Monthly Archives: April 2018

BREAKING: Broward Student Lays Out Devastating Case Against School Board For Neglecting School Safety

On Thursday, Broward County student Kenneth Preston, 19, published the findings of an in-depth investigation he has conducted over the last two months that has uncovered some alarming details about how the Broward County School Board neglected school safety leading up to the Parkland massacre.

Preston confronted the school board two weeks ago and gave his account of what he’d learned to The Hill. In his initial findings, Preston said that he believed that since 2014, the school has only spent around 5% of the over $100 million available to it specifically for school safety. In his new report, he details ways that the failure to invest in school safety may have led to the deaths of some of the students in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. The school board’s embrace of progressive programs, including The Promise Program and the Behavior Intervention Program, Preston maintains, has protected problem students — like the student who eventually slaughtered 17 people in February — shielding them from effective disciplinary measures and thus allowing them to remain threats to their peers.

“After weeks of research, searching through thousands of pages of government documents, and speaking with dozens of officials, I have come to the conclusion that Superintendent Runcie and members of the school board have failed at their essential role in keeping our students safe. Whether that’s because of incompetence or the incentive of federal dollars is for you to decide based on the evidence provided below,” Preston writes. “Ultimately, no matter what laws pass, the extent, or how infrequent these shootings become, if the people who were complicit in facilitating an environment in which something like this could occur don’t face consequences, then there is no justice.”

In a series of tweets Thursday, Preston provided key details from his investigation (h/t Twitchy):

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

Parkland parents, students, I went to the Broward School Board to seek answers for the potential negligence by Superintendent and Board prior to the tragedy at Stoneman. Instead of addressing our concerns, they prevented us from speaking. Read on to understand why.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

Parkland parents, students, I went to the Broward School Board to seek answers for the potential negligence by Superintendent and Board prior to the tragedy at Stoneman. Instead of addressing our concerns, they prevented us from speaking. Read on to understand why. pic.twitter.com/Ppomdtl3BA

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

2) Just to clarify, I’ll be referring to the shooter exclusively by his case number, 18-1958, for the duration of this thread in respect of the families wishes not to give any attention to his name. So, here’s what you need to know.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

2) Just to clarify, I’ll be referring to the shooter exclusively by his case number, 18-1958, for the duration of this thread in respect of the families wishes not to give any attention to his name. So, here’s what you need to know.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

3) Over the last month, I’ve dug through thousands of government document pages and interviewed dozens of people. I found evidence of two things: over $100m in school safety funds that have gone unspent and policies that keep violent students (like 18-1958) out of jail.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

3) Over the last month, I’ve dug through thousands of government document pages and interviewed dozens of people. I found evidence of two things: over $100m in school safety funds that have gone unspent and policies that keep violent students (like 18-1958) out of jail.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

4) First, the money. In 2014, Broward Schools was given an $800m bond, with over $100m specifically for school safety. Since then, delays have led to only 5% of the money spent. Despite safety being the #1 priority of the bond, many projects were delayed to avoid increased cost.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

4) First, the money. In 2014, Broward Schools was given an $800m bond, with over $100m specifically for school safety. Since then, delays have led to only 5% of the money spent. Despite safety being the #1 priority of the bond, many projects were delayed to avoid increased cost.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

5) In a tweet, Superintendent @RobertwRuncie called our report “fake news” and suggested we contact @FloridaTaxWatch, an independent group tasked with helping to oversee the distribution of the money. So I did. FL TaxWatch VP of Research Bob Nave agreed with my numbers. pic.twitter.com/hjo256j3vt

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

5) In a tweet, Superintendent @RobertwRuncie called our report “fake news” and suggested we contact @FloridaTaxWatch, an independent group tasked with helping to oversee the distribution of the money. So I did. FL TaxWatch VP of Research Bob Nave agreed with my numbers. pic.twitter.com/hjo256j3vt

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

6) One of those delayed projects was a $1m fire system for Stoneman Douglas. People familiar with the project told me that the district considered upgrading its systems with an “alarm sequence”, that allows a delay to determine if there’s an actual fire before the alarm triggers.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

6) One of those delayed projects was a $1m fire system for Stoneman Douglas. People familiar with the project told me that the district considered upgrading its systems with an “alarm sequence”, that allows a delay to determine if there’s an actual fire before the alarm triggers.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

7) When Stoneman’s fire alarm sounded, students fled from their classrooms directly into the path of the shooter. The “positive alarm sequence” would have kept the alarm from sounding for up to three minutes if it was determined there was no fire, and in this case, there wasn’t.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

7) When Stoneman’s fire alarm sounded, students fled from their classrooms directly into the path of the shooter. The “positive alarm sequence” would have kept the alarm from sounding for up to three minutes if it was determined there was no fire, and in this case, there wasn’t.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

8) The school resource officer was aware of shots fired within one minute of the alarm. In a situation like this, seconds count. Had the alarm been put in on time and with the suggested upgrade, that delay could have potentially saved students from running into the line of fire.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

8) The school resource officer was aware of shots fired within one minute of the alarm. In a situation like this, seconds count. Had the alarm been put in on time and with the suggested upgrade, that delay could have potentially saved students from running into the line of fire.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

9) In a meeting with Runcie & officials, I was told the system wasn’t invented when the money was allocated and that it wasn’t suggested until last year. However, the tech has existed since the 80s, and the Fmr Dir. of School Safety recommended a similar system years ago. pic.twitter.com/fppWs1vN5K

View image on Twitter

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

9) In a meeting with Runcie & officials, I was told the system wasn’t invented when the money was allocated and that it wasn’t suggested until last year. However, the tech has existed since the 80s, and the Fmr Dir. of School Safety recommended a similar system years ago. pic.twitter.com/fppWs1vN5K

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

10) Part Two of the Investigation: Broward’s discipline policies that help keep potentially dangerous students like 18-1958 in schools and out of jail.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

10) Part Two of the Investigation: Broward’s discipline policies that help keep potentially dangerous students like 18-1958 in schools and out of jail.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

12) In 2013, @browardschools and @browardsheriff signed an agreement to consider alternatives to arrest when dealing with student misconduct. On the agreement’s list, it says that if a crime constitutes a felony, the officer may “consider” placing the student under arrest. pic.twitter.com/dFuJOkyo5J

View image on Twitter

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

12) In 2013, @browardschools and @browardsheriff signed an agreement to consider alternatives to arrest when dealing with student misconduct. On the agreement’s list, it says that if a crime constitutes a felony, the officer may “consider” placing the student under arrest. pic.twitter.com/dFuJOkyo5J

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

13) This agreement was part of an effort to lower student arrests by reshaping school discipline. As a result, troubled students who previously would have been reported to police are now entered into “rehabilitation programs.” Within years, Broward’s arrest rate plummeted. pic.twitter.com/d2JptAlPBW

View image on Twitter

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

13) This agreement was part of an effort to lower student arrests by reshaping school discipline. As a result, troubled students who previously would have been reported to police are now entered into “rehabilitation programs.” Within years, Broward’s arrest rate plummeted. pic.twitter.com/d2JptAlPBW

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

14) Even if students aren’t enrolled in these programs, school admins aren’t required to report potentially dangerous students to law enforcement. The current discipline matrix gives administration complete discretion to decide “appropriate consequences” for student misbehavior. pic.twitter.com/YtoI4VEPJI

View image on Twitter

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

14) Even if students aren’t enrolled in these programs, school admins aren’t required to report potentially dangerous students to law enforcement. The current discipline matrix gives administration complete discretion to decide “appropriate consequences” for student misbehavior. pic.twitter.com/YtoI4VEPJI

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

15) An example of the danger in these policies would be middle school student Jayla Cofer, who was attacked so brutally that she was hospitalized with bruised legs, torn skin, and deep wounds. Her attackers were never arrested, but instead placed in a rehabilitation program. pic.twitter.com/sqDZEhjWpE

View image on Twitter

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

15) An example of the danger in these policies would be middle school student Jayla Cofer, who was attacked so brutally that she was hospitalized with bruised legs, torn skin, and deep wounds. Her attackers were never arrested, but instead placed in a rehabilitation program. pic.twitter.com/sqDZEhjWpE

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

16) More recently, two students from Flanagan High claimed that a fellow student was threatening to kill over 20 people. The student was briefly suspended and allowed to return back to campus alongside the students he threatened to kill. The list goes on. pic.twitter.com/9FC8VoZkrI

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

16) More recently, two students from Flanagan High claimed that a fellow student was threatening to kill over 20 people. The student was briefly suspended and allowed to return back to campus alongside the students he threatened to kill. The list goes on. pic.twitter.com/9FC8VoZkrI

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

17) Similar to these incidents, 18-1958 was never arrested despite threatening to kill students, bringing bullets to school, and being involved in multiple fights. Had he been charged and convicted, he likely wouldn’t have had access to weapons he used.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

17) Similar to these incidents, 18-1958 was never arrested despite threatening to kill students, bringing bullets to school, and being involved in multiple fights. Had he been charged and convicted, he likely wouldn’t have had access to weapons he used.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

18) After I presented this info, the Superintendent and Board took time to defend themselves instead of allowing survivors to speak. The Superintendent praised music, athletic and tech programs, but failed to acknowledge that all of those programs were prioritized over safety.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

18) After I presented this info, the Superintendent and Board took time to defend themselves instead of allowing survivors to speak. The Superintendent praised music, athletic and tech programs, but failed to acknowledge that all of those programs were prioritized over safety.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

19) Board Member @ReverendRos went as far as to suggest that our inquiry into these concerns was an exploitation of bloodshed for “personal gain”. She’s the same board member who removed her kids from the school district over “safety concerns.” pic.twitter.com/on4nIjn5vZ

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

19) Board Member @ReverendRos went as far as to suggest that our inquiry into these concerns was an exploitation of bloodshed for “personal gain”. She’s the same board member who removed her kids from the school district over “safety concerns.” pic.twitter.com/on4nIjn5vZ

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

20) Ultimately, it was the shooter and only the shooter who’s responsible for killing 17 and injuring 17 more. It’s also true, however, that the officials tasked with keeping our children and teachers safe have failed in that essential role.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

20) Ultimately, it was the shooter and only the shooter who’s responsible for killing 17 and injuring 17 more. It’s also true, however, that the officials tasked with keeping our children and teachers safe have failed in that essential role.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

21) Despite these failures, there hasn’t been a single change in leadership. Parkland and this community deserve leaders who put our children first. In the coming weeks, we’ll announce our plans to do exactly that. We have mourned, we have marched, and now we mobilize.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

21) Despite these failures, there hasn’t been a single change in leadership. Parkland and this community deserve leaders who put our children first. In the coming weeks, we’ll announce our plans to do exactly that. We have mourned, we have marched, and now we mobilize.

Kenneth Preston@kennethrpreston

Everything I’ve claimed is sourced and available in my full length investigative report that you can find here: https://medium.com/@kennethrpreston/an-investigation-into-broward-countys-school-board-superintendent-4789bbd5b2e5 

An Investigation Into Broward County’s School Board & Superintendent

Motivation

medium.com

A Red Pill: May 5th 200 Year Anniversary Of Failure, Destruction, And Death

Dale Yeager Blog

The 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’ s birthday will be upon us soon and you can expect a plethora of articles and news segments about him, most of which will be praising him as a great genius whose great vision was, unfortunately, misinterpreted or misapplied by his followers. No doubt The New York Times will be foremost in so far as it ran a series of articles last year about how wonderful the totalitarian system of the Soviet Union had been. (The citizens even allegedly had better sex. No, really.) Yet, no other intellectual has been the cause of so much devastation in lives and material wealth.

This catastrophe is no secret. It is thoroughly documented by both historians and those who have (and are) living through the implementation of Marxism.

So one would have thought that after the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the horrific revelations of the Gulag, the Pol Pot killing fields, the Cuban diaspora and the Cultural Revolution’s Red Guards, etc., Marxism was one less nightmare that humanity had to worry about, delegated to the cobwebbed shelf containing the Inquisition, the religious wars, the Black Plague, the Nazis, the burning of witches and heretics, and the endless wars over a miserable piece of real estate. But that is not the case and we see evidence, here and there, that their influence has returned. In some European countries like Italy and France, Russia and Greece, the Communist parties even command a large following (particularly during an economic crisis; the reader may remember that during the Great Depression the Communists and Fascists proliferated). A few years back in America there was the Occupy Wall Street movement as we saw the media drooling over the participants; now we have the Antifa thugs.

Currently, hundreds of Antifas waving the hammer and sickle flag physically assault people, shut down political and social events that they consider “fascist,” indulge in vandalism, prevent free speech, engage in cultural cleansing, falsify historical facts and toss around accusations of “fascism” like it was confetti. It speaks volumes on the blindness of fanatics in that although Antifas declare themselves to be anti-fascists, they dress all in black. Just like Mussolini’s Blackshirts. And conservatives do nothing about them.

Just as bad, we see Communist professors openly indoctrinating their students in universities and even high schools and middle schools. (Read David Horowitz’s The Professors). And, again, conservatives do nothing.

Marxism is essentially an economic doctrine, yet Marxists are not economists. Their expertise lies in philosophy, journalism, law, political science, even religion and, of course, sociology — all specializing in verbal diarrhea. Some of them cannot even balance their checkbook but demand that the country’s economy be handed over to people like themselves. Mention basic economic terms like Pareto efficiency, Cournot’s duopoly or marginalism and Marxists will stand there, open mouthed with glazed looks on their faces. If you tell them that businesses utilize algorithms for decisions, they will keep staring and may even ask you, “What’s an algorithm?” Their concept of capitalism is a laughable caricature totally devoid of reality, but satisfying to their ego: their depiction of a capitalist is the head of a company who is perpetually snarling, overworking his employees to death while he does nothing except tightly hugging stacks of money (this infantile caricature is widespread in Europe—and Hollywood). Marxists are intellectuals who are highly educated, but are also monumentally stupid.

And here’s the kicker: most of them have not even read Das Kapital (Ronald Reagan once famously quipped that a Communist is one who has read Marx and Lenin while an anti-Communist is one who understands Marx and Lenin).

Here is a red pill for Marxists (pun intended). Let us put Marxist theory to the test. The core proposition of Marxism is that the imposition of Marxism improves the lives of human beings. Now, let us look at the record. Communism was established in Russia, China, Mongolia, North Korea, Vietnam, Hungary, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, Germany, Lithuania, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Latvia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Tibet, Kazakhstan, Grenada, Turkmenistan, Ethiopia and Kyrgyzstan. That’s 28 countries. 28 case studies. 28 experiments. Each with its own customs, history, languages, geography — none of which are supposed to matter, anyway, according to the doctrine.

In every single instance, the standard of living — in every level of society and by any standard that one cares to employ — plummeted. While proclaiming itself to be truly egalitarian, a privileged aristocracy (what in Yugoslavia Djilas called The New Class and in Russia was called the Nomenklatura) came into being, composed entirely of members of the Communist Party. While many Ukrainians, Chinese, Cambodians, Ethiopians and Koreans starved to death, the new class feasted on fish, fruit, meats and all sorts of imported delicacies. In other countries, specifically East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Tibet, Cuba and Czechoslovakia, popular uprisings against the repressive Communist regime took place, which were put down through military means by the new aristocracy. An all pervasive vicious, repressive, secret police was created in order to suppress the people, who were spied upon constantly by the Communist government.

In every single instance, the rule of law vanished as the Party members murdered tens of thousands, sometimes simply on a rumor. Property was stolen or destroyed. As that murdering psychotic Che Guevara stated, “To kill a man we don’t need proof of his guilt.” Militarism became the order of the day. Slavenka Draculic pointed out that women in Communist countries were humiliated because the government made more tanks, but not sanitary napkins.

In every single instance, science was distorted as mediocrities imposed their quackery and put forth a “Marxist biology,” a “Marxist psychology,” a “Marxist astronomy,” a “Marxist medicine,” etc., based on the sacred writings of Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Lysenko, etc. )This was exactly the same as happened under Das Dritte Reich with “German medicine,” “German physics,” “German psychology,” etc.)

In every single instance, workers were ordered to “volunteer” to work extra hours, usually at no pay, or face execution while being told that workers had never had it so well.

In several countries, specifically Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Tibet, Lithuania and Cambodia, genocide took place. The victims did not think of themselves as better off under Communism.

Interestingly, East Germany and Romania revived the policy of slavery in that it sold individuals to the West.

Now, to paraphrase Slavoj Zizek, if you are a Marxist, you have to face these facts; you may not want to, but you have to. And, if you are a Marxist, you have to reconcile these facts with the ideology; you may not want to, but you have to. You cannot call yourself a Marxist and be taken seriously if you do not do so.

As it has often been said, a picture is worth a thousand words. Do you see the difference between North Korea and South Korea?

At some point, if you are a rational person, you have to come to the inevitable conclusion. Nonetheless, one will still find the intellectual who insists that Marxism wasn’t properly implemented and if we would only hand over all power to him, unquestioningly, we would have a Marxist heaven on earth because of his superior intellect. I don’t think so.

A personal note: I like to look at the Miami skyline and like to think that that is what Cuba would have looked like today if there had been no Communism.

Armando Simón lives in Orlando and is the author of “A Cuban From Kansas,” “The Cult of Suicide and Other Sci Fi Stories” and “The Only Red Star I Liked Was a Starfish.”

VIDEO: Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar Praises Plane Hijackers, Calls For Acts Of Terrorism

A newly uncovered video featuring Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar shows the far-left professor praising plane hijackers and calling for acts of domestic terrorism against specific individuals.

The Fresno Bee reports:

In one clip featured in the video, Jarrar is discussing Fresno’s agriculture industry and says “a lot of the farmers now are Trump supporters and just f—ing stupid.” In another, she says she can’t stand “the white, hetero patriarchy.”

Jarrar, who is currently under investigation by the university for recent tweets attacking the Bush family after the passing of Barbara Bush, is also seen in the video promoting “resistance fighters” who hijacked planes in the 1960s and ’70s.

“I don’t give a f—. I’m buying guns. I’m an American. I’m buying guns,” Jarrar said. “The other side is, like, doing some stupid s—. I’m gonna do some stupid s—. I’m tired of, like, being the bigger person — literally am usually — but, like, I’m also just tired of the left being, like, f—ing stupid and being like, ‘No we have to like be gentle’ … no, don’t be f—— gentle.'”

Later in the clip, Jarrar calls for attacks against someone named Spencer, asking why “Spencer’s house is still standing.”

“It needs to be f—ing broken into,” she said. “People need to f—ing throw grenades into it. I don’t give a f—.”

VIDEO HERE

California Schools Force Students – Parents have No Say

I am shocked but I’m not surprised.

A Facebook user named Stefanie Duncan Fetzer recently posted  a memo she uncovered from the Orange County Department of Education explaining to their employees that parents have no right to oppose what the schools decide to teach their children.

The situation started when Orange County School District told their parents that they would soon be teaching their children material that discussed gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Some parents objected and told the schools that they’d prefer to pull their children out of these lessons, so the school checked with the government and learned that, thanks to California’s fascist laws, they could force the students to take the class… and the parents couldn’t do anything about it. (Other than move out of California that is.)

 

I’m sorry people, but dammit! Wake up!

New sex ed curriculum was introduced last year. This curriculum was not written by educators. Or education specialists. It was written by activists. Activists!

The new sex ed curriculum includes in depth ‘education’ on gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. Now, maybe you’re ok with this. Good for you. But, not all parents think it is the place of a teacher to have these sensitive discussions with their children.

In CA, parents have the right to opt their child out of the sex ed curriculum. Except in this case. No opt out. This new curriculum is magically exempt from opt out!

At least the guys in OC are generous enough to inform that parents still have the freedom to discuss this issue with their kids and let them know whether or not they disagree with the policy or the material. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before that freedom is gone as well!

See, California law allows parents to excuse their children from parts of Sexual Education and HIV education… but the law explicitly excludes material involving gender and sexual orientation from Sex Ed.

Meaning the parents can keep their kids out of Sex Ed. but they have to let the school teach their children about sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, etc… As if these things weren’t part-and-parcel of what Sex Ed. is.

Yes, the school can’t teach your kids about HIV or the consequences of pre-marital sex without your say-so… but they can teach your kids about crossdressing, transgenderism, what homosexuality, heterosexuality, pansexuality, and any other type of sexuality is, even if you explicitly tell them not to. In fact, the curriculum even normalizes gender dysphoria (which science still consider a genuine psychological disorder) by pretending that it’s a totally natural thing.

But hey, if you read further down in the memo… the school does give parents permission to tell their children that they “disagree with some or all of the information presented in the instructional program.” Further, the school system says that parents can “express these views on these subjects with their children.”

Well… thanks, for telling us what we can and can’t tell our children.

https://www.facebook.com/v2.9/plugins/post.php?app_id=1005812579429496&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2FFdM1l_dpErI.js%3Fversion%3D42%23cb%3Dfdf674867c8508%26domain%3Dconstitution.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fconstitution.com%252Ff2b805f40eb189c%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=730&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fphoto.php%3Ffbid%3D10216369104038877%26set%3Da.2153027743927.133423.1193404768%26type%3D3%26theater&locale=en_US&sdk=joey&width=640

 

This isn’t the first time that Californians have been warned about California’s Healthy Youth Act – you can read more about it here.

Women’s March Leader Tamika Mallory Hates The Anti-Defamation League

On Tuesday, as reported by The Daily Caller, she issued a statement explaining, “So you are aware, Starbucks was on a decent track until they enlisted the Anti-Defamation League to build their anti-bias training. The ADL is CONSTANTLY attacking black and brown people. This is a sign that they are tone deaf and not committed to addressing the concerns of black folks. Be clear what’s happening here!”

Naturally, Mallory wanted the ADL replaced with Jews for Racial Economic Justice, Bend The Arc: Jewish Action, and Jewish Voice For Peace. All three are even further left than the ADL.

Once again, the leadership of the Women’s March apparently has nothing to say about this sort of blatant bigotry against Jews. And that’s what this is about: the ADL is run by Jonathan Greenblatt, an Obama acolyte, and is certainly not a racist group. Mallory has no evidence to suggest that it is racist. She just doesn’t like that the ADL pointed out her association with Farrakhan, and so she’s doubling down on her foolishness by going after those who targeted her.

By BEN SHAPIRO

New Scientific Study: Causes Of Poverty In The World IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK

Communism leads to despair, poverty, hunger, and death. For a century now, they have experienced firsthand the destructive power of communism that demolishes economies, kills and maims the people, and pushes everyone into misery and poverty.

Nevertheless, when it comes to scourge that is communism, we can now say the science is settled.

Via The Sun:

Communism makes countries poorer and less healthy for decades, scientists prove in landmark study

Researchers testing historical connections between cultures found if a country had been under communism was the biggest factor for those with lower health, income and educational levels

LIVING under communism makes countries poorer and less healthy for decades, according to scientists publishing a landmark new study.

Researchers testing historical connections between cultures found that whether a country had been under communism was the biggest factor for those with lower health, income and educational levels.

In the first undertaking of its kind, they analysed the fortunes of 44 countries across Europe and Asia and looked at geography, faith, systems of government and a more intangible quality called “deep cultural ancestry”

Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science they matched these factors against where they ranked on the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures per capita income, life expectancy at birth and the number of years its citizens spend in education.

Most of the issues they looked at appeared to have little or no effect on the disparities between the countries, except for Islamic countries scoring a little worse on education.

Instead, the single strongest predictor for a country’s health, and the second strongest for its wealth turned out to be whether its rulers had embraced communism.

The Women’s March Pushes Sex Trafficking

Backpage and The Women’s March

The Women’s March, already “mired in controversy over its unsavory associations,” has now raised new doubts about its professed “commitment to one of the groups it claims to speak for: abused and exploited women and girls,” reports Commentary’s Sohrab Ahmari.

How else, he asks, to explain its denunciation of the government crackdown against Backpage?” That Web site allegedly “facilitates prostitution and the trafficking of women and girls,” including ads containing “code words for underage girls.”

Yet the Women’s March rushed to defend Backpage on Twitter, calling the crackdown “an absolute crisis for sex workers.” In other words, they’re saying, “the rights of the prostitution industry . . . override the rights of exploited and abused women and girls.” Says Ahmari: “Anti-Trump women who have so far ignored or tolerated the group’s ideological extremism now have no excuse.”

TRAVEL ALERT: Travel Sites Didn’t Share Risks With Those Booking Travel To Mexico Resorts

Mexico Travel Warning

They didn’t know.

Their travel agents didn’t warn them.

They didn’t find signs of trouble on TripAdvisor or government websites.

And nothing on Apple Vacations, Cheap Caribbean, Expedia, Transat or other popular booking websites suggested potential danger. Instead, images of sunshine, margaritas and bikinis on the beach splashed seductively across their computer screens, portraying business as usual in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

But there was nothing usual about what happened when Chelsea Keith ordered room service before bed on Jan. 18 at the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda.

Nor when Jason Enwere hailed a cab from Playa del Carmen back to the resort where he was staying in February with his younger brother and mom to celebrate her 50th birthday.

They and dozens of other tourists from the U.S. and Canada were traumatized by recent encounters — ranging from blacking out after a couple of drinks to robberies, sexual assaults, drownings and deaths of loved ones — while visiting all-inclusive luxury resorts and nearby tourist areas of Mexico.

Travelers were repeatedly reporting such incidents to U.S. and Canadian consular agencies, as well as to the resorts, tour operators such as Apple Vacations, and their local travel agents. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has heard from more than 170 tourists who described their troubles in Mexico, the vast majority within the past two years.

But the travel industry didn’t share the information with the next vacationers booking trips, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.

Had the governments and industry been doing their jobs, the tourists should have been told, according to well-established case law.

Though few travelers know it, travel agents and companies have a legal obligation to inform their customers of known risks.

“I can’t believe that the tourism industry in the United States and Mexico had me deceived,” wrote Seattle-area mom, Trish Bozich, in a March 17, 2016, email to the U.S. consulate.

“Shame on me for being the naïve parent.”

Jason Enwere of Toronto was robbed and severely beaten by a taxi driver and passenger after he hailed a cab back to the all-inclusive resort where he was staying in Mexico in February 2018. (Photo: Courtesy of Jason Enwere)

Bozich’s 19-year-old son had been robbed and was found unconscious in a ditch and taken to jail in Cancun while there for spring break. The police required Bozich to wire them $300 before they would release him. They held him in the jail for hours with no water and heckled and threatened him, Bozich said.

“Parents NEED this information so that they can make an informed decision BEFORE they press ‘purchase’ on that Expedia package to Mexico for their college student,” her email said.

In an ongoing investigation, the Journal Sentinel has uncovered a barrage of terrifying experiences vacationers have had while staying in all-inclusive luxury resorts and visiting nearby tourist areas.

In most of the cases, the incidents ran contrary to the conventional wisdom offered to tourists by travel agents selling trips to Mexico: Just stay on the resort and in the tourist areas. You’re safe there.

The travelers told the Journal Sentinel they were following the rules. They weren’t drinking too much, wearing expensive jewelry or flashing cash. They didn’t go out looking for drugs. And the few that left the resorts went to the popular tourist stretch of Playa del Carmen to shop, dine or dance and paid close attention to their surroundings.

The victims were young and old, male and female. In some cases they blacked out in pairs — tall, hefty men losing consciousness at the same time as their petite wives, half their weight.

They never expected they would black out after a couple of drinks, get abducted from their luxury hotel room, or robbed and beaten nearly to death in a taxi. They didn’t realize they would be met with hostility from resort staff, police and hospital workers when they sought help.

The Journal Sentinel confirmed the reports through interviews, receipts, hospital and police records, photographs, court documents and other research.

Last May, Jennifer Drinkwine, her husband, and their three kids traveled from Colorado to the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar, the same resort where — just four months earlier — 20-year-old Abbey Conner of Pewaukee, Wis., drowned in the pool under suspicious circumstances.

Drinkwine’s 19-year-old son drank a beer with dinner one night, then the family went to the resort club to listen to music. He did not order anything to drink. After a short time the rest of the family was ready to head for bed; their son wanted to stay.

Back in the room less than 45 minutes later, Drinkwine got a strange sense that something was wrong. She dialed her son. When he answered, she did not recognize his voice. He was slurring his words and not making sense. She raced back to the club and found him in a corner, incoherent. An empty shot glass on the table in front of him. His eyes were rolling back in his head, his pulse weakening. He couldn’t walk.

“We thought we were going to lose him,” said Drinkwine.

At the hospital, doctors said he was intoxicated. Medical records reviewed by the Journal Sentinelshow his blood-alcohol content was 0.02 percent, well below any scientific definition of intoxication. He stayed at the hospital for about eight hours and slowly recovered. He recalled drinking just one shot. He didn’t know what it was.

“My travel agent and Apple Vacations made it seem like it was my son’s fault for drinking too much,” Drinkwine said. “There was no advisory, warning, story or mention from our travel agent of any risks.”

A ‘duty to warn’

Courts in both the United States and Canada have established that purveyors of travel have a “duty to inform,” or “duty to warn,” about all sorts of conditions in travel destinations.

If you book a June trip to Southeast Asia and your travel agent doesn’t mention it’s rainy season, experts say, they can be held responsible. Same goes for serious dangers such as outbreaks of Zika virus or civil unrest.

While travel sellers are not guarantors of safety, the courts have ruled they can be held liable for “failure to warn” if an injured party can prove an agent knew — or should have known — about the risk but did not disclose it.

“They are expected to have a certain level of expertise,” said Ken Whitman, senior program manager with Aon, which insures more than 6,000 travel-related companies. “Duty to warn is a theme that runs throughout the whole industry.

“If you’re going to an area that is crime infested, the agent needs to say ‘You need to beware.’ ”

Same resort, multiple incidents

Chelsea Keith was hungry. She had gone to her room at the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda ahead of her boyfriend and another friend around 1 a.m. to order room service. The quesadilla on the menu sounded good, so she dialed the restaurant. The man on the phone double checked, just one? Yes, she said, just one.

He said it would be about 30 minutes. She got in the shower and had just stepped out when she heard a knock on the door. She threw on her night clothes, but before she could get to the door, it opened and the delivery man was inside her room.

She told him he didn’t need to come in and tried to take the tray from him. He insisted on setting it on the dresser, then told her to come sign the receipt. As she was signing her name, he grabbed her and threw her to the bed. He said vulgar things and started touching and licking her over much of her body.

“The best way I can describe it was like a ravaging dog, just trying to get anything he could get,” said Keith, 31, of  Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The man was about 5’7” with a medium build and looked to be in his late 20s, Keith said.

Dec. 15: State Department says it has begun tracking Mexico alcohol-related blackout incidents

Dec. 13: Mexico blackouts, injuries and deaths at resorts spark investigation of State Department

Adrenaline kicked in. She fought back. Being 5’10”, strong and athletic, she was able to push him off and hurl him toward the door. As the struggle continued, her boyfriend and another friend arrived. The man ran off.

“This was my first time out of Canada,” Keith said. “I was always told when you’re on the resort, you’re safe.”

Keith’s trip was booked with Transat, a Canadian-based tour operator that provides vacation packages that include airfare, ground transportation to and from the airport as well as the cost of the resort. The only advice a representative offered was when they arrived and got on the shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel. The driver told them not to pay full price at the shops. They should bargain, the driver said. Not one mention of safety precautions.

Keith tried to get resort workers to call the police, but they refused. When she and her boyfriend called the police themselves, officers never came. Instead, when the couple woke up the next morning, there was a resort worker standing in their room looking at them.

They yelled for him to get out and called Transat. The company moved them to another resort that day.

Interactive: The victims

Investigation: Mexico resorts investigation

Keith didn’t know that just a few weeks earlier, a woman from Peterborough, Ontario, reported that her 22-year-old daughter had been drugged at the same resort and abducted from their room.

Or that several months earlier, in July 2017, a 47-year-old woman reported that her glass of champagne — the only alcohol she had that night — had been spiked. She immediately became woozy and disoriented and went to the hospital.

Records show both women had complained to BlueBay Grand Esmeralda, the Canadian consulate as well as Transat or other partner companies.

The responses both received sounded boilerplate.

“We sincerely appreciate the time and effort you spent on writing and forwarding us your comments with regards to your stay here with us at the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda, without a doubt they will contribute to the constant improvements of our services offered and guarantee that we will share and discuss this situation in our meeting board this week and take the necessary steps to avoid in our resort any of the situations mentioned in your comments,” the manager on duty, Alonzo Avila, wrote in an Aug. 1, 2017, email to Lynn Nugent, the 47-year-old from Ontario.

And from the Canadian government to Karen Newton, the mother of the 22-year-old abducted from their hotel room:

“Thank you for contacting Travelalerts.ca,” the agency responded in a Jan. 2 email. “We appreciate the time you have taken to write us. An agent will respond to your inquiry shortly.”

Nobody did. When Newton contacted them again in February, she got a similar response.

“I am very sorry to hear about these very troubling events which unfolded during your vacation in Mexico,” wrote a representative of Global Affairs Canada, the equivalent of the U.S. State Department. “Please be advised that I will share your concerns with the Case Management Officer responsible for Mexico.”

That was it.

Travel agents and tour operators continued to book BlueBay Grand Esmeralda with no warning on their websites.

A month after Keith’s visit, another woman reported experiencing a blackout at the same resort. She contacted the Journal Sentinel last month, describing how she ordered a margarita while waiting to check into her room, then went to lunch and ordered a second one. That’s the last thing she remembered. She regained consciousness seven hours later in bed with no recollection of how she got there or of anything beyond sitting down for lunch.

When asked by the Journal Sentinel what Transat is doing to inform travelers of risks in Mexico and in response to reports that tourists have complained to Transat that they were not made aware of the dangers, spokeswoman Debbie Cabana wrote that Transat had “taken note” of some of the recent events.

“All our operations remain business as usual and we are closely monitoring the evolution of the situation,” Cabana wrote.

She said Transat would allow change requests for customers seeking to cancel or modify their travel plans.

For Keith, Nugent and Newton, there’s been no recourse.

“I may be jaded, but it feels as if there’s an agreement between the two countries to keep it low key … at the expense of future victims,” Newton said of Mexico and Canada. “Our governments should be held responsible for ensuring that tourists are made aware and properly educated on what’s really happening out there.”

Information lacking

Tourists to Mexico had been reporting suspected druggings and injuries repeatedly — alerting resorts, tour operators and consular affairs offices. But the U.S. State Department wasn’t tracking the cases. The agency only began tracking the numbers in the last several months since the Journal Sentinel began exposing problems. They’ve since received 20 reports of injuries tied to suspected tainted alcohol.

Department officials wouldn’t share any details about the incidents — when, where or what happened — with the Journal Sentinel, citing privacy reasons. Nor do they share the information with travel agencies.

When the Journal Sentinel asked the tour operators and representatives of the American Society of Travel Agents, an industry trade association, how they gather data and share the information so members can pass it along to travelers, they pointed back to the U.S. State Department, citing it as a major source of their information.

In one case, a representative from Apple Vacations told a worried man inquiring about tainted alcohol and sexual assaults at a Mexican resort that he would have to contact officials in Mexico himself.

Nov. 1: TripAdvisor removed warnings about rapes and injuries at Mexico resorts, tourists say

“There is no running list of occurrences in any resort that would identify reported incidents in location. If you would like to pursue specifics to any reported incidents you would need to reach out to the local authorities in the area and submit the question to them, in turn they may need you to fill out the proper documentation to receive information in regards to a single incident and or location,” the agent, whose name was only signed, “Finn,” wrote in a Nov. 1, 2017, email to customer Joe Pesce, of suburban Philadelphia. “Details such as you are asking for are not available to the general public including ourselves …”

The Apple Vacations representative then referred Pesce to TripAdvisor, suggesting that website would be a good resource.

On the same day of the email, a story was published exposing how TripAdvisor had been deleting travelers’ stories of rapes, assaults and other troubling incidents.

“We don’t think the best source of data for this is our reviews, but rather law enforcement or the hotels themselves. … We always recommend travelers keep an eye on travel advisories and visit the State Department website for the most up to date information.”

Victoria Cagliero, a spokeswoman for Expedia

Pennsylvania-based Apple Vacations is a classic tour operator, offering package deals to Mexico and the Caribbean that typically include non-stop flights, ground transportation and week-long stays at all-inclusive resorts.

What travelers may not know is that the company is a subsidiary of Apple Leisure Group. Apple Leisure Group is the parent company of Cheap Caribbean, AMResorts and AmStar.

The key to these connections? AMResorts operates Dreams, Secrets, Sunscape, Now, Breathless and Zoetry resorts. As of January, the company had 29 resorts in Mexico.

Those resorts often top the list of search results when travelers seek vacation packages to Mexico on Apple Vacations’ website.

As for Amstar, that company provides destination management services. So when people who were injured at any of these resorts, their complaints got channeled through a web of Apple Leisure Group subsidiaries.

Apple Leisure Group advertises itself as “the nation’s top seller of all-inclusive vacation packages” and suggests it holds “a unique niche in the U.S. travel industry” leveraging six industries.

Yet Apple Leisure Group and Apple Vacations refuse to release injury and death data of guests to their affiliated properties — or the many other properties, such as Iberostar, that they partner with.

Prior to Abbey Conner’s death at the Iberostar — which prompted the Journal Sentinel’s initial investigation —  at least three women had previously reported to the resort, the U.S. consular agency and tour operators they had been sexually assaulted at the same resort complex. Two were attacked by workers in security uniforms.

Aug. 2: Cancun crime wave threatens tourist mecca

July 26: State Department warns tourists about Mexico tainted alcohol after blackouts reported

The Journal Sentinel has received more than 20 reports about blackouts and injuries at Iberostar resorts in Mexico.

Still, Apple Vacations continues to book tourists at the resorts without any specific warnings about crimes or problems at Iberostar properties on its website. And officials with Apple Vacations won’t say how — or if — it tracks injuries and deaths there, or at any other partner hotels.

“Should an incident occur, it is most often resolved on site by the hotels and resorts themselves,” said spokesman Josh Kahn. “As such, Apple Vacations does not receive weekly, monthly or regularly scheduled incident reports from the properties in our portfolio. That said, we are in regular communication with all of our partners in the region on a variety of issues pertaining to visitor safety and satisfaction.”

In a 2009 court deposition after the drowning death of Boston native Nolan Webster, 22, at the Grand Oasis in Cancun, a senior executive of Apple Vacations, Tim Mullen, said the company did collect weekly incident reports.

In other testimony, an Amstar employee said the two companies communicated about accidents and incidents.

The company was aware of Webster’s death and the many witness accounts saying resort staff had prevented a Canadian nurse from performing CPR on Webster.

Yet no alerts or warnings were issued.

In another deposition in the same case, Apple Vacation’s CFO, Julia Davidson, said the company does not consider safety factors when selecting and rating partner properties.

“Does anyone at Apple Vacations do any type of investigation of the resort before saying, OK, we are going to consider this resort one of our resorts that we send our clients to?” an attorney for Webster’s mother, Maureen Webster, asked.

“We don’t do inspections or investigations,” Davidson answered. “We don’t have trained building inspectors. We don’t have safety inspectors.”

Davidson said it’s not the company’s responsibility to warn travelers about all the possible risks including crime statistics or the lack of lifeguards at pools with swim-up bars.

“We can’t begin to imagine all the things that could happen to someone conceptually or begin to warn them about all of the things that might happen,” she said.

The questioning continued:

Attorney: “And, in fact, do you believe that your responsibility ends when you book the trip as a tour operator and that you don’t have to worry about the safety at the resort for your customers at all?”

Davidson: “I have no control over the safety at the resort.”

Attorney: “Do you believe that a tour operator has a responsibility to prospectively look at the resort to which it offers its customers to determine if there are any safety issues?”

Davidson: “No, I do not believe that and the law does not put us in that position to the best of my knowledge.”

Maureen Webster later launched a website — mexicovacationawareness.com — to warn travelers about the many serious risks pervading the tourism industry in Mexico.

Karen Smith came across the website six years later. But it was too late. Her 38-year-old son, Brian Manucci of New Jersey, had already drowned in the same, crowded resort pool. Smith said she encountered the same indifferent, unhelpful response from the resort.

“It would never occur to me — and I suppose potential travelers — that a tour operator would promote a resort where they have first-hand information of potential dangers,” Smith said.

“The best way I can describe it was like a ravaging dog, just trying to get anything he could get.”

Chelsea Keith, about delivery man who attacked her in her room

On March 26, at least 14 visitors to Dreams Playa Mujeres — an AMResorts property in Cancun — reported to management and online their fear stemming from a shootout on the beach in front of the resort that day, according to postings on TripAdvisor and interviews with travelers who were there.

One man was on the beach with his grade-school-age daughter when gunfire erupted beside him. His wife and other children were at the pool.

“Bullets were flying, people came running into the hotel and resort staff just seemed to go on with life,” the man’s wife told the Journal Sentinel. The family did not want their names or any identifying information about them published out of fear for their safety.

Little to no information was shared with guests. There was no assurance of beefed up security. And within about 45 minutes, guests said, the music was turned back up and games of beach volleyball had resumed.

“We were just shocked, just totally totally stunned. I was afraid we weren’t going to make it out of Mexico.”

After the first few postings on TripAdvisor regarding the shootout, Joshua Campos, the resort’s social media coordinator and e-concierge posted a response saying that the resort has cameras, trained security agents and a fenced perimeter.

“We are aware of an incident that occurred on a public beach in proximity to our resort, which appears to have been an altercation between some local residents. No activity occurred on our property and none of the resort staff were involved in this incident,” Campos wrote. “Guests and operations were not affected.”

Like Apple Vacations, executives with Expedia and Transat would not disclose whether or how they keep track of injuries and deaths on partner properties.

“We can’t comment on proprietary internal policies,” Victoria Cagliero, a spokeswoman for Expedia, wrote in an email to the Journal Sentinel. “We can assure travelers that there is a vast amount of activity going on behind the scenes on their behalf.”

Expedia’s website does not contain destination-specific warnings for Mexico.

Additionally, Cagliero said vacationers should not depend on the reviews by travelers that Expedia publishes when weighing the safety of a place.

“We don’t think the best source of data for this is our reviews, but rather law enforcement or the hotels themselves,” Cagliero said.

In a follow-up email, she added: “We always recommend travelers keep an eye on travel advisories and visit the State Department website for the most up to date information.”

Thomas Dickerson, a retired New York appeals court judge and travel law expert, said travel agencies and tour operators have a strong incentive not to collect, archive and report negative events.

“Of course their response is, ‘We don’t know anything,’ ” said Dickerson. “That’s an old defense. In trial you have to establish that they had access to information. They’re not going to tell you upfront that they keep any records.”

Comfort levels with risk

Michael Barney is an analyst for iJET, a risk-management company that specializes in travel risk.

The company’s clients include tour operators, Barney said, but he would not disclose which ones.

iJET and other risk management companies, such as International SOS, collect safety and security information often used by employers sending workers to locations around the world.

The companies gather data from an array of sources, including media accounts, government reports and statistics, academic studies, on-the-ground sources and other means to compile as complete a picture as possible, said Barney, regional manager of the Americas for iJet.

“We avoid telling people this is safe or isn’t safe, or don’t go here, go here,” Barney said. “We provide an assessment of the risks so they can better understand them. … We try to be extremely timely and as accurate as possible. We try not to be alarmist.”

John Werner, president of Mast Travel Network, a consortium of about 220 travel agencies, said his firm has been getting a lot of calls from travel agents with concerns about what to tell their customers about Mexico.

Similar to the American Society of Travel Agents, Mast gathers information about destinations from a variety of sources, hotel companies, media reports and the Mexico Tourism Board. Mast also relies heavily on the U.S. State Department.

He said his company recommends agencies focus on their customers’ comfort level with risk. If seasoned travelers are planning their 50th trip to Mexico, there might not be a need to discuss safety. But first-time travelers are a different story, he said.

“I wouldn’t say (travel agencies) are steering people away from Mexico, or any destination for that matter, unless the State Department has a big warning on traveling somewhere,” Werner said. “It’s really the customer’s comfort level.”

Building awareness

Similar problems with deaths, rapes and crimes on cruise ships led a group of parents and lawmakers to push for federal legislation requiring cruise companies to report such crimes to the FBI. The Cruise Vessel and Security Act of 2010 also gave the FBI jurisdiction to investigate, something more difficult for the agency to do in a foreign country.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched a web page containing statistics on cruise line incidents, vessel safety and details on where passengers can turn for assistance.

“They never would have done it on their own” said Kendall Carver, chairman of the International Cruise Victims Association, a Phoenix-based non-profit. Carver’s daughter went missing from a cruise ship in 2004. “Our bill isn’t perfect, but it starts to build an awareness of the various crimes that are occurring.”

Traumatizing taxi ride

Jason Enwere and his brother had been planning to take their mom somewhere special for her 50th birthday. Enwere, a 26-year-old college student from Toronto, researched the resorts in late January and settled on an all-inclusive near Playa del Carmen.

He hadn’t heard about any safety problems around Playa del Carmen. He and his mom and brother went into town one afternoon to check out the shops. Enwere went back that night to check out the nightlife, but didn’t go in any clubs and wasn’t drinking. He met some other Canadians and talked for awhile, then hailed a cab back. It was around 12:45 a.m.

The first few taxis that stopped wanted to charge him 450 pesos when he had paid 100 earlier in the day. After awhile, a cab driver agreed to 200 pesos. There was a man in the backseat, but that didn’t seem unusual, since there were other passengers in his cab on the way to town earlier in the evening.

“When I saw his head and legs, I lost it and I started screaming. I was just devastated. What did we ever do? We just came for a holiday. We just wanted a week of rest.”

Dorothy Eze, Jason Enwere’s mother

Within a few minutes he noticed the taxi driver was taking a different route back. The driver made a few turns and they soon were on a dark, quiet street. The man in the back grabbed him by the neck and began choking him. They demanded his phone and money.

“I knew I was going to get hurt,”  Enwere said. “They were already hurting me without giving me a chance. I decided to fight back.”

He kicked and punched and tried to break free. He remembers the grasp on his neck being so tight that he passed out.

“Everything slowed down. I could hear my breath slowing down,” he said.

He regained consciousness, with wind blowing in his face. He was hanging out of the car. The car slowed and pulled over. The next thing Enwere knew, the man from the back seat was smashing his skull with a rock the size of a volleyball. The man then jumped back in the car and they sped away.

“I knew I had to get up and move or I would never get back to my family.”

Enwere limped down the street, most of the skin gone from one of his legs. The back of his head and face were bleeding. After a few blocks he saw what appeared to be police officers. But they didn’t seem worried about him or particularly helpful.

They asked him what happened. And then they searched his pockets for money.

“It was just horrible,” Enwere said.

But there was one man who seemed like he had a little more good in him than bad, Enwere said.

After huddling and whispering with the others, the man came back and got him another taxi. He was back at the resort about 45 minutes later. His brother and mom were waiting outside.

“When I saw his head and legs, I lost it and I started screaming,” said his mother, Dorothy Eze. “I was just devastated. What did we ever do? We just came for a holiday. We just wanted a week of rest.”

Stephan Barth, a law professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, said how travel agents and tour operators handle injuries and deaths — like any other business — is a matter of risk management.

“Some might argue they’re playing Russian roulette,” said Barth, who is also founder of hospitalitylawyer.com, an international network of attorneys that focuses on travel and tourism. “They will get sued at some point.

“For many companies today, they’ve made the calculated decision that it’s cheaper to insure than it is to do the right thing.”

, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The War On Science In America

Many in the media say there’s a conservative war on science. Is this true?

No, says John Tierney, Contributing Editor at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Tierney says “the real war on science is the one from the left.”

John Stossel points out that people on the right are more likely to believe in creationism. Tierney answers, “creationism doesn’t… affect the way science is done. I can’t find examples where the right-wing stopped the progress of science… whereas you can look on the left and you see so many areas that are taboo to research.”

Gender differences, IQ trends, genetically modified foods.

Tierney says the left stifled research into what could have been a second Green Revolution to feed Africa. People who study gender difference have leaned to keep quiet, says Tierney. “You can’t say that there are more men are more aggressive, more risk-taking, that status matters and making money matters more to them.”

Finally, Tierney complains that Universities are utterly dominated by leftists. In the social sciences, Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least eight to one. In some fields like sociology it’s 44 to one. Students are more likely to be taught in sociology by a Marxist [25%] than by a Republican [2%]. Tierney says “once an academic department gets a majority of people who are on the left, they start hiring people like themselves, and pretty soon the whole department is that way. They start to think that their opinions and that their interests are not only the norm, but the truth.”

Booker T. Washington: A Man Of Exceptional Character

Booker T. Washington

162 years ago Booker T. Washington was born.

Born a slave in Virginia, made free by the Civil War, and then a self-educated college graduate, Booker T. Washington is one of the most underrated of all the Civil Rights Activists, a man who in creating the Tuskegee Institute, helped personally change the lives of generations of his fellow African Americans.

It also happens that Washington was a fountain of what reads like Stoic wisdom. For instance, take these two quotes, which capture the essence of what Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus spent so much time talking about.

“Character, not circumstances, makes the man.”

“The world cares very little what you or I know, but it does care a great deal about what you or I do.”

It’s also clear that Washington lived these words. This was a man who walked nearly 500 miles to apply for college, and when he wasn’t accepted, he quietly cleaned the waiting room of the admissions office until they let him in.

Character like that can’t be stopped. This was a man who instead of talking about the needs for better schools and opportunities for his people went out and created a institute that provided exactly that.

from the Daily Stoic