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The French, Coming Apart

A social thinker illuminates his country’s populist divide.

Christopher Caldwell writes: The real-estate market in any sophisticated city reflects deep aspirations and fears. If you had a feel for its ups and downs—if you understood, say, why young parents were picking this neighborhood and drunks wound up relegated to that one—you could make a killing in property, but you also might be able to pronounce on how society was evolving more generally. In 2016, a real-estate developer even sought—and won—the presidency of the United States.

In France, a real-estate expert has done something almost as improbable. Christophe Guilluy calls himself a geographer. But he has spent decades as a housing consultant in various rapidly changing neighborhoods north of Paris, studying gentrification, among other things. And he has crafted a convincing narrative tying together France’s various social problems—immigration tensions, inequality, deindustrialization, economic decline, ethnic conflict, and the rise of populist parties. Such an analysis had previously eluded the Parisian caste of philosophers, political scientists, literary journalists, government-funded researchers, and party ideologues.

“The young men living in the northern Paris suburbs feel a burning solidarity with their Muslim brethren in the Middle East.”

Guilluy is none of these. Yet in a French political system that is as polarized as the American, both the outgoing Socialist president François Hollande and his Gaullist predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy sought his counsel. Marine Le Pen, whose National Front dismisses both major parties as part of a corrupt establishment, is equally enthusiastic about his work. Guilluy has published three books, as yet untranslated, since 2010, with the newest, Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut (roughly: “The Twilight of the French Elite”), arriving in bookstores last fall. The volumes focus closely on French circumstances, institutions, and laws, so they might not be translated anytime soon. But they give the best ground-level look available at the economic, residential, and democratic consequences of globalization in France. They also give an explanation for the rise of the National Front that goes beyond the usual imputation of stupidity or bigotry to its voters. Guilluy’s work thus tells us something important about British voters’ decision to withdraw from the European Union and the astonishing rise of Donald Trump—two phenomena that have drawn on similar grievances.

[Read the full story here, at City Journal]

At the heart of Guilluy’s inquiry is globalization. Internationalizing the division of labor has brought significant economic efficiencies. But it has also brought inequalities unseen for a century, demographic upheaval, and cultural disruption. Now we face the question of what—if anything—we should do about it.

TOPSHOTS Police officers stand guard as an operation takes place in the Molenbeek district of Brussels on November 16, 2015. Belgian police launched a major new operation in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, where several suspects in the Paris attacks had previously lived, AFP journalists said. Armed police stood in front of a police van blocking a street in the run-down area of the capital while Belgian media said officers had surrounded a house. Belgian prosecutors had no immediate comment. AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYSJOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

A process that Guilluy calls métropolisation has cut French society in two. In 16 dynamic urban areas (Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Rennes, Rouen, Toulon, Douai-Lens, and Montpellier), the world’s resources have proved a profitable complement to those found in France. These urban areas are home to all the country’s educational and financial institutions, as well as almost all its corporations and the many well-paying jobs that go with them. Here, too, are the individuals—the entrepreneurs and engineers and CEOs, the fashion designers and models, the film directors and chefs and other “symbolic analysts,” as Robert Reich once called them—who shape the country’s tastes, form its opinions, and renew its prestige. Cheap labor, tariff-free consumer goods, and new markets of billions of people have made globalization a windfall for such prosperous places. But globalization has had no such galvanizing effect on the rest of France. Cities that were lively for hundreds of years—Tarbes, Agen, Albi, Béziers—are now, to use Guilluy’s word, “desertified,” haunted by the empty storefronts and blighted downtowns that Rust Belt Americans know well.

[Order Christopher Caldwell’s book Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West from Amazon.com]

Guilluy doubts that anyplace exists in France’s new economy for working people as we’ve traditionally understood them. Paris offers the most striking case. As it has prospered, the City of Light has stratified, resembling, in this regard, London or American cities such as New York and San Francisco. It’s a place for millionaires, immigrants, tourists, and the young, with no room for the median Frenchman. Paris now drives out the people once thought of as synonymous with the city.

Yet economic opportunities for those unable to prosper in Paris are lacking elsewhere in France. Journalists and politicians assume that the stratification of France’s flourishing metropoles results from a glitch in the workings of globalization. Somehow, the rich parts of France have failed to impart their magical formula to the poor ones. Fixing the problem, at least for certain politicians and policy experts, involves coming up with a clever shortcut: perhaps, say, if Romorantin had free wireless, its citizens would soon find themselves wealthy, too. Guilluy disagrees. For him, there’s no reason to expect that Paris (and France’s other dynamic spots) will generate a new middle class or to assume that broad-based prosperity will develop elsewhere in the country (which happens to be where the majority of the population live). If he is right, we can understand why every major Western country has seen the rise of political movements taking aim at the present system. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Human Rights Activist & Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali: A Lot Of Work To Do In Stopping Genital Mutilation 

Human rights activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali sounds off on the horrific practice of human female genital mutilation, sacrifices made on the ‘altar of identity politics’ and the prosecution of a case in Detroit.


Census: More Americans 18-to-34 Now Live With Parents Than With Spouse

(CNSNews.com) – Four decades ago, in the mid-1970s, young American adults–in the 18-to-34 age bracket–were far more likely to be married and living with a spouse than living in their parents’ home.

But that is no longer the case, according to a new study by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“There are now more young people living with their parents than in any other arrangement,” says the Census Bureau study.

“What is more,” says the study, “almost 9 in 10 young people who were living in their parents’ home a year ago are still living there today, making it the most stable living arrangement.”

The Number 1 living arrangement today for Americans in the 18-to-34 age bracket, according to the Census Bureau, is to reside without a spouse in their parents’ home.

That is where you can now find 22.9 million 18-to-34 year olds—compared to the 19.9 million who are married and live with their spouse.

In 1975, according to Census Bureau data, 31.9 million Americans in the 18-to-34 age bracket were married and lived with their spouse.

Back then, this was the most common living arrangement for that age bracket. Read the rest of this entry »


Frankfurt School Zombie Apocalypse: Students Demand Administrators ‘Take Action’ Against Conservative Journalists

Truth is a ‘Myth’, and a “White Supremacist Concept’. 

 reports: In an open letter to outgoing Pomona College President David Oxtoby, a group of students from the Claremont Colleges assail the president for affirming Pomona’s commitment to free speech and demand that all five colleges “take action” against the conservative journalists on the staff of the Claremont Independent.

“Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of ‘subjectivity vs. objectivity’ as a means of silencing oppressed peoples … The idea that there is a single truth–‘the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment … “

The letter, written by three self-identified Black students at Pomona College, is a response to an April 7 email from President Oxtoby in which he reiterated the college’s commitment to “the exercise of free speech and academic freedom” in the aftermath of protests that shut down a scheduled appearance by an invited speaker, scholar and Black Lives Matter critic Heather Mac Donald, on April 6.

“Heather Mac Donald is a fascist, a white supremacist, a warhawk, a transphobe, a queerphobe, a classist, and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live.”

“Protest has a legitimate and celebrated place on college campuses,” Oxtoby wrote. “What we cannot support is the act of preventing others from engaging with an invited speaker. Our mission is founded upon the discovery of truth, the collaborative development of knowledge and the betterment of society.”

In their open letter, the students sharply disagree.

Free speech, a right many freedom movements have fought for, has recently become a tool appropriated by hegemonic institutions. It has not just empowered students from marginalized backgrounds to voice their qualms and criticize aspects of the institution, but it has given those who seek to perpetuate systems of domination a platform to project their bigotry,” they write.

[ALSO SEE – Pomona College Students Say There’s No Such Thing as Truth, ‘Truth’ Is a Tool of White Supremacy]

“Thus, if ‘our mission is founded upon the discovery of truth,’” the students continue, citing Oxtoby’s letter, “how does free speech uphold that value?”

The students also characterize truth as a “myth” and a white supremacist concept. Read the rest of this entry »


Millennial Diagnosed With Tragic Inability To Even

BOTHELL, WA—According to reports, local 22-year-old Chloe Kowalski’s world was torn apart Friday morning, as the millennial barista was diagnosed with a rare disease that prevents her from having the ability to even. “I just—I can’t even,” Kowalski reportedly sobbed on her boyfriend’s shoulder after the appointment with her regular doctor, which she had scheduled […]

Source: The Babylon Bee


[VIDEO] College Kids Are Intolerant Jerks 

 


[VIDEO] CHINAMAGEDDON: How That United Airlines Video Ignited Full-Scale Global Panic Fake Outrage in China 

 

 


[VIDEO] Ninth Circle of Hell: Eyewitness Recounts Passenger’s Removal from Plane

 

 


BREAKING: France Migrants: Huge Fire Guts Grande-Synthe Dunkirk Camp

A camp housing 1,500 migrants in northern France has been destroyed in a fire that officials said began during a fight between Afghans and Kurds.

At least 10 people were injured when the fire tore through closely-packed huts at the Grande-Synthe camp, near the port of Dunkirk.

Last month officials said the camp would be dismantled because of unrest.

The French north coast has been a magnet for migrants trying to reach Britain.

“There is nothing left but a heap of ashes,” said Michel Lalande, prefect of France’s Nord region.

“It will be impossible to put the huts back where they were before,” he added.

The population of the Grande-Synthe camp has grown since last October’s destruction of the “Jungle” camp near Calais, about 40 km (25 miles) away.

The arrival of more Afghans increased tensions with Kurds living in the camp, AFP news agency reports, citing witnesses and officials. Read the rest of this entry »


A Revolt Against Deference

People aren’t rejecting truth – they’re rejecting the values of the elites.

Frank Furedi writes: When political commentators talk of the emergence of a post-truth world, they are really lamenting the end of an era when the truths promoted by the institutions of the state and media were rarely challenged. It’s a lament that’s been coming for a few years now. Each revolt of sections of the public against the values of the elites has been met with the riposte that people are no longer interested in the truth. What the elites really mean is that people don’t care about their version of the truth. So when the French celebrity philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy asserted that people have ‘lost interest in whether politicians tell the truth’, he was venting his frustration at an electorate that no longer shares his values.

Today’s elite angst about so-called post-fact or post-truth public discourse is but the latest version of an historical struggle – a struggle over the question of who possesses moral and intellectual authority. Indeed, the rejection of the values and outlook of the holders of cultural power in many Western societies has long been portrayed as a rejection of truth itself. The reason elite values have been enshrined as ‘the truth’, right from the Ancient Greeks onwards, is because the rulers of society need to secure the deference of the masses. The masses are being encouraged to defer not to the power of the elites, but to the truth of elite values.

That this is not widely understood is due to contemporary society’s reluctance to acknowledge that cultural and political life still relies on the deference of the public – passive or active – to the values and moral authority of the elites. The term ‘deference’ – ‘submission to the acknowledged superior claims, skill, judgement or other qualities of another’, as the OED defines it – suggests a non-coercive act of obedience to authority. Hence it was frequently coupled with terms such as instinct, custom and habit (1). In the 19th century, it was frequently used to imply people’s willingness to accept and bow down before the elites on the basis of their superior wisdom. Deference presumed the intellectual and moral hegemony of the educated middle class, or cultural elite, over the wider public.

In recent decades it has been suggested that the era of deference is over. We are told that people are far too critical to defer to the superior wisdom of others. In this context, the idea of deference has acquired negative connotations, and is often identified with uncritical thinking. However, in practice, deference is still demanded by elites. But it is demanded in the form of calls to respect the authority of the expert, because he speaks the truth. So, in almost every domain of human experience, the expert is presented as the producer not just of facts, but also of the truth. Those who fail to defer to experts risk being denounced as irrational, superstitious or just plain stupid. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Single-Payer Health Care: America Already Has It 

Could a single-payer, government-run health care system work in the United States? We already know the answer, because America already has single-payer, government-run health care. Author and commentator Pete Hegseth explains.

 


Why Heroin and Classroom Sex Aren’t Enough to Get Teachers Fired Anymore 

“But the legal system seems bent on protecting the rights of teachers to extraordinary degrees and leaves the students vulnerable.”

The controversial “conscience’’ standard has been around since the 1970s, when it was established by the state’s highest court.

The Court of Appeals wrote in Pell v. Board of Education that judges should typically defer to education officials because they are ultimately responsible for their 77,000 employees.

For decades, the ruling meant that judges rarely second-guessed DOE arbitrators’ disciplinary rulings. But experts, citing several overturned high-profile cases in recent years, say that way of thinking is rapidly changing.

For example, trial and appeals courts alike found it “shocking” that a Brooklyn high school teacher was canned for bringing heroin to court in a backpack.

The courts also were “shocked’’ at the firing of two female romance-language teachers over a topless tryst in a classroom.

Last month, the city was forced to appeal a court ruling that sent a Queens elementary school teacher back into the classroom even after she flunked three of her four previous performance ratings. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Heather Mac Donald’s Pro-Police Speech Shut Down on Campuses

 


U.S. to Deport Zhang Xiaoyuan, the ‘Dirty Minded’ Arizona State University Student Caught Recording Women in Restroom

busted!-chinese-student.jpg

Zhang Xiaoyuan was apprehended and forced him to hand over his phone by two women who caught him coming out of a female bathroom on Arizona campus.

A foreign Arizona State University student who was caught last year taking surreptitious videos of women using the bathroom now faces deportation to China, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“According to a probable cause statement, Zhang had not been able to find the men’s room in the building and decided to use the women’s restroom instead.

Zhang Xiaoyuan, 22, was convicted in January on felony voyeurism charges, according to court records. The Chinese national was in the United States on a student visa and enrolled as an undergraduate communications student at ASU, a university spokeswoman confirmed.

“While in the center stall, he used his phone to record video of the women because he had a ‘dirty mind,’ Zhang later told a police officer who conducted a more detailed interview in Putonghua at the station.”

After Zhang’s conviction, a federal immigration judge determined the Chinese national “no longer has a legal basis to remain in the US,” ICE spokeswoman Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe said in a statement. “Accordingly, ICE is now making preparations to repatriate Mr Zhang to his native country.”

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“He was charged with six counts of unlawful viewing, taping and recording of persons, records showed. Because Zhang was a Chinese national, police also placed him on a federal immigration hold.”

Zhang was apprehended inside a lecture hall on ASU’s Tempe campus on the night of September 26, after two women observed him emerging from the women’s restroom and suspected he had taken video and photographs of them while inside, according to police records obtained by KTVK News.

The women detained Zhang and took his phone away from him so he couldn’t delete anything, police records said. When officers arrived, Zhang gave consent to search his phone; the two women watched videos recorded on the phone and were able to identify victims, records stated.

According to a probable cause statement, Zhang had not been able to find the men’s room in the building and decided to use the women’s restroom instead. While in the center stall, he used his phone to record video of the women because he had a “dirty mind,” Zhang later told a police officer who conducted a more detailed interview in Putonghua at the station. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Reports of Syria Removing Its Chemical Weapons Were Greatly Exaggerated

US President Barack Obama attends a military briefing with US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham (L) at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images


Pennsylvania Man Arrested For DUI Wearing “Drunk Lives Matter”

JONATHAN TURLEY

Elwood R Gutshall III, 44, was wearing a green St. Patrick's Day T-shirt and charged with DUI after police said he made several traffic violations

View original post 60 more words


[VIDEO] Calling Good People ‘Racist’ Isn’t New: the Case of Ty Cobb

Ruining someone’s name is very easy. So is calling them a “racist”. Take the case of Ty Cobb, one of the greatest baseball players ever. Cobb is known as a racist and a dirty ballplayer. Is it true? Charles Leerhsen, author of “Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty” sets the record straight.


Police Arrests are Plummeting Across California, Fueling Alarm and Questions

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Anthony Federico talks to a homeless couple in Compton after getting a report about a public disturbance. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Federico talks to a homeless couple in Compton after getting a report about a public disturbance. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

What’s going on in California?

James Queally, Kate Mather and Cindy Chang report: In 2013, something changed on the streets of Los Angeles.

Police officers began making fewer arrests. The following year, the Los Angeles Police Department’s arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25% from 2013 to 2015.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Police Department also saw significant drops in arrests during that period.

The statewide numbers are just as striking: Police recorded the lowest number of arrests in nearly 50 years, according to the California attorney general’s office, with about 1.1 million arrests in 2015 compared with 1.5 million in 2006.

It is unclear why officers are making fewer arrests. Some in law enforcement cite diminished manpower and changes in deployment strategies. Others say officers have lost motivation in the face of increased scrutiny — from the public as well as their supervisors.

The picture is further complicated by Proposition 47, a November 2014 ballot measure that downgraded some drug and property felonies to misdemeanors. Many police officers say an arrest isn’t worth the time it takes to process when the suspect will spend at most a few months in jail.

In Los Angeles, the drop in arrests comes amid a persistent increase in crime, which began in 2014. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck noted that arrests for the most serious crimes have risen along with the numbers of those offenses, while the decrease comes largely from narcotics arrests.

Protesters stare down Los Angeles police officers during a November 2014 demonstration against a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. Protests erupted across the country after the announcement. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Protesters stare down Los Angeles police officers during a November 2014 demonstration against a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. Protests erupted across the country after the announcement. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The arrest data include both felonies and misdemeanors — crimes ranging from homicide to disorderly conduct. From 2010 to 2015, felony arrests made by Los Angeles police officers were down 29% and misdemeanor arrests were down 32%.

Two other measures of police productivity, citations and field interviews, have also declined significantly.

The LAPD could not provide final tallies for arrests in 2016. But based on numbers that include arrests by other agencies within city limits, the downward trend continued last year, Assistant Chief Michel Moore said.

[Read the full story here, at LATimes]

A direct link between the crime pattern and the drop in arrests is difficult to draw, in part because the arrest data include minor offenses not counted in the tally the city uses to measure crime. Still, some city officials are concerned.

“Those are dramatic numbers that definitely demand scrutiny and explanation,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who sits on the Public Safety Committee and represents the Westside. “If crime was dramatically down, I wouldn’t have a problem with arrests going down. But if crime is going up, I want to see arrests going up.”

Beck said although arrests are an important component of policing, they are not the sole barometer of officer productivity. As an example, he pointed to community policing programs that he credits with reducing homicides in housing developments hit hard by violent crime.

Modern policing includes an array of strategies, such as swarming hot spots to prevent crimes from occurring, that may increase public safety without generating many arrests, he said.

Read the rest of this entry »


1,500 Acid Attacks Have Been Recorded in London Since 2011

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Acid attacks in Britain’s capital are soaring to new heights, new data reveals.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Mirror shows that between 2011 and 2016, London had nearly 1,500 cases of the devastating crime, which burns the skin and leaves victims cowering from their injuries.

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1,500 acid attacks have been recorded in London since 2011

In the long term, the scale of the injuries are so scarring that victims can often suffer serious psychological damage as a result of the attacks.

“Looking at the data in general, there is a fairly large probability that a high percentage of the incidents are male-on-male attacks and most likely to be gang-related.”

— Jaf Shah, the executive director of the support group Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI), said, attempting to conceal the obvious nature of the crimes with misleading speculation and politically-correct bullshit, blatantly lying to the Guardian

Last year alone, there were 431 such acid attacks – a rise of 170 cases from the year prior.

The figures match a general UK trend, in which the crime rate for such attacks has risen by 50% since 2005.

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Acid attacks in London boroughs

  1. Newham – 398
  2. Barking & Dagenham – 134
  3. Tower Hamlets – 84
  4. Havering – 81
  5. Redbridge – 64
  6. Hackney – 45
  7. Barnet – 44
  8. Croydon – 42
  9. Ealing – 40
  10. Hillingdon – 36
  11. Islington – 34
  12. Hounslow – 31
  13. Hammersmith & Fulham – 30
  14. Brent – 30
  15. Waltham Forest – 29
  16. Greenwich 28
  17. Harrow – 27
  18. Lewisham – 27
  19. Sutton – 27
  20. Richmond-upon-Thames – 25
  21. Enfield – 26
  22. Southwark – 24
  23. Westminster – 24
  24. Camden – 24
  25. Bromley – 19
  26. Merton – 19
  27. Haringey – 18
  28. Bexley – 17
  29. Wandsworth – 17
  30. Kingston upon Thames – 16
  31. Lambeth – 15
  32. Kensington & Chelsea – 15

Source: Trinity Mirror

Globally, roughly 80% of victims tend to women. Attacks are often carried out by vengeful men who have had their marriage proposals or sexual advances rebuffed.

However, acid attack charities in the UK estimate that British victims are predominantly men, at roughly 71% of victims.

Jaf Shah, the executive director of the support group Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI), told the Guardian: “Looking at the data in general, there is a fairly large probability that a high percentage of the incidents are male-on-male attacks and most likely to be gang-related. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Felipe Moura Brasil: How Socialism Ruined My Country

 


Census: Immigration to Bust 100-Year Record, Continue Surging

Already 13.5 percent of the U.S. population, immigrants will surge to 15 percent in 2023, according to Steven Camarota, the director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies.

At a conference to discuss the impact of immigration on public schools, he said “the share will hit 15 percent in just six years and that will surpass the all time high in the United States reached in 1890.”

And if unchecked, he added, “the share is projected to increase throughout much of this century.”

The surge comes as President Trump is planning to cut the number of illegal immigrants in the country and crossing the border, but so far hasn’t indicated if he will brake the larger number of legal immigrants entering the U.S.

It also takes place with a nation divided over what it expects of immigrants, with liberals eager for them to embrace their own heritage and others hopeful for immigrants assimilate into America. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] New Evidence Emerges in Maryland Rape Case

rockville-high


[VIDEO] Krauthammer on Health Care Bill: Obamacare Problems Will Get Worse, Republicans Will Try Again 

Charles Krauthammer suggested that the demise of the American Health Care Act is not the end of Republican attempts to undo Obamacare:

“I don’t think there’s a reason why it had to be pronounced dead. The president had an ultimatum. He decided he would stick to it. He decided that, as a result, he would not be involved. That’s fine. It’s still an open question whether they Republicans in the House and in the Senate can negotiate among themselves. They were not that far apart. I have been advocating this other alternative where you abandon the restrictions that are imposed by the reconciliation process, meaning you stuff the bill with all the kind of stuff you were going to add later, stuff that would appeal to the Freedom Caucus.”

“You put that in the bill and toss it over to the Senate, and if Senate Democrats want to filibuster, fine. So, I think there are several options. I don’t think they are that far apart. I think it’s perfectly reasonable they could negotiate a deal among themselves. And I do think that in the fall, when Obamacare’s problems are going to really come to the surface again — spiking premiums and deductibles, and it gets worse every year — there will be less nostalgia for Obamacare then you have found in the current debate.”

Source: National Review


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Another Republican Opportunity for Healthcare Legislation Around the Corner 

 


[VIDEO] ‘Hey, Maybe it was Consensual’: Attorneys Defend Suspect Accused of Rockville High School Rape

 


Peggy Noonan: High Anxiety Over Health-Care Reform 

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People need simplicity and clarity. They deserve it. They’ll pay for it as best they can, a lot if they have to. But they need not to be jerked around anymore. And that is what Congress doesn’t know.

Peggy Noonan writes: What politicians, those hardy folk, don’t understand about health care is how anxious it makes their constituents. Not suspicious, not obstinate, but anxious. Because unlike such policy questions as tax reform, health care can be an immediate life-or-death issue for you. It has to do with whether, when, and where you can get the chemo if you’re sick, and how long they’ll let you stay in the hospital when you have nobody, or nobody reliable and nearby, to care for you. To make it worse, the issue is all hopelessly complicated and complex and pits you as an individual against huge institutions—the insurance company that doesn’t answer the phone, the hospital that says “I’m afraid that’s not covered”—and you have to make the right decisions.

It’s all on you.

Politicians don’t understand all this, in part because they and their families are well-covered on a government insurance policy, and they have staff to put in the claim and argue with the insurance company, which, when it’s a congressman calling, answers the phone in one quick hurry. They don’t know it’s not easy for everyone else. Or rather they know on some abstract level but forget in the day-to-day, as one does with abstractions.

But I want to speak of how it’s all on you: You don’t want to be seen—by others, by yourself—as someone who couldn’t make the right decisions for yourself and your family. “She didn’t know she needed Part B.” “She got the supplement that says she can’t be treated in Jersey.” You don’t want to be humiliated. “What a dope.” “What fatal lack of sophistication.”

“Seven years ago it’s Democrats: “Wow, we’re so supercompetent, we’ll make it better!” And suddenly you lose your doctor or your coverage, or your premiums spike, and it’s a mess. They can’t even make the website work. And you’re anxious, and you have to renavigate an entire opaque empire of rules and passive-aggressive clerks. It’s a shadow on your life.”

And then these jokers in Congress come along. Seven years ago it’s Democrats: “Wow, we’re so supercompetent, we’ll make it better!” And suddenly you lose your doctor or your coverage, or your premiums spike, and it’s a mess. They can’t even make the website work. And you’re anxious, and you have to renavigate an entire opaque empire of rules and passive-aggressive clerks. It’s a shadow on your life.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

And then it settles down, as things do after seven years. You hate the system, but it is what it is and you’re used to it. And now these new jokers come along and say, “We’ll make it nice, trust us!” And it’s all big and complicated—so complicated the president negotiating it appears to have no idea what he’s saying yes or no to. But the effects and implications of his decisions will all be left on you. And you watch from the corner of your eye as you pass the TV, and suddenly your blood pressure’s spiking again. For you it’s all more anxiety and dishevelment and confusion, but in a new package, this time delivered by Republicans.

When all you want is the card in the wallet so when you’re strapped to the gurney in the emergency room, they’ll see it and they’ll say the word you want to hear: “Covered.” Then you can happily pass out.

People need simplicity and clarity. They deserve it. They’ll pay for it as best they can, a lot if they have to. But they need not to be jerked around anymore.

And that is what Congress doesn’t know.

We go now to the failure of the ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill.

Politically it’s all obvious. For the new administration it is a loss and a significant one. It has damaged the new president’s prestige. Every president until he fails has the aura of unused power. Boy, when I use it, you’re gonna see muscle. He used it. No muscle. Fatal? No. Damaging and diminishing? Yes. It is an embarrassment too for Speaker Paul Ryan. Together they could not get a win on the board after they threw everything they have into it. This does not speak well for everything they have. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND: Krauthammer: Healthcare Repeal Failure would ‘Damage’ Trump

Hard to see how in the end, the party would repudiate”

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, following meetings with House Republican leaders and the Freedom Caucus members. Ryan seeking unity in a place it's rarely found, is telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week's end as their consensus candidate. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

 


[VIDEO] Death Rates Among Whites Rising at Alarming Rate 

 


Hoaxter Breana Harmon Talbott Fesses Up: Teen Who Ran into Church Bloody Admits Gang Rape Claims were False

Breana Harmon Talbott, 18, was arrested on Wednesday in Denison, Texas, for making a false report to police, the Dallas News reported.

Two weeks ago, Talbott turned up at a local church bloody, wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear. She allegedly told churchgoers that she had been kidnapped and gang-raped in the woods behind the church.

Talbott told investigators that she was raped by two black men in ski masks while a third pinned her down. She claimed that the suspects had kidnapped near her car in an apartment parking lot, news station KXII reported.

Police found her car with a door open and her phone, keys and shoes scattered on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: ‘There’s Going to Be a Sea Change in Opinion’ on Illegal-Immigrant Sanctuaries

Discussing the alleged rape of a 14-year-old student by two illegal immigrants, Charles Krauthammer argued that publicity around cases like this has the potential to change public opinion about how best to protect communities in the face of illegal immigration.


[VIDEO] Tucker Carlson vs Baltimore Lawmaker Who Called Feds ‘Nazis’ 

14-year-old Md. girl is gang-raped by two older teens, one of whom is an illegal immigrant, while Baltimore reels from 10 recent homicides. Tucker takes on a Baltimore councilman who wants to make law enforcement kinder and gentler during troubled times.

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