Experiencing the Polar Vortex first hand

Effects of the earth’s Polar Vortex polar air masses have been attributed to causing extremely cold weather patterns causing sub-freezing temperatures in U.S. cities like New York City, Chicago, and even as far south as northern Florida. The unusual cold weather phenomenon has also been said to have caused deep freeze conditions in the Middle East; including a 2013  shocking snowfall in Cairo for the first time in 100 years.

The most recent bout of Polar Vortex induced weather brought near zero temperatures to many parts of the USA, literally ringing in the new year 2018 with 11 degree F temperatures in New York City’s Times Square. Freezing and sub-freezing temperatures were felt as far south as Texas and northern Florida. Spending time in New York City during the recent holiday season presented an opportunity to experience this phenomenon first hand; including a sudden mega snow storm that dumped between 8 and 12 inches of snow in Manhattan and

other parts of the city,  closing down the city’s major airports for several days.

Comimg from a much warmer Mediterranean climate, trying to walk anywhere in temperatures averaging between 11 and 15 degrees Farenheit (-12 – 9 Celsius) made even short distances seem like climbing the north face of K-2 mountain in the Himalayas. Weather advisories on local TV channels constantly warned against undue exposure to the extreme cold, especially facial exposure. A short three block walk to a local food store or other location seemed like something out of an extreme sport endurance trial. Needless to say, local taxi drivers were kept quite busy taking people around; even for distances that might have been easily accomplished on foot in warmer weather.

Fortunately, these bouts of sub-freezing cold only last a week or so; returning to more ‘normal’ seasonal weather of temperatures reaching the high 30’s to low 40’s F ( O – 4 degrees C). This spout of intense cold and snowy weather prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to comment about global warming: “Global warming? How can there be global warming with such cold weather?”

His scientific advisors did not appear to inform him that it’s now common scientific knowledge that global warming is being attributed as one of the main causes of the Polar Vortex phenomenon. Climatologists are also saying that the ongoing Arctic ice melt is literally rocking world weather.

Conditions like Polar Vortex caused polar air dips are only one example of abnormal climate change conditions being tied to global warming. More intense tropical storms like hurricanes and typhoons, severe drought in many locations, especially the Middle East, are now also being attributed to over consumption of fossil fuels and destruction of natural habitats by the earth’s nearly 7 billion human inhabitants. The way it looks now, the overall situation may only get worse; much worse.

Read more on Polar Vortex and climate change:

Arctic ice melt is rocking world weather

Will the Polar Vortex “dip” freeze the Middle East

Snow shocks Cairo for first time in 100 years

Israeli court extends arrest of Tamimi till next month 

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Ofer military occupation court decided on Tuesday to extend the detention of  teenager Ahed Tamimi till next month, where the court session was set for 11 march.

The military judge  on Tuesday to try  Tamimi in a closed session, and ordered all media and journalists to leave the courtroom.

Tamimi is being tried over 12 charges, including assault and incitement and obstructing the work of soldiers,  in addition to “participating in violence.”

The 17-year-old, who comes from a leading Palestinian family known for its political activism and popular resistance, was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier trying to storm her family home in Nabi Saleh village.

Tamimi has been under arrest since 2 December 2017 over the video.

On the same day, IOF arrested Ahed’s mother, Nariman, while she was trying to visit her daughter.

The trial of Ahed and her mother Nariman was postponed several times and their detention extended to today.

Debunking 3 myths behind ‘chain migration’ and ‘low-skilled’ immigrants

Don’t need any more explanation than Trump is a racist about immigration!

By Raquel Aldana
The Conversation


President Donald Trump has embraced the rhetoric of “chain migration” to spread the message that the United States is legally letting in too many of the wrong kind of immigrant.

That term, however, distorts the facts.

As a scholar on U.S. immigration law and policy, I’d like to correct and contextualize the numbers on the now maligned “family-based immigration,” and uncover the biases that underlie the preference for the “highly-skilled” immigrant. Family immigration is subject to significant limitations and it exists because American values include ideals such as family unification.

Myth #1: Family immigration is unlimited

On Jan. 5, the Trump administration published its framework on immigration reform and border security. To fulfill its promise to cut lawful immigration by half, the proposal limits family immigration to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. This proposed cut would eliminate the ability of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their siblings and adult children. It would also stop U.S. citizens from sponsoring their parents.

To support these cuts, President Trump alleged in his first State of the Union address that current law creates a chain of migration that allows immigrants to sponsor “unlimited numbers of distant relatives.” This claim is untrue.

With few exceptions, all lawful permanent immigration to the United States is subject to annual limits. Moreover, no single nation may send more than 7 percent of the overall total number of immigrants coming to the United States in a given year. Only U.S. citizens can sponsor immediate relatives – their spouses, minor and unmarried children and parents – without these limits. In recent years, immediate relatives have comprised nearly half of all family immigration to the United States.

All family immigration categories except immediate relatives are severely backlogged, and in particular for nations with high levels of immigration to the United States. In fact, applicants for family immigration from China, India, Mexico and the Philippines face wait times of up to 20 years. According to the U.S. State Department, approximately 3.9 million immigrants are waiting in line for an opportunity to immigrate.

Myth #2: Family immigration is overwhelming

The White House website features a chart on chain migration that presents a series of data points intended to suggest that legal immigrants are overwhelming the nation. For example, the chart states, “Every year the U.S. resettles a population larger than the size of Washington D.C.” While factually correct, this data point distorts reality by ignoring context.


It’s true that in absolute numbers, immigration to the United States is greater than any other country. However, it is small when considering the overall size of the U.S. population. In fact, according to the libertarian CATO Institute, as a percentage of its population, U.S. immigration flows rank relatively low as compared to other major industrialized nations such as Canada and Australia.

Myth #3: ‘Low-skilled’ immigrants don’t benefit the US

The Trump administration has expressed a preference for highly skilled immigrants. The assumption is that immigration systems that value other factors – such as family unification, diversity or humanitarian goals – allows “low-skilled” immigrants into the U.S. They also assume these immigrants cannot or refuse to assimilate, or may even be dangerous. The profiles of permanent immigration to the United States today, however, reveal a much more positive reality.

Nearly 34 million legal permanent residents live in the United States, two-thirds of whom arrived based on family sponsorship. As a whole, demographic data show that lawful permanent residents work in a range of occupations and professions. They show good levels of social integration. Legal permanent residents and immigrants also generally have lower levels of criminality compared to the population of people born in the U.S.

Most studies on the fiscal impact of U.S. immigration conclude that immigrant contributions have been positive to the overall U.S. economy. They have little to no adverse impact on native workers.

There are, however, variations among immigrants across measures such as educational attainment, home ownership and English proficiency. In general, for example, Asian immigrants outperform immigrants from Latin American and even the native born on some of these measures. But there are historical and geographic reasons that explain why immigrants from Mexico and Central America to the United States have tended to be from poorer and more vulnerable communities.

These variations do not mean that some immigrants integrate poorly or fail to contribute to U.S. society. Rather, their contributions are devalued in this new rhetoric of “merit” migration.

This new standard of “merit” – measured in terms of high levels training and education, English-language proficiency and high wages – creates a hardly achievable race to the top. It narrows the definition of who should be considered a “deserving” immigrant. Nearly all U.S. citizens would likely be undeserving of U.S. immigration under these standards.

Other important values are lost that I believe should continue to define our identity as a nation. These values include family unification, compassion toward people who are persecuted and being good neighbors. They also mean valuing the contributions of immigrants who do the difficult work of picking our fruit, cleaning our houses, cutting our lawns and caring for our children and elderly.

Raquel Aldana is Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity and Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

‘We will shoot your vagina’: Philippines president on communist rebels – video

some folks will tolerate crudity and foul behavior just to thumb noses of what folks think were people who looked down on them – but now world is wondering what became of this nation???

Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, has said soldiers should shoot female communist rebels in their vaginas. Duterte gave the order during a speech to more than 200 former communist soldiers last week

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