Thursday, April 27, 2017

Berkeley peaceful as hundreds rally over Coulter AP Apr 27 17

Berkeley peaceful as hundreds rally over Coulter AP Apr 27 17


BERKELEY - Hundreds of people waving American flags and chanting "USA" held a raucous rally Thursday at a park in Berkeley — home of the free speech movement — to protest a canceled appearance by conservative commentator Ann Coulter, but the expected violence did not materialize.

Scores of officers in riot gear lined up in preparation for possible violence between supporters and opponents of Coulter, but there were no major confrontations, largely because members of an anti-fascist group did not show up in force.

Coulter did not appear at the rally or show up at the University of California, Berkeley despite hinting that she might "swing by to say hello" to her supporters. Coulter had said she was forced to cancel a speaking engagement at the school. University officials said they had been unable to find a suitable and safe spot for her to speak, and offered a May 2 date.

She did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press, but she told Fox News's Tucker Carlson after the event that she wasn't going to say anything more inflammatory than calling for enforcement of immigration laws.

"Well, my seditious and hateful speech, the theme of it, obviously, it was going to be a searingly brilliant speech on immigration," she said.


Thursday's tensions were another example of how Berkeley has emerged as a flashpoint for extreme left and right forces amid the debate over free speech in a place where the 1960s U.S. free speech movement began before spreading to college campuses across the nation.

Berkeley student Joseph Pagadara, 19, said he had worried about violence and added that the university is caught in the middle of the country's political divide.

"Both sides are so intolerant of each other. We are a divided country. We need to listen to each other but we're each caught in our own bubbles," he said.

As for Coulter, Pagadara said the university should have let her speak. "Now she's making herself look like the victim and Berkeley like the bad guys," he said.

University police erected barricades and refused to let any protesters enter the campus. Six people were arrested; one for obstructing an officer and wearing a mask to evade police, and another for possessing a knife.

Several hundred people gathered for the afternoon event supporting Coulter at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley.

"It's a shame that someone can't speak in the home of the free speech movement," said Wilson Grafstrom, an 18-year-old high school student from Menlo Park.

He wore a military grade helmet with a "Make America Great Again" sticker across the back, goggles, a gas mask and knee pads. He blamed people opposed to Coulter and President Donald Trump for forcing him to gear up for problems.

Many at the park about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the university's main Sproul Plaza also wore such helmets and body armor. Some had "Build That Wall" or Trump stickers across their headgear. One man had duct tape reading "Berkeley" over his mouth.

While the afternoon rally ended without serious conflict, police at one point formed a human wall in the street separating anti-Trump protesters from the park where pro-Trump groups were gathered.

Anti-Coulter protesters at the park held a banner that read: "It's not about 'free speech,' it's about bigots trying to normalize hate."

Earlier, dozens of police wearing flak jackets and carrying 40 mm launchers that shoot "foam batons" flanked Sproul Plaza while a small group of protesters condemning Coulter staged a rally outside campus.

Officers took selfies with students in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media and founder of the pro-Trump "Proud Boys," spoke at the park gathering later in the day. He said America doesn't have an obligation to take people from other countries.

"We are here because Ann Coulter got canceled," he said. "She is one of the most inspiring writers in America today. She is an American hero."

On its Facebook page, the group calls itself a fraternal organization aimed at "reinstating a spirit of Western chauvinism during an age of globalism and multiculturalism."

University officials said they feared violence on campus if Coulter spoke, citing "very specific intelligence" of threats that could endanger her and students. In a letter to the campus Wednesday, Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks said the university is committed to defending free speech but also to protecting its students.

"This is a university, not a battlefield," Dirks wrote.

Earlier this month, a bloody brawl broke out in downtown Berkeley at a pro-Trump protest that featured speeches by members of the white nationalist right. They clashed with a group of Trump critics who called themselves anti-fascists.

In February, violent protesters forced the cancellation of a speech by right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who like Coulter was invited by campus Republicans.

Trump Says ‘Major, Major’ Conflict With North Korea Possible

I was reading this article on Huffington Post, and I thought you might be interested in reading it, too.

Trump Says 'Major, Major' Conflict With North Korea Possible

We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," he said.

Trump lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping for Chinese assistance in trying to rein in North Korea. The two leaders met in Florida earlier this month.

"I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn't want to see turmoil and death. He doesn't want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well.

"With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it's possible that he can't," Trump said.

Trump spoke just a day after he and his top national security advisers briefed U.S. lawmakers on the North Korean threat and one day before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will press the United Nations Security Council on sanctions to further isolate Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs.

The Trump administration on Wednesday declared North Korea "an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority." It said it was focusing on economic and diplomatic pressure, including Chinese cooperation in containing its defiant neighbor and ally, and remained open to negotiations.

U.S. officials said military strikes remained an option but played down the prospect, though the administration has sent an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine to the region in a show of force.

Any direct U.S. military action would run the risk of massive North Korean retaliation and huge casualties in Japan and South Korea and among U.S. forces in both countries.

Trump, asked if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be rational, said he was operating from the assumption that he is rational. He noted that Kim had taken over his country at an early age.

"He's 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age.

"I'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I'm just saying that's a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he's rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he's rational," he said.

Trump, sipping a Coke delivered by an aide after the president ordered it by pressing a button on his desk, appeared to rebuff an overture from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who told Reuters a direct phone call with Trump could take place again after their first conversation in early December angered Beijing.

China considers neighboring Taiwan to be a renegade province.

"My problem is that I have established a very good personal relationship with President Xi," said Trump. "I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation. So I wouldn't want to be causing difficulty right now for him."

"So I would certainly want to speak to him first."


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AP Mobile: GOP bill would discipline hecklers at college speeches

GOP bill would discipline hecklers at college speeches

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - University of Wisconsin students who disrupt speeches and demonstrations could be expelled and campuses ...

Update at 4:26 PM


MADISON, Wis. (AP) - University of Wisconsin students who disrupt speeches and demonstrations could be expelled and campuses would have to remain neutral on public issue under a bill Republican legislators are pushing this week.

The bill comes as free speech issues have grown more contentious on college campuses across the country. Conservatives are worried that right-wing speakers aren't given equal treatment as liberal campus presenters and some students have complained about free expression fanning racial tensions.

In Madison, home to the University of Wisconsin's flagship campus, students shouted down and traded obscene gestures with ex-Brietbart editor and conservative columnist Ben Shapiro during a presentation in November. This week, supporters of conservative commentator Ann Coulter rallied behind her after the University of California-Berkeley cancelled her speech citing concerns that violence could erupt.

The bill is based on a model proposal the conservative Arizona-based Goldwater Institute put together to address campus free-speech issues. Legislation based on the model has been enacted in Colorado, with others being considered in five states, including Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia, according to the institute.

The lawmakers sponsoring Wisconsin's bill said it represents Republicans' promise "to protect the freedom of expression on college campuses."

"All across the nation and here at home, we've seen protesters trying to silence different viewpoints," Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, one of the bill's chief sponsors, said in a news release Thursday. "Free speech means free speech for everyone and not just for the person who speaks the loudest."

UW-Madison's policy already calls for facilitating free speech equally and objectively, school spokesman John Lucas said. Mandating sanctions eliminates the ability of a disciplinary committee to consider all the circumstances of the situation, he said.

"We urge the Legislature to work with the Board of Regents to identify policies that will address the free exchange of ideas and need for order while respecting the existing student conduct process that has served institutions well for many years," Lucas said in an email.

University of Wisconsin System spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said the system is committed to ensuring freedom of speech at its institutions.

Scot Ross, executive director of liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, called Vos and the bill's other authors, Reps. Jesse Kremer and Dave Murphy and Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, "fragile snowflakes."

"These Republicans want to make our campuses safe spaces for Republicans to be free of criticism and subject students to legal sanctions if they speak out," Ross said.

The legislation would require regents to quickly adopt a policy requiring each campus to remain neutral on current public controversies. It wasn't immediately clear whether the bill would bar chancellors and faculty members from expressing their viewpoints or if university lobbyists' work would be forbidden.

Vos clarified that portion during a brief interview Thursday, saying he believes chancellors and faculty should be allowed to express their personal opinions but universities shouldn't take sides. He said a description of what qualifies as a university would be part of the process as the bill moves through the Legislature.

The policy also would have to include a range of disciplinary sanctions for students and faculty who engage in "violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, obscene, unreasonably loud, or other disorderly conduct" that interferes with someone's free speech rights. The bill doesn't define what constitutes any of that behavior.

Students would be entitled to a disciplinary hearing and appeals. Any student found to have interfered with someone's free expression twice would be suspended for a semester or expelled. And anyone who feels his or her free speech rights have been violated can bring a lawsuit within a year to stop the violation.

Larry Dupuis, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Wisconsin chapter, said the neutrality provisions are so vague they could prevent universities from promoting tolerance for people and opinions.

Suspending or expelling hecklers, Dupuis added, is "unnecessarily draconian."

Read the full story

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United Airlines is making these 10 customer-service policy changes

Check out this article from USA TODAY:

United Airlines is making these 10 customer-service policy changes

United Airlines is making these 10 customer-service policy changes


United Airlines on Thursday revealed its "Review and Action Report" recapping the April 9 incident aboard United Express Flight 3411. The report, which was promised by United CEO Oscar Munoz in the days following the incident, includes both a review of what led up to the incident and recommendations "to prevent a terrible event like this from happening again."

Included in the report are 10 new or updated customer service polices meant to prevent episodes like the one that occurred on Flight 3411. Here are those changes, in United's words, as spelled out in the company's Flight 3411 "Review and Action Report."

MAIN STORYUnited pledges new protections for fliers in wake of passenger-dragging incident

1. United will limit use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only.

United will not ask law enforcement officers to remove customers from flights unless it is a matter of safety and security. United implemented this policy on April 12.

2. United will not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk.

United implemented this policy on April 27.

3. United will increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000.

United policy will be revised to increase the compensation levels up to $10,000 per customers willing to volunteer to take a later flight. This will go into effect on April 28.

4. United will establish a customer solutions team to provide agents with creative solutions

United will create a team to proactively identify and provide gate agents with creative solutions such as using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportation to get customers and crews to their final destinations. United expects the team to be operational by June. Examples include:

- Suggest flights to close-by airports and then provide transportation to the customer's preferred destination.

- If a customer's travel includes a connecting flight, provide options that would eliminate the connection and still get the customer to the destination.

- Offer ground transportation where practical.

United will give you up to $10,000 as part of big new changes

5. United will ensure crews are booked onto a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure

Unless there are open seats, all crew members traveling for work on our aircraft must be booked at least 60 minutes before departure. This policy was implemented on April 14.

TODAY IN THE SKYUnited: Too early to say if bookings hurt by passenger-dragging incident

6. United will provide employees with additional annual training. 

United will provide annual training for frontline employees to enhance their skills on an ongoing basis that will equip them to handle the most difficult of situations. This training will begin in August.

7. United will create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans.

Later this year, United will introduce a new automated check-in process, both at the airport and via United app, that will gauge a customer's interest in giving up his or her seat on overbooked flights in exchange for compensation. If selected, that customer will receive the requested compensation and be booked on a later United flight.

8. United will reduce the amount of overbooking.

United has evaluated its overbooking policy. As a result, adjustments have been made to reduce overbookings on flights that historically have experienced lower volunteer rates, particularly flights on smaller aircraft and the last flight of the day to a particular destination.

9. United will empower employees to resolve customer service issues in the moment.

Rolling out later this year, United will launch a new "in the moment" app for our employees to handle customer issues. This will enable flight attendants (by July) and gate agents (later this year) to compensate customers proactively (with mileage, credit for future flights or other forms of compensation) when a disservice occurs.

10. United will eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags.

United will adopt a new no-questions-asked policy on permanently lost bags. In these instances, United will pay a customer $1,500 for the value of the bag and its contents. For claims or reimbursement over $1,500, additional documentation may be required. This process is expected to be in place in June.

Easy ways to keep your pet safe while flying


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How Trump's tax plan would affect households

Check out this article from USA TODAY:

How Trump's tax plan would affect households


President Trump's tax reform plan will benefit most U.S. households and make filing taxes simpler but it will provide the biggest windfall to the wealthy, experts say.

"It's a very lopsided plan to the top end of the income scale," says Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

epa05929374 US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R) and National Economic Director Gary Cohn (L) participate more

Here's a look at some of the main provisions:

•The current seven tax brackets will be streamlined to three --10%, 25% and 35%. The top rate will drop to 35% from 39.6%. But the Trump administration has not said which income ranges would apply to those brackets.

Alan Viard, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says administration officials will almost certainly ensure that no one pays a higher rate on the same income. Yet the elimination of most deductions could nudge some wealthier Americans into higher brackets, he says.

Overall, Marr notes the Tax Policy Center has estimated the top 1% of households would see a 14% increase in after-tax income, while low and middle-class Americans would see gains of just 1.2% to 1.8%.


•The standard deduction, currently $6,350 for single people and $12,700 for married couples, would double. As a result, many more low to moderate income families would pay no taxes. But all other deductions, except for mortgage interest and charitable contributions, would be eliminated, including state and local taxes and medical expenses.

About 70% of Americans, mostly low- to moderate-income, currently take the standard deduction and would benefit, Viard says. Many of the remaining 30% who itemize, largely higher income households, would likely switch to the standard reduction, leaving only about 5% itemizing, he says.  Some wealthier Americans could end up paying higher taxes, though most would save. Marr says scrapping the state and local provision would have the biggest impact and would largely hurt Americans in "blue," or Democratic states on the coasts that pay higher state and local tax rates.

Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatuss Center at George Mason University, says the elimination of millions of people from the tax rolls would mean a big decline in federal revenue.

•The estate, or so-called "death," tax, would be scrapped. The 40% tax currently applies to a $5.5 million inheritance for individuals and $11 million for married couples.

"You ran on a populist agenda but it's wealthy heirs who will pay no taxes," Marr says.

And James Nunns, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, says that getting rid of the tax removes the incentive for the wealthy to make charitable contributions.

But Viard says the tax unfairly hurts households that have spent a lifetime building up savings.

•The alternative minimum tax -- which generally hits households with incomes of at least several hundred thousand dollars – would be ditched. The current rate is 28% for income that qualifies, and it hits individuals who otherwise would benefit from a sharply lower effective tax rate because of deductions.

Marr calls this another gift to the wealthy. Yet Viard says deductions that aren't favored should be eliminated, but those that are valid shouldn't be negated with an alternative tax.

•A 3.8% tax on the interest, dividends and capital gains of higher income households that helps fund the Affordable Care Act would vanish.

"It's a terrible idea" that would favor the affluent and reduce funding needed for the health care law, Marr says.

Contributing: Roger Yu

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

(4) Israel DID 9/11 (Israeli Mossad) Dr. Alan Sabrosky - YouTube

(4) Israel DID 9/11 (Israeli Mossad) Dr. Alan Sabrosky - YouTube: "Israel DID 9/11 (Israeli Mossad) Dr. Alan Sabrosky"

'via Blog this'

Michael Towbes Bank founder leaves charitable legacy Foundation gives donations to over 300 organizations

Bank founder leaves charitable legacy

Foundation gives donations to over 300 organizations

Michael Towbes Michael TowbesMichael Towbes, philanthropist and chair of the board of the Towbes Group Inc. and Montecito Bank and Trust, died of cancer at home in Santa Barbara on April 13. He was 87 years old.
Towbes was born in 1929 in Washington, D.C., and obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Princeton University. He began graduate studies in structural engineering at MIT, but in 1952, with the Korean War underway, he joined the Naval Civil Engineering Corps. Towbes was assigned to the Naval Air Missile Test Center in Point Mugu.
While stationed at Point Mugu, he met Gail Aronson, and they were married in 1954. Their oldest daughter, Lianne, was born in 1956.
After Towbes completed his Navy career, the family settled in West Los Angeles in 1955.
Towbes teamed up with Eli Luria to start a real estate construction and development firm called Luria-Towbes Company
The Towbes’ younger daughter, Carrie, was born in 1959 and the family moved to Santa Barbara in 1960.
Gail Towbes died in 1996 of multiple sclerosis. Michael Towbes married his second wife, Anne Smith, in 2005.
Towbes and Luria ended their partnership in the early 1960s.
Towbes operated as a sole proprietor until 1970, when Michael
Towbes Construction and Development Inc. was formed.
In 1975, Towbes was one of a group of people who formed the Bank of Montecito, now the Montecito Bank and Trust, with 10 branches from Solvang to Westlake Village.
Towbes became the sole shareholder in 1983.
Montecito Bank and Trust is active in local corporate philanthropy, giving more than $1.3 million annually.
In the mid-1990s the contracting and property management activities were shifted to the Towbes Group Inc., which has developed more than 6,000 residential units and 1.8 million square feet of commercial properties.
Towbes’ accolades including entry into the California Building Industry Hall of Fame, the Home Builder’s Association of the Central Coast’s 2014 Builder of the Year, and numerous Santa Barbara and Goleta Beautiful awards.
Towbes has served and chaired numerous nonprofit boards in Santa Barbara.
In 1980, Michael and Gail Towbes started the Towbes Foundation, which contributes over $900,000 annually to more than 300 organizations.
Towbes is survived by his wife, Anne; daughters Lianne and Carrie; two grandchildren; and other family members.
A public memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tues., May 23 at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Granada Theatre or other nonprofit organizations.

national day Prayer, Caregiver options TO Acorn apr 27 17 + Open air Easter svc TO High school

Expanding caregiver options

Senior Concerns will present a free seminar, “Ahead of the Curve: Expanding the Options for Seniors and Their Family Caregivers,” from 10 to 11 a.m. Thurs., May 4 at Senior Concerns, 401 Hodencamp Road, Thousand Oaks.
The informative program will cover the adult day program and how it can benefit attendees or people they know.
Open five days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and every other Saturday, Senior Concerns’ adult day program benefits seniors who are living with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, frailty and other debilitating conditions who cannot be left alone due to safety reasons.
Refreshments will be served. Seating is limited.
To make a reservation, call Senior Concerns at (805) 497-0189.

McCoy will speak at Day of Prayer Breakfast

Rob McCoy Rob McCoyThe Rev. Rob McCoy will be the keynote speaker for the Southeast Ventura County YMCA’s 18th annual National Day of Prayer Breakfast on Thurs., May 4 at the Gilbert Sports Center on the Cal Lutheran University campus, 60 W. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks.
Breakfast will be served at 7 a.m. The program will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m.
The theme for the morning is “Blessed are the Peacemakers.”
McCoy is the pastor at GodSpeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park and a Thousand Oaks City Council member.
The title of his talk is “Unity in Our Community.”
The YMCA prayer breakfast is inclusive and ecumenical. The breakfast draws about 400 people annually.
Mary Olson, general manager at KCLUFM, will be the master of ceremonies. The Oaks Christian Boys Choir will perform.
Tickets are $20 and are available on Eventbrite.
For more information, call Janice Wise at the YMCA at (805) 497-3081, ext. 102, email or go to

Open- air Easter service unites the community

WELL-ATTENDED—More than 700 people attend an April 16 community Easter service at Thousand Oaks High Schoo.l WELL-ATTENDED—More than 700 people attend an April 16 community Easter service at Thousand Oaks High Schoo.l

GOOD NEWS—Pastor Matt Larson of Anthem Church speaks to the hundreds who came out. GOOD NEWS—Pastor Matt Larson of Anthem Church speaks to the hundreds who came out.

TREATS—Thousand Oaks residents Gabe, 7, and Gavin Petrone, 6, open their goody bags following the service. TREATS—Thousand Oaks residents Gabe, 7, and Gavin Petrone, 6, open their goody bags following the service.

TAKING PART—Mateo Mora, a 7-year-old from Moorpark, receives Communion. TAKING PART—Mateo Mora, a 7-year-old from Moorpark, receives Communion.

REFRESHING—Thousand Oaks resident Reegan Terentieff, 8, drinks from a juice box during the community gathering at Thousand Oaks High School. 
Photos by BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers REFRESHING—Thousand Oaks resident Reegan Terentieff, 8, drinks from a juice box during the community gathering at Thousand Oaks High SchoolPhotos by BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers