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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China) on: September 01, 2017, 10:21:29 PM
I used to subscribe to Stratfor and was generally impressed with it, perhaps because I had no first hand knowledge of the topics they wrote about. Wrt India, since I know the subject matter somewhat, I find there writing quite superficial and also inaccurate. Not sure they have reporting strength on India. As an example:
"Control of Pakistan would help India meet two strategic objectives. The first is access to water resources from the Indus River Valley. The Indus River Valley lies in Chinese, Indian and Pakistani territory. From India’s point of view, control over Pakistan is necessary to ensure water and hydroelectricity to its northern cities." This is quite a misleading statement, infact India controls most of the river waters already and has been quite generous with giving Pak water as a lower riparian thro the Indus water treaty. Current thinking is that India should abrogate the treaty if Pak does not behave.


Your ground truth knowledge is very useful. Thanks.





52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comey is a corrupt scumbag, Part whatever on: September 01, 2017, 09:01:56 PM
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/371393.php

September 01, 2017

James Comey Told Congress He Didn't Make a Decision on Hillary Clinton Until After all Interviews, Despite Having Drawn Up Draft Exoneration Statement Months and Months Before
Straight-shooter. Wears a sheriff's star of pure gold alloyed with Resolute Integrity.

Also, a genuine Democrat Tool.

The new revelation that James Comey circulated a draft of a statement he wrote as FBI director exonerating Hillary Clinton in last year’s email investigation appears to be at odds with what he told a House panel last September.
“If colleagues of ours believe I am lying about when I made this decision, please urge them to contact me privately so we can have a conversation about this,” Comey said during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 28, 2016.

“All I can do is tell you again, the decision was made after that because I didn’t know what was going to happen in that interview,” he added.

That statement, which Politico flagged on Thursday, appears to conflict with the revelation on Thursday that two of Comey’s top aides at the FBI said in transcribed interviews last year that Comey circulated drafts clearing Clinton as early as last April, months before he actually publicly cleared the former secretary of state, who had been under investigation for mishandling classified information on her private email server.

Sean M. Davis had a good point yesterday on Twitter: If Comey had drafted his girl's Get Out of Jail Free pass in April, what the hell was he doing issuing immunity to all of Hillary's cronies before Fake-Interviewing them? Having fixed the outcome, was he now just making sure there were no witnesses left unimmunized who could disturb the fix?

53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CNN Host Takes Bullhorn and Whips Up Antifa Crowd; on: September 01, 2017, 04:09:42 PM
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/371382.php

CNN Host Takes Bullhorn and Whips Up Antifa Crowd;
CNN Refusing to Answer Questions About Incident
W. Kamau Bell hosts Perspectives, a community outreach program that runs from 4:15am to 4:25 am.

And he's now leading Antifa chants.

Tucker Carlson discussed this last night.

54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / former FBI agent battling Deputy Director said there is a 'cancer' inside FBI on: August 31, 2017, 09:18:23 PM
https://www.circa.com/story/2017/08/30/politics/former-fbi-agent-battling-deputy-director-mccabe-said-there-is-a-cancer-inside-the-fbi

A former FBI agent battling Deputy Director McCabe said there is a 'cancer' inside the FBI
 
By Sara A. Carter



When the FBI launched an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one of the bureau’s top former counterterrorism agents believed that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe would have to recuse himself from the investigation.

Former Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz was one of the bureau’s top intelligence analysts and terrorism experts but resigned from the bureau five years ago after she said she was harassed and her career was blocked by top FBI management. She filed a formal sexual discrimination complaint against the bureau in 2013 and it was Flynn, among many others, who publicly came to her aide.

In her first on-camera interview she described the retaliation from McCabe and others in the bureau as “vicious.”

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, while testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A 16-year veteran with outstanding work performance reviews and accomplishments, Gritz alleges McCabe, along with other senior management, made it impossible for her to do her job and obstructed her ability to move up the ranks.

She eventually filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint [EEOC] in 2013 for sexual discrimination and a hostile work environment against McCabe and other superiors. In 2012 she received the only negative review in her career with the FBI, and it was conducted by the same supervisor she had named in her EEOC.

She told Circa, current senior level management, including McCabe, created a “cancer like” bureaucracy striking fear into FBI agents and causing others to resign. She eventually resigned herself, but her case is still pending.

“They’ve poisoned the 7th floor,” said Gritz, referring to the actual floor where management is housed in the FBI’s Hoover Building. “There’s a cancer there of a group of people. You’ve seen it with some of the recent reports of leaks, conflicts of interest, you see it in my case. The level of integrity is lacking. I have never seen or heard of the amount of conflicts of interest, or leading by fear.”

McCabe, who is under three separate federal inquiries, did not respond to requests for comment.

Gritz, who at the time of her official complaint was on detail to the CIA, did not fight her battle alone. Many senior U.S. government officials who had worked with her throughout her career defended her openly. One of her biggest supporters was Flynn, who then was the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as first reported by Circa.

Earlier this year, a highly-classified phone conversation between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak was leaked to the press, prompting his removal as top national security advisor for President Trump. The classified leak and the fact that McCabe plays a central role in the Russia investigation has left Gritz deeply concerned for Flynn.

Five years later she’s waiting for resolution to her pending case and now she believes that those who retaliated against her, including McCabe, may have also retaliated against Flynn for his unwavering support for her. Flynn gave a rare interview to NPR in 2015 defending Gritz against McCabe.

“When I heard Michael Flynn was being brought under investigation, I wondered if they would go after him,” said Gritz, recalling the letter Flynn wrote on his Department of Defense stationary. “I still believe McCabe should have recused himself from the investigation into Flynn.”

Flynn had worked with Gritz extensively during her tenure on joint terrorism related assignments between the DOD and FBI wrote a letter on Pentagon stationary testifying to her character and work ethic. Other top military officials also wrote letters of testimony on behalf of Gritz, including Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Gen. Keith Alexander and retired Navy Rear Admiral B. L. Losey, who served both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the White House’s National Security Council Director for Combatting Terrorism, according to documents obtained by Circa.

The FBI’s attorney tried to block testimony from her supporters, including Flynn’s letter, in 2014, memos obtained by Circa show.

“They couldn’t block the testimony,” said Gritz, who smiled as she recalled the judge reprimanding the FBI for trying to block the testimony.
FBI agents’ concerns became more pronounced when a highly-classified piece of evidence -- an intercepted conversation between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak -- suddenly leaked to the news media and prompted Flynn’s resignation as Trump’s top security adviser.

“He thought what had been done to me was totally wrong at a time when we need counterterrorism expertise—to push out someone he considered a rising star was unacceptable.”

She said when FBI agents requested to write letters on her behalf they were stopped by their supervisors and coworkers who wanted to defend her were fearful.

“You could say my name, walking down the hall and if one of them hears it you’re in trouble,” she said, referencing McCabe and his close colleagues.
In June, a Circa investigation revealed that two weeks after Gritz filed her EEOC complaint, McCabe referred her for an Office of Professional Responsibility investigation for timecard irregularities.

Although the FBI claimed they had filed their OPR investigation prior to Gritz’s EEOC, McCabe’s own sworn testimony painted a much different picture. Gritz’s case, which is still pending, was required McCabe to submit to a sworn statement. In his testimony he recounted a conversation on June 19, 2012 in which he authorized the OPR investigation of Gritz after one of his deputies told him she was about to file a complaint, as reported by Circa.

And McCabe is also challenged with an Office of Special Counsel investigation.

The embattled former agent filed a complaint in April, alleging McCabe violated the Hatch Act, as reported by Circa in June.

The OSC is the government’s main whistle blower agency. The Hatch Act prohibits FBI employees from engaging "in political activity in concert with a political party, a candidate for partisan political office, or a partisan political group." McCabe appeared to be participating in his wife’s unsuccessful bid for Virginia State Senate in 2015, according to Gritz and documents obtained by Circa.

The Justice Department Inspector General investigation is also investigating McCabe after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, alleged McCabe may not have properly disclosed the roughly $700,000 in campaign contributions to his Democratic wife on his ethics report and should have recused himself from the Clinton server case.


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, joined at left by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, leads a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 26, 2017, on attempts to influence American elections, with a focus on Russian meddling in the last presidential race. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Gritz is hoping she will have resolution on her case soon but more importantly she said “I just want the bureau to get back to where it should be.”


As for McCabe, she said “I don’t feel that Andy McCabe was honest to me. The conflicts of interest many of agents see right away. A lot of agents, analysts, former, current, retired are appalled that if they did similar they would have already been fired or at least on leave without pay.”


Sara A. Carter is a national and international award-winning investigative reporter whose stories have ranged from national security, terrorism, immigration and front line coverage of the wars i...

55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comey started drafting statement exonerating Hillary Clinton before FBI intervie on: August 31, 2017, 09:05:26 PM
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/james-comey-started-drafting-statement-exonerating-hillary-clinton-before-fbi-interviewed-her-aides/article/2633095

James Comey started drafting statement exonerating Hillary Clinton before FBI interviewed her, aides
by Melissa Quinn | Aug 31, 2017, 1:40 PM 


Former FBI Director James Comey started to draft a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in the bureau's investigation into her use of a private email server before the FBI interviewed her or her key witnesses, the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday.

"Conclusion first, fact-gathering second — that's no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Judiciary Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a letter to the FBI.


The Judiciary Committee reviewed transcripts, which were heavily redacted, indicating Comey began drafting the exoneration statement in April or May 2016, before the FBI interviewed up to 17 key witnesses, including Clinton and some of her close aides.

Comey's work on the statement also came before the Justice Department entered into immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills, Clinton's chief of staff while she was Secretary of State, and Heather Samuelson, who served as the State Department's White House liaison.

Comey announced in July 2016 the FBI wouldn't recommend criminal charges against Clinton.

Democrats in Congress alleged last fall that Comey's actions in the FBI's investigation into Clinton's email use violated the Hatch Act, which caused the Office of Special Counsel to launch an investigation.

During its investigation, the Office of Special Counsel interviewed James Rybicki, Comey's chief of staff, and Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel of national security and cyberlaw, who were close to Comey at the FBI.

The Office of Special Counsel shared those interview transcripts at Grassley's urging after Comey was fired.

In their interview with Anderson, the Office of Special Counsel asked when she first learned Comey was planning to make a public statement about the Clinton investigation.


"I'm not entirely sure exactly when the idea of the public statement first emerged," Anderson said. "It was, I can't, I can't put a precise timeframe on it, but [redacted] ... And then I believe it was in early May of 2016 that the director himself wrote a draft of that statement."

In his interview, Rybicki told the Office of Special Counsel that Comey emailed several people in the spring "to say, you know, again knowing sort of where—knowing the direction the investigation is headed, right, what would be the most forward-leaning thing we could do."

When asked whether the Comey statement was drafted in either April or early May, before Clinton herself was interviewed by the FBI, Rybicki said that was correct.

In their letter to the FBI, Grassley and Graham requested drafts of Comey's statement closing the Clinton email investigation, including his initial draft from April or May and his final statement. The senators also asked for all records related to communications from FBI officials related to Comey's draft statement, and records provided to the Office of Special Counsel.

56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rent-a-crowd on: August 31, 2017, 02:29:56 PM

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Concerned-Citizens-Turn-Out-to-Be-Political-Theater-369230811.html

Rent a-political-activist.
57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Will special counsel Mueller examine the DNC server, source of the great Russia on: August 30, 2017, 10:01:14 PM
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/russia-hacking-dnc-server-comey-mueller-hillary-clinton-20170829.html

Will special counsel Mueller examine the DNC server, source of the great Russiagate caper?
Updated: AUGUST 29, 2017 — 5:19 AM EDT

by George Parry
On June 12, 2016, WikiLeaks announced that it would soon release stolen computer files that pertained to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Two days later, CrowdStrike, a computer security company working for the Democratic National Committee, announced that it had detected Russian malware on the DNC’s computer server. The next day, a self-described Romanian hacker, Guccifer 2.0, claimed he was a WikiLeaks source and had hacked the DNC’s server. He then posted online DNC computer files that contained metadata that indicated Russian involvement in the hack.

Much to the embarrassment of Hillary Clinton, the released files showed that the DNC had secretly collaborated with her campaign to promote her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination over that of Bernie Sanders. Clearly, the Clinton campaign needed to lessen the political damage. Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s public relations chief, said in a Washington Post essay in March that she worked assiduously during the Democratic nominating convention to “get the press to focus on … the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary.”

Thus was laid the cornerstone of the Trump-Russia-collusion conspiracy theory.

Since then, the mainstream media have created a climate of hysteria in which this unsubstantiated theory has been conjured into accepted truth. This has resulted in investigations by Congress and a special counsel into President Trump, his family, and his campaign staff for supposed collusion with the Russians.

But in their frenzied coverage, the media have downplayed the very odd behavior of the DNC, the putative target of the alleged hack. For, when the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI learned of the hacking claim, they asked to examine the server. The DNC refused. Without explanation, it continues to deny law enforcement access to its server.


Why would the purported victim of a crime refuse to cooperate with law enforcement in solving that crime? Is it hiding something? Is it afraid the server’s contents will discredit the Russia-hacking story?

The answers to those questions are beginning to emerge thanks to an exacting forensic examination of the available evidence by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), an organization of former CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, and military intelligence officers, technical experts, and analysts.



By way of background, VIPS has a well-established record of debunking questionable intelligence assessments that have been slanted to serve political purposes. For example, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, VIPS courageously and correctly challenged the accuracy and veracity of the CIA’s intelligence estimates that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and that he posed a threat to the United States. Similarly, VIPS has scondemned the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspected terrorists. In short, VIPS can hardly be described as either a right-wing cabal or as carrying water for the Republican Party.

In its ongoing analysis of the purported DNC hack, VIPS has brought to bear the impressive talents of more than a dozen experienced, well-credentialed experts, including William Binney, a former NSA technical director and cofounder of the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center; Edward Loomis, former NSA technical director for the Office of Signals Processing; and Skip Folden, former manager of IBM’s information technology. As the French would say, these are l’hommes serieux, as are the other computer-system designers, program architects, and analysts with whom they are investigating the Clinton-DNC hack story.

Recently, VIPS released its initial investigative findings, and they are stunning.

First, VIPS has concluded that the DNC data were not hacked by the Russians or anyone else accessing the server over the internet. Instead, they were downloaded by means of a thumb drive or similar portable storage device physically attached to the DNC server.


How was this determined? The time stamps contained in the released computer files’ metadata establish that, at 6:45 p.m. July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. This took 87 seconds, which means the transfer rate was 22.7 megabytes per second, a speed, according to VIPS, that “is much faster than what is physically possible with a hack.” Such a speed could be accomplished only by direct connection of a portable storage device to the server. Accordingly, VIPS concludes the DNC data theft was an inside job by someone with physical access to the server.

VIPS also reports that, if there had been a hack, the NSA would have a record of it that could quickly be retrieved and produced. But no such evidence has been forthcoming. Can this be because no hack occurred?

Even more remarkable, the experts have determined that files released by Guccifer 2.0 have been “run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints.” In other words, the files were deliberately altered to give the false impression that they were hacked by Russian agents.

Up to this point, Russiagate has been notable as an irrational, self-levitating media jihad devoid of any material-supporting evidence. Now, thanks to the VIPS experts, the Russia-hacking story — the very genesis of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory — appears to have been affirmatively and convincingly undercut. And this raises many questions concerning the purveyors of the Russia hacking story, as well as the heretofore semicomatose federal investigation of the alleged hack.

After the DNC denied law enforcement access to its server, the FBI — under James Comey’s flaccid leadership — meekly agreed to accept the findings of CrowdStrike, the DNC’s private computer security firm, as to the server’s contents. This was in lieu of the FBI’s using the legal process to search the server for Russian malware and evidence of hacking.

Why did Comey and the FBI agree to such an impotent, absurd, and self-defeating arrangement? And why to this day has this bizarre situation been allowed to continue?


Special counsel Robert Mueller has been tasked with investigating the alleged Trump-Russia conspiracy. Unlike the feckless Comey, he has used a grand jury and at least one search warrant to obtain evidence. May we expect Mueller to use similar tactics in dealing with the mysteriously recalcitrant DNC? Will the server at long last be subjected to a non-DNC-controlled forensic analysis? Will the server and CrowdStrike’s work product be analyzed to either confirm or disprove the presence of Russian malware? And, if none is found, will the special counsel investigate the persons responsible for that deception?

Will the DNC files released by Guccifer 2.0 be analyzed to determine if they were, as VIPS has concluded, altered to give the false impression that the Russians had hacked the server? If so, will Mueller pursue those responsible for the adulteration? If, as appears likely, the server was not hacked, will Mueller investigate why Hillary Clinton and the DNC claimed it was? Will he investigate whether the DNC files were stolen by someone who had direct physical access to the DNC server? Will he try to determine who at the DNC had a motive to leak the files? Could it be someone who wanted to make public Clinton and the DNC’s underhanded treatment of Sanders?

These are but a few of the areas of inquiry that any fair and competent investigator intent on getting to the truth would pursue. Will Mueller honestly and vigorously investigate them at the risk of incurring the anti-Trump media’s wrath and possibly exposing the Russia-hacking story as a carefully orchestrated falsehood by Clinton and the DNC?

Or will the unraveling Russiagate fable continue to be a fig leaf for a one-sided, politically motivated effort by Mueller and his staff of Hillary Clinton supporters to undo the outcome of the 2016 presidential election?

George Parry is a former state and federal prosecutor practicing law in Philadelphia. lgparry@dpt-law.com​
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China) on: August 30, 2017, 06:18:31 PM
Wait? You mean strongly worded letters aren't enough? Unpossible!



Nice article, with lessons for future conflicts...YA

https://warontherocks.com/2017/08/countering-chinese-coercion-the-case-of-doklam/

China’s Coercion Playbook

China used the same playbook in Doklam as it has in other territorial disputes, especially Vietnam and the Philippines. This playbook usually involves four elements. The first step is to develop a larger or more permanent physical presence in areas where China has already has a degree of de facto control — whether that means new islands in the South China Sea or roads in the Himalayas. Using its military to build infrastructure in the Doklam area was likely an attempt to consolidate China’s control along its southwestern border, including this disputed area where it has patrolled for some time.

This consolidation usually goes hand-in-hand with the second element, coercive diplomacy. Here, China couples its threats or limited military action with diplomatic efforts designed to persuade the target state to change its policies or behavior. The strategy is to put the onus on the other side, often in a weaker position militarily, to risk confrontation over these gradual changes to the status quo. The goal is to ensure the target country does not counter China’s consolidation attempts, and ideally to compel them to engage in bilateral negotiations. It is in such talks that China can then leverage its stronger physical position to secure a favorable settlement.

China has used this model of coercive diplomacy not only against weaker claimants in the South China Sea, but also against the United States. In the 2009 U.S. Naval Ship Impeccable incident, for example, it used coercive diplomacy and other elements of its playbook against U.S. maritime surveillance operations. The Doklam case carried the added enticing prospect of opening new channels of diplomatic communication — and influence — with Bhutan, with which China currently lacks formal diplomatic relations.

Third, China uses legal rhetoric and principles to present its position as legitimate and lawful, thereby staking a claim to a broader legitimizing principle in territorial disputes. In the case of Doklam, China portrayed the Indian response as a violation of Chinese sovereignty — it claimed Indian troops entered Chinese territory through the Sikkim sector of the Sino-Indian border and had been “obstructing Chinese border troop activities.” China declared its road construction was entirely lawful, designed to improve infrastructure for the local people and border patrols. China’s policy position was that the border was delimited in 1890, formally reaffirmed several times since, and reinforced by the routine presence of Chinese troops and herders. Its legal argument thus rested in part on the first element of the playbook: the physical presence that it sought to make permanent with the road at Doklam.

Lastly, China leverages its government-controlled media to highlight its narrative and issue threats. These tend to involve warnings about not underestimating Chinese resolve and the Chinese people’s determination to protect their sovereignty just because China has restrained itself so far. The Chinese media was replete with such articles, warning India, for example, not to “play with fire” lest it “get burned.” They cautioned the Indian government not to be driven by nationalism and arrogance, to avoid miscalculation and repeating the mistakes of the 1962 war. This is not just a war of words; research shows that escalating threats in the media can be a precursor to China’s use of force.

While other countries may also seek to impose a territorial fait accompli — such as Russia in Ukraine — China always follows its multi-pronged playbook. It consistently demonstrates a preference for ambiguity, risk manipulation and controlling the narrative to win without fighting. Any use of coercion — which involves threats and use of force — carries the risk of escalation to conflict, even if China has previously managed to resolve most of its disputes without war. How China advances its claims in South and East Asia will determine whether those regions remain peaceful and stable.

Thwarting Coercion With Denial

China’s playbook, however, did not go according to plan this time, because it did not account for India’s unexpectedly swift and assertive response to its road-building. India did not simply voice displeasure or threaten to punish China if it continued to pursue its territorial claims as the United States and Southeast Asian countries have done in the South China Sea. In those cases, China used its coercive playbook effectively, forcing its adversaries to either back down or raise the ante. And as China’s uncontested gains have shown, its adversaries have generally lacked the capabilities, and especially the political resolve, to escalate crises.

But in this situation, India thwarted China’s coercion through denial — blocking China’s attempt to seize physical control of the disputed territory. By physically denying China’s bid to change the status quo, India created a stalemate, which suited its strategic policy. It did not acquiesce to a Chinese fait accompli, and it did not have to summon the capabilities or resolve to reverse China’s position, which would have risked a general war. India was able to do this because of a local military advantage and its broader policy of standing up to China. As a result, China did not have the option of proceeding under the guise of peaceful legitimate development, per its playbook; pressing its claims on Doklam would have required it to ratchet up military pressure. The stalemate thwarted Chinese coercion — but as long as it lasted, it was pregnant with risks of escalation and conflict.

Disengagement, But Dangers Persist

The immediate risks of conflict have receded, but the border dispute remains unresolved, and the broader Sino-Indian relationship remains fraught. First, on Doklam, while China has backed down for now, its statement that “China will continue fulfilling its sovereign rights to safeguard territorial sovereignty in compliance with the stipulations of the border-related historical treaty” suggests it has not changed its position on the border tri-junction. Indeed, during the standoff, China reportedly offered financial inducements to cleave Bhutan away from its traditional relationship with India — it has other ways, and continued ambitions, to press its claims.

Second, the India-China relationship remains tense, and prone to military risk, especially if China seeks to reassert itself after a perceived slight at Doklam. This could include an incursion somewhere along the India-China Line of Actual Control — indeed, such actions have already been reported. Or China might pursue a “cross-domain” response, for example with punitive cyber attacks or threatening activity in the Indian Ocean.

Third, over the longer term, India should be wary of learning the wrong lessons from the crisis. As one of us has recently written, India has long been preoccupied with the threat of Chinese (and Pakistani) aggression on their common land border. The Doklam standoff may be remembered as even more reason for India to pour more resources into defending its land borders, at the expense of building capabilities and influence in the wider Indian Ocean region. That would only play into China’s hands. Renewed Indian concerns about its land borders will only retard its emergence as an assertive and influential regional power.

The Lessons of Doklam

With the crisis only just being de-escalated, it is too early to derive definitive lessons from Doklam. However, a few policy implications are already apparent. First, Chinese behavior in territorial disputes is more likely to be deterred by denial than by threats of punishment. China will continue the combination of consolidating its physical presence and engaging in coercive diplomacy, lawfare, and media campaigns unless it is stopped directly. This is what India did at Doklam — it directly blocked Chinese efforts to change the status quo. Denial in other areas would require different military tasks — for example, in the Indian Ocean, it may involve anti-submarine warfare and maritime domain awareness.

Second, denial strategies may be effective, but they have their limitations. Denial is inherently risky. Countering China’s playbook involves risks of escalation — which most smaller adversaries, and at times even the United States, are unwilling to accept. Moreover, denial strategies can only serve to halt adversary action, not to reverse what the adversary has already done. As Doklam shows, India could convince China not to proceed with its road-building — but China did not relinquish its claims or its established pattern of presence in the area. Denial by itself offers no pathway to politically resolving the crisis.

Third, the agreement to disengage suggests that Beijing’s position in crises can be flexible, and perhaps responsive to assertive counter-coercion. Domestic audiences, even those in autocracies, often prefer sound judgment to recklessly staying the course. If the Doklam standoff had escalated to a shooting war, anything short of a decisive victory might have put Xi Jinping in an unfavorable position at the 19th Party Congress and hurt the PLA’s image with the Chinese people. But short of that, the Chinese government was always in the position to sell Doklam as a non-event, something the decreasing domestic media coverage suggests it was preparing to do. Beijing will frame the disengagement agreement as further proof of Chinese strength, especially relative to India. As the stronger power, China could magnanimously agree to a mutual disengagement for now while reserving the right to move forward when it sees fit.

Finally, the Doklam agreement, even if it is temporary, tells us that when China confronts a significantly weaker target, such as Bhutan, it will only be deterred by the actions of a stronger third party — in this case, India. Had India not acted, China would likely have been successful in consolidating its control and extracting territorial concessions from Bhutan. Third-party involvement may not be as easy in other cases — India had a privileged position in Bhutan. Such a strategy may also have significant second-order effects. In the near term, it is potentially escalatory — China argued that India has no basis for interfering in this bilateral dispute, and had many options for escalating the crisis at a time and place of its choosing. More broadly, such third-party involvement could intensify geopolitical competition between China and other powers such as the U.S. or India, if they intercede in other countries’ disputes with China. The lesson of Doklam for the United States is that arming small states and imposing incremental costs may not be enough. Washington may have to accept the greater risks associated with intervening more directly if it hopes to counter Chinese expansion in East Asia.

 

Oriana Skylar Mastro is an assistant professor of security studies at Georgetown University. She can be contacted through her website: www.orianaskylarmastro.com. Arzan Tarapore is an adjunct researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation, and a PhD candidate at King’s College London.
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Eh tu MSNBC? on: August 30, 2017, 05:31:55 PM
First Pelosi, now MSNBC?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=1XXbgKUKeRw

A step back from the precipice?

The world retains its ability to surprise.



Lots of smart people see this as the DNC has figured out how damaging the DNC-Antifa is to the DNC brand.

60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The DNC-MSM turns on the DNC-Antifa on: August 30, 2017, 04:33:29 PM
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/371357.php

Bad polling?
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won't Tell Me How on: August 30, 2017, 12:50:18 PM
http://gizmodo.com/facebook-figured-out-my-family-secrets-and-it-wont-tel-1797696163/amp

Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won't Tell Me How

Kashmir Hill
Friday 11:30am
Filed to:CREEPY

Illustration: Jim Cooke/GMG, photo: Getty
Rebecca Porter and I were strangers, as far as I knew. Facebook, however, thought we might be connected. Her name popped up this summer on my list of “People You May Know,” the social network’s roster of potential new online friends for me.

The People You May Know feature is notorious for its uncanny ability to recognize who you associate with in real life. It has mystified and disconcerted Facebook users by showing them an old boss, a one-night-stand, or someone they just ran into on the street.


These friend suggestions go far beyond mundane linking of schoolmates or colleagues. Over the years, I’d been told many weird stories about them, such as when a psychiatrist told me that her patients were being recommended to one another, indirectly outing their medical issues.

What makes the results so unsettling is the range of data sources—location information, activity on other apps, facial recognition on photographs—that Facebook has at its disposal to cross-check its users against one another, in the hopes of keeping them more deeply attached to the site. People generally are aware that Facebook is keeping tabs on who they are and how they use the network, but the depth and persistence of that monitoring is hard to grasp. And People You May Know, or “PYMK” in the company’s internal shorthand, is a black box.

To try to get a look into that black box—and the unknown and apparently aggressive data collection that feeds it—I began downloading and saving the list of people Facebook recommended to me, to see who came up, and what patterns might emerge.

On any given day, it tended to recommend about 160 people, some of them over and over again; over the course of the summer, it suggested more than 1,400 different people to me. About 200, or 15 percent of them, were, in fact, people I knew, but the rest appeared to be strangers.


And then there was Rebecca Porter. She showed up on the list after about a month: an older woman, living in Ohio, with whom I had no Facebook friends in common. I did not recognize her, but her last name was familiar. My biological grandfather is a man I’ve never met, with the last name Porter, who abandoned my father when he was a baby. My father was adopted by a man whose last name was Hill, and he didn’t find out about his biological father until adulthood.

The Porter family lived in Ohio. Growing up half a country away, in Florida, I’d known these blood relatives were out there, but there was no reason to think I would ever meet them.

A few years ago, my father eventually did meet his biological father, along with two uncles and an aunt, when they sought him out during a trip back to Ohio for his mother’s funeral. None of them use Facebook. I asked my dad if he recognized Rebecca Porter. He looked at her profile and said he didn’t think so.

I sent the woman a Facebook message explaining the situation and asking if she was related to my biological grandfather.


“Yes,” she wrote back.

Rebecca Porter, we discovered, is my great aunt, by marriage. She is married to my biological grandfather’s brother; she met him 35 years ago, the year after I was born. Facebook knew my family tree better than I did

“I didn’t know about you,” she told me, when we talked by phone. “I don’t understand how Facebook made the connection.”

It was an enjoyable conversation. After we finished the phone call, I sat still for 15 minutes. I was grateful that Facebook had given me the chance to talk to an unknown relation, but awed and disconcerted by its apparent omniscience.


How Facebook had linked us remained hard to fathom. My father had met her husband in person that one time, after my grandmother’s funeral. They exchanged emails, and my father had his number in his phone. But neither of them uses Facebook. Nor do the other people between me and Rebecca Porter on the family tree.

Facebook is known to buy information from data brokers, and a person who previously worked for the company and who is familiar with how the tool works suggested the familial connection may have been discerned that way. But when asked about that scenario, a Facebook spokesperson said, “Facebook does not use information from data brokers for People You May Know.”

What information had Facebook used, then? The company would not tell me what triggered this recommendation, citing privacy reasons. A Facebook spokesperson said that if the company helped me figure out how it made the connection between me and my great aunt, then every other user who got an unexpected friend suggestion would come around asking for an explanation, too.

It was not a very convincing excuse. Facebook gets people to hand over information about themselves all the time; by what principle would it be unreasonable to sometimes hand some of that information back?


The bigger reason the social network may be shy about revealing how the recommendations work is that many of Facebook’s competitors, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, offer similar features to their users. In a 2010 presentation about PYMK, Facebook’s vice-president of engineering explained its value: “People with more friends use the site more.” There’s a competitive advantage to be gained by being the best at this, meaning Facebook is reluctant to reveal what goes into its algorithm.

The caginess is longstanding. Back in 2009, users getting creepily accurate friend suggestions suspected that Facebook was basing the recommendations on their contact information—which they had volunteered when they first signed up, not realizing Facebook would keep it and use it.

Though Facebook is upfront about its use of contact information now, when asked about it in 2009, the company’s then-chief privacy officer, Chris Kelly, wouldn’t confirm what was going on.

“We are constantly iterating on the algorithm that we use to determine the Suggestions section of the home page,” Kelly told Adweek in 2009. “We do not share details about the algorithm itself.”


Not being told exactly how this tool works is frustrating for users, who want to understand the extent of Facebook’s knowledge about them and how deeply the social network peers into their lives. The spokesperson did say that more than 100 signals go into making the friend recommendations and that no one signal alone would trigger a friend suggestion.

One hundred signals! I told the spokesperson that it might be in the search giant’s interest to be more transparent about how this feature works so that users are less creeped out by it. She said Facebook had “in the name of transparency” recently added more information to its help page explaining how People You May Know works, an update noted by USA Today.

That help page offers a brief bulleted list:

People You May Know suggestions come from things like:

• Having friends in common, or mutual friends. This is the most common reason for suggestions

• Being in the same Facebook group or being tagged in the same photo

• Your networks (example: your school, university or work)

• Contacts you’ve uploaded
Depending on how you count them, the listed possibilities are roughly 95 signals shy of adding up to 100 signals. What are all the others?

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“We’ve chosen to list the most common reasons someone might be suggested as part of People You May Know,” a Facebook spokesperson wrote in an email when asked about the brevity of the list.

Rather than explaining how Facebook connected me to my great aunt, a spokesperson told me via email to delete the suggestion if I don’t like it.

“People don’t always like some of their PYMK suggestions, so one action people can take to control People You May Know is to ‘X’ out suggestions that they are uninterested in,” the spokesperson wrote via email. “This is the best way to tell us that they’re not interested in connecting with someone online and that feedback helps improve our suggestions over time.”

Now, when I look at my friend recommendations, I’m unnerved not just by seeing the names of the people I know offline, but by all the seeming strangers on the list. How many of them are truly strangers, I wonder—and how many are connected to me in ways I’m unaware of. They are not people I know, but are they people I should know?

ADVERTISEMENT

If you’ve had a similar experience with a recommendation, or if you’ve worked on PYMK technology, I could use your help.

This story was produced by Gizmodo Media Group’s Special Projects Desk.

Kashmir Hillkashmir.hill@gizmodomedia.com@kashhill

Kashmir Hill is a senior reporter for the Special Projects Desk, which produces investigative work across all of Gizmodo Media Group's web sites. She writes about privacy and technology.
PGP Fingerprint: AE77 9CA9 59C8 0469 76D5 CC2D 0B3C BD37 D934 E5E9
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: August 29, 2017, 02:05:05 PM
As I understand it, access to healthcare is either controlled by price, or by rationing.
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: August 29, 2017, 10:11:27 AM
Scylla and Charbidis?

On Special Report last night one of the panelists commented that the Norks have overflown Japan three times previously, but apparently not for many years, thus this is the first time since the Norks have gone nuke.   He added that in the Norks mind it may be that they are badly pressed by the dramatic decrease in oil etc due to the new sanctions and as usual feel the need to do something in response to the US-Sork joint exercises.

I'm not seeing anyone yet making the connection that I am-- that an overflight enables an EMP attack.  Perhaps one of the sundry policy makers who read this forum  grin will act upon this?

Back on August 11 President Trump spoke about there being immediate consequences if the Norks messed with us or our allies and there also was his comment that sure sounded like the threat of nuclear devastation.

In "The Odyssey" there was a chapter where Odysseus was sailing between between two monsters and the slightest miscalculation would have led to the doom of his crew and him.  (Names of the monsters?)  President Trump (and we with him) is now sailing between being revealed as a blusterer or a warmonger.  The man's lack of gravitas and the disloyal opposition's near treasonous mindset make him an exceedingly poor candidate for explaining to the country (which has lost its collective mind) what needs to be done.

CCP may be right, it may be game over.  If so, this also means China gets the South China Sea.

FWIW IMHO we do still have game to play.  Trade War with China (Coincidentally Trump is making big tariff noises right now) and enabling the Japanese to go nuke are both big cards to play.

64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: With EMP being a possibility, isn't this an act of war? on: August 28, 2017, 07:54:54 PM
I would certainly think so.

The fact the NorKs got away with it is very disconcerting.


Stratfor Worldview
worldviewer35811493132323


Aug 29, 2017 | 00:07 GMT
North Korea: Latest Missile Test Overflies Hokkaido, Lands in Pacific
North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido before landing in the Pacific Ocean.
(Stratfor)

Save As PDF
At around 5:58 a.m. local time, North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido before landing in the Pacific Ocean. Early indications are that the missile had a flight time of around 14 minutes, had an apogee of 550 kilometers (340 miles) and splashed down some 2,700 kilometers from its launch point. While these numbers point to a medium-range ballistic missile, the possibility remains that the North Koreans either tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with an early engine cutoff or were experimenting with a heavier warhead. Alternatively, the missile could have failed before reaching its full theoretical range. The latter possibility is reinforced by reports that the missile broke into three parts before landing.
 
The launch site of the latest missile test is believed to be near Sunan, where Pyongyang's international airport is located. Launching from this site continues the trend of North Korea testing its missiles from diverse locations across the country. This makes it harder to predict where and when the next North Korean weapons test will occur. It also adds to the difficulty of targeting North Korea's dispersed missile arsenal in a conflict scenario.
 
North Korea is heavily constrained by geography when it comes to testing long-range missiles. There is virtually no direction in which North Korea could launch an IRBM or intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at a standard or minimum-energy trajectory without overflying another country's territory. Previously, Pyongyang sought to sidestep this constraint by testing its long-range missiles at a lofted trajectory, which minimizes the flight distance from the launch point by maximizing the apogee of the missile's flight. North Korea has done this with its latest ICBM and IRBM tests this year. This type of flight profile places more stress on its missiles, but Pyongyang wants to test its long-range missiles in a standard trajectory because it is the trajectory that it would rely on for missile attacks against Guam, Hawaii or the continental United States.
 
Because of its limitations, the missile flight path of today's launch is the least provocative one North Korea could have chosen for a standard trajectory test. The part of Japan that was overflown is lightly populated, and in the event of an accidental impact on Japanese territory it carries the least risk of damage or casualties.
 
In the past, Japan has emphasized its willingness to shoot down any North Korean missile deemed likely to land on Japanese soil. Tokyo, however, has maintained an ambiguous line on whether it would intercept North Korean ballistic missiles overflying its territory. It is risky to try to do so, since a miss could publicly undermine confidence in the country's ballistic missile defenses. Japan also doesn't want to encourage North Korea to test missiles that overfly Japanese territory, though until now Pyongyang has largely limited itself to high-trajectory tests that would splash down in the Sea of Japan or in Japan's exclusive economic zone. Having tested a ballistic missile over Japanese territory — and not one disguised as a satellite launch vehicle, as in previous cases — the North Koreans will feel more emboldened in continuing ballistic missile tests over Japan.
 
65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Panty-fa! on: August 28, 2017, 01:14:44 PM
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/pantyfa%20-2.jpg



http://ace.mu.nu/archives/pantyfa.jpg

66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Slovakia on: August 28, 2017, 12:55:04 PM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIRfvY1XoAA7946.jpg

67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Conservatism Is Not A Suicide Pact on: August 28, 2017, 09:46:46 AM
https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/08/28/conservatism-is-not-a-suicide-pact-n2373543

Conservatism Is Not A Suicide Pact
Kurt Schlichter |Posted: Aug 28, 2017 12:01 AM

The whiny wailing and rending of garments (mostly bow ties) by the True Cons over President Trump pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio brings to mind another president’s choice when a loyal supporter was the victim of a liberal witch hunt. President Bush was an honorable man, but the way he allowed Scooter Libby and the Libby family to be ruined and impoverished over what everyone knew was a skeevy liberal political vendetta before issuing a partial commutation is to W’s lasting shame. His excuse: the Rule of Law or something.

But, as anyone willing to see knows, today the Rule of Law is a unicorn and it has been for a long time. I like the Rule of Law, and I’ve been warning for years about what happens when it goes away. Yet we are where we are, whether we like it or not. We’re in a land where the law is only intermittently and selectively applicable. Allowing allies to suffer in an effort to pretend that all is well is not going to bring the Rule of Law back. Nostalgia for the Rule of Law no excuse for tolerating an injustice to an ally. Hell, undoing injustices is what the pardon power is for.

What will bring the Rule of Law back? How do we get to the Conserva-Eden we are expected to act like we already reside it? Perhaps another statement of principle? Maybe another post on some unread conservajournal? I know – how about more complaining about how frustrated conservatives are uncouth and should just sit there and take whatever fascist garbage the left dishes out?


I always thought it was conservative to punish wrongdoers. The other side abandoned the Rule of Law, so I would think that they might – maybe – learn a lesson by experiencing the consequences of their bad choice. But apparently punishing wrongdoers is now off the table because some other principle, of which I was unaware during nearly four decades inside conservatism, requires we never ever retaliate.

You know, I’m not sure that’s a thing. And I have to say – it’s tiresome getting Rule of Law lectures from people who are perfectly happy to have the president ignore immigration laws that they don’t dig.

So, my finger-wagging True Con friends, what’s your plan? How do we go from liberals abandoning the Rule of Law, and such ancillary and associated components of a society based on liberty like free speech and free enterprise, to a liberty-based society operating under the Rule of Law? “Elect more True Cons!” isn’t a plan; it’s an aspiration, and not much of one. I don’t need another cliché, or another citation to general principles, or some variant of my new favorite, all-purpose get-out-of-having-an-actual-plan-free card, the old “We’re better than this” line.


My plan is to cause the left so much pain by applying their new rules to them that they give up trying to grind their Birkenstocks into our faces forever. Yes, as a practical matter that means allying with President Trump, guy I formerly criticized in detail and without restraint, and who was my 16th of 17 choices in the primary (Jeb! was last because he’s an insufferable wuss and I won’t suffer him).

See, I reject the notion we are ever somehow morally obligated by conservative principles to lose to liberals. If I have to swallow something awful, I’ll take half a loaf any day over an entire loaf of liberal dung like Felonia von Pantsuit. I think the new rules are terrible, and they are antithetical to everything I’ve worked for since before many of my Fredocon critics were a tinge of regret growing in their mommies’ bellies the morning after. But I refuse to sit back and allow libs to be victorious because I won’t dirty my hands fighting fire with fire. If that makes me not conservative enough for some, I can live with that. I can’t live with leftist tyranny.


So, now you True Cons know my plan. It might work, it might not. But it’s a plan. Now, what’s your plan to achieve that conservative utopia you keep talking about? Let me lay out the situation straightforward from here in three steps:

Liberals are attacking the foundations of a society based on the liberties enshrined in the Constitution.
?
A society based on the liberties enshrined in the Constitution.
So, what’s Step Two?

Come on, lay it out. In detail. Feel free to tweet it to me! But I want a plan. No clichés, no citations to Burke, no airy statements of general principle. A plan. Lay it on me. Step Two - what’s your plan?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.


Hmmmm. See, I don’t think you True Cons really have a plan.

Abstract principles are not a plan. A couple weeks ago I wrote about how, now that the tech companies that dominate the flow of information and discourse in our society have decided to insert their politics into their businesses, we should use our political power to ruthlessly regulate them back into neutrality if they persist. It’s an awful idea, in principle, and I’d like to avoid it. But I’d also like to avoid conservatives being utterly banished from the internet.

What was the True Con response? “Free enterprise, blah blah blah.” Yeah, okay, got it. I sure appreciate the 411 on this newfangled “free enterprise” thing. (I should totally learn about it – thanks, 22-year old marketing major with a subscription to The Weekly Standard!) Lots of cant, but no concrete, coherent solutions. My favorite was the guy who suggested the solution was to start my own Google in my garage, except my garage is full of junk. Oh, and by the time we collected a few billion in capital and built an entire new tech mega-corp that somehow escaped being smothered by Google as we grew, every search on Google would return a link to something approved by Hillary Clinton.

I think you want to rely on the power of conservative ideas and sort of hope they spontaneously erupt into a conservative paradise via a right wing Big Bang without you actually having to fight for them. After all, fighting is messy and unseemly, and you also have to ally yourselves with … those kind of people, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. It’s so embarrassing having to explain them to your liberal peers. Many of these misbegotten normals are baffled by fancy sandwiches and stuff.

Before you give me more grief for allying with the Republican in the White House – you know, that guy your party elected – I’m going to need your plan. See, we need real solutions, and my solution is fighting back hard and ruthlessly. I say make our enemies feel the pain they would inflict upon us because it might change their behavior – again, there was a time when conservatives believed in punishing wrongdoers. I also support fighting back because it denies them victory and dominance over us – do you have any illusions that Hillary Clinton and her pet Supreme Court would not be imposing/upholding “hate speech” bans that would silence anyone to the right of Angela Davis if we had not blocked her with Donald Trump? And I also support fighting back because you cannot simply sit back and allow yourself to be repeatedly beaten and humiliated without utterly destroying your side’s morale. Denying the enemy the head of Sheriff Joe had tangible value beyond its substantive justice (Jury? We don’t need no stinking juries to put an American citizen in prison!).

I’m looking for a plan, not another lecture, not another mournful dirge to my lack of True Conservativishness, not another spittle-flecked outburst from some nepotism-pumped hack whose influence has recently waned after years of ineffective “conservative leadership.” We have Trump, and at least he’s not Hillary. At least we aren’t actively losing, and we’re even winning occasionally. If you have a better idea, then stop sitting on the sidelines complaining and share your plan. The rest of us, the ones out on the field with dirt under our fingernails, are awaiting your insights.
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science: AGW causing extreme heat and droughts on: August 27, 2017, 11:18:21 PM

Obviously global warming is to blame.
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: One question on: August 27, 2017, 09:24:49 AM
What will the world look like when NK has ICBMs and Iran nuts and ICBMs?

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/trumps-white-house-iran-deal-team-has-collapsed-what-now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX9hL93HPMI

No worries. I've been told Iran is a rational actor!
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homicidal Rhetoric Increasing Likelihood of More Widespread Violence on: August 26, 2017, 09:11:07 PM
https://www.ammoland.com/2017/08/homicidal-rhetoric-increasing-likelihood-of-more-widespread-physical-violence/

Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2017/08/homicidal-rhetoric-increasing-likelihood-of-more-widespread-physical-violence/
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
Follow us: @Ammoland on Twitter | Ammoland on Facebook

Homicidal Rhetoric Increasing Likelihood of More Widespread Violence

Posted on August 26, 2017 by David Codrea
By David Codrea


Where's the outrage over Nancy Pelosi not condemning this?

David Codrea in his natural habitat.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “The Alt-left does not even hide their violent threats against conservatives,” Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit noted Thursday. “Of course, you will never see this reported by the #FakeNews media.”

“The patriot prayer rally is a nazi white supremacist event,” so-called alt-left “leader” Jordan Towers threatened. “I’ll be their [sic] to crush some nazi [sic] skulls.”

Towers deleted the nailed bat photo he posted on Twitter after backlash. Anyone connected with popular culture can’t help but make the connection between what such a weapon is capable of doing and its similarity to the barbed wire-wrapped “Lucille,” sickeningly used by the totalitarian-minded Negan character on “The Walking Dead.”

"Lucile""Lucile"
“Lucille”
At the very least this is an instance of what the snowflakes call “cyberbullying,” and an attempt to chill political speech by disouraging attendance at a permitted rally by those he opposes. Seeing the hypocritical for-the-media meltdown the gun-grabbers had over NRA’s Dana Loesch using the words “clenched fist of truth” while calling out “The Violence of Lies,” Towers will be lucky if it’s not considered a terrorist threat. It's certainly a stronger message than the one Democrat Rep. Kathleen Rice had a fake cow over.

But just because he ran away from his tweet, he’s still advocating violence against those he hates on his Twitter feed. And that appears to be anyone he hates and then smears as a Nazi. But he’s doing it letting others take the heat, by retweeting a Huffington Post story titled “Teacher Accused Of Punching Neo-Nazi Says Standing Up To Fascism Isn’t A Crime.”

It is if you’re the one initiating violence. It doesn’t matter if you hate a person and hate their beliefs. Aggressors don’t get to claim “self-defense.”

It’s kind of funny to me, because I can’t help but recall the time the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (formerly the National Coalition to Ban Handguns, but that name didn’t really fit since they want to ban rifles, too) accused me of, well, read it for yourself:

“Quotes from David Codrea:

“Careful … You’re talking about testing the ultimate last-resort purpose behind the Second Amendment. Some of us armed Americans take our Bill of Rights seriously and will not go gentle into that good night, bundled or by ourselves. You and your fellow travelers are playing a most dangerous game.”

“Source: Codrea responding to a columnist who suggested that “Anyone who shows up armed at a forum where a public official or political candidate is due to appear ought to be detained—and possibly prosecuted.” Guns Magazine, ‘The Most Dangerous Game,’ January 2010”

Here’s the source and that’s what I wrote. But they absolutely “misrepresented” the context.

I was responding directly to lines from “The Guns of August” by statist cheerleader and “political cartoonist” Ted Rall, and my article made that clear. Here’s what he said about armed demonstrators who were breaking no laws:

“These town hall terrorists could be declared enemy combatants and bundled off to Bagram with the stroke of a pen. If ever there were a reason for suspending civil rights, this is it.”


Would you go gently? (Eliza Griswold, “Fair use.”)
Just in case we're still not clear, Rall is saying he wants government enforcers to take gun owners who have committed no violation of any law, but who have peaceably assembled in protest as per our First Amendment-recognized right—to a reported torture camp, without due process, without trial…Jeez, and to think “progressives” ridicule Oath Keepers for saying they wouldn't obey such orders…

What kind of devoid-of-principles coward wouldn't oppose armed enforcers trying to do that to free Americans? And what kind of subversive traitor to every precept of the Republic, not to mention common decency, would hold that against a man and view it as an opportunity for his public condemnation?

The kind who calls Americans who believe in liberty “Nazis,” and threatens to bring spiked bats to political rallies… And you don‘t even have to be at a rally. You can just be wearing a hat some violent Marxist moron doesn’t like and end up getting a beer bottle shoved in your face. Or walking to class.

The “right” is responsible for its share of offenses, some will counter, but don’t stand for that bit of deceptive conflation. Americans who believe in the Constitution of limited government powers and the Bill of Rights can be neither Nazis nor fascists.  And besides, despite what demonstrable liars insist, Hitler “was, at heart, a left-winger.”

Those who identify themselves as authoritarian collectivists exclude themselves from the ranks of those who believe in liberty for all. They’re closer in collectivist ideology to the guy who gloats ”Communism is coming.”

That would be the guy with the spiked bat.

Anybody up for some “common sense gun safety laws”?

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kindergartners Traumatized by 'Transition Party' for Transgirl on: August 26, 2017, 03:11:15 PM
https://pjmedia.com/parenting/2017/08/23/kindergartners-traumatized-transition-party-transgirl-parents-outraged/

Kindergartners Traumatized by 'Transition Party' for Transgirl
 BY MEGAN FOX AUGUST 23, 2017 CHAT 8 COMMENTS

(Image via YouTube)
A public charter school in California (of course) is under fire from outraged parents of 5-8-year-olds who were forced to attend a "transition party" for a little boy who thinks he is a girl. The party included a series of transgender propaganda books read to students before the boy went into the bathroom and then came out dressed like a girl. At this point in the event, the teacher explained that the students were to now to address him as a her and gave "her" a new name. Parents received no notification of this event ahead of time. The Rocklin Academy has been inundated with complaints after kids came home traumatized.

“There were several of the little girls that went to their parents and were crying and saying, ‘mommy or daddy, am I going to turn into a boy?’”And a boy who hadn’t given “gender” a single thought before is now asking his mother if he can dress as a girl for school, added Keller.
The school claims that it did not have to notify parents about this because it's not sex education or something.

District Superintendent Robin Stout told Fox40News that parents were not notified because kids can’t opt out of gender identity and expression lessons.
The school board also held a special session on the matter on July 31, which included a presentation on California law by Young, Minney & Corr law firm that echoed Stout’s assertions.

According to that presentation, since January 2016, state law allows parents to only opt their children out of sex education.

“Diversity and tolerance curricula are not ‘sex education,’” it emphasized.

That's interesting. So now teaching kindergartners about "diverse" sexual proclivities is not sex ed? There is a high probability that the reason they did not notify parents is because they knew there would be loud objections to the systematic abuse of children by their teachers. The book that was used is called I Am Jazz, written by a seriously disturbed transgender teen who has a reality show on TLC by the same name. In this clip from the show, the boy is grilling his father about his mother's vagina and what it looks like. I'm not joking. This is the kind of trash that teachers and principals of schools think is okay for your kindergartner. Sources say the book I Am Jazz is graphic and gross. It was bad enough that several students left school that day in tears.


TLC Show 'I Am Jazz' Celebrates Child Abuse, Not Responsible Parenting
There were also idiot parents who were very proud of themselves for being so tolerant and accepting and had a marvelous time waxing virtuous to the press about how wonderful the event was for their children.

It was so precious to see that he had absolutely no prejudice in his body. My child just went in there and listened to the story, and didn't relate it to anything malicious, or didn't question his own body.
Soooo inclusive. Sooooo forward thinking. Sooooo tiresome. I don't care what kind of tripe you want to teach your kid in the privacy of your own home. Parents have the right to be morons and teach their son that he can be a girl if he wants to be. But there must be some kind of standard in schools where school officials stay OUT of this kind of unscientific garbage. What about the parents who are not going to teach their children that the sex organs they were born with are swappable? What about those of us who are going to teach them about actual biology and chromosomes that can't change on a whim? Why is there never any tolerance or acceptance of us?

As is the answer to most dilemmas these days, homeschool is really the only option to avoid psychotic teachers and administrators who think it's their job to convert your kid into self-abuse. Pull your kids out of the public system now before they come home asking for a sex change.
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Four countries hit w visa sanctions on: August 26, 2017, 02:44:32 PM

Long overdue.
73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / America may have 3.5 million more voters than eligible adult citizens on: August 26, 2017, 01:35:35 PM
https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/11/america-may-35-million-voters-eligible-adult-citizens

America may have 3.5 million more voters than eligible adult citizens

In the United States, there are over 3.5 million more people registered to vote than there are living adult citizens. Such staggering inaccuracy is an engraved invitation to vote fraud.
The Election Integrity Project of Judicial Watch, a Washington-based legal-watchdog group, analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 - 2015 American Community Survey and last month's statistics from the federal Election Assistance Commission. The latter included figures from 38 states. According to Judicial Watch, 11 states gave the EAC insufficient or questionable information. Pennsylvania's legitimate numbers place it just below the over-registration threshold.
My tabulation of Judicial Watch's state-by-state results yielded 462 counties where the registration rate exceeded 100 percent. There were 3,551,760 more people registered to vote than adult U.S. citizens who inhabit these counties.

"That's enough over-registered voters to populate a ghost-state about the size of Connecticut," Judicial Watch attorney Robert Popper told me.
Among some 2,500 U.S. counties for which Judicial Watch had data, these 462 counties (18.5 percent of those studied) exhibit this ghost-voter problem. These range from 101 percent over-registration in Delaware's New Castle County to New Mexico's Harding County, where there are 62 percent more registered voters than living, breathing adult citizens.
Washington's Clark County is worrisome, given its 154 percent over-registration rate. This includes 166,811 ghost voters. Georgia's Fulton County seems less nettlesome at 108 percent over-registration, but for the 53,172 Atlantans who compose that figure.
But California's San Diego County earns the enchilada grande. Its 138 percent over-registration translates into 810,966 ghost voters. Los Angeles County's 112 percent rate equals 707,475 over-registrations. Beyond the official data that it received, Judicial Watch reports that L.A. County employees "informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144 percent of the total number of resident citizens of voting age."

All told, California is a veritable haunted house, teeming with 1,736,556 ghost voters. Judicial Watch last week wrote Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla and authorities in 11 counties and documented how their election records are in shambles.

"California's voting rolls are an absolute mess that undermines the very idea of clean elections," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "It is urgent that California take reasonable steps to clean up its rolls. We will sue if state officials fail to act."
Ronald Reagan's California has devolved into a reliably far-left stronghold. While pristine voter rolls should be a given in a constitutional republic with democratic elections, even that improvement might be too little to make the Golden State competitive in presidential elections.
The same cannot be said for battleground states, in which Electoral College votes can be decided by incredibly narrow margins. Consider the multitude of ghost voters in:
• Colorado: 159,373
• Florida: 100,782

• Iowa: 31,077
• Michigan: 225,235
• New Hampshire: 8,211
• North Carolina: 189,721
• Virginia: 89,979

President Donald J. Trump's supporters might be intrigued to learn that Hillary Clinton's margins of victory in Colorado and New Hampshire were lower than the numbers of ghost voters in those states. Clinton's fans should know that Trump won Michigan and North Carolina by fewer ballots than ghost voters in those states.
Perhaps these facts will encourage Democrats to join the GOP-dominated effort to remove ineligible felons, ex-residents, non-citizens and dead people from the voter rolls — for all contests, not just presidential races.
Under federal law, the 1993 National Voter Registration Act and the 2002 Help America Vote Act require states to maintain accurate voter lists. Nonetheless, some state politicians ignore this law. Governor Terry McAuliffe, D-Virginia, vetoed a measure mandating investigations of elections in which ballots outnumbered eligible voters.
Even more suspiciously, when GOP Gov. Rick Scott tried to obey these laws and update Florida's records, including deleting 51,308 deceased voters, Obama's Justice Department sued to stop him.
Whether Americans consider vote fraud a Republican hoax, a Democratic tactic, or something in between, everyone should agree that it's past time to exorcise ghost voters from the polls.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online.
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / You saw it here first... on: August 26, 2017, 01:30:42 PM
http://www.dailywire.com/news/20027/watch-woke-millennials-say-theyd-prefer-venezuelas-james-barrett#

WATCH: 'Woke' Millennials Hilariously Say They'd Prefer Venezuela's Food Lines Over America's Income Inequality
Venezuela's "a lot like the rest of the world, which is a lot more dignified than us."
Screenshot: Ami Horowitz

ByJAMES BARRETT August 21, 2017  209.1k views
In a new video, Ami Horowitz hits the streets to find out what’s rattling around in the younger generation’s collective mind on the hot button millennial topics of income inequality and socialism — particularly, the socialist utopia Venezuela, which is experiencing economic collapse, prompting crisis-level food shortages and the eruption of violence on the streets.

Horowitz ended up finding what anyone paying any attention to the Democratic presidential primary last year will not be surprised to learn: the generation which adores “Democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders hates income inequality so much that they’d be glad to stand in Venezuelan-style food lines so others could have as little as them.


Horowitz begins with the general question of "how important is income equality for you?"

"It’s extremely important," says one girl.

"Pretty important — I work for the working families," says a guy with a beard and a bandana.

"100%. I think that it’s really important and something that has to be taken care of," says another young lady.

"It’s really important, of course," says one young social-minded woman, who’s almost insulted by the question. "Right, it seems like a trick question," her friend adds.

One millennial guy in glasses waxes poetical on the issue: "Income inequality is definitely one of those issues from which everything else sort of stems off of. ... Other issues will perpetuate it — when you want to talk about climate change, and that sort of thing ..."

Horowitz then asks the interviewees, all of whom no doubt are "still feeling the Bern," if they think that we should model ourselves on another country that promises "income equality": Venezuela, which, he explains, is in the midst of an economic death spiral to the point where it is experiencing dire food shortages and frequent violence between citizens and police forces. Despite the hellish reality of Venezuela’s failed socialist state, all of his interviewees still thought Venezuela’s day-long food lines would be preferable to the United States’ selfish, "undignified" capitalistic system.


“Even though there’s some downside, there’s some violence there and some food lines," Horowitz says to bandana guy, "but still everyone has to do the same thing — they wait in line equally."

Though the young man appears to be quite knowledgeable about Venezuela, nodding and agreeing with Horowitz' description of its crisis situation, he still agrees with Horowitz that it’s better to "wait in line equally."

"That is, I think, a fair system," says Horowitz.

"I agree," says bandana guy emphatically.

Interviewee after interviewee agrees that modeling ourselves after Venezuela is a great idea because America is just too unfair and "undignified."

"If you gotta wait in line for stuff, we should all wait in line together," says Horowitz.

"Right," says one student. "Essentially," says another.

"A lot like the rest of the world, which is a lot more dignified than us," says one young woman, who has clearly internalized exactly what her Multiculturalism class was designed to teach her.


Watch below:


An October 2016 survey by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 45% of millennials would vote for an open socialist and 21% said they would vote for a communist. A majority, 53%, said that capitalism "works against me." Nearly a third, 32%, thought George W. Bush was responsible for the deaths of more people than Josef Stalin, while only a quarter of them “knew that communism is responsible for the slaughter of over 100 million people." That's liberal education at work.

As for Venezuela, if you haven't been following the tragedy playing out there, here's The Washington Post's urgent call from this summer for people to realize that "Venezuela's hunger crisis is for real," and here's CNN Money's explanation of "how a rich country collapsed." Finally, here's The Daily Wire's Michael Qazvini recent piece on the ways socialism destroyed the country.
75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism on: August 26, 2017, 01:21:13 PM
https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/08/25/cnn-ordinary-people-are-white-supremacists-by-default/


http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/23/how-anti-white-rhetoric-is-fueling-white-nationalism/

How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism
White people are being asked—or pushed—to take stock of their whiteness and identify with it more. This is a remarkably bad idea.
 David Marcus By David Marcus
MAY 23, 2016
I opened Twitter recently and saw 20+ notifications. Most of the time that means the new generation of white nationalist Twitter trolls are filling my feed with racist and anti-Semitic cartoons. It was the trolls, but this was different. They were celebrating my use of the word “anti-white” in a tweet. They saw it as a victory that a “mainstream conservative” was using this term that for so long has been their calling card.

They had a point. Until recently I would have been unlikely to use the term. Not because I didn’t believe some people harbored animosity towards whites, but because that was a fringe attitude removed from power, which represented little real threat. That is no longer the case. Progressive rhetoric on race has turned an ugly corner and the existence of “anti-white” attitudes can no longer be ignored.


In the past year, all of the following headlines have appeared, in well-read publications:

The White Guy Problem
White Men Must be Stopped: The Very Future of Mankind Depends on It
I Don’t Know What To Do With Good White People
Ten Things White People Need To Stop Saying
Dear White People: Here’s a List of Things We’d Wish You’d Stop Doing
What is new is the direct indictment of white people as a race. This happened through a strange rhetorical transformation over the past few years. At first, “white men are our greatest threat” postings tended to be ironic, a way of putting the racist shoe on the other foot. They were meant to show that blaming an entire race for the harmful actions of a few individuals is senseless.

Then the tenor changed. What started as irony turned into an actual belief that white people, specifically white men, are more dangerous and immoral than any other people. Loosely backed up by historical inequities and disparities in mass shootings, this position has begun to take a serious foothold.

Don’t Ask White People to Be More Tribal
Strikingly, this shift in rhetoric undermines what was once the core of anti-racist efforts. Treating people equally has given way to making all of us ambassadors for our race. This is a classic theme in critical race theory, that people of color carry a burden of representation that white people do not. But foisting the baggage of representation onto white people doesn’t solve that problem. It makes it worse.

Treating people equally has given way to making all of us ambassadors for our race.

White people are being asked—or pushed—to take stock of their whiteness and identify with it more. This is a remarkably bad idea. The last thing our society needs is for white people to feel more tribal. The result of this tribalism will not be a catharsis of white identity, improving equality for non-whites. It will be resentment towards being the only tribe not given the special treatment bestowed by victimhood.

A big part of the reason white Americans have been willing to go along with policies that are prejudicial on their face, such as affirmative action, is that they do not view themselves as a tribe. Given the inequality of resources favoring whites in our society, it is a good thing that white people view themselves as the ones without an accent. Should that change, white privilege (whatever one views that to be) will not be eviscerated—it will be entrenched.

The Tipping Point of Whiteness
All of this comes at a time when the last immigrants from the great wave of white immigration from 1850-1920 have died off. In the past, most whites identified with their European ethnicity: Irish, Italian, German, etc. As white people gravitate away from such identities, many see themselves as a neutral, “non racial” population. The Left criticizes this refusal to see themselves as “white,” but it is far preferable to the alternative: an American white population that views itself as a special-interest group.

The Left criticizes this refusal to see themselves as ‘white,’ but it is far preferable to the alternative.
The recurring, tired refrain that we should have a white history month if there is a black history month, or white student unions on campuses, is unintentionally being given new life by the Left. Celebrations or organizations of whiteness do not exist because we don’t need them. White people do not face the same kinds of systemic discrimination that people of color do. But progressives are doing a very good job of convincing white people that they do.


When parents of Virginia high school students complained about a white privilege video being shown to their kids, they rightfully noted that their kids were being singled out based on their race. The video featured a foot race in which people of color were burdened by impediments while the white people ran free. It was absolutely fair for them to interpret this as a message to their kids saying, “Your accomplishments are easier and less valuable than those of your peers of color.”

Many parents object to this method of teaching about race relations. While some white people, especially those in the academy and the arts, find the acceptance of privilege and its associated guilt liberating, many do not. Privilege theory is also not being offered as one of many ways to confront and consider racism; it is being offered as the central way. This was brilliantly explored in 2010 by the Midwestern Critical Whiteness Collective’s (MCWC’s) article in Harvard Education Review, “McIntosh as Synecdoche: How Teacher Education Focus on White Privilege Undermines Anti Racism.”

Privilege Theory Is the Wrong Track
The McIntosh in question is Peggy McIntosh, whose 1988 essay “Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack” formed the foundation of privilege theory. The essay is mostly a list of ways in which white people receive better treatment in society. The MCWC describes McIntosh’s theory as a synecdoche because it has come to define the totality of education’s anti-racism efforts. It is meant to be the magic pill that clarifies things and sets us on the right course once consumed.

Many disadvantaged white students reject the notion of their grand privileges and resented the key confessional component of white privilege education.
They found that many disadvantaged white students reject the notion of their grand privileges and resented the key confessional component of white privilege education. One case study involved an education student named John, from a small, non-diverse town. In his final essay for the class John explained his reaction to McIntosh: “I got the feeling from it that it was more about trying to make white males feel guilty for things they most likely had no control over. Being a white male I got a little worked up about the whole list since I don’t feel like I have anything to apologize for.”


John rolled his eyes at privilege theory. However, his teacher reported that other ways of exploring racism and multiculturalism such as films on race relations and historical texts broadened John’s empathy towards non-white people. John was able to reject confession while still becoming a better anti-racist educator. This made John’s teacher wonder whether confessional white privilege is the universally beneficial educational tool it is made out to be. The collective found that it is not.

In its blunt conclusion, the collective writes: “McIntosh’s conception of white privilege has been at the center of anti-racist thought and action in teacher education. We argue, however, that McIntosh’s ideas simplify white racial identity in dangerous ways. We also demonstrate that white privilege pedagogy demands confession, but that confession is a dead end. Finally, we propose that white supremacy needs to replace white privilege as the central concern of our anti-racist efforts.”

Abetting White Supremacy
When privilege theory took root in the 1990s, society roundly condemned the outward expression of racist attitudes. This is why the focus shifted to the ways in which white people were racist without even knowing it. Importantly, all white people were guilty of this form of racism. The act of confessing privilege became the means through which white people discovered this hidden racism.

The shift to the privilege model had an unintended consequence that is abetting white supremacy.
But, as the past year has shown us, good old-fashioned white supremacy was not gone; it was simply driven underground. Not only was white supremacy still extant, it was going more or less unaddressed. The shift to the privilege model had an unintended consequence that is abetting white supremacy.

One can teach against white supremacy by encouraging students to treat everyone as equal, or at least as individuals not defined in important ways by their race. Privilege theory does not allow for this approach. It demands that differences be front and center and that we always consider a person’s race in considering him. This focus on “valuing differences” over “the colorblind model” unlocked the door to the white supremacist revival that today’s anti-white rhetoric has kicked open.

White Grievance On the Rise
It surprises many people that an increasing number of white Americans over the past decade believe whites face more discrimination than blacks. Obviously this feeling is inconsistent with economic data. Many have argued that a white fear of losing the dominant economic place in society is behind this belief. But what if the discrimination that white people are feeling and expressing is not primarily economic in nature?

He was upset at having to confess guilt for events he had no control over. Many whites feel this way.
This brings us back to John. What got him “worked up” about privilege theory was not that he’d have to compete for jobs with minorities. He was upset at having to confess guilt for events he had no control over. Many whites feel this way. Moreover, many resent the pedagogical transformations that their history and culture are undergoing. White historical figures once held in too high esteem have swung the other way into utter disrepute. Also, the histories of no other peoples are being held to these lofty standards.

Mohandas Gandhi’s racism, the Black Panthers’ vicious murders, and Santa Anna’s barbarism are understood within the context of their positive contributions. Increasingly, white Americans perceive that Columbus, Jefferson, Jackson, and many other core white historical figures are consistently brought down a peg in order to decentralize whiteness in history. This assault on their history has a deeper impact than many on the Left are aware of, or willing to admit.

Rise of the White Race Baiters
The combination of the confessional and universal aspects of white privilege and the reconstruction of white history has opened the door for white racial grievance-mongers. From 2014 to 2015, the number of active Klu Klux Klan chapters in the United States grew from 72 to 190, a massive increase for a group so closely associated with hatred. Along with these organized efforts, social media has given a dangerous new platform to white supremacists.

One of the key components to the success of this racism is the almost-daily parade of silly micro-aggressions and triggers.
One of the key components to the success of this racism is the almost-daily parade of silly micro-aggressions and triggers, specifically on college campuses. Conservative media seize upon disputes over the cultural appropriation of taco night or banning hoopskirts as evidence that minority racial grievance has gotten unhinged.

In emerging white nationalist journals such as Radix, this constant drumbeat of attack against white insensitivity is viewed gravely. What results is a belief among a growing number of whites in the concepts of “white genocide” and “racial realism.”

Both “white genocide” and “racial realism” harken back to the worst elements of American racial history. The former reacts in horror to the races mixing sexually for fear of resulting offspring being impure. The latter pretends to take a cold, scientific look at demography to prove the superiority of the white race. Ideas of this ilk, until recently thought to be confined to a fringe dustbin, have taken on new life in our hyper-racialized society.

Young white men, reacting to social and educational constructs that paint them as the embodiment of historical evil, are fertile ground for white supremacists. They are very aware of the dichotomy between non-white culture, which must be valued at all times (even in the midst of terror attacks), and white culture, which must be criticized and devalued. They don’t like it.

Same Tactics, Different Sides
The result of these societal double standards is for many a desire to lash out against it. For every white college student who dutifully accepts his privilege, many more resent the idea and wish to fight it. The sharpest arrow in their quiver is to be offensive.

In reducing all phenomena to a question of race, both the alt right and the progressive left ensure the dominance of racial resentment as the lynchpin of our society.
This desire to be offensive has given rise to the “alt right.” Supporters of this loosely assembled white nationalist movement understand a playful aspect to its use of slurs. But just as the Left shifted from using anti-white rhetoric as an ironic device to an actual indictment of white culture, so has the alt right come to believe much of its troubling rhetoric.

Do the alt right Twitter trolls really want Jews turned into lampshades, or believe blacks are apes? Many of their supporters say no, that such rhetoric is simply meant to shock the system. They feel oppressed by political correctness and they challenge it, in over-the-top, offensive ways.

If this seems familiar, it should. It is exactly the same approach taken by social justice warriors and purveyors of anti-white rhetoric. The shocking “White Men Are Bad” hot takes serve the same purpose. They are also meant to shock the system. Just as the alt right is willing to denigrate minorities to make plain what they view as racist speech codes, the Left is willing to denigrate straight, white men to make plain what they view as widespread systemic racism.

For both groups the central theme is identity. That theme quickly calcifies into attitudes too brittle to hold up serious discourse. In reducing all phenomena to a question of race, both the alt right and the progressive left ensure the dominance of racial resentment as the lynchpin of our society.

Let’s Find Another Way Forward
W.E.B. Du Bois was born just three years after the end of slavery, but was bullish on the prospects of equality, he writes in “The Souls of Black Folks.”

Work, culture, liberty,—all these we need, not singly but together, not successively but together, each growing and aiding each, and all striving toward that vaster ideal that swims before the Negro people, the ideal of human brotherhood, gained through the unifying ideal of Race; the ideal of fostering and developing the traits and talents of the Negro, not in opposition to or contempt for other races, but rather in large conformity to the greater ideals of the American Republic…
Modern progressives don’t talk about the “greater ideals of the American Republic.” Rather, those ideals have become suspect, empty words used to justify slavery and genocide. But for Du Bois, who was closer to slavery than any of us will ever be, this was not the case. The facile notion that some inherent evil of whiteness must be expunged is anathema to his entire vision of equality and reconciliation.

Put simply, our anti-racism efforts must be refocused away from guilt and confession and towards equality and eradicating irrational judgments based on race. Some on the Left will object, saying that racism is so systemic in society it must be purged before anyone can pretend to treat of others without taking race into account. Some on the Right will object, saying that everything from IQ tests to crime statistics prove something meaningful about the capabilities of individuals based on their race.

Both of these perspectives must be rejected. In their place, we must return to the goal of treating people as individuals, not as representatives of their race.

David Marcus is a senior contributor to the Federalist and the Artistic Director of Blue Box World, a Brooklyn based theater project. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.



76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism on: August 26, 2017, 01:14:16 PM
http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/23/how-anti-white-rhetoric-is-fueling-white-nationalism/

How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism
White people are being asked—or pushed—to take stock of their whiteness and identify with it more. This is a remarkably bad idea.
 David Marcus By David Marcus
MAY 23, 2016
I opened Twitter recently and saw 20+ notifications. Most of the time that means the new generation of white nationalist Twitter trolls are filling my feed with racist and anti-Semitic cartoons. It was the trolls, but this was different. They were celebrating my use of the word “anti-white” in a tweet. They saw it as a victory that a “mainstream conservative” was using this term that for so long has been their calling card.

They had a point. Until recently I would have been unlikely to use the term. Not because I didn’t believe some people harbored animosity towards whites, but because that was a fringe attitude removed from power, which represented little real threat. That is no longer the case. Progressive rhetoric on race has turned an ugly corner and the existence of “anti-white” attitudes can no longer be ignored.


In the past year, all of the following headlines have appeared, in well-read publications:

The White Guy Problem
White Men Must be Stopped: The Very Future of Mankind Depends on It
I Don’t Know What To Do With Good White People
Ten Things White People Need To Stop Saying
Dear White People: Here’s a List of Things We’d Wish You’d Stop Doing
What is new is the direct indictment of white people as a race. This happened through a strange rhetorical transformation over the past few years. At first, “white men are our greatest threat” postings tended to be ironic, a way of putting the racist shoe on the other foot. They were meant to show that blaming an entire race for the harmful actions of a few individuals is senseless.

Then the tenor changed. What started as irony turned into an actual belief that white people, specifically white men, are more dangerous and immoral than any other people. Loosely backed up by historical inequities and disparities in mass shootings, this position has begun to take a serious foothold.

Don’t Ask White People to Be More Tribal
Strikingly, this shift in rhetoric undermines what was once the core of anti-racist efforts. Treating people equally has given way to making all of us ambassadors for our race. This is a classic theme in critical race theory, that people of color carry a burden of representation that white people do not. But foisting the baggage of representation onto white people doesn’t solve that problem. It makes it worse.

Treating people equally has given way to making all of us ambassadors for our race.

White people are being asked—or pushed—to take stock of their whiteness and identify with it more. This is a remarkably bad idea. The last thing our society needs is for white people to feel more tribal. The result of this tribalism will not be a catharsis of white identity, improving equality for non-whites. It will be resentment towards being the only tribe not given the special treatment bestowed by victimhood.

A big part of the reason white Americans have been willing to go along with policies that are prejudicial on their face, such as affirmative action, is that they do not view themselves as a tribe. Given the inequality of resources favoring whites in our society, it is a good thing that white people view themselves as the ones without an accent. Should that change, white privilege (whatever one views that to be) will not be eviscerated—it will be entrenched.

The Tipping Point of Whiteness
All of this comes at a time when the last immigrants from the great wave of white immigration from 1850-1920 have died off. In the past, most whites identified with their European ethnicity: Irish, Italian, German, etc. As white people gravitate away from such identities, many see themselves as a neutral, “non racial” population. The Left criticizes this refusal to see themselves as “white,” but it is far preferable to the alternative: an American white population that views itself as a special-interest group.

The Left criticizes this refusal to see themselves as ‘white,’ but it is far preferable to the alternative.
The recurring, tired refrain that we should have a white history month if there is a black history month, or white student unions on campuses, is unintentionally being given new life by the Left. Celebrations or organizations of whiteness do not exist because we don’t need them. White people do not face the same kinds of systemic discrimination that people of color do. But progressives are doing a very good job of convincing white people that they do.


When parents of Virginia high school students complained about a white privilege video being shown to their kids, they rightfully noted that their kids were being singled out based on their race. The video featured a foot race in which people of color were burdened by impediments while the white people ran free. It was absolutely fair for them to interpret this as a message to their kids saying, “Your accomplishments are easier and less valuable than those of your peers of color.”

Many parents object to this method of teaching about race relations. While some white people, especially those in the academy and the arts, find the acceptance of privilege and its associated guilt liberating, many do not. Privilege theory is also not being offered as one of many ways to confront and consider racism; it is being offered as the central way. This was brilliantly explored in 2010 by the Midwestern Critical Whiteness Collective’s (MCWC’s) article in Harvard Education Review, “McIntosh as Synecdoche: How Teacher Education Focus on White Privilege Undermines Anti Racism.”

Privilege Theory Is the Wrong Track
The McIntosh in question is Peggy McIntosh, whose 1988 essay “Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack” formed the foundation of privilege theory. The essay is mostly a list of ways in which white people receive better treatment in society. The MCWC describes McIntosh’s theory as a synecdoche because it has come to define the totality of education’s anti-racism efforts. It is meant to be the magic pill that clarifies things and sets us on the right course once consumed.

Many disadvantaged white students reject the notion of their grand privileges and resented the key confessional component of white privilege education.
They found that many disadvantaged white students reject the notion of their grand privileges and resented the key confessional component of white privilege education. One case study involved an education student named John, from a small, non-diverse town. In his final essay for the class John explained his reaction to McIntosh: “I got the feeling from it that it was more about trying to make white males feel guilty for things they most likely had no control over. Being a white male I got a little worked up about the whole list since I don’t feel like I have anything to apologize for.”


John rolled his eyes at privilege theory. However, his teacher reported that other ways of exploring racism and multiculturalism such as films on race relations and historical texts broadened John’s empathy towards non-white people. John was able to reject confession while still becoming a better anti-racist educator. This made John’s teacher wonder whether confessional white privilege is the universally beneficial educational tool it is made out to be. The collective found that it is not.

In its blunt conclusion, the collective writes: “McIntosh’s conception of white privilege has been at the center of anti-racist thought and action in teacher education. We argue, however, that McIntosh’s ideas simplify white racial identity in dangerous ways. We also demonstrate that white privilege pedagogy demands confession, but that confession is a dead end. Finally, we propose that white supremacy needs to replace white privilege as the central concern of our anti-racist efforts.”

Abetting White Supremacy
When privilege theory took root in the 1990s, society roundly condemned the outward expression of racist attitudes. This is why the focus shifted to the ways in which white people were racist without even knowing it. Importantly, all white people were guilty of this form of racism. The act of confessing privilege became the means through which white people discovered this hidden racism.

The shift to the privilege model had an unintended consequence that is abetting white supremacy.
But, as the past year has shown us, good old-fashioned white supremacy was not gone; it was simply driven underground. Not only was white supremacy still extant, it was going more or less unaddressed. The shift to the privilege model had an unintended consequence that is abetting white supremacy.

One can teach against white supremacy by encouraging students to treat everyone as equal, or at least as individuals not defined in important ways by their race. Privilege theory does not allow for this approach. It demands that differences be front and center and that we always consider a person’s race in considering him. This focus on “valuing differences” over “the colorblind model” unlocked the door to the white supremacist revival that today’s anti-white rhetoric has kicked open.

White Grievance On the Rise
It surprises many people that an increasing number of white Americans over the past decade believe whites face more discrimination than blacks. Obviously this feeling is inconsistent with economic data. Many have argued that a white fear of losing the dominant economic place in society is behind this belief. But what if the discrimination that white people are feeling and expressing is not primarily economic in nature?

He was upset at having to confess guilt for events he had no control over. Many whites feel this way.
This brings us back to John. What got him “worked up” about privilege theory was not that he’d have to compete for jobs with minorities. He was upset at having to confess guilt for events he had no control over. Many whites feel this way. Moreover, many resent the pedagogical transformations that their history and culture are undergoing. White historical figures once held in too high esteem have swung the other way into utter disrepute. Also, the histories of no other peoples are being held to these lofty standards.

Mohandas Gandhi’s racism, the Black Panthers’ vicious murders, and Santa Anna’s barbarism are understood within the context of their positive contributions. Increasingly, white Americans perceive that Columbus, Jefferson, Jackson, and many other core white historical figures are consistently brought down a peg in order to decentralize whiteness in history. This assault on their history has a deeper impact than many on the Left are aware of, or willing to admit.

Rise of the White Race Baiters
The combination of the confessional and universal aspects of white privilege and the reconstruction of white history has opened the door for white racial grievance-mongers. From 2014 to 2015, the number of active Klu Klux Klan chapters in the United States grew from 72 to 190, a massive increase for a group so closely associated with hatred. Along with these organized efforts, social media has given a dangerous new platform to white supremacists.

One of the key components to the success of this racism is the almost-daily parade of silly micro-aggressions and triggers.
One of the key components to the success of this racism is the almost-daily parade of silly micro-aggressions and triggers, specifically on college campuses. Conservative media seize upon disputes over the cultural appropriation of taco night or banning hoopskirts as evidence that minority racial grievance has gotten unhinged.

In emerging white nationalist journals such as Radix, this constant drumbeat of attack against white insensitivity is viewed gravely. What results is a belief among a growing number of whites in the concepts of “white genocide” and “racial realism.”

Both “white genocide” and “racial realism” harken back to the worst elements of American racial history. The former reacts in horror to the races mixing sexually for fear of resulting offspring being impure. The latter pretends to take a cold, scientific look at demography to prove the superiority of the white race. Ideas of this ilk, until recently thought to be confined to a fringe dustbin, have taken on new life in our hyper-racialized society.

Young white men, reacting to social and educational constructs that paint them as the embodiment of historical evil, are fertile ground for white supremacists. They are very aware of the dichotomy between non-white culture, which must be valued at all times (even in the midst of terror attacks), and white culture, which must be criticized and devalued. They don’t like it.

Same Tactics, Different Sides
The result of these societal double standards is for many a desire to lash out against it. For every white college student who dutifully accepts his privilege, many more resent the idea and wish to fight it. The sharpest arrow in their quiver is to be offensive.

In reducing all phenomena to a question of race, both the alt right and the progressive left ensure the dominance of racial resentment as the lynchpin of our society.
This desire to be offensive has given rise to the “alt right.” Supporters of this loosely assembled white nationalist movement understand a playful aspect to its use of slurs. But just as the Left shifted from using anti-white rhetoric as an ironic device to an actual indictment of white culture, so has the alt right come to believe much of its troubling rhetoric.

Do the alt right Twitter trolls really want Jews turned into lampshades, or believe blacks are apes? Many of their supporters say no, that such rhetoric is simply meant to shock the system. They feel oppressed by political correctness and they challenge it, in over-the-top, offensive ways.

If this seems familiar, it should. It is exactly the same approach taken by social justice warriors and purveyors of anti-white rhetoric. The shocking “White Men Are Bad” hot takes serve the same purpose. They are also meant to shock the system. Just as the alt right is willing to denigrate minorities to make plain what they view as racist speech codes, the Left is willing to denigrate straight, white men to make plain what they view as widespread systemic racism.

For both groups the central theme is identity. That theme quickly calcifies into attitudes too brittle to hold up serious discourse. In reducing all phenomena to a question of race, both the alt right and the progressive left ensure the dominance of racial resentment as the lynchpin of our society.

Let’s Find Another Way Forward
W.E.B. Du Bois was born just three years after the end of slavery, but was bullish on the prospects of equality, he writes in “The Souls of Black Folks.”

Work, culture, liberty,—all these we need, not singly but together, not successively but together, each growing and aiding each, and all striving toward that vaster ideal that swims before the Negro people, the ideal of human brotherhood, gained through the unifying ideal of Race; the ideal of fostering and developing the traits and talents of the Negro, not in opposition to or contempt for other races, but rather in large conformity to the greater ideals of the American Republic…
Modern progressives don’t talk about the “greater ideals of the American Republic.” Rather, those ideals have become suspect, empty words used to justify slavery and genocide. But for Du Bois, who was closer to slavery than any of us will ever be, this was not the case. The facile notion that some inherent evil of whiteness must be expunged is anathema to his entire vision of equality and reconciliation.

Put simply, our anti-racism efforts must be refocused away from guilt and confession and towards equality and eradicating irrational judgments based on race. Some on the Left will object, saying that racism is so systemic in society it must be purged before anyone can pretend to treat of others without taking race into account. Some on the Right will object, saying that everything from IQ tests to crime statistics prove something meaningful about the capabilities of individuals based on their race.

Both of these perspectives must be rejected. In their place, we must return to the goal of treating people as individuals, not as representatives of their race.

David Marcus is a senior contributor to the Federalist and the Artistic Director of Blue Box World, a Brooklyn based theater project. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.


77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jews not complaining enough on: August 25, 2017, 04:57:41 PM
In a first in history :

http://nypost.com/2017/08/24/the-obscene-effort-to-shame-trumps-jews/

OK here is one Jew that will speak out:

I am Jewish and I have no problem with Trump's responses.

As for the "neo nazis" they have always been with us.  They are a small group.

Now if they start going out and shooting Jews etc..... THAT would be different story

comprende?



Obama had direct associations with vicious anti-semites.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/what-a-piece-of-anti-semitic-work-is-rev-jeremiah-wright/article/37269


“Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck or in eight years when he’s out of office. They will not let him talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. I said that from the beginning. He’s a politician; I’m a pastor. He’s got to do what politicians do.”

http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/22/al-sharpton-defends-anti-jewish-remarks-video/



78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Average Transgender Soldier Unable to Deploy for 238 Days on: August 25, 2017, 12:04:32 PM
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/average-transgender-soldier-unable-deploy-238-days/

Average Transgender Soldier Unable to Deploy for 238 Days
White House military ban to be based on deployability


     
BY: Elizabeth Harrington 
August 24, 2017 1:20 pm

The average transgender soldier will spend 238 days recovering from sex change surgeries and unavailable to deploy, according to an Obama administration study.

The Trump administration's transgender ban places deployability as a determining factor into whether to admit transgender individuals into the military. The White House outlined guidelines to implement the ban within six months in a memo to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The ability to be deployed to war zones or bases around the world is an issue for transgender soldiers who undergo taxpayer-funded sex change operations, according to a study by the RAND Corporation.

The 2016 study was commissioned by the Obama administration, which favored opening the ranks to transgender individuals, and funded by the office of former secretary of defense Ash Carter.

The study found that, on average, transgender troops seeking basic sex-change operations would be nondeployable for 238 days, or 34 weeks out of a year. The figure amounts to 65 percent of one year.

"These constraints typically include a postoperative recovery period that would prevent any work and a period of restricted physical activity that would prevent deployment," the RAND study states.

"We note that these estimates do not account for any additional time required to determine medical fitness to deploy," the RAND study added. "Army guidelines, for example, do not permit deployment within six weeks of surgery."

The RAND study reported that male-to-female surgeries would cost 210 days of nondeployability, including medical leave and medical disability periods.

Breast augmentation and mammoplasty, which can include breast implants, would result in troops being unable to work for one week, up to six weeks of restricted physical activity, and up to 60 days of medical disability. The RAND study said breast augmentation would result in 75 days a servicemember could not be deployed.

Genital surgeries require a longer recovery period. RAND reported that a transgender person getting an orchiectomy, the surgical removal of the testicles, or a vaginoplasty, the construction of a vagina, would be nondeployable for 135 days.

Nondeployable time for male-to-female genital surgeries includes four to six weeks of no work; eight-plus weeks restricted physical activity; up to 45 days medical leave; and up to 90 days medical disability.

Sue Fulton, the former president of Sparta, a military organization for LGBTQ individuals, told the Wall Street Journal that transgender individuals are "just as deployable as other service members," and compared the time off to undergoing a gall bladder surgery.

"Other service members may undergo procedures when they are at home base, just as other service members schedule shoulder surgery or gall bladder surgery," she said.

Most people return to normal activities 7 to 10 days after undergoing gall bladder surgery.

The RAND study also notes some individuals undergoing sex-change operations "experience postoperative complications that would render them unfit for duty."

The study states that between 6 to 20 percent of biological males receiving a vaginoplasty, or the construction of a vagina, have complications. Up to 25 percent of biological females receiving phalloplasty surgery, or the construction of a penis, have medical complications, RAND said.

RAND found female-to-male transitions on average take longer recovery times, on average 267 days where they cannot be deployed.

The RAND study reported chest surgery, removal of the breasts, results in 75 days of nondeployability, and a hysterectomy leads to 111 days of nondeployability, including three weeks of medical leave and three months of medical disability.

Genital surgeries for female-to-male, including metoidioplasty, a surgery that enlarges the clitoris to surgically create a penis, and phalloplasty, the construction of a penis, result in 81 days of nondeployable time.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R., Mo.), who supports President Donald Trump's action to ban transgender individuals in the military, says the RAND Corporation estimates are low, because they do not take into account other surgeries that transgender advocates say are "medically necessary."

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health deems other medical procedures, including scrotoplasty, surgery to create a scrotum, facial hair removal, facial plastic reconstruction, hair removal, and voice therapy or surgery, as medically necessary for Gender Dysphoria.

Using the RAND study estimates, Hartzler's office found a significant period of total nondeployable time based on the estimates of how many transgender troops would seek sex reassignments.

As the Washington Free Beacon previously reported, transgender surgeries would cost the Pentagon $1.3 billion over 10 years, assuming roughly 8,200 transgender troops undergo taxpayer-funded sex-change operations.

By taking the low estimate from the RAND study of nondeployable time of 210 days, the 8,213 surgical transitions would lead to a total 1,724,730 days of nondeployable time, or 4,725 years.

RAND recommended that the military allow transgender individuals to serve openly and estimated that transgender surgeries would only cost between $2.4 million to $8.4 million per year.

Given that transgender surgeries cost an average of $132,000, according to CNN, the RAND study assumes only 18 to 63 transgender troops would seek taxpayer-funded surgeries.

The RAND cost estimate is significantly lower because it does not account for actual costs of transgender surgeries, but only the cost increase in private health insurance premiums for plans that cover transgender services. The military does not have private health insurance.

The White House directive to Secretary Mattis mainly applies to new recruits and gives the Pentagon the discretion of expelling current transgender service members based on deployability. The memo also instructs the Pentagon to stop paying for transgender medical treatment for those currently serving.
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Asian announcer with "wrong" name on: August 24, 2017, 11:54:56 AM

https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/900129932424118272



David Burge‏
@iowahawkblog



My Dearest Annabelle, I am beset by perplexities and distresses, I fear the war is lost
<mournful fiddle dirge>

3:57 PM - 22 Aug 2017
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China) on: August 24, 2017, 11:51:43 AM
If the PLA were to receive a decisive ass-kicking, it might well end the PRC.


YA,  Great post as always!

Denny S wrote this about Venezuela:  "Democracy by Consent of the Military"
http://softwaretimes.com/files/democracy+by+consent+of+th.html

Totalitarianism or whatever we call the Chinese system also requires ongoing Consent of the Military.  As Chinese society itself gets more and more open, the closed nature of the communist party, the ruling politburo and the military leadership up and down must get more and more challenging to keep in line.

I always wonder when the people of China will rise up and throw out the rulers.  In fact it is the military, not the people, that have the power to end the regime. 

Also, their perception of total invincibility is chipped away when they lose standoffs in Tibet, South China Sea or North Korea.  Very interesting to hear about their own behind the scenes challenges, having to move local military leaders away from their areas of familiarity, for example.
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The high cost of free healthcare: Canada on: August 23, 2017, 09:31:50 PM
https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/08/its-a-culture-war-stupid

IT'S A CULTURE WAR, STUPID
by George Weigel
8 . 22 . 17
Those who persist in denying that the Church is engaged in a culture war, the combatants in which are aptly called the “culture of life” and the “culture of death,” might ponder this June blog post by my summer pastor in rural Québec, Father Tim Moyle:


Tonight I am preparing to celebrate a funeral for someone (let’s call him “H” to protect his privacy) who, while suffering from cancer, was admitted to hospital with an unrelated problem, a bladder infection. H’s family had him admitted to the hospital earlier in the week under the assumption that the doctors there would treat the infection and then he would be able to return home. To their shock and horror, they discovered that the attending physician had indeed made the decision NOT to treat the infection. When they demanded that he change his course of (in)action, he refused, stating that it would be better if H died of this infection now rather than let cancer take its course and kill him later. Despite their demands and pleadings, the doctor would not budge from his decision. In fact he deliberately hastened H’s end by ordering large amounts of morphine “to control pain” which resulted in his losing consciousness as his lungs filled up with fluid. In less than 24 hours, H was dead.
Let me tell you a bit about H. He was 63 years old. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters who are both currently working in universities toward their undergraduate degrees. We are not talking here about someone who was advanced in years and rapidly failing due to the exigencies of old age. We are talking about a man who was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. We are talking about a man who still held onto hope that perhaps he might defy the odds long enough to see his daughters graduate. Evidently and tragically, in the eyes of the physician tasked with providing the care needed to beat back the infection, that hope was not worth pursuing.
Again, let me make this point abundantly clear: It was the express desire of both the patient and his spouse that the doctor treat the infection. This wish was ignored.

Canada’s vulnerability to the culture of death is exacerbated by Canada’s single-payer, i.e. state-funded and state-run, health care system. And the brutal fact is that it's more “cost-effective” to euthanize patients than to treat secondary conditions that could turn lethal (like H’s infection) or to provide palliative end-of-life care. Last year, when I asked a leading Canadian Catholic opponent of euthanasia why a rich country like the “True North strong and free” couldn’t provide palliative end-of-life care for all those with terminal illnesses, relieving the fear of agonized and protracted dying that’s one incentive for euthanasia, he told me that only 30 percent of Canadians had access to such care. When I asked why the heck that was the case, he replied that, despite assurances from governments both conservative and liberal that they’d address this shameful situation, the financial calculus had always won out—from a utilitarian point of view, euthanizing H and others like him was the sounder public policy.

But in Canada, a mature democracy, that utilitarian calculus among government bean-counters wouldn’t survive for long if a similar, cold calculus were not at work in the souls of too many citizens. And that is one reason why the Church must engage the culture war, not only in Canada but in the United States and throughout the West: to warm chilled souls and rebuild a civil society committed to human dignity.

Then there is the civic reason. To reduce a human being to an object whose value is measured by “utility” is to destroy one of the building blocks of the democratic order—the moral truth that the American Declaration of Independence calls the “inalienable” right to “life.” That right is “inalienable”—which means built-in, which means not a gift of the state—because it reflects something even more fundamental: the dignity of the human person.

When we lose sight of that, we are lost as a human community, and democracy is lost. So the culture war must be fought. And a Church that takes social justice seriously must fight it.


George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / America's Red Guards on: August 23, 2017, 03:56:18 PM
http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/23/american-anarchy-parallels-chinas-cultural-revolution/

How American Anarchy Parallels China’s Cultural Revolution
Both movements started on college campuses, with students who wanted to re-make history according to their own ideology.
 Helen Raleigh By Helen Raleigh
AUGUST 23, 2017

I’ve been avoiding the news lately because it pains me to see my beloved country so divided, with people so bitterly angry at each other. All the shouting, violence, and destruction of historical monuments have only brought up a feeling of déjà vu.

America is clearly undergoing a Cultural Revolution that is eerily similar to Mao’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which took place in China in the 1960s. Maybe Karl Marx was right after all when he declared that “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Both Movements Started On Campuses, And Spread

China’s Cultural Revolution was triggered by a group of students at Beijing University, the most elitist college in China. They called themselves the Red Guards because they worshiped China’s communist dictator Mao and his socialist/communist ideology feverishly. In their manifesto, they questioned the usefulness of knowledge, and condemned their professors and university administrators for harboring “intellectual elitism and bourgeois tendencies” and for stalling China’s progress towards a communist utopia.

Mao immediately realized that he could use these over-zealous and ignorant teenagers as a political tool to purge his enemies and shape society to his own liking. He elevated the Red Guards’ status by appearing at a massive Red Guard rally on August 18, 1966 at Tiananmen Square. This event lent Red Guards political legitimacy, and officially kicked off the Cultural Revolution. The Red Guards’ ideas quickly spread from colleges to high schools.

No one on campus dared challenge the Red Guards. Capitulations from school authorities only emboldened them. They led students to strike, refusing to take classes from people who were deemed less than ideologically pure. Professors, teachers, and school administrators were paraded and forced to make numerous public self-criticisms about “transgressions” against government-sanctioned orthodoxy. Soon, college entrance exams were suspended and many schools, from universities to high schools, were closed. The entire education system was paralyzed.

Without schools to go to, the Red Guards traveled all over China to spread their ideas and tactics to the “real world.” Other people, such as factory workers unhappy with the shortages, organized their own groups to challenge leadership of their own work units. Since no one was working, businesses, factories, and many government agencies were shut down. The entire country fell into lawlessness and chaos.

American College Students: Resurrecting The Red Guard?

Like Mao’s Red Guards, some American college students and their supporters have been shouting down anyone who dares to disagree with them. These modern-day Red Guards demand that college campuses be an inclusive and safe place, but are bent on making sure the campus is an unwelcoming and unsafe place for anyone who doesn’t show unconditional support for students’ sanctioned orthodoxy. From Yale to Middlebury, college professors and administrators have caved to these students mobs’ preposterous demands. Exhibit A is Nicholas Christakis, the Silliman master at the center of Yale’s debate over Halloween costumes. His very public self-criticism probably would have won over Maoist Red Guards in China, but failed to gain sympathy from privileged Yale students.

Now that kind of zealous demand for thought conformity has expanded outside campuses to the “real world.” When James Damore, a Google employee, raised questions about Google’s diversity training in a memo, he was fired by Google. As Sumantra Maitra wrote, “Nothing could be more dystopian than the largest information, communication, and documentation hub controlling your thoughts and punishing you for wrong think.”

Both Movements Sought the Destruction of History
The Red Guards firmly believed that in order to build a new world, they had to wipe out the old one. So they traveled around the country, eradicating anything representing China’s feudalistic past: old customs, old cultures, old habits, and old ideas. Museums, temples, shrines, heritage sites, including Confucius’ tomb, were defaced, ransacked, or even totally destroyed.

One of the worst instances of destruction took place at the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) tombs near Beijing. The Red Guards dug up the remains of Ming emperors and empresses, denouncing their oppression against Chinese people, before burning the remains with burial treasures, including priceless ancient artifacts, books, and manuscripts. Much personal property, including my own family’s genealogy book—containing 50 generations of information—was confiscated and ended up in the fire. In the meantime, many cities and towns renamed their streets with new revolutionary names. Mao pictures and statues were everywhere. Such drastic efforts to erase the influence of the past and remake the society in a revolution-sanctioned image have left irrevocable damage to Chinese culture and people.


That intensity and zeal to cleanse the past is repeating itself in America. Since recent events in Charlottesville, calls to remove or destroy Confederate statues in the U.S. have only gotten louder. Some places, such as the city of Baltimore and Duke University, already took actions to remove Confederate statues. Over the weekend, however, more and more historical monuments, some having nothing to do with the Confederacy, were vandalized.

It’s true that Confederate soldiers and generals fought to maintain an immoral system. They should not be celebrated. But as Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal wrote over the weekend, “when a nation tears down its statues, it’s toppling more than brass and marble. It is in a way toppling itself. When you tear down statues, you tear down avenues of communication, between generations.”

I always believe if we want to define our future, we have to learn from the past. But if we don’t have a complete picture of the past, how can we make sure we learn the right lessons? Every civilization, every country, every generation of people, has its own good, bad, and ugly. “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” We owe it to ourselves and future generations to preserve a full picture of the past and make sure lessons in full context are passed on.

Both Movements Justify Violence on the Basis of Their Perceived Moral Authority
The Red Guards were fanatic about social classes and political identity. They believed they were the rightful heir to Mao’s socialist revolution and that only they and their chairman were on the right side of the history. Thus, they shouted down anyone who dared to show the slightest disagreement with slogans, such as “a complete confession is the only road to survival. Anything less will lead to death!”


The Red Guards were sources of terror. Professors, writers, scientists, artists, and even government officials were publicly paraded, denounced, humiliated, and tortured in public by the Red Guards and their supporters. Suicides among the persecuted were very common. The Red Guards even amplified their militant and violent nature by wearing special outfits: olive green People’s Liberation Army’s uniform with a red arm band.

As the Red Guards spread from schools to the rest of the society, they also increased their use of force. They didn’t just fight with their fists, either: they fought with real weapons. Some Chinese cities were engulfed in violence to such an extent, order was only restored through military takeover.

If you think that level of violence and lawless will never take place in America, just watch the videos of violent protests at Yale, Berkeley, and Middlebury College. Fringe groups such as Antifa insist that violence is justified against anyone they deem  to be haters, racists, or fascists. Once again, after these groups honed their vicious tactics on college campuses and faced little consequences or push back, they took their tactics to the “real” world. During a 2016 campaign rally in San Jose, anti-Trump demonstrators violently attacked Trump supporters and local police. Since Trump’s election, such belief in “righteous beating” have received support from mainstream left leaning media, even some politicians. This so called “legitimate violence” from radical left fueled the violent response from far right groups, which led us to Charlottesville.

We Have To Learn From Mistakes Of The Past
Our nation has fallen into a vicious cycle: violence from one side induces a violent response from the other side, which becomes an excuse to justify more violence.

Mao’s Cultural Revolution movement was the darkest chapter in China’s history. It should be called “Cultural Destruction.” It brought the Chinese people nothing but misery. It did fundamentally transform Chinese society: millions, including a generation of China’s intellectual backbone, perished, and an entire young generation grew up without any formal education. It tore the social fabric that used to unite people, and overturned traditional close relationships among families and communities. Its irreplaceable destruction of China’s cultural heritage left Chinese people in a spiritual and moral vacuum.

“Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.” We should be alarmed by the similarities between today’s American cultural revolution to China’s Cultural Revolution. Let’s never forget that evil can come from the pursuit of progress.  American’s cultural revolution is endangering the Republic we hold dear. To preserve it, we have to find “the energy of a common national sentiment” and re-affirm the “uniformity of principles” that once united us as Americans.

Helen Raleigh owns Red Meadow Advisors, LLC, and is an immigration policy fellow at the Centennial Institute in Colorado. She is the author of several books, including "Confucius Never Said" and "The Broken Welcome Mat." Follow Helen on Twitter @HRaleighspeaks, or check out her website: helenraleighspeaks.com
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Very Strange Indictment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT Scammers on: August 23, 2017, 11:49:11 AM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450665/debbie-wasserman-schultz-it-scammers-indicted-mysteriously-narrow-and-low-key-way

The Very Strange Indictment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT Scammers

 by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY   August 21, 2017 1:45 PM @ANDREWCMCCARTHY

 It leaves out a lot of highly pertinent information. Let’s say you’re a prosecutor in Washington. You are investigating a husband and wife, naturalized Americans, who you believe have scammed a federal credit union out of nearly $300,000. You catch them in several false statements about their qualifications for a credit line and their intended use of the money. The strongest part of your case, though, involves the schemers’ transferring the loot to their native Pakistan. So . . . what’s the best evidence you could possibly have, the slam-dunk proof that their goal was to steal the money and never look back? That’s easy: One after the other, the wife and husband pulled up stakes and tried to high-tail it to Pakistan after they’d wired the funds there — the wife successfully fleeing, the husband nabbed as he was about to board his flight. Well, here’s a peculiar thing about the Justice Department’s indictment of Imran Awan and Hina Alvi, the alleged fraudster couple who doubled as IT wizzes for Debbie Wasserman Schultz and many other congressional Democrats: There’s not a word in it about flight to Pakistan. The indictment undertakes to describe in detail four counts of bank-fraud conspiracy, false statements on credit applications, and unlawful monetary transactions, yet leaves out the most damning evidence of guilt. In fact, the indictment appears to go out of its way not to mention it. Debbie Wasserman Schultz IT Staffers 00:19 01:03 Powered by I’ll get back to that in a second. First, let’s recap.

As I explained about three weeks ago, there is a very intriguing investigation of the Awan family. There are about six of them — brothers, spouses, and attached others — who were retained by various Democrats as computer-systems managers at compensation levels dwarfing that of the average congressional staffer. The Awans fell under suspicion in late 2016 and were canned at the beginning of February, on suspicion of mishandling the sensitive information to which they’d had access: scanning members’ e-mail, transferring files to remote servers under the Awans’ control, stealing computer equipment and hard drives (some of which they attempted to destroy when they were found out), along with a sideline in procurement fraud. We should say that almost all of them were canned. Hina Alvi and her husband, Imran Awan, stayed on, even though they were no longer authorized to have access to the House computer system (i.e., to do the work they were hired to do).

Alvi continued to be retained by Congressman Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, for another four weeks. During that time, we now know, she was tying up loose financial ends, packing her house up, and pulling three young daughters out of school — just before skedaddling to Pakistan. Awan was kept on the payroll for about six more months by Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat, former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, and Clinton insider. She finally fired him only after he was arrested at the airport right before a scheduled flight to Qatar, from whence he planned to join Alvi in Pakistan. –– ADVERTISEMENT –– There are grounds to suspect blackmail, given (a) the staggering sums of money paid to the Awans over the years, (b) the sensitive congressional communications to which they had access, (c) the alleged involvement of Imran Awan and one of his brothers in a blackmail-extortion scheme against their stepmother, and (d) Wasserman Schultz’s months of protecting Awan and potentially impeding the investigation. There are also, of course, questions about stolen information. And there is, in addition, the question I raised a month ago: Why did the FBI and the Capitol Police allow Hina Alvi to leave the country on March 5 when there were grounds to arrest her at Dulles Airport? Why did they wait to charge her until last week — by which time she was safely in Pakistan, from which it will likely be impossible to extradite her for prosecution? What, moreover, about Awan’s brothers and other apparent accomplices? What has become of them since they were fired by the House almost seven months ago? The indictment raises still more questions. Imran Awan’s sudden arrest in late July meant the Justice Department would finally have to file formal charges in court. Thus, there was hope that we’d finally get some answers. Instead, the indictment raises still more questions. To begin with, it is not the easiest thing to get one’s hands on the indictment.

The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. There is no press release about the indictment on the office’s website, though U.S. attorneys’ offices routinely issue press releases and make charging documents available in cases of far less national prominence. (I found the indictment through the Orlando Sentinel, which obtained and posted it in conjunction with the paper’s report on the filing of charges.) By the way, the U.S. attorney’s office is currently led by Channing D. Phillips, an Obama holdover who was never confirmed. Still awaiting Senate confirmation is Jessie Liu, nominated by President Trump in June. Meanwhile, Steven Wasserman, Representative Wasserman Schultz’s brother, has been an assistant U.S. attorney in the office for many years. I have seen no indication that he has any formal role in the case, notwithstanding some cyberspace speculation to the contrary. What is clear, however, is that the office is low-keying the Awan prosecution. The indictment itself is drawn very narrowly. All four charges flow from a financial-fraud conspiracy of short duration. Only Imran Awan and his wife are named as defendants. There is no reference to Awan-family perfidy in connection with the House communications system. More bizarre still: There is not a word about Alvi’s flight to Pakistan, nor Imran Awan’s failed attempt to follow her there. This is not an oversight. The omission appears quite intentional. It is common Justice Department practice, in pleading a conspiracy indictment, to allege that the scheme began “on or about” its starting date and continued “up to and including the date of the filing of this indictment.” Strictly speaking, a conspiracy ends when the crime that is its objective has been completed. But there is no requirement that a specific end date be set forth in the indictment. Therefore, prosecutors go as long as they can — i.e., right up to the date the grand jury voted to indict — to give themselves the widest berth possible to argue that evidence damaging to the defense is relevant and admissible. But that is not what happened in the Awan indictment. The Justice Department alleges that the conspiracy took place “from on or about December 12, 2016 through on or about February 27, 2017.”

February 27 was six days before Alvi fled and five months before Awan was arrested trying to leave the country. This makes no sense. Indeed, it does not even make sense in the context of the narrow scheme prosecutors have charged: Although the indictment says the conspiracy ended on February 27, it alleges a relevant $83,000 interbank transfer occurred on February 28 (see indictment, paragraphs 8 and 22). That is, prosecutors assert that a money transfer supposedly in furtherance of the conspiracy happened a day after the conspiracy was already over. That is surely just a mistake — anybody can screw up a date. There is, by contrast, no apparent explanation for omitting from a fraudulent cash-transfer prosecution the fact that the conspirators undertook to transfer themselves to the foreign country where they’d sent the money. Why would prosecutors leave that out of their indictment? Why give Awan’s defense a basis to claim that, since the indictment does not allege anything about flight to Pakistan, the court should bar any mention of it during the trial? In fact, quite apart from the manifest case-related reasons to plead instances of flight, a competent prosecutor would have included them in the indictment simply to underscore that Awan is a flight risk who should have onerous bail conditions or even be detained pretrial. We must also ask, again: Why did the FBI allow Alvi to flee?

Before she boarded her March 5 flight to Qatar (en route to Pakistan), agents briefly detained her. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents had already searched her baggage and found $12,400 in cash. As I have pointed out, it is a felony to move more than $10,000 in U.S. currency out of the country unless one completes the required government report (see sections 5316 and 5322 of Title 31, U.S. Code). There was no indication that she did so in the complaint affidavit submitted to the court when Awan was arrested last month (see FBI complaint affidavit, pages 8–9). By the time Alvi fled, the Awans had been under investigation by various federal agencies for at least three months. The FBI was sufficiently attuned to the Awans’ criminality that its agents went to the trouble of chasing Alvi to the airport. If she didn’t fill out the required form, she should have been arrested for the currency violation. Is it possible that, rather than arresting her, federal agents instructed her to complete the form on the spot? One would hope not, but even in such an unlikely event, Alvi would undoubtedly have made false statements about the provenance of the cash. That would also have been a felony, providing more grounds for her arrest. Why let her go, especially when, as its agent told the court in the aforementioned affidavit, the FBI “does not believe that ALVI has any intention to return to the United States”? The indictment is an exercise in omission. More bizarre: Why not include Alvi’s flight — as well as Awan’s later attempt to go on the lam — in describing the money-transfer scheme charged in the indictment? Patently, these episodes are damning proof of fraudulent intent, which prosecutors must establish at trial if they are to convict Awan. Did prosecutors fail to mention the flight evidence in hope of diverting attention from the government’s decision to let Alvi flee? Again, one would hope not, but if not, what could the explanation be? To summarize, the indictment is an exercise in omission. No mention of the Awan group’s theft of information from Congress. Not a hint about the astronomical sums the family was paid, much of it for no-show “work.” Not a word about Wasserman Schultz’s keeping Awan on the payroll for six months during which (a) he was known to be under investigation, (b) his wife was known to have fled to Pakistan, and (c) he was not credentialed to do the IT work for which he had been hired. Nothing about Wasserman Schultz’s energetic efforts to prevent investigators from examining Awan’s laptop. A likely currency-transportation offense against Alvi goes uncharged. And, as for the offenses that are charged, prosecutors plead them in a manner that avoids any reference to what should be their best evidence. There is something very strange going on here.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450665/debbie-wasserman-schultz-it-scammers-indicted-mysteriously-narrow-and-low-key-way
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Missing from Bernie's analysis on: August 23, 2017, 11:27:10 AM
http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/asianamericans-graphics/

Oh, now I know why.
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: August 23, 2017, 11:19:34 AM
Funny how Asians aren't mentioned in Bernie's speech? Why?
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Bernie Sanders 2011, The American Dream is in Venezuela on: August 23, 2017, 11:16:00 AM
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2177.msg105790#msg105790
https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/must-read/close-the-gaps-disparities-that-threaten-america

This passes for wisdom on The Left.

Kill off incentives, private sector income and wealth and the Venezuelan economy is what you get.

Who is questioning Bernie on this now?

Just us. The MSM/DNC sure won't.
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: August 23, 2017, 10:33:46 AM
Invalid link just means the embed video tool doesn't work anymore with youtube. Must click on the link.

Income equality is first level thinking, right out of our schools and colleges.  The Venezuela experiment proves it is the wrong approach.

And yet the obvious failure doesn't deter them or cause them to rethink their position.

88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Navy Does Not Rule Out Intentional Act in Latest Warship Collision on: August 23, 2017, 12:53:39 AM
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/cno-does-not-rule-out-intentional-act-latest-warship-collision/

Navy Does Not Rule Out Intentional Act in Latest Warship Collision
China calls Navy 'hazard' in Asian waters

Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain moored pier side at Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC / Getty Images
     
BY: Bill Gertz    
August 22, 2017 5:00 am

The Navy has not ruled out an intentional action behind the latest deadly collision between a Navy destroyer and a merchant ship, the chief of naval operations told reporters Monday.

"That's is certainly something we are giving full consideration to but we have no indication that that's the case—yet," Adm. John Richardson, the CNO, said at the Pentagon.

"But we're looking at every possibility, so we're not leaving anything to chance," he said.


Asked if that includes the possibility the electronic defenses on the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain were hacked in a cyber attack, Richardson said investigators will look into all possible causes.

"We'll take a look at all of that, as we did with the Fitzgerald," the four-star admiral said, referring to another Navy warship collision with a merchant ship in June near Japan.

USS McCainUSS McCain
The McCain collided with the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Alnic MC in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore late Sunday, injuring five sailors and leaving 10 sailors missing.

The ship was on its way to Singapore where it docked after the collision. Photos show a deep gash in the ship's hull.

It was the second deadly collision at sea of its kind for the Navy in two months, and the fourth Navy ship incident in the Pacific region this year.

The McCain took part in a freedom of navigation operation by sailing within 12 miles of the disputed Mischief Reef in the South China Sea earlier this month.

A Chinese navy frigate shadowed the McCain during the passage and ordered it to leave what it claimed were Chinese waters.

Beijing also issued a formal diplomatic protest note as a violation of its maritime sovereignty.

On June 21, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the merchant ship MV ACX Crystal about 90 miles southwest of Tokyo. The incident killed seven sailors in their sleeping quarters below deck and severely damaged the warship's hull.

The Crystal was likely operating on autopilot at the time of the collision, raising the possibility that hackers may have broken into the ship's control network and directed the ship to hit the Fitzgerald.

The two destroyer collisions are unusual because warships are equipped with multiple radars capable of detecting ships as far as 20 miles out. Watch officers on the bridge also are in charge of checking for nearby vessels.

In the case of a ship on a collision course, Navy radar operators will signal the bridge that a "constant bearing, decreasing range" contact is detected once radar detects a vessel on a collision course.

USS McCainUSS McCain
Watch officers on the bridge normally would notify the captain and recommend that the ship change course to avoid the collision.

Navy experts say collisions between slow moving freighters and fast Navy ships that occur are normally the result of two mistakes by the warship operators: Allowing the warship to get close to an approaching vessel in the first place, and then having to maneuver at close quarters to avoid it.

"This is obviously an extremely serious incident," Richardson said. "And is the second such incident in a very short period of time. And very similar as well."

Richardson said he has ordered Navy ships to conduct an operational standdown for one or two days so that procedures of all surface fleets can be reviewed. The operational pause means most Navy operational activities will halt during that period.

"The emphasis of that is really to look at the fundamentals at the unit and team levels to make sure that we're not overlooking anything in what I would call the blocking and tackling of the basic seamanship, airmanship, those sorts of things, team work, how we do business on the bridge," Richardson said.

The results of that review over the next week will be used to produce a "lessons learned" from recent incidents.

The problems also appear to be part of the Pacific Fleet, Richardson said. Both the McCain and the Fitzgerald are part of Destroyer Squadron 15 and the Seventh Fleet.

In addition to the McCain and Fitzgerald collisions, in May the USS Lake Champlain, a guided missile cruiser, collided with a South Korean fishing boat in waters near South Korea. No injuries resulted from that incident.

In January, the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay, damaging the ship's propellers and spilling oil into the water. That incident also resulted in no injuries to the ship's crew.

The need to repair the damaged hulls of both the McCain and Fitzgerald mean the ships will be unable to take part in the Navy's Aegis missile defense systems at a time when threats posed by North Korean missile attacks in the region are increasing.

Pyongyang recently threatened to fire test missiles near Guam but appeared to back down from firing missiles toward the U.S. island under pressure from the Pentagon.

A Navy official said the loss of two missile defense warships will not have an immediate impact on Navy regional missile defenses for forward deployed forces in the Pacific. However, "the long term effects remain to be seen," the official said.

In addition to the two-day halt in Navy surface warship activities, Richardson said the Navy also is conducting a longer-term review to see whether the problem is related to Navy forces in Japan.

That review will be headed by Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

"This will be a broader effort looking at a number of things," Richardson said, noting the situation of Navy forces in Japan.

The longer-term review will examine training and readiness, trends in operational tempo, maintenance and equipment, and personnel.

A Navy official said budget cuts and fiscal uncertainty as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011 limiting defense funds may be to blame.

"As a result of decades of not having a competitor to drive fleet focus, high tempo and fiscal uncertainty and under funding, we are seeing fraying in surface and aviation," the official said. "By this review, the CNO wants to see how bad it is and then quickly address it."

That review also will delve into the process the Navy used to develop surface warship drivers.

In addition to Navy experts, the review will include experts from other military services as well as outside experts.

China, meanwhile, has been covertly attempting to take control of the strategic waterway in a political battle over freedom of navigation. Beijing reacted to the latest collision by calling the Navy a hazard to shipping in the South China Sea.

The Global Times newspaper, an official publication of the Communist Party of China that often reflects official military views, reported that the Navy in Asia poses a "growing risk to commercial shipping."

"While the U.S. Navy is becoming a dangerous obstacle in Asian waters, China has been making joint efforts with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to draw up a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea and it has boosted navigational safety by constructing five lighthouses on its islands," the newspaper said.

"Anyone should be able to tell who is to blame for militarizing the waters and posing a threat to navigation."

Chinese propaganda outlets did not report widely how a People's Liberation Army Navy frigate ran aground in the South China Sea in July 2012 and was stranded for 10 days near the disputed Spratlys islands near the Philippines. Press reports in the region at the time called the incident "the bully that ran aground."

The Navy official called the Global Times report "an opportunistic and uninformed view on how these recent mishaps play into the broader context of the region."

"It's sad to see the Chinese use this loss of life as a way to advance their area interests," the official said.

On the possibility that China may have triggered the collision, naval analysts say Chinese military writings routinely discuss combined electronic and cyber warfare in high-technology conflict.

The Chinese military intends to use its integrated network and electronic warfare to extend the reach of cyber attacks to isolated battlefield networks in space and on the seas as a component of future warfighting plans.


The Navy traditionally adopts a strict policy of accountability for all ship mishaps.

On Friday, the two senior officers on the Fitzgerald were relieved of duty, and about a dozen other sailors who were on watch the night of the collision were punished.

A preliminary report on the Fitzgerald collision provided no details on the cause of the incident.

89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Venezuela totally kicking ass on income inequality! on: August 23, 2017, 12:46:47 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5KUadzyV9A

#Invalid YouTube Link#

This is why you never give up your guns.

90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Google secretly recording you? on: August 22, 2017, 02:44:54 PM
https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4295350/did-you-know-google-has-been-secretly-recording-you-heres-how-to-find-the-creepy-audio-files-that-are-monitoring-your-conversations-every-day/

Escape the goolag.
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Down the memory hole... on: August 22, 2017, 12:55:25 PM
http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/22/james-t-hodgkinson-attempted-assassin-of-steve-scalise-already-being-erased-from-history/?utm_source=site-share


James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History
JIM TREACHER
Blogger
11:30 AM 08/22/2017
1930
We’ve been hearing a lot about “right-wing violence” lately. If we’re to believe our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters, there’s a Klansman on every street corner and a Nazi under every bed. There’s nothing more terrifying than a “white nationalist” who lives in his mom’s basement, which is why it’s okay for feral Antifa children to beat these guys up and drench them with balloons filled with piss. It’s “self-defense.”

But what happens when an act of violence is irrefutably motivated by left-wing ideology? What happens if, for example, a Bernie Bro named James T. Hodgkinson shoots at a bunch of congressmen for the explicit reason that he hates Republicans and wants them dead? How do we fit that into the preferred narrative?

We can’t. There’s no way. So we just leave it out entirely. Kristina Peterson, WSJ:

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) is relearning how to walk after being shot at a congressional baseball practice earlier this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said…
“It was very emotional for us,” Mr. Ryan said at the end of the town hall held in his Wisconsin congressional district. “He has a long road ahead of him, but he’s going to be OK. His body’s healing.”
Mr. Scalise has undergone multiple surgeries after being shot in the hip on June 14 and was readmitted into the intensive care unit in early July due to infection concerns. He is now in rehabilitation and undergoing extensive physical therapy, Mr. Ryan said.
I’m glad Rep. Scalise is on the mend. But as I read that WSJ story, I can’t help but notice there’s no mention whatsoever of who shot him, or why. He’s recovering after “being shot.” Passive voice. A gun went off and a bullet hit him. No other details.

Who was the shooter? What was the motive? Did it just happen on its own, somehow? Is this normally how the WSJ reports on politicians who’ve been shot?

If James T. Hodgkinson had been a Trump supporter who shot and almost killed a Democratic congressman for political reasons, he’d be the most infamous man in America. But now, just two months after his attempt to murder a group of Republican lawmakers, he’s not even worth mentioning.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think the press is sad that Hodgkinson didn’t succeed.
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The war on cops continues on: August 22, 2017, 11:52:52 AM
https://spectator.org/the-ferguson-effect-even-in-the-bronx/

The Ferguson Effect — Even in the Bronx
ALFRED S. REGNERY
August 22, 2017, 12:15 am

Under Bill de Blasio and Darcel Clark, a natural fit.
Imagine the scenario: a woman is making a threatening and very loud disturbance in a Bronx apartment building. The police are called. They find a 66-year-old “EDP” — an emotionally disturbed person — a black woman threatening neighbors and gripping a pair of scissors.

Led by a highly experienced sergeant who happens to be white, the police talk her into dropping the scissors and stepping out of her bedroom so emergency medical services can safely engage with her. The police don’t pull their guns, pepper spray her or use their Tasers. They just talk. But when the sergeant tries to grab her, she runs to her bed, picks up a baseball bat and winds up for a swing at the sergeant’s head.

Faced with the deadly weapon at close range, the sergeant pulls his pistol and fires twice in defense.

Inevitably, that brought out charges from the reflexively anti-cop left. Bill de Blasio, Black Lives Matter, and Al Sharpton weighed in. But they didn’t have much to go on. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman looked at the evidence and concluded that the sergeant adhered to NYPD guidelines, that his action fell well within the bounds of case law established by the U.S. Supreme Court, and declined to get involved.


 
Enter Darcel Clark, the troubled Bronx District Attorney, a 55-year-old long-time Bronx pol, a former judge who recently assumed the prosecutor’s job — with the loud support of Mayor Bill de Blasio — and who is already running for her 2018 re-election. Despite the fact that it would be virtually impossible to get a guilty jury verdict, if there were one, upheld on appeal, the prosecutor empanelled a grand jury, which indicted the sergeant for second degree murder — the first time a NYPD officer has been charged with murder since 1999. You have to think that politics, not justice, was what that was all about.

As for the sergeant — Hugh Barry — in his ninth year on the fabled New York Police Department, an honorable man without a blemish on his record and the recipient of five Excellent Police Duty medals, things are not so good. On administrative leave, his life is now in turmoil. If convicted, he could go to prison for the rest of his life. In any event, his case could be in the courts for years and he will likely be in dire financial straits by the time it’s over. His family life, as in so many of these cases, will be a far cry from where it was a year ago — before he responded to the call of duty. His emotional health will be taxed to the limit and under the best of circumstances his career — a career he loves — will never be the same.

And District Attorney Darcel Clark’s record? Not so hot. Her 2015 election was allegedly orchestrated by Democrats in order to avoid a primary after her predecessor resigned to become a judge. Her short term as District Attorney is rife with accusations — and lawsuits — of misconduct, cronyism, and complete politicization of her office.

But the larger, and longer-term tragedy is for the poor residents of the Bronx who rely on the police to maintain some semblance of peace and order in their lives. As the NYPD goes about its business in the Bronx, as they answer calls every hour of the day and night, there is little doubt that the “Ferguson effect” will play a role in how quickly they respond and what risks they are willing to take. A Pew Research Center national survey released in January concludes that more than half of all police officers say that recent high-profile fatal encounters between black citizens and police officers have made their jobs riskier, aggravated tensions between police and blacks, and left many officers reluctant to fully carry out their duties. Why, an officer would certainly ask, should I risk my career, my livelihood, my very freedom when, if I look the other way, or take a little longer to get to the crime scene, or make a traffic stop instead, the situation will work itself out one way or another?
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VDH on the war on memory on: August 22, 2017, 11:35:18 AM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450689/erasing-history-censoring-confederate-past-rewriting-memory-mob-vengeance

Our War against Memory

Monuments to Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are removed from Wyman Park in Baltimore, August 16, 2017.

by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON   August 22, 2017 4:00 AM @VDHANSON

The new abolitio memoriae   Back to the Future Romans emperors were often a bad lot — but usually confirmed as such only in retrospect. Monsters such as Nero, of the first-century A.D. Julio-Claudian dynasty, or the later psychopaths Commodus and Caracalla, were flattered by toadies when alive — only to be despised the moment they dropped. After unhinged emperors were finally killed off, the sycophantic Senate often proclaimed a damnatio memoriae (a “damnation of memory”). Prior commemoration was wiped away, thereby robbing the posthumous ogre of any legacy and hence any existence for eternity.

 In more practical matters, there followed a concurrent abolitio memoriae (an “erasing of memory”). Specifically, moralists either destroyed or rounded up and put away all statuary and inscriptions concerning the bad, dead emperor. In the case of particularly striking or expensive artistic pieces, they erased the emperor’s name (abolitio nominis) or his face and some physical characteristics from the artwork. Impressive marble torsos were sometimes recut to accommodate a more acceptable (or powerful) successor. (Think of something like the heads only of the generals on Stone Mountain blasted off and replaced by new carved profiles of John Brown and Nat Turner). A Scary History Without Leon Trotsky’s organizational and tactical genius, Vladimir Lenin might never have consolidated power among squabbling anti-czarist factions. Yet after the triumph of Stalin, “de-Trotskyization” demanded that every word, every photo, and every memory of an ostracized Trotsky was to be obliterated. That nightmarish process fueled allegorical themes in George Orwell’s fictional Animal Farm and 1984. How many times has St. Petersburg changed its name, reflecting each generation’s love or hate or indifference to czarist Russia or neighboring Germany? Is the city always to remain St. Petersburg, or will it once again be anti-German Petrograd as it was after the horrific First World War? Or perhaps it will again be Communist Leningrad during the giddy age of the new man — as dictated by the morality and the politics of each new generation resenting its past? Is a society that damns its past every 50 years one to be emulated? Abolition of memory is easy when the revisionists enjoy the high moral ground and the damned are evil incarnate. But more often, killing the dead is not an easy a matter of dragon slaying, as with Hitler or Stalin. Confederate General Joe Johnston was not General Stonewall Jackson and after the war General John Mosby was not General Wade Hampton, just as Ludwig Beck was not Joachim Peiper.

 What about the morally ambiguous persecution of sinners such as the current effort in California to damn the memory of Father Junipero Serra and erase his eponymous boulevards, to punish his supposedly illiberal treatment of Native Americans in the early missions some 250 years ago? California Bay Area zealots are careful to target Serra but not Leland Stanford, who left a more detailed record of his own 19th-century anti-non-white prejudices, but whose university brand no progressive student of Stanford would dare to erase, because doing so would endanger his own studied trajectory to the good life. We forget that there are other catalysts than moral outrage that calibrate the targets of abolitio memoriae. Again, in the case of the current abolition of Confederate icons — reenergized by the Black Lives Matter movement and the general repulsion over the vile murders by cowardly racist Dylan Roof — are all Confederate statues equally deserving of damnation? Does the statue of Confederate General James Longstreet deserve defacing? He was a conflicted officer of the Confederacy, a critic of Robert E. Lee’s, later a Unionist friend of Ulysses S. Grant, an enemy of the Lost Causers, and a leader of African-American militias in enforcing reconstruction edicts against white nationalists. Is Longstreet the moral equivalent of General Nathan Bedford Forrest (“get there firstest with the mostest”), who was the psychopathic villain of Fort Pillow, a near illiterate ante-bellum slave-trading millionaire, and the first head of the original Ku Klux Klan? Were the 60–70 percent of the Confederate population in most secessionist states who did not own slaves complicit in the economics of slavery? Did they have good options to leave their ancestral homes when the war started to escape the stain of perpetuating slavery? Do such questions even matter to the new arbiters of ethics, who recently defiled the so-called peace monument in an Atlanta park — a depiction of a fallen Confederate everyman, his trigger hand stilled by an angel? How did those obsessed with the past know so little of history?

Key to General William Tecumseh Sherman’s devastating strategy of marching through Georgia and the Carolinas was his decision to deliberately target the plantations and the homes of the wealthy, along with Confederate public buildings. Apparently Sherman believed that the plantation owners of the South were far more culpable than the poor non-slave-holding majority in most secessionist states. Sherman generally spared the property of non-slave owners, though they collectively suffered nonetheless through the general impoverishment left in Sherman’s wake. In our race to rectify the past in the present, could Ken Burns in 2017 still make his stellar Civil War documentary, with a folksy and drawly Shelby Foote animating the tragedies of the Confederacy’s gifted soldiers sacrificing their all for a bad cause? Should progressives ask Burns to reissue an updated Civil War version in which Foote and southern “contextualizers” are left on the cutting room floor? How about progressive icon Joan Baez? Should the Sixties folksinger seek forgiveness from us for reviving her career in the early 1970s with the big money-making hit “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”— her version of The Band’s sympathetic ode to the tragedy of a defeated Confederacy, written over a century after the Civil War. (“Back with my wife in Tennessee / When one day she called to me / Said, “Virgil, quick, come see / There goes the Robert E. Lee!”) If a monument is to be wiped away, then surely a popular song must go, too. Are there gradations of moral ambiguity? Or do Middlebury and Berkeley students or antifa rioters in their infinite wisdom have a monopoly on calibrating virtue and defining it as 100 percent bad or good? Who of the present gets to decide whom of the past we must erase — and where does the cleansing of memory stop? Defacing Mt. Rushmore of its slave owners? Who of the present gets to decide whom of the past we must erase — and where does the cleansing of memory stop? Defacing Mt. Rushmore of its slave owners? Renaming the double-whammy Washington and Lee University? Are we to erase mention of the heavens for their August 21 eclipse that unfairly bypassed most of the nation’s black population — as the recent issue of Atlantic magazine is now lamenting? Revolutions are not always sober and judicious.

We might agree that the public sphere is no place for honorific commemoration of Roger B. Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision. But statue removal will not be limited to the likes of Roger B. Taneys when empowered activists can cite chapter and verse the racist things once uttered by Abraham Lincoln, whose bust was just disfigured in Chicago — and when the statue-destroyers feel that they gain power daily because they are morally superior. Correct and Incorrect Racists? The logical trajectory of tearing down the statue of a Confederate soldier will soon lead to the renaming of Yale, the erasing of Washington and Jefferson from our currency, and the de-Trotskyization of every mention of Planned Parenthood’s iconic Margaret Singer, the eugenicist whose racist views on abortion anticipated those of current liberal Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Ginsburg said, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”) At what point will those who went ballistic over President Trump’s clumsy “on the one hand, on the other hand” criticism of both the abhorrent racists who marched in Charlottesville (parading around in the very Nazi garb that their grandparents had fought to vanquish) and the unhinged anarchists who sought to violently stop them demand that Princeton University erase all mention of their beloved Woodrow Wilson, the unapologetic racist? Wilson, as an emblematic and typical early progressive, thought human nature could “progress” by scientific devotion to eugenics, and he believed that blacks were innately inferior. Wilson, also remember, was in a position of power — and, owing to his obdurate racism, he ensured that integration of the U.S. Army would needlessly have to wait three decades.

Do any of the protestors realize that a chief tenet of early progressivism was eugenics, the politically correct, liberal orthodoxy of its time? Just as in Roman times, chipping away the face of Nero or Commodus did not ensure a new emperor’s good behavior, so tearing down a statue of a Confederate soldier is not going to restore vitality to the inner city, whose tragedies are not due to inanimate bronze. When Minnesota Black Lives Matter marchers chanted of police, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” was that a call for violence that was not long after realized by a spate of racist murders of policemen in Dallas? Are such advocates of torching police officers morally equipped to adjudicate which Confederate statue must come down? And did President Obama swiftly condemn the forces that led the shooter to select his victims for execution? After Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 fellow soldiers in cold blood, screaming out “Allah Akbar” as he shot, did “both sides” Obama really have to warn America that “we don’t know all the answers yet, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts”? And did it take him six years before he discovered the catalysts when finally calling the murders a terrorist attack? Did Obama have to dismiss the Islamist anti-Semitic terrorist slaughter of targeted Jews in a kosher market in Paris with the callous and flippant quip that the murderers had killed “a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris”? Were there demonstrations over that moral equivalence? And was it inevitable that the anti-Semite, homophobe, and provocateur with past blood on his hands for inciting riot and arson, the Reverend Al Sharpton, would advocate yanking public sponsorship of the Jefferson memorial? He who is with sin now casts the first stone? We are in an age of melodrama, not tragedy, in which we who are living in a leisured and affluent age (in part due to the accumulated learning and moral wisdom gained and handed down by former generations of the poor and less aware) pass judgement on prior ages because they lacked our own enlightened and sophisticated views of humanity — as if we lucky few were born fully ethically developed from the head of Zeus. In my own town, there used to be a small classical fountain dedicated by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. It was long ago torn down. (Who wishes to recall the forces that led to Prohibition?) In its place now sits an honorific statue to the clawed, half-human Aztec deity Coatlicue, the hungry earth-mother goddess. Coatlicue was quite a bloodthirsty creation, to whom thousands of living captives were sacrificed. The goddess was often portrayed wrapped in a cloak of skin and wearing a neckless of human hearts, hands, and skulls. Our town’s new epigraph atop Coatlicue is Viva la Raza — “Long live the Race.” Should there be demonstrations to yank down such a racialist and Franco-ist hurrah? Or are the supposed victims of white privilege themselves exempt from the very chauvinism that they sometimes allege in others? Is there a progressive rationale that exempts Coatlicue and its racist plaque, whose sloganeering channels the raza/razza mantras of Fascist Spain and Mussolini’s Italy? Are we to have a perpetual war of the statues?

The Arc of History More Often Bends Backward There is a need for an abolition of memory in the case of Hitler or Stalin, or here in America perhaps even of a Nathan Bedford Forrest. But when we wipe away history at a whim (why in 2017 and not, say, in 2015 or 2008?), we’d better make sure that our targets are uniquely and melodramatically evil rather than tragically misguided. And before we get out our ropes and sandblasters, we should be certain that we are clearly the moral superiors of those we condemn to oblivion. Before we get out our ropes and sandblasters, we should be certain that we are clearly the moral superiors of those we condemn to oblivion. Be careful, 21st-century man. Far more hypercritical generations to come may find our own present moral certitude — late-term and genetically driven abortion, the rise of artificial intelligence in place of human decision-making, the harvesting and selling of aborted fetal organs, ethnic and tribal chauvinism, euthanasia, racially segregated dorms and “safe spaces” — as immoral as we find the sins of our own predecessors. For the last decade, we were lectured that the arc of history always bends toward our own perceptions of moral justice. More likely, human advancement tends to be circular and should not to be confused with technological progress. Just as often, history is ethically circular. No Roman province produced anyone quite like a modern Hitler; Attila’s body count could not match Stalin’s. In the classical Athens of 420 B.C., a far greater percentage of the population could read than in Ottoman Athens of A.D. 1600. The average undergraduate of 1950 probably left college knowing a lot more than his 2017 counterpart does. The monopolies of Google, Facebook, and Amazon are far more insidious than that of Standard Oil, even if our masters of the universe seem more hip in their black turtlenecks than John D. Rockefeller did in his starched collars. Moneywise, Bernie Madoff outdid James Fisk and Jay Gould. The strangest paradox in the current epidemic of abolitio memoriae is that our moral censors believe in ethical absolutism and claim enough superior virtue to apply it clumsily across the ages — without a clue that they fall short of their own moral pretensions, and that one day their own icons are as likely be stoned as the icons of others are now apt to be torn down by black-mask-wearing avengers. A final paradox about killing the dead: Two millennia after Roman autocrats’ destruction of statues, and armed with the creepy 20th-century model of Fascists and Communists destroying the past, we, of a supposedly enlightened democracy, cannot even rewrite history by democratic means — local, state, and federal commission recommendations, referenda, or majority votes of elected representatives. More often, as moral cowards, we either rely on the mob or some sort of executive order enforced only in the dead of night.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450689/erasing-history-censoring-confederate-past-rewriting-memory-mob-vengeance
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: August 21, 2017, 09:41:04 PM
Certainly seems so...to much of a coincidence. If true, the Chinese are quite advanced in their capabilities. I also found the NK missiles going haywire several months ago, quite odd, almost seemed as if the US was testing their own cyber capabilities. The problem is the US will not admit they were hacked....now if a couple of Chinese missiles or ships crash that might be a sign.

We do know that China has invested a lot of time and energy in developing it's cyberwar capabilities.
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: August 21, 2017, 06:28:54 PM
If only this were somehow Trump's fault, the MSM would be all over this....


"Our" article is up on Sparta Report.  Now make it go VIRAL...

https://www.spartareport.com/2017/08/venezuela-banning-imports-products-used-opposition/
https://www.spartareport.com/

Venezuela Banning Imports Of Products That Could Be Used By Opposition

Maduro increasing his control of Venezuela
COMMENTARY
By Patrick Pulatie  Last updated 5:44 PM Aug 21, 2017 

With the Charlottesville riots, the Barcelona terror attack, and the relentlessness of the media challenging President Trump, the Venezuela situation has faded into the background. But Venezuela remains the tinder box that it has been for many years.

President Nicolas Maduro continues to put the clamps on the opposition party and the people of Venezuela. His current efforts involve preventing the opposition from obtaining the resources needed to prevent an uprising of the people.  He has done this by imposing strict new import restrictions. Here is a message from a source in Venezuela.

Now under Maduro we have a new prohibition, importing anything that protects against riot police such as gas masks, bullet proof vests, metal balls and marbles (could be used as projectiles), knives, sports padding gear, helmets, etc

But it goes even further: Banned first aid stuff:

Antacids, gauze, cream to treat burns, bandages, eye drops, bicarbonate, etc.

I asked a drug importer to bring me milk of magnesia. Sorry, antacid, banned article! I don’t have an issue with the riot police, I’m CONSTIPATED. Tough! Eat prunes.

Here is the list from my courier service (of banned items.)
Dear Customer:
 
Due to the new customs regulations in our country, the importation of the following products is strictly prohibited. This restriction is mandatory, without exception.

PROHIBITED ARTICLES

– Gas masks

– Bulletproof vests

– Air guns, ball guns, of paint and ammunition related to this type of article

– Sling shot of any type

– Pepper spray

– Pepper gas holder

– Paralyzing electric pistols (electroshock guns)

– Metal balls

– Meters, gauges

– Articles containing gas / compressed air

– Knives of all kinds (including machetes and axes)

– Police clubs

– Protective sports goods

– Camouflage articles

– Helmets of any type

– Chest protectors

– Bats and baseballs

– Masks

– Facial Protectors

– Kneepads

– Elbow pads

– Fishing leads

– Bows and arrows

– Safety glasses

– Inflatable balloons

 FIRST AID PRODUCTS

– Antacids

– Gauze

– Creams for Burns

– Salts

– Eye Drops

– Bicarbonates

– Etc.

Medical supplies are tagged as “war materials”
The crackdown on imports that could be used by the people to defend against the Maduro regime only serves strengthen the control of the government over the people. Where it ends is unknown right now, but it does not look good for the people.

 
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stossel on Hugo's useful idiots on: August 21, 2017, 02:04:20 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHTe2Pn7ACg

But, but, Chomsky has CREDENTIALS!
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Remember all those left-wing pundits who drooled over Venezuela? on: August 21, 2017, 01:57:16 PM
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-kirchick-venezuela-pundits-20170802-story.html

Remember all those left-wing pundits who drooled over Venezuela?
 
The majority of Venezuelans oppose the assembly and the new charter it will draft, fearing it will give Maduro dictatorial powers.
James Kirchick
“Pundits should have fixed terms,” left-wing author Naomi Klein recently told the BBC. Awarded “jobs for life,” most professional commentators — whether opining in newspaper columns like this one or blathering on television — suffer no consequence for making predictions that turn out “spectacularly wrong.” Klein’s (partly tongue-in-cheek) solution? Hold our pundits to account by making them reapply for their sinecures every four years, banishing those whose prognostications prove most wide of the mark.

The socialist Klein’s embrace of market forces, however selective, is welcome. Might I offer the unfolding horror in Venezuela as the first litmus test of her proposal?

On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claimed victory in a referendum designed to rewrite the country’s constitution and confer on him dictatorial powers. The sham vote, boycotted by the opposition, was but the latest stage in the “Bolivarian Revolution” launched by Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez. First elected in 1998 on a wave of popular goodwill, Chavez’s legacy is one of utter devastation.

Thanks to Chavismo’s vast social welfare schemes (initially buoyed by high oil prices), cronyism and corruption, a country that once boasted massive budget surpluses is today the world’s most indebted. Contraction in per capita GDP is so severe that “Venezuela’s economic catastrophe dwarfs any in the history of the U.S., Western Europe or the rest of Latin America” according to Ricardo Hausmann, former chief economist of the Inter-American Development Bank. Transparency International lists Venezuela as the only country in the Americas among the world’s 10 most corrupt.

Left-wing economic populists are enjoying a resurgence in mainstream credibility by railing against free trade and “neoliberals.” This is a scandal.
Socialist economic policies — price controls, factory nationalizations, government takeovers of food distribution and the like — have real human costs. Eighty percent of Venezuelan bakeries don’t have flour. Eleven percent of children under 5 are malnourished, infant mortality has increased by 30% and maternal mortality is up 66%. The Maduro regime has met protests against its misrule with violence. More than 100 people have died in anti-government demonstrations and thousands have been arrested. Loyal police officers are rewarded with rolls of toilet paper.

The list of Western leftists who once sang the Venezuelan government’s praises is long, and Naomi Klein figures near the top.

In 2004, she signed a petition headlined, “We would vote for Hugo Chavez.” Three years later, she lauded Venezuela as a place where “citizens had renewed their faith in the power of democracy to improve their lives.” In her 2007 book, “The Shock Doctrine,” she portrayed capitalism as a sort of global conspiracy that instigates financial crises and exploits poor countries in the wake of natural disasters. But Klein declared that Venezuela had been rendered immune to the “shocks” administered by free market fundamentalists thanks to Chavez’s “21st Century Socialism,” which had created “a zone of relative economic calm and predictability.”


Chavez’s untimely death from cancer in 2013 saw an outpouring of grief from the global left. The caudillo “demonstrated that it is possible to resist the neo-liberal dogma that holds sway over much of humanity,” wrote British journalist Owen Jones. “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people,” said Oliver Stone, who would go on to replace Chavez with Vladimir Putin as the object of his twisted affection.

On the Venezuelan regime’s international propaganda channel, Telesur, American host Abby Martin — who used to ply her duplicitous trade at Russia Today — takes credulous viewers on Potemkin tours of supermarkets fully stocked with goods. It would be inaccurate to label the thoroughly unconvincing Martin, who combines the journalistic ethics of Walter Duranty with the charm of Ulrike Meinhof, a useful idiot. She's just an idiot.


Most of Chavismo’s earlier adherents have maintained a conspicuous silence in the face of the Venezuelan calamity. Those who do speak up, rather than apologize for getting things so wrong, blame collapsing oil prices for the country’s fate. Yet the decline in the value of petroleum has not led to rioting on the streets of Oslo. The tragedy of Venezuela is the predictable result of what happens when a strongman wages, in Chavez’s own words, “economic war on the bourgeoisie owners,” cracks down on media, prints money with reckless abandon and implements all manner of harebrained socialist schemes.

In the age of Trump, Brexit and a wider backlash against globalization, left-wing economic populists are enjoying a resurgence in mainstream credibility by railing against free trade and “neoliberals.” This is a scandal. For in the form of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the world has a petri dish in which to judge the sort of policies endorsed by Jones, Klein, British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, homegrown socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and countless other deluded utopians.

There, the ghastly failures of their ideas are playing out for everyone to see; a real-time rebuke, as if another were needed, to socialism. That these people are considered authorities on anything other than purchasing Birkenstocks, much less running a country, is absurd.

So yes, let’s put term limits on pundits. And let’s start with anyone who praised the Venezuelan model.

James Kirchick is filling in for Doyle McManus. He is a visiting fellow with the Brookings Institution and author of “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age.” Follow him on Twitter @jkirchick.
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I think this was everything on: August 21, 2017, 11:30:22 AM
Estimado Cliente MBE:
Debido a las nuevas regulaciones aduaneras en nuestro país, queda terminantemente prohibida la importación de los siguientes productos. Esta restricción es obligatoria, sin excepción.

ARTÍCULOS PROHIBIDOS
-   Máscaras antigás
-   Chalecos de protección antibalas
-   Pistolas de aire, de balines,
de pintura y municiones relacionadas con este tipo de artículos
-   Resorteras de cualquier tipo
-   Gas pimienta
-   Porta gas pimienta
-   Pistolas eléctricas paralizantes (pistolas de electroshock)
-   Bolas de metal
-   Metras
-   Artículos que contengan gas/aire comprimido
-   Cuchillos de cualquier tipo (incluye machetes y hachas)
-   Garrotes de policía
-   Artículos deportivos de protección
-   Artículos de camuflaje
-   Cascos de cualquier tipo
-   Protectores de tórax


-   Bates y pelotas de baseball
-   Máscaras
-   Protectores faciales
-   Rodilleras
-   Coderas
-   Plomos de pesca
-   Arcos y flechas
-   Lentes de seguridad
-   Globos inflables
-   Productos de
PRIMEROS AUXILIOS
-Antiácidos
-   Gasas
-   Cremas para Quemaduras
-   Vendas
-   Colirios
-   Bicarbonato -ETC
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Did China hack the 7th Fleet? on: August 21, 2017, 09:39:20 AM
http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/08/21/did_china_hack_the_seventh_fleet_112102.html

100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Looks like there has already been media coverage on this on: August 21, 2017, 08:53:20 AM
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/medicines-supplies-grounded-u-s-after-venezuela-tags-them-war-n767346

Medicines, Supplies Grounded in U.S. After Venezuela Tags Them ‘War Material’
by CARMEN SESIN

MIAMI — After four years of sending monthly shipments of medicine and food for hospitals and needy people in Venezuela, Move Org, a non-profit based in Miami, abruptly stopped three weeks ago.

"We stopped because we are seeing that boxes and containers are being opened and searched in Venezuela. We don't want problems," said Hilda Marina Alcalá, the Florida vice-president of the non-profit.

Move Org had been sending up to five to seven pallets of donations monthly to help alleviate the burden that the economic and political crisis gripping the South American nation has had on its people.
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