DiBlasio’s Traffic Safety Program Fails Hard

More than 160 cyclists and pedestrians were killed in crashes during the third year of the mayor’s Vision Zero initiative meant to curb such deaths, an increase from the previous two years, according to a city report released Thursday.Traffic deaths overall — including motorists and passengers — in the past year were the lowest recorded since the city started keeping records of those deaths in 1910. But cyclist and pedestrian deaths in 2016 were higher than in 2015 or 2014, the first year of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s safety initiative, data shows.

This was his big initiative.  “Vision Zero” bumper stickers are on all taxis and official vehicles.  This was his crowning achievement.

And much like everything else he touches, it failed.

Source: 163 Cyclists and Pedestrians Were Killed in Crashes in 2016, City Says – Upper West Side – DNAinfo New York


Danish Man Charged With Blasphemy

A Danish man who posed a video of himself setting fire to the Quran on Facebook has been charged with blasphemy in the first such prosecution for 46 years. The 42-year-old suspect put the clip, entitled “Consider your neighbour: it stinks when it burns” to a group called “YES TO FREEDOM – NO TO ISLAM” in December 2015.

The fact that a western country can still charge anyone with blasphemy is shocking to me.

Source: Danish man who videoed himself burning the Quran charged with blasphemy | The Independent


Website Publishes 2013 Investor Meeting as 2017 News

This is a really weird one.  Forbes wrote a story in 2013 about the Starbucks investor call.  It was pretty famous because on it Howard Schultz, CEO, told a shareholder to take a walk if they think they’d get better returns.  The comments were prompted by the shareholder saying returns were a big disappointing on Starbucks’ stock, then theorized that it was because Starbucks came out loud and proud in favor gay marriage. Schultz snapped back:

“Not every decision is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last 12 months. Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity. Of all kinds.”

At that point the audience interrupted in cheers and applause. Then Schultz concluded, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.” More cheers.

I remembered this because it was such a big deal at the time.

So just a few days ago, the website The Washington Press, whatever that is, wrote the following:

During the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting, CEO Howard Schultz had a clear message to send to investors who don’t support gay marriage: he doesn’t want your business.

It’s one thing to stick to one’s beliefs, but it’s another thing to allow those beliefs to cross the line and become zealotry. It appears Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz crossed that line during the meeting, mixing his belief system with business.

Schultz went on to claim that Starbucks strives to “embrace diversity of all kinds.” He went on to tell a shareholder who stands behind tradition marriage to sell his shares and invest elsewhere.

Now, thinking Schultz may have “done it again” I went to Forbes and searched, and the only story was the one from 2013.  If you look at the wording, it’s very similar.  This story stinks to high heaven, and it’s apparent that The Washington Press just rehashed an old story as a hit piece.

Maybe Jim Hoft has a moonlighting gig there?

The Middle East, Warfare State

Trump Fueling Saudi-Yemen Fire

While other Western nations debate cutting Saudi Arabia off completely from their arms exports in an effort to mitigate wanton destruction, it seems that Washington is just happy they’re buying American.With an inexperienced hot-head at the Resolute Desk relying on an aide who believes we’re overdue for another global war, it’s hard to be optimistic about their commitment to diplomacy. We can only hope that somehow Trump’s love of a good deal will steer his administration towards more diplomatic action and less of a “shoot first, spin later” mentality.

Source: How Trump Is Empowering the Saudi Destruction of Yemen | Cato Institute

Debunked, Journalism

Jim Hoft Overplays An Old McCain Story

Giddy with dirt on a man that he hates, Jim Hoft, publisher of Gateway Pundit, gleefully exclaimed

“Wikileaks Document Shows John McCain Requested Donations from Russians” followed with an all-caps WOW.

Hoft acted like Wikileaks had uncovered a major news story, with one commenter saying

“Once again it’s the warriors in the “alternative media” who as citizen journalists find the truth that America needs to see.”

Except it’s not.  The story got plenty of airtime when it happened.  In 2008.  How do I know?  Because I wrote about it back when it happened. How else do I know?  Because the story I cited from Reuters is still available.  You can even read it right here.  The pertinent bits of info:

Moscow’s mission to the United Nations issued a terse statement on the Republican presidential candidate’s letter, saying that the Russian government and its officials “do not finance political activity in foreign countries.”

A spokesman for McCain, a long-time critic of Russia, had a simple explanation for the fundraising letter’s arrival at the Russian mission in New York: “It was an error in the mailing list.”

The letter was addressed to Churkin and sported a McCain signature near the bottom.

It’s worthy of note that Churkin did die recently, so I guess if you wanted to put your tinfoil hat on and say McCain coordinated an assassination to cover up a 9 year old story, that’s your prerogative, but I’m just gonna go with “it’s still a non-story and Jim Hoft is an ass.”

The Middle East

Israeli Soldier Gets 18 Months For Murder

Military court sentences Elor Azaria to 18 months’ jail for killing Abdul Fatah al-Sharif as he lay wounded in a Hebron

On one hand, I look at it as “18 months? That’s nothing.”

Then in context, I think that if it were a Palestinian who killed an Israeli, they’d go home to a parade, not a sentencing.

This is why the West needs to keep its nose out of this situation entirely.

Source: Palestinians: Israeli soldier’s sentence for killing is ‘green light’ for crimes | Middle East Eye