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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Chilling Threat of Political Violence in Portland on: April 26, 2017, 10:00:57 PM
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/04/a-chilling-threat-of-political-violence-in-portland/524334/

A Chilling Threat of Political Violence in Portland
Activists threatened to drag local Republicans off a parade route if they weren’t excluded from a local celebration. Organizers cancelled the entire event in response.


A protester holds a sign during a demonstration in Seattle.Ted S. Warren / AP

CONOR FRIEDERSDORF  2:31 PM ET 

On the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated, perhaps 3 million Americans took to the streets in peaceful protest to register their opposition. When news of his travel ban broke, I stood at LAX watching Angelenos sing the Star Spangled Banner and Amazing Grace. Across the nation, peaceful protest against President Trump continues. But a violent fringe has been using Trump’s rise as a justification for political violence, as if his authoritarian impulses justify authoritarianism from his opponents.

This tiny faction knows that most of their compatriots on the left are committed to nonviolence, so they frame their aggressive actions as a narrow exception to the rule.

Most famously, they insisted that it was okay, or even righteous, to punch white supremacist Richard Spencer because he was “a Nazi.” That position impels the debate down a slippery slope. And now, activists in Oregon caused the cancellation of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, a community event in the southeast quadrant of Portland, by threatening to forcibly drag “fascists” off the parade route if they weren’t excluded.




Who exactly did they want removed from the parade? The local Republican Party of Multonomah County. The Oregonian reports on the threat the leftists sent to organizers:

"You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely," the anonymous email said, telling organizers they could cancel the Republican group's registration or else face action from protesters.
The email went on to speculate that right-wing extremists would march among the Republicans, and warned, “we will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push those people out as we will not give one inch to groups who espouse hatred toward lgbt, immigrants, people of color or others.”

A local alt-weekly quoted from a Facebook event page describing a perhaps different planned protest––its authors say that they did not send the threatening email––which stated:

The fascists know that we'll keep shutting their marches down, they are now planning to march within other parades to protect their message of hate and white supremacy - it WON'T work. Nazis will not march through Portland.

The group we're disrupting is #67. It is registered to the Multnomah County Republicans, but these infiltrators are the same folks from Lake Oswego, Salem, Vancouver, and even Berkeley. These are the folks that attacked a woman at PDX, they harassed Latinx parishioners with slurs and threats at a local church, they spew hate, threaten and curse young women at women's health clinics. They seek to intimidate and harass our Latinx, Muslim and LGBTQ+ neighbors and friends. Their Trump flags, their red MAGA hats and their hate group badges are all intended to normalize support for an orange man who bragged about sexually harassing women and who is waging a war of hate, racism and prejudice against our Muslim, Latinx, Black and Native neighbors. They will attempt to march from the Eastport Plaza to Yamhill, but nazis will not march through our city.
If you missed that, one reason these protesters cite as justification for stopping Republicans on a parade route is that they will otherwise “normalize support” for a sitting president.


Organizers caved. “Following threats of violence during the Parade by multiple groups planning to demonstrate at the event, we can no longer guarantee the safety of our community and have made the difficult decision to cancel the Parade,” they stated.

The local GOP put out its own statement. It reads in part:

The Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP) has for many years participated in the Parade, and calls upon the Mayor, the Police Chief, and the District Attorney to take action against this criminal conspiracy to commit crimes of riot and disorderly conduct in violation of Oregon law.

Under former Mayor Charlie Hales the City allowed this cancer of lawlessness to grow to the point where its leaders are now bragging, like some sort of comic book characters, that ‘the police cannot stop us’. But this is no laughing matter. The participation of political parties in public events like the Parade is not only an American tradition, but also reflects the most fundamental constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of assembly.

The road to fascism begins with armed gangs of thugs using violence to shut down opposing points of view. The question now is whether the City of Portland will be complicit in such conduct. We hope the City’s new leadership has the courage to respond to these threats appropriately.
So long as threats of violence succeed in causing events to get shut down by their risk-averse organizers, more threats will be made. One wonders who this faction on the left will next label a Nazi or a fascist in order to justify their own use of fascistic tactics.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The New York Times Style Guide to Alternative Cultural Practices on: April 26, 2017, 01:57:33 PM
http://thedailychrenk.com/2017/04/26/nyt-style-guide-alt-culture/


The New York Times Style Guide to Alternative Cultural Practices
Posted on April 26, 2017 by Arthur Chrenkoff


“The New York Times” decided it will now refer to “female genital mutilation” as “genital cutting”, a term that brings to mind something as harmless as male circumcision (which is why “female genital circumcision” is just as misleading).

“There’s a gulf between the Western (and some African) advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite, and I felt the language used widened that chasm,” NYT science and health editor Celia Dugger explained Friday. She also said the widely used term (FGM) is “culturally loaded” in the explanation, which came as a result of inquiries from The Daily Caller News Foundation regarding a reporter’s decision to use the term “cutting” in a recent story about a doctor in Michigan.

We couldn’t possibly have “culturally loaded” terms in case they “widen the chasm” between the supporters and opponents of certain practices – or right and wrong, as some unsophisticated commentators would call it. All cultures are, after all, equal, so we shouldn’t be judgmental.

Because here at The Daily Chrenk we always try to be helpful to our mainstream media colleagues, we prepared this handy style guide to avoid other “culturally loaded” terms in print and broadcast:

Sati – post-marital grief immolation

Infanticide – fourth trimester termination

Female infanticide – gender-determined parenting

Wife beating – hands-on relationship counselling

Cannibalism – hard paleo (also: human protein supplementation)

Honour killing – permanent grounding

Spousal rape – consent-alternative marital intimacy

Scalping – complete ritual depilation

Killing old and infirm – extreme palliative care

Grooming underage girls – community-based, practical sex ed program

Child marriage – age disparate matching

Cousin marriage – kin inter-relationship enrichment

Human sacrifice – spiritually-motivated population reduction

Jihad – faith community self-defence

Slavery – compulsory, exclusive services contract

Sexual slavery – compulsory intimacy arrangement

Stoning adulterers – petrological divorce procedure

Throwing homosexuals off buildings – vertical monosexuality enforcement

Polygamy – concurrent monogamy

Child labour – premature apprenticeship

Headhunting – per capita loss (also: non-literal recruitment)

Torture – alternative investigation aid

Inbreeding – reproductive autarky

Witch-hunting – non-Carthesian threat reduction

The Daily Chrenk wishes you happy, chasm-reducing reading. And remember: we don’t judge!
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren gets one right on: April 26, 2017, 12:32:48 AM

Runs with broken clocks!
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "BART takeover robbery: 40 to 60 teens swarm train, rob weekend riders." on: April 25, 2017, 06:56:31 PM
"BART takeover robbery: 40 to 60 teens swarm train, rob weekend riders."
"because the people who are seen committing obvious crimes appear to be minors, the video cannot be put up on line."

I've heard of protecting the privacy of minors but never above trying to solve a crime.  If a "teenager" hasn't seen a parent in 2-3 years, are they really still minors?

I wonder if this is another case of white on black crime or Christian on Muslim crime that we so far too often see.  Lutherans out wilding??


Can't let the truth get in the way of the left's narrative.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "BART takeover robbery: 40 to 60 teens swarm train, rob weekend riders." on: April 25, 2017, 01:34:29 PM
http://althouse.blogspot.com/2017/04/bart-takeover-robbery-40-to-60-teens.html

April 24, 2017
"BART takeover robbery: 40 to 60 teens swarm train, rob weekend riders."

There's surveillance video of this incident, but according to the BART spokesperson, because the people who are seen committing obvious crimes appear to be minors, the video cannot be put up on line.
The juveniles “committed multiple strong-arm robberies of bags and cell phones,” said a police summary prepared after the incident. “At least two victims suffered head/facial injuries requiring medical attention.”...

The attack was quick, police reported, and the teenagers were able to retreat from the station and vanish into the surrounding East Oakland neighborhood before BART officers could respond.

I can't believe they won't/can't make the video available so these criminals can be caught. Is that really the law in California?
Posted by Ann Althouse at 6:02 PM 
Tags: crime, law, surveillance, teenagers
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is this country starving? on: April 23, 2017, 09:24:59 AM

There is nothing socialism can't fcuk up.
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: April 22, 2017, 06:37:07 PM

Disinfo, IMHO.
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Qualia on: April 20, 2017, 09:33:10 PM
http://neurohacker.com/qualia/


My son is intrigued by this.  Any comments?

My money is on this being a ripoff.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It's not a lie, it's professional journalism! on: April 18, 2017, 11:00:58 PM
http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/18/ap-changes-fresno-shooters-words-from-allahu-akbar-removes-islam-reference/

You can't handle the truth!
10  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / The Left’s Embrace Of Political Violence Backfires In Berkeley on: April 17, 2017, 05:08:41 PM
The Left’s Embrace Of Political Violence Backfires In Berkeley

SCOTT GREER
Deputy Editor
11:39 PM 04/16/2017
3469235
Berkeley, California, descended into total chaos Saturday as right-wingers and left-wingers engaged in massive brawls throughout the college town.

The violent scenes captured the attention of cable news and social media, and inevitably led to questions as to who should take the blame for the ordeal.

Liberals on Twitter were quick to point the finger at the “alt-right” for inciting a riot, with a few brave tweeters inevitably pointing the finger at Russia for the violence.




(Note: this guy is not actually Mark Cuban.)

The one problem with this way of thinking is that it overlooks the fact that all the Trump supporters did was organize a pro-free speech event — they didn’t force the “anti-fascists” (antifa) to show up and start assaulting attendees.

This is the third time in two months something like this has happened in Berkeley. The difference is this time the Right came out in stronger numbers and forced the leftists to flee the scene.

In spite of the humiliating defeat, the Left is fully responsible for the political violence that occurred this weekend.

Remember when there was a huge debate over whether it was OK to punch a Nazi?

During an Inauguration Day riot back in January, white nationalist Richard Spencer was punched in the face by one of the many black-masked anarchists marauding through the streets of Washington D.C.

While most liberals were quick to condemn the property damage done by the antifa, they couldn’t resist the urge to fervently cheer the punching of a Nazi. (RELATED: Trump Is President, And Now The Left Justifies Political Violence)

A week after the punch seen around the internet, Hollywood gave a wild standing ovation when actor David Harbour said at the Screen Actors Guild Awards that those who oppress the “weak and disenfranchised” need a punch in the face. (RELATED: Hollywood Gives Standing Ovation For Punching Political Foes At Awards Show)

The message was loud and clear from America’s entertainers and lefty pundits: it’s OK to punch those you deem to be a “Nazi,” and we’ll cheer it on.

However, the Left’s definition for who constitutes a “Nazi” can extend to anyone who’s right of The New York Times editorial board, which means that pretty much all Trump supporters, conservatives and anyone who gets in the way would be open for “justifiable” assault.

I predicted right after the Spencer punch that many folks who are definitely not Nazis would come under attack in the wake of the cheerful justification of political violence. I was sadly proven right over the last few months.

First there was the February riot at UC-Berkeley when right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos tried to give a talk on campus. Police stood down as anarchists started fires, beat people they thought might be Nazis (including a Syrian Muslim who was not attending the Milo speech) and then ransacked the college town’s storefronts.

Milo’s talk was canceled, and leftists cheered the effectiveness of violence. Famous film director Judd Apatow tweeted threateningly that the riot should serve as a warning for all Trump supporters, while the main Berkeley student paper published several columns praising the riot.

One of the pro-riot columnists even implied that Yiannopoulos’s fans should be killed. “Here’s a big fuck you from the descendants of people who survived genocides by killing Nazis and people just like them,” read the level-headed remark from one Nisa Dang. (RELATED: Berkeley Student Paper Publishes Columns PRAISING Anti-Milo Riot)

A month later, conservative scholar Charles Murray and Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger were assaulted by a mob as they tried to leave the Vermont campus after attempting to have a debate. Stanger, who is an anti-Trump liberal, had her hair pulled by the mob, which caused her to suffer a concussion and neck injuries. All for the sin of trying to shield Murray from leftist fury.

The weekend after the Murray attack, violence erupted at Berkeley again at a pro-Trump rally held in the city. This time right-wingers fought back against the charging antifa, which served as a sign that left-wing violence, not dealt with by police, would be handled by those targeted for attacks.

Minor clashes have happened all over the country between black-masked antifa and red-hatted Trump supporters since then. However, none were on the scale of what went down Saturday. (RELATED: Protesters Clash With Trump Supporters At MAGA March In California)

The only conclusion to draw from this chain of events is that it was probably a bad idea to think violence was a good way to show your opposition to Trump. Now that elements of the Right have shown that they have the capability to defend themselves and drive the opposition, the only result of this embrace of violence is the radicalization of the Left’s enemies.

Famed left-wing philosopher Noam Chomsky warned of the consequences if his fellow lefties engage in this “self-destructive” tactic during the debate over punching Nazis. “When we move to the arena of violence, the most brutal guys win – and that’s not us,” Chomsky said.

Unfortunately, it seems the anarchists are learning that lesson far too late.

Their actions at the Inauguration and Berkeley have not driven fear into their political enemies. Those acts have only motivated folks on the Right to spend their weekend brawling with the hated antifa.

The embrace of violence has pretty much turned out to be self-destructive for the Left. All it’s done is to give the Right the justification to use violence as well.

Ann Coulter is set to appear at Berkeley on April 27, likely setting off another round of street battles. Whether antifa flees town again or forces Coulter’s fans to, they’ll still be the losers in the fight.

Because they’re not stopping the spread of “fascism” every time they appear en masse in black masks. They’re just encouraging millions of Americans to hate them with a burning passion.

Follow Scott on Twitter and purchase his new book, “No Campus for White Men,” on Amazon



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/16/the-left-embraces-of-political-violence-backfires-in-berkeley/
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Academia Is Our Enemy So We Should Help It Commit Suicide on: April 17, 2017, 02:53:12 PM
https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/04/13/academia-is-our-enemy-so-we-should-help-it-commit-suicide-n2312479

Academia Is Our Enemy So We Should Help It Commit Suicide
Kurt  Schlichter  |Posted: Apr 13, 2017 12:01 AM 

If Animal House were to be rebooted today, Bluto – who would probably be updated into a differently–abled trans being of heft – might ask, “See if you can guess what am I now?” before expelling a whole mass of pus-like root vegetable on the WASPrivileged villains and announcing, “I’m a university – get it?”

At least popping a zit gets rid of the infection and promotes healing. But today, the higher education racket festers on the rear end of our culture, a painful, useless carbuncle of intellectual fraud, moral bankruptcy, and pernicious liberal fascism that impoverishes the young while it subsidizes a bunch of old pinkos who can’t hack it at Real World U.

At least literal boils don’t diss you while demanding you give them free money. We’re expected to shut up and write checks while the universitools ruin our culture. Luckily, due to the happy coincidence of a conservative federal government, technological advances, and the college industrial complex’s inexplicable death wish, we normals now have a chance to lance the boil that is 21st Century academia.

The purpose of universities long ago stopped being education, yet Big Edu and its liberal supporters keep pushing the lie that the only way to prepare young Americans for the future is to tie an anchor around their necks. America’s student loan debt now totals a staggering $1.4 trillion carried by 44 million Americans, and 2016 grads are weighed down with an average $37,712 each. And what do they get for it? Nothing but four years older and considerably dumber. Record numbers are using their degrees in Papuan Feminist Literature and Genderfluid Break Dance Therapy as gateway credentials into the exciting field of brewing caffeinated beverages for grown-ups who didn’t still live on the futon in their mom’s spare bedroom at age 33.

A house, a family, and a future that involves either dignity or success – these are things walking out into society with a meaningless piece of paper and nearly forty grand in debt prevent. But hey – the important thing is that we continue to subsidize one of the Democrats’ key constituencies and its prime breeding ground for the social dysfunction and soft-handed tyranny that are the hallmarks of progressivism. Too bad if it ruins the lives of the young suckers whose parents pushed them onto the conveyor belt that annually pumps out another crop of credentialed indentured servants.

But even sucking the lifeblood out of Millennials is not enough to feed the greedy academic beast. The bright new idea – one embraced by that commie from New England, that other commie from New England who tricked her college into thinking she was an Indian, and that firewater aficionado who lost the election – is “free college.” Let’s set aside the fact that community college exists to give everyone the opportunity to get some higher education; today, it’s job is to occupy high school students for a few extra years by intermittently teaching them the things the incompetence of unionized teachers ensured they didn’t learn in public high schools. The “free college” idea offers those of us who have already paid for our own education the opportunity to pony up for someone else’s. As the grade-inflated bastions of higher learning say to pretty much anyone who hands them a check and keeps his mouth shut about liking America, “Pass.”


If traditional colleges performed some meaningful function that only they could perform, then there might be a rationale for them in the 21st Century. But there’s not. What do four-year colleges do today?

Well, they cater to weenies who feel “unsafe” that Mike Pence is speaking to their graduates. Seventy-some years ago, young people that age were feeling unsafe because the Wehrmacht was trying to kill them on Omaha Beach.

At our nation’s most prestigious university, students are emotionally incapacitated by the fact that other Americans elected someone they dislike. Their reaction is to form a “resistance” that they refer to as “Dumbledore’s Army.” What a bunch of wand-stroking. But there is one good thing about this mortifying childishness – perhaps now, when you meet a grad, he, she, or xe will hesitate for a couple minutes before telling you it went to Harvard.

And in their quest to ensure their students’ perpetual unemployment, colleges are now teaching that punctuality is a social construct. Somewhere, a Starbucks manager is going to hear from Kaden the Barista that, “I like, totally couldn’t get here for my shift on time because, like intersectionality of my experience as a person of Scandinavianism and stuff. I feel unsafe because of your racist vikingaphobia and tardiness-shaming.”


Academia is pricing itself out of reach even as the antics of its inhabitants annoy and provoke those of us whose taxes already pick up a big chunk of the bill even without the “free college” okie-doke. This is where the fortuitous coincidence of two phenomena collide to give us an opportunity to fix our problem. We’re woke to the scam, and we now have a federal government dominated by conservatives that can use the law and the power of the purse to tame the beast. As the same time, technology that will allow no-frills learning is improving every day. What we must do is pass popular laws that make colleges accountable to taxpayers and students, including by shifting some of the student loan risk onto them. We must also protect that whole wacky freedom thing – colleges can always give up all federal funds if they, say, want to force college Christian clubs to accept atheist members. And yeah – that’s a thing.


At the same time, we can use the law to help facilitate the transition away from the current centralized campus with a bloated administration and faculty/four-year booze cruise model. Laws can mandate and regularize credentialing for technology-based learning to help make non-traditional programs a viable and accepted alternative to a traditional degree. Right now, college is less about learning than about creating a cultural signifier – someone who went to college is “one of us.” But that snobby luxury can’t endure when tuition becomes unaffordable for everyone but ultra-rich folks willing to pony up for their spawn’s sojourn on campus. And it’s unnecessary. To the extent college teaches hard skills – I learned how to beer bong like a boss – students can go on-line at a fraction of the cost to get the specific education they need, without spending time and money on nonsense they don’t. Oppression Studies requirements, I’m looking at you.

The quarter million dollar academic vacation model is economically unsustainable and poisonous to our culture. The world of Animal House was a lot more fun when it didn’t mean preemptive bankruptcy for its graduates and the fostering of a tyrannical training ground for future libfascists. It’s time to get all Bluto on the obsolete boil that is academia; time to give it a squeeze.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Academia Is Our Enemy So We Should Help It Commit Suicide on: April 17, 2017, 02:46:37 PM
https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/04/13/academia-is-our-enemy-so-we-should-help-it-commit-suicide-n2312479

Academia Is Our Enemy So We Should Help It Commit Suicide
Kurt  Schlichter  |Posted: Apr 13, 2017 12:01 AM 

If Animal House were to be rebooted today, Bluto – who would probably be updated into a differently–abled trans being of heft – might ask, “See if you can guess what am I now?” before expelling a whole mass of pus-like root vegetable on the WASPrivileged villains and announcing, “I’m a university – get it?”

At least popping a zit gets rid of the infection and promotes healing. But today, the higher education racket festers on the rear end of our culture, a painful, useless carbuncle of intellectual fraud, moral bankruptcy, and pernicious liberal fascism that impoverishes the young while it subsidizes a bunch of old pinkos who can’t hack it at Real World U.

At least literal boils don’t diss you while demanding you give them free money. We’re expected to shut up and write checks while the universitools ruin our culture. Luckily, due to the happy coincidence of a conservative federal government, technological advances, and the college industrial complex’s inexplicable death wish, we normals now have a chance to lance the boil that is 21st Century academia.

The purpose of universities long ago stopped being education, yet Big Edu and its liberal supporters keep pushing the lie that the only way to prepare young Americans for the future is to tie an anchor around their necks. America’s student loan debt now totals a staggering $1.4 trillion carried by 44 million Americans, and 2016 grads are weighed down with an average $37,712 each. And what do they get for it? Nothing but four years older and considerably dumber. Record numbers are using their degrees in Papuan Feminist Literature and Genderfluid Break Dance Therapy as gateway credentials into the exciting field of brewing caffeinated beverages for grown-ups who didn’t still live on the futon in their mom’s spare bedroom at age 33.

A house, a family, and a future that involves either dignity or success – these are things walking out into society with a meaningless piece of paper and nearly forty grand in debt prevent. But hey – the important thing is that we continue to subsidize one of the Democrats’ key constituencies and its prime breeding ground for the social dysfunction and soft-handed tyranny that are the hallmarks of progressivism. Too bad if it ruins the lives of the young suckers whose parents pushed them onto the conveyor belt that annually pumps out another crop of credentialed indentured servants.

But even sucking the lifeblood out of Millennials is not enough to feed the greedy academic beast. The bright new idea – one embraced by that commie from New England, that other commie from New England who tricked her college into thinking she was an Indian, and that firewater aficionado who lost the election – is “free college.” Let’s set aside the fact that community college exists to give everyone the opportunity to get some higher education; today, it’s job is to occupy high school students for a few extra years by intermittently teaching them the things the incompetence of unionized teachers ensured they didn’t learn in public high schools. The “free college” idea offers those of us who have already paid for our own education the opportunity to pony up for someone else’s. As the grade-inflated bastions of higher learning say to pretty much anyone who hands them a check and keeps his mouth shut about liking America, “Pass.”


If traditional colleges performed some meaningful function that only they could perform, then there might be a rationale for them in the 21st Century. But there’s not. What do four-year colleges do today?

Well, they cater to weenies who feel “unsafe” that Mike Pence is speaking to their graduates. Seventy-some years ago, young people that age were feeling unsafe because the Wehrmacht was trying to kill them on Omaha Beach.

At our nation’s most prestigious university, students are emotionally incapacitated by the fact that other Americans elected someone they dislike. Their reaction is to form a “resistance” that they refer to as “Dumbledore’s Army.” What a bunch of wand-stroking. But there is one good thing about this mortifying childishness – perhaps now, when you meet a grad, he, she, or xe will hesitate for a couple minutes before telling you it went to Harvard.

And in their quest to ensure their students’ perpetual unemployment, colleges are now teaching that punctuality is a social construct. Somewhere, a Starbucks manager is going to hear from Kaden the Barista that, “I like, totally couldn’t get here for my shift on time because, like intersectionality of my experience as a person of Scandinavianism and stuff. I feel unsafe because of your racist vikingaphobia and tardiness-shaming.”


Academia is pricing itself out of reach even as the antics of its inhabitants annoy and provoke those of us whose taxes already pick up a big chunk of the bill even without the “free college” okie-doke. This is where the fortuitous coincidence of two phenomena collide to give us an opportunity to fix our problem. We’re woke to the scam, and we now have a federal government dominated by conservatives that can use the law and the power of the purse to tame the beast. As the same time, technology that will allow no-frills learning is improving every day. What we must do is pass popular laws that make colleges accountable to taxpayers and students, including by shifting some of the student loan risk onto them. We must also protect that whole wacky freedom thing – colleges can always give up all federal funds if they, say, want to force college Christian clubs to accept atheist members. And yeah – that’s a thing.


At the same time, we can use the law to help facilitate the transition away from the current centralized campus with a bloated administration and faculty/four-year booze cruise model. Laws can mandate and regularize credentialing for technology-based learning to help make non-traditional programs a viable and accepted alternative to a traditional degree. Right now, college is less about learning than about creating a cultural signifier – someone who went to college is “one of us.” But that snobby luxury can’t endure when tuition becomes unaffordable for everyone but ultra-rich folks willing to pony up for their spawn’s sojourn on campus. And it’s unnecessary. To the extent college teaches hard skills – I learned how to beer bong like a boss – students can go on-line at a fraction of the cost to get the specific education they need, without spending time and money on nonsense they don’t. Oppression Studies requirements, I’m looking at you.

The quarter million dollar academic vacation model is economically unsustainable and poisonous to our culture. The world of Animal House was a lot more fun when it didn’t mean preemptive bankruptcy for its graduates and the fostering of a tyrannical training ground for future libfascists. It’s time to get all Bluto on the obsolete boil that is academia; time to give it a squeeze.
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Forked Tongue's net worth on: April 17, 2017, 02:40:10 PM

And Rachel Dolezal is broke! No justice here!
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Esquire on the clashes in Berkeley on: April 17, 2017, 02:32:53 PM

The group's leader, Nathan Damigo, who was convicted in 2007 for pointing a gun at and and robbing a Muslim cab driver he believed to be Iraqi, made his presence known on Saturday. He was caught on video sucker punching a small, female-presenting anti-fascist protester in the face.

Why discriminate? We all know gender is just a construct, right? Perhaps the puncher was also female-presenting at that moment.


The left being upset at the lack of civility is like a guy who murders his parents and then asks for the court's mercy because he was an orphan.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: RIP Turkey on: April 17, 2017, 10:23:51 AM

Make Turkey more islamic !

That should turn out well.
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VIDEO: Berkeley cops sit in patrol car and watch as Trump supporters attacked on: April 16, 2017, 10:46:06 PM
http://www.theamericanmirror.com/video-berkeley-cops-sit-patrol-car-trump-supporters-attacked/

And where does this lead?

17  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Things continue to escalate and evolve... on: April 16, 2017, 10:18:53 PM
http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/04/mailvox-fighting-antifa.html

SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2017
Mailvox: fighting antifa

A firsthand report from the Second Battle of Berkeley from a reader:
Those Nike batting helmets are light, but they work! I took a rock to the top of my head yesterday that probably would have had me out.We also tested it before the saturday with a could of good smacks to the sides and back with both dowels and 1x3s. The impact jerked your head, but it protected against the pain and did a reasonable job of getting the blow to skate along the curves of the helmet.

One of the folks there next to me wasn't wearing a helmet, and took a nasty smack in the head with a thrown full mini-can of soda. He recovered OK, but there was a LOT of blood. They have video of him getting treated.

Wear a helmet...even if you are fit and young. I armored up because I am slow, but even those fit madmen dodging rocks on the front line could use it.

...and VD, They did a fantastic job of keeping the lines together yesterday. They had folks watching for flanking and the berserkers (that's what those based millennials were fighting like...absolutely breathtaking) at the front were keeping an ear out for the yell to pull back when they smashed into the front lines of the very skinny antifa janissaries. There were only a few incidents of folks pushing too far and getting enveloped.

Gloves are necessary as well. I started out with my motorcycle gloves, but lost them when I took them off to put some gauze on the fellow how to smack with the soda. Even though I didn't take a hit in the hands, I still learned why I needed them after the rally when I was heading back home. I didn't get pepper sprayed directly, but I did go through the clouds a couple of times and helped a few guys holding their head back when they were getting their eyes washed out. Pepper spray residue was all over my hands and when I took off my mask, helmet and goggles, I instinctively wiped my lips. Noob mistake that would have been mitigated if I was wearing gloves. I'm glad there were no cameras to capture my "it's too spicy" dance.
Good to know that there are some tactically-aware leaders taking charge, and that people are following their directions. Discipline plus preparation plus leadership usually equals victory. I noticed the discipline right away in the first videos I'd seen; it's far more important that everyone is on the same page than for anyone to engage in individual heroics or pursue optimal tactical objectives.

It was also significant to see that the tanks were going after the antifa leaders. Remember, antifa is all offense, so the leaders are not expecting to engage in any direct conflict themselves. The wedgies were a nice touch; another effective humiliation is to tie their shoelaces together or to remove their belts and bind their ankles with them.

It seems to me there ought to be a bounty placed on antifa flags and masks. I certainly wouldn't mind having a flag or two to hang in my office as a trophy.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Climbing out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole (Part 2) on: April 16, 2017, 04:59:35 PM
http://www.thediplomad.com/2017/04/climbing-out-of-obama-foreign-policy.html

Sunday, April 16, 2017
Climbing out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole (Part 2)

A bit over three years ago I posted a piece titled "Climbing Out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole." It was one of several in which I surveyed the disaster that was our foreign policy under the late, unlamented Obama misadministration, and provided some general prescriptions, and made the following observation,

our president should matter more to foreigners than to us. We hear nonsense from progressives about the president "running the country." Wrong! Our presidency was not designed to run the country--anybody who thinks that it was has not read the Constitution. The executive branch is not the country. The president must concentrate on the executive branch and the main tasks assigned it by the Constitution. Instead of promoting disastrous health care initiatives, listening to every phone call in Iowa, using the IRS to suppress dissent, beating up on Israel, yammering about fictitious global climate change, or demanding a costly and pointless relabeling of food products in the supermarket, the President should focus on his primary responsibility, the national defense. We must have a military capability second to none, and, in fact, greater than any foreseeable coalition of powers that might oppose us. We must stand with our allies; our word must be a gold coin; our enemies and friends must know we say what we mean and mean what we say, to wit, we have the biggest gun and will pull the trigger. The enemy is real and dangerous--a look at the forcibly altered NYC skyline should be proof enough of that. The "end of history" silliness should have died in the rubble of the Twin Towers.

I had written one earlier than that, some four years ago (time flies!) in which I also focussed on,

the disaster that is Obama's foreign policy, a policy of defeat. In its defense, let me say that to call it a policy designed for America's defeat gives it too much credit. My experience at State and the NSC, has shown me that most Obamaistas are not knowledgable enough to design anything. Foreign policy for the Obama crew is an afterthought. They really have little interest in it; many key jobs went vacant for months at State, DOD, CIA, and the NSC. The Obama foreign policy team is peopled by the "well-educated," i.e., they have college degrees, and as befits the "well educated" in today's America, they are stunningly ignorant and arrogant leftists, but mostly just idiots. They do not make plans; they tend to fly by the seat of their pants using a deeply ingrained anti-US default setting for navigation. They react to the Beltway crowd of NGOs, "activists" of various stripes, NPR, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Relying on what they "know," they ensure the US does not appear as a bully, or an interventionist when it comes to our enemies: after all, we did something to make them not like us. Long-term US allies, e.g., Canada, UK, Israel, Japan, Honduras, Colombia, on the other hand, they view as anti-poor, anti-Third World, and retrograde Cold Warriors. Why else would somebody befriend the US? Obama's NSC and State are staffed with people who do not know the history of the United States, and, simply, do not understand or appreciate the importance of the United States in and to the world. They are embarrassed by and, above all, do not like the United States. They look down on the average American, and openly detest any GOP Congressman or Congresswoman  . . . They have no problem with anti-American regimes and personages because overwhelmingly they are anti-American themselves
As we come up on the 90th day of the Trump administration (Only three months! Time crawls!) are we making progress in climbing out of the hole Obama made for us?

I think the answer is, "yes."

In just a scant ninety days, Trump has reestablished the USA as a force with which to be reckoned. It is a remarkable achievement, and one done solely on the basis of leadership. Even under the miserable Obama reign, the USA was the world's foremost economic and military power--at least on paper. We, however, had Obama, Clinton, and Kerry as the architects of a bizarre foreign policy which in essence assumed that the US had to atone for past sins, and should adopt a foreign policy worthy of perhaps Liechtenstein (I mean no offense to Liechtenstein), and not worry about whether America was "winning." We caught an eight-year "glimpse" into what a post-America world would look like. As I have said before, (here, here, for example) Russia parlayed its much weaker hand into a winning one on the basis of superior leadership on the part of Putin and Lavrov; they, and all our other rivals, knew how to take advantage of the foreign policy clown car careening around in DC.

You can have aircraft carriers, stealth bombers, the US Marine Corps, and an awesome fleet of nuclear subs but if leadership is missing, you got blather, you got convoluted word salads, you got angst, you got, well, you got dystopian Obama World in which our enemies ran amok while we ran amuck. To repeat, what was missing was American leadership. That's no longer the case.

As I have noted before, you can like Trump or not, you can agree with him or not, but the man makes decisions, and moves on. I don't see the "flip-flops" that some of his old critics greet with the same glee that  some of his old supporters bemoan. If these first there months are any indication, I think he will prove a master negotiator and game changer in the foreign policy arena. Trump is not flip-flopping, the world is; it is coming his way, not the other way round.

The Russians and the Chinese certainly have taken note of the change in Washington, and I suspect that the regimes in Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, and the fetid leaders of ISIS and the other radical Islamist death cults have, as well. We can see positive change all around; we see it in the willingness of the Chinese to work much more energetically to control Krazy Kim and deal with the unbalanced nature of our bilateral trade, we see it in the Russian acquiescence to our blasting their Syrian ally, we even see it on our border where illegal crossings have plummeted as the coyotes fear the new sheriff.

I am optimistic that we have begun the long climb out of the Obama foreign policy hole.
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rex Tillerson: North Korea Threat Is Imminent, Strategic Patience Is Over on: April 16, 2017, 11:19:56 AM
http://observer.com/2017/03/rex-tillerson-north-korea-threat-strategic-patience/

Rex Tillerson: North Korea Threat Is Imminent, Strategic Patience Is Over
All options are on the table—including South Korea and Japan becoming nuclear powers
By Austin Bay • 03/23/17 6:30am
   
The dire threat North Korea presents to peace in East Asia starts with this fact: The Korean War never really ended.

It may shock some mainstream media minds to discover that Donald Trump is already a Korean War president, but so was Barack “Nobel Peace Prize” Obama, and every other American president since Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman. Truman was president in 1950 when, with the backing of Soviet Russia, North Korea’s “Great Leader” Kim Il Sung launched a surprise invasion of South Korea. The war Kim the First (Kim 1) began would eventually involve the U.S. and Communist China.
The Military Demarcation Line dividing the United Nations’ “truce village” of Panmunjom doesn’t legally demarcate the political boundary between North Korea and South Korea. It simply splits a demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating two warring armies ostensibly observing the fragile ceasefire the 1953 armistice established. The DMZ more or less reflects the final positions of the dug-in Free World and Communist armies.


Unfinished historical business? The Korean War isn’t the past. It’s a complex geo-political nightmare of the present. North Korea’s now-dynastic “Kim family” Communist regime creates the nightmare—and economically and politically exploits the fears it incites. The Kim dictatorship apparently believes that perpetuating the threat of another massively destructive conventional war with South Korea and its allies is essential.


History demonstrates that the North Korean regime is responsible for the ceasefire’s fragility. Since 1953, Pyongyang has repeatedly shattered the ceasefire, waging in belligerent fits and spasms a calculated, contained, yet always deadly war of aggression against South Korea. The March 26, 2010 attack on the corvette Cheonan is a particularly bloody example. Forty-six South Korean sailors died when a North Korean torpedo sank the ship. It was the highest death toll from a single North Korean attack since the 1960s.

The Kim dynasty also employs assassination and terror to kill its enemies (real and imagined) throughout the world.

East Asia is one of the world’s most economically productive regions. Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai confirm that. The Kim dynasty’s “contained war” implicitly threatens damage (to various degrees) to these multi-trillion dollar contributors to global GDP. (Damage Shanghai? China believes a conventional war on the Korean peninsula could drive millions of refugees into northern China.)

The “contained war” willfully risks igniting a devastating, uncontained multi-polar war that could spread far beyond East Asia.

Why? The explanation links two dynastic goals. Pyongyang’s paranoid Communists still believe that they can ultimately obtain their key 1950 war objective: a Korea unified under Korean Communist control. They have also concluded that, in order to maintain control of the North Korean state, they must maintain a perpetual state of war. Both Kim Il Sung’s son and successor, Kim Jong Il (Kim 2), and his successor, current dictator Kim Jong Un (Kim 3) have pursued these goals.

The Kims don’t threaten to die fighting; they are already fighting. For a price, paid in aid or cash or food or fuel, their regime will restrain itself and end its latest belligerent fit. It may also tone down its violent rhetoric—until the next time. This summarizes the regime’s script for rattling its enemies and extorting bribes.

Time—time passes. Time has passed. There have been dozens of next times.

Now, North Korea’s next times routinely involve ballistic missiles and nuclear devices.

In 2011, North Korea began an accelerated ballistic missile test program. Since then, it has conducted over 30 live-fire tests. Still, the tests tended to follow the script. North Korea would issue rhetorical threats then fire a missile.

A missile test launch in August 2016 demonstrated improved capabilities. After traveling 1,000 kilometers, the missile splashed into the Sea of Japan but inside Japan’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Missile tracking data confirmed the strike location. A threat? No, a North Korean missile had physically violated Japanese sovereignty.

North Korea’s first nuclear test, conducted in 2006, was a fizzle, with a yield of about 0.7 kilotons. But a decade makes a difference. On September 9, 2016, North Korea claimed that it tested a nuclear warhead. Warhead or not, the device was nuclear and powerful. Monitors estimated its yield at 20 to 30 kilotons (about twice the size of the Hiroshima bomb).

It’s 2017. Kim Jong Un possesses ballistic missiles with near-intercontinental range. His regime has nuclear devices and, over time, intends to produce nuclear weapons. On March 6, 2017 his forces launched a volley of four ballistic missiles. This time, three landed in Japanese waters. The next day, Pyongyang announced that the missile launches were “practice” for targeting U.S. bases in Japan.

Practice for a first strike in a regional war? Yes.

North Korean extended-range missiles can already threaten Guam and parts of Alaska. Some analysts think the Hawaiian Islands are in range.

North Korea has declared that it will soon deploy long range missiles that can target the continental U.S. In March 2013, North Korea revealed that Austin, Texas (where South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. has a manufacturing facility) is a potential target. Washington, D.C. appeared on the target list.

On February 12, 2017 the regime tested a new intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), the Pukgukson-2 (Polaris-2). Solid fuel propels the missile, so Kim Jong Un’s troops can launch it on short notice. A tracked transporter erector-launcher (TEL) fired the missile, so the new missile is mobile. North Korea has few paved roads; a tracked TEL isn’t road bound. Moreover, the Pukgukson-2 was cold-launched—expelled from the TEL before main booster ignition. Missile experts say that indicates that a submarine can launch it.

The bottom line is that over the last eight months the regime has conducted weapons tests that demonstrate that it’s acquiring the operational military capabilities required to launch a very uncontained nuclear war.

The North Korean regime’s “contained war” strategy has exploited two policies that have been more or less strategic constants since 1953. The first is Communist China’s tacit long-term support for North Korea’s Communist dictatorship.

Beijing’s support for Pyongyang circa 2017 may not be as iron-clad as its support circa 1997, but that support remains.

The second policy, “contained war,” exploited the policy of “strategic patience” followed by South Korea, Japan and the U.S. It was part of the U.S. Cold War strategy of “containment.” South Korea and its allies would militarily contain North Korea. South Korea would pursue economic development and political liberalization. Over time, the North Korean regime might “mellow,” to appropriate George Kennan’s word for diminishing Soviet belligerence.

Until that change occurred, South Korea would absorb small attacks, no matter how vicious and provocative, in order to prevent a confrontation escalating to all-out war. Seoul’s northern suburbs are still within range of North Korea tube and rocket artillery. Even a short conventional war might kill tens of thousands of civilians. South Korea would definitely suffer severe economic loss.

“Soft power” appeals might solicit North Korean cooperation and eventually reduce its aggressiveness. So South Korea, Japan and the U.S. tried soft power—and did they ever.

The Clinton Administration’s 1994 Agreed Framework gave Kim Il Sung heavy fuel oil and technical assistance if his regime would shut down the nuclear reactors it used to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The U.S. would even help North Korea acquire light water nuclear reactors for electrical generation if it permitted International Atomic Energy Agency inspections and complied with other IAEA safeguards. In 2002, the U.S. determined that North Korea had violated the Agreed Framework and had an ongoing uranium enrichment program. Indeed, it did.

In 2000 South Korea began its Sunshine Policy—soft power on steroids. South Korea would reward North Korea with “economic incentives” in exchange for political cooperation. Seoul’s goal was eventual détente and peace.

Then, North Korea conducted its 2006 nuclear test. The test was supposed to scare South Korea, and it did. Pyongyang refused Seoul’s demand that it halt its nuclear weapons program.

In 2008, the South Korean government decided that Sunshine would diminish as long as the North sought nuclear weapons. Current incentive programs would continue, but there would be no new endeavors until North Korea ended its nuclear quest. North Korea conducted another nuclear test in 2009. The Cheonan incident solidified opposition to the Sunshine Policy. In November 2010, South Korea’s Unification Ministry terminated the program.

The Sunshine Policy’s “soft power” failed to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. UN sanctions may have hindered it, but they haven’t stopped it, either. The “Panama Papers” scandal revealed that the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, helped a financial firm fund North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. According to investigators, the firm’s owners were based in Pyongyang. The Kim regime knows how to evade sanctions by hiring the skillfully incurious.

By 2010, South Korea and Japan had concluded that “strategic patience” had failed. President Barack Obama said “strategic patience” still guided U.S. policy, but he also approved the deployment of a U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense battery to South Korea. The battery arrived this February.

In Seoul on March 17, after visiting the DMZ, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson succinctly sketched America’s evolving position: “Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, economic measures. All options are on the table.”

All options included the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons by South Korea and Japan. Japan and South Korea are already investing in improved ballistic missile defense systems.

A day later in a sit-down interview with the Independent Journal Review, Tillerson insisted, “Our objective is a denuclearized Korean peninsula. A denuclearized Korean peninsula negates any thought or need for Japan to have nuclear weapons. We say all options are on the table, but we cannot predict the future. So we do think it’s important that everyone in the region has a clear understanding that circumstances could evolve to the point that for mutual deterrence reasons, we might have to consider that. But as I said yesterday, there are a lot of… there’s a lot of steps and a lot of distance between now and a time that we would have to make a decision like that.”

When the interviewer pressed him about how to “get ahead” of North Korea, Tillerson added, “We’re not sure if we can get ahead of them. If they just continue, you know, we’re headed to a place no one wants to be… if they continue with their testing and continue the development of both their weapons and their delivery systems, then we’re going to find ourselves in a place that’s even more dangerous than we are today.”

The Independent Journal Review’s interview transcript indicates that Tillerson used the word “imminent” at least four times—“imminent circumstances” and “imminent threat.” “Imminent” is a politically flammable term and, in regards to Iraq, still incites bitter argument. The Bush administration never used the word “imminent” to describe Saddam Hussein’s potential use of weapons of mass destruction. However, it definitely portrayed the threat Saddam posed as dire and urgent.

Saddam had a WMD record. His forces had used chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and Kurdish rebels. WMD was certainly part of Saddam’s “threat profile.”

“Imminent” is an important word. In 2002, the Bush administration argued that 9/11 demanded the international legal concept of “imminent threat” be revised to deal with 21st century adversaries.

Inaction, particularly when an adversary has WMD, entails risk. Inaction when an adversary is a terrorist with WMD may entail unacceptable risks.

Unlike the Bush administration, the Trump administration has deliberately and emphatically used the word “imminent.” Secretary of State Tillerson repeated it. Diplomats know he was sending a message.

On February 13, the day after the Pukgukson-2 launch, assassins in Malaysia murdered Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam. The hit team killed him at the Kuala Lumpur airport in front of a closed circuit television camera.

Korean media report that North Korean defectors repeatedly asked Jong Nam to politically challenge Jong Un. One defector group in Europe even asked him to lead a government in exile. Jong Nam rejected the proposal. Though he said he supported reform in North Korea, Jong Nam also said he supported his younger brother.

Yet, Kim Jong Un decided his brother presented a growing threat to his regime, so had his brother killed. The assassins apparently sprayed Jong Nam’s face with liquid nerve agent VX. When delivered with missile warheads or artillery shells, VX is a weapon of mass destruction, “the most deadly chemical weapon ever produced.”

Is war with North Korea a “trip wire” conflict? Yes. It has been since Kim Il Sung’s surprise attack in 1950. With Kim Jong Un in charge any “incident of escalation” could lead to conflagration.

The Trump administration is clearly pressuring China. I guarantee Beijing gulped when Tillerson suggested that South Korea and Japan might acquire nuclear weapons—and it was supposed to. China has regarded the presence of U.S. forces in Japan as a brake on a revival of Japanese militarism. In the mid-1980s, I attended a U.S. Army War College reception for a Chinese military officer who had given a talk to War College students. The Chinese officer wore his uniform; most of the American student officers wore business suits. I overheard a part of a conversation the Chinese officer was having with a group of students. The subject was the forward deployment of U.S. forces in Japan and specifically the stationing of U.S. Navy ships in Japan. The Chinese officer smiled. “The U.S. Navy in Yokahama…in China we think this is very good.” His eyes twinkled. I doubt they’re twinkling now.

Japan doesn’t really want nuclear weapons, and China definitely doesn’t want Japan to acquire nuclear weapons.

But the Kim dynasty’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them continues unabated and the threat they pose is increasing.

China must bring decisive pressure on North Korea’s regime. By decisive, I mean pressure that terminates North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Perhaps China can produce a diplomatic miracle and convince Kim Jong Un that ending the program is the only way he and his regime will survive. This diplomatic miracle would deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.

China may have the covert wherewithal to induce the North Korean military to conduct “regime change from within.” I suspect this fear haunts Kim Jong Un. Kim Jong Nam reportedly had numerous friends in China.

If China cannot bring decisive pressure, or refuses to do so, then the threat of a high-intensity war fought to determine the Kim dynasty’s fate will eventually become imminent. Should this last phase of the Korean War erupt, it won’t be confined to the peninsula. If nuclear weapons strike cities the casualties will be enormous.

Like Rex Tillerson said, “…we’re headed to a place no one wants to be.”

Austin Bay is a contributing editor at StrategyPage.com and adjunct professor at the University of Texas in Austin. His most recent book is a biography of Kemal Ataturk (Macmillan 2011). Bay is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / [Robert Park] Japan and China visibly preparing for preventive strike fallout on: April 16, 2017, 10:14:27 AM
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170414000750


[Robert Park] Japan and China visibly preparing for preventive strike fallout


   Published : 2017-04-16 17:48
Updated : 2017-04-16 17:48
Japan and China have already taken clear-cut measures to safeguard their nationals and interests in the event of a looming military confrontation.

Meanwhile, Korean civilians -- who would suffer most devastatingly as “collateral damage” on account of preventive strikes against North Korea -- remain singularly and inexplicably vulnerable as well as thoroughly unprepared for the possibility.

Bewilderingly, South Korea’s opposition to such strikes has yet to be delivered to the US in an unequivocal and unwavering manner.

As political scientist John Delury stated regarding the “pre-emptive strike” scheme for a March 10 report, “The role of a South Korean president, whether liberal or conservative, is to be the person who gently takes that option off the table. The South Korean president has to be saying, ‘If you take out their missile pad, they take out our capital.’ But that hasn’t been happening.”

Trump’s “unpredictability” renders South Korea’s present ambiguity on the vital matter all the more perilous. It is critical to immediately clarify with counterparts in the US the South’s stance.

Brian Bridges, an adjunct professor of Asian politics at Lingnan University, told Bloomberg for an April 12 report: “This has the potential to turn into a conflagration that Asia hasn’t seen since the Vietnam war. If anything, his unpredictability makes the situation more risky because the North Koreans aren’t 100 percent sure he won’t attack.”

Many analysts have stressed that the risk of miscalculated military operations -- via adversaries misreading each other’s intentions -- remains among the gravest and most credible dangers the Korean Peninsula and people face today.

South Korea should pay closer attention to relevant developments in Japan.

In March, Japan began civilian evacuation drills preparing for a North Korea-related contingency.

During a bilateral government meeting preceding last week’s Trump-Xi summit, Japan’s Kyodo News reports Washington informed Tokyo it is highly possible they will strike the North and that the US president intended to deliver this plan to Xi.

Following the US-China summit, the Huanqiu Shibao, one of China’s state-run newspapers, addressed war rumors relevant to the Korean Peninsula as of legitimate concern, calling for heightened vigilance over this particular period on Tuesday. Kim Jong-un is generally believed to be preparing a nuclear or missile test, or possibly another type of provocation this month for his grandfather’s birthday and/or for the foundation date of the North Korean armed forces on April 25.

On Wednesday, Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported the US has accepted Tokyo’s request for bilateral consultation preceding military action against North Korea. Somehow, South Korea seems to be left out when the region, in the wake of US strikes, would be required to absorb the full force of Kim Jong-un’s reprisals while woefully unprotected.

KBS reported Tuesday a senior researcher at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies warned “a US pre-emptive strike against North Korea will cause massive civilian casualties in South Korea,” further pointing out that the North’s counterattack “would not deal a severe blow to US troops, however South Korea‘s capital region, with a population of 25 million, is within the range of the North’s artillery attack.”

Cheong Seong-chang, senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute, stated for an April 11 article: “If the US attacks the Yongbyon facility, it will open the curtains to the worst-case scenario -- nuclear war -- as North Korea could attack South Korea’s nuclear plants or Seoul using nuclear weapons. ... Japan will support the US in attacking North Korea.”

On Sunday, former Japanese Cabinet Minister Shigeru Ishiba -- who has openly advocated for his country to establish the capability to conduct “pre-emptive” strikes against North Korea, and may become prime minister -- declared “Seoul might turn into a sea of fire,” while “calling for measures to rescue Japanese citizens in Seoul.” As Dong-A Ilbo pointed out in an editorial Tuesday, “Such a remark was publicly made by such an influential politician, which is simply petrifying.”

None can convincingly deny that Japan would be considerably more privy to what the US may or may not do, given the undisguised closeness of the Abe and Trump administrations.

As Joongang Ilbo pointed out in an April 10 editorial, Trump phoned Shinzo Abe before the Trump-Xi summit to discuss issues that would be raised, while no such conversation was held with Seoul.

Following the summit, Trump spoke for 45 minutes with Abe but only 20 minutes with South Korea’s Prime Minister and acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn.

We witnessed a similar disparity during Rex Tillerson’s time in Asia, and in other settings.

Most conspicuously and alarmingly, while Trump has appointed ambassadors to Japan, China and Russia, none has yet been named for Korea.

On Tuesday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga conveyed Tokyo’s support for Washington’s consideration of “all options” vis–a–vis North Korea.

Japanese media reports the return of Tokyo’s ambassador to the South was linked to the need for facilitating the evacuation of Japanese citizens in the event of war.

It seems both China and Japan are not quite convinced that threats of a US strike on North Korea are merely bombast. The fact that both countries’ leaders have had summit meetings with Trump -- while South Korea has not -- and are taking such substantial measures ought not to be dismissed by South Koreans.

In a March 20 commentary titled “Bombing North Korea is not an option,” Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times reminds that multiple “waves” of preventive strikes would be needed to achieve US stated objectives as “North Korean nuclear and missile programs are widely dispersed, including underground and underwater.”

“It is unlikely that the whole program could be destroyed in a single wave of strikes, which would immediately raise the prospect of nuclear retaliation by the North,” Rachman wrote.

A positive and commendable step in the proper direction is that Seoul’s unification minister, Hong Yong-pyo, has stepped forward to declare South Korea’s opposition to American military action against North Korea. Through a media conference Monday, Hong stated the government will need to “consult with Washington about a pre-emptive strike against the North considering the impact it would have on the security of South Korea.” The above suggests, however, that this conversation has yet to sufficiently take place. Hong added “South Korea cannot see eye to eye with the US on every military decision,” KBS reported.

The South Korean government must now deliver the equivalent message to US authorities and “gently” but categorically remove the US military strike option “off the table” -- so that such a catastrophic misstep would never be left to chance nor a distressed, unprepared and precariously assailable populace abandoned to such agonizing speculation.


By Robert Park

Robert Park is a founding member of the nonpartisan Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea, minister, musician and former prisoner of conscience. He can be reached at wcsgnk1@protonmail.com. -- Ed.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / If the Government Cannot Be Trusted, Can It Protect the Nation? on: April 16, 2017, 10:01:14 AM
I used to have faith in the people that did these jobs. Eight years of Obama's politicization/weaponization of the federal government taught me otherwise.


If the Government Cannot Be Trusted, Can It Protect the Nation?
by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY   April 15, 2017 4:00 AM


A brawl over FISA is coming. ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Ronald Reagan famously described these as “the nine most terrifying words in the English language.” It may be time to propose a two-word corollary. “Trust us.” In the end, underneath the geek-speak of encryption, electronic intercepts, forward-looking infrared thermal imaging, satellite surveillance, and sundry collection technologies, that is what the government is really saying when it comes to national security: “Trust us. The intelligence collection we do is important — is essential – to keeping you alive. Oh . . . and don’t ask a lot of questions. You know, can’t discuss that — methods and sources, etc.” I don’t think that’s going to cut it this time. Before 2017 is out, we are going to have a brawl over FISA — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Specifically, over FISA section 702, on which much of the sprawling American intelligence enterprise is now based.

It will lapse if not reauthorized by Congress. We ought to be headed into that brawl with a sense of how dangerous the world has become: Competitive great-power geopolitics has reemerged, yet international jihadism remains as threatening as ever. Instead, foremost in our minds will be how readily the government’s awesome intelligence capabilities can be abused. That is the real significance of the controversy over Obama-administration spying on the Trump campaign and transition. The scandal that CNN is hell-bent on ignoring brings into sharp relief the very abuses the media, echoing civil-liberties activists, have warned against for years: pretextual uses of intelligence-collection powers to spy on political opponents and dissenters. As a national-security conservative with no illusions about government, I’ve acknowledged these concerns. I’ve countered, though, that the powers are, yes, essential to national security. The abuse of power is thus a reason to get rid of the abuser, not the power. In our modern political dysfunction, that seems impossible. Washington protects its own. No one gets fired anymore, let alone impeached. So just as we make war on “terror” because we don’t want to identify the enemy, we condemn “power” because we can’t bring ourselves to hold the rogue officials accountable. Did the Obama administration have compelling foreign-intelligence reasons to monitor its political opponents? Or was Russian espionage mainly a cover for political spying? As I’ve said before, there is enough risk on both sides that I doubt we will get definitive answers to these questions.

There is little doubt, however, that Republicans and Democrats will mutually find intelligence-collection power to be a convenient scapegoat. That’s where this is heading: the showdown over FISA reauthorization. So can we trust the government with this power? It is worth remembering that, before someone decided that the perilous complexities of the modern world left us with no choice but to trust the government, we built a governing system on the premise that it can’t be trusted. Our supposedly self-determining society never conducted a referendum that officially transformed government from a necessary evil to a guardian angel. But while you weren’t looking, there does seem to have been a dramatic transformation of the Fourth Amendment. Before someone decided that the perilous complexities of the modern world left us with no choice but to trust the government, we built a governing system on the premise that it can’t be trusted. The amendment’s original meaning is simple enough: The government is not permitted to seize your most personal information — that yielded by searching your home, your person, your papers, or your effects — in the absence of permission from a judge. The idea is that the government’s own say-so cannot be trusted. Consequently, we don’t let it knock down your door unless its agents show probable cause that you have committed some wrong. That showing must satisfy a court — the forum in which the citizen is protected from government overreach. Only if the judge grants a warrant may the government search and seize.

Flash-forward a couple of centuries. The Fourth Amendment’s words are still the same, but the paradigm has shifted. Now we permit the government to seize first and search later. That is, we let government intelligence agents obtain evidence without cause. The caveat is that they will just hold it in a database, they won’t analyze it unless and until there is cause. The courts no longer determine whether the government may obtain the evidence in the first place; they merely endorse and kinda-sorta police the “seize now, search later” arrangement — under which the government is granted such broad discretion to analyze what it has obtained that the judicial protection seems illusory. I don’t mean to make this sound like a scam. There is a legal rationale for it. The principal targets of government foreign-intelligence operations are aliens outside the U.S. — i.e., agents of foreign powers who could detrimentally affect American interests, and who are located outside the jurisdiction of American courts. They are not entitled to American legal protection at all, so the courts should not be involved — to say nothing of the fact that the judiciary, for all its legal acumen, is not institutionally competent to oversee intelligence matters.

Yet modern communications technology renders it inevitable that intelligence-collection efforts, even as they target foreigners, will capture private communications involving Americans. So the courts have to be involved. Still, this involvement does not mean they are any more competent to oversee intelligence matters. And the effort to safeguard Americans inevitably benefits foreign targets of intelligence collection — often, our enemies. So how have we resolved these tensions? We let the courts oversee foreign-intelligence collection so Americans will have some ostensible protections; but we don’t let the courts be much more than a rubber stamp, because we know they really shouldn’t be involved in foreign-intelligence matters — and because we don’t want to turn our own judiciary into our enemies’ shield. It is a delicate balance. It is also a balance that can be unbalanced in a hurry, because it has more to do with shifting political winds than with enduring legal norms. After all, we’ve departed from our legal norms: We allow the government to seize our information without cause and trust that they will never look at what we’ve allowed them to retain unless some really good reason — some national-security reason — triggers a need to pluck us out of the database and investigate. And . . . because intelligence involves secrets and sources and life and death, we’ve accepted that the government cannot tell us its reasons for investigating. We trust that when the government tells us it is protecting national security, it is not actually scheming to spy on the incumbent administration’s political opponents . . . and on us. But can we trust the government? Whether we are inclined to do so depends on what is making us feel most vulnerable at the moment: foreign threats or rogue officials. If I had to bet right now, I’d say FISA is in trouble because of the rogue officials . . . and we’re in trouble because the foreign threats are not going away. — Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446767/fisa-reauthorization-federal-intelligence-surveillance-act-trump-administration-spying-scandal-national-security
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It is almost as if someone fuct with it , , , on: April 15, 2017, 09:32:41 PM

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/news/a19877/how-the-military-will-be-revolutionized-by-laser-weaponry/

"Unlike their fictional cousins in video games and movies, lasers don't make a sizzling noise as they burn through the air. Lasers can also be invisible, unless they pass through a medium such as smoke or fog. Someone under fire from a laser weapon may not know they're under attack until holes start appearing in things, things get very hot, and ammunition starts exploding."
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: General "Forked Tongue" Warren confused on: April 14, 2017, 09:33:25 PM

It's called rebuilding credibility. Something Fauxcohauntus knows nothing about.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump-Russia Accusations and the possible Silent Coup on: April 14, 2017, 02:13:21 PM
Whether or not Trump was eavesdropped on by OBama or his warriors we will NEVER know.   The only way we could would be if someone directly involved came forward and admitted it AND offered up some hard core evidence to back it up (lest he/she be tarred and feathered by the entire LEFT.  And we know that would not happen.  At that high level there is not going to be any hardcore evidence, everyone would deny it (and get rewarded with jobs, board appointments , get their kids into Columbia, their spouse get a nice juicy grant, etc.

The normally very careful Judge went out on a limb and the entire apparatus of the LEFT and now thanks to Trump's bashing of our intelligence divisions and thus the wrath of them too Fox is forced to make the Judge eat his words.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/fox-pulls-napolitano-air-trump-report-023807823--politics.html

That's a $400K/yr gig the Judge now lost.

And the worst part of it is, I believe the Judge and  Not everyone else who is denying it.
 Obama could absolutely be part of and eaves dropping conspiracy that obviously exists to get rid of Trump.


https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/04/14/report-british-spy-agency-was-surveilling-trump-team/
Report: British Spy Agency Was Surveilling Trump Team
 BY DEBRA HEINE APRIL 14, 2017

Robert Hannigan steps down. File photo dated 17/11/15 of the director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan who has has decided to step down, the intelligence agency has announced. Issue date: Monday January 23, 2017. Ben Birchall/PA Wire
A month ago, Fox News senior legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano claimed that three intelligence sources had informed him President Obama used a British intelligence organization to spy on then-candidate Trump's associates.

Napolitano reported on his website:

Sources have told Fox News that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump's calls. The NSA has given GCHQ full 24/7 access to its computers, so GCHQ -- a foreign intelligence agency that, like the NSA, operates outside our constitutional norms -- has the digital versions of all electronic communications made in America in 2016, including Trump's. So by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.
When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer cited the report during a daily White House briefing, international shock waves and furious denials from the British intel agency ensued:

The agency described the allegations first made by a former judge turned media commentator, Andrew Napolitano, as “nonsense”.
“They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored,” a spokesperson for GCHQ said.

Fox News temporarily took Napolitano off the air until the dust settled. Yet when he came back two weeks later, Judge Nap stood by his story, saying "a lot more is going to come."

A lot more did come Thursday in a new report published by The Guardian. The report indicates that Napolitano was on the right track: GCHQ and other European spy agencies did pass on incidental electronic surveillance (SIGINT) to the Obama administration revealing "contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives." But according to the Guardian's anonymous sources, the intelligence was passed on to the United States "as part of a routine exchange of information" -- not at the behest of the Obama administration, as Napolitano had suggested.
 
So there are two versions of this story now, both based on anonymous sources.

The Guardian reports that the surveillance began in late 2015, when British spooks "first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents":

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.
The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence -- known as sigint -- included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the “Five Eyes” spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said.

Another source suggested the Dutch and the French spy agency, the General Directorate for External Security or DGSE, were contributors.

It is understood that GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information. The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets. Over several months, different agencies targeting the same people began to see a pattern of connections that were flagged to intelligence officials in the US.

According to The Guardian, intelligence sources in both U.S. and UK:

... acknowledge that GCHQ played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, which began in late July 2016.
One source claimed that U.S. intelligence was “very late to the game,” and FBI Director James Comey didn't become interested until after the election:

Comey’s apparent shift may have followed a mid-October decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to approve a secret surveillance order. The order gave permission for the Department of Justice to investigate two banks suspected of being part of the Kremlin’s undercover influence operation.
According to the BBC, the justice department’s request came after a tipoff from an intelligence agency in one of the Baltic states. This is believed to be Estonia.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the same order covered Carter Page, one of Trump’s associates. It allowed the FBI and the justice department to monitor Page’s communications. Page, a former foreign policy aide, was suspected of being an agent of influence working for Russia, the paper said, citing U.S. officials.

The application covered contacts Page allegedly had in 2013 with a Russian foreign intelligence agent, and other undisclosed meetings with Russian operatives, the Post said. Page denies wrongdoing and complained of “unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance”.

According to one of the Guardian's sources, the investigation is making progress:

They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion. This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.
Carter Page, appearing on the Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor Thursday night, decried the "false accusations" against him that are being pushed by Democrats, but said he was encouraged because the truth was beginning to come out about the surveillance scandal.
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: April 13, 2017, 09:08:08 AM
Not necessary, but that the Mexican number is lower than the US number does surprise.

Anyway, I find this 95% datum to be quite useful in unbalancing those who allege/babble about income disparity. grin

All the cartel related deaths probably don't get entered into the stats. Probably a big difference in deaths by chainsaw in Mexico vs. the US.
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 150,000 Chinese troops on Nork border on: April 11, 2017, 08:03:22 PM

I believe that is most likely to secure China's border to
prevent a flood of NorK refugees should the state collapse. Hopefully this means China is giving the NorKs the Fredo kiss.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Notorious RBG and Lindsey Graham on: April 11, 2017, 07:59:57 PM

She gets something right every so often. This would be one of those times.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / With Trump and Xi Jinping's summit, hopefully the fix is in.... on: April 09, 2017, 02:08:18 PM
I think there is a good chance we move on the NorKs. Hopefully China stands back and let's it happen.


29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American into WW1 on: April 09, 2017, 10:59:13 AM
I am old enough to remember the 100 th anniversary of the end (if not the beginning) of the American Civil War (April 1965).  If I am not mistaken that was the year the last known Civil War soldier died too.

I lived long enough to now witness the 100 th anniversary of the beginning of our involvement in WW1:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446570/great-war-wwi-documentary-tells-america-story

The way things are headed, you'll be around for WWIII and/or the 2nd Civil War.

30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Senate, McConnell, Garland out, Justice Gorsuch confirmed on: April 09, 2017, 10:56:56 AM
No one really likes Mitch McConnell (or any other congressional leader) but as mentioned earlier, he deserves extraordinary credit for this turn of events that followed Scalia's sudden, election year death.

He took and used his opponents' words against them, the Biden rule, and Reid and Schumer, and held firm in a situation where elected Republicans normally fold.

Accused of Republicans stealing back this seat, in truth he boldly put the appointment and confirmation directly in the hands of the American people exactly as envisioned by the Founders.

Republicans stuck together and Democrats did not. Red-state Democrats up for reelection fled  their party's leadership like rats from a sinking ship.  Televised hearings exposed the fiction that this man is outside of any reasonable mainstream of judicial thought .  Regarding the ill-advised filibuster, Democrats, for the moment, earned the label of 'the stupid party'.

I was very happy to see the turtle demonstrate he had a spine inside his shell.



31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Arabic/Islamic Countries: on: April 09, 2017, 10:54:33 AM
Bombings at Egyptian Coptic churches kill 36, injure more than 100

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN17B06U

Looks like this was (also) committed by Islamist militants, not Lutheran refugees fleeing Scandinavia.

Moral equivalence is disappearing before our eyes.

Are we sure no radicalized trucks were involved?
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues on: April 09, 2017, 10:53:20 AM

"Who awards truth to something like the Clinton Administration ending nuclear weapons in North with words and gifts the Obama Administration ending the nuclear threat in Iran with words and cash, or believing that Putin was going to remove weapons from his Middle East ally?"

With the horrors yet to come, this will be Obama's true legacy.

33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Behold the beauty of Sweden's diversity! on: April 08, 2017, 05:53:48 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/07/truck-crashes-crowd-people-stockholm/

A suspected terrorist targeted young children as he drove a hijacked lorry into a crowded shopping street in Stockholm, witnesses claimed last night.

Infants’ buggies were sent “flying through the air”, one Swedish broadcaster reported, as the vehicle zigzagged along the pedestrianised Queen Street shopping district and embedded itself in the window of a department store.

“It swerved from side to side. It didn’t look out of control, it was trying to hit people,” a second witness, Glen Foran, an Australian tourist, told Reuters. “It hit people, it was terrible. It hit a pram with a kid in it, demolished it.”
Any chance the latest UK or Sweden attack was committed by a Lutheran extremist named Lars?

No profiling! It might have been Sven, or Thor or Fritjof just as easily!

34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Behold the beauty of Sweden's diversity! on: April 08, 2017, 02:18:00 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/07/truck-crashes-crowd-people-stockholm/

A suspected terrorist targeted young children as he drove a hijacked lorry into a crowded shopping street in Stockholm, witnesses claimed last night.

Infants’ buggies were sent “flying through the air”, one Swedish broadcaster reported, as the vehicle zigzagged along the pedestrianised Queen Street shopping district and embedded itself in the window of a department store.

“It swerved from side to side. It didn’t look out of control, it was trying to hit people,” a second witness, Glen Foran, an Australian tourist, told Reuters. “It hit people, it was terrible. It hit a pram with a kid in it, demolished it.”
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another big win for solar power! on: April 08, 2017, 01:46:12 PM
http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/03/idahos-4-3-million-solar-road-generates-enough-power-to-run-one-microwave/

Idaho’s $4.3 Million Solar Road Generates Enough Power To Run ONE Microwave

Photo of Andrew Follett
ANDREW FOLLETT
Energy and Science Reporter
2:53 PM 04/03/2017
   
An expensive solar road project in Idaho can’t even power a microwave most days, according to the project’s energy data.

The Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways project generated an average of 0.62 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per day since it began publicly posting power data in late March. To put that in perspective, the average microwave or blow drier consumes about 1 kWh per day.

On March 29th, the solar road panels generated 0.26 kWh, or less electricity than a single plasma television consumes. On March 31st, the panels generated 1.06 kWh, enough to barely power a single microwave. The panels have been under-performing their expectations due to design flaws, but even if they had worked perfectly they’d have only powered a single water fountain and the lights in a nearby restroom.

Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways has been in development for 6.5 years and received a total of $4.3 million in funding to generate 90 cents worth of electricity.

 
The project broke down in late March and had to be repaired, and screenshots taken that month show the roadway’s electrical box caught fire. Firefighters soon showed up to the scene, prompting the solar project’s official webcam to issue an update: “The Solar Roadways electrical system is currently undergoing maintenance. Please check back late next week.”

Follow Andrew on Twitter

Send tips to andrew@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/03/idahos-4-3-million-solar-road-generates-enough-power-to-run-one-microwave/
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama lied, people died on: April 08, 2017, 01:22:07 PM
https://twitter.com/hale_razor/status/850440735778250752

Bush "wrong" on WMDs: LIED, PEOPLE DIED!
Obama/Rice wrong on WMDs: crickets.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stand back, professional journalists at work! on: April 07, 2017, 03:08:23 PM
Layers of fact checkers and editors! With credentials!

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/politifact-retracts-mostly-true-ruling-u-s-removed-100-percent-syrias-chemical-weapons/


PolitiFact Retracts ‘Mostly True’ Ruling That U.S. Removed ‘100 Percent’ of Syria’s Chemical Weapons
'Subsequent events have proved John Kerry wrong'

BY: Alex Griswold 
April 6, 2017 10:56 am

Fact-checking website PolitiFact on Wednesday retracted a 2014 article that found it "Mostly True" the Obama administration helped broker a deal that successfully removed "100 percent" of chemical weapons from Syria.

"We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out," then-Secretary of State John Kerry said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in July 2014. Kerry was referring to a deal the U.S. and Russia struck in September 2013 in which the Russians agreed to help confiscate and then destroy Syria's entire chemical weapons stockpile.

When making its ruling, PolitiFact cited a statement from Ahmet Üzümcü, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

"The last of the remaining chemicals identified for removal from Syria were loaded this afternoon aboard the Danish ship Ark Futura," Üzümcü said in June 2014.

In the end, PolitiFact called Kerry's claim "Mostly True" because there were still discrepancies between how many chemical weapons Syria claimed to have and how many outside observers claimed the country had.

"There are still 12 former chemical weapon production facilities which need to be destroyed," one human rights worker told the site.

Nearly three years after Kerry's comment, a chemical weapons attack devastated a rebel-controlled village in northern Syria, killing somewhere between 70 and 100 noncombatants, including dozens of children. The United States has fingered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as the perpetrator of the attack.

The next day, PolitiFact pulled its earlier fact-check "because we now have many unanswered questions."

"We don't know key details about the reported chemical attack in Syria on April 4, 2017, but it raises two clear possibilities: Either Syria never fully complied with its 2013 promise to reveal all of its chemical weapons; or it did, but then converted otherwise non-lethal chemicals to military uses," the site wrote.

"One way or another, subsequent events have proved Kerry wrong," PolitiFact concluded.
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: April 07, 2017, 10:47:09 AM
GM,


What a 'nice' story

Frankly I am having a hard time taking any of Trumps seriously to be honest.

Even when Trump speaks of the 'children' it just doesn't seem to have the moral gravitas it would say if Mike Pence said the same thing.




I think we a seriously close to ending up in a serious SH*T storm, if we are not careful.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another radicalized truck? on: April 07, 2017, 10:30:37 AM
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/terror-stockholm-truck-rams-crowd-10178926

Let's not indulge in truck-a-phobia. The vast majority of trucks are peace loving and only celebrate this in private.
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jared Goes To Iraq! A Picture Story on: April 07, 2017, 10:17:51 AM
http://taskandpurpose.com/jared-kushner-iraq-storybook-pictures/

Jared Goes To Iraq! A Picture Story
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: April 07, 2017, 09:35:44 AM
Not our problem.

Could be argued either way.  It became partly our problem with 1) his predecessor's red line promise.  A promise now kept.

The Chinese say "Kill the chicken to scare the monkey". Perhaps this was really aimed at the NorKs.


2) The war is spinning out the refugee crisis, giving terrorists a path to the west. Our problem, in part.

Strange how much closer nations, like Saudi Arabia and the UAE don't have a refugee problem. Funny how that works. Almost like the refugee crisis is just a cover for an invasion.


3) The Syrian war is a threat to Israel. The Levant in ISIL includes Israel, a US security Interest.

Israel will act as it sees it needs to. Unless Assad tried targeting Tel Aviv with WMD, I don't see this as a threat to Israel. Assad knows what would happen if he tried to use WMD on Israel and the US wouldn't be his biggest concern then.

42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Strange, I was told Trump was Putin's sockpuppet on: April 06, 2017, 09:06:08 PM
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/russia-warns-negative-consequences-u-targets-syria-005056501.html

Russia warns of 'negative consequences' if U.S. targets Syria

Reuters April 6, 2017

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia's deputy U.N. envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, warned on Thursday of "negative consequences" if the United States carries out military strikes on Syria over a deadly toxic gas attack.

"We have to think about negative consequences, negative consequences, and all the responsibility if military action occurred will be on shoulders of those who initiated such doubtful and tragic enterprise," Safronkov told reporters when asked about possible U.S. strikes.

When asked what those negative consequences could be, he said: "Look at Iraq, look at Libya."
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: April 06, 2017, 08:23:12 PM
Not our problem.
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How America's Polygamy Ban Blocked Muslim Immigration on: April 06, 2017, 11:32:39 AM
http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2016/08/how-americas-polygamy-ban-blocked.html

How America's Polygamy Ban Blocked Muslim Immigration
Posted by Daniel Greenfield

A hundred years ago, Muslims were furious over an immigration bill whose origins lay with advocacy by a headstrong and loudmouthed Republican in the White House.

The anti-immigration bill offended the Ottoman Empire, the rotting Caliphate of Islam soon to be defeated at the hands of America and the West, by banning the entry of “all polygamists, or persons who admit their belief in the practice of polygamy.”

This, as was pointed out at the time, would prohibit the entry of the “entire Mohammedan world” into the United States.

And indeed it would.

The battle had begun earlier when President Theodore Roosevelt had declared in his State of the Union address back in 1906 that Congress needed to have the power to “deal radically and efficiently with polygamy.” The Immigration Act of 1907, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt, had banned “polygamists, or persons who admit their belief in the practice of polygamy.”

It was the last part that was most significant because it made clear what had only been implied.

The Immigration Act of 1891 had merely banned polygamists. The newest law banned anyone who believed in the practice of polygamy. That group included every faithful believing Muslim.

The Ottoman Empire’s representatives argued that their immigrants believed in the practice of polygamy, but wouldn’t actually take more than one wife. This argument echoes the current contention that Muslim immigrants may believe in a Jihad against non-Muslims without actually engaging in terrorism. That type of argument proved far less convincing to Americans than it does today.

These amazing facts, uncovered by @rushetteny reveal part of the long controversial history of battles over Islamic migration into America.

Muslim immigration was still slight at the time and bans on polygamy had not been created to deliberately target them, but the Muslim practice of an act repulsive to most Americans even back then pitted their cries of discrimination and victimhood against the values of the nation. The Immigration Act of 1907 had been meant to select only those immigrants who would make good Americans.

And Muslims would not.

In his 1905 State of the Union address, President Theodore Roosevelt had spoken of the need “to keep out all immigrants who will not make good American citizens.”

Unlike modern presidents, Roosevelt did not view Islam as a force for good. Instead he had described Muslims as “enemies of civilization”, writing that, “The civilization of Europe, America and Australia exists today at all only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization", praising Charles Martel and John Sobieski for throwing back the "Moslem conquerors" whose depredations had caused Christianity to have "practically vanished from the two continents."

While today even mentioning “Radical Islam” occasions hysterical protests from the media, Theodore Roosevelt spoke and wrote casually of “the murderous outbreak of Moslem brutality” and, with a great deal of foresight offered a description of reform movements in Egypt that could have been just as well applied to the Arab Spring, describing the "mass of practically unchained bigoted Moslems to whom the movement meant driving out the foreigner, plundering and slaying the local Christian."

In sharp contrast to Obama’s infamous Cairo speech, Roosevelt’s own speech in Cairo had denounced the murder of a Coptic Christian political leader by a Muslim and warned against such violent bigotry.

Muslims had protested outside his hotel, but Teddy hadn’t cared.

The effective implementation of the latest incarnation of the ban however had to wait a year for Roosevelt’s successor, President Taft. Early in his first term, the Ottoman Empire was already protesting because its Muslims had been banned from the country. One account claimed that 200 Muslims had been denied entry into the United States.

Despite these protests, Muslims continued to face deportations over polygamy charges even under President Woodrow Wilson. And polygamy, though not belief in it, remains a basis for deportation.

Though the law today is seldom enforced.

American concerns about the intersection of Muslim immigration and polygamy had predated Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson. The issue dated back even to the previous century. An 1897 edition of the Los Angeles Herald had wondered if Muslim polygamy existed in Los Angeles. “Certainly There is No Lack of Mohammedans Whose Religion Gives the Institution Its Full Sanction,” the paper had observed.

It noted that, “immigration officials are seriously considering whether believers in polygamy are legally admissible” and cited the cases of a number of Muslims where this very same issue had come up.

A New York Times story from 1897 records that, “the first-polygamists excluded under the existing immigration laws were six Mohammedans arrived on the steamship California.”

To their misfortune, the Mohammedans encountered not President Obama, but President Herman Stump of the immigration board of inquiry. Stump, an eccentric irascible figure, had known Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth and had been a wanted Confederate sympathizer during the Civil War.

In the twilight of his term, Stump had little patience and tolerance for either Islam or polygamy.

The Times story relates the laconic exchange between Stump and the Muslim migrants.

“You believe in the Koran?" asked President Stump.

"Thank Allah, yes," responded the men in chorus.

“The Koran teaches polygamy?" continued the Inspector through an interpreter.

"Blessed be Allah, it does!"

"Then you believe in polygamy?" asked Captain George Ellis.

"We do. We do! Blessed be Allah, we do," chorused the Arabs, salaaming toward the setting sun.

"That settles it," said President Stump. "You won't do."

President Stump’s brand of common sense has become keenly lacking in America today.

None of the laws in question permanently settled the issue. The rise of Islamist infiltration brought with it a cleverer Taquiya. The charade that Muslims could believe one thing and do another was dishonest on the one hand and condescending on the other. It was a willful deception in which Muslims pretended that they were not serious about their religion and Americans believed them because the beliefs at stake appeared so absurd and uncivilized that they thought that no one could truly believe them.

Theodore Roosevelt knew better. But by then he was no longer in office.

Unlike today’s talk of a ban on Muslim migration from terror states, laws were not being made to target Muslims. Yet Muslims were the likeliest group of foreigners to be affected by them. Even a hundred years ago, Islam was proving to be fundamentally in conflict with American values. Then, as now, there were two options. The first was to pretend that there was no conflict. The second was to avert it with a ban.

A century ago and more, the nation had leaders who were not willing to dwell in the twilight of illusions, but who grappled with problems when they saw them. They saw civilization as fragile and vulnerable. They understood that the failure to address a conflict would mean a loss to the “enemies of civilization”.

Debates over polygamy may seem quaint today, but yet the subject was a revealing one. Islamic polygamy was one example of the slavery so ubiquitous in Islam. The enslavement of people is at the heart of Islam. As we have seen with ISIS, Islamic violence is driven by the base need to enslave and oppress. Polygamy, like honor killings and FGM, is an expression of that fundamental impulse within the private social context of the home, but as Theodore Roosevelt and others understood, it would not stay there. If we understand that, then we can understand why these debates were not quaint at all.

American leaders of a century past could not reconcile themselves to Islamic polygamy. Yet our modern leaders have reconciled themselves to the Islamic mass murder of Americans.

Thus it always is. When you close your eyes to one evil, you come to accept them all.
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Health Care - Costs of single payer system in Canada are unsustainable on: April 06, 2017, 11:17:12 AM
My objection to government run healthcare is that it is a failure everywhere it's tried and ultimately acts as a form of control over the population.


"Health care spending as a share of program spending and health care
spending as a share of the economy, shows clearly that the recent period
of 1998 to 2015 saw provincial governments increase health care spending
at an unsustainable pace. "
https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/sustainability-of-health-care-spending-in-canada.pdf

Falling short on efficacy measures too:
"It’s performing poorly across a range of indicators including wait times, access to medical technologies and supply of doctors."
http://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/momentum-building-for-health-care-reform-sean-speer-in-the-montreal-gazette/

Coverage is not universal for:  drugs, dental, and out-patient services.
http://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/17456/

Throw those in and the whole system collapses - sooner.
--------------------------------------

My first objection to government-run health care is that innovation, as we knew it, essentially ends. 

46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We have always been at war with eastasia! on: April 05, 2017, 01:27:14 PM
http://althouse.blogspot.com/2017/04/i-hope-susan-rice-was-keeping-tabs-on.html

April 4, 2017
"I hope Susan Rice was keeping tabs on Trump’s Russia ties."
By Michelle Goldberg at Slate.

I love the way the messaging turns on a dime.

One minute it's ridiculous to think that the Obama administration was doing surveillance on the Trump campaign. The next minute the Obama administration was doing the right thing if it did surveillance on the Trump campaign.
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cooked Rice and the IC on: April 04, 2017, 09:21:28 AM
http://www.thediplomad.com/2017/04/on-spying-again.html

Monday, April 3, 2017

On Spying, Again

The details keep coming out fast and furious. I've written several prior posts about Russian spying and the story that the Russians "hacked" the election to favor Trump. Please review my golden words (here, here, and here, for example) if you have the stomach. I just want to make a few quick observations  in light of recent developments.

Let me cite from something I wrote almost three weeks ago,
The Dems claim that Trump is in bed with the Russians; Trump denies it and countercharges that the Dems had him under surveillance. We have here a problem. If the Dems have official intel on Trump's connections with Russia, how did they get it? . . . I think there was surveillance of Russian activity, probably by the NSA, and it found nothing to show that Trump had contacts with the Russians; the Obamistas and the Clintonistas then made up the accounts of Russian interference.
We now have coming out that former National Security Advisor Susan "video killed our people" Rice was apparently involved up to her neck in the Obama administration's surveillance of the Trump campaign and, later, of the Trump transition team. As more information appears, the details will change so let's keep to a bird's eye view.

It seems Rice demanded that names of Americans, apparently those working for Trump, be "unmasked" and sent around to the various intel agencies in Washington. Those Americans had their names collected, it is claimed, incidental to legitimate surveillance of foreign targets, especially Russians. Rice, it seems, asked that the names be shared around--no explanation given. It seems (that word) a piece with one of Obama's last executive decisions allowing NSA raw data to be distributed to all intel agencies.

Why would they do this?

Well, if you pass around political names to hundreds of people, you know, you absolutely know, that the names will leak. It's a way of not leaving your own fingerprints on the leak. You know that the names will leak and give the aura of a massive criminal enterprise underway by the Trump people to sell out the USA to Russia. It is sabotage of President Trump of the grossest kind.

We still have no evidence of the Russians hacking the election to favor Trump. No evidence has been provided as to why the Russians would want Trump to win. No evidence has been provided of how it the Russians would know something the pollsters did not, to wit, that Trump would, in fact, win the November election. Above all, there is no evidence that Trump or his cohorts were in league with Russia--what would they get out of it?

I think, furthermore, that my initial impression that the Democrats made up the story proves the best explanation. This Russia story provided the excuse to conduct surveillance of Trump and his campaign and transition. Just as the Obama people sold guns to Mexican drug cartels and then sought to blame the gun trafficking on the second amendment ("the drugs flow north, but the guns flow south"), they justified their surveillance of political opponents with the Russia story. The overwhelming conceit was that they assumed Hillary would win the election and the story would remain buried.Once they saw she had lost, presto!, Obama's executive order spreading the info all over town making it hard to find the culprit leaker/unmasker.

This is getting very nasty, and the Trump-Russia story is blowing up in the face of the Dems.
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Google this... on: April 03, 2017, 11:00:16 AM


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4375518/Explosion-metro-St-Petersburg.html

Diversity is our strength!
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Let's Forget! on: April 03, 2017, 01:08:26 AM

It's ok, the islamic conquest of europe would have resulted in the plaque being removed sooner or later anyway.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Schiff: No evidence yet , , , on: April 02, 2017, 10:08:34 PM

Yeah, there sure isn't.
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