Gun-Controlled Chicago: More Than 300 Shot in First 30 Days of 2017


1st Feb 2017

The surge in shootings that marked the early weeks of the new year continued, resulting in more than 300 people shot in the first 30 days of 2017.

The Chicago Tribune reports the number of shooting victims January 1 through January 30 is 302; this includes fatal and non-fatal shootings. The number of homicides alone is 54, which means the city has averaged 1.8 killings a day every day this year.

On January 23, Breitbart News reported that shootings and murders for January 1 through January 22, 2017, were up markedly over the number of shootings and murders for the same period in 2016. According to the Tribune, “At least 228 people were shot in Chicago [January 1 through January 22, 2017].” That was an increase of 16 victims above the number shot during the same period in 2016. There were “at least 42 homicides,” marking a “23.5 percent … [increase from] the 34 homicides from the same period in 2016.”

This news follows the grim report that gun-controlled Chicago had nearly 4,400 shootings and almost 800 murders.

During a January 25 interview with ABC News, President Trump described gun-controlled Chicago as a “war zone.” He also took to Twitter to make clear he is sending in the feds if city leaders fail to rein in the “carnage”:


Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL-4) and other Democrats derided Trump’s observations, rather than seeing the violence as a reason to support arming law-abiding citizens for self-defense.



Don’t Say ‘Mothers’ – It Offends Transgender People


30th Jan 2017

Doctors have been told to refer to expectant mothers as “pregnant people” so as not to offend transgender people, in official guidelines issued by the British Medical Association (BMA).

The controversial advice appears in a 14-page booklet on “inclusive language in the workplace” which also rules that the terms ‘biologically male’ and ‘biologically female’ are problematic, and instructs doctors to instead say that the individual was ‘assigned’ male or female at birth.

The union’s new guidelines come just weeks after it emerged that a British woman in the process of ‘transitioning’ gender put her operation on hold to have a baby, the Mail on Sunday reports.

775,000 women give birth in Britain each year, yet there are no other known cases of people in the process of ‘transition’ becoming pregnant.

Despite this, the BMA demands the word ‘mothers’ be dropped from doctors’ vocabularies in relation to pregnancy because it’s offensive to transgender people, and in order to “celebrate diversity”.

The booklet states: “A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. However, there are some intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant.

“We can include intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant by saying “pregnant people” instead of “expectant mothers.”

Heather Ashton, of the transgender support group TG Pals welcomed the new guidance, stating that the change in terminology “can only be a positive thing”.

It’s not only politically correct terminology relating to transgender issues that is covered in the guidelines issued by the doctors’ professional association and trade union.

Members are advised against using ‘male-centric language’, an example of which is the instruction to use the term ‘family name’ instead of ‘surname’, the booklet noting that some linguists believe the latter word “may originate from sire-name, the name derived from one’s father”.

‘Christian name’ is another term the BMA say should be banished from doctors’ vocabularies, the guidelines stating that “to ask a Jewish or Muslim person their Christian name not only makes no sense, but is also highly disrespectful of their beliefs.”

In a section of the booklet relating to race, doctors are warned that “difficulties can arise with expressions that use ‘black’ in a negative way, eg ‘black sheep’, or ‘black mark’.”

In an introduction to the booklet, BMA executive Dr Anthea Mowat said the new guidelines serve to “support and protect our colleagues and our patients”.

However the advice is patronising and overreaching according to Jon Stanley, health research fellow at the Bow Group, who also criticised the BMA’s politically correct attempts to deny biological reality with language.

He told Breitbart London: “The union is determined to double down on their losses from last year by doing anything and everything except competently represent doctors. Any doctor worth their salt will be sensitive and professional anyway.

“The idea the union speaks for the profession or guides it is risible and deeply offensive to many who feel they have lost too much autonomy already.

“Whilst showing respect to all, any doctor treating someone who is transgender must assess them on their biology as many disease patterns are gender influenced,” he said on Sunday.



People who enjoy dark, twisted jokes may be more intelligent

dead baby

20th Jan 2017

A new study has found that people who appreciate black humour tend to be more intelligent and have higher education levels.

A team of researchers, led by Ulrike Willinger at the Medical University of Vienna, tested whether people who liked humour which dealt with tragic, distressing or morbid subjects like death, disease, deformity, handicap or war were smarter, the Independent reports.

The authors of the study asked 156 participants to rate their understanding and enjoyment of 12 cartoons.

Understanding and enjoying black humour is a “complex information-processing task”.

The cartoons came from The Black Book by Uli Stein, an anthology of dark humour cartoons which are described on Stein’s website as: “Abyssal, deep black humour beyond all limits of taste”.

The participants, who had an average age of 33, completed tests of their verbal and non-verbal IQ and answered questions about their background.

The most surprising result is that subjects who show the highest values with respect to black humour preference and comprehension show high values with respect to intelligence, have higher education levels and show lowest values regarding mood disturbance and aggression,” the team wrote in the study, which was published in the journal Cognitive Processing.

On the other hand, subjects who show average verbal and nonverbal intelligence scores as well as high mood disturbance and high aggressiveness show the lowest values with respect to comprehension and preference of black humour.” 

Willinger and her team said the findings suggested that understanding and enjoying black humour is a “complex information-processing task”, so a high level of intelligence helps.



Russia Extends Edward Snowden’s Asylum


18th Jan 2017

A day after President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Russian government clarified on Wednesday the fate of Edward J. Snowden, the other main source of secrets about United States surveillance in recent years.

Mr. Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who was granted asylum in Russia in 2013, will be allowed to remain in the country for “a couple more years,” Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, said on Facebook.

Mr. Snowden and his supporters have been campaigning for a pardon from President Obama, but the chances of clemency appear to be vanishingly small given that his name did not appear on a list of pardons on Tuesday.

Ms. Zakharova described her Facebook post as a rejection of an idea presented in a recent article in The Cipher Brief by a former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael J. Morell. He suggested that Russia should extradite Mr. Snowden to the United States as a signal of good will to the incoming Trump administration.

Ms. Zakharova said that Mr. Morell’s suggestion of turning over Mr. Snowden would amount to “a gift” for the new American leader. That is apparently a gesture that Russia is not prepared to make, however, even though President-elect Donald J. Trump has spoken admiringly of Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin.

“The funniest thing is that the former deputy director of the C.I.A. !!! does not know that Snowden’s residence permit in Russia was just extended for a couple more years,” Ms. Zakharova wrote.

“And seriously, the essence of what the C.I.A. agent is suggesting is an ideology of betrayal,” she wrote. “You spoke, Mr. Morrell, and now it’s clear to everybody that in your office, it’s normal to bring gifts in the form of people, and to hand over those who seek defense.”

In an interview with The Guardian in September, Mr. Snowden argued that his revelations about government surveillance were not only morally right but that they also led to an overhaul of secrecy laws that benefited Americans.

“I think when people look at the calculations of benefit, it is clear that in the wake of 2013, the laws of our nation changed,” Mr. Snowden said. “Congress, the courts and the president all changed their policies as a result of these disclosures.”

Mr. Snowden is accused of violating the Espionage Act in the United States and would face at least 30 years in prison if convicted.

Some privacy advocates have lionized Mr. Snowden as a whistle-blower, while his opponents and government officials have cast him as a defector, particularly in light of his flight to Russia.

Mr. Snowden has taken pains to portray his exile as comfortable. He spends time with his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, according to posts on social media, and he recently took a break from posting on Twitter for what he described as a vacation, presumably in Russia.


Justices to hear free speech clash over offensive trademarks

free speech indeed

18th Jan 2017

The Supreme Court is considering a First Amendment challenge to a law barring the government from registering trademarks that are deemed offensive.

The justices hear arguments Wednesday in a dispute involving an Asian-American band called the Slants that was denied a trademark because the U.S. Patent and Trademark office says the name disparages Asians.

The band says the 70-year-old law barring offensive trademarks violates free speech rights. A federal appeals court ruled that the law is unconstitutional, but the government has appealed.

A victory for the band could also decide a separate legal battle involving the Washington Redskins. The trademark office canceled the football team’s lucrative trademarks in 2014 after finding the word Redskins is disparaging to Native Americans.

At issue is a law that prohibits registration of marks that “may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.”

Slants founder Simon Tam says his goal in choosing the name was to reclaim a derisive slur and transform it into a badge of ethnic pride. But the trademark office said a term can be disparaging even if it’s meant to be used in a positive light.

The band scored a victory in 2015 when a federal appeals court in Washington ruled 9-3 that the First Amendment protects “even hurtful speech that harms members of oft-stigmatized communities.”

The Obama administration wants the high court to overturn that ruling. It says that the law does not restrict speech because the band is still free to use the name even without trademark protection. The Justice Department argues in legal briefs that the federal government can decline to be associated with “racial epithets, religious insults and profanity as trademarks.”

Like the Slants, the Redskins say their name is meant to honor American Indians. But the team has spent years fighting legal challenges from Native American groups that say it’s a racial slur. A federal judge upheld the trademark office’s cancellation of the team’s name and the Redskins are appealing. The matter is on hold pending the outcome of the Slants case.

The Redskins had hoped to piggyback on the Slants case and have the Supreme Court hear their dispute at the same time. But the justices declined to take up a case that is still working its way through lower courts. The team has filed a brief supporting the Slants.



Patients paying $10,500 to receive plasma transfusions from the blood of people ages 16 — 25

bathory blood

16th Jan 2017

iF you had ever dreamt of eternal youthfulness, a start-up claims to have the answer — just know it doesn’t come cheap.

Named after the food of the immortal gods in Greek mythology, Ambrosia is a private clinic in California offering blood plasma from teenagers and young adults aged 16-25 as an anti-ageing remedy.

Ambrosia founder Jesse Karmazin said a single infusion of a two-litre bag of plasma will cost patients a hefty $A10,500, but he promises customers will “see improvements” within a month.

The notion of using young blood to help slow down the process of ageing has been explored since the 1950s, when researcher Clive M. McCay joined old and young rats together by stitching the skin on their flanks.

This process, known as parabiosis, saw their circulatory systems becoming joined, which made the cartilage of the older rat appear more youthful than it would otherwise.

There have been countless studies since McCay’s research, with more recent research also showing positive results.

In 2011, researchers found young blood administered to old rats resulted in a burst of new neurons in the hippocampus — the region of the brain that forms memories.

Then in 2013, researchers found a protein called GDF11 — abundant in young mice, but scarce in old mice — was present in the animals’ blood and likely responsible for the change.

To test the theory, scientists produced GDF11 and injected it into old mice, which resulted in their hearts becoming rejuvenated.

This guy is actually 83 — the procedure is just working very well.Source:Supplied

Mr Karmazin said he believed these studies were proof the treatment should be used for humans.

“I think the animal and retrospective data is compelling, and I want this treatment to be available to people,” he told MIT Technology Review.

As the 32-year-old has no license to practice medicine, has joined forces with David C. Wright — a 66-year-old physician with a private intravenous-therapy centre.

Despite being disciplined by the California Medical Board for incorrectly administering antibiotic infusions in 2015, Wright has become well-known for his “alternative” IV treatments.

As of December last year, the duo had infused 25 people with young blood and claim to have seen impressive results.

Mr Karmazin said one patient who suffered chronic fatigue syndrome “feels healthy for the first time” and “looks younger” after receiving the treatment.

Ambrosia will accept most patients over 35 years old, with the large cost covering the cost of clinical procedures, lab tests and the plasma.

While Karmazin seems confident of the procedure, not everyone agrees.

Professor Irina Conboy from University of California believes previous studies needed more solid evidence to prove they actually work.

“The problem is that there is no evidence to suggest that an infusion of plasma from young to old animals reverses ageing,” she said.

Ms Conboy added people are too quick to believe dubious anti-ageing remedies because of what they promise.

“You’ll see them at some meetings — people in the audience who open satchels of strange food,” she said.

“That is the group that Ambrosia is preying upon.”

Bioethicist Jonathan Kimmelman also believed there is no proof the plasma infusions work and Ambrosia’s treatment is just a marketing gimmick to earn money.

“There are a lot of patient-funded trials run by companies that use the trials as a way to sell products that wouldn’t be marketable because they’d have to be regulated by the FDA,” he said.

In addition to paying upwards of $10k for a procedure that might not actually work, chief of the immunotherapy division at California Pacific Medical Center Dobri Kiprov said patients were at risk of lung injury or deadly infections.

“To expose people to danger unnecessarily — in my mind, that is really horrible,” he said.


Claim: Trump ‘Threatens Mental Health of Young Californians’


9th Jan 2017

President-elect Donald Trump is causing mental health problems for young people in California. That’s according to claims by “advocates, educators and mental health providers” who say Californian youth are troubled by Trump’s policies towards illegal immigration, and that they feel targeted by “hate crimes” attributed — rightly or wrongly — to Trump’s supporters.

Jocelyn Wiener of Kaiser Health News, via the East Bay Times, reports: “Around the country, children and adolescents who are undocumented immigrants or who have undocumented family members, are experiencing a surge in stress, depression and anxiety, according to advocates, educators and mental health providers. The same is true for young people belonging to other groups targeted by threats or hate crimes, including Muslim and transgender youth.”

No actual proof is offered, however, either by the “advocates” or Wiener herself.

“Reports of these mental health concerns remain mostly anecdotal so far,” she admits. But she quotes a professor at Stanford University — an avowedly anti-Trump academic named Keith Humphreys, whose political sentiments she declines to mention — who tells readers that “Muslims, Jews, Latinos, African-Americans and women and victims of sexual assault” are now, thanks to Trump’s victory and the “hateful rhetoric” attributed thereto, “uncertain whom they can trust.”

Wiener also prints the “fake news” claim that “During his campaign, Donald Trump announced plans to create a Muslim registry.” As Breitbart News noted at the time, and again today, Trump never made that suggestion, which was entirely created by the mainstream media out of its own totalitarian fantasies in an effort to help Trump’s political rivals.

If such nightmares torment the youth of California, the fault lies with Hillary Clinton and the mainstream media, which spread doomsday scenarios about what might happen if Trump won, and only amplified the hysteria after Election Day.

Responsible “advocates, educators and mental health providers” ought to explain to young people — immigrants in particular — the importance of elections, the virtue of political tolerance, and the legitimacy of democratic opposition.




Centrelink referring Twitter users to Lifeline amid debt-recovery efforts


5th Jan 2016

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said this week about $300 million had been recovered, part of a target of $4 billion in recovered payments for household, unemployment and student support.

The agency’s official Twitter account has been communicating with users concerned about receiving debt notices during the Christmas period and has referred some to Lifeline, the 24-hour crisis support and suicide-prevention service.

Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said on Thursday the process was not linked to the department’s new debt compliance activities.

“It is a long-established process that we provide information about the department’s social work services to customers who are at-risk, or who threaten suicide or self-harm.

“We take all mentions of this nature seriously,” he said.

“At times, particularly when outside the department’s business hours, details for Lifeline are offered as they are available to help people when we aren’t open.

“This process was established with advice from social work experts and is reviewed yearly. We treat the welfare of our customers with paramount importance.”

Centrelink’s phone services have not been experiencing higher-than-usual demand, despite more than 170,000 welfare recipients receiving letters about possible eligibility problems or overpayments.

The agency’s average wait times are about 16 minutes and clients can also access services via the government’s MyGov website.

Mr Jongen said social workers and departmental staff behind Centrelink’s social media accounts provide support and intervention to customers at risk of suicide or suffering from mental distress.

“This includes ensuring the person is safe and making referrals for further assistance.

“We want to ensure people have access to vital services whenever they need it, and we stand by our commitment to make referrals to these external support services – especially out of usual business hours.”

On Wednesday, independent MP Andrew Wilkie said he’d had four people approach his office who he believed were suicidal or at risk of self-harm because of the letters.

Labor and politicians including former Greens leader Christian Milne and South Australian Xenophon Team MP Rebecca Sharkie have slammed the government’s response to the problems.

The opposition has called for the automated systems to be halted or scrapped until the relevant algorithm can be fixed and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office is seeking information from Centrelink after being asked to investigate by Mr Wilkie.

Mr Porter said this week the complaint rate from the debt recovery letters was low, with only 276 complaints resulting from some 169,000 letters.

Contact Lifeline if you require assistance: 13 11 14.





If you would like to see what the Australian Government doesn’t bother to get control of…


Eighty-eight million, seven hundred & seventeen thousand, six hundred & fifty‑two dollars and five cents per day…on “defence”

The Australian Government will provide an estimated $365.7 million in total ODA to Indonesia in 2016-17, including an estimated $296 million in bilateral funding managed by DFAT.