Monday, August 19, 2013

Was it actually life-threatening cancer or are doctors presumptuous?

http://www.themedguru.com/ ^ 

Was your PSA test slightly high, your Pap smear “not quite right”, your mammogram funny? Did your CT scan detect a teeny weenie nodule and your doctor schedule a biopsy? Cancer!! That’s what they say! You end up with the painful treatment and are proclaimed a “cancer survivor”. But was it cancer?
Early detection of cancer
Since ages, doctors say, that early detection leads to treatment in time, as the cancer spread will be slowed with timely diagnosis. Whether it was the prostrate, lung, breast or thyroid , that’s what the theory stated. The question is- was the cancer actually life threatening in the first place?
Seeing the large number of “early” detected cancer cases Peter Carroll, the chairman of the department of urology at the University of California at San Francisco and a specialist in prostate cancer says “We’ll all be cancer survivors if we keep going at the rate that we’re going.”
The focus towards early detection and early traumatic cancer treatments may actually be pulling the doctors attention away from the fast growing fatal tumors.
Cancer over diagnosis
People do feel that by going through frequent tests and screening procedures they can hold death at bay. Laura J. Esserman (a surgeon and breast-cancer specialist), Ian M. Thompson Jr. (a urologist) and Brian Reid (a specialist in esophageal cancer) argue “Physicians, patients, and the general public must recognize that over diagnosis is common and occurs more frequently with cancer screening.”
They demand that “cancer should be attributed to only those situations that are actually life threatening if not treated in time.
Have you noticed that the rate of cancer survivors is rising because of the detection of the cancers that are non-threatening? So why is it done? The physicians feel that rather than ignore a case that can turn fatal it is better to treat it in time.
Misdirection in research
Esserman, director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at UCSF issues a warning signal “the cancers that grow and spread very quickly are not the ones that you can catch in time with screening.”She states that early detection can lead to misdirection in research procedures and the funding allotted for it.
Talking about screening she insisted “We have to come up with better treatments, we have to figure out who’s really at risk for those and figure out how to prevent them,” she says. “We’re not going to fix it with screening.”
We have another example of ductal carcinoma, a type of breast cancer. In this case the walls of the milk ducts show a cell lining that is affected by cancer but this disease has not gone deep into the breast tissue. So may be the cancer survivors went through the painful and traumatic “breast removal” treatment in vain.
Colin Wells, a radiologist at the University of California at Los Angeles specializing in breast imaging gave his verdict regarding this “Since we really don’t know the true natural history of DCIS we do not know if DCIS always progresses to invasive cancer or not.”
As a large number of people are roped in “active surveillance,” through biopsies, regular PSA tests, and imaging . Experts point out that one in three actually needs treatment within 5-10 years.

Air Force OK with drag queens ... but with Christian faith, not so much!

One News Now ^ | August 19, 2013 | Chad Groening

The American Family Association is taking the Air Force to task for inviting a drag queen group to perform at an air base earlier this month.
The U.S. Air Force recently confirmed to Fox News that it invited a well-known drag queen group known as “Jewels and the Brunchettes” to perform at Los Angeles Air Force Base on “Diversity Day” (August 8) because drag is a "symbol of gay pride and unity." The event also featured a speech by Brigadier General Tammy Smith, who became the first openly homosexual general after the repeal of the law banning “gays” and lesbians from military service.
Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis at the American Family Association, which within days notified its supporters of the event.
"It’s almost unfathomable that you would have a branch of the United States military invite drag queens to perform on a military installation,” he tells OneNewsNow. “And then that you would have a brigadier general defend that and say look this is what the military is all about; these are the values that we want to celebrate – is beyond the pale."
Fischer points out that while the Air Force is apparently okay with drag queens, it continues to be hostile to Christian chaplains, officers, and enlisted personnel who publicly share their faith.
"Right now the American military, particularly the Air Force, is extremely hostile to any kind of expression of Christian faith,”
(Excerpt) Read more at onenewsnow.com ...

Illegals snared as immigration debate continues: Obama pressed to halt all deportations

The Washington Times ^ | August 18, 2013 | Stephen Dinan

A massive weekend raid netted several hundred illegal immigrants who were either car wash workers or customers in Phoenix, according to immigrant-rights groups who say the move highlights the ongoing tensions within President Obama’s deportation policy.
Even as Capitol Hill lawmakers debate whether to move on an immigration bill this year, many immigrant-rights advocates are lobbying Mr. Obama to halt all deportations, and they have picked several cases to make a stand.
Just last week, activists in Ohio demanded a halt to the deportation of a man whose son suffers from cerebral palsy. The Obama administration complied, granting him a one-year stay.
With Congress on vacation, the immigration debate has shifted away from Washington and to the home districts of House lawmakers, and to Republicans in particular, who are wrestling with how to tackle the issue.
GOP leaders in the House have signaled they’ll try to have legislation on the chamber floor in October, and will take up a series of bills, including improving border security and interior enforcement, rewriting the legal immigration system and at least some effort at legalizing young adult illegal immigrants.
Mr. Obama and fellow Democrats, though, have said an explicit path to citizenship for most of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. is a non-negotiable ingredient for any bill to clear Congress.
Some Republicans have embraced it, but most appear to be saying they agree with parts of it, but want to see the House go its own route.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

Targeting the Wealthy Kills Jobs!

Wall Street Journal ^ | 08/19/2013 | T.J. RODGERS

One of the signature themes of the Obama administration is that the American dream is under attack due to "income disparity." The words divide the country into haves and have-nots, suggesting a national condition that needs to be corrected—presumably by "progressive" taxation as a mechanism for income redistribution. The American dream has traditionally been one of individual success that is rewarded and admired. But we are now urged to become zero-sum society in which those achieving the American dream are envied and even resented.
The American dream is not politically affiliated. The last time it was alive and well was the period from Ronald Reagan's second term in office through Bill Clinton's second term in office. In those 16 years, we enjoyed continuous low taxes, low government spending and economic prosperity.
Since 2000, the economy has staggered under the record government spending and deficits of two presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The result of that spending spree has been lower real wages and higher and more-persistent unemployment. The Federal Reserve has pushed interest rates to near-zero, and, for the first time ever in the U.S., that Depression-era medicine has not worked—a scary situation reminiscent of Japan's decade-plus economic demise.
According to the latest IRS income-tax data, the top 1% of American taxpayers earned 20% of all income and paid 36% of all taxes. The top 5% earned 36% of all income and paid 58% of all taxes. Will even higher taxes help the economy? My experience in Silicon Valley tells me that high and so-called progressive taxes are a major cause of the country's current economic problems.
In Silicon Valley, the rich commonly reinvest their wealth close to home. For example, I have reinvested most of my net worth in 8.5% of the shares of my own company.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...

Ted Cruz releases his birth certificate!

Hotair ^ | 08/19/2013 | Ed Morrissey

His father fled Castro’s Cuba. His mother was born in the USA. No one doubts where Ted Cruz was born — in Calgary, Canada. In order to settle the issue of his citizenship status, the Senator from Texas has released his birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News, but it’s not likely to have much impact on the debate over his eligibility for the presidency:
Born in Canada to an American mother, Ted Cruz became an instant U.S. citizen. But under Canadian law, he also became a citizen of that country the moment he was born.
Unless the Texas Republican senator formally renounces that citizenship, he will remain a citizen of both countries, legal experts say.
That means he could assert the right to vote in Canada or even run for Parliament. On a lunch break from the U.S. Senate, he could head to the nearby embassy — the one flying a bright red maple leaf flag — pull out his Calgary, Alberta, birth certificate and obtain a passport.
“He’s a Canadian,” said Toronto lawyer Stephen Green, past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section.
The circumstances of Cruz’s birth have fueled a simmering debate over his eligibility to run for president. Knowingly or not, dual citizenship is an apparent if inconvenient truth for the tea party firebrand, who shows every sign he’s angling for the White House.
“Senator Cruz became a U.S. citizen at birth, and he never had to go through a naturalization process after birth to become a U.S. citizen,” said spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. “To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce.”
The US and Canada have nearly identical birthright citizenship laws. The act of being born inside the country confers automatic citizenship by birth — but so does being born of an adult citizen of the country anywhere else in the world. The US version of that latter concept wasn’t clarified until well after John McCain’s birth in the Panama Canal zone, but was well established by 1970 when Cruz was born.
The presidential requirement of being a “natural born citizen” in Article 2, Section 1 of the US Constitution is unique, in that the concept has pretty much no other application in American life. However, it’s not so unique as to be completely without analogy or comprehension. A natural-born citizen can be defined as an American that does not require extra intervention to access citizenship rights. If Cruz had to go through the naturalization process to vote, for instance, or to get a US passport, then he would not qualify to run for President. Instead, Cruz has been able to legally exercise his rights as a citizen without any other intervention except his coming of age, as all American citizens do. Current law makes it clear that regardless of how Canada sees Cruz, the US saw him as a citizen by provenance of his birth — a natural-born citizen.
So why release the birth certificate at all? I suspect Cruz is being a little tongue-in-cheek here, since the document really doesn’t have any bearing on the question his critics are asking. Since the question is itself silly, Cruz must figure the best approach is to have a laugh about it.

Upgrades aim to extend B-52 bombers' already long lives!

The Los Angeles Times ^ | August 19, 2013 | W.J. Hennigan

Upgrades aim to extend B-52 bombers' already long lives
Despite the plane's more than half-century of service, the Air Force thinks modifications and overhauls have made the B-52 ageless.
For Air Force Capt. Daniel "Swoop" Welch, flying a B-52 bomber has become the family business.
His father, retired Lt. Col. Don Welch, was trained to drop nuclear bombs with the aircraft during the height of the Cold War. His grandfather, retired Col. Don Sprague, flew B-52 combat missions in Vietnam.
"It is definitely a testament to the robust design of the B-52," said Welch, 28. "Getting to fly the same aircraft as my father and grandfather has been pretty cool."
Despite the bomber's more than half-century of service, the Air Force believes that modifications and overhauls have made the B-52 ageless. Now engineers and technicians are working on a contract worth up to $11.9 billion for an array of upgrades to bring the B-52 Stratofortress fleet into the 21st century.
The plane's computers are only as powerful as the original PCs in the early 1980s. Bombing mission information has to be uploaded before a flight. It can't be changed in the air — even if the target on the ground changes.
Now Boeing is expanding on the bombers' limited capabilities by providing an upgraded communications system so aircrews can send and receive information via satellite links. This enables the B-52's five-person crews to change mission plans, re-target weapons in flight and interact better with ground forces and other aircraft.
Nobody can say for sure how many of the government's 76 B-52s — down from 744 in the plane's heyday — will survive three more decades. The most recent
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...

Rewriting History with movie "The Butler"!

RightWingPatriot.com ^ | August 19, 2013 | RightWingPatriot

Progressive liberals can never win in the arena of ideas so they choose to fight in a different battleground, popular culture. Why deal with pesky facts that your ideology has never worked and only led to misery and death for millions of people? To the progressive mind, if you can't beat your enemy, then change the very fabric of his culture. By doing so, you'll lose many a battle, but you'll win the war. This is why progressives have taken over Hollywood and education.
Sadly, many people today gain their knowledge through tv, movies, and the internet. True education has been replaced with indoctrination. The result is an ignorant public who then takes as gospel by what they see on the silver screen. Progressives know most people will never crack open a history text or read a biography, but they do know that people will take to heart the lies fed to them in the movies.
This reworking of our American history has been going on for decades. Our Founding Fathers are no longer pure. The American government conspires to kill its own president and to oppress those not in power. Most young people think that they saw the truth when they watched Oliver Stone's JFK. You can show them facts and figures showing how the movie was almost pure fantasy, but that makes no impact on their reasoning. Hollywood works overtime (probably with union breaks) to make strong Presidents weak in the eyes of the public and anti-American terrorists are really freedom fighters.
The latest example of this dreck is The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. The movie goes to great lengths to distort the facts and rewrite history as it pertains to liberals and conservatives. The movie contends that the butler, Eugene Allen, disliked Reagan and that Reagan was totally against punishing South Africa for apartheid. The truth is far different. Allen has expressed admiration for Reagan and has a picture of the Reagans in his living room. When Allen retired, Nancy Reagan gave him a warm hug. As for South Africa, Reagan was opposed to sanctions not because he was anti-black, but chose to do so because South Africa was the only country on the continent that was anti-communist. Reagan wanted to use a softer approach to push South Africa towards freedom with a minimal loss of life. History has shown that Reagan was right. However, in the movie, they show it differently with Alan Rickman (portraying Reagan) wondering if he was on the wrong side of history.
The Butler also rewrites the actions of Democrats during the Civil Rights struggle. It shows both President Kennedy and Johnson rallying for civil rights but neglects to show that Democrats voted 80 percent against the Civil Rights Act. In the real world, Republicans were the ones who pushed the Civil Rights Act through, but in the eyes of The Butler, they're all racist. The movie portrays Nixon as courting the black vote purely for political reasons but fails to mention that Nixon had an exemplary record of pushing school integration.
The Butler does its best to show America as evil with absolution only coming with the inauguration of Obama. The movie depicts Eugene Allen's father being murdered and his mother raped by a white man. Funny thing is that such events never happened. However, this is no big deal to progressive liberals. They're not interested in telling truth but in distorting history to suit their own ends. They fully believe in the mantra that if you keep repeating the life enough, it eventually becomes the truth. Hooray for Hollywood.

Unpublished CRS Memo: Obama Administration Missed Half Of Obamacare's Legally Imposed Deadlines!

Forbes ^ | 08/19/2013 | Avik Roy

In recent months, President Obama and his subordinates have waived or delayed a number of Obamacare’s notable features, such as the law’s employer mandate, and its procedures for protecting taxpayers from fraud and identity theft. Earlier this month, in that context, I obtained a heretofore-unpublished memorandum from the Congressional Research Service. The CRS, Congress’ non-partisan in-house think tank, compiled 82 deadlines that the Affordable Care Act mandates upon the first three years of its own implementation. Remarkably, it turns out that the White House has missed half of the deadlines legally required by the ACA. And some of those deadlines remain unmet to this day.

The new CRS memo, dated June 5, 2013, is an addendum to a series of previous reports in which the agency examined missed deadlines during the law’s first two years. The CRS excluded from its analysis deadlines that don’t reflect on the administration’s competence; for example, as states expand Medicaid, the federal spending associated with those expansions occurs more or less automatically. Deadlines that the law imposes on non-federal government actors, like state governments and private companies, were also excluded.
41 out of 82 deadlines missed by the administration
As of May 31, 2013, when the CRS analysis was completed, the White House had yet to meet 9 of 12 deadlines from the first year after the Affordable Care Act was enacted. It failed to meet 22 of 53 deadlines in the second year; another 8 became moot after Congress did not appropriate funds to complete the assigned tasks. In year three, the administration missed 10 out of 17 deadlines. That’s a total of 41 out of 82 deadlines missed.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...

Why We All Lose If the Fed Wins

Peak Prosperity.com ^ | Monday, August 19, 2013, 12:12 AM | by Chris Martenson

So let's pretend for the moment that the Federal Reserve gets everything it has stated it wants. And even further, that Washington, D.C. gets everything it wants, too.
The credit markets are repaired, and massive new loan growth flows out the door. Loans are made to businesses that hire gobs of new people. Consumers borrow and borrow some more to go to school and buy homes, cars, and gadgets.
Inflation remains low and job growth explodes. Tax receipts climb and the deficit falls. The stock market goes higher and higher, gold falls and then falls some more, as confidence in the system, its masters, and its institutions grows.
The Fed wins and D.C. wins.
But in reality, we all lose.
It's all just a matter of timing.
Unsustainable
If we hold the view that humans are behaving unsustainably in terms of any of the 'three Es' – the economy, energy, or the environment – then any rapid resumption to a paradigm of exponential growth in our consumption of natural resources -- or in our growth of debt over income -- simply takes us more quickly to the bitter end of this story.
What good does it do to return to rapid economic expansion if we have not figured out how we are going to supply sufficient water for agriculture and basic living needs to the major population centers around the world? What's our plan for reversing collapsing oceanic fisheries? When do we have the substantive conversation about the long-term implications of the continuing Fukushima disaster?
Omnipresent signs of ecosystem stress -- ranging from dying bees to increasingly chaotic weather patterns -- suggest strongly that we need to be doing things differently and with an eye towards resilience. On the energy front, the temporary bonanza of oil and gas from U.S. shale plays is just that: temporary. We need to be talking about where we want to be positioned when that, too, ends.
The really big picture here is that our economy, such as it is, is predicated on ever larger amounts of stuff being extracted, refined, produced, and then discarded. It's a model that works – just not sustainably.
Instead of wondering where we're headed and engaging in a bit of introspection, all eyes are on the Fed to see if it can engineer higher stock prices while keeping interest rates low. So conditioned are the masses locked in this system, it's as if financial assets all by themselves are both necessary and sufficient to secure a prosperous future.
Without understanding the actual nature of where we are in this story, there's no way to meaningfully adjust our course towards a different destination. For now, I will constrain this analysis to the Fed and to the economy, and show that their efforts have not borne the fruit they hoped for and that it's well past time to admit that the grand money-printing experiment has not worked out as planned.
If we simply pump the economy back up at any and all costs, we will win that battle. But we'll lose the larger war. What we should be doing instead is using this as an opportunity to address some of the hard questions about where we are, where we are headed, and what kind of world we wish to enter into (and leave behind for our progeny).
Turning Japanese
In 1999, when Bernanke was essentially campaigning for the position of chairman of the Fed, he wrote a paper that lambasted Japanese monetary officials for not doing enough to prevent a sustained period of low inflation, sluggish economic growth, and torpid credit market growth:
Before becoming Fed chairman, Mr. Bernanke led a band of U.S. academics who argued that Japanese officials weren't doing enough to jolt their economy out of its torpor. In a 1999 paper, Mr. Bernanke lashed out at Japanese officials, saying their country's woes were the result of their own "self-induced" paralysis. Japan's responses to deflation, he charged in atypically blunt terms, were confused, inconsistent and too cautious.
source
The basic ideas he set forth were simply that the proper course of action for Japan (said easily enough from his armchair academic position at Princeton) was to simply do more, promise more, and not pull back from stimulus until the economy and inflation were behaving properly.
If they had, he argued, then they could have avoided a prolonged period of low growth, high unemployment, and declining inflation.
More from that same article:
At a conference at sponsored by the Boston Fed in Woodstock, Vt., that October [1999], Kazuo Ueda, then a BOJ policy member, issued a warning to the largely American audience: "Do not put yourself into the position of zero rates," he said. "I tell you it will be a lot more painful than you can possibly imagine."
Mr. Bernanke shot back that Japanese policy makers might be making the same "extreme policy mistakes" Americans made in the 1930s—being too timid about reversing deflation. A few weeks later, in a blistering research paper, he said even though conventional tools were expended, there was plenty the Japanese could do to boost consumer demand, business spending and prices.
Among his suggestions: Cheapen the yen by selling it in the currency markets; or buy long-term debt from the Ministry of Finance to finance tax cuts, something he said was akin to just dropping money from a helicopter.
One objection at the time was that Japan's economic problems weren't the result of too little stimulus by the central bank but of structural problems in Japan's banking system and in protected industries.
Mr. Bernanke said structural problems didn't negate the need to find ways to push up consumer demand and business spending.
"Japanese monetary policy seems paralyzed, with a paralysis that is largely self-induced," he concluded. "Most striking is the apparent unwillingness of the monetary authorities to experiment, to try anything that isn't absolutely guaranteed to work."
Well, here we are, six years into Bernanke's own Japanese experiment, and the U.S. is mired in low growth, high unemployment, and declining inflation. To be blunt, none of his ideas are working out as easily in practice as they did on paper.
The hubris, the easily rankled ego of an academic, was on high display in Bernanke's comments to the Japanese. And that brings us to the nub of the issue today: the Fed's utter failure to back up and admit that its grand strategy is simply not working as planned here.
The (Ugly) Data
The evidence that the Fed's own efforts to shock the economy back to life have failed is quite clear. Anecdotally, pretty much everyone knows exactly what would happen to the equity and bond markets if the Fed stopped injecting $85 billion into the financial system each month: they would crater. So even there, we'd have to give the Fed a poor grade, if not a failing one, for creating markets that are now over-dependent on easy money.
Let's start with employment – or rather, its inverse, unemployment – because that's the main thing to which the Fed has tied its quantitative easing (QE) program (QE).
At first glance, it looks as though the Fed is winning the day, because even though unemployment is quite elevated by historical standards at 7.4%, it's at least moving in the right direction:

Like all U.S. government statistics, the headline number is about as fuzzy as they come, and it deserves just a little bit of inspection before we place much confidence in it.
To calculate the unemployment rate requires you to know two things: how many people are out of work, and how many can work. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the government agency that calculates the employment figures, has spent decades introducing one exclusion after another in order to reduce the accounting total for people who are out of work – each time with the effect of reducing the headline unemployment rate.
After all, if fewer people are 'out of work', which means they are not counted, then the unemployment rate will be lower. A smaller numerator creates a smaller fraction.
Fortunately, the BLS still calculates a more rigorous definition of total unemployment (although it is still not completely accurate) that goes by the name "U-6", which it defines as follows:
U-6 – Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
This alternative measure of unemployment and underemployment stands at 14.0%, or nearly double the headline rate. It excludes those who have not even looked for a job in the last 12 months, and there's good reason to believe there are a lot of those individuals right now.
Evidence of that comes from the labor force participation rate, which measures all those who have a job (and, yes, having a part-time job counts the same in this calculation as having a full-time job). It has fallen to painful levels:

In the above chart, where everyone who is employed is divided by everyone of employment age, we can see that just under 59% of working-age Americans are employed. We have to go back to the early 1980s to find a similar employment proportion, and here we'll note that it is much harder to get by on one salary today than it was in times past, indicating something of the hardship embedded in this number.
It stands to reason that a lot of people who want to work, but have not looked recently enough to be counted, are contained in the above chart.
One other way we might surmise that some people have not looked for a job in over a year is to look at how long people tend to remain unemployed once they lose their job. Here the data is particularly grim:

Note that this chart is of the mean duration of unemployment. So roughly half of all people are out of work for just over 35 weeks, and half are out of work for longer than that. If we imagine a nice spread to the data, perhaps a reasonable bell curve, then it's not hard to imagine that quite a few people are well over the 52-week mark and that some of them could easily fall through the statistical cracks.
If QE is helping to bring down unemployment as the Fed claims and the media carefully repeats, then it's not clear at all that it's helping to bring down the mean duration of unemployment from levels that are without precedent in the 60-year-old data set.
One other area in which QE has failed to help is in the types of jobs created. Of the meager few jobs created since the start of the financial crisis and recession in 2008 and 2009, respectively, nearly 4 million of them have been part-time jobs, which are counted and reported by the BLS with the exact same weighting as full-time jobs:

Here again we will note that QE is not having its intended effect if the goal is to create high-paying, full-time jobs. Instead, all we are getting are a lot of part-time jobs (i.e., lower pay and without benefits). Through the first 7 months of 2013, 953,000 jobs have been created. A full 731,000 of those, or 77%, have been part-time.
Of course, it's silly to blame QE for this, because QE has nothing to do with initiatives like Obamacare, which is one of many contributing factors towards more part-time work being offered and performed. But then again, that's the point. It's just plain silly to tie QE to employment at all in the first place, but that's what Bernanke did, which is why we're taking such a detailed look at it here.
On the subject of GDP growth, the data is even more dismal. The 'bounce' seen after the recession allegedly ended in 2010 is the worst on record, and GDP growth currently stands at a rate not seen outside of the context of a recession at any point over the prior 60 years:

For all of the talk of recovery and improvement and corporate earnings and such, and even with all of the statistical wizardry of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) at work, the GDP numbers here are indistinguishable from those of Japan after its bubble burst and the Bank of Japan began fighting its deflationary monster.
The other similarities to Japan are that the U.S. Fed is now stuck with a zero interest rate policy and finds itself in the business of monetizing enormous quantities of U.S. federal debt.
Like Japan, the U.S. finds its sovereign debt loads not just growing, but exploding at the fastest pace on record for six years now:

The summary here is that Bernanke, after dissing the Japanese efforts, has little more to show for his efforts than they do. The economy remains weak, inflation is low, he's trapped in a 0% interest rate policy, unemployment remains stubbornly high, and federal debt is exploding.
In fact, he does have results. It's just that they are indistinguishable from those of the Japanese.
In Part II: The Real Story to Focus On, we clarify the real issues we need to be dealing with if we want our entry into the future to be anything longer-lived than a kamikaze mission.
The Fed is doing an excellent job of demonstrating how fighting the wrong battles leads to losing the war.
If we want different results (and I do), then we need different behaviors. To get those, you must either change willingly through insight, or else stonehearted reality will force you to on its terms.
If we don't chose the former, the latter is a guarantee.

How the Internet Started

Email | 18 Aug 2013 | unknown

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a healthy young wife by the name of Dorothy.
And Dot Com was a comely woman, Large of breast, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.
And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?"
And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?"
And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. The sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums.
And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.
To prevent neighboring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures - Hebrew To The People (HTTP).
And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.
And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. Indeed he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.
And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."
And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or eBay as it came to be known.
He said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."
And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators." "YAHOO," said Abraham.
And because it was Dot's idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.
Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot's drums to locate things around the countryside.
It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).
That is how it all began.
And that's the truth.....because as we all know, everything on the internet is TRUE......

Obama supporters will go hysterical over this well sourced list of 252 examples of his lying…

Wordpress ^ | August 15, 2013 | Dan from Squirrel Hill

Full title: Obama supporters will go hysterical over this well sourced list of 252 examples of his lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc.

As the author of this blog post, I place it into the public domain. Anyone may freely copy it in any part or in its entirely, without asking my permission, and without paying any money. I do ask you please cite a link to: http://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/obama-252/

I ask you to please show this list to as many people as possible – and especially, to please show it to as many Obama supporters as possible. Sunshine really is the best disinfectant. I can’t stop Obama from doing any of these horrible things, but I can tell people about what he is doing. So please share this list with others on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thank you.

The short link for this is:   http://tinyurl.com/ku9vxug

America's truck driver shortage!

Innovation Trail ^ | August 6, 2013 | Kate O'Connell
The Innovation Trail's Kate O'Connell talks to truckers, industry reps, and analysts about America's trucker shortage.

America’s trucking industry’s been experiencing a chronic shortage of drivers for at least 20 years. Conservative estimates put the number of vacancies upward of 20,000, and some say it goes into the hundreds of thousands.
But, there are mixed views on the causes and solutions for this challenge to the industry.
Kevin Dugan has a college degree in heating and air conditioning, but after graduating he had a similar experience to many young grads. Employers were reluctant to hire him because of a lack of experience.
And that’s why Dugan’s out early each Saturday morning, taking a truck for a spin.
“Nobody wanted to give me a job, nobody really wanted to give me an interview. And that carried on for just so long, and I said ok, I need to find something else if I’m ever going anywhere with this,” he says.
“I heard there was an employment vacuum with transportation so I decided to go ahead and investigate that. So one thing led to another and here I am.”
Dugan’s lead turned out to be on the money. He had several job offers before he’d even completed his training, as did most of his classmates.
He’s one of a handful of new truck drivers entering the industry via the Professional Driver Institute (PDI) in western New York.
Paul Doyle, president of PDI, says his school trains up to 35 students per month. And, they could triple class sizes and still not meet the demand, he says
“People don’t realize how big of an industry this is. It’s the second largest employer next to healthcare. There’s something like 350 thousand motor carriers in the US. It’s usually a well-kept secret as far as the opportunities that are out there.”
As far as Doyle’s concerned, the shortage is a hangover from when trucking licenses became federally regulated in the early ‘90s.
He says that change eliminated around 40 percent of drivers from the industry because it revealed an astonishing lack of enforcement of driving violations and restrictions.
“The commercial license used to be regulated for each state. And one of the problems that developed was, drivers could what they call “spread out moving violations” over states. They could actually have 15-20 DWIs, they could have 50-60 moving violations. But they would spread them out over different states, so they would still be legal in any particular state.”
Doyle says the industry never really recovered, and they’re now facing a crisis as baby boomers begin to retire. He says companies also struggle with outdated perceptions of the industry.
“That is a very real issue. I think the trucking industry itself is trying to package itself to try to appeal to a more diversified market, including women, minorities…maybe people that typically, in the past, would not have considered it. They try to make it more and more driver-friendly, more technologically advanced, more user-friendly.”
A different take

Michale Belzer, associate professor of industrial relations and economics at Wayne State University, sees the problem differently.
For him, the driver shortage dates back to the decade before the license system went federal.
“I have been hearing about this driver shortage since the late 1980s, and there have been lots of complaints about that. You never heard about that before deregulation 30-35 years ago, there was no problem. But when the job became so highly competitive and highly pressured, and the compensation went down by about a third or more, more like even a half, then it became a much less attractive job.”
And Belzer says it’s not outdated views of the industry that’s causing the shortage.
“The problem is that the job is too demanding and the pay is not good enough, and even if you train people for this job, they don’t stay once they realize how difficult the job is.”
It depends on who you talk to as to what view you get on this issue. If you talk to people in the trucking industry you’ll hear, unsurprisingly, that over-regulation is to blame.
David Heller’s an industry representative and Rick Etinger, a recruiter for trucking company Warner Enterprises. Both say tighter regulation of working hours is alienating drivers.
“Drivers are basically looking at regulations and saying there’s just too much and they’re leaving the industry. Effectively what it’s creating is a driver shortage,” says Heller.
“You’re allowed to drive an 11 hour day, but after you’ve been on the clock for eight hours you must take a half hour break mandatory by federal law. So what that’s doing is cutting into the driver’s hours of being able to work and or drive,” says Etinger.
“It could be crippling for the industry, it could be crippling for the consumer because the less drivers, the less stuff’s going to get delivered. And who really takes the bulk of all that is consumers. You would end up having higher fuel costs because fuel trucks have to make deliveries, there’s a lot of ramifications I believe if this shortage is not taken care of.”
The dollars and cents of it all

There’s no easy answer, but a lot of it comes down to money. Back at Wayne State, Michael Belzer says there’s not enough going into drivers pockets to attract people.
“They could work two jobs in fast food full time and make better money and be home every day than what they’re doing now. So the job, the current status of the trucking industry job, does not fit with the rest of the U.S. labor market.”
The industry is also arguing for more federal dollars to go towards driver education, rather than enforcing regulations.
For wanna-be drivers, the dollars and cents of it all are a factor too.
Despite the number of local offers Kevin Dugan got, he decided to shop around. And, he ended up offering to relocate for a company that had a higher pay grade and a more attractive career track.
“Someone from Schneider pulled up one day while I was out there and I decided to go ahead and ask her how it was because I was a little dissatisfied with the prospects I had right there. She had just about all the answers I was looking for; decent pay, expansion into tank truck work, nice-ish trucks, they care about safety, they care about their drivers.”
Dugan admits the lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but he’s looking forward to hitting the open road.
He’s happy with the long hauls, traveling for about a week before returning for the weekends.
“It means I never have a lack of things to do when I get back on the weekends, and hey, you’re literally getting to see the entire north east, can you really put a price on that?”

Welcome to Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy! (THIS AIN'T NO SHIT!)



   dallasisd.org/obama           Welcome to Barack Obama Male 
             Leadership Academy!
 
Greetings:
 
Welcome to our website for the 2012-2013 school year of Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy at BF Darrell.  As you peruse the site, we seek to inform and educate each of you about all of the exciting and enjoyable events taking place at our campus. While visiting our site you should find valuable information about the campus; including our programs, policies, procedures, and important dates throughout the year.
Our campus motto is “The School of Today for Tomorrow’s Leaders”. Our campus mission is "to develop young men into impactful leaders through the development of their intellectual, moral, physical, social and emotional skills for the global society of tomorrow." The holistic development of our students as sound young men will become sound men. We, the faculty, staff, student body, families and community supporters of BOMLA; will continue to redefine and reimage the expectations of our young men who are destined to be the future leaders of the world.
We are “The School of Today for Tomorrow’s Leaders” and our focus is to equip our young men with the life, academic and 21st century skills for success in life beyond the walls of our campus. Thank You for entrusting your son to our care. We look forward to serving you all for what will be an even more exhilarating school year than last.  Thank you for visiting our site and please contact us if you have any additional questions or would like to request a tour of the campus.
Respectfully yours,

Nakia Douglas, Principal

Uninsured next year? Here's your Obamacare penalty

cnn ^ | August 13, 2013: 10:01 AM ET | Tami Luhby


To try to ensure that people sign up for coverage, the Affordable Care Act carries complex penalties for those who remain uninsured that could cost them hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Some 6 million people could be hit with these fines in 2016, forking $7 billion over to the federal government, according to the Congressional Budget Office. ...

Here's how the penalties will work:

Uninsured adults will either pay a flat fee for themselves and their children or pay a share of their income, whichever is greater. ...
Not every uninsured person will be subject to the penalty, however. In fact, 80% of the 30 million Americans expected to lack coverage in 2016 will be exempt from the mandate, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Among those exempted include: undocumented immigrants, Native Americans and those who earn too little to file tax returns. Also, people who would have to pay more than 8% of their income for health insurance and poor adults who live in states that are not expanding Medicaid also aren't subject to the penalty. The uninsured can also file for hardship exemptions.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...

Six types of people who are making America a worse place to live!


By Tim Dunkin

Living in the United States is great. You can say what you want, own what you want, shoot almost anything you want – it's like a dream that's too good to be true. It can fairly be said that the United States of America has offered an unprecedented level of prosperity and freedom to more people than just about any other political system in the history of the world. After all, we don't see any evidence that the ancient Sumerians were laying rubber in from of any Dairy Queens with any 1969 B.C. Mustangs, am I right? But yet – things are not what they ought to be. The bloom's coming off the rose, and a lot of folks are wondering why.

Well, I'm here to answer that question, or at least to wave my arms around in a distracting fashion so that you think I'm answering it. Why are our lives becoming more obnoxious and difficult? Why do Americans just seem...more annoyed than we used to? Well, find out below. We've got a lot of people in our country who are actively trying to make our lives more difficult, dangerous, or at least aggravating. These include...

#6. Gay Activists

They're just looking to redress past injustices that they have suffered at the hands of haters who just couldn't stop hating. The bane of right-wing conservatives and Christian fundamentalists everywhere, these guys are not going to stop until you accept them for what they are. Which is loud and proud. And usually running naked down a public road at a pride parade, trailing a dog leash and a string of balloons behind them.

How they're making America worse

Have any of you ever had a family member, maybe an uncle or a cousin or something, who got a bad break in life, and maybe you didn't treat them as nicely as you could have in the past? Then, when that family member starts seeing it turn around, instead of being willing to live and let live, he just wants to keep pushing you, guilt tripping you, doing everything he can to try to mau-mau you into giving him everything he wants, all because he had it rough in the past, and you weren't exactly helpful to him back then?

That's pretty much what gay activists are like.

Keep in mind that I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill gay person who isn't an activist and isn't intent on shoving his or her personal lifestyle choice into our faces. I'm talking about the folks who are "professional gays." They're the ones who are driving the whole gay "marriage" agenda, for instance. And these guys aren't content to simply have equal rights under the law. They don't want to live and let live – they want to make sure that every last one of you witnesses the power of this fully armed and operational rainbow-colored Death Star.

The first thing to keep in mind is that gays are that way because they chose to be. Yeah, yeah, I know that everybody and his brother getting government funding has tried to "prove" that homosexuality is genetic, but the results have been, uh, less than convincing (like those from that guy back in the 1990s who completely faked a study purporting to show that the hypothalamuses in gay men were structurally different from those in straights). Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, and there's really no good reason to think otherwise.


Another thing to keep in mind is that gays already have equal rights with everyone else. There's not a single constitutional right, for instance, that straights have that gays do not. Gays can own guns like anyone else. Gays can tell the cop who pulled them over to buzz off and get a search warrant like anyone else. Gays can post ridiculous, bigoted nonsense against Christians on internet forums just like anyone else can. Also – and more to the point – gays have the exact same access to the institution of marriage as straights. The exact same. A gay man can marry the same set of people that a straight man can. Not being able to marry another guy is no more a violation of his rights than it is for a straight man to not be able to marry a 13-year old girl, or a horse, or his co-worker's wife. Like it or not, it's the same deal.

But it gets better. As it turns out, many prominent activists supporting gay marriage are doing so with an ulterior motive – destroying marriage as an institution, in and of itself. This isn't just something that fundamentalist Christians are saying, either. For example, Sally Kohn, over at Salonsays as much herself when she rejects marriage as an outmoded social construct that should not be preserved. There really and truly are people in the gay marriage movement who are helping to drive it because they know it will deep-six marriage as an institution. Because we don't need a millennia-old stabilizing force that has been shown time and time again to curtail the violent impulses of masculine aggressiveness and help to socialize children to norms of civilized behavior, or anything.


You know how a lot of people don't like things like prayer in school because they say it's all about people who've made a certain lifestyle choice forcing other people to officially accept and codify that lifestyle choice? It's sort of the same thing here. When professional gay activists push for gay marriage, what they're essentially doing is forcing people who haven't made their lifestyle choice to grant official government recognition to their lifestyle, and doing so by warping one of the most basic and fundamental human institutions in the process. So the next time some left-winger thinks he has a "gotcha" and snidely asks you how two guys getting married hurts your own marriage, tell him that, yes, destroying marriage as an institution is, actually, going to have a pretty severe impact on your own marriage.

#5. "Civil Rights" Leaders

Now the average person might ask, "Who doesn't respect the brave, stolid souls who are even now standing up to the injustice of systematic racism in our foul, hateful country?" Well, actually the average person wouldn't ask that, but someone who confuses Jesse Jackson for a genuine civil rights leader like Martin Luther King, Jr. might. I mean, seriously, what kind of lowdown jerk is against civil rights???

How they're making America worse

What is consistently one of the things that Americans will say they most wished our nation had? More unity. Less division. Fewer people throwing their blocks at each other because of differences that adults ought to be able to overlook, or at least live with. America is a large and diverse country. There will be people who are different from you – who will look different, who will believe differently. Most people, to a greater or lesser degree, can deal with this. If people would stop focusing on bad things done in the past and start working together for a better future, it would be good news for all involved.

Yet, "civil rights" leaders like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and a host of imitators all across this country seem like they are set on making this not happen. When they're not shaking down businesses on spurious pretexts of "racism," they're actively encouraging rioting, violence, and division. It's almost like these guys want for Americans to be at each others' throats.

And why wouldn't they? Division and grievance-mongering are how these guys make the payments on their $50,000 Cadillacs.


Can you imagine what would happen to the empires these guys have spent decades building if Americans actually decided that they weren't going to let race divide them anymore, that we were going to look forward to a better future instead of dwelling in the mire of the past? Poof! These guys would be as broke as Greece after being denied their latest loan application by Germany, if Greece had to fend off multiple, concurrent paternity lawsuits.

Essentially, these guys – who have sort of arbitrarily declared themselves to be the "leadership" in the African-American community even though I don't think they ever had a vote on it – thrive on strife. They help to keep their own people down, stuck in the past, because it benefits them financially to do so. The more America starts becoming a post-racial society, the less relevance these guys have to just about anything. This fact was noted by none other than Shelby Steele, who observed that the civil rights establishment's failure to pressure the Zimmerman trial jury into finding Zimmerman guilty was proof that they were losing their mojo. And we should agree with Shelby Steele, because he's one of those smart, intellectual types who write for newspapers like the Wall Street Journal.


#4. Political Correctness Fetishists

We've all met this type before. No sense of humor. Sighs huffily whenever you tell jokes about Polish people. More often than not, they've managed to infiltrate their way into some sort of human resources position, or else they're the pet of the maddeningly liberal professor who just spent the entire last class period blaming global warming for the Spanish genocide against the peaceful, heartwarming Aztecs (did I say heart-warming? I mean heart-eating). They want you to be just like them, whether you want to be or not.

How they're making America worse

Nobody likes a bully. Yet that, ultimately, is what political correctness fetishists are, except that instead of punching kids half their size and taking their lunch money, they accuse people of "racism" or "homophobia," force them to take sensitivity training, and get to punish them when they complain about it.

There has to be an inverse relationship between the extent to which "PC" has infiltrated our society and the level of trust and respect people have for each other, or even how much they like one another. That's because when people are constantly being hectored about this, that, and the other, and are being accused of one of the many "-isms" and "-phobias" out there for essentially not conforming to the radically unrealistic lifestyle expectations of a few inordinately influential left-wing nuts, this is the kind of thing that doesn't sit well with people. People resent it. It's a form of psychological bullying, and people can recognize it for the psychopathic garbage that it is. People don't like having to guard their every word, their every email, even their every thought on the off-chance that some humorless ninny will be offended by something that normal, reasonably intelligent people wouldn't even think twice about.


Back in college, I had a good friend who was from one of the more shall we say...rustic...parts of our state. One time during a conversation, the subject of "Indians" came up, and my friend asked, "Dot or feather?" Okay, so this wasn't the most sophisticated way to frame his inquiry, but he meant the question genuinely. That was just his way of asking for clarification in the most concise manner possible. I thought it was kind of funny. He didn't mean anything bad by it – he was actually a pretty good guy and had a lot of sympathy for Native Americans because of the very real injustices that they have suffered for, well, pretty much all of American history. He wasn't being racist or derogatory. Yet, if he'd said that at just about any company in America, he'd have been in the unemployment line so fast it would have broken the sound barrier. No opportunity to explain what he meant, he'd have just been gone.

But at least the creepy political correctness types make life equally miserable for everyone, right? It's not like some people would get a pass on making blatantly racist or sexist comments, just because they belong to a certain race or gender, right? Certainly, nobody would get away with going on national television and calling Tea Party supporters "white crackers"? Oh wait.


Therein lies the other problem with PC – it's completely, utterly, selfishly hypocritical. Belonging to the right group gives you a free pass to break rules that other people would be crucified for. Charlie Rangel spitting up on 70% of the country like a bile-ingesting hyena? No problem. Meanwhile, Paula Deen sees her life destroyed for admitting she used the "n-word" back when Super Mario Bros. was cutting edge gaming technology, even though she has gone out of her way to repent of it and make the mandatory public contrition. You know how it was a bad, bad thing when law and society were deliberately stacked against minorities and other out-groups? It's just as much so now that they're trying to stack it against the rest of the people in the country.

#3. Anti-Gunners

The problem with guns in this country is crazy and spiraling out of control, right? Wacko gun nuts are murdering each other in the streets like they were Doc Holliday playing Modern Warfare 3, aren't they? And we've got to do something about it! These unfortunate souls really, truly believe that if left unchecked, the profusion of guns in the hands of the mouth-breathing chimpanzees known as "American citizens" will result in mass shootings every day. Surely these folks have our best interests at heart, and just want to help keep us safe, right?

How they're making America worse

Wrong. Gun control advocates are actually responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in this nation, and the victimization of millions more. There's really no other way to put it. The goal of the gun control movement is to disarm the American people. In their more candid moments, they will admit that they want to take away all guns from Americans. Many sincerely believe that the government should have a monopoly on the use of force.


In addition to all of those bothersome problems with getting this agenda to pass constitutional muster, the other snag in universal disarmament has been the fact that Americans are really attached to their guns. Americans like to hunt. Americans enjoy target shooting. Most of all, Americans like to be able to defend themselves and their families and homes against criminals who don't obey gun control laws (what a bunch of weirdoes, hunh?)

As it turns out, your average armed American citizens are pretty good at stopping crimes using their personal firearms. Some estimates range as high as 2.5 million crimes a year that are stopped by armed citizens. Stories abound daily of violent crimes that are prevented by guns in our hands. Intuitively, people can see and understand that the places where gun control is the tightest are also the places with the most crime, so the laws obviously don't work as advertised.

You may not know this, but the crime rate has actually been falling over the past two decades from its peak in the mid-1990s at the height of the so-called "Crack Wars" (which had nothing to do with plumbers, by the way). Not coincidentally, the mid-1990s were when many states started to loosen their restrictions on owning, carrying, and using firearms by citizens. States because to relax their concealed carry laws, and laws such as "stand your ground" and the castle doctrine started to be more common. As more people owned and carried guns, the crime rate dropped. Virginia is seeing this happen right now – people are buying guns in record numbers, and the state's crime rate is falling.

Now comes the fridge logic part to all of this: If more guns in the hands of armed civilians means less crime and less victimization, then it stands to reason that fewer guns in the hands of armed civilians means more crime and more victimization. That's basically what the gun control crowd is asking people to do – make themselves victims. The anti-gunners want to take us back to the bad old days when thousands of more Americans a year were robbed, raped, and murdered.


#2. "Moderate" Republicans

"C'mon now, let's be reasonable. Surely we can come to an amicable solution where we give you every last thing you want, and you pretend to be our friends for a couple of weeks, right?" These are the watchwords of the so-called "moderate" Republican, aka RINOs, aka worthless, spinal-deficient jackalopes. Given a disproportionate amount of face time on the nightly news, these guys have virtually become the face of the Republican Party to the point where millions of Americans are too embarrassed to be seen with an "R" on their voter registration card.

How they're making America worse

We've all heard the old saying, "Those who believe in nothing will fall for anything." In the case of "moderate" Republicans, it really is true. There's never been a hill that these guys have decided to die on in the pursuit of standing on principle. Shoot, there's never been a hill these guys have been willing to get a paper cut on if it was suffered while trying to do the right thing. With them, life is one long, poll-driven stampede from one momentarily popular political fashion statement to the next. Everything is relative, nothing is hard and fast. These folks couldn't even give you a straight answer if you asked them if we should ban the fiery sacrifice of living infants to a statue of Molech.


Ultimately, this is what makes "moderate" Republicans more exasperating and dangerous to this country even than liberal Democrats. With the lefties, at least you know where they stand. There's some consistency that you can expect out of them. Granted, they may be consistently stupid, wrongheaded, ill-conceived, and downright evil, but at least you know where you're at with left-wingers. With the establishment type Republicans, this isn't the case. One day, you're typical RINO may be strong on protecting the Constitution because he read a poll showing that Americans support gun rights and "stand your ground" laws or that they oppose allowing gays to force businesses to cater to gay marriages with which they disagree. The next day he's backtracking because he saw a push-poll from an advocacy group that said the opposite. It's kind of scary to think that many of our legislators likely decide how to vote on laws on the basis of which websites they happened to surf that morning.

The unfortunate result of having more folds than a laundry basket is that the RINOs help to facilitate all of the bad, horrible things the Democrats are doing to this country. Not only that, but by cooperating with them, these "moderate" Republicans help to give the Left political cover so that the blame can be spread around. Mitt Romney found this out to his detriment last year when he basically had to forfeit the widely unpopular ObamaCare as a political issue since, lo and behold, he was its spiritual godfather through his own MassCare program, from which many of the worst parts of the federal legislation were drawn.


From the Democrats' perspective, it's a win-win: They get what they want, and they have a bunch of Republican patsies who can take the fall for it while still being vilified as "right-wing" because they're Republicans and all that. Of course, they're allowed to get away with this because of...

#1. The Mainstream Media

Some nations have Baghdad Bob. Some countries have Tokyo Rose. We have ABCNNBCBS. Proving that we're not so different from other men, Americans also get to enjoy propaganda outlets that ruthlessly toe the government's information line (provided there's a Democrat in the White House).

How they're making America worse

Cynicism is a corrosive thing. It's like the sulfuric acid of thought processes. Believe me, I know. That's why it's such a bad thing, despite how much some people pride themselves on being cynical. When you have a country whose entire public discourse is marked by cynicism, that's not good for the long-term health of the nation. Yet, the mainstream media outlets in America seem like they were tailor-made to breed cynicism on the part of anyone who bothers to pay attention to current events.

Believe it or not, the problem is not that the mainstream media are almost monolithically left-wing (even Fox News is "conservative" only in the sense that Taco Bell is authentic gourmet Mexican cuisine). In and of its self, it's fine that these outlets contain and display their own biases. Indeed, the press has always been that way. Look across America and see how many newspapers contain the names "Republican" or "Democrat" in them to get an idea of how partisan the press has always been, especially back in the Industrial Age when mass newspaper printing was really taking off. You don't really need to guess where the Podunksville Democrat leaned politically – it's pretty much right there on the tin.

The problem – and what breeds the cynicism – is that these media outlets nevertheless try to maintain the fiction that they are neutral, impartial, unbiased, objective reporters of the truth. Nearly anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows this is not the case. Not when journalism schools crank out graduates who believe their job is to "change the world," rather than to "report about dancing dogs on Yahoo News." If pushed, most media personalities will adamantly maintain that they're simply fair-minded reporters of events, and that it's not their fault that these events just so happen to coincidentally substantiate the Left's self-contained bubble of reality. Most people don't buy it, which is why the media ranks so low on the list of trusted institutions in this country. Good grief, the banks are beating them!

Yet, we can't necessarily say that the media are lying – because dishonesty requires a knowledge that what you're saying is, or at least probably is, untrue. Rather, we can chalk up the disconnect to the lack of self-awareness on the part of most everyone in the mainstream media. These folks really and truly do not seem like they understand that there is a whole world around them that is made up of normal people who don't operate on the same set of assumptions that the media do.


So when Chris Matthew's thinks he's being cogent for apologizing "on the behalf of all white people" for the outcome of the Zimmerman jury's decision, he exhibits a complete lack of perception that most white people in the country agreed with that outcome – as did a not insignificant share of black Americans too. He knows that he and his media buddies – the only people he interacts with regularly who aren't refilling his water glass – were appalled by the decision, so he assumes that everyone else was as well. And on the occasions where these media types become dimly aware that other people in the country disagree with them, or even exist, well, who really cares what a bunch of slack-jawed yokels in flyover country think, anywise?


And therein lies another reason for our cynicism about the media – the faux elitism of the people who think they're informing us. This is America. We're supposed to be equal and stuff. Even if you're better than everyone else, you're not supposed to say so. Even if you're a Nobel-prize winning physicist who just discovered efficient cold fusion in between sessions of conducting Beethoven's 9th Symphony for the Boston Philharmonic and teaching Chuck Norris some pointers in kickboxing, your vote still counts for just as much as the guy who thinks the Honey Boo Boo family are sterling role models meriting the closest emulation.


With the media, you have people are usually wrong in just about everything they assert, and who have the nerve to talk down to the rest of us as if we didn't have any other outlets for information besides themselves. Regardless of your political inclinations, that just isn't cool.

© Tim Dunkin

NAACP

Triple "J"

Million Mask March

Thin Skin

Will Ferrell

America needs...

To Criticize

LOGIC?

YES SIR!

Biden

Too Large

Forgetfulness

Like YOU!

1994 vs. 2013

Race, Race, Race

A small sample!

I voted for this?

Getting a "PASS"

Keep America Strong

Outrageous

Hillary

Poster Girl

Laughing

OREGON: Govt. official: those who resist “gay” marriage must be “rehabilitated”

Fr Z's Blog (Once named: What Does The Prayer Really Say?) ^ | 8/18/2013 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf



"Hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought--thoroughly smash the rotting counterrevolutionary revisionist line in literature and art" - 1967
During the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976 – the time when the greatest damage was being done in the name of the Spirit of Vatican II) people were bullied into rejection of the sì jiù, the Four “Olds”: Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas.  The Four Olds were equated with monsters and demons, “cow ghosts and snake spirits”, that had to be purged.
The conforming hoards, taken up in a frenzy of fear and zeal, marched in the streets chanting slogans, pasting up posters, such as “Beat down the bad elements!”, “Beat down Jesus following!”, “Beat down the counter revolutionists!”.
Those who were perceived – usually through denunciation – to adhere to the Four Olds, counter-revolutionists, were seized.  The lucky ones were forced into public self-criticism, humiliation, physical abuse and re-education.  The less lucky were killed. Many “intellectuals” (just about any with more than a high school education) were sent to re-education camps in the country-side where they were “educated” by the purer proletariat through forced-labor and more self-criticism and abuse.
Re-education camps.
I read sometime today at the site of the National Organization for Marriage:
Oregon Official Says Bakers Who Support Traditional Marriage Need ‘Rehabilitation
Despite the fact that Oregon bakers saw a huge boom in business after standing up for their belief in marriage (proving that many other Oregonians feel the same way), Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian says the state government’s goal is to “rehabilitate” them:
A lesbian couple filed a formal complaint against “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” in Portland after the owners – Aaron and Melissa Klein – declined on the basis of their Christian faith to provide services for a lesbian “wedding.”
“To say that this couple needs to be ‘rehabilitated’ for believing and practicing the values on which this nation was founded is entirely beyond the pale,” says [Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association].
“This sounds like Stalinist Russia or China under Mao, where those who thought for themselves were forced under government coercion into re-education camps. This is not the America that was given to us by our Founders.”
Matt Barber [vice president of Liberty Counsel Action] says the “rehabilitation” remark connotes some kind of ailment, mental illness or physical ailment. “You know, we rehabilitate criminals,” he explains. “Are they saying thatChristianity is criminal here and we have to rehabilitate those who embrace the Christian sexual ethic? That’s what this official in Oregon is saying.”
Wildmon wonders what might follow if the bakery owners refuse to be “rehabilitated.” -One News Now
Please say a prayer for Archbishop Alex Sample, who has the heavy pastoral mandate in the Archdiocese of Portland.
Let’s be clear about something: we are not yet being truly persecuted, in the strong, physical sense.  We are not in N. Korea or China.  Our churches are not yet being systematically burned, as in Egypt.  Our priests and bishops are not yet being hunted down and “disappeared”.
But the storm clouds are gathering.  Soft-persecution is rising.
Pò sì jiù!