News of the Week for June 7th, 2015
- Obama Scandals
- Gun Rights
- Hide the Decline
- War & Terror
- National News
- Economy & Taxes
- International News
IRS Created “Special Project Team” of “Hundreds of Lawyers” to Hide Information from Congress
New testimony reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used “hundreds of attorneys” to hide critical information from Congress’s investigation of the IRS targeting of conservatives.
Vince Vaughn: “Banning Guns Is Like Banning Forks To Stop Making People Fat”
In a new interview with GQ magazine that was published earlier today, actor Vince Vaughn went out of his way to offer unconditional support of the Second Amendment. The True Detective star said the Second Amendment isn’t about “duck hunting,” it’s about the right of individuals to “resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government.”
“UK Police Tell Subjects Not to Harm Their Attackers, Get a Rape Alarm
Whether it’s this detestable advice, police warning a woman not to display a knife in order to ward off intruders, warrantless firearm storage inspections, or desperate subjects being forced to defend their lives and property with cricket and baseball bats during riots, the UK government appears intent on wiping out any remaining vestiges of the traditional right to self-defense. We’d like to say that we won’t allow ourselves to be shocked by the next ludicrous episode from across the pond, but history shows they’ll somehow manage to astound.”
Gun blogs, videos, web forums threatened by new Obama regulation
Commonly used and unregulated internet discussions and videos about guns and ammo could be closed down under rules proposed by the State Department, amounting to a “gag order on firearm-related speech,” the National Rifle Association is warning.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse wants to wage a RICO lawsuit against climate skeptics. This means YOU.
16In case you need a reason to vote next year: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse wants to feature you in a RICO lawsuit. Yes, you.
The Liberal Gulag
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, has a big idea: launching organized-crime investigations under RICO against people and institutions that disagree with him about global warming.
5 More Things Environmentalists Got Wrong
I wrote recently about seven big failed environmentalist predictions, from global cooling to the population bomb (which the New York Times, always on the cutting edge, has just noticed was a complete bust). But it’s not only the big scientific theories they’ve gotten wrong. When science gets harnessed for a political cause, it tends to produce a running series of oversold theories that don’t bear up under further examination.
New Paper on the “Pause” Is Another Exercise In Data Fudging
A new paper is being published in Science magazine that purports to refute the 18-year “pause” in global warming. A press release on the paper came off embargo about an hour ago, so you will be seeing news stories about it soon.
NOAA Fiddles With Climate Data To Erase The 15-Year Global Warming “Hiatus”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have found a solution to the 15-year “pause” in global warming: They “adjusted” the hiatus in warming out of the temperature record.
What green vision? US forests burned to make costly UK electricity and produce more CO2
The Green movement have come full circle, from protecting forests and attacking coal, to preserving coal and destroying forests. The most interesting question for me (apart from how long it can continue) is what the UK environmental movement is going to do with this. Do they care about forests; do they care about the electricity bills inflicted on the poor? Do CO2 emissions matter?
Government in Healthcare
NHS “defies the law” to deny pensioners vital operations, warns Royal College of Surgeons
Elderly people are being denied life-saving operations because of age discrimination within the NHS, the Royal College of Surgeons and charity Age UK warns
The Obamacare Death Spiral Is Still Coming
It is much too soon for Obamacare proponents to say that the death spiral prediction is wrong. In fact, some states are signaling it’s started already.
Health insurers seek big premium hikes for ObamaCare plans in 2016
Dozens of health insurers selling plans under ObamaCare have requested hefty premium increases for 2016, according to preliminary information published Monday by the White House.
In Vermont, the Reality of Obamacare Dawns Ugly
Luckily, being a liberal means never, ever having to say you’re sorry.
“Cui Bono?” from keeping the Pill a prescription drug? …Why, Planned Parenthood, of course.
If you’re wondering why the Left is going ballistic over current proposed legislation by Senators Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) that would effectively make oral contraceptives an over-the-counter medicine, why, here you go: “Planned Parenthood alone makes around $1.2 billion each year from contraceptive services.” It really does just come down to this: money. There’s a lot of money on the table. You tell an industry that it’s about to lose that huge a chunk of its revenue stream, and it’s going to react. You almost can’t even blame them for it: effective monopolies always look different from the inside. In fact, they may not even consider themselves to have an effective monopoly*, insane as that sounds.
Why Liberals Oppose Over-the-Counter Birth Control
The supposedly pro-woman Left has erupted into fury this past week, denouncing new legislation proposed by Senator Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) that seeks to encourage over-the-counter status for birth control.
In Vermont, ObamaCare flopped so bad it killed single payer
When Barack Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill first rolled out ObamaCare, conservatives warned that the program was so badly designed that it couldn’t possibly be on the level. Instead, people assumed that Democrats intended ObamaCare to fail — so that the only possible choice would be a single-payer system of socialized medicine. Even after Democrats reluctantly eliminated the “public option,” opponents insisted that the intended end game was failure so bad that it would destroy private insurance and leave nothing but the federal government to pick up the pieces.
Britain’s NHS tells Mental Health Patients: Stop Smoking Or We Won’t Treat You
British government officials are urging all low and medium security mental health units to go “smoke free”, effectively forcing patients off cigarettes. Clinical experts warn that making patients quit against their will is illegal, contravening the Mental Health Act and setting a precedent that could see all sorts of health procedures inflicted upon mental health patients against their wishes.
Officials: Another 470 Bodies Found in Mass Grave – ISIS Slaughtered 1,700 Iraqi Men in Tikrit Massacre
Iraqi Health Minister Adila Hammoud told reporters that the remains of another 470 victims were exhumed from a mass grave near Tikrit recently.
Israelis and Saudis Reveal Secret Talks to Thwart Iran
Since the beginning of 2014, representatives from Israel and Saudi Arabia have had five secret meetings to discuss a common foe, Iran. On Thursday, the two countries came out of the closet by revealing this covert diplomacy at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
“White privilege” training compares teachers to KKK: “When do you wear the hood?”
While teachers blow the whistle on the breakdown of discipline for black students in St. Paul Public Schools, a photo has emerged from an “equity” training that might leave some to wonder what’s actually being taught to teachers.
CONNECTICUT SENATE PASSES “SAY YES” SEXUAL CONSENT BILL
The Connecticut legislature this week approved a bill that would require all colleges and universities in the State to a “yes means yes” policy for sexual consent by students. Shockingly, the bill passed with only one vote against it, by Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington). What happened to the other 14 Republican Senators? The bill now must obtain House approval.
California Porn Professionals React to Proposed Rules Requiring Goggles, Condoms on Set
Last week, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) proposed a new raft of safety standards for porn production sets in the state, raising ire and eyebrows in the process. The standards, which have yet to be finalized, fill 21 pages and detail a wide range of new safety protocols actors and their employers would have to abide by on set. Nestled among them is a provision about “eye protection.” That’s right, goggles. Goggles, to be worn by porn actors, in porn films.
Justice Department Studying “Far-Right” Social Media Use
$585,719 study to combat violent extremism
Reverse swing: Blatter and Beijing
Let us give thanks to the United States, and take comfort from the fact that it is the world’s judicial superpower.
THE WORLD SMELLS WEAKNESS
A confluence of events this week emphasizes that the world–especially its worst characters–smells the pungent aroma of American weakness thanks to President Obama’s purposeful, “leading from behind” philosophy of non-leadership
7 Way To Roll Back The Welfare State
In my recent critique of “reform conservatives,” I challenged their assumption that it is politically impossible to take on the welfare state, which leads them to conclude that they should instead harness the welfare state for conservative ends.
Whatever Happened to the “Population Bomb”?
That’s the question the New York Times asks in its latest “Retro Report,” a series that looks back and updates prominent stories from the past. “The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion” is fairly devastating to the leading figure of that famous apocalypse, Paul Ehrlich, author of the monster best-selling book The Population Bomb
OSHA issues guidance on transgender bathroom access
Transgender employees should have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said guidance it issued for employers on Monday.
Teachers complain, chaos reigns as St. Paul schools spend millions on “white privilege” training
Have the taxpayers of St. Paul spent nearly $3 million over the past five years to bring chaos and danger to their schools and students?
Scholars protest college board’s leftist spin on American history
Now 55 leading American history scholars have condemned the College Board’s framework in a remarkable letter. Peter Berkowitz provides an outstanding analysis.
Is Denny Hastert being railroaded?
I haven’t really gotten into the current Denny Hastert flap here because AP has been on top of it, but the narrative of the story seems to be shifting pretty rapidly on the social media front. I think one of the biggest areas of confusion – leading to some difficulty in discussing what is probably a very disturbing story – is the need to separate two very different alleged crimes on the part of Hastert and potentially at least one by Person of Interest A. (The former student in the alleged incident.)
Becoming disabled by choice, not chance: “Transabled” people feel like impostors in their fully working bodies
Oh, The Humanities: Part of a series showcasing research at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences this week.
Emails Raise Questions of Bias in Case Against Bakers Who Denied Service for Same-Sex Wedding
The Daily Signal has exclusively learned that the government agency responsible for enforcing Oregon’s anti-discrimination law appears to be working closely with a powerful gay rights advocacy group in its case against Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
Missing link found between brain, immune system — with major disease implications
Implications profound for neurological diseases from autism to Alzheimer’s to multiple sclerosis
Bill scrapping marriage licenses hits Alabama House after passing Senate
This month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue of same-sex marriage. It should settle a lot of questions once and for all. At least, that’s the idea.
California’s sexual re-education camps are coming soon
Not content to redefine consent to mean asking permission before every step of the sexual process, California is now on the path to teaching high school students the proper way to have sex — because human nature is now wrong.
Gov. Sandoval signs sweeping education savings account bill
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed a bill allowing students to use state funds designated for their public education at private schools.
HORRIFYING: Four people beat 14-yr-old to FORCE her to have an abortion and then BURN the baby’s body
She was eight months pregnant. Eight months.
Adventures in education: the field trip to a sex-toy store
I’ll take WTF?? for $2000, Alec.
Anxious Students Strain College Mental Health Centers
One morning recently, a dozen college students stepped out of the bright sunshine into a dimly lit room at the counseling center here at the University of Central Florida. They appeared to have little in common: undergraduates in flip-flops and nose rings, graduate students in interview-ready attire.
Nevada Enacts First Nearly Universal Education Savings Account
On Tuesday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law the nation’s fifth education savings account (ESA) program, and the first to offer ESAs to all students who previously attended a public school. Earlier this year, Sandoval signed the state’s first educational choice law, a very limited scholarship tax credit. Despite their limitations, both programs greatly expand educational freedom, and will serve as much-needed pressure-release valves for the state’s overcrowding challenge.
Students host “check your privilege party” at U. of Washington
A group of students at the University of Washington held a “Check Your Privilege Party” near the school’s Greek row on
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby seeks order to keep Freddie Gray autopsy secret
Several reporters from the Baltimore Sun are tweeting this afternoon that Baltimore State’s Attorney and UniverSoul Circus guest ringmaster Marilyn Mosby is seeking a protective order that would keep the autopsy of Freddie Gray from the public. Six Baltimore police officers have been indicted in connection with Gray’s death from a spinal injury while in police custody.
Repentant Transsexual Warns Jenner: The “Hangover” Is Coming
Amidst the media euphoria surrounding the former Bruce Jenner’s gender reassignment surgery and cover photo on Vanity Fair, a 74-year-old transsexual who deeply regrets his decision has come forward to caution those who think that transgenderism solves people’s psychosexual problems.
Asian Americans file complaint alleging discrimination in Harvard admissions
More than 60 Asian American organizations filed a complaint (see below) with the federal government on Friday alleging that Harvard University discriminates against Asian Americans in the admissions process and calling for an investigation.
Leaked TISA Documents Reveal Privacy Threat
Under the draft provisions of the latest trade deal to be leaked by Wikileaks, countries could be barred from trying to control where their citizens’ personal data is held or whether it’s accessible from outside the country.
Leftist Media Fails To Recognize And Mocks Navy Seals Supporting Gov. Perry
Rick Perry’s speech wasn’t the only part of his presidential announcement that had people talking today.
Selfie With Parents’ Sex Toys? Alameda Teacher Accused Of Assigning Bizarre Extra Credit For Sophomores
Parents of students at Encinal High School in Alameda want a teacher fired after they say he sent them home with an extra credit assignment of finding sex toys and condoms in their parents’ private drawers, and taking a selfie with what they find.
Freddie Gray Case: Prosecutor Seeks to Seal Autopsy
What is Mosby trying to hide?
Alabama Moves to Replace Marriage Licenses with Contracts
In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling
High court could push California rightward
Texas case pits voting rights of all states’ citizens against residents
VIDEO: Shooting of Tamir Rice by Police Goes to Grand Jury
Police had been dispatched to “guy with a gun” call, and Rice reached for apparent weapon
Could the Supreme Court Create a Titanic Shift in Electoral Politics?
Amid the recent spate of Supreme Court decisions as they wind up this term lost in the discussion is a potentially blockbuster case they accepted for review for the October 2015 term- Evenwell vs. Abbott. It, in fact, has the potential to change politics for years to come, perhaps generations. This “controversy” dates back to a 1964 decision- Reynolds vs. Sims- which established the notion of “one man, one vote.” Since then there has been a progeny of cases with the most famous being Baker vs. Carr which decided that redistricting could be reviewed by the courts and that it was not a purely political question. It evolves from the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
#GamerGate scores again: FTC updates disclosure guidelines
A large component of #GamerGate’s effectiveness stems from its diversity and flexibility. They’re like a swarm of bees attacking from every direction, so while any individual victory might not be a fatal blow, opposing them gets increasingly painful over time.
This machine catches stingrays: Pwnie Express demos cellular threat detector
An exclusive first look at Pwnie’s new tool for catching cellular network attacks.
Egg rationing in America has officially begun
In recent days, an ominous sign has appeared throughout Texas. “Eggs [are] not for commercial sale,” read warnings, printed on traditional 8 1/2-by-11-inch pieces of white paper and posted at H-E-B grocery stores across Texas. “The purchase of eggs is limited to 3 cartons of eggs per customer.”
Rick Perry Takes it to Wall Street: “Regulate Them”
Former Texas governor Rick Perry was on Face the Nation this morning to make the case for his recently launched presidential campaign, and emphasized not just the work he’s done since his failed 2012 campaign, but also a populist tone and an eagerness to take on big business. He argued that the Dodd-Frank financial-reform rules are constraining the work of community banks, hurting opportunities for small businesses, while big Wall Street banks retain a too-big-to-fail guarantee.
Defiant Tsipras threatens to detonate European crisis rather than yield to creditor “monstrosity”
The Greek prime minister has accused Europe’s leaders of “issuing absurd demands”
An Economics Lesson For Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders’ quixotic presidential campaign received some unexpected attention for an off-the-cuff comment he made in Iowa this past week. The sentence that has raised some eyebrows is short and to the point: “You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.” For Sanders, the market economy that provides consumers with such choices is fundamentally at odds with society’s duty to take care of the vulnerable.
Greece crisis live: PM tells parliament a debt deal can be done as stocks slide and Athens looks to Moscow
Greece will have to pay €1.6bn to the IMF and €1.5bn in pensions and wages by the end of the month
Czechs, Slovaks protest Russian documentary about 1968
Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek has summoned Russia’s ambassador to complain about a documentary on the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia aired by a state-run Russian television channel.
Venezuela Hits 510% Inflation
How’s that socialism working out?
Cool, Refreshing Hitler Ice Cream
Right now, it’s really hot in India. With temperatures in Calcutta in the high 90s – or mid-thirties if you’re metric, Indians are scrambling to find relief any way they can. And when one thinks relief from scorching heat, one can’t help but think of cool, creamy, refreshing ice-cream. And in India, we’re specifically talking Hitler ice cream! That’s right. Luckily it’s not Hitler flavored ice cream – what would that even taste like? Probably some combination of uncontrollable chronic flatulence, Zyklon B, genocide and megalomania. But yeah, no. It’s not Hitler flavored ice cream – it’s Hitler branded ice cream.
Calls to refer to God as a woman as female bishops take up posts
Support is growing within the Church of England to rewrite its official liturgy to refer to God as female following the selection of the first women bishops
UKIP Support Holds in First Post-Election Poll
UKIP has overcome its post-election difficulties and maintained the support it won last month, a new poll has revealed.
For Germany, Demography Is Doom
Germany’s economy dominates the EU, but if demography is destiny–and it is–then, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues in the Telegraph, Germany is doomed.
This is the last post on this blog. I am leaving Sweden for good shortly, and will no longer be following its descent from what was once the third most prosperous country in the world. Frankly, it’s just too damn depressing.
Negev Bedouin problems – real and imagined
Real problems, some created and all exploited.
20 soldiers killed in Manipur ambush in deadliest attack on Army in 33 yrs
At least 20 soldiers were killed and over a dozen injured in a well-planned and clinically executed militant ambush in Manipur’s Chandel district on Thursday morning — the deadliest such blow to the Army since 1982 when 20 jawans were killed in the state leading to escalation of militancy for years to come.
To Boldly Go Where No Celebrity Has Gone Before . . .Share article on Facebook
I knew we could count on Captain Jean-Luc Picard to defend liberty. Here’s Patrick Stewart — as part of a wide-ranging interview — defending a Christian baker who wouldn’t put a pro-gay-marriage message on a cake
Russian gulag prisoners write letter to future generations
“May your lives and your era have no slavery and no humiliation of man by man,” reads letter written by Soviet gulag prisoners to future generations shared on Russian social media
Turkey’s Kurds find themselves on threshold of unprecedented power
The black stone citadel of this ancient walled city is now a tourist attraction, home to artisan kiosks and tea shops. But to Dilsah Ozgen, a 76-year-old widow, it remains a symbol of pain.
Meet Pony – An orangutan who was forced to be a sex slave! Human cruelty touched a new low with animal prostitution
If your reaction to prostitution is why such a thing exists then you are in for a real shocker ahead. Did you know that there is something called ‘animal prostitution’. Yes, it is a reality and an ugly one. Human beings are known to be notorious invaders of the ecosystem and now humans has stooped to a new low. The appalling story is of Pony, a six or seven year old female orangutan, who was used as a sex slave in Kareng Pangi village, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.
UKIP Banned from London’s Gay Pride Parade
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has been officially banned from attending this year’s Gay Pride Parade in London, following a U-turn from event organisers.
Behind Science Fraud, Chapter 8
You just knew the New York Times editorial page would get around to sharing its deep wisdom about the problem of science fraud in the news right now, and sure enough, their utterly predictable editorial is predictably stupid in ways that are statistically certain to the 95 percent confidence level.
Yes, you should fear for the future of civilization
FT. ANGLOSPHERE’S SPECTACULAR COLLAPSE
How To Remake America As The Soviet Union
On the way to the ev psych conference in Missouri, at LAX, Jacqueline Tirre is the TSA thug who groped me (per her nametag) — after intimidatingly just leaving my computer and possessions to sit there on the metal detector off-ramp, claiming they didn’t have personnel to get it.
If Your “Authentic Self” Requires Plastic Surgery and Hormone Therapy, You Need Help, Not Affirmation.
I hope a lot of people are praying for Bruce Jenner. It seems most of Hollywood and the White House are applauding him decided that he is now a she.
War on Human Nature: The Celebrity Fantasy Dress-Up With “Caitlyn” Game
We now live in a world in which we are required to believe lies, where telling the truth is condemned as “hate,” and where strangers feel qualified to diagnose you as suffering from an irrational “phobia” if you refuse to cooperate with their political agenda. As I remarked a couple of months ago, “Until I started studying radical feminism, I never thought of ‘normal’ as an achievement.”
Campus Progressivism Can’t Compete With Reality
When graduates enter the real world post-college, experience will modify their knee-jerk liberal ideology.
Is it Time for Civil Disobedience of Kludgeocratic Bureaucracy?
Is there any way to reverse the trend toward ever more intrusive, bossy government? Things have gotten to such a pass, argues Charles Murray, that only civil disobedience might — might — work.
Liberal Professor: My Liberal Students Terrify Me
Then all is right. Terror is virtue, Robspierre said. It is through terror that we compel virtue.
Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution
A drastic physical change doesn’t address underlying psycho-social troubles.
Why College Professors Are Afraid to Teach Millennials
Hungry for love and it’s feeding time, Alice Cooper wrote in his 1991 classic song, “Feed My Frankenstein.” Academia has created its own Frankenstein with its speech codes, groupthink enforcement, and discouraging of dissent. This Frankenstein isn’t hungry for love – it’s hungry for power. And academics themselves have belatedly discovered that they’re on the menu.
Exclusive Video: Lincoln Chafee, Metric System Hypocrite
To paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson, when the going gets weird, the weird turn to numerology.
The War against Black Children
There is a statistic out there that almost half the adults in Detroit are functionally illiterate. They can’t fill out job applications. They can’t read the instructions on a pill bottle.
Don’t Let The Wookiee Win
C-3PO’s strategy is fine for playing dejarik against Chewbacca, but it’s no way to defend an open society.
Liberals Now Find Gender Identity Itself Oppressive
At a moment when many on the left are desperately trying to conjure up enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton’s bid to become the first woman president, others on the left want to turn the word “woman” into a term of exclusion and oppression.
Should Marriage In Alabama Only Be Recognized As A Private Contract?
In Which Alabama Dies Like A George R. R. Martin Character Stupid Enough To Obey Some Silly Code of Honor
Dan Hannan on the Socialism-Fascism Sisterhood
Short, sweet, dead-on.
Feminism Is NOT About “Equality”
Feminist Tumblr clarifies this common misunderstanding
Goodbye to the First Amendment
Its days are numbered.
Fundamental Concepts – Money is Fungible
Money is fungible. That’s a basic concept that most people are familiar with. It seems that most people don’t stop to consider the implications of that statement in the real world. That’s a real shame, because failure to grasp this simple principle is what allows the government to get away with all kinds of financial shenanigans.
“Mattress Girl” Emma Sulkowicz Just Released a Sex Tape: Here’s My Review
In preparing for this review, my researcher had to watch Emma Sulkowicz, a.k.a. “Mattress Girl,” perform fellatio on an overweight man eleven times. He tells me that he is now seriously considering homosexuality.
The Gender Fluidity Industry’s Magical Thinking
That said, I think the whole Gender Fluidity Industry is for the most part a clown show. I’d call it a campus circle jerk, but that’s too base for this refined epistle, so let’s call it an oval of onanism. (Also, the word “jerk” is gender-loaded if you think about it). The idea that there are 56 different genders (and counting!) is the sort of thing only someone paid to talk about gender theory could take seriously.
Disparate impact strikes again
A federal judge in New York, Kimba Wood (a Reagan appointee), has thrown out New York’s teacher exam as racially discriminatory under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The reason? Black and Hispanic applicants had passage rates only 54 to 75 percent that of white applicants.
I Still Blame the Communists
What explains the years of rage on campuses?
The Condescension of the Elites
Growing up through successive revolutions and counter-revolutions gives you a finely honed sense of what is socially approved (particularly when it can change on a dime.) And I got pretty good at seeing the difference between what was said aloud “We’re all for democracy and we accept all different opinions” and what was real “if you don’t toe the socialist line, we’re going to destroy your school career, your job, your hopes of any sort of advancement.” It’s not hard to “read” if you stop listening to the words and instead pay attention to what actually happens.
The case against the European Convention on Human Rights
What specific benefits accrue to the United Kingdom as a result of our adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights? That question ought to be our starting point, but it is almost never asked.