Author Archives: Kestrel

Voter fraud? Show me where it’s happening.

In the interest of helping out the editorial writers and pundits of media outlets who don’t think voter fraud occurs, I wanted to note just a few recent cases (and readers interested in seeing almost 200 more such cases can do so here.):

In McAllen, Texas, two campaign workers (known as politiqueras in local parlance) who bribed voters with cocaine, beer, cigarettes and cash during a 2012 school board election have been sentenced separately to serve eight and four months in prison, respectively. U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane called this election fraud “terrible” and said that “our country requires that our voting process be clear and free of fraud for democracy to work … it’s dangerous for this to occur without consequence.” …

A real war on women.

Via the Washington Post, an interview with a U.N. official who just toured refugee camps in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan: After attacking a village, IS splits women from men and executes boys and men aged 14 and over. The women and mothers are separated; girls are stripped naked, tested for virginity and examined for breast size and prettiness. The youngest, and those considered the prettiest virgins fetch higher prices and are sent to Raqqa, the IS stronghold.

There is a hierarchy: sheikhs get first choice, then emirs, then fighters. They often take three or four girls each and keep them for a month or so, until they grow tired of a girl, when she goes back to market. At slave auctions, buyers haggle fiercely, driving down prices by disparaging girls as flat-chested or unattractive.

This might be different if they all had jobs.

Protest Groups Announce Rallies Against German G7 Summit

A problem if you are into honey.

A tiny single-celled parasite may have a greater-than expected impact on honey bee colonies, which have been undergoing mysterious declines worldwide for the past decade, researchers have discovered. Since 2006, beekeepers in North America and Europe have lost about one-third of their managed bee colonies each year due to “colony collapse disorder.” While the exact cause is unknown, scientists have speculated that pesticides, pathogens, mites and certain beekeeping practices have all contributed to this decline.

This is why you will find no family pictures on this web site.

The average parent is like a loving but voracious paparazzi, uploading an eyeball-popping 973 photos of their child on social media by the time he or she reaches the age of 5.

That’s the news coming out of online safety site The Parent Zone, which did some research on the subject of children and privacy on behalf of safety campaign knowthenet.

To all the oversharing parents out there, we have to point out, this is not necessarily safe behaviour.

After all, social media has become a bastion of doxing, clickjacking and phishing – a venue that the IC3 has warned is increasingly crawling with cyber vipers.

Unfortunately, many parents are apparently somewhat oblivious to the privacy and security implications of what they’re doing to their kids.

In fact, the study found that 17% of parents have never checked their Facebook privacy settings at all, while almost half (46%) have only checked once or twice, despite Facebook being the number one spot for sharing kid pics.

One of the creepier things about Europe. Ideas and attitudes that are 70 years old.

The Israeli government is fuming over a new Dutch textbook which calls Menachem Begin a terrorist and accuses Israeli soldiers of murdering Arab civilians during its war of independence. The Israeli Embassy in the Netherlands capital of The Hague issued a formal complaint to the Dutch government about it on Tuesday.

This is the sort of thing that people have come to expect from textbooks written by the Palestinian Authority and used in Gaza. Perhaps the people who compiled the textbook merely translated an Arab one.

Supply and demand in the work force.

American workers deserve a shot at these jobs. Over the last 20 years, we have brought into this country, legally and illegally, 35 million mostly unskilled workers. The result over that same period of time? Workers’ wages have flat-lined. Hillary Clinton and big business, they have called for a massive influx of unskilled labor. Business does it because they want to control costs. Hillary does it because she wants votes. Their priorities are profits and power. My priority is you, the American worker.

Proving, once again, it’s about the money.

Los Angeles labor unions demand exemption from minimum wage

Just in case you want to know …

Maybe somebody will file for me next spring.

Hackers compromise 100,000 IRS tax accounts with pre-stolen data

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US government agency tasked with collecting American citizens’ tax dollars, has been targeted by criminals with access to the personal information of around 100,000 taxpayers.

According to a statement on the agency’s website, the attackers used information obtained from third party sites to gain unauthorised access to taxpayer’s accounts:

These third parties gained sufficient information from an outside source before trying to access the IRS site, which allowed them to clear a multi-step authentication process, including several personal verification questions that typically are only known by the

Extreme Free Speech.

Anti-Islamic State cartoon competition set to take place in Tehran

Iran has found new channels in which to express its deep contempt toward the Islamic State and its activity. This week, an anti-Islamic State cartoon competition was launched in Tehran. Artists from around the world are invited to put their criticism of IS on paper and compete for the best cartoon title.

These are the kinds of things that happen when you do nothing.

Chained to one another and marched through the desert: Shocking video shows hundreds of civilians fleeing ISIS rounded up and arrested in Iraq

I really doubt that this administration even knows soccer exists.

DOJ charges FIFA officials, executives in corruption probe

This one sounds a little creepy.

Elizabeth Warren Bought Foreclosed Homes to Make a Quick Profit

The Clintons’ Mysterious, Secret Shell Corporation

The newly released financial files on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s growing fortune omit a company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president has legally used to provide consulting and other services, but which demonstrates the complexity of the family’s finances.

Because the company, WJC, LLC, has no financial assets, Hillary Clinton’s campaign was not obligated to report its existence in her recent financial disclosure report, officials with Bill Clinton’s private office and the Clinton campaign said. They were responding to questions by The Associated Press, which reviewed corporate documents.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide private details of the former president’s finances on the record, said the entity was a “pass-through” company designed to channel payments to the former president.

Airbnb control in Santa Monica.

The People vs. Santa Monica: Inside the Government’s Push to Regulate Short-Term Rental Industry

They’ll be back.

After feeling the public outrage coupled with Republican pressure on the commission, Democratic members of the Federal Election Commission assured there was no intent to propose internet regulations for political content.

Last year, Chairwoman Ann Ravel, a Democrat, suggested a “re-examination” of the agency’s approach political content on the Internet was “long overdue.” This comment sparked protest from both ends of the spectrum, Fox News details.

In her comments this week, Ravel promised there would be “no such regulation” to force creators of political content on Youtube to disclose spending like television and radio.

However, Rave’s comments belied the stance she took previously, when she had criticized Republican members for “turning a blind eye” to the influence of the Internet within politics regarding a recent case before the commission.

And you have to get ready to pay.

Washington is ready to spend

Another good reason for charter schools.

GA Mom Arrested, Shackled for Son’s Unexcused School Absences

Working just as planned.

When Family-Friendly Policies Backfire

In Chile, a law requires employers to provide working mothers with child care. One result? Women are paid less.

In Spain, a policy to give parents of young children the right to work part-time has led to a decline in full-time, stable jobs available to all women — even those who are not mothers.

Elsewhere in Europe, generous maternity leaves have meant that women are much less likely than men to become managers or achieve other high-powered positions at work.

Family-friendly policies can help parents balance jobs and responsibilities at home, and go a long way toward making it possible for women with children to remain in the work force. But these policies often have unintended consequences.

Passing the money back and fourth provides much more opportunity for graft.

Criminal Charges Likely for GM. Hey, Can We Get Our $11.2 Billion Back?

You can’t fool ‘the market’.

So now, many of the same groups that agitated for Obamacare are agitating for new government spending or tighter controls on the insurance industry and businesses to “solve” the problem. But perhaps the first question to ask is: How did those deductibles get so high in the first place?

The answer is Obamacare.

Obamacare’s upward pressure on deductibles started in the law’s first year. By the fall of 2010, six months after President Obama signed the bill into law, Obamacare dictated that insurers could no longer impose lifetime caps on payments, could not deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and had to insure adults up to the age of 26 on their parents’ policies.

Those provisions raised the insurers’ costs, and since then some additional cost-increasing Obamacare provisions have become law. Sure enough, deductibles began to increase significantly. The pro-Obamacare group Commonwealth Fund measured adults for whom the insurance deductible represents five percent or more of annual income. In 2003 and 2005, Commonwealth Fund found, three percent of adults were in that category. In 2010, the figure doubled, to six percent. In 2012, it rose to eight percent. In 2014, it rose to 11 percent.

Sorry about the late bllogging.

Cheesy …

A Washington state senator has survived a campaign by Western Washington University students who demanded their school revoke his master’s degree because he’s not radical enough on global warming.

Doug Ericksen, a Republican and chair of Washington’s Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee, has blocked efforts to force businesses and residents to go green, but he supports voluntary compliance. He opposes mandated cap-and-trade programs and low-carbon fuel standards.

But the effort to yank Ericksen’s degree — he earned his MA in political science and environmental policy at WWU — met with a stiff rebuke last week from the university’s president.

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