The Front Page Cover
 The Events of the Week -- Featuring: 
Forensic Nightmare: The Perils of Touch DNA
by Michelle Malkin
 'Miss Sloane' Misses the Mark 
When it comes to Hollywood, a film's accruing $3.2 million in its first two weeks is considered a debacle. Yet that's the meager reception with which a new pro-gun control movie, "Miss Sloane," was greeted. The Salt Lake Tribune says the anti-NRA film "serves up plenty that's worth seeing" and praises it as "a smart take on what's gone wrong with the system." Evidently, moviegoers didn't get the memo. The statistics aren't pretty, as well-known firearms researcher John Lott explains in National Review:
          Out of the 200 highest-grossing movies of 2016, only ten exceeded the $15.9 million television advertising budget of Miss Sloane, and seven of those did so by very small amounts. Miss Sloane spent more than the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One, Star Trek, Pete's Dragon, Arrival, Doctor Strange, and Hacksaw Ridge. It had twice the advertising budget of such hits as Sully, The Girl on the Train, and The Secret Life of Pets. For every dollar spent on advertising, Miss Sloane brought in just 21 cents in ticket sales. By this measure, it came in dead last out of the 200 top-grossing movies in 2016. No one else was even close. Coming in second-to-last was Collateral Beauty, which made 53 cents per advertising dollar. The average movie made almost $2 for each dollar spent on advertising.
          It's not like the ensuing failure wasn't written all over the wall. Last year was a record-setter for prospective gun buyers. While December's numbers are still being tallied, based on figures through November the FBI ran an astonishing 24,767,514 firearm background checks in 2016. The Tribune claims "Miss Sloane" explains "what's gone wrong with the system." It does, but not for the reason it tries to instill. The film's flop depicts just how out of touch with reality and the rest of America Hollywood and Washington really are. Voters sent a clear message to Democrats on Nov. 8: Leave us alone. 
~The Patriot Post
 Thomas Sowell's Retirement: The End of an Era 
Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams are two of the bravest academic scholars in America, and two of the boldest black men. We have long carried both men's columns in our Right Opinion section. Sowell is retiring after decades standing in the line of fire in defense of Freedom.
          He published his final "Random Thoughts" piece on December 27. Here are a few priceless excerpts:
          Warning America: "If you want to understand the fatal dangers facing America today, read 'The Gathering Storm' by Winston Churchill. The book is not about America, the Middle East, or nuclear missiles. But it shows Europe's attitudes and delusions..."
          Addressing academic idiocy: "Black adults, during the years when I was growing up in Harlem, had far less education than black adults today — but far more common sense. In an age of artificial intelligence, too many of our schools and colleges are producing artificial stupidity, among both blacks and whites."
          Regarding our pathetic culture: "There are words that were once common but that are seldom heard any more. The phrase 'none of your business' is one of these. Today, everything seems to be the government's business or the media's business. And the word 'risqué' would be almost impossible to explain to young people, in a world where gross vulgarity is widespread and widely accepted."
          About what we celebrate: "When I was growing up, we were taught the stories of people whose inventions and scientific discoveries had expanded the lives of millions of other people. Today, students are being taught to admire those who complain, denounce, and demand."
          Over the years, Sowell has routinely written such wonderful insight. And in his farewell column the next day, Sowell offered wisdom quite typical of his missives: "We cannot return to the past, even if we wanted to, but let us hope that we can learn something from the past to make for a better present and future. Goodbye and good luck to all."
          Thank God for the intellect and courage of Thomas Sowell! He will be sorely missed.  ~The Patriot Post
Pulosi Lied: There Are At Least Nine Different
GOP liar-nObamacare Options
by Jeff Dunetz
{} ~ The Democrats keep insisting the Republicans have no liar-nObamacare alternatives. That’s not true since 2009 the GOP has presented at least nine different replacement options, the most recent was presented this past July... On January 23, 2009, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor met with the pew president Barack liar-nObama to present Republican ideas for the stimulus plan. liar-nObama rejected Cantor’s pitch outright saying, “Elections have their consequences–we won.” That set the tone for lack of cooperation that plagued the government for the entire liar-nObama Presidency. On a Wednesday morning, Just short of eight years later the Senate and House Minority leaders stood before a capital microphone with the same arrogant attitude as president liar-nObama had years before. Only this time they lost...Ya Pulosi just like, you have to pass the law to see what's in it.
European Immigration: Mainly Muslim,
Mainly Male, Mainly Young
by Douglas Murray
{| ~ 2016 was a fine year for Islamist terrorism and an even finer year for Western political distraction. While Islamic terrorists repeatedly succeeded in carrying out mass-casualty terrorist attacks... as well as a constant run of smaller-scale strikes, the political leadership of the free world continued to try to divert their public. The most striking example of the year came in the summer with the French debate over whether or not to ban the "burkini" from the beaches of France. The row erupted in the days after another 86 people were murdered in a jihadist terrorist assault -- this time in Nice, France. With no one sure how to prevent access to vehicles or any idea how many French Muslims might want to follow suit, the French media and authorities chose to debate an item of beachwear. The carefully staged decision by an Australian Muslim woman to have herself filmed while wearing a burkini on a French beach ignited the row, which was eagerly seized upon by politicians...
Two Months After Election, FBI Admits They
Never Looked At DNC Email Servers
by Kosar
{} ~ There seems to be nothing the Democrats won’t attribute to Russian hackers supposedly interfering with the 2016 Presidential election. They want to find excuses to explain liar-Hillary Clinton’s historic lost to President elect Donald Trump, and the media is helping them make up stories... Now, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has made a shocking announcement about their investigations into those same DNC email servers, which caused so many problems for Team liar-Clinton. The FBI now admits they never looked at the server before placing blame on Russia! The FBI didn’t bother to conduct a forensic analysis of the servers. Wow!...
FINALLY: Congress To Introduce
liar-nObamacare Repeal Bill
{} ~ The Democrats have sworn they would do anything in their power to stop liar-nObamacare from being repealed, and that assumedly includes the filibuster in the Senate... So, one can only imagine the furniture being thrown inside Charles Schumer’s office when the Democrat Senate leader found out a repeal of liar-nObama’s signature legislation was being attached to a bill that could not be filibustered. A draft 2017 budget resolution that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McCon-nell has promised to act on included language that would repeal liar-nObamacare. Politico reported that Senate leaders had hoped that the bare-bones budget would be up for a vote by the end of this week, but that schedule now seems unlikely. It will be brought to the floor of the Senate by next week after amendments are voted on...
Urgent warning: 'Army of demons' on loose
{} ~ As 2016 ends, priests are calling for more exorcists to fight what they are calling “an army of demons.” Satanic groups openly organize against Christianity, even at Christmas... And trendy festivals like Burning Man are increasingly resembling something like a religion. It’s part of a general trend that has Christians worried. And Karl Payne, former chaplain for the Seattle Seahawks and an experienced exorcist who authored “Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonization and Deliverance,” says the danger is real. “Spiritism is clearly on the rise in North America; typically associated with contacting spirits to communicate with the dead in one form or fashion,” he told WND. “The media is replete with programs and movies glorifying walking and talking with the dead. Can successfully contacting demonic spirits, which is what practitioners are actually doing whether they understand this or not, open up a person to actual demonization?...
Forensic Nightmare: The Perils of Touch DNA
by Michelle Malkin
{} ~ Have you heard of "touch DNA?"

This mundane, yet menacing phenomenon exposes the double-edged sword of forensic science. With just an innocent handshake, an indirect transfer of epithelial cells, you could find yourself suspected of heinous crimes, charged with rape or convicted of murder.

This year, I'll be using my syndicated column and new investigative show on to shed light on the use and abuse of touch DNA in the criminal justice system. Detection methods involving tinier and tinier DNA samples have advanced rapidly during the last three decades.

But the mere presence of DNA does not prove a crime happened. It does not tell you how or when the material got to its discovered location. Contrary to Hollywood crime show oversimplifications, DNA is not a synonym for "guilty."

You may be familiar with a few high-profile cases where touch DNA led investigators astray. Trace amounts of DNA on a knife and bra clasp in 2007 were key to American student Amanda Knox's prosecution and conviction on charges of murdering her roommate in Italy. But when American forensic expert Dr. Greg Hampikian and others exposed contamination, interpretation and replicability/reliability problems with the DNA evidence, the Italian Supreme Court threw out the convictions eight years after the killing.

At the annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences conference last February, experts spotlighted the case of a homeless man charged with murdering a Silicon Valley mogul at his mansion -- despite the accused being hospitalized, nearly comatose and under 24/7 medical supervision the night the crime occurred in 2012. As Scientific American reported, the defendant's DNA had been transferred inadvertently by paramedics who had touched and treated him three hours before arriving at the businessman's home. The EMTs used the same oxygen monitor on both men's fingers, unknowingly transferring skin cell DNA from the homeless man to the multimillionaire he had never met.

The case provided a definitive example of "a DNA transfer implicating an innocent person," the journal noted, and illustrated "a growing opinion that the criminal justice system's reliance on DNA evidence, often treated as infallible, actually carries significant risks."

Secondary transfer and contamination problems with touch DNA were most famously revealed by the "Phantom of Heilbronn," a case involving skin cell DNA from a "mystery" female serial killer and thief in Germany -- which police years later acknowledged most likely belonged to a lab or factory worker who had handled cotton swabs used by investigators across Europe.

Touch DNA is also central to the murder case of Colorado toddler JonBenet Ramsey. Thanks to joint reporting by Denver's 9News and the Boulder Daily Camera, current Boulder County district attorney Stan Garnett announced three weeks ago that he is reopening the DNA portion of the investigation initially conducted by his predecessor, Mary Lacy. In 2008, she concluded in a letter exonerating the Ramsey family that an unknown male's DNA on JonBenet's underwear must belong to the killer because no innocent explanation existed for its presence.

A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific literature says otherwise. Unfortunately, many state crime labs and police departments haven't caught up.

In my own investigation of the case of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who was sentenced to 263 years in prison for alleged sexual assaults, I've encountered firsthand an alarming ignorance of the pitfalls and limitations of DNA evidence. That ignorance has been compounded by the stubborn unwillingness of ill-informed police detectives and prosecutors to acknowledge their scientific shortcomings. As a racially charged mob of Black Lives Matter activists demanded social justice and threatened riots in the volatile summer of 2014 (the summer of Ferguson), Holtzclaw was charged, tried and convicted despite a mountain of reasonable doubt.

During my two-hour interview with lead detectives Rocky Gregory (now a homicide detective) and Kim Davis (now retired and hailed as a social justice champion) of the Oklahoma City police department, both adamantly insisted that transfer DNA "never happens." Davis said it was "hard to get." Gregory claimed it was "very rare" and "almost impossible." Prosecutor Gayland Gieger similarly mocked the touch DNA phenomenon at trial and possibly misled the jury about the DNA sourcing.

As Erica Fuchs, a microbiologist and molecular biologist with a lab research specialty in DNA who supports Daniel Holtzclaw and has made crucial discoveries involving the DNA evidence that no one else had realized at trial, told me:

"When people invest themselves in a belief, it can be easier to ignore evidence that conflicts or challenges that belief. Admitting that non-intimate skin cell DNA transfer is a reasonable explanation for the DNA evidence in Daniel's case may make a lot of people in the media question (and everywhere else) their assumptions and actions."

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Newsweek’s Headquarters
Raided By The NYPD

The headquarters of Newsweek was raided by the NYPD Thursday morning. Police reportedly took photos of the magazine’s servers.

New York Post reports:

About two dozen NYPD officers and investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office raided the offices of Newsweek and its parent company, IBT Media, on Thursday.

IBT Media was co-founded by Jonathan Davis and Etienne Uzac. The IRS placed a $1.2 million federal tax lien against Uzac in December 2017.

The agents were said to be photographing servers in the offices, but not downloading any files at the offices on 7 Hanover Square, according to sources.

Few details have emerged from the raid.

“Looking into reports that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office @ManhattanDA raided Newsweek/IBT Offices today….sources say police have been there for hours. The DA has declined to comment,” tweeted reporter Avi Asher-Schapiro.

Newsweek is also in the news Thursday after an “insider” told The Wrap editor Jon Levine that the magazine has abandoned journalism for “rage clicks,” in the Trump-era.

“Newsweek was once a premiere media organization and an incredible springboard for young journalists hoping to grow a name for themselves,” the source told Levine.

“The company culture has turned the newsroom into a toxic work environment, while the publication has descended into a content farm for last-resort clickbait,” the source added.


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