Posts Tagged ‘Border Controls’

Texas vs. California Update for October 19, 2016

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Time for another Texas vs. California update! Included here are several links from City Journal’s special “Texas Rising” issue.

  • Texas cities continue to kick ass economically:

    Texas’s spectacular growth is largely a story of its cities—especially of Austin, Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. These Big Four metropolitan areas, arranged in a layout known as the “Texas Triangle,” contain two-thirds of the state’s population and an even higher share of its jobs. Nationally, the four metros, which combined make up less than 6 percent of the American population, posted job growth equivalent to 30 percent of the United States’ total since the financial crash in 2007. Within Texas, they’ve accounted for almost 80 percent of the state’s population growth since 2000 and over 75 percent of its job growth. Meantime, a third of Texas counties, mostly rural, have actually been losing population.

    Texas is sometimes described as the new California, an apt parallel in terms of the states’ respective urban geographies. Neither state is dominated by a single large city; each has four urban areas of more than 1 million people, with two of these among the largest regions in the United States. In both states, these major regions are demographically and economically distinct.

    But unlike California, whose cities have refocused on elite priorities at the expense of middle-class occupations, Texas offers a complete spectrum of economic activities in its metros. Another key difference is that Texas cities have mostly embraced pro-development policies that have kept them affordable by allowing housing supply to expand with population, while California’s housing prices blasted into the stratosphere due to severe development restrictions. Texas cities also benefit from favorable state policies, such as the absence of a state income tax and a reasonable regulatory and litigation environment. These factors make Texas cities today what California’s used to be: places to go in search of the American dream.

  • More on how Texas cities are growing:

    Though some east/west coastal cities—notably, San Francisco—have enjoyed vigorous growth of late, none has been nearly as proficient in creating jobs in the new millennium as Texas’s four leading metros. Overall, Dallas–Fort Worth and Houston have emerged as the nation’s fastest-expanding big-city economies. Between 2000 and 2015, Dallas–Fort Worth boosted its net job numbers by 22.7 percent, and Houston expanded them by an even better 31.2 percent. Smaller Austin (38.2 percent job-base increase) and once-sleepy San Antonio (31.4 percent) have done just as well. New York, by way of comparison, increased its number of jobs in those years by just 10 percent, Los Angeles by 6.5 percent, and San Francisco by 5.2 percent, while Chicago actually lost net employment. And the Texas jobs are not just low-wage employment. Middle-class positions—those paying between 80 percent and 200 percent of the national median wage—have expanded 39 percent in Austin, 26 percent in Houston, and 21 percent in Dallas since 2001. These percentages far outpace the rate of middle-class job creation in San Francisco (6 percent), New York and Los Angeles (little progress), and Chicago (down 3 percent) over the same period.


    Among 52 American metropolitan areas with more than 1 million residents, San Antonio had the largest gain in its share of middle- and upper-income households—that is, the percentage of households in the lower-income category in the city actually dropped—from 2000 to 2014. Houston ranked sixth, Austin 13th, and Dallas–Fort Worth 25th in the Pew survey.


    In 2015, unemployment among Texas’s Hispanic population reached just 4.9 percent, the lowest for Latinos in the country—California’s rate tops 7 percent—and below the national average of 5.3 percent.

    Texas Latinos show an entrepreneurial streak. In a recent survey of the 150 best cities for Latino business owners, Texas accounted for 17 of the top 50 locations; Boston, New York, L.A., and San Francisco were all in the bottom third of the ranking. In a census measurement, San Antonio and Houston boasted far larger shares of Latino-owned firms than did heavily Hispanic L.A.

    In Texas, Hispanics are becoming homeowners, a traditional means of entering the middle class. In New York, barely a quarter of Latino households own their own homes, while in Los Angeles, 38 percent do. In Houston, by contrast, 52 percent of Hispanic households own homes, and in San Antonio, it’s 57 percent—matching the Latino homeownership rate for Texas as a whole. That’s well above the 46 percent national rate for Hispanics—and above the rate for all California households. (The same encouraging pattern exists for Texas’s African-Americans.)

    California and Texas, the nation’s most populous states, are often compared. Both have large Latino populations, for instance, but make no mistake: Texas’s, especially in large urban areas, is doing much better, and not just economically. Texas public schools could certainly be improved, but according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress—a high-quality assessment—Texas fourth- and eighth-graders scored equal to or better than California kids, including Hispanics, in math and reading. In Texas, the educational gap between Hispanics and white non-Hispanics was equal to or lower than it was in California in all cases.

    Though California, with 12 percent of the American population, has more than 35 percent of the nation’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare caseload—with Latinos constituting nearly half the adult rolls in the state—Texas, with under 9 percent of the country’s population, has less than 1 percent of the national welfare caseload. Further, according to the 2014 American Community Survey, Texas Hispanics had a significantly lower rate of out-of-wedlock births and a higher marriage rate than California Hispanics.

    In California, Latino politics increasingly revolves around ethnic identity and lobbying for government subsidies and benefits. In Texas, the goal is upward mobility through work. “There is more of an accommodationist spirit here,” says Rodrigo Saenz, an expert on Latino demographics and politics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where the student body is 50 percent Hispanic. It’s obvious which model best encourages economic opportunity.

  • Chuck DeVore explains how SB1234, a bill that establishes the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust, a state-run retirement fund for 7.5 million Californians, is actually a mechanism for forcing taxpayers to bail out public pensions:

    Per section 100004 (c) of the new law: Moneys in the program fund may be invested or reinvested by the treasurer or may be invested in whole or in part under contract with the Board of Administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System or private money managers, or both, as determined by the board. What is the California Public Employees’ Retirement System or CalPERS for short? It’s America’s largest public pension fund with some 1.8 million current and retired government employees.

    But, as with many public retirement systems around the nation, CalPERS is grossly underfunded. Including the California teacher retirement system and smaller local government systems, the unfunded liability for future retirement payouts is about $991 billion, according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research’s Pension Tracker run by Joe Nation, Ph.D., a former Democratic member of the California State Assembly.

    Since cash is amazingly fungible in government hands, dragooning some 7.5 million Californians into a retirement system that supports 1.8 million state government workers by levying what amounts to a 3 percent payroll tax is going to go a long way towards ensuring CalPERS’ short-term solvency while, perhaps more importantly, building public support for bailing out CalPERS’ looming trillion-dollar shortfall.

    7.5 million Californians will be made to care about CalPERS fiscal health.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • California wants to offer ObamaCare to illegal aliens. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Governor Bush’s education reforms were a lot more successful than President Bush’s. “Educational outcomes overall have continued to improve in Texas.” A long article that points out the need for more reform.
  • Meanwhile, California’s teacher’s unions are trying to destroy charter schools.
  • “The Redding Police Department’s net personnel costs in fiscal 2007-08 were $21 million for 173 employees; in fiscal 2015-16 the costs were $22 million for 131 total employees. In fiscal 2015-16, the Redding Police Department is paying $47,500 per employee more than in fiscal 2007-08. The increase is to pay its unfunded pension liability.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • San Jose voters to vote on compromise pension reform that rolls back real pension reform passed four years ago. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “Former [Orange County] Public Works administrator and convicted felon Carlos Bustamante, who served jail time this year for his sex crimes against county workers, lost a chunk of his pension benefits Monday after he was stripped of credit for the years he worked while committing the crimes.” But he’ll still get a pension. Also: “The board’s decision also means Bustamante is owed the nearly $56,000 he paid into the system during the 2 1/2 years he was committing crimes – meaning he’ll be refunded nearly $32,000 but will collect lower pension payments moving forward.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Los Angeles is suffering from a housing shortage. So naturally there’s a ballot initiative to make housing construction more expensive through requiring union kickbacks.
  • Here’s a long piece in City Journal by’s Jon Cassidy. It’s a very balanced assessment of both the strengths and weaknesses of Texas’ governmental structure.

    The good news is that the benefits of the Texas model, overseen by its part-time legislature, are impossible to ignore. From 2000 to 2014, Texas created some 2.5 million nonfarm jobs, more than a quarter of the U.S. total for the period. In 2015, amid free-falling oil prices, Texas still managed to finish third among states in job growth, thanks to booming health care, education, professional services, manufacturing, hospitality, warehousing, and light industrial sectors. Construction is doing well, too. Wondrously cheap housing and pro-growth land-use policies draw people and business to the state. None of this diversification was centrally planned. It’s the product of an economy that’s wide open to foreign trade and immigration. Immigration has boosted native Texans’ income by an aggregate $3.4 billion to $6.6 billion a year. Income inequality is up, too—but that’s just another way of saying that high-paying jobs are growing fastest.

    To a large degree, the Texas model has worked because the Austin governing establishment is penned in, limited in the damage that it can inflict by a state constitution that not only keeps lawmakers from enacting new laws for one out of every two years but also severely restricts taxation and imposes budget caps. Texas has no state income tax, and instituting one would require voter approval. The legislature makes do with a sales tax, a handful of excise taxes, and an onerous gross-receipts tax that penalizes high-volume businesses. The Texas state government simply never has the money for bold new expansions of government. So it stays small, just as the original Texans wanted it. It’s not perfect and never will be, but the state is flourishing.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Texas state government has done a good job controlling debt. Local governments? Not so much. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Police are under fire in Sacramento and Los Angeles.
  • The high speed rail project is uniting Californians! In opposition to it:

    The rest of the story is the astonishingly widespread political opposition to the train by California voters these days, even though 53 percent of them approved the idea when it was on the state ballot in the November 2008 election. The opposition spans ideological left and right and demographic rich, poor, and middle-class: from wealthy Silicon Valley technocrats horrified that the ultra-fast rail lines, with overpasses only every 10 miles or so, would wreck their leafy, bicycle-friendly upscale-suburban neighborhoods, to Latino-majority working-class towns in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley that would be split in half by the train corridors, to equestrians in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills who would see their horse trails destroyed and environmentalists concerned about wetlands destruction in Northern California and threats to wildlife and endangered plant species in Southern California’s Angeles National Forest, through which several of the proposed train routes would plow.

  • Hat tip for the above to Amy Alkon, who also notes:

    The analyzed per mile rate would make a one-way SF to LA ticket cost about $190.5 Therefore, if the CHSRA’s assumed private operator must charge enough to break even, four tickets for a LA/SF round trip would cost at least $1,520. Conclusions: California’s 2009 median household income was $42,548.6. For a middle class household to ride the train LA-SF once would cost them about 4% of their annual pre-tax income.

  • San Francisco to city of Brisbane: “Build housing in your city so San Franciscans can enjoy it…or else!”
  • CalPERS tries to stick 700 person town of Loyalton with a $1.6 million bill as punishment for dropping out of the system…for four retirees. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • The Bay Area Air Quality Management District needs more money so employees can enjoy more expensive junkets to New Orleans.
  • Want to sell signed books in California? A newly passed law requires you to issue a certificate of authenticity for any item over $5, including your name and address, even if it came from the publisher pre-signed. No COA? “You can be liable for TEN TIMES damages, plus attorneys fees. Call it a cool half mill, because you didn’t know you were supposed to issue a COA.” Word is they’re planning to change this idiocy, but that doesn’t excuse passing it in the first place.
  • Another California idiot law: A man can’t display historical Civil War paintings at the state fair because they have confederate flags in them. More here.
  • Did California just legalize child prostitution? Snopes says no, but I’ve seen California impose more tendentious readings on other laws. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Jerry Brown Just Signed a Tough-on-Rape Bill That’s So Bad, Even Feminists Hate It.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Voters in Apple Valley, California push for initiative to force voter approval on debt spending. Naturally the City Council puts their own initiative on the ballot to continue “eminent domain acquisition efforts unencumbered by another election.” Plus they illegally spent taxpayer money advertising in favor of their own initiative. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Harrison County in east Texas has been enjoying industrial gains.
  • Dallas has become a big hub for philanthropy. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California passes a hide an actor’s age upon request law. I sincerely doubt this will pass constitutional muster on first amendment and equal protection clause grounds. Plus, IMDB’s servers are in Washington state…
  • Verengo Inc, the largest installer of residential solar systems in southern California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday as it seeks to sell itself after defaulting on a bank loan.”
  • “The San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., which owns the Souplantation chain, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection…Court papers show that Garden Fresh pins its troubles on declining sales, higher minimum wages, and higher employee benefit costs.”
  • DentalOne is relocating its headquarters from Ohio to Plano.
  • This Week in Clinton Corruption for October 13, 2016

    Thursday, October 13th, 2016

    There’s a gusher of Clinton corruption information coming out of the leak of Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails:

  • Hillary’s State Department gave special treatment to Friends of Bill.
  • “I know [Hillary] has begun to hate everyday Americans.”
  • She also called blacks and Muslims “professional never-do-wells.”
  • Her campaign also mocked Catholics, Southerners and “needy Latinos.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • 14 things we learned from the latest email revelations. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Chelsea Clinton almost drove the Clinton Foundation COO to suicide.
  • Hillary’s email team failed to turn over key subpoenaed documents. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
  • And here they are discussing which emails to delete. So they’re actually on record discussing felony destruction of evidence.
  • “Unless The Saudi Sheikh Gave Us $6 Million, This Sounds Crazy To Do.”
  • Wikileaks also brought back to light a bit of information that was mostly swept under the rug at the time: Eric McFadden, Hillary’s 2008 Catholic community liaison, was arrested in 2009 for running an underage prostitution ring. Just another member of the Clinton Campaign Moral Freakshow…
  • The list of MSM reporters who take their marching orders from Hillary. On the list: ABC’s George Stephanopoulos (Duh) and Diane Sawyer, New York Times‘s Gail Collins, etc. The only surprise is no one from the Washington Post on that list. Maybe they just assumed they already had marching orders to support Hillary. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
  • The Wikileaks emails expose the inner workings of the American Nomenklatura:

    Most evident from their downloads is the unremitting, almost incestual, alliance between elites (read: Democratic Party leadership) and the press, those who are informing us of what we are supposed to think. The myriad emails between New York Times reporter and CNBC anchor John Harwood and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta would approach the risible were they not so disturbing by implication. Presidential debate moderator Harwood, putatively a journalist, actually acts as an advisor to Podesta in them, warning the campaign manager of the dangers of a potential Ben Carson candidacy and even bragging to him about having tripped up Donald Trump at a debate.

    But the presidential debate moderator is far from alone in his fealty to the ways and means of the nomenklatura. The New York Times and the Boston Globe—the emails show, as if we hadn’t guessed already—colluded with the Clinton campaign.

    But the level of collusion goes much deeper than press and politicians. The Department of Justice itself—the emails also reveal—was in private communication with the Clinton people during the investigation of the Hillary Clinton homebrew server, warning her campaign in advance of a State Department release of emails. Everybody was colluding!

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Excerpts from Hillary’s Goldman Sachs speech. In which Hillary declares she has nothing in common with those peons in the middle class, admits that jihadists are coming over among Syrian refugees, and proclaims her love of open borders.
  • More on the subject: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” Sounds like the EU written large.
  • Still more from her speeches on having different public and private positions.
  • So who is she lying to: her supporters or her donors?
  • On Hillary’s dream of open borders. “If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • And 2000 more Podesta emails.
  • FBI: “The vast majority felt she should be prosecuted.” (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.)
  • The White House coordinated with the Clinton campaign back in 2015 to do damage control over the email scandal.
  • Hard to believe it’s been a mere five days since Trump held a press conference with women Bill Clinton sexually assaulted. So much news has come down the pike since…
  • The long list of women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Eileen Wellstone, Carolyn Moffet, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Becky Brown, Helen Dowdy, Cristy Zercher… (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “It’s always ‘believe the women’ until they threaten the career of a Clinton.”
  • Bill Clinton gets Bone-d. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Scott Adams: “If the new battleground is spousal fidelity, you have to like Trump’s chances.”
  • New Trump ad hits Hillary on Pay-to-Play corruption:

  • Nigel Farage on Brexit and Trump: “I believe we are witnessing a popular uprising against failed politics on a global scale. People want to vote for candidates with personality, faults and all. It is the same in the UK, America and much of the rest of Europe. The little people have had enough. They want change.” (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Even Green Party candidate Jill Stein says that “it is actually Hillary’s policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump.”
  • New York City election commissioner admits on camera that “voters get bused around to vote multiple times.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • That NBC poll showing Hillary up 11 points is pure hogwash with biased samples from a company that’s on the Hillary campaign’s payroll. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Stephen Green is right: I need a bigger week…

    Rio Grande Valley Corruption Update for October 2016

    Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

    Been a while since I did an update on corruption down in Rio Grande Valley, so let’s do a roundup:

  • A border patrol agent is being tried for murder and aiding drug smugglers:

    The discovery of a headless body floating near the spring break haven of South Padre Island touched off an investigation that prosecutors say revealed a U.S. Border Patrol agent had helped a Mexican cartel move illegal weapons and ammunition south of the border and illicit drugs to the north.

    The prosecutors allege that agent Joel Luna got pulled into the business to help his brothers, including one linked to a cartel, and that their operation unraveled when investigators found a “treasure trove” of evidence in a safe at Luna’s mother-in-law’s home. The material included passwords to Luna’s work computer, almost $90,000 in cash and a kilo of cocaine. The trail of evidence led to Luna facing a raft of charges, including capital murder in the death of a man seen as a possible snitch.


    The case against Luna and his brothers, Eduardo and Fernando, began in March 2015 when boaters found the headless, nude and bloated body of 33-year-old Jose Francisco Rodriguez Palacios Paz. The Honduran immigrant had worked at Fernando Luna’s tire shop in Edinburg, about 20 miles north of the border.

    Investigators said phone records and texts revealed that Palacios Paz’s wife expressed concern to Fernando Luna that he was going to reveal the drug operation. Prosecutors allege that the Luna brothers conspired to kill Palacios Paz and that he was killed at the tire shop.

  • And here’s the story of another law enforcement officer arrested for working with drug smugglers:

    A Rio Grande Valley police officer accused of aiding a drug trafficking organization out of Starr County appeared for his initial hearing on Monday.

    Rio Grande City police officer Ramon “Ramey” De La Cruz Jr. is currently under federal custody. He’s charged with conspiring to possess and distribute marijuana.

    Investigators said he accepted cash and marijuana while providing smugglers with police radios and security.

    A Homeland Security Investigation’s federal complaint shows an extensive list of De La Cruz’s alleged crimes. It details a highway drug bust in Victoria County three years ago that led investigators to members of an alleged drug smuggling family in Starr County.

    The federal complaint shows sources from a string of indictments gave information about how De La Cruz aided the Beltran family.

    The report details how an informant said De La Cruz would give the Beltrans law enforcement documents, intel and would get paid in return with marijuana. Another informant said the police officer provided one of the smugglers with a police radio.

  • La Joya Housing Authority head Juan Jose Garza was indicted on a a bid rigging scheme:

    The 48-year-old executive director of the housing authority in a small Rio Grande Valley town and a construction company owner have been indicted on federal charges related to what prosecutors say was a bid rigging scheme.

    Juan Jose Garza, who runs the La Joya Housing Authority, and 52-year-old Armando Jimenez made initial appearances Monday before a federal magistrate in McAllen. They both were arrested Friday.

    Prosecutors say the men from July 2012 through March 2013 engaged in bid rigging for construction contracts with housing authorities in nearby Alamo and Donna in Hidalgo County.

    According to the indictment, they submitted false bids so Jimenez’s company would be awarded construction projects, then Jimenez falsely submitted invoices for work he claimed as his firm’s but actually was done by subcontractors working for Garza.

    Garza also seems to be a member of the La Joya ISD school board.

  • More on the same story, including the tidbit that “Roberto Jackson, who represents Garza [also] serves as a the [sic] La Joya city attorney.”
  • Misssed this from December of last year: Starr County Tax Assessor Collector Maria Del Carmen Pena arrested on 18 counts:

    Prosecutors have obtained five indictments against Starr County Tax Assessor Collector Maria Del Carmen Pena, charging her with 18 offenses, according to records obtained by CBS 4 News.

    Investigators arrested Pena and 14 other people Wednesday, when they raided the Tax Assessor Collector’s Office.

    According to the indictments, Pena embezzled at least $200,000 from the Tax Office from November 2010 to October 2012. Pena also conspired with clerks to backdate payments from taxpayers and make the transactions appear legitimate.

    Investigators have said they believe approximately $700,000 in taxpayer funds were stolen.

  • Two Hidalgo County employees arrested for stealing from the county. “La Villa Alderman Jose Lupe Contreras, 32, and 26-year-old Derick Palomin were arrested and charged with theft by a public servant, a Class B misdemeanor, and abuse of official capacity, a Class B misdemeanor, according to the news release.” What did they take? “The pair of cousins is accused of using county equipment to steal caliche from Precinct 1.” It takes a certain kind of genius to be arrested for stealing dirt…
  • Increased border enforcement brought by the Texas Department of Public Safety “surge” has meant that smuggling-related crime is down in Starr and Hidalgo counties, but up in Webb and Cameron counties. “The next step is going to be Cameron County, and we’ll keep moving to Zapata and Webb and keep moving west…It’s working exactly as we expected. We don’t just throw this strategy out based upon anything. This strategy was built on evidence and past experiences.”
  • LinkSwarm for October 7, 2016

    Friday, October 7th, 2016

    It’s been one of those weeks. Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • This just in: The eight years of the Obama Administration have been a miserable failure.
  • Some ObamaCare patients are losing their plans, others are facing huge rate hikes. In Tennessee, they’re getting both. (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.)
  • More on the same theme:

    ObamaCare’s unraveling shows the danger of a one-size-fits-all federal program. What’s happening in Tennessee is only a nationwide harbinger. Every single neighboring state will have less competition on its ObamaCare exchanges next year. The entire state of Alabama will have only one insurer. Almost all are facing double-digit premium increases: in Mississippi a weighted average of 16%; in Kentucky 25%; in Georgia 33%.

    These problems aren’t confined to the Southeast. ObamaCare exchange buyers will have only one option in nearly a third of American counties, according to an August report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s a 300% increase in single-option counties from last year. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have approved rates leading to average premium increases next year of over 26%.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Indiana police raid offices in nine county voting fraud case. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • And speaking of voting fraud, the 86 non-citizens registered to vote in Philadelphia are just the tip of the iceberg. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • There’s even a huge voting fraud investigation going on in Tarrant County, with “a vote harvesting scheme involving as many as 20,000 ballots.”
  • Michael Moore: “I don’t think people do trust the Democrats.”
  • Even MSNBC panelists nail the media for obvious left-wing bias.
  • Race relations have gotten worse under Obama. That’s what happens when you have George Soros spending millions to poison race relations, and let Social Justice Warriors go rampaging through your institutions…
  • Both Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte and Donald Trump are gaining in New Hampshire. Remember that until very recently New Hampshire was considered a solidly Republican state.
  • Mayor de Blasio is thin-skinned and unable to handle even the slightest criticism.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • NFL ratings are down across the, and one-third of people surveyed says its because of the Black Lives Matter pandering. (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.)
  • Followup: Dawanna Dukes seeks a plea deal. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • So even Canada has giant brawls in its McDonalds? Bonus: Baby raccoon.
  • Peak Florida? (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)
  • LinkSwarm for September 23, 2016

    Friday, September 23rd, 2016

    Yesterday I had to go through a “spite password reset” for Twitter in the wake of the Instapundit banning and unbanning. I’m sure it had something to do with Twitter’s ongoing attempt to drive all non-liberal thought off the platform. This may have been the Tweet that did the trick:

    This may be why so many conservatives are talking about moving to Gab.

    Believe it or not, there is just a tiny bit of non-Twitter news going on:

  • So many people are talking about this angry, shrill, shouty Hillary Clinton video that I’m not going to put it off to the next Clinton Corruption Update:

    When Donald Trump gets angry, he seems to get angry about things happening to America. When Clinton gets angry, she gets angry about what’s happening to her personally, because of the things she believes she’s entitled to (popularity, the presidency) being denied her. She comes off as shrill and unhinged.

  • Federal Judges gives State Department five days to cough up Hillary’s records.
  • Scott Adams. “There is still some mystery about how large the margin will be, but Trump is already the President of the United States unless something big happens in the next few weeks.”
  • Trump 44%, Clinton 39%, Johnson 8%, Stein 2%.
  • “Swedish police are losing the battle against increasing levels crime and violence in the country as now 55 areas have been labelled as ‘no-go’ zones.” Also, three police officers a day quit and 90% are considering changing professions. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Missed this from last week: Deutsch Bank fined $14 billion for financial shenanigans in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • This just in: Anthony Weiner is a pervert. “The disgraced former congressman sexted a 15-year-old high school girl for months, allegedly writing her lewd messages and sending her shirtless pics of himself, according to a report Wednesday…Weiner tried to get her engaging in ‘rape fantasies.'”
  • Illegal alien who complained about Trump’s comments on Mexican rapists arrested for rape. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Crazy feminist publically shames her suicidal son for having non-feminist thoughts about “rape culture.” You know, the largely imaginary, non-Anthony Weiner, non-illegal alien rapist kind…
  • Speaking of Twitter, did you know they were blocking people from posting links to Vox Day’s blog? I confirmed this by trying to Tweet a link and having it fail.
  • Hillary Health Watch: What’s the deal with her eyes? “Her eyes did not always move in the same direction at the same time. It appears that she has a problem with her left sixth cranial nerve. That nerve serves only one function and that is to make the lateral rectus muscle contract. That muscle turns the eye in the direction away from the midline.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instpundit.)
  • Who has Clinton lined up to headline a fundraiser? Think No Talent Ass-Clown. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • LinkSwarm for September 16, 2016

    Friday, September 16th, 2016

    It’s Friday! Something to be thankful for!

    Its 52 days until the election! At least we can be thankful it isn’t more! (Alternate theory: We’ve all died and gone to Hell, and will be watching this Presidential race for the rest of eternity…)

  • Donald Trump widens lead in LA Times poll. “The poll shows Trump leading Clinton, 47%-41%.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)
  • Another poll puts Trump up by eight in Iowa. Downside: Same poll has Trump up by only seven in Texas. There’s no way in Hell or Terlingua that’s happening, but let’s hope Battleground Texas cons some national Democratic donors into throwing more money down that particular rathole based on that poll… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)
  • Scott Adams on Hillary’s 9/11 collapse: “The optics of a potential commander-in-chief collapsing at that holy place, and on an important anniversary, rendered her unelectable in my opinion.”
  • Hillary Clinton has stage-three Parkinson’s disease and suffers from seizures, according to three sources who have had a personal relationship with the Democratic Party presidential nominee.” Grains of salt, anonymous sources disclaimer, yadda yadda.
  • Did I miss this from 2015? “The charitable foundation run by Hillary Clinton and her family has received as much as $81m from wealthy international donors who were clients of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank.” Including Frank Giustra. But why would you trust such a notoriously right-wing news outlet as The Guardian? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “It Was Easier To Cure Trump Of His Trumpiness Than Hillary of Her Hillaryness.” “For Hillary, the problem runs deeper. People think she’s corrupt and dishonest. That’s because she’s corrupt and dishonest.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Email leak exposes Democratic Party Pay-for-Play scheme, despite cleverly hiding their intent by actually using the phrase “pay-for-play.” Just think: This would have been a major story dominating the news for months if it were a Republican Administration. In the age of Obama and Hillary, it’s just another selection on a vast buffet of corruption. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • America’s trust in media hits all time low:

    Well, what did they expect when they went all in for Hillary? And now Trump is climbing in the polls — 6 points up in the new L.A. Times poll — and they’ve already squandered their credibility. They can’t help her now. They tried too hard before. Too bad the Democratic Party didn’t give us a democratic experience this time. They foisted a candidate on us, they rigged it, with the assistance of the media. And now the candidate we didn’t want zombie-walks and stumbles to the finish line, and there is nothing the Party or the media can do to stir up our affection. Meanwhile, the man the media loved to hate is powering through to the Presidency, looking only stronger for all the shots he took.

  • More Americans murdered in Chicago since 2001 than U.S. casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
  • The European Dream gives way to nightmare:

    Viktor Orbán, together with the prime ministers of the Visegrad countries and the Ukrainian prime minister, took part in a discussion where he highlighted: a whole generation of European politicians had a “secret dream”, that they can use the EU to achieve the weakening of the member states’ national, religious, and historic identities, and that all this would be replaced by a new European identity. But we found out there is no such identity that could replace the old ones, he said. He added: now it is proven that the only successful countries are the ones with strong identities.

    (Hat tip Director Blue.)

  • Someone is learning how to take down the Internet.

    Someone is extensively testing the core defensive capabilities of the companies that provide critical Internet services. Who would do this? It doesn’t seem like something an activist, criminal, or researcher would do. Profiling core infrastructure is common practice in espionage and intelligence gathering. It’s not normal for companies to do that. Furthermore, the size and scale of these probes — and especially their persistence — points to state actors. It feels like a nation’s military cybercommand trying to calibrate its weaponry in the case of cyberwar… The data I see suggests China.

  • Former Ohio mayor arrested for raping a 4-year old. Guess which party they were a member of, and guess how deeply the Washington Post buried that information.
  • Have an Android? Enjoy your Big Brother inside.
  • Happy Land Social Club arsonist dies in prison. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • The end of the Euro?
  • Austin to hire an official Social justice Warrior.
  • Local Texas school districts try to reduce or repeal Local Option Homestead Exemptions, get smacked down by Texas Attorney general Ken Paxton.
  • Texas vs. California Update for September 14, 2016

    Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

    Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • Vance Ginn makes the case that Texas is still kicking California’s ass:

    After descending into a deep valley during the recession, California’s economy has recently grown at a faster rate than in Texas, where the drop in oil prices and higher value of the dollar have negatively affected the mining and manufacturing sectors. However, during the last decade, the productive, real private sector growth has increased by 13.6 percent in California compared with a robust 29.1 percent in Texas.

    This growth translates into output per person in Texas increasing almost four times more than in California in that period, meaning economic output has far outpaced population growth.

    Although contemporary economic growth in California has led to a higher annual job creation rate than in Texas since April 2015, this only tells part of the story.

    Since December 2007 when the last national recession started, total civilian employment increased in California by 1.2 million while it increased by 1.7 million in Texas, with a labor force two-thirds the size of California’s. This increase in employment in Texas constitutes about one-third of all jobs created nationwide — truly remarkable given recent headwinds!

    This phenomenal job creation contributed to Texas’ unemployment rate (4.6 percent) being at or below California’s rate (5.5 percent) for 121 straight months, or since July 2006. But the official unemployment rate only accounts for those actually looking for work, a better gauge of labor force health would be the share of the population employed, which has been higher in Texas than in California since at least 2000.

    More economic output and job creation over time in Texas has contributed to less poverty. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ supplemental poverty measure, which accounts for the local cost of living, shows that Texas’ rate matches the national average while California has the nation’s highest poverty rate

    Income inequality has also been higher in California than in Texas for years. For example, the average of total income held by the top 10 percent of income earners from 2000 to 2012 was 49.9 percent in California compared with 48.8 percent in Texas.

    The results are pretty clear that California’s progressive policies of having the highest marginal personal income tax rate, cumbersome regulations, huge unfunded pension obligations, an out of control lawsuit environment, and other policies reduce economic opportunity.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • High earners are leaving blue states like California for red states like Texas:

    For generations, the Golden State developed a reputation as the ultimate destination of choice for millions of Americans. No longer. Since 2000 the state has lost 1.75 million net domestic migrants, according to Census Bureau estimates. And even amid an economic recovery, the pattern of outmigration continued in 2014, with a loss of 57,900 people and an attraction ratio of 88.5, placing the Golden State 13th from the bottom, well behind longtime people exporters Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana. California was a net loser of domestic migrants in all age categories.


    Much of the discussion about millennial migration tends to focus on high-cost, dense urban regions such as those that dominate New York, Massachusetts and, of course, California. Yet the IRS data tells us a very different story about migrants aged 26 to 34. Here it’s Texas in the lead, and by a wide margin, followed by Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine, Florida and New Hampshire. Once again New York and Illinois stand out as the biggest losers in this age category.

    Perhaps more important for the immediate future may be the migration of people at the peak of their careers, those aged 35 to 54. These are also the age cohorts most likely to be raising children. The top four are the same in both cohorts. Among the 35 to 44 age group, it’s Texas, followed by Florida, South Carolina and North Dakota. Among the 45 to 54 cohort, Texas, followed by South Carolina, Florida and North Dakota.

  • California just raised your food costs.
  • And agricultural producers are not happy:

    The Governor signed this ag overtime bill in the same year that minimum wage legislation was also passed that will take California to the highest minimum wage as well as legislation forcing California to adopt additional greenhouse gas regulations for businesses in California.

    California is the only state in the country subject to such regulations. Today’s signing occurred despite numerous requests by the agricultural industry to meet with the Governor to discuss our concerns. The message is clear. California simply doesn’t care.

  • Ca;ifornia companies have a hard time attracting workers:
  • More than two-thirds (70 percent) of organizations in California indicated that they have had difficulty recruiting for full-time regular positions in the last 12 months, similar to 68 percent nationally.

  • California organizations were more likely than organizations nationally to report competition from other employers (56 percent), qualified candidates rejecting compensation packages (28 percent), qualified candidates not being able to move to their local area (21 percent), or a relocation or a relocation package not being competitive or not being offered (12 percent) as top reasons for hiring difficulty.
  • Why California can’t build more housing. “Labor unions—which ostensibly stand for working class interests—will not stand for new construction unless it is accompanied by carve-outs and cronyist regulations that artificially boost their compensation.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “California’s unfunded pension debts may be larger than acknowledged.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “The biggest problem faced by the State of California is not ‘climate change’ or ‘poverty it is the overreaching power of California government itself, namely the California Legislature and Administration, and the threats that this Democrat establishment poses to California’s future, particularly with regard to the economy and individual liberty. California Democrats are celebrating the passage of new climate change legislation that provides California government with broad, sweeping new powers to drastically curb greenhouse gas reductions without regard to economic impact or the basic rights of businesses and individuals.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Palo Alto decides that they hate, hate, hate that golden goose.
  • Maybe that’s why some observers are telling people “If You Own A Home In Palo Alto, CA; Sell It Now.” As the median price of homes has actually started dropping, though from admittedly already insane heights…
  • “Case Study: How Politicians Motivate Companies to Leave California.”
  • Orange County clerk took bribes to make charges disappear.
  • Corrupt Oakland police sentenced. There are all sorts of real winners in this story…
  • LAX Police Assistant Chief Resigns Amid Corruption Allegations.”
  • University of California hires India-based IT outsourcer, lays off tech workers. “The layoffs will happen at the end of February, but before the final day arrives the IT employees expect to train foreign replacements from India-based IT services firm HCL. The firm is working under a university contract valued at $50 million over five years.” This might be a good time to throw in a “How’s that $15 minimum wage working out for you, San Francisco,” but there’s another factor at work: “Joe Bengfort, the CIO for the UCSF campus, said the campus is facing ‘difficult circumstances’ because of declining reimbursement and the impact of the Affordable Healthcare Act, which has increased the volume of patients but limits reimbursement to around 55 cents on the dollar, he said.” So San Franciscans IT workers are losing their jobs thanks to ObamaCare.
  • “Texas has proven it’s possible to have both much lower crime and a lower rate of imprisonment. Indeed, Texas’ FBI index crime rate, which accounts for both violent crime and property crime, has fallen more sharply than it has nationally, posting a 29 percent drop from 2005 to 2014, the latest full year for which official data is available.”
  • “It turns out that the average property tax bill required to support BART’s proposed $3.5 billion bond measure on the November ballot could be as much as four times what the transit agency claimed…That’s because legal language in Measure RR allows BART to issue bonds at up to the state limit of 12 percent interest.” 12%? With 30 year U.S. Treasuries running under 2%? The fact they think they may have to go that high to attract investors suggests how worried bond traders are about the future of California’s economy…
  • Some are less than enthused about BART’s bond proposal:

    BART officials want voters to trust them with another $3.5 billion of taxpayer money. But they’ve done nothing to earn that trust.

    Instead, they have recklessly spent what they have, grossly understated how much their ballot proposal would raise property tax bills and devised plans to use money from the measure, intended for capital projects, to indirectly cover inflated labor costs.

    Voters in Alameda County, Contra Costa and San Francisco should say no — hell no. They should reject Measure RR on the Nov. 8 ballot.

    Despite the problems facing the transit agency, it makes no sense to approve five decades of extra taxes when Measure RR lacks a logical budget, a timeline for service improvements and provisions ensuring taxpayers and riders get what they’re promised.

    The measure would authorize the district to borrow $3.5 billion through bond sales as part of a larger plan to upgrade BART’s infrastructure. The ballot wording conveniently omits that the district would tax property owners for 48 years to pay off the debt.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Speaking of California bonds: Proposition 53 explained.
  • California’s legislature passes extension of sexual assault statue of limitations mainly over Bill Cosby. Combine this with the trend of colleges redefining rape to “any sex a woman later regrets,” and suddenly the state has the ability to prosecute anyone who ever had sex in California…
  • Leprosy Scare in California Elementary School. “There are approximately 6,500 cases of leprosy in the United States, and 90 percent of the cases are immigrants from countries where leprosy is endemic.With the increase in illegal immigrants and refugees in recent years, diseases thought to be eradicated in this country — like tuberculosis, polio, measles and leprosy — have unfortunately reemerged in the United States.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Image Comics to move from Berkeley to Portland.
  • Cow Fart Regulations Approved By California’s Legislature.” No, not an Onion piece.
  • Follow-up: Pacific Sunwear exits bankruptcy.
  • George Soros Hacked

    Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

    The big news this week is that, following hot on the heels of the DNC hack, is that George Soros got hacked. That’s pretty significant, given how thoroughly Soros has funded the American left.

    Pretty much everyone knows that Soros is Mr. Moneybags to the left. However, few people realize just how how extensive his influence is. For one thing, Soros is big on ethnic grievance mongering, helping fund:

    Organizations that depict America as a nation whose enduring racism must be counterbalanced by racial and ethnic preferences in favor of nonwhites:

  • The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund calls itself “the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization.”
  • The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law provides “legal services to address racial discrimination.”
  • The NAACP and its Legal Defense and Educational Fund uses “litigation, advocacy, and public education” to promote “structural changes” and “achieve racial justice in the United States”
  • The National Council of La Raza charges that “discrimination severely limits the economic and social opportunities available to Hispanic Americans.”
  • Snip.

    Organizations that promote open borders, mass immigration, a watering down of current immigration laws, increased rights and benefits for illegal aliens, and ultimately amnesty:

  • The American Immigration Council—formerly known as the the American Immigration Law Foundation—supports “birthright citizenship” for children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S.
  • Casa de Maryland periodically sponsors “know your rights” training sessions to teach illegals how to evade punishment in the event that they are apprehended in an immigration raid.
  • The Immigrant Legal Resource Center belongs to the sanctuary movement that tries to shield illegal aliens from the law.
  • The Migration Policy Institute advocates a more permissive U.S. refugee admissions and resettlement policy, as well as more social-welfare benefits for illegals residing in the U.S.
  • LatinoJustice PRLDF is a legal advocacy group that “protects opportunities for all Latinos … especially the most vulnerable—new immigrants and the poor.”
  • The Immigration Policy Center states that “[r]equiring the 10-11 million unauthorized immigrants residing in the U.S. to register with the government and meet eligibility criteria in order to gain legal status is a key element of comprehensive immigration reform.”
  • The National Immigration Forum opposes the enhancement of the U.S. Border Patrol and the construction of a border fence to prevent illegal immigration.
  • The National Immigration Law Center works to help low-income immigrants gain access to government-funded welfare programs on the same basis as legal American citizens.
  • And that’s among the dozens of other categories of leftist groups Soros has funded.

    In this election cycle, Soros dumped “more than $30 million in seed money to Black Lives Matter affiliated groups.”

    Jihad watch also noted that Soros gave $50,000 to do opposition research on groups opposing Jihad:

    Ironically, much of the Center for American Progress’ libelous and inaccurate “research” on the alleged purveyors of “Islamophobia” focused on the money we were all supposedly raking in, in an attempt to portray us as cynical profiteers only in it for the money. The CAP reports wildly exaggerated, misrepresented, and distorted the financial data, and meanwhile were making huge sums themselves to do it. Jihad Watch has never received a single grant as large as these that CAP received from Soros: the real cynical profiteers were Soros’ paid operatives.

    Given all this, it’s a little disappointing that everything I’ve seen released so far just seems to be banal organizational detritus (although this doc seems to have some interesting funding information). Maybe more significant revelations are coming.

    You can find the Soros docs themselves here.

    LinkSwarm for August 12, 2016

    Friday, August 12th, 2016

    Welcome to another Friday LinkSwarm! Here in Texas it’s been hitting 104°F during the day. That’s bad enough, but worse is trying to walk your dog at night when it’s still 93° with no wind.

  • Hillary’s lead over Trump isn’t quite as wide as Dukkakis’ lead over Bush.
  • Trump raised $80 million in July.
  • DNC email hack a whole lot bigger than previously thought.
  • ObamaCare premiums set to explode again in 2017.
  • Ace of Spades HQ contends we’re in this mess because the GOP establishment is secretly all-in on illegal alien amnesty and think the base is racist for opposing their Olympian insight, but has steadfastly refused to tell voters what they actually think:

    The Establishment and establishment-aligned commentators are guilty of the Yeah Yeah Evasion I spoke of above with respect to amnesty.

    Oh, sure, in 2014, they’ll run on a super-border-hawk national platform, and vow to oppose, unto their dying breath, Obama’s executive amnesties.

    And sure, they’ll trot out a field of 17 candidates, fifteen of whom who have been coached to give the corporate/donor class evasive answer on the border.


    Now, the Trumpkins come along — I’ll use the Establishment’s slur for them — and the Trumpkins believe that it is standard GOP doctrine that we should have a border wall and be tough on border security, up to and including deportations.

    They think there’s broad support for this in the party. They don’t think this position is controversial — they think it’s just a base plank of the platform.

    Gee — I wonder where they could have gotten that idea, Establishment, huh?

    I guess those stupid Trumpkins did something crazy — the believed the lies pouring out of your mouths every election eve.

    So once again we have a political calamity brewing– the Establishment types, the college educated set who has no fear of being displaced by a cheaper foreign worker, misled the white working class into thinking they agreed with them on immigration, while secretly — silently — holding the opinion that anything short of open borders was kinda-sorta (or definitely) racist.

  • Rahm Emmanuel steals from the poor (Chicago utility users) to give to the rich (union pension funds). (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • New Jersey teacher’s union wants to write its pension gravy train into the state constitution, vows revenge on Democrat who blocked it.
  • Rotherham is still a center for Muslim child rape gangs. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Alumni have started to decide that if college administrators insist on preemptively surrendering to Social Justice Warriors, then their donations can go elsewhere. (Hat tip: Hot Air.)
  • “State Sen. Judith Zaffirini and her associates have agreed to pay roughly $38 million to settle a lawsuit in which they were accused of seizing control of a massive real estate inheritance for their own enrichment. The Laredo Democrat still has a chance to get richer. She and her crew will walk away owning 444 acres of prime Laredo real estate that nobody bequeathed to them. They’ll need to continue developing the land to come up with the $38 million, but everything they clear above that will be profit. That’s not including, of course, the millions that the Zaffirini crew has already paid itself in legal and management fees out of the inheritance, including roughly $1.5 million paid to Carlos Zaffirini’s law firm.”
  • My friend Karl Rehn’s study on just what the best aiming system (red dot vs. laser vs. iron sights) gets a nice writeup by Massad Ayoob. (Hat tip: Stuff from Hsoi.)
  • Title IX is killing men’s teams at historically black colleges and universities.
  • British MPs facing a booze ban due to having to move to a Muslim-owned building while Westminster is refurbished (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Hungary says no to more “Syrian refugees.” EU to shove more of them down Hungary’s throat, because joining the EU means signing your national sovereignty away
  • Wal-Mart acquires (which is an online retailer, not an airline).
  • Facebook to users using Adblock: “Shut up and eat some ads.
  • “Fisking the Latest Diversity in Sci-Fi Freak Out.”
  • Buy your own Sherman Tank. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “It’s ridiculous for anyone to worry that the new Ghostbusters will ruin their childhoods retroactively. We should worry about this piece of shit ruining childhoods in real time.”‘
  • Heh. The Ghostbusters reboot to gross “almost exactly $.78 for every $1 the first one earned.”
  • In another sign of 2016’s impending apocalypse, corpse flowers are blooming across America.
  • Crime scene dioramas. Or, as the creator calls them, “dieoramas.” (More here.)
  • Cat-like typing detected.
  • Yazidis That Fled to Greece Still Being Attacked by Muslims

    Thursday, August 11th, 2016

    Remember the Yazidi, the ethnic/religious minority that the Islamic State tried to wipe off the face of the earth?

    It turns out that Muslims are still attacking them in European refugee camps:

    “One hundred and thirty Yazidis arrived to Petra just last night from Cherso camp. Muslims were attacking them.”

    Petra is the only refugee camp in Greece exclusively for Yazidis, a religious minority in Iraq who have suffered brutal treatment at the hands of ISIS. After the borders closed in March, about 3,500 Yazidis were trapped in Greece. Petra was created around that time to house about 800 Yazidis who were being harassed by some Muslim refugees in Idomeni, on the Greece-Macedonia border.

    But because of ongoing situations like the one at Cherso, its numbers have swelled to almost double that amount.


    Ezidi updates me on recent incidents in various camps where Yazidis have been harassed by Muslims.

    Besides the refugees from Cherso, they are very worried about a group of 200 Yazidis in Katsika camp. “I talked with an old man. He was crying and begging for help.” Ezidi says the man told her the harassment was so bad that the Yazidis where afraid to go to the area where they could charge their phones. It was also dangerous for them to go to the bathroom. Several Yazidis at both camps were punched or attacked at knife point.

    The Yazidis at Katsika eventually left the camp on their own with no clear destination. More recently, another group of Yazidis left Nea Kavala camp because they felt unsafe. Yazidis have been attacked in the detention center on Leros island, as well.

    It’s difficult to get comprehensive data on violence against Yazidis in Greece. “We are aware of what Yazidis have been through and that they are subject to harsh forms of persecution,” a UNHCR spokesperson told me. “If and when we are approached, we try to be of help.” But UNHCR doesn’t keep stats on refugees by religious group and the group doesn’t monitor Yazidis specifically. I was able to confirm the incidents at Cherso, Katsika and Nea Kavala with the UNHCR — but it’s generally the network of Yazidi refugees and activists inside and outside of Greece who have the most up-to-date information.

    “We get calls daily from Yazidis at other camps asking for help,” Ezidi says.

    The Yazidi are real refugees, and had the current wave of “refugees” flooding Europe been of their ilk, very little opposition would have arisen. But given that a disproportionate number of the so-called refugees are young men of military age, and which contain a strong Islamist component, that’s obviously not the case.