Category Archives: Science & technology

Islamic State flag free to fly on Facebook in Sweden, prosecutor rules


From Fox News: A Swedish prosecutor may have set a dangerous precedent last week in regards to the Islamic State flag.

Prosecutor Gisela Sjovall announced last week that a 23-year-old man wouldn’t be charged after posting the flag to his Facebook page in June, according to The Local. Authorities in Laholm had investigated the man, who came to Sweden from Syria, on suspicion of committing “hate speech.”

In comparison to the Nazi symbol which has come to be a symbol for prejudice against Jewish people, the same couldn’t be said for the Islamic State flag, Sjovall added. “Up until now, we haven’t come to that point,” she told the Hallandsposten, a local newspaper. “That could change in ten years.”

The Local noted that under Sweden’s hate speech laws, for an image to be considered “hate speech,” it needs to threaten or disparage a group of people in connections to their race, nationality, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

No disparagement here...

No disparagement here…

“If there had been anything in the text (posted alongside the flag) with more specific formulations about certain groups, for example homosexuals, the ruling could have been different,” Sjovall said.  “For me, there are no doubts about the decision not to prosecute.”

Sjovall said the man told authorities in June that he does not support ISIS. The man’s lawyer said that what he posted wasn’t an ISIS flag, but a symbol of what had been used within Islam for hundreds of years before ISIS misconstrued its meaning.

The flag had already been banned in the Netherlands and Germany. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron had also said that anyone displaying the ISIS flag should be arrested, but there wasn’t a law barring people from displaying it.


CNN hack: “It’s illegal to possess (and therefore read) the Wikileaks emails”

But it’s “different for the media.”

From CNN hack Chris Cuomo:

Guess you should only find out what’s in the emails from the perspective of the liberal media hacks.

Like we’d believe anything that the media, which has been proven to be in collusion with the Clinton campaign, tries to tell us.


Hillary Clinton used variations of ‘I don’t recall’ 21 out of 25 times when answering questions about private email server

I guess some of us still care about this story. Proggies, not so much. Truth doesn’t matter to them unless they can screw republicans out of it.


From Daily Mail: Hillary Clinton used variations of ‘I don’t recall’ 21 times when asked 25 questions under oath about how she deleted 33,000 State Department emails.

Sworn written testimony obtained by Judicial Watch show the Democratic presidential candidate dodged virtually all of the questions about the correspondences she removed from her private server while she was Secretary of State.

A federal judge ordered Clinton’s legal team to turn over written responses to questions concerning the so-called ‘homebrew’ server. Clinton signed the document containing the answers, written by her lawyers on her behalf, on Monday under ‘penalty of perjury’.

The former First Lady sidestepped most of the questions, and insisted that she did not ‘recall’ if anyone told her she could be breaking the law by deleting the emails. She also said she could not remember ever being warned about hacking threats to her private account or server. But her campaign has insisted the answers are consistent with what she has said before.

The questions addressed a number of issues. She was asked why she used the private server,

‘Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall being advised, cautioned, or warned, she does not recall that it was ever suggested to her, and she does not recall participating in any communication, conversation, or meeting in which it was discussed that her use of a e-mail account to conduct official State Department business conflicted with or violated federal recordkeeping laws,’ her lawyers wrote for one answer.

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

Most of the responses to questions begin with the phrase: ‘Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories.’

Clinton’s answers provided no new information beyond what she told FBI agents during the recently closed investigation into whether she and her staff mishandled classified information. But it does suggest she has contradicted sworn statements she has made in the past.

According to the court documents filed this week, Clinton was asked when she decided to use her private email account to conduct government business and whom she consulted in making that decision. Clinton said she recalled making the decision in early 2009, but she ‘does not recall any specific consultations regarding the decision.’

Read the rest of the story here.


Clintons nearly drove top staffer to suicide, email claims

Well, this wouldn’t be the first time that someone associated with the Clintons was prone to suicide.

Clintons yucking it up

From NY Post: Chelsea Clinton was “more concerned” about an article in The Post “about her father and a multitude of women over the years” than about the health of two senior Clinton Foundation officials — one of whom threatened to kill herself, according to an explosive WikiLeaks email released Monday.

In a December 2011 email exchange, Bill Clinton’s closest aide, Doug Band, told other Clinton aides that he had to talk foundation COO Laura Graham out of driving her car into the water on Staten Island because she was under such stress caused by “wjc and cvc as well as that of her family.” The reference appears to be to William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton and Chelsea Victoria Clinton.

“She was on staten island in her car parked a few feet from the waters edge with her foot on the gas pedal and the car in park. She called me to tell me the stress of all of this office crap with wjc and cvc as well as that of her family had driven her to the edge and she couldn’t take it anymore,” Band wrote to Hillary Clinton’s then-State Department chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, along with Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff, John Podesta, and Justin Cooper, the aide who helped set up and maintain Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Band said he reached her brother and her shrink, and Graham pulled back. She was the foundation COO and is now an adviser to the foundation. Band also wrote how “stress” at the Clinton Foundation directly caused “very serious health issues” for board chairman Bruce Lindsey.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

“But I’m sure Chelsea is more concerned with a mostly false story in the distinguished ny post about mf global and teneo not her role in what happened to laura/bruce, what she is doing to the organization or the several of stories that have appeared in the ny post about her father and a multitude of women over the years,” Band wrote.

“Its going to hurt teneo to have wjc on the adv bd any longer but we need come up with a reorg concept for the relationship with wjc and teneo that is lower key and handled privately and properly that we should discuss. Life is to short so let’s have a call and get this over with,” he added.

In a separate email, Clinton campaign chief Podesta also knocked a big Clinton booster, David Brock, a conservative-turned-liberal advocate, for bringing up Bernie Sanders’ health records. “Maybe he actually is a republican plant,” said Podesta in an email to former aide Neera Tanden. “Hard to think of anything more counterproductive than demanding Bernie’s medical records.”


Washington voters to decide on nation’s first carbon tax


From Washington lawmakers have tried and failed in recent years to make polluters pay for their carbon emissions to fight climate change. Now, voters will get to decide.

An initiative on the November ballot asks voters whether the state should impose the nation’s first direct carbon tax on the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline.

Sponsors say residents have a moral responsibility to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and a carbon tax is the best way to do it. The tax encourages businesses to conserve or switch to clean energy by making fossil fuels more expensive, and it makes the tax system fairer by using the revenues to reduce other taxes, they say.

Businesses say the tax will drive up fuel and energy costs and put Washington companies at a competitive disadvantage.

And in a move that has bewildered some, major environmental and other groups — including those that backed Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal last year to cap emissions and make carbon polluters pay — oppose the initiative. They say it takes the wrong approach.

Yoram Bauman

Yoram Bauman

Yoram Bauman, an economist who founded Carbon Washington, the grassroots group that gathered more than 350,000 signatures to qualify Initiative 732, defended it as great climate and tax policy. “It does almost everything right for Washington,” he said.

Audubon Washington supports it. “Our members came down on the side of urgency. We don’t have time to wait,” said Gail Gatton, the group’s executive director. “Climate change is happening, and this is our best available option right now to protect birds.”

But the Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council and the advocacy group Front and Centered say the initiative is the wrong carbon-pricing approach and will hurt the state’s revenues. Whereas Inslee’s pollution fee would have raised money for education, transportation, clean energy and programs to help disadvantaged communities affected by climate change, Initiative 732 provides no such investments, critics say.

Rich Stolz

Rich Stolz

“It’s not a path that makes sense for our communities,” said Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica, which works on social justice issues. Stolz said the initiative ignores climate justice and lacks input from communities of color.

Stolz’s group is part of a coalition that worked on an alternative carbon-pricing measure. Last-minute talks between that coalition and I-732 supporters to collaborate on one ballot measure fizzled last year.

The initiative is designed to be revenue neutral, meaning the tax revenue increase from fossil fuels would be mostly offset by decreases in other taxes. In this case, revenues would be returned to people and businesses by cutting the state sales tax by one point, virtually eliminating business taxes for manufacturers and providing rebates for working families, sponsors say.

A state analysis, however, estimates the measure could cost the state about $800 million in lost revenues over the first six fiscal years. Initiative sponsors dispute the state’s analysis, saying it double-counted the rebates in the first year.

The carbon tax is modeled after one in the nearby Canadian province of British Columbia. California has a cap-and-trade program, which limits emissions and allows carbon polluters to buy and trade pollution credits. If approved, Washington’s carbon tax starts at $15 a ton of carbon emissions in July, goes up to $25 the next year and incrementally increases afterward.

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association, which represents growers, packers and marketers, is among those opposed. It takes a lot of fuel to grow and transport produce, and the tax will be paid by those in the state, not competitors outside it, said Jon Devaney, the group’s president. “Raising food prices in Washington state will make us less competitive compared to others,” he said.

Initiative sponsors say a $25 carbon tax would raise the price of gasoline by about 25 cents per gallon and the price of coal-fired electricity by about 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. They say power plants and fuel suppliers likely will pass those costs on to consumers, but that consumers will see price reductions in other things they buy because the sales tax is cut. The tax wouldn’t apply to electricity from renewables like hydro, wind or solar power.

The campaign has raised $1.2 million from nearly 1,200 unique donors; more than half of those total contributions are under $200. The No on 732 campaign sponsored by the Association of Washington Business has raised $300,000 to oppose the tax.


US further eases Iran sanctions after nuclear deal

O laughs

From Yahoo: The Obama administration is further easing sanctions on Iran, making it easier for foreign firms to do business with the country following last year’s nuclear deal.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Friday at the start of the Columbus Day holiday weekend in the United States, the Treasury Department published new guidance for businesses that said some previously prohibited dollar transactions with Iran by offshore banking institutions are allowed as long as they do not enter the U.S. financial system.

The clarifications from Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also remove a blanket ban on foreign transactions with Iranian firms that may be controlled by a person who remains subject to U.S. sanctions.

Despite the nuclear agreement, which gave sanctions relief to Iran in return for it curtailing its nuclear program, the U.S. maintains sanctions on Iran and certain Iranian companies and people. They are known as “specially designated nationals” or SDNs, for a variety of reasons, including its ballistic missile program, human rights record and support for groups the U.S. deems to be terrorist organizations.

The new Treasury language says foreign transactions with non-sanctioned entities that are nonetheless “minority owned” or “controlled in whole or in part by an Iranian or Iran-related person on the SDN list” are “not necessarily sanctionable” under U.S. regulations.

Friday’s steps by the Treasury come amid growing complaints from Iran that it is not getting the sanctions relief it deserves under the nuclear deal because remaining U.S. sanctions have scared foreign companies from doing business in or with the country. The U.S. insists it has met its obligations and blamed Iranian behavior for the reluctance of foreign companies do to business in Iran. At the same time, it has sought to reassure foreign companies that certain transactions with Iran will no longer be subject to U.S. sanctions.

clinton kerry

“We put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot.”

Hillary Clinton


Demonic face of Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew is pummeling the Caribbean and is the reason for what may be the largest evacuation of Florida.

This is a very creepy NASA satellite view of the hurricane, confirmed to be true by


In the interest of truth in labeling/naming, this hurricane should be renamed Hurricane Hillary. It’s alliterative, to boot! (H/t Jay Gaskill)