Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today's health update, political news and commentary


Short health and lung update: I continue to make slow but steady improvement. FEV numbers holding at 1.45 to 1.50, compared to 0.91 on 7/7. For a week or so I haven't needed oxygen at rest or walking a bit around the house. Friday morning after I took the BiPAP off, I decided to see how much I could get by without it. Went to rehab with the tank, but not on. The PT put me on 1 LPM of O2 for the first 10 minutes on the treadmill. My oxygen saturation (O2 sats) stayed up, so for the last 12 minutes on the treadmill, I was on room air, sats stayed at 92% to 94%. Then I was on room air for 50 reps each on the chest press, leg press and resistance band, stayed in the 94% to 97% range. Have not used since. Today (Saturday) walked the full Madison Farmer's Market with no O2 and stayed in the 95% to 97% range. Breathing still labored with exercise, but not as much as a few weeks ago, so the BiPAP is reducing the collapse. So all good. I try not to get depressed when I have setbacks, or too elated when I'm on the upswing--have seen both before. But I like being on the upswing. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Must Read: Obama's Rage. By Deborah C. Tyler, PhD
Excerpt: In September 2001 my daughter was a graduate student at Harvard. On the 11thday of that month, she spent some time sitting on a bench on campus, holding hands with one of her professors, while the two of them wept. Like many of her professors, this man was a renowned scholar. But unlike most, he came from a tough neighborhood in the Bronx. When phone service was restored to the West Coast, my daughter called. She said, “Mom, I'm so glad I was with my professor, because the people here at Harvard, they don't get it. It's like it wasn't their country that was attacked.” It wasn't. Decades ago, the self-amazed, academic staccato-talkers at places like Harvard constructed an edifice of convenient untruths about the United States.

The Roads to Serfdom. By Theodore Dalrmple
Excerpt: It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that, by the time Orwell wrote, his collectivist philosophy was an intellectual orthodoxy from which hardly anyone in Britain would dare dissent, at least very strongly. ... The growing spirit of collectivism in Britain during the war provoked an Austrian economist who had taken refuge there, F. A. von Hayek, to write a polemical counterblast to the trend: The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944. It went through six printings in its first year, but its effect on majority opinion was, for many years to come, negligible. . (Published in his book Not with a Bang, but a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline.)

The perks of doing your public service?
I thought this PJTV Video about Hillary and what it costs to have her come and talk was really interesting. Just the first few minutes of the presentation are fascinating. --Del

A Terrorist Horror, Then Golf: Incongruity Fuels Obama Critics
Excerpt: He had just hung up the telephone with the devastated parents before heading in front of the cameras. Unusually emotional, President Obama declared himself “heartbroken” by the brutal murder of an American journalist, James Foley, and vowed to “be relentless” against Islamic radicals threatening to kill another American. But as soon as the cameras went off, Mr. Obama headed to his favorite golf course on Martha’s Vineyard, where he is on vacation, seemingly able to put the savagery out of his mind. ("Fuels Critics"? What about anyone with a token sense of humanity, manners and compassion? --Barb)

President Obama Doesn't Care What We Think About His Golfing. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: After that brutal New York Daily News cover Thursdayafternoon, hitting him for going golfing right after his remarks about the beheading of an American, President Obama responded Thursday afternoon . . . by going golfing. President Obama doesn't care if the optics are bad. He doesn't care if there's an awful contrast because U.K. prime minister David Cameron canceled his vacation plans. He doesn't care if he's getting grief from once-stalwart fans like Chris Matthews and Maureen Dowd. He doesn't are if congressional Democrats are openly griping about his lack of interest and disconnect in the New York Times, and he doesn't care if senior Democrats are declaring that he's completely checked out of his presidency other than attending fundraisers. He doesn't care what any of us think.

Obama's Small-Screen Worldview. By Jonah Goldberg 
There is no iron law of the universe that says good will ultimately triumph. President Obama often says otherwise. In his mostly admirable remarks about the beheading of American journalist James Foley by the jihadists of the so-called “Islamic State,” Obama returned to two of his favorite rhetorical themes: 1) the idea that in the end the good guys win simply because they are good, and 2) that world opinion is a wellspring of great moral authority.

Philippine police smash online child 'sextortion' ring
Excerpt: Philippine police on Friday arrested eight people suspected of running an online sexual extortion racket involving children and preying on Asians, seizing laptops and other equipment. The gang extorted money from foreigners by threatening to upload videos of them performing sexual acts, Gilbert Sosa, head of the police anti-cyber crime group, said. "Today, we smashed a gang led by a woman who used children to lure foreigners to engage in sexual activities and later blackmail them on threats their sex videos will be uploaded on the internet," Sosa said.

With an eye on 2016, Rand Paul takes his campaign-in-waiting to the operating room
Excerpt: Brothers Juan and Andres Hernandez traveled more than four hours here by bus for the chance to reunite with the man they call “Dr. Pablo.” Fifteen years ago, they were flown to Bowling Green, Ky., to be examined by an ophthalmologist named Rand Paul. Fifteen years ago, Paul had no political aide or press secretary. There had been no 13-hour filibuster, and there was no talk of a possible presidential campaign. No bodyguard named Axel.

Cheaper to Buy New Cars than Build Light Rail
Excerpt: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) serves Pinellas County, Florida. Currently funded by property taxes, the PSTA has proposed to switch its funding source to a sales tax. The switch would make tax revenues double, giving PSTA the funds to build a light-rail line and make its bus system larger. The proposal, writes Randal O'Toole of the Cato Institute, is unnecessarily expensive: light rail is inferior to bus service, which can transport passengers more comfortably for much less money. PSTA does not have an impressive track record when it comes to predicting travel needs: ... O'Toole provides a shocking statistic: Building PSTA's light-rail line would be so expensive that it would be cheaper to give every new round-trip commuter that would otherwise use the light-rail system a new Toyota Prius, every single year for three decades.

New Education Poll: Parents Want Local Control
Excerpt: A new poll from Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup surveyed 1,000 American adults to gauge the public's attitude towards the public school system. According to the report accompanying the poll, the results indicated that most Americans are unsupportive of public education initiatives created by the federal government. For example: Fifty-six percent of Americans say that local school boards should have the strongest influence in determining what is taught in public schools. Sixty percent of Americans oppose Common Core Standards, concerned that the standards will not be able to accommodate the unique needs of local communities. Seventy percent of Americans support public charter schools.

Hillary’s Two-Faced Foreign Policy. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The left has denounced her as an interventionist. They just can’t explain how she is any more of an interventionist than her boss who bombed Libya, is bombing Iraq and wanted to bomb Syria. And all that is without mentioning his attempt to implement the Arab Spring’s regime changes. The closest thing to a disagreement between them was over Syria and considering that Obama was days away from getting into Syria, that’s not much of a firewall.

Pentagon Bans Uniforms From Ice Bucket Challenge
Excerpt: The Pentagon's Office of General Counsel Standards of Conduct Office did not state that service members could not participate, but ordered troops and DoD civilians not to perform the challenge in uniform. "A.L.S. Association is a national non-profit organization. As such, participating in this event is subject to concerns about implied endorsement," the Army issued in a statement from its Office of General Counsel (OGC) Standards of Conduct Office. (Every year the local CO of NSA Millington and dozens of sailors in uniform attend a Navy Day luncheon hosted by Kiwanis. High ranking officers in uniform participate every year in promoting the CFC. Military units are allowed to march in parades hosted by various organizations, including LBGT parades. Yet military personnel in uniform are not allowed to publicly support ALS. Shame on the Pentagon. --MasterGuns)

Crimes Dropping Year after Detroit Police Chief Tells Citizens to Arm Themselves
Excerpt: Liberal anti-gun advocates like Barack Obama and Michael Bloomberg would have you believe that the more law abiding people that have guns, the higher the crime rates. They fail to realize that many gun related crimes are committed with illegally obtained and owned firearms, not the legally owned guns by law abiding citizens

Worth Reading: Let’s Privatize Medicare. By John C. Goodman 
Excerpt: Paul Ryan proposed a private health insurance alternative to Medicare for future retirees, liberal critics pounced. It’s another scheme to undermine health care for the elderly by “privatizing” and “voucher-izing” the program, they said. Yet, almost one third of seniors are already in private health insurance plans. They are called Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, plans. And you would be hard pressed to find any Democratic office holder who wants to abolish them. The reason? Seniors choose to be in these plans because they like them better than traditional Medicare.

Re Maureen Dowd's awakening to Obama's modest qualifications to perform as President
As far as future elections, it seems that Obama is all finished. Could it be that Maureen's motive is quickly to endear herself to her former heroine, and the most likely Democrat to succeed Obama? It seems the main beneficiary of her recent jump away from President Obama and toward Hilary would be her ambition to assure herself access to a Hilary oval office. At the same time, if she can sway any clump of voters, she might imagine diminishing the prospects of Biden, Kerry and other lower-watt pretenders. Just a wild guess. All the best, Sam. (Sam is a brother Marine, blog reader and a semi-retired economics professor. ~Bob)

Why the price of commercial sex is falling
Excerpt: According to our analysis, the price of an hour of sex with a female prostitute has been dropping fairly steadily in recent years. In 2006 the average cost was around $340. By 2014 it had dropped to about $260. ... The increase in people selling sex online—where it is easier to be anonymous—has probably boosted local supply. (Ah, the free market is part of the reason prices have dropped. ~Bob)

Ferguson News

When a Black Cop Killed an Innocent White Man in Utah, the Press Was Silent
Excerpt: Is it because blacks in Ferguson rioted and looted while whites in Salt Lake City have remained calm?... Ever heard of a kid named Dillon Taylor? He was a white kid, 20 years old, who was killed by a black cop on August 11. This happened two days after Michael Brown was killed. Dillon Taylor seems to be a young man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Star Witness In Michael Brown Shooting Charged With Theft, Filing False Police Report
Excerpt: Dorian Johnson, the primary witness to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, has an outstanding warrant for a 2011 theft in Jefferson City and pleaded guilty for filing a false police report related to that theft.

Amid Ferguson’s Turmoil One Man Stands Up To Looters And Shows Us What America Really Looks Like
Excerpt: When confronted by a crowd of looters intent on ransacking the building behind him, the Ferguson resident takes a stand and a prospective looter asks him: You for the white man, bro? The man’s reply is perfect: I’m for everybody. (Or what America should look like, but too often does not. ~Bob)

Bill O’Reilly Cuts Vacation Short to Deliver What May Be the Most Passionate Evaluation of Ferguson

Who Are The Protesters Getting Arrested In Ferguson?
Excerpt: More than 160 people have been arrested since the protests began, nearly two weeks ago. Arrest records provide details about where the protesters are coming from. Sgt. Al Notham, who works with the Highway Patrol, says the bad actors have largely been weeded out. "Community leaders are stepping in. We're getting all kinds of assistance from the community. They're actually doing a fantastic job." Since the protests erupted, people in Ferguson have insisted that the troublemakers are not from this community. Capt. Ron Johnson, the highway patrolman in charge of security here, said as much earlier this week.

Time To Stand Behind The Police. by Marshall Frank
Excerpt: I’m one former career police officer who is fed up with the likes of Al Sharpton and a sensation-hungry media rushing to judgment when a black person is shot and killed by a cop in a confrontation. It’s the same old script: Intimidation, threats, violence, looting, antagonism and racial divide. And then the president and the attorney general weigh in on the federal level as though it’s a greater tragedy when a black person dies than a white person. No cop enjoys shooting anyone. No cop anywhere decides to pull a trigger on another human being because they’re white, black or Asian. Not in this day and age. That’s a guarantee.

Obamacare News

Colorado says 2,100 health plans were canceled in last two months
Excerpt: The Colorado Division of Insurance has reported that there were about 2,100 health-plan cancellations in the state over the past two months, bringing this year's total to more than 6,150. Since 2013, there have been about 340,000 policy cancelations in Colorado. Many customers received notices last fall as the Affordable Care Act was rolling out. (Obamacare--the gift that keeps on giving. Colorado voters will get to say thanks in November. ~Bob)

Undocumented Democrat News

Tempers flare in state Senate over flurry of hostile amendments
Excerpt: Tempers flared in the state Senate on Thursday over a series of hostile amendments proposed by Republicans, including one on the hot-button issue of immigration. The Senate approved a bill that would expand the number of immigrants in the country illegally who would get in-state tuition at state universities. (In-state tuition for illegals, but not for veterans? You wonder how anyone with an operating brain and any ideas of fairness at all can go for schemes like this. But hey, it's California, and the people running things there know their priorities. --Del)

Religion of Peace News

If Foley had not been a journalist, thus a member of the Progressive Praetorian Guard, Obama would have called his beheading "workplace Violence." ~Bob

Worth Reading: Tea With Four At Four & Tee With Four At Four. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: A few days ago one of our own, James Foley, was murdered. Young Mr. Foley, a reporter, was on assignment in the Middle East and taken hostage by ISIS. His crime? An American. That's it.
Excerpt: He had told a global audience minutes earlier that 'when people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.'
Then he was seen laughing with friends and fist-bumping them during a five-hour round at Farm Neck on Martha's Vineyard.
The #FistBump picture of Obama on the course after being #appalled is enough to turn your stomach.

Retired Intel Officer: Foley Rescue Attempt Failed Because Obama ‘Dragged His Feet’
Excerpt: Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer (Ret.) is a CIA-trained former senior intelligence officer who wrote the book Operation Dark Heart about the Special Operations successes in the early stages of the Afghanistan war. Thursday morning, Shaffer appeared on WMAL radio in Washington, D.C., to discuss the ISIS execution of American journalist James Foley earlier this week. He told me and co-host Brian Wilson that the recently revealed rescue attempt led by Special Forces earlier this summer failed because President Obama was slow to give the go-ahead: (Hard to verify or prove. ~Bob)

ISIS a Jewish Plot? Propaganda and Islamic Jihad. By Abigail R. Esman
Excerpt: It took her more than nine years of working in the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, but Yasmina Haifi finally uncovered the secret truth about the Islamic State: It isn't Islamic at all. Actually, it's a Jewish plot. (And a majority of Muslims, plus a large group of non-Jewish American progressives will believe thus rot. ~Bob)

Time to Stop ISIS: The Islamic State has grown because it seemed unstoppable. Our air strikes have changed that. By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: In following through, Obama demonstrated three things: the effectiveness of even limited U.S. power, the vulnerability of the Islamic State, and, crucially, his own seriousness, however tentative. The last of these is the most important. Obama had said that there was no American military solution to the conflict. This may be true, but there is a local military solution. And that solution requires U.S. air support. 9We should hammer them until there are no targets to be seen and an American can walk unarmed and unmolested anywhere, for fear of what we will do. "Oderint, dum metuant" - Seneca. ~Bob)
Excerpt: Former CIA covert operations officer Mike Baker said that he believes there is “a lot of communication” between ISIS and Mexican drug cartels given past efforts by al Qaeda to do likewise on Thursday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.” (But no proof? ~Bob)

'Twice as Many' British Muslims Fighting for ISIS Than in UK Armed Forces. By Madeline Grant and Damien Sharkov
Excerpt: There are now more than twice as many British Muslims fighting for Islamic State than there are serving in the British armed forces, according to a British Member of Parliament (MP).

Rifi: Hezbollah and ISIS ideologies alike. Lebanon Daily Star
Excerpt: “ Hezbollah and ISIS are alike,” Rifi said Thursday in an interview on LBC TV's "Kalam al-Nas" talk show. “Hezbollah’s ideology is to eliminate [the other] and control Lebanon under an Iranian scheme, and any party with elimination thinking is just like ISIS.”

You Do Realize that the US Funded and Trained ISIS, Right?
Ecerpt: Just so we are all clear here. Now that ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is becoming a threat so powerful Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon that the terrorist group is “beyond anything we’ve seen,” it’s time to remind everyone of a few little factoids regarding how exactly that came to be.

The American Jihadi Serial Killer No One's Talking About. By Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: For two bloody months, an armed jihadist serial killer ran loose across the country. At least four innocent men died this spring and summer as acts of "vengeance" on behalf of aggrieved Muslims, the self-confessed murderer has now proclaimed. Have you heard about this horror? Probably not. The usual suspects who decry hate crimes and gun violence haven't uttered a peep.

Boko Haram ‘Executes’ 2 For Smoking Cigarettes, Militants Take Nigeria Town
Excerpt: Boko Haram has seized control of a town in northeastern Nigeria, the latest to fall into Islamist hands in the crisis- hit region, witnesses and a local official said Thursday. Several residents who fled the Boko Haram assault on Buni Yadi in Yobe state said it began late last month, with the insurgents ultimately taking over the main government building.

4-Year-Old Israeli Boy, Daniel Tregerman, Killed by Mortar Fired From Near UNRWA School in Gaza

Excerpt: Daniel Tregerman, a 4-year-old boy was killed in a Gaza mortar attack on Israel late on Friday afternoon as he played in the living room of his family home, local media reported. (No outrage over this. After all, the kids was a Jew, and in the progressive view, had it coming. ~Bob)

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