The emailed threat read like dialogue from 1930s pulp fiction.
"We're going to tell you this once," the message began that told Jonathan Endicott to give up his fight against the MicroMansions tiny homes development planned near his Cambria neighborhood, just south of Harry and 143rd East.
"If not we will use all of our resources, money and means to stop you. You're dealing with powerful people that have no problems attacking your business, life and family if you choose not to stop."
Endicott reported the note to police, though he says an officer told him since there weren't specific threats of bodily harm he couldn't file a report.
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Empty hotel rooms, idle tour boats and shuttered travel agencies reveal widening fissures in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau, which is caught in an escalating diplomatic tug-of-war between China and Taiwan.
Late last year, China effectively banned tour groups to the idyllic tropical archipelago, branding it an illegal destination due to its lack of diplomatic status.
As China extends its influence across the Pacific, Palau is one of Taipei's 18 remaining allies worldwide and is under pressure to switch allegiances, officials and business people there say.
"There is an ongoing discussion about China weaponizing tourism," said Jeffrey Barabe, owner of Palau Central Hotel and Palau Carolines Resort in Koror. "Some believe that the dollars were allowed to flow in and now they are pulling it back to try and get Palau to establish ties diplomatically."
In the commercial center of Koror, the Chinese pullback is obvious. Hotel blocks and restaurants stand empty, travel agencies are boarded and boats which take tourists to Palau's green, mushroom shaped Rock Islands are docked at the piers.
Prior to the ban, Chinese tourists accounted for about half the visitors to Palau. Of the 122,000 visitors in 2017, 55,000 were from China and 9,000 from Taiwan, official data showed.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Angry residents of the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima ran riot and drove out Venezuelan immigrants on Saturday after a local restaurant owner was stabbed and beaten, residents and government officials said.
The demonstrations forced hundreds of Venezuelans to flee back across the frontier on foot and residents set fire to the belongings they left behind and to tires to block the only road crossing between the two countries, video images released by the state of Roraima government showed.The outburst of anger was sparked by the robbery and severe beating of a resident in his home on Friday night by four Venezuelans, Roraima state security secretary Giuliana Castro said by telephone.The four Venezuelan suspects stole 23,000 reais ($5,800) from the restaurant owner, identified only as Raimundo. He suffered head injuries and was taken to hospital unconscious but was reported to be out of danger, said Castro, who is also head of the state's police force.After crossing back into their country, Venezuelans migrants attacked a group of 30 Brazilians who were shopping across the border and who had to be taken to a shelter, Castro said.Venezuela's government expressed concern about reports of attacks on its citizens and a "massive eviction" of Venezuelans, and asked Brazil to guarantee their safety. A foreign ministry statement said the violence was fueled by xenophobia.
Update: Welcome Instapundit!
Friday, August 17, 2018
A star of the Netflix show "Queer Eye," Jonathan Van Ness, is getting heat from the left after he sent out a tweet calling for Democrats to stop demonizing Trump supporters.
I'm all for it, myself. Rage on, dipsticks. Next thing you're going to hear is that this Van Ness dude has deleted his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and he's added his name to the #WalkAway list.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
SEATTLE - Washington state's penchant for getting high is trashing the place.
Plastic "doob tubes" and small Mylar bags used to package pot are moldering in gutters, bleaching out in landfills and bobbing in waterways.
Concentrated nutrients and fertilizers left over from cannabis growing operations are being dumped in public sewers and making their way past wastewater treatment plants into Puget Sound. And millions of pounds of weed harvest waste that could be composted are instead getting trucked to landfills.
This, in a part of the country that prides itself on being environmentally friendly.
"We're seeing a lot of marijuana packaging in our public spaces," said Heather Trim, executive director of Zero Waste Washington, which organizes litter cleanups. "Cannabis packaging is adding to our load, which then gets washed into our lakes and Puget Sound."
Update: Welcome Instapunditeers!
Upperdate: Welcome Kate McMillan's monkeys! Small dead animals!
I will add again, for emphasis purposes because some people are living in denial, that this is the Federal German Police we're talking about here, not the Army. They've decided that spending a LOT of money on what is basically an armored Mercedes G-Wagen with a machine gun turret is something they want to do. The MOWAG Eagle is similar to an American MRAP armored truck.
If you ever wondered what the World is coming to, the German Federal Police has some clues for you.
As a part of modernizing and expanding their fleet of armored vehicles they have ordered 42 pcs. of the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann FLW100 remote-controlled weapon stations.
The turrets will include the Heckler & Koch MG5 A1 machine gun, and will be mounted on their MOWAG Eagle IV and LAPV Enok 6.1 protected vehicles.
The MOWAG Eagle IV is a wheeled armored vehicle, designed by the Swiss MOWAG corporation.The project is planned to happen around mid-2019, which also includes an additional amount of ENOK 6.1 protected vehicles.
To my knowledge this is the first time a German Police force, in modern time perhaps I should add, have commissioned a Machine Gun. The use is said to be mainly for Airport Security, but the ENOK 6.1 is also to be used in serious situations like terrorist attacks.
You can find more information about the FLW turret here. The FLW 100 can take 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm NATO MGs, like the Heckler & Koch MG4 and MG5 A1.
The FLW 200 can also take 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Guns and 40 mm Grenade Launchers, but this is not the case for now. Not yet anyway, perhaps I should add.
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan were run over by a car in Tajikistan, deliberately.
A grainy cellphone clip recorded by a driver shows what happened next: The men's Daewoo sedan passes the cyclists and then makes a sharp U-turn. It doubles back, and aims directly for the bikers, ramming into them and lurching over their fallen forms. In all, four people were killed: Mr. Austin, Ms. Geoghegan and cyclists from Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Two days later, the Islamic State released a video showing five men it identified as the attackers, sitting before the ISIS flag. They face the camera and make a vow: to kill "disbelievers."
"With...vulnerability," he wrote, "comes immense generosity: good folks who will recognize your helplessness and recognize that you need assistance in one form or another and offer it in spades."
Summary & Conclusions
2017 saw a Black-authored publication rate of about 4.5%, which is essentially double what it was two years before
Half of 2017's authors are new to this set of magazines
More debut stories by Black writers were published in this set of magazines than in 2015 and 2016 combined
Fiyah Magazine published close to the same number of debuts (10) as the pro magazines in this dataset (12) in 2017, despite being significantly smaller in number of stories published (22 versus 1,112; about 2%)
5 of the 23 pro-rate magazines in this dataset are publishing Black writers at rates approximating U.S. population levels or greater
9 of these 23 magazines published over 80% of the field's stories by Black authors (when adding Fiyah Magazine, it's over 90%)
These same 9 magazines collectively published Black authors at rates approximating U.S. population levels
These 9 magazines constitute 26% of the field by number of stories published
The fact that the top quartile of pro-rate magazines is currently publishing Black writers at levels approximating U.S. population figures strongly suggests that it is perfectly possible for the field as a whole to do so.17 the submissions process and to measure magazines' progress according to parameters that aren't available in this report, Fiyah Magazine has created the Presence of Blackness score; see L.D. Lewis' upcoming "POB Score: Growth and Accountability" for a retrospective on creating this metric.
- How is it not the most purulent racism to tally up science fiction authors by skin colour?
- Once again, there's no baseline, no real information here. Its all self-report. How do you get meaningful information out of that?
- How many of these authors self-identify as conservative, or had conservative themes in their work?
- Is it selling? Did those magazines do well with their new push?
Friday, August 10, 2018
They've been crammed into toilets, tossed off balconies and set on fire. They've even been adorned with dangling bags of dog droppings.
As cities from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills struggle to control a rapid proliferation of electric pay-per-mile scooters, some residents are taking matters into their own hands and waging a guerrilla war against the devices. These vandals are destroying or desecrating the vehicles in disturbingly imaginative ways, and celebrating their illegal deeds on social media — in full view of authorities and the public."They throw them everywhere: in the ocean, in the sand, in the trash can," said Robert Johnson Bey, a Venice Beach maintenance worker who regularly comes across scooter parts on the Venice Beach boardwalk, Speedway and adjoining alleys."Sunday I was finding kickstands everywhere," Bey said. "Looked like they were snapped off."
A pay-per-mile electric scooter you can take from the side of the road where its lying, slide your credit card, and ride for as far as you want, then leave it at your destination. That is a hell of a fine service. I have a bad knee, getting around in a city is hell for me. One of those scooters would be amazing.
When Hassan Galedary of Culver City sees a Bird scooter, a knot in his stomach begins to twist and his teeth clench, he said. The 32-year-old film producer describes the sensation as one of "violent bitterness.""I hate Birds more than anyone," Galedary said. "They suck. People who ride them suck."He loathes the scooters so much that he waged what he calls an "insurgency" against them, tossing the contraptions into trash cans on Abbott Kinney Boulevard and down the Culver City Stairs. He even designed a T-shirt of a chick perched on a scooter being shot in the head. Many of his anti-scooter antics have been featured on the Bird Graveyard account.So where does all this scooter scorn come from?Galedary grew up on the Westside and said he hates how kids there are paying to ride scooters instead of honoring the local traditions of surfing and skateboarding. He hates the traffic accidents they cause — "Bird on Bird," "Bird on person" and "Bird on car"— and he hates how they can be left anywhere for pedestrians to trip over."The city is already losing so much culture due to gentrification," Galedary said.
Clean, cheap transportation, available to all, getting people out of their cars and back into Nature, all that exercise and fresh air for the poor and needy who can't buy their own scooters? Yeah, screw that! Because GENTRIFYING and SURFING!!!
Update! Already an update from Kathy Shaidle of Five Feet of Fury, this is too perfect. In Toronto's formerly crappy but now trendy area of Parkdale, its Lefties protesting against... wait for it... Vegans!
Parkdale, a rapidly gentrifying Toronto neighbourhood, was the scene of a protest Saturday against its latest interlopers—vegans.Yep. They're all crazy. Every single one.
Around 250 people turned out to the meeting, called Parkdale Isn’t Vegandale, to express their concerns over the branding of a cluster of vegan shops and restaurants that have dubbed themselves Vegandale around Queen and Brock streets. Their issues centred on capitalism, gentrification, and a perceived moral self-righteousness on the part of the vegan businesses.
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
The timing isn't random. In recent weeks, a group of progressive activists has dialed up efforts to pressure these distribution platforms to drop Infowars. That pressure, which comes at a time when court proceedings against Jones have finally begun in earnest, created the momentum that led to this decision. This has been mentioned in passing in much of the coverage, but these folks deserve much more credit and recognition for the work they've been doing in trying to fight right-wing disinformation campaigns.
Salon spoke recently with Jared Holt, a researcher from Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way. Holt's work has been instrumental in getting social media and other internet platforms to give Infowars the boot. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
You work at Right Wing Watch and People for the American Way by tracking right-wing misinformation sites. Why is it so important to go after these guys? What danger do they present to the public?
It's in the name of Infowars. It's not an attempt at legitimate reporting. It's a, quote, "war" for your mind.
Unfortunately, their war for the American mind is to stuff it full of conspiracy theories. That ultimately debases people from reality and polarizes them to the extremes of right-wing politics. Historically, we've seen that can be very harmful for the vision of America as a free and open democracy.
I think it's important to realize that people like Alex Jones are using these platforms in bad faith.
Major donors to PFAW include George Soros' Open Society Institute, the Miriam G. and Ira D. Wallach Foundation, the Bauman Foundation, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund.
New Research Shows a Vast Majority of Cis People Won't Date Trans People: A recent study attempts to quantify the extent of trans discrimination when it comes to romantic and sexual relationships.
Dr. Zhana Vrangalova is an NYC-based sex researcher, writer, and educator. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University.
Two Canadian researchers recently asked almost 1000 cisgender folks if they would date a trans person in a new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. This is the first study to ever attempt to quantify the extent of trans discrimination when it comes to romantic and sexual relationships.
958 participants (all but seven cisgender, ranging in age from 18 to 81, with an average age of 26) were asked to indicate which genders they would consider dating. The options included cisgender man, cisgender woman, trans man, trans woman, or genderqueer, and participants could select as many genders as they wanted.
Only 12% of all participants selected "trans woman" and/or "trans man."
The high rates of trans exclusion from potential dating pools are undoubtedly due in part to cisnormativity, cissexism, and transphobia — all of which lead to lack of knowledge about transgender people and their bodies, discomfort with these unknowns, and fear of being discriminated against by proxy of one's romantic partner. It is also possible that at least some of the trans exclusion is due to the fact that for some people, sexual orientation might be not (just) about a partner's gender identity, but attraction to specific body types and/or judgment of reproductive capabilities.
People like what they like. Generally they like whole, healthy, attractive members of the opposite sex. If you ask them what they want, most will choose that. Some will lie about their choice of course, and claim the virtue signal of Openness, which is probably why they got 12% open to dating a trans. The actual number is probably a lot less. A double-blind test would sort that out.
Update: Welcome, tsunami of Instapundit readers! Sarah Hoyt linked me again! Woo hoo!
Better than what, you ask? Good question, as it turns out. Rex Murphy asks that question.
Amid the vast waste of anodynes, platitudes and non-sequiturs, it was difficult to pick out a winner — the most tired, numb and vacant verbalism. But I struggled and chose, from her opening sentence, her claim that Laurier "has been at the centre of the campus free-speech conversation during the past year."
The Infowars app is rising in the Apple store's rankings after a number of other major digital platforms cracked down on its content.
The app has surged in popularity in recent days from the 47th to the 4th most popular Apple store news app in the United States. That position places Inforwars over CNN, Fox News and The New York Times's apps, according to app analytics site, App Annie.
In Google Play's app store for Android, the Infowars app currently sits at the 11th spot for the most popular U.S. news app, up from its previous spot at 31st.