Thursday, January 31, 2013

More laws

A reader's comment in today's Houston Chronicle....

A person steals guns, (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), shoots and kills his own mother (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), transports these guns loaded (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), brings guns onto school property (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), breaks into the school (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), discharges the weapons within city limits (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), murders 26 people (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), and commits suicide (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

Let's pass another Law, right?


If Democrats are serious about trying to turn Texas blue, they should get a gander at a just-released poll of Lone Star State voters that found 67 percent of Republican respondents support the impeachment of President Obama.

Of greater concern for liberals: the poll was conducted by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling.

As a whole, Texans opposed impeachment 50 percent to 39 percent.

But in the crosstabs, PPP broke this down by party affiliation with Democrats opposed 83 percent to 12 percent, Republicans in favor 67 percent to 18 percent, and Independents opposed 54 percent to 32 percent.

Amazing that even 12 percent of Democrats support impeachment.

Also interesting was the racial breakdown concerning this issue with Whites supporting impeachment 48 percent to 41 percent, Blacks opposed 80 percent to 15 percent, and Hispanics opposed 58 percent to 30 percent.

Again, it's amazing that even 15 percent of Blacks would support his impeachment.

More here

Banning diversity programs

A Tennessee state senator has introduced a bill that would abolish diversity programs, ban diversity officers and end preference based on race, ethnicity and gender on college campuses in the Volunteer State.

Republican Jim Summerville calls his slate of legislation the "Civil Rights Initiative of 2013," reports Knoxville NBC affiliate WBIR-TV. In addition to forbidding diversity preference programs, the proposal would prohibit the state from keeping any statistics based on race, gender or ethnicity, or using those criteria for hiring, except as mandated by federal law.

"It’s a little demeaning, I think, to classify people in those categories," Summerville told WBIR. "They might wonder ‘Am I here because I’m any good or am I here to fill a quota?’ So I think it’s time to let this go."

More here

War on Fox

There is no war on terror for the Obama White House, but there is one on Fox News.

In a recent interview with The New Republic, President Obama was back to his grousing about the one television news outlet in America that won’t fall in line and treat him as emperor. Discussing breaking Washington's partisan gridlock, the president told TNR,"If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News...for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it."

Alas, the president loves to whine about the media meanies at Fox News. To him, these are not people trying to do their jobs. No, they are out to get him. What other motive could a journalist have in holding a president accountable? Why oh why do Ed Henry and Chris Wallace insist on asking hard questions? Make them stop! ...

Recently, the White House has kept Fox News off of conference calls dealing with the Benghazi attack, despite Fox News being the only outlet that was regularly reporting on it and despite Fox having top notch foreign policy reporters.

They have left Chris Wallace’s "Fox News Sunday" out of a round of interviews that included CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS for not being part of a "legitimate" news network. In October 2009, as part of an Obama administration onslaught against Fox News,White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s "This Week" that the Fox News Channel is "not really a news station" and that much of the programming is "not really news."

More here

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Women on the front lines

What happens when women are fully integrated into combat? Fortunately, we have a great example: Canada. Overall, women account for 14 per cent of all jobs in the Canadian Forces, a slightly lower percentage than in the U.S. As a result of a human-rights decision, front-line combat jobs were opened to women in 1989. Yet today, despite strenuous recruiting efforts, women hold just 2.4 per cent of these jobs. Their commanding officers praise their competence but treat them differently, by shielding them from combat. According to a Wall Street Journal report this week, the widespread impression among Canadian female soldiers – much to their frustration – is they are used "only sparingly." Men serving next to women also exhibit a counterproductive battlefield trait: protectiveness. They want to carry women’s gear and keep them out of harm’s way. As one male soldier told the Journal, "That brother-sister protective thought was always in the back of your mind."

In the real world, few enlisted women want to be on the front lines. Like a lot of men (but more so), they join up for the free education and career training, and would really rather not get anywhere near combat. The drive for full combat integration comes from female officers who need front-line experience to build their careers, as well as from a persistent band of activists who have succeeded in making the U.S. military hypersensitive to charges of discrimination.

Nowhere is the military ethos more challenged than over issues of sex, pregnancy and motherhood. The high rate of pregnancy among females in the U.S. military is a big taboo and an operational nightmare. According to a study reported this week by Reuters, more than 10 per cent of active-duty U.S. military women had an unintended pregnancy in 2008 alone – a rate that one of the study’s authors called "really shocking." But it shouldn’t be. One study of a brigade operating in Iraq, cited by commentator Linda Chavez, found that female soldiers were evacuated at three times the rate of male soldiers – and that 74 per cent of them were evacuated for pregnancy-related issues.

More here

Selective Service

For as long as women have been excluded from combat, they’ve also been exempt from having to register for the Selective Service System, the database kept just in case all hell breaks loose and the U.S. must reintroduce the draft. But now that women are being admitted into combat units, the justification for making only young men register is on shaky ground.

"It would seem a little strange to have nearly every job in the military open to women and not also require them to register for Selective Service," said David McKean, legal director at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta briefed reporters at the Pentagon on the policy change, he had little immediate insight into what his decision meant for Selective Service requirements.

"With regards to Selective Service, you know, that’s not our operation," Panetta said. "I don’t know who the hell controls Selective Service, if you want to know the truth. But, you know, whoever does, they’re going to have to exercise some judgment based on what we just did."

Looking to eliminate some of the confusion, the Selective Service System, which is an independent executive agency, posted a notice on its website immediately after Panetta’s briefing:

"Attention: Even though the secretary of defense has decided to allow women in combat jobs, the law has not been changed to include this. Consequently, only men are currently required to register by law with Selective Service during ages 18 thru 25. Women still do not register."

Panetta was right that the Pentagon doesn’t have the authority to mandate that women ages 18 through 25 register for Selective Service, as their male counterparts must do today. Only Congress can change that law. But the Pentagon is not totally off the hook.

More here

Social Security

There were 159.4 workers for each Social Security recipient in 1940.

There were 16.5 workers for each Social Security recipient in 1950.

There were 5.1 workers for each Social Security recipient in 1960.

There were 3.7 workers for each Social Security recipient in 1970.

There were 3.2 workers for each Social Security recipient in 1980.

There were 3.4 workers for each Social Security recipient in 1990.

There were 3.4 workers for each Social Security recipient in 2000.

There were 3.3 workers for each Social Security recipient in 2005.

There were 1.75 workers for each Social Security recipient in 2011.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


While the mainstream press routinely reports that President Obama is riding high and that Republicans are reeling, Gallup tells a rather different story about the popularity of our newly reelected president. Across Gallup’s entire history of presidential job-approval polling — dating back to 1945 — every president but one has had a higher job-approval rating in the January following his reelection than Obama has. No president has had a lower rating than Obama’s.

Gallup shows Obama's average approval rating so far this January as being just 52 percent. President George W. Bush's average approval rating in January 2005, immediately following his reelection, was also 52 percent. This can hardly be a source of satisfaction for Obama, who ran against Bush not once but twice — without Bush’s being on the ticket either time.

But it gets worse. President Clinton beat Obama by 8 percentage points, as Clinton’s average approval rating in January 1997 (immediately following his reelection) was 60 percent. President Reagan beat Obama by 11 points, as his average approval rating in January 1985 was 63 percent. President Nixon beat Obama by 7 points, as his average approval rating in January 1973 was 59 percent. President Eisenhower beat Obama by 21 points, as his average approval rating in January 1957 was 73 percent. And President Truman — who barely beat Thomas Dewey— beat Obama by 17 points, as Truman’s average approval rating in January 1949 was 69 percent.

More here

Explosion at Iranian nuclear facility

Israeli intelligence officials have confirmed that a major explosion has rocked an Iranian nuclear facility, according to a report Monday in The Times of London.

The British daily cited officials in Tel Aviv who said the blast occurred last week, as originally reported on the website

Iran is not believed to have evacuated the area surrounding the Fordo plant, according to the same Israeli sources, who said that an investigation into the blast was ongoing.

"We are still in the preliminary stages of understanding what happened and how significant it is," one Israeli official told the London Times. He did not know if the explosion was "sabotage or accident" and refused to comment on reports that Israeli aircraft were seen near Fordo at the time of the blast.

On Sunday, two senior Iranian officials dismissed reports of the explosion.

Deputy head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Seyyed Shamseddin Barbroudi said there had been no explosion at the Fordo facility whatsoever, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

More here

Nazis in South America

All it took was a transposed number -- 1974 instead of 1947 -- for Gustav Wagner to be allowed to stay in Brazil. It was a mere slip of the pen by the man who had translated the German document into Portuguese that prompted Brazil's supreme court to deny West Germany's request to extradite the former SS officer. And yet Wagner stood accused of complicity in the murders of 152,000 Jews at the Sobibor extermination camp in German-occupied Poland.

Josef Mengele, the notorious concentration camp doctor at Auschwitz, also benefited from mistakes and delays because French officials with Interpol, the international police force then headquartered in Paris, refused to conduct international searches for Nazi war criminals. And, in the case of SS Colonel Walther Rauff, who helped developed mobile gas chambers used to kill Jews, it was an official with the German Foreign Ministry who sabotaged his own government's extradition request to Chile for 14 months.

As a result of these breakdowns, all three of these Nazi thugs were never tried in German courts after the war. Wagner, the "beast" of Sobibor, died in São Paulo, Mengele drowned in Brazil, and Rauff died of a heart attack in Chile. Of the hundreds of guilty Nazi officials and mass murderers who had fled to South America after the surrender of Nazi Germany, only a handful of them were ever held to account.

How could so many criminals manage to go unpunished, even though they were clearly guilty? It's a conundrum that mystifies academics to this day. Was it because of the lack of cooperation by West German officials? The lack of interest on the part of South America regimes? Were there even secret ties and collaboration between Nazis on both sides of the Atlantic?

Historian Daniel Stahl has conducted research in European and South American archives in the process of writing a new book entitled "Nazi Hunt: South America's Dictatorships and the Avenging of Nazi Crimes." The work supplies a certain and disgraceful answer to what has long been suspected: that there was a broad coalition of people -- across continents and within the courts, police, governments and administrations -- that was unwilling to act or even thwarted the prosecution of Nazi criminals for decades.

More here

Monday, January 28, 2013

She's in the army now

Sending women into combat, like the end of the ban on official homosexuality, has been met with worried remarks about its impact on the "warrior culture". But the new military that the left has been building for some time now is not interested in warriors; it wants peacekeepers.

The old army fought for a nation. The new one fights for vague concepts such as human rights or international law. Its goals are as intangible as those of the ideology it serves. It doesn't fight actual enemies, but concepts and social problems. It fights against climate change, poverty and obesity. It fights for education, tolerance and the right of everyone to the gender of their choice. It isn't really the army, it's the hall monitors of the United Nations, the State Department, NATO and every liberal group on the planet.

Their ideal new soldier is not a warrior; he speaks three languages, appears non-threatening and can direct refugees, hand out aid to them and quickly pick up the local culture and religion. He is uncritical when witnessing child molestation, human sacrifice or any other quaint local custom. He is willing to die, not for his country, but to win the hearts and minds of the locals. He will not fire in self-defense if there is a single unarmed man, woman or child within twenty miles.

American soldiers have played the role of peacekeepers before, but in the new military that is their only role. They are the Peace Corps, riding in under a U.N. flag when the video game boys back across the ocean have used remote drones to take out that portion of the enemy force that didn't manage to find a human shield in time. Their mission is to set up generators, dig wells, patrol roads and smile a lot, unless smiling is not approved of by the local culture.

More here
The Left's idea of a soldier

Proportional method of counting votes

GOP lawmakers in several battleground states have proposed a proportional method for awarding votes, rather than the current winner-take-all system. But some within the party object.

A concerted Republican effort to alter the balance of power in presidential elections by changing the rules for the electoral college is facing significant hurdles — including from some GOP officials in the affected states.

All but two states currently award electoral votes under a winner-take-all system. Plans to replace that with a proportional system are under consideration in half a dozen states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia and Michigan.

All were presidential battlegrounds that President Obama carried last fall. But their state governments remain under Republican control, and some GOP lawmakers are pushing changes that would make it harder for Democrats to prevail in future contests.

More here

Voting-bloc migration

After Reconstruction, the Republican Party thought it would own the votes of African-Americans -- forever. But in 1927, a deluge of rain turned the Mississippi River into "an angry dark ocean." Levees burst. Homes, crops and towns were washed away. Hundreds died. Tens of thousands fled for high ground.

Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover organized the national flood relief effort. His quick and decisive action earned the eternal gratitude of many Southern voters -- but not all. Whites were rescued with alacrity. Black families were largely left to fend for themselves.

Some African-Americans were forced into squalid refugee camps. Once there, many were dragooned to rebuild levees -- sometimes at the point of a gun.

Hoover shrugged off the complaints of black leaders. However, when running for president the following year, he promised to aggressively address racial injustices in the South. He didn't.

And as Hoover sat in the Oval Office, thousands of African-Americans fled the South for "big city" jobs up North. When the 1932 presidential election rolled around, they backed the Democratic candidate, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A great migration, political as well as geographic, was in full swing.

Is President Obama on the verge of sparking another big voting-bloc migration?

More here

Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's all downhill from here

Mark Steyn on the inaugaration...."I know some of you may have a distressingly partisan view of the festivities in Washington. You may not be on board with all the jubilation. So look at it this way: Today marks the midpoint of the Obama presidency. In other words, this is hump day. It's all downhill from here!"

Things you didn't know....Who was the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities who purposely suppressed knowledge of Martin Luther King’s plagiarism of his doctoral thesis? (Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Richard Cheney)

Does anyone besides me ever wonder why government files on Martin Luther King are sealed until 2027? And does anyone besides me doubt that in 2027 there will be a 100 year extension set in place?

This article presents clear and convincing data which demonstrates the fact that the implementation of the Common Core educational standards, already in place in no less than 47 states, will result in the further dumbing down of America as well as serving to brainwash our children into accepting the globalist Agenda 21 plan for the deindustrialization of America, the elimination of civil liberties and a future which will parallel the darkest days of the medieval feudal period. Story

Helping arm the Muslim Brotherhood....Four F-16 fighter jets left the U.S. this morning, bound for Egypt as part of a foreign aid package critics say should have been scrapped when the nation elected a president who has called President Obama a liar and urged that hatred of Jews be instilled in children. Story

Late last week, progressive radio host Mike Malloy did not mince words when describing conservative rival Rush Limbaugh. While going after the conservative host, Malloy said, "This son of a bitch personifies — if ever evil could be rolled into a huge fat mass, this is it!" He continued on to say that if Limbaugh ever achieved power, he’d reign like a totalitarian dictator of the worst kid: "This guy, this Limbaugh, this is one of the most vile human beings ever to live! If Limbaugh had the power he would open gas chambers! If Limbaugh had the power, he would line up people up against the wall and execute them!" Story

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), speaking on "MSNBC Live" on Jan. 16 said that "some of the southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome" when it comes to gun control.

Yoko Ono speaks..."Fracking kills. And it doesn’t just kill us, it kills the land, nature and eventually the whole world."

Hundreds of disgruntled Chinese workers in a factory in Shanghai held about twenty of their managers hostage for several days. The workers were angry over a strict two-minute rule on bathroom breaks and other injustices. When the police intervened, the managers — more than half of whom were Japanese — were released.

Nevada Democrat threatens to kill fellow Democrat colleague. Story

Quote of the day..."Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Newark, Stockton ..., the great experiment in civil rights failed. The streets of many major cities are controlled by extremely violent black and hispanic street gangs, who have a virtually monopoly on gun violence and murder. Yet our politicians are obsessed by elderly white men at gun shows."

Labiaplasty — the procedure that clips off portions of a woman's labia minor (the inner lips of her vulva) so that she looks more like a pristine porn star — is the most common "vaginal rejuvenation" surgery. One Southern California doctor says his most popular procedure is "The Barbie," which whacks out the entire labia minora so that only the outer labia are visible, as smooth as plastic. Where did we go wrong? Story

In just 10 years the number of children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, rose dramatically, a large new study suggests. Overall, about 5 percent of nearly 843,000 kids ages 5 to 11 were diagnosed between 2001 and 2010 with the condition that can cause impulsive behavior and trouble concentrating. But during that time, rates of new ADHD diagnoses skyrocketed 24 percent – jumping from 2.5 percent in 2001 to 3.1 percent in 2010. Story  (ADHD is just another method of maligning males and is an attempt to control them.)

John Kerry, 1971...."They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam."

Progressives have a new sanitized name for Socialists and Communists....Communitarian.

A security guard in the Brazilian town of Rio Claro arguably had the worst day ever after he reportedly shot his penis off with an illegal gun. To make matters worse, he also faces charges for illegal possession of a firearm. Story

A unique Restaurant review from Australia.

A new survey by Paris-based Ipsos research company on Thursday showed 74% of French respondents believe the Muslim religion is ''intolerant'' and incompatible with their social values. Source

Illegal immigrants and prison inmates received more than $120 million in Medicare services from 2009-2011 despite federal law that makes them ineligible for the program, according to two new reports from the HHS inspector general. Story

Hillary asks...."What difference does it make?" (she is truly scary)

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that with women now eligible to fill combat roles in the military, commanders must justify why any woman might be excluded – and, if women can’t meet any unit’s standard, the Pentagon will ask: "Does it really have to be that high?" Story

And so it goes.

Obamacare sticker shock

A California insurance broker, who sells health plans to individuals and small businesses, told me that she’s prepping her clients for a sticker shock. Her local carriers are hinting to her that premiums may triple this fall, when the plans unveil how they’ll billet the full brunt of Obamacare’s new regulations and mandates.

California is hardly alone. Around the country, insurers are fixing to raise rates by double digits. They’re privately briefing politicians in Washington on what’s in store. Those briefings are leaving a lot of folks up and down Pennsylvania Avenue jumpy.

What’s gives? President Obama, after all, said he’d prevent these sorts of prices. His new health law gave state regulators the power to block premium increases. It even created a federal agency to oversee insurance rates. But these bureaucrats are spectators to the price hikes. They’re mere wallflowers. Even in the bluest of states.

Their silence is the best evidence of who is culpable for the increases. It’s the policymakers. It’s Obamacare. The President is accepting the premium hikes as an allowable consequence of his healthcare policies.

More here

Turning Texas blue

National Democrats are taking steps to create a large-scale independent group aimed at turning traditionally conservative Texas into a prime electoral battleground, crafting a new initiative to identify and mobilize progressive voters in the rapidly-changing state, strategists familiar with the plans told POLITICO.

The organization, dubbed "Battleground Texas," plans to engage the state’s rapidly growing Latino population, as well as African-American voters and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that have been underrepresented at the ballot box in recent cycles. Two sources said the contemplated budget would run into the tens of millions of dollars over several years - a project Democrats hope has enough heft to help turn what has long been an electoral pipe dream into reality.

At the center of the effort is Jeremy Bird, formerly the national field director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, who was in Austin last week to confer with local Democrats about the project.

In a statement to POLITICO, Bird said the group would be "a grass-roots organization that will make Texas a battleground state by treating it like one."

"With its diversity and size, Texas should always be a battleground state where local elections are vigorously contested and anyone who wants to be our commander in chief has to compete and show they reflect Texas values. Yet for far too long, the state’s political leaders, both in Austin and in Washington, D.C., have failed to stand for Texans," said Bird, who recently founded a consulting firm, 270 Strategies. "Over the next several years, Battleground Texas will focus on expanding the electorate by registering more voters — and as importantly, by mobilizing Texans who are already registered voters but who have not been engaged in the democratic process."

More here

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fascist economics

John Mackey, the feisty CEO of Whole Foods, says Obamacare is "fascist economics" and he regrets having said it, even though he insists — correctly — that it’s a textbook case of Mussolini-style corporate statism. Private property continues to exist, but the state controls all business. That’s why the fascists called their totalitarian system a "third way" between unbridled capitalism and Soviet-style Communism.

Back in the twenties and early thirties, before German National Socialism became the archetypal "fascist" doctrine, Mussolini’s call for a new kind of national economy intrigued many serious thinkers and leaders, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Mr. Mackey was also right to regret using the term "fascist," because it invokes so many passions and stereotypes that it hinders, rather than advances, understanding. But "fascism" was a very successful mass movement in Western Europe for an entire generation, and it flourishes in many countries today. It behooves us to understand why it was so popular, and how most of our politics differ from it. We have fascist economics, but certainly not fascist politics or foreign policy in America today, even though there are echoes of it every so often.

More here

Mexican mafia

A vicious, racist, father-and-son thug team tight with the Mexican Mafia, Santiago "Chico'' Rios and his deaf adult son Louis "Lil' Chico" Rios, have been sentenced to long prison terms for pouring drugs into and out of suburban Azusa -- and making it their No. 1 duty to "cleans[e] African-Americans out of the city.''

In a big win for gang detectives, the bigoted, drug-peddling Rios, 48, got 20 years in federal prison and his equally noxious son, 22, got 10 years. The pair roamed Azusa scaring the bejesus out of people, with their faces, heads and necks tattooed with "Azusa.'' In court, they were bedecked in chains:

According to City News Service:
When he pleaded guilty, the elder Rios admitted that the gang had the goal of the cleansing Azusa of blacks. He also admitted that, in order to drive blacks out of the city, he and other members of the gang threatened, intimidated and attacked blacks at their homes, on the streets, at convenience stores and elsewhere, because of their race.
Federal Judge Gary A. Feess, who sentenced the father-son pair, said the gang's number one motive was "the cleansing of African-Americans out of the city of Azusa.''

Will troubled Azusa have a chance, now, to return to some semblance of normalcy, especially for its black residents who never knew when the nasty Rios bunch would descend upon them while they innocently tried to shop and live their lives?

More here

Brain damage caused the 60s

As part of my continuing series on the causes of the 60s, let’s consider Kevin Drum’s revival ("America's Real Criminal Element: Lead") in Mother Jones magazine of the recurrent theory that lead poisoning leads to the decline of civilization.

When I was young, it was popular to blame the decline and fall of the Roman Empire on the ancients’ fondness for this soft and versatile metal. (Have you ever noticed that nobody is much interested in how the Roman Empire managed to last so long?)

That exposure to this heavy metal can be dangerous to humans has been recognized since the days of Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder. But lead was so useful in so many ways that more than a few American municipalities proudly named themselves after their lucrative lead resources. Leadville, Colorado is America’s highest elevated incorporated city. There are several Galenas, one of which is a tourist town in Illinois. There’s a Smelterville, which sounds like a city made up for The Simpsons but is actually a real place in Idaho.

Ironically, Drum stands the dominant narrative about the 60s on its head. Instead of the 60s representing enlightened emancipation from the shackles of 50s conformist culture, Drum finds the 60s, with their rising rates of crime and illegitimate births, to be the result of brain damage.

More here

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Roe v. Wade

As Roe v. Wade and its allowance for unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy turns 40 today, the woman behind the infamous Supreme Court case has pledged her life to overturning it.

Norma McCorvey never wanted an abortion — she was seeking a divorce from her husband — but young, pro-abortion feminist attorney Sarah Weddington used McCorvey’s case as a means of attempting to overturn Texas’ law making most abortions illegal. Weddington took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which invalidated every pro-life state law in the nation protecting unborn children and the rest is history.

But most Americans don’t know that McCorvey, who was "pro-choice" on abortion at the time, is now a pro-life advocate. She is now dedicated to reversing the Supreme Court case that bears her fictitious name, Jane Roe.

In a video, McCorvey explains her effort to obtain a legal abortion in the 1970s when facing an unplanned pregnancy. However, she has never had an abortion and now realizes that her court case was the biggest mistake of her life and currently fights to stop abortion.

"Back in 1973, I was a very confused twenty-one year old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy," she says in the ad. "At the time I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion."

"I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie…. I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name," McCorvey says.

More here

Ghost cape

Chinese researchers have revealed a 'ghost cape' that can make one object appear to look like another.

The team from Southeast University in Nanjing, China say their technique is far simpler that other invisibility devices, because instead of making an object disappear entirely, it makes it look like something else.

The technique scatters incoming light to create two 'ghost' images either side of the cloaked object.

'The creation of wave-dynamic illusion functionality is of great interests to various scientific communities,' the researchers led by Tie Jun Cui at Southeast University in Nanjing, China, say.

They say their research could have 'unprecedented applications in the advanced-material science, camouflage, cloaking, optical and/or microwave cognition, and defense security, etc.'

The team has already built a prototype device to show off their theory.

Depending on the construction of the cloaking device, the shape and other properties of the ghost images can be altered.

More here

Canada and guns

One persistent suggestion in the post-Newtown conversation about gun control is a law requiring the registration of all guns, even so-called "long guns" like the rifle Adam Lanza used in the school killings. Lost in the discussion: Canada tried it and gave up, discovering like several other nations that attempting to identify every gun in the country is an expensive and ultimately unproductive exercise. Criminals, of course, don’t register their guns. And even law-abiding citizens tend to ignore registration when it comes to long guns mostly used for hunting and target shooting.

Fans say a central registry would make it easier for police to track down weapons used in crimes, and perhaps even make gun owners more responsible. With all the guns registered, owners could be held liable if their guns turn up at a crime scene and they failed to report them as stolen.

Universal registration drives NRA types nuts: The more paranoid among them fear it would be a tool for government agents to seize their guns, while the less so worry that anything that has been registered also can be taxed.

Maybe they shouldn’t worry. Universal registration has been tried in several countries, most recently in Canada. The program turned out to be far more expensive than expected and didn’t have any discernable impact on crime, perhaps because long guns are used so rarely by criminals in the first place. Canada’s gun homicide rate, according to the handy statistics at, has held steady since the late 1990s.

Canada passed a strict gun-control law in 1995, partly in reaction to a 1989 shooting at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique with a semiautomatic rifle. The law required universal regulation of guns, including rifles and shotguns. Proponents said the central registry would give law-enforcement agencies a powerful new tool for tracking guns used in crimes. They also claimed it would help reduce domestic violence and suicide.

More here

Hurry up and die

Japan's new government is barely a month old, and already one of its most senior members has insulted tens of millions of voters by suggesting that the elderly are an unnecessary drain on the country's finances.

Taro Aso, the finance minister, said on Monday that the elderly should be allowed to "hurry up and die" to relieve pressure on the state to pay for their medical care.

"Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government," he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. "The problem won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die."

Aso's comments are likely to cause offence in Japan, where almost a quarter of the 128 million population is aged over 60. The proportion is forecast to rise to 40% over the next 50 years.

The remarks are also an unwelcome distraction for the new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, whose first period as Japan's leader ended with his resignation after just a year, in 2007, partly due to a string of gaffes by members of his cabinet.

Rising welfare costs, particularly for the elderly, were behind a decision last year to double consumption (sales) tax to 10% over the next three years, a move Aso's Liberal Democratic party supported.

The 72-year-old, who doubles as deputy prime minister, said he would refuse end-of-life care. "I don't need that kind of care," he said in comments quoted by local media, adding that he had written a note instructing his family to deny him life-prolonging medical treatment.

More here

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Soft touch

A Migrant mum thanked the UK yesterday for letting her claim £14,500 a year in benefits.

Natalija Belova, 33, told The Sun how she spurns full-time work — yet can afford foreign holidays and buys designer clothes.

The Lithuanian said: "British benefits give me and my daughter a good life."

She has milked soft-touch Britain for £50,000 in benefits and yesterday said: "I simply take what is given to me."

Overjoyed Natalija told how she lives a life of luxury thanks to our "strange" system, declaring: "It’s important to have nice things and good holidays."

The graduate, who became a single mum after she arrived here, rakes in more than £1,000 a month in handouts — £14,508 a year — to fund her love of designer clothes, jaunts to the Spanish sun and nightclubbing.

She bragged: "I have a lovely, fully-furnished flat and money to live properly on.

"There’s no chance we’re leaving. British benefits give me and my daughter a good life."

More here


San Jose State University in California is teaming up with Udacity, the for-profit pioneer of massive open online courses (MOOCs), to start a pilot program that will create three introductory mathematics courses online that can be taken for credit from San Jose State if the enrollee chooses. The courses sound like a godsend to high-school and community-college students, plus anyone else who would like to learn some college-level math in a course bearing the imprimatur of a well-respected state university. The courses will be free for non-credit enrollees, and students who take them for credit will pay only $150 per course, a bargain compared with the $450 to $750 that they would pay for a brick-and-mortar credit-bearing course.

There is one group, however, that isn't very happy about the California State University system's experiment with MOOCs in order to cut education costs: the professors and instructors who teach at brick-and-mortar colleges and universities. A January 15 report in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the San Jose-Udacity joint venture drew dozens of comments. Nearly all the comments were negative, and many of them displayed the panic that the mere mention of MOOCs instills in the minds of faculty members who sense--and rightly so--that their jobs may be rendered obsolete by cheap, standardized educational offerings that can teach students more efficiently and effectively than the grad students, adjuncts, and tyro professors who typically teach introductory courses. One commenter accused the MOOC system of seeking to "devalue the labor of university instructors." Another contended that Udacity, founded in 2012 by Stanford computer-science professor Sebastian Thrun, will be essentially ripping off San Jose State by keeping 49 percent of any revenues the project generates after costs are covered. Still other commenters complained that the project would exploit "cheap student labor" (in the form of mentors for the for-credit enrollees) and pay San Jose State professors only $15,000 apiece to develop the pilot courses.

The main beef, though, was that Udacity is a for-profit venture--and professors seem to be categorically opposed the idea of profits. "It almost treats students like they're industrial products," a professor interviewed by the Chronicle complained.

One hopes that cooler heads will eventually prevail. Introductory math isn't rocket science (and the professors developing the courses will retain their intellectual-property rights in them). Such courses currently have a reputation for being poorly taught--or taught in huge classes where the professors have little contact with individual students in the first place. The after-cost revenues that Udacity--and San Jose State--will generate are likely to be modest, since so far most MOOC courses, including Udacity's are taken for free by non-credit students. And it is students who stand to benefit most, in terms of better-taught basic courses that cost them less. It is then perhaps not surprising that it was California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, concerned about mounting student debt, who first contacted Thrun and set the Udacity-San Jose State project in motion. Higher education is supposed to serve students, not professors, after all.


We are becoming Europe

It’s a fair bet that every American who’s travelled outside the United States has heard people complaining about their societies becoming "Americanized." By this, they usually mean the proliferation of things such as American television and fast-food chains (though that rarely stops them from watching Hollywood films or eating McDonald's).

More recently, however, millions of Americans have begun wondering if our own country is becoming "Europeanized."

In one sense, to say that America is becoming like Europe seems odd. After all, when it comes to its dominant political ideas, religious culture, institutions and history, America is obviously Europe’s child.

That, however, is not what Europeanization means today. Instead it’s about the spread throughout America of economic expectations and arrangements directly at odds with our republic’s founding. These lead to the prioritizing of economic security over economic liberty; to the state annually consuming close to 50% of GDP; to the ultimate economic resource (i.e., people) aging and declining in numbers; to extensive regulation becoming the norm; and perhaps above all, to a situation in which economic incentives lie not in work, economic creativity and risk-taking, but rather in access to political power.

Unfortunately there’s a great deal of evidence suggesting America is slouching down the path to Western Europe. In practical terms, that means social-democratic economic policies: the same policies that have turned many Western European nations into a byword for persistently high unemployment, rigid labor markets, low-to-zero economic growth, out-of-control debt and welfare states, absurdly high tax levels, growing numbers of well-paid government workers, a near-obsession with economic equality at any cost and, above all, a stubborn refusal to accept that things simply can’t go on like this.

It’s very hard to deny similar trends are becoming part of America’s economic landscape. States like California are already there — just ask the thousands of Californians and businesses who have fled the land of Nancy Pelosi.

More here

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The nature of reality, et al

Quantum mechanics is real. It's spooky as hell, but it's real. Without its microscopically small probabilistic effects, we wouldn't have superconductors, lasers, and many forms of computing and cryptography. But despite our laboratory certainty, what's less clear is the role it plays in the fundamental nature of reality. And as a recent survey published by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna has revealed, quantum physicists are still very divided on how it's to be interpreted. Story

The Secretary of the Interior is resigning in March. Ken Salazar was often photographed wearing a cowboy hat. Michelle Malkin called him the "loathsome cowboy" because of his anti-job policies.

Southern Cal was picked #1 in the football preseason poll but finished with a 7-6 record after losing to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

Rush Limbaugh on the Demoncrats...."Practically every piece of legislation that comes from the Democrat Party is rooted in your inability to run your own life, and that comes from their looking at you and seeing incompetence and inability. You have no wisdom. You don't know how to make the proper judgments in life. The way to understand this is to understand that they don't love you. You are to be used to advance their power."

Ann Coulter says we don't have a gun problem, we have a demographic problem. Story  

Headline of the day...."If Gun Control Works then Chicago Ought to be Safe."

Runner-up headline of the day..."Cross-dressing meth priest liked sex in rectory" Story

A jounalist is caught in a web of fabrication.

Outgoing Labor Secretary Hilda Solis regrets that more people were not hired under her leadership.She believes the Obama administration "did not get the kind of support we needed originally when he took office for the American Recovery Act funds" and blamed "a small group known as the tea party movement" for not engaging with the president and "hurting the American public, our economy, and the future of our country."

One of the world’s major gun manufacturers is threatening to pull its plant out of New York over a gun bill pushed by Mayor Bloomberg. Remington Arms Company, in a recent letter to Gov. Cuomo, said it may be forced to bail on the Empire State if a law requiring bullet casings to carry unique markings is enacted. Story

It was a mind-blowing political tableau: a co-founder of liberal bulwark MoveOn sitting in her Berkeley living room, laughing, sharing homemade blueberry scones and occasionally agreeing with a national Tea Party figure. Story

Hmmmm. Germany has begun repatriating its foreign gold reserves, which are stored in vaults in Paris, London, and the United States.

Attorney General Eric Holder said earlier this week that the government will consider "imposing tough penalties on gun traffickers who help funnel weapons to dangerous criminals" while talking about gun control to U.S. mayors. (apparently he's never heard of Fast and Furious)

Former NFL quarterback and Great Falls football star Ryan Leaf has been transferred from a substance-abuse treatment center in Lewistown to the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge. Story

Largest revolver ever made. 28mm (1.1 inch) cartridges.

Federal prosecutors have filed a fraud charge against Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway, just a few days before she leaves the state's highest court in a scandal involving the sale of a Detroit-area home and suspicious steps taken to conceal property in Florida. Story

Twenty children and six adults were killed in Newtown, Conn., last month, and the media quickly, and justifiably, descended to tell the tragic story. In the first few weeks of January in Chicago, 25 people have already been murdered. Most were young black and Hispanic men, murdered by other young black and Hispanic men. In Chicago, it’s Newtown every month. But the media haven’t converged on Chicago this month. Story

More on Obama's fake Social Security Number here.

Faces of meth before and after.

They eat horses, don't they....Our industrialised food chain throws up the occasional surprise: mad cows, deadly eggs, cornflakes that look like Jesus. A few scraps of stray DNA from a meat-producing animal should be the least worrying component of budget processed nuggets, but when news broke that "beef" burgers sold in Tesco, Lidl, Iceland, Dunnes Stores and Aldi had been found to contain horse DNA, Britain and Ireland got up on their hind legs, the Today programme demanded answers and Twitter was alive with "no-added Shergar" jokes. Story

According to Bill O'Reilly....In Portugal, they have legalized all drugs. The result: Drug-related homicides have increased by 40 percent. Drug overdoses are up by 30 percent. And in Switzerland, drug-related deaths doubled and the health care system was overwhelmed after heroin was made legal in Zurich. The law was rescinded.

Will 2013 be a better year? A number of economic commentators have been saying the worst is behind us. I think they are wrong, and here is why. In most major countries, including the United States, government is growing faster than the private sector. As Mitchell's Golden Rule explains, when the private sector grows faster than government, prosperity increases, and when government grows faster than the private sector, misery increases. Story

During President Obama’s first term, the number of persons taking federal food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), increased by approximately 11,133 persons per day. When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the number of SNAP recipients was 31,939,110. By October 2012, the latest month reported, they had jumped to 47,525,329. Story

Four more years, Lord, four more years.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Times is shocked

After betting the foreign-policy store on the Muslim Brotherhood as the new wave of Arab democracy in the Middle East, the Eastern Establishment and the Obama administration seem ready to cut their losses. Syria already is a failed state — no alternative government can replace the odious Basher al-Assad, and Assad cannot reunify the country — and Egypt is a failed state in waiting. The latter observation should have been obvious to anyone with a pocket calculator.

It’s no news that Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist, anti-Semitic monstrosity. The disgusting eruption of Jew-hatred from Morsi in 2010 is nothing new. What is new is the fact that the Obama administration and the New York Times are shocked — shocked — to discover the Morsi is a rabid Jew-hater. The Times wrote today:
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s scurrilous comments from nearly three years ago about Zionists and Jews, which just came to light, have raised serious doubts about whether he can ever be the force for moderation and stability that is needed. That kind of pure bigotry is unacceptable anywhere, anytime. But it is even more offensive in public discourse, coming from someone who became the president of a major country.

The sad truth is that defaming Jews is an all too standard feature of Egyptian, and Arab, discourse. Teaching children to hate and dehumanizing one’s adversaries is just the kind of twisted mentality that fuels the conflicts that torment the region.

Obama’s top intelligence people have been assuring us that the Brotherhood is a moderate, secular, heterogeneous organization and a prospective American partner, for example, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper last year. Republican congressmen like Michele Bachmann who objected to administration coddling of the Brotherhood have been vilified as extremists by the mainstream of their own party. On the strength of a 2010 video tape long known to specialists, the establishment has suddenly discovered that this moderate, secular organization is a nest of Jew-hating vipers.

What just happened?

More here

35 shocking statistics

If you want to frighten Baby Boomers, just show them the list of statistics in this article. The United States is headed for a retirement crisis of unprecedented magnitude, and we are woefully unprepared for it. At this point, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are reaching the age of 65 every single day, and this will continue to happen for almost the next 20 years. The number of senior citizens in America is projected to more than double during the first half of this century, and some absolutely enormous financial promises have been made to them. So will we be able to keep those promises to the hordes of American workers that are rapidly approaching retirement? Of course not. State and local governments are facing trillions in unfunded pension liabilities. Medicare is facing a 38 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years. The Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years. Meanwhile, nearly half of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. The truth is that I was being incredibly kind when I said earlier that we are "woefully unprepared" for what is coming. The biggest retirement crisis in history is rapidly approaching, and a lot of the promises that were made to the Baby Boomers are going to get broken.

The following are 35 incredibly shocking statistics that will scare just about any Baby Boomer...

Read it all here

Gold standard

The world is moving step by step towards a de facto Gold Standard, without any meetings of G20 leaders to announce the idea or bless the project.

Some readers will already have seen the GFMS Gold Survey for 2012 which reported that central banks around the world bought more bullion last year in terms of tonnage than at any time in almost half a century.

They added a net 536 tonnes in 2012 as they diversified fresh reserves away from the four fiat suspects: dollar, euro, sterling, and yen.

The Washington Accord, where Britain, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, and others sold a chunk of their gold each year, already seems another era – the Gordon Brown era, you might call it.

That was the illusionary period when investors thought the euro would take its place as the twin pillar of a new G2 condominium alongside the dollar. That hope has faded. Central bank holdings of euro bonds have fallen back to 26pc, where they were almost a decade ago.

Neither the euro nor the dollar can inspire full confidence, although for different reasons. EMU is a dysfunctional construct, covering two incompatible economies, prone to lurching from crisis to crisis, without a unified treasury to back it up. The dollar stands on a pyramid of debt. We all know that this debt will be inflated away over time – for better or worse. The only real disagreement is over the speed.

More here

Underfunded pension plans

Major U.S. cities emerged from the financial crisis with increasingly underfunded pension and retiree health-care plans, according to a study released Tuesday.

Cities employing nearly half of U.S. municipal workers saw their pension and retiree health-care funding levels fall from 79% in fiscal year 2007 to 74% in fiscal year 2009, using the latest available data, according to the Pew Center on the States. Pension systems are considered healthy if they are 80% funded.

The growing funding gulf, which the study estimated at more than $217 billion for the 61 cities in the study, raises worries about local finances at a time when states are also struggling to recover from the recession. Property-tax revenue dipped during the housing crisis, straining city finances amid a weak national economy.

While the recession may have exacerbated pension woes, it didn't cause them in most instances, according to the Pew Center, a division of the Pew Charitable Trusts that focuses on state policy. The cities that are the worst off, according to the most recent data, didn't make their full required contributions to their pension systems before the financial crisis.

More here

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Biden fail

Vice President Joseph R. Biden's claim that he heard the gunshots of a 2006 school massacre while playing golf is raising questions about his veracity or his memory.

Mr. Biden told a meeting of mayors in Washington Thursday that he was about a quarter-mile away from an Amish schoolhouse on Oct. 2, 2006, when a gunman shot and killed five students and wounded five others.

"I happened to be literally — probably, it turned out, to be a quarter of a mile [away] at an outing when I heard gunshots in the woods," Mr. Biden recounted. "We didn’t know … we thought they were hunters."

But a search of maps of the area in Lancaster County, Pa., shows the nearest golf course to the site of the shooting, Moccasin Run Golf Club, is about five miles away. Rodney King, the golf pro at Moccasin Run, said Friday he was working at the course on the day of the shooting and never saw Mr. Biden, who was then a U.S. senator.

"There’s a lot of things here that I find hard to believe," Mr. King said. "I looked in my database, and he [Mr. Biden] is not in my database."

More here

Guns and evil

"The Vice President’s committee was appointed in response to the tragedy at Newtown, but very few of his recommendations have anything to do with what happened there.

"Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror.

"There is evil prowling in the world - it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds. As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children.

"In fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president."

-- Governor Rick Perry of Texas

Illegals and welfare

In January, 2013, fully eight million illegal alien migrants live, work and play in America in violation of U.S. immigration laws. Their children attend American schools, receive free medical care, transportation and food stamps. Those eight million migrants displace America’s working poor from jobs. The U.S. Congress refuses to enforce work laws internally.

At the same time, millions of illegal alien migrants subsist on U.S. taxpayer funded welfare programs. Those illegal migrants feed, house and medicate themselves on taxpayer dollars.

Dr. Steven Camorata at the Center for Immigration Studies exposed a glaring problem: A report by the Center for Immigration Studies reveals some startling figures about welfare and social-services use by families headed by illegal immigrants.

"In 2010, 36 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one major welfare program (primarily food assistance and Medicaid) compared to 23 percent of native households," summarizes the document which was published by the Center for Immigration Studies-- and examines a wide variety of topics relating to immigration. Click HERE to read the full report.

"The document breaks down the immigrant (some are legal, most are illegal) families by country of origin... and gives specific types of welfare and percentages of the families that used it in 2010," said Camorata. "On average, fewer than 23 percent of native households use some type of "welfare" which is specifically defined in the study. On the other hand, 36 percent of households headed by immigrants (some legal, most illegal) use some type of welfare. Some nationalities use "free" social-services more than do others..

"Families headed by immigrants from specific countries or areas of the world range from just over 6 percent for those immigrants from Great Britain to more than 57 percent of those from Mexico (mostly illegal) using some type of welfare."

More here

Friday, January 18, 2013

Isn't coming clean

More than a third of Americans — and 64 percent of Republicans — believe that President Barack Obama might be hiding something, according to a new poll Thursday.

Thirty-six percent of the surveyed voters think the president is possibly "hiding important information about his background and early life," the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey found.

Sixty-four percent of Republicans think the president isn’t coming clean, 33 percent of independents agree, and 14 percent of Democrats say so, too.

"This conspiracy theory is much more widely believed mostly because it’s been discussed so often," said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson. "People tend to believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire — so the more smoke they see, the more likely they are to believe that something is going on."

The most common — and debunked — conspiracy theory about Obama is that he wasn’t born in the U.S. and therefore isn’t eligible to be president.

More here

Colin Powell, loser

Why doesn’t General Powell just switch party affiliations and get it over with? He supports Barack Obama with all his heart and bashes the GOP at any opportunity. Not that they don’t deserve it, but it’s really bad form to be quite so cuddly with the man who is destroying the country and has caused unabated violence in the middle east.

Now Colin Blow is warning us about a "dark vein of intolerance" in the Republican party. I’m sorry, General, but your race card has been declined.

They’re all being declined due to being over their limits.

He gets himself on TV and this is what he comes up with? Republicans are raaaacccciiisssttts. Anyone taken a look at Obama’s proposed cabinet lately? And just for the record, the minorities in congress are Republicans. Not that any of it matters. It was an asinine thing to say.

And since he’s so fond of our Commander in Chief, how about a few comments from the General about how Obama is handling Afghanistan? We’re shoveling soldiers into a meat grinder over there. Notice how we never hear the word "quagmire" as applied to Obama’s war. Our troops are out there in hell with no clear mission and absurd rules of engagement. Here’s your automatic weapon, soldier, along with your allotted three bullets.

How is your beloved Obama doing as CIC, Sir? Your solution is to endorse the nomination of anti Semite and all around bad egg, Chuck Hagel to run the Department of Defense.

Your day in the sun has long passed, General.


Honest Abe

Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s sweeping epic about the 16th President of America’s triumph over slavery, won a commanding 12 Oscar nominations last week and is leading the field for this year’s Academy Awards, with Day-Lewis hotly tipped for the best actor accolade.

Weaned — as every U.S. schoolchild is — on the notion of Lincoln as a towering, morally spotless leader in America’s history, the Oscar grandees are unlikely to vote against it: it seems almost treasonous to stand in the way of this lump-in-the-throat, desperately worthy celebration of the man who has been dubbed the ‘Great Emancipator’.

Unfortunately, say historians, its portrayal of America’s most revered president is about as accurate as the notion that an ordinary soldier could have recited the Gettysburg Address from memory when the speech only became famous in the 20th century.

Not only, they say, has Spielberg’s lengthy drama grossly exaggerated Lincoln’s role in ending slavery, but it has also glossed over the president’s rather less likeable qualities.

Very definitely a man of his times, say historians, Lincoln was — certainly by today’s standards — a racist who used the N-word liberally, who believed that whites were superior to blacks and who, having jumped on the emancipation bandwagon rather late in the day, wanted to pack the freed slaves off to hard new lives in plantations abroad.

More here

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Head Start, money pit

Head Start is an $8 billion per year federal preschool program, designed to improve the kindergarten readiness of low-income children. Since its inception in 1965, taxpayers have spent more than $180 billion on the program.

But HHS’ latest Head Start Impact Study found taxpayers aren’t getting a good return on this "investment." According to the congressionally-mandated report, Head Start has little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of its participants. In fact, on a few measures, access to the program actually produced negative effects.

Head Start doesn’t need more money. It needs to be put on the chopping block.

The HHS’ scientifically-rigorous study tracked 5,000 children who were randomly assigned to either a group receiving Head Start services or a group that did not participate in Head Start. It followed their progression from ages three or four through the end of third grade. The third-grade evaluation is a continuation to HHS’ first-grade study, which followed children through the end of first grade.

The first-grade evaluation found that any benefits the children may have accrued while in the Head Start program had dissipated by the time they reached first grade.

More here

Now you know

Q: What are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and what do they do?

A: Originally known as the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, that support affordable homeownership by making mortgage money available.

Instead of actually loaning money, they operate in the secondary market, buying and guaranteeing qualifying mortgages from lenders so those lenders can turn around and lend more money to more borrowers. The GSEs then package together bundles of loans and "securitize" them as "mortgage-backed securities" so they can be sold and traded.

Fannie Mae was created in 1938 and Freddie Mac in 1970. During the financial crisis in 2008, both were put under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.


German economy contraction

Germany’s federal statistics office Destatis Tuesday said Europe’s largest economy expanded 0.7% in 2012, but its gross domestic product probably fell by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. …

That equates to a contraction of 2.0% in annualized terms, JP Morgan estimates. …

Compounding the problems for Germany, the government is cutting its 2013 economic growth forecast to 0.4% from 1.0% previously, a German economics ministry official told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. …

The euro-zone economy contracted in both the second and third quarters as austerity programs and rising unemployment ensured that output fell in large members such as Spain and Italy. …

But those contractions in other parts of the euro zone, and less favorable export markets, finally took their toll in the final three months of the year. And when it came, Germany’s economic downturn was deeper than expected, as the majority of private-sector economists had penciled in a quarterly drop in GDP of 0.2% or 0.3%.


Texas steps up

A Texas lawmaker says he plans to file the Firearms Protection Act, which would make any federal laws that may be passed by Congress or imposed by Presidential order which would ban or restrict ownership of semi-automatic firearms or limit the size of gun magazines illegal in the state, 1200 WOAI news reports.

Republican Rep. Steve Toth says his measure also calls for felony criminal charges to be filed against any federal official who tries to enforce the rule in the state.

"If a federal official comes into the state of Texas to enforce the federal executive order, that person is subject to criminal prosecution," Toth told 1200 WOAI's Joe Pags Tuesday. He says his bill would make attempting to enforce a federal gun ban in Texas punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Toth says he will file his measure after speaking with the state's Republican Attorney General, Greg Abbott, who has already vowed to fight any federal measures which call for restrictions on weapons possession.

Toth concedes that he would welcome a legal fight over his proposals.

"At some point there needs to be a showdown between the states and the federal government over the Supremacy Clause," he said.

More here

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Value neutral, and other little noticed stories

During an interview with a Republican guest who described herself as "pro-life" on Wednesday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell cut her off to correct her. Mitchell said that she thought "anti-abortion" was a better term which was, in her opinion, more "value neutral." Story

Victor Davis Hanson on hipness...Hip is certainly not Halliburton, but most certainly is Solyndra. The unhip Patriot Act, renditions, and Guantanamo are suddenly now kind of hip; so are drone targeted-assassinations — a sort of "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Predator." If we bomb Iran, we will be OK — if only Snoop Dogg high-fives the mission, the pilots are gay, the bombers run on biofuels, and the shrapnel is recyclable. Let us hope that the outgoing F-22s have a Che logo painted on the side as they blow stuff up.

Question of the day....Have you noticed that Obama seems to search out and elevate white men on the basis of their low intelligence and dullness? (Joe Biden is a prime example)

Comment of the day...."When Leftists speak of diversity they actually mean they want black Marxists, Lesbian Marxists, Latina Marxists, transgender Marxists, and the like running all our institutions. No genuine intellectual diversity whatsoever is permitted."

Rush Limbaugh says...."The mainstream media is not in the news business; they're part of the Democrat Party. But they're so good at it that as far as the low-information voter is concerned, they're still in news. They're objective, fair."

India vs Pakistan....A pall of gloom descended today on the two villages in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh from where the two soldiers brutally killed in an attack by Pakistani soldiers hailed – both the soldiers were decapitated with one head being taken away. Story

The murders at the premier of the The Dark Night Rises, in Colorado, and the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, have yet another bizarre connection. Story
Rumor has it that the Iranian city of Isfahan has been evacuated because of a leak in one of their nuclear facilities. Authorities claim it was done because of pollution. No one seems to know for sure. Isfahan has a population of 1.5 million people.

Ever wrote to your congressman? Did it do any good? Here's one man's explanation on why writing your congressman is a waste of time, "You'd never get passed the liberal punks handling the calls and emails. Even in the astronomically unlikely event that the pol reads your whining letter, absolutely nothing would come of it."

A paper published through the Social Science Research Network by economists at Melbourne, Australia’s Monash University, titled "Child vs. Pet: The Effect of Abortion Legalization on the Demand for Pets," found that the demand for pets slightly increased with the legalization of abortion. Story

Laugh of the day...Bill Clinton named Father of the Year.

Rush Limbaugh on history....The first shot of (the Revolution) war was fired by people to keep their guns... Revere and other midnight riders alerted the townspeople and the weapons were hidden before they could be confiscated.

"There is no Republican Party," Savage told talk show host Aaron Klein. "It's an appendage of the Democrat machine, as we've all just seen. It's two-card Monte, as we well know. It's a game being played against the American people. You've got the drunk Boehner on the one side, and the quasi-pseudo-crypto Marxist on the other, who is really just enjoying the ride in Hawaii right now, representing his factions." Source
Did you know?....In 1964, when Senator Barry Goldwater was the Republican candidate for president, 1,189 psychiatrists publicly declared–without benefit of examination–that Goldwater was "psychologically unfit to be President of the United States." Many offered a diagnosis of "paranoid schizophrenia" as the basis for their judgment. Source
Flashback to 2009....Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama's first administration, he added. (Notice how the media is using Nasa instead of NASA. How about Usa for USA? Or Us for US?)

Construction of the second biggest retail complex for Chinese products outside China will begin in Mexico next month despite environmental and business concerns, a project leader said Wednesday. Story
Coming soon to your hometown....Almost half of dying patients placed on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway are never told that life-saving treatment has been withdrawn, a national audit has found. The study suggests that in total, around 57,000 patients a year are dying in NHS hospitals without being told that efforts to keep them alive have been stopped. It also reveals that thousands of dying patients have been left to suffer in pain, with no attempt to keep them comfortable while drugs were administered. Story
Al Sharpton says that Obama is ready for Mt. Rushmore. (in your dreams, reverend)

The New York Times (known as Pravda of America to conservatives) will close its environment desk in the next few weeks and assign its seven reporters and two editors to other departments. The positions of environment editor and deputy environment editor are being eliminated.

Venezuela's cancer-stricken president, Hugo Chavez, is recovering in Cuba and is not in a coma as some have rumored a month after surgery, his brother, Adan Chavez, said after a visit to Havana. Story
Despite the discomfort some might have over private citizens owning guns that were made for soldiers, law enforcement officials say they can't point to a specific instance in which a legally registered machine gun was used by a private citizen to commit a violent crime. Story
The more I read about Colin Powell the less I like him. Story
 (Recent photos suggest he is hitting the sauce, his face seems to be swelled up more than normal. And never forget that Powell convinced Bush 41 to allow Saddam to retain his control over Iraq by saying that Saddam had suffered enough.)

Foreign workers are being warned of the 'deadly risks' they face in Saudi Arabia, with more than 45 maids awaiting execution despite growing anger at the country's mistreatment of migrants. The death row prisoners include a domestic worker convicted of beating her employer to death when he allegedly tried to rape her. On Wednesday, authorities in the Middle Eastern country ignored international pleas and beheaded maid Rizana Nafeek, 24, who was convicted of killing a baby despite protesting her innocence. Story

Some 340,000 people opposed to President François Hollande’s plan to legalise gay marriage took to the streets of Paris on Sunday in a bid to organise one of the French capital’s biggest protest rallies in years.

President Barack Obama’s deputies have quadrupled the number of signatures that petitioners on the administration’s "We the People" website must collect to get an official response from the White House, following a series of popular, provocative and disrespectful signature drives by his critics. Story

Remember Anthony Weiner? He's still got $4.5 million in his political war chest and he's thinking about running for mayor of New York City.

From Alabama...The Birmingham city accountant fired twice on allegations of racism and incompetence today slapped the city with a federal lawsuit saying it was Mayor William Bell's administration that was the true perpetrator of racial discrimination. Virginia Spidle's federal lawsuit alleges that the city has a pattern of discrimination and retaliation against white employees. Story

Sugar Babies

Don't have parents to pay for college? More New York City co-eds are turning to rich "daddies" online., a site that helps broke "sugar babies" find wealthy, older men announced in a press release that more and more young women from New York University and Columbia University are signing up.

When the company analyzed its data for 2012, it discovered the site was seeing the fastest growth from women attending these two universities.

In 2012, 285 women from New York University enlisted to see if they could receive extracurricular perks from meeting men on the site. Columbia University, the only Ivy League school to make the site's top 20 list, saw 100 new female "sugar babies."

Company spokesperson Jennifer Gwynn points to the city's skyrocketing cost of living combined with ever-rising tuition and housing rates.

"Most college women seek an allowance of around $3,000 a month," said Gwynn. "In New York, 'sugar babies' ask for more, around $4,000."

New York University and Columbia are noted for its exceptionally high costs.

More here

She's a congresswoman

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Political tool

The milkooks will need to see their shrinks as they see the reality of McChrystal unfold. McChrystal is a political tool. He will fetch the paper for any President. Today it is Obama. Soon it will be someone else. This man is toxic. He is not a leader. McChrystal is the proximate cause of my unwillingness to cover the US Army in combat again. I am ready for combat, but not with an organization that limps along with someone like this running a war. Now we are using his failed time in Afghanistan as evidence of leadership. He tried to shut Burger King down, and Burger King defeated McChrystal, while the Taliban got stronger.


Love makes you do weird things

This crime story was big news in Austin a few years back....

If you’d just ask Laura Ashley Hall, love makes you do weird things.

Weird things like, oh…maybe buying your lover a hacksaw, some latex gloves, Febreze, ammonia and some other cleaning products at the local Ace Hardware.

Weird things like helping your lover cut the head and hands off the body of a girl he shot, killed and left in a bathtub.

Then of course you have to help him escape with a romantic drive to Mexico in your Cadillac and spend a fun-filled six days and nights soaking up the sights until Mexican police expel you from their country.

More here

Comrade Hugo and Cuba

Away from the constitutional wrangles and impassioned crowds of Caracas, the future of Venezuela after Hugo Chavez is being plotted this weekend in an elegant pre-revolutionary mansion in Havana's old playboy quarter.

The firebrand Venezuelan president is fighting for his life in a nearby hospital, stricken by severe respiratory problems and a lung infection after his latest round of surgery for cancer.

His illness left him unable to be sworn in for his fourth term as president last Thursday, having won a close-fought election in October.

But for his Cuban hosts, much more is at risk than simply the loss of a fellow left-wing Latin American radical who has long venerated Fidel Castro. His death would also put at risk the remarkable oil-fuelled largesse that has allowed Cuba to cling to its experiment in tropical communism.

Thanks to the close personal relationship between Mr Chavez and Mr Castro, energy-rich Venezuela supplies more than 100,000 barrels of dirt-cheap oil a day to Cuba - an estimated 50 per cent of the island's petroleum needs.

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Americans know Jackie Chan best for his cheery, acrobatic performances in action movies such as "Rumble in the Bronx" and "Rush Hour," made successful by his amazing martial artistry and self-effacing comedy. Chinese know Chan, a Hong Kong native, for largely the same reasons. But they also know him for something most Americans might find surprising: He is passionately political, a staunch defender of the Chinese Communist Party and harsh critic of anyone he sees as opposing Beijing. Today, that includes the United States.

Chan, responding to widespread criticism of China's recent censorship of a popular newspaper, insisted in a Chinese TV interview that the United States is "the most corrupt country in the world." He scolded Chinese who criticize their country in a way that foreigners can hear or see, adding that he’s careful to only praise China when giving interviews in the U.S.

More here

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Guns, crime, violence, and reason

1. Violent crime – including violent crime using guns – has dropped massively over the past 20 years.

The violent crime rate - which includes murder, rape, and beatings - is half of what it was in the early 1990s. And the violent crime rate involving the use of weapons has also declined at a similar pace.

2. Mass shootings have not increased in recent years.

Despite terrifying events like Sandy Hook or last summer’s theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, mass shootings are not becoming more frequent. "There is no pattern, there is no increase," says criminologist James Allen Fox of Northeastern University, who studies the issue. Other data shows that mass killings peaked in 1929.

3. Schools are getting safer.

Across the board, schools are less dangerous than they used be. Over the past 20 years, the rate of theft per 1,000 students dropped from 101 to 18. For violent crime, the victimization rate per 1,000 students dropped from 53 to 14.

4. There Are More Guns in Circulation Than Ever Before.

Over the past 20 years, virtually every state in the country has liberalized gunownership rules and many states have expanded concealed carry laws that allow more people to carry weapons in more places. There around 300 million guns in the United States and at least one gun in about 45 percent of all households. Yet the rate of gun-related crime continues to drop.

5. "Assault Weapons Bans" Are Generally Ineffective.

While many people are calling for reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons – an arbitrary category of guns that has no clear definition – research shows it would have no effect on crime and violence. "Should it be renewed," concludes a definitive study, "the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement."


Hostage exchange?

It’s even worse than we previously thought. A retired four-star admiral is now claiming that Barack Obama intentionally conspired with America’s enemies to stage a bogus attack and the kidnapping of an American ambassador so he could "negotiate" the release of a "hostage" and bolster his mediocre approval ratings just prior to the election!

The Washington Examiner, quoting retired Four-Star Admiral James Lyons, writes: "the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi… was the result of a bungled abduction attempt…. the first stage of an international prisoner exchange… that would have ensured the release of Omar Abdel Rahman, the ‘Blind Sheik’…"

But something went horribly wrong with Obama’s "October Surprise." Although the Obama Administration intentionally gutted security at the consulate prior to the staged kidnapping, former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty disobeyed direct orders to stand down, saved American lives, single-handedly killed scores of attackers…and the attackers, believing that Obama had betrayed them, tortured Ambassador Chris Stevens and dragged his body through the streets.

Some will say that Admiral Lyons’ accusation is not a smoking gun. We agree; that’s exactly why Congress must investigate Benghazi-gate.

Moreover, we firmly believe the problem with Admiral Lyons’ assertion is that he is only scratching the surface; the full and complete truth may be much, much worse.

More here