Sunday, January 25, 2015

Obama Will Not Attend 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

And this is a surprise?

At Free Beacon.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will represent the U.S. at the ceremonies. A token gesture, if that.

Sarah Palin at Iowa Freedom Summit: 'Screw the Hollywood Left'

At the Hill, "Palin: 'Screw the Hollywood left'."

Watch, at C-SPAN: "Iowa Freedom Summit, Sarah Palin."

Skate Legends Inspire at El Gato Classic in Palm Springs

At the Palm Springs Desert Sun, "Skater legends inspire locals at El Gato Classic."

And at Blue Tile Obsession, "El Gato Classic / Legends Jam":
I was awestruck today. The El Gato Classic Legends Jam was insane. At one point, there were so many Hester Series and Gold Cup series skateboarders in attendance that I was literally the only mortal on the deck. Just a few: El Gato, Malba, Salba, Olson, Caballero, Hosoi, Jim Gray, Lonny Hiramoto, Scott Foss, Eric Grisham, Jami Godfrey, Steve Hirsch, Freddi DeSota, Lance Mountain, Pineapple Saladino, Doug Marker, Billy Ruff, Mike McGill, Hackett, Wally Inouye, Doug Marker, Kyle Jensen, George McClellan, Alan Gelfand, Allen Losi, Scott Dunlap, Brad Bowman, George Orton, John Lucero, Marty Grimes, Robin Logan, Chuck Hults, Jim Muir, Tony Hawk, Jeff Tatum and others. There was more amazing skateboarding going on than I could take in at one sitting. I was impressed with something that really stood out to me. When Scott Dunlap threw a huge double trucker in the deep end, his head would drop down just like I could see in old photographs of him. When Hackett slashed frontside, his body would twist up… When Scott Foss rode, we all rode with him. Each legend still retains all that made him what he is. The style has remained. There is more mileage but the originality and raw natural talent remains. Impressive.
Also, "El Gato Classic / Vert Demo."

More photos on Twitter at "El Gato Classic" and "#ElGatoClassic."

X-Games Big Air Final 2015 Aspen

Pretty wicked.

Results: "America's Navy Snowboard Big Air Final."

California Faces Egg Shortage as Far-Left Animal Welfare Law Takes Effect

Well, no one saw this coming, or anything.

Eggs will settle in anywhere from 10 to 40 percent higher "than they are right now." Happy chickens though!

At CBS News Sacramento, "New California Egg Law Prompts Egg Shortage Concerns as Suppliers Alter Facilities."

Insane Ferguson Looting Video

When law enforcement is completely absent, anarchy reigns. And there is no moral force powerful enough to restrain the literally primitive black animals scavenging for grub at Dellwood Market.

Via Aleister, at Legal Insurrection, "New #Ferguson Video Released: Looters Invade Market Because #Justice," and Noah Rothman, at Hot Air, "Police release insane Ferguson looting video, are criticized for transparency":
This closed-circuit security camera footage is absolutely amazing. In a video recently released by local police in Missouri, at least 180 looters are shown pillaging a market in the city of Dellwood, a town neighboring Ferguson that was subject to violent riots in the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The images of the violent property destruction showcased in that video are positively astonishing...

War Exploding Anew in Ukraine

Yes, and no doubt our Commander-in-Chief is looking to go golfing.

Either that, or GloZell is due to drop off some Fruit Loops at the White House.

At the New York Times, "War Is Exploding Anew in Ukraine; Rebels Vow More":

DONETSK, Ukraine — Unexpectedly, at the height of the Ukrainian winter, war has exploded anew on a half-dozen battered fronts across eastern Ukraine, accompanied by increasing evidence that Russian troops and Russian equipment have been pouring into the region again.

A shaky cease-fire has all but vanished, with rebel leaders vowing fresh attacks. Civilians are being hit by deadly mortars at bus stops. Tanks are rumbling down snowy roads in rebel-held areas with soldiers in unmarked green uniforms sitting on their turrets, waving at bystanders — a disquieting echo of the “little green men” whose appearance in Crimea opened this stubborn conflict in the spring.

The renewed fighting has dashed any hopes of reinvigorating a cease-fire signed in September and honored more in name than in fact since then. It has also put to rest the notion that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be so staggered by the twin blows of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices that he would forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West.

Instead, blaming the upsurge in violence on the Ukrainians and the rise in civilian deaths on “those who issue such criminal orders,” as he did on Friday in Moscow, Mr. Putin is apparently doubling down, rather than backing down, in a conflict that is now the bloodiest in Europe since the Balkan wars.

With the appearance in recent weeks of what NATO calls sophisticated Russian weapons systems, newly emboldened separatist leaders have abandoned all talk of a cease-fire. One of the top leaders of the Russian-backed rebels said Friday that his soldiers were “on the offensive” in several sectors, capitalizing on their capture of the Donetsk airport the day before.

“We will attack” until the Ukrainian Army is driven from the border of the Donetsk region, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic rebel group, said in comments carried by Russian news agencies.

“On our side, we won’t make an effort to talk about a cease-fire,” Mr. Zakharchenko said. “Now we’re going to watch how Kiev reacts. Kiev doesn’t understand that we can attack in three directions at once.”

For long-suffering residents of Donetsk, who have lived with constant shelling, chronic electricity failures and, since September, a cutoff of pensions and other government support payments from Kiev, the resumption of military action came as little surprise.

“It was pure illusion that peace could be achieved now,” said Enrique Menendez, a former advertising agency owner who now runs a humanitarian relief operation in eastern Ukraine. “None of the sides has yet achieved its goals. The only real surprise is that the fighting started in the winter instead of the spring.”...

Gloomy Outlook Among the Young in Athens as Greek Election Approaches

A video at Euronews.

The economy remains in the tank, although I'll be surprised if Greek youth are much happier once the communists come to power.

At the Christian Science Monitor, "Greek leftists set for big win. Now comes the hard part: swaying Europe."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Judge Jeanine Pirro: 'We Should Have Leaders Like Chris Kyle...'

A great segment. She's perking up like a happy warrior!

Watch: "Judge Jeanine Blasts Michael Moore - Chris Kyle Wore Big Boots Neither You Nor Your Friends Could Fill."

PREVIOUSLY: "Obama's 'Not American, not African-American, not any-American, he embodies nothing that places him in the historic stream of people who have defined this country...'"

'This summer, it is offering an activist lawyer’s training seminar, with an agenda that includes combating boycotts of Israeli products and defending Israeli soldiers against charges of war crimes...'

"It" would be Shurat HaDin, the Israeli legal firm of audacious legal campaigner Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.

Heh, you gotta love this lady's chutzpah.

At the New York Times, "Crusading for Israel in a Way Some Say Is Misguided."

Misguided? Shoot, I'm tickled pink by the awesome Ms. Darshan-Leitner.

'As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical...'

So true.

At Moonbattery, "MIT Meteorologist Richard Lindzen Calls Global Warming a Cult."

Skier Henrik Harlaut Knocked Out Cold at Winter X Games 2015 Aspen

Watch, at TMZ Sports, "X Games Aspen -- Skier Henrik Harlaut KO'ed ... After SCARY Wipeout!! (VIDEO)."

Charlotte McKinney

At Fox News Sports, "Charlotte McKinney Is the New Kate Upton."

Also at TMZ Sports, "Charlotte McKinney -- 'I Really Do Eat Carl's Jr, But ...'"


ADDED: At Free Beacon, "FREE CHARLOTTE MCKINNEY: Naked bikini model's Super Bowl ad dubbed 'too hot for TV'."

Governor Scott Walker at Iowa Freedom Summit (VIDEO)

The dude with perhaps the greatest contemporary record of destroying despicable progressives.

Watch at C-SPAN, "Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) at the Iowa Freedom Summit."

At the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal, "'Go big and go bold' Scott Walker tells Iowa GOP summit":
Des Moines, Iowa — A day after rejecting a proposed Kenosha casino and two days after making his toughest comments yet on fighting terrorism, Gov. Scott Walker told Iowa Republicans the country needs leaders who are willing to break out fresh ideas.

"We weren't afraid to go big and go bold," Walker told some 1,200 people at the Iowa Freedom Summit.

"Maybe that's why I won the race for governor three times in the last four years. Three times, mind you, in a state that hasn't gone Republican for president since I was in high school more than 30 years ago... If you're not afraid to go big and go bold, you can actually get results. You can applaud for that. And if you get the job done, the voters will actually stand up with you."

And applaud they did. Walker — one of several potential presidential candidates who spoke Saturday — received hearty responses as he talked about putting restrictions on abortion, approving a voter ID law, giving people the right to carry concealed weapons and tightly limiting collective bargaining for public workers.

"I'm going to come back many more times in the future," he said.
Shit just got real.

El Gato Classic Skateboarding Competition in Palm Springs

It's this weekend.

Here's the website and here's the announcement video.

And at the Palm Springs Desert Sun, "Skater legends inspire locals at El Gato Classic":
Palm Springs Skate Park had the air of an amped up high school reunion Friday night, because that high school would’ve been attended by skateboarding legends of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.

Brought together by Palm Desert local Eddie “El Gato” Elguera for his first-ever El Gato Skateboard Classic Competition this weekend, household names like Tony Hawk, Alan Gelfand and Brad Bowman could be seen at the park throughout the day.

A “Revolutionary Era of Skateboarding” art and photo show kicked off the skateboard contest series created by the two-time World Champion skateboarder Elguera, featuring the work of photographer Jim Cassimus of SkateBoarder magazine fame and drawing a crowd of hundreds between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“These guys, they love being here because skateboarding is a community,” said Elguera, Red Bull in hand. “I could be at a bowl and some 8-year-old comes up and we have something in common.”

Not far off was Dale Smith, the coach who helped work out several of Elguera’s classic vert tricks like “Elguerial” — a cutting-edge “fakie flip” when it was pulled off in May 1979.

Surrounding the legends were skateboarding paintings, drawings and Cassimus’ photos from the classic Gold Cup Series age of the sport.

“I haven’t seen some of these guys since I photographed them 25 years ago, and they come up and I hardly recognize them,” Cassimus said. “Hopefully these photos of the pioneers of modern skateboarding will show kids the history of the sport before they were born.”...

And classic photos from the old days, "Hester Series / Gold Cup / El Gato Classic."

Winston Churchill Death 50-Year Anniversary (VIDEO)

Video via Telegraph UK, "How the UK honoured its wartime leader."

Some 350 million around the globe tuned in to watch Winston Churchill’s funeral when it took place 50 years ago in 1965.

On January 15, 1965, Winston Churchill suffered a severe stroke. The long-retired former Prime Minister was now 90 years old. He died nine days later on the morning of Sunday January 24 at his home in London.

Following his death, by decree of the Queen, his body lay in state for three days at Westminster Hall. It was only the second time that the Monarch had bestowed a state funeral on a Prime Minister.

Some 300,000 people visited Westminster Hall to pay their respects to the man who led Britain’s defence against the Third Reich during the Second World War.

On January 30 1965, Churchill's funeral was held. The state funeral service was the largest in world history up to that point in time, with representatives from 112 nations.

Silent crowds lined the streets to watch the gun carriage bearing his coffin make its way from Westminster to St Paul's Cathedral accompanied by representatives from all the services.

In Europe 350 million people, including 25 million in Britain, watched the funeral on television.

As his coffin passed down the Thames from Town Pier to Festival Pier on the Havengore, dockers lowered their crane jibs in a salute.
The coffin was taken to Waterloo Station to be loaded onto a specially prepared and painted carriage - part of a funeral train - to take the body to Bladon, near Woodstock.

He was buried in the family plot at St Martin's Church, not far from his birthplace at Blenheim Palace.
And, at Wikipedia, "We Shall Fight on the Beaches":
Turning once again, and this time more generally, to the question of invasion, I would observe that there has never been a period in all these long centuries of which we boast when an absolute guarantee against invasion, still less against serious raids, could have been given to our people. In the days of Napoleon, of which I was speaking just now, the same wind which would have carried his transports across the Channel might have driven away the blockading fleet. There was always the chance, and it is that chance which has excited and befooled the imaginations of many Continental tyrants. Many are the tales that are told. We are assured that novel methods will be adopted, and when we see the originality of malice, the ingenuity of aggression, which our enemy displays, we may certainly prepare ourselves for every kind of novel stratagem and every kind of brutal and treacherous manœuvre. I think that no idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered and viewed with a searching, but at the same time, I hope, with a steady eye. We must never forget the solid assurances of sea power and those which belong to air power if it can be locally exercised.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty's Government – every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
Still more, from William Jacobson, at Legal Insurrection, "No more finest hours."

Well, sadly so.

Obama Administration Pushes to Tax '529' College Saving Accounts

Tax, tax, tax your life away.

The American left's insatiable demands for more revenue are bankrupting America and eviscerating the middle class.

From Megan McArdle, at Bloomberg, "Uncle Sam Is Coming After Your Savings":

Leftists Covet
Earlier in the week, I discussed the Obama administration's proposal to tax earnings on so-called 529 college savings plans, part of a package of tax hikes that will pay for new programs such as his proposal to make the first two years of community college free. This has been touted as a plan to hike taxes on the rich to help the middle class, but in fact it's more of a plan to redistribute money from the upper middle class to the lower middle class.

As I noted then, this proposal is not going anywhere, not just because Republican congressmen will block it, but because it would be very unpopular with affluent blue-state voters who currently vote for Democrats. About the only people I saw defending this particular idea were blue-state singles who haven't yet confronted the monstrous expense of shepherding their progeny into the new mandarin class to which they belong.

Everyone else seems to be somewhere between confused and aghast. One comment in particular struck me, as I saw it several times on social media and in writings: "How would you feel if they did this to Roth IRAs?"

Why did I find that particular question a compelling topic for a column? Because it's a question we may have to ask ourselves. As I observed when I first wrote about the plan, the very fact that we are discussing taxation of educational savings -- redistributing educational subsidies downward -- indicates that the administration has started scraping the bottom of the barrel when seeking out money to fund new programs. Why target a tax benefit that goes to a lot of your supporters (and donors), that tickles one of the sweetest spots in American politics (subsidizing higher education), and that will hit a lot of people who make less than the $250,000 a year that has become the administration's de facto definition of "rich"?

Presumably, because you're running out of other places to get the money...
Yeah, that's the problem with socialism. Eventually you run out of "other people's money."

President Obama Pushes Pre-K and 'Free' College Because He's Got Jack for K-12


From Amy Otto, at the Federalist:
The escalation of nationalized education standards, the push for preschool teachers to have more degrees, and the Obama administration’s overall push for more school before and after K-12 is a way to avoid solving the real problem. When their party’s largest donors are the Service Employees International Union, National Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers, Democrats have millions of reasons to avoid addressing the challenges of our K-12 education system...

Japanese Hostage Haruna Yukawa Beheaded (VIDEO)

So, ISIS is going with the minimalist beheading videos these days. No doubt the ghastly shock effect has worn off. (Either that, or the Peter Kassig group beheading clip was just way too graphic and over the top.)

That $200 million ransom demand was a joke, perhaps in more ways than one.

In any case, at CNN, "Online post claims 1 Japanese ISIS hostage killed; new demand made." And at SITE, "Japanese Hostage Haruna Yukawa Beheaded, Second Hostage Stipulates New IS Demand in Video." (Via Memeorandum.)

Watch it here.

Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit.

Also at Blazing Cat Fur, "Muslims Behead Japanese Hostage Haruna Yukawa Release Video Message By Kenji Goto Jogo."

Affluent Leftists Dominate the Ranks of Anti-Vaxxers, Overwhelmingly Voted for Obama

No surprise, but anti-vaxxers are overwhelmingly leftists. Affluent leftists.

At WaPo, "Vaccine deniers stick together. And now they’re ruining things for everyone":
The rash of measles cases that started in Disneyland last month has now become one of the worst outbreaks of the diseases in California in the past 15 years. What started with a handful of cases has now grown to 62 confirmed cases across the state — and other cases have been reported in Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Washington state and Mexico.

California requires kids to get vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella, but state law provides a loophole — parents can get a "personal belief waiver" if they think there's a link between vaccines and autism and other harmful effects. That's even though studies have continuously found vaccines to be safe.

Seth Mnookin, a journalist who's chronicled the anti-vaccination movement, observed a few years ago that you only had to go visit a Whole Foods to find anti-vaxxers.

Now, it doesn't seem that anyone's actually done the science on that one, but Mnookin's point here is obvious — the anti-vaccination movement is fueled by an over-privileged group of rich people grouped together who swear they won't put any chemicals in their kids (food or vaccines or whatever else), either because it's trendy to be all-natural or they don't understand or accept the science of vaccinations. Their science denying has been propelled further by celebrities, like Jenny McCarthy, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and actress Mayim Bialik, who is also a neuroscientist and even plays one on TV.

Of the 34 patients in the current measles outbreak whose vaccination status is known, only five were fully vaccinated, according to the Los Angeles Times. And the worst of the outbreak is centered in Orange County, ground zero for the anti-vaccination movement that's put children at risk over junk science.

No one has put it more succinctly than James Cherry, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, who told the New York Times, "There are some pretty dumb people out there."

The real problem is that these people tend to stick together. A new study this week finds strong evidence that people who rejected vaccines for their young children are clustered together in the same communities. And that only increases the risk that measles — a highly contagious respiratory disease that was believed to have been eradicated 15 years ago — will spread to more children.

Researchers analyzing records for about 55,000 children born in 13 northern California counties between 2010 and 2012 found five geographic clusters of 3-year-olds with significantly higher rates of vaccine refusal.

These included East Bay (10.2 percent refusal rate); Marin and southwest Sonoma counties (6.6 percent refusal); northeastern San Francisco (7.4 percent); northeastern Sacramento County and Roseville (5.5 percent); and south of Sacramento (13.5 percent). By comparison, the vaccine refusal rate outside these clusters is 2.6 percent, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics.

These are some of the most privileged parts of the Bay Area, although South Bay counties around Silicon Valley aren't on the list. The median household income in Marin is $90,535, compared to $61,094 in the state of California. In Alameda County (home to towns like Berkeley) in the East Bay, it's $72,112. One exception is Sacramento, where median income is only $55,064.

The communities where anti-vaxxers cluster are also among the most liberal. Marin County, San Francsico County and Alameda County all voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008. In Marin, 78 percent of the vote went to Obama. In San Francisco, it was 84 percent. And in Alameda, it was 79 percent. That's all higher than what Obama got in his own home county of Cook County, Illinois. Here, too, Sacramento is an exception. Only 58 percent of the county went for Obama in 2008...
Yeah. "Only 58 percent," heh.

More proof that Democrat Party Obamaism is dangerious to the health of the American people.

Indeed, leftism itself is a disease. The battle against the left is even more important than the war on terror. It's been around longer and will continue long after the last jihadi is killed. Never, ever, let down your guard against these ghouls.

Keep reading.

Wikipedia Bans Five Social Justice Editors in GamerGate Controversy

I suppose this is a logical development, although I don't follow the controversy that much. It's sorta inside baseball, IMHO.

At the Guardian UK, "Wikipedia bans five editors from gender-related articles":
Online encyclopedia’s highest court rules on more than 10 editors deemed to be breaking the site’s rules amid Gamergate controversy.

Wikipedia’s arbitration committee, the highest user-run body on the site, has banned five editors from making corrections to articles about feminism, in an attempt to stop a long-running edit war over the entry on the “Gamergate controversy”.

The editors, who were all actively attempting to prevent the article from being rewritten with a pro-Gamergate slant, were sanctioned by “arbcom” in its preliminary decision. While that may change as it is finalised, the body, known as Wikipedia’s supreme court, rarely reverses its decisions.

The sanction bars the five editors from having anything to do with any articles covering Gamergate, but also from any other article about “gender or sexuality, broadly construed”.

Editors who had been pushing for the Wikipedia article to be fairer to Gamergate have also been sanctioned by the committee, but one observer warns that those sanctions have only hit “throwaway” accounts.

“No sanctions at all were proposed against any of Gamergate’s warriors, save for a few disposable accounts created specifically for the purpose of being sanctioned,” said Mark Bernstein, a writer and Wikipedia editor.

In contrast, he says, “by my informal count, every feminist active in the area is to be sanctioned. This takes care of social justice warriors with a vengeance — not only do the Gamergaters get to rewrite their own page (and Zoe Quinn’s, Brianna Wu’s, Anita Sarkeesian’s, etc); feminists are to be purged en bloc from the encyclopedia.”

The conflict on the site began almost alongside Gamergate, a grassroots campaign broadly targeting alleged corruption in games journalism and perceived feminist influence in the videogame industry. Even the title of the article was fought over: Gamergate itself is taken by an article about a type of ant, leaving the article about video games to move to “Gamergate Controversy”.

At one point, Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, was drawn into the debate, telling a student who had emailed him over perceived bias in the article that “Gamergate has been permanently tarnished and hijacked by a handful of people who are not what you would hope.”

Wales’ advice for Gamergate supporters who wanted to change the Wikipedia article was to be constructive, and present a vision for the article which they wanted to read rather than engage in a war with feminist editors who were trying to maintain their vision...
Keep reading.

And ICYMI, an interview with Anita Sarkeesian, at ABC News, "What It Feels Like to Be a Gamergate Target."

Previous GamerGate blogging at the link.

Boko Haram: The Islamic State of Africa

More on the Islamist threat in Central Africa.

At the Economist, "Nigeria and Boko Haram: The black flag in Africa":
Only if the government tackles misrule and endemic corruption will the jihadist group be beaten.

IS BOKO HARAM becoming Africa’s Islamic State? In its bloodlust and ambition to hold territory, it certainly resembles the jihadists in Iraq and Syria. Boko Haram has carved out a “caliphate” the size of Belgium in the impoverished north-eastern corner of Nigeria. And like IS, it is exporting jihad across post-colonial borders (see article).

What started as a radical but mostly political movement in 2002 has turned, especially since a heavy-handed crackdown in 2009, into a jihadist insurgency that has grown more violent every year. In April 2014 it abducted 276 girls from the town of Chibok. Some fled, some died, and many were sold into slavery or forced to “marry” fighters. Now the uprising is spreading to other countries. A week ago, 80 Cameroonians were kidnapped. Chad is sending troops to help Cameroon; Niger and Benin also feel threatened.

In the same week the world was outraged by jihadist attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, little attention was paid to news that as many as 2,000 had been killed by Boko Haram in and around the Nigerian town of Baga. Some people accuse Western journalists of double standards, and there is a proper debate to be had about news values. But the accusation misses the real outrage: Nigeria’s own leaders have wilfully ignored the carnage in their country. President Goodluck Jonathan was quick to denounce the attack against Charlie Hebdo, but it took him nearly a fortnight to speak out about the wanton destruction in Baga.

When asked about the five-year-old insurgency, which has so far killed some 16,000 people and displaced about a million, Mr Jonathan says that Boko Haram is part of an international problem, implying that Nigeria cannot tackle it alone. But he cannot shirk responsibility. Boko Haram is, first and foremost, a product of Nigeria’s broken and kleptocratic politics which now risks destabilising neighbouring states.

Even the prospect of elections on February 14th has failed to galvanise Mr Jonathan. Ironically, Boko Haram’s success has made his re-election more likely. The president’s political base is in the mainly Christian south which, untroubled by the northern insurgency, is enjoying an economic boom. The chances of his main rival, Muhammadu Buhari, a tough northern ex-general, have been dealt a blow by Boko Haram’s displacement of many of his potential supporters...

Emma Holten Responds to Revenge Porn by Posting Nude Pictures of Herself

I'm not sure everyone agrees this is the best way to respond to revenge porn. Although the idea here is that the hacking and release of stolen emails and photos is about power and control, not so much the nude pictures themselves. Ms. Holten also says it's about misogyny, so there you go.

She says releasing her own nude photos is about taking back control, about being in control.

In any case, watch: "Someone stole naked pictures of me. This is what I did about it."

Paddle Boarder Captures Amazing Encounter with Killer Whales Off Laguna Beach

Once in a lifetime.

A video, at Telegraph UK: "Incredible up-close encounter with killer whale pod."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Moment of Passage for Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

At the New York Times, "For Auschwitz Museum, A Time of Great Change":

OSWIECIM, Poland — For what is likely to be the last time, a large number of the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz will gather next week under an expansive tent, surrounded by royalty and heads of state, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of those held there at the end of World War II.

“This will be the last decade anniversary with a very visible presence of survivors,” said Andrzej Kacorzyk, deputy director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which encompasses the sites of the original concentration camp, near the center of Oswiecim, and the larger Auschwitz II-Birkenau on the city’s outskirts.

At the 60th anniversary, 1,500 survivors attended. This year, on Tuesday, about 300 are expected. Most of them are in their 90s, and some are older than 100.

“We find this to be a moment of passage,” Mr. Kacorzyk said. “A passing of the baton. It is younger generations publicly accepting the responsibility that they are ready to carry this history on behalf of the survivors, and to secure the physical survival of the place where they suffered.”

A preliminary list of those attending includes President François Hollande of France, President Joachim Gauck of Germany and President Heinz Fischer of Austria, as well as King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. The United States delegation will be led by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said he would not attend because his schedule was too crowded and because he had not received an invitation. Museum officials said no head of state had received one. Mr. Putin had attended the 60th anniversary ceremony in 2005 — it was Soviet troops, after all, who liberated the camp in 1945 — but relations between Russia and Poland have soured over the conflict in Ukraine.

Previous commemorations had been held outside, Mr. Kacorzyk said, but it can be very cold in Poland in late January. The remaining survivors will be among about 3,000 dignitaries who will keep warm beneath a tent large enough to enclose the entire redbrick gateway building to Auschwitz II and its peaked tower, familiar from many films as a symbol of Nazi atrocities.

“Auschwitz is important because it was ground zero of what the Nazis did,” said Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress and a major contributor to the preservation of the museum complex. “And it is important because anti-Semitism is like a virus. You think it goes away but then it’s coming back. Right now, it is coming back very strongly.”

President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland will open the ceremony, and Mr. Lauder will deliver a short speech. But most of the speakers at the memorial event will be survivors, telling their own stories.

“I was there from September of 1944 until the end,” said Ryszard Horowitz, a photographer now living in New York who was 5 when Auschwitz was liberated. “I remember several scenes from the end. I know we were, at one point, lined up to be killed, just before the liberation, when one of the SS people arrived screaming that the Russians were coming, so they just dropped everything and ran and left us.”

Mr. Horowitz said he would not attend this year’s ceremony.

“I went there twice after the war,” he said. “Once, when I was quite young, and then I went back during one of my return trips to Poland in the 1970s. That was enough for me. I do not want to go back.”

His sister, Niusia Karakulski, who also survived the camps, will represent the family at the event.

This year’s anniversary also coincides with a shift in the way the site’s administrators conceive of their mission. From now on, they said, the site will be organized to explain to generations who were not alive during the war what happened rather than to act as a memorial to those who suffered through it.

A foundation has been raising money for a new wave of preservation. There will be new exhibition halls, and a visitor’s center will be built in the camp’s former meat processing and dairy site. A theater used to entertain Polish troops during the war will become an education center...

Plus, published just today, at the Auschwitz Museum webpage, "Revision of the way we see the world and ourselves. Auschwitz Memorial Report 2014."

Suppose Islam Had a Holocaust and No One Noticed

At Sultan Knish:

Doro Baga photo _80281001_doron_baga_ba_624_zpspqqo5qsy-1.jpg
While Western newspapers were debating whether or not to reprint the Mohammed cartoons, in Nigeria as many as 2,000 people were massacred by the Islamic State in Nigeria, also known as Boko Haram, in what is being called the deadliest attack by the Muslim group to date.

Survivors described the Islamic State setting up efficient killing teams and massacring everyone while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. "For five kilometers (three miles), I kept stepping on dead bodies until I reached Malam Karanti village, which was also deserted and burnt," one survivor said.

There’s a word for that. It’s genocide.

The Islamic State in Nigeria had reportedly managed to kill 2,000 people last year. This year they did it in one week. But we don’t pay much attention to what happens in Nigeria unless there’s a hashtag. No one has yet thought up a clever hashtag for the murder of 2,000 people. #Bringbackourdead doesn’t really work.

The Islamic State’s next target is Maiduguri, the largest city in Borno with a population of over a million. Known as the “Home of Peace”, if Maiduguri falls, the death toll will be horrific.

The Catholic Archbishop, Ignatius Kaigama, warned that the killing wouldn’t stop in Nigeria. “It's going to expand. It will get to Europe and elsewhere.”

Of course it already has, but not on the same scale.

“We will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of (if) we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen,” an Islamic State spokesman had warned. “The Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons.”

“Those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed.”

Imagine that the burning towns and villages aren’t in Nigeria or Syria. Imagine them in France or Sweden. It’s not that great of a leap from armed cells carrying out attacks to a militia capturing entire towns and villages. They’re different phases in the same conflict.

Al Qaeda in Iraq went from a terror group carrying out suicide bombings to running a state in a decade. So did Hamas in Israel. There are already zones in Europe under the control of unofficial Sharia police. France has fewer Muslims than Nigeria and a more stable government with professional police and military forces. These two factors are the only ones keeping Islamic genocide at bay.

The massacres in France were carried out by the same types of men and movements responsible for the killings in Nigeria and Iraq. They just aren’t organized enough and still lack the numbers to conduct the same large scale genocide that they are already carrying out in Nigeria, Syria and Iraq.

Two Islamic States, one in Nigeria and another in Iraq/Syria, are engaged in genocide. Obama delayed responding to ISIS until it was already engaged in genocide and was moving on Baghdad. His people have done everything possible to avoid responding to the Boko Haram genocide in Nigeria.

The usual excuses are there...

Also at the Guardian UK, "Boko Haram: satellite images reveal devastation of massacre in Nigeria."

Physician-Assisted Suicide is Receiving Fresh Support, But Remains as Open to Abuse as Ever

It's a terrible, terrible policy.

European countries put old people to death simply for being lonely, while calling it "compassionate."

And now Brittany Maynard's case is being used to advertise "death with dignity."

I can't think of anything as ghastly.

From Paul McHugh, at the Wall Street Journal, "Dr. Death Makes a Comeback":
‘I guess Jack’s won,” a pal of mine said, alluding to Jack Kevorkian , whose views on physician-assisted suicide are lately back in vogue. With backing from liberal financier George Soros —a longtime supporter of “right to die” legislation—proponents are intent on expanding beyond Oregon, Vermont and Washington the roster of states where the practice is legal. Legislation to allow assisted suicide is moving through New Jersey’s statehouse, last month a New York legislator vowed to introduce a similar bill, and in California state Sens. Bill Monning and Lois Wolk are working to legalize the practice.

My pal may have a point, but he perhaps has forgotten how often in fights for good ideas, the bad ones—even when crushingly defeated, as when Michigan sent Kevorkian to prison in 1999—sidle back into the ring and you have to thrash them again.

Since ancient Greece physicians have been tempted to help desperate patients kill themselves, and many of those Greek doctors must have done so. But even then the best rejected such actions as unworthy and, as the Hippocratic Oath insists, contrary to the physician’s purpose of “benefiting the sick.” For reasons not too different, doctors traditionally refuse to participate in capital punishment; and, when they are inducted into military service, do not bear arms.

lso, as Ian Dowbiggin showed in “A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America” (2003), physician-assisted suicide was periodically championed in the 20th century yet rejected time after time by American voters when its practical harms were comprehended. As recently as 2012, Massachusetts voters defeated an initiative to legalize assisted suicide.

There are two essential harms from the practice. First: Once doctors agree to assist a person’s suicide, ultimately they find it difficult to reject anyone who seeks their services. The killing of patients by doctors spreads to encompass many treatable but mentally troubled individuals, as seen today in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

Second: When a “right to die” becomes settled law, soon the right translates into a duty. That was the message sent by Oregon, which legalized assisted suicide in 1994, when the state-sponsored health plan in 2008 denied recommended but costly cancer treatments and offered instead to pay for less-expensive suicide drugs.

These intractable, recurrent drawbacks are but one side of the problematic transaction involved with assisted suicide. The other, more telling side is the way assisting in patients’ suicides hollows out the heart of the medical profession.

The fundamental premise of medicine is the vocational commitment of doctors to care for all people without doubting whether any individual is worth the effort. That means doctors will not hold back their ingenuity and energies in treating anyone, rich or poor, young or old, prominent or socially insignificant—or curable or incurable.

This is the heart and soul of medical practice. The confidence with which patients turn to their physicians depends on it, and it is what spurs doctors to find innovative ways of helping the sick.

So why do the arguments for physician-assisted suicide regularly recur? Primarily because of compelling stories about patients who despair when medical futility, burdensome treatments and an unavoidable, painful fate seem to combine. Such patients have never been rare.

A recent high-profile case was that of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman diagnosed last year with a malignant brain tumor. She chose to publicize how, given her fears over what doctors were predicting, she would move from California to Oregon where a physician could—and did—prescribe medications for her to kill herself before many of the symptoms she feared had developed...
Keep reading.

Katherine Zimmerman on CNN's 'The Situation Room'

At AEI, "ISIS is now active inside Yemen (VIDEO)."

Lady Gaga Steps Out Wearing Blue Gown as She Heads to Studio for Rehearsal in New York City

She's still got it.

At Egotastic!, "Lady Gaga Steps Out in Blue Gown in NYC."

15-Foot Surf Expected from Sonoma County to Big Sur This Weekend

Beautiful weather and big waves up north.

At CBS News San Francisco: "High Surf Advisory In Effect for Bay Area Coast Through Sunday Morning, 15 Foot Waves Possible."

Obama's Legacy Will Be His Failed Policies

From Michael Barone, at the Washington Examiner, "Obama's Attempt to Turn the Page Undermined by Policy Failures":
It’s not in the printed text, but the most revealing words in President Obama’s seventh State of the Union address came near the end. After the scripted line, “I have no more campaigns to run,” elicited Republican applause, Obama ad libbed, “I know, because I won both of them.”

Thus the last quarter of Obama’s presidency resembles the first quarter, when he shut off discussion with House Republicans by saying, “I won.” But his second winning percentage was lower than his first — the only American president of which that can be said — and the House now has a record and the Senate a near-record Republican majority.

The first half of Obama’s speech was a deft attempt to, as he said, “turn the page.” The year 2014, he said, was “a breakthrough year for America,” the economy was finally growing at a respectable rate and U.S. troop deployments in war zones are nearly down to zero.

He was playing on the uptick — a “small” but real uptick, as FiveThirtyEight put it — in his polling numbers and in positive assessments of the economy. To give it voice, he quoted, twice, a woman (a former Democratic staffer, it seems) in the gallery.

In contrast to previous Obama speeches, he took some care to cite accurate statistics. No mention of the discredited claim that one in five college women will be raped or the misleading claim that women’s earnings are only 77 percent of men’s.

He cheered America for being number one in oil and gas production — something his administration has tried to prevent. He boasted that wages are rising — though not by much. His brief allusions to Obamacare sparked applause from Democrats — but the law remains highly unpopular.

Obama’s policy proposals were small stuff. More tax cuts for child care — but discrimination against stay-at-home moms and taxes on 529 college savings accounts. Paid sick leave. Equal pay for women — on the books already for 52 years. A minimum wage increase. He’s all for infrastructure but, in deference to rich donors, will veto the Keystone XL pipeline.

Free community college — even though it’s already free to those in lower-income households, and despite the evidence from student loan programs that colleges and universities sop up all the federal dollars with little gain to students.

Democrats, after applauding loudly in the first half of the speech, stayed mostly mum during much of the rest. There was silence when he called for trade promotion authority and free trade agreements. There was little noise when he called for tax reform — not surprisingly, given that he has ignored plans Republicans have put forward.

There was silence as well when he turned to foreign policy. Obama received better ratings on foreign than domestic policy in his first term; it’s the other way around now...

Miranda Kerr Strips Down to Lingerie for Latest Wonderbra Campaign

At London's Daily Mail, "Bra-vo! Miranda Kerr puts her stunning curves on display as she strips down to lingerie for latest Wonderbra campaign."

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah 'Could Not Stand President Obama'


And that's after six years of kowtowing to the Islamic nations of the world. Our Muslim president is surely overrated.

From NBC's Richard Engel:

PREVIOUSLY: "Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Dead at 90."

Supreme Court Will Review Use of Lethal Injections

At USA Today:
WASHINGTON -- In a case that could have broad implications for hundreds of death row inmates, the Supreme Court will consider whether a drug protocol used in recent lethal injections violates the Constitution's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The justices agreed Friday to consider a case originally brought by four death-row inmates in Oklahoma -- one of whom was put to death last week, after the court refused to block his execution with a combination of three drugs that has caused some prisoners to writhe in pain.

Because the court's four liberal justices dissented from the decision to let that execution go forward, it presumably was their votes in private conference Friday that will give the issue a full hearing in open court. Only four votes are needed from the nine-member court to accept a case. It will be heard in late April and decided by late June.

Lawyers for Charles Warner and three other convicts set for execution in Oklahoma over the next six weeks sought the Supreme Court's intervention after two lower federal courts refused their pleas. While the court's conservatives refused to stop Warner's execution, the request for a full court hearing had been held for further consideration.

The lawyers claim that the sedative midazolam, the first drug used in the three-drug protocol, is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a general anesthetic and is being used in state executions virtually on an experimental basis. They say Inmates may not be rendered unconscious and could suffer painfully as the other drugs in the protocol are administered.

That, they claim, was a factor in Oklahoma's botched execution last April of Clayton Lockett, who struggled, groaned and writhed in pain for 43 minutes before dying. A state investigation later blamed Lockett's ordeal on a failure by prison staff to realize that drugs had not been administered directly into his veins. The state has since changed its procedures and increased the dose of midazolam used.

"The time is right for the court to take a careful look at this important issue, particularly given the bungled executions that have occurred since states started using these novel and experimental drugs protocols," said Dale Baich, one of the lawyers representing the death-row inmates...
This could be the case that abolishes the death penalty, or at least that's what the progs will be looking for.


'Beneath the Dignity of the Office'

Here's Mediaite, via Memeorandum, "Fox’s Kurtz: Obama YouTube Interview Was ‘Beneath the Dignity of the Office’."

And watch it here.

Look, it's not that he's doing sit-downs with "some of these YouTubers." It's Obama himself. He's beneath the dignity of the office. He's not very presidential. He's a lousy executive. And he's one of the worst Commanders-in-Chief in U.S. history.

Frankly, eating cereal out of the bathtub is right in O's wheelhouse.

Aggressive ECB Stimulus Ushers In New Era for Europe

At WSJ, "European Central Bank to Purchase €60 Billion in Assets Each Month Starting in March":
FRANKFURT—The European Central Bank ushered in a new era by launching an aggressive bond-buying program Thursday, shifting pressure to Europe’s political leaders to restore prosperity in one of the global economy’s biggest trouble spots.

Investors cheered the ECB’s commitment to flood the eurozone with more than €1 trillion ($1.16 trillion) in newly created money, sparking a rally in stock and bond markets and sending the euro plunging.

But in light of Europe’s underlying problems of stagnant growth, high debt and rigid labor markets, ECB President Mario Draghi suggested the central bank’s largess alone won’t be enough to right its economy.

“What monetary policy can do is create the basis for growth,” he said. “But for growth to pick up, you need investment; for investment, you need confidence; and for confidence, you need structural reform.”

The reactions to the central bank’s move rippled widely through the world’s trading floors, corporate boardrooms and European capitals. “It’s one piece of getting Europe back to growth, and we should see an impact,” Joe Jimenez, chief executive of drug giant Novartis said in an interview in Davos, Switzerland, where the political and economic elite are gathered for meetings of the World Economic Forum.

The effects also reverberated beyond the borders of the 19-member eurozone: Denmark on Thursday cut its main interest rate for the second time in a week, seeking to damp investor interest in its currency as investors sold the euro.

Mr. Draghi said the ECB will buy a total of €60 billion a month in assets including government bonds, debt securities issued by European institutions and private-sector bonds. The purchases of government bonds and those issued by European institutions such as the European Investment Bank will start in March and are intended to run through to September 2016. Mr. Draghi signaled the purchases could extend further if the ECB isn’t meeting its inflation target of just below 2%. In December, consumer prices fell 0.2% in December on an annual basis in the eurozone, the first drop in over five years.

The ECB’s new stimulus “should strengthen demand, increase capacity utilization and support money and credit growth,” Mr. Draghi said...

The League Won't Deflate the Patriots

From Bill Plaschke, at LAT, "New England Patriots might go unscathed — and that's deflating":
Bill Belichick played the rumpled dunce, wrinkled sweatshirt, rolled-up sleeves, the world's most detailed football coach shrugging and sighing and professing to have no idea about footballs.

"I had no knowledge of the various steps involved in the game balls," he said.

Tom Brady played the smiling fool, nifty ski cap, form-fitting sweats, slick and genial, one of the world's greatest passers claiming he wasn't always sure about the football he was passing.

"I'm not squeezing the balls, that's not part of my process," he said.

The two central figures in the New England Patriots football deflation scandal took two different approaches in separate news conferences Thursday, but the perception was the same.

They both came across like street-corner cheats.

Belichick was the old guy sitting at the card table with the shells. Brady was the young guy leaning against the wall with the dice. Their obliviousness was obviously orchestrated, yet they spun it in the cocksure manner of those who have done this before and know they will never get caught.

And, of course, they're right. The worst thing about the news that the Patriots allegedly deflated 11 of 12 footballs by two pounds per square inch during their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday — a clear violation of NFL rules — is that the league will let them get away with it.

You really think a league that has shrugged off domestic violence will actually care about pigskin poisoning? Oh sure, the Patriots might be fined a few bucks after the Super Bowl and, yeah, an equipment guy will probably eventually take the fall as with the USC deflation scandal, but the almighty duo of Belichick and Brady will remain untouched.

From the rule-breaking videotaping of opponents' signals to unethical last-second substitution deceptions, the Patriots have created such a culture of subterfuge that before games, some opposing coaches put locks on their locker room doors. Yet with owner Robert Kraft protecting them by serving as a mentor to Commissioner Roger Goodell — why do you think Goodell amazingly destroyed the "Spygate" tapes? — Belichick and Brady will proudly march to Arizona next week to stare down Seattle and attempt to win their fourth Super Bowl championship together, equaling records for both coach and quarterback.

Go, Seahawks...

Yemen: The New Afghanistan

From Robin Wright, at WSJ:
When I first went to Yemen, two decades ago, it struck me as the one place on earth closest to understanding life on another planet. Everything seemed so different, from the architecture to the rough unsettled terrain. It was as culturally beguiling as it was politically troubled.

The outside world often views Yemen from the vantage of terrorism. It has been the unwilling base for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula since Saudi Arabia’s crackdown forced it out of the kingdom a decade ago. AQAP has become the biggest and boldest al Qaeda franchise since Osama bin Laden’s death. It was invoked by the Kouachi brothers during the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris two weeks ago.

A lot of bad boys have ties to Yemen. The bin Laden family was of Yemeni descent. Among those who still live there is Saudi-born Ibrahim al Asiri, a master bomb-maker linked to the plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. Yemen was the home of American-born Anwar al Awlaki, the AQAP ideologue, until a U.S. drone strike killed him in 2011.

The U.S. has launched more than 115 drone strikes against extremists in Yemen since 2002. Many have been killed. Many more still exploit Yemen’s chaos.

But Yemen, which is four times the size of Alabama, is important for other reasons that should be just as important to the outside world. It shouldn’t be written off or seen through a single prism.

Yemen was one of four countries where peaceful demonstrations ousted autocratic leaders in 2011 and 2012. Although the media focuses on the infamous in Yemen, its uprising also produced Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakol Karman, a young dissident, blogger and mother of three, and hundreds of thousands of others who braved danger and death in their strike at the University Square protest camp.

They had plenty of political grievances. Surrounded by oil-rich sheikhdoms, Yemenis have always also had the hardest economic slog. They live in the poorest of the 22 Arab countries–and don’t have massive oil exports to exploit. Per capita income is less than $200 a month. At least 45% of the 26 million people live below the poverty line.

Life is particularly tough for the young generation that led the uprising. The median age is 18–and unemployment among youth is as high at 40%. Yemenis also have the lowest literacy rate.

Like Libya, Yemen has imploded politically since the uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the strongman who ruled for 23 years. (He also led North Yemen for another dozen years before the two halves of the country united in 1990).

His successor, President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has been unable to enforce the consensus on a new power-sharing formula that emerged from the U.N.-backed National Dialogue in 2013-14. It calls for Yemen to create a federal system with six regions. But Mr. Hadi’s power has eroded since Houthi rebels of Asarallah, or “Partisans of God,” seized part of the capital, San’a, last September.

Yemen is now riven by many fissures: The old north-south divide still defines politics, with a secessionist movement growing ever louder. Strife among diverse tribes, clans and sects have destabilized large chunks of the country. Mr. Saleh’s loyalists and allies in the Republican Guards have maneuvered on behalf of the former president, perhaps hoping for a comeback of sorts.

On Tuesday, less than a day after negotiations between the government and Houthis over a ceasefire and power-sharing deal broke down, Houthi rebels took over the presidential palace and the headquarters of the country’s presidential guard.

Yemen remains in peril. The government is too fragile to be viable, despite support from the U.S. and Gulf monarchies. Key countries began evaluating Monday whether to withdraw diplomats and their nationals in Yemen...

Satellite Images Reveal New Long-Range Iranian Missile and Launcher

At Algemeiner.

Google's Eric Schmidt Claims the 'Internet Will Disappear'

Well, we're almost constantly connected to the net as it is. Conceptually, it's just a matter of rejiggering our understanding of things.

In any case, at London's Daily Mail, "Google's Eric Schmidt claims the 'internet will disappear' as everything in our life gets connected."

Trevor Carlson Wild Card Submission


I found this dude on Facebook.

Tom Steyer Won't Run for U.S. Senate

This idiot Steyer f-king bugs me. Seriously. I don't like him, at all.

I suspect when Kamala Harris threw her hat in the ring he figured he didn't stand a chance of winning the nomination, and now he's out. I can't stand Harris either, but at least I don't have to listen to the paranoid ramblings of this environmental justice retard.

At the Sacramento Bee, "Steyer won’t run for U.S. Senate; attention turns to Villaraigosa."