I was never a huge circus guy as a kid, probably because I wasn’t a very good athlete – although the acrobats did impress me. Of course, being feet from large wild animals was thrilling! (except for the smell!) And being a ‘semi-professional’ magician (starting in the Fourth Grade) I was drawn to performers like clowns – even considering crossing the makeup line and becoming a clown magician myself! I’d read of Harry Houdini, and how he got his start in traveling carnivals performing feats of strength and ‘oddities’, like being able to pick up needles with his eyelashes while hanging inverted! (How one does this for an audience – who knows?)
But what really got my attention were the oddities, the Sideshow. The beginnings of the traveling circus. People and animals with disabilities or birth defects – Siamese twins, women with beards, two headed snakes – that sort of thing. Obviously, middle-America in the early 1800’s needed some kind of diversion, right?
And this is precisely why the circuses are ending. If one wants to see an elephant, there are thousands on You Tube. The same for magic, people with birth defects and feats of strength. No longer must one wait in line for tickets, endure the crowds, animal smells and over-priced popcorn to see such things. The circus can come to you! And there are TV, movies, shows – all stream-able to your TV, computer or cell phone.
Jeff Cooper sometimes spoke of seeing the elephant. In the olden days, a farm youth (as most were prior to 1920) had little or no exposure to life outside that which was on the farm. Birth, death, butchering, harvesting, hunting, planting – all hard physical labor. But little else.
When a boy ‘came of age’, his father would shove a few dollars in his pocket, point him to town, and tell him to go ‘see the elephant’. The circus was coming to town! The boy would dutifully go, see the elephant, the sideshow, perhaps have some liquor and engage in games of chance. If he had any money left, he might find a woman of ill-repute with whom to ‘spend some time’.
It was all about a rite-of-passage. Learning something about the outside world.
But, in today’s instantaneous electronically-connected world, there is no rite-of-passage. Boys (and girls) learn about sex from the Internet. Not exactly seeing the elephant.
No wonder instant gratification is the motto for the Millennials.
And we as a society are lesser for it.
Go see the elephant before the circus closes forever! Reportedly, they will stop using elephants by 2018. of course, the circus will end before that…
Find a woman?
As posted by Irish…sent in by reader Brian:
A Jihadi-cartel alliance in the Mexican state of Nuevo León is collaborating to carry out attacks in American cities and ports of entry along the southern border, according to intelligence obtained by Judicial Watch from confidential U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sources. As part of the plan, militant Islamists have arrived recently at the Monterrey International Airport situated in Apodaca, Nuevo León, about 130 miles south of the Texas border. An internal Mexican law enforcement report obtained by Judicial Watch confirms that Islamic terrorists have “people along the border, principally in Tijuana, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.” Cartel informants tell law enforcement contacts that “they are only waiting for the order and the times to carry out a simultaneous attack in the different ports of entry or cities of the United States of America.” Drug cartels have a working “agreement” with Islamic terrorists, according to a high-ranking Mexican police administrator, who said that men from the Middle East arrive regularly into the country to “train” jihadists.
(from the NRA/ILA, in part)
Grandma Got Run Over by Obama: SSA Finalizes New Gun Prohibition Rule
On Monday, Barack Obama’s Social Security Administration (SSA) issued
The final version of a rule that will doom tens of thousands of law-abiding
(and vulnerable)disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
recipients to a loss of Second Amendment rights under the guise of recharacterizing
them as “mental defectives.” The SSA, for the first time in it’s history
will be coopted into the federal government’s gun control apparatus,
effectively requiring Social Security applicants to weigh their need for benefits
against their fundamental rights when applying for assistance based on mental health
Yeah, elderly folks don’t need to defend themselves, right?
In a pig’s eye!
This really torques my jaw!
Most of the ‘older’ folks I know have been gun owners and shooting their entire lives. To have the bureaucracy remove their rights with no due process is obscene.
MILAN (AP) — The Tunisian man suspected of attacking a Christmas market in Berlin was killed early Friday in a shootout with police in Milan during a routine patrol, ending a Europe-wide manhunt.
“The person killed, without a shadow of a doubt, is XXXX XXXX*, the suspect of the Berlin terrorist attack,” Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said. XXXX, who was the subject of a Europe-wide manhunt, was identified with the help of fingerprints supplied by Germany.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack outside Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in which a truck plowed into a crowd of shoppers, killing 12 people and injuring 56 others.
XXXX served 3½ years for setting a fire at a refugee center and making threats, among other things — but Italy apparently detected no signs that he was becoming radicalized. He was repeatedly transferred among Sicilian prisons for bad conduct, with prison records saying he bullied inmates and tried to spark insurrections.
Setting a fire, making threats, bad conduct, bullying inmates, tried to spark insurrections. No signs of having been radicalized, huh?
What exactly does it take, Italy?
PS – he was 24, and had spent at least 3 1/2 years in multiple prisons!
*I don’t broadcast terrorist’s names
(from Judicial Watch)
Somali “Community” Given Special Access to Secured Areas of Airports
The Obama administration’s willful failure to recognize the potential threat from radical Islamists here at home continues to place Americans at risk. The latest example of this will shock you and in is found in just 31 pages of records we pried loose from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The records reveal the Department of Homeland Security has given Somalis “community engagement tours,” including security briefings, in secured areas in at least three major U.S. airports – Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio.
The briefings provided to the Somali groups were so sensitive that in 14 instances the agency redacted portions of the records under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption (B)(7)(e) the law-enforcement “risk circumvention” exemption, which reads:
Exemption 7(E) of the Freedom of Information Act affords protection to all law enforcement information that would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.
In one instance, Customs and Border Protection exempted under (B)(7)(e) a portion of a February 16, 2016, “Minute by Minute Agenda” provided during a tour/briefing of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The material that was withheld from Judicial Watch as too law-enforcement sensitive – but provided in full to the Somali group – included a section entitled: “TSA Overview — Processing [Redacted].” The invitees were provided briefings of the Global Entry system, APC [Automated Passport Control] system, secondary screening procedures, baggage-screening procedures and given tours of the holding cells/interview rooms.
Notes from the February Minneapolis St. Paul Airport tour indicate: “Current CBP and TSA job vacancies” were discussed. Attendees responded with requests for DHS outreach efforts during Somali community events to further advertise these positions to interested individuals.”
The newly released records also reveal:
In addition to the Minneapolis Airport tours/briefings given to Somalis during 2014 and 2015 – and first revealed by Judicial Watch in August 2016 – tours of U.S. airports and security briefings also have been provided to other groups at airports in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio: “Once we agree on the dates we will select the time based on prayer schedules. Another idea could be the roundtable to take place at the airport after the tour. We have done that before in LA and Columbus and it worked well both times”.
The timing of the Minneapolis Airport tour given to a group of Somalis in February 2016 was scheduled between 6-8pm because it would “accommodate prayer times well”
During the “annual” tour, federal authorities granted excursions of the facility’s “secure areas.” It is also noted that two parties in the previous year “did not pass vetting.”
The invitation extended to the Somalis for the Minneapolis Airport tour addressed them as “Dear Colleague,” and promised “walking people through CBP’s process, walking people through TSA’s process” and provide “a step-by-step tour of our operations, designed to offer a greater understanding of airport processes and procedures.”
Eight senior ranking Homeland Security and Customs officials were tasked with accompanying and briefing the Somalis on the February 18, 2016, Minneapolis Airport tour, including the Minneapolis Area Port Director, the Assistant Port Director, the Watch Commander, a Homeland Security Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Senior Policy Advisor (flown in from Washington), the TSA Federal Security Director and TSA Deputy Federal Security Director.
The documents show Customs officials reporting that one of the invited individuals had given “CBP Chicago a hard time” following the last tour and noted three of the invitees had had investigations against them, which had since been closed. Another invitee had an active investigation pending.
Logically, information that is too sensitive to provide to Judicial Watch and the public should not have been given to a “community engagement tour.” The U.S. government has been aware for years that Minnesota is a hotbed of Somali terrorist-cell activity. The behind-the-scenes tours and security briefings of the Minneapolis airport very well could have created a threat to public safety.
We’ve been on watch for this issue for some time. In August 2016, the JW Corruption Chronicles blog reported on the Muslim airport tour story: “The Obama administration gave Somali Muslims behind-the-scenes tours at a major U.S. airport after the group complained to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about feeling harassed and profiled, government records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. The special security tours not offered to any other group occurred at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after Department of Homeland Security roundtable meetings with local Somali leaders to obtain feedback for ‘modifications to practices that would allow for operations to be more culturally sensitive.’”
I have no problem with law-abiding Muslims who are in the United States legally. I do, however, take issue with those who intend to do us harm, and with unequal protection of the law!
Would we have given the same access to Mexican immigrants? Or former IRA member?
SERIOUSLY?! Political Correctness is killing us, now possibly literally…
(from my friend Borepatch)
I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.I often rant about poor security in products and how “security wasn’t an afterthought, it wasn’t thought of at all.” Mostly it’s about something that is unlikely to effect most of all y’all. This time is different – here are some toys that can endanger children, and I STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT buy these as gifts this holiday season.
My Friend Cayla is a doll with embedded voice recognition technology similar to Apple’s Siri, that can interact with children. It not only listens to what the child says but can respond appropriately.
While it’s somewhat concerning that the doll “phones home” over the Internet for the voice recognition to work, the issue isn’t that it’s listening in on your kid. Mind you, I find this more than a little creepy, but I remember when there were only 3 TV channels.
The danger is that the doll is Bluetooth enabled, and the Bluetooth is completely unprotected. What this means is that anyone within Bluetooth range (which at 100 yards is actually further than many think) can connect to the doll and start talking to your child as she plays.
Let me say that again – Joe Shmoe in the park across from your house can connect to your little Princess’ doll and have a chat.There’s a video of this, although they’re wrong to call it a “hack”. It’s simply use of the functionality as it was designed.
Also using the exact same technology with exactly the same flaw is the i-Que robot: this isn’t just a threat to little girls.
Unconfirmed reports also include the Barbie Hello Dream House. I don’t know whether this is vulnerable to remote Bluetooth access, and it’s almost certain that nothing definitive will be published on this before the holidays. Given that I recommend that you don’t buy this, either.
This seems to me to be bordering on criminal negligence by the companies involved (certainly My Friend Cayla and i-Que; possibly Mattel). The idea that a child’s toy could be released that would allow someone to remotely talk with your child his his or her own bedroom is mind bogglingly stupid.
To reiterate, I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.
Anyone remember “My name is Talky Tina” from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone? These toys take that to a whole new level.
(from Brock Townsend)
On August 3, French riot police dragged a priest and his congregation from the church of St Rita in Paris, prior to its scheduled demolition. Front National leader Marine Le Pen said in fury: “And what if they built parking lots in the place of Salafist mosques, and not of our churches?”
France is in turmoil. “Migrants” arriving from Africa and the Middle East sow disorder and insecurity in many cities. The huge slum commonly known as the “jungle of Calais” has just been dismantled, but other slums are being created each day. In eastern Paris, streets have been covered with corrugated sheets, oilcloth and disjointed boards. Violence is commonplace. France’s 572 “no-go zones,” officially defined as “sensitive urban areas”, continue to grow, and police officers who approach them often suffer the consequences. Recently, a police car drove into an ambush and was torched while the police were prevented from getting out. If attacked, police officers are told by their superiors to flee rather than retaliate. Many police officers, angry at having to behave like cowards, have organized demonstrations. No terrorist attacks have taken place since the slaughter of a priest in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray on July 26, 2016, but intelligence services see that jihadists have returned from the Middle East and are ready to act, and that riots may break out anywhere, any time, on any pretext.More@ The Gatestone Institute
(from Joel in part)
Here’s an actual headline I did not make up…
You guys remember the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, right? It was going to make New Yorkers safe from scary-looking rifles and standard-capacity magazines, as well as restricting ammo sales and forcing shrinks to snitch on their patients. Thus, you know, ushering in the glorious millennium or some thing, I dunno.
And here’s a total shock: In addition to turning virtually every New York gun owner into a felonious scofflaw, it doesn’t do any of the things promised! Wow. It’s just so out of the blue. Who saw that coming?
Undismayed, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman attacks the problem head-on with strawmen and buzzwords blazing:
“Target on Trafficking: Analysis of New York Gun Crimes” found that 74 percent of guns used in a crime recovered in New York came from outside this state.Of these, 70 percent originated “in just six states with weak gun laws — the states along I-95 that make up the Iron Pipeline,” says an online presentation on the report.
Yes, of course it’s not the fault of New York’s well-meaning totalitarians. They wrote a perfect nightmare of a law, which would have worked perfectly if not for all those other state lawmakers with all those weak gun laws! Yeah!
“The Iron Pipeline.” I love it. I hope whichever writer came up with that one got paid a generous bonus. Then had a piano fall on his head.
Surprising to me, though, is that the article writer actually dares point out that it ain’t necessarily so…
However, the report’s data shows that the percentage of crime guns from out of state remained remarkably even before and after New York’s SAFE Act was passed in 2013. From 2010 to 2015, it only fluctuated between 73 and 75 percent. The number of recovered crime guns went down, along with the violent crime rate throughout the Northeast, but the out-of-state percentage stayed the same.
[B]y Mr. Schneiderman’s measure, it hasn’t worked. If the out-of-state gun percentage had spiked since the new restrictions took effect, that might indicate criminals were being foiled here and turning more often to other states, but that doesn’t seem to have happened.
Careful there, kid. Speaking truth to power works best from a respectful distance.
Privacy mavens have been going on for some time regarding the complete lack of privacy on the Internet. Coupled with private industry and public intelligence, license plate readers and facial recognition software, the NSA listening to our cellular telephone calls and reading our email, and cameras everywhere, from about 2002, lets face it…
Now, another factor has entered the arena.
According to Motherboard, it’s a real threat.
A global conference of senior military and intelligence officials taking place in London this week reveals how governments increasingly view social media as “a new front in warfare” and a tool for the Armed Forces.
The overriding theme of the event is the need to exploit social media as a source of intelligence on civilian populations and enemies; as well as a propaganda medium to influence public opinion.
. . .
The event, the Sixth Annual Conference on Social Media Within the Defence and Military Sector, is sponsored by the Thales Group, the tenth largest defense company in the world, which is partially owned by the French government.
Participants in the conference—chaired by Steven Mehringer, Head of Communication Services at NATO—will include military and intelligence leaders from around the world, especially “social media experts from across the armed forces and defense industry.”
. . .
“Social Media is increasingly important to the portrayal of armed forces, at home and abroad on operations; raising awareness of institutional issues; and gaining support through successful recruitment campaigns,” said conference Chairman, NATO’s Steven Mehringer, in an invitation brochure for the event.
The military’s goal of using social media to influence the beliefs of populations to win wars is alluded to in the description of other panels. A proposed panel titled ‘NATO’s Digital Outreach: Creating a Global Conversation’, describes NATO’s aim of “cultivating a global audience through social media to support The Alliance.”
Another panel discussion makes direct reference to the role of social media in covert US military ‘psychological warfare’ operations—i.e. propaganda—as well as the use of social media to support mass surveillance.
There’s more at the link.
At first I assumed that the conference was about nothing more or less than the usual propaganda exercises employed by all sides in any conflict. However, reading between the lines, it appears that they’re talking about more active – and more covert – interventions, such as ‘sock-puppeting‘ comments on or reactions to articles, blog posts, etc. that they don’t like. In other words, they wouldn’t act openly, or say that this is the view of a particular party; so one wouldn’t be able to exercise informed judgment on what they have to say.
I know some of the more totalitarian governments have been doing this for decades. (The so-called ‘Great Firewall of China‘ is a good example, and it’s now morphing into a ‘citizen score‘ for every person, upon which will depend their ability to get good jobs, get loans, or even eat well.) If Western nations are now starting to venture into the same territory, we’ll have to be on our guard.
To coin a phrase: Big Brother is not your friend.
…but, they sure as Hell will!
(from my friend Kevin @ The Smallest Minority)
I WILL NOT RegisterI discovered in 2003 that the state of New Jersey had outlawed the original Marlin Model 60 .22 caliber rifle as an “assault weapon” because its tubular magazine held “more than 10 rounds.” Now New York City has done something similar, but it’s magazine capacity limit is five. And they’re serious about it:
The only effective use of a firearm registry is to make it easier to take guns away from the law abiding.I will not register. After the first felony, the rest are free.