January 31, 2016

New Book About Sexist Male Pigs On Wall Street

Maureen Sherry claims that the few women at Bear Stearns were sat together on what was disparagingly called ‘Estrogen Row’ by the men.

[From review]
When Maureen Sherry resigned from Bear Stearns after 10 years, she was given a going-away party, a sizable check — and a nondisclosure agreement.
“The legal department gave me this document to sign,” she says, and the money was a bribe: Don’t ever talk about the things you’ve seen here, or the way you were harassed, dehumanized, humiliated.
Sherry refused to sign and declined the check. “Me taking money,” she says, “wouldn’t help anyone coming up after me.”
Her forthcoming novel, “Opening Belle” (Simon & Schuster), a thinly fictionalized account of her 11 years on Wall Street, is the result.
[. . .]
For all of the horror stories she tells — the sexual degradation of female traders, the marginalization of women who were married or had kids — Sherry insists she didn’t have it so bad. A colleague may have guzzled her breast milk, and another may have left unwrapped condoms strewn in her pizza box, but, she says, “a lot of it was pranks. I never got groped.”
And herein lies the conflict so many women on Wall Street still struggle with: The very firms that have made them wealthy and successful have also abused them terribly — and like so many victims, many of these women feel it’s somehow their fault, their problem to fix.
Sherry points to Sallie Krawcheck, who was publicly fired from Bank of America during the mortgage crisis. Now “she runs Ellevate — it’s a membership thing for women. A lot of it’s about strategies, and how to work better with men.”
But why, she’s asked, should the onus be on women to work around men who treat them poorly?
[. . .]
A former colleague of Sherry’s, who asked not to be named, says it’s even worse than that. “Men getting b- - -jobs in front of staff — that happened all the time,” she says. “Lots of things that were extremely shocking, pretty disgusting.”
[. . .]

“Women filing complaints feel like it reflects poorly on them — that they are weak, non-team players,” Sherry says. “They don’t want to be labeled as a troublemaker. It’s a team environment, and they’ll ostracize themselves if they do so.”
Most everyone who goes to work on Wall Street is made to sign a U4 — a document stating that any grievances will be settled in-house. It’s meant to fend off sexual-harassment suits and fosters a secretive, hermetically sealed environment: Bad behavior stays behind closed doors.
[. . .]
In March 2010, three women filed a gender-bias suit against Bank of America, and in September, three women filed a sexual-discrimination suit against Goldman Sachs.
A refiling of that suit in 2015 claimed not just pay gaps and discrimination but that “Goldman condones the sexualization of women and an uncorrected culture of sexual assault and harassment.” One of the plaintiffs claims that she “was sexually assaulted by a married male colleague” after a business dinner, and that when she reported it to higher-ups, she was demoted.
In 2004 and 2007, Morgan Stanley settled two gender-discrimination suits for more than $100 million. The plaintiffs: thousands of women.
[. . .]
Then there are the male traders — less productive, less hardworking — who make double what the women do. Often, the excuse is that men can do what women cannot: comfortably entertain male clients on golf courses, at strip clubs and brothels.
[. . .]
For a moment — a super-brief, blink-and-you-miss-it-moment — there was a great discussion point after the 2008 financial collapse: Could the crisis have been averted, or at least mitigated, if there were more women in positions of power on Wall Street?
In 2014, in a column called “Eight Things I Wish for Wall Street,” author Michael Lewis wrote that women should be in charge.
“Men are more prone to financial risk-taking and overconfidence,” he wrote. “Trading is a bit like pornography: Women may like it, but they don’t like it nearly as much as men, and they certainly don’t like it in ways that create difficulties for society. Put them in charge of all financial decision-making and the decisions will be more boring, but more sociable.”
Sherry agrees. She also thinks there’s only one thing that could make Wall Street renounce its deplorable, chauvinistic attitude toward women: money. A 2014 report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers found that more women complete college and grad school than men, and make up a larger percentage of the work force.
That same year, Forbes magazine reported that women in their 20s without children out-earned their male peers. And a 2013 Pew Research Center report said women are now far more likely to be their family’s primary breadwinner.
That’s a lot of women with a lot of money to invest, and chances are high they’d rather not negotiate at a strip club.



Watch Video: The horniest CEOs on the street

* * *
[From article]
A female former trader has lifted the lid on Wall St sexism and revealed how male colleagues mooed at her when she was lactating - and once drank her breast milk.
Maureen Sherry claims that the few women at Bear Stearns were sat together on what was disparagingly called ‘Estrogen Row’ by the men.
They were mocked as ‘fertile lassies’ and one man even knocked back a shot of breast milk she had stored in the office fridge.
Miss Sherry, 51, claimed that the sexism was so bad that in interviews women were asked if they were married and if they planned to marry.
Some were supposedly made to promise never to have children.
Miss Sherry made the revelations in her forthcoming novel Opening Belle, a thinly fictionalized account of her 11 years as a managing director at now defunct investment bank Bear Stearns in the 90s and 00s.
The book is due to be made into a film starring Reese Witherspoon that will come out later this year.
Miss Sherry, a mother-of-four who attended Cornell University and the Wharton School of Business, writes that on her first day on Wall St she opened up a pizza box to find condoms instead of pepperoni slices put there as a prank.
Men openly debated hiring women based on their looks and one young woman noticed that her interviewer - a man - had drawn her breasts at the top her CV.
In the trading room there was an area called ‘The Dais of the D****’ where the high earning men sat.
They would order women to come over with a microphone before subjecting them to Game of Thrones style humiliations, the book says.
Miss Sherry writes that at one point when she was walking to the company nurse’s office with a breast pump, some men made mooing noises at her.
Mooing happened on other occasions too when she was lactating.
Miss Sherry writes: ‘I ignored the time someone taped torn panties on my screen when I came back from my honeymoon.
‘I don’t want to hear slut jokes all day long. I don’t want to work in a frat house.’
Miss Sherry writes that she lost count of the times a woman shared an idea at a meeting - only for a man to take credit for it.
One male colleague told her that they should hire only ‘women who have brothers’ because they are used to the banter.
[. . .]
Miss Sherry quit, took an MFA from Columbia University in nonfiction writing and is now a writer and mother in New York.
Her husband Steven Klinsky, 59, works at a private equity firm in Manhattan.
Wall St has long been accused of sexism but has done little to address it despite a string of multi-million pound lawsuits brought by former female executive.
Miss Sherry's book seems similar to the account published last year by former Citigroup trader John LeFevre, who was born in the UK and worked in London and Hong Kong.
In ‘Straight to Hell’ he told how he and his colleagues threw thousands of dollars over a shopping mall balcony in Manila in the Philippines during a party.
The group laughing as they watched poor people scoop the cash up until the police told them to stop.


Former New York trader says male co-workers MOOED at her when she was lactating and drank the breast milk she'd stored in the office fridge
A female former trader has lifted the lid on Wall St's shocking sexism
Maureen Sherry claims that women at Bear Steams were mocked
She revealed how male colleagues mooed at her when she was lactating
Ms Sherry also said that her male colleagues once drank her breast milk
PUBLISHED: 14:10 EST, 31 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:49 EST, 31 January 2016

Abe Vigoda, 94, Dies. Again

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried speaks during the funeral service for Abe Vigoda.
Photo: AP

[From obituary]
Loved ones of actor Abe Vigoda paid him a final curtain call on Sunday, poking fun at and reminiscing about the venerable thespian’s seemingly endless longevity.
Mourners filled Riverside Memorial Chapel with laughs, as if they were roasting the popular actor Vigoda who died Tuesday at the age of 94.
“You know this is the 20th time we’ve buried Abe Vigoda,” comic Gilbert Gottfried said of Vigoa, who lived nearly 34 years after he was erroneously reported to have passed. “Abe was so old, he had a bible that was signed by the author.”Modal Trigger
The infamous 1982 People magazine flub launched a second career for the Brooklyn-born actor, as punchline to a generation of Abe-Vigoda-is-dead jokes.
About 200 mourners, including former mayor David Dinkins and Friars Club roastmaster Jeffrey Ross, attended Vigoda’s memorial.
Two NYPD officers stood at attention flanking a Mahogany casket, with framed portraits of the famed “Barney Miller” star nearby.
[. . .]
In “The Godfather,” Vigoda’s Sal Tessio was planning a betray the Corleone family once Marlon Brando’s Don Corleone died. But before he could arrange the rub out of heir Michael Corleone – played by Al Pacino – the son’s capos got the drop on him.
[. . .]
Vigoda’s character pleaded with Michael Corleone loyalist Tom Hagen, played by Robert Duvall, to be let “off the hook.”
Duvall’s Hagen shook his head and responded, “Can’t do it Sally,” before Tessio is led away and executed.


Abe Vigoda celebrated with laughs at funeral service
By David K. Li and Reuven Fenton
January 31, 2016 | 4:26pm

New York Giants Jay Bromley Interviewed By Manhattan's SVU, About Rape Allegations

New York Giants' Jay Bromley

[From article]
New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley is facing possible assault charges after a woman accused him of raping her during a date that went horribly awry in a Midtown hotel.
[. . .]
Bromley and the woman have both spoken with investigators, with detectives from the NYPD Special Victims Unit interviewing Bromley Saturday, sources said.
The woman and Bromley [. . .] met via Instagram, ­according to sources.
Bromley, 23, picked up the 26-year-old woman at her Brooklyn home Friday, and the two hit a hookah bar in Manhattan.
They ended up in a room at the Hyatt Herald Square hotel in Midtown early Saturday.
“She said she willfully performed oral sex on him,” a source said. But then “something took place where she didn’t want it to take place.”
The woman started vomiting, and the sexual contact stopped,
[. . .]
An infuriated Bromley then forcibly grabbed the woman, turned her around and began having sex with her against her will, the woman alleged to police investigators.
“The victim told Mr. Bromley to stop, but he kept going,” the source said.
[. . .]
The woman was treated at Roosevelt Hospital. Saturday afternoon, detectives escorted a woman, her head and face covered by the hood of her jacket, in and out of the hotel.
A credit card in Bromley’s name was used to pay for the room, a police source confirmed.
[. . .]
Bromley, who grew up in ­Jamaica, Queens, played in 16 games for the Giants last season and notched 36 tackles.
The Syracuse University star signed a four-year, $3 million contract and is set to make $605,000 for the 2016 season.
[. . .]
Bromley was a crack baby born to a drug-addicted mom. His pimp father was sentenced in 1994 to 8¹/₃ to 25 years in prison for manslaughter after beating a prostitute and tying her to a basement radiator.
When Bromley was 3 months old, he was abandoned on a stranger’s doorstep in Jamaica. His father’s sister took in the boy with her family and raised him as her own.
He played football at Flushing HS and earned a scholarship to Syracuse University.
“They’re not going to give away money for sob stories, I don’t care how bad someone’s story is,” Bromley told The Post for a 2014 profile. “They ain’t just drafting people just because they got good stories.”
“You don’t forget where you come from or the things you see growing up.”


Giants’ Jay Bromley accused of raping date, hitting her with car
By Jamie Schram, Tina Moore and Larry Celona
New York Post
January 30, 2016 | 10:33am | Updated

Italian Police Arrest Chicago Engineer, 52, for Child Sex Abuse

It comes less than a year after Termini station police uncovered a large-scale child prostitution ring in May 2015, which led to the arrest of at least eight men including a priest and a pastor. Pictured: file image of Termini.

Unintended consequence of unregulated migration.

[From article]
A U.S. citizen has been arrested in Rome on suspicion of prolific child sex abuse after he was caught raping a 14-year-old boy, according to Italian newspaper reports.
The man, said to be a 52-year-old Boeing engineer from Chicago, has allegedly spent a month luring scores of young teenage boys to a rented apartment near the city's Termini station, which has become an epicenter for illegal immigrants, underage prostitutes, and criminal gangs.
He paid the victims - mostly North African and Romanian migrants, some Italian - between €50 and €150 for sex, the Interior Ministry told Il Messaggero.
His arrest concludes a two-week police investigation into reports that a foreign man was seen skulking around the station every night scouting young boys for sex, according to official statements.
[. . .]
After placing hidden cameras around the station, police said, they identified the man - known locally as 'The English' - then burst into his apartment as he was sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy.
He has been arrested and jailed, the reports claim.
Police believe that the man came to the Termini station ghetto specifically to 'prey' on young teenagers for sex, and that he intended to stay in the city until February.
They suspect he targeted Termini after widespread international reports about child prostitution rings run in the station's toilets and back alleys.
[. . .]
Daily Mail Online has contacted the U.S. State Department, Boeing and the Interior Ministry for comments.
It comes less than a year after Termini station police uncovered a large-scale child prostitution ring in May 2015, which led to the arrest of at least eight men including a priest and a pastor.
The station has become a hub for the underage sex trade, with Middle Eastern, African and Romanian boys and girls - some as young as 11 - loitering around toilets to sell themselves.
They operate under the control of a number of older men aged 35 to 70, Il Messaggero reported last year.
But despite widespread efforts by Termini police to crack down on the ghetto of illegal immigrants, today's report suggests children and their abusers are finding ways to evade law enforcement.
The age of consent in Italy is 14. Prostitution is legal but streetwalking, promoting prostitution, or working in a brothel is illegal.


Pedophile Chicago engineer, 52, 'arrested in the act of raping a boy, 14, in Rome after cops investigated him for luring scores of underage migrants to a rented apartment'
52-year-old engineer for Boeing was 'caught abusing a 14-year-old boy'
He is a US citizen from Chicago and arrived in Italy last month, reports say
Police said he picks up boys from Rome's Termini station every night
He was caught after weeks-long investigation into reports that a 'foreign man was lurking around the station scouting children for sex', police say
The man 'was arrested on suspicion of child abuse, child porn possession'
Police suspect he'd heard international reports of Termini's child sex ring
The man has not been identified
PUBLISHED: 12:27 EST, 31 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:44 EST, 31 January 2016

How To Get Involved, Express Support For Donald Trump

[Received from George At Trump Massachusetts Headquarters]

Donald J Trump for President
492 King Street
Littleton, MA 01460

If you can’t make it and would like to make calls from home and need to be set up, RSVP Here.
When you come in, bring whatever laptop, tablets and cell phones you have with you. If you don’t have any then come anyway, we will make one available for you. 

If Talkin’ is not your thing, our New Hampshire team can always use your help Walkin’! To get involved now, give the New Hampshire team a call at


or email them at 


January 29, 2016

Rational Argument On Global Climate Change, Etc.

[From article]
This article is based on a Heartland Panel talk [Dec7, 2015, at Hotel California, Paris].
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has to provide proof for significant human-caused climate change; yet their climate models have never been validated and are rapidly diverging from actual observations. The real threat to humanity comes not from any (trivial) greenhouse warming but from cooling periods creating food shortages and famines.
Burden of proof
Climate change has been going on for millions of years -- long before humans existed on this planet. Obviously, the causes were all of natural origin and not anthropogenic. There is no reason to think that these natural causes have suddenly stopped. For example, volcanic eruptions, various types of solar influences, and atmosphere-ocean oscillations all continue today. We cannot model these natural climate-forcings precisely and therefore cannot anticipate what they will be in the future.

But let’s call this the “Null hypothesis.” Logically therefore, the burden of proof falls upon alarmists to demonstrate that this null hypothesis is not adequate to account for empirical climate data. In other words, alarmists must provide convincing observational evidence for anthropogenic climate change (ACC). They must do this by detailed comparison of the data with climate models. This is of course extremely difficult and virtually impossible since one cannot specify these natural influences precisely.
[. . .]
Anyway, any warming observed during the past century appears to be trivially small and most likely economically beneficial overall.

I therefore regard the absence of any significant GH warming as settled; note my emphasis on the word “significant.” Policies to limit CO2 emissions are wasting resources that could better be used for genuine societal problems like public health. They are also counter-productive since CO2 promotes plant growth and crop yields, as shown by dozens of agricultural publications.
I am much more concerned by a cooling climate -- as predicted by many climate scientists -- with its adverse effects on ecology and severe consequences for humanity.
[. . .]
At the same time, assuming that our scheme does not work perfectly, we need to prepare for adaptation to a colder climate, with special attention to supply of food and sustainable water and energy.
The outlook for such adaptation appears promising – provided there is adequate preparation. However, the coming cold period will test the survivability of our technological civilization.
I dedicate this essay to the memory of Prof “Bob” Carter, my fellow-panelist, NIPCC co-author, and travel companion in Western and Eastern Europe, China, and all around the USA. "He died with his boots on."


January 29, 2016
Climate Change: The Burden of Proof
By S. Fred Singer

Political Deception By Ruling Elite

[From article]
The art of magic is akin to that of politics in that people may suspend disbelief as they listen to or read the utterances of political leaders or candidates. For politicians, like magicians, the trick is to get the listener or watcher to focus the spotlight and attention on something favorable for the speaker while ignoring or paying less attention to other things. The artifice is to distract listeners and viewers into acceptance by the patter of the politician or the magician. The deception focuses on the performer so that the audience unaware of the helpers or “spinners” behind the curtain who may have arranged or helped in the trick.
Success in politics is like success at performing card tricks, with false shuffling of cards, but making sure the right one is always on top. If magicians skillfully deceive the viewer, politicians similarly engage in spin, misinformation or outright deception.
In both magic and politics there is an art of manipulation, perhaps arranged by the expert practitioners and handlers behind the curtain who help create the image of the politician and foist it on the public.
In both, there is exploitation of psychology and a necessary understanding of human behavior, emotion, and perception. A recent book by David Greenberg, Republic of Spin, gives a valuable account of the different, sometimes contrasting, techniques used by famous leaders such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle for dramatic effect to gain approval. Perhaps surprisingly for some, it was Richard Nixon who delivered the message, ”concern for image must rank with concern for substance.”
The issue of manipulation and trickery is all too familiar in the 2016 U.S. presidential electoral campaign from candidates of both parties. Complex and countless controversial issues, [. . .] are reduced to a simple prescription. In reality, few can understand or are capable of evaluating the real meaning and consequences of proposals regarding complicated issues. The problem is that political leaders and candidates are rarely asked to explain fully and clearly those proposals.
In many ways, people believe what they want to believe. They may not challenge or reject doubtful statements or misinformation either because it is not important to them, or it is too difficult or tiresome to seek the truth. Emotional as well as cognitive factors may enter into the problem. People may go along with what they think is the opinion of their peers, the social or political community close to them.
[. . .]
All this has long been familiar. In Plato’s Republic, Socrates expounds partly through a fictional tale the use of the “noble lie,” the falsehood told by the elite to maintain harmony and unity in society or to advance an agenda. The use of the noble lie, according to Socrates, and its acceptance by the three classes into which he divides society, keep them in place in the social system. Moreover, good is supposed to come out of the use of lies and myths, because if people believed in the prevalent myth into which they are indoctrinated, they would be inclined to care more for the state.
Political leaders from time immemorial have followed the argument of Socrates of a convenient fiction, a bold myth or flight of imagination, or “the noble lie,” that the community should and must accept for its own good.
It is obviously true that in certain political circumstances, as in private life, lying may be desirable to achieve a good end. Politicians must then face difficult choices. Falsehood and deceit may be necessary in time of war or to avoid moments of public disorder.
The case of Winston Churchill and the city of Coventry still remains controversial. In November 1940 Germany launched a devastating bombing raid on the city. It is alleged that the prime minister knew of the intended Luftwaffe raid but said and did nothing about it because any action would have alerted Hitler to the fact that the UK had broken the German Enigma Code. Coventry was sacrificed for the “greater good.”
[. . .]
However, the argument that rulers should create myths that people will accept is a dangerous and incorrect one. A society does not need to be misled by rulers, akin to Plato’s “Guardians”, in order to be healthy and stable.
George Orwell in his novel 1984 is one of those writers who have indicated the growing tendency for citizenry to be subjected to psychological conditioning, to the distortion and to the reversing of the meaning of words, and to the slanting of political messages in directions favorable to the rulers.
Considering the intensity of current disapproval and hostility in the U.S. and in Western European countries towards the “establishment” and the existing political systems controlled by elites, and the present approval of present presidential candidates critical of them, one can ask if the magic has failed?
[. . .]
Image is not reality, and presentation of false solutions is not a form of medicine to the citizenry.

It is not true that myths are necessary for citizens to live in a more agreeable way, nor is it true that citizens would care more for their condition in the system if they accepted the myths. The candidates of both U.S. political parties can do better than speak in sound bites. They should avoid magical sleight of hand in dealing with serious issues.


January 29, 2016
Magic and Politics
By Michael Curtis

Sweden At War, Losing It's Cuture

[From article]
According to an internal military document, the Swedish army is preparing for war. Per a Breitbart report, “the chief of the Swedish army General Anders Brännström told men under his command they could expect to be fighting a war in Europe against skilled opponents ‘within a few years’.”
The 28-page document was directed to soldiers, civil servants, politicians, and guests who will be attending next week’s military demonstrations that will focus on the army’s ability to fight and survive a winter war.
…the General said the deteriorating security picture in Europe was the main factor behind his warning, indicating the Islamic State conducting military campaigns in Europe and spreading instability from the Ukraine could lead to conflict. Sensationally, he suggested a Third World War was just round the corner. He told the paper:
“One can draw parallels with the 1930s. A great uncertainty and [political] dynamics which then led to a great war. That time we managed to keep out. But it is not at all certain we could succeed this time”. (snip)
It is unusual for a serving senior military figure, much less the professional head of an Army to speak out on such political matters in Europe. Yet these comments are not just the General’s opinion, he added, remarking his senior colleagues all held the same thoughts. He said: “this is a serious position shared by most. This is a completely different situation to the one we had ten years ago.
“There is now a much stronger focus on national defence… it is about preparing for the worst”.
If the Swedish military is anything like the Swedish police, the battle may be over quickly (if it isn’t over already). Tommy Robinson, ex-leader and founder of the English Defense League, reports that ten Swedish police officers fled a refugee center after being surrounded by a mob of violent “migrants.” The police had been called in after the staff at the center failed to safely transfer to another facility a 10-year-old boy who was being repeatedly raped. The staff’s inability to transfer him was due to a “hostile attitude” from the “refugees” when they made the attempt.
So not only did the asylum center fail to complete a seemingly simple task (in a normal world), but so did the police. One officer on the scene stated: “Even more people appeared behind us. I was mentally prepared to fight for my life. We were 10 officers in a narrow corridor. And I hear someone yell that there is an emergency exit.”
News of the debacle was made public after keeping a lid on it for nearly a week, at which time the Prime Minister said the incident underscored the need for more police officers in light of the wave of “refugees” coming into the country.
Here’s an idea: Stop bringing in 7th century barbarians who hate the West and (1) you won’t need more police, and (2) you won’t need to go to war.
Who would have thought?
(Of note, Swedish police weren’t the only members of law enforcement recently seen fleeing Muslim mobs. Last week a mass of violent Muslims, socialists, and anarchists, broke through police lines at the port of Calais and boarded a ferry bound for the UK as terrified-looking officers retreated. And not to go too far off topic, but there is enormous power in mobs and Muslims are taking full advantage of it. The fact that European citizens, and oftentimes the police, are unarmed all but assures chaos and Islamic supremacy reigns supreme.)
But back to Sweden.
The county, as we know, is in very deep trouble. How, or whether, Sweden will be able to extricate itself from the grip of Islamic supremacism remains to be seen. So far there is little evidence to suggest Swedes grasp the nature of that which afflicts them, which in my view began with a complete collapse of national pride – a feeling now replaced with shame. [. . .] Sweden has allowed itself to be held hostage by the drive to be “multicultural” at all cost, including the death of the nation.
The West is ripe for the picking. And Islam is grabbing up bunches and bunches of it with each passing day.
War “within a few years?”
It is already war now. Would that the West would realize it and fight.


January 27, 2016
Swedish army prepares for war as police flee mob of Muslim ‘migrants’
By Carol Brown

Rebellion, Different From Criticism, Is An American Tradition

[From article]
The act of rebellion is one of the oldest American traditions there is. If it weren’t for rebellion, there wouldn’t have been a United States of America. If it weren’t for rebellion, I very well may have been born a slave to be sold in open the market. One thing that we Americans do, and do often, is rebel. America is a nation of rebels, and potential rebels. The Declaration of Independence itself was an act of rebellion. Before that, there was the Boston Tea Party Rebellion in 1773. In the late 1600’s Mennonite Quakers peacefully and quite nobly I might add, rebelled against the institution of slavery. There have been many slave rebellions, some well-known and some not so well-known. The Civil War was an act of rebellion of southern states against northern states. Northerners used to call confederate soldiers ‘Johnny Reb’. Even after the South surrendered to the North, there were still mini rebellions popping up all over the place.
“I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical”. - Thomas Jefferson
We’ve had rebellions with funny sounding names like the Jaybird- Woodpecker War (1888-89), and rebellions named after people like the Howard Jarvis rebellion (1978), or the John Brown rebellion at Harper’s Ferry. In the United States, anyone can start a rebellion. You don’t have to have a PhD or a master’s degree. Nor does one need a lot of money or a fatwa to start a rebellion. You don’t need anyone’s permission, and there is no special license required for a person to rebel against something in the United States of America. As long as there is no violence, most rebellions will usually run their course, and looking back even the many of the violent ones had merit and were vindicated.
[. . .]
Throughout American history there have been different types of rebels and rebellions with no fixed set of rules that govern their methodology. However, there are common threads that you find throughout most American rebellions. They most often are directed at an authority, they are usually principled endeavors with intelligible objectives, they are exclusively home grown, and they all share the principles of freedom, liberty, and a clear idea of what it means to people to be an American.
[. . .]
Interestingly enough, the act of rebellion does have a basis in Islamic law. Sometimes a rebellion is compulsory (wajib). Other times it could be prohibited (haram) depending on the circumstance.
The American tradition of freedom, individual liberty, and each individual’s personal understanding of their own Americanism is something that every Muslim organization needs to understand — especially when they want to tell others what they can say and what they cannot say, or if they want to exert control their faith group, or illegitimately claim to represent all Muslims, hijack our multiple narratives, or attempt to redefine our identity without asking our permission to do so.
[. . .]
The national American Muslim campaign to eradicate islamophobia is characterized by disregarding any criticism of Muslims, and shipping it off to the imaginary gulag called islamophobia while being in denial about our own moral and behavioral issues.
[. . .]
Anti-Islamophobia advocates commit intellectual dishonesty by categorizing every and any criticism of Islam, Muslims, Muslim immigrants, as islamophobia. I have nothing against legal immigrants, Muslims or otherwise, as long as they mean us no harm (and I am not an expert on the topic).
Fighting islamophobia has seemingly become a religion of its own, and an industry unto itself. It targets not only those who may be bigoted for no good reason, but those who have serious and legitimate concerns, those who are looking for honest answers to questions, and even those who themselves are Muslim whose way of life is also threatened by political Islamist organizations who purport to speak for all American Muslims, without authority or any democratic process that legitimizes their representation of Muslim America.
[. . .]
Political Islamism, which I have written about elsewhere, threatens my way of life as an American Muslim and I’m merely documenting my status update that I am officially in rebel mode. The sad reality is that if the American Muslim community would have spent the time and energy engaging in honest and principled dialogue with their other Americans and in bridging the gap between immigrant Muslims and indigenous American Muslims who have a lot more experience being American than those who just landed here twenty, and thirty years ago, we probably would not be having this conversation.


January 28, 2016
Muslim Americans and America’s History of Rebellion
By Luqman Ahmad

Republican Party Split, Trump vs. The Rest

[From article]
The conservative movement is starting to look a lot like Syria.
Baited, taunted, mocked by Fox News, Donald Trump told Roger Ailes what he could do with his Iowa debate, and marched off to host a Thursday night rally for veterans at the same time in Des Moines.
Message: I speak for the silent majority, Roger, not you, not Megyn Kelly, not Fox News. Diss me, and I will do fine without Fox.
And so the civil-sectarian war on the right widens and deepens.
And two questions arise: Will the conservative movement and Republican Party unite behind Trump if he is the nominee? And will the movement and party come together if Trump is not the nominee?
A breakdown of the balance of forces in this civil-sectarian war finds most of the media elite of the right recoiling from Trump, while Trump leads by a huge margin in Middle America.
[. . .]
But while columns and magazines appear in print twice weekly, weekly, biweekly and monthly, millions listen to talk radio every hour of every day. And though websites might be updated daily, radio, more than print, is a medium that moves people.
Among the top talkers, Trump gets more than a fair hearing. Some of the talk shows with the largest audiences are sympathetic, others are supportive. And the Drudge Report, the daily newspaper of Middle America, tracks Trump’s every move.
[. . .]
Democrats who support Bernie Sanders and Republicans who support Trump may disagree on where America should go, but both agree on the need for America to radically change direction.
[. . .]
And, again, the argument over the acceptability of Trump aside, there is a deeper conflict within the GOP and conservative movement that may be irreconcilable. Millions of conservatives and independents believe it was the Republican policies of the recent past that also failed America.
[. . .]
The immigration policies championed by Bush Republicans as well Clinton and Obama Democrats produced the immigration crisis that propels the Trump campaign.
In short, it will be difficult for populists to unite with Beltway conservatives in 2016, when the former see the latter as part of the problem, not the solution.


The Civil War of the Right
Patrick J. Buchanan
Friday Jan 29, 2016 12:01 AM

January 28, 2016

NYFD Commissioner Defends Having Firemen Clear Snow From His Home

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro leaves his Queens house Tuesday.
Photo: Dennis A. Clark

[From article]
City investigators will look into FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro’s use of two fire crews to clear snow from the front of his Queens home in the blizzard’s aftermath, sources said on Tuesday.
The Department of Investigation decided to conduct the inquiry after reading about Nigro’s apparent abuse of power in The Post, the sources said.
The DOI will “review” why a pair of trucks were sent to Nigro’s private residence in Whitestone on Sunday morning — making them unable to respond to emergency calls, the sources said.
The review is the first step before any potential full-blown investigation is launched. Such reviews are not standard procedure and are done on a case-by-case basis, the sources said.
Hours after The Post exclusively reported about the shoveling on Tuesday, Nigro personally went to Engine Co. 320/Ladder Co. 167 and told them he was disappointed that the story got out.
[. . .]
Faye Smyth, who was supervising the fire operations dispatch center in Queens when the call came in, told The Post that having two trucks go to the house is “not the normal response.”
She said the protocol is to send one unit to a “lock-in” — when someone calls 911 to say they are trapped by the snow.

Nigro’s home in Queens, with a clear walkway, on Sunday.
Photo: Dennis A. Clark

But the run to Nigro’s house was logged as “administrative” and the call to dispatch came directly from the firehouse, allowing them to send two trucks.
That kind of manpower is typically used by dispatchers only if “they also needed medical attention,” Smyth said.
She said the dispatch center sent firefighters to dig out about 20 homes in Queens Sunday morning – and that the ones handling Nigro’s home weren’t needed elsewhere at the time.
[. . .]
At Nigro’s house on Tuesday, veteran FDNY investigator Randall Wilson — whose office conducts internal probes and reports directly to the commissioner — was spotted talking to the department commissioner’s wife, daughter and son-in-law.
While the FDNY said Wilson was simply there to keep the family members safe, sources said he was also likely probing how the story was leaked.
If an investigation is launched internally by the department, the firefighters who did the heavy lifting would be forced to go through an intensive questioning and have their phone records pulled, sources said.
Nigro issued a department-wide order last May promising to “investigate these improper releases of information and do all we can to identify those responsible.”

FDNY chief in hot water for personal snow job
By Shawn Cohen, Larry Celona and Chris Perez
New York Post
January 27, 2016 | 12:39am

Two Dead, Three Injured At Seattle Homeless Camp

Seattle Homeless Camp

[From article]
Police say two people have been fatally shot and three others wounded by gunfire at a homeless encampment in Seattle.
The Seattle Times reports the shooting happened Tuesday night near Airport Way South and South Atlantic Street south of downtown.


Shooting near Seattle homeless camp leaves 2 dead, 3 wounded
By Associated Press
New York Post
January 27, 2016 | 12:05am


Six Cleveland, OH Policemen Fired After Firing 137 Shots Killing Two Unarmed Civilians

Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams
Photo: AP

[From article]
Six Cleveland police officers were fired over their involvement in a November 2012 chase that led to the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man and woman, city officials said on Tuesday.
Six other officers in the incident, which involved a 137-shot barrage, were suspended for 21 to 30 days, and another retired last year, officials said. All the affected officers were white, except for one, who is Hispanic.
[. . .]
Six Cleveland police officers were fired over their involvement in a November 2012 chase that led to the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man and woman, city officials said on Tuesday.
Six other officers in the incident, which involved a 137-shot barrage, were suspended for 21 to 30 days, and another retired last year, officials said. All the affected officers were white, except for one, who is Hispanic.
[. . .]
The chase on Nov. 29, 2012, began in downtown Cleveland after reports of gunfire coming from Russell’s car, where Williams was a passenger.
But no weapon was found. A forensic mechanic testified at Brelo’s trial that the car was prone to backfiring.
The Cleveland chase, which involved more than 100 officers, lasted more than 20 minutes and went through multiple cities at speeds topping 90 mph (145 kph), ending in a school parking lot where Russell was shot 24 times and Williams 23 times.
[. . .]
Steve Loomis, president of the union that represents Cleveland officers, said the firings were “shamefully political” and “the direct result of the current and false narrative surrounding the facts and law enforcement throughout this country.”
The union has filed grievances to get the officers their jobs back.
The firings and suspensions were announced after a 90-minute news conference which detailed a chaotic scene, with bullets flying in all directions. Brelo fired at the civilians from the hood of his squad car, officials said.
Cleveland paid the families of Williams and Russell $1.5 million each to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.


Cleveland cops fired over 137-shot barrage that killed 2
By Reuters
New York Post
January 26, 2016 | 6:18pm

Students Unable To Sign Own Names

Photo: Getty Images

[From article]
Many Big Apple students, including the children of several state lawmakers, can’t even sign their own names, it was revealed at an educational budget hearing in Albany today.
“Not only is it sad, but it’s a security issue,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-SI/Brooklyn).
[. . .]
students have become so tech-oriented that they never learn how to sign their John Hancock, which renders them unable to properly ink contracts, checks and credit cards.
Malliotakis said the penmanship problem was brought to her attention while helping one of her constituents fill out a voter registration form. He printed his name, and when she told him to actually sign it, he insisted that was his signature.
Even the 11-year-old daughter of veteran Harlem legislator Herman “Denny” Farrell doesn’t know how to sign her name.
“And she’s smarter than me,” Farrell said of his daughter, Prince, who attends a private school in Harlem. “They don’t teach it. I’m going to go home now and teach her handwriting.”
LeRoy Comrie, a senator from Queens, told Malliotakis his son never learned that skill either.
“Can you imagine?” Malliotakis told The Post. “Not only does it mean you can’t sign a business contract, but it makes you vulnerable to identity theft because anyone can just go ahead and print your name.”

Updated: Teacher Arrested, Suspected of Aiding Three Gentlemen Who Escaped From California Prison

Posted January 25, 2016 8:11 PM ET; Last updated January 28, 2016 9:12 PM ET

Nooshafarian Ravaghi, Suspected of Aiding Escape

[From article]
A woman who taught English classes at a Southern California jail was arrested Thursday on suspicion of helping three inmates — including an alleged killer — escape the lockup, and the men are believed to be riding around in a stolen van.
Nooshafarian Ravaghi, 44, of Lake Forest, was arrested nearly a week after the men — one an alleged killer — cut their way through steel bars, climbed through plumbing tunnels, made their way to the roof, cut razor wire and, using rope made of braided bedsheets, rappelled four stories to freedom from the roof of the Orange County Central Men’s Jail.
[. . .]
Ravaghi worked for the Rancho Santiago Community College District and taught English as a second language to inmates at the jail for about six months, sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock said.
One of her students was Hossein Nayeri, who was awaiting trial on charges that he kidnapped and tortured a marijuana dispensary owner — finally cutting off his penis — in a bid to learn where he might have cached money.
“There was some type of relationship that developed between the two” that was close, Hallock said, but he didn’t know whether it was a romance.
[. . .]
Ravaghi denied supplied any tools to the inmates, but investigators suspect she provided Google maps that potentially could have helped the inmates plan their route after fleeing the jail, Hallock said.
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has said that Nayeri, 37, is believed to be the mastermind of the escape.

Teacher accused of helping inmates escape California jail
By Associated Press
New York Post
January 28, 2016 | 8:07pm

* * *

Wanted: Southern California authorities launched a frantic manhunt Saturday after inmates (left to right) Jonathan Thieu, Hossein Nayeri and Bac Duong escaped from jail.

[From article]
The last time the inmates were seen was at 5 a.m. Friday at the Orange County Men’s Jail in Santa Ana, about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles. They could have made the escape any time between then and late Friday night, according to authorities.
"The inmates cut through half-inch steel bars to facilitate their escape," Hallock said.
The men, last seen wearing orange jumpsuits, also had to cut through plumbing tunnels and finally made it to an unguarded area of the roof where they rappelled down to the ground by way of a makeshift rope, Hallock said.
[. . .]
The inmates on the run include Jonathan Tieu, 20, who had been held on $1 million bail since October 20 on charges of murder, attempted murder and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. His case is believed to be gang-related.
Hossein Nayeri, 37, had been held without bond since September 2014 on charges of kidnapping, torture, aggravated mayhem and burglary. Nayeri and three other men were accused of kidnapping a California marijuana dispensary owner in 2012. They drove the dispensary owner to a desert spot where they believed he had hidden money and then cut off his penis, authorities said.
After the crime, Nayeri fled the U.S. to his native Iran, where he remained for several months. He was arrested in Prague in November 2014 while changing flights from Iran to Spain to visit family.
The third inmate who escaped with Tieu and Nayeri was Bac Duong. The 43-year-old man was being held without bond since last month on charges of murder, assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and other charges.


Manhunt underway for three inmates who escaped Southern California jail
Published January 24, 2016

* * *


Frantic manhunt under way for three inmates held on murder, kidnap and torture charges who ESCAPED from California jail
The inmates were last seen at 5am Friday at the Orange County Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles
They could have escaped anytime between then and late Friday night, an Orange County Sheriff's Department said
The inmates are 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu, 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri, and 43-year-old Bac Duong
Tieu is charged with murder, attempted murder and shooting
Nayeri is charged with kidnapping, torture, aggravated mayhem and burglary
Duong faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at an inhabited dwelling
Daily Mail (UK)
PUBLISHED: 13:09 EST, 23 January 2016 | UPDATED: 08:11 EST, 24 January 2016

American Au Pair Found Dead In Austria

Lauren Mann in an undated photo from Facebook.

[From article]
A half-naked American au pair was found dead Tuesday in Vienna, Austria, in what authorities were investigating as a murder, according to reports.
The body of Lauren Mann, 25, was discovered lying face down on a mattress near a “considerable amount of blood” inside her apartment,
[. . .]
Her boss reportedly became alarmed after she did not show up at work and called police.
Firefighters knocked down the door to her studio apartment Tuesday night and found the Colorado native, who had been studying and working in Vienna over the last three years, reports say.
Mann’s corpse was found in total darkness because all of the lights in her apartment had burned out, according to reports.
“We are still awaiting the final autopsy report, but are presently treating this as a homicide case,” Vienna police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger told NBC.
Keiblinger added that the blood near her skull might be the result of internal injuries.
Mann had majored in French at the University of Colorado before settling in Vienna to take up German.

Woman Employee of Yoga Emperor Wins $7 million Damage Award For Sexual Harassment, Retaliation

Choudhury leads a gigantic yoga class at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sept. 27, 2003.
Photo: AP

[From article]
A man who made an empire out of his high-heat brand of yoga has been ordered to pay well over $7 million to a former legal adviser who said he sexually harassed her.
A Los Angeles jury ordered Bikram yoga founder Bikram Choudhury to pay $6.5 million in punitive damages Tuesday on top of $924,000 in compensatory damages he was ordered to pay in the same case a day earlier.
The woman, Minakshi “Miki” Jafa-Bodden, had said Choudhury sexually harassed her and wrongfully fired her for investigating another woman’s rape allegation.
[. . .]
Jafa-Bodden worked as head of legal and international affairs at Choudhury’s Los Angeles yoga school from spring 2011 until March 2013, when she said she was abruptly fired from her six-figure position for refusing to cover up an investigation into a rape allegation.
“Jafa-Bodden faced retaliation and intimidation when she refused to stay silent about witnessing illegal behavior,” her attorney, Mark Quigley, said in a statement.
Additionally, Jafa-Bodden said Choudhury sexually harassed and inappropriately touched her, and tried to get her to stay with him in a hotel suite.
Choudhury, 69, has built an empire around Bikram yoga, a rigorous, 90-minute routine performed in a room that can reach more than 100 degrees. The technique is taught at more than 650 studios worldwide and has drawn a throng of devoted followers.
[. . .]
Jafa-Bodden’s wrongful termination lawsuit is separate from sexual assault lawsuits filed by six other women, five of whom accuse Choudhury of raping them. One of those lawsuits is in the process of being settled while the rest are set for trial later this year.
His attorneys have said he never sexually assaulted any of the women suing him and that prosecutors had declined to bring charges in their cases.
Mary Shea, one of the attorneys representing the women filing the assault lawsuits, said prosecutors never investigated the allegations and that just because charges weren’t filed doesn’t mean the women aren’t telling the truth.
“These are all very brave women who’ve had the courage to stand up against very serious opposition and public scrutiny,” she said. “If anything, this (verdict) has given them the confidence to go forward and speak their truth.”

January 27, 2016

Trump Stumps In Iowa

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Endorses Donald Trump


about 25 minutes
JANUARY 26, 2016
Donald Trump Press Conference in Marshalltown, Iowa
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answered reporters' questions before a campaign event in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Bernie Sanders in Iowa, Video


about 26 minutes
JANUARY 26, 2016
Bernie Sanders Post-Rally News Conference
Following the rally with union steelworkers, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke with reporters outside. He reiterated his differences with Hillary Clinton on trade and Social Security and predicted how he will do in the upcoming Iowa caucuses.

MBTA Spends Other People's Money

WCVB reported in February 2015, "In 2014, more than 2,000, or 27 percent, of the 7,400 employees earned more than $100,000 a year." and "Last year total employee earnings were more than $500,000,000 -- an 18 percent jump from 2013" In May 2015, WCVB, "There are 46 MBTA managers enjoying this take-home car perk, which is costing taxpayers and riders more than$1 million. And that doesn't include the cost of free gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs they also receive." Now they report "the MBTA's financial control board voted to spend up to $6 million to study the project [. . .] to try and [. . .] save the $4.7 billion expansion." Are there no taxpayer funded employees (among the estimated 1800) who are able to do the job? How many employees are ranking members of the Spending Other People's Money Society?

[From article]
But Monday, the MBTA's financial control board voted to spend up to $6 million to study the project.
Three firms will come up with a redesign and a new price tag to try and slash costs and save the $4.7 billion expansion.


Report shows chronic Red Line issues
Posted Jan. 26, 2016 at 10:58 AM

Definitions By Politicians

Asking politicians to define their words is a fun academic exercise. I'd like to see the White House, Al "FBI loves me" Sharpton, Jesse "Show me the money" Jackson and Eric "White people are cowards" Holder define what they mean by racism.


January 27, 2016
What Does 'Great' Mean, Mr. Trump?
By Bruce Walker

Texas Grand Jury Shoots the Messenger

[From article]
It seems you don’t have to shoot the messenger any more, just get a Texas grand jury to forget about that ham sandwich and indict the messenger, in this case David Daleiden, director of the Center for Medical Progress, and another pro-life activist, Sandra S. Merritt, for their videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s booming business of selling the body parts of aborted babies for cash.
[. . .]

What used to be called “investigative journalism” has been criminalized. Planned Parenthood was not indicted for selling baby body parts but in the parallel universe of this grand jury the filmmakers were indicted for engaging in an alleged criminal conspiracy to buy them. How can you buy something the other party is not selling? If Planned Parenthood was not in fact selling body parts, then why the extended negotiations? Why didn’t Planned Parenthood tell the filmmakers to get lost instead of inviting them to lunch and negotiating prices over a salad and cocktails?
Interestingly, and strictly coincidentally, of course, a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s office is a Planned Parenthood board member.
[. . .]
Yet this is the fundamentally transformed America we live in, one in which babies can be sliced and diced for profit but it is those that document this activity are guilty of the greater sin.


January 27, 2016
Texas Grand Jury Shoots the Messenger
By Daniel John Sobieski

Misguided Politicians Wake Up To Criminal Acts By Academic Censors

Dr. Melissa Click is an assistant professor in the MU Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Science.

[From article]
Slowly, to be sure, but at last some universities and some police departments in university towns are beginning to fight back against students who protest imaginary microaggressions with real illegal macroaggressions. A few months ago, University of Missouri communications assistant professor Melissa Click communicated her displeasure with student journalists who were videoing her leading a demonstration on campus. They captured on video her enraged face and uplifted arms as she called out, "I need some muscle over here" to remove the non-protesting students.
The Missouri state legislature discussed firing her.
The student videographer filed a complaint with university police.
And now the Columbia, Missouri city prosecutor has charged Click with misdemeanor assault.
[. . .]

Update from Thomas Lifson:
Readers might be interested in correspondence American Thinker received from the University of Missouri J-School, following publication of this blog post by the same author:
Subject: For Ethel C. Fenig
I am sending this on behalf of David Kurpius, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism.

Suzette Heiman
Director of Planning and Communications

Ms. Ethel C. Fenig
American Thinker

Dear Ms. Fenig,
I wish to clarify an item in your Jan. 6, 2016, article, “Not needing muscle to fire communications instructor who communicates with muscle.”
Dr. Melissa Click is an assistant professor in the MU Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Science. Until Nov. 10 she held a courtesy appointment with the School of Journalism, which allowed her to work with a small number of graduate students on their master's or doctoral committees. She never taught a course in the journalism school.
The distinction about Dr. Click’s academic home is an important one to ensure that readers, including alumni and prospective students, are not misled. We are contacting the source to correct the error there.
We request that the correction, update or clarification be appended to your article in the digital archive so that the misrepresentation’s harm to the reputation of the nation’s first school of journalism can be minimized as soon as possible.
Thank you.

David D. Kurpius, Dean
Missouri School of Journalism

AT responded:
Dear Dean Kurpius,

The blog post in question clearly stated:
After the video, with a close-up of her angry face, went viral, she smugly martyred herself the next day, offering an insincere apology along with her resignation as a courtesy instructor in the university's esteemed School of Journalism department, where she did little. However she retained her lucrative position in the school's separate Department of Communications….
I do not see a basis for the concern you express.

Thomas Lifson, PhD
Editor in chief
AT never heard from them again.


January 26, 2016
Update: More muscle against Assistant Professor Melissa Click
By Ethel C. Fenig


European Populists Organize To Protest Middle East Migrant Invasion

[From article]
Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) is a grassroots movement that was formed in Germany a little over two years ago. The scale of their rallies has rapidly grown. And now they’re organizing mass demonstrations for February 6, to be held in cities across Europe.
[. . .]
PEGIDA provides a structure for citizens to come together to celebrate national pride and to express opposition to Merkel’s suicidal open-door immigration policy that has allowed in throngs of Muslims from Islamic countries – a policy that is destroying Germany in unthinkable ways.
If you’ve ever seen a video of a PEGIDA march, you’ll notice young and old, healthy and infirm, day or night, in all kinds of weather – patriotic Germans show up and wind their way through the streets. Some carry flags while others hold signs. There is often an eerie silence, though occasionally a chant breaks out or you can hear the national anthem being sung. (See here, here, here, here, here, and here for a sample of videos from a few of their marches.)
The size of the demonstrations is often large, with numbers reaching into the tens of thousands. Beginning in October, the group organized weekly marches in Dresden and other cities primarily located in the eastern part of Germany (which is likely no coincidence, given the region’s history and people’s firsthand knowledge of life under totalitarian rule).
But the core values embraced by PEGIDA are spreading beyond the eastern part of Germany. A recent study cited at the Gatestone Institute showed increasing numbers of Germans coming around to the hard truth about Islam and its incompatibility with Western culture.
[. . .]

In addition to increasing support across Germany, as noted at the outset of the post, PEGIDA’s reach is now expanding into other European countries as their base of support grows. Gates of Vienna notes that “PEGIDA is in Austria, Czechia, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and Great Britain.
[. . .]
The representatives of the far-right movements signed a joint “Prague declaration,” warning that the “history of Western civilization could soon come to an end through Islam conquering Europe.”
As you might imagine, PEGIDA is controversial as the left tries to paint them as neo-Nazis (they’re not) and dangerous right-wingers (as if it’s dangerous to love your country and want to protect it from ruin). It’s also common for peaceful marches to be infiltrated by people who start trouble in order to taint PEGIDA’s reputation. The German government is, of course, staunchly against them, and it is typical to see police out in force at their demonstrations – more police than Germany appears able (or willing) to muster to protect its citizens from such horrors as mass rape.
[. . .]
Is this our future? (Answer: If there is not a dramatic and immediate course correction, then yes. It is.)
(To read more about PEGIDA see here, here, and here.)


January 26, 2016
PEGIDA planning mass demonstrations across Europe
By Carol Brown

Muslim Plan To Bring Sharia Law To The United States

[From article]
The ongoing interpretations concerning natural-born citizenship may eventually become a moot point. With the burgeoning immigration of groups of people who have little to no devotion to American ideals but who will have children born on American soil, one can easily envision that, in the not so distant-future, an American-born individual schooled in the hatred of jihad could conceivably occupy the White House.
Already the radical Muslim Brotherhood has "built the framework for a political party in America that seeks to turn Muslims into an Islamist voting bloc." The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) aims to elect Islamists in Washington in order to institute sharia law and dismantle the American Constitution.
The Center for Security Policy's Star Spangled Shariah: The Rise of America's First Muslim Brotherhood Party [. . .] asserts:

[T]he Muslim Brotherhood has been actively infiltrating American government and society since shortly after the Second World War. But March 2014 marked a significant step forward for the Brotherhood in America. Some of its key leadership figures joined together to establish the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the first political activist group in this country to be openly associated with the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood. Formation of the USCMO was announced ... [in] March 2014, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building. At the podium were: Ousama Jammal, Secretary General USCMO and past President of The Mosque Foundation; Naeem Baig, President, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); Nihad Awad, National Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Mazen Mokhtar, Executive Director, Muslim American Society (MAS); Imam Mahdi Bray, National Director, American Muslim Alliance (AMA)[.] The significance of this move is best understood in the context of what the Muslim Brotherhood itself calls 'civilizational jihad,' a term used in its 1991 strategic plan: An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America. As the Explanatory Memorandum states, the Brotherhood's mission in America is 'destroying Western civilization from within,' preparing the way for its replacement by the rule of Islam's supremacist code, shariah (Islamic law). Unlike more immediately violent Brotherhood off-shoots – for example, al-Qa'eda, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Islamic State or HAMAS, the Brotherhood in the West has generally taken care to operate stealthily, under the radar, even to the point of sometimes denying its very presence in the United States.
[. . .]

Obama continually exhibits a preference for Islam and has, over the period of his two terms, shown a "willingness ... to engage in dialogue, outreach, and collaboration with self-identified jihadis." In February 2015, at a White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism, Obama actually said that "the notion that the West was at war with Islam was an 'ugly lie.'" Furthermore, he asserted that "when people feel marginalized, that opens a door for the terrorist ideology." He implied that Americans who criticize Islam are guilty of provoking Islamic terrorists. This, coupled with the disturbing in-depth piece by Soeren Kern entitled "Islam and Islamism in America" for the period January-March 2015 wherein one learns that Representative Andre Carson (D-Indiana), a convert to Islam with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, was appointed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence should make one shudder.
Obama's appeasement toward Iran and his indifference to the jihadist danger in Europe and America have paved the way to what the jihadists crave – Islamization of America. Obama is the prelude to this Islamization, since his "fundamentally transforming the United States of America" has helped "advance the Brotherhood's 'civilization jihad agenda.'" For example, Obama stated he was "committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they could fulfill zakat," or charitable giving, but conveniently glossed over the fact that this charitable giving requires a fixed percentage to be donated to jihad.

The USCMO is actually the "first religious identity political party" in the history of America. And while it projects "an image of patriotic transparency," it is, in fact, "shrouding its actual anti-Constitutional activities and objectives." Its members participate in anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas, pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations and raise funds for Islamic Relief USA. According to Ryan Mauro at the Clarion Project, "IRUSA is the American branch of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), based in the United Kingdom." In 2014, the United Arab Emirates banned IRW as a terrorist group. In fact, under the guise of philanthropy and social welfare, the organization raises funds for Hamas. Mauro explains that IRUSA "donated to a fundraiser for the Chicago chapter of CAIR in March 2012 and the annual joint MAS-ICNA [Muslim American Society-Islamic Circle of North America] conference in December 2012." Yet in 2011, "an anonymous high-ranking Justice Department official was quoted as saying, 'ten years ago we shut down the Holy Land Foundation. It was the right thing to do. Then the money started going to KindHearts. We shut them down too. Now the money is going through groups like Islamic Relief[.]'"
In 2014, the USCMO joined anti-Israel protesters in downtown Chicago. This "Stand with Gaza" event marked USCMO's "first public demonstration in solidarity with Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recall that Hamas' Covenant commits it to the "destruction of the Jewish State of Israel."
USCMO financially supports U.S. representatives Keith Ellison and Andre Carson. Their remarks made at the Muslim Brotherhood political party banquet held in June of 2014 have never been made public. Both of these elected American politicians are committed to "mobilizing the Muslim political machine in the United States." Carson has stated that "America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas, in our schools, where innovation is encouraged, where the foundation is the Quran." Neither Ellison nor Carson has explained why he was participating at a USCMO event in an official capacity.
Is it a coincidence that USCMO debuted in Illinois politics in 2014, considering Obama's own roots in the windy city?

As the 2016 presidential election looms, the USCMO is attempting to "fortify Muslim citizenship rights." Obama is rushing to bestow citizenship on immigrants in part "by adjusting Justice Department rules so that those who want to help with the citizenship process can get their credentials quicker." In addition, there is a "blitz of television promotional spots" aimed at enticing legal permanent residents who have been here for a minimum of three years to take the test.
And while it has been clarified that Pine Bush High School in New York did not compel students to say, "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under Allah," this can be taken as yet one more incremental step toward softening American sensibilities – reciting the pledge in any other language still must maintain the truth of the translation, which clearly this did not do.
Daniel Greenfield explains that "[w]hat ISIS accomplishes by brute force, the Muslim Brotherhood does by setting up networks of front groups. Both ISIS and the Brotherhood control large Muslim populations. ISIS conquers populations in failed states. The Muslim Brotherhood however exercises control over populations in the cities of the West. We could bomb Raqqa, but can we bomb Dearborn, Jersey City or Irvine? This is where the Caliphate curve truly reaches its most terrifying potential."

Moreover, "we are not at war with an organization, but with the idea that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims and are endowed by Allah with the right to rule over them, to rob them, to rape them and enslave them. ISIS is the most naked expression of this idea. But it's an idea that everyone [such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the USCMO] on the Caliphate curve accepts."
I urge everyone to obtain a copy of Star Spangled Shariah in order to comprehend the depth and breadth of the Muslim Brotherhood's desire to install sharia law into America. It is very evident that "the United States of America faces a clear and present danger from the Muslim Brotherhood through the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) members because of their shariah compliant agenda that supports and advocates jihad."
Sharia is a supremacist and totalitarian law that is totally and absolutely incompatible with the Constitution. It is imperative that Americans understand this difference and demand the passage of American laws for American citizens. Furthermore, Americans must publicly object to the conversion of churches into mosques.
Ultimately, Americans need to question candidates about their views on Islam and sharia. The duplicity of the Muslim Brotherhood and the USCMO have to be continually exposed if the Republic is to survive. This is, indeed, a civilizational conflict between freedom and slavery.


January 26, 2016
The Patience of the Jihadists
By Eileen F. Toplansky

Cambridge, MA Police Trace Online Bomb Threats To Europe

Cambridge Police In Harvard Square

[From article]
The anonymous bomb threat against Cambridge Schools made last Thursday night has been traced to an organization overseas, but a suspect has not yet been identified, according to police.
This is the fourth threat of violence made against Cambridge schools since November.
Unlike the other three, which were received through the anonymous tip form on the Cambridge Police Department’s website, the most recent one was sent directly through email to an “executive’ at the schools on Jan. 21, according to police.
“The IP address [used by the suspect in this threat] was associated with an organization overseas, so obviously we’ve contacted that organization and are trying to work with them,” said Warnick. “But one of the hurdles is that those IP addresses can be masked. So it could be someone locally using an overseas IP address.”
[. . .]
“It’s a tough time right now for the United States and around the world with threats, and it requires all of us to work together to keep students safe. People are on edge, and understandably so,” said [Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeffrey]Young.
Police believe the bomb threats against Cambridge schools made on Nov. 16 and Dec. 1, as well as a threat of gun violence made on Dec. 3, were done by a single student. An arrest has not been made, however, and Warnick said Cambridge Police continues to work in collaboration with the FBI on the investigation.


Police trace Cambridge bomb scare to overseas organization; suspect not yet identified
By Amy Saltzman
Cambridge Chronicle
By Natalie Handy
Posted Jan. 27, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Spending Other People's Money For Academic Studies

Meanwhile, the MBTA wants to spend $6 million to study how to spend $4.7 billion expansion. Cambridge City Council wants to spend taxpayer funds to study how to get $24 million from corporations. Amazing how much money wasted by the Spending Other People's Money Society. 400 people could have homes and lives if the money spent on academic studies were used to house humans. Still wonder why Trump is so popular?


Cambridge Homeless Prepare for Winter
January 27, 2016

Cambridge, MA Disability Commission Discusses Congressional Mental Health Bill

As noted by Kate Thurman in the below essay, the focus of a proposed bill (link below) in the US Congress, is on police and crime, as if disability itself is a crime. It is important to distinguish between disability and crime. Police,  politicians and journalists do not do that. They like to believe that mental illness, a psychiatric diagnosis causes crime. It is nonsense. But seldom are politicians, police and journalists logical these days. Politicians are focused on getting re-elected. Journalists want to get published, and invited to dinner by politicians. The psychiatric industry has wealth and a lot of influence to help them. It is supported by the pharmaceutical industry. Police want to get home safe and do not like to have to make accommodations for people who have been diagnosed as crazy. The simplest solution is to arrest if not to kill a suspect. The counter argument is just as illogical, i.e., that if a person has a disability he or she should not be held accountable for their crime. 

Journalists, police, prosecutors, lawyers, judges, and politicians subscribe to the history of mental illness doctrine, whereby anyone with a history is guilty of violence because of the history. Again crime is equated to a psychiatric diagnosis. 

This essay argues that the bill is limited to addressing severe mental illness without defining it. That is true, but also there is no pathology for psychiatric illnesses. They are made up by consensus (see Boston University Psychology Professor, Margaret Hagan's book, Whores of the Court.) These illnesses are defined as speech and behavior, usually protected by the constitution, which psychiatrists do not like or do not understand. It is a system of social control with no due process protections. Personal opinion masquerading as science. 

Politically, liberals blame guns for violence. Conservatives blame psychiatric diagnoses. Neither makes sense. People are violent. It is extremely difficult to determine who will be violent, and when. Nonetheless psychiatrists with the encouragement of judges testify in court making predictions of people's future behavior. Politicians don't want to be bogged down. They have television interviews to do.  It takes up too much time and requires critical thought.  It is easier to blame a defenseless target. 

The bill weakens privacy protections for psychiatric diagnoses. One more instance of government bias, unequal protection of the laws for people with disabilities by the elected criminal class. Psychiatric treatment can be used against a person in a court of law. Lawyers and judges do not tell patients that downside of this business. 

The focus of this essay is on getting more taxpayer funded treatment by psychiatrists. But the psychiatrists do not cure their illnesses. They sell treatment. Once a patient always a patient. It is a good business model. But it is not science or medicine. 

In theory the protection and advocacy agencies (P&A) protect the rights of persons accused of mental illness. But there is little actual protection and advocacy. They refer petitioners elsewhere because it is too much trouble. There are so many people with physical  disabilities that they are prioritized over the crazy people. 

There are restrictions on what the P&A agencies can do. Unlike immigrants, illegal aliens who get free legal, health care, tuition and housing. Law abiding citizens with disabilities get bupkis.

This essay says  providing funds for police training and for research are good provisions. But police get billions and there are billions for research aside from this bill. The name of the bill suggests it is what NAMI is, i.e., a lobbyist for more taxpayer funded drug treatment. NAMI is a lobbyist for the drug companies. They allege they advocate for families. The individual with a disability has no advocate.  The bill does not protect persons with disabilities. It deprives them of rights enjoyed by others some who are not even citizens. The problem is that there is no strong disability lobby. There are academic research lobbyists. Harvard University has three full time lobbyists based in Washington DC. The police have hundreds of organizations actively lobbying state and federal legislatures. Disability advocates, not so much.  

[From the Cambridge, MA Disability Commission. January 27, 2016]

Mental Health Advocates Express Concerns over Murphy Bill

There is no doubt that our nation’s mental health system leaves much to be desired. Many people with psychiatric disabilities experience difficulty accessing treatment for a variety of reasons. These reasons include lack of funding and resources, low reimbursement rates for mental health services, a shortage of culturally competent care, and stigma perpetuated by inaccurate portrayals of mental illness in media, particularly following acts of violence, among other things.

To this end, it is admirable that the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, led by Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, conducted a review of the system beginning in early 2013, just after – and in response to – the Newtown shooting tragedy. The Subcommittee indeed found many systemic problems in our mental health system and made numerous recommendations that culminated in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646), more widely known as the Murphy Bill.

However, many advocates argue that from the get go, this bill was informed by and written from a public safety standpoint, and while our nation certainly has a lot of work to do to curb violence, our broken mental health care system is one of the foremost public health crises of our time, and it must be addressed as such.

Rather than overhaul the system from the ground up, this bill calls for diverting attention and funding away from prevention and health maintenance care to late-stage crisis intervention for individuals with the most severe psychiatric disabilities. Creating a system to address violence rather than healthcare needs inevitably removes the focus from the very people it purports to help – people with psychiatric disabilities – and creates concerns for civil rights.

If the Murphy Bill were to pass as it is currently written, many people with psychiatric disabilities could be turned away from help if their levels of illness are not determined to be severe enough; there is no clear standard as to what constitutes severity. Additionally, like many so-called physical illnesses, mental illnesses tend to operate on a spectrum; there are times when people are stabilized and doing well and there are other times when they may have more acute symptoms. In no other medical specialty would anyone consider cutting access to care at any point along the spectrum; think of medical centers removing resources for outpatient care and investing in just intensive care units.

Also, generally speaking, the earlier someone receives treatment, the better her or his outcome. This bill calls for cutting funding for community-based supports that have a proven record for being effective. Funding would be increased for assisted outpatient treatment (AOT), which is court-mandated treatment that patients must follow or face punitive action, and for long-term involuntary inpatient hospitalizations, also known as institutionalization.

“We already know what works,” said Jennifer Mathis, Deputy Legal Director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. “Proven programs such as supportive housing, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), peer support, mobile crisis services, and supported employment have extremely successful outcomes, including for people with the most significant mental health needs. The problem is that these services are not widely available to people who need them. This bill would make it even more difficult to take these services to scale, as it would invest mental health dollars elsewhere,” Mathis said.

The Murphy Bill also proposes changing portions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) by easing current privacy protection for patients with psychiatric disabilities, and allowing family members to access to portions of their mental health records. The protection of healthcare information is an important civil right currently afforded to all patients in the United States. This change would affect only those with mental health needs. This disparate treatment of one segment of the population is arguably discriminatory. Additionally, knowing that their families could access treatment information would likely deter many people from getting the help they need.

Each state has a federally funded protection and advocacy (P&A) agency that is charged with protecting the legal rights of individuals with disabilities (the Disability Law Center, a private non-profit in Boston, is the P&A for Massachusetts). The country’s Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program provides a vital resource for individuals who experience discrimination due to having a mental illness. The Murphy Bill proposes cutting PAIMI funding from its current annual level of $36.1 million to $5 million; this greater than 87% cut in funding would drastically reduce the ability of P&A legal service agencies to protect the rights of this population.

In addition, the bill significantly reduces the authority of P&A agencies. According to the Bazelon Center, “the bill would prohibit the PAIMI program from providing advocacy and legal representation to help people with mental illness with a host of important issues, including housing, employment, education, community living, Medicaid benefits. Advocacy concerning anything other than abuse and neglect would be barred.” 1

Some provisions of the Murphy Bill could result in positive change. For example, it would provide funding for mental health awareness training for first responders. It also calls for increasing funding for brain research. But, while this bill may be well intended and include some provisions that may result in some improvements, many advocates feel that this bill fails to actually reform the mental health system and instead makes treatment more difficult to access for many, infringes upon the civil rights of people with psychiatric disabilities and removes key protections of a vulnerable population.

The full bill can be found online at http://murphy.house.gov/helpingfamiliesinmentalhealthcrisisact

If you would like to express an opinion regarding the Murphy Bill, contact your district’s U.S. House Representative (www.house.gov/representatives/) and the U.S. Senators for Massachusetts: Edward Markey (www.markey.senate.gov/contact) and Elizabeth Warren (www.warren.senate.gov)

--by Kate Thurman