I have been fascinated with living things since childhood. Growing up in northern California, I spent a lot of time playing outdoors among plants and animals. ...
Culture, Humour, the Brave, the Foolhardy and the Damned
Culture, Humour, the Brave, the Foolhardy and the Damned
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An extra 330,000 people moved to Britain in the year to March. According to immigration minister James Brokenshire, the figures are “deeply disappointing”. Yet on the contrary, increased immigration is actually a sign of success...'
High immigration is a sign of success
If you look at why people are moving to Britain, almost all of the increase since the 2012 low – 115,000 out of 139,000 – is due to people moving here to work, and therefore paying taxes and contributing to society. Family members (20,000) are most of the rest.
Hardly any of the newcomers are refugees. Britain received 25,771 asylum applications in the year to June and only 11,600 were granted asylum.
If there’s a downside to the figures, it’s that international student numbers are stagnating. Education is a booming global industry and Britain’s excellent English-language universities and schools have the potential to be an even bigger export earner. Young Chinese, Indian and other foreign students pay tuition fees that subsidise UK students, spend money in the economy, make courses viable for British students, and create a global network of alumni with ties to Britain that boosts future trade and investment.
The contagious madness of the new PC
Students have also decided they need protecting from disturbing bits in books. There have been recent calls for content warnings — ‘trigger warnings’ — to be inserted into great books. The Great Gatsby (because it’s misogynist), Huckleberry Finn (racist) and The Merchant of Venice (anti-Semitic). This spring at Columbia University, a student complained she had been ‘triggered’ by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Proserpina’s treatment at the hands of Dis gave her flashbacks to a past assault, she said, and made her feel ‘unsafe’, though I’d have thought her assailant pretty pleased to be compared to a god. Columbia have just announced, sotto voce, that the Metamorphoses will be replaced by Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon
As Haidt and Lukianoff point out, the PC way of thinking is unhinged too. If someone feels slighted then no other arbitration is needed. Emotion is everything. If offence has been taken, an offence has been committed. But this is the thinking of paranoiacs and phobics. It’s to confuse reality with perception. I understand, I do. I’m pathetically claustrophobic, but I’ve learnt (sometimes) to face my fear, and that when I do, it retreats. The young victims of Oxbridge and the Ivy League imagine they can outlaw the causes of fear instead, and so are consumed by them.
At last month’s Siac hearing, Mr Justice Irwin was told that M2 arrived in the UK as a minor. He was was given indefinite leave to remain before securing citizenship in 2011.
The Home Secretary now alleges he has links with extremists in Afghanistan – although he has never been charged, let alone convicted of any offence.
Much of the evidence against him has only been heard in secret due to national security reasons. Neither he nor his own barrister have even been allowed to hear it.
The Government, which now has a lengthy and costly legal fight on its hands to remove him, claims he was to act as a courier for Islamist extremists in Afghanistan – allegations he strongly denies.
He was awarded British citizenship in 2011 having arrived in the UK in several years earlier as a minor. After being served with a deprivation order annulling his British nationality in May last year, he used his Afghan passport to return to London to try and overturn the Home Secretary’s decision.
He is the first individual stripped of British citizenship known to have returned to the UK.
His case emerged last month at a four-day hearing of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac), where he is appealing Theresa May’s decision. Throughout the hearing, he sat freely in the public gallery.
M2’s ability to return to Britain raises questions about a key but controversial pillar of the Government’s counter-extremism policies. Home Office minister James Brokenshire told Parliament in March that 28 people have been deprived of their citizenship since 2010 on the grounds they are “not conducive” to the public good.
The web of investigations into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server that held classified information and her inner circle's dealings is being hampered by revelations that computer devices used by them have been wiped clean or destroyed -- despite the Democratic presidential candidate claiming earlier this week she doesn't know how it works digitally at all.
Rousseff was revealed to have an approval rating of 8%, according to a survey conducted by polling firm Datafolha, while 71% of respondents said they disapprove of how Rousseff is doing her job. And two-thirds of the interviews said they would like to see Rousseff impeached.
Rousseff, Brazil's first woman president and who succeeded popular ex president Lula da Silva, has been the target of widespread outrage over corruption, a foundering economy and increasing unemployment.
The latest poll release suggests she is less popular than Fernando Collor, who resigned in 1992 amid allegations of corruption. Collor had an approval rating of 9% when he stepped down from office to prevent impeachment proceedings.
The August 16 nationwide rally demanding for Dilma's resignation could be a turning point.
We examine how one candidate parlayed an underfinanced presidential campaign into a lucrative business and lavish lifestyle.
The year 2008 was great for Mike Huckabee—but not as a politician. The former Arkansas governor bailed out of the presidential race in March of that year after losing steam in the early primary elections. But simply running for president elevated Huckabee to the status of celebrity, while helping him build a devoted following among southern and Midwestern evangelicals. Huckabee has since converted the renown that comes with running for national office into a business enterprise that has made him wealthy, with a palatial beachfront home, access to private jets and other perks of the 1%...'
A Florida judge has set a trial date in the racketeering case against the Clinton Foundation and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered the racketeering, influenced and corrupt organizations, or RICO, case to head to trial January 20, 2016.
The order, entered Friday and obtained by the Washington Examiner, came days after Larry Klayman of Freedom of Watch filed a lengthy civil complaint against the Clintons and
Klayman, who has filed dozens of lawsuits against the Clintons and other prominent politicians, suggested the former first couple and their family philanthropy used their political clout to drum up foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and lavish diplomatic favors for contributors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
Dirceu, popular former President Lula da Silva's chief of staff between 2003 and 2005, was already under house arrest for running a vote-buying scheme. His involvement in an even larger scandal threatens to bring the investigation closer to Lula and his protégé and successor President Dilma Rousseff.
Federal prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Lima called Dirceu a key instigator of the Petrobras scandal, saying he took bribes from contractors while in office and continued to receive payments even when he was jailed in late 2013 for the vote-buying scandal ('mensalao') in Lula's first term.
Lima said neither Lula nor Rousseff are currently targets of the widening probe, but added during a press conference: “No one is exempt from investigation.”
“There is no doubt that Dirceu's arrest puts Lula and Dilma in the sights of Operation Car Wash,” Senator Aloysio Nunes of the main opposition party PSDB said in a Facebook message.
Lima said the bribery and kickback scheme began during the Lula administration, and there was no evidence of involvement by former Petrobras Chief Executive Officer Graça Foster, whom Rousseff had appointed.
Mengele was educated in a Germany permeated by this thinking. At Munich University, he earned his Ph.D. under the tutelage of Professor T. Mollinson, an expert in the field of “racial hygiene”. Later, he studied with Baron von Verschuer enforcing the Race Law. It was Professor von Verschuer who appointed Mengele an assistant physician even before he had finished his degree. Later, the same academic world that educated Mengele would fund the lab at Auschwitz in which the SS physician performed his cruel experiments. And it was the academic institutions of Germany that received “specimens”, body parts of people killed by Mengele, for their own research.
None of this excuses Mengele. It does demonstrate that he didn’t spring fully formed from his own imagination. He was a product of his times, the logical expression of ideas that were broadly accepted in German legal and medical circles in the 1920s and 30s. Mengele’s hundreds of thousands of victims are the final, terrible result.
As the screenplay for After the Truth has defense attorney Peter Rohm saying during his closing argument, “The road to Auschwitz isn’t so long, as long as you take it one step at a time.”
Given the ongoing debate about Planned Parenthood and the defenses many are making for their practices of harvesting organs and body parts from the unborn, this film offers viewers a chance to see where we are along that road. And a chance to look in the mirror and see what we, as a nation, can see in ourselves. Is it a pretty picture?
From time to time people will ask me if there are any specific movies that Ignatius Press has released on DVD that I really think highly of. There are several, but there’s one of them in particular which came to mind in these past few weeks. It’s a chilling German legal thriller called After the Truth.
“Do you see at least a bit of yourself in me?” That’s the final line of the film, spoken to the viewer. The speaker is an eerie-looking bald man with a strangely compelling yet unsettling gaze. It’s Dr. Josef Mengele, played by Götz George in a performance which veers between skin-crawlingly creepy and authoritatively persuasive.
Set in the late 1990s, After the Truth follows defense attorney Peter Rohm (Kai Wiesinger), a man planning to write a biography of Josef Mengele, the infamous doctor at Auschwitz whose gruesome experiments on Jews, Roma, and other prisoners are regarded as some of the most heinous crimes ever committed. Rohm receives a “birthday” package in the mail containing a Nazi uniform. As he examines it, he realizes this is not only authentic, but that it is in fact the actual uniform worn by Dr. Mengele. N
Llívia ( Catalan pronunciation: ) is a town in the comarca of Cerdanya, province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is a Spanish exclave within the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales. In 2009, the municipality of Llívia had a total population of 1,589.
Llívia : In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees ceded the comarques of Roussillon, Conflent, Capcir, Vallespir, and northern Cerdanya ("Cerdagne") to the French crown. Llívia did not become part of the French kingdom as the treaty stipulated that only villages were to be ceded to France, and Llívia was considered a city and not a village because of its status as the ancient capital of Cerdanya.
In 1939, at the end of the Spanish Civil War, there was some discussion[by whom?] of Llívia remaining a free territory of the defeated Republican government, but this was never carried out.
Llívia (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈʎiβiə]) is a town in the comarca of Cerdanya, province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is a Spanish exclave within the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales. In 2009, the municipality of Llívia had a total population of 1,589. It is separated from the rest of Spain by a corridor about 1.6 km (1.0 mile) wide, which includes the French communes of Ur and Bourg-Madame.
'On July 30th, 1778, our Founding Fathers unanimously passed America's first Whistleblower Protection Law. This visionary action, taken during the height of the American Revolution, stands today as a testament to the importance of whistleblowing in our history.
We must remember how our Founding Fathers stood up to defend whistleblowers and demand that our current leaders follow this tradition, support and honor the sacrifices whistleblowers have endured, and ensure that our nation's laws protect these heroes.'
'On July 30th, 1778, our Founding Fathers unanimously passed America's first Whistleblower Protection Law. This visionary action, taken during the height of the American Revolution, stands today as a testament to the importance of whistleblowing in ... history.'
The most comprehensive geo-political news service available on the Internet, covering over 263 countries and regions, all U.S. States and Industries.
A description of the fatal shooting by two Palestinian witnesses interviewed by the Guardian suggests – if these accounts are accurate – the Israeli soldiers involved were in breach of the military’s own recommendations over the use of live ammunition in attempted arrests – appropriate for a fleeing individual – firing at the upper body, not the legs.
The Maginot Line, named after the French Minister of War André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications, obstacles, and weapons installations that France constructed just before the border with Switzerland and the borders with Germany and Luxembourg during the 1930s. The Line did not extend through to the English Channel because the French military did not want to compromise Belgium’s neutrality.
1941 Tatra T87, s/n 49870 and engine no 12786345 via Wikipedia Historians have revealed that more Nazi officers were killed in the Czech car, the Tatra 87, than in actual combat. The Tatra 77a
In 1934, Hitler ordered Porsche to come up with a car design that could be mass-produced and was economic for the German people to drive. They came up with the infamous VW Beetle four years later. There were many similarities to the Tatra, and Porsche was in fact forced to pay the Czech-Tatra manufacturers three million Deutsche Marks in compensation for the design elements that they took from the Tatra in the early 1960s.
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There is something odd going on at the heart of European football. Earlier this month, Barcelona sealed their fourth UEFA Champions League trophy in ten years, unseating their domestic rivals Real Madrid as title-holders. The top English teams and their colossal international fan bases watched glumly from the sidelines, as they had done for the semi- and quarter-finals.
Rubbish. Redistributing revenues from successful Premier League clubs to underperforming clubs has been extraordinarily damaging to competition. In 2013, the TV deal meant that Arsenal lost out on £47 million that it earned through investment in new players, global marketing and excellent football management. On the other hand, bungling clubs such as QPR repeatedly waste their handouts on expensive, badly chosen players. And the distortion and deep unfairness doesn’t stop there. Middling English teams are rolled over in European competitions as they are financially comfortable and lack incentives to compete. Ambitious, innovative clubs in the second tier in England now find it much harder to win promotion, because the Premier League feeds relegated clubs extra money to cover their losses. This welfare system harms successful teams, discourages resourceful rising clubs and promotes waste – all for the benefit of the worst performing teams in the Premier League.