A Thousand Africans Storm Spain’s Melilla Border, Half Get In

It doesn’t seem like Spain is trying very hard to keep the swarming Africans from climbing over its dinky Melilla fences and thereby gain entrance to Europe. Electrification or a moat would make breaking through harder — something should be done because the fence is not impressive at all.

Israel apparently builds serious border barriers — why doesn’t Spain copy what they do?

A thousand Africans tried on Wednesday and around half got through, and all of them will now be contacting everyone they know to tell them how easy it was to snooker the feeble Europeans and get in. Weakness invites more assaults.

1,000 migrants storm Spain’s African border, The Local, Spain, May 28, 2014

Around 1,000 would-be immigrants stormed the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish North African city of Melilla on Wednesday morning, with around 400 managing to enter the enclave.

The attempt to cross into Spain took place at 5.30am near Melilla’s Barrio China border post, Spanish daily ABC reported.

Those migrants who did manage to cross the six-metre (20-foor) high border fences into Spanish territory ran towards the already overcrowded CETI refugee centre.

A further ten immigrants spent some two hours on top of one of the border fences before coming down at around 7.30pm. Two remained on the fence at 8.30am.

The final number of people who attempted to cross is not yet known, but Wednesday’s border ‘assault’ is considered one of the largest ever, ABC said.

“It was a very large number,” the president of the city of Melilla, Juan José Imbroda, told Spanish public radio RNE. “An exterior part of the barrier was pushed over.” Continue reading this article

Ethiopian War Criminal Refugee Is Sentenced in Denver for Immigration Fraud

America is open and generous toward the world’s downtrodden and as a result has accepted many diverse war criminals as immigrants and refugees.

Today’s example was a guard at a brutal prison in marxist Ethiopia where he tortured and killed dozens of prisoners. Kefelgn Alemu Worku (pictured) later escaped to the United States, entering as a refugee by stealing another man’s identity.

Here’s a text and video report from local Denver media from a couple years ago:

Man responsible for murder, torture caught in Denver area, 9News, August 30, 2012

ARAPAHOE COUNTY – The 9Wants to Know investigators have learned U.S. Federal agents arrested a man who they believe is a war criminal from Ethiopia convicted of killing 101 people and torturing many others.

Kefelegn Alemu Worku went by the name Tufa or Habteab Berhe Temanu, according to federal agents and federal court documents reviewed by 9Wants to Know. Immigration Customs Enforcement arrested Worku was arrested Aug. 24, but news of his arrest wasn’t immediately made public.

ICE agents allege Worku stole an identity and forged his citizenship application to be able to get into the United States. Federal prosecutors charged him with unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization and aggravated identity theft. If convicted he could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. It’s not clear whether he could be deported back to Ethiopia. [. . .]

Customs agents discovered Worku used a fraudulent name to immigrate to the United States on July 12, 2004 as a refugee along with four children to live with a fifth child already in the United States.

Now American taxpayers must feed and house this monster for decades. Would stricter background checks be too much to ask?

Notorious Ethiopian prison guard Worku sentenced to maximum 22 years, Denver Post, May 23, 2014

A woman who was beaten routinely by a notorious Ethiopian prison guard — a man accused of killing and torturing dozens of people — hugged prosecutors after her tormentor was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Others wept and shook during Friday’s hearing in Denver in which Kefelgn Alemu Worku, 62, was sentenced to the maximum prison term following a U.S. immigration fraud conviction.

Worku was convicted of lying on immigration documents and stealing another man’s identity to gain entry to the United States. He lived a quiet life in Aurora for years until one of his victims recognized him.

“If any case called for a maximum sentence, it seems to be this one,” said U.S. District Judge John Kane.

Kane added that giving Worku the maximum sentence is one way to demonstrate that the U.S. is not a haven for people committing heinous acts against humanity like Argentina became for Nazis after World War II. Kane said Worku’s citizenship status is revoked and he will likely be deported to Ethiopia following his sentence.

Worku, speaking through a translator, issued a rambling statement to the judge that continued for nearly an hour. He denied the accusations and said he was a victim, incarcerated for six years. Continue reading this article

Britain: Immigration Restriction Wins for UKIP; Will US Republicans Notice?

Political elites in Britain are stunned at the win by the UK Independence Party in the recent EU Parliament election. Interestingly, the word “earthquake” appeared frequently regarding the vote: Ukip wins European elections with ease to set off political earthquake, Guardian, May 25, and Ukip and Front National lead populist earthquake, Financial Times, May 26.

As a Euroskeptic party, Ukip aims to divorce the UK from the European Union because the EU has shredded the national sovereignty of all members.

In his victory statement, Nigel Farage noted, “The penny’s really dropped; that as members of this union, we can’t run our own country and crucially we can’t patrol our own borders.”

In January, Farage voiced support for a newcomer moratorium:

Nigel Farage: Ukip wants five-year ban on immigrants settling in UK, Guardian, January 7, 2014

The UK Independence party is likely to go into the next election repeating its promise of a five-year ban on people coming to settle in Britain while immigration policy is sorted out, Nigel Farage has said.

The party leader also said all immigrants should be banned from claiming benefits for five years after their arrival, and admitted his plans would require the removal of the UK from the European Union.

A February poll found that 70 percent of British voters wanted immigration reduced or stopped completely.

(Honest polling in America shows similar preference for more enforcement, less immigration, but many Republican lawmakers remain enthralled by campaign consultants preaching amnesty.)

Elite British media has slimed Ukip non-stop, with characterizations of racism, xenophobia and extremism. A BBC interview with Farage about his victory took 38 seconds to use the word “racist”: Nigel Farage – Anything is possible after tonight.

A Spectator blog item named immigration as the game-changer issue:

It was the immigration issue wot won it for Ukip, Spectator, May 26, 2014

Ukip have triumphed in the UK European Elections. The BBC project that Ukip’s national share of the vote will be 28 per cent ahead of Labour on 25 per cent and the Tories on 24 per cent with the Greens on 8 per cent beating the Lib Dems who are on the 7 per cent into 4th.

This is the first time that anyone other than Labour or the Conservatives has won a nationwide election in more than a century. Nigel Farage and his party has given the British political system a mighty shake this morning. They have demonstrated that, in these elections at least, they can put together a coalition that can defeat both main parties.

The big development in this campaign has been Ukip making inroads into the Labour electoral base. The Ukip vote is no longer just made up of disaffected Tories worried about the loss of sovereignty.

Ukip has done this by putting immigration at the centre of its message. Ukip has a unique selling point on immigration because it wants to leave the EU. This means that, unlike the other parties, it can claim it would stop EU immigration into Britain. No other party can make that pledge because it is incompatible with the UK remaining in the EU. Continue reading this article

Mexico Is Not America's Friend (the Marine Example)

US Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi (shown below) has been wrongly jailed in Mexico since March 31 for having legal firearms in his vehicle after making a wrong turn into the dirtbag country.

The case is a perfect example of how Mexico plays America for a fool repeatedly, yet Washington continues to submit to the Mexes’ two-bit harassment. Mexico acts like it is the poor victim of the mighty America, while Mexico is #14 wealthiest nation on earth according to GDP. Despite its obvious wealth, stupid Washington sends it $400 million in foreign aid, allows open borders, a snoozes through a trade deficit for America of $60 billion (NAFTA generated), and permits $22 billion of untaxed remittances to be sent south.

Retired INS Agent Mike Cutler noted America’s shameful weakness in this case.

William La Jeunesse pointed out that Mexican military wander into US territory all the time and are simply sent home.

Patriotic Americans! Don’t travel to Mexico or spend any money on Mexican products, including cervesa. Of course, Mexicans’ arrogance toward stupid-generous America is yet another reason to oppose amnesty, work permits and any rewards whatsoever for lawbreaking foreigners, particularly belligerent Mexicans.

Mexican cooperation could have spared Marine from ordeal, say border sources, Fox News, By William La Jeunesse, May 25, 2014

A U.S. Marine who has been held in a Mexican jail for two months after mistakenly crossing the border with guns could have been spared his continuing ordeal with a simple phone call – and the kind of courtesy American border officials extend to wayward Mexicans, including members of the military.

Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, was trying to visit a friend near the border in San Ysidro March 31 when he missed the last exit on Interstate 5 and inadvertently crossed into Mexico. While his mistake was apparently due in part to a poorly marked – and recently changed – sign marking the last chance to make a U-turn back toward the U.S., some reasonable discretion by border officials could have spared him nearly two months in a Mexican prison, sources told Fox News.

“This should have been a phone call,” said a border patrol supervisor who used to work the San Diego sector. “I would call my counterpart on the south side, call in a favor and Sgt. Tahmooressi would have been back in a few hours. Why that didn’t happen here, I don’t know. There’s no reason Mexico City and Washington should be involved in something like this.”

Thad Bingel, a former chief of staff at Customs and Border Protection agrees, saying it is not uncommon for Mexican soldiers to get lost along the border. They are typically met by the U.S. Border Patrol, questioned and sent on their way.

“We had several incidents where Mexican military or federal police or local police inadvertently crossed the border, armed, on the U.S. side and were apprehended by us,” said Bingel. “We were able to usually dispense with those cases pretty quickly and get them back home once we established the intent wasn’t there to do anything nefarious. I really can’t explain why it has taken the Mexican government this long. If they’re trying to make a point about broader issues of arms smuggling southbound, I think they’ve picked really the wrong case to do that with.”

Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Angelica De Cima said it is not uncommon for travelers to miss the U-turn lane, but her agency does not keep statistics.

“He’s not trying to smuggle arms southbound,” said Bingel. “He made a wrong turn.  He had weapons in the car.  He was arrested for that.  But he’s certainly been held long enough to determine his intent and to send him home to his family.”

Border Patrol and ATF officials tell Fox News Tahmooressi is not a gun smuggler. However, he did carry a military assault rifle, a shotgun and pistol. Guns are illegal in Mexico and the “AR-15 definitely got their attention” said a source familiar with the investigation. “They don’t have much of a sense of humor about assault weapons.”

Mexican officials have told their American counterparts Tahmooressi changed his story, hence their suspicion. At first, they claim, he said he was going to see friends and get medical care. Later, he allegedly said he made a mistake.

Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill, claims that is not accurate.

“The first customs official believed my son when he said he made a wrong turn and called for an escort to take him back. Then there was chatter over the radio and the Mexican military got involved. He was arrested, put in handcuffs, and held for eight hours.”

The state department claim it is working with Mexico’s on the veterans’ release.

“Within  a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday. “Obviously, this is a case we’ve been concerned about. Hence, we’ve raised it and we visited him 11 times. So we’ll continue to press the case.”

Others want a more immediate, direct approach, noting the U.S. gives Mexico roughly $400 million a year in aid, from military and police training to social aid and child health. The US is also Mexico’s chief source of tourism. A former border official suggested slowing southbound traffic, cutting off the cash flow.

“That will get their attention,” he said. “Is it related to the missing Marine? Of course not. But if he suddenly showed up in the northbound lane, traffic might improve.”

Bingel admits the U.S. has leverage it doesn’t appear to be using.

“There really seems to be no excuse for why someone at the State Department, from the Secretary of State on down, can’t make that phone call and use a number of tools in the diplomatic arsenal, whether that’s direct foreign aid to the Mexican military or police, or whether it’s various economic provisions and trade provisions between the two countries,” he said.

UBR-1 Robot Is Designed to Work Alongside Humans

Don’t worry, little human, robot designers are concerned with making the working environment comfy regarding the machine-people interface. That’s the message from the producers of the UBR-1 robot, the latest in smart machines that can work in manufacturing or other assorted tasks.

We’ve heard this mendacity before, that advanced mechanization is being brought in to “help” employees with those “boring, repetitive jobs” — plus being conveniently cheaper.

“Our people have really taken to Baxter [the robot],” said [Factory VP Lowell] Allen. “He’s non-threatening. He’s helping them do their job.” (Bringing back jobs to the U.S. via the robot, CBS News, October 5, 2013)

UBR-1 is apparently the next step forward from Baxter. It is more expensive ($50,000 versus Baxter’s $22,000) but can scoot around on its own and can be programmed using Linux to perform a wide variety of functions.

The MIT Technology Review has a product review: Why This Might Be the Model T of Workplace Robots, October 21, 2013. By that it means the UBR-1 may be the breakthrough machine that could convince employers to embrace the technology more widely.

Every advance in robotics and other automation means improved efficiency for business without the need for additional workers, which is partially the reason for the jobless recovery, in addition to the administration’s backward economic policies of course.

With the smart machine revolution picking up speed, America certainly should not double legal immigration as legislated by the Senate to take jobs that are disappearing every day.

Meet UBR-1, a robot that can stock shelves, work alongside people, PC World, May 21, 2014

The UBR-1 is a 4-foot tall, one-armed robot that could make warehouses and factories more efficient by performing tasks normally done by human workers.

Unlike the industrial robots widely used in manufacturing today—usually large machines isolated from people for safety reasons—this robot can work alongside humans or autonomously in a workspace filled with people.

The UBR-1 is made by Unbounded Robotics, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and is a spinoff of robotics research incubator, Willow Garage. The company began taking orders for the UBR-1 on April 17 and expects to ship the $50,000 robot to customers in August.

“We see the robot as doing tasks, they could be dull, they could be dirty, they could be dangerous and doing them repetitively all day in a light manufacturing environment,” said Melonee Wise, Unbounded Robotics CEO and co-founder. Those tasks include stocking shelves, picking up objects and assembling parts.

The UBR-1 isn’t designed for small component assembly, but it can manipulate objects as small as dice or a Lego piece, Wise said. Unbounded Robotics is targeting companies that want some automation to speed up their manufacturing process, but can’t afford to fully automate their businesses. Continue reading this article

SunTV’s JihadWatch May 22: Is the Public Waking Up to Islam’s Threat?

Nice chat between JihadWatch.org’s Robert Spencer and SunTV’s Michael Coren on Thursday, including how Boko Haram, the jihadist kidnappers of the Nigerian schoolgirls, has been busy killing people for years.

I particularly appreciated the brief discussion about the judge who sentenced the killers (one is pictured) of Lee Rigby and proceeded to lecture the murderers about their “betrayal of Islam,” when in fact the men explained clearly the Islamic basis for the killing.

As Michael Coren observed about the trial, “It was such a situation, the ironies and the paradoxes, because a judge, not a bad person, here he is saying, ‘It cannot be true that Islam teaches violence, thus you have to be betraying Islam because if I believed that there was a difference between religions, then I’d be a frightened man; everything I believed about pluralism and multiculturalism would be a lie.’ I’m sorry sir but a lot of it is.”

Spencer responded that denial of that sort is in charge of political response to the Islamic threat. Furthermore, there has been a concerted effort on the part of government and media to hide the truth from the people.

The two also discussed Spencer’s new book Arab Winter Comes to America.

Los Angeles Times Presents Republican Gubernatorial Candidates

Thursday’s LA Times had a front-page pair of stories about the two Republican candidates for Governor. The primary is June 3, and the state’s southern voice may have thought it should pretend an interest in non-Democrats.

The story about Tim Donnelly was mostly fair, but it couldn’t resist a mini-smear by quoting the SPLC’s sour leftwing gripe against his support for American sovereignty and immigration enforcement.

The Times must figure it can afford to be generous with Gov Jerry Brown polling at 57 percent, even though that number seems unenthusiastic in the blue blue state.

Maybe the crappy economy leaves the voters unimpressed with the choices. Except for the booming tech sector in the San Francisco Bay Area, the job growth is tepid at best, with unemployment dropping below 8 percent for the first time in six years in April. Businesses continue to relocate to friendlier states that aren’t as burdened by regulation and a glut of government handouts for Democrat cronies.

You can also read the companion piece about Donnelly’s opponent: Neel Kashkari says his diverse skills prepare him to serve as governor.

Tim Donnelly sees his business failure as asset in governor’s race, Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2014

State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly was showing off his home, an unpretentious four-bedroom high in the mountains near Lake Arrowhead that, given his low-budget run for governor, doubles as a campaign office.

He hurried past his son blasting away at animated enemies on the TV screen, past the three campaign staffers hunched over computers in the dining room and the Yorkiepoo terrier Rusty, begging to be played with in the kitchen.

But when the Republican candidate arrived at a little office at the back of the garage, he paused. Pointing to a desk laced with cobwebs, he said this musty, abandoned room was central to who he is and why he is running for governor.

This, he said, is where he ran his plastic-parts business, until that business collapsed, bringing his family to the brink of financial ruin.

Many politicians might take pains to whitewash such a failure. Donnelly, who captured his Assembly seat in an upset in 2010, just before dissolving his business, wears the defeat like a badge, touting it on the campaign trail as a reason voters should elect him.

The approach plays to his conservative tea party supporters and fits right in with an old strain in American politics — an outsider stressing that status, the better to run against the establishment. Continue reading this article

Pakistani Immigrant Murders His Wife according to the Koran

For today’s cultural sensitivity parable, consider the Pakistani immigrant who murdered his wife for preparing lentils for dinner, rather than goat. The case may sound incredible, but the dollars required of New York taxpayers to prosecute and incarcerate the man are quite real.

Being a traditional Muslim male, Noor Hussein (pictured) felt it was his right to beat his wife as the Koran specifies: if a woman disobeys her husband, say by not cooking the dinner he said he wanted, then a thrashing is in order.

That’s Islam, the so-called “religion of peace.” Not for women, or anyone else not in the club.

As the defense attorney observed of Noor in her opening statement, “He comes from a culture where he thinks this is appropriate conduct, where he can hit his wife.”

It looks like a cultural defense is the plan.

Do we feel enriched by Muslim diversity yet? Wouldn’t America be better off without them?

Man killed wife for making vegetarian dinner: prosecutors, New York Post, May 21, 2014

An elderly Pakistani immigrant beat his wife to death with a stick after the doomed woman made the mistake of cooking him lentils for dinner instead of the hearty meal of goat meat that he craved, according to court papers.

Noor Hussein, 75, was so outraged over the prospect of eating the vegetarian fare that he pummeled his wife, Nazar Hussein, 66, inside their Brooklyn apartment until she was a “bloody mess,” prosecutors said in opening statements of his murder trial Wednesday.

“Defendant asked [his wife] to cook goat and [his wife] said she made something else,” court papers said.

“The conversation got louder and [his wife] disrespected defendant by cursing at defendant and saying motherf–ker and that the defendant took a wooden stick and hit her with it on her arm and mouth.”

Defense attorney Julie Clark admitted Hussein beat his wife — but argued that he is guilty of only manslaughter because he didn’t intend to kill her. She said that in his home country, beating your wife is customary.

“He comes from a culture where he thinks this is appropriate conduct, where he can hit his wife,” Clark said in her opening statements at the Brooklyn Supreme Court bench trial. “He culturally believed he had the right to hit his wife and discipline his wife.” Continue reading this article

Drunk-Driving Illegal Alien Guilty of Manslaughter in Massachusetts Dragging Death

In 2011, 23-year-old Matthew Denice was dragged to death by a drunk-driving illegal alien from Ecuador. Nicolas Guaman, with a blood alcohol level at 3x the legal limit, ran a stop sign, crashed into Denice’s motorcycle and dragged the young man for a quarter mile as bystanders banged on Guaman’s truck to make him stop.

Matthew Denice, shown below, had graduated from Fitchburg State University and planned to go to graduate school to study criminal justice.

This crime was easily preventable had authorities used deportation as intended to remove dangerous persons. As noted in a 2011 report:

Family alerted police on driver, Boston Globe, August 23, 2011

Milford police arrested Guaman in 2008 on charges of assault and battery on a police officer and at least one public employee and of breaking and entering, according to the police and the Worcester district attorney’s office. The case was continued without a finding for one year. Police said he also faced a few minor traffic charges dating to 2007, but the district attorney’s office could not confirm that information.

Guaman had assaulted a police officer but was not deported. Massachusetts is crazy liberal and likes to pamper dangerous foreigners. The case is another reminder of what happens when the government forgets that its prime directive is to protect public safety — as exemplified by the recent report that the government released 36,000 foreign criminals including murderers, rapists and drunk drivers.

Another example of twisted values: a court-appointed psychologist told the previous judge on the case that Guaman couldn’t be tried because “nearly half of indigenous South Americans from Mongoloid descent are deficient in an enzyme required to break down and metabolize alcohol.”

According to proper liberal-think (plus some odd racial formulations), the killer was actually a victim.

The bench trial took four days, and while the prosecution pursued charges of second-degree murder, Judge David Ricciardone decided that a manslaughter verdict was more appropriate, with a sentence of 12-14 years in prison.

The verdict was a disappointment to many, who thought the killer should get the maximum punishment possible. Local WBZ-TV new analyst Jon Keller wrote in Keller @ Large: Nicolas Guaman Is A Murderer: “The justice system bent over backwards to give Guaman a fair trial, but it didn’t do much for Matthew Denice and his family. It looked the other way while Guaman lived here illegally for nine years.”

Elsewhere on Boston media, radio talk guy Howie Carr discussed the case on May 19: Ann Coulter on Illegal Alien Amnesty and the Guaman Verdict.

Below, Matthew’s mother, Maureen Maloney, gave a victim’s statement at sentencing.

Interestingly, the judge said he gave a less than maximum sentence because of the defendant’s lack of previous criminal behavior. Apparently assaulting a cop is no longer a serious infraction.

Nicolas Dutan Guaman sentenced to 12-14 years in motorcycle dragging death of Matthew Denice of Milford, Masslive.com, May 19 2014

An Ecuadorean immigrant was sentenced Monday to 12 to 14 years in prison for dragging a Milford man to his death with his truck.

Nicolas Dutan Guaman was found guilty earlier Monday of motor vehicle homicide and manslaughter by motor vehicle by Judge David Ricciardone. Guaman was acquitted of the most serious charge he’d faced: second-degree murder.

Prosecutors said that on Aug. 20, 2011, Guaman struck Matthew Denice, 23, who was riding his motorcycle. Denice was caught under the truck and stuck in the wheel well, where he was dragged for about a quarter-mile as panicked onlookers tried frantically to get Guaman to stop.

Guaman was also convicted of reckless endangerment of a child, leaving the scene of an accident which caused personal injury or death, failing to stop for police and driving without a license.
Guaman’s six-year-old son was in the truck at the time of the crash.

Ricciardone also sentenced Guaman to serve 10 years of probation after his sentence is up, during which time he would be forbidden from driving. In all likelihood, Guaman, who came into the country illegally, will be deported before then. Continue reading this article

California Decline Observed from Emergency Room

For years, Victor Davis Hanson has been reporting the demographic changes from Fresno County in central California. A favorite of mine is The Civic Education America Needs about the education experience he had in the early 1960s where his diverse school taught American values.

A recent spill from his bike put Hanson into the hospital, and his observations from the emergency room of third world immigrants getting first world healthcare are illuminating.

More disturbing is his report of a neighbor being killed a week ago for confronting “intruders” on his farm who were stripping a stolen car.

That case was apparently the murder of George Salwasser: Four Suspects Accused of Killing Valley Farmer, May 13

Here are Hanson’s reflections from the ER:

The Unforgiving Moment, VictorHanson.com, May 19, 2014

Life is turned upside down in a nanosecond.

This weekend I missed my first posting at PJ Media since beginning in 2006.

Why? Let me briefly explain the lapse — if I can be forgiven for comparing a bike accident with what I have seen on the farm the last 50 years (sliced off fingers, crushed legs, herbicide poisonings, manifold burns, etc.).

I was going on a usual morning bike ride — safe stuff with like-minded older folks. I’m 60; so is my biking partner and fellow Hoover Institution associate Bruce Thornton. We are hardly reckless. (Not like sulfuring at midnight recklessly in one’s 20s in the old days without goggles or mask.)

We usually go deliberately during off-traffic hours when cars are rare, on little-traveled roads and bike paths. We always follow the same direction over the same 32-mile route. After nine years we have memorized every bump, cracked bit of pavement, bad stop light, etc. We bike slowly, about 14-15 mph, always in single file.  We are, after all, 60 and hear daily horrific stories of injured and dead bikers.

In nearly ten years of rides, I have had some scrapes but only two bad spills (a homeless person once jumped out from the bushes on a Santa Rosa bike path; I swerved to miss him and ended up going over the handlebars: slight concussion; broken shoulder, three ribs, and collar bone. I was also attacked and knocked flat once by a pack of dogs with no licenses, shots, or English-speaking owners).  So we must be doing something carefully, for our sixtyish group of three or four to usually avoid problems.

I lead a yearly tour on May 17th, so usually quit riding one week ahead, just in case. Friday morning was to be last ride until I came back on May 30.

About four-fifths of the way home, suddenly the front wheel locked and I woke up about 15 seconds later with my face on the pavement. Four hours later at the emergency room I discovered that I had four ruined teeth (three shaved off, one split down the middle into the root), a concussion, a broken nose, 65 stitches for facial and gum lacerations, and a sliced-apart lower lip (with broken teeth shards sticking into my upper lip).

What happened? Apparently a hairline fissure around the carbon bike fork failed, and the fork bent and locked up the front wheel without warning. (Yes, I know I should inspect the bike thoroughly each time I get on, but the crack was invisible.)

Seven days after falling, I am leaving for Europe and the tour this week, a bit dizzy, fearful that my ogre-like appearance will turn off audiences. I’ve been getting out of bed to rush off to various doctors to extract a split abscessing tooth, do a bone graft, grind off jagged teeth points that have lacerated my tongue, have stitches removed, etc. — and feel both foolish and very lucky.  I had a jammed neck and was a bit disorientated, suggesting to the ER staff a fracture and perhaps serious neck problems. But the CT scan came back normal. After sitting under bags of ice and gobs of Neosporin ointment the last five days, I have reflected on the unforgiving moment that changes everything.

Again, I feel very fortunate. The ER personnel offered tales of lesser bike falls where the victims ended up paralyzed, or with cranial bleeding — or dead.

But when you are lying flat and cannot read or talk or eat, your mind wanders into retrospection and memoriae temporis acti — dreaming of the sort that one must be careful about, lest it devolves into the depression of should have, could have, would have done this or that.

I offer a general thought from the ER and subsequent last five days: we live in a weird postmodern/premodern world. Never have Americans been so blessed and never so ungracious.

The ER trauma center was postmodern: even a plastic surgeon was on duty, who did wonders with my hanging lip and crushed nose. The triage team was top-notch. The equipment, nursing staff, and regimen were stellar. Without them I would be infected, disfigured, and bedridden. (Though I may hold off entirely on that optimism until May 30th,  when I am back and the gambit of not canceling has been proven wise. How do you tell your guests that you were stupid enough to endanger their entire trip?)

For five hours, I watched the worst imaginable cases wheeled in — the wages of burns, wrecks, shootings, stabbings, falls, drug overdoses, heart attacks, shock, etc. — all met with an upbeat, can-do staff professionalism.

The clientele, however — metal detector required for entrance — was premodern. Many were foreign nationals. Some appeared to be gang-bangers. Police were ubiquitous (not all the injured were virtuous or harmed by accident). English was rarely spoken by the patients. It was a world away from the ER crowd of rural California circa 1960. Continue reading this article

Black Americans Struggle in Obama Economy, but Still Support Him

Loyalty is generally considered to be a fine attribute, but when it blinds people to being screwed over, maybe not so much. Political writer Deroy Murdock has crunched the economic numbers (see his chart) about how severely Obama’s economic policies have hammered black Americans, yet they remain enthusiastic supporters: the guy can do no wrong in their minds, but if a white President had done such a rotten job, they would be protesting loud and long.

My opinion is that the anger among blacks at their worsening circumstances has been displaced into issues like Trayvon, avoiding any emotional confrontation with the President.

Meanwhile, the President is unstinting in his helping hand for hispanics of varying legality.

Anyway, Murdock’s investigation shows how really bad the jobs situation is among blacks. (Spare video link.)

In addition, the best thing that could be done to alleviate black unemployment would be immigration enforcement, another failure of the administration.

On Monday, former US Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow appeared on Laura Ingraham’s radio show and noted the negative effect of excessive immigration on blacks. He said the last five years have been the worst for black Americans in 50 years and immigration contributes enormously to falling wages, higher unemployment and fewer participating in the workforce. (Listen.)

Black Americans Are Worse Off Under Obama, National Review, By Deroy Murdock, May 16, 2014

According to a Fox News survey released on Wednesday, Obama’s approval rating stands at 45 percent among all registered voters. However, among black voters, Obama’s job approval soars to 86 percent.

Given Obama’s devastating impact on black Americans, this is even more confounding than the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Obama’s election, no doubt, generated considerable ethnic pride. Seeing a black man (or, precisely, a half-black man) inaugurated was a truly exceptional milestone for all Americans — black and otherwise.

But Obama reached the Oval Office nearly five years and four months ago. Since then, his performance should have dimmed his halo among blacks, especially considering how much they have suffered on his watch.

• When Obama entered office on January 20, 2009, U.S. unemployment stood at 7.8 percent. By April 2014, that Bureau of Labor Statistics figure had fallen to 6.3 percent — a modest improvement. Among blacks overall, joblessness dropped, though less significantly — from 12.7 to 11.6 percent. But for blacks aged 16 to 19, unemployment grew from 35.3 to 36.8 percent.

• Obama’s somewhat more sanguine unemployment numbers, such as they are, seem less about job growth and more about people simply abandoning the workforce — whereupon they conveniently exit the unemployment rate. The more revealing labor-force-participation rate thus fell from 65.7 percent in January 2009 to 62.8 percent last month, a portrait of disengagement last witnessed in March 1978. For black adults, that number slipped from 63.2 to 60.9 percent. While 29.6 percent of blacks aged 16 to 19 were working when Obama took power, only 27.9 percent were employed last month.

• Poverty has increased under Obama. Overall, 14.3 percent of Americans were below the poverty line in January 2009, versus 15.0 percent in 2012, according to the latest available data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. Similarly, the share of black Americans living in poverty expanded from 25.8 to 27.2 percent. Continue reading this article

San Francisco Pushes More Standing, Less Sitting on Public Transport

In San Francisco, the city’s public transportation system is doing an upbeat rollout of a new layout for trains where seats are being removed so more people can be crammed by standing.

Less comfort, more crowding — there’s winning sales pitch!

Nobody mentions the cause of increased crowding but it must be at least somewhat due to the city’s booming tech economy, which of course has its downsides.

Ruling elites want us little citizens to forget that California used to be paradise for regular people, before it was ruined by crazy diverse growth.

Crowdifornia! Hey let’s bring in a hundred million more immigrants to screw it up completely.

Muni testing new train car with fewer seats, more rider capacity, San Francisco Examiner, May 16, 2014

On Wednesday morning, a very different train car was put into service on the N-Judah line. Its 14 double-wide seats were replaced with seven single seats. It’s certain the change did not go unnoticed.

“Normally on the aisle of the light-rail vehicle it allows for two rows of people, and no one can get in between them,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, who that morning boarded the re-configured car at Ninth and Irving streets. “Now you have people holding on to the handrail and an entire row of people could file in between them. To me it seems positive.”

The idea, which Wiener first pushed for in 2011, is that two more people can fit aboard a train for every seat that’s removed. In this case, the change adds space for 10 more riders.

The single car with reconfigured seats is being deployed as part of a pilot program the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is using to gather rider feedback.

Riders on the N-Judah can look for the train car through May 29. After that, it will be put on the L-Taraval line until June 13. It is primarily used during morning and evening commute hours.

Based on feedback, more cars could be reconfigured. Continue reading this article

Page 113 of 268« First...102030...111112113114115...120130140...Last »