Thursday, December 18, 2014

Marquette suspends professor who raised plight of muzzled pro-marriage student

Marquette suspends professor who raised plight of muzzled pro-marriage student:
Publicly tattling on colleagues who tell students they can’t share certain views in class is apparently “harassment” at Marquette University.
On his Marquette Warrior blog, Professor John McAdams shared the plight of a student whose philosophy instructor told him it would be “homophobic” to say he supports traditional marriage in class, as The College Fix previously reported.
Marquette is a Jesuit school, by the way.
Now the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences has written to McAdams, telling him:
The university is continuing to review your conduct and during this period–and until further notice–you are relieved of all teaching duties and all other faculty activities, including, but not limited to, advising, committee work, faculty meetings and any activity that would involve your interaction with Marquette students, faculty and staff. Should any academic appeals arise from Fall 2014 semester, however, you are expected to fulfill your obligations in that specific matter.
McAdams will still get paid but he’ll have to ask for permission to come back to campus. Dean Richard Holz attached Marquette’s harassment policy, “guiding values statement,” mission statement and “sections from” the faculty handbook, saying those materials would “inform our review of your conduct.”
McAdams says Marquette leaders must think blogging constitutes harassment, except that his post wasn’t “directed to a protected class”:
Marquette’s harassment policy is absurdly vague and includes “behavior is intimidating, hostile or demeaning or could or does result in mental, emotional or physical discomfort, embarrassment, ridicule or harm.” That’s right, even mental discomfort (which should be a normal part of having one’s opinions challenged in a university) is considered harassing.

Wealth gap in America widens to record level, report says

Wealth gap in America widens to record level, report says - LA Times:
"The wealth gap between middle- and upper-income households has widened to the highest level on record, says a new report.
Using the latest Federal Reserve data, the Pew Research Center said Wednesday that the median wealth for high-income families was $639,400 last year — up 7% from three years earlier on an inflation-adjusted basis.
For middle-income families, the median wealth — that is, assets minus debts — stood at $96,500 last year, unchanged from 2010.
U.S. income inequality is bad, but wealth inequality is a bigger problem
The result is that the typical wealth of the nation's upper-income households last year was nearly seven times that of middle-class ones.
By Pew's calculations, that is the biggest gap in the 30 years that the Fed has been collecting statistics from its Survey of Consumer Finances."

Surprise: Insurers Extend Another Obamacare Deadline, Costs to Spike in 2016 - Guy Benson

Surprise: Insurers Extend Another Obamacare Deadline, Costs to Spike in 2016 - Guy Benson:

"The law. It's working, you guys. It's working so well that one entire year into its full implementation, insurers feel compelled to extend yet another alleged deadline because the so-called 'back end' of the program's website is still a hot mess.  That big "re-branding" campaign can't come soon enough, in order to allow supporters to keep on highlighting Obamacare's unparalleled success:

Trying to head off a new round of consumer headaches with President Barack Obama's health care law, the insurance industry said Tuesday it will give customers more time to pay their premiums for January."

Obama extends drilling ban at Alaska's Bristol Bay indefinitely

Obama extends drilling ban at Alaska's Bristol Bay indefinitely | Circa News:
"The president has withdrawn drilling leases in a salmon-rich area of Alaska's coast under his authority in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
"Bristol Bay… supports $2 billion in the commercial fishing industry.
It supplies America with 40% of its wild-caught seafood.
It is a natural wonder, and it's something that's just too precious to be putting out to the highest bidder."
Obama Dec. 16 declared Alaska's Bristol Bay off limits for oil and gas leasing indefinitely. 
The president first put a moratorium in 2010 on leasing to the energy industry in the area, which covers more than 52,000 square miles..."

This Liberal Can’t Understand Why So Much Stuff Got Crammed Into Congress’ $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill | Video | TheBlaze.com

This Liberal Can’t Understand Why So Much Stuff Got Crammed Into Congress’ $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill | Video | TheBlaze.com:

"Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” is no fiscal conservative.

But even he was astounded to learn of all the special interest extras that have been crammed into the massive, $1.1 trillion government spending bill that the Senate passed Saturday night and President Barack Obama signed Tuesday night.

Some of those non-budgetary items: blocking the District of Columbia’s legalization of marijuana, clarifying endangered species rules and a rule allowing schools to call white potatoes “fresh vegetables.”

This scam is STILL in operation??!!!!-------------Oldest U.S. black college on verge of financial collapse

Oldest U.S. black college on verge of financial collapse | Reuters:
"The nation's oldest black college, Cheyney University, one of Pennsylvania's 14 state-run universities, is on the verge of a financial meltdown that threatens its ability to continue operating, a state official said on Wednesday.
Cheyney's student body has shrunk by two-thirds, to about 1,000, since its 1983 peak, and its four-year graduation rate is just 9 percent. 
A quarter of students never receive a degree, and student loan defaults are high."

Michelle Obama’s Example of Racism in America: I Was Asked to Get Something Off the Shelf at Target | TheBlaze.com

Michelle Obama’s Example of Racism in America: I Was Asked to Get Something Off the Shelf at Target | TheBlaze.com:

"First lady Michelle Obama said a woman asked her for help getting something off a shelf at Target, describing racial experiences she’s had.

“I think people forget that we’ve lived in the White House for six years,” Michelle Obama told People magazine. “Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs.”

Hilarious photos reveal the cats and dogs ruining Christmas

Hilarious photos reveal the cats and dogs ruining Christmas | Daily Mail Online

'I know this looks bad, but it was the cat': The custom of bringing a tree indoors is too much for some petsRipping open gifts, chewing decorations and climbing the tree: Hilarious photos reveal the cats and dogs ruining Christmas

  • Photos reveal cats and dogs destroying decorated homes across UK
  • Show pets trying to climb Christmas trees ... and tearing open presents
  • Also reveal pooches ripping festive cards and moggies inside firs 

President Barack Obama commutes sentences for 8 drug inmates

President Barack Obama commutes sentences for 8 drug inmates | Daily Mail Online:

Obama commutes sentences for 8 drug inmates and pardons a dozen more federal convicts – not including the three spies set free in Cuba deal

  • President picked low-level drug offenders whose sentences would have been shorter if they were punished today
  • New clemency guidelines originally brought few requests out of the woodwork so the DOJ ordered officials to encourage people to apply
  • News was little-reported because it came as the White House announced the release of three Cuban spies as part of a prisoner swap with Castro

Finally! Some good news------No taxpayer-funded sex-change for prison inmate convicted of murder, court rules

"Spouse Cheryl Kosilek"?
No taxpayer-funded sex-change for prison inmate convicted of murder, court rules | AL.com
Robert Kosilek, Michelle KosilekBOSTON -- A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for an inmate convicted of murder.
Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, is serving a life sentence for killing spouse Cheryl Kosilek in 1990.
Kosilek has waged a protracted legal battle for the surgery she says is necessary to relieve the mental anguish caused by gender-identity disorder.
In 2012, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf became the first judge in the country to order sex-reassignment surgery as a remedy for an inmate's gender-identity disorder.
Courts around the country have found that prisons must evaluate transgender inmates to determine their health care needs, but most have ordered hormone treatments and psychotherapy, not surgery.
Wolf's decision was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but prison officials appealed and won a rehearing before the full appeals court.
In a 3-2 ruling Tuesday, the full 1st Circuit found that Kosilek failed to demonstrate that prison officials violated the Eight Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment by not providing the surgery.


Lots of news to encourage you to buy cases of Spam and bullets!

Zero Hedge | On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero

Swiss Central Bank Enters NIRP, Sends Deposit Rates Negative, Scrambles Against Safe-Haven Capital Flight


Everyone thought that any major monetary policy surprises and/or capital controls today would come from Putin during his annual press conference. Boy were they wrong: just after 2 am Eastern, none other than the Swiss National Bank joined the ranks of the ECB in scrambling to stem the wave of capital flight, not to mention the cost of money, when it announced it too would start charging customers for the privilege of holding cash in its banks, when it revealed a negative, -0.25% interest rate on sight deposits: a step which according to the SNB was critical in maintaining the 1.20 EURCHF floor.



Tyler Durden's picture

China Prepares To Bailout Russia


Earlier this evening China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange's (SAFE) Wang Yungui noted "the impact of the Russian Ruble depreciation was unclear yet, and, as Bloomberg reported, "SAFE is closely watching Ruble's depreciation and encouraging companies to hedge Ruble risks." His comments also echoed the ongoing FX reform agenda aimed at increasing Yuan flexibility which The South China Morning Post then hinted in a story entitled "Russia may seek China help to deal with crisis," which which noted that Russia could fall back on its 150 billion yuan ($24 billion) currency swap agreement with China if the ruble continues to plunge, that was signed in October. Furthermore, two bankers close to the PBOC reportedly said the swap-line was meant to reduce the role of the US dollar if China and Russia need to help each other overcome a liquidity squeezeIs 'isolated' Russia about to be bailed out by the world's largest economy China?



Tyler Durden's picture

IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar


This is it, folks; this is the endgame right in front of our faces. The year of 2014 is the new 2007, with all the negative potential but 100 times more explosive going into 2015. Our nation has wallowed in slowly degrading financial conditions for years, hidden by fake economic statistics and manipulated stock prices. All of it has been a prelude to a much more frenetic and shocking event. We expect a hailstorm of geopolitical crises over the next year to provide cover for the shift away from the dollar. Ultimately, the death of the dollar will be hailed in the mainstream as a “good and necessary thing.” They will call it “karma.” They will call it “progress.” They will even call it “decentralization” and a success for the free market. But it will not feel like a positive development for the American public, who will suffer greatly as the dollar crumbles.

BREAKING: First Interview with Man Who Uncovered Obamacare Architect Gruber Videos

BREAKING: First Interview with Man Who Uncovered Obamacare Architect Gruber Videos:

"The man revealed to have uncovered the videos of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, videos in which Gruber repeatedly confirmed that Obamacare was passed based upon lies and deception in order to dupe the “stupid American voter,” was interviewed by Project Veritas  founder James O’Keefe, in an explosive and exclusive interview."


Oh yeah, this'll bring in the new employers.........Union vote scheduled at ADAC Automotive locations in Muskegon

Union vote scheduled at ADAC Automotive locations in Muskegon | MLive.com:
"MUSKEGON, MI – Employees at one of Muskegon County's largest employers are making a push to unionize.
The United Automobile Workers will hold a vote for more than 670 production, maintenance and technical support employees at ADAC Automotive on Thursday, Dec. 18.
The vote will begin early in the morning and continue until 7 p.m. at ADAC's three Muskegon locations on Keating Avenue, Port City Boulevard and Olthoff Street."

Mainstream media don't know Big Green has deeper pockets than Big Oil

Mainstream media don't know Big Green has deeper pockets than Big Oil | WashingtonExaminer.com 
The "Kill Keystone XL" crowd isn't little David up against a Big Oil Goliath. 
As usual, conventional wisdom isn't wisdom when the mainstream media ask all the wrong questions with commensurate answers.
Behemoth Big Green outstrips Big Oil in expendable revenue by orders of magnitude — if you know how to follow the money.
The mainstream media don't know how. 
Like most liberals, their staffs are afflicted with what 20th century futurist Herman Kahn called “Educated Incapacity” — the learned inability to understand or even perceive a problem, much less a solution.
They’ve been taught to be blind, unable to see Big Green as having more disposable money than Big Oil, so they don’t look into it.
They would never discover that the American Petroleum Institute’s IRS Form 990 for the most recent year showed $237.9 million in assets while the Natural Resources Defense Council reported $241.8 million.

Nor would they discover who started the anti-Keystone campaign in the first place. 
It was the $789 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund (established in 1940).

History for December 18

History for December 18 - On-This-Day.com
Ty Cobb 1886 - Baseball player, Betty Grable 1916, Ossie Davis 1917 - Actor 


Keith Richards 1943 - Musician (Rolling Stones), Steven Spielberg 1947 Movie producer-director, 
Brad Pitt 1963 Actor 


1862 - The first orthopedic hospital was organized in New York City. It was called the Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled. 


1865 - Slavery was abolished in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution being ratified. 


1898 - A new automobile speed record was set at 39 mph (63 kph). 


1912 - The discovery of the Piltdown Man in East Sussex was announced. It was proved to be a hoax in 1953. 


1940 - Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Operation "Barbarossa" was launched in June 1941. 


1956 - "To Tell the Truth" debuted on CBS-TV. 


1957 - The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania went online. It was the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States. It was taken out of service in 1982. 


1998 - The U.S. House of Representatives began the debate on the four articles of impeachment concerning U.S. President Bill Clinton. It was only the second time in U.S.history that process had begun. 


2009 - General Motors announced that it would shut down its Saab brand. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

LIBERTY REVIEW

LIBERTY REVIEW:

http://www.libertyreview76.blogspot.com/2014/12/remember-when-by-tammy-derouin-remember.html

Remember When

By Tammy Derouin

Do you remember a time when the president of the United States, actually loved his country?  Well, there’s a loaded question.  There is a debate as to whether our Pres-a-king is or isn’t a natural born American citizen.  I feel there is enough of a reasonable doubt for an investigation.  There should have been a thorough investigation long before he was sworn into office.  The press should have jumped on this like the pit bulls they once were.  However, putting that issue aside, let’s say he is a natural born citizen.  Why does he hate his home land, the freest nation in the world?  Why does he seek to destroy everything which has made this country great? 

The United States has given him and millions of others opportunities they wouldn’t have had, had they been born in other areas of the world.  This goes for every single one of us.  Most of us have a basic knowledge of the lands our ancestors called home.  Many of us are a mix of several nationalities.  Most of the nationalities flowing through our veins have been at war at one time or another.  Look where you are now located!  The sacrifices of those who came before you have given you a better life.  You live in a land which guarantees the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Gruber's Numbers for Colo. Don't Add Up

Gruber's Numbers for Colo. Don't Add Up:

"Jonathan Gruber’s health-care forecasting is failing in Colorado as Vermont’s Gov. Peter Shumlin prepares to use the economist’s math for single-payer health care.

As Vermonters anxiously await a Gruber-modeled financing plan for Green Mountain Care, modeling done for Colorado’s health exchange by Jonathan Gruber Associates has proven wildly erroneous."

Rolling Stone's ignorance was bad, but it is a bias we all share

Ken Braun: Rolling Stone's ignorance was bad, but it is a bias we all share | MLive.com
The mockery of Rolling Stone’s scandalously fake campus rape story has been well deserved. But one theme - that it’s a case of liberal media bias - is halfway off the mark. It is a case of ignorant bias, to be sure, but it transcends ideology.
When I was 13 years old back in 1981, I read The Satan Seller. The book is the 1972 autobiography of Mike Warnke, a former Satanic high priest who became a Christian comedian and pastor. It is a nightmarish tale of Satanic rapes, drugs, violence and organized crime. The back cover includes favorable newspaper reviews from the New York Times and others.
His personal history allowed Warnke to become the national expert on the occult through the late 1970s and 80s. ABC News reporters Hugh Downs, Barbara Walters and Tom Jarriel of the Emmy-Award winning 20/20 featured Warnke in a half hour report that implied the organized Satanist conspiracy was to blame for numerous criminal and violent incidents in every state. And Warnke was a rock star on the Christian media circuit, with his records and appearances making him a wealthy man.
Demonic forces were both more fascinating and easier to fear when I was in early middle school. But eventually I lost interest, and forgot about Warnke for two decades
As a skeptical 34-year old adult, I stumbled over the book again in 2002. Every fantastically absurd detail came rushing back from memory, tripping critical thinking alarms that weren’t fully formed when I was 13. I knew in an instant it was a fraud, and rushed to the Internet thinking I could expose him if he was still getting away with it.
Rape rate.jpgOf course, I was too late. In 1992, two investigative reporters from the Christian magazine Cornerstone put together an exceptionally researched and devastating takedown of his whole story.
A larger mystery remains. If I had been the same adult back in the 1970s and read Warnke’s tall tale, I would have still spotted the nonsense. And surely there were many like me who did.
So how did Warnke get away with it for 20 years, blowing by the skepticism of award-winning veteran mainstream journalists and legions of other people?
A simple answer: Our vivid imagination for danger is what protected us as we moved from caves to condominiums, but our biology has evolved at a fraction of the pace of our technology. We now exist in an absurd level of comfort for primates still hard-wired to fear imminent starvation and enemy tribes at our doorstep. With far fewer concrete threats, we now fill our heads with abstract worries.

Defense Funding Extends Beyond the Pentagon’s Budget

Defense Funding Extends Beyond the Pentagon’s Budget | Mercatus:
"This week’s chart puts into perspective the amount of funding—and expense—that is not accounted for in the figures widely cited by policymakers and defense officials.
 Using a methodology conceived by Winslow Wheeler of the Project on Government Oversight, line items from other areas of the federal budget relevant to defense and security issues are added to the fiscal year 2013 base. 

Once these expenses are included, it’s clear that the reported defense spending figures underestimate the overall cost of defense and national security programs by over $350 billion in fiscal year 2013 (the most recent year of finalized data)."


Reports: Federal Judge Says Obama Violated the Constitution With Immigration Action | TheBlaze.com

Reports: Federal Judge Says Obama Violated the Constitution With Immigration Action | TheBlaze.com:

"A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration runs afoul of the Constitution.

Judge Arthur Schwab, who handles cases in the Western District of Pennsylvania, made the ruling in a case involving an immigrant from Honduras, according to Reuters."



72 Million More Reasons To Doubt The Mainstream Press

72 Million More Reasons To Doubt The Mainstream Press - Investors.com:
"Media Malfeasance:
In less than two weeks, bombshell stories of a vicious gang rape and a millionaire teen investor were exposed as frauds that never would have made it into print but for gross negligence and liberal bias.
Over the weekend, Jessica Pressler, a "star reporter" at New York magazine, told the story of an underage teen who'd already made $72 million trading stocks on his lunch break.
It was part of a series on why people should love the city.
The story spread like wildfire, showing up in the New York Post, Marketwatch, the New York Daily News, Fox News and others.
And why not?
New York magazine occupies one of the top rungs on the media elite ladder.
Surely it would never publish a piece that hadn't been thoroughly fact-checked and edited.
Turns out the $72 million-kid story had gone through those steps.
The magazine even sent a fact-checker to the 17-year-old's home to view a bank statement.
Plus, Pressler's tale fit comfortably with how liberals view Wall Street — as little more than a lottery where someone can "score" millions by "playing" the market.
So why bother being skeptical of the kid's tale?
But the story was, in fact, a complete hoax. 
The teen in question, Mohammed Islam, apparently was a member of an investing club at his high school, but he had never put a dime of actual money into the market.
.....Meanwhile, the University of Virginia gang rape story continues to unravel, exposing new depths of laziness, recklessness and bias at Rolling Stone.
It's now clear that there were so many holes in "Jackie's" rape claims that anyone who'd done the minimum of unbiased reporting would have dismissed her as not credible and moved on.
But Jackie's story supported the current liberal belief that sexual assaults are rampant on college campuses.
So why doubt her?
In New York magazine's defense, it did quickly and fully own up to its mistake.
"We were duped," it told readers.
Now if only the mainstream press could be as upfront about its biased, agenda-driven reporting, which repeatedly misleads and misinforms the public."

Soooo, more money will fix everything?---------Detroit warrant backlog frees suspects

Detroit warrant backlog frees suspects
Dozens of suspected murderers, rapists and other criminals who were arrested by Detroit Police over the past four years have been released because of a backlog of unsigned warrants at the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, The Detroit News has found.
Among the pending and as yet unsigned warrants are 21 for murder, including one going back to 2010. 
There are 105 for sexual assaults, 126 for child abuse and 25 from the Detroit Police Fatal Squad.
In most cases, police were forced to release the suspects, since state and federal law says they can't be held beyond 72 hours without being arraigned.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy insists many of the releases are a result of too few employees in her office.

Think Salem witch insanity-------Campus hate crime hoaxes: A best-of list

Campus hate crime hoaxes: A best-of list
Read 'em all:
From New Jersey to Wyoming, college campuses around the country have been plagued with hate crime hoaxes in recent years. Sometimes justified as trying to raise awareness for progressive social causes, the hoaxes often worked.
The College Fix compiled this list of recent university hate crime hoaxes.
Racist Facebook messages posted by student himself – November 2014
A University of Chicago student admitted to posting racist and violent messages against himself on his Facebook page after claiming his account was hacked. The elaborate hoax was an attempt to shame the school into making policy changes addressing race on campus.
The con artist, Derek Caquelin, initially said that a group known as the UChicago Electronic Army was responsible for hacking his account. Caquelin claimed that the hackers were seeking retaliation for his online complaints about offensive Halloween costumes.
He eventually confessed to the hoax – which prompted a federal investigation – on his Facebook page. But it didn’t stop more than 400 of the school’s students from signing a petition demanding the university make tangible policy changes to “address the culture of racial intolerance at the University of Chicago.”
‘White Only’ and ‘Colored’ signs publicity stunt – August 2014
In an effort to “make a point” about social injustice, a student at Sweet Briar College in Virginia hung signs on doors and water fountains in a dormitory reading “White Only” and “Colored.”
The interim president of the all-female liberal arts college, James Jones, tried to spin the stunt into a teachable moment.
In an announcement to the Sweet Briar community, Jones noted that the previous night the community had watched the play Sweet Remembrance, which depicts “a racially divided world view.” The president speculated: “Someone, moved by the play, sought to use the old, abusive words to remind us that while such terms were part of the historical past, some of the emotions lurking behind the words might still linger in a few.”
The vandal emailed Jones explaining the hoax, writing that her mission was to show that “words can still have an extreme impact.”
In a response email, Jones asked that the student turn herself in, but noted that her hoax was “well intentioned.”
More sickness and lies at the link.

Using Stealthy Tactic, Obama Is ‘on Track to Take More High-Level Executive Actions Than Any President Since Harry Truman’ | TheBlaze.com

Using Stealthy Tactic, Obama Is ‘on Track to Take More High-Level Executive Actions Than Any President Since Harry Truman’ | TheBlaze.com:

"President Barack Obama has signed 33 percent more “presidential memoranda” in less than six years than former President George W. Bush did in eight, USA Today reports. Little-mentioned presidential memoranda has the same force of law as executive orders, but Obama has seemingly been able to downplay the extent of his executive orders by using the former.

Because of this fact, USA Today reports that Obama is “on track to take more high-level executive actions than any president since Harry Truman battled the ‘Do Nothing Congress’ almost seven decades ago.”

Carolinas politicians get payouts from broker

My Way News - AP: Carolinas politicians get payouts from broker:
"CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Soon after taking office, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina accepted six-figure stock payouts from an online mortgage broker accused by regulators of deceiving its customers.
The two Republicans served as directors at Tree.com, the Charlotte-based corporate parent of the website LendingTree.
As board members, they were entitled to large chunks of restricted company stock if they held their positions long enough.
Both resigned after their election victories, which would have rendered their unvested stock worthless had the board not taken special action to provide them early payouts."

Local health advocates to host town hall meeting as Muskegon prepares for 'Wellville' challenge

Local health advocates to host town hall meeting as Muskegon prepares for 'Wellville' challenge | MLive.com:
"Each community is expected to produce new evidence about health outcomes and attract major financial investments to the region in the form of public transit opportunities, food subsidies, school lunch programs and other health-related developments.
HICCup, which will use five metrics to assess each region's success, estimated that the Wellville Five communities will need at least $15 million to implement their goals."

The Small Business Administration's Welfare For The Wealthy

The Small Business Administration's Welfare For The Wealthy:
"Private country clubs, marinas, ski lodges, Napa/Sonoma Valley wineries, aesthetic enhancement clinics, Hollywood limousine chauffeurs, Rolex jewelers,  luxury pet resorts, Lamborghini auto dealers, venture capital companies, and much more receive billions of dollars in SBA subsidized lending.
The motto of the Small Business Administration (SBA) supports entrepreneurial grit and the little guy: “The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.”
Yet, proponents of Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs will be hard pressed to justify many of the examples cited within our recently released Federal Transfer™ Report- SBA Loans to the Wealthy Lifestyle.
...SBA lending is supposed to “to aid small businesses which are unable to obtain financing in the private credit marketplace.” 
Yet, since 2007, there have been nearly 35,000 “small business” loans between $1 million and $5 million, many to companies who may have been able to obtain credit elsewhere.
....But the deeper, more systemic, problem with the SBA is that the federal government just isn’t very good at picking winners and losers.
When the SBA approves a loan, taxpayer money is used to pit one taxpaying business against another. 
Who decides?  
Not the market, but SBA bureaucrats who clearly have refined tastes.
Consider a few of the businesses that have been subsidized since 2007:
Four private country clubs including Horseshoe Bend Country Club, Marietta, GA ($5.0 million); Crystal Falls Golf Club, Dawsonville, GA ($4.3 million); Stafford Hills Club, Tualatin, OR ($4.3 million); and West Hills Country Club, Middletown, NY ($4.2 million). In fact, 48 exclusive clubs received $110 million in SBA lending."

Beware: Putin the wounded animal

Beware: Putin the wounded animal—commentary:
"Vladimir Putin is not a good man and not a good leader.
There, I said it … and the U.S. government basically began saying that eight months ago, when it joined with other Western nations in imposing a series of economic sanctions on Putin's Russia.
The sanctions hurt Russia a bit, but now oil's freefall is causing the ruble to crash and slamming that nation with a guaranteed recession or even depression.
This would be something worthy of extreme vigilance for the U.S. government and investors alike even if Russia were a true democracy governed by at least semi-responsible leaders.
But it's worse.
Much worse.
Vladimir Putin has always been a lot more like a petty Latin American dictator than a statesman. Think about it:
He made his bones in the secret police, consolidated his power with a ring of super wealthy backers, and he claps political opponents in jail at a moment's notice.
In short, Putin is like a Augusto Pinochet or a Juan PerĂ³n … but with much more steely resolve, a massive military, and nuclear bombs.
But even with Putin's extremely visible and frightening track record before us, it's clear the Obama administration and even the investment community is still not prepared for the extent of the damage the Russian leader can unleash on his own people, on his neighbors, and on the U.S. financial markets.
There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal.
Vladimir Putin is wounded — and he's not known for holding back.
His entire adventure in Ukraine this year is example of just how destructive and unpredictable Putin can be, and that all happened when oil was still trading at $100 a barrel.
So what could he do now?
For all we know, Putin has already done a lot of the following things, but here's just a partial list:
1. Launch another attack on Ukraine or another neighboring nation
2. Cut off energy supplies to the rest of Europe
3. Launch an all-out cyber war on Western and U.S. companies and government agencies
4. Nationalize foreign-owned or -controlled businesses inside Russia"

‘We Try to Make It Really High’: Philadelphia Tax Boss Admits to Making Up a Man’s $280K Tax Bill, Judge Rules He Has to Pay Anyway | TheBlaze.com

‘We Try to Make It Really High’: Philadelphia Tax Boss Admits to Making Up a Man’s $280K Tax Bill, Judge Rules He Has to Pay Anyway | TheBlaze.com:

"When Nathan Lerner got a $280,772 tax bill from the city of Philadelphia, he knew something fishy was going on.

In fact, he claimed he didn’t owe the city a cent — and Philadelphia’s revenue manager essentially backed him up.

But last week, as the Patriot-News reported, a judge reluctantly ruled that Lerner couldn’t challenge the fabricated bill, all because Lerner had tried to represent himself in court and bungled a bureaucratic order."

Muskegon Heights to receive $1.8 million to fight blight; part of state's $75 million in federal funding

Muskegon Heights to receive $1.8 million to fight blight; part of state's $75 million in federal funding | MLive.com:
"MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – Muskegon Heights will be given $1.8 million to demolish more than 200 homes blighted beyond repair, officials said Tuesday, Dec. 16.
City manager Natasha Henderson said Muskegon Heights, the Muskegon County Land Bank and county treasurer Tony Moulatsiotis turned in a strong application to the state in short order.
  "It was definitely another example of collaboration and Muskegon County at its best," Henderson said.
The money will be used to knock down decaying homes, with an emphasis on those near schools, to make the community safely walkable, Henderson said.
Empty homes in disrepair are viewed as a danger by law enforcement.
"It'll be utilized specifically for demolition," she said.
"We went through a tedious process of ensuring these homes are actually beyond repair.""

The Land of Magical Thinking: Inside Putin’s Russia

The Land of Magical Thinking: Inside Putin’s Russia | World Affairs Journal:
"Russia’s mortality rate is horrific.
According 2012 World Health Organization statistics, a fifteen-year-old Russian male has a life expectancy that’s three years less than a fifteen-year-old Haitian boy’s.
The life expectancy of a fifteen-year old Russian female is sixty-one, three years less than in Cambodia.
Russians die from cardiovascular disease and from accidents, murder, and suicide.
They smoke, they drink, they despair.
Russia’s great wealth is based on extraction of oil and gas.
Even so, the value of Russia’s exports in 2013 barely exceeded Belgium’s. 
And energy prices are falling.
...“Long-term economic progress,” says Eberstadt, “depends on improving productivity through new knowledge . . . Patent awards and application provide a crude but telling picture . . . Consider applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty . . . Russia comes in No. 21—after Austria—racking up less that 0.6 percent of the world’s total. 
The population of Russia is more than fifteen times that of Austria.
Russia’s ‘yield’ of patents per university graduate is vastly lower than Austria’s—thirty-five times lower.
By this particular metric Russia is only fractionally better placed than Gabon.