Baltimore IT director who went on leave after ransomware attack is no longer employed with the city   

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Baltimore IT director Frank Johnson, who went on leave in September amid criticisms over his handling of the recovery from a crippling ransomware attack, no longer works for the city.

Lester Davis, a spokesman for Democratic Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, confirmed Monday that Oct. 1 was Johnson’s...


          

Articles of Punishment   

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Articles of Punishment is a six-piece set of smart-propped whips for Genesis in DAZ Studio. All pieces have Pose Control dials to facilitate movement of the entire strand at once. The three with multiple strands have controls for each individual strand and for moving all of the strands together. Bloody and clean presets and good tiling shaders make these suitable for realistic, historical and 3D fantasy scenes.

Articles of Punishment features these pieces:

The Captain's Daughter: Historically 30 inches long and made of rough braided rope, the cat oÕ nine tails or Captain's Daughter was a nine-stranded whip used as an instrument of corporal punishment on ships in Her Majesty's Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The purpose was to inflict discomfort without crippling a sailor to the point of being unable to perform his duties, contrary to cinematic depiction.

The Scourge: More austere orders of monks once used a whip of rawhide thongs for harsh self-discipline. This was intended to turn the mind away from evil and impure thoughts as much as it was a punishment for sins. The five-stranded scourge is longer than the cat oÕ nine tails because it needs to be able to reach back over one's own shoulders.

The Iron Star Scourge: Only the very sternest members of an order of monks used this, a seven-stranded whip made of iron links and sharp stars.

The Bullwhip: Originally this tightly braided leather whip was used for herding cattle in Australia and the United States. The length and shape of this whip allows it to create a small sonic boom at the end of the throwing motion, releasing a distinctive sharp crack.

The Short Whip: Also called a yard whip or stock whip, this was used in cattle yards or other confined areas where the longer whip would be difficult to use properly.

The Great Knout: This long whip with an iron ring near the end was used for corporal punishment long ago in Russia. Twenty blows with this whip could be fatal because hard blows with the ring could break a person's back.

Price: $15.95 Special Price: $7.98


          

YouTuber Stevie T Will Not Tour with Dragonforce After All   

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Stevie T had previously agreed to play bass for Dragonforce, but had to drop out due to crippling anxiety.

The post YouTuber Stevie T Will Not Tour with Dragonforce After All appeared first on MetalSucks.


          

GM-UAW talks take turn for worse; settlement not near   

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DETROIT — Contract talks aimed at ending a 21-day strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors have taken a turn for the worse, hitting a big snag over product commitments for U.S. factories, a union official wrote in an email to members.

The letter from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes casts doubt on whether there will be a quick settlement in the contract dispute, which sent 49,000 workers to the picket lines on Sept. 16, crippling GM's factories.

Dittes' letter says the union presented a proposal to the company Saturday. He said GM responded Sunday morning by reverting back to an offer that had been rejected and made few changes.

The company's proposal did nothing to address a host of items, Dittes wrote, specifying job security for members during the term of the four-year contract.

Normally in contract talks, the union bargains for commitments from the company to build new vehicles, engines, transmissions and other items at U.S. factories represented by the union.

"It did nothing to provide job security during the term of this agreement," Dittes wrote. "We, in this union, could not be more disappointed with General Motors who refuse to recognize the experience and talent of our membership."

In a statement, GM said it continues to negotiate in good faith "with very good proposals that benefit employees today and builds a stronger future for all of us."

The company said it is committed to talking around the clock to resolve the dispute.

But Dittes wrote that while both sides had made progress on important issues two days ago, the talks now "have taken a turn for the worse."

Dittes also sent a sharp letter to GM's vice president for labor relations Sunday, saying: "You didn't even have a professional courtesy to explain why you could not accept or why you rejected our package proposal for each item we addressed."

A person briefed on the talks said Sunday that the union voiced concerns about GM increasing production in Mexico, where it now builds pickup trucks, small cars and two SUVs. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private, said both sides are far apart on guarantees of new products in U.S. factories.

GM leads all companies in automobiles produced in Mexico at just over 833,000 last year, according to LMC and the Center for Automotive Research, a think-tank based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Of GM vehicles sold in the U.S., 22% are produced in Mexico.

GM's U.S. factories have been shut down since the workers walked out Sept. 16. Parts shortages also have forced the company to close plants in Mexico and Canada.

Industry analysts say GM is losing more than $80 million a day as the strike continues. Workers earn $250 per week in strike pay while they're on the picket lines, about one-fifth of what they normally make.

Wages and pensions are among the issues that remained unsettled.

Striking workers have said they want a bigger share of the more than $30 billion in profits that GM has made during the past five years. But the company wants to cut its labor costs so they are closer to those at U.S. factories run by foreign automakers, mainly in the South.


          

Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Orders Clean-Up At Power Utility   

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[New Zimbabwe] Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) will be completely restructured in order to deal with graft that is crippling the power utility, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has revealed.
          

Session: Fog of Love:: Standing Tall – A Sunday Morning Date   

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by DeS_Tructive

Meet Joseph, a former street kid who joined the Marines, took shrapnel to the knee, and used his retirement funds to become a teacher in a hot spot public school...

Behind the curtains: His stats
[o]shy, hardened, perfectionist
teacher
slow speaker, eloquent, seductive scent[/o]

...and Catherine, an architecture student from priviledged upbringing who is in a wheelchair. Ever since a horrible accident on a construction site, she suffered from crippling agoraphobia.

Behind the curtains: Her stats
[o]Innocent, worry wart, promiscuous
architect
short, wheelchair, old cell-phone[/o]

They met at the birthday party of one of Joe's co-workers, who had shared a hospital room with Catherine, neither sensed the physical and emotional scars in each other and instantly fell for each other.

Aside from loud sex that made the neighbors come knocking the door, they both benefitted from their relationship: Joe protected Cat and slowly helped her face the "real world" again, while Cat helped become a man "of the world", with a much more positive outlook on life.

...and drunk texts...




Their relationship grew much more strained when Cat was finally able to walk on her own. They spent a weekend hiking, and had their first fight in the romantic forest cabin they'd traveled to. Joe was sure Catherine would agree with his plan to rent a house in the suburbs, away from the city. Suprisingly enough, she didn't, and the weekend ended with them asking themselves if this was really the person they wanted to spend the rest of their life with.

At his wit's end, Joe talked Catherine in to visiting couples therapy, where they realized how much they had changed since they'd gotten to know each other. Joeseph had abandoned his cynicism and become much more forgiving, while Catherine admitted she was much more afraid of living without him than anything else the world could inflict to her.

Behind the curtains: therapy triggered trait swaps
[o]Joe replaced hardened with patient
Cat replaced worry-wart with jealous[/o]

Over then next few weeks, Joe behaved in very unexpected ways, causing quite some distress in Catherine, but in the end, he showed her how much he was willing to commit to their relationship by tattoing her name on his arm, and Cat finally realized that it usually wasn't her faul when he was having a bad day, and not her responsibility to lift his mood.

Behind the curtains: game strategy
[o]I was pretty sure Cat had hit one more trait goal than Joe, so I tried to reduce her happiness far enough to still meet the requirements for equal partners.[/o]

After half a year, Joe had some misgivings about Cat forgetting their anniversary and Cat still didn't feel comfortable enough to tell him she'd still been a minor when they started dating, but they were sure they'd figure it out together.

Behind the curtains: game results
[o]Joe hit two trait goals, Cat hit all three
Both had gone for equal partners, but with Joe at 22 and Cat at 27 happiness, they'd missed their target happiness by two.

It literally came down to Cat not revealing Joe's secret, despite knowing it would be a good thing, because she didn't draw a reveal scene.[/o]

The game results really reinforced a claim I'd previously made: Experienced players knowing exactly what to do can beat Sunday Morning Date, while still having an interesting story. Incidentally, it also reinforces my sentiments against those damn secrets again. They're really annoying, but the necessity for game elements that aren't open knowledge and can't be deduced is pretty clear. I just wish there were more ways of uncovering them.
          

[Video] Eritrea - Minister for Foreign Affairs Addresses General Debate, 74th Session   

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STATEMENT OF H.E. MR. OSMAN SALEH MOHAMMED MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE STATE OF ERITREA

DURING THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 74TH SESSION UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

New York

30 September 2019

Mr. President;

Mr. Secretary-General;

Heads of State and Governments; Distinguished delegates;

The current United Nations General Assembly meeting is occurring at a very auspicious time for the Horn of Africa. Positive developments are underway in the region. The sad, painful chapter of domestic turmoil and regional conflicts is giving way to new vistas of internal resurgence and regional cooperation.

In global terms, this is a sensitive and delicate period, when the world is at a crossroads; on the cusp of a new world order, so to speak.

All vital parameters indicate that the unipolar world order has come to an end or is in its twilight years. The economic power balance is inexorably changing, with a spike in attendant, intense rivalries and upheavals. In the event, the current UN General Assembly session cannot but grapple with these issues and chart out viable paths on the way forward.

Africa’s lot in the past quarter of a century has been onerous indeed. Africa’s resources were plundered wantonly; and in spite of hollow phrases of “conflict prevention” and “conflict resolution”, wars and upheavals continue to increase and fester. Almost one billion Africans remain marginalized, through the collusion of external predators, their local surrogates and corrupt entities of special interests. This tragic reality requires utmost and urgent attention for effective remedies, beyond sincere expressions of concern and understanding.

In this context, the Horn of Africa and Middle East regions have been immensely and inordinately afflicted in the past 25 years by externally instigated, intractable, internecine ethnic and clan conflicts, as well as peacelessness and wars among neighboring countries. As a result, they have been, and remain, hotbeds of instability and impoverishment.

This grim reality is in stark contrast to the promising events and hopes engendered in the early

1990s. However, the external and internal complications have obstructed and reversed laudable initiatives for regional cooperation and integration that were in the offing at the time. Furthermore, these conditions have created vacuums and favorable climates for terrorist and other subversive forces to proliferate and expand. Here again, a large part of the blame falls on corrupt local actors that avidly sought to promote their narrow interest at the expense of their peoples.

All these tribulations notwithstanding, the numerous challenges and impediments that afflicted the Horn of Africa region have been overcome at this juncture. A new promising chapter is indeed in the offing again.

We, in the region, are ready, as ever, and with the requisite political will and determination, to work with higher vigor, to promote our collective growth through robust coordination and cooperation. In the event, we wish to underline that ill-advised, obstructive and detrimental external interferences must cease fully to allow the region to effectively address its own matters.

In Eritrea, in addition to shouldering our regional responsibilities, we have embarked on a substantive and sustainable program for economic and social development. We are building our human capital, revamping our infrastructure, and developing key productive and service sectors. We are also intensifying our efforts and significantly increasing investment to ensure that all citizens, throughout the country, enjoy adequate basic services of water, health, education, transport and decent livelihoods.

Eritrea has been making modest strides towards the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in its three dimensions: economic, social and environmental, with its long-standing policy of a balanced and integrated approach to development. It has already achieved, over the past two decades, significant results in several pillars of the MDGs in spite of limited material resources as well as crippling external adversity, including imposed war and sanctions. Most notable is Eritrea’s achievement in the 4 health related MDGs.

The Horn of Africa region is prone to droughts and erratic rainfall and Eritrea’s soil and water conservation strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change and achieve food security, include the building of small, medium and large dams across the country and terracing its mountainous topography. Eritrea has been able to harvest adequate water, but will require incorporating innovative water technologies to distribute this water efficiently. Eritrea’s sustained tree planting project that also began 1994 continues with full participation of the population.

Excellences,

The international community will have to glean important lessons from the recent past to ensure that the current period, which many have termed as a transition towards a new global order, will lead to and enhance global stability and prosperity. In this regard, it is both timely and proper to revamp and strengthen the United Nations so that it will shoulder its obligations and responsibilities with higher effectiveness.

I thank you.



          

   

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Hitler: Reply to an anonymous critic

It has become pretty well known now among conservative commentators that Hitler was a socialist. The old Soviet disinformation that Hitler was a Rightist is slowly losing its grip.  The plain fact is that the ideas Hitler is most famous for -- eugenics and antisemitism -- were mainstream Leftist ideas in the 1920s and 1930s.  Leftism is a many-headed beast so not all Leftists subscribed to such ideas but many did. August Bebel summarized it well when he said that antisemitism is der Sozialismus des bloeden Mannes.  Leftist intellectuals sometimes rejected it but it was popular among ordinary Leftists.  Antisemitism was even a common belief among the Russian Communists of Lenin's day.

I have set out the evidence for all that in my monograph on Hitler but others, such as Jonah Goldberg, have made the same point.  Even Louder with Crowder has had a swipe at it

And there is of course online now a large number of articles furiously denying that Hitler was a Leftist, none of which is of any scholarly worth that I can see.  A curious exception, however, is a temporary blog from 2011 which is genuinely well informed.  It is anonymous and almost entirely devoted to going through my article on Hitler and questioning it detail by detail.

I must say that I am fascinated by by its anonymity.  And how come that it is in such an obscure source?  I was unaware of it and came across it only by chance a couple of days ago.  And if I was unaware of it for 8 years, who else would be aware of it?  The author has obviously put a lot of work into it.  It took him several months to put it all up. What is the point of that if nobody knows of it?  The fact that it is a blogspot blog means that Google knew of it but nobody else seems to.  Google owns Blogspot and all Blogspot posts appear to be held on Google's main servers.

From the level of detailed historical knowledge displayed, it seems very likely that the writer is a historian of some standing so the best I can make of it is that he is aware that his opus is little more than a series of quibbles but wants to record his quibbles without anybody being able to hold him responsible for them.  His modus operandi is to admit that I am right about something but then to expand the point so as to weaken it in his view.  I suppose his admissions that I am right in various ways might be another reason why he wants to remain anonymous

To reply to each and every one of his quibbles would be a book-length enterprise and I have neither the time nor the energy to do that.  At age 76 my energies are low so I have to reserve them for what I see as important things.  So I will go straight to what I see as his central objection to my thesis.  It is in his post of 5 June, 2011

I won't quote any of it as the link leads you straight to it but his objection is to the Nazis being called "brown Bolsheviks", an expression that was commonly applied to them in Germany in the pre-war era. I explained that expression by saying that "Marxism was class-based and Nazism was nationally based but otherwise they were very similar".  That is of course the headline point of my article on Hitler: That the Nazis were socialists, nearly as Leftist as the Communists

How well our erudite author gets around that is surely central to his whole argument that Hitler was not a Leftist so he needs a very strong comeback to keep his argument afloat.  His comeback is pathetic. He says that the Nazi party had "wings" and Hitler did not belong to the most extreme wing. 

So what?  All political parties have wings to my knowledge but they also have important things in common or they would not be one party.  And the policies they fought elections on in the 1930s were very reminiscent of the U.S. Democratic party in the Soviet era:  Slogans such as: "With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world" and "The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights".  Regardless of what Hitler personally believed, he campaigned as a strong socialist. The Nazi party won power as a Leftist party.  It also had other appeals, such as its nationalism, but its Leftist identity was unmistakeable.  How is equality not a Leftist shibboleth?

I can't resist quoting something further from our opinionated author:

First, a quote from what I wrote:

In German, not only the word "Socialism" (Sozialismus) but also the word "Victory" (Sieg) begins with an "S". So he said that the two letters "S" in the hooked-cross (swastika) also stood for the victory of Aryan man and the victory of the idea that the "worker" was a creative force: Nationalism plus socialism again, in other words.

Our erudite author's comment on that:

No evidence for this at all, The only SS one can find stood for "Schutzstaffel", Not "Sieg Sozialismus" or whatever.

Now that's a real lulu.  I was quoting Hitler himself -- in Mein Kampf -- as to what the Swastika stood for and our author says: "no evidence for this at all."  So Hitler himself didn't know what the swastika stood for???

I don't think I need to go on. That's the most egregious example but his accuracy of statement is at many points very poor.

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Blumenthal's Bluster

A symphony of mindless hate
 
As the impeachment of President Trump begins, the battle lines are hardening. Sen. Lindsey Graham dismissed the allegations against the president as “a nothing burger.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal had a visceral reaction to Graham’s quip, saying:

Donald Trump is going to choke on this supposed nothing burger. He will go down with this supposed nothing burger in his throat because what it shows is repeated, concerted, premeditated criminal conduct.

I found Blumenthal’s statement very revealing. Like much of Hollywood’s “art” (here and here), it reveals the degree of hatred festering on the left toward Donald Trump.

My old friend Bill Bennett, commenting on this raw hatred, said it reminded him of the animosity Inspector Javert had for Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, which had tragic results.

Sadly, I suspect the left has given little thought as to how it might heal the wounds caused by impeachment or how it might begin to help reunite the country that has been so divided by its extreme policies and growing anti-Americanism.

But let me remind you, my friends, that the left’s hatred isn’t just about Donald Trump. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about all the 63 million “deplorable and irredeemable” people who voted for Donald Trump. They tell us that all the time.

The left’s rage didn’t begin with Donald Trump. It smeared Ronald Reagan, Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, George W. Bush, John McCain, and even Mitt Romney. The left viciously attacked Brett Kavanaugh and it is still attacking him.

Friday was the anniversary of Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate hearing. And Kamala Harris is still demanding Kavanaugh’s impeachment.

Where We Stand

It is hard for anyone to keep up with all the nuances of this dispute and the developments that have taken place at such a rapid pace. Of course, that’s the left’s goal — to confuse and demoralize conservatives. But let me just summarize where we are:

An anonymous CIA employee, with an identified anti-Trump bias, has filed a complaint about a presidential phone call to another head of state.

The employee was not on the call.

His identity, and those of anyone he worked with, is being hidden.

What he alleged has been shown from the transcript to be false, and there are numerous inconsistencies in the complaint.

On this basis, we’re being told by virtually every Democrat and reporter in America that the president must be removed from office.

That’s it.

SOURCE 

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With USMCA, Japan, Brazil and South Korea trade deals, President Trump is very bad at being an isolationist

President Donald Trump is very bad at being an isolationist, in fact, he is probably one of the worse isolationists in American history.

Think about it.  President Trump is pushing Congress to pass the USMCA, which tears up the 40 year old NAFTA agreement and replaces it with one which protects our national sovereignty while expanding trade between the three countries on a more favorable footing for U.S. workers.

President Trump has talked to India’s Prime Minister Modi about building a bi-lateral trade relationship between our two nations.  He is similarly working with the President of Brazil along the same lines.  He has already rewritten the South Korean trade deal to better accommodate U.S. interests, and has expanded trade relations with Japan creating a massive corn and technology purchase. He is also negotiating deals with the United Kingdom (post-Brexit), and the European Union.

And all the while, his trade team continues to hammer away at the China trade challenge.

Rather than being anti-trade, President Trump is probably the most trade focused U.S. leader in modern history.  But his goal is different than many in the past.

The current world trading system was based upon a need to win the Cold War with the Soviet Union by spreading capitalism across the globe.  At its core, it was a transfer of wealth from the United States to the rest of the world in the guise of allowing foreign products to be sold in the U.S. with relatively low tariffs, while leaving tariffs on U.S. exports to these developing countries high — the essence of non-reciprocity.  This had the effect of allowing those countries to not face U.S. competition in their markets so their domestic economies could thrive from the trade imbalance cash infusion that followed.

For America’s part, we received less expensive items in our stores as major parts of industries like our domestic electronics manufacturing got outsourced to Asia. When China entered the world market in a big way and was granted Permanent National Trade Relations status by the U.S. in 2000 and entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, the entire world shifted.

U.S. and other foreign multi-national businesses took the certainty that Chinese goods would have inexpensive access to the U.S. markets and invested heavily in the Chinese economy, building factories knowing that they would benefit from cheap Chinese labor while exporting the once U.S.-made toys and other goods to American consumers.

What was a giant sucking sound of U.S. jobs heading south to Mexico from the Bill Clinton negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement became a tsunami as manufacturers flocked to make products in China with the promise of not only having access to U.S. markets but also being able to sell to Chinese consumers.

With China targeting key industries like steel, aluminum, rare earth mining, electronics, autos and high tech chip manufacturing, more and more blue collar jobs were exported around the globe.

A system originally designed to help get the post-World War II world back on its feet was now sucking the life blood out of America, while still delivering low cost electronics for its trouble. The ugly truth is that, as a result, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has not exceeded 4 percent since 2000, with what used to be the expected normal growth rate of 3 percent beyond reach since 2005.

This is why President Trump is realigning our trade relationships around the world.

By emphasizing intellectual property protections, the President is ensuring that America’s ingenuity and problem solving is not stolen by foreign countries like China and then sold back to U.S. consumers at ten cents on the dollar.

By emphasizing ending currency manipulation, the President is ensuring that deliberate, foreign government created inflationary tariffs are not imposed on U.S. products.  Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the trade war with China has NOT resulted in increased costs to U.S. consumers or producers, while generating more than $30 billion in new tax revenue from the Chinese.

How is this possible?  The Chinese have forced their wholesalers to eat some of the increased tariff costs while making the Yuan even less valuable than the dollar to keep the costs of Chinese products low.

But this only serves to emphasize the importance of the entirety of the Trump trade agenda.  Passing the USMCA, and continuing to create new agreements built upon the inviolability of intellectual property rights puts up an economic wall around China, either trapping them in their anti-property Marxist doctrine or forcing them to accept private property rights for their own economic survival.

The USMCA is the first shoe to drop in this paradigm shifting strategy, and it is why it needs to be voted through the House and Senate.  Yes, more, fantastic jobs are projected to be created in the United States, and quite frankly in Canada and Mexico as well. But the language of USMCA on private property and currency manipulation will serve as the models for the entirety of a series of bilateral trade deals.

Trade deals that will encompass the largest economies in the world, except China, and which will create a freedom economic noose around Beijing’s neck.

Isolationist?  No, President Trump is an American President looking out for American economic interests while putting together a new international trade regime to replace the broken one that was crippling our nation’s economic future.

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

WHISTLEBLOWER ARRANGEMENTS: "House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced Sunday that the whistleblower who filed a complaint regarding President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine's president has agreed to testify before the committee, adding that it will likely happen 'very soon,'" The Daily Caller reports. News of the arrangement came two days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was subpoenaed. Meanwhile, President Trump on Sunday fumed: "Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called 'Whistleblower,' represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way." In the same vein as fraud, The Federalist's Sean Davis reveals, "Federal records show that the intelligence community secretly revised the formal whistleblower complaint form in August 2019 to eliminate the requirement of direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing." No wonder Joe Biden's campaign is trying to coerce the Leftmedia into silencing Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, which sounds suspiciously like ... collusion.

CLINTON PROBE: "The Trump administration is investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email. ... Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations, according to letters reviewed by The Washington Post. In virtually all of the cases, potentially sensitive information, now recategorized as 'classified,' was sent to Clinton's unsecure inbox." (The Washington Post)

JUDICIAL OBSTRUCTION & ACTIVISM: "A federal judge in California ruled Friday against the Trump administration's plan to detain illegal immigrant families longer than 20 days, undercutting the president's attempt to close the chief 'loophole' that caused this year's border surge. Judge Dolly M. Gee, an Obama appointee, has long been a stumbling block for Homeland Security and its immigration plans, and the ruling was expected. The administration is likely to quickly appeal." (The Washington Times)

A 'MEDICARE FOR ALL' HARBINGER: "Federal authorities on Friday charged more than 30 individuals in connection with an alleged Medicare-fraud scheme that took as much as $2 billion out of the pockets of taxpayers before it was detected. The scheme revolved around tricking seniors into getting their cheeks swabbed for unnecessary DNA tests that would supposedly tell them whether they were genetically predisposed to serious diseases, including cancer. The defendants would then charge Medicare for the swabs. In total, they are alleged to have collected $2 billion in reimbursements, with the typical bill running between $7,000 and $12,000." (National Review)

NORTH CAROLINA GERRYMANDERING: "Democrats are headed back to court to challenge the validity of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts, just weeks after the state's highest court ruled that the Republican-controlled legislature unconstitutionally gerrymandered state-level maps. A new lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of 14 North Carolina voters challenges Republican-drawn maps that first went into effect ahead of the 2016 elections, after a court threw out a previous set of maps that were drawn after the 2010 census." (The Hill)

A TALE OF TWO SEASONS "One week after summer's end, a 'winter' storm began blasting parts of the West with up to 3 feet of snow, smashing records with low temperatures, heavy snow, strong winds and blizzard conditions forecast into Monday," USA Today reports. On the other hand, "Temperatures will soar to 10 to 25 degrees above average through much of this week across the Deep South and into the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and Northeast," according to The Weather Channel. For those wondering about the implications of global warming, keep in mind that extreme weather — both of the hot and cold variety — has been and always will be Mother Nature's way of finding equilibrium.

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 

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Gout - Osteoarthritis - What It Is And How To Treat It.   

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Gout,Gout Diabetes: Arthritis describes a wide range of conditions (over 100). These can range from relatively mild forms e.g. tendonitis through to various crippling forms of systemic arthritis such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are also some forms of arthritis for... Gout
          

Russia pledges to help Cuba have access to oil and petroleum products   

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A flotilla of shipments from Venezuela gave Cuba some respite last week but the country has extended many of the energy-saving measures Russia will find ways to help Cuba get oil and petroleum products, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview broadcast on Saturday. Medvedev pledged to help develop Cuba’s energy sector during a visit to the island this week but did not announce any short-term measures to provide relief from crippling fuel shortages in the wake of tougher U.S. sanctions.


          

Nigeria: Improving Immunisation Coverage Through Local Emergency Coordination Centres   

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[Nigeria Health Watch] In the last three decades, the world has gone through a long and tough road in the push to eradicate the crippling wild poliovirus disease. From more than 350,000 cases across 125 countries in 1988, the disease has been reduced to 33 cases in only two countries -- Afghanistan and Pakistan, by the end of 2018. Nigeria, once a poliovirus endemic country has not had a case since 2016, the result of various approaches, including improvements and sustenance of immunisation activities. However, arguably
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