How to scare a robot:
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Meet our newest neighbor:
Proxima b is at least 1.3 times the size of Earth. While it’s very close to the star it orbits, a red dwarf, that star is also much smaller and dimmer than our Sun, meaning that the temperature conditions on the planet could allow liquid water to exist on its surface. That puts it in the "habitable zone," or "temperate zone." But one important factor is whether or not it has an atmosphere, which scientists don’t yet know.So you might get a sunburn. But at least we now have somewhere to go.
“Succeeding in the search for the nearest terrestrial planet beyond the solar system has been an experience of a lifetime, and has drawn on the dedication and passion of a number of international researchers,” Guillem Anglada-Escudé, the paper’s lead author and an astronomer at Queen Mary University of London, said in a statement. “We hope these findings inspire future generations to keep looking beyond the stars. The search for life on Proxima b comes next.”
There are distinct differences between Proxima b and Earth. For one, the exoplanet— as planets outside of our solar system are called— orbits its star about every 11 days. It also may orbit in such a way that one side is locked always facing the star, meaning that half the planet is always bright and hot and the other is always dark and cold. And it receives more radiation from the star than Earth does from the Sun.
No safe spaces for them:
In a letter sent to the class of 2020, university officials said one of the defining characteristics of the school was its unwavering commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression. Civility and mutual respect are vital to the campus culture, the letter states, but not at the expense of shielding students from unpopular opinions or ideas.At least someone is standing up to the snowflakes. Not that it's really that hard to do...
“Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own,” the letter states.
The University of Chicago is consistently ranked one of the top universities in the world, and also one of the most selective. Only about 8 percent of the more than 31,000 people who applied to enter the class of 2020 were accepted by the school.
The mainstream media admits it:
Ezra Klein, the Vox writer who as a Washington Post staffer organized a secret society of left-wing reporters dubbed “JournoList” that was shut down after it was exposed in 2010, acknowledged that the press is not giving Trump traditional treatment.The same could be said for Hillary Clinton...
“The media has felt increasingly free to cover Trump as an alien, dangerous, and dishonest phenomenon,” Klein wrote last week.
New York Times’ media critic Jim Rutenberg wrote that journalists who personally oppose Trump had an obligation to “throw out the textbook” when it came to coverage of The Donald.
“If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?” Rutenberg wondered in a front-page article earlier this month.
When it comes to covering Trump, it’s only fair to be unfair, according to The Atlantic.
“All things considered, the press has responded defensibly to the unusual challenges of covering a brazen, habitual liar,” Conor Friedersdorf wrote in a recent column titled, “The Exaggerated Claims of Media Bias Against Donald Trump.”
Hillary goes there:
The ad includes shots of men dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes followed by footage of crowded Trump rallies.Unfortunately it does in hers...
Last month, Breitbart News was read by a record 31 million people.
Hillary Clinton described KKK recruiter Robert Byrd as her “mentor.”
Pastor Mark Burns, who is black, from the Trump camp condemned the tactic:
Hillary Clinton and her campaign went to a disgusting new low today as they released a video tying the Trump Campaign with horrific racial images. This type of rhetoric and repulsive advertising is revolting and completely beyond the pale. I call on Hillary Clinton to disavow this video and her campaign for this sickening act that has no place in our world.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
How do you stop crime? Pay them to leave your stuff alone?
The experiment known as “Advance Peace” is being conducted in Richmond, Calif., and works like this: The 18-month fellowship hires convicted felons to "court" troubled youth -- who so far have avoided arrest due to lack of evidence -- with offers of cash and out-of-town vacations if they mend their ways.Prison can work, too...
If, after six months, a “fellow” in the voluntary program begins to achieve specific goals, they can earn up to $1,000 a month.
That doesn't sit well with victims’ rights activist Lorrain Taylor, whose twin sons were gunned down in the nearby city of Oakland when they were just 22.
"If I were to find out that the guy who murdered my twin sons was getting a thousand dollars for a promise? I mean, how can you trust? ... I mean, if they kill somebody, they will lie," Taylor said, breaking down in tears.
But supporters say the money, which comes from private donations, is like an allowance that many American parents give their children as a reward for hard work -- and argue daily, intensive engagement is the only way to disrupt urban gun violence.
How do you say thank you?
Citigroup, the enormous investment bank, trademarked “THANKYOU” and subsequently sued AT&T, the telecommunications conglomerate, in June. Citigroup claims the way AT&T expresses gratitude to its customers is far too similar to its own, violates the bank’s trademark and constitutes “unlawful conduct,” according to Ars Technica.What's the harm in saying thanks? Ask your lawyer...
U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York Katherine Forrest, who presided over the federal case, determined that she would not restrain AT&T from thanking it customers until the trial occurred. In her ruling, Forrest says she denied Citigroup’s request because its argument “does not suffice to meet its burden on this prong absent a demonstration of irreparable harm.”
Ars Technica acquired Citigroup’s trademark certificates, which lists its proprietary phrases, including “CITI THANKYOU.”
AT&T also trademarked “AT&T THANKS” and filed a counterclaim against Citigroup because the banking corporation was “attempting to monopolize for its own exclusive use the common English phrase ‘thank you.'”
There's nothing wrong with her, honest:
Clinton’s health has been a hot topic in Washington after a series of photos seemed to show the candidate needing help just to climb stairs and after leaked emails from as far back as 2009 revealed Hillary herself telling aides she didn’t feel well. Even liberal medical talk show host Dr. Drew Pinsky recently insisted he is “gravely concerned” about Hillary’s health.Pay no attention to the medical handler with the syringe...
But during his Tuesday broadcast, CNN host Don Lemon and his panel insisted that talk of Hillary’s health was little else but “conspiracy theories” and that the letter issued by her physician is all Americans need to feel assured that she is at the peak of health.
CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a long time Democrat operative who was a key health advisor to Hillary Clinton in the late 1990s and who was approached by Obama to become the next Surgeon General, has been out attacking the doctor’s letter Trump has released saying it is filled with too much “hyperbole” to be believed.
Gupta has essentially indulged his own conspiracy theory that Trump’s letter may be trying to hide the GOP nominee’s medical history from the public.
Yet at the same time, CNN is willing to take Hillary’s doctor letter completely at face value while claiming Trump’s is suspect.
Obamacare's architects may finally be acknowledging reality:
Ironically, the section in question was the first public (if indirect) admission by the Obama administration that the president's promise was less than a "guarantee." As THE WEEKLY STANDARD first reported in July 2013, the website told consumers that they "may be able to keep your current doctor," in contrast to the president's unequivocal statement: "Here is a guarantee that I've made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor."You mean, kind of like the private sector?
The original website contained a section entitled "Can I keep my own doctor?", later revised to "How to keep your doctor."
Just before open enrollment began last year, however, this section was dropped. Now the same link takes users to a section entitled "How to pick a health insurance plan."
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
What do we do with robo-crooks?
In the future, robots will be able to learn from their experiences, potentially leaving them vulnerable to breaking the law.Some would say it's already begun...
If they do decide to become criminals, it will nigh on impossible to decide who to charge for the crimes they commit.
In an upcoming paper set to be published in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law, Amitai Etzioni and Oren Etzioni used the example of driverless cars to demonstrate what could go wrong with “smart instruments” – their term for robots which have the ability to learn.
They wrote: “AI programs may stray considerably from the guidelines their programmers initially gave them. Indeed, smart instruments may counteract their makers’ and users’ instructions.
“A self-driving car may note that other cars exceed the speed limit by a few miles per hour without harm or consequences and increase its own speed accordingly – more and more.”
Google researchers previously warned that a similar phenomenon could see cleaning robots kill their owners if they get in the way, but the threat would be greatest in any machines specifically equipped with lethal – or life-saving – capabilities.
The private sector responds as predicted:
Due to Obamacare, about 14 percent of manufacturers and 18 percent of service firms indicated that more employees are now being covered by health insurance; 2 percent of manufacturers and 8 percent of service firms said that fewer employees are now being covered.Give them time...
When asked if they were making specific changes to certain fundamental business measures, owing to effects of the Obamacare, “roughly 17 percent of service sector firms and 21 percent of manufacturers said they were reducing the number of workers in response to” Obamacare. The vast majority of respondents in both surveys said they were not changing the proportion of part-time workers that are ineligible for Obamacare.
Both manufacturing and service firms said wage and salary compensation and other benefits were not being affected by Obamacare. But “slightly less than a third of manufacturers and 21 percent of service sector panelists said they were raising the prices they charge to customers.”
Fairness is a dirty word, according to a college professor:
In the column, titled “Balanced Presentation A Dishonest Exercise In Presidential Race,” Iannello admits that, “as a liberal, [she has] no problem extolling the virtues of Democrats.”Just don't expect real balance...
To prove her fairness, Iannello notes that she has assigned readings of moderate Republicans and has even offered praise for Ronald Reagan. But Trump is another story, she claimed.
“His harsh and distasteful commentary regarding religious and ethnic groups, as well as women, only serves as a lightning rod for promoting further hate,” Iannello wrote. “He displays neither a record of public service nor an understanding of the word statesmanship. In the history of our country, it is hard to recall anyone less prepared to take office.”
When asked by The College Fix if her stance would be fair to students who might not share her politics, Iannello said it would.
“I can assure you that all students will have a voice in my classes,” she told the site.
After filing a Freedom of Information request with the National Archives, Martha Murphy, the archives' public liaison, reported that she directed a senior archivist to conduct a more thorough review of the relevant FBI files, including those that had not been previously made public in response to FOIA requests.They know nothing of these records of which you speak...
'He examined all eight boxes but found no interviews by any investigator that detail either a meeting between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster or the effects of a meeting between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster on Vince Foster's state of mind,' Murphy reported in an email.
'We did not limit ourselves to interviews by the two individuals [FBI agents] you mention.'
While Murphy said the archives searched for 'the records that would be responsive to your request' and concluded that they could not be found, when asked for comment, John Valceanu, the archives' director of communications and marketing, said, 'We do not agree with your conclusion that the records you requested are missing from the National Archives simply because we were unable to locate any responsive records in response to your request.'
Silly Europeans, borders are for warmongers, or something:
Speaking at the Alpbach Media Academy this morning, Mr Juncker said: 'Borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians.'You don't need that sovereignty...
The contentious remarks from the Brussels chief are the polar opposite of moves by elected leaders of EU member states who have tighten their borders over recent months after more than a million entered the bloc from Syria in less than a year.
Mr Juncker also said a stronger EU was the best way of beating the rising trend of nationalism cross Europe.
In another extraordinary remark, he appeared to warn of war on the continent if the EU disintegrates as he echoed the warning from the former French president Francois Mitterrand, who said nationalism added to nationalism would end in war.
'This is still true so we have to fight against nationalism,' Mr Juncker said.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Is this really the era of Democratic conservatism?
Democrats have become the more conservative party because their voters are more optimistic about America’s long-term trajectory. They are more likely to believe that America is headed in the right direction and thus doesn’t require radical upheaval. A new Pew Research Center poll finds that 81 percent of Trump supporters say life in America is worse “for people like you” than it was 50 years ago. Only 19 percent of Clinton supporters agree. More than two-thirds of Trump supporters say the next generation will be worse off. Among Clinton supporters, it’s less than one-third.As long as they can get more "free stuff," I suppose...
African Americans and Latinos are particularly optimistic. The very demographic and cultural trends that make Republicans pessimistic about America’s long-term course—immigration, female empowerment, LGBT rights, growing secularism—make Democrats optimistic. Democrats feel less of a need to turn American politics upside down because they represent, in Ron Brownstein’s phrase, the “coalition of the ascendant.”
What’s odd about this is that while Democrats are more optimistic than Republicans, they’re also poorer. As Nate Silver has noted, the average Trump primary voter boasted a household income $11,000 higher than the average Clinton and Bernie Sanders voter. In states with large non-white populations, the gap was even greater. In Florida, the income gap between Trump and Clinton voters was $19,000. In South Carolina, it was $33,000.
By historical standards, this is odd. Conservative parties—parties that exude a greater comfort with the political, cultural, and economic status quo—generally represent the affluent. Democrats, by contrast, have become the more conservative party by representing less affluent constituencies––especially African Americans, Latinos, and the young—who are nonetheless optimistic about the future.
When you've lost Arianna Huffington:
The left-wing outlet’s front page banner linked to a New York Times article, which highlights, among other things, that Bill and Hillary Clinton’s billion dollar nonprofit has “accepted tens of millions of dollars from countries that the State Department — before, during and after Mrs. Clinton’s time as secretary — criticized for their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues.”They were for the Foundation before they were against it...
The Huffington Post is just the latest outlet to acknowledge that the explosive research, found first in Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer’s New York Times bestselling book Clinton Cash, has inspired a massive movement of journalists and political figures — on the left, right, and center — calling on the Clintons to dismantle their problematic nonprofit.
They're not even pretending anymore:
The largest broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — and major newspapers like The New York Times and Washington Post have jettisoned all pretense of fair play. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent.Bias is their business...
Indeed, no foreign enemy, no terror group, no native criminal gang, suffers the daily beating that Trump does. The mad mullahs of Iran, who call America the Great Satan and vow to wipe Israel off the map, are treated gently by comparison.
By torching its remaining credibility in service of Clinton, the mainstream media’s reputations will likely never recover, nor will the standards. No future producer, editor, reporter or anchor can be expected to meet a test of fairness when that standard has been trashed in such willful and blatant fashion.
It's never too early:
Her campaign’s to-do list includes assembling a Cabinet that has women in roughly equal numbers to men and that otherwise reflects American diversity, and lobbying has intensified for those and scores of other jobs that Clinton would fill in her administration.That's assuming she'd be healthy enough to do so...
Some Clinton boosters remain concerned that, with an election focused so heavily on Trump’s deficiencies, she could enter the White House without a clear mandate. But Clinton’s team is hopeful that a trouncing of her Republican opponent in November could soften the ground for a robust set of proposals that could be implemented both with and without congressional action.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
In defense of trolling on campus:
This is the epicenter of the feelings-focused, danger-phobic, coddling culture described by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff in their viral Atlantic essay. This is where the disease starts, adopts its most virulent form, and then spreads itself out, diluted, to the rest of society. This is the place where the doctrine of political correctness is freshest, and also where its adherents are at their most fragile. This, more than anywhere else, is where we need to see frog memes.The best way to attack the snowflake culture is to cause it to have a meltdown...
So trolls, my message to you today is: once the election is over, get off your laptops and head down to your local campus. Some of you are probably students already, skiving off your assignments by browsing 4chan. Use your creativity — don’t trigger people a million miles away. Trigger people right where you are, and find other people who want to do the same.
A Virginia mayor shows just how much quality there is in local education:
The grammar of the letter is so atrocious that at times it’s difficult to deduce what Myers actually wants to say. Some of the most baffling lines include:"Me no pay, you all dumb!"
“Our economic and financial development is in crisis and until this Council set aside the foolishness of one and Facebook cronies, we will not be able to move forward.”
“No one Council member does it alone as always regurgitated
I will as the representative of Ward 5 and as Mayor duly to my right hand, serve the Public without blemish and from scare tactics from a few racists and Republicansupporters.”
“Vote your conscious not your election. “
“Please be advised and understanding of the significant pressures we as Council Members are being adhered too, as well as being bullied and forced to make unlike leadership decisions.”
At the end of the letter, Myers declares in all caps “I AM PETERSBURG.”
Since the letter was published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Myers has refused to back down from the letter, or its oddball grammar.
“As a staunch member of the Democratic Party … I respect all people, however, I stand by the verbiage I submitted to Council,” he said Thursday, according to local WWBT News.
The same day, Petersburg had $390,000 in firefighting equipment repossessed because the city hadn’t paid for it, even though the city received a special grant from the federal government to purchase it.
In North Korea, world ends you:
Exemplifying the type of teaching taking place within the secretive state, Yong Ran said it was the USA’s nuclear weapons which would ultimately lead to all-out war and the country's downfall.Dear Leader's apocalypse doesn't seem to have the appeal he wanted...
He said: “The nuclear weapons were the foremost strength that helped the U.S. lord it over the world for a long time, stressing that now the nuclear weapons are no longer a monopoly of the US.
“It will clearly realise before long what is precipitating its doom. This is the absolute fate the US, the empire of evil, has to face.”
The chilling prediction highlights how deeply propaganda is embedded within North Korean society, with children, students and adults made to attend daily indoctrination classes.
Yong Ran’s editorial in the Pyongyang-based newspaper gives a rare glimpse at the exact content of education under Kim Jong-un’s.
However, South Korean spies and observers have reported a growing break-down of education in the country - and a subsequent growing anger at their crackpot leader’s leadership.
Once the face of the Democratic establishment, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is facing the wrath of the losing side:
The suit includes six claims: fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive conduct, monetary restitution for donors of Sanders, the DNC breaking its own fiduciary duties, and negligence for failing to protect sensitive donor information that was hacked. Beck & Lee noted the lawsuit was a way to give a voice to Sanders supporters who were silenced by the rigging of the primaries for Clinton. Attorneys Jared Beck, a Harvard Law graduate, and Elizabeth Beck, a Yale Law School graduate, have previously filed successful lawsuits against Yelp, Unilever, Korea Airlines, and fraudulent real estate investors.Whether or not there's any real merit to this, it's yet another reminder of how the establishment was put on notice this year, coronation or no coronation.
The July WikiLeaks release provided further evidence that the DNC actively worked against Sanders, yet the Vermont senator’s supporters have received no recompense. The damage control used to divert from the content of these emails portrayed criticism of Clinton as a Russian conspiracy. While the mainstream media has devolved into an apparatus to funnel messaging and talking points directly from the DNC and Clinton campaign, the litigation for this class action lawsuit has been moving forward.
Friday, August 19, 2016
When in doubt, blame it on the black man:
“Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat,” Conason writes in the book, according to the NYT.It's always nice to have a scapegoat for your own scandal...
“Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer.”
“Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department,” Mr. Powell “thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier — to keep her personal account and use it for most messages,” the extract continued.
The NYT’s report could not be independently verified by USA TODAY and Clinton's representatives could not immediately be reached. FBI Director James Comey recommended in July that that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton.
Powell's office said in a statement carried by Reuters late Thursday that he could not remember the dinner conversation, but "did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department.”
While he continues his extended vacay, President Obama sends the folks in Louisiana a reminder:
The guidance’s frameworks “highlight the importance of complying with nondiscrimination requirements of civil rights statutes, addressing the needs of the whole community, and ensuring equal opportunity to access recovery efforts.”The President desperately wants to avoid his real water trap...
Needless to say, some Louisiana residents were offended, including the American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, who took umbrage at receiving an anti-discrimination lecture from Washington, D.C., as locals struggle to rescue, house and feed their neighbors.
“[E]verywhere you look you can find black folks and white folks loving on each other, helping each other through this crisis,” Mr. Dreher said in a Thursday post.
He referred to the guidance as a “long bureaucratic memo” issued by the “Department of Justice and many other agencies of the executive branch overseen by He Who Cannot Be Troubled to Leave Martha’s Vineyard.”
What Hillary doesn't understand about the death tax:
The Tax Foundation found that although the U.S. has one of the highest death taxes, it only makes up less than one percent of the federal revenue. Furthermore, 99.9 percent of estates don’t pay a federal estate tax and the most wealthy usually have tax advisors that help them escape paying the tax, sometimes by creating a trust.Instead, she wants to pass the buck...
“In 2014, the estate tax raised $19.3 billion according to the OMB, or 0.6 percent of total federal revenue of over $3 trillion,” reports the Tax Foundation. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that the “estate tax will generate about $246 billion over 2016-2025 under current law, according to CBO.”
“We don’t just confiscate peoples’ wealth and the death tax, as high as Hillary wants it, is bordering on confiscation,” Moore charged.
“The death tax is the most un-American of all taxes because you pay your whole lifetime,” he argued. “You pay your taxes your whole life and then Hillary wants to take as much as half of that away from you when you die. That’s just contrary to the American dream. The American dream is being able to pass your assets to your kids… she doesn’t get that.”
He's a man of the people, or not:
Sanders and his campaign asked the Federal Election Commission for two 45-day extensions, in mid-May and late June, on filing the personal finance disclosures candidates are usually required to produce, and then decided not to file at all once he dropped out of the race and endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Jane Sanders confirmed Thursday.Transparency for thee, not for me...
“I guess our campaign just said ‘why bother’,” said the wife of the Vermont independent senator who challenged Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
FEC officials confirmed Sanders was excused from filing after dropping out of the race.
Jane Sanders said the disclosure would have been very similar to personal finance reports Sanders has filed annually as a U.S. senator. “There’s no new information,” she said.
Sanders, a champion of transparency in other realms, came under some criticism Thursday for not applying the same principle to himself.
Welcome to Canada, where bad taste can cost you:
His joke was never televised, but after he talked about the bit in an interview, Gabriel’s parents found out and dragged the comedian to the human rights tribunal last month. He fought the fine, but lost in court.First, they came for the comedians...
Ward told Spiked that he plans to appeal the decision, and if that fails, will try to bring the case to the Supreme Court. “If I lose that I’ll just move to Syria or Saudi Arabia, or some other country that respects free speech as much as Canada does,” he said.
Don't worry, he's paying attention-sort of:
“The President directed Administrator Fugate to utilize all resources available to assist in the response and recovery and asked to be regularly briefed on the ongoing response,” The White House said in a statement.Hitting the links while Louisiana sinks...
But instead of heading down to the damaged areas in Louisiana, Obama plans to remain on Martha’s Vineyard where he is scheduled to be until Sunday.
In his place, Obama decided to send Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and went out to play another round of golf later in the day, the Washington Times reported.
It was his eighth round of golf since he arrived at the island August 6.
Former President Bill Clinton informed foundation staffers of the decision Thursday during a meeting where he also announced that the Clinton Global Initiative will hold its final meeting in September, regardless of the election’s outcome in the fall, according to anonymous participants who spoke to The Associated Press.Bill must be hoping she loses...
If his wife becomes president in January, Bill Clinton said the family foundation will only accept donations from U.S. citizens and independent charities.
The foundation will continue its work, the former commander in chief said, but will be refocusing its efforts during a process that could take more than a year to complete.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Bowe Bergdahl, gangster?
“He mentioned his plan would be to go through Pakistan and into India and join the Russian mob,” then-Pfc. Shane Cross, a fellow soldier of Bergdahl’s, told Army investigators in an affidavit. “Prior to the deployment he had claimed to speak Russian, that he had learned while working on a fishing boat that traveled to Europe. He also mentioned that he wouldn’t want any tattoos, because they would be identifiable marks on his body.”It was nothing personal...
Cross did not take Bergdahl’s mention of joining the mob seriously.
And then all of a sudden, Bergdahl disappeared on June 30, 2009, at about midnight. He had spilled his plan to Cross the morning before, San Antonio Express-News reports.
The Taliban captured him in mere hours and held him as a prisoner for five years before he was returned home to the U.S. in 2014 after a prisoner swap.
Prosecutors drew on the mob statement, as well as his attempt to join the French Foreign Legion and his time onboard a fishing boat in Alaska, to establish that his departure from his unit in eastern Afghanistan was intentional based on a psychological disposition towards adventure.
It was ransom after all:
The mechanics of the exchange all but confirm accusations that the $400 million in cash was a ransom payment. Saeed Abedini, a former Iranian hostage told The Wall Street Journal, Iranian intelligence officials told him his plane could not take off until the movements of a second plane were confirmed. The second plane is like the U.S. cargo plane carrying $400 million in cash.The cash helped, too...
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps General Reza Naghdi further confirmed the ransom story in January, telling Iranian state media “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies.”
Obama administration officials dispute the ransom narrative, claiming the payment was part of a series of scheduled payments and happened to coincide with the hostage release. At the time, President Obama credited “strong American diplomacy,” and touted his deal with Iran for making the negotiations possible.
Federal bathrooms will now be open to everyone:
BuzzFeed reports it obtained a draft notice of the rule that was sent to federal agencies. According to the report:It's hard for a transgender Fed...
In addition to the estimated 1 million federal civilian workers employed in those spaces, GSA spokesperson Ashley Nash-Hahn told BuzzFeed News, the rule will cover anyone who enters the facilities — from people visiting courthouses to those stopping in at Social Security offices.
“This includes all kinds of Americans,” Nash-Hahn said. “We wanted to make clear that a person can use facilities that match their gender identity, and we think that’s a good thing.”
Chai Feldblum, a progressive member of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), said the rule is of “great significance,” adding, “This type of requirement can change the default for what life is like for those federal employees and people who enter federal buildings.”
Gawker is dead:
The site, which developed a toxic reputation for gratuitous violations of privacy and wacky left-wing politics will be no more.What are you gonna do, when Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan run wild on you?
In the post made by Gawker reporter J.K. Trotter, they announced the beginning of Univision’s plans, after the company made a winning bid for Gawker Media earlier this week.
“After nearly fourteen years of operation, Gawker.com will be shutting down next week” announced Trotter in the post.
Gawker, along with its founder Nick Denton, was forced into bankruptcy after it was sued by former wrestler Hulk Hogan for the release of his sex tape in 2012. The lawsuit was funded by Peter Thiel, the billionaire PayPal founder who Gawker once outed as gay.
Obama golfs while Louisiana drowns:
“It’s time for President Barack Obama to visit the most anguished state in the union,” the Baton Rouge Advocate wrote in an editorial.At least he actually went...
“Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected,” the editorial continued.
Obama was reportedly briefed on the emergency situation in Louisiana, but then immediately went back to golfing, according to The Washington Times.
The editorial noted that during Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the New Orleans area and surrounding parishes, President George W. Bush was lambasted by pundits and the national press for simply taking a “fly-over” of the flooded areas.
Obama was one of those critics, blasting Bush during a 2008 speech at Tulane University, as Breitbart News reported.
“We can talk about what happened for a few days in 2005 and we should,” Obama said. “We can talk about levees that could not hold … about a president who only saw the people from the window of an airplane instead of down here on the ground, trying to provide comfort and aid.”