New Trade Deal With Mexico and Canada

Replacing NAFTA. US, Mexico, Canada sign USMCA trade deal.

US officials said the negotiated revisions to USMCA included stronger environmental and labor standards that would benefit US workers, as well as increased wages and greater powers for unions in Mexico.

Not sure what Canada gets, aside from not being locked out.

Problems with Lithium Batteries?

It can’t be. The media keeps telling my how great they are. EDITORIAL: Battery car burdens appear worse with each new report.

This is both the story of political corruption, and the devastating impact of lithium mining.

First, the perception of corruption. (I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.)

In 2018, [Colorado Governor John] Hickenlooper forced battery cars on Colorado with an executive order to adopt California’s emissions mandate. He signed it two months after boarding a luxury jet owned by the brother of battery car magnate Elon Musk to attend a Musk family celebration. The trip initiated one of several ethics investigations of the former governor.

Then there is problems with lithium mining.

A separate review published Nov. 6 in the science journal Nature raises extraordinary concerns about child labor, battery disposal dangers, and mining practices that make fracking seem relatively harmless.

“The processing of large amounts of raw materials can result in considerable environmental impacts,” the report says. “Production from brine, for example, entails drilling a hole in the salt flat, and pumping of the mineral-rich solution to the surface. … this mining activity depletes water tables. In Chile’s Salar de Atacama … 65% of the region’s water is consumed by mining.”

Cobalt mining has problems of child labor. Nickel mining contaminates fresh water and marine ecosystems in various places around the world, including Canada and Russia.

On Why the GOP Establishment Hates Trump

Because they are denizens of the Swamp, just like the Democrats. Attention Republicans: Stop Scapegoating Others for Your Own Personal Failures.

This is one of those posts where I want to quote the whole thing. It is wide ranging and but it comes down to why the GOP establishment is so completely out of touch with the people who voted for the GOP candidate.

The people who ran the Republican Party into the toilet — the people who were part of the Bush/McCain/Romney money train — don’t want to accept responsibility for their failure, and so they blame the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump

But seriously, go read the whole thing.

The Left Hates Free Speech

No surprise really. Professor Demands Censorship.

Thomas J. Main is a professor in New York City. Of course he is.

As Stacy McCain does, I give Thomas Jefferson the last word.

Permit me to quote a Virginia slave owner:

“Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself … she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”

So wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

There is more on the Liberal Professor, and more from The Other McCain. Go read the whole thing.

Oh, Those Lovable Socialists And Their Internment Camps

The names change, but the strategies remain the same. NorCal City Asks Permission to Essentially Incarcerate Homeless Population.

So there are a lot of homeless people in California. (It is impossible to build affordable housing, and government programs to do so are just scams.) So the mayor of Redding, California wants to lock people up, because that is what communists and socialists do. But hey, it is a “state of emergency” or something.

As Vice points out, that’s basically incarceration. “There’s a lot of reasons why this kind of approach is not likely legal,” National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty legal director Eric Tars tells the publication. “I would call it an internment camp, or a concentration camp. If it’s not a jail, then what else could it possibly be?”

The hat tip goes to MaddMedic at Freedom Is Just Another Word… who notes the historical precedents.

Once they get started who is next?

Once they outlaw guns…

Think Hitler/Stalin/Mao….

It is a fair question. If you can be locked up for interfering with (or disagreeing with) your socialist betters’ way of life, where does it end? Why, where it always ends, of course.

Fake News Gets You Fired?

I thought fake news got you a promotion. She must not have gotten the memo on “keep it believable.” ‘Journalist’ Who Wrote Trump Thanksgiving Lie Fired.

“President Donald Trump has been spending his Thanksgiving holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, which he calls the ‘winter White House,’ and this year is no exception,” [Jessica] Kwong [a self-described political reporter] originally wrote.

Kwong asserted that Trump would be golfing, tweeting and more during Thanksgiving.

Except, that isn’t what he was doing. He was in Afghanistan having Thanksgiving with the troops. Oops. President Trump surprises US troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving, marking his 1st trip to that country. That was apparently too much, even for Newsweek.

Kwong claims that her abject failure at reporting the truth behind Trump’s Thanksgiving activities was simply “an honest mistake.”

More like a “dishonest mistake.” But then the Left can’t help tripping over themselves to bash Trump. Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing. Unfortunately now that she’s out of work, Jessica Kwong won’t have access to mental health services to help her deal with it. Well, there is always Obamacare.

Amazon Scrubs Site to Remove Auschwitz Christmas Ornaments

Because nothing says “Happy Holidays” like an image of the most famous Nazi death camp from WWII. Or something. Amazon pulls Auschwitz-themed Christmas ornaments, although other Holocaust merchandise remains on site.

The bath towel is over the top.

Books. Music. A couple of jigsaw puzzles. One video. These are the only things that remain.

Are these in bad taste? Sure. Should they be removed from Amazon? I don’t think so. People should be free to be idiots.

But it’s good to see Amazon pulled up short over stuff they are doing to others.

The End of Freedom in Germany?

But then I’m not sure Germans have really had freedom in over a Century. Not during WWI, and definitely not during WWII. And I don’t think they’ve had much since then. It isn’t getting better. Angela Merkel and German ‘Freedom’ of Speech.

Germany can limit “Hate Speech.” Define Hate Speech. It isn’t possible. I don’t like communism. I point out how communism has killed hundreds of millions of its own citizens. You get triggered and call me a hater for casting aspersions on your hero Marx, or the Russians or the People’s Republic of China. It gets even worse if we talk about illegal immigration because then you call me a racist. My speech about economics and history and open borders gets censored.

Instead of violence, which is a physical act, language is entirely abstract. Merkel’s definition applies an immeasurable emotional filter to language in order to drag it from the abstract to the physical. By speaking of hatred and dignity as if they are physical bodies of flesh and bone that can be torn or cut, Merkel deliberately destroys the boundaries between words and violence. Is it any wonder why the phrase “speech is violence” is now widely accepted?

As they say, go read the whole thing.

Media Bias? What Media Bias?

And there’s no UN bias either. Or something. Retractions issued after media cites UN expert who accredited statistic to Trump admin.

The statistics in question were of migrant-child detention numbers. A U.N. expert for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty claimed the Trump administration detained nearly 100,000 migrant children. However, the following day, Nowak, issued a correction to his statement saying the 100,000 figure was from 2015, during the Obama administration.

Because they couldn’t wait to jump on the Trump administration… But it’s funny how when these detentions were actually going on (in 2015) it wasn’t a news item. I guess Democrats get a pass on everything.

And as usual, the Babylon Bee has an interesting take on the, “Sorry, this was 2015” kerfuffle.

“Do Something!” – Even If It Is Insane

The Future is Stupid. Swedish Police Respond To Shocking Rising Crime Levels By Inviting Gang Leaders For Pizza.

Explosions in Malmö, which is home to several no go zone migrant ghettos, are becoming commonplace, with the city suffering three blasts in the space of just 24 hours earlier this month.

An alarming 29 per cent of residents in Malmö say they have been victims of of crimes against an individual.

According to Wilhelm Agrell, professor of intelligence analysis at Lund University, the situation is so dire that it threatens the power monopoly of the Swedish state.

Paul Joseph Watson is angry. But he’s right. Second City Cop says that they pulled this brainstorm straight out of Chicago’s playbook. And we know how well that has worked.

Journalists Are Distraught That Newspapers Are a Business

And it hasn’t been a very good business for a very long time. Tribune stock sale leaves company vulnerable to hedge fund known for ‘cutting costs to the bone’.

Alden Global Capital, which controls Media News Group, and owns about 100 publications, just bought a 25.2% stake in Tribune Publishing.

While that company no longer owns Tribune Tower (a classic bit of real estate that anchors one end of the Magnificent Mile, at the Chicago River), it does have some control over The Freedom Center. The plant where both the Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times are printed. It was actually part of the site included in Chicago’s bid for Amazon HQ 2.0 (or whatever it was being called.)

In written testimony for the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, NewsGuild [a labor union] President Bernie Lunzer said Alden has slashed employment by 71% at the unionized papers since 2012. Lunzer said Alden “has slashed staff and sold real estate to extract cash from the news organizations without regard to the role news organizations play in communities.”

In other words, “We know newspapers are running out of money, but that doesn’t mean we should stop doing things exactly the way we’ve always done them.”

And some papers are changing. The Chicago weekly The Chicago Reader (which was about 99 percent classified ads when I was in college), and the Salt Lake Tribune are reorganizing as “non-profits.” Which may be a recognition of reality and not a strategy.

“Basically, being nonprofit is a tax status and not a business model,” [Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University] said.

Classified ads (of the print variety) were killed off by Craigslist and Ebay. Other ads were killed off by the internet in general. If you want new tires for your vehicle, would you search out today’s edition of your local paper to see who had what prices, and if there were any sales? When was the last time you read a newspaper? I’m guessing that the kids today would think getting ink on your fingers is gross.

Baltimore Politics

A Democratic Mayor charged with corruption? Color me shocked. Former Baltimore Mayor Pugh faces 11-count indictment for wire fraud, tax-related charges. OK, so I’m not that shocked.

A grand jury has indicted Pugh on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and two counts of tax evasion, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland.

She was mayor of Baltimore from December of 2016 until she took a leave of absence in April of 2019 and she resigned in May of 2019.

The indictment alleges that from Nov. 2011 until March 2019, Pugh conspired with Brown Jr. to defraud purchasers of Healthy Holly books to “enrich themselves,” promote Pugh’s political career, and fund her campaign for mayor.

Innocent until proved guilty… etc. etc.

The Breakdown of Order in Baltimore Continues

They are on pace for a bad year in Baltimore. Baltimore hits 300 homicides for fifth year in a row.

Two people were killed in front of a grocery store on Nov. 13.

Their deaths marked the city’s fifth consecutive year with at least 300 homicides. The staggering total has become an unofficial milestone in Baltimore’s annual struggle to quell the deadly violence.

For a city Baltimore’s size, that is a staggering number of homicides. (Hat tip to Shot in the Dark.)

And it isn’t just murders. Other crime is also on the rise. Carjackings spike continues in Baltimore, with incidents up 30% from this time last year.

Between 2014 and 2018, the number of carjackings more than tripled, and they’re up again this year.

There have been more than 400 carjackings across Baltimore through Sept. 28, up 29 percent from last year, according to police data. Other auto thefts, while far more common, are down 8.6%.

When do things get so bad, that the people demand a change? I’m sure somehow this is situation is all the Republicans’ fault or Trump’s fault, (according to the Democrats) but that will be hard to sell to anyone who considers that last Republican mayor of Baltimore left office in 1967.

Boston is Getting Rid of Christmas

Tell me again why we allow a few malcontents to ruin everything?.

Santa will be at the event but he will not arrive in a town firetruck as he has in the past.

That would be too religious, because of the part in the Bible where Santa arrives at the manger aboard a firetruck to bestow gifts of gold, frankincense, myrrh, and an Xbox upon the Baby Jesus.

This whole thing brings to mind “No Christmas for You!” from Foamy the Squirrel. Even though it is too early in the season for Foamy and way too early for Christmas… FYI – Foamy drops a lot of F-bombs. If you’re at work, use some headphones.

Chicago’s Recipe for More Crime

Because actually putting violent felons in prison would be unfair. Or something. Gunday: A look at how the courts are handling some recent weapons charges in Chicago.

First guy – recently arrested, and charged with felony unlawful use of a firearm.

On July 14, 2018, a 20-year-old man told police that Doughtery and another man approached him on the 5400 block of North Kenmore around 3:30 p.m. Dougherty told the man, “Nice book bag. I need that,” and then struck the man repeatedly in the head with a two-by-four piece of lumber, police said.
[SNIP]

Prosecutors eventually agreed to drop a host of felony charges in a plea deal with Dougherty, including two counts of Class X felony robbery. In exchange for pleading guilty to one count of aggravated battery, Dougherty was given a sentence of 24-months probation

Second case – recently arrested for being a felon in possession of a handgun. An ex-girlfriend alleges he shot through her door when she kicked him out.

In May 2002, prosecutors dropped four counts of attempted murder and four other felonies in a plea deal with Stanley. In exchange for pleading guilty to aggravated discharge of a firearm, Stanley received a sentence of eight years, court records show.

Last case – Habitual criminal in possession of a firearm. They detail several other interactions with law enforcement, before this comes up.

Jackson was arrested in October for possessing narcotics with intent to distribute. Prosecutors dropped those charges four days before police allegedly found him with the gun in Old Town.

If you make something less expensive, you see more of it.

Nova’s Inside The Megafire

Considering the source, it is fairly well-balanced. Inside the Megafire.

It is a long video at 53 minutes, so make sure you have some time.

From the front line of the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history, NOVA tells the stories of residents who had to flee for their lives during the 2018 fire season. Scientists racing to understand what’s behind the rise of record-breaking megafires across the American West take to the forest, and even a fire lab, in search of answers. They investigate how forestry practices, climate change, and the physics of fire itself play a role in the dramatic increase in wildfires in recent decades. (Premiered May 8, 2019)

There’s a nice mix of fire science, and a recognition that more than a century of mismanaging the forest play a role in the megafires. As well as all the building done in the forest. Which I get, but why build incredibly combustible homes in places where fires are a reality? Why not have more fire-resistant building codes? Because reasons. (And remember, FEMA pays for at least some of the cleanup of these fires. That means your tax dollars at work.)

I haven’t watched PBS in decades, but the folks who are responsible for this episode of Nova used some of the aerial footage shot by Juan Browne of Blanoliro. Which is how I ran across it.

Fort Worth to Review Police Procedures in Wake of Atatiana Jefferson Shooting

Good. Someone needs to stop cops from killing people for the crime of owning guns. Fort Worth City Manager Appoints Outside Panel to Review Police Department.

Mayor Betsy Price called for the review after an officer shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson in her home last month.

I’m sure the cops will be suitably outraged when they are told to not shoot first and ask questions later. Or something.

Tactical Ops Brewing Prints “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” on Cans

Heh. Jeffrey Epstein Conspiracy? California Brewery Prints ‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’ On Beer Cans.

One California microbrew has begun using its own product to spread a popular conspiracy regarding the mysterious death of Jeffrey Epstein. Tactical Ops Brewing, a military-themed craft beer brewery based out of Fresno, has released a batch of their Basher Oatmeal Stout with the phrase “Epstein didn’t kill himself printed on the bottom.”

Only the current batch, consisting of about 54 packs of the beverage, will feature the message.

Look for blue cans of Basher Oatmeal Stout.

You Would Think a Prosecutor Would Fight Government Corruption

In a perfect world anyway, but Chicago is in a different area code from that perfect world. Where is States Attorney Foxx on this most recent episode of Cook County corruption?.

I know, I know. Chicago politicians engaging in corruption is about as much a news story as the sun coming up in the east.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the insider deal involving the Cook County Land Bank Authority and a building that Austin’s [34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin] chief of staff Chester Wilson Jr. owned at 103rd Street and Corliss Avenue.

And the State’s Attorney for Cook County, Kim Foxx, affectionately (or maybe not) known to Second City Cop (See the blogroll) as Crimeshea? She appears to be AWOL on the subject.

Kim Foxx is our chief law enforcement officer and absolutely has a duty to be looking into this. It’s been 3 days since the story broke and she remains silent.

If she is not up to the job, she should resign.

Tucson, AZ Votes “No” on Sanctuary

I imagine some SJW heads were exploding over that one. Tucson Voters Vote Down ‘Sanctuary City’ Proposal.

On Tuesday, [Proposition 205] was defeated by just over 71 percent of Tucson voters. It was opposed during the campaign by virtually all of the city’s authority figures, including the Pima County Sheriff, the city council, and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild (D-Ariz.).

71 percent is pretty resounding “no” vote. Do you think the SJWs will accept it? Neither do I.