Saturday, February 13, 2016

Antonin Scalia 1936-2016

Antonin Scalia, the longest-serving Justice on the Supreme Court, was found dead today while on a hunting vacation at a ranch in western Texas.  Reports indicate that he appears to have died of natural causes.

Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey, to a father who had immigrated from Italy and a mother whose parents had also come from Italy.  He was only child.  When he was 6, the family moved to Brooklyn, New York.  He would attend Xavier High School in Manhattan, Georgetown University, and Harvard Law School.  During his professional career, Scalia worked for a law firm in Cleveland and taught law at the University of Virginia, before entering government service.  He served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel and as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, before being nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

Scalia is survived by his widow Maureen and their nine children.

Read more at MySA, The Hill, The New York Times, CBS News and Politico.

Friday, February 12, 2016

In Islamic Writings, Muhammad Was White

Because Arabs and other Muslims often have darker skin than Europeans, opposition to the spread of Islam and negative opinions about Islam are often called "racism", even though Islam is an ideology and a religion, not a race.  Its adherents, like those of Christianity, come in all colors.  And as James Wood points out, in Islamic sources such as the ahadith, the founder of Islam is called "white".  (In Arabic, hadith is singular and ahadith is plural.)

According to other ahadith, Muhammad also owned and traded slaves, including black slaves, and preached from a pulpit built by a slave.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Signe Anderson 1947-2016

Signe Anderson was an original member of Jefferson Airplane, appearing only on their debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, before leaving and being replaced by Grace Slick.  She died in Beaverton, Oregon on January 28, the same day as her former bandmate Paul Kantner.

Signe Toly was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Portland, Oregon.  After traveling to San Francisco, she joined Jefferson Airplane in 1965 and soon married Jerry Anderson, a member of the Merry Pranksters, a group of people who lived communally and had taken a road trip across the United States in 1964.  She became pregnant, and after giving birth, decided to leave the band and return to Oregon.  She would later divorce Anderson, survive a battle with cancer, sing with the band Carl Smith and the Natural Gas Company, remarry, and occasionally perform as a guest with some later incarnations of Kantner's band Jefferson Starship.

Read more at the Independent, Rolling Stone, the San Jose Mercury News and Ultimate Classic Rock.

Physicists Detect Gravitational Waves

Scientists using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have detected gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity.  The source of the waves was a pair of black holes that collided about 1.3 billion years ago.  The waves formed distortions in space that are extremely small when they passed the earth about five months ago.

Read more at Space(dot)com, Science, CNN, Science Alert and The Telegraph.

I had previous run across the subject of gravitational waves in another Space(dot)com article, which reported the discovery of "B-node" polarizations in the cosmic background radiation, which are believed to have been in turn caused by gravitational waves generated during the inflation period of the Big Bang.  However, that discovery did not detect the waves themselves.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Primary Politics And Other Stories

Some news about yesterday's New Hampshire primary, and some other stories, political or not:

From Herald & Review, a tracker of delegate totals.

From the Daily News, Donald Trump (R-NY) wins the GOP NH primary.

From USA Today, Carly Fiorina (R-CA) suspends her presidential campaign.

From CBS News, Chris Christie (R-NJ) suspends his presidential campaign.

From Politico, according to White House press secretary Jay Carney, President Obama supports Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for their party's nomination.

From The Washington Free Beacon, Democrats who care about honesty support Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

From WGN, a voting place in Pelham, New Hampshire got hogged.

From ABC7, Obama addresses the Illinois General Assembly.

From France24, two female suicide bombers kill over 60 people at a refugee camp in Nigeria.  (via The Blaze)

From The Daily Beast, Boko Haram uses cluster bombs.

From Yahoo News, Jordan rejects an extradition request from France, for two suspects who allegedly carried out an attack in 1982.

From Reuters, Poland will join the fight against ISIS.

From NBC News, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticizes the United States for supporting the Syrian Kurds.

From The Times Of Israel, the U.S. tries to "stitch together" a cease-fire in Syria.

From Albawaba, Iranian state TV releases a picture allegedly showing a captured American sailor crying.

From the Express, a Qatari military officer and his wife living in San Antonio have been ordered expelled from the United States for treating "two women as slaves".

From Breitbart London, a German museum charges an entry fee for dogs, but not for migrants.

From the New York Post, Burger King will soon be selling hot dogs.

From Fox News, San Francisco faces complaints and a suit over an open-air urinal.

And from The Roanoke Times, former Virginia Tech football player Logan Thomas visits his high school alma mater, which retires his number - in basketball.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Some Response To Obama's Mosque Speech

On February 3, President Obama gave a speech at a mosque in Baltimore, in which he stated that Islam has "always been part of America".  Three websites have presented opinions on the speech.

In Frontpage Mag, Joseph Klein responds to some of Obama's points, in the process pointing out that the first mosque in America was built in 1929.

In National Review, Dennis Prager says:
If you seek to understand Barack Obama and his views, the best place to go is his speeches. But you have to read them in their entirety, not rely on hearing them or on the media’s summary of them. When you do, you come to realize how often what Obama says is morally and intellectually confused and even untrue.
And in Investor's Business Daily, Paul Sperry says that:
In the course of a 48-minute speech, Barack Hussein Obama whitewashed Islam’s dark history, sugarcoated its violent texts and rewrote America’s founding as one embracing Islam - all to mainstream Islam and pander to Muslim voters ahead of the presidential election.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Senate Report: ObamaCare Subsidies Went To Illegal Aliens

According to a report released by Republican members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, more than 500,000 people who are either illegal aliens or whose status is unclear received about $750 million in tax credits.  From Fox News:
Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.
The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums. It found that as of June 2015, "the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence."
Read the full story.  The problem of ObamaCare enrollees having unclear status was reported by Breitbart's Big Government back in 2014, which I learned via Right Side News.  In one of the recent Democratic presidential debates, Hillary Clinton (NY) said that she would allow illegal aliens to buy health insurance on the ObamaCare exchanges, but not to receive subsidies, while Martin O'Malley (MD) would extend the subsidies to illegal aliens.  (I'm pretty sure that Clinton and O'Malley did not actually use the term "illegal alien".  Among the linked articles, only RSN uses that term.  But as far as I'm concerned it's the factually and legally correct term for someone illegally present in the country, so I will use it regardless of whether any else does.)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bill Clinton: Bernie Sanders's View Is A "Hermetically Sealed Box"

Former President Bill Clinton recently had something to say about the man competing against Mrs. C. for the Democratic nomination to succeed him.  From the Huffington Post:
Former President Bill Clinton took the gloves off and laid into Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Sunday, launching some of his most pointed attacks on his wife's Democratic presidential rival thus far. 
"Hillary's opponent has a different view," Clinton said, declining to mention Sanders by name. "It's a hermetically sealed box. It's very effective. The system is rigged against you by the big banks, and both parties are in the thrall of the big banks. Anybody who takes money from Goldman Sachs couldn't possibly be president."
Read the full story.  When a rightwing nutjob such as myself cites the HuffPo, you know it's gotta be interesting.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Phyllis Schlafly Comes Out Against Marco Rubio

Via Gateway Pundit:

Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum and longtime conservative icon, has released a long and detailed memorandum against Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), detailing the differences between his positions during his Senate candidacy and his legislative record.  From GP:
Phyllis Schlafly was the first major conservative to endorse Marco Rubio for US Senator over Governor Charlie Crist.
Yesterday Phyllis Shlafly said freshman Senator Marco Rubio should be disqualified from the presidential race for lying to conservatives in English and saying something entirely different on Spanish language television.
Schlafly released a 15 page “Rubio Betrayal Memo“ Friday to denounce Rubio’s actions as US Senator. Check Eagle Forum for updates.
The above-mentioned endorsement was given during the 2010 campaign.  The bold emphasis has been reproduced from the original.  Read the entire memorandum here, and click above for the GP post.

And while I'm at it, let me point out that according to Breitbart, Rubio recently gained the support of a billionaire who desires open borders.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Links

Here are some things going on, as the weekend approaches:

From Real Clear Politics, President Obama gives a speech about the economy.

From American Thinker, an opinion on Obama's proposed $10/barrel tax on oil.

From Crain's Chicago Business, the Chicago Stock Exchange will be sold to a Chinese investor group.  (Interesting how a country that's supposed to be communist allows some of its people to participate in American capitalism.)

From The Baltimore Sun, a federal appeals court overturns a lower court ruling that had upheld Maryland's ban on "assault weapons".  (via Truth Revolt)

From Reuters, the German government acknowledges that ISIS is sending fighters disguised as refugees.

From The Blaze, an AP fact-check on the latest debate between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (NY) and Bernie Sanders (VT).

From Reason, supporters of Clinton and Sanders in their own words.

From the New York Post, due to reports alleging that Johnny Manziel abused his girlfriend, he gets dumped - by his agent.

From MarketWatch, a teenage girl who found a gold bar while swimming in a German lake gets to keep it.  (via the New York Post)

From, the crime spree of a modern "Bonnie & Clyde" ends with a hail of police gunfire.  He's dead, she's wounded.

From the Express, a new version of the Barbie wears a hijab.

From the Mirror, a gang of six thugs in Britain are sentenced for torturing a Muslim man, including taunting him with beer and KFC.

From the Daily Mail, a Belgian man and five Iraqi migrants are investigated for allegedly raping a drunk unconscious girl at a party.

From Fox News, the death of a British writer in Romanian has been classified as suspicious, and a Spanish man is suspected of killing a fellow Spaniard in Thailand.

From BBC News, German police have recorded 22 sexual assaults on the first night of Carnival.  (via The Washington Times)

From CBS Chicago, six people killed in a house in Gage Park were members of the same family.

From Wired, after several quiet months, Mount Sakurajima erupts.

And from Inside The Magic, "Weird Al" Yankovic will voice the title character of Disney's Milo Murphy's Law.