetrators said on video that they were motivated by the fight against climate change, but it seems so often that Greenpeace stunts are motivated far more by a desire to promote Greenpeace than do anything for the environment. High-profile Greenpeace publicity stunts are common. Here’s one from Cincinnati, and another from Denmark, and another from Brussels.

Naidoo and other Greenpeace executives cannot plead ignorance, for they embraced and encouraged the behavior that led to the vandalism at Nazca. Here is the Greenpeace International website talking about its protests:

Always we are guided by the principles of non-violence, and our activists have the best possible gear and safety training. We also aren’t above using a little humour to get our point across. But as you read about our protests and direct actions, keep in mind that they all depended on individuals, usually just regular people, who made a personal choice to help save their world….
So, Greenpeace trained the activists whom it later sent to vandalize the UNESCO site. What happened in Peru symbolizes not only the hypocrisy of some in the environmentalism industry, but also exposes international NGOs for what they are. No longer are groups like Greenpeace motivated by a desire to heal the world. Instead, they scam well-meaning donors to fund for plush executive lifestyles, overhead, international travel, and an endless quest for publicity to grease further fundraising. Not all NGOs are the same, but Greenpeace seems, increasingly, like the rule rather than the exception among some of the biggest and best-known organizations.

Oakland Brown/Garner Protesters Loot Black Owned Businesses

Oakland Brown/Garner Protesters Loot Black Owned Businesses:

(…)Additionally, the Oakland Police Department had undercover officers embedded within the protesters looking for agitators and trying to top violence.  During one point, two officers determined they needed to break cover and make an arrest.Read more at The Last Refuge (with video)

Deeply Entrenched Civil Service is the Problem

Jeffrey A. Tucker: "There can be no real and lasting political and economic reform in the United States until someone takes on the structure and functioning of the civil service, which acts as the permanent or shadow government -- the deep state. Until some political figure comes up with some viable plan to deal with this deeply entrenched problem, and proposes some viable plan to take it on, you can know that he or she is not really planning to make a difference in how government functions.

'via Blog this'

2014 is the Year of the Liberal Lie

2014 is the Year of the Liberal Lie:

Bowe Bergdahl. The IRS’s missing e-mails. Lena Dunham. “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Jonathan Gruber. GM and that faulty ignition switch. Andrew Cuomo and that anti-corruption commission. The Secret Service and that White House intruder. Rachel Noerdlinger and her “disabled” son. Rolling Stone and gang rape.

2014 was the year when truth was optional. 2014 was the year when convenient fabrication was the weapon of choice for celebrities, activists, big business and politicians. 2014 was the Year of the Lie.

In each case, the liars used their powerful positions to intimidate, harass, marginalize or just plain bilk ordinary people who lacked access to a megaphone with which to shout back.

Mostly the liars didn’t suffer any repercussions for spreading falsehoods, and most didn’t even seem particularly embarrassed when they were exposed.

Activists told us Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, was a “gentle giant” who had his hands in the air and was running away when he was shot.

Full story.

How Eric Holder spun the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal to a lapdog media

How Eric Holder spun the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal to a lapdog media:

The general news media met the recent release of 42,000 pages of government documents, withheld for more than two years under President Obama’s one and only invocation of executive privilege, with a predictable-yet-inexcusable yawn.

The documents relate to the Justice Department case “Fast and Furious” in which federal agents secretly facilitated delivery of thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

The story was so significant that independent judges awarded it top investigative reporting honors two years straight.

Yet many in the popular news media had declared it a political scandal of little consequence.

They’d bought into propaganda from government interests who used social media, bloggers and direct contact with news organizations to marginalize whistleblowers who exposed the wrongdoing, politicians who dared to ask tough questions and reporters who had the audacity to cover it.

Full story.

Radical Feminism is Destroying Young Men

Radical Feminism is Destroying Young Men:

The Sexodus: Guys are checking out of society & relationships.

Race Rioters Hold Up Anti-American Banner: “Real Thugs Wear…” [PHOTO]

Race Rioters Hold Up Anti-American Banner: “Real Thugs Wear…” [PHOTO]: The liberal lemmings are at it again. And now it’s just getting embarrassing. This picture, shared on Twitter, demonstrates that the individuals supporting what began as Michael Brown protests really just fall into two simple categories. Some of them are anti-American propagandists, and others are mindless followers. Actually, make that three categories. Some of them

The Feared OPEC Cartel Is Clinically Dead

The Feared OPEC Cartel Is Clinically Dead: Amotz Asa-El, MarketWatch

OPEC — the cartel that used to bully superpowers, unnerve financial markets, and bilk drivers throughout the world — is clinically dead.

At Big Banks, a Lesson Not Learned

At Big Banks, a Lesson Not Learned: Gretchen Morgenson, NY Times

Are the colossal regulatory fines extracted from big banks today likely to deter their officials from violating the same rules tomorrow? Or are these billion-dollar settlements viewed simply as a cost of doing business, and not a very large one at that?
Judging from a regulatory action brought last week against 10 mostly large financial firms, the answers are “no” and “yes.”

Black Pastor: Liberalism Is ‘Cancerous And Devastating To The Black Family’

Black Pastor: Liberalism Is ‘Cancerous And Devastating To The Black Family’: Black Pastor: The Idea Of White Privilege Is 'Ludicrous'

European elite personally do not have to pay a price.

All Quiet...: Peter Oborne, writing in the Daily Telegraph:It is impossible to exaggerate the arrogance, the bone-headed stupidity and above all the brutality and callousness of these Europhiles. Their demented attempt to impose a new economic model on an unworkable political structure has already caused untold suffering. At the heart of their project is an audacious attempt to prove the primacy of politics over economics. Bear in mind that it is an experiment for which the European elite personally do not have to pay a price.Their experiment has caused depression (not recession as inaccurately reported by pro-European journalists at the BBC and

Read More ...

Cruz & Lee: The Audacity of Principle

Cruz & Lee: The Audacity of Principle: Conservative Review, by Gaston Mooney Posted By: Alex- Sun, 14 57 2014 01:57:57 GMT What upsets a U.S. Senator more than anything? If you guessed the president infringing on the Senate’s Article I Constitutional authority you are wrong. If you guessed “weekend work,” you are correct. On Friday, as the pork'filled Cromnibus that funded Obama’s executive amnesty landed in the Senate, conservatives filled the void left by GOP leaders whose only strategy was unconditional surrender. Senators Ted Cruz (R'TX) and Mike Lee (R'UT) denied Harry Reid (D'NV) his request to pass the bill expeditiously without having to take tough votes on critical amendments. In order to put Democrats on record defending the president’s unconstitutional actions, Cruz,

The CIA Smacked Around A Few Terrorists. So What?

The CIA Smacked Around A Few Terrorists. So What?: Democrats are always on dubious ground whenever they use the word "stain." However, that didn't deter Senator Diane Feinstein from describing the Central Intelligence AgencyÂ’s (CIA) efforts to tease valuable information out of mass murdering jihadists as "a stain on American values and history." The CIA's enhanced interrogation program was a tease in comparison to the prehistoric barbarity of Islamic jihadists and in comparison to the horrors of actual battle. Review the footage from the Twin Towers on that infamous day. American citizens, real people, with wives, husbands, and children threw themselves, in desperation, out of the inferno to be...

"Finding Racism Where It Isn’t"

"Finding Racism Where It Isn’t":

Holman Jenkins, Jr. details the government's attempt to find racial discrimination market. Well-done, but especially good is the final sentence:

Unfortunately, the truth may be that our government has simply fallen into the hands of liars and chiselers who have identified a shakedown that the current legal and political culture will let them get away with.

"It’s 1963 Again" What do Liberals want?

"It’s 1963 Again":

What do Liberals want? A huge part of it is in this short piece. They want--profoundly, desperately--for it to be 50 years ago. The Birmingham church bombing. The March on Washington. The 1964 Civil Rights Act. When they were young--so young--and so noble and fighting that really, really good fight.

Go ahead and tell me again that conservatives are the ones who are living in the past.

Keynesian Confusion Is The Christmas 'Re-Gift' That Keeps On Giving

Keynesian Confusion Is The Christmas 'Re-Gift' That Keeps On Giving: There are no companies, no entrepreneurs and no jobs without savings.

Original enclosures:

David Harsanyi | We Are Never Going to Run Out of Oil

David Harsanyi | We Are Never Going to Run Out of Oil:

David Harsanyi | We Are Never Going to Run Out of Oil

The post David Harsanyi | We Are Never Going to Run Out of Oil appeared first on Conservatives4Palin.

The Bogeyman has entered the nursery

The Bogeyman has entered the nursery:

In the nightmare world progressives are designing for civil society, little tots are no longer your little tots.  They are government-sought human resources to be raised as tomorrow’s anarchists.

The UN’s so-called plan to fight climate change is a socialist, money-sucking scheme

The UN’s so-called plan to fight climate change is a socialist, money-sucking scheme: The latest United Nations effort in Lima to draft a new global treaty on climate change proves Prime Minister Stephen Harper was right when he described its efforts as “a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.” Harper was pilloried by Canada’s opposition parties after his statement, contained in a 2002 fundraising letter for the now-defunct Canadian Alliance, was revealed in 2007, shortly after he won the 2006 federal election. But Harper was right. Indeed he was vindicated in 2011, when a senior UN climate official, German economist Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,...

Lies, Damn Lies, and American Politics

Lies, Damn Lies, and American Politics: Americans now have something in common with people in the old Soviet Union—our government and the media lie to us. The Soviets used to say about their two newspapers Pravda (which means “truth”) and Izvestiya (which means “news”), that “there is no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestiya.” The Soviet people knew that those two official organs of the Communist Party were lying to them, so they spent more time reading between the lines than reading the lines. That’s what happens when you get used to having your government lie to you. You expect it. You assume that...

Hypocrisy of Homosexual Tyranny Exposed

Hypocrisy of Homosexual Tyranny Exposed:

wedding_cakeTheodore Shoebat at Awareness and Action proved that the Left, specifically the homosexual activist movement, is as hypocritical as you might have guessed.
Shoebat’s group called 13 bakeries that are homosexual-owned or are owned by pro-homosexuals and asked them to make a pro-traditional marriage cake for an event.

Unlike the homosexual activists who claim they should be able to force their will on Christian bakers (and other Christian businesses) and force them, it’s suddenly different when a homosexual baker is asked to make a cake that promotes real marriage.

Their polite requests for a cake in support of real marriage were sometimes met with profanity and some pretty vile comments.

It’s okay for them to “choose not to do that,” but it isn’t okay for a Christian baker to not make a cake that participates in the counterfeiting of marriage.

It’s “hateful” to expect a homosexual baker to make a cake that supports real marriage, but it isn’t “hateful” to force a Christian baker to make a cake that violates their conscience in supporting counterfeit marriage.

As some of us have known for a long time, “tolerance” and “equality” and all that blather are one-way streets for the Left. You, the decent, normal American are expected, no demanded to acquiesce, no applaud the Left’s depravity…but expect anything remotely similar from the Left and you can expect to be laughed in your face.

Are you listening, you gutless “Republicans” who claim that protecting Christian businesses is wrong (I’m being gracious in calling you gutless, and letting you slide on the fact that you’re probably completely on the side of the Leftists, just so that you know I have “compassion”)?

Stop letting these gutless “Republicans” get away with flimsy-*** excuses like this. Treat them like the friends-of-the-Left that they are, and toss them out of office with the Democrats. Then let’s get our country back on track before we meet with complete ruin.


Part 1

Part 2

The post Hypocrisy of Homosexual Tyranny Exposed appeared first on American Clarion.

Why Are We Spending a Billion on Government Preschool?

Why Are We Spending a Billion on Government Preschool?:

The Obama administration has just announced a new $1 billion initiative ($750 million in federal grants and the remainder from private funding) to enroll more children in government preschool programs. The new measure was announced formally at the White House Summit on Early Education last week.

The push comes on the heels of President Obama’s speech on women and the economy, recently delivered at Rhode Island College. In that speech the president suggested that parents’ only child-care options are unaffordable day care, “cheaper” (by which he appears to mean “poor-quality”) day care, or no day care at all. As a result, Obama said, “someone, usually Mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make” (emphasis added).

This was no ad lib. The statement was in the president’s prepared remarks. Surely he didn’t intend to imply that parents who stay home with the kids are making an unfortunate, if not irresponsible, decision, yet his remarks hit many an ear — and many good sensibilities — that way. Millions of moms do want to stay at home with their children. Indeed, only 23 percent of married mothers say that working full-time is their ideal scenario, according to the Pew Research Center.

Most women prefer to work less than full-time and view staying at home with their children as the best choice they could make. And more and more women are making that choice. Since 1999, the percentage of women opting to stay at home has increased by 6 percentage points.

Only 23 percent of married mothers say that working full-time is their ideal scenario.
Pew found that 67 percent of mothers overall prefer to work either part-time (47 percent) or not at all (20 percent). Another Pew survey found that married mothers who are able to cut back at work are happier on average. And although many mothers need or want to work, policies shouldn’t create disincentives for families to care for their own children.

The Obama administration, however, along with some in Congress, sees the creation of federally funded universal preschool as long overdue. “By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool,” Obama urged during his speech, echoing his administration’s oft-repeated goal of building a “cradle-to-career” education system. And Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged support for the president’s $75 billion federal-preschool proposal on a conference call yesterday: “The fact is like three in ten four-year-olds have access to state-funded programs, which means frankly we are not close.”

Notice the operative word there: state-funded programs. The administration and other government pre-K advocates typically ignore the fact that when all preschool options are counted — including enrollment in private programs and home-based care — 74 percent of four-year-old children are already enrolled in preschool.

Although child-care costs can certainly be problematic for low-income families, many receive subsidies to defray those costs. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 90 percent of employed mothers have a regular child-care arrangement. Among those with regular arrangements, 42 percent use a relative to provide care for their kids. When it comes to looking after infants, grandparent care is nearly twice as popular as center-based care. It’s not until children hit preschool age — when the costs are far lower than they are for infant center-based care — that center-based care becomes more prevalent.

By that time, the vast majority of families have already found preschool options that work for them. That calls into question the wisdom of creating another large-scale federal program. The 74 percent enrollment rate mentioned above suggests that new state and federal efforts to expand government preschool programs would duplicate existing options and function as an unnecessary subsidy for middle- and upper-income families.

When all preschool options are counted, 74 percent of four-year-old children are already enrolled in preschool.
Besides, maybe there’s a reason families prefer relative care to government programs. After nearly half a century, Head Start has compiled a distinctly rocky track record. Consequently, parents and taxpayers have a pretty clear notion of what big-government preschool looks like. According to scientifically rigorous evaluations by the Department of Health and Human Services, Head Start has had no long-term impact on the cognitive abilities of participating children, has failed to improve health, has failed to improve their behavior and emotional well-being, and has failed to improve the parenting practices of parents.

State programs don’t fare much better. Vanderbilt University, for example, released an evaluation in August 2013 demonstrating that children who went through Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K program (TN-VPK), which advocates often tout as a “high quality” model of state pre-K, actually performed worse on cognitive tasks at the end of first grade than did the control group.

The Vanderbilt evaluation is the most sophisticated done to date. As Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution notes, randomized trials of state-funded pre-K programs are nonexistent, “much less randomized trials with long term follow-up into adulthood.” David Armor, professor emeritus of public policy at George Mason University, notes that “the most methodologically rigorous evaluations find that the academic benefits of preschool programs are quite modest, and these gains fade after children enter elementary school.”

Scholarly agreement that government preschool has severe limitations is so strong the Wall Street Journal called it “about as close to an intellectual policy consensus as Washington gets.” So instead of applying Obamacare-esque levels of bureaucracy and federal meddling to the education and care of the youngest Americans, let’s move toward policies that respect the preferences of mothers and strengthen the economy.

A stronger economy would give more families a choice as to how they divide work and family responsibilities. Unfortunately, policies enacted since the recession have created impediments to job growth. The Obamacare employer mandate and minimum-wage hikes, for example, discourage businesses from hiring more employees. Policy should encourage job growth, rather than stifle it.

Stronger families would also foster economic growth and work flexibility for individuals. Married parents tend to have greater financial resources. They also benefit from being able to divvy up both work and family responsibilities. Yet marriage rates have declined drastically. Today over 40 percent of children are born to single mothers. Strengthening marriage is crucial to helping both adults and children thrive. The president shouldn’t presume that government programs like universal pre-K can replace the benefits that a strong family provides.

Families, not universal preschool, matter most for children’s well-being. Parents are a child’s primary educators and are critical to children’s positive development. Ideally, families would have the opportunity to choose the work–family balance that best fits their needs and wishes, and a stronger economy would give more families the opportunity to do so.

Originally published in National Review Online.

The post Why Are We Spending a Billion on Government Preschool? appeared first on Daily Signal.

‘Torture is torture’ ignores the complex nature of intelligence gathering

‘Torture is torture’ ignores the complex nature of intelligence gathering:

On Thursday I was on the BBC’s ‘This Week’ to talk about the CIA and torture.
It is, for many reasons, perhaps the most gruesome subject possible. And not just because of the hideous allegations involved, but also because it is one of those subjects which people wantonly lose their reason over. Like a small number of other subjects in our society at the moment, it is one which people try wilfully to simplify, usually in order to show the world what a moral person they are and, by contrast, what immoral people their opponents are. I will use this post to set out some of my own views and certain objections to what seems to be the status quo debate on all this.
Didn’t this week’s report showed the CIA to be torturing on an industrial scale?
The Senate Intelligence Committee report which came out this week is gruesome reading. But it also cannot be read in isolation and there are convincing reasons to believe that it is largely or partly untrue. Republicans on the Committee walked out of the process when they realised that the aim of the investigation was not to have a genuine look into allegations of torture but specifically to criticise the last Republican administration and the CIA’s behaviour during the George W Bush Presidency. One sign of how bad this politicisation was is that the Committee did not even speak with – or seek evidence from – the people who headed the CIA during the period in question. In particular, it is worth reading this response piece by former CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden and others.
Senator Bob Kerrey, a former Democrat who used to sit on the Intelligence Committee, was one of those who highlighted what a politicised, partisan process this has become. In a striking piece he says:
‘When Congress created the intelligence committees in the 1970′s, the purpose was for people’s representatives to stand above the fray and render balanced judgments about this most sensitive aspect of national security. This committee departed from that high road and slipped into the same partisan mode that marks most of what happens on Capitol Hill these days.’
In addition, the findings of the report are strongly and vehemently countered not only by the Republican members of the committee’s Minority report, but also vehemently denied and countered by the detailed responses of the CIA itself. For anyone interested in the specifics of this, the excellent Lawfare Blog has helpfully compiled the Majority accusations as well as the Minority and official CIA responses to every one of the most serious allegations which have arisen this week. There are four parts so far. Part one is here, part two is here, part three is here and part four is here.
But there are degrees
‘Torture is wrong’ and ‘Torture is torture’ is what a lot of people will say. And then they leave it at that. And while I agree that ‘torture is wrong’, the idea that ‘torture is torture’ and that it is all clear-cut is clearly not the case. There are some things which this country believes are torture which America does not and there are things which most members of the public would not recognise as torture which our governments do.
Immediately after 9/11 (as President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, among others, have already written in their memoirs) as enemy combatants were being caught, US officials requested and were given a range of options by the security services. They asked for legal guidance on each and every one. The administration’s top priority was to prevent another attack on the American homeland – but they were also highly conscious of the law. Rumsfeld, for instance, accepted several of the interrogation techniques suggested, and refused to accept others. Among those he accepted were making people stand for long periods of time.He did not see this as torture. The number of hours was limited, but the number previously deemed to be legal was – as Rumsfeld himself pointed out – fewer hours than he himself spent on his feet on an average day.
Most people would be surprised that ‘slapping’ has been deemed to be ‘torture’ by the Democrats on the committee. Although any such thing should be carefully regulated if it were ever used, it would, I think, surprise people if intelligence services seeking to get information out of an enemy combatant in the most extreme situation were accused of ‘torturing’ a detainee were they to slap them. Let me be clear – I don’t say it is good, and I certainly don’t say it is right. I would rather it did not happen. But up and down the country people are both consensually and violently slapped probably every day. Do we say that when a wife slaps her husband that the wife has ‘tortured’ the husband?
Likewise, techniques of sleep deprivation. Horrible, certainly, but not what most people think of when they think of torture.In 2004 in the UK there was a reality television show called ‘Shattered’ in which contestants volunteered to compete to stay awake for seven days to win a cash prize. It was presented by Dermot O’Leary. Were the contestants on that Channel 4 show ‘tortured’?  It was very unpleasant, certainly.  But are there things which the British public volunteer for and watch as ‘entertainment’ in one context which become not only ‘torture’ but ‘wrong’ when used on enemy combatants?
The most controversial technique was of course ‘waterboarding’. President Bush has already said – and this week’s report confirms – that three people were waterboarded. These included the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [KSM]. There is a dispute between the Republicans, Democrats and the CIA over the utility of the information obtained. The Republicans and the CIA say that information gained from waterboarding KSM prevented major terrorist attacks, including an attack on London.This week’s report disputes this.
Waterboarding was regarded as a legal and acceptable technique for interrogation but the legal advice on it changed.It had been legal, but it became illegal and was not used again.Describing waterboarding as a ‘borderline legal’ interrogation technique is correct.It straddled the border, was acceptable and then unacceptable.That is one reason why there is such a dispute over the matter. As former CIA Director General Michael Hayden pointed out at a public event in London last year:
‘We waterboarded over fifty thousand American airmen: so it’s not inherently torture, otherwise we couldn’t do it in our military training. My deputy when I came to CIA was a Special Forces navy admiral, he had been waterboarded. Two of my lawyers were waterboarded.’
Barbarities like forced rectal feeding and being left in a place so cold that the person died (as is suggested in the case of Gul Rahman) are – if they happened – very obviously not just cases of serious and unacceptable negligence. The CIA and the Minority report dispute the worst cases leading to death described in the Majority report. But if such things did occur then they step far beyond the boundaries and the CIA and the US government must address this. Certainly there are accounts of people who went beyond what was permitted in interrogation but who were not disciplined for it. If this is the case then obviously the CIA must address it and prevent any such repeats as a matter of urgency. But those reading the accounts should keep in mind that there is no reason for the CIA to deliberately kill someone, for in doing so they would not only be killing a person and committing a crime – they would be losing an asset.
But in all this my point is that there is – or ought to be – a distinction between keeping somebody awake for a long time, slapping someone, making someone stand for a long time and so on, and those things which are clearly utterly wrong and undeniably torture.The blurring of these lines creates all sorts of problems. That is why I think saying ‘torture is torture’ is not a serious contribution to what is a far more complex debate.
The CIA behaves worse than anyone myth
On Thursday night’s show Diane Abbott seemed to believe that if all the allegations against the CIA are true – and she seemed to believe that they were – then this showed actions which the British people and state would never involve themselves in. I think matters are more complex than that and said so.
Those of us who have actually studied the Northern Ireland conflict know that that was an exceptionally dirty war, fought in our own lifetimes. I mentioned to Diane the case of one agent in particular: Stakeknife. This was a person who worked his way up to become the head of the internal ‘nutting squad’ in the IRA.  He was the person whose job it was to find, torture and kill people thought to be informers within the IRA.  He was also a British agent.  I go into some of this in my book ‘Bloody Sunday’, but it seems that Stakeknife was, among other things, allowed to torture and kill innocent people (that is: members of the public) in order to deepen and protect his cover within the IRA and embed him at the very top of the organisation.
Now that is a terrible, terrible thing. Far worse than anything which has come out this week about the CIA.But that is just one of the things which the British state was willing to do in order to win the dirty war against the IRA.  It was obviously not right. But nobody will ever know how many bombs were stopped from going off thanks to having such an unimpeachable asset at the very top of the IRA. What is more it was a decision made in Britain.
But we are ashamed of that aren’t we?
When I raised the matter of Stakeknife on the show, Andrew Neil said (and I’m summarising because you can’t hear it on the recording as Diane and I are talking over each other) ‘but that is a matter of national shame isn’t it?’.
This raises a very interesting point.You might argue that this ought to be a matter of national shame. But I do not think that if you stopped people in the streets in Britain (apart from in Northern Ireland) even one person in a hundred thousand, or perhaps one in half a million would know who you were talking about when you talked about Stakeknife. I got the clear impression that Diane had never heard of him. And this is perfectly normal. Most people do not seem to care to know what extreme – and sometimes very wrong – things are done by their intelligence apparatus.
Sure, people talk about the ‘dirty war’ against the IRA, but most seem pretty unbothered about finding out quite how ‘dirty’ it was. Indeed most people don’t seem to care. And it seems to me that it would be quite wrong to expect the American people to be more concerned about what their government and security services may have done after 9/11 to stop another attack there than the British people have been to work out just how the IRA was eventually forced to the negotiating table in Northern Ireland. A case in point: a 2009 poll found that 71% of Americans accepted the use of torture in some circumstances.
Criminalising – and politicising – our intelligence services
One of the things which is most disturbing about the coverage of the majority report released this week is the way in which it hits the CIA at a time when it and other Western intelligence agencies have already been getting a battering from another direction.
The CIA and NSA, like MI5 and GCHQ, are currently under a great deal of often misleading attack and criticism due to the revelations of the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden’s disclosures have already wrecked many of the advantages of signals intelligence which this country and America enjoyed in recent years. Practitioners relate how whole networks of our enemies have ‘gone dark’. Yet public opinion – especially in America – seems to be turning against the intelligence services. And now this comes along.
I don’t say criticism isn’t good, or cannot be good. But I suspect we are going to arrive at a serious pass if this war on the intelligence services continues at this pitch for much longer. It is bad enough that a Senate Inquiry refuses to even speak to the heads of the Agency before damning them. Politicisation and criminalisation of the security services in the US or UK is something which could end up having terrible consequences. And, of course, in our democracies the relationship between the public and those who protect us must be respectful and crucially consensual. Obviously the intelligence services must be held up to very high standards. But they should not be held up to standards which make them effectively incapable of operating.
If we do then there are many foreign agencies and powers who will benefit from this. But the publics in the West will not. This seems to me to be a point of balance that needs to be asserted more often.
But torture doesn’t work?
This is the part of the question which is currently thought to be simplest.  Diane did it again on Thursday. ‘Torture doesn’t work’. I wish it were that simple.  But firstly it depends on what you mean by ‘torture’ (see above). There are things which are so painful that I have no doubt that anybody who was put through them would say anything in order to make it stop. But there may be things among the list of things which the CIA regarded as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ which many people would think would be helpful in getting information out of someone.
Anybody who has been questioned by the police in the UK will know that there are certain perfectly legal ways to intimidate people which are useful in making people feel pressured to answer questions. The techniques which the CIA were legally allowed to use certainly go beyond these. But there may well be a world of technical as well as moral difference between keeping someone standing for a period, or blasting out pop music in their cell in order to make them feel worn down before questioning them, and committing acts which are so painful that the person would say anything.
Actual torture, in which people will say almost anything, is to my mind not only wrong but so wrong that it should not be done whatever the possible cost-benefitsBut then that is easy for me – like every other civilian – to say.  There are obviously cases (the infamous ticking bomb scenario) when if we were the person responsible for the interrogation we might change that moral calculus. I would hope not. But the question is made harder by the fact – as Michael Portillo pointed out on the show – that the CIA says that waterboarding KSM brought forth vital and actionable intelligence. For more on whether enhanced interrogation techniques work readers may find this piece interesting.
The Moral landscape
The late American Democrat Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said:
‘The amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard. The greater the number of complaints being aired, the better protected are human rights in that country.’
It is obvious why North Korea, Syria or Russia do not have official reports into human rights violations in their countries or by their own security services.  But America (and indeed Britain) carry out far more such inquiries than almost any of our allies.  And while this is indeed a proof of great decency, it comes in a world where our enemies are playing a very clever game of media manipulation. This needs to be approached carefully.
An al-Qaeda training manual found in the North of England some years ago said that people captured by the US or UK should always say they have been tortured.  As a society we are very foolish if we do not keep in mind that this is what our opponents seek to claim.
We need to be far wiser to the fact that our opponents are trying to make it impossible for us to win.  There are people trying to do this abroad, obviously. But just as important – if not more so – are the people who are working to advance this aim at home.
And the strategic problem
All of this seems to me to be very important if very tricky terrain.  But the reason I don’t think it acceptable to simply ignore the debate (thankless as it is) is because it contains problems and challenges that we have to confront. 
Since 9/11 we have lived in a world where our primary security threat comes not from a state or from a state’s army but from a stateless, non-uniformed set of combatants. They neither fight by, nor can be fought with, the same rules we would employ against a conventional army. Their aim – to commit mass casualty terrorist attacks – has to be stopped. But it is not easy.  All I would say is that people need to seriously question what to do about this enemy. If anyone doubts it is a problem then consider this.
When President Obama came to office he sped up the winding down (already begun under his predecessor) of the techniques criticised this week. He did so partly because of the huge public pressure. But there is a cost to this. Those people who criticised every single thing done by the Bush administration to (successfully) prevent another 9/11 style attack still had the same enemy opposing them when President Obama came to office.The result is that the most left-wing President in probably the whole of American history has largely skipped rendition, detention, enhanced-interrogation techniques and more and decided to kill people believed to be America’s enemies by the use of unmanned drones in theatres across the world.  
And consider this: the weekend before the release of the Senate report, Pakistani forces killed Adnan el-Shukrijumah. As al-Qaeda’s head of external terrorist operations, el-Shukrijumah was being tasked to plan the next major al-Qaeda atrocity against the West. As Marc Thiessen has pointed out, it was the CIA’s interrogations of two of those men who were waterboarded, KSM and Abu Zubaydah, that led to the discovery of el-Shukrijumah’s existence in the first place.
President Obama knows there is a problem, just as his predecessor did.  And he has come to a rather different – one might even say harsher – solution.  But what America – and the world – needs is not a downplaying or denial of the existence of this enemy, nor a type of moral grandstanding over how to deal with them, however personally pleasant. What it needs is a serious and intelligent discussion about how to fight our highly unconventional enemy intelligently.
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