Day: March 12, 2017

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Mom, 2 kids killed in New Orleans shooting


A quadruple shooting claimed the lives of two boys and their mother in New Orleans early Friday morning, and left a third child in critical condition at a local hospital.

Authorities have yet to name a suspect or possible motive for the shootings, NOLA.com reported. Crimestoppers has offered a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

Officials arriving on the scene at 4:15 a.m. first found A’Miya Smith, 12, and rushed her to University Medical Center, where she remained Sunday under police guard. A’Miya’s grandmother, Debra Smith, told WDSU that A’miya had been shot in the face.

As investigators ventured deeper into the home, the bodies of Monique Smith, 30, Justin Simms, 10, and Jumyrin Smith, 6, were discovered. 

“Every murder breaks a heart,” NOPD Chief Michael Harrison told reporters. “But to find that children were involved…it really rattles everybody.”

Neighbors told NOLA.com that Monique, her children and her husband moved into the residence about a year or two ago. Initially the family was seen playing in the yard or having cookouts; however, the family soon turned more reclusive and neighbors rarely saw them.

“Every murder breaks a heart.”

– NOPD Chief Michael Harrison

A relative said Monique was separated from her husband, and Debra Smith told WDSU the husband had hit Monique.

“He told me that he did,” Smith said. “That he put his hands on her.”

Authorities haven’t said whether Smith’s husband, who is believed to be living in Mississippi, is a person of interest in the case.

“It’s sad,” a neighbor told NOLA.com. “The family seemed like they were real peaceful. The children seemed happy. But it’s just New Orleans. You never know.”



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Woman pulls gun on drone


Clearly annoyed by a drone hovering near her residence, a woman aims a gun at the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in a video that is going viral.

The drone’s-eye video shows the drone hovering close to a house. A woman appears on the porch and throws stones at the UAV, which flies higher to avoid the projectiles.

HUGE DRONE CAN LIFT 500 POUNDS

The video then shows the woman entering the house before re-emerging with a gun, which she aims at the drone. At that point whoever is piloting the drone gets the message that the UAV is unwelcome and the drone quickly flies away from the house.

The incident took place in Bellevue, Wash., according to media reports.

WATCH ‘SANTA’ FLY BY DRONE

The video has been viewed more than 173,000 times on YouTube.

Last year two guests at a New Hampshire wedding filed a negligence lawsuit against the groom and wedding planning firm after a quadcopter smashed into them during the event.

 



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'Kong' outmuscles 'Logan' to become king of the box office


It was a battle of the beasts at the box office this weekend, and King Kong emerged as the definitive victor over Wolverine.

According to studio estimates Sunday, “Kong: Skull Island” amassed $61 million in its first weekend in theaters, surpassing expectations and easily beating out “Logan,” which is now in its second weekend.

Warner Bros. and Legendary’s “Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. It’s the second in the planned “monster universe” following the latest “Godzilla,” which grossed $529.1 million worldwide in 2014.

Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ head of domestic distribution, said the weekend “far exceeded everyone’s expectations,” and he predicts Monday actuals might come in higher than the estimated $61 million. The film, which earned a B CinemaScore overall, was graded stronger by younger audiences, many of whom will have extra days off soon for spring break.

“The world of mouth is really kicking in,” Goldstein said.

Costing a reported $185 million to produce, “Kong” still has work to be done, however, to reach profitability, and much of that will depend on international earnings.

“They had a solid weekend. But they’re going to be looking for a half-billion worldwide to make it a certifiable hit,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore.

Fox’s “Logan” took second place, down around 58 percent from its first weekend with $37.9 million. The R-rated pic, which sees Hugh Jackman reprising his role as the X-Men character Wolverine, has earned $152.7 million in total.

In third place, “Get Out,” the buzzy horror film directed by Jordan Peele, added $21.1 million, pushing its sum to $111 million in just three weeks.

With a price tag of only $4.5 million, the movie is a certifiable hit for Blumhouse and Universal and continues to remain prominently in the conversation up against films with much larger production and marketing budgets behind them.

Rounding out the top five were the faith-based movie “The Shack,” with $10.1 million, and “The Lego Batman Movie” with $7.8 million.

The strong weekend nudged the year to date out of the red, too, and even at this early date, Dergarabedian thinks the box office might be headed for yet another record year based on the number of releases.

Next week shows no sign of slowing, either, with Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” poised to earn well over $100 million out of the gate.

“It’s a March of beasts for sure,” said Dergarabedian.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1.”Kong: Skull Island,” $61 million.

2.”Logan,” $37.9 million.

3.”Get Out,” $21.1 million.

4.”The Shack,” $10.1 million.

5.”The Lego Batman Movie,” $7.8 million.

6.”Before I Fall,” $3.1 million.

7.”Hidden Figures,” $2.8 million.

8.”John Wick: Chapter Two,” $2.7 million.

9.”MET Opera: La Traviata,” $1.8 million.

10.”La La Land,” $1.8 million.



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'American Guns' star convicted of selling firearms illegally, evading taxes


The star of the reality TV show “American Guns” faces up to 15 years in prison after his conviction last week on firearms and tax evasion charges.

Richard Wyatt, 53, ran a Denver-area gun shop called Gunsmoke that was the setting for the Discovery Channel show for two seasons in 2011 and 2012.

He was found guilty Friday of selling guns without a license and failing to disclose $1.1 million in income to the IRS after a trial in Denver Federal Court, The Denver Post reports.

Marshals took Wyatt into custody right after the jury announced its verdict.

Wyatt lost his federal firearms license in 2009, the paper reported.

His lack of a gun license failed to stop him from negotiating a contract with the Discovery Channel to star in “American Guns,” according to the paper. The contract earned Wyatt about $500,000.

Prosecutors claimed Wyatt kept selling guns without a license in a conspiracy with other gun shops that were licensed.

Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided Gunsmoke in 2015, seizing 583 guns and ammunition, the paper reported.

Wyatt’s lawyer said in 2016 that the ATF’s case was politically motivated.

 



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Al Qaeda-linked group takes credit for bombings in Syrian capital that killed at least 40


An Al Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for twin blasts near holy shrines frequented by Shiites in the Syrian capital Damascus that killed at least 40 people.

The Levant Liberation Committee said in a statement Sunday that the attack was carried by two of its suicide attackers, claiming that they targeted pro-Iranian and pro-government militiamen.

Related stories…

Saturday’s attack also wounded over a hundred, most of them Iraqis, according to Syrian and Iraqi officials. The Al Qaeda-linked group said the blasts were a message to Iran — a main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The attacks came two weeks after members of the same group stormed two different security offices in the central city of Homs, killing and wounding scores of people, including a top Syrian security official.



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Elise Lobb Is Back To Crushing It In Another Incredible Outfit



Sizzling



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Emptying the Barbarian Playbook


As ISIS empties a barbaric playbook of chemical attacks, child suicide bombers, and human shields in a desperate attempt to hold onto Mosul, it may also be adding cannibalism to this poisonous script.

The root of the Islamic State’s maniacal desperation stems from a tightening noose being pulled on by Iraq military forces as they attempt to wrest control of the northwestern Iraqi city.

In an offensive begun last October, the five-month-long battle has turned the once entrenched citadel of ISIS control into a modern-day version of Stalingrad, with two highly armed opponents engaged in fierce, bloody street fighting.

ISIS appears to be playing the role of the German army as the U.S.-backed Iraqi troops have dealt a series of devastating blows, leaving a remnant of 2,000 unyielding Islamic State fighters, along with several hundred foreign jihadist allies, holed up in the western half of the city.  With its caliphate metropolis on the verge of collapse, it’s all hands on deck for the sociopathic Islamists, leading them to take any and all brutal measures to desperately stave off defeat.

To that end, ISIS militants have deployed child suicide bombers as part of their battle plan, a youth-centric stratagem that has left more than three hundred ISIS “Cubs of the Caliphate” killed to date.  Unlike Japanese kamakazi pilots plied with sake to garner the courage to undertake their lethal missions, ISIS uses a nonalcoholic method to instill its young wards with suicidal fortitude, relying instead on promises from Allah of a great heavenly reward.

To be fair, ISIS isn’t alone in using children in such a grotesque manner, given the longstanding practice of Islamist terror groups around the world to utilize underage suicide bombers, including those with Down syndrome, making children the Islamists’ favorite choice of human explosive.

Unfortunately for ISIS, exploding children hasn’t been enough to turn the tide of battle, so naturally, its agents upped the ante by employing human shields picked from among the nearly 750,000 Iraqis trapped with them to halt the Iraqi advance.  Those who resist the urge to be used as human armor are eagerly gunned down by ISIS fighters, a chilling fact that still hasn’t prevented nearly 50,000 civilians from fleeing their captors in the last several weeks.

Not to be deterred, ISIS took the next logical step and launched rockets reportedly containing mustard gas against civilians residing in Iraqi-held eastern neighborhoods.  International outrage aside, it was a routine deployment of barbarism for ISIS, given that the group has been suspected of using chemical weapons dozens of times since 2014, including a 2016 rocket-launched chemical attack against American soldiers stationed at the Qayyarah air base near Mosul.

Outside its attempts to turn Mosul into a World War I-style poisonous gas-filled battlefield, it should be noted that ISIS tactics differ little from the global myriad of jihadi-crazed terror groups.  From Boko Haram to Al Shabaab to al-Qaeda to the Taliban and other mutant fanatical outfits, they all use a similar standardized version of Islamist monstrosity.

Yet the decades-long litany of unrelenting atrocities undertaken by these organizations led many in the world to grow numb to their effects, opening the door for ISIS to burst onto the scene and captivate imaginations with new levels of barbarity, like a movie producer who offered added shock value to an Islamist horror genre grown stale.  ISIS fit into this role neatly, given its self-identity as Islam’s really true believers, avid acceptors of a literal translation of the Koran who view many of their fellow Sunni Muslims, let alone the blasphemous Shiites, as less than pure followers of Allah.

That’s why, in its zealous mission to create a 7th-century Islamic caliphate, ISIS separated itself from the other Islamist terror packs by creating its own unique brand.  This included creating such fine tag distinctions as drowning people in cages, dunking people in vats of nitric acid and scalding tar, grinding bodies into meat, burning people alive, and crucifixion.  It should be noted that while ISIS is a committed equal-opportunity anti-apostasy enforcer, targeting fellow Muslims and even its own fighters not fully on board with its medieval agenda, it has reserved most of these heinous punishments for Christians and other religious minorities.

Like any good marketer, ISIS also became adept at using social networking sites to share through video and photographic uploads its jihadi product line of mass killings and executions.

While other Islamist terror groups employed similar media tactics, ISIS efforts have gained better traction, given the more gruesome material it had to offer – in particular, a signature twist of using children as a main subject feature in its promotional catalog of torture and death.

ISIS also offered a more enhanced benefit package to gain better applicants in a crowded jihadi job market by establishing a fully functioning sex slavery system comprising young women and girls, some as young as nine, from Christian and other non-Muslim groups.  Given Islamic taboos against premarital sex and a deeply rooted Islamic attachment to prepubescent girls, offering these children up for systematic rape multiple times a day proved to be a great recruiting tool to entice sex-starved ISIS fighters.

While all these ISIS innovations had the benefit of instilling a lethal dose of fear into anyone who had the misfortune to fall under the organization’s territorial control, they also produced detractors among the group’s jihadi competitors.

An example of that professional dismissal was found in documents taken from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound, which detailed complaints that ISIS savagery was damaging al-Qaeda’s jihadi reputation, which admittedly is akin to Jeffery Dahmer being offended by the excesses of Hannibal Lector and the latter’s potential negative impact on the serial killer community.

Nevertheless, given the ruthless ISIS reputation, it does make one wonder how far ISIS can sink into the slime in its efforts to keep from losing Mosul, a question that may have been recently answered in an instructional handbook taken from one of the jihadi training schools that pepper the ISIS caliphate.  There, a curriculum lesson on how to eat non-Muslims if food supplies run dangerously low was outlined, along with precise instructions on how to prepare a properly cooked human.

The ISIS cannibalism guide gives Koranic justification for consuming non-Muslims, an academic lesson the mentally unhinged Islamists have apparently passed, given their already documented serving of human food, albeit to a welcoming invitee.  That truly horrifying and despicably insane act was committed near Mosul against a Yazidi woman who was starved for several days and then fed the remains of her three-year-old son.  She was told by her deranged captors that it was meat mixed with rice.

In a bit of bad news for ISIS, though, the scarcity of Christians and Yazidis still alive in Mosul due to its genocidal acts means that the jihadis may be forced to go against Koranic strictures and substitute fellow Muslims on the entrée plate.  Even though that gruesome possibility remains on the table, not everyone is waiting to join in, as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and some of his aides have reportedly fled Mosul to parts unknown.

While, if true, that news may signal the end of the living nightmare that has plagued the people of Mosul, given the inexhaustible cruelty of the Islamic State, the nightmare will continue to play out in what remains of its dying caliphate.

Frank Crimi is the author of Divine Roosters & Angry Clowns. He can be reached at frankcrimi@politicallyunbalanced.com.

As ISIS empties a barbaric playbook of chemical attacks, child suicide bombers, and human shields in a desperate attempt to hold onto Mosul, it may also be adding cannibalism to this poisonous script.

The root of the Islamic State’s maniacal desperation stems from a tightening noose being pulled on by Iraq military forces as they attempt to wrest control of the northwestern Iraqi city.

In an offensive begun last October, the five-month-long battle has turned the once entrenched citadel of ISIS control into a modern-day version of Stalingrad, with two highly armed opponents engaged in fierce, bloody street fighting.

ISIS appears to be playing the role of the German army as the U.S.-backed Iraqi troops have dealt a series of devastating blows, leaving a remnant of 2,000 unyielding Islamic State fighters, along with several hundred foreign jihadist allies, holed up in the western half of the city.  With its caliphate metropolis on the verge of collapse, it’s all hands on deck for the sociopathic Islamists, leading them to take any and all brutal measures to desperately stave off defeat.

To that end, ISIS militants have deployed child suicide bombers as part of their battle plan, a youth-centric stratagem that has left more than three hundred ISIS “Cubs of the Caliphate” killed to date.  Unlike Japanese kamakazi pilots plied with sake to garner the courage to undertake their lethal missions, ISIS uses a nonalcoholic method to instill its young wards with suicidal fortitude, relying instead on promises from Allah of a great heavenly reward.

To be fair, ISIS isn’t alone in using children in such a grotesque manner, given the longstanding practice of Islamist terror groups around the world to utilize underage suicide bombers, including those with Down syndrome, making children the Islamists’ favorite choice of human explosive.

Unfortunately for ISIS, exploding children hasn’t been enough to turn the tide of battle, so naturally, its agents upped the ante by employing human shields picked from among the nearly 750,000 Iraqis trapped with them to halt the Iraqi advance.  Those who resist the urge to be used as human armor are eagerly gunned down by ISIS fighters, a chilling fact that still hasn’t prevented nearly 50,000 civilians from fleeing their captors in the last several weeks.

Not to be deterred, ISIS took the next logical step and launched rockets reportedly containing mustard gas against civilians residing in Iraqi-held eastern neighborhoods.  International outrage aside, it was a routine deployment of barbarism for ISIS, given that the group has been suspected of using chemical weapons dozens of times since 2014, including a 2016 rocket-launched chemical attack against American soldiers stationed at the Qayyarah air base near Mosul.

Outside its attempts to turn Mosul into a World War I-style poisonous gas-filled battlefield, it should be noted that ISIS tactics differ little from the global myriad of jihadi-crazed terror groups.  From Boko Haram to Al Shabaab to al-Qaeda to the Taliban and other mutant fanatical outfits, they all use a similar standardized version of Islamist monstrosity.

Yet the decades-long litany of unrelenting atrocities undertaken by these organizations led many in the world to grow numb to their effects, opening the door for ISIS to burst onto the scene and captivate imaginations with new levels of barbarity, like a movie producer who offered added shock value to an Islamist horror genre grown stale.  ISIS fit into this role neatly, given its self-identity as Islam’s really true believers, avid acceptors of a literal translation of the Koran who view many of their fellow Sunni Muslims, let alone the blasphemous Shiites, as less than pure followers of Allah.

That’s why, in its zealous mission to create a 7th-century Islamic caliphate, ISIS separated itself from the other Islamist terror packs by creating its own unique brand.  This included creating such fine tag distinctions as drowning people in cages, dunking people in vats of nitric acid and scalding tar, grinding bodies into meat, burning people alive, and crucifixion.  It should be noted that while ISIS is a committed equal-opportunity anti-apostasy enforcer, targeting fellow Muslims and even its own fighters not fully on board with its medieval agenda, it has reserved most of these heinous punishments for Christians and other religious minorities.

Like any good marketer, ISIS also became adept at using social networking sites to share through video and photographic uploads its jihadi product line of mass killings and executions.

While other Islamist terror groups employed similar media tactics, ISIS efforts have gained better traction, given the more gruesome material it had to offer – in particular, a signature twist of using children as a main subject feature in its promotional catalog of torture and death.

ISIS also offered a more enhanced benefit package to gain better applicants in a crowded jihadi job market by establishing a fully functioning sex slavery system comprising young women and girls, some as young as nine, from Christian and other non-Muslim groups.  Given Islamic taboos against premarital sex and a deeply rooted Islamic attachment to prepubescent girls, offering these children up for systematic rape multiple times a day proved to be a great recruiting tool to entice sex-starved ISIS fighters.

While all these ISIS innovations had the benefit of instilling a lethal dose of fear into anyone who had the misfortune to fall under the organization’s territorial control, they also produced detractors among the group’s jihadi competitors.

An example of that professional dismissal was found in documents taken from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound, which detailed complaints that ISIS savagery was damaging al-Qaeda’s jihadi reputation, which admittedly is akin to Jeffery Dahmer being offended by the excesses of Hannibal Lector and the latter’s potential negative impact on the serial killer community.

Nevertheless, given the ruthless ISIS reputation, it does make one wonder how far ISIS can sink into the slime in its efforts to keep from losing Mosul, a question that may have been recently answered in an instructional handbook taken from one of the jihadi training schools that pepper the ISIS caliphate.  There, a curriculum lesson on how to eat non-Muslims if food supplies run dangerously low was outlined, along with precise instructions on how to prepare a properly cooked human.

The ISIS cannibalism guide gives Koranic justification for consuming non-Muslims, an academic lesson the mentally unhinged Islamists have apparently passed, given their already documented serving of human food, albeit to a welcoming invitee.  That truly horrifying and despicably insane act was committed near Mosul against a Yazidi woman who was starved for several days and then fed the remains of her three-year-old son.  She was told by her deranged captors that it was meat mixed with rice.

In a bit of bad news for ISIS, though, the scarcity of Christians and Yazidis still alive in Mosul due to its genocidal acts means that the jihadis may be forced to go against Koranic strictures and substitute fellow Muslims on the entrée plate.  Even though that gruesome possibility remains on the table, not everyone is waiting to join in, as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and some of his aides have reportedly fled Mosul to parts unknown.

While, if true, that news may signal the end of the living nightmare that has plagued the people of Mosul, given the inexhaustible cruelty of the Islamic State, the nightmare will continue to play out in what remains of its dying caliphate.

Frank Crimi is the author of Divine Roosters & Angry Clowns. He can be reached at frankcrimi@politicallyunbalanced.com.



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Eskimo village aims to serve up reindeer meat far and wide


A remote Eskimo village on a tundra-covered island in western Alaska is hoping to counter its steep unemployment rate and achieve greater self-sufficiency through one of its few resources: reindeer meat.

Mekoryuk’s tribal government is expanding its commercial reindeer venture with a herd introduced a century ago to Nunivak Island, 40 miles off the coast in the Bering Sea.

The endeavor includes plans to build a new slaughterhouse with $1.8 million in federal grants and offer reindeer steaks and roasts for sale in urban parts of Alaska such as Anchorage and ultimately the lower 48.

Related stories…

The Cup’ig Eskimo community of 200 had a similar operation in the past, with a regulated slaughterhouse that allowed it to sell reindeer meat to a broad market that included high-end Denver restaurants.

“The idea behind this was to try to re-establish that market and the whole process here,” said Dale Smith, the tribe’s operations director.

The earlier operation went downhill after the villager who was considered its driving force died in a 1996 helicopter crash while surveying the island’s far-ranging reindeer. The slaughterhouse fell into disrepair, eventually forcing locals to do their slaughtering out on the tundra and limiting where the meat could be sold.

Reindeer meat is lean and high in essential fatty acids, and it’s considered by some to be superior in taste to its wild migrating cousin, the caribou.

The tribe’s reindeer are among several major herds in greater western Alaska, including the Seward Peninsula, a region farther north that’s home to an estimated 10,000 animals.

The herd on Nunivak, which is slightly bigger than Rhode Island, is estimated at up to 2,500 animals. It is the largest source of reindeer meat sold commercially in the state, said ecologist Greg Finstad, manager of the University of Alaska Fairbanks reindeer research program.

Construction of the new slaughterhouse is slated to begin by summer in the effort funded by grants from the federal Economic Development Administration. A regional nonprofit, the Coastal Villages Region Fund, is footing some of the cost of four new snowmobiles for herding the animals.

The slaughterhouse is expected to meet rigorous inspection standards, Finstad said. This will allow residents to greatly expand their market, selling to restaurants and sausage companies.

They also will be able to process the meat into steaks, roasts and the like. Currently, field-dressed reindeer meat from Nunivak is sold under certain restrictions to locals as well as some rural grocery stores.

The expansion is expected to bring additional revenue for the tribe’s commercial reindeer subsidiary, Nuniwarmiut Reindeer and Seafood Products, while creating as many as 20 seasonal winter jobs for locals.

Like other remote communities, Mekoryuk, the island’s only town, has limited jobs opportunities. It had an average unemployment rate of nearly 28 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to the latest data available.

Residents work for the tribal and local governments, the village store, clinic and school, and a handful of other entities. For much of their food, they rely on subsistence activities, such as harvesting reindeer, hunting seals and fishing for salmon.

For a time, there was a small halibut processing plant operated by the Coastal Villages Region Fund, but it shut down a few years ago after proving unprofitable, leaving reindeer as the community’s main economic driver.

That was a good reason to invest in Mekoryuk, said Shirley Kelly, an official with the federal economic development agency in Anchorage.

“It’s going to help them build economic resiliency,” she said.

Alaska Commercial Co., which has stores in nearly three dozen remote communities in the state, carries Nunivak’s reindeer meat at 20 of its northernmost stores, including in the commercial hub town of Bethel, 150 miles east of Mekoryuk. The reindeer carcasses are sent in halves to Anchorage, where they are processed into cuts and packaged by AC workers, AC general manager Walter Pickett said.

“Right now, our demand exceeds the supply,” he said, adding the chain would like to buy more reindeer as the supply increases.

Finstad said he applauds the village’s efforts to become less reliant on government.

“Their natural resource is the vegetation on their island, and they’re developing it into a product they can market — reindeer meat,” Finstad said.



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Reparations: Accounting Nightmare, Social Disaster


From time to time, we hear proposals for reparations for America’s past wrongs.  American Thinker has recently highlighted this theme here, here, and here.  The idea is primarily to extract some unspecified amount of money from living white citizens to pay living black citizens to atone for our national sins of slavery, Jim Crow laws, Black Codes, the Ku Klux Klan, and various forms of racial oppression and discrimination.  Is this a good idea?  A bad idea?  A feasible idea?  An absurd idea?

From practical and moral perspectives, the application of such a program of reparations would be not only unworkable, but an administrative and social nightmare.  First, it would be impossible to accomplish.  Second, it would be deeply divisive and destructive to all Americans – black, white, mixed-race, other ethnic minorities, or any combination of races.

Let’s assume for a moment that the idea is legislated, ratified, enacted, whatever.  How would we implement and enforce it?  Before anything else can happen, we have to seek answers to the following questions:

  • Who would receive payments?
  • Who would pay?
  • How would funds be collected and distributed?
  • Who would control and administer the funds collected?
  • Who would make the decisions about who pays into the fund and who receives payment from the fund?
  • What would happen to Americans now living in racial harmony?

Most importantly, how could we deal with the divisions and acrimony such a plan would create?  These are not trivial questions.  They go to the heart of what it is to be an American today of any color, ethnicity, or race.  (Leave aside for now the ultimate question of why this should happen.)  For starters, let’s consider all of the players:

  1. Slaves:

    1. Former slaves.
    2. Descendants of slaves.
  1. Slave owners:

    1. Plantations.
    2. Households (including many in northern states).
  1. Inhabitants of slave states:

    1. Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
    2. Confederate civilians during the Civil War.
    3. Southern abolitionists.
  1. Inhabitants of Free States:

    1. Union soldiers during the Civil War.
    2. Union civilians during the Civil War.
    3. Union abolitionists.
    4. Union supporters of slavery.
  1. Americans with no direct connection to the institution of slavery.

    1. Settlers living in Western territories prior to statehood.
    2. Immigrants arriving after slavery was abolished.
    3. Americans of mixed race and their children.
    4. Americans who continue to believe in or practice racial discrimination.
    5. Americans now living in racial harmony.

An Administrative and Accounting Nightmare

Immediately following the Civil War era, the administrative nightmare becomes obvious.  If we extend this list into the post-Civil War era of Carpetbaggers, Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, and Civil Rights battles in Congress beginning immediately after the war, what do we end up with?  Clearly, categories 1 through 4 above (except for 1b, descendants of slaves) are no longer living.  This leaves us with category 5.  Let’s simplify the scheme by creating a category that captures all potential payers and receivers: living descendants of all of the above.  Let’s examine these questions, apply them broadly to our list, and give serious thought to this proposal.

Who Would Receive Payments?

Obviously, the most worthy of reparations are the black slaves themselves.  (For simplicity, we will set aside the question of slaves of other races for now.)  Since the last of the slaves freed by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the victory of the Union over the Confederacy have been dead for almost half a century, this is a moot point.  The most credible reports say the last black American slaves died in 1969 and 1972 at the ages of 110 and 116, respectively.

This leaves us with the descendants of slaves.  But identifying these people could take years or decades to verify the tens of millions of possible claimants.  Those demanding reparations would have to locate and study census records, family genealogies, oral histories, academic works, newspaper archives, church rosters, even legal and corporate databases.  Even with the scope and speed of internet search engines, the task would be monumental.  A new industry of researchers, advocates, and litigators would emerge, generating enormous fees, costs, and expenses.

The problem of determining legitimate claims is further aggravated when we try to sort out the “degree of blackness.”  Do we pay reparations to mixed-race people with legitimate claims to slave ancestry?  If so, what percent of “racial purity” allows a claimant to a share of the reparations?  (“Racial purity” is an ugly phrase in its own right.  It was used by proponents of eugenics like Margaret Sanger and is still used by some in the abortion industry to justify their evil trade.)  Would a person with one black parent and one white parent be required to pay into the fund as well as receive payment from it?  In other words, this system would lead to the absurd position that a half-white, half-black person would be required to pay himself reparations!

Who Would Pay?

On the flip-side, which Americans would be judged guilty and forced to pay into the “Reparation Fund”?  Who would make these judgments?  This nation fought its second deadliest war (second to World War II) in part to end slavery, including hundreds of thousands who fought and died to defeat the slave states.  Would descendants of Union soldiers be required to pay the same amount as those of Confederate soldiers?  Or should their service in the cause of emancipation be taken into account for their descendants concerning payments for the wrongs of others?  What about Northern slave owners and supporters of slavery?

Would we grant exemptions for descendants of abolitionists, whether they were from Southern or Northern states?  What about Americans who had no connection to slavery at all?  Do we charge descendants of settlers living in western territories prior to statehood or immigrants who arrived after emancipation?  Or the tens of thousands of couples who have intermarried with people of different races or adopted black children?  Or their mixed-race children?

Who Would Collect, Control, and Administer the Funds Collected?

The most likely answer would be to create a federal commission to establish the rules and procedures.  This would create a massive and budget-hungry bureaucracy.  It would need an army of accountants, attorneys, claims examiners, clerks, and support staff.  Would the commission have the power to levy reparation funds similar to IRS powers of taxation?  Or would they opt to create a new division within IRS to take over the collections?  The paperwork would be unimaginably complex.  The litigation would be eternal.

Who Would Make Decisions about Who Pays into or Receives Payment from the Fund?

The reparations fund would require highly skilled executives and managers experienced in making difficult decisions.  Should the commission be appointed or elected?  Should it be representative of the whole population or racially weighted toward the “victims”?  Even with the most principled leadership, the whole process would inevitably – and quickly – become mired in turf-building, political infighting, and racial acrimony.  And we have not yet even addressed the question of how much the payments should be.  Would payments be uniform?  Set on a sliding scale based on the alleged degree of racial culpability?  Paid in lump sums?  Paid out over time?  What about appeals?  Would we get the courts involved?  We would pile nightmare upon judicial nightmare.

What Would Happen to Americans Now Living in Racial Harmony?

If you think “identity politics” is ugly now, just wait until the scramble for claims payments based on racial identity is institutionalized in a federal bureaucracy – not to mention the justifiable resistance from a large percentage of the population.  Many good citizens with no racial animosity whatsoever would be forced into conflict with friends, co-workers, and even family members of other races.  And this does not even factor in other minorities who may be encouraged to demand their own competing reparations for past wrongs, thus expanding the circles of racial and ethnic hostility.  This lunacy would only further divide us and set us against each other.  Fault lines in our already racially fractured society would widen even further and grow into major societal earthquakes.

Who Are the Real Creators of Racial Oppression and Conflict?

How do we deal with that segment of contemporary society who have constructed and perpetuated the present-day form of slavery?  Who are these people?  What are the institutions they have created over the past century and a half to prolong racism and discrimination – e.g., Jim Crow laws, Black Codes, the Ku Klux Klan?  Who built and continues to enforce the modern “plantation economy” that keeps millions of our black citizens trapped in a system of welfare dependence and hopelessness?  We can give them a name: the Democratic Party and their corrupt regime of modern liberalism.

Finally, who has created, legalized, defended, and funded the atrocity of the abortion industry that has targeted minority – especially black – neighborhoods since Margaret Sanger opened her first birth control clinic in Harlem in 1918?  That would be the same industry (hidden behind the euphemism of “pro-choice”) that has resulted in the deliberate extermination of almost 18 million black children (31% of the 58.6 million abortions since 1973 and 40% in 2013 alone).  By one estimate, the black population has been reduced by more than 25% since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.  This is the system that has largely achieved Sanger’s vision of eliminating the “human weeds” from our nation – again brought to you by the preachers of compassion known as the Democratic Party.

If Not Reparations, Then What?

Where does this leave us?  Clearly, the concept of racial reparations would be economically impossible, socially destructive, and deadly for race relations in our country.  The only way forward is to look back.  Look back to our greatest spiritual and religious leaders who have taught us the only way forward – love of neighbor, compassion for the poor, the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount.  Share our time, talent, and treasure with our fellow men and women regardless of race, color, or creed.  Develop in our lives those qualities that unite rather than divide.  Remember the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that [our] children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

If an enforceable policy of racial reparations were ever to take hold in America, the consequences would be catastrophic to all Americans.  In addition to the horrors cataloged above, it would encourage the worst elements of our society – namely, the race-baiters, the grievance industry, and the hustlers of racial hatred toward white citizens.  Be afraid of reparations.  Be very afraid.

From time to time, we hear proposals for reparations for America’s past wrongs.  American Thinker has recently highlighted this theme here, here, and here.  The idea is primarily to extract some unspecified amount of money from living white citizens to pay living black citizens to atone for our national sins of slavery, Jim Crow laws, Black Codes, the Ku Klux Klan, and various forms of racial oppression and discrimination.  Is this a good idea?  A bad idea?  A feasible idea?  An absurd idea?

From practical and moral perspectives, the application of such a program of reparations would be not only unworkable, but an administrative and social nightmare.  First, it would be impossible to accomplish.  Second, it would be deeply divisive and destructive to all Americans – black, white, mixed-race, other ethnic minorities, or any combination of races.

Let’s assume for a moment that the idea is legislated, ratified, enacted, whatever.  How would we implement and enforce it?  Before anything else can happen, we have to seek answers to the following questions:

  • Who would receive payments?
  • Who would pay?
  • How would funds be collected and distributed?
  • Who would control and administer the funds collected?
  • Who would make the decisions about who pays into the fund and who receives payment from the fund?
  • What would happen to Americans now living in racial harmony?

Most importantly, how could we deal with the divisions and acrimony such a plan would create?  These are not trivial questions.  They go to the heart of what it is to be an American today of any color, ethnicity, or race.  (Leave aside for now the ultimate question of why this should happen.)  For starters, let’s consider all of the players:

  1. Slaves:

    1. Former slaves.
    2. Descendants of slaves.
  1. Slave owners:

    1. Plantations.
    2. Households (including many in northern states).
  1. Inhabitants of slave states:

    1. Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
    2. Confederate civilians during the Civil War.
    3. Southern abolitionists.
  1. Inhabitants of Free States:

    1. Union soldiers during the Civil War.
    2. Union civilians during the Civil War.
    3. Union abolitionists.
    4. Union supporters of slavery.
  1. Americans with no direct connection to the institution of slavery.

    1. Settlers living in Western territories prior to statehood.
    2. Immigrants arriving after slavery was abolished.
    3. Americans of mixed race and their children.
    4. Americans who continue to believe in or practice racial discrimination.
    5. Americans now living in racial harmony.

An Administrative and Accounting Nightmare

Immediately following the Civil War era, the administrative nightmare becomes obvious.  If we extend this list into the post-Civil War era of Carpetbaggers, Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, and Civil Rights battles in Congress beginning immediately after the war, what do we end up with?  Clearly, categories 1 through 4 above (except for 1b, descendants of slaves) are no longer living.  This leaves us with category 5.  Let’s simplify the scheme by creating a category that captures all potential payers and receivers: living descendants of all of the above.  Let’s examine these questions, apply them broadly to our list, and give serious thought to this proposal.

Who Would Receive Payments?

Obviously, the most worthy of reparations are the black slaves themselves.  (For simplicity, we will set aside the question of slaves of other races for now.)  Since the last of the slaves freed by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the victory of the Union over the Confederacy have been dead for almost half a century, this is a moot point.  The most credible reports say the last black American slaves died in 1969 and 1972 at the ages of 110 and 116, respectively.

This leaves us with the descendants of slaves.  But identifying these people could take years or decades to verify the tens of millions of possible claimants.  Those demanding reparations would have to locate and study census records, family genealogies, oral histories, academic works, newspaper archives, church rosters, even legal and corporate databases.  Even with the scope and speed of internet search engines, the task would be monumental.  A new industry of researchers, advocates, and litigators would emerge, generating enormous fees, costs, and expenses.

The problem of determining legitimate claims is further aggravated when we try to sort out the “degree of blackness.”  Do we pay reparations to mixed-race people with legitimate claims to slave ancestry?  If so, what percent of “racial purity” allows a claimant to a share of the reparations?  (“Racial purity” is an ugly phrase in its own right.  It was used by proponents of eugenics like Margaret Sanger and is still used by some in the abortion industry to justify their evil trade.)  Would a person with one black parent and one white parent be required to pay into the fund as well as receive payment from it?  In other words, this system would lead to the absurd position that a half-white, half-black person would be required to pay himself reparations!

Who Would Pay?

On the flip-side, which Americans would be judged guilty and forced to pay into the “Reparation Fund”?  Who would make these judgments?  This nation fought its second deadliest war (second to World War II) in part to end slavery, including hundreds of thousands who fought and died to defeat the slave states.  Would descendants of Union soldiers be required to pay the same amount as those of Confederate soldiers?  Or should their service in the cause of emancipation be taken into account for their descendants concerning payments for the wrongs of others?  What about Northern slave owners and supporters of slavery?

Would we grant exemptions for descendants of abolitionists, whether they were from Southern or Northern states?  What about Americans who had no connection to slavery at all?  Do we charge descendants of settlers living in western territories prior to statehood or immigrants who arrived after emancipation?  Or the tens of thousands of couples who have intermarried with people of different races or adopted black children?  Or their mixed-race children?

Who Would Collect, Control, and Administer the Funds Collected?

The most likely answer would be to create a federal commission to establish the rules and procedures.  This would create a massive and budget-hungry bureaucracy.  It would need an army of accountants, attorneys, claims examiners, clerks, and support staff.  Would the commission have the power to levy reparation funds similar to IRS powers of taxation?  Or would they opt to create a new division within IRS to take over the collections?  The paperwork would be unimaginably complex.  The litigation would be eternal.

Who Would Make Decisions about Who Pays into or Receives Payment from the Fund?

The reparations fund would require highly skilled executives and managers experienced in making difficult decisions.  Should the commission be appointed or elected?  Should it be representative of the whole population or racially weighted toward the “victims”?  Even with the most principled leadership, the whole process would inevitably – and quickly – become mired in turf-building, political infighting, and racial acrimony.  And we have not yet even addressed the question of how much the payments should be.  Would payments be uniform?  Set on a sliding scale based on the alleged degree of racial culpability?  Paid in lump sums?  Paid out over time?  What about appeals?  Would we get the courts involved?  We would pile nightmare upon judicial nightmare.

What Would Happen to Americans Now Living in Racial Harmony?

If you think “identity politics” is ugly now, just wait until the scramble for claims payments based on racial identity is institutionalized in a federal bureaucracy – not to mention the justifiable resistance from a large percentage of the population.  Many good citizens with no racial animosity whatsoever would be forced into conflict with friends, co-workers, and even family members of other races.  And this does not even factor in other minorities who may be encouraged to demand their own competing reparations for past wrongs, thus expanding the circles of racial and ethnic hostility.  This lunacy would only further divide us and set us against each other.  Fault lines in our already racially fractured society would widen even further and grow into major societal earthquakes.

Who Are the Real Creators of Racial Oppression and Conflict?

How do we deal with that segment of contemporary society who have constructed and perpetuated the present-day form of slavery?  Who are these people?  What are the institutions they have created over the past century and a half to prolong racism and discrimination – e.g., Jim Crow laws, Black Codes, the Ku Klux Klan?  Who built and continues to enforce the modern “plantation economy” that keeps millions of our black citizens trapped in a system of welfare dependence and hopelessness?  We can give them a name: the Democratic Party and their corrupt regime of modern liberalism.

Finally, who has created, legalized, defended, and funded the atrocity of the abortion industry that has targeted minority – especially black – neighborhoods since Margaret Sanger opened her first birth control clinic in Harlem in 1918?  That would be the same industry (hidden behind the euphemism of “pro-choice”) that has resulted in the deliberate extermination of almost 18 million black children (31% of the 58.6 million abortions since 1973 and 40% in 2013 alone).  By one estimate, the black population has been reduced by more than 25% since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.  This is the system that has largely achieved Sanger’s vision of eliminating the “human weeds” from our nation – again brought to you by the preachers of compassion known as the Democratic Party.

If Not Reparations, Then What?

Where does this leave us?  Clearly, the concept of racial reparations would be economically impossible, socially destructive, and deadly for race relations in our country.  The only way forward is to look back.  Look back to our greatest spiritual and religious leaders who have taught us the only way forward – love of neighbor, compassion for the poor, the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount.  Share our time, talent, and treasure with our fellow men and women regardless of race, color, or creed.  Develop in our lives those qualities that unite rather than divide.  Remember the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that [our] children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

If an enforceable policy of racial reparations were ever to take hold in America, the consequences would be catastrophic to all Americans.  In addition to the horrors cataloged above, it would encourage the worst elements of our society – namely, the race-baiters, the grievance industry, and the hustlers of racial hatred toward white citizens.  Be afraid of reparations.  Be very afraid.



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694940094001_5353710451001_How-to-make-your-cell-phone-self-destruct.jpg

This phone will self-destruct


This cell phone will self-destruct. And so will this battery, this computer chip and a whole spectrum of military electronics – on command – just like a real life version of that iconic moment in “Mission Impossible.”

In the “Mission Impossible” shows and films, the team uses devices that deliver secret messages and can self-destruct on command. This protects the data from falling into enemy hands and putting the team and mission at risk.

Forget “find my iPhone”… soon, if your phone or device is stolen, you too may able to order it to self-destruct and protect your personal data whether it’s family photos or your co-workers’ phone numbers.

Work is underway around the world to create technology that can destroy things if they fall into the wrong hands.

INCREDIBLE TECH DETECTS GUNFIRE ACROSS AMERICA

In Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology developed a new device that can thwart thieves. The idea is that if your phone is stolen you can trigger your phone to self-destruct in mere seconds.

How does it work?

The technology, made of polymer and silicon, is placed inside the phone.

If your phone is stolen, then you trigger the tech. The self-destruct could be triggered remotely using an app.

The tech then harnesses the power from the phone battery. The power fuels the tech to expand seven times its original size. Ultimately, the tech explodes in less than 10 seconds from the time you trigger it.

Self-destruct for secrecy

With applications in mind for military and intelligence services, the research team ran a series of experiments that revolved around someone trying to remove secret data from its secured location. They developed a number of different ways to trigger self-destruction.

THIS FOAM STOPS BULLETS COLD AND PULVERIZES THEM TO DUST

If the modified device was moved out of a designated space, a GPS sensor triggered the device to explode.

Should someone try to break into a casing that protects the tech, then a pressure sensor would trigger destruction.

If the tech-enhanced device was moved from dark to light – as if someone tried to take something secret out of your safe, drawer, pocket or bag – then it triggered self-destruct.

How soon can you modify your phone to self-destruct?

The team estimated it would cost around $15, but it is still unclear how soon the tech will become available and whether it will be widely available or restricted.

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Researchers have already discussed the technology in IEEE Spectrum.

So what is the US military up to on this front?

Lots. The VAPR initiative is one of the most exciting by far. VAPR is a DARPA program and stands for Vanishing Programmable Resources.

The general idea is to be able to make devices self-destruct remotely and vanish like vapor. It has already produced lots of astonishing advances to help keep secret data and advanced tech out of the wrong hands.

Why?

Think of it like Snapchat for military electronics. Just like how you can control who sees your data with Snapchat and it disappears, it is the same idea with this concept. You control who uses your tech. If someone gets a hold of it, you can make it self-destruct or even vanish.

‘BIONIC’ EYE ON THE FUTURE: FROM ‘STAR TREK’ VISORS TO ‘MISSION IMPOSSIBLE’ CONTACT LENSES

 

For the military, this sort of advance could provide lots of advantages.

On a battlefield, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to ensure that all tech is recovered. Sensors, for example, could be widely dispersed and recovery could put service members at risk.

It is important to preserve tech superiority that the U.S. military leverages against adversaries. It is also important to prevent adversaries from capturing American tech, reverse engineering it, and using it against the U.S and its allies.

Melting Military Devices

DARPA and the National Science Foundation have supported research into these advances at University of Illinois, for example. 

Teams there have been working on remotely commanding devices to self-destruct using methods like heat and ultraviolet light.

Exploding Computer Chips

Another VAPR project DARPA supported is Xerox PARC’s computer chip. PARC’s advances led to a chip that could be ordered to self-destruct and explode in less than 10 seconds.

TOP NEW GEAR FOR HUNTERS IN 2017

 

The team there recently revealed a chip with circuitry printed on a Corning Gorilla Glass panel.

Sound, heat, radio waves and even lasers could be used to trigger the chip to instantly shatter into thousands of shards.

Xerox PARC is at the forefront of some truly futuristic advances. This DUST, or Disintegration Upon Stress-release Trigger, program is so good that the self-destruction can take an electronic device and rapidly disintegrate it into such tiny particles they cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Coming to an electronic device near you?

Beyond the military applications, there are a wide range of potential consumer uses.

To have peace of mind their private data won’t be exploited, consumers could use the tech to self-destruct their laptops, smart watches, fitness trackers and other wearables in addition to cell phones.

SHOT SHOW 2017 IN PICTURES

When electronics become obsolete or stop working, then they could be commanded to disintegrate and vanish – rather then add to ever-growing landfills.

For enhanced protection of the public from natural disasters, DUST sensors could be widely distributed to help predict hurricanes or give early warnings on earthquakes. When self-destructed, they would decompose in an eco-friendly way.

 

Allison Barrie consults at the highest levels of defense, has travelled to more than 70 countries, is a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees and now the author of the new book “Future Weapons: Access Granted”  covering invisible tanks through to thought-controlled fighter jets. You can click here for more information on FOX Firepower columnist and host Allison Barrie and you can follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie.



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