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Headline of the Year: Author of ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ arrested for allegedly killing her husband 

Life has apparently imitated art for one romance writer.

Storm Gifford reports: In a twist of irony so devious it would have turned Agatha Christie green with envy, Oregon chef Daniel Brophy was found shot to death nearly seven years after his wife of 27 years penned an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband.”

Nancy Crampton-Brophy, the writer of sensuous mysteries such as “Hell on the Heart” and “The Wrong Husband,” was arrested for murder on Sept. 5 — more than three months after the death of her spouse.

“Dan was one of the very few people I’ve known that knew exactly what he wanted in life and loved doing it,” she said at a candlelight vigil two days after Daniel’s demise.

Oregon cops were mum on arrest details such as why Crampton-Brophy, 68, was taken into custody only last week for the June 2 shooting.

“Detectives believe Nancy L. Crampton-Brophy is the suspect in Daniel C. Brophy’s murder,” said Portland police, who refused to discuss motive or evidence. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] What Should Have Happened at the Kavanaugh Hearing

 

Alternate reality.

Something light to cleanse the palate via Reason at the end of a week that was even stupider and more irritating than expected … (read more)

Source: HotAir.com – Reason


Testosterone May Make Men More Honest 

An article published by Ta Kung Pao this week used a photo of James Bond actor Daniel Craig to illustrate what it described as the widespread presence of M16 agents in Hong Kong. Associated Press

Alex Berezow reports: Testosterone does a lot of different things for a men — it masculinizes the body, boosts the sex drive, and contributes to hair loss. Now, researchers think it may also make men more honest.

In recent years, there has been an interest in determining how our hormones affect our economic behavior, such as gambling and financial risk taking. The financial industry is dominated by men, and if testosterone influences decision-making, this potentially has a profound implication for the national economy.

Paradoxically, testosterone promotes pro-social behaviors in some circumstances and anti-social behavior in others. The reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, but it may involve a man’s desire to increase his social status. Previous research shows that testosterone may actually make a man a fairer negotiator.

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To investigate such phenomena further, a team of researchers administered testosterone gels to 124 college-aged male volunteers and placebo gels to 118 males. (The total sample size was 242.) They were then given a die and told to roll it, and whatever number came up was the amount of money they were to receive for participating in the experiment. Because they rolled the die in private, they could cheat (by reporting a higher value than they actually rolled). The authors hypothesized that the testosterone group would be more honest.

The results showed that both groups cheated, but the placebo group cheated more, which was consistent with the team’s hypothesis.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Mental State of M. Todd Henderson by Elaine Ash

Mad Genius Club

The Mental State of M. Todd Henderson

by Elaine Ash

As the purge of conservative and libertarian pundits roils You Tube, Twitter, Facebook and anywhere speech is supposedly free, M. Todd Henderson and his political thriller Mental State fight an uphill battle to release in October.

In late 2015, I was hired as a freelance editor by Mr. Henderson, a law professor at the University of Chicago. His book, Mental State,  is based on the real-life partially unsolved murder of Florida law professor Dan Markel. In the book, the murder is pinned on the wrong perp.

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Are You a DFIO? The Four Ways Ex-Internet Idealists Explain Where It All Went Wrong 

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21st-century digital evangelists had a lot in common with early Christians and Russian revolutionaries.

A long time ago, in the bad old days of the 2000s, debates about the internet were dominated by two great tribes: the Optimists and the Pessimists.

“The internet is inherently democratizing,” argued the Optimists. “It empowers individuals and self-­organizing communities against a moribund establishment.”

“Wrong!” shouted the Pessimists. “The internet facilitates surveillance and control. It serves to empower only governments, giant corporations, and on occasion an unruly, destructive mob.”

These battles went on at length and were invariably inconclusive.

Nevertheless, the events of 2016 seem to have finally shattered the Optimist consensus. Long-standing concerns about the internet, from its ineffectual protections against harassment to the anonymity in which teenage trolls and Russian spies alike can cloak themselves, came into stark relief against the backdrop of the US presidential election. Even boosters now seem to implicitly accept the assumption (accurate or not) that the internet is the root of multiple woes, from increasing political polarization to the mass diffusion of misinformation.

All this has given rise to a new breed: the Depressed Former Internet Optimist (DFIO). Everything from public apologies by figures in the technology industry to informal chatter in conference hallways suggests it’s become very hard to find an internet Optimist in the old, classic vein. There are now only Optimists-in-retreat, Optimists-in-doubt, or Optimists-hedging-their-bets.

As Yuri Slezkine argues wonderfully in The House of Government, there is a process that happens among believers everywhere, from Christian sects to the elites of the Russian Revolution, when a vision is unexpectedly deferred. Ideologues are forced to advance a theory to explain why the events they prophesied have failed to come to pass, and to justify a continued belief in the possibility of something better.

[Read the full story here, at MIT Technology Review]

Among the DFIOs, this process is giving rise to a boomlet of distinct cliques with distinct views about how the internet went wrong and what to do about it. As an anxiety-­ridden DFIO myself, I’ve been morbidly cataloguing these strains of thinking and have identified four main groups: the Purists, the Disillusioned, the Hopeful, and the Revisionists.

These are not mutually exclusive positions, and most DFIOs I know combine elements from them all. I, for instance, would call myself a Hopeful-Revisionist. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: A Bad Lip Reading

How White House press briefings sound in Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ head… Follow on Instagram and Twitter: @badlipreading and Facebook 

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[VIDEO] F. A. Hayek on Social Justice


Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents 

Illustration by Kotryna Zukauskaite

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought.

reports: It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle.

How were the Chinese able to roll up the network?

Now, nearly eight years later, it appears that the agency botched the communication system it used to interact with its sources, according to five current and former intelligence officials. The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it.

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“The attitude was that we’ve got this, we’re untouchable,” said one of the officials who, like the others, declined to be named discussing sensitive information. The former official described the attitude of those in the agency who worked on China at the time as “invincible.”

Other factors played a role as well, including China’s alleged recruitment of former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee around the same time. Federal prosecutors indicted Lee earlier this year in connection with the affair.

But the penetration of the communication system seems to account for the speed and accuracy with which Chinese authorities moved against the CIA’s China-based assets.

“You could tell the Chinese weren’t guessing. The Ministry of State Security [which handles both foreign intelligence and domestic security] were always pulling in the right people,” one of the officials said.

“When things started going bad, they went bad fast.” Read the rest of this entry »


Youth Unemployment Hits 52-Year Low

Data suggest more opportunities are available to some groups that historically struggled to find jobs.

>Andrew Duehren reports: The unemployment rate among young Americans fell to its lowest level in more than 50 years this summer, though the share of young people looking for work remained well below its peak in 1989.

Of Americans between 16 and 24 years old actively looking for work this summer, 9.2% were unemployed in July, the Labor Department said Thursday, a drop from the 9.6% youth unemployment rate in July 2017. It was the lowest midsummer joblessness rate for youth since July 1966.

One of those finding work was Teandre Blincoe, 17, who placed in a job this summer in an information technology division at Humana, a health insurance company based in Louisville, Ky., by KentuckianaWorks, which has partnered with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to place low-income youth in summer jobs.

With his first job under his belt, Mr. Blincoe said he would feel more confident looking for employment in the future. “I have a really solid idea of how I can present myself and actually get a job.”

Low unemployment among young people shows that in a tight labor market more opportunities are opening to groups that historically have struggled to find jobs. Read the rest of this entry »


John Brennan, Heroic American

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[VIDEO] Upcoming ‘Gosnell’ Movie Trailer

The long-awaited film “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” is slated to hit theaters on October 12.

A trailer for the film, directed by Nick Searcy and starring Dean Cain in the lead role of a detective investigating an abortion doctor’s crimes, was released on Wednesday afternoon.

The movie (rated PG-13) is based on the sensational story of doctor Kermit Gosnell, who ran a multimillion-dollar abortion practice in West Philadelphia. Read the rest of this entry »


Democratic Socialism is Totalitarian Slavery

slavery

How to properly understand this system

writes: Have you ever wondered why, despite the continuous systemic failures of socialistic, communistic or fascistic regimes, -as evidently proven by the observable catastrophes of 2018’s Venezuela, Mao’s China, and the Soviet Union — this idea of the Utopian collectivist commune never seem to die? Witness the popular resurgence of this idea in today’s celebratory praise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s push for Democratic Socialism.

The secret to the existence and survival of these ideas is far more sinister than you may have realized.

George Orwell, who was a Democratic Socialist himself, anxiously warned us about this in his book ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’. Ayn Rand laid out their calculated plans in ‘The Fountainhead’. Friedrich Hayek illustrated the imminent dangers of what’s to come if they succeed in his ‘Road to Serfdom’.

Literature is brimmed with thinkers who had alerted us to the dangers of this idea throughout history. What they would have warned us today, which they did in the past, is how Democratic Socialism is simply slavery re-branded.

If you make the argument that Democratic Socialism is slavery, you will likely be accused of exaggerated fear mongering. But are you wrong? Read on to know why Socialism is essentially slavery.

Socialism does away with property rights.

It is a basic tenet of life and liberty that without property rights, no other rights are possible. The problematic error of which most of us tragically hold today is to view property only as inanimate matter because this materialistic view classifies property as being separate and apart from man’s life.

[Read the full story here, at Medium]

The truth is, property is the implementation to life and liberty. It is crucial to understand how the bond between private property and political freedom is an indissoluble one, because an individual’s property is an extension of his own life.

Why property rights is essential to freedom

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Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Published in 1719.

It is important for people to learn the connection between property rights as being directly protected by liberty, and how this connection ensures life. To help picture this clearly, think of yourself as Robinson Crusoe. Or Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Or if you’re talking to the very young, Matt Damon in The Martian.

These fictional characters illustrate this bond between property and life. When these castaways were shipwrecked alone, the only choices presented to them is either to survive or to perish. In order to live, they will have to employ the use of their mind and direct their body to produce the necessary requirement of survival: shelter, water, food.

Socialist guilt tripping

A socialist will bring up the example: imagine if a year later, another castaway is stranded on the same patch of land as you. Don’t you have the moral obligation to share your shelter, water and food with him? The answer to this is not “yes you’re obligated morally to share” nor “no, you’re not obligated morally to share”, but rather, the correct answer is: “you shall decide”.

Why is “you shall decide” the right answer? It is because the shelter, water and food you’ve created is a product of your mind and body, which is an extension to your very life. Read the rest of this entry »


Karol Markowicz: The Media’s Blatant Hypocrisy — Even About Media-Bashing

On Sunday, the Unite the Right II rally of white supremacists fizzled out. Antifa demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., who gathered to mark the anniversary of the first Unite the Right rally, threw eggs at Secret Service, were arrested for assaulting a man wearing a Make America Great Again hat, launched fireworks and smoke bombs at police and assaulted NBC reporter Cal Perry. Perry had his camera knocked out of his hands while the protester screamed profanities at him.

The story appears on various media sites, and several reporters tweeted about the attack, but the outrage was muted. Instead, nearly every outlet went out of their way to gently describe the Antifa mob. The headlines at CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post made sure to call the group “anti-hate protesters.”

[Read the full story here, at nypost.com]

After two years of constant self-applause, and furrowed-brow concern about President Trump sowing mistrust in the media as well as possibly instigating violence against its members, where is the outrage when a reporter is physically assaulted?

Had it been an alt-right member doing the attacking, is there any doubt the story would lead all news shows and make the front page of all the major newspapers?

Also on Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio sat down with Brian Stelter at CNN to continue his crybaby “News Corp is mean to me so I wish they’d disappear” tour. Read the rest of this entry »


Masked Arsonists Torch Cars Across Sweden

Dozens of cars burned in several cities in Sweden on Monday evening.

Gothenburg police and fire services were alerted to the first blaze after 9pm, after which several more calls came in from the city as well as Trollhättan, Lysekil and Falkenberg some 100 kilometres away.

“We have been to around 20 places in Gothenburg. It’s mainly vehicles that have burned – cars, some truck, caravans – but also some buried waste disposal site,” Johan Eklund, emergency control room officer in the greater Gothenburg area, told Swedish news agency TT shortly after midnight.

 

Swedish media reported that groups of up to ten youths had been seen throwing stones and lighting cars on fire in Gothenburg districts Gårdsten, Hjällbo and Frölunda, among other locations. Read the rest of this entry »


Inside Google’s Effort to Develop a Censored Search Engine in China

The company sampled searches from a Beijing-based website to hone its blacklists.

Engineers working on the censorship sampled search queries from 265.com, a Chinese-language web directory service owned by Google.

Unlike Google.com and other Google services, such as YouTube, 265.com is not blocked in China by the country’s so-called Great Firewall, which restricts access to websites deemed undesirable by the ruling Communist Party regime.

265.com was founded in 2003 by Cai Wensheng, a Chinese entrepreneur known as the “the godfather of Chinese webmasters.” In 2008, Google acquired the website, which it now operates as a subsidiary. Records show that 265.com is hosted on Google servers, but its physical address is listed under the name of the “Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co.,” which is based out of an office building in northwest Beijing’s Haidian district.

265.com provides news updates, links to information about financial markets, and advertisements for cheap flights and hotels. It also has a function that allows people to search for websites, images, videos, and other content. However, search queries entered on 265.com are redirected to Baidu, the most popular search engine in China and Google’s main competitor in the country.

[Read the full story here, at theintercept.com]

It appears that Google has used 265.com as a de facto honeypot for market research, storing information about Chinese users’ searches before sending them along to Baidu. Google’s use of 265.com offers an insight into the mechanics behind its planned Chinese censored search platform, code-named Dragonfly, which the company has been preparing since spring 2017.

After gathering sample queries from 265.com, Google engineers used them to review lists of websites that people would see in response to their searches. The Dragonfly developers used a tool they called “BeaconTower” to check whether the websites were blocked by the Great Firewall. They compiled a list of thousands of websites that were banned, and then integrated this information into a censored version of Google’s search engine so that it would automatically manipulate Google results, purging links to websites prohibited in China from the first page shown to users. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] HALL OF FAME: Cops Post Mugshots Of Antifa Rioters, Liberals Freak Out

 reports: Oops, the left is upset. Some leftists lambasted the Berkeley PD  because they outed violent Antifas goons arrested Sunday by posting the mugshots of those arrested, along with their names, and the alleged crimes for which they were arrested. A practice that is not unusual for the Berkeley PD. These leftist are claiming that the cops were looking to arrest only the Antifa gangs during the protests when actually the cops were looking to arrest only the violent protesters.

According to the police number of Antifa counter-protesters arrested is now twenty,  “most of them for possession of banned weapons in parks, and on streets and sidewalks. Dozens of weapons were confiscated.”

Even though there were many hundreds of people, many of whom came armed and hostile, there were no significant injuries to anyone in the public or to City staff. The lack of injuries is fortunate given that extremists threw explosives at Berkeley Police and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office mutual aid officers. Berkeley Fire treated and released three members of the public for minor injuries. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Cultural Appropriation Tastes Damn Good: How Immigrants, Commerce, and Fusion Keep Food Delicious

Writer Gustavo Arellano talks about food slurs, the late Jonathan Gold, and why Donald Trump’s taco salad is a step in the right direction.

The late Jonathan Gold wrote about food in Southern California with an intimacy that brought readers closer to the people that made it. The Pulitzer Prize–winning critic visited high-end brick-and-mortar restaurants as well as low-end strip malls and food trucks in search of good food wherever he found it. Gold died of pancreatic cancer last month, but he still influences writers like Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times columnist and author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

Arellano sat down with Reason’s Nick Gillespie to talk about Gold’s legacy, political correctness in cuisine, and why Donald Trump’s love of taco salad gives him hope in the midst of all of the president’s anti-Mexican rhetoric. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] David Mamet: ‘Economic Justice’ Is Really Just ‘Communism’ 

SHAPIRO: It’s really interesting because when you watch your movies, there are…some lines that have become just part of the American parlance. Obviously, there’s the whole “Chicago way” speech from “The Untouchables,” or the speech that, in the movie version, Alec Baldwin gives in “Glengarry Glen Ross” – the “always be closing” speech.

A lot of folks on the Left tend to use these particular lines actually a fair bit. So, Barack Obama famously suggested that you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight in his sort of political heyday, and people on the Left are constantly suggesting that capitalism is this dog-eat-dog business where people are attempting to tear each other down, and they use that as an excuse for government interventionism. But it sounds like your basic view of human beings [is] that all human beings are basically at each other, and that’s why we have to come to these basic agreements to leave each other alone.

MAMET: Well, yeah. I was watching yesterday the great Tucker Carlson – I’m crazy about him. He had some cockamamie, I think Democrat something or other congressmen or something, and he says to the guy, the Democrat, he says, “Wait a second,” he says, “you guys got nothing left in the golf bag. What in the world are you gonna run on in the midterms?” And the guy says, “Economic justice and social justice.”

So I said, okay, you know, let’s break it down to the English language, right? What does economic justice mean at the end? How is that different than justice, right? It’s communism. It’s statism. It means that someone is going to stand above whatever rules we have for commerce, and decide what’s just to whom, right?

As Thomas Sowell said, whenever anybody says, “It’s gonna help A,” you say, well, who’s it gonna hurt?

So, economic justice is, at the end of the day, it’s communism. Read the rest of this entry »


Corruption in Portlandia: Anarchy Breaks Out in Portland, With the Mayor’s Blessing

A vicious mob targeted the ICE office and even a food cart. The police followed orders to do nothing.

Andy Ngo reports: Along the trolley tracks behind the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office, a biohazard cleanup crew works under police protection. It finds used needles and buckets of human waste simmering in nearly 100-degree heat. The smell of urine and feces fills the block. For more than five weeks, as many as 200 people had occupied the site to demand ICE’s immediate abolition. They’re gone now, but a community is left reeling. Thirty-eight days of government-sanctioned anarchy will do that.

A mob surrounded ICE’s office in Southwest Portland June 19. They barricaded the exits and blocked the driveway. They sent “guards” to patrol the doors, trapping workers inside. At night they laid on the street, stopping traffic at a critical junction near a hospital. Police stayed away. “At this time I am denying your request for additional resources,” the Portland Police Bureau’s deputy chief, Robert Day, wrote to federal officers pleading for help. Hours later, the remaining ICE workers were finally evacuated by a small federal police team. The facility shut down for more than a week.

Signs called ICE employees “Nazis” and “white supremacists.” Others accused them of running a “concentration camp,” and demanded open borders and prosecution of ICE agents. Along a wall, vandals wrote the names of ICE staff, encouraging others to publish their private information online.

Federal workers were defenseless. An ICE officer, who asked that his name not be published, told me one of his colleagues was trailed in a car and confronted when he went to pick up his daughter from summer camp. Later people showed up at his house. Another had his name and photo plastered on flyers outside his home accusing him of being part of the “Gestapo.” Read the rest of this entry »


Capitalism Has Achieved What Marxism Merely Promised

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 writes: Marx’s disciples from Cuba and Venezuela to South Africa and Zimbabwe are committing the same mistake today.

Marxism was supposed to have brought about a lot of positive changes, including the creation of a classless society, where everyone lived in peace. To these ambitious goals can be added substantial reduction in the amount of labor required from the proletariat.

As Rodney G. Peffer from the University of San Diego put it in his 2014 book Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice:

Marx believed the reduction of necessary labor time to be…an absolute necessity. He [claimed] … that real wealth is the developed productive force of all individuals. It is no longer the labor time but the disposable time that is the measure of wealth.

Little did the German economist know that free markets would achieve his objective with aplomb.

The number of hours worked per day has fluctuated throughout human history. Based on their observations of extant hunter-gatherer societies, scholars estimate that our foraging ancestors worked anywhere between 2.8 hours and 7.6 hours per day.

Once they secured their food for the day, however, they stopped. The foragers’ workload was comparatively low, but so was their standard of living. Our ancestors’ wealth was limited to the weight of the possessions they could carry on their backs from one location to the next.

The total number of hours worked rose because people were willing to sacrifice free time in exchange for a more stable food supply.

About 12,000 years ago, people started to settle down, cultivate crops and domesticate animals. The total number of hours worked rose, because people were willing to sacrifice free time in exchange for a more stable food supply. Since artificial lighting was prohibitively expensive, daylight regulated the amount of work that could be done on any given day.

In summer, most people worked between six and 10 hours in the fields and an additional three hours at home. In winter, shorter days limited the total number of work hours to eight. For religious reasons, Sunday was a day off and a plethora of feasts broke the monotony of agricultural life.

Our expectations as to what constitutes a good work-life balance are obviously very different from those of hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists. It makes sense, therefore, to compare today’s workload to that at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

In 1830, the workweek in the industrializing West averaged about 70 hours or, Sundays’ excluded, 11.6 hours of work per day. By 1890 that fell to 60 hours per week or 10 hours per day. Thirty years later, the working week in advanced societies stood at 50 hours, or 8.3 hours per day. Read the rest of this entry »


How Silicon Valley Became a Den of Spies

The West Coast is a growing target of foreign espionage. And it’s not ready to fight back.

 writes: Russian intelligence has had an intensive interest in San Francisco stretching back to the beginning of the Cold War. In those days, the Russians were primarily gathering information on local military installations, said former officials, including the Presidio, the strategically located former military base set on a wind-swept northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Since then, Russian operations have become bolder, with one notable exception: the immediate post-Cold War period. “The only time there was a collective sigh regarding Russia, like maybe things have changed, was under Gorbachev,” said LaRae Quy, who worked on Russian and Chinese counterintelligence in the Bay Area from 1985 to 2002. “We even put in a big ‘Going Out Of Business’ sign in the Palo Alto squad room.”

But this optimism quickly faded when Putin was elected in 2000, recalled Quy, who retired in 2006. “Russia has been steadily escalating since then.”

As the Bay Area transformed itself into a tech hub, Russia adapted its efforts accordingly, with Russian spies increasingly focused on obtaining information on valuable, sensitive or potentially dual-use technologies—those with both civilian and military applications—being developed or financed by companies or venture-capital firms based in the region. Russia’s espionage activities have traditionally been centered on its San Francisco Consulate, which was forcibly closed by the Trump administration in early September 2017.

But even with the consulate shuttered, there are alternative vehicles for Russian intelligence-gathering in Silicon Valley. One potential mechanism, said three former intelligence officials, is Rusnano USA, the sole U.S. subsidiary of Rusnano, a Russian government-owned venture capital firm primarily focused on nanotechnology. Rusnano USA, which was founded in 2011, is located in Menlo Park, near Stanford University. Read the rest of this entry »


Explosion Reported Outside US Embassy in Beijing 

An explosion was reported on Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing's Chaoyang District.  (Reuters)

An explosion was reported on Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing’s Chaoyang District.  (Reuters)

An explosion was reported on Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Bystanders shared video of the aftermath on social media, showing images of smoke unfurling in the street and what appeared to be police vehicles surrounding the building in the city’s Chaoyang District.

American and Chinese officials did not immediatly respond to comments on the incident.

China and the U.S. are in the middle of a trade dispute … (more)

This is a developing story. Read the rest of this entry »


The US May Have Just Pulled Even With China in the Race to Build Supercomputing’s Next Big Thing

The two countries are vying to create an exascale computer that could lead to significant advances in many scientific fields.

Martin Giles writes:

… The race to hit the exascale milestone is part of a burgeoning competition for technological leadership between China and the US. (Japan and Europe are also working on their own computers; the Japanese hope to have a machine running in 2021 and the Europeans in 2023.)

In 2015, China unveiled a plan to produce an exascale machine by the end of 2020, and multiple reports over the past year or so have suggested it’s on track to achieve its ambitious goal. But in an interview with MIT Technology Review, Depei Qian, a professor at  Beihang University in Beijing who helps manage the country’s exascale effort, explained it could fall behind schedule. “I don’t know if we can still make it by the end of 2020,” he said. “There may be a year or half a year’s delay.”

Teams in China have been working on three prototype exascale machines, two of which use homegrown chips derived from work on existing supercomputers the country has developed. The third uses licensed processor technology. Qian says that the pros and cons of each approach are still being evaluated, and that a call for proposals to build a fully functioning exascale computer has been pushed back.

Given the huge challenges involved in creating such a powerful computer, timetables can easily slip, which could make an opening for the US. China’s initial goal forced the American government to accelerate its own road map and commit to delivering its first exascale computer in 2021, two years ahead of its original target. The American machine, called Aurora, is being developed for the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Supercomputing company Cray is building the system for Argonne, and Intel is making chips for the machine. Read the rest of this entry »


More and More of What We Do Depends on Government Permission

The granting or withholding of that approval is a powerful lever over our lives.

> writes: Increasingly, that’s the theme of modern America. More and more of what we do is dependent on permission from the government. That permission, unsurprisingly, is contingent on keeping government officials happy. Rub those officials the wrong way and they’ll strip you of permission to travel the roads, leave the country, or even make a living.

That’s not a recipe for a free country.

In February of this year, the IRS began sending the U.S. State Department lists of Americans who have a seriously delinquent tax debt, so that these individuals can be denied the right to travel overseas.

“[T]his only applies to a seriously delinquent tax debt,” cautions tax attorney Robert W. Wood, “more than $50,000. Even so, that $50,000 includes penalties and interest. A $20,000 tax debt can grow to $50,000 including penalties and interest.”

Passport revocation isn’t contingent on criminal conviction, or suspicion of flight. Your travel documents can be yanked just for the outstanding debt—even if you’re already outside the country.

“If you’re already overseas, the State Department may, but is not required to, provide a passport permitting your return home,” writes former federal prosecutor Justin Gelfand. “And a 1952 statute makes it a crime for a U.S. citizen to enter or exit the country without a valid passport.”

That law requiring a passport to cross the border in either direction, combined with the threat to strip passports from alleged tax debtors, effectively makes the country one big debtors’ prison.

What connection is there between taxes and the right to travel? None. Members of Congress and other government officials just thought they could coerce more people into meeting IRS demands if they made the right to travel (not so much a “right” any more) dependent on keeping the taxman happy. Read the rest of this entry »


In Hollywood, ‘Anything Goes’ Becomes ‘You’re Fired’ 

Disney has severed ties with filmmaker James Gunn, who previously directed two ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

Disney has severed ties with filmmaker James Gunn, who previously directed two ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

Joe Flint reports: Executives and creatives are losing their jobs as the entertainment industry becomes less tolerant of offensive remarks, abusive behavior

Hollywood’s longstanding say-anything, do-anything culture is rapidly turning into one where the wrong words can have career-killing consequences.

Top executives at Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and Netflix Inc., as well as creative talent who worked on the “Lethal Weapon” television series and “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies have been fired in recent months after allegations of offensive remarks, verbal abuse and other inappropriate behavior that in the past was more likely to have been tolerated, industry veterans said.

“Saying something offensive back in the day wouldn’t necessarily get you fired,” said Tom Nunan, a former high-ranking television executive and executive producer of the Oscar-winning movie “Crash,” about race relations in Los Angeles. “Now the consequences are severe and immediate.”

The recent firings comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement that started in Hollywood with allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and has had repercussions throughout workplaces. Mr. Weinstein has denied accusations of nonconsensual sexual acts. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Remember When Obama Did This In Response To Russian Meddling? 

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was on a tear on Wednesday over the media’s response to President Trump’s widely criticized summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Limbaugh dedicated one segment of the three-hour show to providing some uncomfortable flashblacks for Trump’s Democratic critics.

Limbaugh led into the discussion by quoting a June 2018 story by Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff titled, “Obama cyber chief confirms ‘stand down’ order against Russian cyberattacks in summer 2016“:

The Obama White House’s chief cyber official testified Wednesday that proposals he was developing to counter Russia’s attack on the U.S. presidential election were put on a ‘back burner’ after he was ordered to ‘stand down’ his efforts in the summer of 2016.

Here’s the video of Obama’s chief cyber official Michael Daniel revealing the “stand down” order in a Senate Intelligence Committee:

“This is the Obama administration,” said Limbaugh. “They knew the Russians were hacking. They knew Russians were engaging in cyber warfare, and the Obama White House chief cyber official testified that he was told to stand down. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Is Jonah Goldberg Turning Into a Libertarian? It Sure Sounds Like It

The Suicide of the West author explains his anti-Trumpism, evolution on culture-war issues, and growing attraction to libertarianism.

In his new book, Suicide of the West, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg talks of what he calls “the Miracle”—the immense and ongoing increase in human wealth, health, freedom, and longevity ushered in during the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.

At turns sounding like Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter, and economist Deirdre McCloskey, Goldberg writes, “In a free market, money corrodes caste and class and lubricates social interaction. Capitalism is the most cooperative system ever created for the peaceful improvement of peoples’ lives. It has only a single fatal flaw: It doesn’t feel like it.”

As his book’s title suggests, Goldberg isn’t worried the world is running out of resources. He’s troubled by our unwillingness to defend, support, and improve customs, laws, and institutions that he believes are crucial to human flourishing.

“Decline is a choice,” he writes, not a foregone conclusion. While he lays most of the blame for our current problems on a Romantic left emanating from Rousseau, he doesn’t stint on the responsibility of his own tribe of conservative fear-mongers and reactionaries. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Left in 2018: Unhinged 


The Left Loses Its Cool

panic-panic

“When you’re violent and cursing and screaming and blocking me from walking into a movie, there’s something wrong,” said one top GOP official.

In the Donald Trump era, the left is as aggressively confrontational as anyone can remember.

Passers-by gather to take photos in front of the Red Hen Restaurant on June 23, in Lexington, Virginia. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Saturday that she was booted from the Virginia establishment because she works for President Donald Trump. | Daniel LIn/AP Photo

What it means for 2018 — whether it portends a blue wave of populist revolt for Democrats or a red wall of silent majority resistance from Republicans — largely depends on one’s political persuasion. But there’s a bipartisan sense that this election season marks another inflection point in the collapse of civil political discourse.

Few disagree that Democrats are marching, protesting and confronting Republican officials with more intensity during the midterm elections than at any time in decades. The progressive fervor recalls conservative opposition to the previous president in his first midterm, when Democratic members of Congress were left running from disruptive town halls and ended up being crushed at the polls in November.

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“If you see anybody from that Cabinet — in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station — you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” implored California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters at a Saturday rally, prompting an immediate conservative backlash on social media.

The intense, in-your-face approach toward public officials is only expected to intensify, fueled by social media and what appears to be an increasingly polarized and angry electorate. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson: ‘We Expanded Family Detention’

‘I freely admit it was controversial …’

Scott Morefield reports: Former Obama administration DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson “freely admitted” to Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday morning that his department “expanded family detention” as well as detained some children alone, but added that he believed the decision “was necessary at the time.”

After showing pictures of detained children from 2014, Wallace noted that “in some cases you separated children from their parents” before asking, “Did you handle it so well?” Read the rest of this entry »


TIME Cover, Corrected


[VIDEO] Exposing the ‘Ruling Class’ Behind Border Policy Uproar: ‘Their Goal Is To Change Your Country Forever’ 

Tucker Carlson on Monday blasted the “self-righteous posturing” of politicians and media figures eager to condemn the Trump administration for its border policy.

Before playing a clip of examples, Carlson began the segment by calling the “spectacle of illegal immigrants separated from their children at the border,” an “event in which the elites vie to see who can reach greater heights of rhetorical excess and self-righteous posturing,” rather than a news story.

“So, the same people who support the third term post-viability abortion for purposes of sex selection are now lecturing you about God and sin and the holiness of children. Feel chastened?” Carlson asked sardonically before launching into a few more examples, including Michael Hayden’s comparison of the border situation to Nazi Germany.

[RELATED:DHS Sec Nielsen Defends Trump Administration’s Migrant Policies From ‘Irresponsible And Unproductive’ Press]

“We could go on,” The Daily Caller co-founder said. “There was so much more just like that. The rich and powerful reminding you just how virtuous they are. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Peter Strzok Has Left The Building

FBI agent Peter Strzok ‘escorted’ from FBI building, lawyer confirms

Peter Strzok, the FBI agent under fire over a series of anti-Trump text messages, was “escorted” from the FBI building, his lawyer confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday.

Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, argued that even though his client has “played by the rules,” he has been targeted by “unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks.”

“All of this seriously calls into question the impartiality of the disciplinary process, which now appears tainted by political influence,” a statement from Goelman said.

He said that Strzok “has complied with every FBI procedure, including being escorted from the building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings.” The attorney did not say exactly when Strzok was escorted out.

“Instead of publicly calling for a long-serving FBI agent to be summarily fired, politicians should allow the disciplinary process to play out free from political pressure,” Goelman said. “Our leaders and the public should be very concerned with how readily such influence has been allowed to undermine due process and the legal protections owed to someone who has served his country for so long. Pete Strzok and the American people deserve better.”

The FBI had no comment when contacted by Fox News.

News of Strzok’s removal came after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed during a Congressional hearing earlier Tuesday that his office was looking into whether Strzok’s anti-Trump bias played a role in the launch of the bureau’s Russia probe.

Horowitz’s report on the Clinton email investigation, which was released last week, revealed a text sent by Strzok to his then-colleague and lover Lisa Page. Read the rest of this entry »


Christopher F. Rufo: Fed Up in Seattle 

Citizens of the ultra-progressive city have lost patience with political leaders’ failure to address the homelessness crisis.

Don’t believe the hype that “Amazon killed the Seattle head tax,” the new levy that the city recently passed on businesses to fund an affordable-housing initiative. The truth behind the city council’s stunning reversal—repealing the tax by a 7-2 vote, just four weeks after passing it 9-0—is that Seattle citizens have erupted in frustration against the city’s tax-and-spend political class that has failed to address the homelessness crisis, despite record new revenues.

“To my astonishment, I’ve heard at least a dozen neighbors, friends, and colleagues whisper that ‘Seattle needs a Giuliani’—that is, the city needs to recognize that, in addition to public programs, we need to get tough on street homelessness and enforce the law.”

As recently as a few years ago, it seemed as if Seattle voters largely viewed our hyper-progressive city council as a harmless oddity in an otherwise tolerant, thriving, liberal city. But times have changed. Now, according to recent public polling, 83 percent of Seattle voters are dissatisfied with how the council has addressed homelessness, 65 percent believe that the local government hasn’t used new tax revenues effectively, and 63 percent believe that the city has enough money to solve the problem but isn’t pursuing the right policies.

[Read the full story here, at City Journal]

Progressives have tried to paint the anti-head tax campaign as corporate astroturfing, but beneath the surface, it’s being driven by this broader shift in public opinion. In just two weeks, the No Tax on Jobs campaign, led by local businesses, recruited 2,000 volunteer signature-gatherers and collected nearly 46,000 signatures—more than double the amount required to qualify as a ballot measure. When I spoke with one of the volunteers in the liberal Fremont neighborhood, he told me: “I’m retired and I wanted to volunteer for the cause. I think the tax is a bad idea: if you tax something, you get less of it. I’m going to collect two pages of signatures and then go home.” Read the rest of this entry »


Kimberley Strassel: Insubordination and Bias at FBI 

The inspector general report is careful in its conclusions, but damning on the facts.

That won’t be the message from Democrats and most of the press, who will focus on a few episodes they will claim cost Hillary Clinton an election. Watch for them to blame former FBI Director James Comey, whom the report faults for “a serious error of judgment,” for having “concealed information” from superiors, and for “violation of or disregard for” departmental and bureau policies.

True, the report is damning about the man who lectures Americans on “higher loyalty.” It describes how an “insubordinate” Mr. Comey was, as early as April 2016, considering how to cut his Justice Department bosses from a public statement exonerating Hillary Clinton. He hid this scheme for fear “they would instruct him not to do it”—and therefore was able to “avoid supervision.” He then “violated long-standing Department practice and protocol” by using his July 5 press conference for “criticizing Clinton’s uncharged conduct.” In October, he made public that the FBI had reopened the investigation, even though the Justice Department recommended he not do so. Mr. Comey went rogue, and President Trump had plenty of justification in firing him in May 2017.

Yet it is the report’s findings on the wider culture of the FBI and Justice Department that are most alarming. The report depicts agencies that operate outside the rules to which they hold everybody else, and that showed extraordinary bias while investigating two presidential candidates.

There’s Loretta Lynch, who felt it perfectly fine to have a long catch-up with her friend Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac and whom the inspector general slams for an “error in judgment.” Read the rest of this entry »


Affidavit: 9th-Grader Broke Up With His 33-Year Old School Counselor After His Mom Caught Them Naked

Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office.

Bedford police issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for 33-year-old Shannon Hathaway, who is accused of having a physical relationship with a Harwood Junior High School student. 

Prescotte Stokes III reports: A 33-year-old school counselor is accused of having sex with a ninth-grade student nearly a dozen times and even told the student’s sister that she would leave her husband for him, according to an arrest affidavit.

The student ended the relationship after his mother caught them in bed in his room, the affidavit says.

Shannon Hathaway, a former school counselor at Harwood Junior High School, surrendered to Bedford police on Thursday morning on a charge of improper relationship between an educator and a student.

Her arrest came at the end of a monthlong investigation by the HEB Independent School District and the Bedford Police Department.

Attempts to reach Hathaway were unsuccessful Thursday evening and jail records did not list her attorney’s name.

School district officials became aware of Hathaway’s relationship with a former 17-year-old male student at Harwood Junior High when the teen’s sister informed school administrators of it on May 8, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram on Thursday.

The sister said that during the 2016-2017 school year, Hathaway would spend a lot of time with her brother, who is now 18 years old and has since dropped out of school. She said she never witnessed inappropriate behavior between the pair, aside from Hathaway holding her brother’s hand.

She said that Hathaway told her she was in love with her brother and would leave her husband for him, the affidavit says. The sister told investigators that her brother confided in her about having sex on numerous occasions with Hathaway at her home in Keller, his mother’s home in Euless and potentially at Harwood Junior High. It’s unclear in the affidavit what she meant by “potentially.”

In a voicemail sent to parents Thursday morning, HEB ISD Superintendent Steve Chapman said: “There is no evidence to suggest the alleged behavior happened on the Harwood Junior High campus.”

Hathaway was placed on paid administrative leave by the school district after the report came to light and the district began an internal investigation. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Brilliantly Mocks the ‘Magic of the Birth Canal’

… A few days ago, Choice42 released this deliciously sardonic video entitled “The Magical Birth Canal.” It is a searing take on the pro-abort narrative that says life begins at birth.

Quite simply, it is brilliant …

… Something within that canal confers humanity on a life that has been human from the moment of conception. But pro-aborts prefer to think of the unborn as a mass of tissue not worthy of protection. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] On this Date in 1989, the Chinese Government Sent the Tanks into Tiananmen Square

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tiananmen-square.jpg Read the rest of this entry »


John D. O’Connor: Politicizing the FBI: How Comey Succeeded Where Nixon Failed 

D. O’Connor writes: A little over 40 years ago, Richard Nixon went from a landslide re-election winner to a president forced to resign in disgrace. Nixon’s downfall was the direct result of his unsuccessful attempts to politicize through patronage of an independent, straight-arrow FBI. The commonsense, ethical lesson from this for all government officials would be to avoid attempts to use our nation’s independent fact-finder as a partisan force.

There is as well, of course, a more perverse lesson to be learned from Nixon’s downfall at the hands of an independent FBI, to wit: there is much power to gain by politicizing the Bureau, but only if its upper-leadership team is all on partisan board. Emerging evidence increasingly suggests, sadly, that this was former FBI Director James Comey’s leadership strategy in our country’s most sensitive investigations.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]

In the years running up to the 1972 election, Deputy Associate FBI Director Mark Felt, serving under feisty bulldog J. Edgar Hoover, staunchly refused the entreaties of Nixon lieutenants to act politically, e.g., to whitewash an ITT/Republican bribery scheme and to lock up innocent war protestors. Felt, the natural successor to Hoover, fell out of White House favor as a result.

Following the death of Hoover in May 1972, Nixon appointed in place of Felt the decent but politically malleable L. Patrick Gray. When six weeks later five burglars were arrested in the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, Nixon’s Justice Department tried to limit, through Gray, the scope of the FBI’s investigation. Unfortunately for Nixon, regular Bureau agents, led quietly but spectacularly by Felt, fought these attempts, with a far worse result for Nixon than if the Bureau had been left alone to do its job. Read the rest of this entry »


Jim Mattis Warns of Consequences If Beijing Keeps Militarizing the South China Sea 

U.S. strategy in region rooted in ‘principled realism’ and shared interests, defense secretary says.

SINGAPORE—  reports: The U.S. and China appear to be headed for a more confrontational relationship in Southeast Asia as Washington warns of a more aggressive response to the militarization of disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security conference, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned there could be “much larger consequences” in the future from China’s moves to install weapons systems on islands in the sea. He didn’t specify what the consequences would be.

The warning, in response to a question from an audience member, came after a speech by Mr. Mattis in which he said “despite China’s claims to the contrary, the placement of these weapons systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion.”

He also called his decision to not invite China to the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise, slated to begin later in June, “an initial response” to its increased militarization of the South China Sea. Read the rest of this entry »