Category Archives: Economy

Reports of Seattle gun crime reaches record levels

But, but how can this be? Seattle’s new gun tax has left no shop in Seattle selling firearms. Wonder where the criminals could be getting their guns…


From The second highest number of shots fired in Seattle were recorded between January and August of 2016. The only year to have a higher number was 2015. Seattle has also experienced more gun deaths in 2016 than the previous year.

City Living Seattle reports that a recent meeting of the East Precinct Police Advisory Council reviewed gunshot statistics for Seattle from January to August 2016. According to City Living:

The year 2016 saw 211 reports of shots fired from Jan. 1 to Aug. 1, the second-highest number of incidences for the same period of every year from 2012. Only 2015 was higher, with 226 police reports that included evidence or eyewitness reports of gunshots. The gap was even narrower when it came to the number of victims of gun violence. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 1, the year 2016 saw 35 gun-related injuries, compared to 45 for the same period in 2015. But 2016 has seen more gun-related deaths, with seven fatalities this year versus six in 2015.

City Living reports that on Aug. 2 — the day after the January through August statistics end — Seattle had its eighth gun death. The majority of the shots fired were reported in the east precinct.

Anti-Second Amendment Mayor Ed Murray

Anti-Second Amendment Mayor Ed Murray

The data adds to other recent statistics reported by Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat, who noted that rapes are up by 55 percent in Seattle over the past year. Police data shows that there have been 127 reported rapes in Seattle between January and Sept. 10, 2016. That’s more than the 82 reported during the same time in 2015, as well as more than the reported numbers over the past 10 years.

Domestic violence calls are also up by 11 percent in Seattle.

And going back to the issue of Seattle gun crime, local police seized more than 900 illegal guns in 2015.

Socialist Kshama Sawant has HER priorities straight...

Socialist Kshama Sawant has HER priorities straight…

But there is a debate between the data and other issues plaguing Seattle. Council member Kshama Sawant recently told the Jason and Burns Show that housing is a higher concern than police funding. That debate comes amid controversy over a proposed — and now canceled — north police precinct. Sawant argues that funding the construction of more housing trumps the need to fund such police projects.

A group called Block the Bunker also maintains this argument. It not only aims to halt the construction of the north precinct, but also has demanded that no more officers be hired in Seattle; the dismantling of the police officers’ union; and more.


Failed States: Puerto Rico in second day of massive blackout; Venezuelans eat garbage for food

Like Venezuela, Puerto Rico is a failed state — mired in debt, with a decaying infrastructure.

In June 2015, Puerto Rico went bankrupt, from $70 billion in debt. (See “America’s Greece: Puerto Rico is bankrupt”)

Two days ago, the entire island was plunged into darkness when a fire at a power plant led to a massive power outage.

Puerto Rico in second day of massive power outage (photo by Reuters)

Puerto Rico in second day of massive power outage (photo by Reuters)

The AP reports (via Wall St. Journal), Sept. 22, 2016, that repair crews worked through the night trying to restore electricity to the island by morning. But some schools canceled classes for the day as a precaution, while Puerto Rico’s largest public hospital canceled elective surgeries and nonurgent appointments, and government officials and private groups put off dozens of scheduled events.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla activated the National Guard and declared a state of emergency, saying, “This is a very serious event. The system is not designed to withstand a failure of this magnitude.”

Wednesday’s outage caused 15 fires across Puerto Rico as a result of malfunctioning generators, including at the upscale Vanderbilt hotel in the popular tourist area of Condado and at the mayor’s office in the northern coastal town of Catano. All those fires were extinguished, and no one was injured, officials said. The blackout knocked out traffic lights, snarling the island’s roads. Businesses, universities and government offices closed early, putting even more cars on chaotic roads. Some people opted to not go home, and hotels in the capital of San Juan quickly filled up. As the sun set, people crowded into restaurants running on generators; others chatted with neighbors while standing or sitting at opened doors and windows trying to beat the hot night.

The outage was the latest hit for an island mired in a decadelong economic crisis and whose government has warned it is running out of money as it seeks to restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt.

The Electric Power Authority (EPA) said investigators were trying to determine what caused the fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at a power plant in southern Puerto Rico that serves a majority of customers on the island. The fire began at a switch and caused two transmission lines of 230,000 volts each to fail. EPA executive director Javier Quintana said he expected most power to be restored by morning and that airports, hospitals, police stations and water-pumping stations would get priority. But many Puerto Ricans expressed doubts that power would be restored quickly, saying the economic slump has affected basic government services. Hundreds of people took to social media to criticize the EPA, noting they already pay bills on average twice that of the U.S. mainland.

It is unclear how much damage the fire caused or where the power company would obtain the money to repair or buy new equipment as the EPA already is struggling with a $9 billion debt it hopes to restructure as it faces numerous corruption allegations. Company officials have said they are seeking more revenue to update what they say is outdated equipment.

Gov. Padilla, however, insisted that the switch where the fire began had received proper maintenance and that no amount of money or maintenance would have prevented the fire.

USA Today reports that late last night, lights slowly began to flicker on across Puerto Rico as electricity was restored to more than 390,000 of the 1.5 million homes and businesses served by the Electric Power Authority.

Gov. Padilla said he expects more than half of EPA’s customers to have power by this morning and that 90% of customers will likely have power by Saturday. However, he cautioned: “Problems may arise. I don’t want to create false expectations.”

Puerto Rico map

Puerto Rico is not only a sober reminder to us of the result of government mismanagement and spiraling debt, the island’s bankruptcy also directly impacts the U.S. as more and more Puerto Ricans resettle in the U.S. mainland, not as foreign immigrants, but as U.S. citizens. They may even decide who will be America’s next president.

Note: Puerto Rico is an incorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean with a total population of around 3.5 million people, 12.5% of whom are black or sub-Saharan African. As such, people born in Puerto Rico are natural-born citizens of the United States. The territory operates under a local constitution, and Puerto Ricans elect a governor. However, Puerto Rico lacks voting members in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, both of whom have plenary jurisdiction over it under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. A 2012 referendum showed a majority (54% of Puerto Rico’s electorate) disagreed with “the present form of territorial status” and preferred full statehood in the USA. (Source)

As reported by CNN on August 9, 2016, more than a million Puerto Ricans now live in Florida, a number that rivals the state’s Cuban population who have long dominated Latino political power in Florida. A majority of recent new residents are resettling in the counties along the “I-4 corridor” in Central Florida, which is known as a crucial swing region for elections.

Esteban Garces, the Florida state director of Mi Familia Vota, a “progressive” advocacy group that aims to register more than 30,000 Latino voters in the state before Election Day, said: “Central Florida is a key region of this swing state. And there’s a swing vote in this swing region in this swing state, and that’s the Latino vote. Specifically, it’s the Puerto Ricans. They’re going to decide really who the next president is.”

Venezuelan woman picks through garbage for food

Venezuelan woman picks through garbage for food

Meanwhile, across the Caribbean Sea in Venezuela, people literally are on the brink of starvation.

Venezuelans are killing their pets and zoo animals for food. A new study found that over 15% of Venezuela say they depend on eating garbage — food waste discarded by commercial establishments — to survive, while half of the population say they have had to take time from work to search for food. (Breitbart)

But socialist actor Sean Penn, with an estimated net worth of $150 million, is still no where to be seen in Venezuela helping its starving people, although he was BFF with the country’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez, who died in March 2013 with a family fortune of around $2 billion — similar to the personal fortunes of the socialist Castro brothers (Fidel and Raúl) in socialist Cuba.

Instead, Penn was last spotted on August 23, having dinner at the elegant Mediterranean restaurant Il Piccolino in West Hollywood, where the menu includes steaks, chicken, veal, lamb, artisan duck sausages, seafood pasta, and octopus appetizers.

See also “$150 for a dozen eggs: Venezuela in 720% hyperinflation death spiral“.


Texas to withdraw from feds’ refugee program over terror threat


From Fox News: The state of Texas on Wednesday announced that it is withdrawing from the Obama administration’s refugee resettlement program due to the administration’s inability to ensure that refugees resettled in the state do not pose terror threats, according to an announcement by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Texas informed the Office of Refugee Resettlement in a letter that it will be withdrawing from the program on Jan. 31, 2017. The letter comes on the heels of several weekend terror attacks across the United States

The administration has refused to approve a security plan by the state of Texas aimed at ensuring that refugees are only resettled following in-depth security checks. 

Texas officials drafted a plan that would require federal national security officials to provide assurances that none of the individuals being resettled pose a terror threat. The administration has declined to approve this plan.

Abbott said Texas would not accept a single refuge until proper security measures are put in place. 

Click for more from The Washington Free Beacon.


Muslim ‘migrants’ have transformed the city of Paris into a garbage dump

Gone is our antiquated image of Paris, France as an elegant, civilized city.

Here’s a video showing how the Muslim “migrant” invasion has transformed the French capital into a literal garbage dump, with men lounging on mattresses on streets choked with litter and garbage. I recommend you watch the video in full screen to get the maximum impact.

Notice that the vagrants are all men, and not just men, but young, able-bodied, military-age males. Where are the pore Muslim women and children of the media’s propaganda?

Here’s another video — of a Muslim riot in Paris:

Meanwhile, tourism in France has plummeted. In August 2016, the French government announced that the number of tourists in the country has fallen by 7% since January. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism Jean-Marc Ayrault acknowledged that “The perception of security risk has had a clear influence on certain travelers, including the wealthiest ones or those from Asia.”

While all of France is affected by the drop in tourist numbers, Paris and Ile-de-France and have been hit particularly hard. The tourism sector in Ile-de-France has lost a billion Euros in sales since January, according to a report of the Regional Tourism Committee (RTC).

But France’s socialist president François Hollande, in a speech on September 8, 2016, defended Muslims and called on his country to be “tolerant” and “embrace” Islam.

H/t FOTM‘s josephbc69


How risky is a Trump presidency?

Scott Adams, the Gilbert cartoonist who, in 2015, had accurately predicted Hillary’s health crisis, assesses how big is the Trump risk to the economy and the country in general, based on how Trump has managed risk in the past:

  1. Diversification: Rule #1 for an investment portfolio is diversification. Although Trump probably wasn’t sufficiently diversified early in his real estate career, he now owns about 500 entities and he has succeeded across multiple fields. He understands diversification.
  2. A-B Testing: One of the best ways to manage risk is to try things on a small scale and only double-down if the test is a success. We see Trump trying out different Linguistic Kill Shots to see what sticks, changing campaign staff as needed, employing different campaign strategies depending on the situation, being decisive when things don’t work (firing people), and pivoting quickly based on what he learns from testing. That suggests a “systems” type of mind that manage risk better, as opposed to a “goal” mentality.
  3. Two Ways to Win: We often see Trump choose strategies that have two ways to win and no way to lose, which is the best risk management of all. For example, when Trump warned that Iran should release American prisoners before he gets elected, he created two ways to win and no way to lose. If the prisoners were released (and they were), Trump could claim his threat was effective. (He did.) If Iran kept the prisoners, Trump could say the United States needs a bad-ass President like him to deal with Iran.
  4. Bankruptcies: When the general public hears that Trump had several bankruptcies (out of hundreds of projects) they think that means he did something wrong. But business people see a different picture. They see a diversified portfolio of projects that are wisely siloed into their own corporate entities so some can fail without taking the others with them. That’s good risk management because one would naturally expect several failures out of hundreds of projects.
  5. Marriages: Trump is married to his third wife and still has good relationships with his exes. Apparently Trump had good prenups, and good lawyers. He managed the risk of divorce better than 90% of the people I know. (See also “Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana says he’ll make the changes he promised”)
  6. Alcohol and Drugs: Trump has never had a drink of alcohol or an illegal drug, because of the risk. If you have ever consumed alcohol or taken illegal drugs, you have a far higher tolerance for risk than Trump. He removed those risks from his life.
  7. Seeing the Future: One way to reduce risk is to predict the future better than those around you. We know that Trump went all-in on his run for president this time, but in prior election years he dropped out early. Apparently he made the right decision this time because he could see himself making it all the way. We have also witnessed Trump using unorthodox campaign strategies that almost everyone else in the world thought would fail. But apparently Trump predicted the future better than the pundits. His methods have worked. Trump hasn’t predicted the future correctly every time. As noted, several of his projects did not work out. But evidently he expected there could be some losers among his projects because he set them up as separate entities that could fail on their own without dragging down the rest.
  8. Listening to Advice: One of the criticisms we heard about Trump early in the campaign is that he wouldn’t listen to experts. But now we have lots of examples in which he has done exactly that. His entire campaign has transformed in the past six weeks. We watched Trump assess the changing election dynamics, take advice from advisors, adapt his approach, and spike in the polls. Trump is also good at firing people. The smartest person I know told me that the most important skill of a leader is firing, not hiring. No one is smart enough to hire the right people every time, so firing is the more valuable skill. Trump apparently has that skill. Consider how hard it was to fire his longtime friend Corey Lewandowski, and later Paul Manafort. Trump pulled the trigger both times. And both moves proved to be helpful.
  9. Trump’s Ego: Trump’s showmanship and branding comes off as ego, and narcissism, and that can be scary to the public. You want to know your President is making decisions based on what is good for the country, and not what is good for the President’s ego. But Trump’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon went a long way toward changing perceptions about his ego. Trump let Fallon mess up his famous hair on TV, and it humanized Trump. We watched Trump put his ego aside with no real effort. We also see Trump doing more outreach to the African-American community, toning down his rhetoric (mostly) and generally doing what the public has been asking him to do. That suggests a candidate who has control of his ego. He listens to the people and gives them what they want.


No election fraud charges against Ami Bera, says U.S. Justice Dept.

I’m sure Ami had no idea what his father was doing. Riiiiight.

Demorat Ami Bera

Demorat Ami Bera

From Sacramento Bee: The U.S. Justice Department announced Friday that it has closed the books on its investigation of contributions to the campaign committee of Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove.

The only result of the investigation was the prosecution of Bera’s father, Babulal Bera, who pleaded guilty to election fraud and was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. He was also fined $100,000 and ordered to serve three years under the supervision of federal probation authorities upon his release from prison.

“No other charges will be sought in this matter,” the Justice Department’s announcement said. “The United States will not comment further on this matter.”

Babulal Bera

Babulal Bera

Rep. Bera issued the following prepared statement after the department’s announcement:

 “After conducting an exhaustive investigation, this case was closed after the U.S. attorney stated that my campaign and I had been fully cooperative and that neither I nor my staff were targets of this investigation.

“In this matter, I have never believed it to be appropriate for me to comment on how authorities handle their job, and I trust the decisions they made in the pursuit of this case.

“My father made a grave mistake, but moving forward I’m focused on helping my parents get through the next year.”

Bera faces a stiff challenge in the Nov. 8 election from Republican Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones for his 7th District seat.

Jones’ campaign spokesman Dave Gilliard said in an email, “Congressman Bera was not exonerated or cleared. The statement simply says there will no more charges in the case.”

“That Bera’s elderly father masterminded a very sophisticated quarter of a million dollar political money laundering scheme is beyond rational belief,” Gilliard added.

The FBI, a branch of the Justice Department, investigated contributions made from 2009 through 2012 to Ami Bera’s campaign committee. The agents established that Babulal Bera, 83, of La Palma in Orange County, made unlawfully excessive contributions to his son’s committee and made contributions in the names of other people, also a violation of federal election law.

He solicited legal maximum contributions from people, allowed them to be recorded on the records of the committee and reported to the Federal Election Commission as contributors, and then reimbursed them.

At a May news conference after the matter became public, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert said there were approximately 90 such straw donors who were contributors of record but were reimbursed a total of more than $260,000 by Babulal Bera. He said the straw donors included Bera family members, friends and acquaintances.

Yet, he said, there is no evidence Ami Bera or any members of his congressional and campaign staffs knew of Babulal Bera’s criminal activity.

Talbert acknowledged at the news conference that the straw donors, some of whom were interviewed by the FBI, were culpable due to their participation in the scheme. Their identities have not been made public, and none of them will be charged.

The Justice Department does not typically announce conclusions of its investigations. “It’s unusual for the government to announce its investigations to be over,” said William Portanova, a former federal and state prosecutor now in private practice. “It takes away from the deterrent value. The government wins when people are worried they may be involved in an investigation. Everyone’s behavior improves.

Read the rest of the story here.


Hollyweird Actress Wants Schools To Educate Girls About Masturbation

Apparently this young Hollyweird womyn knows what’s best for others’ children.

From HuffPo: Shailene Woodley has always used her platform as a celebrity to speak about the issues she cares about. 

The “Snowden” actress has campaigned for Bernie Sanders, has spoken out against the Dakota Access pipeline and has been an ardent supporter for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In a new interview with Net-a-Porter’s digital magazine, The Edit, the actress addresses another cause she’s passionate about: sex education for women. 

“As a young woman you don’t learn how to pleasure yourself, you don’t learn what an orgasm should be, you don’t learn that you should have feelings of satisfaction,” Woodley said. “I’ve always had a dream of making a book called There’s No Right Way to Masturbate.” 

Woodley, who played a pregnant teenager in her breakout role on “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” also shared why it’s so important to educate young girls about their bodies. 

“If masturbation were taught in school, I wonder how [many] fewer people would get herpes aged 16, or pregnant at 14?” Woodley asked, before delving into her unique childhood and upbringing.

The 24-year-old actress said that her home had a “revolving-door policy,” which allowed anyone who needed a place to stay the chance to live (and even vacation) with her family. But it was her mom and dad’s parenting technique that stood out the most in the “Snowden” actress’ memory. For example, Woodley said that a fight with her brother would lead to a punishment of sorts ― hugging her sibling on the lawn (i.e., in public). 

“The whole time you’re just seething, you’re disliking this person with so much energy, but if you let go you have to stay there for an extra hour. That was the kind of reverse, manipulative psychology my parents were into!” Woodley said of her dad, who is a psychologist, and her mom, who is a counselor.  

My family is super fucked-up in many ways, but they are also my everything,” the actress said, adding that she was still “grateful for the shit that happened.” 

To read the rest of Woodley’s interview with The Edit, head here.

h/t Newsbusters