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[VIDEO] Watch Santa Claus Shoot a Silenced Machine Gun

 writes: It’s almost time for Santa Claus to make his annual trip around the globe to deliver presents for all the good little boys and girls. However, before he gets started, he’s blowing off some steam at the range with a bunch of silenced rifles, shotguns, handguns, and machine pistols.

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“Unfortunately, the ATF have regulated them so much I can’t give them out to all the good little boys and girls.”

Or, at least, that’s how the latest ad from SilencerCo depicts things.

The video features Santa and Rudolph shooting a variety of silenced firearms out in the snowy North Pole.

Colt-Firecrackers

“I used to have some pretty boring hobbies like whittling, baking, but then in the 9th century a magical thing happened: the Chinese invented a little thing called gun powder.”

“My name is Saint Nicholas,” Santa says in the video. “Most of you know me as Santa Claus. My job definitely comes with a lot of stress, but we all have our own ways of relieving that stress.”

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

“I used to have some pretty boring hobbies like whittling, baking, but then in the 9th century a magical thing happened: the Chinese invented a little thing called gun powder,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

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EMOPALOOZA 2.0: Electoral College

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The Founding Fathers got it right, and California is proof.

Consider this: Hillary Clinton’s 2.3-million-popular-vote plurality over Trump depends on the votes in a single state.

 writes: Shocked and appalled by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, some supporters of Hillary Clinton have turned to minimizing and even delegitimizing Trump’s election. In an era of severe political polarization, in an election with two candidates seen from the outset in highly unfavorable terms, after the most brutal campaign in modern history, and with an outcome that astonished just about everyone, these reactions are understandable, but wrong.

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Many diehard Clinton supporters cannot bring themselves to believe their candidate could lose to Donald Trump. They think: How could such a crude and inept con man be elected president? Even after it has happened, it is unthinkable, a nightmare. So, the election must not have been fair.

[MORE: Lobbied, pressured, even threatened: What life has been like for Electoral College voters]

Those on the fringe raise the specter of diabolical Russians hacking away at our democracy. More grounded Clintonians have less malevolent bogeymen — our Founding Fathers. As they see it, the election’s outcome should be blamed on a dysfunctional and archaic electoral-vote system. Hillary won the national popular vote. She should be president. It is as simple as that. The Electoral College should go the way of Trump University.

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They are right about one thing: Clinton did win the popular vote, by some 2.8 million votes, as the most recent data show.

Yet Clinton has only 232 electoral votes (in 20 states plus Washington, D.C.) to Trump’s 306 (in 30 states plus one from Maine), making him the president-elect. So Trump’s election without a popular-vote plurality is regarded as an 51obn4k-t2l-_sl250_injustice. Some Democrats claim a moral victory as victims of an electoral-vote system that once again horribly “misfired.” Their claim, however, neglects two facts.

[Order James E. Campbell’s book “Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America” from Amazon.com]

First, had the election been conducted with rules awarding the presidency to the popular-vote winner, the candidates and many voters quite probably would have acted very differently, and the popular vote might not have been the same. Trump and Clinton would have campaigned in the “safe” states. Potential voters in those states would have felt more pressure to turn out and to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and not to waste their votes on third-party candidates. Some additional Clinton voters would probably have shown up, but gains on the Trump side would probably have been larger as more reluctant Republicans would have been pushed to return to the fold, particularly in big blue states like California, New York and Illinois. Read the rest of this entry »


Socialism Kills More Babies than War 

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Chelsea Follett writes: Recent reports that infants now die at a higher rate in Venezuela than in war-torn Syria were, sadly, unsurprising – the results of socialist economics are predictable. Venezuela’s infant mortality rate has actually been above Syria’s since 2008.

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The big picture, fortunately, is happier. The global infant mortality rate has plummeted. Even Syria and Venezuela, despite the impact of war and failed policies, saw improvements up to as recently as last year. From 1960 to 2015, Syria’s infant mortality rate fell by 91% and Venezuela’s by 78%.

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[Read the full story here, at Foundation for Economic Education]

This year (not reflected in the graph above or below), Syria’s rate rose from 11.1 per 1,000 live births to 15.4, while Venezuela’s shot up from 12.9 to 18.6. Meanwhile, infant mortality rates have continued to fall practically everywhere else, and have declined even faster in countries that enjoy more freedom and stability. Consider Chile.

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Chile’s infant mortality rate in 1960 was actually above that of both Venezuela and Syria. It managed to outperform Syria by the mid-1960s, but was still woefully behind its richer northern cousin, Venezuela. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND 2013: Maxine Waters Confirms ‘Big Brother’ Database 

“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful.”

Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday.

“That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it.”

“…And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”


Energy Department Identifies New Global Threat: Pumpkins Cause Climate Change

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How scary are your jack-o’-lanterns? Scarier than you think, according to the Energy Department, which is claiming the holiday squash is responsible for unleashing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere…(read more)

Source: Washington Times


Racist GQ Magazine: ‘F**ck Ben Carson’

…Can you imagine GQ ever writing this about any Democrat, much less Obama?…(read more)

Source: Weasel Zippers

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Bonus Smear, via @HollywoodLife


CHESS WORLD ROCKED: 2200 Year-Old Walrus Bones Suggest Medieval Chess Set Might be Icelandic in Origin

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Carbon dating of walrus bones found in Snæfellsnes peninsula indicates that the bones are at least 2000 years old. A large number of walrus skulls and walrus tusks have been found around Garðafjara beach on the south coast Snæfellsnes. The first skull was discovered 1884. All in all the bones of 50 walruses have been found, most in the past 50 years. Biologists argue this indicates Snæfellsnes was the home of a sizable walrus colony prior to the settlement of Iceland.

A previous theory, explaining the concentration of bone discoveries, speculated they came from the wreck of a ship which had been carrying walrus bones to Europe. However, the existence of a large walrus colony in Iceland would have meant the accumulation of walrus skeletons and skulls which would have been discovered by the Viking age settlers of Iceland…(read more)


[PHOTOS] iPhone 6s Goes on Sale in Japan

Apple fans in Japan finally got a chance to get their hands on the iPhone 6s Friday…

Japan was among the 12 countries and territories where the iPhone 6s went on sale Friday. The new models were available by reservation only in China, Hong Kong, Japan and U.S. stores in tax-free states.

Despite the rainy weather in Tokyo, fans turned out to try the new 6s, including some wearing iPhone-shaped hats….(read more)

Source: Japan Real Time – WSJ


Obama’s Foreign Policy Failures Go Viral

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 writes:

…When Barack Obama demanded Assad step down in 2011, he took immediate ownership of any consequences to follow. Assad — not being much more than a photo-op for Nancy Pelosi or a dinner date for John Kerry, and owing us utterly nothing (unlike Mubarak or Khaddafi) — told Obama to get bent around a tree, and from that point onward the administration’s strategy has been one long assay into the question of how best to manage an Asshole Who May Still Be Preferable To Outright Anarchy. Obama hedged military action against Assad and against his (now obviously disastrous) decision to withdraw from Iraq and the impending nuclear deal with Iran. When his declaration that Assad Must Go went ignored (and thus became problematic), he simply crossed it off his list, told a nefarious Vladimir Putin to handle it, and went golfing. When his administration realized that any military intervention in Syria would complicate his Iran nuclear deal, he folded. Except the world didn’t fold with him.

“That’s always been this President’s problem: his complete inability to deal with the world at hand, as it exists right in front of his face. When the world forces Barack Obama off his script, he simply retreats to a golf course, ESPN, or most recently the remote wilds of Alaska.”

When reports emerged that Assad had utilized chlorine gas against both rebels and civilians, Obama was suddenly boxed into a world which preceded his ascension and more importantly, didn’t give a damn about what he thought. Obama and his famously anti-war Secretary of State John Kerry reaped the consequences of spending the prior five years demonizing the difficult decisions made by their predecessors, either unaware or unfazed by the idea that they might one day have to rally the country and the world around a “Red Line” they themselves had set, and as it turns out weren’t very good or very interested in necessitating either….

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That’s always been this President’s problem: his complete inability to deal with the world at hand, as it exists right in front of his face. When the world forces Barack Obama off his script, he simply retreats to a golf course, ESPN, or most recently the remote wilds of Alaska.

“It wasn’t ‘the United States’ that let Obama get away with declaring ‘I didn’t set that red line, the world did’ only to have him to walk out the door like a dejected child needing an afternoon snack and media-induced nap.”

Nowhere was this more evident than when his habit of diplomatic detachment inconveniently washed up on the shores of the Greek island of Kos last week when a boat carrying Syrian refugees capsized. While President Jor-El embarked on a magical mystery end-of-summer climate cruise to call attention to Alaskan glacier-melt in summer, the world was suddenly captivated by the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi lying face down in front of rescue workers….

“No, that was our media: rather than hold him accountable for his own declarations of removing Assad and setting a “red line,” they simply shrugged, muttered a word or two about how war Totally Sucks Anyway, and went back to writing think pieces on the cultural impact of the President’s NCAA tournament bracket.”

…The New York Times, for instance, attributes responsibility to some mysterious governing entity known as “The United States” and scorches the country as whole for ignoring Syria and ISIS, yet manages somehow not to mention the names Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or the terms “JV” and “Red Line” once in about 1,500 words.

[Read the full text here, at The Wilderness]

It wasn’t “the United States” that let Obama get away with declaring “I didn’t set that red line, the world did” only to have him to walk out the door like a dejected child needing an afternoon snack and media-induced nap. No, that was our media: rather than hold him accountable for his own declarations of removing Assad and setting a “red line,” they simply shrugged, muttered a word or two about how war Totally Sucks Anyway, and went back to writing think pieces on the cultural impact of the President’s NCAA tournament bracket.

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Because of DC media’s nerd-prom infatuation at the thought of being a part, any part, of this socially cool West Wing Presidency, we have to turn to other sources in calling out this ridiculous clipboard hashtag foreign policy. Earlier this year in a brief appearance during Jon Stewart’s Night of Too Many Stars, and much to the horror of the crowd, stand up comedian Bill Burr tore into Michelle Obama over the White House’s penchant for doing nothing to stop these events except guilt-shaming us with puppydog eyes:

“She’s sitting there holding up those hashtags, Bring Back Our Girls.  Remember that hashtag #BringBackOurGirls? That blew my mind, like, why are you showing me that? I’m a stand up comedian. Like what am I going to do to get back the girls? Why don’t you look across the dinner table — you see that guy? That is the Leader Of The Free World. Tell him to pick up a phone, call some Navy SEALs and solve it….what am I going to do? Show up with a sharpened mic stand? HEY EVERYONE MICHELLE TOLD ME TO BRING THEM BACK”

The whole routine is worth watching, if for no other reason than to see an overly-sensitive politically correct crowd, saturated with social media activism for the past seven years, pucker helplessly in their seats. And yet that’s where we’re at. Using Twitter to hold up signs — it’s exasperating precisely because the one “Red Line” that actually seems to still exist is the one forbidding the media from holding the one guy who can do anything about these foreign policy meltdowns and humanitarian crises responsible.

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Our media collectively demands accountability for these conflicts from every single person…except the one person who has any real power to stop or mitigate it. This has always been the anecdote in Obama’s foreign policy: 1) show up 2) demand the world follow him 3) world leaders balk at his demands 4) he shrugs his shoulders and goes and plays with his selfie stick somewhere. If Obama really feels like going “all-out,” sometimes there will be an additional step 5 involving Twitter pictures of the State Department’s junior-hipster mall brigade flashing grins, thumbs-up, and razor-edged hashtags (fashioned by America’s sharpest military scientists working in the depths of DARPA to help win The Bloody War Of Memes).

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Eastern Ukraine is still occupied by Putin and “our girls” have still not been returned and beyond hashtagvism, an administration far more interested in mobilizing mobs at home has all but failed to mobilize allies abroad. The repercussions of this President’s media-abetted lethargy and diplomatic ADHD will echo for generations and the same click-driven SEO Wizards of Trends that tell us now not to look away at the horrors flooding Europe will immediately torch the next Republican President for being boxed into intervening there. The Warmongering Neocon cliches will flood social media via progressive outlets like an undimmed tide, and passed off as the same interventionism nonsense by the Sunday morning peacock mafia.

[Read the full text here, at The Wilderness]

It’s hard to quell the suspicion that this is why western leaders will not do what is necessary to rid the world of both ISIS and Assad. Legacy media demands we pay attention, but absolutely refuses to admit what in fact would be necessary for ending this: boots on the ground. Blood and treasure. War. Again, war. And war against whom? ISIS, yes, sure. But Assad? Do we risk all-out war with Assad in Syria, who is now backed now by Vladimir Putin, who has ramped up support with ground troops and armored divisions inside Syria? Better do a quick hit on ESPN Radio talking sports instead.

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Responding to the tragedy unfolding in Syria right now means overwhelming and eliminating ISIS with uncompromising force, and returning to Iraq with a significant number of troops. ISIS can instantly erase 2,000 years of archaeological history overnight (A practice the Taliban employed as they rose to power in pre-9/11 Afghanistan) and the people charged with questioning the current administration about it refuse to address it beyond a few sad tweets…. Read the rest of this entry »


Five Chinese Navy Ships Are Operating in Bering Sea Off Alaska Coast 

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Chinese naval presence off Alaskan coast appears to be a first

Jeremy Page in Beijing and Gordon Lubold report: Five Chinese navy ships are currently operating in the Bering Sea, off the coast of Alaska, the first time the U.S. military has seen such activity in the area, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

The officials said they have been aware in recent days that three Chinese combat ships, a replenishment vessel and an amphibious ship were in the vicinity after observing them moving toward the Aleutian Islands, which are split between U.S. and Russian control.

They said the Chinese ships were still in the area, but declined to specify when the vessels were first spotted or how far they were from the coast of Alaska, where President Barack Obama is winding up a three-day visit.

“This would be a first in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands,” one defense official said of the Chinese ships. “I don’t think we’d characterize anything they’re doing as threatening.” The Pentagon official confirmed that the five ships were operating in international waters.

Pentagon officials also said there was no information suggesting the Chinese ships had gone through the Bering Strait, a narrow waterway north of the sea that abuts Alaska.

China’s defense ministry couldn’t be reached to comment.

The presence of the Chinese ships so close to U.S. shores is the latest demonstration of how China’s military is rapidly expanding its operations far from its own coast to protect the nation’s growing global interests.

The Chinese naval activity comes as Mr. Obama visits Alaska and the Arctic region to highlight climate change. The naval operation also comes just before Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a World War II Victory Day parade on Thursday that the U.S. and its allies fear is being used to showcase China’s new military strength and ambition.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Mr. Xi is heading to the U.S. in late September for a state visit, which has already been overshadowed by tensions over Chinese military activity, including alleged cyberattacks on the U.S. and island-building in the South China Sea. Read the rest of this entry »


White House Petition of the Day 

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[click to view larger]

Source: petitions.whitehouse


The EPA’s Own Email Problem

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Kimberley A. Strasselrenocol_KimStrassel writes: When a government official (think Hillary Clinton) uses a private email account for government work (think Hillary Clinton) and then doesn’t turn over records (think Hillary Clinton), the public has to wonder why. For an example of that why, consider Thursday’s federal-court subpoena of Phillip North.

“Government workers don’t use private email because it is ‘convenient.’ They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal.”

The North story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but it is a useful tale for clarifying exactly why we have federal records and sunshine laws. You see, government workers don’t use private email because it is “convenient.” They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal. Let’s be clear about that.

“Records show that EPA officials, including Mr. North, had no intention of letting the process get that far. They set about to ‘pre-emptively’ veto the mine, before Pebble could even file for permits.”

Mr. North was, until a few years ago, a biologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, based in Alaska. Around 2005 he became enmeshed in reviewing the Pebble Partnership’s proposal to develop a mine there. Mr. North has openly admitted that he was opposed to this idea early on, and he is entitled to his opinion. Still, as a government employee his first duty is to follow the law.

“But for the EPA to so flagrantly insert itself into the process, it needed cause. This is where Mr. North and his private email come in.”

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

In the normal course of law, Pebble would file for permits and the Army Corps of Engineers would get the first say over approval. The EPA has a secondary role. But records show that EPA officials, including Mr. North, had no intention of letting the process get that far. They set about to “pre-emptively” veto the mine, before Pebble could even file for permits. But for the EPA to so flagrantly insert itself into the process, it needed cause. This is where Mr. North and his private email come in. Read the rest of this entry »


‘When did America forget that it’s America?’

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A Message from Natan Sharansky, a Human rights Activist and Former Political Prisoner in the Soviet Union

Natan Sharansky writes: On a number of occasions during the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli government has appealed to the United States and its allies to demand a change in Tehran’s aggressive behavior. If Iran wishes to be treated as a normal state, Israel has said, then it should start acting like one.

Unfortunately, these appeals have been summarily dismissed. The Obama administration apparently believes that only after a nuclear agreement is signed can the free liberty-statue-one-world-trade-center-nightworld expect Iran to stop its attempts at regional domination, improve its human rights record and, in general, behave like the civilized state it hopes the world will recognize it to be.

As a former Soviet dissident, I cannot help but compare this approach to that of the United States during its decades-long negotiations with the Soviet Union, which at the time was a global superpower and a existential threat to the free world. The differences are striking and revealing

For starters, consider that the Soviet regime felt obliged to make its first ideological concession simply to enter into negotiations with the United States about economic cooperation. At the end of the 1950s, Moscow abandoned its doctrine of fomenting a worldwide communist revolution and adopted in its place a credo of peaceful coexistence between communism and capitalism. The Soviet leadership paid a high price for this concession, both internally — in the form of millions of citizens, like me, who had been obliged to study Marxism and Leninism as the truth and now found their partial abandonment confusing — and internationally, in their relations with the Chinese and other dogmatic communists who viewed the change as a betrayal. Nevertheless, the Soviet government understood that it had no other way to get what it needed from the United States.

Imagine what would have happened if instead, after completing a round of negotiations over disarmament, the Soviet statue-libertyUnion had declared that its right to expand communism across the continent was not up for discussion. This would have spelled the end of the talks. Yet today, Iran feels no need to tone down its rhetoric calling for the death of America and wiping Israel off the map.

Of course, changes in rhetoric did not change the Soviet Union’s policy, which included sending missiles to Cuba, tanks to Prague and armies to Afghanistan. But each time, such aggression caused a serious crisis in relations between Moscow and Washington, influencing the atmosphere and results of negotiations between them. So, for example, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan shortly after the SALT II agreement had been signed, the United States quickly abandoned the deal and accompanying discussions.

Today, by contrast, apparently no amount of belligerence on Iran’s part can convince the free world that Tehran has disqualified itself from the negotiations or the benefits being offered therein. Over the past month alone, as nuclear discussions continued apace, we watched Iran’s proxy terror group, Hezbollah, transform into a full-blown army on Israel’s northern border, and we saw Tehran continue to impose its rule on other countries, adding Yemen to the list of those under its control. Read the rest of this entry »


Louis C.K. Quits Twitter: ‘I Think it’s Why Everything is Kind of F***ed Up and Polarizing’

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Daniel Nussbaum writes: The comedian had long been an ardent (and profane) Tweeter, directing 140-character, expletive-laden barbs at Sarah PalinISIS, and Common Core, just to name a few. So it was somewhat surprising when his Twitter account seemed to simply vanish late last year.

This week, Louie visited The Opie Show to explain the motivation behind deleting his account.

“It didn’t make me feel good,” the comedian told host Gregg “Opie” Hughes. “It made me feel bad instead. So I stopped doing it.”

Every time I say anything on here, I wish I hadn’t said it. And then I’ll write a couple things to try to fix it, and then I feel worse. It’s just any time I tweeted anything, I was like, ‘Ugh, I don’t like the way that came out.’ And then four and a half million people saw it. Like it was the worst things I ever said, heard and seen by the most people. It’s like the worst possible scenario.”

“It’s too instant,” the comedian explained, telling Opie that he wasn’t bothered by trolls or criticism. “I don’t think the speed helps dialogue. I think it hurts. I think it’s why everything is kind of f***ed up and polarizing, because people are going too fast, they’re trying to react quickly.” Read the rest of this entry »


REWIND: Louis C.K. Tells Howard Stern He Apologized to Sarah Palin at SNL40

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Matt Wilstein  reports: It’s been close to five years since Louis C.K. got drunk on an airplane and tweeted the foulest things he could think of about Sarah Palin. Since then, he has moved on and deleted his Twitter account, but as the comedian told Howard Stern on CKWednesday, it was just two months ago that he finally decided to apologize.

As Louis C.K. told it, Palin actually approached him at the afterparty for Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special to tell him she thought he was “terrific” and “really funny,” though it was unclear if she really knew who he was.

In response, Louis C.K. just said, “I owe you an apology,” telling Stern that he’s never before apologized for anything he’s said and “fuck anybody else who’s offended.” But now that he was face-to-face with Palin, he felt he needed to address the situation.

When he explained to her what he had done, Palin told him, “Well, you’re a vile person,” which made him laugh. Then she invited him to go fishing with her next time he’s in Alaska, which he said he would do in a heartbeat.

Kelly reading a tweet from punditfromanotherplanet right before she goes on the air.

Kelly reading a tweet from punditfromanotherplanet right before she goes on the air.

Stern and Louis C.K. agreed that Palin is attractive and they both kind of want to “fuck” her. “It would be fun to fuck a conservative politician,” the comedian said, noting that opposites attract for a reason. This conversation led Stern to admit that he also fantasizes about sleeping with Megyn Kelly and Kimberly Guilfoyle from Fox News. Read the rest of this entry »


Sweet Dreams, Interrupted: Alaska Airlines Flight Returns To Seattle After Napping Worker Gets Trapped In Plane’s Cargo Hold

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SEATTLE (AP) — A Los Angeles-bound Alaska Airlines flight had to return to Seattle on Monday after a worker reportedly fell asleep and found himself trapped in the plane’s cargosleepy hold.

“Upon exiting, he told authorities he had fallen asleep.”

Flight 448 had just taken off Monday afternoon when the pilot heard banging from down below, the airline said in a news release. The captain immediately returned to Seattle-Tacoma International and declared an emergency for priority landing.

“Nobody knew why we were turning around. They just said we were fine and we weren’t in any danger.”

After the plane landed a ramp agent came out from the front cargo hold, which Alaska says is pressurized and temperature-controlled.

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“They just said there was someone in the cargo hold and he’s been escorted off and taken away,”

— Passenger Marty Collins

“Upon exiting, he told authorities he had fallen asleep,” the airline said.

The worker, an employee of Menzies Aviation, walked off the plane and appeared OK, but was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] A Nanotech Skylight That Looks Just Like the Sun Shining Overhead

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 reports: As portions of the US are battered by snowstorms and shrouded beneath gray skies, a European startup is developing a light fixture that mimics the sun.

Each CoeLux fixture models the sunlight of a specific locale, be it the cool color and strong shadows of equatorial countries, the even glow of Mediterranean sunlight, or the slightly dimmer and warmer, but more striking patterns found along the Arctic Circle.

CoeLux fixtures use traditional LEDs, calibrated to the same wavelengths as the sun. However, accurately recreating sunlight also requires mimicking subtle variations caused by the atmosphere, which varies in thickness and composition depending upon where you are on earth. CoeLux uses a milimeters-thick layer of plastic, peppered with nanoparticles, that does essentially the same thing in your living room. CoeLux’s inventor, Professor Paolo Di Trapani hasn’t made any disclosures about how the nanotechnology works in practice, but an impressive list of peer-reviewed publications, industry awards, and testimonials from customers provide comfort that these devices actually work as advertised.

Despite the dynamic nature of the light, the fixtures feature no moving parts. Different qualities of light are created by manipulating the size and placement of the LED “hot spot”—the portion of the fixture meant to represent the sun—within the fixture’s two-foot wide and 5-foot long frame. The tropical unit has the largest hot spot, the Nordic unit the smallest. The thickness of the plastic sheet varies as well, thicker for the Nordic light than the equatorial light, to mirror the atmosphere. The light doesn’t emit any ultraviolet rays, so it won’t give you a tan or ease your seasonal affective disorder, but it will make the darkest basement, warehouse, or subterranean dwelling feel like a solarium.

Shining a New Light on an Old Problem

For thousands of years, man has tried to bring sunlight into dark spaces. Egyptians used complex arrays of mirrors to bring natural light deep within the pyramids, but this is labor intensive and difficult to achieve without a huge slave-labor force.

Northern European palaces from the 18th century feature bright Trompe l’oeil frescos of sunny skies, designed to bring cheer during long winters. Las Vegas casinos use similar techniques, augmented with LEDs and other technologies, to make you think you’re outdoors, not frittering away your money in the soulless confines of a casino. Read the rest of this entry »


Too Much Weed. No, Really, Too Much Weed: Growers Struggle With Unexpected Oversupply

Too Much Pot

Many of the state’s marijuana users have stuck with the untaxed or much-lesser-taxed pot they get from black market dealers or unregulated medical dispensaries

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington’s legal marijuana market opened last summer to a dearth of weed. Some stores periodically closed because they didn’t have pot to sell. Prices were through the roof.
Six months later, the equation has flipped, bringing serious growing pains to the new industry.

“Every grower I know has got surplus inventory and they’re concerned about it. I don’t know anybody getting rich.” 

— Cannabis farmer Scott Masengill

A big harvest of sun-grown marijuana from eastern Washington last fall flooded the market. Prices are starting to come down in the state’s licensed pot shops, but due to the glut, growers are — surprisingly — struggling to sell their marijuana. Some are already worried about going belly-up, finding it tougher than expected to make a living in legal weed.

Dali

“Too much what?” — Salvador Dali

“It’s an economic nightmare,” says Andrew Seitz, general manager at Dutch Brothers Farms in Seattle.

State data show that licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of bud as of Thursday, but Washington’s relatively few legal pot shops have sold less than one-fifth of that. Many of the state’s marijuana users have stuck with the untaxed or much-lesser-taxed pot they get from black market dealers or unregulated medical dispensaries — limiting how quickly product moves off the shelves of legal stores.

“State data show that licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of bud as of Thursday, but Washington’s relatively few legal pot shops have sold less than one-fifth of that.”

“Every grower I know has got surplus inventory and they’re concerned about it,” said Scott Masengill, who has sold half of the 280 pounds he harvested from his pot farm in central Washington. “I don’t know anybody getting rich.”

"I wouldn't worry too much about it. My sources tell me it's a natural supply-demand fluctuation."

“I wouldn’t worry too much about it. My sources tell me it’s a natural supply-demand fluctuation.”

Officials at the state Liquor Control Board, which regulates marijuana, aren’t terribly concerned. So far, there are about 270 licensed growers in Washington — but only about 85 open stores for them to sell to. That’s partly due to a slow, difficult licensing process; retail applicants who haven’t been ready to open; and pot business bans in many cities and counties.

“It’s the volatility of a new marketplace.”

— Randy Simmons, Washington State Liquor Control Board

The board’s legal pot project manager, Randy Simmons, says he hopes about 100 more stores will open in the next few months, providing additional outlets for the weed that’s been harvested. Washington is always likely to have a glut of marijuana after the outdoor crop comes in each fall, he suggested, as the outdoor growers typically harvest one big crop which they continue to sell throughout the year.Weed is still pricey at the state’s pot shops — often in the $23-to-$25-per-gram range. That’s about twice the cost at medical dispensaries, but cheaper than it was a few months ago.  Read the rest of this entry »

Employee Morale at CNN Collapses

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 reports: On Monday, Politico reported that last Friday, when hundreds of CNN employees lost their jobs, “people were crying all over the bureau” for departing co-workers.

“Morale at the CNN Washington Bureau is about as strong as it is inside the Redskins’ locker room–and the management is just as bad,” a CNN staffer told the news site.

“Things have been horrible inside the Washington bureau. On Friday, which was everyone’s last day, people were crying all over the bureau, but managers hid in offices and didn’t go to any of the goodbye office parties.”

The wave of layoffs was an effort to cut eight percent of CNN’s workforce. 50 employees were cut from the Washington, D.C. bureau alone. But at the same time, 20 new positions were created in the bureau’s digital department. Read the rest of this entry »


Guns and Pot: Which States Are Friendly to Both?

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A Reddit user recently posted a graphic called “The Venn Diagram of Cultural Politics,” showing which states allow at least some citizens to use marijuana, which states recognize gay marriages, and which do both. The chart got us wondering: Which places embrace the personal freedoms beloved by the left andthe right? Where can you buy AnnieAnimatedboth a vibrator and a Big Gulp? Where can a gay couple not just marry but avoid a high sin tax on the cigarettes they smoke after sex? Where can you carry a gun while passing a joint?

The image above tackles that last question. If you include states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes only, there are now 24 states that permit pot. There are 42 states where an adult non-felon’s right to carry a concealed gun is either unrestricted or subject only to permissive “shall issue” laws. Sixteen states fall into both categories….(read more)

Reason.com


Voters Lit Up for Marijuana in the Midterms

Bob Leeds, co-owner of Sea of Green Farms, shows some of the marijuana he produces during a tour of his company's facility in Seattle, Washington in this June 30, 2014 file photo. Voters in the U.S. capital and two West Coast states will decide in the  November 4, 2014 elections whether to legalize marijuana. Ballot initiatives in Oregon and Alaska would set up a network of regulated pot stores, similar to those already operating in Colorado and Washington state. A measure in the District of Columbia would allow possession but not retail sales. Picture taken June 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Bob Leeds, co-owner of Sea of Green Farms, shows some of the marijuana he produces during a tour of his company’s facility in Seattle, Washington in this June 30, 2014 file photo. Voters in the U.S. capital and two West Coast states will decide in the November 4, 2014 elections whether to legalize marijuana. Ballot initiatives in Oregon and Alaska would set up a network of regulated pot stores, similar to those already operating in Colorado and Washington state. A measure in the District of Columbia would allow possession but not retail sales.  REUTERS/Jason Redmond

TIME

“You did it! Isn’t this amazing?” Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer said to a room full of supporters in Portland on Tuesday night after being reelected. But he wasn’t celebrating his own win, he was celebrating another victory for legal pot.

“You knew we could do better than the failed policy of prohibition,” Blumenauer said.

Voters in Oregon on Tuesday chose to follow Colorado and Washington state in passing a ballot measure that will create the country’s third legal market for recreational marijuana. Measure 91, which passed with 54% of the vote, makes it legal for residents 21 and older to possess and grow marijuana, and tasks the state liquor control commission with regulating the substance.

A similar proposal in Alaska passed early Wednesday morning, making it the fourth state to legalize retail pot. “The results are in, and marijuana prohibition is on its way out,” Rob Kampia, executive director of…

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The Provocations of Putin: Russian Nuclear Bombers Buzz Alaska, Northern Europe

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Weakness Invites Aggression. Putin’s Only Responding to Passive U.S. Leadership, Happily Accepting the Invitation

Update 5:50 P.M.: This story has been updated to include developing information about the Russian incursion off the coast of Alaska

 reports: Russian strategic nuclear bombers carried out air defense zone incursions near Alaska and across Northern Europe this week in the latest nuclear saber rattling by Moscow.

“They are having a very aggressive nuclear readiness exercise now as a show of force. Whereas the U.S. has been on a path of nuclear zero which they think is ridiculous.”

Six Russian aircraft, including two Bear H nuclear bombers, two MiG-31 fighter jets and two IL-78 refueling tankers were intercepted by F-22 fighters on Wednesday west and north of Alaska in air defense identification zones, said Navy Capt. Jeff A. Davis, a spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. Two other Bears were intercepted by Canadian jets on Thursday.

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Russia, under Putin, is engaged in a large-scale nuclear buildup that includes new missiles, submarines, and a new bomber.

A day later two more Bear bombers were intercepted by Canadian CF-18 jets in the western area of the Canadian air defense identification zone near the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, he said. Read the rest of this entry »


Health & Human Services: Teen Males Majority of Illegal Aliens For Years

For Brietbart.com reports: A great deal of attention has been focused in recent months on the surge of illegal aliens, particularly unaccompanied alien children (UAC), through the southwest border of the United States. However, a federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fact sheet points to the fact that a large number of male teens have been arriving in exponentially increasing numbers for several years.border-fence-reuters

According to an HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) fact sheet, “Most [illegal aliens] are over 14 and approximately three quarters of them are boys.” In addition, there has been a steady upward trend in the number of UAC’s entering the country since at least 2012. The number “jumped dramatically” in fiscal year 2012, almost doubling to a total of 13,625 served by ORR. That number nearly doubled again from FY2012 to FY2013 as the ORR saw “24,668 UAC referrals from DHS” for FY2013.

Most recently updated in May 2014, the fact sheet goes on to project a greater exponential increase in UAC at more than double the previous year, approximately 60,000 for FY2014. However, some estimates expect even greater numbers. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Tsunami Warning Issued for Part of Aleutian Islands After 7.1 Earthquake off Alaska

Tsunami warning issued for part of Aleutian Islands after 7.1 earthquake off Alaska.

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DEVELOPING…

mtgilbert

AP – ABC News


Alaska man uses Neosporin to treat gunshot wound to head, doesnt get help for 5 days

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ANCHOR POINT, Alaska, May 16 (UPI) — Alaska residents are known to be very self-reliant, but one man took that to the extreme by waiting five days to seek medical attention for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“No treatment before today other than he put Neosporin on the wounds”

Instead of going to the hospital, an Anchor Point man treated his “serious but not life-threatening” wound with Neosporin and other supplies he had on hand.

Workers at South Peninsula Hospital alerted Alaska State Troopers when the 43-year-old man came in for treatment on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »


Senate Democrats Forced to Defend More Seats

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For Breitbart.comwrites: In even a neutral political environment, the 2014 midterms were going to be a challenge for Senate Democrats. They are defending 21 seats to the GOP’s 15, with only two of the Republican seats at any kind of risk of flipping to the Democrats. Moreover, Democrats were defending many freshman Senators who first won office in in Republican states in Obama’s wave election in 2008.

This isn’t a neutral political environment, however. Obama’s low approval ratings, the continued fallout over ObamaCare, current Democrat happy-talk notwithstanding, and the sluggish economy have provided Republicans with an enthusiasm and turnout advantage that could match 2010. Read the rest of this entry »


Sports: Ben Sasse’s ‘Constitutional Madness’ Bracket Highlight’s Obama’s Lawlessness

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Conservative Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse, who has been surging since being labeled the anti-Obamacare candidate, has released a “Constitutional Madness” bracket to highlight the lawlessness of the Obama administration.

“Which is President Obama’s worst constitutional violation?” the bracket says.“Make your picks!”

Pairings include “allowing congressional Obamacare subsidies” versus “forcing taxpayers to violate religious conscience by funding abortion through Obamacare” to “Using the IRS to suppress free speech” to “Secret monitoring of Fox News and the Associated Press.”

Sasse, who has vowed to take on the permanent political class and has already clashed with the Washington establishment, was most recently endorsed by former Alaska. Gov. Sarah Palin.

Here are the “Constitutional Madness” regionals:

EAST REGION

ROUND ONE

Allowing congressional Obamacare subsidies.

VS

Forcing taxpayers to violate religious conscience by funding abortion through Obamacare.

Two-year delay in Obamacare individual mandate.

VS

Empowering IPAB to govern health care without Congress.

One-year delay to make health plans Obamacare-compliant.

VS

One-year delay in Obamacare’s employer mandate.

Implementing the DREAM Act without legislation.

VS

Changing welfare work rules without legislation.

Read the rest of this entry »


BUSTED: Craigslist Murderer Newlywed Teen Miranda Barbour Brags to Cops She Killed 22 Others, Evidence Suggests (To No One’s Surprise) Her Claim is False

Authorities and a missing persons group are casting doubt on a 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman's claims that she killed 22 people in a satanic, cross-country killing spree.

Authorities and a missing persons group are casting doubt on a 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman’s claims that she killed 22 people in a satanic, cross-country killing spree.

Accused “Craigslist Killer” Miranda Barbour claimed most of the victims from her six-year spree were in Alaska, where she shot her first victim when she was 13.

[See also Femme Fatale: Newlywed Teen Miranda Barbour Admits Murdering a Dude She Met on Craigslist, Claims She Killed 22 Others]

On Tuesday, state police there said they hadn’t seen any evidence of serial killer-style slayings.

“At this time the Alaska State Troopers are not aware of any information, beyond Barbour’s comments quoted in the press, or evidence that would implicate Barbour with a homicide committed in Alaska,” state police spokeswoman Megan Peters told the Anchorage Daily News.

Similarly, a volunteer missing persons group, Seeking Alaska’s Missing, said Tuesday that Barbour’s jailhouse tales of mass murder seemed far-fetched.

Christine Baker/PennLive.com/AP

Christine Baker/PennLive.com/AP

“Based on the extensive research conducted by our dedicated team, the numbers Ms. Barbour has suggested simply do not add up,” the group wrote in a Facebook post.

“We at Seeking Alaska’s Missing remain skeptical of her unsubstantiated claims and until proof of such atrocities is given we will not expend our resources on any further investigation.

Read the rest of this entry »


Think Power Inequality

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Forget income inequality. Most of our money and clout goes to Washington.

For USATODAY,  Jonah Goldberg writes:  On my wife’s side, I have a very large family in Fairbanks, Alaska. Culturally, Fairbanks is a lot further from New York City (where I grew up) or Washington, D.C., (where I live now) than the several thousand miles on the map might suggest. Alaska wins a lot of comparisons, and not just the obvious ones such as physical beauty or salmon fishing. For instance, Alaska ranks second best in terms of economic equality (just behind Wyoming) while New York and the District of Columbia compete for dead last.

[Jonah Goldberg‘s book “The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas” is available at Amazon]

Frankly, I don’t much care about the issue of income inequality beyond its status as a symptom for real problems such as poor economic mobility, chronic unemployment and family breakdown. But lots of people do. President Obama even says it’s the “defining challenge of our time.” So it’s at least fun to note that Sarah Palin’s Alaska beats the competition.

Read the rest of this entry »