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[BOOKS] The Silencers 

The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech, by Kimberly Strassel (Twelve Press, 396 pp., $30)

I Find that Offensive!, by Claire Fox (Biteback Publishing, 179 pp., $14.95)

Fred Siegel writes: 

…Strassel’s chapters on the politicization of the IRS in Obama’s hands make for a striking summary of Chicago skullduggery. In 2012, an election year, the IRS, led by liberal operative Lois Lerner, systematically sidelined conservative (often Tea Party) organizations. The broadest and deepest scandal in IRS history is more than three years old, but there is little chance that Obama’s Chicago-ized Justice Department will hold anyone accountable. Strassel also discusses the attempts led by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Dick Durbin of Illinois to criminalize criticism of the standard-issue UN position on Unknownclimate change. The senators insist that manmade climate change is a matter of “settled science.” But climate is always changing, and science is never settled.

[Order Kimberly Strassel’s book  “The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech from Amazon.com]

In late 2008, after Democrats took control of all three branches of government, the Left realized, writes Strassel, that it could use the federal bureaucracy to deploy campaign finance laws selectively against its opponents. The Left could also call upon “the extraordinary new power of the Internet and social media” to convince “a credulous public” that its assaults on opposition political activity “were aimed at ‘cleaner’ and ‘more open’ elections.” This dynamic constitutes what Strassel calls “the modern intimidation game” that “now defines American politics.”

[Read the full review here, at City Journal]

In Wisconsin, Democrats enraged by Governor Scott Walker’s successful effort to limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees played the intimidation game even while out of power. The state’s Progressive-era laws, designed to ensure fair elections, and its unique Government Accountability Board were turned against conservative activists who supported Walker. Democratic Party county prosecutors pressed an array of lawsuits and used armed sheriffs’ deputies to stage early-morning raids, guns drawn, on the homes of conservative activists suspected of having marginally violated state campaign finance laws—in this case, the heinous crime of having outside committees coordinate campaign expenditures with Governor Walker’s cover_9781849549813electoral efforts. Further, the accused were forbidden by state law of telling anyone, except their lawyers, about the raids. Most of this, as Strassel accurately notes, was “simple harassment.”

[Order Claire Fox’s bookI Find that Offensive!from Amazon.com]

As for real wrongdoing, the Obama administration, as Strassel explains, has slow-walked documents required for the investigation into the IRS scandals and the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious fiasco, in which the federal government inadvertently armed Mexican drug cartels. Moreover, the House committee examining the Benghazi debacle still doesn’t have tens of thousands of Hillary Clinton emails. But the investigation did inadvertently expose the former secretary of state’s home-brewed email server. Read the rest of this entry »

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BREAKING: ‘Carnage At Concert Hall Has Ended’; Gunmen Killed, Arrests Reported

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DEVELOPING – Police were storming a Paris concert hall Friday night where up to 100 hostages were reportedly being executed one-by-one, after at least 40 people were killed elsewhere in coordinated terror attacks that rocked the French capital and prompted President Francois Hollande to order the entire nation’s borders closed.

“There are lots of dead people. It’s pretty horrific to be honest. I was at the back of the bar. I couldn’t see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.”

– Witness to attack on restaurant

The grim drama unfolded inside the music venue known as Bataclan, as word trickled out that an unknown number of gunmen were firing at horrified concert goers as French television broadcast the sound of shots being fired. Hundreds of police massed outside around midnight local time, then mounted an all-out assault on the building. Minutes later, a dozen or so shaken spectators were reportedly led out of the building, though it was not clear if the terrorists inside had been killed or subdued.

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[Read the full text here, at FoxNews.com]

The hostages were taken at the concert hall where the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal was scheduled to play. As the terrorist siege played out, a handful of spectators trickled out and told of the the horror taking place inside. Julien Pierce, a Europe 1 journalist who was inside the Bataclan, described what he saw to the BBC.

“It lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. It was extremely violent and there was panic. The attackers had enough time to reload at least three times. They were very young.”

“Several armed men came into the concert,” he said. “Two or three men, not wearing masks, came in with what looked like Kalashnikovs and fired blindly on the crowd.

“It lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. It was extremely violent and there was panic. The attackers had enough time to reload at least three times. They were very young.”

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As many as six other attacks were believed to have involved shootings and at least two suicide bombers, including one who detonated near the city’s Stade de France, soccer stadium where the French and German national teams were playing in a match attended by Hollande. Simultaneous attacks are a trademark of terrorist operations.

“There are lots of dead people,” said a witness believed to have been at the bar of a restaurant that was the scene of one attack. “It’s pretty horrific to be honest. I was at the back of the bar. I couldn’t see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.” Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: CONFIRMED: Another Shooting Reported at Les Halles Shopping Mall, Other Locations

It is understood that a fourth attack has taken place in Paris this evening, a shooting at a large shopping mall.It is understood that the shooting has taken place at the Les Halles shopping mall, close to Centre Pompidou.It is not yet known if there have been any fatalities at the mall shooting….

Developing…

Source: Press and Journal


Socialist Utopia: Venezuela’s Food Shortages Trigger Long Lines, Hunger and Looting

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Violent clashes flare in pockets of the country as citizens wait for hours for basics, such as milk and rice.

LA SIBUCARA, Venezuela— Maolis Castro and Kejal Vyas report: Hours after they looted and set fire to a National Guard command post in this sun-baked corner of Venezuela earlier this month, a mob infuriated by worsening food shortages rammed trucks into the smoldering edifice, reducing it mostly to rubble.

“In past years, when oil prices were high, Venezuela’s leftist government flooded markets with subsidized goods ranging from cooking oil to diapers. It gave citizens in border towns like La Sibucara not only access to cheap supplies, but also a source of income as many people trafficked products—including nearly free gasoline—to neighboring Colombia, drawing handsome profits.”

The incident was just one of numerous violent clashes that have flared in pockets around the country in recent weeks as Venezuelans wait for hours in long supermarket lines for basics like milk and rice. Shortages have made hunger a palpable concern for many Wayuu Indians who live here at the northern tip of Venezuela’s 1,300-mile border with Colombia.

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“We are going very hungry here and the children are suffering a lot.”

—María Palma, 55, of La Sibucara

The soldiers had been deployed to stem rampant food smuggling and price speculation, which President Nicolás Maduro blames for triple-digit inflation and scarcity. But after they seize contraband goods, the troops themselves often become targets of increasingly desperate people.

“Food-supply problems in Venezuela underscore the increasingly precarious situation for Mr. Maduro’s socialist government, which according to the latest poll by Datanálisis is preferred by less than 20% of voters ahead of Dec. 6 parliamentary elections.”

“What’s certain is that we are going very hungry here and the children are suffering a lot,” said María Palma, a 55-year-old grandmother who on a recent blistering hot day had been standing in line at the grocery store since 3 a.m. before walking away empty-handed at midday.

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“If people aren’t outside protesting, they’re outside standing in line for goods.”

—Marco Ponce, head of the Venezuela Observatory of Social Conflict

In a national survey, the pollster Consultores 21 found 30% of Venezuelans eating two or fewer meals a day during the second quarter of this year, up from 20% in the first quarter. Around 70% of people in the study also said they had stopped buying some basic food item because it had become unavailable or too expensive.

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An authentic socialist candidate soars in popularity in the U.S., the citizens of Venezuela are feeling the Bern

“They’re committing treason against our country, taking food and crossing the border.”

—National Guard Gen. Manuel Graterol

Food-supply problems in Venezuela underscore the increasingly precarious situation for Mr. Maduro’s socialist government, which according to the latest poll by Datanálisis is preferred by less than 20% of voters ahead of Dec. 6 parliamentary elections. The critical situation threatens to plunge South America’s largest oil exporter into a wave of civil unrest reminiscent of last year’s nationwide demonstrations seeking Mr. Maduro’s ouster.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

“It’s a national crisis,” said Marco Ponce, head of the Venezuela Observatory of Social Conflict, noting that unlike the political protests of last year, residents are now taking to the streets demanding social rights. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] #Baltimore Bicyclist Fist-Bumps Cops

Baltimore man fist bumps Maryland State Troopers in the wake of riots

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The Golden State: California Special Bureau for the Management of Toilet Affairs

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 California Drought Leads to Historic Toilet Policy

Katy Steinmetz  reports: California officials working to combat the state’s four-year drought are taking aim at everyday practices that use billions of gallons of water each year: flushing toilets and running faucets.

“We’re seeing serious dry spell here in California. And we need to make sure we are not only saving water right now but in the coming years.”

— Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the commission

The California Energy Commission took emergency action on Tuesday by mandating that all toilets, urinals and faucets sold in the state must conserve water. That means only low-flush toilets and low-flow sinks will be allowed for sale after Jan. 1, 2016, regardless of when they were manufactured. The mandate applies to both public places and private residences.

 “These regulations come less than a week after Governor Jerry Brown imposed the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions, aimed at cutting the state’s usage by 25%.”

“We’re seeing serious dry spell here in California,” says Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the commission. “And we need to make sure we are not only saving water right now but in the coming years.” These regulations come less than a week after Governor Jerry Brown imposed the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions, aimed at cutting the state’s usage by 25%. Read the rest of this entry »


Super Panic of the Last Half Century

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Hit & Run : Reason.com