Category Archives: Insanity

Bloodsucker: Seattle council member wants to toll drivers who try to avoid tolls

mike o'brien

Mike O’Brien: One way or the other, you will pay

There’s never enough taxpayer money that Seattle demorats can’t get their hands on.

Earlier this week I told you about how two Seattle council members were proposing a new business tax that would place fees on the city’s top earning companies to fund programs for the homeless. This comes after the council approved an income tax on the wealthy (for individuals making over $250,000 per year), yet that will face a legal challenge.

Now this: A Seattle council member wants to toll folks who drive alternative routes to avoid a highway toll. That’s liberal logic for you.

From MyNorthwest.com: A Seattle council member thinks he may have a solution to drivers avoiding tolls — another toll.

“To maintain the bus service, what we need to do is make sure that there aren’t more cars on our streets downtown,” Councilmember Mike O’Brien told KIRO 7.

As the council considers its next budget — expected to pass before the end of the year — O’Brien wants the city to look ahead a couple of years to when the Highway 99 tunnel opens under downtown Seattle. Drivers will have to pay a toll to bypass downtown surface streets.

Some studies suggest that drivers will likely avoid the tunnel toll and move to surrounding streets, according to KIRO 7. In which case, O’Brien wants to establish another fee to keep people from doing so.

“Folks that are on (highway) 99 that are going to try divert to get out of the tunnel, because that they don’t want to pay that toll, do we have some sort of toll that says, ‘You are going to pay a toll one way or the other’? So if you are going to use the tunnel, just use it,” O’Brien said.

London has a similar system — known as congestion pricing — to cut down on snarled traffic in its central district. Traffic volumes decreased by 10 percent, KIRO 7 reports.

O’Brien is currently pushing for $200,000 in the next budget so the city can study the potential toll before the tunnel opens in early 2019.

DCG

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Swedish dental hygienist was fired for reporting 80% of child migrants are adults

Samhällsnytt is a Swedish-language news site founded by Kent Ekeroth, 36, a member of Sweden’s parliament, the Rikstag, and a member of the Sweden Democrats — a nationalist, conservative political party.

Egor Putilov, a former Rikstag member and political asylum officer for the government’s Migration Board, reports for Samhällsnytt on Oct. 4, 2017 that a dental hygienist made the mistake of informing the Migration Board that the majority of “unaccompanied” child “migrants” in Sweden actually are adults. For that, he was fired from his job and his home is threatened with confiscation.

Bernt Herlitz, now 57, and his wife were trained to become dental hygienists in a three-year course of studies at Umeå University, after which both found employment at the Public Health Service in Visby, Sweden, where many so-called unaccompanied refugees seek dental care.

In July 2016, the couple attended a seminar in Almedalen on how an individual’s age can be assessed by his/her teeth. One of the seminar attendees was Åsa Carlander-Hemingway, a unit manager from the Swedish Migration Board, who told the couple that it is important that all suspicions about the age of “unaccompanied” refugees be reported to the Board.

Herlitz determined that most of the “unaccompanied” child refugees are actually adults. As he put it:

“I would probably appreciate that up to 80% of them were obviously adults. This can be seen, for example, from their wisdom teeth that are fully grown–something that is only seen in adults.

So Herlitz did as his boss, unit manager Carlander-Hemingway, told him to do. In August, when he returned to work from the seminar, Herlitz advised the Migration Board about his suspicions. In a series of more than eight emails, he stated that he is a dental hygienist and that he believes the ages claimed by “unaccompanied” refugees are wrong. He also said that the wrong is compounded by allowing these adult pretend-child refugees live among real children.

Herlitz did not receive any response from the Swedish Migration Board. Instead, one of the Board officials forwarded his e-mail to Mats Kvarnberg, Herlitz’s superior at Folktandvården, Sweden’s county-level dental care.

As Herlitz recounted:

“The manager asked me into a room where there was also another senior Migration Board manager from the region of Gotland. They told me I will not go to work tomorrow, that I’m suspended, and that there will be an investigation.”

Herlitz felt devastated, but did not realize the full seriousness of what had happened. He thought the investigation would take a few days, after which he would return to work.

Two weeks later, Herlitz was summarily fired after 10 years of service at Folktandvården. The reason given was that he had violated patient confidentiality.

Then the media persecution began.

All three local newspapers in Gotland described Herlitz as a “dangerous” “right-wing extremist” and a bigot against refugees. Herlitz said that SVT, the Swedish national public TV broadcaster that is funded by a television licence fee payable by all owners of television sets, “wrote about me on the first page without even contacting me. One feels so enormously exposed. Sure, they did not print my name, but Gotland is a small place and everyone knows everyone, so it’s not hard to figure out who it’s all about.”

Herlitz is neither right-wing nor even politically active. He is a native of Sweden and has lived all his life on the island. Prior to being a dental hygienist, he had worked to build mobile base stations at a factory acquired by Flextronics, which eventually closed the business in Visby in 2003 and moved production to Hungary.

Herlitz said, “Job is the most important thing. Everything revolves around it. If you have no job, you have no money, no spare time. I am 57 years old and that means it will be difficult for me to find new employment in the labor market.”

So he decided to fight to get his job back. But his trade union refused to help him because he had forgotten to renew his union dues a couple of months before, which means he has to pay for legal aid from his own pocket.

Herlitz tried to find a job on the mainland. He managed to find temporary work in Kalmar County, commuting by ferry from the island for three-day shifts. But the temporary job eventually ended. Meanwhile, his wife was demoted to half-time at the Public Health Service, and later resigned completely. Herlitz explains:

“She suffered from health problems because of this whole sad situation. It became impossible for her to work there. It also did not help that some colleagues started looking at her.”

Both husband and wife were jobless by the time Gotland’s district court reached a verdict after a long trial that lasted nearly a year. SVT sent a television team to follow the trial to report on the star prosecutor’s work. According to Herlitz, SVT seemed unaware of his history. He wrote to SVT, but never received an answer.

While the District Court ruled that while there was no reason for Herlitz’s dismissal, the employer had the right to terminate him, and that Herlitz had breached patient secrecy confidentiality, although no patient had actually suffered injury because of the breach.

Region Gotland would pay a small compensation to Herlitz of 35,000 kronor ($4,346), plus his salary for five months.

Then came the next shock: Region Gotland appealed the verdict to the national Labor Court in Stockholm. If the appeal is successful, Herlitz will have to pay the legal costs for both parties, which may amount to 1-1.5 million kronor ($124,184-$186,276).

Herlitz said that if he loses:

“It will be a death sentence for us, for the whole family – even for my five-year-old daughter. We do not have one million kronor, we are unemployed now. I will have to pay the legal fees for both parties within 30 days of the judgment, otherwise the Kronofogden will come. They will take our apartment, our car, all the furniture. I think it’s all so immoral. They [government] have unlimited resources, with our tax money. And they choose to marshall those resources to destroy me and my life.”

According to Samhällsnytt‘s sources, Maria Dalemar, Director of Health at Regional Gotland, was the head of the decision to dismiss Herlitz and pursue a legal process against him. When Samfällsnytt contacted her on the telephone, she explained that the decision to appeal the District Court’s verdict to the Labor Court was because Herlitz was terminated due to his breach of patient confidentiality. When asked if she understood the dire consequences for Herlitz and his family, Dalemar said, “I have no comments on that,” and ended the phone call.

According to Region Gotland’s wage administration, Dalemar receives a salary of 105,000 kronor ($13,039) per month. Sveriges Radio discovered that she is not registered in Gotland, but in another municipality — the muncipality of Lidköping where the municipal tax rate is 1.3% lower than in Gotland. This means Dalemar maximized her salary by paying a lower income tax.

When Samhällsnytt reporter Egor Putilov asked Bernt Herlitz if his view of society has changed during this ordeal, he fell silent. Then he spoke in a voice so low, Putilov could barely hear him:

“Before all this, we lived a safe life. I counted on being protected, that there are community institutions that can help me if I get unfairly treated. But nobody wanted to help me, nobody … I’m afraid of this society.”

If Herlitz loses in Labor Court, his family property can be confiscated by the region of Gotland to pay the legal fees incurred. Gotland is an area with a high cost of living of 6,000 to 8,000 kronor ($745 to $993) per day.

See also:

~Eowyn

Chiraq passes 500th fatal shooting with 3 dead, 19 hurt in weekend gun violence

From MyFoxChicago: A man shot dead Friday evening was the 500th person to be killed in city gun violence since the start of the year during a weekend in which three people have been killed and at least 19 others wounded in Chicago shootings.

The city reached 500 shooting homicides about a week later than it did last year, on Sept. 29, 2016, according to data maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times. At this point last year, there had been 511 people shot to death.

In all, 537 deaths have been ruled homicides in the city since the start of this year, according to Sun-Times data.

The 18-year-old became the 500th person shot to death when he was found unresponsive by officers about 4:45 p.m. Friday in the 800 block of East 83rd Street in the East Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, according to Chicago Police. He suffered a gunshot wound to his chest and was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died. The Cook County medical examiner’s office has not released his identity, pending notification of his family.

Two other men were shot to death about 10:50 a.m. Saturday in the Pilsen neighborhood on the South Side. Alexis Salgado, 20, and a still-unidentified 18-year-old man were driving in the 1800 block of South Throop when they flashed a gun at someone standing on the street, authorities said. The person on the street pulled out their own gun and fired shots at the vehicle, striking both men. Salgado suffered a gunshot wound to his body and tried to get out of the vehicle, but collapsed; the younger man was shot in the neck, and both were pronounced dead at the scene.

The weekend’s latest nonfatal shooting happened at 5:21 a.m. Sunday in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side. A 21-year-old man was standing on the corner in the 2400 block of South Whipple when a black vehicle approached and someone inside fired shots, striking the man in the left leg, police said. He was taken in good condition to Mount Sinai Hospital.

At least 18 other people have been wounded in shootings across Chicago since 4:30 p.m. Friday, police said. 

Last weekend, five people were killed and at least 30 others were wounded in citywide shootings between Friday evening and Monday morning.

DCG

Insane: IRS awards $7.25M fraud-prevention contract to Equifax

Equifax is a consumer credit reporting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, the oldest of the three largest U.S. credit agencies (the other two are Experian and TransUnion). Founded in 1899, Equifax gathers and maintains information on over 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide.

On July 29, 2017, Equifax discovered that some time in May, someone(s) hacked into its online databases and stole the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and driver’s license numbers of 143 million consumers in the United States — data that security experts have described as the crown jewels for identity thieves.

But Equifax kept this discovery quiet for 39 days before finally informing the public about it on September 7, 2017, admitting that 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers are also breached, as well as “certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.”

After the company made known the breach, Equifax issued confusing instructions to consumers, which contained language that appeared aimed at limiting customers’ ability to sue. The company also tweeted out a link to a fake website instead of its own security site.

The Justice Department has also opened a criminal investigation into three Equifax executives — John Gamble, Rodolfo Ploder and Joseph Loughran — who sold almost $1.8 million of their company stock before the breach was publicly disclosed. See “Equifax executives sold $2M of their company shares 37 days before informing public of data breach“.

And yet, the IRS has seen fit to award Equifax a $7.25 million fraud-prevention contract — $7.25 million of taxpayers’ money!

Steven Overly and Nancy Scola report for Politico, Oct. 3, 2017, that a contract award for Equifax’s data services was posted to the Federal Business Opportunities database Sept. 30 — the final day of the fiscal year.

According to the no-bid contract, the IRS will pay Equifax $7.25 million to help prevent fraud at the IRS by assisting in verifying taxpayer identity even as Congress is investigating Equifax for its massive security breach that exposed the personal information of as many as 145.5 million Americans.

A no-bid contract means that the IRS deems Equifax to be a “sole source order” — the only company capable of providing the service. The contract award was issued to prevent a lapse in identity checks while IRS officials resolve a dispute over a separate contract.

The IRS, which has suffered its own embarrassing data breaches as well as a tidal wave of tax-identity fraud, has taken steps to improve its outdated information technology with the help of $106.4 million that Congress earmarked for cybersecurity upgrades and identity theft prevention efforts. In a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) questioned the agency’s security systems and said he was concerned that the IRS lacked the technology necessary “to safeguard the integrity of our tax administration system.”

Why is this Obama appointee still the IRS Commissioner?

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle blasted the IRS decision:

  • Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a statement: “In the wake of one of the most massive data breaches in a decade, it’s irresponsible for the IRS to turn over millions in taxpayer dollars to a company that has yet to offer a succinct answer on how at least 145 million Americans had personally identifiable information exposed,”
  • Senate Finance Comittee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said: “The Finance Committee will be looking into why Equifax was the only company to apply for and be rewarded with this. I will continue to take every measure possible to prevent taxpayer data from being compromised as this arrangement moves forward.”

The IRS defended its decision in a statement:

“Following an internal review and an on-site visit with Equifax, the IRS believes the service Equifax provided does not pose a risk to IRS data or systems. At this time, we have seen no indications of tax fraud related to the Equifax breach, but we will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

~Eowyn

This made me chuckle: Brawl breaks out in Uganda parliament debate

Watch for James Brown to make an appearance!

Apparently Uganda is debating raising the presidential age limit. According to the BBC:

Tempers flared and lawmakers were filmed brawling after it was alleged an MP had brought a gun into the chamber. The speaker ordered a search but no gun was found, local media reported.

The age-limit issue is controversial because long-standing President Yoweri Museveni is 73 years old and the limit for re-election is capped at 75. But the current constitutional age limit would prevent him from standing for a sixth term in the 2021 elections.

His governing party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), has been involved in a contentious bill to revise the country’s constitution.

A previous two-term limit was scrapped in 2005 to allow President Museveni to stand for a third term.

Read the rest of the story here.

Such civilized folks…

h/t Jawa Report

DCG

Transgender jogger poops on people’s lawns in Colorado; claims First Amendment right

FOTM reader No Retreat recently wrote a comment with which I very much agree:

“I fully believe and regularly state, that many or most people in the world have absolutely gone certifiably crazy. I mean truly crazy.”

Here’s an example.

A female jogger, dubbed “The Mad Pooper,” who claims to be a MtF “transgender,” has the disgusting habit of defecating on the lawns of a neighborhood in Colorado Springs.

Spencer Wilson reports for KKTV, Sept. 16, 2017, that for at least the past 7 weeks, a mystery woman jogger has been defecating in a neighborhood of Colorado Springs, including right outside the house of the Budde family.

The Buddes dubbed the woman “The Mad Pooper”. Cathy Budde says her kids first caught the woman mid-squat, pants down and unashamed:

“They are like, ‘There’s a lady taking a poop!’ So I come outside, and I’m like … ‘are you serious? Are you really taking a poop right here in front of my kids!?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, sorry!'”

Budde estimates the runner leaves behind her feces at least once a week:

“Two other times we’ve caught her — caught her yesterday — she changed up her time a little bit because she knew I was watching.

I put a sign on the wall that’s like ‘please, I’m begging you, please stop.’ She ran by it like 15 times yesterday, and she still pooped. There’s plenty of public restrooms less than a block away from where she’s targeting. This is intentional.

Sgt. Johnathan Sharketti of the Colorado Springs Police Department said:

“It’s abnormal, it’s not something I’ve seen in my career. For someone to repeatedly do such a thing … it’s uncharted territory for me.”

Officers asked Budde to take photos of the woman to help identify her. The runner could be facing charges of indecent exposure and public defecation.

On Sept 25, 2017, KRDO‘s Dana Clemens reports that a man claiming to be the “spokesman” for the Mad Pooper, whom he calls “Shirley,” posted a video to explain her actions.

KRDO originally had the video embedded into its report, but the “spokesman” has since removed it from YouTube. The “spokesman”also  refused to answer KRDO’s questions to verify his identity or find out if he is actually speaking on the jogger’s behalf.

In the video, Shirley’s spokesman says she is sorry for defecating on people’s lawns but insists her actions are not her fault because she has a traumatic brain injury and cannot control herself after “gender reassignment” surgery.

Note: The spokesman’s claim that “Shirley” can’t control herself is clearly bogus because the Budde family noticed that “Shirley” comes prepared with paper napkins to wipe herself after pooping.

Shirley’s spokesman also claims her public defecation is protected under the First Amendment and the government cannot control where and when she relieves herself, comparing defecation to breastfeeding in public.

Budde’s neighbor Shirley Thevenot said: “I breastfed all of my four children and that’s just ridiculous, as far as I’m concerned. There is no comparison between those. Resident Julie Teffetteller agrees: “Breastfeeding is nourishing your child — you’re doing something to take care of someone — but pooping in someone’s lawn is only damaging.”

Criminal Defense Attorney Jeremy Loew says Shirley’s claim of First Amendment protection is bogus:

“Defecating in someone’s yard is definitely not protected under the First Amendment and it is actually a crime.”

Loew says Shirley could face indecent exposure charges, which might land “her” on the sex offender registry. He added that if her spokesman’s videos are a bad move:

“This is actually the worst thing the family could do. Maybe they thought the videos would make the situation go away, but they won’t. People all over the world are talking about this, and police will catch her. The man in the video will also have to be called into court to testify.”

Police continue to follow up on leads about Shirley the Mad Pooper’s identity. If you recognize “her,” contact the Falcon division of the Colorado Springs Police Department at (719) 444-7240.

~Eowyn

Liberalism is a mental disorder: Schools are banning students from having best friends

September 7, 2017 was Britain’s Prince George’s first day of school at the Thomas’s Battersea private kindergarten school in London.

Jadie Troy-Pryde reports for Marie Claire, September 11, 2017, that “there’s actually a rule at Thomas’s that discourages any of the children from having a BFF” (best friend forever).

Jane Moore, a panelist on the TV talk show Loose Women, lives near the school and many of her friends have children in the school. Moore said on Loose Women that students are encouraged to be friendly with all of their classmates, and not to pick a favorite friend. The school’s aim is to make every child feel included, and this also extends to birthday parties. Moore said:

“There are signs everywhere saying ‘be kind’ – that’s the ethos of the school. They don’t encourage you to have best friends. There’s a policy that if your child is having a party – unless every child is invited – you don’t give out the invites in class. I think it is quite a good thing as you don’t feel excluded.”

Reporting for Business Insider on Sept. 20, 2017, Chris Weller writes that it’s not just Thomas’s Battersea that bans best friends. Schools across South West London, Kingston, and Surrey have also taken up the practice.

The trend of banning best friends has been growing for several years, and is spreading beyond European borders to the United States and Canada, where teachers in big schools shuffle friendships around to expose kids to a range of peers.

School officials and some psychologists argue that children become more well-adjusted when they have larger friend groups and can avoid negative feelings associated with feeling left out. It is claimed that best friends, with their tight bonds and inside jokes, throw a wrench into that open environment. Christine Laycob, M.S., director of counseling at Mary Institute in St. Louis, Missouri, told the New York Times: “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

Critics, however, say the no-best-friends policy robs kids of the chance to form valuable coping skills because grappling with mild social exclusion when they’re young will help them to become more capable, resilient adults.

In fact, a wealth of research indicates best friends create value for people throughout their lives:

  • One study recently published in Child Development found that people with childhood best friends enjoyed better mental health well into adulthood. The study’s lead’s author, University of Virginia doctoral student Rachel Narr told New York Magazine: “We weren’t surprised that better adolescent close friendships turned out to be important, but we were surprised by just how important they turned out to be into adulthood.”
  • Narr’s study also found kids with broader friend groups tended to grow up with higher rates of social anxiety than kids with smaller numbers of closer friends.
  • Although anti-best-friend policies may help kids in the short-term, research suggests the strong connections found among best friends could be vital for mental health in a world where adolescents are lonelier than ever.

I’ve had a best friend in every period of my life, from the time I was in kindergarten, and I cannot imagine life without them. If I had a kid in school, if that school bans best friends, I will simply remove my child from that school.

~Eowyn