Wednesday, March 29, 2017


TSA agents at DFW give 13-year-old boy dressed only in a T-shirt and short pants a pat-down more thorough than the pat-downs made by cops in most cases when arresting felons

BarkGrowlBite | March 29, 2017

We can all feel much safer knowing that the TSA is protecting the flying public from terrorists. Going back some years, we should remember how the TSA saved us from granma terrorists by making 80-year olds remove their shoes. They must have prevented dozens of planes from being blown up by doing that.

Now that it’s not granmas any more, the TSA is giving young boys the terrorist treatment at DFW at least. A Facebook video posted by the suspected terrorist’s mother shows a TSA agent giving a young boy who was dressed only in a T-shirt and short pants a 2-minnute pat-down that was more thorough than the pat-downs made by cops in most cases when they are arresting a felon. Would you believe they even patted down the boy’s bare legs? Well, they did. I suppose they were searching for explosives implanted under his skin.

Jennifer Williamson, the 13-year-old boy’s mother is livid. She said her son Aaron passed through the metal detector Sunday morning without setting off an alarm.

The TSA claims a laptop inside the boy’s backpack set off an alarm and the ensuing pat-down was perfectly proper. TSA released the following statement:

“TSA allows for a pat-down of a teenage passenger, and in this case, all approved procedures were followed to resolve an alarm of the passenger’s laptop.

The video shows a male TSA officer explaining the procedure to the passenger, who fully cooperates. Afterward, the TSA officer was instructed by his supervisor, who was observing, to complete the final step of the screening process.

In total, the pat-down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to mitigate the concerns of the mother.

The passengers were at the checkpoint for approximately 45 minutes, which included the time it took to discuss screening procedures with the mother and to screen three carry-on items that required further inspection."

TSA agents told the mother they would not be allowed to board their flight to San Diego unless Aaron was patted down. Mrs. Williamson says that because of the extra screening their flight took off before they could board it.

Well, the Williamsons may have missed their flight, but all the other passengers on that plane landed safely at their destination because Aaron’s bare legs were thoroughly patted-down.

TSA Akbar!


by Bob Walsh

Last month the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the idiotic Maryland ban on "semi-automatic assault weapons" in a ruling that is so incredibly flawed that it might very well lead to a complete shitcanning of similar bans nationwide (if we are lucky).

The law targets specific firearms by name and specifically mentions certain purely cosmetic features that somehow make these weapons inherently evil, such as pistol grip stocks and flash suppressors, as well as the mere ability to accept commonly available magazines of greater than ten round capacity. This ruling flies in the face of the SCOTUS decision in the HELLER case that ruled that firearms "in common use at the time for lawful purposes" were protected by the Second Amendment. The AR-15, which is effected by the ban, is the most commonly-owned rifle in the USA.

The ruling, Kolbe v. Hogan, was so bad that it might very well prompt SCOTUS to revisit the issue, something they have resisted since Heller.


by Bob Walsh

Yup, sad but true. The Oakland Raiders will be moving to Los Vegas in about four years, depending on how soon their super-duper new stadium can be built. The crime-ridden and gang-infested shithole of Oakland just couldn't put together enough bribe money to match the Las Vegas deal.

That's OK, I am sure there are several good high-school football teams that wouldn't mind having a nice stadium. Of course the rent income might be somewhat less, but that is the way the stadium crumbles.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Hits the mark spot on! But I'll still take Ding Dong over the Hildebeast!!


Here is an op-ed by former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which he scolds both congressional Republicans and Democrats over the health care fiasco.

Stop Blaming. Start Governing.

By Michael R. Bloomberg | BloombergView | March 26, 2017

Who’s to blame for the failure of the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare? Who cares? What matters now is that Democrats stop gloating, Republicans stop sulking, and each party come to the table to improve a health-care system that both parties agree needs work.

After the bill collapsed on Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump accused the Democrats of obstruction, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer accused the president of incompetence, Speaker Paul Ryan said health care was done, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi bragged that it was a great day. No one had the courage to pick up the pieces and point the way forward.

The Affordable Care Act has provided health-care coverage to millions more Americans, but there are still some 30 million with no insurance. Premiums are too high. The individual mandate isn't encouraging enough people to buy into the system. Some of its regulations and taxes make little sense. Insurance markets are too thin, providing consumers too little choice. Health-care savings accounts do too little to encourage savings.

Republicans have viable ideas to address these issues, including high-risk insurance pools and capping the tax exclusion that companies get for providing employees with health insurance. It's regrettable that none of these ideas were seriously considered in the rush to repeal Obamacare.

Equally regrettable is that Republicans appear to be giving up and moving on to other issues. If they can’t get everything they want, they seem to have concluded, they’ll take nothing. It’s a bad strategy. As Senator John McCain said Saturday, Republicans need Democrats to reform health care. The art of governing is compromise – and not just within the majority party. The sooner Ryan accepts the fact that Democrats can be a cudgel to use against the Freedom Caucus, the more successful he and Congress will be.

Ronald Reagan was known to say that he would happily take 70 or 80 percent of what he wanted and come back for the rest later. Yet instead of living by Reagan’s rule, Republicans are hung up on the Hastert Rule, named for Dennis Hastert, the former (and now disgraced) House speaker: Generally speaking, only bills that can get through without Democratic votes are brought to the floor. This led the party to produce a deeply flawed health-care bill that, ultimately, did not win strong support from the Republicans' moderate or Tea Party wings.

At the same time, Democrats steadfastly refused to reach across the aisle to produce a bipartisan alternative. Gloating only makes that more difficult.

On Friday, Schumer said that Democrats are ready to work with Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act on one condition: that Republicans take repeal off the table. This is not an auspicious step. Democrats ought to allow Republicans to call a new bill whatever they want. The details are what matters, not the label.


by Bob Walsh

Yup, that is a serious problem for the Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood (Los Angeles County) California. There are so may white kids attending school there that their funding is being cut, which will inevitably lead to larger class sizes and possible non-teaching staff cuts. (Except administrators, they NEVER cut administrators.)

It has to do with a complex, court approved funding formula designed to ensure that schools that are predominantly non-white get a bigger share of the pie. I assume that is because the school district thinks non-white kids are stupider (or is it more stupid?) and need more teacher help, but I am sure they would not actually SAY that.

Good thing California still has nice weather, or it wouldn't have a hell of a lot going for it.


Bob Walsh

Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced on Monday that the Trump administration will start taking action against sanctuary cities, which will include withholding of funding and may include attempts to recover previously granted funding until these jurisdictions come into compliance with federal law.

HELL YES I say. Bitch slap them, bend them over the bar and fuck them in the ass. They got nothing coming. If you let governments ignore the fucking law you don't have a lot of law left any more.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Agree! Which brings me to the states that have legalized marijuana. Start enforcing the federal laws there too. That will wipe out the dough they're making off of pot.


The “Bad Boys of Brexit” throw their weight behind move to split California in two

By Patrick May | The Mercury News | March 27, 2017

If you can’t beat ‘em, leave ‘em.

That’s how many Californians feel lately about the Trump team in the White House, which explains why more and more residents of the Golden State want out.

Out, as in a Brexit-like departure known as Calexit.

This weekend comes word that two of the masterminds behind the United Kingdom’s ongoing divorce from the European Union, Nigel Farage and Arron Banks. The duo just returned from the United States, where they reportedly helped raise a million bucks for one of the Calexit campaigns floating around — a scheme that would split the state into two regions, one encompassing the eastern and more rural part of California while the other would include the more populated – and liberal – coastal communities.

Farage and Banks are known as the Bad Boys of Brexit, and for good reason. As the controversial leader of the UK Independence Party, or Ukip for short, the one-time broadcaster Farage stirred up the anti-immigration pot in England among the white British working class. Banks, who co-founded the Leave.EU group, angered many when he claimed that Britain’s UK membership is “like having a first class ticket on the Titanic.’’ He also got into hot water with his controversial move to commission a poll after the murder of British politician Jo Cox, asking respondents whether the crime would have an impact on public opinion.

Now the Bad Boys have brought their shtick to California, according to a report in the Daily Mail which says the pair are helping exit backers trying to pit the eastern, more rural side of California against the western ‘coastal elite’ liberals in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The plan would be to create a Republican stronghold in the new state cleaved off California’s eastern flank, thus giving the GOP two more senators and electoral college votes for a 2020 presidential election.

The Western side of the state would likely continue to vote Democrat in elections.

The Sunday Times reported that Farage and Banks’ goal is to hold a Calexit referendum during the US midterm elections in 2018.

“It would be portrayed as the Hollywood elites versus the people, breaking up the bad government,’’ Banks said. “Seventy-eight per cent of people in California are unhappy with their government. It’s the world’s sixth largest economy and it’s very badly run.’’

Banks said he and Farage wanted to show people in California ‘how to light a fire and win’ the Calexit referendum and they were recruited for the job by polling expert Gerry Gunster and Republican Scott Baugh, a former member of the state assembly.

Banks added: ‘We were saying that people said the same about Brexit — and we just went and did it. The money was pledged to take it to the next level. This could be the greatest political showdown ever.’

In California, 365,800 people must sign a petition for a proposition to appear on a ballot. Calexit supporters figure that can be easily achieved, given the widespread rancor among blue-state Californians about Trump’s victory. In the election, the state broke nearly two-to-one in favor of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, a second Calexit campaign is underway. It’s called Yes California and it would see the state seceding from America entirely. If that initiative successfully finds a place on the ballot, a Yes vote would repeal clauses in the California Constitution stating “California is an inseparable part of the United States and that the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land, ‘’ according to a statement from California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office said.

ESITOR’S NOTE: Why stop with just two regions? A better plan would be to split California into five or six regions, then dump them all into the Pacific Ocean. Of course, first we would have to get EPA permission to pollute the Pacific.

Monday, March 27, 2017


BarkGrowlBite | March 27, 2017

Officer David Fahey, 39, of the Cleveland, Ohio Police Department was killed by a speeding hit-and-run driver on January 24 while setting road flares at the scene of a fatal car crash.

On March 15 President Trump sent the following condolence letter to Fahey’s family:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Ketterer:

It is with a heavy heart that I learned of the loss of your son, Officer David Fahey.

Our Nation owes a debt of gratitude to David for his honorable service in the United States Navy and on the Cleveland Police Force.

While no words can possibly console your family at this sorrowful time, I pray that you are strengthened by the memory of David’s enduring spirit and steadfast courage. He will forever be remembered for his commitment to protecting and serving the American people.

Melania and I join your family, friends, loved ones, and the Cleveland community in honoring David for making the ultimate sacrifice while in the line of duty.

/Signed/ Donald J. Trump

Fahey’s mother said: “It was awesome to have David honored like that. It was very personally written. That meant a lot to know it wasn’t just a standard letter.”

Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis said: “President Trump sending a personal condolence letter to the family of fallen Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey is an act of heartfelt kindness that is appreciated by all law enforcement officers and law abiding citizens everywhere, and will never be forgotten,”


Thus far Trump’s tweets and the Republican congressional disarray add up to a GOP train wreck about to happen

By Howie Katz | Big Jolly Politics | March 26, 2017

Make no mistake about it, the Democrats are determined to destroy the Trump presidency. Bent on revenge over what they consider a stolen election, they are not going to let up until Trump is driven out of office. And they’re getting plenty of help from Trump himself and his fellow Republicans.

Those who idolize Trump think his tweets are a wonderful way of communicating directly with the public. But Trump has been using Twitter mostly to lash back at his critics. And his tweet accusing Obama of ordering a wiretap on him has come back to bite him in the butt, with no end in sight. His tweets may well be the sword Trump falls on.

While the Republicans have a majority in both houses of congress, they are divided into conservative and moderate factions, each group being at odds with the other. This disarray led to the collapse of an attempt to redo Obamacare, something the Republicans have been swearing to do for the past seven years. Furthermore, the conservative faction is not enthralled with Trump, believing that he is not truly a conservative. They are probably right on that one.

In the Senate, Trump has Republican enemies who are not going to make the president’s life any easier. John McCain and Lindsey Graham use every opportunity to show they are at odds with Trump. McCain seems to be bitter over Trump’s stupid statement that the Vietnam War hero was no hero because he was a POW. You can also bet that Ted Cruz hasn’t forgotten Trump's absurd accusation that his father took part in the assassination of JFK.

Trump’s tweets together with the Republican disarray look like a GOP train wreck about to happen. That begs the question: Will 2018 prove to be a catastrophic year for the Republicans?

The way things are going, it looks like the Democrats will sweep the 2018 midterm congressional elections, and possibly achieving super majorities in both houses. Even if that does not happen, Trump looks like a one-term President. How does President Elizabeth Warren sound?


by Bob Walsh

Jamie Urton, 44, was driving along the road in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati a few days ago, minding his own business, when a four-year old child ran into the street in front of his car and was hit. Like an honest citizen Urton stopped. He was then set up by a mob of locals and shot to death. His passenger was somewhat injured. The child was injured in the original incident but not seriously.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Walnut Hills is a black neighborhood, Urton was white.


Gun owned by former New Mexico Republican Chairman is stolen from his unlocked car FOUR times in the same month by the same person

BY Jordan Gass-Poore | Daily Mail | March 26, 2017

A former New Mexico Republican chairman has had handguns stolen from his unlocked car four times over the span of a month by the same alleged gang member.

Allen Weh, former state GOP chairman, reported to police on September 19 that someone stole an unsecured gun from his gray SUV in the parking lot of CSI Aviation, where he is CEO.

The thefts happened again on September 22, October 13 and November 16.

Weh, who kept replacing the firearms, took partial responsibility for the thefts, but also blamed the criminal justice system.

'Some of it was my own stupidity. I left my car unlocked. I should have locked it,' he told KOB 4. 'But what really bothers me is the criminal activity in this community that's gone on and allowed to take place by judges. It's got to end.'

By the third theft, CSI Aviation had installed surveillance cameras and captured 19-year-old Daniel Sandoval stealing a Smith & Wesson 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun from his car.

When Weh went outside to confront the suspect, Sandoval, an alleged member of a violent Albuquerque gang, reportedly pointed the gun at the CEO 'in a threatening manner' then ran to a car and took off, reports KOB 4.

'That wasn't the first time I've ever looked down the long end of a gun,' said Weh. 'But the fact of the matter is, you don't expect it in your own parking lot.'

Sandoval was charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.

He is one of two members arrested in September for the murder of church deacon Hector Aguirre, who was run down as he tried to stop them from stealing his work van.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Would you believe that Weh retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a full-chicken Colonel.


Here are two reports on life behind bars and escapes from Mexican prisons of cartel capos.

Drugs, Alcohol, parties and prostitutes in the prison at Culiacan where 5 capos escaped

By Carlos Alvarez

March 24, 2017

Luxeries, excess and parties, is what its like to live inside the Culiacan prison, where this past Thursday Juan Jose Esparragoza Monzon "El Azulito", Alfonso Limon Sanchez "El Limon", Jesus Pena Gonzalez, "El 20", Rafael Guadalupe Felix Nunez "El Changuito Antrax and Javier Zazueta Rosales "El Pancho Chimal" escaped.

The daily newspapers in circulation El Universal and Reforma informed that the closed circuit tv cameras inside the Aguaruto prison, captured the prisoners with cellular telephones, consuming marijuana and cocaine, cells with flat screen TV's, prostitutes coming into the prison and a party a day before the escape of the five capos.

The festivities inside the prison were carried out with music, alcohol and drugs, according to Reforma a group of familiars of prisoners in modules 7 and 5 of the prison, where the capos were housed, were the governors of the prison for Jesus Alfredo and Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, sons of Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, alias El Chapo, and also for Ismael Zambada Garcia "El Mayo".

Before the party, indicated a rotary, on Tuesday, they changed some of the prisoners inside the modules, because they were grouping together associates of Ivan Archivaldo Guzman and Ismael Zambada. Already in the party, the prisoners were shouting threats to people inside and outside of the prison.

They were triggering a rally of violence, which was halted by the prison guards who were in charge, the newspaper said, and according to sources of public safety, among the inmates a rumour was circulating that was spread to create a confrontation, and that any situation that would put them in danger would be avoided.

The alleged offenders went out the front door, according to the Governor of Sinaloa, Quirino Ordaz Coppel, who also noticed that the capos operated and worked from inside the Culiacan prison.

Although the State agent accused authorities of complicity, so far no details have been given of what happened prior to the escape, on the grounds that it is reserved information in the ongoing investigation of the Attorney Generals Office (PGR).

According to Reforma, although they were highly dangerous, the five escaped prisoners enjoyed privileges, such as alcohol and drug use, open hours for visitors and could remain outside of their cells without limitation.

For their part, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), in its general recommendation 18/2010 warned of the situation in the countries prisons, in particular this so called self governance.

This Culiacan jail has 2112 inmates of whom 500 are facing Federal Charges, so that the State Government has raised the urgency of transferring them to the CEFERESO centres to prevent escapes or contact with common prisoners.

Today, Jose Mario Rodriguez Murillo, Chief of Custodians of Culiacan prison, has been missing since the escape of El Azul's son, who is presumed to be complicit. The prison at Culiacan dates from 1969, and its cells have paraded old figures linked to drug trafficking, such as those of Manuel Salcido Uzeta, "El Cochiloco", Miguel Angel Lugo Beltran, "El Ceja Guera" among others, who became legends for the spectacular evasion of this prison said the newspaper.

Mass escape: 29 suspected cartel members break out of Mexico prison through 120-foot tunnel

Fox News
March 24, 2017

El Chapo may be gone from Mexico, but tunnel-aided escapes by inmates are alive and well.

On Wednesday, 29 suspected drug cartel members used a 120-foot tunnel to escape from a state prison in the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas, authorities said.

One of the inmates, who escaped close to midnight, shot to death a passing motorist in an apparent carjacking in the state capital, Ciudad Victoria.

The Tamaulipas state security spokesman Luis Alberto Rodriguez said 12 of the 29 have been recaptured.

El Chapo may be gone from Mexico, but tunnel-aided escapes by inmates are alive and well.

On Wednesday, 29 suspected drug cartel members used a 120-foot tunnel to escape from a state prison in the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas, authorities said.

One of the inmates, who escaped close to midnight, shot to death a passing motorist in an apparent carjacking in the state capital, Ciudad Victoria.

The Tamaulipas state security spokesman Luis Alberto Rodriguez said 12 of the 29 have been recaptured.

Guzman was extradited to the United States in January.

After his 2015 escape, Guzman became something of a folk legend for a segment of Mexico's population for his defiance of authorities. He has been immortalized in songs known as narco-corridos, ballads about the drug trade and drug bosses.

On Thursday, Mexican police officers set up a perimeter around the Tamaulipas jail to determine how the suspected cartel members got away, according to Breitbart News.

The tunnel reached 15 feet underground, Breitbart reported.

Overcrowding, corruption and inmate control of prison areas have been persistent problems in Mexican prisons.

Rodriguez said about 30 guards at the facility were being investigated and appealed for help from neighboring states in apprehending the escaped inmates.

He said the prison dates to the 1940s and is outmoded. State authorities have been looking into moving the prisoners to other facilities, outside the city.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


by Bob Walsh

The formerly great state of California is working very hard indeed at marking California a more inviting place for criminals. A new proposal will grant additional "good time" credit to most prisoners for doing just about everything except sucking air, and I am not sure that isn't included.

These new proposal allow prisoners to seek parole after they have served their base term, regardless of sentence enhancements which often equal or exceed the base term. For instance, you can do time for armed robbery and then have a LOT of years tacked on for possession of a firearm and for being armed in the furtherance of a criminal street gang. This proposal would essentially ignore the sentencing enhancements (assuming the parole board goes along, which they might or might not).

Criminals will also get an additional three months off their sentence for completing a college degree, in addition to the three months already granted. They can also get up to one month per year for participating in various self-help programs.

The idea is to keep the prison population below the 137.5% of design capacity that various court orders demand.


Attorney: FBI, authorities conducting search in Georgetown County connected to Brittanee Drexel case

By Gregory Yee | The Post and Courier | March 25, 2017

Brittanee Drexel's family is once again waiting for news from a search near Georgetown connected to the teen's 2009 disappearance.

Brad Conway, an attorney who represents Drexel's mother, Dawn, confirmed that the new search was related to the case but said that no other information was available Friday.

The FBI contacted Dawn Drexel Friday morning to inform her of the search, Conway said.

"She's encouraged but also it's heart-wrenching," he said.

Drexel, a 17-year-old from New York, traveled to Myrtle Beach for spring break and was last seen on a hotel security camera on April 25, 2009.

Don Wood, a supervisory agent with the Bureau's Columbia office, confirmed that "investigatory activity" took place in the area of Foxfire Court, which is located outside of Georgetown city limits.

The activity was centered on a small wooded area and an open area, Wood said, but did not comment on whether the case was connected to Drexel's disappearance.

Authorities have pursued leads back and forth from Myrtle Beach to McClellanville for years without luck before catching a break in August 2016. A prison inmate came forward with information that authorities used to piece together what they believe happened to Drexel after her disappearance.

She was abducted, gang-raped, shot to death and thrown into an alligator-infested swamp in a densely-forested area near McClellanville, according to the FBI.

The inmate, Taquan Brown of Walterboro, told investigators that he went to a "stash house" near McClellanville days after Drexel went missing and that he witnessed Timothy Da'shaun Taylor, then 16, "sexually abusing" the teen, according to a court transcript of a statement by FBI agent Gerrick Munoz.

Taylor saw others in the room with the girl and Da’Shaun Taylor, and he kept walking through the house to the backyard to give some money to Da’Shaun Taylor’s father, Shaun Taylor, according to the transcript. While they talked, Drexel ran from the house, was caught, “pistol-whipped” and taken back inside.

Two shots rang out and the inmate assumed Shaun Taylor shot the girl, according to the transcript. Then the girl’s body was wrapped up and taken away.

Asked what happened to the girl’s body, the FBI agent testified that it has not been found but that “several witnesses have told us Miss Drexel’s body was placed in a pit, or gator pit, to have her body disposed of. Eaten by the gators.”

Information on why authorities believe the scene in Georgetown is connected to the case was not available on Friday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Where is a white ‘Al Sharpton’ expressing his outrage over this awful crime? At least this case is for real, not the 1987 Tawana Brawley rape hoax that made Sharpton a headliner.


Imam calling for Jews to be killed in sermon at Montreal mosque draws police complaint

By Brennan Neill and Stephen Smith | CBC News | March 24, 2017

A Montreal mosque is facing a police complaint and rebukes from the larger Muslim community after a video of an imam delivering a sermon in which he asks for Jews to be killed surfaced online.

The sermon took place at the Dar Al-Arqam Mosque in the city's Saint-Michel neighbourhood on Dec. 23, 2016.

The video was posted to the mosque's YouTube channel three days later. The imam in the video is Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr — he was reportedly an invited guest of the mosque.

In the video, the imam recites in Arabic the verse: "O Muslim, O servant of Allah, O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

CBC independently verified the speech and its translation.

The controversial verse comes from a religious text known as a hadith, which interprets the words and actions by the Prophet Muhammad.

The hadith in question deals with end times and tells how stones and trees will ask Muslims to come and kill Jews hiding behind them.

CBC Montreal has reached out to the Dar Al-Arqam mosque for comment and was told no one was available.

Accused of inciting violence

The video was brought to the attention of B'nai Brith Canada, which filed a complaint with Montreal police on Monday.

The organization said it is totally unacceptable that a mosque would allow this to go on.

"This is inciting violence, and this is inciting radicalization," said Harvey Levine, regional director of B'nai Brith in Quebec.

"It's against the law and has to be stopped," he said, adding that the complaint was filed with the Montreal hate crimes unit.

Montreal police confirmed they received a complaint, but would not provide any more information.

Mosque should apologize, says Muslim council

The president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, Salam Elmenyawi, wants to know why the imam was invited. He says the mosque should apologize.

He added that the Dar Al-Arqam Mosque is not one of the more than 40 institutions the council represents.

Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects told CBC Montreal's Daybreak Thursday that he was also mystified as to why the cleric was invited to preach.

"I do not understand how this person was invited to come and give a sermon and spread this hatred in Montreal against any community," he said.

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are written in many books, some of which are considered authentic, while others are not, said Asali.

"To use the themes of the Prophet to spread hatred is actually something that is disrespectful towards the Prophet himself," Asali said.

There are mosques in Montreal, the imam said, that embrace a more extremist message.

"These people, not only do they show hatred towards non-Muslims, they even show hatred to us Muslims," he said.

Other complaints

Levine said this is the second complaint against a Montreal-area mosque filed with the Montreal police's hate crime unit in just over 40 days.

He said the police are still investigating that first instance but says they are not taking action soon enough.

"This is totally unacceptable. We want to know why the hate crimes unit has not done something to date yet. This person should be arrested and charged for hate crimes," said Levine.

CIJA Quebec, an organization that advocates for the Jewish community, said it has a close relationship with the Montreal police and has been following the two complaints.

"We know the Montreal police are seriously and diligently investigating these sermons," said David Ouellette, deputy director for CIJA Quebec.

He added the group believes the police are close to completing their investigation of the first complaint.


Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher: Marc Methot's finger is 'destroyed'; no punishment for Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

ESPN | March 24, 2017

The Ottawa Senators got a big win but lost a player in the process.

Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan scored in a shootout as the Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Thursday night. They appear to have lost defenseman Marc Methot for perhaps an extended period of time, though, after he took a slash from Sidney Crosby in the first period.

Ottawa played the final 45 minutes without Methot, who left the game with a bloodied and mangled finger on his left hand following a two-handed slash from Crosby, who didn't receive a penalty on the play.

Methot grabbed Crosby by the jersey after the whistle and had a few words for the Penguins captain before leaving the ice.

"His finger is destroyed. It's shattered and he's out for weeks," Senators coach Guy Boucher said.

Crosby will not face discipline for the play, as NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN the league is not looking into the incident.

While not referencing Crosby by name, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk went off about the incident on Friday and called for a suspension.

"We all know who he is. The guy is just beyond belief," Melnyk told TSN 1200 radio in Ottawa. "You do this kind of stuff, I don't care who you are in the league, I don't care if you're the No. 1 player in the league, you need to sit out a long time for this kind of crap."

Senators captain Erik Karlsson said it was an unfortunate play but one that happens all the time. This one just went bad.

"[Crosby] puts his stick in as [Methot] is trying to shoot the puck in, and unfortunately, it hits his finger," Karlsson said. "It turns out worse than most other times. Plays like that happen all the time, but I don't think it was intentional or dirty."

Crosby echoed those sentiments, saying he wasn't looking to injure Methot.

"I was just trying to get his stick, and I think I caught his finger, judging by his reaction and their reaction," Crosby said. "I've gotten those before. They don't feel good."

EDITOR’S NOTE: For the uninitiated, Sidney Crosby is considered one of the greatest hockey players ever. He is not a dirty player.


The Onion | March 23, 2017

PYONGYANG—Following the country’s failed test launch of a new long-range missile, North Korean military aides reportedly tried to cheer up Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un Thursday by putting on a surprise execution.

“He was pretty upset by how things went yesterday, so we figured surprising him with the summary execution of a government official would be a great way to boost his spirits,” said Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong-so, adding that aides had worked overnight to find a disloyal judge or Korean Workers’ Party official and arrange the execution in secret. “You should have seen the look on his face when he opened the door to what he thought was an ordinary cabinet meeting and found a former vice chairman of the Central Committee tied to a chair, with a revolver nearby. He was smiling in no time and shot the enemy of the people in the face.”

At press time, reports confirmed that Pyong-so and a dozen other officials who had helped organize the surprise execution had been hanged for deceiving the Supreme Leader.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Double amputee who served as a Marine in Afghanistan to become New York cop

By Chris Perez | New York Post | March 23, 2017

A Marine war veteran who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan will fulfill a lifelong dream Friday when he graduates from the Suffolk County Police Academy — and becomes one of the nation’s first double amputees to serve as a fully active cop.

“I’m just really eager and excited to prove myself to my colleagues in my new job, my new career, that I’m capable of doing the job just as well as somebody with both legs,” Matias Ferreira told Newsday. “I don’t think the prosthetics hinder me in any way.”

The 28-year-old married father of one is set to become a police officer on Friday following a 29-week training program that included sit-ups, push-ups and a mile-and-a-half run — all of which he completed, no problem.

“A lot of guys are like, ‘What happens if one of your legs break?’ I’m sorry to say, but if I break my leg, I go in the trunk, I put on a new one,” Ferreira said. “If you break your leg, you’re out for a couple months, my friend.”

The Marine machine-gunner managed to run the department’s required mile-and-a-half in about 11 minutes — which is a minute and 29 seconds less than the demands for his age category.

“This is someone who served our nation, paid a significant sacrifice, and is now able to overcome adversity in a tremendous way,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini told Newsday. “He’s done a terrific job as a recruit in the academy, both physically, academically and in his leadership to the other recruits, and he’s going to make a fine officer.”

In 2011, Ferreira was forced to have both of his legs amputated below the knee after he accidentally stepped on a 30-pound improvised explosive device. He will be one of the only cops in the country to have ever had the procedure done, according to Newsday.

There was at least one officer in the Arizona State Police who was a double amputee, the newspaper reports.

During Ferreira’s training, officials said he practiced taking down aggressive suspects wearing a protective suit. He only fell once — and was able to hop right back up immediately.

“If you have somebody coming at you and attacking you, we didn’t know how that was going to end up, we didn’t know if he would fall and not be able to get back up, so

‘For us it was an important moment,” said Lt. Steven Rohde, commanding officer of the academy’s recruit training section.

“Kind of an exclamation point on, ‘This guy’s the real deal. I wouldn’t want to fight him!’”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Matias Ferreira is a true hero in every sense of the word, and not some overblown sports star like O.J. Simpson or Brucella Jenner.


by Bob Walsh

The Oroville dam and the area immediately downstream is going to be the focus of some intense concentration and work over the next few months. It is now pretty obvious that the entire gate-controlled spillway is going to have to be replaced BEFORE November 1 or the reservoir will be at serious risk. That doesn't count the work on the downstream side of the emergency spillway.

The Oroville damn is a very large earth fill dam, at 900 feet it is the largest in the country. The power house even running at max is capable of running less than 20,000 CFS out of it. That isn't nearly enough to do the job once the snow starts melting and the lake starts rising quickly.

Under normal circumstances in the formerly great state of California you couldn't even get permits in that period of time. Or twice that period of time. Or thrice even. Then need to get a plan, get contracts and permissions and waivers and actually DO the work in less than eight months.

One thing I know for sure. If I lived in Oroville or anywhere else close to that dam I would make real sure my flood insurance was paid up.


Texas alcohol regulators know how to party: records show they've spent tens of thousands of dollars to travel to swanky resorts where liquor flows and industry lobbyists abound

By Jay Root | The Texas Tribune | March 24, 2017

No agency can kill a buzz quicker than the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, but behind the scenes state liquor regulators have shown they know how to party — all on the tab of taxpayers and members of an industry they oversee.

Consider the boozy junket the top TABC brass took to San Diego in the summer of 2015 — depicted in a humorous illustration officials created during work hours at the agency. It portrays agency director Sherry Cook, licensing chief Amy Harrison, a TABC analyst and an agency contractor riding in a plane while holding or guzzling from bottles of Lone Star Beer.

"Here we come California!" reads the caption above the doctored picture. "Woo Hoo!!!"

Cook couldn’t say precisely how or if the illustration was used internally, but in an interview with The Texas Tribune she acknowledged that using government computers to create a cartoonish picture showing state alcohol regulators downing beer may not have been done “in the most appropriate manner.”

The illustration, included in a slew of documents obtained by a grocery supply company that is suing the agency, highlighted the regulators’ enthusiasm for the conference in San Diego — just one of numerous trips agency honchos take each year to attend meetings of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA), an industry trade group that brings liquor interests and government regulators together at swanky resorts around the nation.

The gatherings aren’t cheap. TABC billed the state at least $8,000 for the jaunt to San Diego alone, records from the agency and the state comptroller's office show. And in 2013 TABC shelled out more than $10,000 in taxpayer funds to send four people to the association’s annual conference at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, according to the records.

NCSLA — funded in large part by the alcohol industry — spent another $2,000 in direct-billed lodging and airfare reimbursements for the island adventure, state records obtained by the Tribune show.

The state comptroller's records show the alcoholic beverage commission has spent at least $85,000 on out-of-state travel since the 2011 fiscal year, much of it on liquor industry conferences. Almost $17,000 has been paid to NCSLA for registration and membership fees over the same period, the comptroller records show.

TABC could not say how much the liquor association has provided in travel reimbursements over the years to the agency or its employees. NCSLA Executive Director Pam Frantz said in an email Thursday that Cook, who sits on the group's board, has received travel reimbursements as a member of the association. But Frantz could not provide a list of all the travel reimbursements Cook and other TABC officials have received in the past five years.

After the Tribune asked questions about travel reimbursements, Cook contacted the Texas Ethics Commission, which informed her that payments the liquor organization made to her should have been reported on the personal financial statements she must file as a top agency official; the commission is working with her to determine how to rectify the disclosure “oversights,” said agency spokesman Chris Porter.

TABC is also examining whether it gave erroneous information about travel reimbursements when it answered an open records request related to the grocery supply company's demand for documents in 2015 by saying Cook had not received any reimbursements from outside groups.

Cook says the group's meetings she and her colleagues attend provide vital training and networking opportunities that help keep her agency abreast of the complicated regulatory structure in various states; TABC officials, meanwhile, impart wisdom they’ve learned in Texas to their national counterparts, she said.

“NCSLA is a place where state regulators from across the United States come together, and we talk a lot about, you know, best practices,” Cook said. “This is that place where we come together to have these discussions.”

Critics say they're junkets that waste precious tax dollars while raising troubling questions about the cozy relationship between the government regulators and powerful corporate interests. Austin lawyer Howard Wolf, who as a Texas Sunset Commission member a decade ago publicly complained that the state’s arcane liquor laws foster monopolies and discourage competition, said the conferences do little more than strengthen the liquor industry’s grip on Texas regulators.

“These people have virtually unlimited budgets for entertainment of all types, in order to be on the scene continually to monitor what is going on in the regulatory scheme,” Wolf said. “The TABC is ... not protecting the consumer. It’s not protecting the taxpayer. It’s protecting these very wealthy industry companies that own and dominate the industry.”

Wolf says that domination explains why Texas has adopted some of the strictest — and strangest — alcohol laws in the country. They may have started out as well-intended regulations aimed at combating organized crime and public drunkenness at the end of prohibition in the 1930s, but in modern times they’ve been adopted and promoted at the behest of politically connected companies, he says.

For example, when brewing giant Anheuser-Busch bought SeaWorld parks in 1989, state law prevented its amusement park subsidiary from selling liquor under “tied house” rules that force alcohol makers, distributors and sellers into three separate silos and supposedly forbid commercial cross-pollination. The next year, the Legislature came to Anhueser-Busch’s rescue by making retail alcohol sales legal at any “marine park” in “an enclosed restricted access area of not less than 254 acres nor more than 255 acres in a county with a population of over 950,000.” Only SeaWorld qualified.

In the distribution silo, powerful beer wholesalers have benefited from laws that require they be paid in cash upon delivery of their product and allow them to profit from exclusive distribution rights that they can sell — but politically weak craft brewers can’t. Texas craft brewers sued over the distribution rights issue and won, but the state is still fighting to stop them.

And a another bizarre liquor law, believed to be the only one of its kind in the nation, prevents publicly traded companies from selling spirits — thereby favoring politically powerful package stores and their blood relatives in maintaining the exclusive rights to sell hard liquor.

All layers of the liquor industry show up at NCSLA conferences, but the internal emails, state travel records and association literature obtained by the Tribune show business isn’t the only thing being conducted at the meetings. They typically feature sponsored parties, a well-stocked open bar and a busy array of social events.

On the 2015 trip to California, where Cook signed off on paying $73 more per night than the maximum allowable lodging rate of $142, TABC employees stayed at the posh Rancho Bernardo Inn, which NCSLA described as a “warm and welcoming resort nestled on 280 acres of green lawns” with “an 18-hole championship golf course and luxurious day spa,” records indicated.

“This resort has it all, so plan to come early and/or stay after the conference to relax, rejuvenate, and play,” the association said in its greeting message.

Beside boasting about all the sightseeing that could be done in San Diego, NCSLA officials arranged for a discounted round of golf — $89, cart rental included. The hospitality suite remained open until 2 a.m. on all four nights “for those wishing to extend their business and socializing into the evening.”

“We might even break out the karaoke!” organizers gushed.

In Hawaii, entertainment options included a golf tournament at Pearl Country Club, a “luau under the stars,” a networking event at the Bishop Museum, which boasts “the world’s largest collection of Polynesian artifacts,” and more.

At least two top agency officials — Cook and Deputy Executive Director Ed Swedberg — brought their spouses to Honolulu, records show. TABC declined to elaborate about when and where spouses were included on that or any other NCSLA jaunts but stressed that taxpayers never fund their travel.

A year after the Hawaii junket, Texas hosted the national liquor conference in San Antonio, and TABC spent at least $28,000 to send 17 employees, state records show. Partying appears to have been on the agenda in the Alamo City as well: After the event, liquor lobbyist Dewey Brackin — a former TABC staff attorney — sent a picture of himself with TABC licensing chief Harrison and others.

“Feeling no pain,” he said of the moment captured in the photo. Brackin said later he was merely “enjoying the fellowship” with NCSLA attendees.

Last year, the boozing at the NCSLA conference in Austin spilled into the newspapers — after the agency was accused of failing to get the proper alcohol permit while serving alcohol in its own hospitality room. TABC launched an investigation of itself and determined there was no wrongdoing, said Porter, the spokesman.

TABC declined to immediately provide the investigative report, which the Tribune is now seeking under state open records laws. Porter said the Texas Rangers received a copy of the investigative report and decided no further action was warranted.

As the Texas Legislature grapples with a tight budget this year, the TABC is already making plans to send representatives to the upcoming NCSLA annual meeting in Colorado this summer.

Next year, NCSLA’s annual conference will once again graces the shores of Hawaii, according to the NCSLA calendar of events. This time, though, attendees will bypass Honolulu and hit the spectacular Waikoloa Beach on the Big Island, according the NCSLA website.

“As long as we’re a dues-paying members of NCSLA we’ll continue to attend those conferences to meet with our counterparts from across the country and discuss issues that are of importance to the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas and nationwide,” Porter said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s real easy to spend money when it’s not your own


Fourteen naked men and women slaughter a sheep at Auschwitz death camp before chaining themselves under the 'Arbeit macht frei' sign in shocking and unexplained ritual

By AFP and Chris Summers | Daily Mail | March 24, 2017

A group of naked men and women today slaughtered a sheep in a bizarre ritual at the former Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Poland.

Fourteen people, aged between 20 and 27, chained themselves together in front of the camp's infamous 'Arbeit macht frei' ('Work makes you free') sign, according to museum staff.

The group also used a drone to film the incident but it is unclear what nationality they were or what was the point of the sick ritual.

Museum guards at the site in the southern city of Oswiecim immediately intervened, and police said all those involved have been detained.

'The individuals will be transferred to a police station for questioning. A large group of police officers are at the scene,' local police spokeswoman Malgorzata Jurecka told AFP.

She said they plan to inform prosecutors of the incident.

'This is the first time something like this has happened at Auschwitz,' museum director Piotr Cywinski told AFP.

'I have no idea what their motives were.'

Nazi Germany built the Auschwitz death camp after occupying Poland during World War II.

The Holocaust site has become a symbol of Nazi Germany's genocide of six million European Jews, one million of whom were killed at the camp from 1940 to 1945.

Poland's chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said that the actions of those involved were wrong, regardless of the group's motives.

'Any use of Auschwitz for political statements, even using Auschwitz for moral statements, is not how Auschwitz should be remembered,' he told AFP.

'The Germans used Auschwitz to try to eliminate the Jewish people. Any happenings are a desecration of the memory of all those killed at Auschwitz, Jews, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma and others,' he added.

More than 100,000 non-Jews, including Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi resistance fighters also died at the death camp, according to the museum.

An estimated 232,000 of Auschwitz's victims were children.

Friday, March 24, 2017



Hi Yo Silver, Away! – It doesn’t get much better than this. "The William Tell Overture" by Giaochino Rossini. Many of us grew up watching the Lone Ranger and Tonto on black and white television. Years later, many of us watched the Glen Campbell show on TV as well.

This video is a clip of a younger Glen Campbell playing the William Tell Overture (with symphony orchestra) and dedicating it to Clayton Moore, who played the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto. You may never have seen Glen play like this before. This is world-class guitar playing and Campbell makes it look easy. The sounds of Glen Campbell on guitar and the symphony orchestra playing Rossini's "William Tell Overture" will take you back to those golden days of yesteryear, when the strains of the Rossini's masterpiece coming over the radio meant the Lone Ranger show was about to begin.


Perry: Did A&M shun due process in the name of 'diversity'?

By Rick Perry | Houston Chronicle | March 23, 2017

As Texas' first Aggie governor and as someone who was twice elected Yell Leader of Texas A&M University, I am deeply troubled by the recent conduct of A&M's administration and Student Government Association (SGA) during the Aggie student-body president elections for 2017-2018.

When I first read that our student body had elected an openly gay man, Bobby Brooks, for president of the student body, I viewed it as a testament to the Aggie character. I was proud of our students because the election appeared to demonstrate a commitment to treating every student equally, judging on character rather than on personal characteristics.

Unfortunately, a closer review appears to prove the opposite; and the Aggie administration and SGA owe us answers.

Brooks did not win the election. He finished second by more than 750 votes to one Mr. Robert McIntosh. However, McIntosh was disqualified by the SGA Election Commission and Judicial Court through a process that - at best - made a mockery of due process and transparency.

At worst, the SGA allowed an election to be stolen outright.

Here are the facts: Six hours after the election polls closed, the SGA Election Commission received 14 anonymous complaints, accusing McIntosh of voter intimidation. Rather than question McIntosh or conduct an investigation, the Election Commission immediately disqualified McIntosh and declared Brooks the winner. Later, the Commission added a second charge - again from an anonymous complaint - that McIntosh had failed to provide a receipt for glow sticks appearing in a campaign video on Facebook.

Now, as someone who appointed university regents for more than a decade, I assumed that the administration would have briefed the Board of Regents, considering the allegations of widespread voter intimidation and the disqualification of thousands of student votes. If anything is worthy of oversight, these events should qualify.

Incredibly, it appears that the Board of Regents was never informed.

Upon appeal, McIntosh was cleared of all charges of voter intimidation. None of the complaints were made by students who interacted with McIntosh, and many of the accusers turned out to be supporters of Brooks or his campaign volunteers. In other words, the entire episode that initially disqualified McIntosh was dismissed as a series of dirty campaign tactics.

The second charge of missing receipts was upheld by the Court, despite the fact that McIntosh had acquired the glow sticks for participating in a charity event prior to the campaign. Further, they were no different than visual props used by McIntosh's rivals' campaign videos - none of which were itemized or expensed.

In its opinion, the Judicial Court admitted that the charges were minor and technical, but, incredibly, chose to uphold the disqualification, with no consideration given to whether the punishment fit the crime. The desire of the electorate is overturned, and thousands of student votes are disqualified because of free glow sticks that appeared for 11 seconds of a months-long campaign. Apparently, glow sticks merit the same punishment as voter intimidation.

Now, Brooks' presidency is being treated as a victory for "diversity." It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for "diversity" is the real reason the election outcome was overturned. Does the principle of "diversity" override and supersede all other values of our Aggie Honor Code?

Every Aggie ought to ask themselves: How would they act and feel if the victim was different? What if McIntosh had been a minority student instead of a white male? What if Brooks had been the candidate disqualified? Would the administration and the student body have allowed the first gay student body president to be voided for using charity glow sticks? Would the student body have allowed a black student body president to be disqualified on anonymous charges of voter intimidation?

We all know that the administration, the SGA and student body would not have permitted such a thing to happen. The outcome would have been different if the victim was different.

Election Commissioner Rachel Keathley must explain why she chose to overturn a fairly won election and disqualify thousands of votes on the basis of anonymous complaints and flimsy technicalities. Chief Justice Shelby James must explain why she treated these cases as annoyances rather than with respect. The administration must explain why it stood passive while equal treatment was mocked in the name of diversity, and why officials did not brief the Board of Regents.

Campus diversity is something every school and student should strive to consistently improve. But it must be done the right way. The quality of diversity on a campus depends on fair treatment, rather than preferred outcomes or engineered results. McIntosh's treatment suggests that A&M is choosing preferred outcomes over equal treatment: that the ends justify the means, and that not every student is deserving of the same treatment.

That is precisely opposite from the values that I learned as an A&M cadet.

Robert McIntosh was not treated the same as his competitors.

If we do not serve him and the voting majority of students, then we fail every student at our beloved university - and tarnish the ring that our alumni wear with pride.

EDITOR'S NOTE: So far no one has accused Putin of stealing the Aggie election.


by Bob Walsh

It happened recently in Phoenix. A major tragedy. The nine-year old boy was shot in the head in the home, allegedly-maybe by the two-year old. That being said the mother, Wendy Lavarnia, delayed substantially in calling the ambulance so she could clean up evidence in what is alleged to be several rooms of the house.

Wendy Lavarnia, 28, and her ex-con husband, Kansas Lavarnia, are both currently under investigation for murder. The cops don't believe the story that the two-year old just happened to find a gun on the bed and happened to shoot the nine-year old in the head. Some of this disbelieve was triggered when the dead kid's father showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound on his arm that had been "reamed out" with a screwdriver in order to disguise the fact that it was a gunshot.

Kansas has been booked for first degree murder, child abuse and hindering prosecution. Wendy has been booked on suspicion of first degree murder. The DA has yet to file charges.

The couple have other children who have been moved into child welfare.

The authorities are unable to say whether the delay in calling for help was significant in the death of the nine-year old.


Tom had just finished reading a new book entitled, 'You Can Be THE Man of Your House.'

He stormed to his wife in the kitchen and announced, 'From now on, you need to know that I am the man of this house and my word is Law.

You will prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating my meal, you will serve me a sumptuous dessert.

After dinner, you are going to go upstairs with me and we will have the kind of sex that I want.

Afterward, you are going to draw me a bath so I can relax.

You will wash my back and towel me dry and bring me my robe.

Then, you will massage my feet and hands.

Then tomorrow, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?'

His wife replied, 'The funeral director would be my first guess.’

Thursday, March 23, 2017


California moves forward on new jailhouse snitch rules

By Tony Saavedra

Orange County Register
March 22, 2017

“Puppet” and “Bouncer,” a pair of jailhouse snitches who were paid $335,000 over a four-year window for working dozens of cases in Southern California, have inspired a state bill to limit the rewards given to criminal informants.

Assembly Bill 359 on Tuesday sailed unanimously through the state Assembly Public Safety Committee, passing its first hurdle. The bill next goes to the Assembly floor for a full vote at a yet-to-be determined date.

Under the bill, snitches like Mexican Mafia members Raymond “Puppet” Cuevas and Jose “Bouncer” Paredes would no longer be able to live like kings behind bars, raking in as much as $3,000 a case as well as cartons of Marlboro cigarettes, fast food, Xbox machines and other perks.

Court ledgers obtained by Southern California News Group show that between 2011 and 2015, police in Orange County paid $14,200 to the men, Riverside County paid $6,000 and law enforcement in San Bernardino County paid $3,750. The rest of the informant pay came from police agencies in Long Beach and Los Angeles County.

Police typically sent the men into jails to befriend suspects, usually other members of the Mexican Mafia, who hadn’t yet obtained legal representation. Cuevas and Paredes, in cells wired with recording devices, offered to help the suspects dodge a death penalty from the Mexican Mafia, but only if they confessed a complete history of their alleged crimes.

Court records indicate that both men were among the informants sometimes employed to get information from suspects who already have lawyers, a practice that violates federal law. The so-called snitch scandal also was mentioned by sponsors of AB 359 as inspiration for the law.

“The integrity of our criminal justice system is crumbling, and one contributing factor is California’s long history of unethical and illegal use of jailhouse informants, like we are seeing play out in Orange County,” said the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles.

“This bill is a small but significant step to make sure our criminal justice system does what it is intended to do, which is to deliver on the promise of justice for all.”

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office did not answer a request for comment, and the California District Attorneys’ Association reported that it had no opinion on the bill at this time.

The bill caps all monetary and nonmonetary payments to informants at $100 per case, including any investigatory work. Currently, the cap is $50 per case for testimony and no limit in compensation for investigation.

Additionally, the bill requires prosecutors to keep databases that track informant work and locations, and to turn detailed informant histories over to defense attorneys no later than 30 days before the preliminary hearing.

Prosecutors have repeatedly failed to turn over details of their informants’ past work with police, a violation of discovery law.

The use of jailhouse informants is mostly unregulated in California and often susceptible to abuse, because there is an incentive for snitches to lie in order to receive payment or lenient treatment in their own cases, often called “consideration,” experts say. Cuevas and Paredes received leniency on charges that could have kept them in prison for life.

Alexandra Natapoff, an expert on informants and a professor at Loyola Law School, said California is behind other states in regulating the use of jailhouse snitches, but the bill would be an important start.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Natapoff said. She added that while monetary incentives would be capped, the bill does not address the most important reward for informants: leniency in their own criminal cases.

“It’s a great first step, and the lesson from Orange County has only begun to resonate in Sacramento,” Natapoff said.

In Orange County, the district attorney’s office was booted in 2015 from the worst mass murder case in county history because the judge came to believe that deputies were hiding records about jailhouse informant. Additionally, six murder and attempted murder cases have resulted in overturned convictions, dismissed charges and lenient penalties because of problems with jail informants. The California Attorney General’s Office, the Orange County Grand Jury and the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division are each investigating the county’s snitch crisis.

The problems were first unearthed by Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders, while battling to spare mass killer Scott Dekraai the death penalty.

“The hidden and unregulated use of jailhouse informants, as we have seen in Orange County, breaks down the integrity of the criminal justice system in three key ways: Innocent people go to prison, justice for victims is delayed and public trust in the criminal justice system is eroded,” said a statement from Jones-Sawyer’s office.

“While informants can provide helpful information for sheriffs and district attorneys, and may help to obtain criminal convictions, it is essential that the means used be consistent with affording all defendants their constitutional rights to a fair process.”


by Bob Walsh

Sears informed the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday that there was a very real possibility that they would cease to function in the foreseeable future.

Brick and mortar retail is a tough way to make a living these days. Wards went belly-up many years ago. JC Penny almost did, and still might, after their old CEO made some HUGE marketing miscalculations.

You can buy a cup of overpriced coffee damn near on every block, but soon you might not be able to buy a dish washer in a face-to-face transaction.

Sometimes "progress" sucks.


by Bob Walsh

Susan Talamantes-Eggman is my local assemblywoman here in Stockton. She is a hard-core liberal (though is personally very pleasant). She has not, however, managed to absorb the old adage about the free lunch.

Ms. Eggman has proposed a piece of legislation that would make tuition FREE in the formerly state of California for state residents at community colleges and state universities.

Her proposal, AB 1356, would put an additional 1% income tax on persons earning more than $1 million a year in order to pay for this "free" higher education.

California's income is biased very heavily on high-income wager earners. About 1.5% of CA income tax payers pay about 50% of the state income tax. When the economy goes poorly, the state income tax revenue dips precipitously. As we all know it is difficult to take away freebies once they are given away. This could, if passed into law, become very, very expensive for Californians indeed.


by Bob Walsh

Yes it was indeed.

The emergency spillway at the Oroville dam came very close to structural failure over the weekend. Had it failed it would have covered Oroville in about 100 feet of water, which would have been bad. Fortunately they now have reduced the water level behind the dam to the point where they are no longer critically worried about it. The local authorities have kept a voluntary evacuation order in place but have lifted the mandatory evacuation order for many of the cities and downs downstream from the dam.

Within the next few days they are hoping to take the water level to the point where it is completely below the level of the structure of the emergency spillway, taking all of the pressure off of it. That is 50 feet below the maximum level of the lake. Then they can figure out what they are going to do about repairing the emergency spillway as well as the normal spillway. There are another three or four days of rain storms due starting Friday, but these storm will not carry nearly as much water as the last ones so the current spillway should be able to handle the intake OK. That will, of course, make the damage even worse for the standard spillway, but since it is toast anyway that doesn't seem to be a big deal.

The finger-pointing from the members of the political ruling class has started already. Remember the old axiom, it doesn't matter whose fault it is. It does matter who gets the blame. And of course who gets the government contracts to fix it.


by Bob Walsh

Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas has been doing pretty well in the diversity department until recently. They have a fair number of Muslim students. Those students would go into room C112 and pray a couple of times a day as their religion requires. This is a spare classroom and is used, among other things, for Buddhist meditation and for teachers to hang out and grade papers. This has been going on for seven years and apparently didn't bother anybody.

However it does bother the Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton. It seems that he believes the room is exclusive to Muslim students and that this discriminatory practice is of dubious legality. He has written the school board to express his concern.

The Frisco Independent School District board say the AG is full of shit. They further assert that the AG didn't even inquire about the practice before they went 5150 on it.

Last year Paxton dove into a lawsuit in Killeen, Texas to support a nurses aid who put up a Christian quotation from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on a banner in her school. The principal ordered the aid to take the banner down. Eventually a lawsuit was filed against the principal by the nurse with the support of Paxton. The lawsuit was successful.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


A contractor employed by AT&T installed a new cable in my neighborhood, but in doing so, knocked out AT&T’s U-Verse service to some 30 customers

The reason BGB and TUG have not had any postings the past few days ia because my internet service, together with my phone service, has been down for five days.

It seems as though AT&T employed a contractor to lay a new cable in my neighborhood. When they finished the job, some 30 customers were left without their U-Verse service. To add insult to injury, the contractor left a trailer with a big cable spool sitting on my front lawn instead of parking it curbside.

The contractor fucked up big time, apparently severing a bunch of phone lines in the process. I noticed that the workers, of which there were only a handful, all spoke excellent Spanish. Any illegals, I wonder?

AT&T’s crews have been working the past few days trying to repair the damage. Today there were 23 AT&T employees working around the corner from my house, attempting to restore the knocked out service.

Let’s see now, four or five non-English speaking contract workers fucked up my phone and internet service and it took at least 23 AT&T workers more than four days to restore. By using a contractor, AT&T obviously thought it was saving a bundle of money. Yeah, right!

Anyway, we’re back up and running. For starters, I’m posting what I intended to publish last Sunday. I’ll follow tomorrow with the posts Bob Walsh sent me the past few days..


Bruce Jenner: He or she? Does Brucella still have a dick?

BarkGrowlBite | March 22, 2017

Right now nothing is more controversial than the Privacy Act, better known as the Bathroom Law, which just passed the Texas state senate by an overwhelming majority. The bill passed despite opposition by the business community and blackmail efforts by the NFL and NBA in threatening to prevent their special events from being held in the state if a privacy act were to be enacted.

When North Carolina passed its bathroom law, the NFL and NBA immediately announced that the Super Bowl and the NBA All Star Game would no longer be held in that state. An assortment of celebrities, as can be expected, also weighed in. Beyonce, that pro-Black Panther, anti-police mega star, urged a boycott of the state. Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Moore and Sharon Stone are among those who have stated that they find the NC law ‘hateful’ and discriminatory.

Opponents of the Bathroom Law assert that it discriminates against transgenders and that its supporters are nothing but a bunch of lowdown bigots. Those on the left have joined with the LGBT political bloc in declaring that transgenders should be designated as a protected class.

Now what about those transgenders? Were they born that way? I don’t think so. Take former Olympian Bruce Jenner for example.

Brucella Jenner – oops, I mean Bruce, waited until his 60s to decide he was really a woman. And that was after three marriages and fathering six children, two with each of his wives. He didn’t develop a gender identification problem until he got mixed up with the Kardashians. He or she(?) chose the first name of Caitlyn. I thought Brucella was more appropriate.

So is Jenner a he or she? I’ll believe Caitlyn is a woman when Jenner can get pregnant.

Whether Jenner has a mental problem or whether his transformation is the phony attempt to resurrect a fading star we’ll probably never know. But what about the other transgenders, be they schoolchildren or young adults? If they were born boys they are really boys and if they were born girls they are really girls, both physically and mentally. If later in life they develop a gender identification problem, that’s a mental problem which can be cured with some serious head shrinking.

What about the accusation that the Texas Privacy Act bill is discriminatory? Horseshit! Show me where this bill if passed would discriminate against those seeking jobs, housing or medical care. All it does is to protect girls and women from having to use toilets and take showers together with men. That’s not being discriminatory!

As I’ve said before, I have a simple rule for the use of school and public bathrooms: The person who has a dick uses the Boys/Men’s room, the person who does not have a dick uses the Girls/Ladies room!

The bathroom law provides for the safety not only of normal people, but also for the transgenders who are liable to get the crap kicked out of them, or worse, by some angry father or husband if one with a dick enters a Girls/Ladies room.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.

A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.

Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.

I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.

Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.

Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-litre plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a litre is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.'

This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle.. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another litre of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.

The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?’ How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep.

At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point.

Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.

There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.

'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me...

'Ha ha,' I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.

Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.


by Bob Walsh

Jesus Alberto Geney Montes, 24. of Santa Clara, CA is never going to make it to 25. He was an immigrant from Columbia and wanted to become a forensic dentist. He was also unfortunately a crazy person with a knife and maybe a handgun, at least he was on March 9.

His mom and stepdad called the local cops when he was acting crazy and (among other things) stabbed himself. They said he had a gun and had barricaded himself in his bedroom. He fled out the window before the cops arrived but they found him hanging out on an overpass nearby. He refused to show his hands and they lit him up [using a Taser], with no effect. Montes then advanced at the cops and one of them shot his happy ass. He died. The cops did not find a gun. The whole incident was recorded on a body cam.


Lawyers argue that El Chapo’s First, Fifth and Sixth Amendments are being violated by the current terms of his imprisonment

BarkGrowlBite | March 18, 2017

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is currently a guest of Uncle Sam, but he is unhappy with his new digs at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan. The court appointed lawyers for the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel submitted a 24-page letter Monday to federal Judge Brian Cogan.

The lawyers argue that his First (freedom of expression), Fifth (right to a fair trial) and Sixth Amendment (right to an effective defense) rights are being violated by the current conditions of his confinement. The letter requests that El Chapo be removed from solitary confinement and housed in the general prison population.

Among El Chapo’s complaints are:

• He is not allowed to have any contact with his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro.

• He is confined in a small windowless cell.

• He is alone for 23 hours a day.

• He is only allowed out of his cell for one hour a day to exercise, but not on weekends.

• He only gets a brief glimpse of sunlight through a small window on the way to meet his Lawyers or to the exercise room.

• His meals are served through a small slot in the door.

• The cell lights are always on.

• He is freezing his ass off because the air conditioning is running 24/7.

• He is unable to discern night from day because a clock he purchased at the prison commissary was taken away from him with no reason given for the confiscation.

Now I ask, is this any way to treat such a distinguished guest of Uncle Sam?


While campaigning for the presidency last July, Trump said:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Here is an article about those criminals by Jennifer Doleac of the University of Virginia that I just received.

There is no empirical evidence that immigration increases crime in the United States

By Jennifer Doleac

February 14, 2017

The Issue:

One concern about immigration is whether immigrants are more prone to commit crimes than the native born population. This concern is not unique to the United States; it has affected policy in Europe, as a flood of immigrants has fled turmoil and war in the Middle East. But in the U.S. the issue took center stage during the presidential campaign when candidate Trump claimed that many Mexican immigrants are criminals, drug dealers, and rapists. President Trump has followed up on this position with an executive order calling on the Department of Homeland Security to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by "aliens." And, in recent days, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted raids across the country, purportedly targeting immigrants who “pose a threat to public safety.”

The Facts:

• One measure of how likely a particular group is to commit crimes is to look at what share of that population ends up in prison. Recent immigrants are far less likely to be incarcerated than their native-born peers, according to United States Census data (see chart). In 2010, 1.9 percent of immigrant men ages 18-40 were incarcerated compared to 3.2 percent of native-born males the same age. This does not appear to be due to the deportation of immigrants who commit crimes, but the result of an actual difference in criminal behavior (see this research paper for analysis).

• Studies using different data sources and approaches have also concluded that immigrants are generally less likely to commit crimes, and that – as a result – changes in immigration rates have little or no effect on public safety. Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth show that youth born abroad are less likely than youth born in the United States to be criminally active. A recent study that looks at flows of immigrants from Mexico concludes that Mexican immigration has no effect on violent or property crime in the United States. Research on immigration to the United Kingdom shows that waves of immigrants to that country had no effect on violent crime, although property crime increased slightly with an increase in asylum seekers, who largely came from the Middle East, and decreased with increased immigration from the European Union’s newest member countries in eastern Europe.

• One reason people might associate immigrants with crime is that they tend to have characteristics that generally result in lower employment opportunities, which is linked to higher incidence of crime in the general population. Immigrants face cultural and language barriers that are greater than those typically confronting native-born Americans. Many also have less education and more limited social networks that can help connect them with jobs. For these reasons, many immigrants face a more challenging employment situation than the native born. This might be expected to result in higher rates of crime, especially economically-motivated crimes such as theft or drug sales. However, as shown in the chart, there is consistently over time a lower share of immigrants who are incarcerated as compared to the native born.

• Lower immigrant incarceration rates may reflect the federal government screening out potential immigrants who are more likely to be engaged in criminal activity. But it is not just federal government selection that is at play here, but self-selection as well. Those who immigrate are motivated enough to sever ties to a homeland in the search for a better life for themselves and their families. Furthermore, the costs of getting caught committing a crime are higher for immigrants, who could face deportation, than for the native born.

• A recent effort to link local law enforcement with federal immigration authorities to increase the detection of immigrants who commit crimes appears to have had no effect on crime rates. The "Secure Communities" program, which was launched in 2008, enabled the automatic transmission of fingerprints from arrestees to the Department of Homeland Security to verify their immigration status. Before this program, checking the immigration status of people arrested for crimes usually required the presence of a federal officer in a local jail. In its first four years, Secure Communities led to the detention of over 250,000 immigrants and ultimate deportation of 200,000. However, a study that compared counties where the program was implemented with those that had yet to roll it out, found that the program had no meaningful reduction in the rates of violent crime –homicide, rape, robbery or aggravated assault—or in the overall crime rate.

What this Means:

There is no empirical evidence that immigration increases crime in the United States; indeed, the rate of incarceration of immigrants is consistently lower than that of the native born of similar ages. Policies that enable immigrants access to legal jobs could lead to even lower rates of crime. In Italy, legalization of immigrants – which allowed them to obtain legal employment – reduced their criminal activity. Conversely, United States policies that limited immigrants’ ability to work increased their rate of economically-motivated crime (such as drug offenses). Crime rates can also be affected if local police are tasked with enforcing immigration law since that that takes them away from other investigations and actions and, furthermore, could make immigrants in their community more hesitant to report crime, assist in investigations, and come forward as witnesses. Thus, police officers may find it more difficult to keep their communities safe when they, rather than federal immigration authorities, are required to enforce immigration laws.

Friday, March 17, 2017


By Howie Katz | Big Jolly Politics | March 16, 2017

The Democrats just can’t get over Trump’s thrashing of Hillary Clinton. They can’t blame Clinton’s loss on Bush, but Putin fits nicely in their playbook. That is, the Russians stole the presidency from Clinton, thereby making Trump an illegitimate president.

Anger over Clinton’s loss has led many on the left to hate Trump and to express their hated publicly. It’s been a long time in our history since a president has been so hated. I believe that because of this hatred, President Trump is in real danger of getting assassinated.

The internet is replete with hateful comments about Trump. That’s bad enough. But when celebrities express their hatred of Trump publicly, their inflammatory words and actions could lead to the assassination of our president.

Here are just three examples:

• During her performance at the British 2017 BRIT Awards, Katy Perry hung and set fire to skeletal effigies of Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

• During January’s Women’s March in Washington, Madonna expressed her anger over Trump’s election by telling the throngs that “I thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”

• In a new music video, Snoop Dog using a toy gun, shoots a clown resembling Trump.

While Katy Perry and Madonna’s disgusting capers are bad enough, Snoop Dog went way over the top in expressing his hatred of our president.

In an interview with Billboard, Snoop Dog said he was motivated to make the video because of “the ban [on immigrants] that this mother***er tried to put up, him winning the presidency, police being able to kill mother***ers and get away with it, people being in jail for weed for 20, 30 years.”

Snoop Dog, unlike Perry and Madonna, is nothing but a piece of excrement who struck it lucky as a rapper. He was a member of the Rollin' 20 Crips gang in Long Beach, California. Shortly after graduating from high school – give him credit for that – he was busted for possession of cocaine and spent the next three years in and out of jail.

There are too many crazies out there itching to be in the national spotlight, so that we do not need to have celebrities motivating them into attempting an assassination of our president.

What would have happened to Clint Eastwood had he expressed blowing up Obama’s White House? What would have happened to Kid Rock had he made a video in which he shot President Obama? There’s no doubt that Obama’s feds would have arrested them forthwith. And they would have probably been safer locked up than free to face the fury of Obama’s supporters.

Celebrities have every right to express their dislike or hatred of Trump, but not in a way that could lead to the assassination of our president. Shame on Perry, Madonna, Snoop and their ilk. There should be a special place in hell for them.


by Bob Walsh

Tani Cantil-Sakauye is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the formerly great state of California. And she is pissed off at ICE because she thinks (with some justification) that they are using courthouses to stalk illegal aliens, kind of like a leopard hanging by the only watering hole around to snag a gazelle.

The justice sent a letter to John Kelly, head of Homeland Security, requesting that ICE stop this practice. She did NOT question the agencies authority to do so, merely the wisdom in doing some from a public policy standpoint.

Presumably illegal aliens are not at the court house to serve jury duty so they are, again presumably, there because they are the subject of some court action. If they were not, then they would be wise to find another watering hole, thereby avoiding the leopard.

Personally it sounds to me like ICE is being smart, at least they know the illegals are (probably) not armed inside the court building and therefore unlikely to shoot down innocent by standers in an attempt to avoid capture. Or, in other words, fuck them.


Americans use far more opioids than anyone else in the world

By Keith Humphreys | The Washington Post | March 15, 2017

The number of opioid prescriptions has decreased in the past few years, after more than a decade of explosive growth. This reflects new practice guidelines underscoring opioids’ generally poor effectiveness at reducing chronic pain, increased monitoring of prescribers by government and health-care organizations, and widespread horror within and without medicine over the epidemic of opioid-related deaths.

Although reducing the number of prescriptions will decrease the number of people who become addicted to opioids, too many prescribing restrictions could deny opioids to patients who need and benefit from them. How can we know if and when prescribing controls have gone overboard and the population has insufficient access to prescription opioids? In short, how will we know if the effort to restrict opioids has gone too far?

United Nations data provide one important benchmark against which to judge how much more or less opioid consumption might be appropriate for a given country. And what it finds about the United States is jaw-dropping: Even when the list is restricted to the top 25 heaviest consuming countries, the United States outpaces them all in opioid use.

For example, Americans are prescribed about six times as many opioids per capita as are citizens of Portugal and France, even though those countries offer far easier access to health care. The largest disparity noted in the U.N. report concerns hydrocodone: Americans consume more than 99 percent of the world’s supply of this opioid.

One might think that Americans consume more opioids because as an aging population, they have objectively more aches and pains. But the U.S. population ranks only 42nd in the world in its proportion of people aged 65 or older. Countries with a much higher proportion of senior citizens than the United States, such as Australia and Italy, consume only a fraction of the prescription opioids of Americans.

If objective need doesn’t explain the relatively enormous prescription opioid consumption in the United States, what does? Economics, politics and culture are all likely at play.

Unlike most of the developed world, the United States puts minimal constraints on aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies, whether the target is patients, prescribers, or medical and scientific societies. U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers have been highly successful at promoting prescription opioids in this lightly regulated, profit-driven health-care environment.

The huge profits of opioid manufacturers and distributors translate into significant political clout, further supporting expanding U.S. opioid consumption. For example, as previously reported in The Washington Post, when federal drug agents began holding opioid distribution companies accountable for shipping massive numbers of opioids to pill mills, lobbyists from the industry successfully pressured the Justice Department’s leadership to curtail the investigation.

Cultural factors may augment U.S. opioid consumption, as well. Relative to Europeans, Americans have more faith that life is perfectible (e.g., all pain can be avoided). Consider, for example, a 55-year-old who feels acute back and leg pain after doing the workout that was easy when he was 25. A European in this situation might reflect sadly that aging and physical decay must be accepted as part of life, but an achy American might demand that his doctor fix what he sees as an avoidable problem by prescribing him opioids.

None of this means that some Americans don’t have a legitimate need for opioids, nor that U.S. doctors sometimes don’t prescribe opioids when they should. But it does suggest that before launching into hysteria that the recent, small drops in opioid prescribing reflect a “war on pain patients,” we should recognize that U.S. consumption dwarfs that of other developed countries that have older populations with better access to prescribing health-care providers.