Christians caught with a Bible in North Korea have faced death and had their families, including children, thrown in prison for life, a new report says

Christians caught with a Bible in North Korea have faced death and had their families, including children, thrown in prison for life, a new report says

By Ryan Pickrell

May 26, 2023

North Korea offers freedom of religion to its citizens on paper but not in practice.

It has imprisoned tens of thousands of Christians, according to a State Department report, citing NGO research.

The recent report reveals executions and imprisonment for life for people caught with religious materials.

North Korea is notorious for the cruelty it inflicts on people deemed undesirable by the state. In the Hermit Kingdom that prizes weaponry over its own people, many of whom are starving and live in abject poverty, tens of thousands of Christians are said to be languishing in prisons.

A recently released Department of State report notes that while North Korea constitutionally allows for religious freedom, there is no such thing in practice.

The constitution vaguely states that religion must not harm the state or social order, giving authorities room to target those who seek to openly follow their faith.

The report from the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, citing research conducted by non-governmental organizations which have gathered testimony from defectors, says as many as 70,000 Christians have been imprisoned in camps along with those believers from other religions.

One NGO, Open Doors USA, has reported that for Christians in North Korea, life is a “constant cauldron of pressure” and “capture or death is only a mistake away.”

As State highlights in its report, North Korean government documents state that “freedom of religion is allowed and provided by the State law within the limit necessary for securing social order, health, social security, morality and other human rights.”

Anything beyond that can land citizens in deep trouble.

People who have been arrested for religious crimes have reportedly faced detention and forced labor, torture, sexual violence, and death.

Christians are considered a “hostile class” in the songbun system, in which people derive status from loyalty to the state and its leadership. Christians, ODUSA reported, are regarded as the lowest in society and are constantly “vulnerable and in danger.”

The Department of State, pulling from information collected by NGOs, noted that an entire family, including their two-year-old child, was imprisoned following the discovery of their religious practices and possession of a Bible.

The family, which was most likely targeted by the Ministry of State Security that handles roughly 90 percent of these cases, was sentenced to life in prison.

A report from the NGO Korea Future documented a shocking incident in which a man caught praying was nearly beaten to death by guards. Another incident involved a Korean Worker’s Party member who was found with a Bible, taken by authorities out to an airfield, and executed before a crowd of thousands.

North Korea celebrates the Kim family, specifically the current ruler, Kim Jong Un, and his late father and grandfather, Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, above all, recognizing the Kim dynasty or Mount Paektu bloodline in ways reminiscent of deification.

The State Department report, pointing to Korea Future’s research, says that the state ideology “Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism” has “many hallmarks of religion.” It notes the state regards the two previous leaders as “extraordinary beings.”

ODUSA has reported that Christian materials, including Bibles, are leftovers from the early 20th century up to World War II and are passed among believers. Though there have been reports of underground churches, it is unclear if these are active given that, as one defector said, “meeting other Christians in order to worship is almost impossible.” Some even fear being reported by their own family members.

This situation has long been a problem in North Korea, and State noted that “multiple sources indicated the situation had not fundamentally changed since” the 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry report on human rights in the in North Korea was published. That report found that North Korea “denied the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion” and engaged in “crimes against humanity.”

May 27, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Communism, Police state, Religion. Leave a comment.

Way to go Ana Kasparian!

Ana Kasparian of the Young Turks spends 15 minutes criticizing the people who see racism everywhere. She says she regrets that she herself used to be one of those people. She criticizes DEI training in the workplace. She says it’s better for people of different races to spend time together without some third party moderator who is getting paid huge sums of money to divide people instead of unite them. This is by no means the first time that I have seen her being highly critical of the radical left. She is basically in the same camp as other liberals like Bill Maher and Russell Brand.

May 27, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , , . Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

In Ionia, Michigan, Judge Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger gave zero jail time to someone who shot an 84-year-old woman

In Ionia, Michigan, Judge Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger gave zero jail time to someone who shot an 84-year-old woman.

In my opinion, this judge is more evil than the shooter. The shooter is just a dumb civilian. But the judge is someone who is in power. It is their job to protect innocent people from violent scumbags such as this.

And I don’t care if the shooting was “accidental” or deliberate. I put the word “accidental” in quotes because there is no such thing as an “accidental” shooting. The accurate word is “negligent.” But it doesn’t make any difference to the person who was shot.

The shooter should be in prison, regardless of whether the shooting was negligent or intentional.

You can read about it at this link:

Michigan man gets community service for shooting anti-abortion campaigner

Associated Press

May 24, 2023

IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man who pleaded no contest to shooting an 84-year-old woman campaigning against abortion rights at his home was sentenced to community service Tuesday.

Richard Harvey, 75, was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. Judge Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger also gave him a suspended jail sentence of two months and a delayed sentence of one year on probation.

Harvey pleaded no contest last month to felonious assault, careless discharge of a firearm causing injury and reckless discharge of a firearm.

Kreeger also must pay $347.19 in restitution and cannot have any contact with the woman he shot, 84-year-old Joan Jacobson.

Jacobson was shot Sept. 20 at Harvey’s home in Odessa Township, a community about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Jacobson told investigators that she was asking a woman at the home to vote against a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion in the state when she was told to leave. The amendment later passed.

Harvey has said the shooting was accidental, but Jacobson has maintained she believes it was intentional after she had argued with Harvey’s wife, Sharon Harvey.

Jacobson was treated at a hospital for a shoulder wound.

May 26, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , . Social justice warriors, Soft on crime, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

1 Hour of MTV Music Television from April 12th, 1982 with VJ Martha Quinn

May 26, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Music, Television. Leave a comment.

Man confronts climate activists blocking traffic in London, shoving them and ripping banners

May 26, 2023. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Idiots blocking traffic, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

In her own words: A high school debate judge named Lila Lavender says that she will always vote against any debater who argues in favor of capitalism

A high school debate judge named Lila Lavender says that she will always vote against any debater who argues in favor of capitalism.


Here is Lila Lavender in her own words: 



Lila Lavender




Paradigm Statement

Last changed 25 May 2023 6:44 PM PDT


Hey yall!! I’m lila!!

Email Chain: For both LD and Policy I would like to be on an email chain, email is [ask me before the round starts]. If you have any questions or revolutionary criticisms of my paradigm, I would love for you to email me as well!! ^^ To keep my paradigm as short as possible, I have also omitted my thoughts on how I evaluate specific positions (i.e Ks, theory, ADV/DAs, etc). So if you have any questions about that, feel free to email me or find me before prep/the round/etc!!

Quick Pref Sheet:

1 – K

2/3 – LARP

3/4 – Theory (I am good at evaluating theory and went for it all the time when I was competing, vacuous debate just makes me mad).

4/5 – Phil

10 – Tricks (ill just never vote on this).

Paradigm – Short:

Tech > truth.
Go as fast as you want, i’ll be able to flow it.

I judge every debate format in the same way: on the flow and based on (in one way or another) which team or debater wins offense that outweighs their opponents.

I will never vote for rightest capitalist-imperialist positions/arguments. For example: capitalism good, neoliberalism good, imperialist war good, fascism good, bourgeois (like US) nationalism, normalizing Israel or Zionism, US white fascist policing good, etc.

Barring the above, read whatever you want and i’ll vote on it if you win it!!

Paradigm – Long:

Before anything else, including being a debate judge, I am a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. I have realized as a result of this, I cannot check the revolutionary proletarian science at the door when i’m judging – as thats both impossible and opportunism. If you have had me as a judge before, this explicit decision of mine does not change how you understand I evaluate rounds, with one specific exception: I will no longer evaluate and thus ever vote for rightest capitalist-imperialist positions/arguments. Meaning, arguments/positions which defend the bourgeoisie’s class dictatorship (monopoly capitalism and thus imperialism), from a right-wing political form. I.e., the politics, ideology, and practice of the right-wing of the bourgeoisie.

Examples of arguments of this nature are as follows: fascism good, capitalism good, imperialist war good, neoliberalism good, defenses of US or otherwise bourgeois nationalism, Zionism or normalizing Israel, colonialism good, US white fascist policing good, etc. In the context of a debate round, by default this will function through ‘drop the argument.’ I.e., if you read an advantage or DA that represents the right-wing of the bourgeoisie, I won’t evaluate that advantage or DA. If your whole 1AC or 1NC strategy is rightest capitalist-imperialist in nature, I won’t evaluate your whole 1AC or 1NC. This only becomes ‘drop the debater’ if you violently and egregiously defend counterrevolution.

For example, if the arc of your argument is about how Afghanistan can never be self-reliant and is inherently ‘full of terrorists’ (thus requiring US imperialist rule), you will lose regardless of what happens on the flow. The brightline for what I described above is liberalism. Or in other words, I will still evaluate ‘soft left’ positions/arguments – those which represent the liberal wing of the bourgeoisie. To be clear, this is not because liberalism is any less counterrevolutionary or less of a weapon of monopoly capitalism than rightism is. Nor is this the modern revisionist nonsense which posits that there is a ‘peaceful’ wing of the bourgeoisie and thus imperialism.

Rather, it’s because it’s a practical necessity given debate’s class basis. In one way or another, given debate’s bourgeois class basis and function as imperialist propaganda, the vast majority of 1ACs/1NCs are liberal in some form; this includes the vast majority of Ks. Thus, if I were to extend this paradigm to correctly also cease evaluating liberal arguments/positions, it would mean either it would be impossible for me to evaluate 99% of rounds or there would be a even higher chance of me getting struck out of the pool. Which in the practical sense is not a decision I can make, because as a result of US monopoly capitalist exploitation, I rely in-part on judging to eat and survive bourgeois class warfare otherwise.

So within that context, as much as I can, I will use my power as a judge to propagate the Maoist line and remove as much of the most explicit reactionary arguments/positions as possible. As Aly put it, “some level of paternalism from those of us who are committed to ensuring the future survival of this activity is necessary.” I know that there are going to some individuals who are greatly upset by this paradigm. For the vast majority of you, thats fine, the class antagonism is clear. For the rest of you, whose concerns may be genuine, consider the following.

Every single judge exerts a paradigm that, to differing degrees, will not evaluate particular arguments/positions. Most judges do not explicitly state or justify what that entails, and many judges do explicitly as well – in both positive and negative ways. For example, many judges (correctly) will not vote for openly racist/cissexist/misogynistic/nationally oppressive arguments; it goes without saying, but I won’t ever vote for and will drop you for these arguments as well. Or in another way, (incorrectly) debate conservatives refuse to vote for Ks all the time.

The only reason this specific paradigm will seem especially concerning, is because of the bourgeois class nature of debate and thus its’ ideological function in service of imperialism. One which is inherently in contradiction to proletarian revolution and human emancipation, and thus antagonistic to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This is demonstrated well by the contradiction that most judges correctly will vote down debaters for being openly racist, yet will vote for positions which endorse the butchering of colonized and nationally oppressed People by US imperialist wars; something ive been guilty of in the past. As always, if you have any questions or good-faith criticisms of anything I mentioned within my paradigm, please don’t hesitate to email me – I will always get back to you as soon as I can!! :))

Proletarians of all countries, unite!!

Misc Thoughts:

Non-Black debaters should not read afro-pess, I will drop you if you do. Read: Note: don’t use this as an opportunistic excuse to not defend or have a line on New Afrikan national liberation, as thats gross and chauvinist.

I am a transgender woman who has a deeper voice, please take that into account. It’s exhausting to see judges and debaters who are unable to resolve this contradiction, either attribute my RFD to men on the panel, or treat me like a man as a result of my voice.

Cap debaters need to stop reading modern revisionism or ‘left’ opportunism guising itself as ‘Marxism,’ and truly grasp what Marxism is. This is a good place to start study wise:

It’s a real shame that as a result of bourgeois feminism, be that white feminism or cissexist feminism, debaters have abandoned advancing the necessity of women’s liberation. The proletarian line on feminism needs to be brought to debate, here is a good place to start study wise:

For Parli Only – I will NEVER vote for an argument that says “reading Ks is only for rich schools and only rich debaters read Ks.” There is a reason why this argument is read 99% of the time by schools and debaters flush with capital, it’s because it’s a bourgeois lie and distortion of debate history. Particularly one which, among many things, enables and was enabled by white chauvinism in debate. There is a good chance I will drop you for making this argument as well, so either don’t read it in front of me or better yet strike me.

While their are certainly contexts in which trigger warnings are legitimately necessary, i.e in graphic descriptions or displays of counterrevolutionary violence (sexual or otherwise), there are also ways in which trigger warnings are weaponized by bourgeois politics for counterrevolution. I.e., how it’s used to obscure or mystify ongoing exploitation and thus oppression, or to protect bourgeois sensibilities. Merely discussing the existence of counterrevolutionary violence DOES NOT require a trigger warning, that is absurd and nothing but liberalism. If this occurs in a round that I am judging you in, I am very receptive to revolutionary criticisms of this liberalism. As Black Like Mao puts it “it is important to steel oneself because real life has no trigger warnings. This is not a call to willfully subject oneself to a constant barrage of horrors, because that is a recipe for depression and all kinds of other nasties, but a reminder that this stuff is happening and if you happen to be in the midst of one of these incidents there is no running away or covering one’s eyes.”

Given events that happened during the 2022 Stephen Stewart finals, I now have a very specific threshold for voting on Speed Bad theory. That threshold being that unless you have disclosed to your opponents that you have an audio-processing disability and/or show me your flows (your lack of ability to flow the arguments being spread), I will not vote on Speed Bad theory. The way this will function on the technical level is that if that threshold is not met, or another threshold which objectively not subjectively proves engagement was not possible (because of speed), I will grant the other team a we-meet on the interp – regardless of what happens on the flow. To be clear, this is not because I don’t think that there are legitimate justifications of Speed Bad theory or that teams don’t abuse speed in reactionary ways, there are and they do. But rather, it’s because this interp has and continues to be used in an actively counterrevolutionary way. I.e., to advance monopoly capitalist and thus imperialist propaganda, and justify blatant male chauvinist harassment. This does not apply to novices.

May 26, 2023. Tags: , , , , . Communism, Dumbing down, Education, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Street housekeeping keeps SF Mayor Breed – and everyone else – hopping

Street housekeeping keeps SF Mayor Breed – and everyone else – hopping

By Matier & Ross

Aug 22, 2018

Mayor London Breed, who won her election largely on a promise to clean up the city, is stepping up efforts to scrub San Francisco’s streets, including playing a bit of cat and mouse with her own city department heads.

Breed has taken to making unannounced walks through hard-hit neighborhoods — at times with reporters in tow — but without giving the police or Public Works officials the usual heads-up that in the past allowed for the cleanups that usually precede a mayoral visit.

“I don’t want the areas to be clean if it’s not clean on a regular basis. I want to see what everybody else is seeing,” Breed tells us.

And when Breed spots a problem, she texts the department head.

The sight of human waste, discarded hypodermic needles, trash and general grime is nothing new to anyone walking in downtown, in the Mission District or in any of a number of other San Francisco neighborhoods these days.

And, as Breed notes, “We’re spending a lot of money to address this problem.”

No kidding.

San Francisco Public Works has a $72.5 million-a-year street cleaning budget — including spending $12 million a year on what essentially have become housekeeping services for homeless encampments.

The costs include $2.8 million for a Hot Spots crew to wash down the camps and remove any biohazards, $2.3 million for street steam cleaners, $3.1 million for the Pit Stop portable toilets, plus the new $830,977-a-year Poop Patrol to actively hunt down and clean up human waste.

(By the way, the poop patrolers earn $71,760 a year, which swells to $184,678 with mandated benefits.)

At the same time, the Department of Public Health has an additional $700,000 set aside for a 10-member, needle cleanup squad, complete with it’s own minivan. The $19-an-hour needle cleanup jobs were approved as part of the latest budget crafted largely by former Mayor Mark Farrell.

The new needle crew is on top of the $364,000 that the health department already was spending on a four-member needle team.

Breed is also leaning on Chief William Scott for more foot patrols.

“I’ve definitely had discussions with the chief and asked that beat officers be out there,” Breed said.

City officials say foot beats have nearly doubled in the past year, from 76 to 140 officers.

The problem, however, is that every time the cops arrest someone for a low-level, quality-of-life or petty street crime, the beat cops have to write up an incident report and transport the suspect to jail for booking, all of which takes them off the street.

Breed said she and the police are now looking into the possibility of using sheriff’s deputies to help transport prisoners, in turn allowing beat cops to stay on patrol.

The mayor, however, makes clear that the burden of solving all the city’s street problems doesn’t rest solely on City Hall.

“The responsibility is with everyone,” Breed said. “People shouldn’t be comfortable throwing their trash on the ground, and if people have recommendations on where they want trash cans, they can call 311.”

May 26, 2023. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Sanitation, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

San Francisco published this study on feces on public sidewalks. This is from page 11.

About 30% of evaluated streets and sidewalks report feces.

Observations of human and animal feces were less common in the Core Citywide sample, with about 30% of evaluations observing feces on the street or sidewalk.

In contrast, almost half (47%) of evaluations in all Key Commercial Areas observed feces. At the neighborhood-level:

▪ Feces on streets and sidewalks were least likely to be found in Noe Valley and Glen Park.

▪ Feces were most common in the Tenderloin, Nob Hill, the Mission, and South of Market.

May 26, 2023. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Sanitation, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Joy Behar claims Clarence Thomas has no clue what it’s like to be Black in America

May 24, 2023. Tags: , , , . Racism. Leave a comment.

Why does New York City keep setting this serial criminal free?

Uncle of chokehold victim Jordan Neely busted on Midtown pickpocketing charges

By Rocco Parascandola, Thomas Tracy, and Larry McShane

May 23, 2023

A serial pickpocket busted near the Port Authority Bus Terminal identified himself as the uncle of chokehold victim Jordan Neely after his Manhattan arrest, sources told the Daily News.

Christopher Neely, 44, was nabbed while trying to flee after an NYPD pickpocket team recognized him as a suspect for a robbery pattern, the sources said Tuesday.

The suspect jumped a turnstile and then resisted arrest once run down by police around 11:15 p.m. Monday, a source told News.

The suspect, armed with a gravity knife, was carrying a number of credit and debit cards in the names of other people once arrested, with at least one of the cards belonging to a Midtown victim, sources indicated.

He was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, possession of a stolen credit card, grand larceny, resisting arrest, criminal possession of a weapon and bail-jumping from an earlier case, police said.

The man’s rap sheet included some two dozen priors, including charges for rape, robbery and burglary, cops said. The remainder were mostly theft-related, although Neely was also wanted on a grand larceny charge last year — a charge that violated his probation from a prior case.

May 23, 2023. Tags: , , . Social justice warriors, Soft on crime. Leave a comment.

Photo caption: “Hunter College adjunct Professor Shellyne Rodriguez held a machete to a Post reporter’s neck Tuesday outside her Bronx apartment door”

Hunter College adjunct Professor Shellyne Rodriguez held a machete to a Post reporter’s neck Tuesday outside her Bronx apartment door

Photo caption: “Hunter College adjunct Professor Shellyne Rodriguez held a machete to a Post reporter’s neck Tuesday outside her Bronx apartment door”

The reporter had gone to the professor’s home to ask her questions after the professor had been previously filmed in this video:

Knocking on someone’s door is not a crime, so the professor cannot claim that her action was self defense. I hope she gets prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Source for photo and article:

Unhinged NYC college professor who cursed out anti-abortion students holds machete to Post reporter’s neck

May 23, 2023

The unhinged Manhattan college professor who went viral for cursing out anti-abortion students shockingly held a machete to a Post reporter’s neck Tuesday — and made wild threats that she was going to “chop” him up.

Shellyne Rodriguez spewed the menacing remarks when The Post knocked on the door of her Bronx apartment Tuesday morning — a day after she made headlines for flipping out on pro-life students at Hunter College.

“Get the f–k away from my door, or I’m gonna chop you up with this machete!” the manic adjunct art professor shouted from behind her closed door just moments after veteran reporter Reuven Fenton identified himself.

Seconds later, Rodriguez barged out and alarmingly put the blade to the reporter’s neck.

“Get the f–k away from my door! Get the f–k away from my door!” she raged before retreating back into her apartment and slamming the door.

The Post reporter and photographer immediately left the apartment building, but an armed Rodriguez quickly followed and accosted them outside.

“If I see you on this block one more f–king time, you’re gonna …,” Rodriguez said, while still wielding the implement.

“Get the f–k off the block! Get the f–k out of here, yo!”

The professor briefly chased The Post’s photographer down the street to his car before coming back to kick the reporter in the shins.

She finally retreated into her building just moments later.

Vince DiMiceli, a spokesman for Hunter College, told The Post the school was “outraged” by the footage of Rodriguez wielding the machete.

“We will take swift and appropriate action,” he said without elaborating.

The terrifying ordeal unfolded after footage surfaced online that showed Rodriguez unleashing a profanity-laden attack on anti-abortion students who’d set up an information table at Hunter College earlier this month.

“You’re not educating s–t. This is f–king propaganda,” the art professor hissed to the students in the May 2 incident. “What are you going to do, like, anti-trans next?”

A male student behind the table was filmed telling her, “I mean, no, we’re talking about abortion” and that he was sorry about “triggering” her students.

Rodriguez fired back, telling the male student he couldn’t be sorry “because you can’t even have a f–king baby.”

The video, which was posted to Twitter by Students for Life of America, then showed the professor tossing the students’ pamphlets.

It wasn’t immediately clear what unfolded between Rodriguez and the pro-life students before the camera started rolling.

A rep for Hunter College, a public school that is part of the city’s CUNY program, previously said the school is aware of the caught-on-camera altercation and is “taking this matter very seriously.”

“The provost has opened an investigation into the professor’s actions,” the representative said.

May 23, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , . Abortion, Education, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Images Show Mars Has Extreme Global Warming

Images Show Mars Has Extreme Global Warming

By Amanda Onion

Dec. 7, 2001 — It might seem like the weather’s getting warmer here on Earth, but Mars appears to have an even bigger global warming problem.

High-resolution images snapped by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor show that levels of frozen water and carbon dioxide at the Red Planet’s poles have dwindled dramatically — by more than 10 feet — over a single Martian year (equivalent to 687 days or about two Earth years).

May 22, 2023. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Science. Leave a comment.

The increased coal pollution from Germany shutting down its nuclear power plants may have already killed more people than the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters combined

In May 2023, the Washington Post wrote:

“Had Germany kept its nuclear plants running from 2010, it could have slashed its use of coal for electricity to 13 percent by now. Today’s figure is 31 percent… Already more lives might have been lost just in Germany because of air pollution from coal power than from all of the world’s nuclear accidents to date, Fukushima and Chernobyl included.”


The idiocy of these so-called “environmentalists” never ceases to amaze me.

May 20, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Nuclear power. Leave a comment.

New York has been closing some of its nuclear reactors, and replacing them with fossil fuel

NY’s fossil fuel use soared after Indian Point plant closure. Officials sound the alarm.

By Thomas C. Zambito

July 22, 2022

The 2021 shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant led to near-total dependence on fossil fuels to produce electricity in New York’s energy-hungry downstate region, and surging amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air.

A report issued last month by the New York Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s electric grid, shows that in 2021, 89% of downstate energy came from natural gas and oil, up from 77% the previous year when both of Indian Point’s two reactors were still running.

The newly released figures demonstrate in stark detail just how much work the state will need to do in the coming years if it’s to achieve its ambitious climate-related goals − reducing carbon-producing emissions to zero while clearing the way for renewables like wind and solar power to make a larger contribution to the electric grid.

And they have pro-nuclear advocates urging the state to clear a path to allow nuclear power play a larger role in the state’s energy future.

“If we’re serious about dealing with climate change, then we’re going to need all the tools in the toolbox, which includes nuclear, not just now but in the future,” said Keith Schue, an electrical engineer and a leader of Nuclear New York, a pro-nuclear group allied with James Hansen, a leading climate scientist. “We do believe that closing Indian Point was a mistake. But are we going to continue making mistakes or can we learn from them?”

The shift to greater fossil fuel reliance comes as little surprise.

A 2017 NYISO study predicted the 2,000 megawatts of power lost when Indian Point closed would be picked up by three new natural gas plants – in Dover Plains, Wawayanda and Bayonne, N.J. One megawatt powers between 800 and 1,000 homes.

And Indian Point’s former owner, Louisiana-based Entergy, noted that the year after its Vermont Yankee plant shut down in 2014, natural gas-fired generation jumped 12 percent, just as it has since the Buchanan plant closed. The first of Indian Point’s two working reactors shut down in April 2020, followed by the second in April 2021.

With Indian Point eliminated from the energy mix, it has become even harder to wean a downstate region that includes New York City off fossil fuels.

Why did the plant close?

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration brokered the 2017 deal with Entergy that led to Indian Point’s shutdown, with Cuomo citing fears of a nuclear mishap at a power plant located some 35 miles from New York City. He chose to keep open three upstate nuclear plants – two on Lake Ontario and another near Rochester − by arranging for some $7.6 billion in subsidies over 12 years.

But the agreement that shuttered Indian Point came when natural gas was cheap. Entergy cited competition from natural gas in the energy market as the prime mover behind its decision to close a plant that had generated electricity for Westchester County and New York City for six decades.

Today, with natural gas prices surging, electricity is not so cheap.

“We got used to having historically cheap natural gas in the United States,” said Madison Hilly, the founder and executive director of the Campaign for a Green Nuclear Deal in Chicago. “So places that shut down their nuclear plants, even if they were replaced with gas, consumers really didn’t feel that in their pocketbooks. Now the era of nonprofit natural gas − as I call it − seems to be over. It’s really expensive.”

In 2021, the average wholesale price of electricity in New York was $47.59 per megawatt hour last year, nearly double what it was the previous year. NYISO’s independent monitor credited the increase in wholesale electric prices to the Indian Point shutdown, the NYISO report said.

California, which is pursuing a slate of clean energy goals like New York’s, appears to be rethinking its decision to do away with nuclear power.

In May, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would support keeping the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open beyond its planned 2025 closure to ensure the reliability of the state’s electric grid. Researchers from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have concluded keeping the plant open for another ten years could limit carbon emissions and save the state $2.6 billion in power costs.

Hilly has teamed with Nuclear New York, a coalition of scientists, engineers and labor and management from the nuclear industry, to urge the state to give nuclear power a larger role in the state’s energy mix. In April, Hansen, a former NASA scientist who was among the first to identify the consequences from climate change, appeared at an Albany press conference to urge the state to include nuclear in a plan being drafted for the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“We’re trying to prevent the situation from getting that bad – that reality that forces politicians to eat crow,” Hilly said. “Eventually, if we keep going down this path, ratepayers and voters are not going to tolerate it and politicians will quickly have to get on board or get out.”

A spokesman for Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state is forging ahead with its twin goals of having 70% of the state’s electric demand met by renewables by 2030 and 100% zero emissions by 2040.

“These goals, which are being met through solar, wind, and hydroelectricity along with the continued use of the state’s three existing upstate nuclear plants, were developed to reduce emissions from fossil fuels, combat the dangerous impacts of climate change and benefit New Yorkers by reducing volatility in electricity pricing,” spokesman Leo Rosales said. “Planning for these goals took into account the necessary closure of Indian Point following dozens of safety and operational hazards and in no way jeopardizes New York’s clean energy goals or the reliability of the state’s electric grid.”

Transmission:Power lines will bring wind and solar energy from upstate but will it be enough to help NY achieve green energy goals?

NY’s electric grid under siege

Increased energy costs are only part of the problem.

NYISO’s June “Power Trends” report offers a sobering assessment of grid reliability in the years ahead.

The amount of energy resources the state can access each day is decreasing, and that trend is expected to worsen in the years to come as the demand for electricity surges. Electricity needed to charge cars and heat buildings will shift peak usage to the winter instead of summer, which typically sees the highest energy usage as air conditioners run around the clock.

Adding to the problem are environmental regulations that will impact the output of the state’s peaker plants, fossil-fuel generated plants that take their name from delivering energy at times of peak demand. Roughly half of the 3,300 megawatts these plants generate in the lower Hudson Valley, Long Island and New York City will be unavailable during the summer of 2025, NYISO notes.

“The margins that we see on our system are shrinking,” NYISO president and chief executive officer Rich Dewey told reporters at a media briefing last month.

The grid is in perhaps the most transformative moment in its history.

Older generating plants are being shut down while the state introduces a slate of renewable energy projects – offshore wind on Long Island, wind power upstate, batteries to store solar energy.

A network of transmission lines stretching from western New York to New York City is currently under construction, part of an effort to remove a bottleneck that kept clean energy stuck north of Albany. Upstate’s energy mix is decidedly cleaner than downstate’s. Upstate, three nuclear power plants and hydropower from the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station contribute to a 91% carbon-free energy grid.

There are also plans to deliver hydropower to New York City from Canada by way of 340 miles of underground cable that will run in the Hudson River. Another 174-mile transmission line will bring upstate wind down to Queens along upstate rights-of-way.

But it will be years before these projects are up and running.

The NYISO report anticipates a 10% gap in the amount of renewable power that will be available on an as-needed basis in the winter of 2040.

“We’ve identified there is a need for dispatchable, emissions-free resources,” Dewey said. “That technology does not yet exist and there’s a gap that needs to be closed. We’re only going to get so far with wind, solar and storage, due to the intermittent nature of those resources.”

And by next year, a heatwave with an average temperate of 95 degrees may result in thin margins and “significant deficiencies,” NYISO says.

A 98-degree heatwave would test the system’s limits today and exceed grid capabilities next year, the report adds.

“We’re taking on a little bit more risk in our ability to manage unplanned, unforeseen events on the power system, or potentially severe weather events,” Dewey added.

NYISO isn’t alone in its concerns about grid reliability. The state’s utilities have been raising their concerns.

A group representing most of the state’s major utilities recently studied energy production for the month of January, an especially cold month and the first winter when Indian Point wasn’t producing power. The plant’s Unit 2 shut down in 2020 and Unit 3 the following year.

Wind and other renewables contributed 5% of total generation. There was less wind and less solar generation due to shorter daylight hours and heavy cloud cover.

“Today’s renewable resources are emissions-free, but their output is weather-dependent,” the Utility Consultation Group analysis says. “This intermittency and the need for electric supply to meet customer energy demand every hour of the day may result in reliability issues if not proactively addressed.”

The group represents Central Hudson, ConEdison, Rochester, Niagara Mohawk, NYSEG and Orange and Rockland utilities.

‘Closing Indian Point was a mistake’

Critics of the deal that led to Indian Point’s closure question why the plant couldn’t remain open while the state pursued a renewable buildout.

“Maybe someday renewables could be a big factor in the energy market,” said Theresa Knickerbocker, the mayor of the lower Hudson Valley village of Buchanan, home to Indian Point. “But, right now, two gas plants were opened up to compensate for the loss of Indian Point, which has zero carbon emissions. It’s kind of hypocritical, right?”

Buchanan faces the loss of some $3.5 million in property taxes that Entergy paid the village while the reactors were still operating.

Business groups fear the thinner energy surplus could impact a factory’s ability to deliver goods on time, while driving away companies that are considering relocating.

“The renewable buildout is a multi-decade process,” said Ken Pokalsky, the vice president of the Business Council of New York. “It’s probably going slower than we would like. Every one of these project is complicated…It would be safe to say it’s moving forward. But fast enough is a subjective evaluation.”

Nuclear New York wants the state to work with the federal government to encourage and develop new nuclear reactors, which don’t produce the nuclear waste that older generation reactors do.

This week, Entergy announced it was partnering with Holtec, the New Jersey company that is tearing down Indian Point, in a deal to build small nuclear reactors. Their plan envisions building one of the first reactors at Oyster Creek, a shutdown nuclear power plant in New Jersey.

And the nuclear group wants New York to continue the subsidies that have allowed the three upstate nuclear power plants to continue beyond 2029.

Schue said other nations have been adopting the next generation of nuclear energy generation into the mix. “We’d like to change that,” Schue said. “We’d like to see New York step up to the plate. We’ve got the skills. We’ve got the spirit of innovation, we have the manpower.”

May 20, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Nuclear power. Leave a comment.

The criminal histories of the suspect’s in CPD Officer Areanah Preston’s murder

May 20, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Social justice warriors, Soft on crime, Violent crime. 1 comment.

A wind energy company has pleaded guilty after killing at least 150 eagles

A wind energy company has pleaded guilty after killing at least 150 eagles

April 6, 2022

BILLINGS, Mont. — A wind energy company was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution after at least 150 eagles were killed over the past decade at its wind farms in eight states, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

NextEra Energy subsidiary ESI Energy pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act during a Tuesday court appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was charged in the deaths of eagles at three of its wind farms in Wyoming and New Mexico.

In addition to those deaths, golden and bald eagles were killed at wind farms affiliated with ESI and NextEra since 2012 in eight states, prosecutors said: Wyoming, California, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois. The birds are killed when they fly into the blades of wind turbines. Some ESI turbines killed multiple eagles, prosecutors said.

It’s illegal to kill or harm eagles under federal law.

The bald eagle — the U.S. national symbol — was removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act in 2007, following a dramatic recovery from its widespread decimation due to harmful pesticides and other problems. Golden eagles have not fared as well, with populations considered stable but under pressure including from wind farms, collisions with vehicles, illegal shootings and poisoning from lead ammunition.

The case comes amid a push by President Joe Biden for more renewable energy from wind, solar and other sources to help reduce climate changing emissions. It also follows a renewed commitment by federal wildlife officials under Biden to enforce protections for eagles and other birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, after criminal prosecutions were halted under former President Donald Trump.

Companies historically have been able to avoid prosecution if they take steps to avoid bird deaths and seek permits for those that occur. ESI did not seek such a permit, authorities said.

The company was warned prior to building the wind farms in New Mexico and Wyoming that they would kill birds, but it proceeded anyway and at times ignored advice from federal wildlife officials about how to minimize the deaths, according to court documents.

“For more than a decade, ESI has violated (wildlife) laws, taking eagles without obtaining or even seeking the necessary permit,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in a statement.

ESI agreed under a plea agreement to spend up to $27 million during its five-year probationary period on measures to prevent future eagle deaths. That includes shutting down turbines at times when eagles are more likely to be present.

Despite those measures, wildlife officials anticipate that some eagles still could die. When that happens, the company will pay $29,623 per dead eagle, under the agreement.

NextEra President Rebecca Kujawa said collisions of birds with wind turbines are unavoidable accidents that should not be criminalized. She said the company is committed to reducing damage to wildlife from its projects.

“We disagree with the government’s underlying enforcement activity,” Kujawa said in a statement. “Building any structure, driving any vehicle, or flying any airplane carries with it a possibility that accidental eagle and other bird collisions may occur.”

May 19, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

Anyone who works in the U.S. Capitol Building, but is afraid of radiation from nuclear power, is very ignorant of science and math

PBS wrote the following:

The US Capitol Building in Washington DC:

This building is so radioactive, due to the high uranium content in its granite walls, it could never be licensed as a nuclear power reactor site.



Therefore, anyone who works in the U.S. Capitol Building, but is afraid of radiation from nuclear power, is very ignorant of science and math.

May 19, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism, Nuclear power. Leave a comment.

Maricopa County Elections Director Reynaldo Valenzuela testified at Republican Kari Lake’s election challenge trial Wednesday that mail-in ballot reviews were done at election officials’ homes in 2020 with no observers present

Maricopa County Election Director Accidentally Drops 2020 Bombshell During Kari Lake Trial

By Randy DeSoto  

May 18, 2023

Maricopa County Elections Director Reynaldo Valenzuela testified at Republican Kari Lake’s election challenge trial Wednesday that mail-in ballot reviews were done at election officials’ homes in 2020 with no observers present.

Valenzuela also confirmed officials still have the ability to do so now.

Lake is contesting Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ win last November by approximately 17,000 votes, or 0.7 percent of the more than 2.5 million ballots cast statewide.

In March, the Arizona Supreme Court remanded the issue of whether the mail-in ballot legally mandated signature verification process was followed in Maricopa County during the election back to the trial court.

Lake attorney Byran Blehm questioned Valenzuela regarding the places where mail-in ballot verification took place in November and whether independent observers were present.

Valenzuela said there were three locations where mail-in verification took place: Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center, known as MCTEC in downtown Phoenix; the Maricopa County Recorder’s office, also in Phoenix; and Maricopa County’s Southeast Regional Center in Mesa.

Whistleblower Jacqueline Onigkeit, who worked as a ballot reviewer at MCTEC in November, had testified before Valenzuela that she thought it was “odd” when she and her fellow reviewers were sent home at 7 p.m. as counting continued of mail-in ballots.

“Well, because we had observers that were constantly watching what we were doing [at the designated vote-counting area]. But there was, I’m assuming, no observers there [at the recorder’s office] who was watching what they were doing,” she replied.

In light of this testimony, Blehm questioned Valenzuela whether observers are allowed in the county recorder’s office or at the Mesa location.

Valenzuela responded that observers are allowed in “any general area,” but it’s not a legal requirement.

He went on to explain that as a “certified election officer” he and others can do signature verification in their offices with no observers present.

Blehm followed up asking, “Can signature verification be done at a Maricopa County employee’s home?”

Valenzuela answered saying, “We don’t have that currently in place,” but during 2020 with the pandemic ongoing, the county allowed reviewers to work from home.

Blehm continued with this line of questioning Thursday asking Valenzuela, “Is it physically possible [now] for Maricopa County employees to log in and conduct signature verification from home?”

The elections director responded, “An employee can log in and access their PC as if they were sitting in front of that PC remote, that are assigned those work stations,” but indicating that is not protocol.

Approximately 80 percent of Arizonans vote using mail-in ballots, according to the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

Lake’s attorney Kurt Olsen has argued that the process for verifying voters in Maricopa County is systemically flawed.

On Wednesday, he told that court that a review of data from the county showed at least 334,000 mail-in ballots were in effect not verified, which is far in excess of Hobbs’ 17,000 vote margin of victory.

May 19, 2023. Tags: , , , . Stop the steal, Voter fraud. Leave a comment.

Minneapolis city council nomination brawlers could be expelled from Minnesota Democratic Party

Minneapolis city council nomination brawlers could be expelled from Minnesota Democratic Party

Associated Press

By Josh Funk and Trisha Ahmed

May 15, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Democratic Party will consider expelling anyone involved in a brawl that broke out at a political event to nominate candidates for a Minneapolis City Council seat.

At least two people were injured in Saturday’s confrontation. The head of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Chair Ken Martin, said on Twitter that he plans to call an emergency meeting later this week to consider banning anyone involved in the assaults from the DFL Party, an affiliate of the national Democratic Party.

Video posted on social media showed the disturbance began after supporters of Minneapolis Council Member Aisha Chughtai took the stage, which caused an uproar among supporters of her challenger, Nasri Warsame. Some Warsame supporters then jumped on stage, shouting, banging on tables and waving signs.

As supporters of both candidates pushed and shoved each other, a party official repeatedly banged a gavel and tried to quiet the crowd but was ignored.

“I was scared some of us might die,” said Bridget Siljander, who was on the stage with other Chughtai supporters when they saw people punching, shoving and pushing each other on the floor.

“It was complete chaos,” Siljander said, adding they were terrified the fight would turn into a stampede and that it felt — in the moment — like an insurrection. Siljander said those who incited the violence should be removed from the party and criminally charged.

Convention chair Sam Doten called the behavior embarrassing and adjourned the event without a nominee being chosen, saying it was no longer safe. It wasn’t immediately clear Sunday how the party would proceed with choosing a nominee.

May 15, 2023. Tags: , . Rioting looting and arson. Leave a comment.

An innocent person named Michael Brasel was murdered because the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota refused to lock up a teenager who had previously pointed a gun at someone’s head

CBS News recently reported:

Boy, 17, charged with shooting youth hockey coach Michael Brasel

May 12, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A 17-year-old boy has been charged in connection to the death of beloved youth hockey coach Michael Brasel last Saturday.

The boy faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree murder while committing a felony.

The same boy was charged in connection to an April 2022 incident in which he took what appeared to be a gun to Harding High School and tried to steal from another student.

Documents say that he demanded a cell phone from the student and held the gun to his head in the school bathroom. Two other boys witnessed the incident, which was captured on Snapchat.

If this unnamed teenager had been locked up for his previous crime of pointing a gun at someone’s head, he would not have been able to murder Michael Brasel.

But the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota doesn’t care about the victims of gun crime. So they let this dangerous criminal run around free, and allowed him to murder an innocent person named Michael Brasel.

If the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota was against gun crime, this unnamed teenager would have been in prison, and Michael Brasel would still be alive.

May 14, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , . Social justice warriors, Soft on crime, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Former AOC aide Justine Medina now working as New York Communist Party boss

Former AOC aide Justine Medina now working as New York Communist Party boss

By Jon Levine

May 13, 2023

A ex-aide to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now working as a senior official in the New York State Communist Party.

Justine Medina, 33, spent a year employed by “The Squad” leader as a political organizer in 2020 and was paid more than $35,000 between February and November of that year, Federal Election Commission records show.

Almost immediately after the election, Medina began working as a full-blown Marxist. In July 2021, she was identified as “co-chair of the New York Young Communist League” by the Communist Party newspaper People’s World. The same publication today identifies her as a member of the “Executive Committee of the New York State Communist Party.”

Social media records show Medina’s Marxist proclivities were in full bloom before and during her employment with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

“Well, I am a Communist, but work for AOC,” she said proudly in a tweet from October 2020. “Communism is about equality, democracy, peace, the advancement of workers, the oppressed, and humanity in general,” she added a month later.

“It is true the path there will be unkind to those who block progress, but Communism is good and should not scare you,” she noted darkly in the same posting.

In AOC’s campaign, Medina was responsible for “organizing & writing policy language with Anti-War Veterans & the Peace Movement,” she noted in March.

AOC follows Medina on Twitter and the two have posed for a smiling photo in the past.

Medina was involved in successful efforts to unionize Amazon’s workforce, efforts she bragged about in an article for the Communist Party website, which identified her as a packer at the Amazon warehouse in Staten Island. AOC has long been an Amazon antagonist. She played an integral role in killing a plan by the company to open a headquarters in New York City and has been a vocal supporter of Amazon unionization efforts — though some on the frontline note she has often failed to show up.

Like any good organizer, Medina also has a long history of arrests. She was booked at least twice in June 2020 during Black Lives Matter riots which convulsed the city. In a tweet, she complained cops’ zip ties were too tight. She was also busted that year for attempting to deface a plaque honoring Fred Trump in Woodhaven, Queens, according to the New Yorker.

Like many socialists, Medina is a child of privilege.

She is the daughter of Cuban-American lawyer Omar Medina, a wealthy trial attorney out of Tampa with a checkered past. Omar Medina’s license was suspended for 30 days in 2013 after he made false statements on behalf of a client, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported. That same year he was sued for wage theft — the case was settled. He lives in a five bedroom, six-bathroom, 5,316-square foot manse in Tampa worth more than $3 million. He has donated thousands of dollars to President Biden and Hillary Clinton, records show.

“As for her allegiance to the Communist Party, I could not be further removed from that. It’s a big problem,” Omar Medina told The Post. “My family escaped communism, and my daughter is misguided as to the benefits that political system provides, it flat out doesn’t work.”

Justine Medina dismissed her father as a “rich anti-Castro … liberal,” who “just buy things.”

“It’s frightening. They’re coming out of the woodwork,” said Queens Councilman Bob Holden, a Democrat. “Communism has failed in so many places that it is mind-boggling that AOC’s constituents keep electing her. This is kind of like a smoking gun that these elected officials and congresspeople are out and out communist.”

May 14, 2023. Tags: , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Communism. Leave a comment.

Have Democrats Become the Party of the Rich?

Have Democrats Become the Party of the Rich?

If you’re waiting for Democrats to talk as frankly about wealth as they do about race, don’t hold your breath.

By David Bromwich

August 20, 2021

Some recent US figures on the distribution of income by party: 65 percent of taxpayer households that earn more than $500,000 per year are now in Democratic districts; 74 percent of the households in Republican districts earn less than $100,00 per year. Add to this what we knew already, namely that the 10 richest congressional districts in the country all have Democratic representatives in Congress. The above numbers incidentally come from the Internal Revenue Service, via Bloomberg, and are likely to be more reliable than if they came from Project Veritas via the Blaze.

May 14, 2023. Tags: . Economics. Leave a comment.

The New York Times reports that African-born blacks are grateful to have finally arrived in the U.S. I welcome them here. I’m glad they love the U.S. We need a lot more U.S. loving immigrants like these.

In Migrant Camps, Anxiety and Relief: ‘It Was Worth It. We Are in America.’

Pandemic-era migration restrictions were lifted without a fresh spike in border crossings. Thousands of migrants now find themselves in a holding pattern.

By Soumya Karlamangla, Edgar Sandoval, Miriam Jordan and Simon Romero

May 12, 2023

SAN DIEGO — In the vast migrant camp that sprung up this week on a patch of U.S. soil between Tijuana and San Diego, a striking system of order has emerged, even as anxiety and uncertainty swell.

The Africans in the camp — from Ghana, Somalia, Kenya, Guinea, Nigeria — have one leader, a tall Somali man, who communicates with aid groups about how many blankets, diapers and sanitary pads they need that day. The Colombians have their own leader, as do to the Afghans, the Turkish and the Haitians.

Stuck in the same holding pattern as thousands of other migrants in cities along the border after pandemic-era migration restrictions expired on Thursday night, the occupants of the camp here have had to make do with the scarce supply of food and water provided by volunteers and the Border Patrol.

Through metal bars, aid workers on the U.S. side pass through rolls of toilet paper, bags of clementine oranges, water bottles, packages of toothbrushes.

“Can we get the leader from Jamaica, please!” Flower Alvarez-Lopez, an aid worker at the camp, called out on Friday.

A woman wearing a sun hat and a pink tie-dye shirt stuck her hand through the wall. Another woman wearing a beanie squeezed her full cheeks through the beams. “Can we get the leader from Afghanistan! Russia!”

As thousands of migrants came to the border this week ahead of the expiration of immigration restrictions known as Title 42, frustration, desperation and resilience played out in one spot after another. And on Friday, hours after the restrictions had ended, the waiting, the uncertainty and the resolve persisted in place after place.

The thousands of migrants who have made it across the Rio Grande in recent days debated what to do next, while thousands of others bided their time in northern Mexico, trying to decipher how they, too, could cross, and when.

Officials in border cities were facing uncertainty as well, as they tried to anticipate how the policy changes would play out.

Oscar Leeser, the mayor of El Paso, told reporters on Friday that about 1,800 migrants had entered the border city on Thursday. “We saw a lot of people coming into our area in the last week,” he said. But since the lifting of Title 42 overnight, he said, “we have not seen any big numbers.”

Shelter operators reported that it was too soon to tell what could unfold in coming days, since most people who crossed were still being processed by the U.S. government. But they, too, said that the largest spikes in crossings might have passed.

“The number of people that were picked up from the river levee on the other side of the wall yesterday was significant, but not nearly what everyone expected it was going to be,” said Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House, which assists migrants in the El Paso area. “We’ll have to see what happens in the next few days. There are many variables,” he said.

But while the numbers did not spike on Friday, officials said crossings had reached historically high levels in the days before Title 42 ended. Sheriff Leon Wilmot of Yuma County, in Arizona, said Border Patrol agents had arrested about 1,500 people on Thursday, the last day that Title 42 was in effect, and were holding about 4,000 — a population that has strained the only charity in town dedicated to helping migrants.

As hundreds of people were released from Yuma’s border holding facility on Friday, a fleet of charter buses sat idling in the parking lot of the nonprofit Regional Center for Border Health, waiting to ferry migrants to the airport or to Phoenix. For weeks, the group has filled about six buses with migrants every day. On Friday, 16 buses carrying about 800 migrants rumbled out of Yuma.

On some days this past week, more than 11,000 people were apprehended after crossing the southern border illegally, according to internal agency data obtained by The New York Times, putting holding facilities run by the Border Patrol over capacity. Over the past two years, about 7,000 people were apprehended on a typical day; officials consider 8,000 apprehensions or more a surge.

A person familiar with the situation said the Border Patrol apprehended fewer than 10,000 who crossed the border illegally on Thursday, indicating that a large increase came before Title 42 lifted.

Outside a shelter in McAllen, Texas, Ligia Garcia pondered her family’s next steps. She was elated to have finally made it across the Rio Grande, but with no family in the United States, and no money, they found themselves in the same situation as thousands of other migrants along the border with Mexico: waiting, while relying on the kindness of strangers.

“We will seek assistance for now, because we have no money and no choice,” said Ms. Garcia, 31, a Venezuelan migrant carrying her 6-month-old son, Roime, near the bulging shelter run by Catholic Charities. “It was a big sacrifice to get here,” she said, describing how she and her husband traveled with their two children across the jungles of Central America, then Mexico, to reach Texas. “But it was worth it. We are in America.”

While Mexicans and Central Americans for decades represented the majority of migrants seeking entry into the United States, Venezuelans have been crossing the southern border in ever greater numbers, and they recently dwarfed the numbers of migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

But because large-scale immigration from Venezuela is a relatively new phenomenon, the Venezuelans often lack networks of relatives or friends who can assist them in the United States, and often arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing, like Ms. Garcia, the migrant in McAllen.

“I have been doing this for over 45 years. I have never seen as challenging a population as the Venezuelans because so many of them do not have people to receive them in the United States,” said Mr. Garcia, who runs Annunciation House in El Paso.

In the meantime, migrants were scrambling for information. Olinex Casseus, 58, was sitting on the sidewalk Friday morning in Piedras Negras, across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, with his wife and daughter as he tried, repeatedly and unsuccessfully, to use the C.B.P.’s app to schedule an asylum appointment with U.S. migration agents.

“We want to do everything completely legally,” said Mr. Casseus, who fled Haiti for Puebla, Mexico, after the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. He said he hoped to piece together a new life in Miami if they are able to cross. “But everything is now delayed, and the rules are constantly changing,” he added. “I guess that means we continue to wait.”

At the encampment between San Diego and Tijuana, needs and tensions began to mount in recent days. Roughly 1,000 people have jumped one barrier separating the cities in the past week, and most remained stuck behind another wall as they awaited processing by U.S. officials. The area between the two border walls is technically on U.S. soil but considered a no man’s land.

Blankets are the most in-demand item, as the nights become uncomfortably cold for the hundreds of people sleeping outdoors. But there are not enough, so volunteers have tried to limit donations to families with young children.

On Thursday night, while blankets were being handed out, migrants began shouting at one another, believing that one group was taking blankets for people who did not have young children. The aid workers stepped in to break up the fighting.

“People are cold, hungry, desperate, destitute, nervous,” said Adriana Jasso, a volunteer with American Friends Service Committee.

A man from Colombia, wearing a tattered blue hoodie, arrived in the camp with his family on Friday morning after smugglers had led them through a hole in the wall on the Mexican side. Viewing the tents made of Mylar blankets spread across the camp and rows of migrants lying on the dirt, he was unsure how to secure food or tarps to get set up.

He approached Ms. Alvarez-Lopez to ask for supplies. “Go look for Jesus,” she told him, apparently referring to a fellow migrant, and he walked away exasperated. “My only Jesus is up there,” he said, pointing to the sky.

May 13, 2023. Tags: . Immigration. Leave a comment.

Negligent killer in San Marcos, Texas, gets only 90 days in prison. I think he should get 30 years.

Texas State student shot, killed through wall while sleeping; convicted shooter receives 90 days sentence

By Meredith Aldis

May 8, 2023

SAN MARCOS, Texas – A family is fighting for a Hays County judge to review the sentencing for the man who killed their son. Texas State student Austin Salyer was negligently shot by his neighbor through a wall.

Austin Salyer was a junior at Texas State University. He was studying criminal justice and military science. He had just signed a contract with the Army in September 2021.

“Austin texted me at 8:53 p.m. and said, ‘I’m going to bed,’ you know, ‘good night, sweet dreams. I love you.’ And I said, ‘ok, I love you too.’ And then I waited about three minutes and I said, ‘keep making us proud’ and that was the last text I got from him,” Bonnie Salyer, Austin’s mom, said.

His mom said he was supposed to be up at 4:30 a.m. the next morning for his first road march with his new platoon. At around 6 a.m., Bonnie checked Austin’s location.

“I saw that his phone was still inside his apartment, and I thought, ‘oh my gosh, he overslept.’ And so I started calling him, I started pinging him,” Bonnie Salyer said.

An hour and a half later, she still hadn’t heard from him.

“I thought maybe he just was in a hurry, he left his phone, which I knew in my heart that wasn’t true because nobody leaves their phone behind, right, it’s become part of our, literally part of our bodies. And so about 7:30 I kind of started to panic, panic started to set in,” Bonnie Salyer said.

At around 11:15 a.m., Bonnie texted one of Austin’s friends.

“I can’t get a hold of Austin, and I’d like to know if you can please go knock on his door, see if you can wake him up. He was all on it. He was like, oh, yeah, I’ll go scare him,” Bonnie Salyer said.

Instead, the friend saw Fire and EMS on the fifth floor, the floor Austin Salyer stayed on.

“A police officer called and said, you know, what’s your son’s full name? What’s his date of birth? And then he said, I’m sorry to tell you over the phone, but we found your son deceased in his apartment this morning,” Bonnie Salyer said.

Austin was shot through the wall while he was lying in bed.

“It just terrifies us to think how long he might have laid their suffering with his neighbor next door and not getting any help for him,” Rodney Salyer, Austin’s father, said.

Gabriel Brown, Austin’s neighbor, claimed at around midnight, he accidentally fired his gun while modifying it and talking on the phone with his father. He turned himself in but wasn’t arrested. Brown was indicted on criminally negligent homicide. His bond was set at $3,000.

“As a victim, you’re so handcuffed and disadvantaged compared to what the criminal has available to them for loopholes. They get to control things, they get to hire whatever, defense attorney they want, whereas the victim is stuck with whatever judge, whatever prosecutor, whatever. You don’t have any control over that at all. They don’t have to provide any information back to you, but anything you provide has to be provided to them. It is so lopsided against the victim to be able to get any kind of justice,” Rodney Salyer said.

The Salyers weren’t happy with the charges being presented.

“Everything gets diluted. You have to start up here just so by the time everything’s diluted, there’s some sort of punishment. In our case, they’re starting down at the bottom. They’re literally starting at the lowest felony that they could possibly start with,” Rodney Salyer said.

Brown pleaded guilty to criminal negligent homicide. He was originally sentenced to 180 days in jail, and he’d report to jail for 18 days during Austin’s birthday and another 18 days on the date of the shooting for five years. Not even a month later, the sentence was changed to 90 days.

“We were like, how can that be? We weren’t involved, nobody’s told us anything about this. Well, the change to 90 days is this, the document was correctly typed up with 18 days. Someone scratched it out and wrote in nine. No, no initials. No, nothing,” Rodney Salyer said. “If we didn’t follow up with him, it would have just gone behind the scenes.”

The Salyers said they asked for a hearing to review the sentencing change, but it was denied.

While Brown spends 90 days in jail, the Salyers are left with just memories.

May 11, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , . Guns, Social justice warriors, Soft on crime, Violent crime. 1 comment.

New Study: Nuclear Power Is Humanity’s Greenest Energy Option

New Study: Nuclear Power Is Humanity’s Greenest Energy Option

Land-hungry biomass, wind, and solar power are set to occupy an area equivalent of the size of the European Union by 2050.

By Ronald Bailey

May 10, 2023

Germany idiotically shut down its last three nuclear power plants last month. Until 2011, the country obtained one-quarter of its electricity from 17 nuclear power plants. As a December 2022 study in Scientific Reports shows, turning off this carbon-free energy source is incredibly short-sighted for combatting climate change and protecting natural landscapes.

The European researchers behind the new study do an in-depth analysis of how much land and sea area it would take to implement the Net Zero by 2050 roadmap devised by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2021. The IEA outlines an energy transition trajectory to cut global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels to zero by 2050. The Net Zero goal is to keep the increase of global average temperature below the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above the late 19th-century baseline. “This calls for nothing less than a complete transformation of how we produce, transport and consume energy,” notes the IEA.

The Scientific Reports study finds that implementing the IEA’s roadmap requires that much of the world’s agricultural and wild lands be sacrificed to produce energy. Biofuels, both liquid and solid, are especially egregious destroyers of the landscape. On the other hand, the energy source that spares the most land is nuclear power. In addition, electricity produced by fission reactors is not intermittent the way that vastly more land-hungry solar and wind power are.

Let’s go to the figures. The European researchers illustrated the vast differences in the amount of energy that can be produced per unit of land by calculating what percentage of land would be needed to meet 100 percent of emissions-free primary energy demand in 2050. Primary energy refers to raw fuels before they have been converted into other forms of energy like electricity, heat, or transport fuels. They calculate that nuclear power generation could supply all the energy demand in 2050 while occupying just 0.016 percent of the world’s land area. On the other hand, using biomass to generate the same amount of energy would take up more than 96 percent of the world’s land area.

Turning to the IEA’s Net Zero roadmap, the team calculates that the amount of land occupied by the stunted trajectory of nuclear power plants in the IEA scenario will expand from 403 square kilometers (156 square miles)today to 820 square km (317 square miles) in 2050. The area devoted to growing biomass for energy production (liquid and solid fuels) expands from 653,000 square km (252,000 square miles) to 2,981,000 square km (1,151,000 square miles). It is worth noting that 208,000 square km (80,300 square miles) is now annually plowed up for biofuel production in the U.S. The amount of land covered by onshore wind turbines would rise from 79,000 square km (30,500 square miles) to 995,000 square km (384,000 square miles), and the area covered by solar photovoltaic would increase from 9,400 square km (3,630 square miles) to 270,000 square km (104,000 square miles).

“A sixfold increase will occur in the spatial extent of power generation, from approximately 0.5% of land areas used for electric generation in 2020 to nearly 3.0% of land areas in 2050 (i.e., 430 million hectares of land),” report the researchers. “The world will be electrified by requiring an area roughly equal to the entire European Union (EU), which is one and a half times the size of India. The major contributor to increasing land use will be related to power generation from biomass.”

As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week, wind and solar projects occupying massive amounts of land increasingly get NIMBY pushback from disgruntled neighbors. Energy analyst Robert Bryce, author of A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations (2020), has compiled a database showing that nearly 500 renewable energy projects have been rejected or restricted over the past decade.

The European researchers calculated that nuclear power plants sited on just 20,800 square km (8,000 square miles) of land could supply all of the carbon-free electricity demanded in 2050. That’s less land than is occupied by the state of Vermont.

Over at Tech Xplore, study co-author and energy conversion researcher at Norwegian University of Science and Technology Jonas Kristiansen Nøland points out that “the spatial extent of nuclear power is 99.7% less than onshore wind power—in other words, 350 times less use of land area.” He adds, “An energy transition based on nuclear power alone would save 99.75% of environmental encroachments in 2050. We could even remove most of the current environmental footprint we have already caused.”

Nuclear power massively spares land for nature while producing 24-7 emissions-free electricity. That’s why closing down 17 perfectly good nuclear power plants is environmentally stupid.

May 11, 2023. Tags: , . Environmentalism, Nuclear power. 1 comment.

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