Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Veterans Blast NY Times Op-Ed That Stereotypes Them as Potential Domestic Terrorists

newsbusters ^
By Matthew Balan Created 04/16/2014 - 5:41pm  An unsigned Wednesday article in the Military Times spotlighted how veteran groups have rebuked the New York Times for an opinion piece that played up the recent shootings at two Jewish community centers as apparent proof that white veterans are susceptible to joining hate groups. Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America hammered the liberal newspaper for its "sensational, slanderous and incredibly offensive" attack on his peers. In the Wednesday op-ed, author Kathleen Belew cited a controversial 2009 Department of Homeland Security report that hyped the potential for "right-wing extremists...to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities," and targeted conservatives for their criticism of its findings. Belew even threw the race card into the mix: ...This short document outlined no specific threats, but rather a set of historical factors that had predicted white-supremacist activity in the past — like economic pressure, opposition to immigration and gun-control legislation — and a new factor, the election of a black president....The agency was "concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities." The report raised intense blowback from the American Legion, Fox News and conservative members of Congress. They demanded an apology and denounced the idea that any veteran could commit an act of domestic terrorism. The department shelved the report, removing it from its website. The threat, however, proved real....That Mr. Miller was able to carry out an act of domestic terror at two locations despite his history of violent behavior should alarm anyone concerned about public safety. Would he have received greater scrutiny had he been a Muslim, a foreigner, not white, not a veteran? The answer is clear, and alarming. After summarizing the New York Times op-ed, the unnamed Military Times correspondent extensively quoted from Rieckhoff, who slammed the Times for including a editorial cartoon-style graphic with Belew's piece that shows a silhouette of a man in uniform raising his arm in a Nazi salute: "Both the title — 'Veterans and White Supremacy' — and an accompanying graphic joining service members with KKK members are shameful," Rieckhoff said in a statement to Military Times on Wednesday. "And the piece relies on weak research and sweeping generalizations about veterans. Especially coming right after so much irresponsible journalism that surrounded the [April 2] Fort Hood shooting, this is stunning and sad to see." "How could the New York Times publish such a hurtful piece?" Rieckhoff said. "Veterans deserve answers from the Times — and an apology. After more than a decade of sacrifice, no veteran should have to open the newspaper and read an op-ed linking them to hate groups. In contrast to this op-ed, we should focus on telling the story of veterans doing amazing, inspiring work across the country and addressing the real challenges veterans face, including high rates of suicide and unemployment." The anonymous writer later cited several other veterans' critiques of the New York Times piece specifically, and the media's coverage of the military in general, and noted how left-of-center website The Huffington Post had to apologize after playing up acts of violence by veterans: Kerry Patton, a former Air Force staff sergeant who writes for Ranger Up's blog "The Rhino Den," said stories like Belew's opinion piece are typical of how the media and academia view veterans. "As veterans, we need to be concerned that this is unfolding, that people are talking like this, in this nature, about us when the great majority of us are the epitome of upstanding citizens," he said on Wednesday. After the most recent shooting at Fort Hood, the Huffington Post ran a map showing where veterans had committed violent crimes in the U.S., but it took the graphic down and issued an apology after being lambasted by critics who argued the data was out of context.... Marine veteran Paul Szoldra, who writes for Business Insider, said he feels veterans are the last group in the U.S. that can be stereotyped. "I think a lot of it has to do with misunderstanding," said Szoldra, who left the Marine Corps as a sergeant. "What's happening in these recent pieces is basically you have some journalists who aren't covering the beat; they don't really know what’s going on in the military; they just see a statistic and they are kind of like, 'Oh, there's something here; here's a story; it's a really interesting story.' They don't even realize just how terrible a story like that Huffington Post [story] looks."

Molecules Can Store Solar Energy Indefinitely!

Mashable ^ | 04/16/2014 | TODD WOODY
The next big thing in solar energy could be microscopic.  Scientists at MIT and Harvard University have devised a way to store solar energy in molecules that can then be tapped to heat homes, water or used for cooking. The best part: The molecules can store the heat forever and be endlessly re-used while emitting absolutely no greenhouse gases. Scientists remain a way's off in building this perpetual heat machine but they have succeeded in the laboratory at demonstrating the viability of the phenomenon called photoswitching. "Some molecules, known as photoswitches, can assume either of two different shapes, as if they had a hinge in the middle," MIT researchers said in statement about the paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry. "Exposing them to sunlight causes them to absorb energy and jump from one configuration to the other, which is then stable for long periods of time." To liberate that energy all you have to do is expose the molecules to a small amount of light, heat or electricity and when they switch back to the other shape they emit heat. "In effect, they behave as rechargeable thermal batteries: taking in energy from the sun, storing it indefinitely, and then releasing it on demand," the scientists said. The researchers used a photoswitching substance called an azobenzene, attaching the molecules to substrates of carbon nanotubes. The challenge: Packing the molecules closely enough together to achieve a sufficient energy density to generate usable heat. It appeared that the researchers had failed when they were only able to pack fewer than half the number of molecules needed as indicated by an earlier computer simulation of the experiment.
(Excerpt) Read more at mashable.com ...

Think tanks see Common Core as yet another woe for Democrats this cycle; GOP-e are you listening?

Coach is Right ^ | 4/16/14 | Kevin "Coach" Collins
According to the left leaning Brookings Institute, Common Core is turning into a serious problem Democrats will have to deal with during this coming election cycle. The socialist’s dream program has ignited a growing backlash from furious parents who don’t want their children exposed to Common Core because it is inefficient at best and inappropriately loaded with sexual content at worst. Given that Common Core has been adopted in forty five states it will be difficult for most of those who have supported it to dodge responsibility for the mess they have created. Sizing the situation up, a Brookings spokesman has commented, “Those populist candidates are running against the Common Core, and they are going to say...
(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...

Little-Known Legal Challenge That Could Torpedo Obamacare

ABC News ^ | Apr 14, 2014 12:55pm | Ariane de Vogue
While the Supreme Court considers one challenge to a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a federal appeals court located just blocks away is contemplating a separate challenge that could have much more dire consequences for the future of the law. […] The conflict at the center of the Halbig (vs. Sebelius) case (and three other challenges across the country) has to do with tax subsidies granted to those who seek to obtain insurance from the exchanges. The ACA grants the credits to qualifying individuals in order to defray the cost of the insurance. Millions of Americans are expected to take advantage of the subsidies. But challengers to the law dispute who is eligible for the tax credits. On one side, the IRS interprets the law as authorizing the agency to grant tax credits to individuals using either the state or federal exchanges. On the other side are challengers to the law who question that interpretation. The challengers say that while the text of the law allows the subsidies for the state-run exchanges, there is nothing in the law that says the subsidies should be available for the federal exchanges. …
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...

Unfortunately...

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The BUTTinski

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More acts of love

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Ducking and Dodging Skills

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WTF is a job?

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Under Obama!

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The Decay

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If You're...

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The Kerry Magic

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Killing Negros

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Hank Aaron

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Acts of Love

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Just a thought!

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The Bright Side!

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GREED!

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Contempt Club

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Backfire!

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86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers!

CNS News ^ | 4/16/2014 | Terence P. Jeffrey
Buried deep on the website of the U.S. Census Bureau is a number every American citizen, and especially those entrusted with public office, should know. It is 86,429,000.That is the number of Americans who in 2012 got up every morning and went to work — in the private sector — and did it week after week after week.These are the people who built America, and these are the people who can sustain it as a free country. The liberal media has not made them famous like the polar bear, but they are truly a threatened species.It is not a rancher with a few hundred head of cattle that is attacking their habitat, nor an energy company developing a fossil fuel. It is big government and its primary weapon — an ever-expanding welfare state.First, let's look at the basic taxonomy of the full-time, year-round American worker.In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 103,087,000 people worked full-time, year-round in the United States. "A full-time, year-round worker is a person who worked 35 or more hours per week (full time) and 50 or more weeks during the previous calendar year (year round)," said the Census Bureau. "For school personnel, summer vacation is counted as weeks worked if they are scheduled to return to their job in the fall."Of the 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers, 16,606,000 worked for the government. That included 12,597,000 who worked for state and local government and 4,009,000 who worked for the federal government.The 86,429,000 Americans who worked full-time, year-round in the private sector, included 77,392,000 employed as wage and salary workers for private-sector enterprises and 9,037,000 who worked for themselves. (There were also approximately 52,000 who worked full-time, year-round without pay in a family enterprise.)At first glance, 86,429,000 might seem like a healthy population of full-time private-sector workers. But then you need to look at what they are up against.The Census Bureau also estimates the size of the benefit-receiving population.This population, too, falls into two broad categories. The first includes those who receive benefits for public services they performed or in exchange for payroll taxes they dutifully paid their entire working lives. Among these, for example, are those receiving veteran's benefits, those on unemployment and those getting Medicare and Social Security.The second category includes those who get "means-tested" government benefits — or welfare. These include, for example, those who get Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, public housing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Women, Infants Children.Let's examine this second category first, which the Census Bureau reports as "anyone residing in a household in which one or more people received benefits from the program."In the last quarter of 2011, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 82,457,000 people lived in households where one or more people were on Medicaid. 49,073,000 lived in households were someone got food stamps. 23,228,000 lived in households where one or more got WIC. 20,223,000 people lived in households where one or more got SSI. 13,433,000 lived in public or government-subsidized housing.Of course, it stands to reason that some people lived in households that received more than one welfare benefit at a time. To account for this, the Census Bureau published a neat composite statistic: There were 108,592,000 million people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on "one or more means-tested program."Those 108,592,000 outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private-sector workers who inhabited the United States in 2012 by almost 1.3 to 1.This brings us to the first category of benefit receivers. There were 49,901,000 people receiving Social Security in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 46,440,000 receiving Medicare. There were also 5,098,000 getting unemployment compensation.And there were also, 3,178,000 veterans receiving benefits and 34,000 veterans getting educational assistance.All told, including both the welfare recipients and the non-welfare beneficiaries, there were 151,014,000 who "received benefits from one or more programs" in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subtract the 3,212,000 veterans, who served their country in the most profound way possible, and that leaves 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers.The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.How much more can the 86,429,000 endure?As more baby boomers retire, and as Obamacare comes fully online — with its expanded Medicaid rolls and federally subsidized health insurance for anyone earning less than 400 percent of the poverty level — the number of takers will inevitably expand. And the number of full-time private-sector workers might also contract.Eventually, there will be too few carrying too many, and America will break.

Mission Accomplished

Protection

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Wilson and Obama … 100 years apart, but so alike!

The Washington Times ^ | 4/15/2014 | Charles Hurt
When Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Revenue Act of 1913, it probably sounded like a good idea.  Most people would pay less in taxes and the prices of everyday goods would drop, he promised. And the rich would — finally! — start paying their fair share.  In those days, tax collection was a highly diffuse business with various states and localities collecting taxes at various rates. The federal government mostly skidded by on exorbitant and uneven tariffs, and on booze and tobacco taxes. This was always tough and disorganized business for the federal government. Those hardships became especially acute for the federal government when it wanted to launch wars thousands of miles away on other continents. And, anyway, who could question the motives of Woodrow Wilson? He was a celebrated professor with a sterling Ivy League background who ran for president on the promise to govern sensibly and never go to war. He maintained a grand worldview and would later be awarded the Nobel Peace prize in the category of “world organizing” on his gallant promises to establish lasting peace to end World War I, which would become mankind’s last war. What could possibly go wrong? If Vice President Joseph R. Biden had been alive back then, he could have described Wilson as “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man!”
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

Earth Daze

Townhall.com ^ | April 16, 2014 | John Stossel
"The heavens reek, the waters below are foul ... we are in a crisis of survival." That's how Walter Cronkite and CBS hyped the first Earth Day, back in 1970. Somehow we've survived since then, and most of life got better, although I never hear that from the worrywarts. Of course, some things got better because of government: We passed environmental rules that got most of the filth out of the air and sewage out of lakes and rivers. Great -- but now we're told that we're in big trouble because greenhouse gases cause global warming. I mean, climate change. "Crop yields are down, deaths from heat are up," says the Los Angeles Times. The "Worst Is Yet to Come," warns The New York Times. This hype is not new. Alarmists always fool the gullible media. They once fooled me. A few years back, we were going to be killed by global cooling , overpopulation, pesticide residues, West Nile virus, bird flu, Y2K, cellphone radiation, mad cow disease, etc. Now it's global warming. Reporters don't make these scares up. The recent hype about global warming comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Most of its members are serious scientists. But reporters don't realize that those scientists, like bird flu specialists, have every incentive to hype the risk. If their computer models (which so far have been wrong) predict disaster, they get attention and money. If they say, "I'm not sure," they get nothing. Also, the IPCC is not just a panel of scientists. It's an intergovernmental panel. It's a bureaucracy controlled by the sort of people who once ran for student council and are "exhilarated by the prospect of putting the thumb of the federal government on the scale." Actually, that wasn't a quote from a global warming alarmist. It's from anti-marijuana alarmist and former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joe Califano. But it's the same crisis mindset. Scientists who disagree, who are reluctant to put their thumbs on the government scale, don't feel welcome in the IPCC. It's possible climate change may become a problem. But even if industrialization brings warming, we've got more important problems. On my TV show this week, statistician Bjorn Lomborg points out that "air pollution kills 4.3 million people each year ... We need to get a sense of priority." That deadly air pollution happens because, to keep warm, poor people burn dung in their huts. Yet, time and again, environmentalists oppose the energy production most likely to make the world cleaner and safer. Instead, they persuade politicians to spend billions of your dollars on symbolism like "renewable" energy. "The amazing number that most people haven't heard is, if you take all the solar panels and all the wind turbines in the world," says Lomborg, "they have (eliminated) less CO2 than what U.S. fracking (cracking rocks below ground to extract oil and natural gas) managed to do." That progress occurred despite opposition from environmentalists -- and even bans in places like my stupid state, New York, where activists worry fracking will cause earthquakes or poison the water. Do environmentalists even care about measuring costs instead of just assuming benefits? We spend $7 billion to subsidize electric cars. Even if America reached the president's absurd 2015 goal of "a million electric cars on the road" (we won't get close), how much would it delay warming of the Earth? "One hour," says Lomborg. "This is a symbolic act." Symbolic. Environmentalism is now more religion than science. It even comes with built-in doomsday stories to warn people about what will happen if they disobey -- a bit like the movie "Noah" that's in theaters now. While environmentalists lament that our time is running out, environmental indicators get better, technological improvements reduce carbon dioxide, water gets cleaner for millions, and human life expectancy goes up. This Earth Day, instead of attacking those who sell fossil fuels, I will applaud them for overcoming constant environmental hysteria -- while providing affordable energy that will allow us to fight poverty, which is the real threat to the people of the world.