Saturday, March 25, 2017

In the news, Monday, March 13, 2017


MAR 12      INDEX      MAR 14

Information from some sites may not be reliable, or may not be vetted.
Some sources may require subscription.


from Asia Times Online

A graft watchdog's claim that politicians embezzled US$173 million from a state scheme may if proven represent Parliament's largest ever skimming scam

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying pledged in 2012 that he would ensure housing would be more affordable but it turns out it was an empty promise. A buyer paid HK$1 billion (US$130 million) for a close to 10,000 square foot house at Mount Nicholson for a record price on a house in December last year.

Burning bright
Trained since 12 to be a diplomat, entrepreneur Mei Xu gave it up and bravely walked a different path. Today she’s at the helm of a US$100 million candle business


from Breitbart

Australia Takes Aim at Guns, Again, After Confiscation Scheme Fails to Disarm Criminals
The much-heralded Australian gun confiscation scheme of the late 1990s failed to disarm criminals to such a degree that Australia is going after guns again, beginning in July of this year. In other words, the gun confiscation scheme Hillary Clinton praised on October 16, 2016, as “worth looking at” for gun policy in America actually created an uneven playing field where law-abiding citizens turned in their guns while criminals retained theirs.


from (& MRC & NewsBusters)
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

Rev. Graham: 'Christianity Honors Women,' Unlike 'Islamic Countries Where Women Have No Rights'
In reference to the honoring of women in many countries on International Women's Day, March 8, evangelical leader Franklin Graham said it was women who stayed with Christ at the Cross and first saw Him resurrected, and added that "Christianity honors women" but this is not evident in some "Islamic countries where women have no rights and are treated as property."

Nets Omit Key Details of the CBO’s Assessment of GOP Health Care Bill

Poll: Majority of Americans Expect Race Relations to Deteriorate Under Trump
A majority of Americans expect race relations to deterioriate under President Trump, a new McClatchy-Marist Poll survey reveals. According to the data, 52 percent of Americans think race relations will get worse, compared to 26 percent who say they will improve, 18 percent who expect little to no change, and 4 percent who are unsure. Republicans (63 percent) are optimistic that race relations will improve under the Trump administration. Just 12 percent of GOP respondents feel otherwise. A whopping 79 percent of Democrats expect race relations to worsen. Only 6 percent of Democrats think race relations will improve. Among independents, 54 percent expect race relations will deteriorate, as opposed to 24 percent who predict the opposite. While the poll data appears gloomy, the percentage of Americans who say race relations have gotten worse is down 7 percent from 2015 -- then observed under the Obama administration.


from Competitive Enterprise Institute

CEI Comments on President Trump's “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch”
President Trump's executive order today requesting reports from each agency on how to streamline the federal government is the right start in terms of recognizing the need for a dramatic downsizing of federal agency power.


from EUobserver

Scotland seeks new independence vote before Brexit
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Monday (13 March) she will start the legal process for a second referendum on independence to be held before the UK leaves the EU. She said Scots, who voted 60 percent in favour of remaining in the EU in the referendum last year, should be given a chance to choose between sticking with the UK after a "hard Brexit", or seeking a different path.

EU and Gazprom closer to amicable deal
The European Commission took a new step on Monday (13 March) towards closing its antitrust case against Russia's Gazprom. Gazprom has committed to removing restrictions on cross-border resales of gas; to guaranteeing market prices in the region; and to not using its market position to impose conditions on gas infrastructure operators.

EU and Nato urge calm in Turkish-Dutch dispute
Nato and the European Commission have called on Turkey and the Netherlands to “de-escalate” their diplomatic conflict, while German chancellor Angela Merkel said her Dutch neighbours had her “full support and solidarity”. Over the weekend, the Dutch government banned Turkey's foreign minister from landing in the Netherlands. The minister aimed to hold a rally to urge Turkish-Dutch citizens to vote Yes in an April referendum, which would give president Erdogan more powers.

Poland vows anti-EU campaign after Tusk fiasco
Poland has vowed to obstruct EU work in retaliation for the re-election of Donald Tusk as president of the Council at last week's summit.


from FEE (Foundation for Economic Education)
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

How Communism Became the Disease It Tried to Cure
This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the communist revolution in Russia. Everything that the Marxists said was the nature of the capitalist system – exploitation of the many by a privileged few; a gross inequality of wealth and opportunity simply due to an artificial arrangement of control over the means of production; a manipulation of reality to make slavery seem as if it meant freedom – became the very nature and essence of Soviet socialism. In the end, the socialist state did not transform human nature; human nature found ways to use the socialist state for its own ends.

Why We're Being Watched
Wikileaks has just published over 8,000 files they say were leaked from the CIA, explaining how the CIA developed the capacity to spy on you through your phone, your computer, and even your television. And Wikileaks’s Julian Assange claims these “Vault 7” documents are just one percent of all the CIA documents they have.


from Forbes

When it seems like people are voting against their interests, I have probably failed to understand their interests. We cannot begin to understand Election 2016 until we acknowledge the power and reach of socialism for white people.


from The Future of Freedom Foundation
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

Once again the United States government is rapidly approaching a fiscal debt ceiling: After March 16, 2017, Uncle Sam will not be legally allowed to borrow any more money to cover its budget deficits, unless Congress votes to raise the debt limit, once again, like it has every time in the past.


from The Guardian (UK)
[Information from this site may be unreliable.]

The death of dialect? Don't believe a word of it
A British Library project preserves words used in different parts of the country. How many of them can you recognise?


from Independent Journal Review

Home Depot Co-Founder Turns Off the Filter: Trump Could Go Down as One of the 'Greatest Presidents Ever’
Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone said Monday that President Donald Trump could go down in history as one of the greatest presidents of all time if he continues his stunning record of “defying expectations.”


from Mises Institute
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

The BBC reports today that Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced she'll seek a new referendum on Scottish independence to be held in late 2018 or early 2019. That would coincide with the expected conclusion of the UK's Brexit negotiations.

We Shouldn't Have to Ask the State's Permission to Work
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic bullet that would simultaneously raise wages and employment while also lowering prices for consumers?

Which US States Are the "Moocher" States?
Since Donald Trump's election, some leftists have been trotting out analyses showing that many states that voted for Trump are also states where federal spending plays a disproportionately large role in the statewide economy. There's more than one way to show which states consume the most federal spending.

Ryancare's Fatal Logical Flaw
The Congressional Budget office today reported that 24mm people would lose health insurance coverage under the Ryancare bill. Mainstream Republicans were not pleased to hear that. One cannot both repeal and keep Obamacare.

By Itself, a Chinese Sell-Off in US Debt Won't Imperil the Dollar
After climbing to $1.315 trillion by July 2011, China’s holdings of US Treasuries have been in a downtrend closing at $1.058 trillion by December last year — a fall of 19.5%. As a percentage of total foreign holdings of US Treasuries, China’s holdings fell from 28.2% in July 2011 to 17.6% by December 2016. The Federal Reserve has a lot more to do with the strength of the dollar than the Chinese state.


from New Statesman
"The leading voice of the British left, since 1913."

Smile for the Auschwitz selfie: why Holocaust memorials have failed
It is time to say that attempts to memorialise the Holocaust have failed and may even be counterproductive. The dead are still dead; anti-Semitism still exists and sometimes thrives. Myths of Jewish power circulate, now with the added insult of “playing the Holocaust card (that you presumably picked up at a Holocaust memorial gift shop)”.

Between twin barbarisms
After six years of war, Syria’s moderate rebels are broken and marginalised. And now, as Bashar al-Assad has wished for so long, al-Qaeda extremists are leading the insurgency.


from Quartz

Most people are secretly threatened by creativity
Creativity is highly prized in Western society—much touted by cultures that claim to value individualism and the entrepreneurial spirit. But scratch beneath the surface, and it turns out that a lot of schools and businesses aren’t actually all that excited about bold new ideas. By and large, we tend to be threatened by creativity—and eager to shut it down. The problem begins with education. We know that teachers say creativity is important. But research shows that many teachers define creativity as a skill that’s mainly associated with the arts—thereby downplaying the essential role that creativity plays in everything from math and science to argumentative writing and sports. Furthermore, teachers routinely label creative students as “disruptive,” treating outside-the-box thinking not as a strength but as a problem to be dealt with.


from Slate
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

Silicon Valley Is Having a Meltdown Because It Can’t Use Uber and Lyft at SXSW
Last May, voters in Austin, Texas, backed their city government’s hard line on background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers. Both companies exited the city immediately, putting regular users of the ride-hailing services in a fix—and leaving more than 10,000 drivers high and dry.


from The Spokesman-Review

Tribes ask judge to stop Dakota Access oil from flowing
Two Native American tribes who are suing to stop the Dakota Access pipeline have asked a judge to head off the imminent flow of oil while they appeal his decision allowing the pipeline’s construction to be completed. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg last week rejected the request of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes to stop construction of the final segment of the pipeline under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota from which the tribes get their water. The pipeline’s developer, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, expects to have the work done and the pipeline filled with oil as early as this week.


from Tribal Tribune (Nespelem, WA)

Tribal members bail out Traveling NDN in cyberspace
This day and age, you don’t need to be “there” to have “been there,” if that makes any sense. I wanted to “be there” for a moment in tribal sports history: the culmination of Shania Graham’s career in the State 1B Girls Basketball Championship. I could not due to the fact that I had committed to a family engagement.


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