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Jesus Campos, Security Guard Who Confronted Las Vegas Gunman Stephen Paddock, Vanishes

Jesus Campos was set for appearances on Fox News, ABC, CNN, CBS and NBC when he seemingly disappeared.

The Times on Monday reported that Jesus Campos has apparently vanished from the public eye after encountering shooter Stephen Paddock earlier this month.

The president of the Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America union said that it had been four days since he had seen Campos.

“We have had no contact with him,” Dave Hickey said. “Clearly, somebody knows where he is.”

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Hickey said he was with Campos last Thursday, helping coordinate a series of television interviews the guard was slated to give about the rampage.

Campos was scheduled to appear on Fox News’s “Hannity,” and he was also set for appearances on ABC, CNN, CBS and NBC.

Hickey said that Campos was staying in a suite in a Las Vegas hotel, only to apparently depart while he was attending a meeting.

The union president added that after his meeting with MGM representatives ended last Thursday afternoon, Campos was no longer present in a nearby room. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Teaches Students That Words Are Violence? 

Malhar Mali writes:

…Ulrich Baer, a vice-provost and a professor of English at New York University, made an astonishing case against free speech in the New York Times. Baer framed the debate as one of speakers operating to “invalidate the humanity” of others — thus justifying shutting down the speech of speakers students might not be appreciative towards. But in doing so, he revealed far more about his mindset and that of many scholars who operate in the humanities. After all, who do you think teaches students that speech is dangerous, the ideas that cause the “snowflake” reactions we have become accustomed to viewing, or that anyone who is not a straight white male is experiencing oppression at unprecedented levels?

Baer’s article has already been skewered by Conor Friedsdorf in The Atlantic and Ted Gup in The Chronicle. I’m more interested in exploring how Baer argues as it lends us an insight into what’s causing students to behave in the ludicrous ways we have witnessed.

The most comically disturbing statement made by Baer, when referencing the at times odious views of controversial speakers, is:

“When those views invalidate the humanity of some people, they restrict speech as a public good.”

Views that invalidate humanity? The concept that speech invalidates the humanity of entire groups of people is preposterous hyperbole. A listener merely has to reject this idea to leave with their “humanity” intact. Violence is a physical act. Speech is not. If someone punches me, I feel its impact. That is not the same as someone disparaging me to the nth degree with their words. To think that an educator harbors views which effectively conflate words with violence provides us a clue to where students might gain these notions from. (Notions which are then repeated amongst peers until they are eventually parroted out with the zeal of preachers from days gone).

[Read the full story here, at Areo Magazine]

Yet the most important flags from Baer’s piece are that he is a professor of English and that he references Jean François Lyotard (and his book, The Postmodern Condition) as justification for his positions. As Phil Magness, a historian who teaches public policy at George Mason University notes after conducting an analysis of campus disinvitation letters which were also signed by professors, MLA departments, in which English sits, are the communities which most harbor individuals who are opposed to free expression. Describing the trend he sees, Magness writes:

“The pattern in each case is alarming, as it suggests that these and potentially other organized faculty-initiated attempts to impinge upon the academic freedom of their colleagues and their students are not randomly distributed occurrences. Instead they appear to concentrate heavily in the humanities, with English/MLA faculty invariably taking the lead. With that in mind, perhaps it is time to ask: why are so many English & MLA faculty displaying hostility to the academic freedom of their own faculty colleagues and students?”

These are the departments which are the most ingrained with corrosive postmodern and poststructuralist thought — à la Lyotard, Foucalt, Derrida, Lacan. And, as Jason Brennan, a philosopher who teaches in the business school at Georgetown University, points out in conjunction to Magness:

“These just happen to be the departments with the most activism and the lowest quality ‘research’; they’re full of poststructuralists, ideologues, and people who do sloppy work that would never cut it in economics or political science. The faculty least qualified to have an opinion on politics are the ones with the loudest opinions.”

Activist professors incapable of surviving in the more arduous disciplines (see: Autoethnography) are the most vociferous in limiting academic freedom of others. Given all of this, it is no surprise that Baer holds the views that he does. Neither is it surprising that we have professors of English publishing op-eds which ask for limiting speech, such as Aaron R. Hanlon a professor of English at Colby College in New Republic or John Patrick Leary a professor of English at Wayne State University in Inside Higher EducationThat Yale is also often the site of the most aggressive student behavior is also calculable. Baer himself gives away how infested the school has become with poststructuralist thought when he writes:

“It is perhaps telling that in the 1980s and ’90s, while I was also a doctoral student there, Yale ultimately became the hotbed of philosophical thinking that acknowledged the claims of people who had not been granted full participation in public discourse. Their accounts, previously dismissed as “unspeakable” or “unimaginable,” now gained legitimacy in redefining the rules of what counts as public speech.”

Keep what Baer says in mind and see this video of students privileging their “personal experiences” over Nicholas Christakis’ arguments. Notice, in particular, what this student says, “Your experiences will never connect to mine. Empathy is not necessary for you to understand that you’re wrong… Even if you don’t feel what I feel…”

I hope you are starting to connect the dots between the “past few decades of scholarship that has honed our understanding of the rights to expression” Baer references and the way students are behaving. Baer uses the same reasoning to censor speech. It is Lyotard’s idea of mini-narratives over meta-narratives taken to terrifying extremes. Personal experience overpowers empirical evidence. Who is anyone to deny my truth and what I feel? Read the rest of this entry »


‘Russians Are Here’ Ads Have Secret Message: Vote For ‘The Americans’

  writes: Full-page ads in today’s The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post feature a striking image and little text to explain: “The Russians Are Here” says a banner headline, above a Washington Monument shrouded in an old Soviet-style hammer and sickle flag.

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Smaller text at the bottom of the page reads: THERUSSIANSAREHERE.ORG. An anti-Trump faction? An alarmist watchdog?

Nah. The ad actually is a well-disguised For Your Consideration ad for FX’s The Americans, and the web address opens with a photo of gun-toting stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys surrounded by laudatory critics’ quotes. Click on the page’s “FYC” icon and up pops a roster of 11 cast members FX suggests is Emmy-worthy.

Another click takes you to a page full of videos of Season 5 episodes, plus a few promos. Read the rest of this entry »


Daily News Reports Steep Decline in Circulation

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The shocking double-digit declines come weeks after the money-losing News ousted Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich after just one year on the job.

Keith J. Kelly reports: The Daily News is a four-time loser, recently released circulation stats show.

The embattled newspaper reported sharply lower sales on weekdays and Sundays and on newsstand sales and home deliveries, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

While the entire newspaper industry has been hammered by print circulation declines in recent years, the drop-off by Mort Zuckerman’s Daily News in September was much steeper than the declines at The Post and the New York Times.

The News saw its weekday print circulation tumble 11.2 percent, to 207,680, almost double the 6.8 drop at The Post, which fell to 230,634. The Times reported a decline of 5.5 percent, to 551,579. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama Promises Hillary the Kiss of Death

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President Obama will offer his formal endorsement of Hillary Clinton with a video to be released later on Thursday and plans to campaign with the former secretary of state in Wisconsin next week, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

The swift endorsement comes after the president met with Sen. Bernie Sanders at the White House earlier Thursday as the Vermont senator indicated he is preparing to exit the Democratic nominating battle.

Sanders is under pressure to stand down and help unify the party after a long and contentious battle with Clinton for the nomination. Obama’s endorsement will add to that pressure, although most party leaders, including the president, have urged that he be allowed to decide his future plans on his own timetable.An afternoon meeting with Vice President Biden was also added to Sanders’s schedule for Thursday. The two are set to meet at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory, said Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Anti-Trump Protesters Pepper Spray Children at California Rally 

Supporters and opponents of Donald Trump clash at a rally in Anaheim, California on Tuesday, with pepper spray being used against each other. Police say five people, including two little girls, were pepper sprayed by a demonstrator during the heated confrontation.

At Instapundit, Ed Driscoll writes:

Note that in the tweets from San Francisco-based KCBS and ABC News that Twitchy links to, it’s ambiguous as to who was doing the pepper-spraying. Both tweets link to an AP report that requires wading past the headline and three paragraphs before being told “At one point, an opponent unleashed a hand-held pepper-spray device on the pro-Trump crowd.” If all you read were the tweets or the headlines and ledes, you’d have no idea who was doing the pepper-spraying.


Apple Reports Slowing Growth for iPhone Sales

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SAN FRANCISCO —Katie Benner reports: Apple’s iPhone has officially entered a slow-growth period.

Apple on Tuesday said that it sold 74.8 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter, which ended Dec. 26, up less than 1 percent from the 74.5 million sold a year ago. That represented the slowest year-over-year rate of growth for the device since it was introduced in 2007.

“There will be some speed bumps ahead until we get to the iPhone 7 mega-product cycle later this year.”

— Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets

The iPhone, Apple’s flagship product, is closely watched by investors because the smartphone accounts for two-thirds of the company’s annual revenue.

In total, Apple’s revenue for the quarter was $75.9 billion, up 1.7 percent from a year ago, and lower than Wall Street forecasts of $76.6 billion. Net profit was $18.4 billion, up from $18 billion a year earlier.

Apple’s rate of growth is not set to improve anytime soon. The company, based in Cupertino, Calif., also issued a lower-than-anticipated forecast for the current quarter, which ends in March. Apple projected revenue of $50 billion to $53 billion, down from $58 billion from a year earlier and lower than the $55.4 billion forecast by Wall Street, according to S&P Capital IQ.

The results and forecast reflect how Apple, under its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, is grappling with becoming a maturing tech company. While Apple once delivered high double-digit revenue gains on the back of soaring sales of the iPhone and other devices, growth rates have slowed as the iPhone has begun saturating the market and the company has not introduced a new blockbuster device.

Investors are already treating Apple more like a value stock than a growth stock, associating the company with predictable business results and a reliable dividend rather than runaway revenue growth.

In the period leading up to the earnings announcement, investors had lowered expectations for the quarter based on the belief that demand for Apple’s latest iPhones, the 6S and 6S Plus, had been weak. Read the rest of this entry »


The Misleading Uses, Flagrant Abuses, and Shoddy Statistics of Social Science About Gun Violence

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You Know Less Than You Think About Guns

Brian Doherty writes: “There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America,” President Barack Obama proclaimed after the October mass shooting that killed 10 at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. “So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer? We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work—or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns—is not borne out by the evidence.”

In this single brief statement, Obama tidily listed the major questions bedeviling social science research about guns—while also embodying the biggest problem with the way we process and apply that research. The president’s ironclad confidence in the conclusiveness of the science, and therefore the desirability of “common-sense gun safety laws,” is echoed widely with every new mass shooting, from academia to the popular press to that guy you knew from high school on Facebook.

[Order Emily Miller’s book “Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

In April 2015, the Harvard gun-violence researcher David Hemenway took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to declare in a headline: “There’s scientific consensus on guns—and the NRA won’t like it.” Hemenway insisted that researchers have definitively established “that a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be…that guns are not used in self-defense far more often than they are used in crime…and that the change to more permissive gun carrying laws has not reduced crime rates.” He concludes: “There is consensus that strong gun laws reduce homicide.”

But the science is a lot less certain than that. What we really know about the costs and benefits of private gun ownership and the efficacy of gun laws is far more fragile than what Hemenway and the president would have us believe.

More guns do not necessarily mean more homicides. More gun laws do not necessarily mean less gun crime. Finding good science is hard enough; finding good social science on a topic so fraught with politics is nigh impossible. The facts then become even more muddled as the conclusions of those less-than-ironclad academic studies cycle through the press and social media in a massive game of telephone. Despite the confident assertions of the gun controllers and decades of research, we still know astonishingly little about how guns actually function in society and almost nothing at all about whether gun control policies actually work as promised.

Do More Guns Mean More Homicides?

“More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on August 26, 2015, just after the grisly on-air murder of two television journalists in Virginia. It’s a startling fact, and true.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

But do the number of guns in circulation correlate with the number of gun deaths? Start by looking at the category of gun death that propels all gun policy discussion: homicides. (Gun suicides, discussed further below, are a separate matter whose frequent conflation with gun crime introduces much confusion into the debate.)

In 1994 Americans owned around 192 million guns, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. Today, that figure is somewhere between 245 and 328 million, though as Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss in their thorough 2014 book The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press) wisely concluded, liberal-huh“the bottom line is that no one knows how many firearms are in private hands in the United States.” Still, we have reason to believe gun prevalence likely surpassed the one-gun-per-adult mark early in President Barack Obama’s first term, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report that relied on sales and import data.

Yet during that same period, per-capita gun murders have been cut almost in half.

One could argue that the relevant number is not the number of guns, but the number of people with access to guns. That figure is also ambiguous. A Gallup poll in 2014 found 42 percent of households claiming to own a gun, which Gallup reports is “similar to the average reported to Gallup over the past decade.” But those looking for a smaller number, to downplay the significance of guns in American life, can rely on the door-to-door General Social Survey, which reported in 2014 that only 31 percent of households have guns, down 11 percentage points from 1993’s 42 percent. There is no singular theory to explain that discrepancy or to be sure which one is closer to correct—though some doubt, especially as gun ownership continues to be so politically contentious, that people always reliably report the weapons they own to a stranger literally at their door.

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The gun murder rate in 1993 was 7.0 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (Those reports rely on death certificate reporting, and they tend to show higher numbers than the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, though both trend the same.) In 2000 the gun murder rate per 100,000 was 3.8. By 2013, the rate was even lower, at 3.5, though there was a slight upswing in the mid-00s.

This simple point—that America is awash with more guns than ever before, yet we are killing each other with guns at a far lower rate than when we had far fewer guns—undermines the narrative that there is a straightforward, causal relationship between increased gun prevalence and gun homicide. Even if you fall back on the conclusion that it’s just a small number of owners stockpiling more and more guns, it’s hard to escape noticing that even these hoarders seem to be harming fewer and fewer people with their weapons, casting doubt on the proposition that gun ownership is a political crisis demanding action.

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In the face of these trend lines—way more guns, way fewer gun murders—how can politicians such as Obama and Hillary Clinton so successfully capitalize on the panic that follows each high profile shooting? Partly because Americans haven’t caught on to the crime drop. A 2013 Pew Research Poll found 56 percent of respondents thought that gun crime had gone up over the past 20 years, and only 12 percent were aware it had declined.

Do Gun Laws Stop Gun Crimes?

The same week Kristof’s column came out, National Journal attracted major media attention with a showy piece of research and analysis headlined “The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths.” The subhead lamented: “But there’s still little appetite to talk about more restrictions.”

Critics quickly noted that the Journal‘s Libby Isenstein had included suicides among “gun-related deaths” and suicide-irrelevant policies such as stand-your-ground laws among its tally of “gun laws.” That meant that high-suicide, low-homicide states such as Wyoming, Alaska, and Idaho were taken to task for their liberal carry-permit policies. Worse, several of the states with what the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence considers terribly lax gun laws were dropped from Isenstein’s data set because their murder rates were too low!

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Another of National Journal‘s mistakes is a common one in gun science: The paper didn’t look at gun statistics in the context of overall violent crime, a much more relevant measure to the policy debate. After all, if less gun crime doesn’t mean less crime overall—if criminals simply substitute other weapons or means when guns are less available—the benefit of the relevant gun laws is thrown into doubt. When Thomas Firey of the Cato Institute ran regressions of Isenstein’s study with slightly different specifications and considering all violent crime, each of her effects either disappeared or reversed.

Read the rest of this entry »


Los Angeles Times Extra, Dec 3, 2015

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UPDATE: Two Suspects Dead, One is Male, One is Female, Identities Known, Not Released

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Police pull body from suspects’ vehicle in San Bernardino

DEVELOPING: Police chasing a black SUV believed to be the getaway car for three suspects who shot up an office holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., Wednesday, murdering 14 people, captured or killed two suspects and were going house-to-house pursuing a third who fled on foot.

The shootout occurred less than two miles from the social services center where the massacre occurred hours earlier, and police sources told Fox KTTV they believe the suspects in the SUV were the ones responsible for the earlier attack. There were conflicting reports about two suspects, with some saying they were killed and others that they were captured. The suspect who remained at large was initially believed to be inside a nearby residence, but police were seen going house-to-house looking for him. Police Chief Jarrod Burguan warned all area residents to remain indoors.

“It’s still, again a very active, fluid situation,” said San Bernardino Police spokeswoman Vickie Cervantes, who said the chase began after police doing “follow-up work” in the wake of the mass shooting located the suspects’ vehicle.

The events appeared to bring closer to a conclusion a manhunt that began after three heavily armed gunmen “on a mission” — and garbed in body armor — burst into a San Bernardino social services facility and murdered in cold blood at least 14 people attending an office holiday party. The men, who witnesses said were wearing body armor and masks, entered the Inland Regional Center just after 11 a.m. with grim precision, according to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan.

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Once inside, they opened fire with rifles, shooting people in a conference room where a holiday party was taking place, authorities said. Hundreds of people were seen streaming out of the building moments later, some described by witnesses as holding their hands above their heads and even diving for cover behind cars in a parking lot.

“Up to three people entered the building and opened fire on people inside the building,” Burguan said at a news conference some three hours after the first call went out. “The suspects have fled, potentially in a dark-colored SUV.

“They came prepared to do what they did as if on a mission,” he added. The incident lasted less then five minutes, police said.

“They came prepared to do what they did as if on a mission.”

— San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan

Burguan said preliminary information showed 14 people were killed, and police later said 17 were injured.

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It was unclear where the suspects may have been during the nearly four hours following the attack, but they did not get far. There were reports that one may have been at the facility earlier, possibly to verify the presence of someone targeted for death, only to return with two more gunmen to unleash horror. Another report, in the Los Angeles Times, had the man getting into an argument at the party and returning with armed henchmen.

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[Read the full story here, at Fox News]

Police executed a search warrant Wednesday evening at a home in nearby Redlands, but it was not clear if it was related to the case.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were on the scene, some 60 miles east of Los Angeles. An FBI spokesman said it was not clear whether the incident was terror related. No weapons were recovered.

Employees, who undergo monthly training drills to prepare for active shooter situations, initially thought the incident was a drill, according to the Los Angeles Times. But when real bullets flew, several hid in closets, barricaded themselves in rooms or fled for their lives. Read the rest of this entry »


SHE’S SO MONEY: Nancy Pelosi’s Vineyard Makes Her 4th-Richest Californian in Congress

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A description of the property posted on its architect’s website says it was inspired by Palladian villas and boasts a guesthouse and a “Z” shaped pool.

Javier Panzar  writes: It can be an odd thing having Nancy Pelosi as your next-door neighbor.

“The Democrat has a minimum net worth of $29.3 million, according to an analysis of her financial disclosure forms compiled by Roll Call.”

Especially when the House minority leader and her husband open up their bucolic Northern California estate and vineyard on the banks of the Napa River to the likes of Google’s Eric Schmidt, wealthy environmental activist Tom Steyer and Gov. Jerry Brown.

“The Pelosi estate on Zinfandel Lane, for example, is valued between $5,000,001 and $25 million, according to the records the congresswoman filed with the House clerk’s office for calendar year 2014.”

“When all the black SUVs are circling around the property — like planes gathering over O’Hare Airport — that is when you know they are here,” Susanna Kelham, who owns a winery next to the Pelosi property in St. Helena, told the Los Angeles Times.

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“When all the black SUVs are circling around the property — like planes gathering over O’Hare Airport — that is when you know they are here.”

That was the scene last year when Pelosi hosted a dinner at the couple’s sprawling estate and vineyard about 65 miles north of Pelosi’s San Francisco district to close out a two-day conference in the wine country for political heavyweights.

Such is life for the fourth-richest Californian in Congress.

The Democrat has a minimum net worth of $29.3 million, according to an analysis of her financial disclosure forms compiled by Roll Call. The Los Angeles Times is using the data and for the first time is listing every asset and liability disclosed by the 55 members of the state’s congressional delegation.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has a minimum net worth of $29.3 million, according to an analysis of her financial disclosure forms compiled by Roll Call.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has a minimum net worth of $29.3 million, according to an analysis of her financial disclosure forms compiled by Roll Call.

“A description of the property posted on its architect’s website says it was inspired by Palladian villas and boasts a guesthouse and a “Z” shaped pool.”

Financial disclosure rules allow lawmakers to report broad ranges for the value of both their assets and liabilities starting at $1 to $1,000 and ending with any value greater than $50 million. Precise figures are not required. Roll Call calculated minimum net worth by subtracting the minimum value of liabilities from the minimum value of assets disclosed.

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“The estate is not just for show. The couple also collects between $5,001 and $15,000 in income from the sale of grapes grown at the vineyard. A spokesman for Pelosi did not say who the grapes were sold to or for what purpose.”

The Pelosi estate on Zinfandel Lane, for example, is valued between $5,000,001 and $25 million, according to the records the congresswoman filed with the House clerk’s office for calendar year 2014. A description of the property posted on its architect’s website says it was inspired by Palladian villas and boasts a guesthouse and a “Z” shaped pool.

The estate is not just for show. The couple also collects between $5,001 and $15,000 in income from the sale of grapes grown at the vineyard. A spokesman for Pelosi did not say who the grapes were sold to or for what purpose. Read the rest of this entry »


Media Narrative: Half-Black Oregon Killer is a ‘White Supremacist’

Was he a Half-White Supremacist?

Daniel Greenfield writes: According to the LA Times, Chris Harper Mercer, the Oregon killer, was a “White Supremacist“.

One slight problem. Mercer identified as multi-racial. His mother was black. He doesn’t seem to have even known his father. He identified with black TV killer Vester Lee Flanagan.

This doesn’t seem to have stopped the media with George Zimmerman who was labeled a white Hispanic, so maybe Chris Harper Mercer was a white Black? Was he a Half-White Supremacist?

I’m not an expert on “White Supremacism”, but being half-black and then shooting a bunch of white Christians would make him the worst White Supremacist ever….(read more)

Source: Frontpage Mag

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.


Saudi Prince Arrested in Gated L.A. Compound for Alleged Sexual Assault

Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud, 28, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of forced copulation with an adult.

Ryan Gajewski & Natalie Stone report: A Saudi prince was arrested at a gated Los Angeles compound after allegedly trying to coerce a worker in the home into performing a sex act on him, Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud, 28, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of forced copulation with an adult, a Los Angeles Police spokesperson told THR. The Los Angeles Times was first to report the news. Read the rest of this entry »


Jerry Lewis Never-Released Holocaust Film ‘The Day the Clown Cried’ Inches Closer to a Possible Screening

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Not much is known about the film’s plot except that Lewis plays a German circus clown named Helmut Doork who is sent to a concentration camp during World War II and ordered to entertain children.

Joe McGovern reports: Lovers of film history and legendary movies — even ones supposedly so tasteless that they’ve never been released—had their interest piqued this week when a piece of exciting news was dropped in the 21st paragraph of an Los Angeles Times articleThe Day the Clown Cried, Jerry Lewis’ notorious unreleased Holocaust drama in which he stars as a clown playing with children before they are sent into gas chambers, has been acquired by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

“After I’m gone, who knows what’s going to happen? …The only thing that I do feel, that I always get a giggle out of, some smart young guy…is going to come up with an idea and he’s going to run the f—ing thing. I would love that. Because he’s going to see a hell of a movie!”

What does this mean? Well, that we might finally see the film, though we shouldn’t hold our collective breath. According to the article, Rob Stone, the moving-image curator at the library, received the one known print of the film as part of a larger collection of Jerry Lewis work. Stone did not respond to EW’s requests for comment, but told a group of movie buffs at a festival of “lost” movies that the library has agreed not to screen the film for at least a decade.

See clips from The Day the Clown Cried, as seen in a 1972 TV documentary that aired in Belgium, below:

[Also see – interview with Jerry about the film]

Lewis, now 89, made The Day the Clown Cried in Sweden in 1971. Read the rest of this entry »


Los Angeles Times Fires Leftist Cartoonist Ted Rall For False Account About LAPD

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For Marxists like Ted Rall, Lying is as natural as breathing.

Matthew Balan Breitbart’s John Nolte reported on Tuesday that the LA Times discontinued its relationship with far-left cartoonist/writer Ted Rall, after he claimed in an May 2015 item that he was “thrown up against a wall, handcuffed and roughed up by an LAPD motorcycle policeman who also threw his driver’s license into the sewer.” The LAPD subsequently released records about the 2001 police encounter (where Rall was stopped for jaywalking), which included an audiotape that “does not back up Rall’s assertions.”

From John Nolte’s report:

Ted Rall, a noxious left-wing political cartoonist who has advocated violence against conservatives and on more than one occasion revealed himself as a racist, finally went too far, even for the same LA Times that champions those who threaten Jews with curb-stomping. According to the Times, in a May 11 article, Rall outright lied about a 2001 experience he had with the LAPD….(read more)

Maetenloch at AceofSpadesHQ has this:

You’ll be shocked, shocked to find out that Rall is a lying liar who lies. In fact as far back as 2003 Ted Rall was known as a long-time scumbag. The fact that he was ever employed by reputable publications after this cartoon is reason enough for the MSM to be destroyed in a cleansing fire of incandescent righteousness…(read more)

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The liberal newspaper’s editorial page editor, Nicholas Goldberg, wrote a note to readers on Tuesday about Rall’s firing. Goldberg first summarized the cartoonist’s claims against the police officer, where he also contended that “dozens of onlookers shouted in protest at the officer’s conduct.” The editor continued that the newly-released audiotape “gives no Marx-TVindication that there was physical violence of any sort by the policeman or that Rall’s license was thrown into the sewer or that he was handcuffed. Nor is there any evidence on the recording of a crowd of shouting onlookers.”

Goldberg also pointed out that Rall filed a complaint with the LAPD which made no mention of the allegation of excessive force:

In Rall’s initial complaint to the LAPD, he describes the incident without mentioning any physical violence or handcuffing but says that the police officer was “belligerent and hostile” and that he threw Rall’s license into the “gutter.” The tape depicts a polite interaction.

In addition, Rall wrote in his blog post that the LAPD dismissed his complaint without ever contacting him. Department records show that internal affairs investigators made repeated attempts to contact Rall, without success. Read the rest of this entry »


BLACKOUT: Planned Parenthood Organ Trafficking Media Silence: ‘I’m Going Dark’

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Okay, to be fair, The Hill did cover it today. Sort of.

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M.Z.Hemingway writes

…While the media usually rush to flood the zone on news stories — for a few weeks our media were obsessed with stories surrounding the Confederate flag, for instance — there has been a stunning blackout on this news story. Six hours after the news broke, here is how major media reported on the expose of Planned Parenthood:

Washington Post:

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New York Times:

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CNN:

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Los Angeles Times:

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Politico:

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ABC News:

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NBC News:

Screen-Shot-2015-07-14-at-1.39.38-PM Read the rest of this entry »


Enough Is Enough: Abolish the IRS

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Robert W. Merry reviews Grover Norquist’s new book 

Robert W. Merry writes: Among the more enjoyable spectacles of Washington in recent years has been watching Grover Norquist eluding once again a contingent of media foxhounds in full bray, yelping and jumping at the bottom of a tree in which, they are convinced, they have finally trapped the prominent anti-tax guru. One such episode took place in November 2012, shortly after President Obama’s reelection—and at a time when official Washington faced a choice between a grand fiscal compromise and the austere budget cuts that would kick in automatically under what was known as “sequestration.”

Congress would never allow sequestration to take effect, according to the media wisdom of the day, and hence Republicans would have to accept tax increases as part of the alternative fiscal bargain. That would mean the GOP would have to repudiate the famous Tax Pledge devised by Norquist and signed by nearly every congressional Republican. That, in turn, would destroy the force and power of that nettlesome Tax Pledge—and IRS-bookdislodge Norquist from his prominent place as Horatio at the bridge of tax policy.

[Order Grover Norquist’s book “End the IRS Before It Ends Us: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America“, Center Street, 352 pp., $20.25 at Amazon.com]

This particular episode took place around the luncheon table of the Center for the National Interest (publisher of this website and its allied magazine), and the media hounds went after Norquist with the glee of those who know they are about to witness a political comeuppance of serious magnitude. Through it all, the imperturbable Norquist confidently and quietly held his ground—never ruffled, never riled, never lacking in magnanimity, seemingly sure of his aces. “This isn’t my first rodeo,” he said, and laid out a lucid political explanation for why his Pledge would hold, even in the face of such tectonic pressures.

[Read the full text of Robert W. Merry‘s review here at The National Interest]

The next day, the Los Angeles Times offered an analysis entitled, “Grover Norquist the has-been.” It proclaimed that “even he can’t ignore the signs that his hold is slipping.” The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, after quoting Norquist’s insistence that congressional Republicans would adhere to their anti-tax heritage, even in the face of the looming sequestration decision, wrote with a smirk, “Also, the dog ate Norquist’s homework.” He added that Norquist’s confidence on the matter suggested he “had been on a long trip in a remote location.” The New York Times, in a front-page feature, suggested Norquist “finds himself in a tricky spot.”

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What happened next? The sequestration deadline came and went, no grand fiscal compromise emerged, the austere spending cuts went into effect, and Norquist’s famous Pledge remained intact, as did the political standing and influence of Norquist himself. Dana Milbank never got around to revealing to his readers his own remote location whenIRS_logothe dog was eating his prediction of Norquist’s political demise. Truly, Norquist is a Washington figure to be reckoned with.

Now he bundles up his anti-tax sentiments and political assessments into a sprightly volume entitled: End the IRS Before It Ends Us: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America. It’s a book of many parts: primer on America’s tax history and growth in government; polemical expose of liberal legerdemain on the issue; policy recommendations for smaller government, strong economic growth and a streamlined tax system; and paean to the energy and efficiency of unfettered capitalism. He even provides an amusing narrative of the earnest efforts of his adversaries to obliterate his famous Pledge, all to no avail.

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The reason they can’t obliterate it, writes Norquist, is that the American people are on to the ominous consequences of inexorable governmental expansion and fiscal incontinence. Currently, U.S. governmental spending—federal, state and local—amounts to 34 percent of the national economy, while taxes consume about 30 percent of annual IRS-symbolGDP. And what’s going to happen to tax rates and the governmental share of GDP, he asks, when it comes time to pay down the $17 trillion in federal debt (nearly $8 trillion of it added on Obama’s watch) or the $123 trillion in “unfunded liabilities” accumulated through years of irresponsible government spending?

All this has generated civic angers that in turn spawned the Tea Party phenomenon of the early Obama years—the country’s first mass movement focused primarily on governmental spending. During the week of April 15, 2009, Americans gathered across the country in more than 600—perhaps as many as a thousand—anti-spending rallies with up to a million participants. As Norquist puts it, “A wall of opposition to government spending rose up.” At the next election, Republicans campaigning against government spending and Obama’s stimulus legislation captured the House by gaining sixty-three seats in that chamber; they also picked up a net gain of six Senate seats.

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Two years later, though, the Tea Party movement seemed to have petered out. Republicans failed to oust Obama from the White House or to capture the four Senate seats needed for control of that chamber. What happened?

According to Norquist, the answer is simple. “The Tea Party didn’t fall down the stairs. It was pushed.” Read the rest of this entry »


Rolling Stone Fired Editor After Negative Review Of Hootie & the Blowfish Album

RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — Rolling Stone is pledging to review its editorial practices but won’t fire anyone after a leading journalism school issued a blistering critique of how it reported and edited a discredited article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.

“The move came Monday, after the weekly New York Observer ran a story saying that Rolling Stone founder-editor Jann Wenner had killed DeRogatis’ negative review of the new Hootie & the Blowfish album and replaced it with a more positive one.” 

Reports are now beginning to surface across social media of former employees getting fired from Rolling Stone, with one senior editor reportedly getting let go following a negative review of a Hootie & The Blowfish album.

University-Virginia

“The Observer story included quotes from DeRogatis implying that Wenner routinely pulls copy that he disagrees with and suggesting that Wenner’s motive for the Hootie change was not to alienate the massively popular band.”

— The Los Angeles Times in 1996

The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism said in the Sunday report that the magazine’s shortcomings “encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking.”

Two of the report’s authors, dean Steve Coll and academic dean Sheila Coronel, were scheduled to discuss their investigation at a news conference Monday in New York.

“As far as why they fired me, you have to ask them. What they told me is that I’m a bad apple and don’t know anything about music.”

— DeRogatis, to The L.A. Times

The analysis was accompanied by a statement from Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana apologizing for the failures and retracting the November 2014 story. Some University of Virginia students said none of that will erase the article’s repercussions.

Maggie Rossberg, a second-year nursing student from Crozet, Virginia, said her chief concern is the effect the journalistic lapses will have on rape victims. “This is probably going to discourage other sexual assault survivors from coming forward,” Rossberg said.

The Columbia review was undertaken at Rolling Stone’s request and posted on both organizations’ websites. It presented a broad indictment of the magazine’s handling of a story that had horrified readers, unleashed protests at the university’s Charlottesville campus and sparked a national discussion about sexual assaults on college campuses.

“I think the real casualty of the report is the University of Virginia’s trust in journalism. I don’t think any University of Virginia student going through this will ever read an article the same way.”

— Abraham Axler of New York City, president of the university’s Student Council

It came two weeks after the Charlottesville police department said it had found no evidence to back the claims of the victim, identified in the story only as “Jackie,” who said she was raped by seven men at a fraternity house. Read the rest of this entry »


Turn on, Tune In, Get Old: Aging Baby Boomers Bring Drug Habits into Middle Age

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Older adults are abusing drugs, getting arrested for drug offenses and dying from drug overdoses at increasingly higher rates. These surges have come as the 76 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, reach late middle age. 

UPLAND, Calif.— Zusha Elinson reports: From the time he was a young man coming of age in the 1970s, Mike Massey could have served as a poster child for his generation, the baby boomers. He grew his hair long to the dismay of his father, surfed, played in rock bands and says he regularly got high on marijuana and cocaine.

“I thought, no big deal—my knee hurts and they’re prescription drugs. The fact of the matter was I was abusing them the second day I had them.”

— Mike Massey

The wild times receded as he grew older. In his 30s, he stopped using drugs altogether, rose into executive positions with the plumbers and pipe fitters union, bought a house in this Los Angeles suburb and started a family. But at age 50, Mr. Massey injured his knee running. He took Vicodin for the pain but soon started using pills heavily, mixing the opioids with alcohol, he said.

“After surgeries to repair his knee and an arm he also injured, prescriptions brought him a steady supply of pain pills. He would down about 40 every day while drinking heavily. By that time, he had become executive director of the trust fund and several associated businesses.”

“It reminded me of getting high and getting loaded,” said Mr. Massey, now 58 years old, who went into recovery and stopped using drugs and alcohol in 2013. “Your mind never forgets that.”

[Read the full text here, at the Wall Street Journal]

Today, the story of this balding, middle-aged executive continues to reflect that of his generation.

Older adults are abusing drugs, getting arrested for drug offenses and dying from drug overdoses at increasingly higher rates. These surges have come as the 76 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, reach late middle age. Facing the pains and losses connected to aging, boomers, who as youths used drugs at the highest rates of any generation, are once again—or still—turning to drugs.

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The trend has U.S. health officials worried. The sharp increase in overdose deaths among older adults in particular is “very concerning,” said Wilson Compton,deputy director for the federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The rate of death by accidental drug overdose for people aged 45 through 64 increased 11-fold between 1990, when no baby boomers were in the age group, and 2010, when the age group was filled with baby boomers, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mortality data. That multiple of increase was greater than for any other age group in that time span.

“He is a very valued employee and does a lot for the organization. He was worth the effort of saving.”

— Sid Stolper, Mr. Massey’s boss for 21 years

The surge has pushed the accidental overdose rate for these late middle age adults higher than that of 25- to 44-year-olds for the first time. More than 12,000 boomers died of accidental drug overdoses in 2013, the most recent data available. That is more than the number that died that year from either car accidents or influenza and pneumonia, according to the CDC.

“Generally, we thought of older individuals of not having a risk for drug abuse and drug addiction,” Dr. Compton said. “As the baby boomers have aged and brought their habits with them into middle age, and now into older adult groups, we are seeing marked increases in overdose deaths.”Still Turning On

Baby Boomers are developing drug problems at increasingly higher rates. What is the profile of a Boomer at risk? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer. Illustration: Arielle Ray

“Rehab centers that were designed for younger people are adjusting to the new clientele. Getting rid of bunk beds, hiring more experienced addiction counselors and providing medical care on-site are some measures being taken.”

Experts say the drug problem among the elderly has been caused by the confluence of two key factors: a generation with a predilection for mind-altering substances growing older in an era of widespread opioid painkiller abuse. Pain pills follow marijuana as the most popular ways for aging boomers to get high, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which conducts an annual national survey on drug use. Opioid painkillers also are the drug most often involved in overdoses, followed by antianxiety drugs, cocaine and heroin.

Wall Street Journal interviews with dozens of older drug users and recovering addicts revealed an array of personal stories behind the trend. Some had used drugs their entire lives and never slowed down. Others had used drugs when they were younger, then returned to them later in life after a divorce, death in the family or job loss.

“Amid prescription painkiller abuse, old-age aches and pains are treated with acupuncture and nonaddictive painkillers. Another change is therapy sessions that are designed for older adults.”

“If you have a trigger, and your youth is caught up in that Woodstock mentality, you’re going to revert back,” said Jamie Huysman, 60, clinical adviser to the senior program at Caron Treatment Centers, a residential drug treatment organization that plans to break ground this summer on a $10 million medical center in Pennsylvania catering to older adults. “We were pretty conditioned that we could be rebellious, that we could take drugs, and so this is how we respond today.”

Drug-rehabilitation programs are grappling with how to handle the boom in older patients. More than 5.7 million people over the age of 50 will need substance-abuse treatment by the year 2020, according to estimates from government researchers. Meanwhile, hospitals have seen a sharp increase in the number of older adults admitted for drug-related health problems, government statistics show.

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“Over the past decade, illicit drug use among people over 50 has increased at the same time that the rate for teens—the group that draws the most public concern when it comes to substance abuse—has declined, according to the federal government’s annual survey on drug use.”

“We’re still in the process of figuring out: How do we ensure we have a strong workforce that can address this, and the appropriate settings to address this?” said Peter Delany, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Over the past decade, illicit drug use among people over 50 has increased at the same time that the rate for teens—the group that draws the most public concern when it comes to substance abuse—has declined, according to the federal government’s annual survey on drug use. A similar pattern exists for drug arrests: rates fell in nearly every younger age group in the country between 1997 and 2012, but not for those between the ages of 45 and 64.

“The rate of drug use among boomers has fallen significantly as the cohort has aged, but it is about triple the percentage of people in the previous generation who reported drug use in their older years.”

Boomers have always ranked high on the charts that measure drug use. In 1979, high school seniors, born in 1961, set the record for self-reported illicit drug use in the past year, according to an annual national survey called Monitoring the Future. The rate of drug use among boomers has fallen significantly as the cohort has aged, but it is about triple the percentage of people in the previous generation who reported drug use in their older years. Read the rest of this entry »


Hillary Email Scandal: TMZ Doing the Job the Media Won’t

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John Noltenolte writes: When it comes to the current scandal surrounding Democrat Hillary Clinton, the gossip/celebrity site TMZ is doing the job the mainstream media won’t. In the search for answers, TMZ was willing to send a staffer to the airport in the hopes that Ms. Clinton would answer questions about the scandal brewing around her decision to use only a private email hosted on her private server while serving as Secretary of State.

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Two questions:

  1. Why wasn’t the mainstream media camped out with TMZ in the hopes of getting some answers?
  2. Why isn’t this video of Hillary refusing to answer running every fifteen minutes on cable news? I haven’t seen it once.

[Also see – How pathetic is THIS? Hey, MSM, ‘TMZ just ate your lunch’ on Hillary emails]

The answer of course is simple: Democrats sure got it good. Read the rest of this entry »


Suge Knight Arrested in Fatal Hit-and-Run

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Terrence McCoy and J. Freedom du Lac report; Rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the death of a man in Compton, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.

“Looks like he drove backwards and struck the victims and drove forwards and struck them again. The people we talked to say it looked like it was an intentional act.”

— Lt. John Corina, sheriff’s office spokesman

A spokesman said late Thursday that it appeared Knight, the notorious Death Row Records founder, had run over two men with his truck after an argument on a movie set. One was killed; the other was injured. Authorities have not yet identified the victims, though the sheriff’s department said both men were in their 50s and that at least one was a member of the film crew.

“Looks like he drove backwards and struck the victims and drove forwards and struck them again,” Lt. John Corina, a sheriff’s office spokesman, told reporters. “The people we talked to say it looked like it was an intentional act.”

Authorities said Knight left the scene following the afternoon incident but turned himself in early Friday morning in West Hollywood. He was arrested a short while later and is being held on $2 million bail, according to the sheriff’s office.

This image from video shows Suge Knight arriving at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station. (OnSceneVideo via AP Television)

This image from video shows Suge Knight arriving at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station. (OnSceneVideo via AP Television)

The incident reportedly occurred following a dispute on the set of a movie called “Straight Outta Compton,” about the rise and fall of N.W.A., the pioneering rap group that included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E.

“Mr. Knight was attacked by a group of men while he was in his vehicle. They were beating him, threatening to kill him and attempting to drag him outside of the vehicle. He made an effort to escape, he was in fear for his life. And that’s exactly what he did…He was the victim, he was not the aggressor.”

— Knight’s attorney James Blatt

Knight’s attorney acknowledged that his client ran over two people while driving a red pickup truck in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Compton. But, he said, it was an accident.

The attorney, James Blatt, told the Los Angeles Times that the man killed was Terry Carter, a friend of Knight’s. The second victim, who suffered injuries, was actor Cle “Bone” Sloan, Blatt told the Times.

Tupac Shakur, left, and Suge Knight, one month before Shakur’s 1996 death. (Frank Wiese/AP file)

Tupac Shakur, left, and Suge Knight, one month before Shakur’s 1996 death. (Frank Wiese/AP file)

Blatt told the Times that Carter was trying to break up a fight between Knight and others when he was run over — and that Knight “had no knowledge whatsoever he ran over anyone.”

“Mr. Knight was attacked by a group of men while he was in his vehicle,” Blatt said, according to the Times. “They were beating him, threatening to kill him and attempting to drag him outside of the vehicle. He made an effort to escape, he was in fear for his life. And that’s exactly what he did.”

The attorney said he expects Knight to be exonerated.

“He was the victim, he was not the aggressor,” Blatt said, according to the Times.

The incident in question occurred Thursday afternoon at Tam’s Burgers in Compton. Homicide detectives were dispatched to the scene to investigate a fatal hit-and-run accident, according a sheriff’s office news release. Read the rest of this entry »


Sean Davis: Language Policing Doesn’t Pervert Liberalism, It Is Liberalism

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Modern liberalism depends on the language police, and Jonathan Chait himself is Exhibit A.

 writes: In a widely praised piece for New York Magazine, liberal writer Jonathan Chait says the leftist language police are perverting liberalism. Chait is wrong. The politically correct language police don’t pervert modern liberalism; they embody it. And amateur leftist thought cop Jonathan Chait himself is proof.

“Speech codes are a widely used tool taken right out of the fascist toolbox. If they can’t control how you act, then they’ll control how you speak. If they can’t control how you speak, then they’ll control how you think.”

In his piece, Chait catalogued numerous discussions within a large Facebook group called “Binders Full of Women Writers” to show the toxic effect that language and thought crime policing can have on basic political discourse.

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“Jonathan Chait’s recent critique of political correctness insists that the phenomenon has undergone a resurgence. It hasn’t; contrary to Chait’s characterization, it never went away. The difference is that it is now being used as a cudgel against white liberals such as Jonathan Chait, who had previously enjoyed a measure of immunity.”

[More – Kevin D. Williamson’s Liberals Seek PC Exemption at NRO]

“Chait is hardly in a position to complain about that, given his own heavy reliance on that mode of discourse. Chait isn’t arguing for taking an argument on its own merits; he’s arguing for a liberals’ exemption to the Left’s general hostility toward any unwelcome idea that comes from a speaker who checks any unapproved demographic boxes…”

— Kevin D. Williamson

At times, members of the overwhelmingly liberal group would demand that certain sentiments not be shared. Sometimes, members declared that certain people weren’t even allowed to have opinions on a subject on account of their color, gender, or sexual orientation. Here’s a small selection from Chait’s piece:

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On July 10, for instance, one member in Los Angeles started a conversation urging all participants to practice higher levels of racial awareness. “Without calling anyone out specifically, I’m going to note that if you’re discussing a contentious thread, and shooting the breeze … take a look at the faces in the user icons in that discussion,” she wrote. “Binders is pretty diverse, but if you’re not seeing many WOC/non-binary POC in your discussion, it’s quite possible that there are problematic assumptions being stated without being challenged.” (“POC” stands for “people of color.” “WOC” means “women of color.” “Non-binary” describes people who are either transgender or identify as a gender other than traditionally male or female.)

Two members responded lightly, one suggesting that such “call-outs” be addressed in private conversation and another joking that she was a “gluten free Jewish WWC” — or Woman Without Color. Read the rest of this entry »


Transcript: Jon Gruber’s Opening Statement to the House Oversight Committee

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Written Testimony of Professor Jonathan Gruber before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, December 9, 2014

[PDF – Gruber-Statement-12-9-ObamaCare]

Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings, and Distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify voluntarily today. I am pleased to be able to address some statements I have made regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the reactions to and interpretations of those statements.

I am a Professor of Economics at MIT. I am not a political advisor nor a politician. Over the past decade I have used a complex economic microsimulation model to help a number of states and the federal government assess the impact that various legislative options for health care reform might have on the state and federal health care systems, government budgets, and overall economies. I have had the privilege of working for both Democratic and Republican administrations on health care reform efforts. For example, I worked extensively with Governor Romney’s Administration and the Massachusetts legislature to model the impact of Governor Romney’s landmark health reform legislation. I later served as a technical consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provided similar support to both the Administration and Congress through economic microsimulation modeling of the Affordable Care Act.

I did not draft Governor Romney’s health care plan, and I was not the “architect” of President Obama’s health care plan. I ran microsimulation models to help those in the state and federal executive and gruber-townhalllegislative branches better assess the likely outcomes of various possible policy choices.

[More – Katie Pavlich – TownHall.com]

After the passage of the ACA, I made a series of speeches around the nation endeavoring to explain the law’s implications for the U.S. health care system from the perspective of a trained economist. Many of these speeches were to technical audiences at economic and academic conferences.

Over the past weeks a number of videos have emerged from these appearances. In excerpts of these videos I am shown making a series of glib, thoughtless, and sometimes downright insulting comments. I apologized for the first of these videos earlier. But the ongoing attention paid to these videos has made me realize that a fuller accounting is necessary.

I would like to begin by apologizing sincerely for the offending comments that I made. In some cases I made uninformed and glib comments about the political process behind health care reform. I am not an expert on politics and my tone implied that I was, which is wrong. In other cases I simply made insulting and mean comments that are totally uncalled for in any situation. I sincerely apologize both for conjecturing with a tone of expertise and for doing so in such a disparaging fashion. It is never appropriate to try to make oneself seem more important or smarter by demeaning others. I know better. I knew better. I am embarrassed, and I am sorry.

In addition to apologizing for my unacceptable remarks, I would like to clarify some misconceptions about the content and context of my comments. Let me be very clear: I do not think that the Affordable Care Act was passed in a non-transparent fashion. The issues I raised in my comments, such as redistribution of risk through insurance market reform and the structure of the Cadillac tax, were roundly debated throughout 2009 and early 2010 before the law was passed. Reasonable people can disagree about the merits of these policies, but it is completely clear that these issues were debated thoroughly during the drafting and passage of the ACA. Read the rest of this entry »


Unpopular Propaganda Site Bleeding Money

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Steven E.F. Brown reports: News business Salon Media Group Inc.lost $3.9 million in the year ended March, and that pushed the company’s accumulated deficit to $116.4 million.

The San Francisco company (Pink Sheets: SLNM) had revenue of $3.6 million for the year, up from revenue of $3.5 million the previous year, when it lost $4.1 million.

Salon runs the online news site Salon.com and also used to operate a pioneering discussion forum called the Well. That service was exciting and innovative back in 1999, when Salon acquired it, but last summer the company laid off all the Well’s staff and sold its assets for $400,000.

The company gets most of its money — 91 percent of revenue in the most recent year — from online advertising. Most such campaigns are short, lasting fewer than 90 days. Read the rest of this entry »


Democrat Deputy L.A. City Attorney Busted for Child Porn, Multiple Charges

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A deputy Los Angeles city attorney was arrested at his home on Thursday on multiple charges of child pornography, according to the Los Angeles Times.

LAPD spokeswoman and Officer Liliana Peciado told the Times that Christopher Richard Garcia, 57, was booked on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography. Garcia posted $40,000 bail shortly after the arrest, court records show.

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“Authorities executed a search warrant at Garcia’s house in November, where they found “some questionable images” after conducting a forensic search on one of Garcia’s computers.”

Garcia had apparently been under investigation since November, according to city attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox.

“When our office became aware of these allegations 10 months ago, Mr. Garcia was immediately placed on administrative leave, where he remains today,” Wilcox told the Times. “We cannot comment further on this ongoing criminal matter.” Read the rest of this entry »


The Alinsky Method Revealed: Deportation of Minors Drop 80% Under Obama

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For Breitbart.comAwr Hawkins reports: The number of illegal immigrant minors being sent back to their country of origin has dropped 80 percent under Barack Obama.

In 2008 there were 8,143 deportations. In 2013 there were 1,669.

According to the Los Angeles Times, this lack of border law enforcement is now an impetus to other minors seeking to come here illegally. Read the rest of this entry »


Complicity: Deportation Data Won’t Dispel Rumors Drawing Migrant Minors to U.S.

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Organized crime groups in Central America have exploited the slow U.S. legal process and the compassion shown to children in apparent crisis

For the Los Angeles Times, Brian Bennett reports: President Obama and his aides have repeatedly sought to dispel the rumors driving thousands of children and teens from Central America to cross the U.S. border each month with the expectation they will be given a permiso and allowed to stay.

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“The cartels have figured out where the hole is.”

—  Immigration attorney David Leopold

But under the Obama administration, those reports have proved increasingly true.

The number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Similarly, about 600 minors were ordered deported each year from nonborder states a decade ago. Ninety-five were deported last year, records show, even as a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America — five times more than two years earlier — began pouring across the Southwest border.

[Also see: Border Meltdown: Obama Delivers 290,000 Illegals To U.S. Homes]

The previously unavailable deportation data are likely to fuel the political debate over whether Obama administration policies are partly responsible for the 52,000 children and teens who have surrendered to or been caught by Border Patrol agents since last October, spurring fresh concerns about U.S. border security and immigration law.

Read the rest of this entry »


The IRS email scandal: Where’s the Outrage? 

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For the Los Angeles TimesJonah Goldberg writes:

“Congressional investigators are fuming over revelations that the Internal Revenue Service has lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency’s tea party controversy.”

That’s the opening sentence of the Associated Press’ story on the IRS’ claim that it lost an unknown number of emails over two years relating to the agency’s alleged targeting of political groups hostile to the president.

But note how the AP casts the story: The investigators — Republican lawmakers — are outraged.

Is it really so hard to imagine that if this were a Republican administration, the story wouldn’t be the frustration of partisan critics of the president? It would be all about that administration’s behavior. With the exception of National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who called for a special prosecutor to bypass the White House’s “stonewalling,” and former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, it’s hard to find a non-conservative journalist who thinks this is a big deal.

Let’s back up for a moment. Read the rest of this entry »


Iowahawkblog: If the NYTimes pays Baquet…


Why Jeb Bush’s Turn May Not Come

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For the Los Angeles Times, Jonah Goldberg writes:

“…This raises an important challenge for Jeb Bush. It should be obvious that, even among Republicans, nostalgia for George W. Bush doesn’t run nearly so high as it did for his father. This is a key difference between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush; Democrats are nostalgic for Clinton, Republicans aren’t for Bush…”

(read Jonah’s article here)

 


For The Los Angeles Times, a Most Revealing Juxtaposition

lat.april2_.2014Chris Reed writes: If you’re a conservative or libertarian who’s not just mad but astounded by how much the media protect Barack Obama, Wednesday’s front page of The Los Angeles Times was likely to generate either a stroke or a snort of disbelief/amusement. But if you are someone who may not be ideological yet is open to the idea that media bias is real and powerful, it should have been a jolt, too.

The lead story on the top right of the page was a news account of President Obama’s Tuesday “victory lap” press conference in which he said that the fact that 7.1 million Americans had allegedly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act was proof that he was right and everyone who criticized the ACA was wrong. The headline pushed readers to accept this view; the subhead made the case that only selfish people opposed the law.

In the story itself, the first half by David Lauter and Christi Parsons of the Times’ Washington bureau gave no larger context at all — it was all “victory lap.” Among the 40 relevant things it didn’t mention, most significant was the fact that it chose not to say that so many past claims about Obamacare proved wildly in error. Nor did it emphasize that it appears that there were more people signing up for the ACA through government exchanges because they lost their coverage due to ACA rules then there were of people who previously had no health insurance.

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Mainstream Media Runs Away from Democratic Chinatown Gangster/Gun-Controller Story

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Was it Andrew Breitbart who coined “Democrat Media Complex“? [See James Taranto’s October 2009 article] When I first heard it I thought it was funny in a combative, mock-paranoid, anti-establishment, new media champion sort of way. Now I realize, it wasn’t meant to be funny. Jonah Goldberg’s column is about the lack of coverage (see below)  We promise to cover Leland Lee abundantly in the coming weeks.

Alec Torres has an item at The Corner:

Leland Yee should be making national headlines…arrested on Wednesday by the Justice Department for wire fraud, corruption, and his alleged involvement in illegal gun deal between Chinatown gangsters and Islamist militants.

“Being a Democrat — even (or perhaps especially) a disgraced Democrat — comes with a lot of perks.”

And while he has been trying to put automatic weapons and shoulder-fired missile launchers into the hands of criminals, Yee was also an extremely vocal gun-control advocate whose mission was to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.

“The New York Times offered only one blurb of less than 200 words on Yee’s corruption charges.”

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The “No Obamacare Horror Stories” Fairy Tale

Julie-BoonstraFor many, suffering under Obamacare is all too real.

For The Federalist  writes:  “There are plenty of [Obamacare] horror stories being told.  All of them are untrue,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not long ago on the floor of the Senate.

Four years after the president signed the measure into law, there are, of course, many real stories of hardship under Obamacare. An extensive list of which is included at the end of this article. But when Reid made those remarks, he wasn’t repeating words carelessly dashed off by some 20-something staffer. Rather, he was repeating a meme that has become common among those who economist Thomas Sowell dubs “the Anointed,” intellectuals whose belief in their own superior knowledge and virtue leads to their misperception that they are an anointed elite more qualified to make decisions for the rest of us in order to lead humanity to a better life.

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Economics: Organized Crime Targeting California Nut Industry?

Photo: Pauline Mak/Flickr

Some very organized thieves have been targeting California nut growers

Among the most recent hits was at an Escalon farm where the bandits made off with over 140 thousand pounds of walnuts, which have an estimated value of 400 thousand dollars.

“Right now, everybody wants to be a nut grower because it’s kind of like the gold rush of the 1850s…”Everybody wants the gold.”

Mother Nature Network reports:

Thieves are stealing California walnuts by the truckload

Have you noticed the high price of walnuts and other nuts lately? You’re not alone. California walnuts and almonds have seen prices soar by 10 to 15 percent in the past year as worldwide demand, especially from China, has increased, according to a recent report from Food Business News. The price increases have led to higher profits for nut growers, but they have also led to a surprising offshoot: an increase in nut-related crime…
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Healthcare Organizations Under Siege from Cyberattacks

A new report says medical devices such as this kidney dialysis machine have been compromised in cyberattacks. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times / January 1, 2011)

A new report says medical devices such as this kidney dialysis machine have been compromised in cyberattacks. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times / January 1, 2011)

Chris O’Brien  reports:  Add this to the list of things to freak you out: Healthcare organizations of all kinds are being routinely attacked and compromised by increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

A new study set to be officially released Wednesday found that networks and Internet-connected devices in places such as hospitals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are under siege and in many cases have been infiltrated without their knowledge.

The study was conducted by Norse, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity firm, and SANS, a security research institute. In the report, the groups found from September 2012 to October 2013 that 375 healthcare organizations in the U.S. had been compromised, and in many cases are still compromised because they have not yet detected the attacks.

In addition to getting access to patient files and information, the attackers managed to infiltrate devices such as radiology imaging software, conferencing systems, printers, firewalls, Web cameras and mail servers.

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The Techno-Militarization Of America

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  writes:  Remember last year? Edward Snowden! NSA! Shock! Horror! Dismay!

Looking back I’m amazed we all seemed so surprised. Over the last decade, pretty much every arm of American authority invoked “homeland security” as an excuse to acquire boatloads of new technology, and used it to help expand their power and authority to unprecedented levels. There is nothing at all exceptional about the NSA’s massive overreach. It was only keeping up with the Joneses — FBI, DEA, Border Patrol, police forces everywhere — who have all been busy doing exactly the same thing.

The impoverished city of Oakland is spending more than $10 million on a “Domain Awareness Center” surveillance hub for its cops, and cameras that track every license plate they see. Baltimore and NYC track license plates, too. Meanwhile,according to the LA Times, “Unmanned aircraft from an Air Force base in North Dakota help local police with surveillance,” and Motherboard reports: The Border Patrol’s fleet of Predator drones were loaned out 248 times in 2012, to “unnamed sheriff’s departments, the Department of Defense, the DEA, the Texas Rangers, and even the Bureaus of Land Management and Indian Affairs.”

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Handshakes are GERM Bombs: Embrace the Fist Bump!

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LA Times’ Rene Lynch reports:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 80% — 80%! — of all infections are transmitted by hand.

“Handshaking is gross”

That very well might explain why you are sick —- or recovering from being sick. Same goes for your co-workers. Your kids. Your S.O. And so on.

Experts say frequent that hand washing goes a long way toward curbing the spread of “influenza-attributable illness” in adults, which costs the nation more than $83.3 billion each year in lost productivity and medical bills.

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Global-Warming ‘Proof’ is Evaporating

This October 27, 2013 NASA satellite image shows Hurricane Raymond churning in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico. The US National Hurricane Center says Raymond has become a hurricane far off Mexico's Pacific coast and poses no threat to land at this time. The Miami-based centre says Raymond has top sustained winds of 120 kph and is centred about 1,180 kilometres south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula(Top-R). Raymond as a category three hurricane brought torrential rains and flooding last week near Zihuatanejo.  AFP PHOTO/NASA

This October 27, 2013 NASA satellite image shows Hurricane Raymond churning in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico. The US National Hurricane Center says Raymond has become a hurricane far off Mexico’s Pacific coast and poses no threat to land at this time. The Miami-based centre says Raymond has top sustained winds of 120 kph and is centred about 1,180 kilometres south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula(Top-R). Raymond as a category three hurricane brought torrential rains and flooding last week near Zihuatanejo. AFP PHOTO/NASA

Michael Fumento writes:  The 2013 hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don’t expect anyone who pointed to last year’s hurricanes as “proof” of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don’t work that way.

Warmist claims of a severe increase in hurricane activity go back to 2005 and Hurricane Katrina. The cover of Al Gore’s 2009 book, “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” even features a satellite image of the globe with four major hurricanes superimposed.

Yet the evidence to the contrary was there all along. Back in 2005 I and others reviewed the entire hurricane record, which goes back over a century, and found no increase of any kind. Yes, we sometimes get bad storms — but no more frequently now than in the past. The advocates simply ignored that evidence — then repeated their false claims after Hurricane Sandy last year.

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PEA Party: The ‘Punished Enough Already’ Young Middle Class

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In 2011 Salon made a weak-tea effort to coin Pea Party, but it vanished. (the lightweight Salon is also fond of the juvenile smear ‘neo-Confederate’ to demonize middle class folks they disagree with, so it’s easy to dismiss ’em as irrelevant)  punditfromanotherplanet is adopting the ‘punished-enough-already’ young middle class as the new Pea Party, to introduce Fleischer’s essay. Take it away Matthew.

LA Times guest blogger Matthew Fleischer writes: The Obama administration came out with a report Monday arguing that 1 million single adults between the ages of 18 and 35 will be eligible for an Obamacare insurance plan costing less than $50 a month.

That’s news to me.

I’m a healthy 34-year-old with a taxable income hovering right around the Obamacare subsidy level who, for the last several years, has purchased a relatively inexpensive catastrophic health insurance plan from Blue Shield. I get to see the doctor four times a year for a $30 co-pay, and I won’t have to spend the rest of my life working off the debt if I get hit by a bus.

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L.A. Gets Cyber Attack Center

Mayor says e-security is a priority

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who announced the creation of the city's first cybersecurity command center on Wednesday. JOE KLAMAR / AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who announced the creation of the city’s first cybersecurity command center on Wednesday. JOE KLAMAR / AFP/Getty Images

The mayor of Los Angeles has announced the creation of a new command center to prevent potential hackers or foreign enemies from disrupting the computer networks behind the city’s public services .

The Cyber Intrusion Command Center will bring together computer experts and municipal agencies to respond to attempts to break into government systems that govern water, power, traffic and public safety, among others, the Los AngelesTimes reports.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has often called for the city’s technology to be overhauled, said cybersecurity was one of Los Angeles’ biggest potential weaknesses. The harbor and international airport, which are among the busiest in the world,  are key targets for attackers, he said.

[LATimesTIME.com