• Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 01:01 AM
    Battle lines are forming over what could be one of the most contentious fights about housing in California in decades. I’m talking about Proposition 10, the November ballot initiative that would overturn California’s Costa-Hawkins Rent Control Act and let local governments impose any form of rent control on any type of rental housing within their jurisdictions. “The future of California is at stake here,” said Ken Rosen, chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Economics at UC Berkeley and a fierce opponent of the measure. What the measure boils down to is whether housing “is an essential, like a human right — something that everyone needs and deserves, or whether one views housing as just another commodity that should be bought and sold and rented without limits,” said Prop. 10 supporter Dean Preston, executive director of Tenants Together, a statewide nonprofit for renters rights. The Legislature passed Costa-Hawkins in 1995, after some cities had enacted aggressive rent control rules in response to housing shortages and affordability issues. The law said cities (and counties for their unincorporated areas) could limit rent increases — what we think of as rent control. But it said rent control could not apply to single-family homes or condos of any age or to multifamily buildings first occupied after Feb. 1, 1995 (or earlier if a city already had rent control with a previous cutoff date). It also said owners of rent-controlled properties could charge whatever they want after a tenant moves out, but once the new tenant moves in, rent increases would be subject to the annual limit. This is known as vacancy decontrol. If Prop. 10 passes, local jurisdictions could impose rent control on all property types, including single-family properties and new construction. They also could prevent landlords from charging whatever they want when a unit turns over. This is known as vacancy control. If voters approve the measure, most local governments — or their citizens through the initiative process — would still have to adopt rent control, or modify an existing program to tighten their rules. However, some cities that had strict rent control ordinances before 1995 still have them on the books and just stopped enforcing provisions that Costa-Hawkins struck down. If Prop. 10 passes, “they wouldn’t have to pass a statute, they could just flip a switch” and start enforcing the old provisions, said Debra Carlton, senior vice president with the California Apartment Association.
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  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:55 AM
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed President Hassan Rouhani's suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped and said negotiations with the United States would be an "obvious mistake".Rouhani's apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighbouring countries came in reaction to looming U.S. sanctions and efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil. "(Khamenei) said remarks by the president ... that 'if Iran's oil is not exported, no regional country's oil will be exported,' were important remarks that reflect the policy and the approach of (Iran's) system," Khamenei's official website said. Iranian officials have in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action. Khamenei used a speech to foreign ministry officials on Saturday to reject any renewed talks with the United States after President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from a 2015 international deal over Iran's nuclear programme. "The word and even the signature of the Americans cannot be relied upon, so negotiations with America are of no avail," Khamenei said. It would be an "obvious mistake" to negotiate with the United States as Washington was unreliable, Khamenei added, according to his website. The endorsement by Khamenei, who has the last word on all major issues of state, is likely to discourage any open opposition to Rouhani's apparent threat. Khamenei also voiced support for continued talks with Iran's European partners in the nuclear deal which are preparing a package of economic measures to offset the U.S. pullout from the accord.
    5 replies | 87 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:44 AM
    As far as I know that isn't normal, it's one of those little things that doesn't prove anything but smells of a faked or at least manipulated event.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
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    Today, 12:42 AM
    That is what they tell you, and the physician and the EMTs could have been ringers or bought off. I don't say yet that it is a faked death but unless you were there you can't really be sure these days. In any case it make little difference to us, what matters most is that they are pushing gun-control again, if anyone ever finds out any reason Bush would have to want him dead that also matter.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:44 PM
    Unfortunately the world is filled with weird people. Then there is always the possibility of a faked death, then she would have no reason to be grief stricken, if she were to die mysteriously soon it would make that explanation more likely.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:31 PM
    Why would Bush choose now? Or why would the wife? I have no idea why Bush would choose now but I could imagine reasons, I assume the wife didn't choose the time, she either was approached with an offer to pull off the killing which she couldn't successfully do on her own or she was bullied/bribed after the fact.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:25 PM
    Maybe or maybe they approached her ahead of time.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:19 PM
    Nope, just analyzing why the wife would cooperate.:monocle:
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:53 PM
    Israeli tanks fired on a Hamas military post in the Gaza Strip on Saturday after Palestinians infiltrated across the border, the Israeli army spokesman said. Al Aqsa Radio, a Gaza station, said the Palestinians broke into an Israeli army post, vandalized it, seized military equipment, then returned to Gaza. The army spokesman’s office was checking the report, according to a text message. More at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-21/israeli-tanks-fire-on-hamas-post-in-gaza-after-infiltration?cmpId=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo
    2 replies | 74 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:51 PM
    It's cheaper than divorce. Yes there are people that evil.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:48 PM
    And those thugs were what?..........................................MEN There kind has existed since Cain and will exist until GOD ends the world and separates the goats from the sheep. Tyranny is the natural state of man.
    728 replies | 12449 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:45 PM
    Money and threats can cause very unnatural behavior.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:41 PM
    Every evil act he commits buys him more life from the darkside, the returns are beginning to diminish but he really doesn't want to meet his maker yet.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:37 PM
    Nice try at ignoring the corrupt, it is more efficient to steal than to build and many unscrupulous people understand that, they will organize and prey on everyone else. If the natural state of man is to "form societies and work together to serve their respective rational self-interest" how did we get where we are? Did aliens come down and create tyranny?
    728 replies | 12449 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:34 PM
    Just the way Shrub Sr. likes it.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 10:27 PM
    Police have released a suspect sketch and appealed to the public for information in the shooting death of George H.W. Bush's cardiologist, who was fatally shot while cycling to work. Dr Mark Hausknecht, 65, was gunned down by another man on a bike as he rode through Texas Medical Center on Friday morning. Police have not revealed whether they suspect the murder was random or targeted. Investigators described the suspect as a white or Hispanic male, about 30 years old, five-foot-10 with a slender build and clean shaven. He was last seen wearing a tan baseball cap, sunglasses, a grey warmup jacket and khaki shorts. On Saturday, Hausknecht's devastated widow, emergency medicine physician Dr Georgia R. Hsieh, broke her silence in a statement to the Houston Chronicle. ''Senseless' has become a trite adjective to describe these tragedies, but what IS senseless is the misguided notion that any society with more guns is a safer society,' Hsieh wrote. 'When students cannot go to school without fear, and teachers need to arm themselves, what has this country come to?' she continued. Hsieh said that as an emergency room doctor, she is 'no stranger to the devastating consequences' of gun violence.
    34 replies | 181 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:23 PM
    It has restrained government, it may not have restrained it enough but we are better off because of it. The natural state of the world is tyranny, the farther away from tyranny you get the harder it is to defeat the gravitational pull back to the natural state, on the other hand you can't take the guilt on yourself for creating and maintaining a system that is too close to tyranny so you must create a limited government to protect the rights of the citizens from enemies foreign and domestic and engage in eternal vigilance to stop or at least slow the decay back to tyranny. Man doesn't have the capacity to create paradise in this mortal life.
    728 replies | 12449 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 09:57 PM
    The best argument is that it is unavoidable, the corrupt will organize and impose themselves on others if allowed to and the only way to successfully defend against them is to create a limited government.
    728 replies | 12449 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 09:48 PM
    Iran's Tasnim News Agency reported on July 21 that militants killed 10 Iranian soldiers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps at a post on the Iraqi border, Reuters reported. The Iranian news agency quoted an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps statement that blamed the attack on the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, a separatist group in Iran. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/iran-militants-kill-10-iranian-troops-near-iraqi-border
    190 replies | 5723 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 09:43 PM
    Despite laws mandating a vigorous 9-year program of communist indoctrination for all children, a growing number of Chinese parents are risking the ire of their brutal rulers to educate their kids at home. In fact, the number of home-educating families appears to be soaring. Because homeschooling is illegal in China, estimates on the number of homeschooled children vary widely. But according to figures released by the 21st Century Education Research Institute and cited in an article in the South China Morning Post, the number of homeschooled children tripled in just three years, going from 2,000 in 2013 to 6,000 by 2016. Other anecdotal evidence suggests the numbers are far, far higher. On Chinese social-media service WeChat, for instance, the China Home-schooling account, an alliance of parents and educators, has more than 23,000 members. Because the Chinese regime monitors and strictly controls what happens online, the real number of home-educating families may be even higher than that. The growth in home education has sparked concern among the regime's education bureaucrats. According to the SCMP report, the growing public interest in escaping Beijing's indoctrination program cause the “Education Ministry” to release a statement warning parents that “it’s forbidden to conduct home-schooling education to replace the compulsory education uniformly enforced across the country.” More at: http://freedomproject.com/the-newman-report/730-homeschooling-in-communist-china-on-the-rise-despite-ban
    0 replies | 25 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 09:02 PM
    The Department of Justice late Friday released via the FBI's FOIA Vault a redacted copy of the Carter Page FISA warrant application and several renewals, which accuse Page of being a Russian spy, as summarized by the New York Times - which obtained a copy of the materials through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. Of note, in the nearly two years since the application was filed, Page hasn't been charged with any of the allegations contained within it. The previously top-secret document is the first such release by the DOJ in the 40 years since the surveillance law was enacted. In April, the DOJ said they were "processing for potential redaction and release certain materials related to Carter Page,” after watchdog group Judicial Watch and several other organizations filed similar lawsuits. The application reads in part: Identity of the target The target of this application is Carter W. Page, a U.S. person, and an agent of a foreign power, described in detail below." "The F.B.I. believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government,” the warrant application continues. A line was then redacted, and then it picked up with “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law. Mr. Page is a former foreign policy adviser to a candidate for U.S. president.” -NYT The document then concludes that Page was allegedly "collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government," which they viewed as probably cause to spy on him - and again, which Page has never been charged with.
    371 replies | 15413 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 08:54 PM
    Ukraine has summoned the Italian Ambassador to Ukraine Davide La Cecilia over a statement made by the Interior Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini (whose League political party is now the most popular in Italy) on his recognition of the annexation of Crimea by Russia and his slamming the 2014 Euromaidan protests and coup in Kiev as “pseudo-revolution” sponsored from abroad. "We are responding. On Monday, we will meet with the Italian ambassador. He is a very nice person. I understand that he cannot be responsible for the words of their politicians, especially given that that one politician went to Crimea and just returned from Moscow, where, according to our information, he met with Putin," Olena Zerkal, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister, told the local Channel 5 on Friday." Ukraine was infuriated by Salvini's comments made during his interview with the Washington Post, published earlier this week. WaPo senior associate editor Lally Weymouth tried to grill the minister over his support for Crimea’s return to Russia, calling the referendum that took place in Crimea in 2014 "fake." Q. You said that Russia had a right to annex Crimea? A. There was a referendum. Q. It was a fake referendum. A. point of view. . . . There was a referendum, and 90 percent of the people voted for the return of Crimea to the Russian Federation. Salvini shot back, saying "compare it to the fake revolution in Ukraine, which was a pseudo-revolution funded by foreign powers – similar to the Arab Spring revolutions" adding that "There are some historically Russian zones with Russian culture and traditions which legitimately belong to the Russian Federation." Ukraine's Foreign Ministry angrily responded that Salvini words were "not grounded in real facts and in contradiction of recognized principles and norms of international law." Zerkal also downplayed Salvini’s words on Friday by saying that "it was hard to expect any different rhetoric from him," following the "pro-Russian" Salvini’s recent visit to Crimea as an Italian lawmaker.
    2 replies | 49 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:22 PM
    Walk slowly, cats have a compulsion to chase fast moving objects.
    6 replies | 77 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 08:07 PM
    Airbnb Inc. has taken a page straight from the Peter Thiel playbook of litigation funding. Thiel, an American billionaire, secretly funded Hulk Hogan’s privacy case against now-defunct Gawker Media. Investors placing bets on lawsuits have long operated under a veil of secrecy. As litigation funding becomes more well known in the United States, it seems as the online home-rental company is now providing financial assistance for a lawsuit brought by one of its hosts against New York City, as the startup gears up for a vicious fight with officials. Plaintiff Stanley “Skip” Karol, a 56-year-old Airbnb host who has lived in the same two-family home in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, for 57 years, sued New York City in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Wednesday, accusing Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration of retaliating against him for speaking out in support of home rentals. About a week after Karol appeared at a city council hearing to criticize the de Blasio administration and the proposed anti-Airbnb legislation, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) hand-delivered Karol at his home, four summonses which in total demanded payment of up to $32,000 in fines. “Of all the Airbnb listings in the entire city, the City chose to go after mine — just days after I raised concerns that their hotel-backed legislation could jeopardize my privacy and rights,” Karol said in a statement. “I believe that the City has sought to silence me, by not only saddling me with massive fines, but also making me feel unsafe in my own home. Such retaliation is not acceptable — and should be deeply disturbing to all New Yorkers.” According to Bloomberg, the suit was filed hours before the new law passed (45-to-0 in a city council vote) on Wednesday, which would require Airbnb and other home-rental sites to disclose the names and addresses of hosts. The bill is designed to help city officials combat illegal short-term stays. Airbnb strongly opposes the new law, saying it would violate the privacy of law-abiding hosts.
    0 replies | 38 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:59 PM
    Though perhaps a drop in the bucket when compared to the over $1 billion the US has already acknowledged providing Kiev since 2014, the Pentagon announced Friday afternoon that it will provide Ukraine with $200 million in security assistance which an official statement says will go toward "additional training, equipment and advisory efforts to build the defensive capacity of Ukraine’s forces." The move's timing, however, is what is sure to have a greater symbolic impact as it came the same day the White House rejected Russian President Putin's proposed referendum for the contested separatist Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. A spokesman for the White House National Security Council announced at the end of a week of intense media speculation as to the contents of Trump and Putin's closed door summit in Helsinki on Monday, "The administration is not considering supporting a referendum in the eastern Ukraine." Even as Trump personally tweeted the summit was "a great success" and has expressed hope for warmer relations between the two nuclear armed powers, the Pentagon statement has thrown cold water on such optimism as it will surely be seen by Russia as an escalatory shot across the bow. Crucially, the Pentagon announcement further contains this not so insignificant detail: The security cooperation builds on Ukraine’s recent adoption of the Law on National Security. This law, which provides a legislative framework for aligning Ukraine’s national security architecture with Euro-Atlantic principles, constitutes a major step toward Ukraine’s goal of achieving NATO interoperability. The implementation of these reforms will bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure and democratic Ukraine. No doubt Pentagon press officers wrangled over just how they would phrase the line about "NATO interoperability" — sufficiently jolting to the Russians yet also sufficiently ambiguous enough to wriggle around the persistent Russian charge that the US policy is ultimately all about bringing Ukraine into the NATO fold. Breaking: DoD shipping $200 million to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/1RjXkRsyJ5 — David B Larter (@DavidLarter) July 20, 2018 While "interoperability" can mean many things — for example Finland is officially non-aligned yet is what NATO affirms as among its "most active partners" — it will be sure to put US-Russian rhetoric back on the same belligerent path which marked relations prior to the Trump-Putin meeting.
    0 replies | 38 view(s)
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Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Robert Heinlein

Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

Groucho Marx

I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

Linus, from the Peanuts comic

You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

Alexis de Torqueville

Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

A Zero Hedge comment

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