Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wealth Taxes: A Future Battleground By TYLER COWEN

IF you’d like to know where American political debates are headed, the data suggest a simple answer. The next major struggle — in economic terms at least — will be over whether taxes on personal wealth should rise — and by how much.
Evan Hughes
The mathematical reality is that wealth is becoming more important, relative to income. In a new paper,“Capital Is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700-2010,”Professors Thomas Piketty and Gabriel Zucman of the Paris School of Economics have performed the heroic task of measuring wealth for eight leading economies: the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Australia.
Their estimates reveal some striking trends. For instance, wealth accumulation in these eight countries has risen relative to yearly production. Wealth-to-income ratios in these nations climbed from a range of 200 to 300 percent in 1970 to a range of 400 to 600 percent in 2010. Behind the changing ratios is some bad news, namely that slow productivity growth and slow population growth have depressed income growth, but also some good news — that relative peace and capital gains have preserved wealth.
Focusing on the wealth of economies lets us reframe our recent debates about government debt in useful ways. A look at the ratio of debt to gross national product, for example, can be scary, but the ratio of debt to wealth is far less forbidding. If, say, a nation’s debt-to-G.D.P. ratio is 100 percent — often considered a dangerous level — and national wealth is 10 times yearly national income, the debt-to-wealth ratio is thus 10 percent, which is comparable to owing $100,000 on a $1 million home. Not so scary.
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The Feminist War on Science

On its face the conclusion seems intuitively obvious and unobjectionable.

Things being what they are, today’s researchers needed to interview a group of college students to establish the facts of the matter.

The matter in question is not the sexual behavior of college students, but, more specifically their sexual regrets.

Lo and behold, they discovered that young women are more likely to regret having indulged in too many or the wrong kind of sexual experiences while young men are more likely to regret having missed out on sexual opportunities, for not having been sufficient assertive.

Amanda Hess, no fan of the study, summarizes its conclusions:

… female students were more likely to express regret over sexual actions they’d taken—like “losing their virginity” to the “wrong partner”—while male students were more likely to feel remorse over actions they did not take—like being “too shy to indicate sexual attraction to someone.”

That male and female sexual behaviors differ significantly is central to Darwinian psychology. One might even say that it is settled science.

The science says that men and women have significantly different reproductive potential—men can in their lifetime produce far more offspring than can women—that the direct consequences of conception are vastly different for the two sexes and that it's far easier for a man to walk away from a pregnancy, men and women are psychologically predisposed to live their sexuality differently.

In so doing they are acting rationally and making decisions based on the reality of their experience. As a rule, women are more selective and more cautious in choosing sexual partners while men are more reckless.

You probably did not need Darwin to tell you this and you probably do not need a degree in biology to understand it. As I say, it feels unobjectionable.

Human psychology and human behavior are, to some extent, hard wired into the organism. And it is likely that they have been part of the human makeup for quite some time now.

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Duke Rape Accuser Got 160 TV News Stories on Accusation, 3 on Murder Conviction

crystal mangum
Crystal Mangum, who falsely accused 3 Duke lacrosse players of sexual crimes in 2006, was convicted of second-degree murder on Nov. 22, 2013. (AP)
( – When Crystal Mangum falsely accused several Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006, there were 160 major television news stories in the first five days after the players were arrested, but in 2013, when Mangum was convicted of murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison, there were only 3 major television news stories, a difference in coverage of 5,233%.
When the Duke lacrosse-rape story broke in March/April 2006, it was huge news, garnering massive, widespread coverage by the networks ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as by FOX, CNN and MSNBC, and the print press, such as USA Today, New York Times and Washington Post.
Basically, the story was that members of the Duke lacrosse team had  a party on March 13, 2006 at an off-campus house where two strippers had been hired to perform – one of them was Crystal Mangum, then 27 years old. At some point there were some verbal exchanges between Mangum and some persons at the party. Mangum left with the other stripper and later that evening/early morning Mangum told police she had been raped.
For FULL article:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Knockout "Game"...

"Cha-ching!" Christmas Time on Wall Street

Remember how Quantitative Easing was going to “get the banks lending again”?
Well, it hasn’t worked that way. In fact, after 4 years of zero rates and $3 trillion in monetary pump-priming, “banks are lending less to small businesses and consumers than before the financial crisis”. (International Business Times)
But how can that be, you ask, after all, didn’t the banks just report record profits in the Third Quarter?
Yep, they sure did. $40 billion-worth. But the bulk of that dough was raked off their gaming operations, you know, all the dodgy activities that Dodd-Frank regulations were going to stop, but never did. As far as lending to households and small businesses, that’s been a non-starter from the get-go. Check this out from the IBT:
“Small business loans… decreased in 2012 from 2011. … there was $588 billion in small business loans outstanding in June 2012, 3.1 percent less than at the end of 2011.” (“Banks Have Received $2.3 Trillion In Quantitative Easing But Are Lending Less To Small Businesses And Consumers Than Before The Financial Crisis“, International Business Times )
Okay, so let’s do the math: The Fed beefs up its balance sheet by a hefty $3 trillion, and the banks issue a whopping $588 billion in new loans.
Sounds like a bargain to me! You’re doing a heckuva job, Bernanke!
For FULL article, go to:

The Uncomfortable New Lessons of the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre

Opinion in the absence of information is a specialty of our times. So when Adam Lanza committed that most inexplicable of crimes, opening fire in Sandy Hook Elementary school last year murdering twenty children and six adults (and, ultimately, killing himself), the explainers instantly began to tell us why. The 20-year-old Lanza, who had easy access to an arsenal in his own house, was mentally ill, a loner, a video-game freak. He was, moreover, a child of divorce, traumatized by his parents’ split. He was homeschooled. His mother, a gun nut and survivalist, enabled his madness, promoting shooting as family fun. I read these theories and dismissed them out of hand: These were stock complaints from both sides of the culture war using this horrific event to bolster their side. 
This urge to reason away, I have long believed, results from a human impulse to disassociate from evil, to make it “their” problem, not “ours,” and thus protect ourselves and our children from the knowledge that sudden, random harm can occur at any time.  We are the “good” parents, not the bad ones. We play “approved” video games, not unapproved ones. We would never.
But the terrible truth is that we don’t know why Lanza killed those kids. (Though the how is a different story: Lanza’s spree — he slaughtered 26 people in fewer than eleven minutes — would have been impossible had he not had a wide selection of semi-automatic weapons within his reach.) People do horrible things and they always will, and pointing fingers at the coarsening of culture and that poor, murdered mother — he shot her in her bed before he drove to the school — only deflects us from our grief and horror. Bad, deluded, or neglectful parents are a dime a dozen, but their kids rarely grow up with an ambition to shoot schoolchildren. Half of Americans are divorced, yet most of their offspring live healthy, productive lives.  Contrary to the LondonTelegraph’s reporting early on, autism (and its cousin, Asperger’s) is not a predictor for violence or criminal behavior, as the Columbia Journalism Review pointed out, and though violent video games may not be your thing, millions of young men play them – 80 percent of high-school boys, according to the New York Times — mostly without serious side effects. “It is not at all clear whether, over longer periods, such a habit increases the likelihood that a person will commit a violent crime, like murder, rape, or assault, much less a Newtown-like massacre,” the Times concluded
For FULL article, go to:

Blowing Bubbles With Paul Krugman: Stagnation Hysterics

America’s “highest profile economist” thinks we need more asset bubbles to battle negative real interest rates and persistent secular stagnation.
In a controversial post on his blogsite, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argues that bubbles may be necessary to make up for insufficient demand, high unemployment, and sluggish growth. Here’s the clip from his blog “The Conscience of a Liberal”:
“We now know that the economic expansion of 2003-2007 was driven by a bubble. You can say the same about the latter part of the 90s expansion; and you can in fact say the same about the later years of the Reagan expansion, which was driven at that point by runaway thrift institutions and a large bubble in commercial real estate…
So how can you reconcile repeated bubbles with an economy showing no sign of inflationary pressures? Summers’s answer is that we may be an economy that needs bubbles just to achieve something near full employment – that in the absence of bubbles the economy has a negative natural rate of interest…” (“Secular Stagnation, Coalmines, Bubbles, and Larry Summers”, Paul Krugman, New York Times)
So, absent bubbles, there’s no credit expansion, no full employment, no strong recovery? That sounds a lot like an excuse for keeping the current policy (QE and zero rates) in place, doesn’t it?
But what an audacious claim, and what a sad reflection on the economics profession when its most celebrated spokesmen throws up his hands in despair and says, ‘That’s the way it is, folks. Deal with it’, instead of offering constructive alternatives. Isn’t that what economists are supposed to do, figure out how to get us off life-support and back to full employment and growth? Here’s another clip from his post:
“…we are an economy in which monetary policy is de facto constrained by the zero lower bound …, and that this corresponds to a situation in which the “natural” rate of interest – the rate at which desired savings and desired investment would be equal at full employment – is negative… this situation the normal rules of economic policy don’t apply. As I like to put it, virtue becomes vice and prudence becomes folly.” (NYT)
Okay. So if the Fed’s main policy tool, the Feds Funds Rate, isn’t doing the trick and stimulating demand, what do you do? Keep rates locked at zero for 5 or 10 years while the Fed pumps trillions into bank reserves sending stocks into the stratosphere and inflating bubbles in all types of financial assets?
For FULL article, go to:

What’s in a name? by Paul Dean. A review of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy by Paul Edmondson,Stanley Wells.

Until 1856, when Delia Bacon published “William Shakespeare and his Plays: An Enquiry Concerning Them” in Putnam’s Magazine, no one questioned that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon had written the plays ascribed to him in the First Folio of his works (1623), and possibly, in part or whole, a few others not included there. One may well wonder why anyone ever bothered to doubt it; James Shapiro, in his excellent Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010), concludes that the sceptics harbor post-Romantic theories about the necessarily autobiographical nature of imaginative writing—according to which “the Stratford man” could not possibly have known first-hand all the things contained in the plays (but who could?)—combined with formidable snobbery about Shakespeare’s bourgeois origins, alleged lack of education, and patchily documented life. Over time, the voices of dissent have swelled into a cacophony, forcing a response from scholars who had habitually dismissed the matter as not worth serious discussion. Recently the arguments have been given new prominence both by the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt,” an online statement, launched in 2007 by the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC), urging that rival claims be taken seriously and studied at universities, and by the filmAnonymous (2011), which depicts the Earl of Oxford as the true author of the plays. So far, the academic world has largely neglected the matter, although there is now a Master’s course in Shakespeare Authorship Studies at the British University of Brunel. The SAC has repeatedly accused the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford of ducking debate, and the Trust has been stung into publishing Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, to which theSAC has responded with Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?, co-edited by its chairman, John M. Shahan. These two essay collections (hereafter SBD andSBD?) confront each other across an unbridgeable divide, like the works of Christians and Arians in the early church.

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New York chef suffers broken jaw, nose in likely 'knockout game' attack in Philadelphia

Police are investigating a vicious attack on a Manhattan chef who was walking alone on Tuesday night when he was allegedly assaulted by a group of six to eight men, all between the ages of 16 and 21. ‘I'm not well, a lot of swelling and overall pain,’ said victim Diego Moya. ‘Should be four weeks until I lose the wires and can eat normally, which is devastating being a chef. Means I can't work.’

Manhattan chef Diego Moya, who is a chef at Mario Batali's Casa Mono,
suffered a broken jaw and nose during the attack Tuesday night. 

A Manhattan chef who was brutally assaulted on a pre-Thanksgiving trip to Philadelphia may have been the latest victim of the “knockout game,” he told The Daily News Thursday.
Diego Moya, 30, described his Tuesday night attack in online exchanges with The News as his father drove him back to New York to celebrate Thanksgiving at home.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The New Hunger Games: Empty Calories

When a movie enjoys a $153-million opening weekend, you might think the writer-director would be the toast of the town. Yet even while Gary Ross’s 2012 hit The Hunger Games, a dystopian tale of provincial revolt against the corrupt Capitol, was still doing boffo box office, Lionsgate replaced him with hired gun Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend).
A former Clinton Administration speechwriter, Ross was best known for Seabiscuit, a 1930s horse racing allegory about how FDR gave Hope to the Little People. It garnered seven Oscar nominations and then was quickly forgotten.
In the first Hunger Games, Ross staged coal-mining District 12 to look like Dorothea Lange photos of migrant Okies. As a contrast, everybody in the parasitical Capitol appeared to be wearing leftover Jean Paul Gaultier designs for Chris Tucker’sPrince-style character in The Fifth Element. (Granted, that sounds more entertaining than the first Hunger Games actually was.)
For FULL article, go to:

McDonalds cisgender customer receives hurtful slur on receipt

Occupy the Vatican? A progressive pope? Not really

Image Credit: Philip Chidell /

American conservatives — perhaps to a person — were outraged and disappointed by Pope Francis’s tough statement about free markets and capitalism and his highlighting of the harm caused by inequality, consumerism, and “trickle-down economics.” Habemus Anti-Capitalist Papam!
No, wait. That’s not quite correct. American progressives — perhaps to a person — expectedAmerican conservatives to freak out. “Pope Francis basically just endorsed the de Blasio agenda!” and such. But conservatives pretty much didn’t react that way. Not surprising, really. Christians on the right are accustomed to Sunday sermons denouncing crass materialism, and exhorting the faithful to help the poor, orphans, widows. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,” demands the Gospel of St. Matthew. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” And this, a few verses later: “No one can serve two masters. … You cannot serve both God and money.”
Conservatives — whether churchgoers or not — are not utopians, They understand market economies will never turn the world temporal into Paradise (while at the same time realizing that command-and-control economies have frequently produced a kind of hell on earth). Conservatives value the “safety net” to help those whom the pope calls the “excluded.” But conservatives also want to reform the safety net so more resources are devoted to raising the living standards of the truly needy rather than subsidizing the rich, moving the jobless toward work and self sufficiency, and increasing social mobility and equality of opportunity.
For FULL article, go to:


The maturation of the “Me Generation” who brought us the shift to liberal-leaning regimes across the West received little coherent exposition before this book. However with BOBOS in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, David Brooks explicates the rise of Bobos — “bourgeois bohemians” — as a fusion of 1960s values and 1980s methods.

In exploring this fusion, Brooks carefully and humorously reveals the underpinning of the ideological motivation of these people, which is 1968 itself — albeit tempered with a taste for what we hoped won the Cold War, which is the cornucopia of the fruits of personal liberty and free markets. the “bourgeois bohemians” are actually hybrids of yuppies and hippies.

This group appeared in the 1990s and that is where Brooks centers his book. In his view, they came to power as a replacement for the old WASP hierarchy in America. While that ancient regime operated by knowing the right people, and having the right family, this new regime accelerates those who have the right education, the right careers and the right beliefs and lifestyle choices. Brooks shows us a new elite trying to justify itself with claims that it morally deserves what it has.

For FULL article, go to:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Drugged into the future

The unhappy rich: Antidepressant use soars in developed nations
The use of antidepressants has surged across the rich world over the past decade, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), raising concerns among doctors that pills are being overprescribed.

Data from the OECD show that in some countries doctors are writing prescriptions for more than one in 10 adults, with Iceland, Australia, Canada and the other European Nordic countries leading the way.

Separate data from the US show that more than 10% of American adults use depression medication.

Numbers are even rising in China, with the antidepressant market growing there by about 20% for each of the past three years, albeit from a lower base.
Iceland has the highest rate of antidepressant use in the world—by a long shot
The highest antidepressant-consuming country in the world? Iceland, where all three of the country’s main banks failed early on in the crisis. At almost twice the OECD average, its antidepressant consumption rose almost 50% over the observed period to 106 doses a day for every 1,000 people.
Aren't progressivism and feminism, the developed world's official ideologies, along with the anomie and alienation they bring with them, just wonderful? 

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"Unruly" Crowd Attacks Border Patrol Agents

A crowd of more than 100 people pelted Border Patrol agents with rocks and bottles as they tried to cross into the U.S. illegally, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The incident happened Sunday in the Tijuana River channel, near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
According to CBP, a Border Patrol agent ordered the Mexican nationals to stop, but they continued walking into the U.S.
Officials said the agent fired a PepperBall Launcher, but it did not deter the crowd.
“They had their phones out so this group was out to spark an incident. That's what they wanted to do, “ Border Patrol Union representative Gabriel Pacheco said.
Had cooler heads not prevailed it could have ended much worse, he said.
Even with reinforcements, agents were outnumbered, dodging threats, rocks and bottles.
More agents responded as the crowd became “unruly,” even hitting one agent in the head with a full water bottle, officials said.
According to CBP, the agents used “intermediate use-of-force” devices, and the group retreated back to the Mexican side of the border.
No one was arrested.

For FULL article:

FBI Releases 2012 Hate Crime Statistics

According to statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 5,796 criminal incidents involving 6,718 offenses were reported in 2012 as being motivated by a bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. The statistics, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in Hate Crime Statistics, 2012, provide data about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of the bias-motivated incidents reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. Due to the unique nature of hate crime, however, the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports.
Hate Crime Statistics, 2012, includes the following information:
  • There were 5,790 single-bias incidents. Of these, 48.3 percent were motivated by racial bias, 19.6 percent were motivated by sexual-orientation bias, 19.0 percent were motivated by religious bias, and 11.5 percent were motivated by ethnicity/national origin bias. Bias against disabilities accounted for 1.6 percent of single-bias incidents. There were six multiple-bias hate crime incidents reported in 2012.
  • Of the 3,968 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2012, simple assaults accounted for 39.6 percent, intimidation accounted for 37.5 percent, and aggravated assault for 21.5 percent. Ten murders and 15 forcible rapes were reported as hate crimes.
  • There were 2,547 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property. The majority of these (74.8 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/ vandalism. Robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses accounted for the remaining 25.2 percent of crimes against property.
  • Of the 5,331 known offenders, 54.6 percent were white and 23.3 percent were black. The race was unknown for 11.5 percent, and other races accounted for the remaining known offenders.
  • Most hate crime incidents (32.6 percent) occurred in or near homes. Over 18 percent (18.3) occurred on highways, roads, alleys, or streets; 8.3 percent occurred at schools or colleges; 5.7 percent happened at parking or drop lots or garages; and 4.1 percent took place in churches, synagogues, temples, or mosques. The location was considered other or unknown for 12.8 percent of hate crime incidents. The remainder of hate crime incidents took place at other specified or multiple locations.
[Editor's Note: The data table are available here.]
Original Article

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Aldous Huxley: the prophet of our brave new digital dystopia

Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley pictured in the 1930s. 'We failed to notice that our runaway infatuation with the sleek toys produced by the likes of Apple and Samsung might well turn out to be as powerful a narcotic as soma.' Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
On 22 November 1963 the world was too preoccupied with the Kennedy assassination to pay much attention to the passing of two writers from the other side of the Atlantic: CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley. Fifty years on, Lewis is being honoured with a plaque in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey, to be unveiled in a ceremony on Friday. The fanfare for Huxley has been more muted.
There are various reasons for this: The Chronicles of Narnia propelled their author into the Tolkien league; Shadowlands, the film about his life starring Anthony Hopkins, moved millions; and his writings on religious topics made him a global figure in more spiritual circles. There is a CS Lewis Society of California, for example; plus a CS Lewis Review and aCentre for the Study of CS Lewis & Friends at a university in Indiana.
Aldous Huxley never attracted that kind of attention. And yet there are good reasons for regarding him as the more visionary of the two. For one of the ironies of history is that visions of our networked future can be bracketed by the imaginative nightmares of Huxley and his fellow Etonian George Orwell. Orwell feared that we would be destroyed by the things we fear – the state surveillance apparatus so vividly evoked in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Huxley's nightmare, set out in Brave New World, his great dystopian novel, was that we would be undone by the things that delight us.

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Is the Superpower Afraid of Iran?

“Iran’s Nuclear Triumph” roared the headline of the Wall Street Journal editorial. William Kristol is again quoting Churchill on Munich.
Since the news broke Saturday night that Iran had agreed to a six-month freeze on its nuclear program, we are back in the Sudetenland again.
Why? For not only was this modest deal agreed to by the United States, but also by our NATO allies Germany, Britain and France.
Russia and China are fine with it.
Iran’s rivals, Turkey and Egypt, are calling it a good deal. Saudi Arabia says it “could be a first step toward a comprehensive solution for Iran’s nuclear program.”
Qatar calls it “an important step toward safeguarding peace and stability in the region.” Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have issued similar statements.
Israeli President Shimon Peres calls the deal satisfactory. Former Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin has remarked of the hysteria in some Israeli circles, “From the reactions this morning, I might have thought Iran had gotten permission to build a bomb.”
Predictably, “Bibi” Netanyahu is leading the stampede:
“Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world.”
But this is not transparent nonsense?

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Doctor Shekel and Mr Blair: Jewish Wealth Promotes Gibbering Immigration Insanity in the UK and the US

John Derbyshire of VDare and Taki Mag writes:
Someday historians will find an explanation for the gibbering insanity of British immigration policy this past fifty years. I have none. (John Derbyshire Finds There’s Still An England — And It Could Yet Be Saved, VDare, 14thNovember 2013)
Actually, some aspects of this insanity are quite comprehensible. For one thing, the gibbering insanity of British immigration policy reached its peak during the New Labour government (see here). Under Tony Blair, Britain’s treasonous narcissist-in-chief, Britain was flooded with workers for the jobs native Whites won’t do, like suicide-bombinggang-rapesadistic murder and no-tracebody-disposal.
In this, Blair’s Britain is the exact opposite of far-off Israel, which is determined to maintain its racial and religious identity using border fences and mass deporations.
One might think that Blair would consistently oppose nations that control their borders and thus deprive themselves of all of that wonderful vibrancy and social dissolution. But that would be wrong. Despite its xenophobia and remoteness, Israel is very close to Blair’s heart: according to Haaretz, he is “generally regarded as the most pro-Israel prime minister in British history” (see here).
Left to Right: Lord Janner (see accusations), Baron Mendelsohn, Lord Levy]
I am not puzzled by this seeming contradiction because Blair’s rise to power was funded by an ardent Zionist Lord Levy. But Levy was forced to depart after the“Cash for Honours” scandal, in which he sold life peerages to Jewish and Asian businessmen to raise money for Blair. He was replaced as chief Labour fundraiser by Jonathan Mendelsohn, another ardent Zionist and one-time head of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). During his premiership Blair made lots of sycophantic speeches to LFI and to the Community Security Trust, another powerful Jewish organization. When he departed and was replaced by Gordon Brown, Brown made sure to keep the sycophancy flowing.
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Embracing big brother: How facial recognition could help fight crime

(CNN) -- From fighting terrorism to processing payments in the blink of an eye, facial recognition is set to change our ideas on privacy.
A number of exciting developments in the field could even push its toughest critics to reconsider.
"The more people get out of it, the more they'll surrender to it," says Manolo Almagro, senior vice president of digital for TPN Inc.Almagro believes that people will only embrace a technology if the benefits outweigh privacy concerns.
Facial recognition is a computer-based system that automatically identifies a person based on a digital image or video source -- which is then matched to information stored in a database.
Often used in fictional TV-series such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, it is soon set to become a real-life tool for fighting crime. In 2014, the FBI will roll the technology out across the U.S. after pilot testing is completed in some states.
Facial recognition is a key part of the agency's ambitious $1 billion Next Generation Identification System (NGI) -- a state-of-the-art biometric identification system that also includes iris scans, DNA analysis and voice identification. The mission is to reduce terrorist and criminal activity by improving and expanding biometric identification as well as criminal history information services.

Sen. Sessions slams Obama, CEOs on immigration

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions wants wealthy CEOs to butt out of immigration policy.
“America is not an oligarchy… A Republic must answer to the people,” Sessions said today, in a direct response to President Barack Obama’s latest effort to get wealthy California CEOs to increase their support for his unpopular push for increased immigration.
“Congressional leaders must forcefully reject the notion, evidently accepted by the president, that a small cadre of CEOs can tailor the nation’s entire immigration policy to suit their narrow interests,” Sessions declared in a populist statement that contradicts the media’s image of Republican coziness with CEOs.
Sessions’ statement was released shortly before Obama used a San Francisco speech to ask friendly high-tech CEOs in California to revive his failing effort to pass an immigration-boosting bill.
The bill has been blocked by top GOP leaders in the House, who are trying to balance donors’ demands for more workers with voters’ demands for more jobs.
Obama has been working with top CEOs since summer to push the Senate’s immigration expansion that would welcome 30 million immigrants, plus millions of temporary guest workers, over the next decade.
That influx would import roughly one immigrant or guest-worker for every American aged 11 to 21, or one immigrant for every American teenager in 2012. Current law allows 1 million immigrants and 700,000 guest workers to enter the country each year.