Will “Blue Wall” Battleground States Win Biden the Election?

first_imgIn the last days of the election, Mr. Biden’s campaign and allies privately maintained that he could win battleground states across the country, including places like North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia. But, they argued, the trifecta represented their easiest — though perhaps not fastest — path to the presidency. Final returns in all three states are expected to take days, and Mr. Trump tried early Wednesday to set the narrative that Democrats were trying to “steal the election” — a groundless assertion.But the Biden camp wasn’t about to take the bait.“We believe that we are well-positioned in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin,” Jen O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, said on Monday in a briefing about election night. “We know those states in particular are coming in later, but we think we’re going to win those states. That is our clearest path to victory.” Even that was more attention than Democrats were accustomed to getting from the national party in the traditionally conservative Western states. In Arizona, a state that Mr. Biden visited just once as the party’s nominee, officials said they were satisfied with the campaign’s approach to the state.“They spent a lot of time here; they put in a lot of energy and attention, more than previous campaigns,” said Representative Ruben Gallego, who represents the fast-growing Phoenix area. “And if we win, it doesn’t matter.”In total, Mr. Biden spent $57.8 million on advertising in Texas and Arizona. He spent nearly three times as much — $169.2 million — in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.The decision to focus on the industrial trio was driven by the practicalities of political math. Mrs. Clinton lost those states by tight margins, making them fertile ground for Democrats to begin a comeback. Just winning those three states, along with holding all of the traditionally Democratic strongholds won by Mrs. Clinton, would capture the presidency for Mr. Biden.But it was also a calculation born of cultural affinity. Despite his decades in Washington, Mr. Biden sees himself as a working-class son, just another “middle class Joe” taking the train to work like any other commuter. “If I’m going to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it’s going to happen here,” Mr. Biden, the former vice president, told voters in Pittsburgh during the first address of his primary campaign in April 2019. “Joe, people like him, they don’t dislike him,” Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan said in an interview this fall. “Hillary Clinton’s my friend, but she never walked into a union hall.”Shortly after Mrs. Clinton’s loss in 2016, Mr. Biden recalled feeling disturbed when seeing Mr. Trump strike a chord with voters at a rally near his childhood Scranton home, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. But from the start of his presidential campaign until the final day of the race, the “scrappy kid from Scranton” maintained his bet that winning the White House would come down to rebuilding the Democrats’ once-solid “blue wall” in those three states that crumbled in 2016.And now, with Mr. Biden and President Trump locked in a nail-biter of an election, the ultimate path to 270 Electoral College votes for either man will wind through Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. For Joe Biden, it has always been about Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.Georgia might be turning purple, fueled by fast-changing suburbs. Arizona, reeling from the coronavirus and trending Democratic, was a tantalizing target as well.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “Son of a gun — we may lose this election,” Mr. Biden recounted feeling, in an interview in December 2016 with The Los Angeles Times.Mr. Biden crafted his own approach, determined not to repeat what he saw as Mrs. Clinton’s mistakes. Not only did Mr. Biden start and end his campaign in Pennsylvania, he also visited the state more than any other during the campaign. Just a little more than 10 miles from his home in Wilmington, Del., and sharing a common media market, Pennsylvania was a second political home for Mr. Biden long before he started his third presidential bid.“From the time I started as a U.S. senator, Philadelphia has brought me to the dance!” Mr. Biden, a former senator from Delaware, told cheering supporters in the north part of the city, during his last event before polls closed on Tuesday evening.Mr. Biden and some of his allies see the working and middle-class moderate voters of the Midwest as his natural base, and they tried to build a coalition that was made up of more white voters than the base that elected former President Barack Obama and that Mrs. Clinton tried to replicate in 2016.“Biden is from a manufacturing town, and he’s of the right age demographic and financial background,” said Aaron Stearns, the Democratic chairman in Warren County in northwestern Pennsylvania. “People can relate to him in a way that they could not relate to Hillary Clinton.” – Advertisement – Although Mr. Biden visited Arizona and Georgia, his campaign had declined to spend a lot of precious time and money in those states — despite repeated pleas from local Democrats. And when two Democratic billionaires, Dustin Moskovitz and Michael R. Bloomberg, poured money into Texas in the 11th hour, Mr. Biden dispatched only Senator Kamala Harris of California, his running mate, to the state.center_img Some Democrats say it was Mr. Biden’s willingness to focus on the northern states, devoting his limited in-person campaign stops to show up even as coronavirus cases surged across the region, that gave him a chance of winning the states back. – Advertisement – Updated Nov. 4, 2020, 6:08 a.m. ET After midnight on Wednesday, he declared to supporters, “It’s going to take time to count the votes, but we’re going to win Pennsylvania.” Such discipline is relatively rare in presidential politics — candidates, often times Democrats, usually get swept up with a big map conquest, like Hillary Clinton’s intense focus on Florida in 2016 and even her dalliances with Arizona and Utah.But this race was no ordinary contest: Like voters, activists and officials in his party, Mr. Biden was haunted by the narrow loss in 2016 of 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — the three traditionally Democratic states that cost the party the White House that year. “A lot of the problem was that Hillary Clinton was not here enough in some of the suburban areas that we lost to Trump,” said Jay Costa, the Democratic leader in the Pennsylvania State Senate. “The former vice president did a very good job of not falling into that trap another time.”In the final days of his campaign, Mr. Biden did add a stop in Ohio, a state that many Democrats believe has shifted — perhaps permanently — away from their party. They were proved right last night, when Mr. Trump won the state.Some Democrats attributed the stop in Cleveland to scheduling around events in Pennsylvania. Getting across the country to Arizona would simply take too many precious hours in the final days, given how many stops Mr. Biden’s campaign had planned in the Keystone State.But others ascribed the stop to Mr. Biden’s dogged belief that the Democratic path to the White House still runs through the Midwest.The Biden campaign, unlike the campaigns of Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, did not impose a central strategy on state Democratic parties, said officials in the three states. Instead, the campaign integrated with voter outreach programs that each state had been building since their losses in 2016.“The big gamble for state parties was, would the presidential campaign push all the dishes off the table and start over or integrate with what we had been building?” said Ben Wikler, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “They didn’t impose a one-size-fits-all model.”Mr. Wikler said he had been in regular contact with Biden campaign officials beginning last summer to brief them on the program that the state party was building. After Mrs. Clinton failed to visit Wisconsin during her 2016 campaign, Mr. Biden made three visits to the state, which was set to host the Democratic National Convention before it became an all-virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic, which is worse in Wisconsin than it is in any other battleground state.Mr. Wikler said the three visits, along with myriad other virtual events that Mr. Biden and his surrogates hosted for local supporters, were sufficient enough to maintain a presence for Wisconsin voters.“Biden has made clear all along that Wisconsin is a top priority,” he said.It may still be some time before the nation knows whether it was enough.Jennifer Medina, Reid Epstein and Nick Corasaniti contributed reporting. By the time Mr. Biden addressed his car-honking supporters on Wednesday morning, the numbers had shifted. He has the edge in Arizona and he remains competitive in Georgia. But even if he wins both of those states, he would still need to prevail in at least one of the blue-wall states.Mr. Trump campaigned aggressively in Michigan, Wisconsin and especially Pennsylvania too. But Mr. Biden’s focus was notable: Many presidential nominees take their eyes off their most critical states, but Mr. Biden never lost sight of his goal to try to win back voters in those three states who abandoned the party four years ago.last_img read more

Call for ban on ‘painful ‘child restraints in custody

first_img Share Deliberately using pain to control young people in custody should be banned, a report has said.The call to end restraint practices described as painful, comes after 89 young people were surveyed for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.One girl described restraints as “disgusting” while a boy said it had made him feel “helpless”.The children’s commissioner for England said the views showed the use of restraint differed greatly.Comments made by two of those interviewed were highlighted.The first, a female at a secure training centre said: “I think restraining should only be used in a really difficult situation, instead of just when young girls refuse to go to their room or education, it’s disgusting.”The second, a youth at a young offender institution said: “I said loosen it because I was in so much pain, and they said no, I’m going to use the force.”Dr Maggie Atkinson said: “The views expressed throughout clearly show how the use of restraint differs greatly between institutions, and where used and applied inappropriately can have a profound, lasting and negative impact on young people,members of society, it is important that practices used to improve their behaviour do not result in a negative outcome for their mental health and emotional well-being”The study was carried out by the charity User Voice, which is led by ex-offenders.Their report says: “In order for international standards to be complied with, the use of sanctioned pain to control children must be abolished”.‘Grim personal accounts’ It calls on the Youth Justice Board and Ministry of Justice to ban deliberately painful physical restraints immediately and pointed to standards recommended by the United Nations and European Union.Dr Atkinson said she was “disheartened and concerned” by some of the “grim personal accounts” of some young people.Mark Johnson, the founder of User Voice, said: “I recognise that members of staff in the secure estate can work with some of the country’s most troubled children.”But he added: “Physical force should only ever be used as a measure of last resort and must be done in the safest possible way.”A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Restraint is only ever used by staff as a last resort when a young person’s behaviour puts themselves or others at serious risk.“The Independent Review of Restraint, published in December 2008, concluded that, in exceptional circumstances, pain-compliant techniques were necessary in the secure estate for children and young people, to manage serious incidents.“The government has made good progress on implementing recommendations from the review.“To date we have implemented two thirds of the 56 accepted recommendations and continue to work together with the National Offender Management Service and the Youth Justice Board to implement the remaining ones as quickly and fully as possible.”Source: BBC News Share Tweet 18 Views   no discussionscenter_img Sharing is caring! Share HealthLifestyle Call for ban on ‘painful ‘child restraints in custody by: – March 21, 2011last_img read more

De Boer ‘focused on Ajax’

first_imgFrank de Boer has insisted he is focused on Ajax amid suggestions the former Holland captain is a target for Tottenham. Press Association Albers told Voetbal International: “Through various channels it has become clear to me that Spurs are interested, but the club has not approached Ajax. “So for us there is not much to say about it. Frank focuses entirely on Ajax.” center_img The former Barcelona and Rangers defender is reportedly a contender to succeed the sacked Andre Villas-Boas as boss after leading Ajax to three Eredivisie titles. However, de Boer’s agent Guido Albers has played down the speculation. last_img read more

Pepsi Academy Turns 25, Laloko Counts Blessings

first_imgPepsi Football Academy (PFA) is 25 years old wednesday after it was founded on November 22 1992.The renowned academy, which started operating at the old Agege stadium at inception, has produced many players for clubs and different cadres of the national teams. Among the players are former Chelsea midfielder and current Super Eagles’ captain John Mikel Obi who plies his trade in the Chinese Super League. Others are Elderson Echiejile, Osaze Odemwingie and Stephen Makinwa.It has also registered well in competitions across the West African sub-region as well as Asian countries.Director of the academy, Chief Kasimawo Laloko, said the institution had come of age and looked forward to brighter years.“I have since become a slave to this project that elevated me and gave me honours,” Laloko stated yesterday in a letter he wrote to the former Marketing Manager of Seven Up Bottling Company, Mr. Iain Nelson, stressing that he would commit the rest of his life to the advancement of the academy.Laloko, however, said an elaborate commemorative event would be outlined in the days ahead.“This is a momentous occasion that calls for celebration and we shall spare nothing to let the world know about our past, present as well as our future,” the veteran administrator also said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

USC joins coalition of 19 universities in lawsuit against new ICE international student policy

first_imgThe lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Oregon, includes Western schools such as University of Oregon, Arizona State University, the Claremont Colleges, Stanford University, Caltech and others. The defendants named in the lawsuit are the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence. The plaintiffs bring two counts against defendants that are under violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, a statute that regulates federal agencies in creating new regulations, including requirements to publish notices of finalized policies and provide opportunities for public comment. The counts allege ICE failed to provide reasoned decision-making to the new order that caused institutions to divert resources and that the rationale for the July mandate was not to “resume the carefully balanced protections implemented by federal regulations” but to coerce schools to reopen. The plaintiffs, on behalf of their students, call for the reinstatement of previous March 13 exceptions allowing F-1 students to attend courses remotely.  “Following last week’s government directive requiring international students to take at least one in-person class to maintain their visa status, USC immediately began reaching out to bring together some of the leading research institutions, liberal arts colleges, and public universities in the western United States to block the directive from being enforced,” the email read. The lawsuit also stated that no prior notice of the new mandate was provided to institutions before July 6 and ICE did not provide any indication that it had considered the decision’s effects on the health of students, faculty, staff and surrounding campus communities with regard to the ongoing pandemic. Plaintiffs cited that the “one-size-fits-all” policy takes away institutions’ abilities to properly structure fall semester plans according to their own needs and concerns. Lauren Mattice contributed to this report. “In short, international students, including F-1 students, are a critical component of Plaintiffs’ cultural and academic environments,” the complaint read. “If any number of those students are forced to depart the United States … Plaintiffs will be unable to offer their students the same kind of diverse and engaging academic experience as they have in the past, and Plaintiffs’ national and global standing as leading institutions of higher education will be diminished.” USC has joined a coalition of 19 schools in filing suit against the federal government over a new policy decision that bars entry into the U.S. and threatens to deport international students whose universities are fully online this fall, President Carol Folt announced in a communitywide email Monday. The lawsuit follows the University’s decision last week to join an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To support the extenuating circumstances facing international students and further their claim against the ICE policy, the brief lists anonymous student situations, including that of a USC student who is immunocompromised and is fearful of traveling back to the United States and a USC student living with immunocompromised roommates to which in-person classes would create risk of exposure to the coronavirus.center_img The lawsuit also cited the negative effects the new policy creates for international students including the risk of deportation, financial hardships, displacement and the prospect of being unable to reapply to the F-1 program to continue their post-secondary education.  “By issuing this arbitrary and misguided new directive – without any advance warning – the government is forcing international students to make potentially life-altering choices with no apparent consideration for the burdens it places on the students or on higher education itself,” Folt wrote. The decision, announced by ICE last week, reverses guidelines from early March that allowed international students to temporarily take online courses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision also required institutions to decide whether they will be offering solely remote instruction by July 15 and to release their operational plans by August 1, hindering flexibility in creating efficient plans to ensure the health and safety of their campus communities, the lawsuit read. Schools were also asked to submit I-20 forms — a form that provides information on a student’s visa status to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services —  of students enrolled for the fall semester by July 15. In Fall 2019, international students made up 25% of the student population. Along with creating new alternate reopening plans to accommodate international students, the complaint alleged the plaintiffs will suffer “additional harm from the departure of [F-1] students,” citing their contributions to research programs, as teaching assistants to undergraduate courses and as student athletes.  “We simply cannot stay silent when the government is clearly using our international students as leverage to force a wholesale reopening of college campuses in the midst of a global health crisis with no regard for public health guidance,” Folt wrote.  The complaint alleged that the new order altered plans for the fall semester, citing the need to restructure academic programming to ensure F-1 students are able to continue their education without risk of deportation or loss of their visa status. last_img read more

Former starters find new niche on special teams

first_imgThree games into USC’s season, redshirt junior linebacker Chris Galippo and senior tailback C.J. Gable can barely be found on the stat sheet.Persistence · Senior tailback Allen Bradford bounced back from an early season knee injury to invigorate the Trojans’ rushing attack. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan Although the two seniors had at times been starters under former coach Pete Carroll, they have struggled to find playing time in their respective roles as linebacker and tailback under new coach Lane Kiffin.Instead, Kiffin moved both of them to the special teams unit, which Carroll mostly treated as an afterthought.Kiffin pays more attention to special teams than his predecessor and saw a place where former starters could make an impact on the team. He said he is impressed with how Galippo and Gable have handled their new roles — even though they include less playing time.“Those are steps to becoming a really good team, when you have older guys who aren’t playing as much as they have in the past and they go out and play like that,” Kiffin said. “C.J. had a huge block on the kickoff return and a huge tackle on kickoff coverage [last game]. Chris Galippo had a huge play on kickoff coverage to start the game, so it’s good to see guys like that understand how important it is, no matter what play, to have the same effort.”For Galippo, the transition to being primarily a special teams player wasn’t easy, but he has learned to embrace his new role.“I’ve taken special teams pretty seriously and I’ve performed well on special teams,” Galippo said. “It’s just what I do. I prepare myself the best I can so that when I get in a game I have the opportunity to contribute to the team. As a player you learn how to develop into whatever your role on the team is, and as an older guy and veteran, I think I’m doing pretty well.”Special teams coordinator John Baxter said he is impressed and pleased with the leadership that Galippo has shown on special teams. Galippo has emerged as de-facto captain for the unit, and the coaches have noticed his leadership.“The thing that I believe in is that they didn’t sign up for linebacker, wide receiver or tailback. They signed up for football,” Baxter said. “All we’re doing is playing football and they’re really embracing these roles. This is a good advertisement for the things we’re teaching, which is toughness, discipline and team.”—Despite the strong performance by senior tailback Allen Bradford, Kiffin said he still doesn’t know who the starting running back will be this weekend.Kiffin rotated all three running backs in practice Tuesday and said he’ll use the rest of the week to see how each player performs.Incumbent redshirt junior starter Marc Tyler was benched last week when he fumbled the ball, giving Bradford the opportunity to get more playing time.“Allen made the most of [his opportunity], so now he’s made it a very close competition,” Kiffin said. “We’ll figure it out throughout the week.”—Freshman safety Patrick Hall returned from suspension to practice with the team for the first time since the season started.Hall was suspended five days before the Hawai’i game by Kiffin for unspecified reasons. Hall, a former five-star recruit and All-American in high school, could compete for playing time in the young secondary this season.“He did everything we asked for in three weeks,” Kiffin said. “He really seems to have changed his attitude from downstairs in academics to upstairs with us. It’s good to see him change so it’s good to have him back.”last_img read more

Seaweed clothing may just be cotton

first_imgLululemon executives said they had not independently tested the VitaSea material to see whether it lived up to the claims on Lululemon’s tags. Instead, it trusted the claims of its suppliers, executives said. Wilson added that the company probably did not have enough money to test the material back when it started using it 18 months ago. When asked about Lululemon’s product tags and the claims about vitamins and minerals, he said: “That’s coming from the manufacturer. If you feel the fabric, it feels a lot different.” Analysts said it is the responsibility of the companies to test all of their products. “It’s frankly up to the companies to do sporadic product-quality tests to make sure everything is being manufactured to the parameters they set,” said Sharon Zackfia, an analyst who covers Lululemon at William Blair & Co., an investment firm based in Chicago. “At the end of the day, it’s Lululemon’s name on the line.” Zackfia spoke in general terms about Lululemon’s responsibility to check products, and she was not told about the two lab tests of VitaSea. She rates Lululemon shares as outperforming the market and said she expects the company’s number of stores in the United States to climb to 100 by the end of 2009. Lululemon went public in July, and by October the company’s stock climbed to $60 from $25. Since then, the stock has fallen to $42. Analysts said the company seems to have found a lucrative niche selling athletic clothes wrapped in feel-good messages about friendship, love and life. The company generated $148.9million in sales last year. Lululemon, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has more than 40 stores and showrooms in the United States. The company calls its store clerks “educators,” its customers “guests,” and it prints the company’s “manifesto” on its bright red shopping bags. The manifesto includes messages such as, “Stress is related to 99percent of all illness,” “Friends are more important than money,” and “Coke, Pepsi and all other pops will be known as the cigarettes of the future. Colas are not a substitute for water. They are just another cheap drug made to look great by advertising.” Lululemon has done little advertising of its own, and, instead, its products have become popular by word of mouth and recommendations from local yoga instructors who serve as the company’s “ambassadors” in new locations. Customers have been asking questions about the VitaSea fabric, said Deanne Schweitzer, Lululemon’s director for products and design, adding that the company would test the fabric in the future. “We will be diving in deeper, so that our educators on the floor can answer those tough questions,” Schweitzer said. “Right now, we are relying on the mill and SeaCell’s information.” SeaCell is owned by a German company called Smartfiber. Smartfiber provides scientific documents on its Web site about the effects of the SeaCell fibers, but it also says on its site that SeaCell assumes no liability about the accuracy of the information. SeaCell uses seaweed from the coast of Ireland to create its fibers, said Gerhard Neudorfer, sales and marketing director for SeaCell. He said the company stands behind its scientific studies. A spokeswoman for Lululemon would not name the fabric companies that it has hired to use SeaCell in its VitaSea fabric. Sports apparel sales are growing more quickly than the overall apparel category, totaling nearly $15.3billion in the year that ended in September, according to the NPD Group. More sports companies are innovating with fabrics, said Mark Sullivan, the group editor for the trade publication Textile Intelligence. “As a buzz starts to develop around this stuff, you’re going to have companies throwing around buzz words here,” Sullivan said. One customer outside a Lululemon store in Chicago said he would not stop buying VitaSea clothing, even if tests disproved Lululemon’s claims. “I couldn’t care less because it is so comfortable,” said David Wilkinson, 49.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “Seaweeds have known vitamins and minerals, and we searched specifically for those vitamins, and we didn’t see them,” said Carolyn J. Otten, director for specialized services at Chemir Analytical Services, a lab in Maryland Heights, Mo., that tested a sample of VitaSea. When told about the findings, Lululemon’s founder said he could not dispute them. “If you actually put it on and wear it, it is different from cotton,” said Dennis Wilson, Lululemon’s founder, chief product designer and board chairman. “That’s my only test of it.” The shirt tested by The Times was labeled as being made of 70percent cotton, 6percent spandex and 24percent of the seaweed fiber. An investor who is shorting Lululemon’s stock – betting that its price will fall – provided Chemir’s test results to The New York Times. The Times then commissioned a second lab, the McCrone Group, to test a blue racer-back tank top made with Lululemon’s VitaSea against a gray J.Crew T-shirt. McCrone, which is based in Westmont, Ill., likewise could not detect any seaweed-specific components. Though the labs could not absolutely rule out a trace of seaweed, they could not, using sensitive testing methods, substantiate Lululemon’s claims. The tests raise obvious questions about Lululemon’s marketing. Consumers generally pay more for high-tech sportswear, and companies such as Lululemon are trying to capitalize on consumer interest in organic materials. “Consumers expect and trust companies to be honest with them,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League, a nonprofit organization and advocate for consumers. Lululemon Athletica has been a standout performer on Wall Street since it went public in July, thanks to the popularity of its costly yoga and other workout clothes, which are made with unusual materials, including bamboo, silver, charcoal, coconut and soybeans. One of its lines is called VitaSea, and the company says it is made with seaweed. The fabric, according to product tags, “releases marine amino acids, minerals and vitamins into the skin upon contact with moisture.” Lululemon, which has received positive media coverage for its fabrics, also says the VitaSea clothing reduces stress and provides anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, hydrating and detoxifying benefits. There is one problem with its VitaSea claims, however. Some of them might not be true. The New York Times commissioned a laboratory test of a Lululemon shirt made of VitaSea, and reviewed a similar test performed at another lab, and both came to the same conclusion: There was no significant difference in mineral levels between the VitaSea fabric and cotton T-shirts. In other words, the labs found no evidence of seaweed in the Lululemon clothing. last_img read more

Call for Minister to visit Gaoth Dobhair’s flooded areas

first_imgDeputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has called upon the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Sean Kyne to visit the flood-affected areas of Gweedore in the coming week. Substantial damage was caused by floods early on Saturday morning to roads, bridge and drainage throughout Gweedore.Pat the Cope added that a temporary footbridge is now in place to facilitate the Diver family in the short term, after the bridge serving their family home was washed away. More permanent repairs or replacement of the bridge is urgently required to facilitate vehicular traffic to the home of the Diver family.In 2009 when flash flooding caused major damage throughout Gweedore, the then Minister for the Gaeltacht Eamon O Cuiv TD visited the area immediately and provided the necessary funding for improvement works and repairs to the roads and infrastructure added Pat the Cope.“I am now calling on the current Gaeltacht Minister of State Sean Kyne TD to visit Gweedore next week with a view to sanctioning the necessary funding and to co-ordinate a comprehensive repair strategy with Donegal County Council”The Regional road which was closed earlier in the day at Meenalaugh has reopened but further more permanent repairs may need to be carried out in order to prevent future flooding. Cllr Noreen Mc Garvey said she has already been in contact with Donegal County Council and will be raising this matter at the next council meeting.She will also be requesting a full report to be carried out of all the damage caused by the flooding in Gweedore and right throughout west Donegal and a priority list of what repairs that will be required to be carried out. This report needs to be concluded before Minister Kyne visits the area added Cllr Mc Garvey.Pat the Cope paid special tribute to the Council Road Staff who responded to the calls early this morning and immediately set about carrying out the emergency repairs.“The entire response from the council must be commended as it comprehensively dealt with the matter and carried out trojan work throughout the day,” he said.Call for Minister to visit Gaoth Dobhair’s flooded areas was last modified: September 2nd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Hairy Science: Do Beards Evolve?

first_imgNoting shifting fashions in men’s facial hair, some evolutionists are trying to link them to Darwinism.It’s not controversial that beards go in and out of style; they’re hip now, but may be on the way out.  What should make men twirl their mustaches is the notion that their morning soliloquy, “To shave or not to shave,” is an evolutionary force acting on them, making them pawns of unguided natural processes.No less than Science Magazine bought into this idea, along with the BBC News (“Beard Trend Is Guided by Evolution“) and Medical Xpress.  According to some evolutionary biologists who did some attractiveness surveys with a limited number of participants in Australia, beards are seen as more sexy and attractive when they are the exception, not the rule, and vice versa for the clean-shaven.  To put this in Darwinspeak, Science Magazine said,This mechanism, called negative frequency-dependent selection, is one explanation for how diversity is maintained in populations despite natural selection constantly filtering for the fittest set of traits.Facial hair is a trickier trait to explain than wings or fins, because rather than being determined early in life by genes, it is determined by behavior. In the case of beards, it is the decision to shave or not to shave. But the same logic can apply if the behavior has an influence on the choice of potential mates.In other words, the behavior is not an intelligent choice by men, but a mindless matter of selection and population genetics.  Apparently, Zinnia Janif, an evolutionary biologist at the University of New South Wales who led the survey, did not check to see if the attractive ones actually had more offspring.If “the same logic can apply” to beard-choice behavior, the same Darwinian logic (pardon the oxymoron) can apply to evolutionary storytelling.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  Let’s ask Zinnia if she wrote her paper to try to get a guy and pass on her genes.Todd Friel had a laugh at this Wretched idea.  “Who pays these people?” he asks.This is a classic example of the shallow logic of evolutionary biologists who try to legitimize their existence by inserting their insipid notions into everything in life.  For one thing, there are beards, and there are beards.  Some look awesome (movie stars, ball players) and some broadcast negligence (street bums).  The diversity of beardliness (stubble to knee-length, mustache, ham chops, sideburns, love patch) can have vastly different influences on viewer preferences, depending on who is being surveyed.  There are also ethnic differences and cultural traditions.  You can’t take 37 men from Australia and generalize reactions of a limited number of survey participants to the world.  Besides, doesn’t every trend work this way?  Something becomes popular till it is commonplace, then trendsetters branch out for something new.  This happens by design when mindful people exercise choice.  It is not evolution.Ms Zinnia forgets that many men grow facial hair for their own satisfaction, not to attract mates.  Not a few start them well after marriage, so it often has nothing to do with courting women.  Even if it does in some cases, that has no necessary relationship to number of viable offspring; families of all sizes will continue to pass on beard genes to their sons long after beards cycle in and out of fashion several times.  Darwinism explains nothing about this.  And why stop at beards?  Fingernails grow on men and women; some women grow them long (and some men, like in India).  Eyelashes, toenails, women’s head hair, body fat, musculature, body hair, breasts, ear lobes, you name it – any human trait can be subjected to the Darwinist storytelling game.Darwinism is like communism.  Communists interpreted every observation, including opposite outcomes, in terms of class struggle and economic determinism.  Scientifically, such paradigm-driven opinions are worthless because they are self-refuting; why not accuse Marx of writing his theory not because he thought it was true, but because class struggle and economic determinism forced him to?  Like communism, Darwinism pretends to explain opposite outcomes with the same forces.  Evolutionary biologists explain, with equal ease, why beards are popular and unpopular.  Have they explained anything?  Not only is their sample size pitifully small, their conclusions are mindless and illogical.  Darwinists pretend to offer insight that is as insubstantial as shaving cream.Adult males (including Charlie D who grew his Moses-like beard long after writing The Origin and fathering his children) choose to do with their natural endowments what they wish, by intelligent design.  They should turn on the storytellers, and proclaim, “If you think my facial hair choice is a result of mindless unguided processes, then I assert that your Darwinian storytelling is no less.”If you are a religious man, you can be sure that God put those genes in you for a reason.  He must have designed them to give the mature man a distinctive look.  AIG’s Creation Museum rightly portrays the first man, Adam, as bearded.  Why scrape that manly attribute off?  It not only distinguishes men from women, but separates the men from the boys.  Save five minutes a day and sleep in; let those little hairs out; they need air!  Of course, factors like what is permitted at work, and your spouse’s preference, must be taken into account before you go for the Duck Dynasty look.  Whatever your choice, we need to unclutter our minds of Darwinian notions, whether man or woman, or young or old, and strive to “glorify God in your body” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).  (Item: Jesus wore a beard.)(Visited 74 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Akhilesh Yadav meets family of youth killed in encounter, lashes out at govt

first_imgSamajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav visited the home of a youth who was killed in a police encounter over alleged illegal sand mining, and lashed out at the BJP government, saying he had no trust in the state police and the administration.Mr. Yadav on Wednesday met the family members of Pushpendra Yadav, who was killed last week.“Not much should be expected from the police force of a state where the chief minister openly asks them to ‘thok dalo’ (shoot) those taking law in their own hands,” he said.“I have no faith in the police and administration of the state,” Mr. Akhilesh said. The BJP hit back at him on Wednesday, saying he was more concerned about the sand mining mafia and caste arithmetic.“It was an encounter but Akhilesh has to go to the person’s house because he is in love with the sand mining mafia and has to take care of caste equation. But he does not care how the sand mining mafia should be eradicated. This is precisely why he was thrown out by the people in elections,” senior BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said. Alleging that the police killed the youth in Jhansi last week in a staged gunfight, the SP president reiterated his demand for lodging of a murder case against the SHO involved and a probe into the incident by a sitting high court judge.“No one believes the police’s theory on the encounter. Actually it is not an encounter but a murder by the police. The family members have not even got the postmortem report,” he claimed, adding that the police should not have had any objection to the family’s demand of filing a case.“It is surprising that even the last rites were performed by the police without the family members. Is this Ram Rajya?” Mr. Yadav asked. He alleged that there had been many such killings in Sonebhadhra, Saharanpur, Noida, Azamgarh and Shamli and the people had no faith in the probe by the government and administration.“It is very unfortunate that the government and administration are together in saving the police station incharge. There appears to be some big conspiracy behind this,” he said.Mr. Yadav said that he has assured the family all possible help.“There are many loopholes in the police story. The incident has sparked protests in the area,” he stressed. Mr. Yadav’s allegations of “loopholes” in the story come in the backdrop of statements by the Jhansi SSP and the SHO about the encounter. While Jhansi SSP OP Singh had told reporters on the night of the encounter that the thana incharge was returning in his private vehicle after vacation when the incident took place, the SHO concerned said that he was on patrol at the time of incident.The police claimed that Pushpendra ran a sand mining business and was shot dead on Sunday by a police team after he opened fire at the police inspector who had seized his truck used for sand mining, a few days earlier. The family members of the deceased alleged that the police officer in charge of the area, Dharmendra Chauhan, was demanding ₹1.5 lakh bribe to release the youth’s truck and he killed Yadav when he refused to pay and threatened to expose him.last_img read more