Author Archives: R.D. Walker

Security Chief: Islamist threat in Germany growing

It turns out that if you invite a thousands of Islamists into your neighborhood your neighborhood will end up with Islamism.

Germany’s domestic security chief warned Sunday that the country’s radical Islamist scene is not only growing, but becoming more decentralised, posing greater challenges to surveillance operations.

In an interview with national news agency DPA, Hans-Georg Maassen also defended security officials under fire after it emerged that Berlin truck attack suspect Anis Amri had slipped through their net, saying they had done everything they could.

Overall, the number of Salafists — or fundamentalist Sunni Muslims — in Germany has risen to more than 9,700, sharply up from 3,800 people in 2011, said Maassen.

“It’s of great concern to us that this scene is not only growing, but it is also very diversified. There is not just one, two, three or four people who have a say,” he warned.

More here.

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Reince Priebus: Trump accepts Russians hacked DNC

Frankly, that the Russians hacked the servers seemed credible to me from the start. I was a little taken aback that conservatives were so willing to dismiss it as a ridiculous idea. It was never ridiculous and always a very believable contention. It is sad to see people so willing to swallow and regurgitate whatever propaganda their team releases.

In any case, it would appear that the Trump Administration is coming around to the reality that Russians will be Russians.

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Business Idea: Marxist, Vegan Restaraunt

It would be collectivist and feature a vegan, vegetarian and raw food menu. It would have no bosses or managers, all employees will get a “living wage” and it will have a strong union. Menus and hours of operation would be decided by worker voting.

What? It has been tried? Where? Grand Rapids, Michigan? Really? Well. How did it turn out?

A “Marxist” “collectivist” “worker-run” restaurant in Grand Rapids, Michigan, closed its doors this week after customers complained that they could no longer tolerate the bizarre hours, high prices and long lines.

People frequently noted on the restaurant’s Facebook page that they waited more than 40 minutes for a sandwich—and that’s when the diner was even open. Because the employees set the shop’s hours by group decision, the restaurant opened and closed at random times, leaving potential sandwich buyers totally confused.

Well damn. Who could have guessed it wouldn’t work?

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Climate Change Dramatics

Eric Holthaus is very, very upset and has vented his anger on Twitter. I have compiled the Tweet storm for your convenience…

I’m starting my 11th year working on climate change, including the last 4 in daily journalism. Today I went to see a counselor about it. 1/

I’m saying this b/c I know many ppl feel deep despair about climate, especially post-election. I struggle every day. You are not alone. 2/

There are days where I literally can’t work. I’ll read a story & shut down for rest of the day. Not much helps besides exercise & time. 3/

The counselor said: “Do what you can”, which I think is simple & powerful advice. I’m going to start working a lot more on mindfulness. 4/

Despair is natural when there’s objective evidence of a shared existential problem we’re not addressing adequately. You feel alone. 5/

You feel powerless. You feel like nothing matters. Your relationships suffer. You feel guilty for “not doing more” 6/

But what the hell am I supposed to do? Write another blog post? Our secretary of state is the fucking Exxon CEO. 7/

Last year we lost a huge chunk of the Great Barrier Reef. We are literally ending existence of animals that were here for millions of yrs 8/

We don’t deserve this planet. There are (many) days when I think it would be better off without us. 9/

How am I supposed to do my job—literally to chronicle planetary suicide—w/o experiencing deep existential despair myself? Impossible 10/

To me, our emotional/psychological response is *the* story on climate change. It defines how (and if) we will solve the problem. 11/

The number one comment I get is “we’re fucked”. That’s not totally true. In order to “save the planet” we have to confront this despair. 12/

Climate despair, on its own, isn’t bad. It’s a sign you care. It’s just hard to function when you feel weight of the world crashing down.13/

The more I talk about my despair, the more I realize other ppl feel same thing. That makes me hopeful—we are more powerful than we think.14/

I don’t have an answer for where to go from here. That’s why I’m in counseling. But part of the answer is: don’t be afraid to talk. 15/15

It is good that he is getting counseling. It is clear that he needs it.

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How Trump got his party to love Russia

Interesting analysis…

For decades, anti-communism united conservatives behind the Republican Party. An otherwise disparate collection of national security hawks, free-market enthusiasts and social traditionalists rallied to the GOP, resolutely committed to checking Soviet influence around the world. All of these constituencies had reason to despise godless, revolution-exporting Bolsheviks. Although Russia no longer subscribes to Marxist-Leninist doctrine, it still presents a threat to the United States, its allies and the liberal world order. Witness its aggression against Ukraine, its intervention in Syria and its support for extremists across Europe.

In Donald Trump, the GOP nominated the most pro-Russian U.S. presidential candidate since Henry Wallace, whose 1948 bid on the Progressive Party ticket was largely run by communists. Throughout last year’s campaign, Trump lavished praise on Russian President (and career KGB agent) Vladimir Putin, attacked NATO and encouraged the Kremlin to hack his Democratic opponent’s emails. He even proposed recognizing Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula — the first violent European land grab since World War II — a move that would put the United States in the company of Cuba and North Korea. Since the election, he has openly contradicted the intelligence community’s finding that Moscow tampered in our democracy, calling such claims a “political witch-hunt.”

Read it all.

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LinkedIn blocked in Russia

No surprisingly, it is also blocked in China. Of course almost everything is blocked in China.

Smartphone users in Russia can no longer download the LinkedIn app on iPhone or Android devices, following a similar move in China to block The New York Times app on iPhones.

The demand by Russian authorities to remove LinkedIn in Apple and Google app stores comes weeks after a court blocked the professional networking service for flouting local laws that require internet firms to store data on Russian citizens within the nation’s borders.

The action is the equivalent of a nation banning “Catcher in The Rye” and then forcing booksellers to remove the title from their shelves. It puts Apple and Google in a difficult position. The companies are strong proponents of open internet policies and free speech but are now being asked to be agents for governments that censor its citizens.

When LinkedIn’s website was blocked, the apps stopped functioning properly. Removing them from the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store may not have cut off access to content, but it sent a signal that countries can push the tech giants to remove the apps.

More here.

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A Message to Entertainers: Stop Sucking

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And now a message from the President-Elect

The President-Elect would like you to be aware that the ratings for the new season of Celebrity Apprentice are lower than when he was hosting.

That is your Trump Tweet UpdateTM for Friday. See you next time!

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Obama running out of time to sow chaos…

But he is making the most of the time he has left.

President Obama is planning to transfer at least 18 more Guantanamo Bay detainees within days after announcing that four prisoners are being sent to Saudi Arabia, DailyMail.com has learned.

The group being released will be drawn from those held at Guantanamo – who include an accused senior al Qaeda bomb-maker, the terror group’s top financial manager, and two intended 9/11 hijackers, who have all been held in the Cuba-based U.S. detention facility for more than a decade.

According to a military source briefed on the process, as total of 22 detainees are being prepared for transfer out of the camp, also known as Gitmo, before January 20.

On Thursday afternoon, the Pentagon announced the ‘transfer’ of four detainees to Saudi Arabia – Yemenis Salem Ahmed Hadi, Mohammed

A source told DailyMail.com there will be three more sets of transfers before Obama leaves office on January 20.

Although the White House has not specified which inmates will be transferred next – or which foreign countries have agreed to accept them – it has indicated that this will be a priority for Obama in his final days in office.

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Trump asks Congress to fund wall on Mexican border

Says Mexico will pay the US back later.

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has signaled to congressional Republican leaders that his preference is to fund the border wall through the appropriations process as soon as April, according to House Republican officials.

The move would break a key campaign promise when Trump repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for the construction of the wall along the border, though in October, Trump suggested for the first time that Mexico would reimburse the US for the cost of the wall.

Trump defended that proposal Friday morning in a tweet, saying the move to use congressional appropriations was because of speed.

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GOP First Order of Business: A budget that never balances

Yep, $9.7 trillion of new debt. Are Republicans even remotely conservative anymore? It is Obama redux.

Watch at least the first three minutes.

But “we” won right? We got Trump and both houses of Congress and a budget that is just like Obama and Democrats offered in 2008.

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Paul Ryan: Congress will not raise import tariffs

The Speaker of the House puts forth a policy at odds with that proposed by Trump.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, in a break from President-elect Donald Trump, said Wednesday that Congress is not going to increase taxes on imports and exports through tariffs.

“We’re not going to be raising tariffs,” Ryan said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

Trump has called for a “big border tax” on companies that leave the United States but continue to sell their goods here.

In a December 4 tweet, Trump referenced his plan for “a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35%” for companies that leaves the United States or builds a new factory or plant overseas. The president-elect’s team has reportedly been mulling a 5 percent to 10 percent tariff.

Ryan said “the secret” to getting businesses to stay in the country is to level the playing field on taxes, lowering taxes for businesses, not increasing them.

“The speaker is against tariffs,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.

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New POTUS cites Assange as a proof source…

… and calls into question the reliability of the US intelligence community…

…all while defending the Russians.

We do live in interesting times, don’t we?

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National Geographic cover is child abuse

The American College of Pediatricians has called National Geographic’s decision to place a so-called “transgendered” child on its cover a form of child abuse.

Michelle Cretella, MD, president of the American College of Pediatricians, told LifeSiteNews that National Geographic is “promoting a political agenda over science and the wellbeing of innocent children” by featuring a young transgender child.

“’Affirming’ so called transgender children means sterilizing them as young as 11years old,” said Dr. Cretella. “Puberty blockers plus cross-sex hormones causes permanent sterility. And biological girls who ‘transition’ to male by taking testosterone may have a double mastectomy at age 16. The life time use of cross-sex hormones also puts these children at risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancers and more.”

Cretella believes it is both unethical and harmful for parents to make such decisions regarding their children’s gender because they will most likely grow out of their gender dysphoria. “When a child under the age of 12 thinks they are the opposite sex and is allowed to naturally pass through puberty, 75%-95% of the time that child will accept his or her biological sex by the late teen years.”

Though National Geographic has covered the transgender before, this is by far it’s most high-profile treatment of the issue to date.

Cretella argues that public support of “transgenderism” in children is tantamount to “child abuse.” “When academic, medical and other public institutions propagate the lifetime use of toxic hormones and the surgical removal of healthy body parts as healthcare for children they are engaged in institutionalized child abuse,” she said.

More here.

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Do you really hate yourself?

You might consider this course as an alternative to self-mutilation and suicide… but I wouldn’t recommend it.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is currently taking applications for its “Men’s Project,” a six-week program that aims to counter the alleged harmful effects of society’s masculinity paradigms and pressures and empower participants to promote “gender equity.”

“Men’s Project creates a space for critical self-reflection and dialogue about what it means to be a man and how masculinity impacts us and those around us,” organizers state in promoting the effort.

“The experience focuses on the examination of societal images, expectations, and messages around masculinity to empower men to better understand themselves, promote the advancement of gender equity, and raise consciousness in their communities,” organizers add.

It’s open only to “men-identified students” at the public university and “operates on a transformative model of social justice allyship,” according to a news release on the university’s website, which adds “by encouraging that kind of dialogue among a men-identified cohort, the goal is to create a sense of security in vulnerability throughout the six-week program.”

More here.

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Predictions for 2017

Is anyone brave enough to make any predictions for 2017? It sure seems like a wild card year to me.

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Celebrities make a new video…

A new video.

A new video that proves…

That proves they are out of ideas.

Out of creativity…

Out of their minds.

A new video with a format that proves…

A format that demonstrates…

That demonstrates that Hollywood is devoid of creativity and can only reboot the same old shit.

Over and over.

Over and over.

Over and over.

Again.

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Construction spending in November highest in more than ten years

Great news for the economy.

U.S. construction spending rose more than expected in November, reaching its highest level in 10-1/2 years, which could provide a lift to fourth-quarter economic growth.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that construction spending increased 0.9 percent to $1.18 trillion, the highest level since April 2006. It was boosted by gains in both private and public sector investment

Construction spending in October was revised up to show a 0.6 percent rise instead of the previously reported 0.5 percent increase. Construction spending was up 4.1 percent from a year ago in November.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.6 percent in November. November’s better-than-expected increase and October’s upward revision to construction spending could prompt economists to raise their gross domestic product estimates for the fourth quarter.

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Trump has a plan to stop the Norks?

That sure sounds like it.

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Monday evening that North Korea won’t reach the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon that will be able to hit the United States.

“North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen!” the president-elect wrote.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said during his annual New Year’s address on Sunday that preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile have “reached the final stage.”

The development came after the country claims it tested its first hydrogen bomb last year.

So how does one stop the Norks? The Chinese could stop them by cutting off trade but it is hard to see that happening. Between threats of trade wars and calls with Taiwan, I am guessing the Chinese probably aren’t in the mood to make major policy changes regarding North Korea to the benefit of the US. Trump seems to agree.

I suppose you could pay off the Norks with trade concessions and US aid. Sadly, that approach has been tried over and over and has failed over and over. It also seems unlikely to be Trump’s approach based on the tone of his Tweet.

Military strikes? Boy, if you think the Iraq War was a debacle, expensive and bloody, you ain’t seen nothing yet… and that is IF China doesn’t join the fray.

I would suggest that the new POTUS learn from the old POTUS regarding risks associated with drawing red lines that can’t be defended.

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House GOP votes to make changes to ethics office

This is an interesting choice for a first move by the new Congress.

House Republicans, overriding their top leaders, voted on Monday to significantly curtail the power of an independent ethics office set up in 2008 in the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent three members of Congress to jail.

The move to effectively kill the Office of Congressional Ethics was not made public until late Monday, when Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that the House Republican Conference had approved the change. There was no advance notice or debate on the measure.

The surprising vote came on the eve of the start of a new session of Congress, where emboldened Republicans are ready to push an ambitious agenda on everything from health care to infrastructure, issues that will be the subject of intense lobbying from corporate interests. The House Republicans’ move would take away both power and independence from an investigative body, and give lawmakers more control over internal inquiries.

I am kind of surprised this is the note on which they wish to begin their performance.

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Who is going to pilot your life?

So this indictment of populism is being passed around the web.

It would be clever if the crew in the cockpit today was actually more qualified to fly the plane than the passenger asking to be put in control. It isn’t.

That isn’t the underlying problem with this cartoon, however. The problem is the underlying premise that citizens are nothing more than passengers in our national life and that all agency is endowed in an elected pilot. The question the cartoonist and virtually everyone who is passing this around are debating is this: Who will make the better pilot to transport a passive citizenry through life? I wasn’t born to be a passenger.

The underlying assumption of this cartoon sucks no matter how skilled an aviator is at the controls. As long as the basis of disagreement between the left and right is as to which political party and politician is more qualified to be in control of our lives, I want nothing to do with either.

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The old rules of politics no longer apply

In observing the Trump Administration, the normal rules of political analysis will not apply.

Donald Trump told Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer in a phone call he likes him more than his GOP brethren House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a source close to the transition team said.

During a recent phone call, the president-elect “said to Schumer he likes Schumer more than Ryan and McConnell because they both wanted him to lose,” the source said. “They are Republicans and Trump knows they didn’t support him.”

Trump gave more money over the years to Schumer than any other politician. I suspect that Schumer is going to get a lot of his agenda passed by the simple expedient of shamelessly flattering the new POTUS.

More here.

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Dissent, as the highest form of patriotism, is back…

This writer in the New Yorker argues that the Trump years are going to be one, long, angry hissy fit by the left. I suspect he is correct. When they left is in power, they wield it as ruthless authoritarians. When they are out of power, they scream and rage. They are turning up the rage right now.

Get ready for the return of the new Move-On, Occupy Wall Street, Code Pink, Black Lives Matter and whatever else arises. After eight years in the closet, the idea that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” is back.

Unlike the specific protests that emerged during the Obama Administration, the post-election demonstrations have been directed at the general state of American democracy. Two hundred thousand women are expected to assemble in front of the Capitol, on January 21st, the day after the Inauguration, for the Women’s March on Washington. Born of one woman’s invitation to forty friends, the event is meant as a rejoinder to the fact that a candidate with a troubling history regarding women’s rights—one who actually bragged about committing sexual assault—has made it to the White House.

The first Inauguration of George W. Bush, in 2001, saw mass protests driven by the sentiment that the election had been stolen. The protests that greet Trump will, in all probability, exceed them: some twenty other groups have also applied for march permits. Given his history with African-Americans, Muslims, Latinos, immigrants, unionized labor, environmentalists, and people with disabilities, it is not hard to imagine that there will be many more to come. The Congress is unlikely to check the new President, but democracy may thrive in the states, the courts, the next elections, and, lest the lessons of the sixties be forgotten, the streets.

More here.

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Real Revo Live Performance New Year’s Eve Dance Party

Trust me. Good stuff ahead…

More below the fold…

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The POTUS-Elect issues a happy new year message…

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