Outbreak of Political Correctness in Science Media
For RealClearScience, Alex B. Berezow writes: The American media is widely perceived to lean to the Left. Though most journalists won’t openly admit the fact, it is indisputably true. As reported in the Washington Post, a 2014 study showed that among journalists Democrats outnumber Republicans by four to one. (The exact numbers were: 28.1% Democrat, 7.1% Republican, 50.2% Independent, and 14.6% “other” — whatever that means.) It is impossible to know exactly what to make of the roughly 65% of journalists who refused to put a label on themselves, but it is perhaps safe to assume that Left-leaning independents outnumber Right-leaning independents by the same margin. After all, about 93% of DC-based journalists vote Democrat, and 65% of donations from journalists went to Democrats in 2010.
For science journalists, political affiliation shouldn’t be a problem because the job of a science writer is to report data and facts. Yet, it is a problem. As Hank Campbell and I detailed in our book, Science Left Behind, science journalists are quick to point out unscientific flaws in Republican statements and policies, but shy away from doing the same for Democrats. (Thankfully, this is slowly beginning to change, as more journalists are rebuking Democrats for being opposed to GMOs.)
The left-wing echo chamber that is the modern-day science newsroom has resulted in some very troubling controversies. A recent outbreak of political correctness has resulted in the termination of a Scientific American blogger who committed the unspeakable crime of giving a favorable review to a controversial book on genetics by New York Times writer Nicholas Wade and for defending Richard Feynman against exaggerated accusations of sexism. Read the rest of this entry »
WaPo Irony: ‘Obama Aides Were Warned in 2013′ About a Brewing Border Crisis Obama Knowingly Set in Motion in 2011Posted: July 20, 2014 | |
The Left Hand Pretends it Doesn’t Know What the Other Left Hand is Doing
Washington Post: Nearly a year before President Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border, a team of experts arrived at the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and discovered a makeshift transportation depot for a deluge of foreign children.
“Make no mistake, the president instigated the influx of illegal aliens”
[See Andrew C. McCarthy's An Obama-Caused Border Disaster]
Thirty Border Patrol agents were assigned in August 2013 to drive the children to off-site showers, wash their clothes and make them sandwiches. As soon as those children were placed in temporary shelters, more arrived. An average of 66 were apprehended each day on the border and more than 24,000 cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013.
In a 41-page report to the Department of Homeland Security, the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse.
“The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials.”
The researchers’ observations were among the warning signs conveyed to the Obama administration over the past two years as a surge of Central American minors has crossed into south Texas illegally. More than 57,000 have entered the United States this year, swamping federal resources and catching the government unprepared.
The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials, outside experts and immigrant advocates, leading to an inadequate response that contributed to this summer’s escalating crisis. Read the rest of this entry »
Jury Awards Widow $23.6 Billion in Florida Smoking Case
For the NY Times, Frances Robles reports: A jury in northwestern Florida awarded a staggering $23 billion judgment late Friday against the country’s second-largest tobacco company for causing the death of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer at the age of 36.
“When they first read the verdict, I know I heard ‘million,’ and I got so excited. Then the attorney informed me that was a ‘B’ — billion. It was just unbelievable.”
The company, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, promised a prompt appeal.
Michael Johnson Sr. died in 1996 after smoking for more than 20 years. In 2006, his widow, Cynthia Robinson, of Pensacola, sued R. J. Reynolds the maker of the Kool brand cigarettes her husband had smoked, arguing that the company had deliberately concealed the health hazards its product caused.
“He really did smoke a lot.”
The four-week trial ended Wednesday. The jury deliberated for 18 hours over two days, first awarding $17 million in compensatory damages and then emerging at 10 p.m. Friday with a $23.6 billion punitive judgment. Read the rest of this entry »
A ‘Sensible, Balanced Approach’ to Immigrant Overflow: Nancy Pelosi’s Vacation Resort Floated as Emergency Humanitarian CenterPosted: July 16, 2014 | |
Hey, here’s a great place to send all those unfortunate border kids: Nancy Pelosi’s private vacation resort in Napa pic.twitter.com/kMVNYwynIf
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) July 16, 2014
67 Extremely Invasive Jumbo-Sized Weaponized Ass-Whooping Giant African Snails Intercepted at LAX
“They can be carriers of several parasites which are harmful to humans, one of which can lead to meningitis”
According to a CBP press release, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) inspected an air cargo shipment declared as 67 live snails. Paperwork accompanying the giant foreign mollusks described them as Achatina Fulica for human consumption.
“These pests are a very serious threat to our agriculture, natural ecosystem, public health and economy.”
– From the CBP release
The snails came in from Lagos, Nigeria in two plastic basket packages, CBP says, and weighed slightly more than 35 pounds in total and were destined for San Dimas, California. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] CNN Panel: Daily Beast’s Keli Goff Compares Deporting Jose Antonio Vargas to Sending Blacks Back to AfricaPosted: July 15, 2014 | |
“If you dropped me off in Africa, I couldn’t speak the language, I wouldn’t have any cultural ties to the continent, even though it is the continent of my origin”
– The Daily Beast’s Keli Goff
National Review Online‘s Andrew Johnson has this item: Deporting immigration activist and documentarian Jose Antonio Vargas, who famously revealed he was an illegal immigrant in a New York Times op-ed in 2011 and was arrested trying to leave McAllen, Texas, this morning, would be like sending black Americans back to Africa, according to one CNN guest.
Wright immediately called it a false equivalence because enslaved Africans were forcibly brought to the Americas and did not break the law, but that didn’t stop Goff from continuing to make the case for Vargas.
“Ignoring the core problem will only cause more hardship”
For the Washington Times, Jennifer Harper reports: Critics say Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to politicize the border crisis only to bolster a potential White House run in 2016. Yes, there could be some of that going on, but Mr. Perry also has a succinct reason for speaking out, loudly and often, about the surge of young illegal immigrants: The Lone Star State has already spent a half-billion dollars on the situation. Read the rest of this entry »
For the The Washington Post, Karen Tumulty and David Nakamura report: Until now, the politics of immigration have been *seen as a no-lose proposition for President Obama and the Democrats. If they could get a comprehensive overhaul passed, they would win. And if Republicans blocked it, the GOP would further alienate crucial Hispanic and moderate voters.
“Seen as” means “seen as, by the president’s supporters, senior White House staff , and Democrat-leaning members of the press”
– The Butcher
But with the current crisis on the Southwest border, where authorities have apprehended tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children since October, that calculus may be shifting.
“He can’t even go 242 miles to the Texas border? Border community leaders want to see him down there on the border.”
– Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.)
Republicans and even some Democrats have accused Obama of being insufficiently engaged in a calamity that many say he should have seen coming.
And the president’s own party is deeply divided over what must be done now — particularly on the sensitive question of deporting children who have traveled thousands of miles and turned themselves in to U.S. authorities to escape from the desperate situations they faced in countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The emergency has also renewed questions about the administration’s competence, reminiscent of those raised during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, last year’s botched rollout of the health-care law and more recent revelations of mismanagement that jeopardized care of patients at veterans hospitals. Read the rest of this entry »
Obama Seeks Brisk Passage of Border Children Funding Bill: Would Subsidize Schooling, Health Care, Lawyers for Illegal ImmigrantsPosted: July 11, 2014 | |
For the Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reports: President Obama’s new border spending request will pay for schooling, health care and lawyers for the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children surging across the border, officials told Congress on Thursday as they pleaded for quick action on the $3.7 billion package.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Congress must approve the money this month, saying that if nothing is done before lawmakers leave for a monthlong August vacation, one of his agencies will have to cut its other immigration enforcement in order to hold and transport the children.
But Mr. Johnson and other officials faced bipartisan complaints that Mr. Obama’s plan is “incomplete.” Democrats said it fails to compensate local communities who are having to face the problem, while Republicans said Mr. Obama needs to spell out details of how he wants to change the law to make sure the children can be quickly deported.
“He needs to work with us to get the right policy into effect — not just throw money at the problem,” Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in the Senate, said on the chamber floor. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATED: The company says it is “committed to doing the right thing for all involved.”
For the Hollywood Reporter, Aaron Couch writes: Tracy Morgan is suing Wal-Mart over a New Jersey Turnpike accident that left one person dead and several people hospitalized, including the 30 Rock actor.
Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper allegedly plowed into a limousine van carrying Morgan on June 7, and Morgan and others injured in the accident allege negligence on Wal-Mart’s part in a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.
“Wal-Mart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries,” the complaint reads. “As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation.”
Plaintiffs include Krista Millea, the wife of late comedian James McNair, who died in the accident, as well as Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea, and comedianArdie Fuqua. The plaintiffs are suing for negligence, and in addition, Millea is suing for loss of consortium. Read the rest of this entry »
“It’s robbing the military to inflate the entitlement state.”
Charles Krauthammer, on Friday’s Special Report, compared President Obama’s approach to that of European governments shifting resources from their militaries to social welfare after World War II. The key difference now being that the U.S. will not have an ally with the capacity to defend them as those European states have relied on the American military in recent decades…(read more)
“Europe had us behind them in the last 50 years when it had no military; there’s nobody to back us up if we strip our military and neuter it as we do now.”
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 11, 2014
“I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
- -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.
SAN FRANCISCO —Jessica Guynn reports: For years, sex workers have been the entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley that no one talks about.
But with money flowing from the technology industry, the sex trade is booming.
“I continue to see an increase in the amount of technology clients I see here in the Bay Area,” said Siouxsie Q, a 28-year-old sex worker.
April 12, 2013 – From accepting mobile payments to live Tweeting their cam shows, Bay Area sex workers have adopted the technology developed in the area for their own businesses.
Silicon Valley is better known for its search engines and smartphones than it is for sex
But the sex industry has been closely linked to boom times in the Bay Area going back to the Gold Rush, when men with pickaxes ventured here hoping to hit the mother lode.
“Anytime you have a lot of young men coming West to seek their fortunes, the sex worker industry responds.”
– Q, Activist for sex workers, has a podcast, The Whorecast
The glare of the national spotlight is on Silicon Valley sex workers after news broke this week that a prostitute left a Google executive to die on his yacht in Santa Cruz, Calif., after shooting him up with a deadly dose of heroin.
Forrest Hayes, 51, was found dead last November aboard his 50-foot yacht, Escape. Alix Tichelman, who police say is a high-priced call girl who charged $1,000 to perform sexual acts, is facing manslaughter charges for her role in his death. She is being held on $1.5 million bail.
Police say Tichelman had an “ongoing prostitution relationship” with Hayes that began when she met him on SeekingArrangement.com, a service that says it connects “sugar daddies” with “sugar babies.”
Feds crack down
The Internet is rife with anonymous websites that match sex workers with clients and help them avoid being arrested or assaulted.
The websites have both broadened the sex market and helped customers hire prostitutes more discreetly.
Preferred911.com, which bills itself as a “screen service for those who seek only the most discreet experiences in upscale adult companionship” and charges $129 for an annual membership, offers “escort” services in all 50 states, Guam and Washington, D.C.
Friday Web Briefing
Digression of the day: Dueling wisecracks with Wilkerson and Rothman
“…as a Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would have difficulty corralling a majority out of ‘a base split between a faction hunkering down in the 1980s and one fleeing for the 1890s.’”
“This is a slick observation for one presumably supportive of the party that backs 20th Century models of unionized labor, is bitterly opposed to the private sector technological advances that have made the U.S. the largest oil and natural gas producer on earth in just four years, and remains resentful of modern automated wonders like ATMs. But I digress…”
Reason TV’s Best Health Care Videos - Remember health care?
Hey, Where’s My Corporate Dystopia? – Great item from National Review‘s Kevin D. Williams. It’s from March, 2013, but as funny and insightful in the global panic of July 2014 as it was in relatively less apocalyptic 2013.
Liberals go to the barricades to defend crony capitalism - An ugly paradox, but Timothy Carney makes a good case.
A serious president would push to eliminate the Central American loophole in our immigration laws.
As is his wont, President Obama is treating the border crisis — more than 50,000 unaccompanied children crossing illegally — as a public-relations problem. Where to photo op and where not. He still hasn’t enunciated a policy. He may not even have one.
Will these immigrants be allowed to stay? Seven times was Obama’s homeland-security secretary asked this on Meet the Press. Seven times he danced around the question.
“The only question is: How long until Obama is forced to do the obvious?”
– The Hammer
Presidential press secretary Josh Earnest was ostensibly more forthcoming: “It’s unlikely that most of those kids will qualify for humanitarian relief. . . . They will be sent back.” This was characterized in the media as a harder line. Not at all. Yes, those kids who go through the process will likely have no grounds to stay. But most will never go through the process.
“Where’s Obama’s immigration policy? Did he leave it in the other pants?”
– The Butcher
These kids are being flown or bused to family members around the country and told to then show up for deportation hearings. Why show up? Why not just stay where they’ll get superior schooling, superior health care, superior everything? As a result, only 3 percent are being repatriated, to cite an internal Border Patrol memo.
Repatriate them? How stone-hearted, you say. After what they’ve been through? To those dismal conditions back home?
“Why do they come? The administration pretends it’s because of violence and poverty. Nonsense. When has there not been violence and poverty in Central America?”
– The Hammer
By that standard, with a sea of endemic suffering on every continent, we should have no immigration laws. Deny entry to no needy person.
But we do. We must. We choose. And immediate deportation is exactly what happens to illegal immigrants, children or otherwise, from Mexico and Canada. By what moral logic should there be a Central American exception?
“That’s a very good point, Dr. Krauthammer. You should write an article that says that.”
– The Butcher
There is no logic. Just a quirk of the law — a 2008 law intended to deter sex trafficking. It mandates that Central American kids receive temporary relocation, extensive assistance and elaborate immigration/deportation proceedings, which many simply evade.
“I did. Pay attention.”
– The Hammer
This leniency was designed for a small number of sex-trafficked youth. It was never intended for today’s mass migration aimed at establishing a family foothold in America. Read the rest of this entry »
CHILL: New Zealand’s Proposed Rape Law ‘Reforms’: No Right to Silence, Burden of Proof Shifted to the AccusedPosted: July 10, 2014 | |
…Auckland University law professor Warren Brookbanks said both policies challenged two fundamental principles: the right to silence, and the presumption of innocence, which are both protected in the Bill of Rights Act.
Of National’s plan, he said: “It’s an intrusion into the right to silence.”
In the trial process, offenders are in any event always at a serious disadvantage relative to the prosecution, and there are some important protections in the trial process, and the right to silence is a fundamental right. These are part of our democratic rights that apply to all citizens.”
“Innocent people get caught up in the system, and these provisions affecting the right to silence and the presumption of innocence are there to ensure the prosecution has enough evidence to justify bringing a charge.”
Regarding Labour’s proposal, he said reforms in the 1980s already meant that an accused had to show an “honest and a reasonable belief” that the victim was consenting.
“The presumption of innocence is fundamental to our justice system and our society. Requiring an accused person to prove their innocence would undoubtedly result in many injustices and wrongful convictions.”
[Also see: Man falsely accused of sexual assault to sue]
“It means they have to have made some inquiry as to the attitude of the other person. And if they haven’t, then they are acting unreasonably and are going to be convicted.”
Professor Brookbanks said shifting the burden of proof would made it even harder for defendants, especially because it is often one person’s word against the other person’s word. Read the rest of this entry »
“The women passing through here know that they’re going to be raped”
– Father Pedraza, director of a shelter for migrants in Altar
MEXICO CITY – For Fox News Latino, David Agren reports: As a priest in the town of Altar, near the Arizona border, the Rev. Prisciliano Pedraza sees migrants stocking up on supplies such as food, water and medicine for treacherous treks through the desert.
[Also see - Rape tree found near Mexico border]
But he sees female migrants stocking up on something else: contraceptives, which they take preventatively to protect themselves against sexual violence all too common as they make the journey through Mexico to the United States.
“Migrants are a vulnerable group, and the most vulnerable among them are women.”
Thousands of Central Americans travel through Mexico every year attempting to reach the United States. But because they make the trip illegally, they are vulnerable to kidnappings, extortion and robbery – with organized criminal groups such as Los Zetas often acting in cahoots with law enforcement authorities.
“They go to the pharmacy and buy emergency contraception for their trip to Mexico.”
In the case of women, the crimes include sexual assaults, forcing them to take precautions. They often take alternative routes through Mexico, feigning friendships with men in their group to stay safe while traveling. Increasingly, they are buying and consuming contraceptives before they make their trip.
“It’s on the increase,” says Marta Sánchez Soler, an advocate with the MesoAmerican Migrants Movement. “The first ones (doing it) were women from El Salvador, but now it’s everyone.”
Many contraceptives are sold without a prescription in Mexico, including the morning-after pill. Sánchez says some women receive injections before leaving or wear patches.
“They go to the pharmacy and buy emergency contraception for their trip to Mexico. This is they would tell us.”
Most church groups don’t supply the contraceptives – or condone what the women do, but they do help the women in other ways.
“They’re not giving it out, but they’re offering advice,” Sánchez said.
A network of shelters for migrants stretches the length of Mexico – with most run by Catholic priests and religious, who report being queried about contraceptives by women arriving as guests.
“They’ll arrive at the shelters and ask the priests or people that work there” about buying contraceptives, says Alberto Xicotencatl, director of the diocesan-run migrant shelter in Saltillo, 195 miles from the Texas border at Nuevo Laredo.
[Also see Jude Joffe-Block's report - Facing Risk Of Rape, Migrant Women Prepare With Birth Control]
But women are less likely than men to stay at migrant shelters, which are often established near railway lines and frequented by Central Americans stealing rides on northbound trains known as “La Bestia,” or, “The Beast” – so named for the way it maims migrants who fall on the tracks and lose limbs.
Women attempt to avoid La Bestia, which organized crime now charges $100 to climb aboard, according to Xicotencatl. Criminal groups also prey on migrants while they wait in railway yards for trains to arrive.
“They would rather risk the immigration authorities than organized crime,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »
For Breitbart.com, Tony Lee reports: On the day President Barack Obama met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry to discuss the border crisis, at least 1,300 migrants were stranded when the so-called “Death Train” derailed in southern Mexico.
Reuters reported that “a cargo train” nicknamed “the Beast,” which is “used by Mexicans and Central Americans to travel toward the U.S. border,” derailed on Wednesday in Oaxaca, Mexico.”
About 1,300 migrants, many of whom were “young people,” were reportedly stranded but not injured while riding what others have referred to as “El Tren de la Muerte,” or Death Train.
Many of these nations want their migrants to go to America so they can send back billions of dollars in remittances, which account for a significant percentage of the GDP of these nations.
As Breitbart Texas has reported, “children who travel via Death Train must jump onto a moving freight car” and “minors who cannot successfully pull themselves onto the traveling cars fall onto the tracks” and “many are left with extreme injuries,” like losing arms and legs. Read the rest of this entry »