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The Left Goes All In On Open Borders

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‘No borders. No nations. F**k deportations!’ sends a clear message to America.

greerScott Greer writes: That was the rallying cry of protesters demonstrating at San Francisco International Airport Saturday against President Donald Trump restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.

All across America, protests have erupted at airports — already notorious centers for human misery — to show disgust for Trump’s executive order, which has earned the false title of a Muslim ban. Whether 516wwnq6xcl-_sl250_in New York or in Chicago, demonstrators made it clear that they thought Trump’s move to temporarily block migration from these nations went against American principles and laws.

[Order Scott Greer’s book “No Campus for White Men: The Transformation of Higher Education into Hateful Indoctrination” from Amazon.com]

According to these demonstrators, preventing anyone from coming to this country based on their nation of origin or their religion was prohibited by both the Constitution and “our American values.”

Obviously, there are issues that arise with Trump’s order. Travelers with citizenship in one of the seven banned nations but permanent green cards in the U.S. were detained, which was one of the reasons a New York judge halted the president’s action. That measure may be beyond the original intent of the executive order and the White House has already indicated that they are changing course on stopping green card holders from entering the country.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]

There’s also the perception that the law unfairly targets an entire religion and bans its adherents from America. However, the order only affects — temporarily to boot — a small percentage of the world’s Muslims and is based on national origin, not religion. In many ways, it’s only an expansion of Barack Obama’s 2011 executive order banning Iraqi refugees from the U.S. for six months over terror concerns.

(RELATED: Majority Of World’s Muslims Untouched By Trump Visa Ban)

Shockingly, there were no hysterical airport protests then.

While concerns over green card holders and targeting a religion were aired amid the demonstrations, the San Francisco protesters took it a step further by explicitly calling for open borders, the eradication of the nation-state and, needless to say, the total non-enforcement of immigration law. (On Sunday, they had toned down “fuck deportations” to “stop the deportations.”)

It seems that the West Coast demonstrators were more blunt in expressing the moral thrust of those gathering at America’s transportation hubs. Rather than a squabble over the semantics of immigration law, the guiding principles of the protest apparently see open borders as morally desirable and that no person should be refused entry to the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] The U.S. Navy is Moving at Warp Speed to Develop Super Lasers 

Mike Fabey and Kris Osborn report: The U.S. Navy is moving at warp speed to develop lasers with more lethality, precision and power sources as a way to destroy attacking missiles, drones aircraft and other threats.

“We’re doing a lot more with lasers,” Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall, director, Surface Warfare Division, said earlier this month at the annual Surface Naval Association national symposium.

The Navy plans to fire a 150-kw weapon off a test ship within a year, he said. “Then a year later, we’ll have that on a carrier or a destroyer or both.”

That’s quite a jump from the kw AN/SEQ-3(XN-1) Laser Weapon System (LaWS), which deployed in 2014 on the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce.

And the kind of power needed to power such a weapon won’t come with a simple flip of a switch.

“The Navy will be looking at ships’ servers to provide three times that much power,” says Donald Klick, director of business development, for DRS Power and Control Technologies. “To be putting out 150 kws, they (the laser systems) will be consuming 450 kws.”

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That is more than most currently operational ships are designed to accommodate, at least when they are conducting other tasks. “Few power systems onboard ships can support sustained usage of a high-powered laser without additional energy storage,” noted a recent Naval Postgraduate School paper titled “Power Systems and Energy Storage Modeling for Directed Energy Weapons”.

The paper said, “The new DDG-1000 may have enough electrical energy, but other platforms … may require some type of ‘energy magazine.’ This magazine stores energy for on-demand usage by the laser. It can be made up of batteries, capacitors, or flywheels, and would recharge between laser pulses. The energy magazine should allow for sustained usage against a swarm of targets in an engagement lasting up to twenty minutes.

[Read the full story here, at The National Interest Blog]

The DDG 1000 is built with what’s called a total ship computing environment, meaning software and blade servers manage not just the weapons systems on the ship but also handle the radar and fire control software and various logistical items such as water, fuel, oil and power for the ship, industry officials said.

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The ship’s integrated power system, which includes its electric propulsion, helps generate up to 78 megawatts of on-board electrical power, something seen as key to the future when it comes to ship technologies and the application of anticipated future weapons systems such as laser weapons and rail guns. The ship’s electric drive uses two main turbine generations with two auxiliary turbine generators which power up two 35-megawatt advanced induction motors, developers explained.

Ideally, it would charge up as fast as it discharges, allowing for indefinite use (as long as there is ship’s fuel to expend). Low maintenance, high safety, and long lifespan are other desirable characteristics.

DRS Power and Control Technologies is one of the companies which is developing a specialized energy source. “We have enough for well over 100 shots before we go to recharge,” DRS’s Klick said during a break at SNA, pointing out there’s even a mode for continuous recharge. “If you’ve got power this kind of power, you don’t go Winchester.” Read the rest of this entry »


Faithful vs. Faithless: Final Score

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$1 Million Bail Sought for Suspect in #MountVernon Officer’s Shooting

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MOUNT VERNON, Wash.  KOMO Staff & Associated Press report: A man suspected of shooting a police officer in the back of the head was ordered held on $1 million bail Friday.

The suspect, identified in court documents as Ernesto Lee Rivas, 44, appeared in Skagit County Superior Court the day after the cold-blooded shooting.

Rivas, who has a lengthy criminal history, was arrested earlier Friday morning after a seven-hour standoff in Mount Vernon that began after a police officer was shot and critically wounded, the Washington State Patrol said.

The online roster for the Skagit County Jail shows Rivas was booked at 1:55 a.m. Friday following his arrest.

Court and State Patrol records show that Rivas has eight felonies on his record, including unlawful possession of a firearm in 2011 and unlawful imprisonment in 1998. He was subject to a domestic violence protection order last year after the mother of his child accused him of stalking her at work.

At Friday’s court hearing, prosecutors said the suspect is being held for investigation of attempted first-degree murder. It was not immediately clear if Rivas has obtained an attorney. Read the rest of this entry »


Police Officer Shot During Standoff in #MountVernon, Suspect Now in Custody

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MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – The suspect who shot a Mount Vernon police officer Thursday night is now in custody, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Police and other law enforcement officers converged at the scene of the shooting, which has become a standoff with hostages. The suspect continued to fire shots at least as late as 10:00 p.m.

Mount Vernon Police officers initially responded to a domestic disturbance where a man was shot around 5:30 p.m. near Laventure Road and Fir Street, according to the State Patrol.

When they arrived they made contact with the suspected shooter, who then barricaded himself inside a home and began shooting at officers, said Sgt. Keith Leary.

A Mount Vernon police officer, 61, was shot in the head and taken to Skagit Valley Hospital. Sgt. Leary said the officer was conscious and alert . He was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The officer underwent surgery and was said to be in serious, but stable condition early Friday morning. Officials said he is a 30-year veteran of the force.

[Read the developing story here, at KOMO]

Police and other law enforcement officers converged at the scene of the shooting, which has become a standoff with hostages. The suspect continued to fire shots at least as late as 10:00 p.m.

“There was bang ban bang. I had the kids go in the floor and don’t really see much,” said Maria Zendejas, who lives nearby. “I’m just shaken up with everything that’s going on. Poor officer is down. You wouldn’t think there’s something going on especially just three, four houses down from mine.”

Sgt. Leary said they believed there were several hostages being held by the gunman inside the home.

The first man who was shot went to a neighbor’s house for help and was taken to a hospital.

Police arrived, and the officer was shot. The officer was described as being conscious and alert at the scene before being taken to a hospital.

Hostage negotiators have made some kind of contact with the home. Read the rest of this entry »


Cascade Mall Shooting Suspect Arcan Cetin Not a U.S Citizen, Voted in 3 Elections Anyway

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The Cascade Mall shooting suspect, Arcan Cetin, may face an additional investigation related to his voting record and citizenship status.

Natalie Brand reports: Federal sources confirm to KING 5 that Cetin was not a U.S. citizen, meaning legally he cannot vote. However, state records show Cetin registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary.

“Our hands are kind of tied, but make no mistake, we want to make sure that everybody has confidence that people casting ballots are eligible. This is certainly going to be a topic at next legislation.”

— Secretary of State Kim Wyman

Cetin, who immigrated to the United States from Turkey as a child, is considered a permanent resident or green card holder. While a permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time, sources tell KING his status had not changed from green card holder to U.S. citizen.

[View the full story here, at KING5.com]

While voters must attest to citizenship upon registering online or registering to vote at the Department of Licensing Office, Washington state doesn’t require proof of citizenship. Therefore elections officials say the state’s elections system operates, more or less, under an honor system. Read the rest of this entry »


Arcan Cetin, Native of Turkey; ‘Call of Duty’ Player, #CascadeMallShooting Slayer

Arcan ‘The Turk’ Cetin: The suspect in the shooting deaths of five people in a mall in Washington state has been named.

Online records show that Cetin was arrested in July 2015 on charges of assault in the fourth degree. KIRO reports that as a result of the charges, Cetin was ordered to undergo mental health counselling that he completed in March 2016.

During which time, he was ordered not to take drugs or drink alcohol. As of August 25, 2016, Cetin was found in compliance with the court order.

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Initial descriptions had described Cetin as being Hispanic. According to his Facebook page, Cetin is a native of Adana in Turkey. He’s a graduate of Oak Harbor High School, class of 2015.

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Cetin describes his nickname as “The Turk.” Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Suspect in Washington State #CascadeMallShooting in Custody 

DEVELOPING: A suspect in Friday night’s shooting that killed five people at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash. has been arrested, authorities said Saturday night. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: Rifle Recovered at the Scene of the #CascadeMallshooting, Suspect Still At large 

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UPDATE 8:32 a.m. (PT): Authorities say they have recovered a rifle at the scene of the Cascade Mall shooting. The suspect is still at large, and a manhunt is underway. At this time, police do not have a name or positive identification on the suspect. Early descriptions based on witness accounts described the suspect as “Hispanic”; however, the race of the suspected gunman has not been confirmed by authorities.

Police say the suspect appeared to enter the mall without a weapon, and walked into a Macy’s approximately ten minutes later with a rifle. There, the suspect fired multiple times and killed four women at the scene (one man died of his injuries at Harborview Medical Center). Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Washington Mall Shooting: Gunman Kills 5, Disappears #CascadeMallShooting

A man armed with a rifle entered a Macy’s store at a mall in Washington state, fatally shot five people and vanished into the night.

A man carrying a rifle entered a Macy’s store at a mall in Washington state, shot dead four women and a man, and vanished into the night, police said.

Authorities believe only one person fired the shots at Cascade Mall in Burlington on Friday night.

A search is underway for an armed man who headed toward Interstate 5 after the attack, said Sgt. Mark Francis, a spokesman for the state patrol.

Francis released a blurry surveillance picture of a man described as the suspect. His motive or relationship to the victims, if any, are unclear, he said.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

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Witnesses described chaotic scenes and confusion when the shooting started about 7 p.m. local time

Brandi Montreuil told CNN she was watching a movie at the mall when attendants suddenly told them to leave.

“I didn’t know anything,” she said. “The theater attendant came in and apologized for stopping the movie and said they were asked to have everyone leave immediately.”

Washington mall shooting: One suspect at large

At first, she thought it was a drill.

“But you immediately think about what happened in Aurora, Colorado, so you start moving faster,” she said, referring to the shooting at a movie theater in 2012 that left 12 dead.

When they got outside, they saw numerous police vehicles, but no officers in sight, Montreuil said.

“We didn’t know if it was a fire so we were looking for smoke of some kind. Then a few officers started canvassing through the crowds asking if anybody saw anything.”

An officer “with a large gun started yelling for people to leave, and fast,” she said.

Armando Patino said he was working at a T-Mobile store near Macy’s when he heard the commotion.

“Out of nowhere I just hear somebody yell and then after that, I turn around and just look at the Macy’s and I just hear shots,” Patino told CNN affiliate KOMO.
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“I hear one shot and and then stand kinda still and like two three other people start running out saying, ‘gun.’ ”

Some of the people dashed out of the Macy’s store, unsure of where to go. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Hilarious: ‘Common Sense Gun Control’ People Know Nothing About Guns

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Political commentator and actor Steven Crowder decided to set up an experiment to see just how well people that want “common sense” gun control knew about firearms.

He set up a tent for “Citizens Coalition for Common Sense Gun Reform” to ask people that do not own or are interested in guns to see how much they knew about firearms and which ones should be banned based on “common sense.”

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Crowder quickly finds out that the people who are in favor or “common sense” gun control know very little about guns in the first place and what they are capable of. The people justdecided which guns should be banned based on how it makes them feel.

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

For example, many people wanted more “tactical looking” firearms banned, but yet other kinds of rifles displayed on the table were fine, such as hunting rifles. Crowder does point out on the side that the AR-15 is actually a popular small game hunting rifle but because it looks tactical, it should be banned.

People were also not well informed on what types of guns were used in crimes and thought that the AR-15 is used in many cases, but as Crowder points out, from 2007 to 2015, 70% of shooting murders are from handguns.

Source: American Military News

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“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”.

— H. L. Mencken

Democracy? In Moderation, Please.

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Buried somewhere in the above Daily Beast article is probably a perfectly decent, arguable case for a certain kind of small-ball, incremental legislation. Unfortunately, but predictably, its case is comically undermined by hateful, shallow, silly, dishonest writing.

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Ohh! Those evil Republicans! They should be taken out and horsewhipped! Here, hold my drink. I’ll do it. Get outta my way. I’ve got some GOP ass to beat. Oh, never mind.

Never mind that this advocacy item masquerading as journalism doesn’t even attempt to demonstrate how the measures will have any impact whatsoever, to “avert mass shootings”. Which is understandable. One; averting mass shootings is not, and never was, the goal of activist gun-control legislation. And two; There’s no evidence that “averting mass shootings” can be accomplished by legislation in the first place.

Think the gun debate isn’t polluted with toxic stupidity from the Left? Read on:

“…But with the substantial distortion of our democracy around guns, they are the issue with which this particular method most adheres to the original intentions of the progressives who created it a century ago, at a time when large interests such as timber and railroads blocked popular reforms in legislative bodies around the country.”

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The progressives who created it a century ago. Right.  Wait, you mean the puritan, racist, anti-constitutional Wilsonian reformers of that era, the progressive activists who gave us segregation, prohibition, and Jim Crow laws, those guys?

The early 20th-century progressives’ “original intentions” are in stark contrast to the intentions of our founders. Cautious, deliberative men, keenly aware of the historically destructive effects of “direct democracy“.

Ever notice how our most sacred and treasured rights are intentionally safeguarded, hardwired in the Bill of Rights? Completely out of reach of voters? 

Everett Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), portrait by David Martin, 1767

The founders were no fans of democracy.

“When two wolves and a sheep decide what to have for dinner.”

Benjamin Franklin definition of democracy is as clear now as it was over two centuries ago. Read the rest of this entry »


NARRATIVE, INTERRUPTED: U.S. Becoming Safer Compared to Europe in Both Fatalities and Frequency of Mass Public Shootings

US Now Ranks 11th in Fatalities and 12th in Frequency.

“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.” 

– President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016

This claim is simply not true.  Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, andliberal-huh 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.

Indeed, over that same period of time, the European Union (EU) suffered 303 deaths from mass public shootings, while the US had 199.  In terms of injuries from these attacks the gap was even much greater, with EU countries facing 680 versus just 197 for the US.  However, given the EU’s larger population, the per million people fatality rate for the US and the EU as a whole are virtually identical (0.62 for the US and 0.60 for the EU).  By contrast, the injury rate in the EU is much higher (0.61 for the US and 1.34 for the EU).

This past year was a particularly bad one for Europe, with 8 Mass Public Shootings versus only 4 for the United States.  Indeed, these 8 Mass Public Shootings for Europe in 2015 count for one-third of all their attacks over the entire seven year period of time…(read more)

Annual Death Rate from MPS Europe and US 2009 to 2015

Even if one puts it in terms of frequency, the president’s statement is still false, with the US ranking 12th compared to European countries.

Frequency of Mass Public Shootings in Europe and US 2009 to 2015

Click on tables to enlarge them.

EU and Europe MPS 2009 to 2015 Read the rest of this entry »


‘Unforgivable Error’: Washington State Head of State Prisons Apologizes for Early Release of Potentially Violent Criminals 

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DOC Secretary Dan Pacholke apologized for the error, and said those released early likely include violent criminals.

OLYMPIA – Brandi Kruse reports: The head of Washington’s prison system offered no excuses Wednesday for an error that allowed thousands of inmates to be released early over a 13-year period.

“It’s an unforgivable error. I certainly appreciate their feelings and understanding that, I would certainly offer an apology…We’re going to fix it, and it will never happen again.”

The state claims a computer glitch is to blame for 3,200 offenders serving shortened sentences between 2002 and 2015….(read more)

Source: Q13 FOX News


WA Department Of Social And Health Services Served With $27,000,000.00 Tort Claim For Fiendish Child Neglect Case

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor It was nearly two years ago that I featured strong showing of just how uncaring and incompetent DSHS/CPS in Washington can aspire to with a terrible case of child abuse mentioned HERE. In my previous article I wrote how in March of 2013 the children’s parents Sandra and Jeff Weller […]

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The 10 Most Liberal and Conservative Cities in the U.S. – as Judged by Campaign Donors 

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Via Twitter


340 Sanctuaries Release 9,295 Criminals

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View Map in Full Screen – View Image of Map – View Sanctuary Cities Topic Page

Across the U.S., there are 340 cities, counties, and states that are considered “sanctuary cities”. These jurisdiction protect criminal aliens from deportation by refusing to comply with ICE detainers or otherwise impede open communication and information exchanges between their employees or officers and federal immigration agents.

Jessica VaughanBryan Griffith, and Marguerite Telford report: The number of jurisdictions that are obstructing immigration enforcement has grown to roughly 340, according to the Department of Homeland Security.1 This has resulted in the release by local authorities of approximately 1,000 criminal aliens per month.

According to an updated report prepared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Congress, between January 1 and September 30, 2014, local sanctuaries released 9,295 alien offenders that ICE was seeking to deport. More than 600 people were released at least twice.

Out of these, 5,947 of the criminal aliens (62 percent) had significant prior criminal histories or other public safety concerns even before the arrest that led to a detainer. Fifty-eight percent of those with a prior history of concern had prior felony charges or convictions; 37 percent had serious prior misdemeanor charges, and 5 percent had multiple prior misdemeanors.

An alarming number — 2,320 — of the total number of released offenders were subsequently arrested within the time period studied for new crimes after they were released by the sanctuaries.

One of these is Victor Aureliano Hernandez Ramirez2 who, together with an accomplice, was arrested in July 2015 for raping and then bludgeoning 64-year-old Marilyn Pharis, of Santa Maria, Calif. She died eight days later. Ramirez had been arrested for battery in May 2014 and was in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff. ICE issued a detainer in order to begin the deportation process after the charges were resolved, but the sheriff did not comply, apparently in accordance with California’s state sanctuary law that went into effect on January 1, 2014.3

ICE was not able to re-apprehend most of the offenders released by the sanctuaries. As of last year, 6,460 (69 percent) were still at large. Of those still at large, 1,377 (20 percent) had another criminal arrest following the one that resulted in the ICE detainer.

One violent illegal alien offender who is now at large because of a local sanctuary policy is Francisco Javier Chavez. In August 2015, Chavez was arrested for brutally beating the two-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, breaking a leg and both of her arms.4 Chavez has a long rap sheet, including felony drug and drunk driving convictions and a prior deportation. ICE issued a detainer, but the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department released him anyway after he posted bail, even though California’s law would have permitted them to hold him.

Of the 6,460 criminal aliens who were who were still at large during the time period studied, 3,802 (58 percent) had prior felonies or violent misdemeanors.

New Sanctuary Listings

In July, the Center for Immigration Studies reported that ICE had identified 276 jurisdictions that, as of September 2014, had policies obstructing immigration enforcement, primarily policies to ignore ICE detainers.5 ICE updated this list in December 2014 to add another nine jurisdictions that adopted sanctuary policies. They are:

  • Lafayette Parish, La.
  • Rio Arriba, N.M.
  • Prince George’s County, Md.
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • Douglas County, Neb.
  • All New Mexico counties
  • Northampton, Mass.
  • Chesterfield County, Va.
  • Clayton County, Ga.

These jurisdictions have been added to our map of sanctuaries.6 No jurisdictions were removed from the list by ICE. Read the rest of this entry »


Head of President Xi’s Bodyguard Unit on White House Banquet List

Jeremy Page reports: The head of the secretive bodyguard unit that protects Chinese President Xi Jinping made a rare foray into the public spotlight on Friday, being put on the guest list for the state dinner at the White House.

The official guest list for the event names “His Excellency Wang Shaojun,” identifying him as “Chief, Central Security Bureau” among the invited attendees for the dinner, which followed Mr. Xi’s summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama earlier in the day.

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Maj. Gen. Wang’s appointment to the bodyguard post has never been announced publicly by Chinese authorities, although Hong Kong media reported it in March, citing anonymous sources. The White House list confirms Maj. Gen. Wang’s position within an inner circle of trusted aides and advisers to Mr. Xi who see him almost every day and play an increasingly important role in Chinese politics.

The Central Security Bureau, also known as the Central Guard Bureau, is thought to command several thousand elite troops who protect top leaders and their families, according to experts on the Chinese military.

Its commander has always occupied a politically sensitive and influential position, given the bureau’s access to the top leadership. The post is considered to have become more so since Mr. Xi launched an anticorruption campaign that has led to the detention of more than 30 generals and several senior civilian Communist Party figures. Read the rest of this entry »


Seattle-Area School District Bans Game of Tag to Ensure Kids’ ‘Physical, Emotional Safety’ 

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 reports: A Seattle-area school district has banned kids from playing tag on the playground in order “to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.”

“This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves.” 

Mercer Island School District communications director Mary Grady explained the district’s decision to revisit “expectations for student behavior” and student safety.liberal-huh

“This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves,” she told a local Fox affiliate. “The rationale

behind this is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.

“School staffs are working with students in the classroom to ensure that there are many alternative games available at recess and during unsupervised play, so that our kids can still have fun, be with their friends, move their bodies and give their brains a break,” Ms. Grady said.

But some parents are angry that they weren’t made part of the decision-making process to ban the popular childhood game.

“Good grief, our kids need some unstructured playtime,” mom Kelsey Joyce told Fox.

“I totally survived tag,” she said. “I even survived red rover, believe it or not.”

“I played tag,” said mom Melissa Neher. “I survived.”

At Reason writes:

“…Once again we have an age-old childhood tradition that is suddenly too dangerous for this generation of kids. How can it be that for 450+ years (and possibly since the beginning of time), kids played this very same game, but today’s youngsters are just too fragile to handle it?

Because, as psychologist and author Peter Gray so often reminds us: No other era that has ever underestimated children to this extent.

What’s more, our rule-makers do this with a condescending smile that says it is for the sweet children’s sake that we treat them like bonsai trees—delicate, beloved, in need of constant attention, and stunted.(read more)

“This decision needs to be reevaluated with input from the kids and from the community,” said Ms. Neher. She created a Facebook page to help spread the word to other parents about the ban. In less than 24 hours, hundreds of parents joined to voice their concerns, Fox reported. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Xi Jinping’s U.S. Trip in 60 Seconds 

Chinese President Xi Jinping lands in the U.S. on Tuesday and will embark on a whirlwind of meetings. Here’s a quick guide to Xi’s itinerary.


[PHOTOS] Presidents and Popes

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Presidents and Popes

Pope Benedict XVI in the Popemobile outside the White House. 4/16/08

Lyndon B. Johnson introduces a member of his staff to Pope Paul VI. NY, 10/4/65.

Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II in conversation at Vizcaya Museum in Miami. 9/10/87

Richard and Pat Nixon at the Vatican with Pope Paul VI. 9/28/70.

Pope John Paul II with George Bush in the papal apartment, Vatican City. 11/8/91.

Dwight D. Eisenhower met with Pope John XXIII at the Vatican on 12/6/59. 


Michael R. Strain: Pope Francis Should Praise Free Markets More Often

Poverty is a serious obstacle to human potential. Free enterprise can help fight it.

Michael R. Strainimrs.php writes: Washington, D.C., where I live and work, is abuzz with talk of Pope Francis’s upcoming visit, commencing Tuesday. But what matters much more for the universal church will take place seven days after the pope departs the United States for the Vatican, when the Synod of Bishops on the Family begins.

Free enterprise dramatically reduces extreme poverty. In 1970, over one-quarter of the world lived on less than one dollar per day. By 2006, about one in 20 people lived in extreme poverty — an 80 percent reduction. We have the adoption of free markets across the developing world to thank for this massive reduction. That it happened in less than four decades is all the more impressive.

Due to a recent move by the pope, the upcoming synod may include a discussion of broader issues than did last year’s. I sure hope so. Hot-button issues related to divorce and homosexuality are obviously important and need to be discussed, but so do many other issues. The synod bishops and critics of the Church alike should spend more time on those issues. And I hope one such issue will be the relationship between economics and the family, the topic of a great panel I sat on at Georgetown University earlier this month. The Church’s understanding of this relationship — or, more accurately, this Catholic’s understanding of the Church’s understanding — may be instructive and edifying to our national conversation.

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“Poverty is obviously a serious obstacle to the flourishing life – it is hard to reach your full potential if you don’t have enough to eat, and it is hard to meet your obligations to your family, as well. By reducing poverty in the developing world, free markets help to strengthen families.”

We must begin with the human person — that is always the starting point. And we must begin with the understanding that each of us is called to love God and to love others. I do not refer here to sentimentality, but rather to a deep, abiding commitment, rooted in duty — to live for others, our families not the least. This is the central human calling, and the benchmark against which to judge the efficacy of social and economic systems.

CubaCars

“If I’m reading him correctly, the Holy Father’s view is a shame, because dramatically rolling back free markets would weaken the greatest anti-poverty tool in human history. It would, of course, extract a large toll from families.”

The free enterprise system, then, is good insofar as it enables individuals to fulfill this central human vocation. It does this quite well.

First, free enterprise dramatically reduces extreme poverty. In 1970, over one-quarter of the world lived on less than one dollar per day. By 2006, about one in 20 people lived in extreme poverty — an 80 percent reduction. We have the adoption of free markets across the developing world to thank for this massive reduction. That it happened in less than four decades is all the more impressive.

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Poverty is obviously a serious obstacle to the flourishing life – it is hard to reach your full potential if you don’t have enough to eat, and it is hard to meet your obligations to your family, as well. By reducing poverty in the developing world, free markets help to strengthen families.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

The effect of liberalizing markets on extreme poverty and the good this does for families is a fact I wish the Holy Father discussed more often, and that I hope will be part of the upcoming synod. Reading His Holiness’s encyclical on the environment, I was left with the impression that the pope’s primary socio-environmental concern is not pollution per se, but rather mankind’s ability to generate pollution — an ability which is the consequence of industrialization and market economies. If I’m reading him correctly, the Holy Father’s view is a shame, because dramatically rolling back free markets would weaken the greatest anti-poverty tool in human history. It would, of course, extract a large toll from families. Hopefully the Holy Father sees that markets generate solutions to intractable problems, in addition to causing problems of their own. Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese CEOs to Scale Mount Rainier in New ‘Peace Climb’

Jeremy Page and Esther Fung The slopes of Mount Rainier, an active volcano overlooking Seattle, will witness an unusual China-U.S. joint venture this week, just before President Xi Jinping begins a state visit to the U.S. in the West Coast city.

Wang Shi, one of China’s most successful property tycoons, will lead a group of Chinese chief executives on an expedition up the mountain with Jim Whittaker, who became the first American to summit Mount Everest in 1963.

The event on Monday is to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Peace Climb in which Mr. Whittaker climbed Everest again with Soviet and Chinese mountaineers in a bid to promote world peace.

Participants on Monday are hoping to send a similar message of peace at a time of mounting China-U.S. tensions, and to promote awareness of climate change — one area where Beijing and Washington are trying to cooperate.

“Today the same message still bears significance,” said 64-year-old Mr. Wang, Chairman of China Vanke Co., the world’s largest residential property developer by revenue. “Getting to the summit is not the main purpose of the climb.”

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

The event also demonstrates the growing interest in outdoor pursuits, especially among

wealthier Chinese, who are now venturing well beyond traditional tourist destinations.

Mr. Wang is one of China’s highest profile examples.

He has climbed Everest twice, in 2003 and 2010, is a keen rower and conservationist, and an independent director of the World Wildlife Fund.

“In the past two years I have been making trips between China and Seattle and other U.S. cities,” said Mr. Wang. “I’ve also become quite familiar with the mountaineering scene in Seattle.”

Mt. Rainier, whose summit is at 14,410 feet (4392 meters) above sea level, is an active volcano and the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S., according to the U.S. National Park Service.

Among the Chinese participants on Monday are members of the “Deep Dive” initiative which is run by Mr. Wang and aims to teach Chinese executives about foreign culture and business etiquette.

Mr. Whittaker said he was introduced to Mr. Wang through Washington State Governor Jay Inslee about three months ago.

Mr. Wang and the other Chinese participants were providing most of the funding of around $60,000 for the event, Mr. Whittaker said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Hate Group Assaults Air Force Officer During Anarchist March in Olympia

Jeff Schogol reports: Police in Olympia, Washington, are looking for two men who assaulted an Air Force officer during a supposedly peaceful protest Sept. 5.

Police in Olympia, Washington, are looking for two men who assaulted an Air Force officer during a supposedly peaceful protest Sept. 5.

The officer, described as a pilot at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was stopped in traffic due to the protest when he was singled out by a “local hate group,” which calls itself the “anarchists,” according to a police news release.

“The protesters saw two confederate flags attached to the back of the victim’s motorcycle and surrounded him, rocking the bike in an attempt to knock it over,” the news release said. “They sprayed the victim in the face with mace, and struck him in the back with a baseball bat and a glass bottle filled with red paint.”

Police did not identify the Air Force officer, who suffered “severe eye irritation,” as well as a bruised shoulder and back in the attack, the news release said. A witness who tried to help the officer also was sprayed in the face with mace. Read the rest of this entry »


Smoke and Mirrors: Seattle Sales Tax

This week, the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), firearms retailers, and private gun owners filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, alleging that its new firearms and ammunition sales tax ordinance is illegal and unenforceable.

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“Overdose and non-gun suicide hospitalizations each occurred at a rate more than five times that of those involving a gun; hospitalizations for ‘injuries due to accidents’ had a rate almost seventy-five times greater.  With stats like these, it’s clear that anti-gun sentiment is the only thing driving the new taxes, not any real desire to address public health concerns of city residents.”

Earlier this month, Seattle passed the Firearm Tax and Ammunition Tax ordinance which imposes a new $25 sales tax on the retail sales of firearms, plus a per-round sales tax of two to five cents on ammunition.  The ordinance is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2016. A failure to pay the tax is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to 364 days, or both.

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

A city report describes this as a “gun violence tax” that is estimated to generate revenues of $300,000 to $500,000 per year. The report adds, “[e]very effort funded by the revenues of this tax that reduces the probability of gun violence from taking place will save lives and money… Efforts funded by the gun violence tax that mitigate the public health, welfare, and safety impacts of gun violence will benefit this population.”

“In 2011, the Court of Appeals of Washington looked no further than the ‘plain language’ of the preemption statute before concluding that Seattle’s attempt to regulate the possession of firearms was unlawful. The complaint in the new lawsuit refers to this decision and states the City of Seattle is ‘not permitted to pass laws that target the sale of firearms and ammunition through any means.’”

The report fails to disclose any clear relationship between expected new tax receipts and a reduction in violence of any kind. The report asserts only that efforts funded by the tax which “reduce[] the probability of gun violence from taking place” will benefit Seattle residents, without identifying the nature of the “research, prevention and youth education and employment programs” or how these programs will work to reduce the “probability” of gun violence. (The report does confirm, though, that the City will be able “to track how much revenue is raised each year and analyze the programs to which that revenue is dedicated.”)

A group of local public school teachers from nearby schools use rubber training guns as they practice proper firearms handling during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida January 11, 2013. The December 14 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides. REUTERS/Brian Blanco (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS EDUCATION)

“Citizens testifying before the City Council meeting on the new tax included a recent victim of a violent felony who was ‘appalled’ that the City was enacting an illegal tax that would force law-abiding citizens to pay for the impact of gun violence committed by criminals.”

The ordinance itself cites a 2014 study funded by the City of Seattle which reported, among other things, King County hospitalization rates due to a firearm-related injury (“of any intent,” presumably including self-inflicted and accidental injuries in addition to persons who were injured as victims of crime), and hospitalizations for other reasons.

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

Hospitalizations due to overdoses, non-gun suicides, and non-gun assaults were far more prevalent than gun-related hospitalizations. Overdose and non-gun suicide hospitalizations each occurred at a rate more than five times that of those involving a gun; hospitalizations for “injuries due to accidents” had a rate almost seventy-five times greater.  With stats like these, it’s clear that anti-gun sentiment is the only thing driving the new taxes, not any real desire to address public health concerns of city residents. Read the rest of this entry »


Chaos on the Coast: How Drought and Fire Ravaged North America’s West Coast 

The recipe for drought is simple: mix extended hot weather with a corresponding lack of precipitation and, voilà. Add in a carelessly tossed cigarette or a flash of lightning and drought conditions beget wildfires. Both have wrought damage and pain on North America’s West Coast during the summer of 2015.

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Source: National Post


6-Year-Old Portland Boy Donates Allowance Money to Honor 3 Washington Firefighters Who Died 

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PORTLAND (KPTV) — A 6-year-old Portland boy is donating his allowance money to support firefighters and the families of the three Washington firefighters who were killed in a wildfire near Twisp, Wash., last week.

“This little boy walked up with his mother and he had a little box with him. He said he had a gift to give us, because he had heard about the firefighters who passed away.”

— Portland firefighter Kevin Dolphin

According to KPTV in Portland, the boy, Abay Milner, said that when he noticed a thick smoky haze settling in over Portland, he wanted to know what was going on.

“I thought, where is the smoke coming from? That’s the first thing I thought,” said Abay. “Then I thought, why is the smoke all the way here in Portland? And then I heard there was a wildfire, and then I heard it was far away, so I thought that’s good, because there was no ashes in the smoke.”

But, then he learned more. Read the rest of this entry »


Startups Vie to Build an Uber for Health Care

Melinda-Beck-WSJ

Are house calls better than ER visits?

Melinda Beck writes: Darren Gold had a stomach virus the first time he used an app called Heal to summon a doctor to his Beverly Hills home. He liked the Stanford-trained doctor who showed up so much that he called Heal again when his 2-year-old son had a fever, and again when the whole family had colds.

“Such ventures are fueled by a confluence of trends, including growing interest in the so-called sharing economy, where technology connects providers with excess capacity and consumers who want on-demand services.”

The charges—$99 each for the first two visits; $200 for the family—weren’t covered by insurance, but Mr. Gold, who owns a corrugated-box company, says that was still a bargain compared with taking time off work to go to the doctor. “Now, whenever my son bumps himself, he says, ‘Daddy, we need to get the doctor here,’” Mr. Gold says.

“Many doctors and nurses who work for hospitals are eager for extra work in their off-hours, the companies say. The services carry malpractice insurance, but say overall low overhead keeps prices down.”

Heal is one of several startups putting a high-tech spin on old-fashioned house calls—or “in-person visits,” since they can take place anywhere. The services provide a range of nonemergency medical care—from giving flu shots to treating strep throats and stitching lacerations—much like a mobile urgent-care clinic.

“And thanks to the boom in mobile-medical technology, providers can carry key equipment with them, from portable blood analyzers to hand-held ultrasounds.”

The companies use slightly different models. Pager, in New York City, dispatches doctors or nurse practitioners via Uber, for $200. Heal, in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orange County, Calif., promises to “get a doctor to your sofa in under an hour” for $99. (A medical assistant goes along to do the driving and parking.)

RetraceHealth, in Minneapolis, has a nurse practitioner consult with patients via video (for $50), and only comes to their homes if hands-on care like a throat swab or blood draw is necessary (for $150).

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“The companies are attracting venture-capital investment and partnerships with hospital systems, which increasingly see in-home care as a way to reduce unnecessary ERs visits and readmissions.”

Atlanta-based MedZed sends a nurse to a patient’s home to do a preliminary exam. Then the nurse connects via laptop with a doctor who provides a treatment plan remotely. Several Atlanta practices use MedZed as a way to offer patients extended hours without having to keep their offices open.

Most of the services don’t accept insurance, but they say patients can pay with health savings accounts or submit out-of-network claims.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Such ventures are fueled by a confluence of trends, including growing interest in the so-called sharing economy, where technology connects providers with excess capacity and consumers who want on-demand services. Many doctors and nurses who work for hospitals are eager for extra work in their off-hours, the companies say. The services carry malpractice insurance, but say overall low overhead keeps prices down.

And thanks to the boom in mobile-medical technology, providers can carry key equipment with them, from portable blood analyzers to hand-held ultrasounds. Read the rest of this entry »


MAMA SAYS ‘NO’: City Seeks Repayment for $800 Cupcake Bill For Worker’s Farewell Party

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Officials in Washington state want a former city employee to pay back nearly $800 in taxpayer money she spent on cupcakes for her own office farewell party.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that when former Yakima human resources director Cheryl Ann Mattia resigned in December, she ordered $757.40 worth of gourmet cupcakes from a local cafe.

City Manager Tony O’Rourke says the spending was a “gross misuse” of taxpayer money….(read more)

AP


Newspapers See More Bad News, as Jobs Decline

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It’s another bad-news story for the US newspaper industry: newsroom jobs slumped another 10.4 percent to the lowest level since tracking began in 1978.

The annual survey by the American Society of News Editors released Tuesday found newsroom employment dropped to 32,900 in 2014 from 36,700 a year earlier.

“If we project the recent decline forward, we’ll have one-half the number of daily journalists working in 2016 or 2017 as we did 16 years ago.”

The survey highlighted the ongoing hemorrhaging at traditional news organizations as readers turn to online sources of information.

But the results also showed some gains in large-circulation newspapers and some very small ones.

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“And this year’s loss happened in the best US economy in close than a decade. Daily newspapers have bled people in good times and bad.”

— Ken Doctor, a media analyst at the research firm Outsell

ASNE found the number of employees at newspapers with daily circulations between 250,000 and 500,000 increased by 13.98 percent.

Those with circulations under 5,000 had a 15.9 percent increase in the number of employees.

But the drop was a whopping 21.58 percent among newspapers with circulations between 100,000 and 250,000. Read the rest of this entry »


Arthropod News Analyst: ‘Terry McAuliffe Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About’

Mr-Crab

Pundit Planet Roving Arthropod News Analyst comments on Virginia Governor’s Controversial Territorial Claim

‘Maryland’ Crabs: ‘They’re All Born in Virginia’, Says Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

WASHINGTON — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has made a statement about Chesapeake Bay blue crabs that is sure to seem very inflammatory to die-hard Marylanders.

He made the remark during this month’s “Ask the Governor” segment on Newsradio 1140 WRVA in Richmond, while speaking about boosting the state’s oyster business.

 (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

“You know, Maryland talks about their crabs. And if anyone from Maryland is listening, I’m going to be very clear: All the crabs are born here in Virginia and they end up, because of the current, being taken there. So really they should be Virginia crabs.”

— Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

His statement is not entirely false, though saying the current is the only reason some crabs migrate into the upper bay is questionable.

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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, male crabs tend to prefer fresher waters in Maryland and the bay’s upper tributaries, while females, especially spawning females, like the saltier waters of Virginia, near the mouth of the bay….(read more)

CBS DC


Dem Governor Inslee Blames GOP for His ‘Climate Change’ Legislative Failures

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Washington State’s Democratic Party holds the record for longest uninterrupted control of the Governors office for nearly half a century, longer than any other state in the United States.

SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has “gained national attention” for rolling out some of the “most ambitious” climate initiatives in the country.

“Inslee blamed the Senate Republican majority for the failures, saying the party ‘is now in the stranglehold of the oil and gas industry.’”

But Inslee has failed to pass ‘bold’ proposals, including the centerpiece cap-and-trade plan to charge emissions from oil refineries, power plants and fuel suppliers.

The Democratic governor also conceded to Republican demands and approved a transportation revenue package that included what he called a “poison pill” preventing a state agency from taking action on a low carbon fuel standard for eight years. Read the rest of this entry »


$1 Million Reward Offered for Stolen Judy Garland Slippers

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GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — An anonymous donor has offered a $1 million reward for credible information leading to the pair of Judy Garland‘s sequined, ruby red slippers stolen from a museum in her Minnesota hometown.

460xThe late actress wore the slippers in “The Wizard of Oz.” Three other pairs still exist, including one on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

John Kelsch, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, says the donor is from Arizona and is a huge fan of Garland and the 1939 movie.

The reward offer requires the exact location of the slippers and the perpetrator’s name.

Priceless Hollywood memorabilia including CHARLIE CHAPLIN's bowler hat, JUDY GARLAND's ruby slippers from THE WIZARD OF OZ, and a dress worn by MARILYN MONROE in the infamous "flashing" scene from THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH are to go up for auction this month (Jun11). Veteran actress Debbie Reynolds has built up an enormous collection of iconic artefacts worth millions of dollars and is selling the haul after plans to set up a movie museum fell through. Other incredible pieces in the auction are Audrey Hepburn's frock from My Fair Lady - which is expected to fetch up to 00,000 (£187,500) - the sweater worn by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (0,000/£37,500), and Cleopatra's crown famously sported by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 epic. Monroe's shimmering, red sequined dress from Gentleman Prefer Blondes is expected to raise up to 00,000 (£187,500), Barbra Streisand's Hello, Dolly! gown is valued at 0,000 (£50,000), Chaplin's hat is worth 0,000 (£18,750), and the ruby slippers are 50,000 (£93,750). But the star attraction of the sale is the white pleated frock worn by Monroe in the iconic New York "subway" scene in The Seven Year Itch - it's expected to sell for a cool  million (£1.25 million). The auction will be held in Beverly Hills on 18 June (11). (ZN/WN)  The Wizard of Oz (1939) Directed by Victor Fleming Shown: Judy Garland (as Dorothy Gale), wearing the ruby slippers This is a PR photo. WENN does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Fees charged by WENN are for WENN's services only, and do not, nor are they intended to, convey to the user any ownership of Copyright or License in the material. By publishing this material, the user expressly agrees to indemnify and to hold WENN harmless from any claims, demands, or causes of action arising out of or connected in any way with user's publication of the material. Supplied by WENN.com  When: 13 May 1939 Credit: WENN

The 10-year anniversary of the theft is in August. The slippers were insured for $1 million. Kelsch says they could be worth $2 million to $3 million now.

[AP]


Headline of the Day

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Authorities in Washington state believe they’ve found the remains of a man they say was beaten to death with frying pans in 2013, and the man charged with the killing is expected to plead guilty….(read more)

CBS Seattle