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FBI: Inmate is most prolific serial killer in US history   

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The inmate who claims to have killed more than 90 women across the country is now considered to be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

Samuel Little, who has been behind bars since 2012, told investigators last year that he was responsible for about 90 killings nationwide between 1970 and 2005. In a news release on Sunday, the FBI announced that federal crime analysts believe all of his confessions are credible, and officials have been able to verify 50 confessions so far.

Investigators also provided new information and details about five cases in Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada and Louisiana.

The 79-year-old Little is serving multiple life sentences in California. He says he strangled his 93 victims, nearly all of them women.

Some of his victims were on the margins of society. Many were originally deemed overdoses, or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes. Some bodies were never found.

The FBI provided 30 drawings of some of his victims – color portraits that were drawn by Little himself in prison. They are haunting portraits, mostly of black women.

The agency also provided videos taken during prison interviews with Little. He described how he spoke about a woman he strangled in 1993 – and how he rolled her down a slope on a desolate road.

“I heard a secondary road noise and that meant she was still rolling,” he said.

In another video, he described a victim in New Orleans. “She was pretty. Light colored, honey brown skin,” he said with a small smile. “She was tall for a woman. Beautiful shape. And, uh, friendly.”

It was 1982, and they met in a club. She left with him in his Lincoln, and they parked by a bayou.

“That’s the only one that I ever killed by drowning,” he said.

Investigators around the country are still trying to piece together his confessions with unidentified remains and unsolved cases from decades past. In August, he pleaded guilty to murdering four women in Ohio. He was convicted in California of three slayings in 2013 and pleaded guilty to another killing last year in Texas.

Authorities in Knox County, Tennessee, said Monday that a woman named Martha Cunningham was likely a victim of Little’s.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported in December that a cold case investigator with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office had identified the victim who Little called “Martha.” The Knoxville mother’s body was found in a wooded area in eastern Knox County in 1975.

Cunningham’s body was found by a pair of hunters on the afternoon of Jan. 18, 1975. She was bruised and nude from the waist down; her pantyhose and girdle bunched around her knees. Her purse and some of her jewelry were missing. Her body appeared to have been dragged into the woods and dumped behind a pine tree, authorities said at the time.

Despite that evidence, detectives at the time attributed Cunningham’s death to natural causes within a day of the discovery. The medical examiner’s investigative report lists the probable cause of death as “unknown.”

Cunningham was a talented singer and pianist who grew up performing with her parents and her six younger siblings in a gospel group known as the Happy Home Jubilee Singers.

Law enforcement in Tennessee had Little in custody 19 years after Cunningham’s body was found.

Little was convicted of misdemeanor larceny in 1994 in Nashville, Tennessee, and he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation criminal records obtained Monday by The Associated Press.


          

Actress Claudia Kim to Wed Businessman in December (2019/10/07)   

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Claudia Kim (left) and Matthew Shampine Actress Claudia Kim will get married this winter. Kim's agency said Friday that she will tie the knot on Dec. 14 with a businessman she has been dating.

          

New Sick Leave Guidance for San Antonio Employers   

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San Antonio remains one of three Texas cities, along with Austin and Dallas, currently working to implement a paid sick leave ordinance. This past summer, we reported about the then-pending San Antonio sick leave ordinance, which was set to take effect on August 1, 2019, as well as the agreement in late July to delay its effective date to December 1, 2019, in order to study how the ordinance would affect workers and businesses. Now, San Antonio has revised its ordinance, based on reviews and recommendations from a paid sick leave commission, giving employers updated guidelines for how to implement the ordinance on December 1. The most recent changes to the San Antonio ordinance primarily modify the “who” and the “how” of sick leave application. The “who” that the ordinance applies to is now all employers regardless of size, creating a universal application of the rule. The “how” of ordinance application is now an accrual method…

          

Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal by Dominion Energy in decision by lower court to stop construction of $7.5 billion gas pipeline   

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The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by Dominion Energy Inc of a lower court ruling that halted construction on a $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline due to run underneath a section of the  Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia. A lower court ruling recently  found that the U.S. Forest Service lacked the authority to grant a right of way for the pipeline. Environmental groups had sued to stop the pipeline after the Forest Service gave the green light for the project through protected National Park Service land. The December 2018 ruling by the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put a stop to construction of the 600-mile (965-km) Atlantic Coast Pipeline, intended to run from West Virginia to North Carolina. Dominion Energy leads a consortium of companies in the project that also includes Duke Energy Corp. A ruling is due by the end of the court’s new term, which starts on Monday and ends in June. The Supreme Court’s eventual…

          

NCUA finalizes rule authorizing new payday loan alternative option   

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The National Credit Union Administration has published a final rule in the Federal Register that amend the NCUA’s general lending rule to provide federal credit unions (FCU) with a second option for offering “payday alternative loans” (PALs).  The final rule is effective December 2, 2019. In 2010, the NCUA amended its general lending rule to allow FCUs to offer PALs as an alternative to other payday loans.  For PALs currently allowed under the NCUA rule (PALs I), an FCU can charge an interest rate that is 1000 basis points above the general interest rate set by the NCUA for non-PALs loans, provided the FCU is making a closed-end loan that meets certain conditions.  Such conditions include that the loan principal is not less than $200 or more than $1,000, the loan has a minimum term of one month and a maximum term of six months, the FCU does not make more than three PALs in any rolling six-month period to one borrower and not more than one PAL at…

          

Miss Fury   

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I was going to write about music but an e-mail from Rassa was about Miss Fury and I had no idea who Miss Fury was.

MISS FURY was a comic book about the superhero Miss Fury.  June Tarpe Mills created the character and the comic book.   Who?  From TARPEMILLS.COM:


June Tarpe Mills, known professionally as Tarpe Mills, rose from obscurity to become the creator of the world's first female comic heroine with the publication of Miss Fury six months before the creation of Wonder Woman. Tarpe Mills’ tremendous artistic talent poured onto the print page with action, glamour and fashion, and sexiness that was unheard of until Miss Fury. Tarpe Mills and her work has been memorialized by her July 19, 2019, induction into the Eisner Comic Hall of Fame at ComicCon SanDiego.


From AMAZON, a look at Miss Fury:




From the visuals alone, you have to wonder why, in the '00s, someone didn't cast Annette Benning or Catharine Zeta Jones or Halle Berry or Michelle Pfeiffer as Miss Fury in a film of the same name?  Today, you could add Keira Knightly, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman, Isabela Moner and Anne Hathaway to the list.  Some might argue that you'd have to set the film in the forties.  You wouldn't 'have to,' but even if you did, are you forgetting that both the Captain America film (2011) and the Wonder Woman film (2017) were set in that period and both were huge hits?


This is from WIKIPEDIA:


Miss Fury[edit]

The Bell Syndicate first published the Miss Fury comic strip (then titled The Black Fury) on April 6, 1941, predating the first appearance of Wonder Woman by six months.[9] The strip "ran in full color in the Sunday comics pages for 351 consecutive weeks from 1942 through 1949, and was also collected in comic book form by Timely Comics."[10] Circulation included over 100 newspapers at its most popular stage.[11] As the Miss Fury strip became more popular, it eventually became public knowledge its creator was a woman.[12]
Miss Fury, the alter ego of socialite Marla Drake, was a character based loosely on Mills' own appearance.[12]
During World War II, "Miss Fury" was painted on the nose of three American warplanes in Europe and the South Pacific. Two of the recurring villains were the Nazi agents Erica Von Kampf and General Bruno. Mills' own white Persian cat Perri-Purr was introduced in the strip, and during World War II Perri-Purr became an unofficial mascot of the American troops.[6][13]

Fashion[edit]

The artwork was created in a glamorous style with considerable attention placed on the heroine's outfits.[1][14] These outfits varied from lacy evening gowns and lingerie to bathing suits and athletic costumes.[15] Mills' attention to fashion in Miss Fury was mirrored in the work of her contemporary Dalia Messick's "Brenda Starr," and in this sense the women were ahead of their male counterparts who typically "dressed [their] heroines in plain red dresses."[16]
Cut-out paper fashion dolls were included for the first time in the comic-book reprints of Miss Fury, leading Trina Robbins to guess that these books were intended for a female audience.[15] Mills sent paper dolls to young women who had written fan mail requesting art.[9]

Censorship[edit]

Miss Fury was notoriously full of "kinkiness," including “whips, spike heels, female-on-female violence, and lingerie scenes.”[2] One character's costume in a 1947 publication "was so daring that 37 newspapers cancelled the strip” that day.[15] A bathing scene from the tenth Miss Fury Sunday page on June 8, 1941 ran in newspapers at the time but was later excluded from the 1942 Timely Comics reprint.[17]
Trina Robbins said on Miss Fury:
“The only outrage I have seen were those newspapers that censored Mills’s strip in which she dressed her nightclub entertainer character, Era, in an outfit that would not bother us in the least today. But it obviously shocked the pants – yes, verbal joke intended – off some people."[9]

Style[edit]

Mills' art in Miss Fury was modeled on the work of Milton Caniff.[18] Her portrayal of action across multiple panels, as well as the natural poses and facial expressions of her characters, has been described as "cinematic,"[19] echoing the film-noire style.[18][20] Mills' characters also possessed a "pinup quality."[19]
Dean Mullaney, editor and publisher behind Eclipse Enterprises, wrote that “[Mills’] art is drawn very traditionally—no surprises, no ah-ha moments.”[21]
Evie Nagy for The Los Angeles Review of Books remarked that “the flow of Mills’s sequential art feels completely organic."[19]

Legacy[edit]

June Mills' legacy as the first woman to create a female action hero in comics was contextualized by Victoria Ingalls for the American Psychological Association. Out of a list of hundreds of female “superheroes” surveyed in her abstract, Ingalls identified only eleven as being created by a woman not working in a team with a male writer. Mills' Marla Drake is the chronological first of these eleven heroes.
According to Mike Madrid in his book The Supergirls, Marla Drake belongs to the “Debutante” caste of early comics female heroines, who include Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady), Dianne Grayton(Spider Widow), Diana Adams (Miss Masque), and Brenda Banks (Lady Luck). These characters form a ‘sorority’ of heiresses and socialites who had been forced into lives of propriety, submission, and “tedious leisure.” “Putting on a cape and mask liberated these women” to embrace their own identities, fight crime, and trade their “entitled boredom” for thrills.[22]
Madrid wrote, “Mills’ approach to a secret identity seemed more realistic, injected with a feminine practicality.”[22]

This is from an article at Australia's ABC:

Comics then and now tend to feature weak-kneed female characters who seem to exist for the sole purpose of being saved by a male hero — or, worse still, are "fridged", a contemporary comic book colloquialism that refers to the gruesome slaying of an undeveloped female character to deepen the hero's motivation and propel him on his journey.
But Mills believed there was room in comics for a different kind of female character, one who was able, level-headed and capable, mingling tough-minded complexity with Mills' own taste for risqué behaviour and haute couture gowns.
Where Wonder Woman's powers are "marvellous" — that is, not real or attainable — Miss Fury and her alter ego Marla Drake use their collective brains, resourcefulness and the odd stiletto heel in the face to bring the villains to justice.
And for a time they were wildly successful.
Miss Fury ran a full decade from April 1941 to December 1951, was syndicated in 100 different newspapers at the height of her wartime fame, and sold a million copies an issue in reprints released by Timely (now Marvel) comics.
Fighter pilots painted Miss Fury on the fuselage of bomber planes. Young girls played with paper doll cut outs featuring her extensive high fashion wardrobe.

From Australia's ABC -- emphasize.  Point being, Miss Fury was not known just in the US.  She had wide appeal.  So why isn't Miss Fury on the big screen?


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, October 4, 2019.  Protests continue in Iraq while, in the US, Joe Biden continues to tarnish the legacy of Barack Obama.


Last week, Sarah Chayes, "Hunter Biden’s Perfectly Legal, Socially Acceptable Corruption" was published by THE ATLANTIC.  Yesterday on MORNING EDITION (NPR), Sarah spoke with David Green:

DAVID GREENE, HOST:
The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is drawing attention to the questionable activities of more than one major political family. Former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter are under scrutiny for Hunter's work in the Ukrainian energy industry.
The writer Sarah Chayes is the author of the book "Thieves Of The State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security" (ph). And she argues this scrutiny is a good thing.

SARAH CHAYES: You know, when the son of a vice president gets a job in a field he knows nothing about while his father is vice president in a country that just had a revolution that, you know, typically, in that part of the world, post-revolution, all the oligarchs steal all the crown jewels, and the industry is one of the crown jewels - that is to say, gas - since when is that doing nothing wrong?

GREENE: Now, wrong does not necessarily mean illegal, Sarah Chayes told me. But she said too often these days, people with political ties or prominent political names are getting involved where they shouldn't be.

CHAYES: Almost any senior name that I start researching, I run into practices like this. It is extraordinarily widespread. And that's my question. How did we all convince ourselves that this isn't corrupt? And it seems to me that we're not going to recover, you know, even an approximation of the ideals on which we were founded as a nation unless each of us, as citizens, begins to make it less comfortable for our political and economic leaders to behave this way.

GREENE: Well, let me ask you this, then. If it is not unusual, why focus on this case of Hunter Biden and Joe Biden specifically?


CHAYES: Because it's in the news and because of the word that I kept seeing apply in this context, which is, no wrongdoing, or, they didn't do anything wrong. And I'm looking at that, saying, what? And if we can say that now, in this context, then there's something awry.


From her article at THE ATLANTIC:

When allegations of ethical lapses or wrongdoing surface against people on one side of the aisle, they can always claim that someone on the other side has done far worse. But taken together, all of these examples have contributed to a toxic norm. Joe Biden is the man who, as a senator, walked out of a dinner with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Biden was one of the most vocal champions of anticorruption efforts in the Obama administration. So when this same Biden takes his son with him to China aboard Air Force Two, and within days Hunter joins the board of an investment advisory firm with stakes in China, it does not matter what father and son discussed. Joe Biden has enabled this brand of practice, made it bipartisan orthodoxy. And the ethical standard in these cases—people’s basic understanding of right and wrong—becomes whatever federal law allows. Which is a lot.


To quote THELMA & LOUISE, "You get what you settle for."  Is that what we're willing to settle for as a society?  Corruption and lack of ethics?  Or do we have standards that we apply across the board?  Basic expectations from our public servants?

Situational ethics will never root out corruption.


Replying to 
Or is it this maybe?? Because let’s face it: Joe Biden’s son Hunter failed rehab 5 times, got kicked out of the Navy, dated his sister in law, and left a crack pipe in a rental car. The idea Hunter got a job getting paid $50,000 a month should strike everyone as suspicious.
 
 



The crack pipe?

That gets back to the Biden pass.  His niece Caroline physically attacks a police officer and is arrested.  She gets a pass, no time.  A few years later, the niece steals over $100,000 and, again, no time sentenced, no time served.  Hunter and his crack pipe?


Yea, because smoking crack isint a crime. "Prescott Police Department officials were unable to reach Hunter Biden and, after an investigation, declined to prosecute"
 
 



And, again, campaign staff insists Hunter is the father of the child that he's denying is hit, the one the mother is suing him for.  These are the values of the Biden family.  These are the values we want in the White House?

Two kinds of justice -- the ones for everyone else and the ones for the Bidens?

America deserves much better than that.

Much.


And what the media and the Joe-bots don't get, the American people do.  MEDIAITE notes:

Joe Biden’s third quarter fundraising numbers are out. And they are an ominous sign for the former vice president’s 2020 candidacy.
According to Bloomberg, Biden told donors at a fundraiser in Palo Alto, CA that his campaign raised $15 million in the period from July-September. That number is down markedly from the $21.5 million he brought in during the second quarter.
Biden’s third quarter haul also, notably, lags behind that of two of his rivals. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) brought in $25 million over the past three months, while South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised $19.1 million. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who has emerged as the main threat to Biden’s long-held frontrunner status, has not yet reported her third quarter numbers.
The vice president also came in way behind President Donald Trump — whose coffers grew by a whopping $125 million in the third quarter.


It's time for Joe to go.

It's no longer just about him.

Corrupt Joe makes it that much harder to call Donald Trump out for any corruption.

Corrupt Joe is tainting Barack Obama's legacy with every day.

What Joe allowed his family to get away with while he was Vice President?

That reflects poorly on Joe.  It also reflects on Barack.  And there's a lot more to come on that issue.  Joe is harming Barack's legacy.

It's time for Joe to go.

He offers nothing that is needed and seems to believe it's 1996.  He's out of touch, he's out of date and he's corrupt.  He needs to go.


Turning to Iraq . . .


REUTERS notes:

The death toll from days of violent demonstrations across Iraq has risen to 44 as unrest rapidly spread across the country despite a plea for calm from the prime minister.
In an overnight TV address, Adel Abdul-Mahdi said he understood the frustration of the public but there was no “magic solution” to Iraq’s problems. He pledged to make reforms, but this drew a scornful response from demonstrators.



REUTERS plays 'even handed' and head up the ass.  Why?  Maybe so they can continue to cover Iraq.  It's not like the western press isn't intimidated and bullied by the Iraqi government.

That's been going on openly since 2006.

UN urges Iraq to probe protest deaths ‘transparently’ National News
 
 




Mahdi is so inept as a prime minister that the president of Iraq has dominated the news for over six months.  The presidency is a symbolic office in Iraq.  It has no real power, pure ceremony.  But that's how weak Mahdi is and how desperate the western press has been to ignore reality in Iraq.

A non-functioning prime minister?  Well, hey, just report on the doings of the president and pretend like he's the leader of the country.


Journalist Mustafa Habib reports the following:


          

ANIME OBSOLETE Official Web Site   

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FWA of the day 07 October 2019:

ANIME OBSOLETE Official Web Site

Project Link

Junni has launched their teaser website for Obsolete, a Youtube Originals animation series premiering on Youtube on December 2019. 3D Objects and WebGL are used to produce various effects on the site.

#FOTD #thefwa


          

Burkina Faso ratifies financing for national fibre-optic network   

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The government of Burkina Faso has ratified a credit agreement signed on 20 June 2019 with Bank of China Limited Shenzhen Branch to finance phase one of Onatel's national fibre-optic network, reports Agence Ecofin. The Chinese lender is providing 60% of the USD77.35 million financing for phase one of the project, with the remainder secured from BNP Paribas. Huawei began work in December 2017 on the first phase of the 2,001km network, which is intended to increase broadband connectivity across the country by linking the country’s main cities and neighbouring countries.

          

Netflix Trailer For "LOST IN SPACE" Season 2   

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Click now to watch Netflix's Trailer For "LOST IN SPACE" Season 2

Read the full article on AICN

Hola Dannie aqui,
 I am excited to share a little trailer for a show I absolutely adore, Netflix's "LOST IN SPACE 2." The trailer was released this weekend at the New York City Comic-Con. The way they utilize the iconic music from Lois Armstrong's classic song "What A Wonderful World" truly pulls at one's heartstrings. 
 
Netflix- "Have you seen our Robot? Lost in Space Season 2 returns December 24th. Only on Netflix."
 
Here is the beautiful trailer for Season 2 of Lost In Space, enjoy.

Well, it looks like Netflix is giving us an early holiday treat, releasing Lost In Space 2 on December 24th. I don't know about all of you, but I can not wait to binge through the second season, the first was out-freaking-stounding.
 
Stay Strong, Live Good, Love Movies!
Dannie H.L. Knowles aka Pekosa Peligrosa

Finish the article on AICN


          

Shah calls high-level meet to review security situation   

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah has called a high-level meeting of the police chiefs of all the states and central armed forces to review the security situation as well as examine the progress of concerned states on crucial suggestions made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December last year.

          

Boyz II Men to return in Manila for December concert - Rappler   

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Boyz II Men to return in Manila for December concert  Rappler

          

[Trailer] “Lost in Space” Returns to Netflix on Christmas Eve   

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At New York Comic Con over the weekend, the cast of Netflix’s “Lost in Space” revealed that the epic family adventure series will return for a second season on December 24. Season 2 consists of 10 hour-long episodes. Check out the first-look trailer below! JJ Feild (Turn, Turn Up Charlie) has joined the cast in […]

          

Hy-Vee Reveals More Details About Customer Credit, Debit Card Hack   

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(West Des Moines, IA) -- More details are now known about what Hy-Vee previously called a security incident involving payment processing systems. Hy-Vee said yesterday malware was used to steal information from customers. The general dates of the unauthorized activity at fuel pumps go as far back as December 2018 until late July. Restaurants and drive-thru coffee shops were affected starting in mid-January of this year.

          

2020 Yamaha MT-03 image gallery   

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Hope you read our news post of the 2020 Yamaha MT-03 being recently unveiled in the US market. And now we have a detailed image gallery of the same for you. We are hoping to see this machine along with its fully faired sibling to be launched in India in December this year or mostly […]

This article 2020 Yamaha MT-03 image gallery was first published on IAMABIKER - Everything Motorcycle!.


          

Look Beyond the Bogus Bonus Smokescreen   

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Taxpayers might be less skeptical of the born-again guardians of fiscal responsibility if these evangelists were actually practicing what they preached. While the Obama administration now issues impassioned calls to stop rewarding failure, they moved Thursday to dump another $5 billion into the failing auto industry. That's on top of Thursday's announcement by the Federal Reserve to print $1 trillion to buy Treasury bonds and mortgage securities sold by the government -- which no one else wants to buy.

Financial blogger Barry Ritholtz tallied up $8.5 trillion in bailout costs by December 2008 between Federal Reserve, FDIC, Treasury and Federal Housing Administration rescues (not including the $5.2 trillion in Fannie and Freddie portfolios that the U.S. taxpayer is now explicitly responsible for). Then there's the (at least) $50 billion proposed by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in February to bail out home owners and lenders who made bad home loan decisions, which would be just a small sliver of the $2.5 trillion he wants to spend on the next big banking bailout, which would draw on the second $350 billion of the TARP package over which an increasing number of Chicken Little lawmakers are having buyer's remorse.

Phew. We're not done yet: As AIG-bashing lawmakers inveighed against wasted taxpayer funds and lamented the lack of accountability and rush to judgment that led to passage of the porkulus bill that mysteriously protected the bonuses, the Senate quietly passed a $10 billion lands bill stuffed with earmarks and immunized from amendments. GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, fiscal conservative loner, pointed out that none of the provisions for special-interest pork projects -- including $3.5 million in spending for a birthday bash celebrating the city of St. Augustine, Fla. -- was subject to public hearings. That's on top of the pork-stuffed $410 billion spending bill passed two weeks ago.

Oh, and did I mention that the House passed a $6 billion volunteerism bill (the "GIVE Act") on Wednesday to provide yet another pipeline to left-wing advocacy groups under the guise of encouraging national service?

Also coming down the pike: the Obama administration's "cap-and-trade" global warming plan, which Hill staffers learned this week could cost close to $2 trillion (nearly three times the White House's initial estimate) and the administration's universal health care scheme, which health policy experts reported this week could cost about $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

It is no wonder that when earlier this week Vice President Joe Biden told local officials in Washington that he was "serious, absolutely serious" about policing wasteful spending in Washington, he was met with the only rational response his audience could muster: laughter.


          

The Kabuki Theater of AIG Outrage   

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The checks were mailed Friday, but the March 15 bonus deadline had been on the Capitol Hill radar screen since December -- when Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings released a letter to AIG CEO Edward Liddy that noted: "Without taxpayer intervention, AIG would have ceased to exist and, to be blunt, all of its employees would have lost their jobs. Against this background -- and given the massive layoffs occurring at other major financial entities, such as Citibank -- the American taxpayers have a right to know why senior executives at AIG, who are frankly lucky to still have jobs, need to receive additional bonus payments of any kind to retain them at AIG."

But it wasn't until last week that the hapless court jester of the Obama administration, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, scrambled to rein in the payments. Liddy basically told him to buzz off. Geithner, the primary architect of the original $85 billion AIG bailout last fall, "reluctantly" approved the bonuses anyway. And now his outraged boss has ordered him to scour every legal nook and cranny possible to get the money back.

Spare me President Obama's finger wag. He's "outraged"? Meh. Two weeks ago, Team Obama forked over another $30 billion for the basket-case company after it reported $61.7 billion in fourth-quarter losses. That's on top of the first $85 billion round and the second $38 billion round under Bush -- both of which Obama supported. (Obama, by the way, collected more than $101,000 in AIG campaign contributions.) Don't talk to me about how the Obama administration opposes rewarding failure.

And don't talk to me about all the politicians stampeding to tax AIG's bonuses. Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, the corporate crony who is the largest recipient of AIG donations, is now leading the charge to tax the retention payments in order to recoup the $450 million the company is paying to employees in its financial products unit.

But Dodd, it turns out, was for protecting AIG's bonuses before he was against them.

Fox Business reporter Rich Edson pointed out that during the Senate porkulus negotiations last month, Dodd successfully inserted a teeny-tiny amendment that provided for an "'exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009,' which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are seeking to tax." Pay no attention to what his left hand was doing. Dodd's right fist is pounding mightily, mightily for the sake of the taxpayers.

The hypocritical indignation on the Hill is bipartisan. On his Twitter page last night, GOP Sen. John McCain huffed: "If we hadn't bailed out AIG = no bonuses for greedy execs." Well, if the GOP presidential candidate had held fast to his opposition to such doomed corporate bailouts in the first place, maybe bailout-palooza wouldn't have spiraled into the gazillion-dollar mess it inevitably became. McCain asserted in a Twitter interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos Tuesday morning that he "would have never bailed out AIG."

But on Sept. 18, 2008, McCain performed a 24-hour flip-flop and abandoned his principled opposition to the $85 billion AIG bailout, lamenting that the "government was forced" to do it. Soon after, McCain joined Obama in supporting the $25 billion auto bailout, the first $350 billion banking bailout (TARP I) and his own massive $300 billion mortgage bailout.

If Washington's newfound opponents of rewarding failure want to do taxpayers a favor, how about giving back their automatic pay raises? How about returning all their AIG donations? How about taking back all the bailout money to all the failed enterprises, from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to AIG, the automakers and the big banks? Barry? Harry? Nancy? John? Chris? Bueller? Bueller?

Exit stage left. The curtain falls.


          

Maxine Waters: Banking on Hypocrisy   

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The bank CEOs sat meekly during Waters' verbal flogging. But as she frothed at the mouth, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank covered the microphone and briefly chastised her. To no avail. Waters' motor mouth kept on running.

Did the banks raise interest rates on credit card customers after they took Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money, she thundered. Thumping her fists on the table, she then railed about their loan modification policies. "How many require that you have to be behind by two months?" Blustering about underwriting fees they paid themselves on government-backed bond sales, she yelled, "You made money off the TARP money!" One of her fellow Democrats finally ended the diatribe: "I'm going to have to calm you down because when the chairman gets back he's going to have to penalize me."

Fast-forward a month later. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the high-and-mighty Waters had a personal and financial stake in Boston-based OneUnited, a minority bank that received $12 million in TARP money under smelly circumstances. The banks' executives donated $12,500 to her congressional campaigns. Her husband, Sidney Williams, was an investor in one of the banks that merged into OneUnited. They've profited handsomely from their relationship with the bank:

"Congressional financial-disclosure forms show Ms. Waters acquired OneUnited stock worth between $250,000 and $500,000 in March 2004, as did Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams joined the board of OneUnited that year.

"Each sold shares in September 2004 -- including Ms. Waters' entire stake -- but Mr. Williams continued to hold varying amount of the company's stock. In the lawmaker's most recent financial-disclosure form, dated May 2008 and covering the prior year, Ms. Waters reported that her husband held between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of the bank's stock.

"Mr. Williams also received interest payments from a separate holding at the bank, also worth between $250,000 and $500,000. The 2008 form doesn't specify what that is. Mr. Williams stepped down from the bank's board last spring. It couldn't be learned whether he still owns stock in the bank. Mr. Williams didn't return calls seeking comment."

Waters (along with Frank) participated directly in pressuring the feds for OneUnited's piece of the bailout pie. She personally contacted the Treasury Department last December requesting $50 million for the company -- and failed to disclose her ties to the bank to them. The government ended up coughing up $12 million in TARP funding for OneUnited -- despite another government agency rapping the bank in October 2008 for "operating without effective underwriting standards and practices," "operating without an effective loan documentation program" and "engaging in speculative investment practices."

Oh, and get this: The favored bank of Maxine Waters was also penalized for alleged excessive executive compensation. The FDIC ordered the bank to "sell all bank-owned automobiles," require reimbursement for executives' car purchases (according to the Boston Business Journal, OneUnited CEO Kevin Cohee was cruising around in a 2008 Porsche SUV), and cease payments on a $6 million Santa Monica beachfront home purchased by Cohee, his wife, Teri Williams, who served as bank president, and others.

Responding to scrutiny of the bank's special treatment, Cohee is now accusing critics of -- yep, you guessed it -- racism.

Now, who is sick of Democratic shakedown artists sanctimoniously lecturing others about the culture of corruption? Raise your hand! Raise your hand!


          

These Foreclosure "Victims" Deserve No Sympathy   

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But a closer look at ACORN's sob stories shows that the prototypical foreclosure "victims" don't deserve an ounce of sympathy -- or a cent of our money.

Earlier this week, ACORN activists broke into a foreclosed home in Baltimore. With a mob cheering and camera crew taping, Baltimore ACORN leader Louis Beverly busted a padlock and jimmied the door open at 315 South Ellwood Ave. The home once belonged to restaurant worker Donna Hanks, who assailed her evil bank for raising her mortgage by $300 and leaving her on the street. "This is our house now," Beverly declared with Hanks by his side at the break-in.

What ACORN didn't tell you: Hanks' house was sold in June 2008 for $192,000. She bought the two-story home in the summer of 2001 for $87,000. At some point during the next five years, she refinanced the original home loan for $270,000. Where did all that money go? (Hint: Think house-sized ATM.)

The property initially went into foreclosure proceedings in the spring of 2006. Hanks soon filed for bankruptcy and agreed to a Chapter 13 plan to pay back her bank and other creditors. In September 2006, the bankruptcy court ordered Hanks' employer to deduct $340/month from her salary to pay down the debt. Hanks did not comply with the legally binding plan. In December 2007, the loan servicer issued a notice of default on nearly $7,000 past due.

While she was reneging on her mortgage IOUs, she somehow managed to collect rent on her basement (for which she was taken to court) and rack up a criminal record on charges of theft and second-degree assault. The house was sold seven months ago after two years of court-negotiated attempts to allow Hanks to dig herself out of her debt hole.

Beverly, who claims to be a foreclosure victim himself, was charged with burglary for the break-in and released. He is literally a housing thug -- having been separately charged with second-degree assault and property destruction earlier this year; battery, assault, handgun possession and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure in 1992; and slapped with a peace order issued against him in 2006.

The Washington Post spotlighted Beverly's and Hanks' activism without following up on their criminal records and financial negligence. The paper also shilled for ubiquitous ACORN foreclosure "victim" Veronica Peterson of Columbia, Md., recycling uncritically her accusation that she had been tricked into buying a $545,000 home by a broker who inflated her income and misrepresented her assets. "These loans were weapons of mass destruction," the single mom of three and home day care provider who couldn't keep up with her mortgage bills told the Post reporter. "They destroyed our credit, our lives, and they blew up in our face."

But a look at court and real estate records exposed the truth. Edward Ericson Jr., a reporter for the independent Baltimore City Paper, discovered that the "victim" -- who took out a full mortgage with no down payment on a house she couldn't afford -- looks more like a predatory borrower. And amazingly, Peterson lived in the home more than year without paying rent or mortgage.

"The online court and land records show that Peterson closed on the house on Nov. 3, 2006, with two loans from Washington Mutual. The main mortgage, for $436,000, had a starting interest rate of 8.5 percent, adjusting in December. ... The second loan, often called a 'piggyback,' totaled $109,000 with an interest rate of 11.25 percent. ... Those two payments together would have totaled $3,386.17 per month. That's before property taxes, upkeep, utilities, etc. Peterson would have to earn at least $50,000 per year just to make her house payments."

The foreclosure was filed in July 2007. "The balance on the main note then was $435,735.86," Ericson reported, plus unpaid interest and late fees -- suggesting she made at most one payment on the house. "Had she made all of her payments, Peterson would have spent about $64,335 so far. Had she rented a similar place, she would have been charged around $2,500 per month -- a total of $47,500 -- since January 2007. Instead, she apparently paid nothing."

Who are the real suckers? Who are the true victims? If only the reporters swallowing their stories were half as diligent about background checks of ACORN thugs as they were with Joe the Plumber.


          

ACORN and Obama: Together Again   

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Trumpets ACORN: "On Feb. 19, ACORN members will launch a new tactic in fighting foreclosures: civil disobedience. Participants in the ACORN Home Savers campaign nationwide will simply refuse to move out of foreclosed homes, or in some cases, will move back in. ACORN homesteaders intend to squat in their homes until a comprehensive, federal solution for people facing foreclosure is put in place."

ACORN's foot soldiers, funded with your tax dollars, will scream, pound their fists, chain themselves to buildings, padlock the doors and engage in illegal behavior until they get what they want. It's a recipe for anarchy. Threatens Baltimore ACORN's Louis Beverly, who calls himself a "Foreclosure Fighter":

"After you've used all your legal options, your last resort is civil disobedience. We're talking about families who have been in their homes 20 or 30 years. People who are assets in the community, who look out for the elderly, who have community associations, and these are the people being kicked out of the community."

We can all sympathize with good folks who can't pay their bills. But as I've said repeatedly in my criticism of the mortgage entitlement mentality embraced by both parties in Washington, home ownership is not a civil right -- and neither is home retention. Artificially propping up the housing market will only result in more of the same costly borrow-spend-panic-repeat cycles that got us into this mess in the first place. Failing corporations need to fail. So do failing home borrowers. This is borrowing from frugal renter Peter to pay profligate Paul's home loan.

Now that's the kind of theft that should be the subject of civil disobedience.

Instead, ACORN offices, funded with your tax dollars, are training teams of "Home Savers" -- described as "people ready and willing to mobilize on short notice to defend the homesteaders against attempts to evict them." Ready, willing and able to mobilize on short notice because they are either unemployed or employed full time as ACORN shakedown artists.

Guess who's encouraging them to defy the law. Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who told them: "Stay in your homes. If the American people, anybody out there is being foreclosed, don't leave." The housing bullies will be assisted by left-wing propaganda documentarians at the Brave New Foundation, headed up by Hollywood lib Robert Greenwald, who will disseminate sob stories to crank up pressure while Obama pushes his housing entitlement plan.

ACORN is targeting the following cities: Tucson, Ariz.; Oakland, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Contra Costa County, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Baltimore, Md.; New York, N.Y.; Houston, Texas; San Mateo County, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Wilmington, Del.; Broward County, Fla.; Boston, Mass.; Flint, Mich.; Detroit, Mich.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Raleigh, N.C.; Durham, N.C.; Albany, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Dallas, Texas.

ACORN has waited three decades for this moment in the sun. And as Obama promised ACORN members at a forum in December 2007, "We're going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. We're gonna be having meetings all across the country ... so that you have input into the agenda." The moment is nigh. Prepare for lawlessness.


          

Barack Obama's Savior-Based Economy   

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The event turned into a full-blown revival meeting when Obama announced that the Senate had passed his massive stimulus plan. Audience members erupted into applause. Tongues of fire descended from the sky. Loaves and fishes (or rather, pork and Kool-Aid) multiplied miraculously into trillions for all. GOP Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina didn't know how right he was when he warned over the weekend: "We're moving precipitously close to what I would call a savior-based economy."

Like Mighty Mouse, President Obama is here to save the day. The government is here to help -- and it is your patriotic duty to pay for it all without preconditions. Hughes didn't explain the cause of her financial turmoil. Obama didn't ask. And if we conservatives dare to question the circumstances -- and the underlying assumption that it is government's (that is, taxpayers') role to bail her out -- we'll be lambasted as cruel haters of the downtrodden.

Woe unto ye unbelievers in Big Government who cling to what Obama derided as "ideological rigidity."

Well, pardon my unbending belief in fairness and personal responsibility, but why should my tax dollars go to feed the housing entitlement beast? At his fear-mongering press conference Monday night, Obama lamented that homeowners "are seeing their property values decline." Countrywide crony Sen. Chris Dodd successfully stuffed $50 billion into the just-passed stimulus package for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to spend on "mandatory loan modifications" for homeowners deep underwater on their mortgages. That's in addition to the $20 billion already allocated by the House last month for the same purposes.

Banks have been engaged in these "Mo Mod" programs over the past year. Democrats want to accelerate the pace and use the power of government to essentially provide a blanket amnesty for borrowers and lenders who made bad financial decisions. Yes, there are many responsible borrowers out there having trouble negotiating loan modifications. But this $50 billion giveaway to the banks -- on top of the upward of $2 trillion more from the Treasury department, on top of the $700 billion in original "TARP" funding -- is throwing more bad money after bad.

This massive expansion of government meddling in the housing market -- yet another attempt to get federal bureaucrats in the business of rewriting loan contracts and reducing principal -- will just delay the inevitable. A report released by the Comptroller of the Currency in December showed that more than half of loans modified in the first quarter of 2008 fell 30 days delinquent within six months. And after six months, 35 percent of people were 60 or more days behind on their payments.

Where's the fairness in forcing prudent homeowners and renters to subsidize people who bought overpriced houses and rescue the banks that lent to them?

Tellingly, Obama chose Ft. Myers to drum up support for his wealth redistributionism. The area has been one of the hardest hit by foreclosures, as the president was quick to point out. But many of those homes are second or third homes and investment properties. And low housing prices are not a catastrophe for everyone. They've created opportunities for Americans who haven't been able to buy in an artificially inflated market. The median sales price of a home in the Ft. Myers area fell 50 percent to $106,900, from $215,200 in December 2007. Bargain-priced home sales are up 146 percent from a year ago.

It's sacrilegious to say it in the Age of Obama, but it needs to be said: Home ownership is not an entitlement. Credit is not a civil right. Your property-value preservation is not my problem. Can I get an "Amen!"?


          

Event Calendar: CIS 2019: The second Crypto Innovation School    

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Event Calendar: CIS 2019: The second Crypto Innovation School
Shanghai, ??, 13 December - 15 December 2019

Event date: 13 December to 15 December 2019
Submission deadline: 30 October 2019
Notification: 10 November 2019

          

Pleasure, Poison, Prescription, Prayer: The Worlds of Mind-Altering Substances, thru Dec 15   

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If you sip a cup of coffee, are you on drugs? If you try psychedelics, are you committing a crime? If you have a sweet tooth, are you a sugar addict?


Since the beginning of human existence, peoples of the world have altered their minds with countless plant-based substances. They have done so for many reasons, ranging from pleasure to health to ceremony, with effects both harmful and benign, inconsequential and profound.


In the exhibit entitled Pleasure, Poison, Prescription, Prayer: The Worlds of Mind-Altering Substances, the Hearst Museum considers the complex social and economic dynamics behind ten mind-altering drugs. Why have some substances become widely available and used on an international scale while others have gained less widespread traction or even been deemed illegal? “From ancient beer drinking to the contemporary opioid crisis, this timely exhibit empowers visitors with the context to understand the complicated stories of mind-altering drugs both near and far, past and present,” says Dr. Benjamin Porter, Director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Around the globe, colonial powers have exerted their influence by casting judgment on the mind-altering plants used by indigenous peoples. How did these methods of control influence how these psychotropics would migrate around the world, be used, and be viewed in a global context today?


Drawing from the Hearst Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibit highlights the incredible range of tools people have made to process, consume, and transport mind-altering substances. Also on view are works of art inspired by these substances which shed light on the inner visions experienced by their users. “Looking afresh at more than three thousand years of artifacts, this exhibit explores not only the highways but the byways of their uses--good and bad together," says Andrew Stewart, Curator of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology. The Hearst invites visitors to question their assumptions about these drugs and the people who use them.

In addition to contributions from faculty curators, undergraduate students at UC Berkeley assisted with research for the exhibit, including Will Schubert, Class of 2019. “Conducting research has been a mind-altering experience in itself,” he said. What especially stands out to me about this exhibit are the substances included that society doesn't normally perceive as mind-altering, such as sugar and caffeine.”

The exhibit will be on view from March 15th - December 15th, 2019. An opening celebration will be held on March 14th, 2019 from 4-6pm. Tickets and additional information are available online at hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu

          

Trans World Radio to retire shortwave services to South Africa by December 31, 2019   

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(Source: Trans World Radio via Marcus Keulertz) Due to changes to the media landscape and subsequent decline in demand for shortwave radio broadcasts in South Africa, TWR will be reducing our English morning broadcasts in the 49, 60 and 90 metre bands on October 27th – followed by a retirement of these broadcasts on December 31st. We […]

          

Lets nip in the bud all conspiracy theories of Pakatan Harapan Government cracking up during the 2020 budget parliamentary meeting from October to December as Pakatan Harapan government intends to last the full term   

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Hentikan teori konspirasi yang mendakwa kononnya Kerajaan Pakatan Harapan akan berpecah semasa pembentangan dan perbahasan Belanjawan 2020 di Parlimen yang akan berlangsung dari Oktober hingga Disember ini kerana Pakatan Harapan memenuhi mandat penggal ini Tiga sidang Parlimen sebelum ini iaitu pada Oktober tahun lalu dan pada Mac serta Julai tahun ini dibayangi dengan laporan media […]

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