Excerpt: A top official in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Thursday refuted a report claiming the VA won’t reimburse some veterans who received less money than they were owed as part of their GI Bill benefits. NBC News on Wednesday reported the VA “told congressional staffers that it would not reimburse those veterans who were paid less than they were owed,” citing two anonymous congressional aides. VA Under Secretary for Benefits Paul Lawrence called the NBC story “misleading” and claimed it “gives the false impression that some Veterans on the GI Bill will not be made whole with respect to their housing payments based on an announcement VA made yesterday,” according to a prepared copy of his remarks obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Lawrence said.
Excerpt: Despite the advancements of feminism, media still values women and children more than it values men. For proof, look no further than media’s insistence we help the refugees based on the false narrative the migrant caravan is full of women and children. Except even this MSNBC reporter has to fess up to the truth: the migrant caravan is mostly men.
Excerpt: Introduction: In the past decade, marijuana use prevalence among adolescents has remained relatively steady while cigarette and alcohol prevalence has declined. We examined historical trends in: average grade of onset of marijuana, alcohol, and cigarette use by 12th grade; proportion who try alcohol/cigarettes before first marijuana use, among those who use by 12th grade; and conditional probability of marijuana use by 12th grade after trying alcohol/cigarettes. Methods: Data were drawn from 40 yearly, cross-sectional surveys of 12th grade US adolescents. A subset of students (N = 246,050) were asked when they first used each substance. We reconstructed cohorts of substance use from grade-of-onset to determine sequence of drug use, as well as probability of marijuana use in the same or later grade. Results: Average grade of first alcohol and cigarette use by 12th grade increased across time; e.g., first cigarette increased from grade 7.9 in 1986 to 9.0 by 2016 (, SE = 0.001, p < 0.01). The proportion of 12th grade adolescents who smoke cigarettes before marijuana fell below 50% in 2006. Each one-year increase was associated with 1.11 times increased odds of first cigarette in a grade after first marijuana (95% C.I. 1.11–1.12). Among those who initiate alcohol/cigarettes prior to marijuana by 12th grade, the probability of subsequent marijuana use is increasing. Conclusion: Marijuana is increasingly the first substance in the sequence of adolescent drug use. Reducing adolescent smoking has been a remarkable achievement of the past 20 years; those who continue to smoke are at higher risk for progression to marijuana use.
Excerpt: Paris. Toulouse. Malmo. Copenhagen. Brussels. Berlin. For most people, they are lovely cities where you might happily take a holiday. But for the world’s Jews, they are something else, too. They are place names of hate. Paris for us doesn’t mean just baguettes and Brie but also this year’s murder of a Holocaust survivor in her apartment in the 11th arrondissement and the 2015 siege of a kosher supermarket during which four people were killed. Toulouse is the place where in 2012 three Jewish children and a teacher were murdered at school. Malmo doesn’t call to mind the Swedish coast so much as fire bombs planted outside a Jewish burial chapel. Copenhagen? Copenhagen is where a 37-year-old Jewish economist and voluntary security guard was gunned down as he was guarding a bat mitzvah at the city’s main synagogue in 2015. (The notion that synagogues require armed guards has long since stopped making us flinch.)
Excerpt: I knew it. I knew the instant I saw Twitter erupt in outrage at the use of tear gas to disperse a crowd of people charging our southern border that someone would find an example of the Obama administration doing the same thing. And sure enough, there it was, shared far and wide within minutes, a San Diego Union-Tribune story from November 25, 2013: A group of about 100 people trying to illegally cross the border Sunday near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded by using pepper spray and other means to force the crowd back into Mexico, federal officials said. Twitter existed in 2013. I was on it, and I certainly don’t recall an eruption of outrage, followed by days of think-pieces explaining the horrors of pepper spray and the deep betrayal of American values. In fact, that November incident was hardly unique. As the Washington Times reports, “the same tear-gas agent that the Trump administration is taking heat for deploying against a border mob this weekend is actually used fairly frequently — including more than once a month during the later years of President Barack Obama’s administration.” But that was then. Sensible people understood that you can’t just let a mob rush the border, and Border Patrol agents can and should use non-lethal means to protect themselves from rocks and bottles. And the pictures of kids in cages in the Obama era? Well, there was an “enormous spike” in kids crossing the border, and we “didn’t have enough shelter facilities.” So kids had to be put in Border Patrol lock-ups. But that was temporary. The Obama administration took good care of kids after they left the lock-up, right? Well, not exactly. Some children faced a terrible nightmare.
Excerpt: The ACN study shows that in 22 countries, the reasons for attacks on religious freedom are rooted in radical Islamism, while in other countries the dominant causes are rooted in the authoritarianism of states or governments which pursue policies of “aggressive nationalism”. Among these countries are China, India, North Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan. On a more positive note, the report pointed to an improved level of religious freedom for minorities in Syria and Iraq, following the military defeat of the Islamist terrorist group ISIS/ Daesh.
Excerpt: An Ugly Story about Powerful People Escaping Consequences The Miami Herald writes an extensive, detailed exposé about that long-lingering scandal and stench coming from Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, friend to many powerful and politically connected people. The focus of the story is former U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta, now the U.S. secretary of labor and, according to the rumor mill, a potential option to be the next nominee for attorney general. The Herald’s description of the deal Acosta agreed to with Epstein’s lawyers is jaw-dropping and horrifying. ... Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com. Clinton’s presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.
And the polio-like disease now blossoming throughout US that the CDC doesn't know where it came from--surfaced in 2014 after the DACA unaccompanied minors were placed in various cities throughout the US and put into US school populations--right as schools started in the Fall. --Barb
Excerpt: On July 19, 1953, the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Tehran. Kermit, or “Kim” as his friends called him, had little of his grandfather’s famed swagger. (...) Roosevelt was described by a colleague as “the last person you’d expect to be up to his neck in dirty tricks.” He was a soft-spoken man from an American family of the highest pedigree, with connections around the world and a good reputation. But his courteous demeanor belied the nature of his work; the aforementioned colleague was British double agent Kim Philby. Roosevelt himself was a career spy. He had come to Iran not as a tourist or a mere visitor. He had arrived, according to his later retelling of the ensuing events, by a circuitous route that took him from Beirut to Iraq and then to Iran under an alias: James Lockwood. Kermit Roosevelt was in Iran to overthrow a government. What followed from his secretive entrance into the country has long been the stuff of foreign affairs legend, a turning point in history that demarcates a new path not just for the United States but also for Iran. Operation Ajax (or TPAJAX, as it was called in official documentation) was the first covert regime-change operation carried out by Central Intelligence Agency, then only six years old, and it very nearly failed. (Here’s one hell of a true story. Link may not be live. Ron P.)
Excerpt: No Indian benefits from the blue-eyed, blonde-haired, fake Cherokee identity of Elizabeth Warren, one that worked because it traded on the myths that have been enshrined in our culture from dime-novels to university Indian studies programs. No Indian benefits from activist scolds’ attempt to bully ball teams into changing their Indian mascots––an act of contempt for real Indians, most of whom like those symbols of their identity and traditions. No Indian benefits from school curricula teaching fake history to middle-class whites slumming in noble-savage fantasies cooked up by Disney Studios and pale-face screenwriters. No Indian benefits when business projects that could bring economic benefits to reservations are stalled because they might offend some Indian religious belief that in many cases is very likely a modern invention, or because apocalyptic global warming policies multiply the regulations and permits needed to build infrastructure and create jobs that benefit Indian tribes Most important, Noble Savage Indianism serves an identity politics that reduces individuals to some fantasy group heritage, one predicated on their grievances as victims, and then demands benefits for the group so defined. But such politics run counter to the fundamental premises of our political order. Like everyone else, American Indians are individuals first: their rights are those our political system confers on individuals, and that is how they should be treated––as unique individuals, not as the mascots of some imagined idealized identity invented by whites to gratify their mythic longings, and soothe their disaffection from the high-tech affluent world they have no intentions of abandoning.
Excerpt: U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, the judge who ordered the Trump administration to reinstate Acosta, is a Trump appointee. He is also a member of the conservative Federalist Society. That’s the same Federalist Society routinely bashed by the left, and CNN is most decidedly on the left. The general thrust of the Democratic Media Complex argument against the Federalist Society is that it has vetted prospective federal judges who would be servile rubber stamps for the Trump administration. Wrong. Kelly just proved it to be wrong. The use of the federal judiciary as a partisan hammer isn’t the conservative view. And naturally, it isn’t the Federalist Society’s view, either.
Excerpt: President Trump is taking a serious shellacking in the media and on social media for the cancelation of a planned trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. The site is located roughly 55 miles outside of Paris. The optics of missing such an important event are undeniably bad and they play into other narratives about the President that are unflattering, but these types of decisions are not usually up to the President. The Secret Service and the White House Military Office who arrange presidential airlift with HMX-1 are the ones that decide to cancel helicopter or ground transportation for the President due to a wide variety of contingencies.
The owner of this airplane is based in Chico California which is next to the camp fire that has destroyed thousands of homes and more than a thousand people are still missing. The airplane is a AirTractor 802 designed for fire fighting, this is the man’s business. There are 8 of these planes based at Chico Airport where his business is based. He contracts fire fighting in many other states. He notified Cal Fire as soon as the fire started and told them he had 4 airplanes ready to go and could use the water from Orville dam and stop the fire. He was turned down because his airplanes are single engine which is not allowed in California. Only in California. I hope this gets out to the public.
Excerpt: In May, Pai called on companies to adopt an industry-developed "call authentication system" or standard for the cryptographic signing of telephone calls aimed at ending the use of illegitimate spoofed numbers from the telephone system. Monday's letters seek answers by Nov. 19 on the status of those efforts. (,,,) The authentication framework "digitally validates the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is from the person supposedly making it," the FCC said. (...) FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, earlier this year called on the FCC to set a deadline and noted "Canada went ahead and set a 2019 deadline to put this technology in place. We should be doing the same as our neighbors to the north."
(It sounds as if they’ve finally heard us and are reacting. Notice that at least one of the Democrats on the commission also supports this change, so it is truly a bi-partisan issue. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this won’t do much to stop the VOIP (voice over internet protocol) calls that mostly originate outside the USA–which, unfortunately include most of the scam calls–or most political calls as they are protected by statute. But, it’s better than nothing and even a small improvement is welcome news. Link may not be live. Ron P.)
Excerpt: I sit in the LAX terminal after concluding business in downtown Los Angeles for the past two days, I cannot help but reflect upon my journey from once a California native to a new resident of the Great State of Texas and why. You see, in my personal and professional opinion, the once great State of California has in essence become a third world country Third World Country – “The concept of the “third world” has evolved to describe countries that suffer from low economic development, high levels of poverty and little to no ability to utilize natural or economic resources.” French demographer Alfred Sauvey, 1952. While the reasons for California’s ever-spiraling downwards status from 1st World economic prominence and prosperity to near 3rd World malaise are many; I will assert that when you combine uber-liberal politicians, with rich elitist Hollywood Celebrities, dotcom CEO billionaires, disengaged millennials and illegal aliens; you in effect create the circumstances where your city or state becomes a 3rd World environment. The process of California’s demise from the “Golden State” to 3rd World status has been slow but steady; supported and enabled by the aforementioned actors.
Excerpt: Is it a problem of style or substance when the president fails to visit Arlington National Cemetery? Is it a problem of style or substance when he allows weather to thwart his attendance at a ceremony in France honoring the immense American sacrifices in World War I? And what of failures so far to visit soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention his brazen (and wholly undeserved) insult of Admiral William McRaven, the architect of the Osama bin Laden raid, for failing to find bin Laden sooner? It just so happened it wasn’t McRaven’s job to find bin Laden. It was his job to oversee the mission to kill the world’s most-wanted terrorist, and McRaven performed that job magnificently. Last month — even before many of the incidents listed above — the Military Times released a poll indicating that President Trump’s standing with the military was declining:
Excerpt: If you thought Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was going to take a break from embarrassing herself after her plan to primary her fellow Democrats, think again. Alexandria may have just made her most idiotic boo-boo yet. We’ve already heard her “interesting” take on matters of economics and history. Now she wows us with her complete lack of civics knowledge. Here she is talking about the three “chambers” of government:
Excerpt: In a major blow to the federal government, a judge in Detroit has declared America's female genital mutilation law unconstitutional, thereby dismissing the key charges against two Michigan doctors and six others accused of subjecting at least nine minor girls to the cutting procedure in the nation's first FGM case. The historic case involves minor girls from Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, including some who cried, screamed and bled during the procedure and one who was given Valium ground in liquid Tylenol to keep her calm, court records show. (This is bullshit. ~Bob)
Excerpt: Why do I care? I have spent a great deal of my life caring for the land. I spent two years working as a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. I spent two years working as a firefighter for Cal Fire (then it was the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection, before the word forestry became politically incorrect). I have worked as a river guide for the San Joaquin River Parkway. I have worked as a forester under contract to PG&E. In addition to other studies I have a forestry degree from Reedley College. I have managed my own rangeland. I have consulted on the management of various types of open space for fun and profit. I still have many friends who work in wildland firefighting. Some of these people got into this line of work because of me. A few years ago we lost a friend who was fighting a wildfire. My son is currently in a fire academy and hopes to follow me and his grandfather into wildland firefighting.
is one of those terrific books I wish I had read 50 years ago (but it
didn’t exist!). It is one of those books you wish everyone would
read. But with 25% of our population saying they didn’t read one
book in the last year, most wouldn’t understand it if you tied them
down and read it to them. They are what Dr. Gould would call
“grasshopper people.” It should certainly be read by business
executives, political office holders and policy makes and military
officers. Gould lays out how to make prudent decisions in many areas,
not the least of which is funding your retirement. (A lesson too late
for a great many people.) I like to think that I’ve made pretty
good life decisions, the three best being to join the Marine Corps,
the run for the Massachusetts Senate and to marry my wife. Deciding
not to run for reelection after five terms was a good decision as
well. Most, but not all of my job decisions have been good. But I’m
not aware of a rigorous analysis of them before hand. There is no
doubt in my mind that I would have made better decisions if I had had
the benefit of this volume. I recommend it without reservation.
Excerpt: In addition to the social credit system, Yang’s platform also calls for paying every American a universal basic income of $1,000 a month and government-sponsored journalism. (Very scary stuff. Perhaps Mr. Yang would prefer Communist China....Very Big Bro.--Barb)
Excerpt: "Two years later, Moorlach said the state agencies and utilities have made little progress in mitigating the risk of wildfires faced by communities across the state."“Well they’ve been working on it for like eight years and they haven’t gotten it done. This is really simple stuff,” Moorlach said. “Utilities are just sort of hanging onto the money.” ...Brown has largely framed wildfires as the product of man-made global warming. On Sunday, Brown said “those who deny” global warming contributed to the fires. (BS. All ways for CA government to soak $$ off carbon/oil products with its versions of cap-and-trade...and God forgive them, wanting federal disaster funds. Sick. --Barb)
Excerpt: Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said Thursday that caravan migrants arriving by the hundreds are no longer welcome, an increasingly common sentiment among residents of the Mexican border city. Gastelum described the caravan of Central American migrants as a “horde” that has been infiltrated by criminals who now threaten the community, in an interview with Milenio Television.
Excerpt: Following Friday’s attack on two buses and a microbus in Egypt’s Minya governorate, killing at least seven Coptic Christians and injuring 16 others, both domestic and international media have deployed subtle and not-so-subtle forms of victim-blaming in their coverage. Egyptian media highlighted the poor condition of the road on which the attack took place and speculated about lack of security, which had been debated in the months preceding the attack. Member of Parliament and journalist Mostafa Bakry, on his show Haqa’eq wa Asrar (Facts and Secrets) on Sada al-Balad, praised the efforts of the Egyptian military and security forces, saying, “No one says that police presence is lacking — they are everywhere. But this group went on roads away from security checkpoints to reach the monastery. Terrorists came along mountain paths and waited for them.” International media largely situated the attack within a context of Coptic Christians’ presumed wholescale support for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime. Such narratives not only attempt to posit the attack as an isolated or exceptional incident, but also reduces Copts to homogenous supporters of a regime that provides them with “special protection,” and yet perpetuates their continued exclusion, persecution and death.