Friday, June 19, 2015

FCC votes to subsidize broadband connections for low-income households!

BetaNews ^ | June 18, 2015 | Mark Wilson 

Today the FCC voted in favor of updating its Lifeline program to include broadband. This would mean that households surviving on low incomes would be able to receive help paying for a broadband connection. It might not be as important as electricity or water, but having a broadband connection is seen as being all but essential these days.
From helping with education and job hunting, to allowing for home working, the ability to get online is seen as so vital by some that there have been calls for it to be classed as a utility. The Lifeline program has been running since the 80s, and originally provided financial help to those struggling to pay for a phone line. It was expanded in 2008 to include wireless providers, and it is hoped that this third expansion will help more people to get online.
Announcing the decision to modernize the program, the FCC points out that less than half (48 percent) of households with an income under $25,000 had an internet connection at home. While it could be argued that internet access is possible through smartphones, the commission reveals that half of low income consumers have their mobile connections suspended or cancelled due to financial difficulties.
Broadband has become essential to participation in modern society, offering access to jobs, education, health care, government services and opportunity. Unfortunately, income remains a significant barrier to broadband adoption.
The broadband subsidy would remain at $9.25 and there are plans to "reduce waste, fraud and abuse". A third party would be used to verify the eligibility of households, and it would be required to retain documentation to allow for easier auditing. This would help to take pressure off ISPs, something that could be improved further by the use of subsidies being delivered directly to customers through the use of vouchers.

Among the Faithful Conservatives, Cruz Shines!

The Weekly Standard ^ | June 18, 2015 | Michael Warren 

It’s no accident that Texas senator Ted Cruz sounds like a minister on the stump. His father, Rafael, is an evangelical pastor, after all. And as the Republican presidential candidate displayed before the faith-focused crowd at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference in Washington this week, his pastoral pedigree may be paying off.
“The Word tells us,” Cruz said Wednesday afternoon, rounding back toward the podium like a preacher returning to the Bible during a sermon. “ ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh the morning.’ And I’ll tell you this.”
Cruz’s voice became more intense and purposeful. “Morning is coming,” he said. “Morning is coming.”
It was by far the best received address among the three presidential candidates speaking at the conference Wednesday at Washington’s Omni Shoreham hotel. Cruz had been preceded by his fellow senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, and they all hewed closely to their stump speeches. Paul and Rubio performed well, though the latter stumbled over a few frequent lines that he ought to have down pat. But Cruz’s soaring rhetoric, his focus on religious liberty, and his natural affinity for the crowd made him a standout on the conference’s first day....
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Democrats Underestimate Scott Walker at their Own Peril

Twin Falls Times Idaho ^ | June 18, 2015 | Gene Lyons 

Economically speaking, all 237 GOP presidential candidates are selling the same Magic Beans.
Everybody knows the script. Tax cuts for wealthy “job creators” bring widespread prosperity. Top off Scrooge McDuck’s bullion pool, and the benefits flow outward to everybody else. The economy surges, budget deficits melt away, and the song of the turtledove will be heard in the land.
Almost needless to say, these “supply side” miracles have never actually happened in the visible world. State budget debacles in Kansas and Louisiana only signify the latest failures of right-wing dogma. Hardly anybody peddling Magic Beans actually believes in them anymore. Nevertheless, feigning belief signifies tribal loyalty to the partisan Republicans who will choose the party’s nominee.
However, with everybody in the field playing “let’s pretend,” a candidate needs another way to distinguish himself. I suspect that Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin may have found it. See, Walker won’t just put money back in “hardworking taxpayer’s” pockets.
Like a latter-day Richard Nixon, Walker will also stick it to people they don’t like: Lollygagging schoolteachers, feather-bedding union members and smug, tenured college professors who think they’re smarter than everybody else. If he lacks charisma, there’s an edge of ruthlessness in Walker’s otherwise bland demeanor that hits GOP primary voters right where they live.
No less an authority than Uncle Scrooge himself — i.e. David Koch of Koch Industries, who with his brother Charles has pledged to spend $900 million to elect a Republican in 2016 — told the New York Observer after a closed-door gathering at Manhattan’s Empire Club that Walker will win the nomination and crush Hillary Clinton in a general election “by a major margin.”
Viewed from a distance, the determination of prosperous, well-educated Wisconsin to convert itself into an anti-union, right-to-work state like Alabama or Arkansas appears mystifying. To risk the standing of the University of Wisconsin system by abolishing academic tenure, as Walker intends, is damn near incomprehensible.
Attack one of America’s great public research universities for the sake of humiliating (Democratic-leaning) professors over nickel-and-dime budgetary issues? Do Wisconsinites have no clue how modern economies work?
Maybe not. But Walker’s supporters definitely appear to know who their enemies are, culturally speaking. Incredulity aside, it would be a mistake not to notice the craftiness with which he’s brought off the transformation. Not to mention that Walker’s won three elections since 2010 in a “blue” state that hasn’t supported a Republican presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan.
Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes don’t mean much by themselves, but throw in Michigan and Ohio, Midwestern states also trending similarly, and you’ve definitely got something.
Act 10, the 2011 law that took away collective bargaining rights for many public employees in Wisconsin — except, at first, for police and firefighters — brought crowds of angry teachers (also mostly Democrats) to the state capitol in Madison for weeks of angry demonstrations. As much as MSNBC was thrilled, many Wisconsinites appear to have been irked.
In the end, the state ended up saving roughly $3 billion by shifting the funding of fringe benefits such as health insurance and pensions from employer to employee, costing the average teacher roughly 16 percent of his or her compensation. Mindful of budget shortfalls, the unions had proposed negotiations, but that wasn’t enough for Gov. Walker.
For the record, Act 10 was an almost verbatim copy of a bill promoted by the Arlington, Virginia-based American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a think tank largely funded by, you guessed it, the brothers Koch.
Four years ago, a documentary filmmaker caught Walker on camera telling wealthy supporters that the new law was just the beginning. “The first step is, we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public-employee unions,” he said, “because you use divide-and-conquer.”
“If we can do it in Wisconsin, we can do it anywhere — even in our nation’s capital,” Walker wrote in his book, “Unintimidated,” notes Dan Kaufman in the New York Times Magazine. Elsewhere, Walker has boasted that as president, he could take on foreign policy challenges, because “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
Ridiculous, of course, but it plays.
Meanwhile, rueful trade unionists who endorsed Walker in 2010 because they never imagined that having vanquished the women’s union he’d come after the ironworkers and the electricians in their pickup trucks, are crying the blues. Divided, they’ve been conquered.
So right-to-work it is: Salaries are already diminished, with job security, pensions, health and safety regulations inevitably to follow.
More bullion for Scrooge McDuck’s pool.
So now it’s the professors’ turn. Walker, a Marquette dropout, has described his new law as “Act 10 for the university.” Tenure’s a dead letter in cases of “financial emergency ... requiring program discontinuance, curtailment, modification or redirection.”
So who gets redirected first? Left-wing culture warriors or climate scientists? Hint: Scrooge is a fierce climate-change denier.
Meanwhile, Democrats underestimate Scott Walker at considerable peril.


Sexual harassment complaints at State Department soar under Clinton, Kerry (nearly tripled)!

The Washington Times ^ | Thursday, June 18, 2015 | Guy Taylor and John Solomon 

In a disclosure that could have political implications for election campaigns, the State Department’s chief watchdog reported Thursday that worker harassment complaints have nearly tripled inside the department during the tenures of Hillary Rodham Clinton and John F. Kerry — but the department still doesn’t have mandatory training for all employees.
“A significant increase in reported harassment inquiries in the Department of State over the past few fiscal years supports the need for mandatory harassment training,” the department’s inspector general warned in an oversight report that reviewed the agency’s Office of Civil Rights.
The report states that formal harassment claims rose from 88 cases in 2011, during Mrs. Clinton’s third year as America’s top diplomat, to 248 in 2014, Mr. Kerry’s second year as secretary. Hundreds more informal complaints were lodged during the same period.
Last year, 43 percent of the new complaints alleged harassment or unfair hirings or promotions, while 38 percent raised sex discrimination or reprisals, the report said.
While the increase in claims is dramatic, OIG officials maintained that it may actually be attributed to growing knowledge and awareness among employees about sexual harassment issues and the procedures for reporting it.
But Thursday’s report also appeared to chide current Secretary of State Kerry and Mrs. Clinton — who served as secretary from January 2009 through early 2013 — for failing to order department managers to require that all employees receive both initial and regularly updated training on such issues.
In addition to roughly 13,000 career foreign service officers, the department employs some 11,000 contractors and more than 45,000 locally hired employees at embassies and diplomatic posts in nearly every corner of the world.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

America: We had a good run while it lasted! ^ | 6/19/2015 | Burt Prelutsky 

Every time you turn around these days, there’s a new Clintonian scandal in the news. Among conservatives, the scandals raise hackles, while among liberals, they don’t even result in a raised eyebrow.
It’s unfortunate that liberals only care what you say, not what you do, but, unfortunately, that’s the only way it can work with that crowd. Once you sign on to be a Democrat, the contract demands that you never dare question why, for instance, Barack Obama has kept all of his documents under lock and key or why Bill Clinton has never served time for sexual assault, accepting bribes or fudging on his income taxes.
So long as politicians on the left utter the customary pieties about urban blacks, illegal aliens, Muslims, public schools, homosexuals, unions and single women, while blaspheming religious people, corporations, gun owners and conservatives, they will continue to hold their own in national elections.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Hawaiian public schools must teach contraception, sodomy in sex ed classes!

LifeSiteNews ^ | 6/18/15 | Dustin Siggins 

HONOLULU, HI, June 18, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A state education board ruling will force all public schools in Hawaii to teach "comprehensive sex education" – but one activist told LifeSiteNews that they haven't even figured out what they're going to teach yet.
"Hawaii's BOE voted to change the policy for sex ed without having any curricula to show parents," said Susan Duffy of the Hawaii Parent Coalition. "Neither were they able to provide parents with some idea as to what the standards would be. A couple of parents asked but were told that they could only 'testify' and not ask questions of the board."
Duffy says that the new standards, in addition to requiring Planned Parenthood-approved education on contraceptives and abortion, will have a section on sodomy.
A Planned Parenthood spokesperson said she was "elated" with the changes. “This ensures that every Hawaii public school student will receive accurate, complete and life-saving information,” said Sonia Blackiston, director of education and training for Planned Parenthood of Hawaii.
It is not just the change in education standards that is leading to parental criticism of the board; it's also the procedures surrounding the program's instructions. According to Civil Beat reporter Jessica Terrell, Hawaii had previously been "one of 10 states that did not mandate that students be offered sex education or taught about HIV and AIDS."
Prior education standards had given the parents the option to "opt-in" to programs, while the new ones default to student involvement unless parents pull their children.
Terrell reports that a number of parents and board members differed on what the new sex education program will look like. Parents expressed concern that sexual ideologies were being promoted, and that students would be encouraged to engage in sexual activity. Board members pushed back against such concerns, but both Terrell and Duffy note that the curricula is not yet known – even by the board.
One of the options is the controversial Pono Choices curriculum, which had parents in an uproar earlier this year.

Teenage pregnancies have declined since the 1990s, and teens are less likely to engage in sexual relations in Hawaii compared to other states. However, the state also has the 10th-highest rate of teenage pregnancy in America, and the 12th-highest chlamydia infection rate.
Duffy noted that "Hawaii just made news for its low abortion rates" and "lower rates of teen pregnancy. And all this has occurred under the current abstinence based policy. Why would anyone fix a policy that seems to be working?"
In short, says Duffy, "There was no burning crisis here in our state with regard to sex education. There's been no clarion call by the community for a change to the policy. In fact, my guess is that most parents here have no idea what's just happened. They will today because it is on the front page of this morning's paper but they really won't understand the full impact."
The state's Board of Education has been previously criticized for not disclosing details of its sex education program. In January 2014, American Life League's Rita Diller reported that two elected officials were denied access to information on the programs.
 The full changes can be seen here.

Five day 'fasting' diet slows down ageing and may add years to life! ^ | Sarah Knapton 

A five day diet which mimics fasting could slow down ageing, add years to life, boost the immune system and cut the risk of heart disease and cancer, scientists believe.
The plan which restricts calories to between one third and a half of normal intake has been developed by academics at the University of Southern California.
But now they have found that a calorie-restricted diet comprising of vegetable soups and chamomile tea has the same affect. And dieters only need to follow the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) for five days a month, eating what they like for the rest of the time.
“Strict fasting is hard for people to stick to, and it can also be dangerous, so we developed a complex diet that triggers the same effects in the body,' said Professor Valter Longo, USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute.
“I've personally tried both, and the fasting mimicking diet is a lot easier and also a lot safer.
“I think based on the markers for ageing and disease in humans it has the potential to add a number of years of life but more importantly to have a major impact on diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other age-related disease.”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Loonies


Chocolate Lab


Jenner's Cat!


The weakest link!


Just want it!


Define Racist




This is progress?


Democrat Fake




Old School


I identify with...


Whiter than Wonder Bread!


Out of sight!