March 31, 2014

We are all screen people today

 Screen-People.This Is Progress 2-28-14

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:38 AM | Permalink

March 29, 2014

Quotes of Note

The post-American world will be many things, but multilateral isn't one of them. There will be no world government and international organizations will be good for little except sucking up the last drops of wealth and prestige of the United States. It will be a chaotic place with everyone out for themselves. …..

The end of the Pax Americana also means the end of international law. Instead of a post-American world ushering in a stable multilateral order, it will revert back to a chaotic Lord of the Flies situation in which no single power will predominate, but in which any country or militia that can seize a piece of land or a natural resource will go ahead and do so. For the first time in generations, the First World may wake up to discover that it is once again living under Third World rules.

Daniel Greenfield in The Shape of a Post-American World

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:55 PM | Permalink

March 28, 2014

Criminals in the Ruling Class

‘WE CHEATED’ — At UNC, whistle-blowers expose a sickening athletic scam

Deans, coaches and professors at certain sham academic departments of the university were complicit in placing basketball and football players with underdeveloped learning skills in classes that didn’t exist and never actually met. The only requirements were that the students write final papers consisting of a few sentences — a task too difficult for some, who could only read and write at a second grade level. Still, they all received As or Bs.

The biggest arrests this week were all Democrat lawmakers.

California State Senator Yeland Lee, praised for his efforts to make government more transparent and authored gun control legislation was arrested Wednesday, accused of conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud.  The Charges Show Leland Yee, Shrimp Boy Plotting Illegal Gun Deals With Islamist Militants

Leland Yee, the Democratic California state senator arrested Wednesday on federal corruption charges, plotted to obtain illegal guns for a Chinatown gangster less than a year after pushing wide-ranging bills to require micro-stamping, restrict magazine choice, and regulate private handling of legally owned weapons, according to an affidavit in support of his arrest.

Leland Yee spent a good deal of the last two years railing against the private ownership of firearms, lambasting American citizens who defend expansive protections of the right to keep and bear arms, and exploiting the abomination at Newtown for political gain. While he was doing this, he was apparently helping to put missile launchers and automatic weapons in the hands of what he believed to be the mafia, explaining blithely that “people want to get whatever they have to get,” and looking at Africa as an untapped market for arms dealers.

He was taped by the FBI discussing arms that could be obtained from the Philippines and claimed personal relationships with Islamic rebels in the Philippines, though the weapons were supposedly to be obtained from sources inside the Philippine military.

Yee is the third Democrat state senator to be arrested in California this week. Earlier it was state Sen. Rod Wright (perjury) and then Ron Calderon (bribery).

FBI agents arrested Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon Wednesday for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for “the use of his official position.”  A Democrat, Cannon allegedly accepted more than $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room, and even an apartment from undercover FBI agents.

The Democrat Speaker of the Rhode Island house resigned and announced he would not seek  re-election after FBI agents, along with agents from the IRS, the U.S. attorney’s office, and state police, raided both his Providence, R.I. office and home Friday.

"I Am Not a Criminal," said Senate Democrat Harry Reid As His Illegal Campaign Donor Is Jailed for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to the Senator's re-election committee in 2007. 

Just before the Federal Election Commission, the FEC demanded that Senator Reid he return $17,000 in campaign funds he had given to his granddaughter, a watch dog group, Cause of Action, filed ethics complaints against Senator Reid for  violating the chamber’s code of conduct by pushing to help a politically connected Las Vegas casino project get visas for foreign investors.

An old story in Western Journalism calls Harry Reid

one of the most ethically challenged politicians in office today. This report will review his alliances with corrupt individuals, his support of ACORN, his ties with organized crime figures and his chronic failure to comply with campaign finance laws.

So I'm not surprised that journalist, author and screenwriter Michael Walsh writes that's it's Time to Break Out the RICO Statute and Break Up the Democrats

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:39 AM | Permalink

Chinese seed heist

FBI busts Chinese nationals for elaborate seed heist in the Midwest. Six were charged with stealing trade secrets and other acts against DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto Company and LG Seeds

As the nearly 50 pages of court documents spell out, this stealth operation was more than an uncoordinated smash and grab. Page after page unfolds in great detail, much like a spy novel, demonstrating the lengths these men took to steal U.S. seed technology. 

The defendants are alleged to have conspired to steal inbred corn seed from the three companies and transfer the seed to China.
The estimated value of an inbred line of seed is five to eight years of research and a minimum of $30 to $40 million.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:39 AM | Permalink

The Evidence is In

Iss Chart.Reaganomics V Obamanomics

The Two Distinctly Different Outcomes for two different fiscal policies.

Obama's prescription for the last recession was to reinvigorate the economy by passing the ARRA and other policies over the next four years. These included ObamaCare to regulate the health care market, Dodd-Frank to regulate banks, Cash for Clunkers and extending unemployment benefits that collectively increased economic uncertainty and reduced incentives to hire and work.
President Reagan diagnosed government as the problem and prescribed a plan of lowering tax rates and reducing regulations to free firms and workers from disincentives to invest and work.  This limited-government prescription led to a 92-month expansion — one of the longest on record — and helped increase the percentage of the working population from 57% to 63%.
Historically, there is a clear fiscal policy prescription for bringing people out of their parent's garage and back into creating businesses in their own garage: low taxes, spending restraint and stable regulations.

 Growth Obama Promises

Report: Economic Growth 'Half of What the President Said His Policies Would Deliver'

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:20 AM | Permalink

Some shocking quotes from feminists

"Housewives] are dependent creatures who are still children…parasites" - Gloria Steinim

"No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one." - Simone de Beauvoir

"[Housewives] are mindless and thing-hungry…not people. [Housework] is peculiarly suited to the capacities of feeble-minded girls. [It] arrests their development at an infantile level, short of personal identity with an inevitably weak core of self…. [Housewives] are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps. [The] conditions which destroyed the human identity of so many prisoners were not the torture and brutality, but conditions similar to those which destroy the identity of the American housewife. " Betty Friedan

Quotes sourced by Genevieve Wood via Stuart Schneiderman who asks Who Are the Real Misogynists?

Sunshine Mary has sympathy for a victim, a baffled spinster who wonders why she can't find a husband despite being in shape and making $100k a year who wrote "I just wanted to make things clear I didn’t “sleep around.” Most of my relationships have been long term I have only been with 18 guys”

Feminists have sold young women a bill of goods, that they can live like men, work like men, have sex like men, and then turn back into women when they feel like it.  We laugh at a woman like this sometimes and make fun of her and say, “Didn’t she know that she’d end up like this?”

No, she didn’t know that.  That’s because when you are 17 years old, you don’t know much, especially in this culture of extended adolescence.  And when you have been told from a very young age that, as a girl, it is your destiny to Have It All exactly When You Want It, I’m sure it is very baffling to find yourself in your thirties with no husband and none in sight, with the dawning realization that your job and lonely apartment are not nearly as fulfilling as being a wife and mother would have been…..

However, what most of us don’t seem to understand is that young women make the terrible choices that they are making because they are told from an early age that these are actually good choices.  Some girls are able to resist that message, which saturates every aspect of the media and schools, but most girls aren’t, and they don’t develop the necessary wisdom until it is too late.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:07 AM | Permalink

March 27, 2014

Your Government at Work

Sinkhole of bureaucracy

Deep underground, federal employees process paperwork by hand in a long-outdated, inefficient system. Inside the caverns of an old Pennsylvania limestone mine, there are 600 employees of the Office of Personnel Management. Their task is nothing top-secret. It is to process the retirement papers of the government’s own workers.

But that system has a spectacular flaw. It still must be done entirely by hand, and almost entirely on paper.  The employees here pass thousands of case files from cavern to cavern and then key in retirees’ personal data, one line at a time. They work underground not for secrecy but for space. The old mine’s tunnels have room for more than 28,000 file cabinets of paper records.
During the past 30 years, administrations have spent more than $100 million trying to automate the old-fashioned process in the mine and make it run at the speed of computers.  They couldn’t.
The task takes so much time in part because Congress has made the federal retirement rules extremely complex. The center’s workers must verify and key in information that answers a huge range of questions: What were the retiree’s three years of highest salary? Was the retiree a firefighter? A military veteran? A cafeteria worker at the U.S. Capitol? What about part-time service?

All those answers can change the final pension payment. “One hundred years of bad laws,” McCandless said.
A recent study by the Standish Group, a firm in Boston that researches failures, found that only 5 percent of large federal IT projects in the last decade fully succeeded.  Of the rest, 41 percent were failures, canceled before they were turned on.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:14 AM | Permalink

March 25, 2014

"I’m not big into the ‘America’ thing.”

Neo neocon writes Keeping the younger generation dumb and happy—it’s working! 

The success of all of these efforts relies in large part on keeping the young voters dumb as well as happy with their pleasures. The “dumb” part apparently isn’t all that hard to do if you take over the educational and entertainment systems, weaken the family and other institutions that use to teach values, and control the press.

Here’s some strong evidence that the efforts to do this have been hugely successful. Read it and weep:

Last week, MRCTV’s Dan Joseph went to American University to give the student body a little general knowledge quiz.

When asked if they could name a SINGLE U.S. senator, the students blanked. Also, very few knew that each state has two senators. The guesses were all over the map, with some crediting each state with twelve, thirteen, and five senators.

The students passed the pop culture part of the exam with flying colors, as one might expect. This wasn’t a scientific survey, of course, and there were a few who knew the answers, but how many senators each state has is the sort of thing that not a single college student should be missing. However, as one of the interviewees said, “I’m not big into the ‘America’ thing.”
One of the foundations of liberty is an informed electorate, and if that is lacking, tyranny will almost undoubtedly emerge. No accident, either.

These college students give us a glimpse into America's future.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:43 PM | Permalink

Health Round-up: 'Astonishing" cancer drug, statins and MS, protective brain molecule against Alzheimer's, why dark chocolate is good for you

'Astonishing' new cancer drug could extend the lives of terminally-ill patients and eliminate their symptoms overnight….with virtually no side effects

The world-first project is being led by Professor Simon Rule, a globally-renowned expert in haematology and researcher at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.  He says the new pill has the potential to transform the lives of desperately ill patients and eliminate the need for costly, gruelling bouts of chemotherapy.

Professor Rule said: ‘The astonishing thing about these drugs is that they have virtually no side effects, which is unprecedented from my experience. In some patients the effects are immediate.
‘This is not a cure for cancer but it will mean we are significantly improving our patients' life expectancy and quality of life; similar to managing a chronic condition.

‘I have yet to come across another class of drugs in my career that has been so successful for leukemia or lymphoma. I have done a lot of drug trials in my career, this drug and its predecessor, which I was fortunate to be the first person in Europe to use - they are transformational as far as I am concerned.

A daily statin tablet could slow march of MS: Regular dose found to almost halve brain shrinkage suffered by patients

British researchers randomly assigned 140 patients with secondary progressive MS to recieve either 80mg of simvastatin or a placebo.  Small but significant improvements in disability were noted by doctors

Study leader Dr Jeremy Chataway of University College London Hospitals, said ‘In the progressive stage of MS the brain shrinks by about 0.6 per cent a year

Protective Brain Molecule May Stave Off Alzheimer's

Studies have shown that a third of people have the brain pathology of Alzheimer's at autopsy, yet never experienced symptoms of cognitive decline during their lifetime. Therefore, scientists say, something must be protecting their brains from succumbing to the toxins.

Yankner and colleagues found that the protein known as REST (short for "repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor") turns off genes involved in cell death and resistance to cellular toxins. REST, which is normally produced during brain development, is very active in aging brains, but appears to be missing in the brains of people with cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease.
Yanker's team also studied the effects of stress in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. They found that worms that lacked proteins similar to REST became more vulnerable to stress and had shorter life spans than normal worms. This suggests the protective function has been conserved by evolution.

The researchers found that the protein isn't actually gone from brains of people with Alzheimer's. Instead, their brain cells continue to produce REST proteins, but cellular machinery called autophagosomes engulf the proteins and degrade them.

Consequently, it may be possible to intervene and prevent the degradation of these proteins, bringing scientists closer to diagnosing or preventing Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Why dark chocolate is good for you

Dark chocolate might pack a double positive punch for our health—thanks to the microbes that live in our gut. New research suggests that beneficial bacteria that reside toward the end of our digestive tract ferment both the antioxidants and the fiber in cocoa.

In their deep-gut alchemy these microbes create anti-inflammatory compounds that have been linked to the cardiovascular and other benefits from dark chocolate consumption. The findings were presented March 18 at the American Chemical Society meeting in Dallas.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:35 PM | Permalink

Two Mothers

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation and Simcha Fisher encourages us to see Mary as Hero 

Outsiders may see Mary as passive, as witlessly, helplessly receptive to the intrusion of the demanding angel. But it was her choice -- the choice of a hero -- to step foot outside of her peaceful Shire.  She is the hero who pressed on, the small one who had the heart, the strength, the courage to face the darkness and to unmake it.

She only saw this after reading Joseph Pearce's essay on the Christian themes in Tolkein's Lord of the Rings

Tom Shippey, an Anglo-Saxon scholar and Tolkien expert, states in his book, The Road to Middle Earth, that in "Anglo-Saxon belief, and in European popular tradiion both before and after that, March 25 is the date of the Crucifixion." It is also, of course, the Feast of the Annunciation, the celebration of the absolute center of all history as the moment when God himself became incarnate as man.
It is, however, very comforting in the midst of these dark days that the most popular book of the 20th century and the most popular movie of the new century draw their power and their glory from the light of the Gospel.

This Mother Tore Off Labels And Nurtured Her Son’s Hidden Genius

Kristine Barnett’s son Jacob was diagnosed with autism when he was 2, and doctors said he would never speak. …. When teachers told her there was no hope, she rebelled and took her own path.
Instead of focusing on Jacob’s limitations, Kristine nurtured his interests. Now her 15-year-old son is on track to win a Nobel Prize for his work in theoretical physics.

Relying on the insights she developed at her in-home daycare, Kristine resolved to follow Jacob’s “spark” — his passionate interests. Why concentrate on what he couldn’t do? Why not focus on what he could? This philosophy, along with her belief in the power of childhood play, helped her son grow in incredible ways.

“He liked repetitive behaviors. He would play with a glass and look at the light, twisting it for hours on end. Instead of taking it away, I would give him 50 glasses, fill them with water at different levels and let him explore,” she says. “I surrounded him with whatever he loved.”

The more she did that, the more it worked. Then one night, as he was being tucked in, Jacob spoke. “It was like music … because everybody had said it was an impossible thing,” Kristine recalls.”I would tuck him in every night and say, ‘Goodnight, baby Jacob, you’re my baby angel, and I love you very much.’ One night he looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘Night-night baby bagel.’ All along he must have thought I had been calling him a bagel!”

Jacob is now a student of theoretical physics at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, with an IQ measured to be higher than Einstein’s.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:26 PM | Permalink

Can we give away our constitutional rights by accepting to download a free app?

I never knew that some smartphone apps

contain computer code that allow the app developer to use the cell phone’s camera or microphone at any time, and record cell phone conversations at any time.  Listening to a cell phone conversation in the past would require that the police take evidence to a court and ask a judge to sign a warrant allowing a police wiretap.  Yet today, many apps effectively usurp the privacy of downloaders at the push of a phone button.

Can we give away our constitutional rights by accepting to download a free app?

Right now these rights can be taken away by the state only after a long and arduous legal process.  A convicted felon, for example, will lose his right to vote.

Up to now, a person could give away copyright rights to a photograph, for example, only by physically signing a photo release.  Or he could sign away the copyright protections for a piece of music to a record company.  But apps today could sneak in language that states that any music transmitted by a smartphone becomes the property of the person who developed the app.  This was all made possible because written signatures were replaced by the e-signature, and now only a click of the "accept" button is required.

John McAfee has had enough of excessive app permissions launched Cognizant on March 1st

The product is called Cognizant, a free to download app for Android mobile phones and tablets.  It protects those devices by empowering the user to be fully aware of all the permissions that applications have been granted on a device, knowingly or not.
In a non-descript Montreal office building, McAfee demonstrated how one popular chat application in particular had by default been granted what can only be described as excessive permissions.  The application has access to things like:  all call history, contacts, GPS, camera access, the ability to silently make calls and even turn off notifications of these activities to the user.  I install the app on my own phone to see this and sure enough, it’s pretty shocking.  If you think about it, if one were to describe a program that did all of these things on a PC, it could be called malware.  McAfee states that there are thousands upon thousands of apps out there doing the exact same thing, taking more permissions than are clearly necessary or that you may be comfortable with.

While awaiting a similar app for the iPhone, I just got rid of a bunch of apps that I never used.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:36 PM | Permalink

The Fantasy of Gender Liberation

1974's 'Free to Be… You and Me' feels like an eternity ago writes  Christina Hoff Sommers

And, amazingly, kids and adults have yet to morph into mutually respectful, non-gendered human persons.

This week marks the 40th anniversary of an event close to the hearts of gender activists everywhere. On March 11, 1974, ABC aired Marlo Thomas’ “Free to Be…You and Me” — a musical program celebrating gender-free children. Thomas and her fellow co-neutralists envisioned a world where the sex distinction would melt away. Instead of “males” and “females,” there would be mutually respectful, non-gendered human persons. The project resulted in a platinum LP, a best-selling book, and an Emmy. More than that, the idea of gender liberation entered the national zeitgeist. Parents everywhere began giving their daughters trucks and sons baby dolls. Like so many dream boats floating on the utopian sea, this one crashed and sank when it hit the rocks of reality.
But, after 40 years of gender activism, boys and girls show few signs of liking to do the same things. From the earliest age, boys show a distinct preference for active outdoor play, with a strong predilection for games with body contact, conflict, and clearly defined winners and losers. Girls, too, enjoy raucous outdoor play, but they engage in it less. Girls, as a rule, are more drawn to imaginative theatrical games — playing house, playing school — as well as exchanging confidences with a best friend. Boys playing kickball together in the schoolyard are not only having a great deal of fun, they are forging friendships with other males in ways that are critical to their healthy socialization. Similarly, little girls who spend hours in deep conversation with other girls or playing theatrical games are happily and actively honing their social skills. What these children are doing is not only fun but developmentally sound.
One of the largest and most persistent differences between the sexes is children’s play preferences.” The female preference for nurturing play and the male propensity for rough-and-tumble hold cross-culturally and even cross-species. Researchers have found, for example, that female vervet monkeys play with dolls much more than their brothers, who prefer balls and toy cars. Nor can human reality be tossed aside. In all known societies, women tend to be the nurturers and men the warriors.
Of course, we can soften and shape these roles, and that has been, in every epoch, the work of civilization. But civilization won’t work against the grain of human nature, and our futile attempts to make it do so can only damage the children that are the subjects of the experiment.
The writer Andrew Sullivan is right when he describes the sex difference as “so obvious no one really doubted it until very recently, when the blank-slate left emerged, merging self-righteousness with empirical delusion.” That delusion was jumpstarted in 1974 with the advent of “Free To Be… You and Me.” Today, an army of gender scholars and activists is marching in support of the genderless ideal. But these warriors forget that ignoring differences between boys and girls can be just as damaging as creating differences where none exist. “Free to Be” is a cautionary example of how an idealistic social fantasy can turn into a blueprint for repression.

Why is it so hard for some people to accept human nature?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:26 PM | Permalink

Lights out

I often write about how responsible adults should be prepared to survive a power outage that could extend for several days.  However, we all depend on the government to protect us against longer outages.  If the nation's electrical grid could be so easily sabotaged, shouldn't the government make it a national priority to harden this infrastructure?

The Wall St Journal  U.S. Risks National Blackout From Small-Scale Attack  Federal Analysis Says Sabotage of Nine Key Substations Is Sufficient for Broad Outage

The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.

The study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that coordinated attacks in each of the nation's three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse, people familiar with the research said.

A small number of the country's substations play an outsize role in keeping power flowing across large regions. The FERC analysis indicates that knocking out nine of those key substations could plunge the country into darkness for weeks, if not months….

No federal rules require utilities to protect vital substations except those at nuclear power plants. Regulators recently said they would consider imposing security standards…..Many sites aren't staffed and are protected by little more than chain-link fences and cameras.
"The power grid, built over many decades in a benign environment, now faces a range of threats it was never designed to survive," said Paul Stockton, a former assistant secretary of defense and president of risk-assessment firm Cloud Peak Analytics. "That's got to be the focus going forward."

Which is why the assault on the California power grid last April by snipers who knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power into Silicon Valley before disappearing in the night is so worrying.

What if all the lights go out? The U.S. is at risk of a nationwide blackout — and policymakers and industry have known this for years.

According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission study disclosed by the Journal, a few dozen of the substations are so important to the flow of energy that knocking out just nine of them would cause a metastasizing blackout that stretched from coast to coast. And replacement transformers for these substations can take more than a year to build, deliver and install, in part because most are made overseas.
But why did it take almost a year after snipers used a PG&E substation for target practice, and more than 12 years after the 9/11 terrorists showed their affinity for unconventional assaults, before FERC acted? Instead, the commission left its rules unchanged until the news media reported the previously unheralded PG&E attack. …the commission's effort to improve security is a welcome development. But as part of that work, FERC should also address the frightening challenges posed by the grid's reliance on custom-fitted equipment that can take months, if not years, to replace.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:24 PM | Permalink

March 24, 2014

Barcoding human embryos

The accumulating horror of human beings treated like things.

Aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals  The remains of more than 15,000 babies were incinerated as 'clinical waste' by hospitals in Britain with some used in 'waste to energy' plants

Barcoding Human Embryos

Scientists from Barcelona have announced in the journal, Human Reproduction, that they now can place a barcode tag directly on an embryo to make sure you end up with the right kid. Because mix-ups do happen.

… The direct tagging system based on lectin-biofunctionalized polysilicon barcodes of micrometric dimensions is simple, safe and highly efficient, allowing the identification of human oocytes and embryos during the various procedures typically conducted during an assisted reproduction cycle….. This system has now been tested in human oocytes and embryos…

Genetically Modified Food: Bad; Genetically Modified Humans: Good

The three-parent technique is particularly troubling because it does not just modify the resulting embryo; the modification will extend to further generations. This is what is called a germ-line modification: one that will be incorporated into egg and sperms cells and passed onto future offspring. Unlike the United States, many other countries have laws prohibiting germ-line modifications in humans.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently considering allowing American in vitro fertilization clinics to bring to trial the three-parent technique for couples where the mother has mitochondrial disease. ….The average citizen likely assumes that the safety of the three-parent technique has been thoroughly studied and found to be safe for use in humans. The reality is something different. In a recent paper in Science, researchers revealed that, so far, the only other primates created with this technique are four macaques that have only reached three years of age and have not produced another generation. Other animal models show that mtDNA-nuclear DNA mismatch has some serious effects that may not be apparent until adulthood. The researchers were clear that "it is premature to move this technology into the clinic at this stage."

Children to Order: The Ethics of 'Designer Babies'  ...The FDA, meanwhile, only regulates the potential safety and efficacy of these techniques, not their ethical implications.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:43 AM | Permalink

March 22, 2014

Longer Reads for the weekend

The Secret Auden  by Edward Mendelson

W.H. Auden had a secret life that his closest friends knew little or nothing about. Everything about it was generous and honorable. He kept it secret because he would have been ashamed to have been praised for it.

David Goldman on The Rise of Secular Religion   Today’s secular liberals are the direct descendants of the past century’s Puritans and Protestants, deeply concerned with matters of sin and salvation in the church of politics.

Daniel Greenfield on The Genocidal Duck Whisperers of the Post-Human Left  Eugenics under the guise of Population, Health and Environment (PHE) which integrates population control into environmentalist initiatives.

High Finance in the U.K. The Much-Too-Special Relationship by Nicolas Shaxson
The City of London threatens U.S. security and abets corruption. Revisionist powers like Russia have figured out this dynamic and are busy exploiting it.

The first part shows that the United Kingdom is the single most important player in a global system of offshore tax havens, and has facilitated and even enthusiastically—if discreetly—encouraged the élite looting of pretty much every country in the world, from Pakistan to Greece to Libya to Mexico, typically via U.S., British and Swiss banks. This is a national security issue par excellence, now revealed in its fullness through the Crimea affair, let’s call it. This British offshore system is a fast-growing cash cow for the City, which will fight to protect it.

The second part of the story tells of how the City of London has spent half a century building a business model based on thwarting and opposing U.S. laws and regulations. It is crucial to understand that this is a deliberate feature of the modern City, not an incidental side effect.

The third reveals the aforementioned depth of Britain’s political capture by the City of London, which makes Britain a thoroughly untrustworthy ally not only with regard to Russia, but many other portfolios as well.
One of the great incentives offered by offshore financial centres is lax or even absent financial regulation: Bring your money here, and we won’t regulate it. And that is exactly what happened in London from the 1950s onward. Confronted with this new variant of banking business, the Bank of England simply deemed these dollar trades in London to be outside its jurisdiction, effectively creating an unregulated space for them to trade in.
When the London-based bank HSBC bank reached a $1.9 billion settlement with U.S. authorities in 2012 for money laundering for Mexican drugs cartels and many others, British officials said they had no responsibility for oversight, even when the rules clearly state otherwise.
When a British or American or Swiss bank helps a foreign dictator and his or her cronies loot a poor country, and helps them stash and hide their winnings permanently offshore, that bank is an accomplice not just in criminal activity, but in that country’s governance problems, by helping its offshore-diving élites float above the societies they rule and trample over. U.S. banks are guilty enough of all these crimes, but Britain and its offshore empire have made offshore secrecy into an art form: an art of darkness, one might say, with apologies to Joseph Conrad.

A lovely story about Robert Downey

The Overprotected Kid

It’s hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation. Actions that would have been considered paranoid in the ’70s—walking third-graders to school, forbidding your kid to play ball in the street, going down the slide with your child in your lap—are now routine. In fact, they are the markers of good, responsible parenting. One very thorough study of “children’s independent mobility,” conducted in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the U.K., shows that in 1971, 80 percent of third-graders walked to school alone. By 1990, that measure had dropped to 9 percent, and now it’s even lower.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:04 PM | Permalink

March 20, 2014

"Fertility is the missing chapter in sex education"

Camille Paglia talks sense when she writes  Put the Sex Back in Sex Ed

Fertility is the missing chapter in sex education. Sobering facts about women’s declining fertility after their 20s are being withheld from ambitious young women, who are propelled along a career track devised for men.

The refusal by public schools’ sex-education programs to acknowledge gender differences is betraying both boys and girls. The genders should be separated for sex counseling. It is absurd to avoid the harsh reality that boys have less to lose from casual serial sex than do girls, who risk pregnancy and whose future fertility can be compromised by disease. Boys need lessons in basic ethics and moral reasoning about sex (for example, not taking advantage of intoxicated dates), while girls must learn to distinguish sexual compliance from popularity.

Above all, girls need life-planning advice. Too often, sex education defines pregnancy as a pathology, for which the cure is abortion. Adolescent girls must think deeply about their ultimate aims and desires. If they want both children and a career, they should decide whether to have children early or late. There are pros, cons and trade-offs for each choice.
Sex education has become incoherent because of its own sprawling agenda. It should be broken into component parts, whose professionalism could be better ensured.

First, anatomy and reproductive biology belong in general biology courses taught in middle school by qualified science teachers….

Second, certified health educators, who advise children about washing their hands to avoid colds, should discuss sexually transmitted diseases at the middle-school or early-high-school level. But while information about condoms must be provided, it is not the place of public schools to distribute condoms, as is currently done in the Boston, New York and Los Angeles school districts. Condom distribution should be left to hospitals, clinics and social-service agencies.

Similarly, public schools have no business listing the varieties of sexual gratification, from masturbation to oral and anal sex, although health educators should nonjudgmentally answer student questions about the health implications of such practices. The issue of homosexuality is a charged one. In my view, antibullying campaigns, however laudable, should not stray into political endorsement of homosexuality or gay rights causes. While students must be free to create gay-identified groups, the schools themselves should remain neutral and allow society to evolve on its own.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:20 PM | Permalink

March 19, 2014

Before and after walking across China in a year

 One-Year Christoph-Rehage

This is Christopher Rehage after spending a year of his life walking 3000 miles across China.

His video The Longest Way via Business Insider shows his transformation day by day and at the end after a trip to the barber.

Personally I like the 'after look'  better.  His eyes are so much bigger and kinder.  Before he looked suspicious that seems to say with testosterone bravado, Don't mess with me and I'm in control.  After he looks so much kinder, compassionate, more experienced in accepting what comes.    He does need a haircut though.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:52 PM | Permalink

A few miscellaneous links

Hotel hermit got $17M to make way for 15 Central Park West

Stepping-stones to safety: A family flees Syria's war - and finds refuge in Italy's islands  When war demands you flee, the Italian government  mobilizes to save your life.

Ron Suskind writes in the NYT Magazine Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney

He giggles under his breath, then does a little shoulder roll, something he does when a jolt of emotion runs through him. “You know, they’re not like the other sidekicks.”

He has jumped ahead of me again. I scramble. “No? How?”

“All the other sidekicks live within their movies as characters, walk around, do things. The gargoyles only live when Quasimodo is alone with them.”

“And why’s that?”

“Because he breathes life into them. They only live in his imagination.”

Everything goes still. “What’s that mean, buddy?”

He purses his lips and smiles, chin out, as if he got caught in a game of chess. But maybe he wanted to. “It means the answers are inside of him,” he says.

“Then why did he need the gargoyles?”

“He needed to breathe life into them so he could talk to himself. It’s the only way he could find out who he was.”

“You know anyone else like that?”

“Me.” He laughs a sweet, little laugh, soft and deep. And then there’s a long pause.

“But it can get so lonely, talking to yourself,” my son Owen finally says. “You have to live in the world.”

Neoneocon, The bell tolls not just for D’Souza

Thomas Lifson on Culture of corruption in federal bureaucracy

Theodore Dalrymple, Wicked, Wicked Heroin Addiction is a matter of persistence, not fate.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:48 PM | Permalink

"The government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine"

This is astonishing.  70% Of U.S. Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

The government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine, taking $2.6 trillion from some and handing it back out to others. These government transfers now account for 15% of GDP, another all-time high. In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP.  What's more, the cost of these direct payments is exploding. Even after adjusting for inflation, they've shot up 29% under Obama.

The biggest chunk, 38.6%, goes to pay health bills, either through Medicare, Medicaid or ObamaCare. A third goes out in the form of Social Security checks. Only 21% goes toward poverty programs — or "income security" as it's labeled in the budget — and a mere 5% ends up in the hands of veterans.

So with what's left over everything else has to be cut back, especially the space program and the military.  Yet money was found for pet projects.  Obama Blew $120 Billion on Global Warming and wants $450 million more in his new budget

And the administration gave $5 million to the University of Tennessee to get students to dress up as fruits and vegetables in a "Get Fruved" campaign to convince students to adopt healthier lifestyles

Maybe they plan to make it up with fines like these, The EPA is charging $75,000/day over a private citizen’s pond

All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm. He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese. It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children.

But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency. He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine. …

The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Further, the EPA claims that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways. Johnson says he built a stock pond — a man-made pond meant to attract wildlife — which is exempt from Clean Water Act regulations.

The property owner says he followed the state rules for a stock pond when he built it in 2012 and has an April 4-dated letter from the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office to prove it. …

But the EPA isn’t backing down and argues they have final say over the issue. They also say Johnson needs to restore the land or face the fines.

NB.  The EPA only has authority to regulate "navigable waterways" of the United States but has ceaselessly sought to expand its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:46 PM | Permalink

March 18, 2014

"There are three things keeping society from tearing itself apart: religion, organized sports, and the Internet."

From Cracked, 5 Ways the Internet Steals Your Soul

#5. The Internet Makes You … Only Smart Enough for Apathy

Instead of using the Net as a tool to cut more deeply into data, most of us have become part of a culture interested in knowing just enough. Indeed, most people use the Internet to find out what they don't need to know.

#4. The Internet Makes You … Only Strong in the Dark

People like to be terrible, and the Net makes it easier to be terrible. It lets them put their cruelty out into the world without the burden of being tethered to it. They are released, and they sprint happily across the World Wide Web dropping little nuggets of awful without consequence.

#3. The Internet Makes You … Only Calm Enough to Do Nothing

But online, you can always find your own quiet corner where people are talking about nothing. And it's easy to stay there because look how many millions are also doing nothing with you. A…... A place where you can pretend to do things, whether it's tweeting the weather, tagging some photos, or building a collage. It's work. The kind that leaves you with a slower pulse, but no other tangible reward, and one more day lost.

#2. The Internet Makes You … Only Kind When It's Easy

A study from the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business found that the more public the primary show of social-media endorsement, the less likely people were to provide meaningful support later. Conversely, if they supported a cause in a more confidential way, they were more likely to give money later. Essentially, the appearance of charity becomes its own reward, instead of a desire to make a difference or cause a personal effect in the world.

#1. The Internet Makes You … Only Content Enough to Keep from Rebelling

I fully believe there are three things keeping society from tearing itself apart: religion, organized sports, and the Internet.

Like sports, the Internet can be a huge distraction, helping you ignore the 50 hours a week you spend in a cubicle for increasingly awful health insurance and diminishing prospects of sending your children to college….

As long as you've got enough money for some Wi-Fi, you can enjoy the Internet in the same way as the power elite. In a weird way, the Net makes you feel rich. …We have comforts just like the ruling class. So, for all its power, for all its possibility, the Net succeeds most in promoting apathy. In fostering stagnation. That's not the Internet's fault. It's ours.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:26 PM | Permalink

The always quotable David Mamet

David Masciotra  interviews David Mamet

“The combative nature of human beings in relationships with each other and in the understanding of themselves is the essence of the tragic view,” Mamet said before continuing, “The marvelous thing about my discovery of conservative philosophy and economics is that it made sense with my previous experience in the world. It is saying that there are things beyond our understanding, but by observing them we might be able to deal with them. We can never completely do away with the final remainder of discomfort, mutual loathing, and self-doubt, because that is part of the human condition.
It is the well-intentioned, but destructive attempt to assuage the fear of matriculation, and the lack of incentive to prove one’s worth, competence, and skill, that have created a culture of conformity, weakness, and banality. “If one tries to save the young from the rigors and traumas of life, you’re saving them from life,” Mamet said.
The great jazz critic and essayist Stanley Crouch makes the compelling point that the invention of modern music, and the establishment of the blues aesthetic, by illiterate slaves in cotton fields might very well be the “greatest achievement in the history of the species,” but all America hears and sees every February, during black history month, are the slave narratives and pictures of fire hoses.

Mamet pointed out that one of the most tired, and tiresome, tropes of American politics is the piety that “we must have a dialogue on race.” “We’ve been having one continuous dialogue on race for my entire lifetime, and it only worsens and widens the divide,” he said before explaining that American liberalism infantilizes black Americans in a culture of dependency. “Black people”, Mamet pointed out, “are sufficiently smart and strong not to need the paternalism of good willed white liberals to make it.”

In Mamet’s Academy Award winning film, The Verdict, Paul Newman gives one of his finest performances as a hard luck lawyer who, after years of decadence and depression, finds a reason to fight for what is right and redeem himself after years of spiritual poverty. Mamet told me that “Newman’s character was trying, as many Americans are now, to deny the life of the soul.”

It is hard to come back to life,” Mamet said, “Especially when your country is doing what all great civilizations have done, which is to try to use its wealth to eradicate human nature.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:12 PM | Permalink

Quotes of Note

Jonah Goldberg on Obamacare
Sure, the defenders will admit, more people have lost their insurance than gained insurance because of Obamacare. Yes, yes, the website is the screen-doored submarine of websites. Sure, the president is simply disregarding countless laws and regulations he and his supporters once considered so sacred only racists, psychopaths, and Koch brothers could oppose. But good God, “DON’T YOU WANT PEOPLE TO HAVE INSURANCE, YOU HEARTLESS BASTARD!?!?!”

Deacon Keith Fournier
The Gender Identity Movement insists upon recognition in the civil law of the State a new found, manufactured right to choose one's gender, and then to change one's mind, at any time. The proponents insist upon civil laws which accommodate, fund, and enforce this new right. Those involved in the activist wing of the movement want to compel the rest of society to recognize their vision of a brave new world or face the Police Power of the State. This is cultural insanity.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:10 PM | Permalink

How wolves change rivers

A stunning video.

I was with the National Park Service when it made its decision to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone and I remember how controversial it was.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:08 PM | Permalink

Health Roundup: Autism and pollution, hospital infections, shadow diseases, saturated fat, food sensors, controversial medical questions

Growing evidence that autism is linked to pollution with babies 283% more likely to suffer from the condition compared to other birth defects

Exposure to traffic fumes, industrial air pollution and other environmental toxins can dramatically increase a mother's chances of having a child with autism. Researchers studied insurance claims from around 100 million people in the U.S., and used congenital malformations in boys as an indicator for parental exposure to environmental toxins.
Several studies have already shown a link between air pollution and autism, but this latest study published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology is one of the largest to put the two together.
The report looked at birth defects associated with parental exposure to pollution and found a 1% increase in the defects corresponded to a 283% increase in autism.
Essentially what happens is during pregnancy there are certain sensitive periods where the fetus is very vulnerable to a range of small molecules – from things like plasticizers, prescription drugs, environmental pesticides and other things,’ said study author Andrey Rzhetsky.
‘Some of these small molecules essentially alter normal development,’ the University of Chicago professor of genetic medicine and human genetics continued. ‘It’s not really well known why, but it’s an experimental observation.’ The defects were especially noticeable in boys’ reproductive systems, Rzhetsky noted.

One of the worst places to be sick is in a hospital because about 5% of patients acquire an infection such as  MRSA, C. difficile and E. coli which is why this is such good news.  Canadian invention to clean hospital rooms may save 10,000 lives a year.  It's a machine called AsepticSure  that mists a a hospital room and everything in it with a vapor solution of ozone and low dose peroxide.  With a 100 per cent kill rate in tests. 

We don't know why but there are shadow diseases that seem to strike together

1. Migraine.  Its shadow: Stroke or heart attack
2. Endometriosis. Its shadow: melanoma
3. High blood pressure. Its shadow: diabetes
4. Psoriasis. Its shadow: heart attack
5. Metabolic syndrome. Its shadow: kidney stones
6. Asthma.  Its shadow: depression and anxiety disorders

Another major study shows Saturated fat 'ISN'T bad for your heart'    Lead researcher Dr Rajiv Chowdhury, from Cambridge University and his team conducted a ‘meta-analysis’ of data from 72 studies involving 600,000 participants in 18 countries, the results of which are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

Guidelines urging people to avoid fat to stave off heart disease 'are wrong'. There is no evidence of a link between saturated fat and heart disease. Healthy polyunsaturated fats also do not reduce heart disease risk. A dairy fat 'significantly reduces' heart disease risk

Coming soon to your grocery store, Tiny patch that sticks to food packaging will give you a warning when products are about to go off.  Inventor, Chao Zhang of Peking University in Beijing unveiled the sensors at the conference of the American Chemical Society.

Use-by dates are replaced using gold patches that change color. Sensors in the patches detect changes in temperature, for example. Patches are smaller than a fingernail and cost a fraction of a penny.  Inventor said the tags can be customized for different perishable products

10 Controversial Medical Questions Answered by Dr. Dalrymple

1. Is obesity a disease or a moral failing?
2. Should an alcoholic be allowed a second liver transplant?
3. Are psychiatric disorders the same as physical diseases?
4. Do doctors turn their patients into drug addicts?
5. As life expectancy increases will the elderly become too much of a burden on society?
6. Is marijuana a medicine?
7. Is nutrition really that important for good health?
8. Is drug addiction really just like any other illness?
9. Are obese children victims of child abuse?
10. Should you vaccinate your kids?
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:03 PM | Permalink

When the dog stays home alone

Don't miss this one about the dog who's not allowed on the bed.  It starts slow then takes off

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:14 AM | Permalink

Quotes of Note

When I was a small boy in grade school, we had no cartoons of naked men and women, boys and girls, strutting and slouching across the pages of “health” books. We had no sly suggestive come-ons into the world of porn and trivial sex. We were not encouraged to abuse ourselves, or given hints as to how many ways we could do it, or with whom. We did not know that our bodies were tools for mutual and meaningless seizing and consumption.

We were not, in other words, the objects of massive, publicly sponsored, selfish, soul-flattening child abuse.

Anthony Esolen.  Even the pagans had the sense that the innocence of childhood needs to be fostered and protected

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:09 AM | Permalink

I never knew about the cold Romans

The Romans didn't know how to heat their homes without getting smoke inside.  They only avoided asphyxiation because their buildings were so drafty and their windows had no panes.

The Technologically Backward and Cold Romans

“If the Caesars huddled against the cold and endured the smoke coming from their kitchens, medieval Europeans – peasants as well as the nobility – soon learned to live much better. They invented the chimney and the fireplace, whereupon even roaring blazes did not smoke up the room. Nor was it any longer necessary to have drafty homes. With the smoke rising harmlessly up their chimneys, folks in the Dark Ages ate better-prepared food, breathed far better air, and were a lot warmer in winter” (

Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success,

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:05 AM | Permalink

March 17, 2014

Round up your mates for a Guinness

St Patrick's Day sheep dog round-up

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:17 PM | Permalink

Slum is an an Irish Gaelic word which means 's slom é, or "it's bleak".

Happy St Patrick's day and thanks to the Irish who gave us so much slang  Irish words litter New York City slang

This is a small taste compiled from Daniel Cassidy's boss book, “How the Irish Invented Slang”, and from Niall Ó Donaill's “Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla”.

We don't normally exclaim "Gee whiz" or "Gee whilikers" anymore. We associate such talk with a classic time in New York, when Irish Gaelic was the secret language of the slums, an Irish Gaelic word which means 's slom é, or "it's bleak." In the slums it was common to hear Irish people say Dia Thoilleachas, Gee Hillukus, which became Gee Whilikers, and means the "will of God." "Gee" is the approximate pronunciation of Dia, or the Irish word for God. "Holy cow" means Holy Cathú or Holy Cahoo or Holy Grief. "Darn" is another Gaelic exclamation. In Irish you say daithairne ort, which means, "darn on you" or "misfortune on you." Gee whiz comes from Dia Uas or Geeuh Woous which means "noble god."
Irish Gaelic was a secret language in Éire, which was once an Ireland riddled with foreign spies, and so it was a language to keep the copper (the catcher, the thinker) from catching on. Cop comes from ceapaim, and means "I catch, think etc." You try to keep the cop from figuring out your racket, or your reacaireacht, your "dealing, selling or gossiping."

Just like the word bailiff came from the Gaelic word baille for bally or homevillage, the word in New York for the cop on the beat, was the ceap on the béad, the protector on ill-deeds.
Most scholars go by their goofy hunch, that tells them that Irish Gaelic is some dead language no one ever spoke. In fact, it was the first language of most Irish Americans that came here in the big flood of Irish after the famine, when that famine adversely targeted Irish-speaking areas first and foremost, sending Irish speakers to America before anyone.
Racketeer is also related to the Irish word reachtaire which was the title for the money-taking administrator at a colonial big house or at a church office back in Ireland. On the streets of New York, the racketeer has translated the duties and strategies of the colonizer into street crime rackets for himself--the oppressed learn the methods of oppression better than anyone.

A word that should be brought back is "joint" for place or establishment or room. It's a word that instantly conjures an entire world of old New York. It comes from the Irish word for protection or shelter, a place with a roof, such as in the root of the Irish word for penthouse, díonteach or jeent-ock.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:51 PM | Permalink

March 11, 2014

Health round-up: Anti-depressants, sitting, high protein diets, pill to slow aging, new risk for MS and smoking

Psychological side-effects of anti-depressants worse than thought

Thoughts of suicide, sexual difficulties and emotional numbness as a result of anti-depressants may be more widespread than previously thought, a researcher has found. In a survey of 1,829 people who had been prescribed anti-depressants, the researchers found large numbers of people -- over half in some cases -- reporting on psychological problems due to their medication, which has led to growing concerns about the scale of the problem of over-prescription of these drugs.

Dr Greg Antidepressants Have More Side Effects than Previously Thought

Over half of people aged 18 to 25 in the study reported suicidal feelings and in the total sample there were large percentages of people suffering from ‘sexual difficulties’ (62%) and ‘feeling emotionally numb’ (60%). Percentages for other effects included: ‘feeling not like myself’ (52%), ‘reduction in positive feelings’ (42%), ‘caring less about others’ (39%) and ‘withdrawal effects’ (55%). However, 82% reported that the drugs had helped alleviate their depression….

Professor Read concluded: “While the biological side-effects of antidepressants, such as weight gain and nausea, are well documented, psychological and interpersonal issues have been largely ignored or denied. They appear to be alarmingly common.”
“Effects such as feeling emotionally numb and caring less about other people are of major concern. Our study also found that people are not being told about this when prescribed the drugs. “Our finding that over a third of respondents reported suicidality ‘as a result of taking the antidepressants’ suggests that earlier studies may have underestimated the problem.”
But there is good news for those suffering with depression, therapy is a VERY effective treatment for depression with no side effects.  Often, combined medication/psychotherapy treatment is recommended for severe depression, but for mild to moderate depression and other emotional problems, psychotherapy remains the most effective  treatment of choice.

Sitting comfortably? You won't be after reading this:   Cankles, constipation and even 'brain fog' - why we should all try to spend a lot less time on our bottoms

High-protein diets: Bad for the middle-aged, good for the elderly (over 65)  Consuming high levels of protein — particularly animal protein — is a bad strategy if you’re at midlife and aiming to live into old age, new research finds. But a study out Tuesday reveals that in older age, fortifying one’s diet with more protein-rich foods appears to be a formula for extending life.

New Blood Test Could Tell You How Likely You Are to Die in Next Five Years  The new research could also potentially help identify people who have underlying illnesses, but otherwise appear healthy. However, the findings are not quite ready for clinical use as more studies and research is needed.

The pill that could slow aging: Researchers reveal groundbreaking study to extend lifespan and improve health of the elderly  SIRT1 protein delays onset of aging and improved general health.  Supplement extended the average lifespan of mice by 8.8%

Multiple sclerosis linked to contraceptive pill: Risk could be up to 50% higher in women who take it

Starting smoking as a teenager not only makes it harder to quit, it THINS the brain  People who start smoking when they are very young have less grey matter in the brain region involved in making decisions and gut feelings

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:47 PM | Permalink

"Where there’s no heaven, there is only hell"

"Guillotine, Gulag, and Gas Chamber. These are the glorious gifts that atheism has bestowed on a world grown tired of God. Such gruesome realities should come to mind whenever we hear the new generation of atheists asking us to imagine that “there’s no heaven; no hell below us; above us only sky”. Where there’s no heaven, there is only hell. And if we won’t have hell below us, we must have it with us and within us, and also above us, in the form of the hell of political atheism that crushes us underfoot in the name of “reason”.

Joseph Pearce

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:44 PM | Permalink

March 10, 2014

Blood test for Alzheimers

Just in time for the boomers.  Blood test that can predict Alzheimer's: Elderly could be given early warning

A simple blood test has been developed that gives healthy elderly people precious early warning they may get Alzheimer’s within the next three years.  It is hoped the test, the first to predict accurately who will become ill, could speed the search for new drugs that can delay or even prevent the devastating brain disease.
Researcher Howard Federoff took blood samples from hundreds of healthy men and women aged 70-plus. During the next five years, some developed Alzheimer’s. Their blood samples were then compared with the samples taken from the people who remained free of the disease.
This flagged up a battery of ten fats that were present in lower amounts in the blood of those who went on to develop memory problems – despite them appearing healthy at the time they gave blood. Dr Federoff then confirmed the finding on a second group.

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, he said the test can give two to three years’ warning of Alzheimer’s with 90 per cent accuracy. He said it is the first blood test to accurately forecast if an apparently healthy person will succumb to Alzheimer’s. It is also quicker, cheaper and less invasive than other methods such as expensive scans and painful lumbar punctures.  It isn’t entirely clear how the test works but changes in the blood may be a sign of brain cells deteriorating even when people appear healthy.

Let's hope that such a blood test will encourage drug companies to make Alzheimer's drugs faster and people to take preventative measures earlier .

Alzheimer's May Contribute to More Deaths Than Thought

Alzheimer's disease may be the third major cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer, according to a new study in the journal Neurology.

The study shows that the number of deaths caused by Alzheimer's is five to six times higher than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, which is based on data from death certificates.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:34 PM | Permalink

Keystone graphic

I can not see any rational reason why the Keystone Pipeline should not be approved ASAP.    Here's a great graphic.  Keystone XL Would Swell U.S. Pipeline Coverage by . . . 0.033 Percent

 Keystone Graphic

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:14 PM | Permalink

Has the IRS become politicized?

Bradley A. Smith: Connecting the Dots in the IRS Scandal 

The ‘smoking gun’ in the targeting of conservative groups has been hiding in plain sight….. The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes. It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn't have to….

In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.

Strassel: All the President's IRS Agents  The targeting of groups opposed to the Democratic agenda has not ended—it's gotten worse.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee markup Thursday morning, Texas's Ted Cruz offered an amendment to prohibit IRS employees from deliberately targeting individuals or groups based on political views. It was unanimously rejected by every member of the Democratic majority.

Obama IRS Hires Al-Qaida Spy

Mohammad Weiss Rasool, whom the FBI busted last decade for tipping off an al-Qaida terrorist suspect, reportedly now works for the deputy IRS chief financial officer as a financial management analyst, drawing a lucrative salary at taxpayer expense.

According to investigative reporter Patrick Poole, who broke the explosive story in PJ Media, the Obama administration has let a Muslim man convicted of abusing sensitive government data have access to the sensitive financial data of millions of Americans at an agency known for abusing such information.  Astonishingly, the dangerous felon is still at the IRS, where he goes by the name "Weiss Russell."

George Will, The IRS has a one-sided interest in politics

The most intrusive and potentially most punitive federal agency has been politicized; the IRS has become an appendage of Barack Obama’s party. Furthermore, congruent with exhortations from some congressional Democrats, it is intensifying its efforts to suffocate groups critical of progressives, by delaying what once was the swift, routine granting of tax-exempt status.

So, the IRS, far from repenting of its abusive behavior, is trying to codify the abuses.

Daniel Henninger speculates on Lois Lerner's taking the fifth again

I think what is going on here is that the Obama people understand they are on very thin ice with this IRS investigation because abuse of power is not merely a political expression. It's a federal felony. You start pulling on that string and finding other people who conspired to impede a federal investigation, a lot of individuals are going to have very significant legal and political exposure. Lois Lerner is the one they are all hanging on to.

As Peggy Noonan wrote in America and the Aggressive Left.    "We are suffering in great part from the politicization of everything and the spread of government not in a useful way but a destructive one……People feel beset because they are. All these things are pieces of a larger, bullying ineptitude. And people know, they are aware."

If the IRS becomes a political tool to punish so-called enemies, it loses both authority and credibility.  More and more people and I am one of them are beginning to entertain and  support the idea of scrapping the whole IRS Code and instituting instead a flat tax along the lines Steve Forbes proposes

The federal tax code is beyond redemption. We should kill it and institute a flat tax. My flat-tax proposal calls for a 17% tax rate for all, with generous deductions for individuals and families ( a family of four would owe no federal income tax on their first $46,000). And that’s it—no tax on savings and no death tax. The federal corporate tax rate would be dropped to 17%, and capital investments would be expensed immediately. There are other worthy variations of the flat tax.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:50 PM | Permalink

March 8, 2014

Green greed defeated

Ace  District Judge Rules That Chevron Was, In Fact, the Victim of a $16 Billion Fraud Scheme Directed By US Attorneys

WSJ  Legal Fraud of the Century Steven Donziger's tort raid on Chevron was 'dishonest and corrupt.'

From the opinion in Chevron v. Donziger , Judge Lewis Kaplan writes

This case is extraordinary. The facts are many and sometimes complex. They include things that normally come only out of Hollywood – coded emails among Donziger and his colleagues describing their private interactions with and machinations directed at judges and a court appointed expert, their payments to a supposedly neutral expert out of a secret account, a lawyer who invited a film crew to innumerable private strategy meetings and even to ex parte meetings with judges, an Ecuadorian judge who claims to have written the multibillion dollar decision but who was so inexperienced and uncomfortable with civil cases that he had someone else (a former judge who had been removed from the bench) draft some civil decisions for him, an 18-year old typist who supposedly did Internet research in American, English, and French law for the same judge, who knew only Spanish, and much more. The evidence is voluminous.

James Delingpole explains  Green Greed  in Chevron vs Big Green

Donziger stood personally to make $600 million from the litigation should it prove successful.

Other companies lured to the trough included an investment company called Burford Capital (which planned originally to invest $15 million to help fund the case in return for a 5.545 per cent share of the $9.5 billion proceeds - but pulled out, having only "invested" $4 million, after it smelt a rat); and also the large, left-wing Washington lobbying and law firm Patton Boggs which stood to make hefty contingency fees from the affair - and whose future now may be in jeopardy.

And concludes:

Few corporate entities pump quite so much money into environmental causes as the Big Oil companies - Shell sponsored the Guardian's environment pages; BP invested heavily in renewables as part of its Beyond Petroleum rebranding under the card-carrying greenie CEO Lord Browne - because for years they have been running scared of the green movement, because they're big enough to wear the additional costs of green regulation and because it suits them to "greenwash" their image…..

This is why we should all be applauding the decision by Chevron's CEO John S Watson ... to fight this case. It represents a victory not just for the Chevron shareholder, but for all those who believe in the capitalist system and are sick and tired the way so rarely it seems prepared to grow a pair and stand up for itself.

For too long it has been held hostage by a minority of hard left, deep green activists whose anti-capitalist agenda has been given a veneer of respectability by the intervention of high end law firms, glossy environmental consultancies, Hollywood campaigners, "caring" grassroots pressure groups, expert scientific witnesses, "independent" moviemakers and sympathetic mainstream media coverage.

It happens all the time, all around the world, and usually they get away with it. This time they didn't. The good guys fought back - and won.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:00 PM | Permalink

Some old words and some new ones

13 Wonderful Old English Words We Should Still Be Using Today

Ultracrepidarian (n):"Somebody who gives opinions on subjects they know nothing about."

Snollygoster (n): "A shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician."

Zwodder (n): "A drowsy and stupid state of body or mind."

Clinomania (n): "An obsessive desire to lie down."

Groke (v): "To gaze at somebody while they're eating in the hope that they'll give you some of their food."

Now some funny new ones when new English speakers use only the words they know

 Nut Hat

Tape measure: "Do you have a roll of inches?"

Ice cubes: very cold water with corners

Wrists: hand ankles

Mist: tiny rain but lots of them

Toes: foot fingers

 Horse Tornado

Wreath: holiday door donut with glitters

Gloves: hand shoes

Lambs: sheep kittens

Bury: digging it shut

Elbow: arm knee

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:25 PM | Permalink