Tattoo Le Monde

" I regret nothing"

” I regret nothing”

The French succumb to the scourge of self-mutilation.

Theodore Dalrymple  writes:  France is three or four decades behind Britain in cultural degeneration but is making valiant efforts to catch up. One straw in the wind I noticed a few years ago was the arrival of a tattoo parlor in the small town near where I live when I am in France. This alarmed me. I had mistakenly thought that the French had too much taste to go in for this form of self-mutilation.

Since then, much slippery slope has been slid down. According to a recent article inLibération, 400 professional tattooists operated in France in 2003. Now, only ten years later, there are 4,000. I doubt that any other industry has grown nearly as fast, and many may have contracted as quickly. According to one of the newspaper’s informants, if the trend continues, tattooists may soon be as numerous in France as hairdressers.

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How Iran, Putin and Assad Outwitted the West

“They will note the breathtaking naiveté of American and European officials who let a brutal theocracy undermine Western interests throughout the Middle East”

Historians will look back at the present moment with astonishment that Iran so skillfully outwitted the West, says David Keyes, the executive director of Advancing Human Rights.

“They will note the breathtaking naiveté of American and European officials who let a brutal theocracy undermine Western interests throughout the Middle East,” he writes for The Daily Beast:

At one of Iran’s most vulnerable moments, America threw the mullahs a life-line; an ill-conceived nuclear deal coupled with a complete inability to stop Syria, Iran’s closest ally, from continuing to slaughter en masse. Western diplomats speak optimistically of a deal with Syria in Geneva, while the region’s thugs use force of arms to impose their will.

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America hates the Seahawks: It’s Geography


Reid Wilson writes:  No professional sports teams have to travel farther than the Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Seahawks to get to their nearest rivals. The shortest trips they can take for an away game is about 800 miles south along Interstate 5 to the Bay Area, to play the Oakland Athletics or the San Francisco 49ers.

That means Seattle teams don’t really have natural rivalries. Those closest rivals are, to be frank, more storied franchises. On rivalry weekends during Major League Baseball season, the A’s are matched against the San Francisco Giants. The Mariners are artificially paired with the San Diego Padres or some other orphan team. The so-called rivalry between the Seahawks and the 49ers, which the booth announcers will advertise endlessly when the two teams meet in the NFC championship this weekend, is a much more recent development. The 49ers are more traditionally rivals of the Dallas Cowboys and other, older NFL teams.

The Seattle Supersonics could claim a rivalry with the Portland Trailblazers, but then they left for Oklahoma City (Editorializing alert: The author, a Seattle native, remains unhappy with Oklahoma City and plans to hold that grudge for quite a while). The feud between fans of the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders, in the MLS, is real enough, but the rivalry cupboard is bare in baseball and football.

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Vintage Military Uniform Instruction Manual: ‘Courtesy To Ladies’ Guide for Soldiers



Vintage Lunar Art



Another great find from retrogasm

Manson Family Flashback


folie partagee

Actress Booted From San Francisco Production After Endorsing Tea Party Candidate


Actress Maria Conchita Alonso (left) in an ad with California gubernatorial candidate and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly 

Welcome To ‘Fundamentally Changed America’

A famed actress is facing backlash in San Francisco’s Latino community, after she voiced support for a conservative candidate for California governor.

Maria Conchita Alonso starred in a campaign ad for Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County, a Tea Party favorite who is seeking the Republican nomination.

Donnelly has voiced strong views against illegal immigration and was once involved with the Minutemen Project, a group that patrolled the border with Mexico to catch immigrants coming across.

“Politicians and big government are killing our prosperity, pushing welfare costs through the roof and driving our schools into the ground,” Donnelly said in the ad.

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The Paratext’s the Thing


Thomas Doherty  writes:  As the last episodes of Breaking Bad were counting down, AMC’s promo pop-ups kept badgering viewers to partake of something called “the two-screen experience.” Rather than sitting inert before a single 50-inch flat screen, you should log on to the show’s website and participate in real-time chats and interactive razzle-dazzle. Me, I kept thinking: Breaking Bad is the best show on television, a text well worth my undivided attention. What the heck do I want with distracting digital clutter? One screen is plenty.

[Breaking Bad at Amazon]

Increasingly, though, that is a minority opinion. For many viewers, critics, and scholars, the second (and third, fourth, and fifth) screen is as good as the first. In some quarters, the decorative wraparound material—the term of art is “paratext”—is outshining the prize in the box. The irritating distractions have morphed into the main attractions.

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Memo to Chris Christie: They hate you


Rich Lowry writes:  If you don’t know who “they” are, you haven’t been watching the news or reading the papers.

Usually, it takes winning the GOP presidential nomination for a Republican media darling to experience such an onslaught of gleefully negative press coverage. John McCain was the straight-talking maverick right up until the moment he effectively clinched the nomination in 2008 — immediately triggering a thinly sourced New York Times report insinuating an affair with a lobbyist.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has gotten his disillusioning out of the way early, if he needed it. An occupational hazard of a certain kind of Republican is wanting to be loved by the wrong people. If the past week hasn’t cured Christie of that tendency, nothing will.

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Report: Tens of thousands fled socialized Canadian medicine in 2013


Michael Bastasch writes:  Every year thousands of Canadian have no choice but to seek medical care outside of the country’s single-payer health care system, according a report from a Canadian free-market think tank.

In 2013, nearly 42,000 Canucks left their homeland to avoid long wait times and inferior care that plagues their centralized health system.

The report from the free-market Fraser Institute found that 41,838 Canadians became “medical tourists” in 2013 and sought care outside of their hockey-loving country. While there were slightly fewer people fleeing the Canadian health system in 2013 than the previous year, the number leaving still amounts to nearly one percent of medical patients in Canada.

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New Drugs May Help Heal Old Psychological Traumas

Image Credit: Cell, Gräff et al.

Image Credit: Cell, Gräff et al.

Annie Sneed reports:  The U.S. has sent thousands of soldiers into combat over the past decade or so, and a good number of them have returned home with deep psychological scars. Up to 20 percent of Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, according to some expert estimates. Now researchers at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a class of drugs that show promise for helping to heal traumatic memories.

Psychologists often treat PTSD using behavioral therapy, a method that encourages patients to confront stressful memories and then replace those recollections with new, nontraumatic ones. But the technique is not always effective. Li-Huei Tsai and her colleagues tested drugs that they predicted might make a patient’s memories more responsive to therapy. The researchers targeted old and new traumatic memories in mice with drugs called histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, which increase the plasticity of the brain’s learning and memory areas. They found that HDAC, in combination with behavioral therapy, eased the burden of both recent and old stressful memories in mice, whereas behavioral therapy alone only helped mice suffering from recent trauma.

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Rumble in the Jungle: Megyn Kelly Anthony Weiner Rematch, First Since 2011

Prior to his political downfall, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) appeared on the Fox News Channel in March 2011 for what turned out to be a heated confrontation between he and mid-day host Megyn Kelly.

Nearly three years later, Kelly, now a FNC prime time host, and Weiner, now out of politics, appeared together on Kelly’s show, “The Kelly File,” for another hotly contested debate.

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Heather Mac Donald: Don’t listen to today’s narcissistic academics—the West’s cultural inheritance is indispensable

Rabelais’s Gargantua (overlooking Paris) exulted in the possession of classical learning.

Rabelais’s Gargantua (overlooking Paris) exulted in the possession of classical learning.               THE GRANGER COLLECTION, NYC

The Humanities and Us 

Heather Mac Donald writes:  In 2011, the University of California at Los Angeles decimated its English major. Such a development may seem insignificant, compared with, say, the federal takeover of health care. It is not. What happened at UCLA is part of a momentous shift in our culture that bears on our relationship to the past—and to civilization itself.

Until 2011, students majoring in English at UCLA had to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton—the cornerstones of English literature. Following a revolt of the junior faculty, however, during which it was announced that Shakespeare was part of the “Empire,” UCLA junked these individual author requirements and replaced them with a mandate that all English majors take a total of three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing. In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent as to whether an English major had ever read a word of Chaucer, Milton, or Shakespeare, but was determined to expose students, according to the course catalog, to “alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class.”

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Chasing the Dream of Half-Price Gasoline from Natural Gas

A startup called Siluria thinks it’s solved a mystery that has stymied huge oil companies for decades.

Quick screen: A technician at Siluria operates some of the company’s equipment for quickly making and testing new catalysts.

A technician at Siluria operates some of the company’s equipment for quickly making and testing new catalysts.

For MIT Technology ReviewKevin Bullis  writes:  At a pilot plant in Menlo Park, California, a technician pours white pellets into a steel tube and then taps it with a wrench to make sure they settle together. He closes the tube, and oxygen and methane—the main ingredient of natural gas—flow in. Seconds later, water and ethylene, the world’s largest commodity chemical, flow out. Another simple step converts the ethylene into gasoline.

The white pellets are a catalyst developed by the Silicon Valley startup Siluria, which has raised $63.5 million in venture capital. If the catalysts work as well in a large, commercial scale plant as they do in tests, Siluria says, the company could produce gasoline from natural gas at about half the cost of making it from crude oil—at least at today’s cheap natural-gas prices.

If Siluria really can make cheap gasoline from natural gas it will have achieved something that has eluded the world’s top chemists and oil and gas companies for decades. Indeed, finding an inexpensive and direct way to upgrade natural gas into more valuable and useful chemicals and fuels could finally mean a cheap replacement for petroleum.

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George Will: Common Core ‘Hostile Federal Education Takeover’

Getty Images

Getty Images

From The Washington Post: Viewed from Washington, which often is the last to learn about important developments, opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative still seems as small as the biblical cloud that ariseth out of the sea, no larger than a man’s hand. Soon, however, this education policy will fill a significant portion of the political sky.

The Common Core represents the ideas of several national organizations (of governors and school officials) about what and how children should learn. It is the thin end of an enormous wedge. It is designed to advance in primary and secondary education the general progressive agenda of centralization and uniformity.

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Ahmed and Abdulmalik busted in Baltimore food stamp fraud scheme

Refugee Resettlement Watch

This one was a $1.5 million rip-off of the US taxpayer.

The Baltimore Sun doesn’t say much, but here (below) is the entire FBI press release that I found informative.  Note that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was involved, so there must be an immigration angle to the case.   But, of course, no mention of details regarding where these alleged crooks came from!  We have our guesses!  LOL! See a pattern?

For new readers this is a hobby here at RRW.  See our previous report on another big bust in our home state. It is good to know that even in blue Maryland the feds are ferreting out the fraudsters.

From the FBI yesterday (highlights are mine):

BALTIMORE—Abdulmalik Abdulla, age 37, and Ahmed Mohssen, age 53, both of Baltimore, were arrested today on federal charges of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud in connection with a scheme…

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Left-Wing Support for Food Stamp Fraud Reaches Absurd New Heights

Here’s the alarmist headline:

Requiring an ID to Eat?! The Right-Wing’s Next Crazy Plot Against Low-Income Americans



Those crazy evil selfish racist Right-wingers are at it again. Here we go. Their hatred of poor people knows no limits! How can they live with themselves? Taking bread right out of the mouths of disadvantaged people with no identity!  It’s a crazy, wicked, evil RIGHT WING PLOT!

“Under a bill Vitter introduced Wednesday , beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would be denied their food if they are unable to show a photographic identification card at the register. For millions of low-income Americans who don’t have an official photo ID and can’t necessarily afford to buy one, Vitter’s bill would mean being cut off from their primary food source.”

The Institutional Left is Completely Freaked Out at Suggestion of Showing I.D. to Access Benefits

If that’s really a concern, what about the hundreds of millions of people with jobs and incomes who would be denied food, housing, and basic services, unless they used cash-only for every transaction? Good grief, they would starve! This must be a sinister left-wing plot! Mass starvation, no heat, no safe place to sleep, nothing. Unless all working and non-working people use cash-only for every food purchase, and every transaction necessary to sustain life, there’s no way to avoid it. Mass starvation and homelessness is clearly their secret agenda. (just trying out the inflammatory liberal logic. Looks pretty silly, doesn’t it?)

Really. Who doesn’t have some way to identify themselves when they interact in the marketplace? This is true whether your income is from having a job, and working, or if your income is exclusively from government benefits.

This is the left’s favorite alarmist false crisis. The delusion that there’s a sinister right-wing plot to harm the poor. Their view? It’s a crime to criticize or question the welfare state.

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New Rules: California Chefs, Bartenders Now Forced To Wear Gloves

In a related ruling, California Surgeons now required to get tattoos, wear aprons, and smoke cigarettes in the alley during breaks

  writes:  Chefs and bartenders in California are aghast over a new law that prevents them from touching the food they will serve to customers. The new law, which took effect on January 1, is part of the California Retail Food Code.

State food handling regulations previouslyrequired foodservice employees to “minimize bare hand and arm contact with non-prepackaged food that is in a ready-to-eat-form[.]”

The new law “instead requires food employees to minimize bard hand and arm contact with exposed food that is not in a ready-to-eat form.” The “ready-to-eat” terminology means “food that is edible without additional preparation to achieve food safety.”

That sounds complex.

“Every California lawmaker who voted for this should be asked to cook food this way at home,” says Walter Olson of Overlawyered and the Cato Institute, by email.

So which California lawmakers voted for this law? All of them, it turns out.  Read the rest of this entry »

Man Dragged From SUV During Infamous Biker Clash To Sue New York City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man who was dragged from his SUV and beaten by a group of motorcyclists following a frightening chase on a Manhattan highway has filed a legal notice saying he intends to sue New York City over the attack.

Prosecutors say an off-duty police detective was among the bikers who pursued and beat Alexian Lien after a confrontation on the West Side Highway…

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CBS New York

More Skeletons Unearthed in Sri Lanka Excavation: Mass Grave Includes Women, Children

Scientists are yet to determine the age of the bodies

Scientists are yet to determine the age of the bodies

Four more human skulls have been unearthed at a mass grave discovered last month in northern Sri Lanka.

BBC News, Colombo – Charles Haviland reports:  The remains were recovered during excavation work at the site in Mannar district.  They bring to 31 the number of skeletons or partial skeletons found there. (Ed. note: other reports say as many as 36)

This is the first mass grave to have been unearthed and forensically examined in the former war zone since the end of the separatist war in 2009.

The grave was discovered by construction workers laying a water pipe

The grave was discovered by construction workers laying a water pipe

Thousands of civilians perished in shelling towards the end of the conflict against Tamil Tiger insurgents, but it is possible the find dates from considerably longer ago.

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Exceptions Made: State Department Barred Inspection of Muslim Brotherhood Delegation, Report Shows

Airport Security

The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports:  The State Department broke with normal procedures last week when it ordered the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) not to conduct a secondary inspection on members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood‘s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) on their way to visit government officials and think tanks in the United States.

This happened despite the fact that one member of the delegation had been implicated – though not charged – in a U.S. child pornography investigation, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has learned.

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The Hammer: Obama’s NSA Reform ’90 Percent Smoke and Mirrors’

Charles Krauthammer praised the president’s NSA speech as the “best use of Obama’s rhetorical powers of dazzling with very little content since the ‘08 campaign.”

On Friday night’s Special Report, Krauthammer characterized President Obama’s reforms to the United States’ surveillance as

“90 percent smoke and mirrors, and very little substantive change, which is what we need.”

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