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Sun, 11 Apr 2021
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Businessman who offered to fly Prince Hamzah out of Jordan is ex-Mossad agent, reports claim

prince hamzah jordan
Jordanian officials have announced that the former crown prince, Hamzah bin Hussein, and two other palace officials had held contacts with unnamed foreign intelligence agencies to destabilize the Kingdom. Hamzah himself said he was placed under house arrest and cut off from communication.

The man who contacted Prince Hamzah recently and offered him help to escape Jordan has ties to the Mossad spy agency, local media reports say.

According to news agency "Ammon", which is close to the Jordanian security services, the man's name is Roy Shaposhnik and he is allegedly a former Mossad officer.

Comment: See also: Jordan's Queen Noor calls coup plot allegations 'wicked slander'


'Miraculously defied all odds': Boy, 3, who went missing for three days in sub-zero Canadian woods is miraculously found ALIVE just 800m from home

jude found

Members of the OPP Emergency Response Team carry Jude Leyton out of the woods near Kingston. The three-year-old was found three days after being reported missing.
The mother of a three-year-old boy who spent three days in the woods north of Kingston, Ont. is praising the "unrelenting dedication' of OPP search teams, adding her son "miraculously defied all odds."

Katherine Leyton issued a statement on Twitter Thursday, one day after Jude Leyton was found by a member of the OPP Emergency Response Team searching the woods in South Frontenac.

"We can't begin to express how we feel to have our incredible, resilient son Jude back safe in our arms. Our entire extended family is beyond elated after what was undoubtedly the worst experience of our lives," said Katherine Leyton.

Comment: More from The Sun:
Jude went missing at around 11am on Sunday after he meandered from the family's fishing cabin on Folsom Lake in Ontario, Canada.

Concerns for his welfare continued to increase as the temperature dropped to freezing, despite him being "well dressed for the weather" according to the spokesperson for the OPP, Bill Dickson.

"He had a winter jacket on with a heavy wool sweater. He still had his boots on. So, he did well for the elements and so that's one reason he was in such good shape, I believe."

A search party consisting of OPP officers, a canine unit, the underwater search and recovery unity and members of Ontario search and rescue volunteer teams, trawled the 200-acre resort on Canoe Lake Road to find little Jude.

The tot was found sleeping near an area in the woodland known as "beaver pond" by an emergency response team who had expanded their search radius.

"Four of our ERT members, part of the search and rescue (team), they were on another tasking to check another area. While they're on that tasking, they found Jude. It was a great finale to some very, very difficult days," Constable Curtis Dick explained.

"There's a body of water that's attached to the property. So it was across that body of water. So a significant distance for sure."

The teams battled through the tough terrain over nearly four days and three nights before Constable Scott McNames spotted the toddler through the shrubbery.


Facts don't care about your diversity training certificate—a critique of credentialism

harvard website
One of the most commonly heard debater's challenges, online and in real life, is: "Are YOU an expert in (X)?" The obvious if generally unspoken corollary is: "If not, then shut up." However, very often, you don't need to. There is little evidence that a smart normal citizen, capable of effective analysis of empirical data, cannot criticize the work of academic or journalistic "experts" in most fields — or any reason that he or she should be intimidated by these title-holders.

Obviously, some professional background in a topic that one is discussing or researching is a good thing. However, no credential can substitute for a relatively unbiased and non-partisan approach to data, or for what can bluntly be called intelligence. Whether due to political motivation or plain incorrect statistical assumptions, credentialed experts have a long and entertaining history of wildly false predictions — like the recent predictions of between 1,000,000 and 10,000,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States before the end of 2020.1, 2 This sort of thing is likely to become even more common in the politicized academy of today, where essentially no statistical support appears to exist for theories of "white fragility" and univariate white privilege. When debating such questions as "How many human sexes are there?" a taxpayer who finds the experts arrayed against her need not feel a fool.

The basic fact that famous experts are often wrong is not itself in dispute — but is worth reviewing. Scholars writing in my own "neck of the woods" — the intersection of hard quantitative methods with topics of interest to social scientists — have a long history of producing (in addition to much fine work) globally influential but false apocalyptic predictions. Most notably, Stanford University's Paul Ehrlich penned the international best-seller The Population Bomb in 1968, arguing that worldwide famines would devastate Earth during the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation. The book opens by claiming that hundreds of millions of people will starve before 1980 despite mankind's best efforts — "The battle to feed all of humanity is over" — and goes on to argue that widespread human sterilization may be necessary and then to essentially write off the entire nation of India — arguing that there is no way the sub-continental giant could feed even "200 million more people."


'Overworked, overwhelmed and burned out': Why Portland cops say they're leaving in droves

Portland police officer
They trashed police management.

They mocked city leaders.

They bemoaned the lack of true community-based policing.

And they were all Portland officers and supervisors who chose to leave the state's largest police force in the last year.

In 31 exit interview statements, the employees who turned in their badges or retired were brutally frank about their reasons for getting out.

"The community shows zero support. The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchists fantasy. What's worse is ppb command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly," one retiring detective wrote.

"The only differences between the Titanic and PPB?" he continued. "Deck chairs and a band."

Since July 1, 115 officers have left the Police Bureau, including 74 who retired and 41 who resigned. Two more will resign by the end of this month and one more is retiring. They make up one of the biggest waves of departures in recent memory.

Filling out the exit interview forms is voluntary. About a quarter of those who left in the last year chose to do so.

Comment: See also:

Arrow Down

Pseudo-epidemic in France and Sweden as deaths drop below average

excess mortality covid
Despite the clear evidence from America of states without restrictions experiencing no worse (and often better) outcomes than states with restrictions, the case for lockdowns continues to be pressed, with proponents pointing to the surges in France (which has just entered another lockdown) and across Europe, as well as in Brazil. But are things actually as bad as they're claimed by the lockdown zealots?

Europe's spring surge, which appears to be easing off now, has been driven in part by an increase in testing. France, for instance, has been spiking in positive cases.

france cases
But it is also ramping up testing.

Arrow Down

Study declares AOC one of the least effective members of Congress

© Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/ Getty Images
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
She's the queen of Twitter — but less successful at lawmaking.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the least effective members of the last Congress according to a new survey from the nonpartisan Center for Effective Lawmaking — a joint project of Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.

AOC introduced a total of 21 bills which the center defined as "substantive" — but that is where the story ends. Her legislation received no action in committees, no floor votes, and none ever became law, according to the center, which takes its data from Congress.gov.

Alan Wiseman, a Vanderbilt political scientist and co-director of the center, told The Post:
"She introduced a lot of bills, but she was not successful at having them receive any sort of action in committee or beyond committee and if they can't get through committee they cannot pass the House.

"It's clear that she was trying to get her legislative agenda moving and engage with the lawmaking process, but she wasn't as successful as some other members were — even among [other] freshmen — at getting people to pay attention to her legislation."
When looking at the legislative effectiveness of all congressional Democrats, AOC was ranked 230th out of 240 Democrats. Among the 19 Dem lawmakers from New York state, she ranked dead last.

Star of David

Even with ICC investigation looming, Israel refuses to behave itself

Israeli military/ICC
© screenshot
Israeli military in action • International Criminal Court
In case you haven't heard, Israel is in a bit of hot water. The International Criminal Court is about to begin investigation into possible war crimes by Israel against the people of Palestine.

Israel is well aware of the looming investigation, and has not really tried to deny the war crimes charges. Rather, it has claimed variously that the probe should be called off because either Israel is outside ICC jurisdiction, or Palestine is not a state, or the ICC is "politicized" or "antisemitic."

Again, Israel has said little or nothing in denial of the charges.

The US administration has stood by Israel's side, knowing that possible American war crimes in Afghanistan may be next on the court's docket, and the media, as usual, ignore it. Remember, our politicians have voted to expend $19 million per day on behalf of Israel.

A recent article that IAK posted explains why the arguments against this investigation don't hold water.

The ICC is stepping in between Israel and Palestine because Israel is (allegedly) unwilling to prosecute violations of international law. Naturally, Israel claims this isn't the case - it is a "democratic, law-abiding nation" with the "most moral army in the world."

With the ICC about to start poking around in Israel's business, one might think that at a minimum, Israel and its moral army would lie low for a while, or try to do a few good deeds - but quite the opposite is true. If anything, Israel has been outdoing itself in its efforts to ruin its Palestinian neighbors.

Comment: "Why would Israel persist in its abuses?" Israel sees its infractions (war crimes) as a right, not a wrong. It legislates to give itself permission by definition. If charges are actually levied, this would be the last chances for Israel to finish the job of Palestinian eradication, hence the uptick. It is also time for elections and this is the strategy that keeps on giving. In addition, the Biden administration has just announced renewing support for Palestinians and a two-state solution. Translation: the window is closing on rubber-stamping Israel's land grab.

The ICC prosecutes individuals, not countries. Israel did not join this court and therefore believes it is immune to investigation and consequences. For Israel, this is merely a 'bad optic'. Palestine, on the other hand, is a member.


FBI promises to hunt down anyone who lies about taking COVID Vax as vaccine passports loom

FBI Vaccination card
© unknown
Vaccination Card
After it was confirmed that the Biden regime is working with major corporations to develop a country-wide vaccine passport, and after New York began the rollout of its own vaccine passport system, the FBI is warning people against fake vaccine passports or COVID-19 vaccination cards.

"We've all seen friends posting their #COVID19 vaccination cards on social media," wrote the Minneapolis branch of the FBI on social medial. "If you make or buy a fake one to misrepresent your vaccination status, you endanger other people and may also be breaking the law."

Comment: We can't have a fake vaccination card for a fake disease. It has to be a real card. They are going to clog up the courts and fill the jails with this one!

See also:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issues executive order banning 'vaccine passports'

Star of David

How living on a socialist kibbutz revealed the value of private property

Kibbutz/Golda Meir
© unknown
Israeli Kibbutz community with visitor Golda Meir
In an interesting recent article, Dartmouth economist Meir Kohn describes how he gradually shifted from being a socialist to eventually becoming a libertarian. A key role was his experience of living on a kibbutz, the famed Israeli socialist agricultural settlement:
A kibbutz is a commune of a few hundred adults, plus kids, engaged primarily in agriculture but also in light industry and tourism. Members work wherever they are assigned, although preferences are taken into account. Instead of receiving pay, members receive benefits in kind: they live in assigned housing, they eat in a communal dining hall, and their children are raised communally in children's houses, and can visit with their parents for a few hours each day. Most property is communal except for personal items such as clothing and furniture, for which members receive a small budget....

Kibbutz is bottom‐​up socialism on the scale of a small community. It thereby avoids the worst problems of state socialism: a planned economy and totalitarianism. The kibbutz, as a unit, is part of a market economy, and membership is voluntary: you can leave at any time. This is "socialism with a human face" — as good as it gets.

Being a member of a kibbutz taught me two important facts about socialism. The first is that material equality does not bring happiness. The differences in our material circumstances were indeed minimal. Apartments, for example, if not identical, were very similar. Nonetheless, a member assigned to an apartment that was a little smaller or a little older than someone else's would be highly resentful. Partly, this was because a person's ability to discern differences grows as the differences become smaller. But largely it was because what we received was assigned rather than earned. It turns out that how you get stuff matters no less than what you get.

The second thing I learned from my experience of socialism was that incentives matter. On a kibbutz, there is no material incentive for effort and not much incentive of any kind. There are two kinds of people who have no problem with this: deadbeats and saints. When a group joined a kibbutz, the deadbeats and saints tended to stay while the others eventually left. I left.
As Kohn explains, the kibbutz experience did not lead him to become a libertarian (that came later). But it did persuade him to reject socialism.

Comment: Having choice is a part of the human endeavor that seems to be missing in the socialist Kibbutz experience. Exercising choice is what leads folks to leave it.


CBS caught in stealth edit of article after getting called out for misrepresenting Georgia election reforms

georgia vote reforms cbs headline

CBS altered a tweet on corporations influencing government vote reforms
Last night, CBS News put out a tweet that suggested big corporations should use their power to influence democratic processes.

In their original tweet, the headline read, "3 ways companies can help fight Georgia's restrictive new voting law", however that tweet was deleted and the corresponding article on their website now reads, "Activists are calling on big companies to challenge new voting laws. Here's what they're asking for".