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January 2016

Tenured Thugs and Thieves By Kevin D. Williamson

Professor Melissa Click of the University of Missouri criminally assaulted an undergraduate student and, though local prosecutors were slow to move on the case — there was video of the incident, and the facts were not in question — she eventually was charged with third-degree assault. She will not be convicted of a crime, and, so far, her tenure-track position is safe.

Ironies abound. Click, a professor of Lady Gaga studies (no, really), enjoyed an appointment in Mizzou’s journalism department, which for mysterious reasons is highly regarded. The undergraduate she assaulted was a student journalist going about his proper business, covering a campus protest of which Professor Click was one instigator.

The subject of what protest was, in part, “white privilege,” which the protesters held up in contrast to the purportedly rough and unfair treatment that African Americans, particularly young men, receive at the hands of the police.

Which brings up the obvious question: What do we imagine would have happened to a young black man who criminally assaulted a white female college professor — and then, as Professor Click did, attempted to instigate mob violence against her? On campus? On video?

There would have been handcuffs, at least. He almost certainly would not have been given the option of performing 20 hours of community service in exchange for deferred adjudication, which is the deal Professor Click is getting from Columbia’s shamefully cowardly prosecutor, Steve Richey. He would not be, as Professor Click is, on track to a lifetime sinecure from which he effectively cannot be fired.

Glenn Reynolds: To reduce inequality, abolish Ivy League -from November 2015

The problem of “inequality” looms over America like a storm cloud. According to our political and journalistic class, inequality is the single biggest problem facing our nation, with the possible exception of climate change. It is a desperate problem demanding sweeping solutions. President Obama calls it the “defining challenge of our time.” Hillary Clinton says we’re living in a throwback to the elitist age of “robber barons.” Bernie Sanders says inequality is the result of a “rigged economy” that favors those at the top while holding down those at the bottom.

In that spirit, I have a modest proposal: Abolish the Ivy League. Because if you’re worried about inequality among Americans, I can think of no single institution that does more to contribute to the problem.

As former Labor secretary Robert Reich recently noted, Ivy League schools are government-subsidized playgrounds for the rich: “Imagine a system of college education supported by high and growing government spending on elite private universities that mainly educate children of the wealthy and upper-middle class, and low and declining government spending on public universities that educate large numbers of children from the working class and the poor.

“You can stop imagining,” Reich wrote. “That’s the American system right now. … Private university endowments are now around $550 billion, centered in a handful of prestigious institutions. Harvard’s endowment is over $32 billion, followed by Yale at $20.8 billion, Stanford at $18.6 billion, and Princeton at $18.2 billion. Each of these endowments increased last year by more than $1 billion, and these universities are actively seeking additional support. Last year, Harvard launched a capital campaign for another $6.5 billion. Because of the charitable tax deduction, the amount of government subsidy to these institutions in the form of tax deductions is about one out of every $3 contributed.”

What to Do About the Bane of Inequality, A First Step By Roger Kimball

Are you worried about inequality? I am not. You are not supposed to say it, but inequality is an important motor of progress, as James Piereson has shown in The Inequality Hoax. But if the thought of inequality keeps you up at night, you should get behind Glenn Reynolds’ suggestion that we abolish the Ivy League. Really, is there a greater engine for the perpetuation of inequality than those bastions of wealth and (mostly white) privilege?

But perhaps outright abolishing Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and the other top colleges is a step too far. Maybe, as Glenn has also suggested, we should just address the issue by a little redistributive justice. For any college or university with an endowment of more than, say, $1 billion we 1) stop all federal subsidies and 2) require that they send, say, 10% – 15% of their endowment to a college that caters primarily to poor students.

The exact numbers are not critical. Maybe the threshold should be a $500 million endowment. Maybe the required transfer should be set to the current personal income tax floor, which I believe is 28%. The exact numbers are negotiable, but the principle should be obvious. If we’re against inequality, here is a concrete step we can take not only to make a statement but also make a difference. Make a Statement! Make a Difference! It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Yale’s endowment, for example, is about $25 billion. I reckon Howard College could do quite a lot with $4 or $5 billion.

Sweden’s dream turns to nightmare as migrant crime soars By Rick Moran

Sweden is one of the most welcoming countries in Europe, taking in more refugees per capita than anyone else.

But residents of at least one small town outside Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, are beginning to regret that open arms policy.

Mölndal is a quiet suburb of 63,000. But in the last year, more than 4,000 refugees – most of them unaccompanied minors from the Middle East and Africa – have set off a crime wave that culminated in the murder of a social worker in a refugee center that has shocked Europe.

Daily Mail:

The murder of social worker Alexandra Mezher at a home for unaccompanied refugees this week has shone the spotlight on the country’s controversial open-door immigration policy.

The 22-year-old’s mother Chimene, who arrived in Sweden as a refugee, claims the country is no longer safe.

Heartbroken Mrs Mezher said: ‘We left Lebanon to escape the civil war, the violence and the danger. We came to Sweden where it was safe, to start a family. But it is not safe anymore.’

Her husband Bourous, 45, moved to Sweden from Beirut in 1989 and built up a pizza business. Mrs Mezher, who has three sons, said: ‘She was not just my daughter, she was my angel. She was a just and fair human being. There were so many who loved her. She was my daughter, my friend.’

She blamed Swedish politicians for a dramatic rise in immigration in Molndal – particularly of unaccompanied children.

Mideast Christian Suffering, U.S. Denial by Raymond Ibrahim

Escaped eyewitnesses have reported that ISIS places Iraqi and Syrian Christians in cages or coffins and sets them on fire.

ISIS persecution of Christians “fits the definition of ethnic cleansing.” — Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial.

When a 1,400-year-old Iraqi Christian monastery was destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) most of the world condemned the demolition — except for spokesman for the U.S. military’s Operation Inherent Resolve, Col. Steve Warren.

“Thousands [of Iraqi Christians] have been killed, hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee,” said CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview with Col. Warren the other week. “There is legitimate fear — you’re there in Baghdad — that the long history of Christians living peacefully, productively in Iraq, is coming to an end. How worried should we be about the Christian community in Iraq?”

Col. Warren’s response: “Wolf, ISIL doesn’t care if you’re a Christian … We’ve seen no specific evidence of a specific targeting towards Christians.”

Except that roughly two-thirds of Iraq’s 1.5 million Christian citizens have been killed or forced to flee the country by ISIS and its jihadi predecessors over the past decade. This has nothing to do with their religious identity?

Proof that the man-made global warming theory is false By Seldon B. Graham, Jr.

There is scientific evidence that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is not a real phenomenon. Ironically, this evidence is simple, easy to find, has nothing to do with temperature, and is from the United States government. This proof is the proverbial elephant in the living room.

The anthropogenic global warming hypothesis originated from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is in two steps: “Increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide in the air; and increasing carbon dioxide in the air causes climate change.” Oil, natural gas and coal are called “fossil fuel” by the IPCC.

The first part of the hypothesis, that increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide in the air, has generally been a “given” in the past. Heretofore, it has received practically no scrutiny. It is the second part of the hypothesis, that increasing carbon dioxide in the air causes climate change, which has received many scientific arguments. Predictions into the future require “models” which require assumptions. It is said that assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups. Testing of models by the reliable and venerable Scientific Method has been unable to obtain reproducible test results. The second part of the hypothesis has never been proven.

Germany’s Merkel Expects Syrian Refugees to Return Home After War Recent changes of asylum laws will noticeably reduce the number of immigrants By Eyk Henning

FRANKFURT—Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel Saturday said she expects many refugees to leave Europe’s largest economy once the war in Syria is over, addressing public concerns the country won’t be able to cope with the continued influx of immigrants.

“We expect that once peace is restored in Syria” and once terror organization ISIS is curtailed, many refugees will return back home, Ms. Merkel told members of her conservative Christian Democratic Party at a gathering broadcast on German television channel ARD.

The recent changes of asylum laws will noticeably reduce the number of immigrants.

Last year, 1.1 million migrants—mainly Arabs, Afghans and Africans—came to Germany to escape war and hardship, many of them risking their lives to make the dangerous journey. Authorities have scrambled to accommodate the influx and Ms. Merkel is facing growing public discontent, especially after the alleged role of foreign-born men in the mass assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

Europe Chokes Flow of Migrants to Buy Time for a Solution As warmer weather draws nearer, pressure on borders is set to build By Valentina Pop and Anton Troianovski

Europe is bottling up migrants at the foot of the Balkans as its other plans for stemming the migration crisis flounder.

European Union member states have sent border guards, police vehicles and fingerprinting machines to Macedonia, a nonmember of the bloc. The goal: to squeeze the river of people still streaming north from Greece toward Germany into a trickle, turning away all but those from warn-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq.

The mounting restrictions are buying German Chancellor Angela Merkel time as she asks voters for patience and lobbies fellow EU leaders to implement what she promises will be a comprehensive solution to the migration crisis.

Ms. Merkel wants Turkey to dismantle smuggling networks that bring migrants across the Aegean Sea to Greece, and she wants Greece to set up large registration camps that would allow recognized refugees to be distributed across the EU.

But with the chancellor’s approach making little headway, many European policy makers say they have only until March to reduce the numbers from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa who are arriving in the Continent’s core, mainly Germany.




Early detection of lung cancer in smokers. Scientists at Tel Aviv University and Rabin Medical Center have discovered they can detect lung cancer early in smokers by performing a CT scan at the time they are admitted as pneumonia patients. Often, the pneumonia is caused by young cancer cells blocking air pathways.

The reason lack of sleep leads to obesity. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have detailed for the first time how human biological clocks work in tandem with intestinal gut bacteria to control blood sugar levels. Digestion suffers when the schedules of the gut bacteria are interrupted by late-night wakefulness.

Why the blind have better hearing. Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered how the brain compensates for the loss of one of the senses (e.g. sight) by improving another (e.g. hearing). They studied the simple roundworm and manipulated synapses to control the sensory ability of the organism.

US approval for smartphone blood sugar monitor. Israel’s LabStyle has received US FDA approval for its Dario device for measuring blood sugar levels using a smartphone. It already has approval for European sales.

Turning rehabilitation into a fun exercise. Israeli startups BioGaming and Motorika use virtual-reality and robotics technology to introduce fun into physical therapy exercises. BioGaming’s algorithms power a Microsoft Kinect 3D motion-capture camera. Motorika’s robotics enable neurological and orthopedic rehab.

ZAKA secures official U.N. status. (TY algemeiner and Dan) The Israeli emergency response organization ZAKA has received official consultative status from the United Nations. ZAKA will now be recognized as an official body in the U.N., which will help it to expand its international search, rescue and recovery missions.

NIS 300 million more for health. Eighty-three new medications and medical technologies were added to Israel’s “health basket” on Thursday, benefiting 108,500 patients at the cost of NIS 300 million. Cancer treatments include myeloma, leukemia, pancreatic, kidney, prostate, breast, ovarian, lung and more.

The top Israeli responder. (TY Janglo) The average Hatzalah emergency response volunteer will attend to some 300 calls annually, but 58-year-old Yehuda Londner of Bnei Brak recorded an impressive 2,370 calls last year. In 29 years with Hatzalah and Magen David Adom he has responded to over 45,000 emergency calls.

Novotalk founder’s startup cured his stutter. The founder Novotalk (see Dec 27 newsletter) Moshe Rot describes how he suffered from stuttering since age 3. Then at age 22 he went for fluency shaping at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. He started up Novotalk to teach and reinforce the skill online at much less cost.

In First Public Visit to US Mosque, Obama’s Choice Hosted Global Jihadist Leaders Lori Lowenthal Marcus

President Obama plans to visit a U.S. mosque for the first time, but the one he’s chosen has hosted at least two major jihadist leaders.

Barack Obama is in the final stretch of his time as President of the United States. It was announced on Sunday that Obama will make his first public appearance at a U.S. mosque to show solidarity with Muslims, whom many blame for all those terrorist attacks they commit.

The White House announced that Obama would be visiting the Islamic Society of Baltimore, which is located in Woodlawn, Maryland, just west of Baltimore. The ISB started in 1969 as a prayer group at Johns Hopkins University, which is located in Baltimore, according to the mosque’s website. A little more than a decade later, the community purchased an eight acre plot of land where the mosque is now located, as well as a school and a multi-purpose hall.

The vision of the ISB is “to be the anchor of a growing Muslim community with diverse backgrounds, democratically governed, relating to one another with inclusiveness and tolerance, and interacting with neighbors in an Islamic exemplary manner.”

Background information about the ISB uncovered a singularly alarming fact: two of the greatest supporters and promoters of a global Islamic caliphate spoke at ISB at least once, according to a “former regular.” This person commented that because it is located near Washington, D.C., “often celebrity guest speakers show up out of the blue. Like Dr. Israr Ahmed, Anwar al-Awlaki and many others.”