Monday, March 31, 2014

Random Thoughts for April, 2014

Random Thoughts for April, 2014
Robert A. Hall

March 31st was the Obamacare "firm deadline." Ha! Obamacare has no firm deadlines anymore than any of Obama's promises are firm. All subject to polls and political whims.

Republicans won a special election for Congress in Florida while I was in the VA Hospital for ten days early in March for three follow-up debridement surgeries on my new lung. It produced gloating from our side, spin from both, but that is standard now. I tend to agree that it didn't mean much. I think special elections rarely do. Turnout is always different, as are many factors. But I'll tell you who though it was a big deal--much of the main stream media, which was almost totally silent on the outcome, just as they were silent on a former high IRS official, Lois Learner, taking the fifth before Congress for the second time. They still have Obama's back--but it's getting harder. Ask yourself, if the Democrat had won the special election, or a Republican official had taken the fifth, would they have mentioned it? Probably it would have been splashed on Page One or at the top of the news hour.

I am amazed to discover there are lung or heart transplant patients through the VA who don't follow directions, go to PT rehab or do as medical staff instructs. I received the gift of a new lung. They are in short supply. I have a moral and ethical responsibility to the VA/UW Hospital Medical Team, to my family, to the donor family and to the person who would have received that lung if I hadn't been next in line with a higher LAS to do everything I can to make it work. It may not--these things go bad beyond anyone's control. But it won't be because my healthcare team didn't do all that is humanly possible. And it won't be because I didn't do all I can. I will be fighting all the way.

Anyone who heard the vacuous emptiness of candidate Barack Obama saying "We are the ones we've been waiting for," which is totally devoid of meaning, and didn't know the guy was hopelessly out of touch with reality, has the cognitive ability of fungi. (Of course, Obama and company were the ones that Ambassador Stevens and the SEALs were waiting for in Benghazi--they waited in vain.)

Our friend Danny says she is a "Commercial Cleaner." When a commercial comes on TV, she gets up and cleans house a bit.

When I was a boy, ADHD was known as "Boyhood."

Sure, I'd like to live someplace warmer, especially after this winter. But we are tied to Madison, WI by the VA to deal with my lung issues, by the nice condo we own and especially by the presence of the granddaughter in 20 miles away. And we are happy here. You may think relocating will make you happy and solve your problems, but if you aren't happy where you are, you are unlikely to be happy where you go.

Women use health insurance 33% more than men, according to the CDC. Women get paid less than men with more education, more experience, and who work more hours on average. But for them to pay more for insurance they use more of or to get paid less than men who work more is an outrageous inequality that liberals must fix! Men pay more for car insurance, because they have more accidents and drive more. They pay more for life insurance, because they die younger. Liberals see no need to fix this inequality by mandating equal rates--life is unfair! Stop the liberal war on men!

When something goes wrong, good people often feel bad though it was not their fault. But too often, the people whose fault it was accept no responsibility, but begin a search for excuses or scapegoats.

There may be no stupid questions, as they say, but there are sure a lot of stupid questioners.

Costco reports a big drop in profits. Liberals love Costco for giving better wages and benefits to employees, but the laws of economics are terribly unforgiving (as the country is finding out). If you can’t compete, and the liberals who love you still shop SAMS Club for better prices, those Costco employees will eventually have no wages or benefits.

For ROI, the best investment is raising a person’s stature in the eyes of family, friends, colleges and/or that person. It costs nothing and is very kind. But be sure that the compliment you give or share is sincere and deserved. Fulsome flattery just turns people off because it is so transparent. One of my nurses at the VA (who was terrific herself) said that if she was sick, she'd pick Nurse Cathy to care for her. I thought that was well-deserved, and made sure to pass it on to Cathy.

People keep selling health food—low fat, low sugar, low salt, no gluten—for high prices. I think there might be a market for “Low Life Expectancy” food, that has all these bad things, tastes good, and is cheaper.

There was a time—in my life time—when people saw black professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants) and thought they must be very good to have overcome racism and often other obstacles like poverty and poor schools. Now many folks wonder if they achieved their success from the liberal view that blacks cannot compete with whites or Asian (who certainly suffered equally bad racial discrimination), and therefore must be given lower college admission standards, grade standards, hiring standards, and promotion standards to achieve diversity, to overcome past racism or the effects of slavery, or, in my view, to buy votes from a large black population they have instilled with a victimized, we can’t compete, mentality that would have outraged earlier generations of blacks with higher employment rates than whites. As one group of former slaves petitioned the Freedman’s Bureau, “We are a working class of people.” Successful professionals like Thomas Sowell, PhD and Walter Williams, PhD, who grew up poor and black, and became nationally prominent economists without “affirmative action," are incensed, as they reject this condescending (and in my view, racist) view of black people .

If you believe with progressives that “all cultures are equally valid,” including those that execute gay people, mutilate the genitals of young girls, stone teenage rape victims to death for “adultery,” oppress women, believe slavery is sanctioned by God, and discriminate (or murder) people of differing religions, including variations of their own religion, then you have no values worth holding. Period.

Now that Bitcoin seems to be on the rocks, I feel vindicated in my conservative belief that I’d invest in memories and 12-year-old Single Malt first. I mean, the guy who created it was anonymous and went dark after it was up and running. Wasn’t that a red flag to folks pouring a lot of money into what looks increasingly like a high-tech, Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme?

The only difference between Rod Blagojevich and other convicted Illinois politicians, and most of the rest of them, is that so far, the un-convicted have been better at covering their tracks and staying off the skyline.

I think you could make money with a new app that made Word 10 work as easy as Word 03.

As far as I know, being annoying is not a sin. But it’s still annoying.

As far as I’m concerned, a druggie arrested for a crime could go cold turkey in the cell, no methadone or anything. It might be an instructive deterrent. Yeah, I’m a monster, who doesn’t care enough about druggie criminals. But the folks who do care about them would rather you or your kids get robbed, raped or murdered so they can feel good about caring. So who is the monster?

Obama mocked Romney for saying Russia was our greatest enemy, saying, “The 1980s called—they want their foreign policy back.” That would be Reagan’s foreign policy. After Russia destroyed Obama’s Syrian “Assad Must Go” policy by letting him make a deal on chemical weapons, and is now invading the Ukraine, Obama should be on the phone to the 80s, begging to borrow it again.

It’s hard to be pretentious when you once thought of a C-ration can of Meatballs and Beans as a delicacy because the guy next to you drew Ham and Limas.

No one knows everything about anything. The most important part of knowledge is knowing what you don’t know, because not knowing that is very likely to come bite you.

The problem with Obamacare failing, as it seems to be, is that Progressives will come up with something worse to “help people” (read “buy votes”), which will speed up the deterioration of our healthcare system into a single-payer disaster like the UK or Canada, where people die faster from cancer or inattention, and waiting lists are terrible to get tertiary care. But cost is no object—they will borrow or print the money, hastening the coming fiscal collapse. Future generations will loath them, at least the survivors of the chaos will.

I wish I had the money to buy billboards all over the country supporting Progressive Policies:

• SUPPORT PLANNED PARENTHOOD: ABORTION KEEPS THE BLACK WELFARE POPULATION DOWN

• SUPPORT WELFARE: IT KEEPS BLACKS OUT OF THE WORKFORCE, UMARRIED AND DEPENDENT ON THE GOVERNMENT

• SUPPORT MINIMUM WAGES HIKES: THEY KEEP BLACKS FROM COMPETING WITH WHITES BY TAKING LOWER WAGES.

• REPEAL “STAND-YOUR-GROUND” LAWS: TOO MANY BLACKS ARE USING THEM TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER.

• CUT THE MILITARY: IT’S CHEAPER TO LET AMERICANS BE MURDERED BY TERRORISTS.

• SUPPORT BIGGER GOVERNMENT: BETTER THEY SHOULD BE BUREAUCRATS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR A LITTLE WORK THAN WELFARE RECIPIENTS PAID FOR NONE.

• SUPPORT OBAMACARE: THE GOVERNMENT CAN ALWAYS PRINT MORE MONEY.

I read that a high school student in Texas accidently took a can of beer in his lunch, thinking it was a soda. You know it was an accident, as when he realized it he went to a teacher and turned it in. The school suspended him for two months and he must go to an alternative school. Message to students: If you make a mistake, and are honest about it and try to correct it, we will punish you. But if you hide it, you will likely get away with it. And they wonder why average Americans think the education establishment is full of feeble-minded idiots with no ability to think.

People who say that Obama is Hitler are silly. Putin is Hitler. Obama is Mussolini. Except he can’t make Obamacare run on time, as Mussolini did the trains. And he isn’t even a junior ally of Putin.

There are two ways to get improve student grades in college: Raise student standards and effort or lower the institution’s standards. But increasing the students’ effort and standards is unfair, euro-centered and, if the students are black, racist. So institutional standards decline, knowledge and critical thinking decline and "A" averages proliferate. And “educators” congratulate themselves, institute more courses in things ending in “studies” for kids who can hardly write or read at a 1960s 8th grade level, and hire more specialists in things like diversity and aroma therapy, and administrators. The "graduates" then live in Daddy’s basement, Occupy Wall Street, get Obamacare and talk to each other on Obamaphones about how unfair life is.

My PJ ensemble in the hospital was a yellow top, purple bottoms, green socks and red & rose striped bathrobe, all of several sizes except mine. I assume this is so if you slip out, the Fashion Police arrest you and bring you back.

Obama to Putin: “If you like the Crimea, you can keep the Crimea. Period.” Putin to Obama: “If you liked the USSR, you are going to get the USSR back. Period.”

Little girls are wine. Little boys are whisky. Different tastes. Of course, there are good wines and whiskies—and not so good one.

I think every government employee, federal and state, should be required to pick a Silver Health Care Plan from Obamacare, the government pays for it, and if they want gold, or outside coverage, they have to pay the extra out-of-pocket. Won’t happen—the backlash on Democrats would force repeal in a month. Obamacare is for you, not them.

I see that bureaucrat-required paperwork on doctors, nurses, teachers, business people and other professionals increases every year. You could graph out to the year when they spend 100% of their tine doing paperwork, and do no real work. But I think that date will be well after the collapse.

You think a collapse from spending and big government can’t happen here? That’s what the Russians thought in 1988,

Obamacare is getting worse. One of my friends saw a picture of his health care plan on a milk carton at breakfast.

It does no good to be a “country of laws,” if the government can refuse to enforce or change the laws at the whim of the guys in charge. If Holder doesn't have to enforce laws he doesn't like, why do I have to obey laws I don't like?

Young people voted for Obama because he was going to spread the wealth around. They didn't realize it was their wealth to pay for healthcare for old people.

If you need a permit to exercise your Second Amendment right to bear arms, why not a permit to speak, to publish a newspaper or to go to church under the First Amendment?

Liberal Economics in four steps. 1. Major in an area where the universities (fat on student loans they don't have to pay back) are creating far more graduates than the economy is creating jobs, like social work, education or anything ending in "studies." 2. Work part time in burger delivery, live in parents' basement. 3. Blame it all on Wall Street and the Free Market. 4. Demand the government take money from people who earned it in more economically-viable fields to help victims of capitalism like you.

People who don't read books are the voluntarily illiterate--and often woefully ignorant. It doesn't seem to hurt their standing with the media boobs, though. Dr. Thomas Sowell points out, "Adlai Stevenson was certainly regarded as an intellectual by intellectuals in the 1950s. But, half a century later, facts paint a very different picture. Historian Michael Beschloss, among others, has noted that Stevenson 'could go quite happily for months or years without picking up a book.' But Stevenson had the airs of an intellectual — the form, rather than the substance. ... As for reading the classics, President Harry Truman, whom no one thought of as an intellectual, was a voracious reader of heavyweight stuff like Thucydides and read Cicero in the original Latin. When Chief Justice Carl Vinson quoted in Latin, Truman was able to correct him." But the media pictured Truman as a bumpkin, and Stevenson as the smartest guy before Obama.
The person who does just enough to get by rarely gets by in the long run.
People who cheat others lack integrity. People who cheat themselves lack intelligence. But there are many of both kinds and not a few folks who do both.
I have a wonderful wife. She isn't perfect, but there's a vicious rumor that I'm not either...
I majored in "Peace Studies" at the University of Parris Island in 1964. There are few things I've noticed that get as peaceful as an enemy you put a few rounds into at 500 yards.
Had to laugh at the Weather Channel. They said the computer models differed on what tomorrow's weather would be. But of course, the models of the climate 50 years from now are settled science. Which is why Al Gore was able to confidently predict a few years ago that the Arctic would be ice free in the summer of 2013. Saying Global Warming is "settled science" is like saying Obamacare is "settled law."  That is, the "settled" part is subject to change at any moment to fit the shifting political narrative.
In the Third World, the election winners usually file corruption charges against the losers. And they are usually justified, regardless of which side won.
Barack Obama: The Ramblin' Mouth from Chicago South.
If you think KGB Agent Putin can be deterred, you probably know nothing about the famine the Russian communists created in the Ukraine in the 1930s, to suppress potential rebellion in the area, at a cost of an estimated 14M lives (compared to the 6M Jews murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust). Leftwing progressives denied it happened until the truth came out after the collapse of the USSR--since then they just ignore it, meaning that everyone knows about the Holocaust, though it is denied by Muslims and Neo-Nazis, but few know about the Ukraine Famine.

I tend to be organized and orderly. I also tend to be competent and efficient. Both thanks to Sgt. Owens, Sgt. Martin and Sgt. Harris. But they can conflict--sometimes being neat and orderly militates against efficiency. My wife, on the other hand, is committed to neat and orderly--on my part. She much prefers that I put the medical stuff I use twice a day, like my Neti Pot, away in a cabinet in the morning and then drag it out at night, whereas I find it efficient to have it and other items in plastic bins on counter or table, then put them away if company is coming. On the other hand, she can leave ad flyers or junk mail on the dining room table or other flat filing cabinet for months, happily ignoring it, while I dare not chuck it in case it falls into the 2% of paper she really wants to save. Sigh.
The situation in the Crimea is very troubling for liberals, who are desperately looking for a way to blame it on Israel, George Bush, Global Warming or Racism.
Don't tell the liberals, but most of the babies aborted by Planned Parenthood would grow up to be Democrats if they lived.
Democrats are bragging that 6M people have signed up for Obamacare. How many of them were previously uninsured? The most transparent administration in history won't say. How many had insurance and lost it due to Obamacare? The most transparent administration in history won't say. How many have actually paid? The most transparent administration in history won't say. How many went on Medicaid as opposed to buying insurance? The most transparent administration in history won't say.
Get the collection! My “Random Thoughts” from 2008 through July, 2013 are now collected in this book: The Old Jarhead's Journal: Random Thoughts on Life, Liberty, and Leadership by Robert A. Hall
The Old Jarhead’s Journal is a collection of Random Thoughts on politics and life and Conservative Political Essays, mostly published on the author’s blog, including the essay “I’m Tired” which went viral on the Internet in 2009, “The Hall Platform,” “This I Believe,” and “Why I’m a Republican.” While they will be of interest to conservative thinkers, they are collected here in book form as a service to readers who wish to give a copy to favorite liberals and watch their heads explode. All royalties are donated to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.

*****

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic.

http://tiny.cc/g02s4 For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at)gmail.com. Hall’s eleven books are listed here: http://tartanmarine.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-book-published.html

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Today's news and comment

Nice to have the weekend off, except for home therapy stuff. I was at the VA last week Monday, Wednesday and Friday for Physical Therapy, Tuesday for blood work and the bronchoscopy, and Thursday for a chest x-ray, pulmonary function test. 6-minute walk (not good) and meetings with the pulmonologist, transplant NP and transplant pharmacist. The coming week, I get Tuesday off--so far. They added a saline nebulizer twice a day to my home routine, which adds about 40 minutes, but has helped with the mucus, so my FEV-1 numbers (which measure how much air I can blow out) on the spirometer have ticked back up. Thanks for all the support and prayers, as the battle goes on. I was told that it has taken as long as nine months to get a slough (sluff) problem resolved for some patients and for healing to take place, and there was a patient who just had too much and died. But Jim, my excellent physical therapist, said he only knew of one dying from slough buildup in the 14 years he's been there. I don't intend to be number two. ["Combat efficiency: we are winning." --Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, MOH, (later Commandant) Tarawa, 21 November 1943.] ~Bob.

Internet Joke
Question: What do you call the Egyptian government's plan to execute 529 Islamists? Answer: A good start.

My Heroin Poem reposted in Clinical Psychology E-Magazine, edited by a psychologist friend.
We've just published our latest collection of new articles on our Clinical Psychology E-Magazine http://cpancf.com/clinicalpsychologyemagazine.asp .
We've had contributions from a good range of authors from around the country, perhaps our most diverse issue to date. The current issue features an article about OCD in children by our child and adolescent anxiety expert, Dr. Cummings, an update of an old article I did on ADHD meds; an article on police officer suicides, a series of articles involving alcohol/substance abuse issues and resources regarding first responders; a contribution by a Milwaukee attorney on considerations in hiring a Nanny, a contribution by a children's book author in Hawaii on storytelling (for our readers He's offering signed copies on pre-orders), a poignant poem about a heroin addict by a friend and former Florida Psychological Associated Executive Director, Bob Hall (I Loved Heroin More Than You.), and an article on the Basics of Evaluations for Test Accommodations, by Joanne Max, Ph.D., of Atlanta, a fellow UF Clinical and Health Psychology alumni. --Ernie. (Ernest J. Bordini, Ph.D., Executive Director, Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida.)

Book Recommendation: The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000. By William H. McNeill
This book, given to me by a friend while I was recovering from my lung transplant, is an excellent, rather oblique look at how rulers and societies have organized military power, both to protect what they had and, as often to take what others had. It traces the intersection of military power with economics and resources, and how both technological development and social change have changed the projection of power, until war became completely industrialized in the 20th century. History buffs, especially military history buffs, will greatly appreciate it.

Worth Reading: Obama vs. Putin: The mismatch. By Charles Krauthammer
 Excerpt: “The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War. — Barack Obama, March 24. Should. Lovely sentiment. As lovely as what Obama said five years ago to the United Nations: “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.” That’s the kind of sentiment you expect from a Miss America contestant asked to name her fondest wish, not from the leader of the free world explaining his foreign policy. The East Europeans know they inhabit the battleground between the West and a Russia that wants to return them to its sphere of influence. (So far the media have been very gentle with Mr. Obama on the whole Ukraine mess. After all, it doesn't really make any difference to us if Ukraine gets trimmed a little, and besides, Obama has taken the higher road while Putin has shown himself to just be another KGB thug. Some of us don't exactly see it that way. This is important in several ways, but above all it shows the world that the USA just doesn't really count anymore when push comes to shove. At least not while this Administration is in power. --Del)

Why are Polish men in London getting military call-up papers? Poland feels vulnerable to Putin’s aggression: and let’s not forget, we’d be bound to help - as we did in 1939.
Excerpt: They’re told by the Polish authorities that the call-ups are “routine”: but the men say they haven’t been asked before and they’re well aware of the growing alarm in Warsaw at President Putin’s aggression. Three weeks ago, their Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, called a press conference to warn that “the world stands on the brink of conflict, the consequences of which are not foreseen… Not everyone in Europe is aware of this situation.” (Not sure what to make of this. Poland fought a hopeless fight against the Nazi war machine in 1939, preferring to fight rather than surrender, though the story that Polish Lancers charged German tanks is a myth. See below. ~Bob)

Debunking Polish stereotypes: the cavalry charge against German tanks
Excerpt: The most likely origin of the legend is a skirmish at the Pomeranian village of Krojanty on the first day of the German invasion, 1 September 1939. Polish lancers, whose units had still not been motorised, did indeed charge a Wehrmacht infantry battalion but were forced to retreat under heavy machine gun fire. By the time German and Italian war correspondents got there, some tanks had arrived and they joined the dots themselves. The story was used first by the Nazi propaganda machine and then by its Soviet counterpart, to portray Polish officers (who were killed by Stalin en masse the next year) as absurdly careless about the lives of their troops.

Col. Weddington is ALWAYS worth reading: First in Force Protection - "HALT: Who is there?" By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Though still under investigation the incident, involving the USS Mahan (in port Naval Station Norfolk), begs basic questions about force protection - from leadership to gate security to front line sentries competently carrying out, first and foremost, General Orders.

Does anyone else find it puzzling that Barack Obama is more than willing to disrupt the entire world economy over a breech of the Ukraine's border...but has no problem at all ignoring the massive breech of our own southern border? Is there any manner of correlation between a few thousand Russians invading Crimea while more than 30 million Mexicans have invaded our own nation? The National Review just offered an investigative report that details how Obama ordered the Secretary of Homeland Security to put a screeching halt to deporting illegals...and to do it anyway deemed necessary. So we learned yesterday just how it was done. It came through an innocuous Homeland Security directive that reads as follows:

Jeremiah A. Denton Jr., Vietnam POW and U.S. senator, dies
Excerpt: Jeremiah A. Denton Jr., a retired Navy rear admiral and former U.S. senator who survived nearly eight years of captivity in North Vietnamese prisons, and whose public acts of defiance and patriotism came to embody the sacrifices of American POWs in Vietnam, died March 28 at a hospice in Virginia Beach. He was 89. (One of the real heroes of the war has left us. But if any of us are slated to pass the Pearly Gates in triumph, it would be him. --Del)

Politico Buries Senator Leland Yee's Arms Trafficking Scandal. By Warner Todd Huston
Excerpt: The world of political news was captivated by Thursday’s report of the arrest for gun trafficking of a famously anti-gun California state senator. Yet while most other news outlets reported the incident, Politico, an outlet that supposedly leads the nation in political news, didn't post a single story on the incident the day the news broke.

Probe Uncovers More Reid 'Slush Fund' Payments to Granddaughter. By Drew MacKenzie
Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is at the center of a growing political controversy after it was revealed Thursday that more payments from his campaign funds had been made to his granddaughter than previously reported.

Stephen Colbert’s Politically Incorrect Joke on Twitter Has People Calling for His Show to Be Cancelled. By Jason Howerton
Excerpt: Apparently channeling the “ignorant” character that he plays on his TV show, comedian Stephen Colbert tweeted on Thursday, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

The Race-Hacks Defend Their Industry. By Bruce Thornton 
Excerpt: That narrative is simple: white racism explains the epidemic of black-on-black murder, children without fathers, lack of education, and dependence on the government dole. Since Klan-style racist violence and Jim Crow legal racism have disappeared, “racism” has to be redefined in ever more subtle manifestations like “institutional racism.” The best example of this scam is the “disparate impact” standard for identifying racism, a favorite of the current Department of Justice.

Man says he assaulted daughter as a means of discipline.
Excerpt: A Saudi Arabian man who tried to choke his daughter told a St. John’s judge that such actions are “an acceptable form of discipline” in his country. But Khalaf Alshaek insisted he meant no harm to the woman. Instead, he was trying to prevent her from making a mistake and shaming the family by marrying a man without their consent.

Excerpt: In several butcher shops in Cologne, such pink pigs became “insulting pigs,” and the result was spitting on the windows, insults and threats. (No matter how many concessions you make to offended Muslims, they will always find more to be violently offended by. Even if you convert to Islam, there will be many Muslims who want to kill you for blasphemy, because you accept the wrong brand of Islam--which is why the vast majority of Allah-Murders are fellow members of "The Religion of Peace." ~Bob)

Coming Soon to Gaza: Lashes in Criminal Code
Excerpt: Hamas is taking another step towards the full implementation of strict Islamic Sharia law in Gaza, and is planning to introduce a penalty of lashes for certain criminal offenses.

Homosexuality serious as terrorism – Duale. By Laban Wanambisi
Excerpt: Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale on Wednesday equated homosexuality in Kenya to terrorism. (The Left will be fine with this, because Muslims now outrank gays in the hierarchy of politically-correct victim groups. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Anecdotally, just about everyone knows that an electric car's range can be affected by the weather. If it's too hot or too cold, the battery has to work harder and range is negatively affected. …With more and more of its members opting for electric cars, AAA recently studied how temperature affects the range of an EV and found that outside temperature can reduce a vehicle's range by up to 57 percent.

Maryland set to replace troubled health exchange with Connecticut’s system
Excerpt: Maryland officials are set to replace the state’s online health-insurance exchange with technology from Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, according to two people familiar with the decision, an acknowledgment that a system that has cost at least $125.5 million is broken beyond repair. The board of the Maryland exchange plans to vote on the change Tuesday, the day after the end of the first enrollment period for the state’s residents under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

ObamaCare Exposes Democrats' Lies About the Uninsured
Excerpt: One good thing about ObamaCare is that it finally laid bare the bogus claims Democrats have been making about the uninsured. Now can we get on with real reforms that will really help those in need? According to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare was supposed to make a major dent in the uninsured population in its first year — cutting its ranks by 13 million. The CBO figured that of the 6 million it expected to sign up through an ObamaCare exchange and the 8 million added to Medicaid, 86% would have previously been uninsured. The prediction looks to be wildly off the mark. Of those who bought ObamaCare-approved insurance, just 27% came from the ranks of the uninsured, according to a February survey by McKinsey & Co. In the months leading up to February, that figure was just 11%. (Now the information about what really goes on with people who are uninsured comes out, and gee, it doesn't match up with what we've been told again and again for years. Interesting to see actual evidence of who did what come out and how the uninsured are actually reacting to the opportunity presented to them. The second-last paragraph makes a great deal of sense. --Del. These numbers are based on surveys. Democrats are bragging that 6M people have signed up for Obamacare. How many of them were previously uninsured? The most transparent administration in history won't say. How many had insurance and lost it due to Obamacare? The most transparent administration in history won't say. How many have actually paid? The most transparent administration in history won't say. How many went on Medicaid as opposed to buying insurance? The most transparent administration in history won't say. ~Bob)

TSA spent $1 bln on 'body language' program
Excerpt: After investing $1 billion in behavior detection techniques and training since 2007, the Transportation Security Administration has little to show for its efforts, the New York Times stated in a new report. ... The GAO also disputed the TSA’s claim that its procedures helped single out high-risk passengers more effectively than random screening. Out of more than 30,000 passengers highlighted every year by behavior detection methods, the GAO found that less than one percent were arrested. None of the arrests were in connection to terror plots. (Huh. People can't spot liars--like those who promise, "If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period. Who knew. ~Bob)

Egypt: Muslims attack Christian church and kill worshippers
Excerpt: Violence spilled over from demonstrations in the Cairo suburb of Ain Shams when Muslim protesters attacked a Coptic Orthodox Christian church on March 28. Four people were killed in the attack on the church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael. Among the dead are a 25-year-old journalist and a Coptic Christian worshipper. When Egyptian security forces intervened, violence spread throughout the surrounding neighborhood. Muslim radicals are frequently whipped up into frenzy by their religious leaders on Fridays when they gather for prayer. (Unfortunately, for too many millions of Muslims, Islam is the Religion of the Peace of the Grave. ~Bob.)

Egypt court sentences 2 supporters of Morsi to death for throwing rivals off roof
Excerpt: One of those killed was nine-year-old Hamada Badr, who witnesses including an Associated Press journalist said was stabbed and then thrown off the roof. Another man in his twenties was hurled to his death and Morsi supporters were seen beating his lifeless body. (Obama's moderate Muslim Brotherhood pals in the wonderful Arab Spring. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: But It Sounds Good: Democrat Economic Rhetoric And America’s Critical Thinking Deficit. By Austin Hill 
Excerpt: So before you dismiss the rhetoric about the magic of minimum wage laws, try some critical analysis of what the Vice President said, and consider the veracity of his claims. To start, consider this line: “there’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty.” On the surface it’s difficult to disagree with that statement, but consider its implications. For one, it begs the question “what is poverty anway?” (I’ll get to that in a moment). Additionally, it presupposes that one is entitled to something on the order of “middle class” status simply because one puts in 40 hours a week working at some job. 

Greetings from Obamaland…Oops, I Mean Greece. By Daniel J. Mitchell 
Excerpt: So why are pharmacists protesting? I found out from some of the locals at the Free Market Road Show that this is a heavily regulated and protected sector of the Greek economy. The government has rules, for instance, that products such as aspirin and other painkillers can only be purchased at pharmacies. The bureaucracy also rigs all the prices to preclude competition. And there are even government policies that make it very difficult for new pharmacies to compete against the established firms.

SAY WHAT: Global Warming to Spawn Erectile Dysfunction and Vegetarianism
Excerpt: This is not exciting news. The National Institute of Scientific Research in Brussels has identified global warming to be a significant contributor to erectile dysfunction. Dr. Alfvin Schwartz, chief of the study, said: The evidence is clear! All statistics confirm it, but most scientists would not believe it. However, the data is irrefutable. Global warming makes it go numb! There is no other way to say it. (Given how numb it has made Progressives' brains, I don't discount it. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Which Side Are You On? If you don’t care whether Republicans win, care that Democrats lose. By Kevin D. Williamson
Excerpt: For conservatives, the story of the Obama years has been the depressing spectacle of Republicans fighting a rearguard action covering their retreat from a Democratic agenda backed by superior numbers. Republicans began the Obama administration with effectively no leverage: Barack Obama in the White House, Nancy Pelosi in the speaker’s chair, and Harry Reid running the Senate. The outcome of that was the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the worst domestic defeat for the cause of limited government in a generation.

Pelosi: People Who Value Human Life Are ‘Dumb
http://conservativebyte.com/2014/03/pelosi-people-value-human-life-dumb/
Excerpt: At Planned Parenthood’s annual gala last night, attendees and your PULSEr stopped laughing at comedian and emcee Tig Notaro just long enough to watch Nancy Pelosi receive the award for her work defending abortion rights. In her acceptance speech, Pelosi slammed abortion opponents, especially criticized the “personhood” laws some of them are pushing and said the struggle for reproductive rights will continue whatever SCOTUS decides on the contraception mandate. (What a kind hearted woman.....NOT!-- just plain evil! --JB).

Margaret Sanger (The Truth About MARGARET SANGER. --JB)

Excerpt: Not to be outdone by her followers, Margaret Sanger spoke of sterilizing those she designated as "unfit," a plan she said would be the "salvation of American civilization.: And she also spike of those who were "irresponsible and reckless," among whom she included those " whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers." She further contended that "there is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped." That many Americans of African origin constituted a segment of Sanger considered "unfit" cannot be easily refuted.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A lot of political and a little lung news

Tuesday morning, 3/25 I had the "clean out" bronchoscopy. While my breathing is still labored with exertion, it is much better than the weekend or before the bronch--and I don't think breathing is subject to the placebo effect. My Surgeon, Dr. Jim Maloney, and his Fellow, Dr. Susan Ferguson, spoke with Bonnie while I was still out, and she says they seemed positive. We were in Thursday, 3/27 for a chest x-ay, pulmonary function test, 6-minute walk and clinic appointments. I saw Dr. Ferguson and she said the lung looked better than they expected. The stent is working to keep the airway open, and they are hopeful it is building scar tissue which will strengthen the area to prevent the dynamic collapse. But it also appears to be the problem, as it collects mucus and blocks air coming in. She proscribed an addition saline nebulizer to use twice a day. It takes about a half hour each time, but seems to be helping thin the mucus. The bronch I just had helped clear some of that, thus the improved breathing. So they have scheduled another clean out bronchoscopy for next week on Thursday, 4/3, and left the surgical bronchoscopy in place for 4/11. Meanwhile, I still have Rehab 3 times a week, of course. I still think I'm winning this thing, but the fight goes on. ~Bob

Excerpt: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula launched a deadly attack earlier today that killed 20 Yemeni soldiers in an eastern province that has become a major battleground over the past several years.

Afghanistan Is Doing Better Than You Think. By Michael O'Hanlon
Excerpt: In the minds of most Americans—and perhaps most members of Congress, too—the war in Afghanistan is already long since lost. Spasms of violence like Thursday’s attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul, a popular haunt for Western expatriates, only seem to underscore the country’s ongoing fragility after more than 12 years of frustrating, grinding conflict. And periodic anti-American eruptions from Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s often difficult president, have made it harder still to persuade the U.S. public that things here are better than they seem from afar. (A much more positive view of the country than we've seen before. I hope that the writer really knows what he's talking about, and maybe in the end, lots of people living there are getting more security. And just maybe the Taliban will wind down and become only an occasional attack that really doesn't change anything in the country. I'm not sure at all that this is really the case and that our departure will not bring on a very messy situation. To have spent so much of our blood there, not to mention the billions of dollars, and not have achieved anything would be a horrible disappointment. And what would happen to women in general and anyone who worked with us or for us is not something I want to think about. So let's all pray the writer is on point and that we can hope for a good situation to come about in Afghanistan. --Del. my view: "When the Taliban Comes Back." http://tartanmarine.blogspot.com/2009/11/when-taliban-comes-back.html ~Bob)

NJ Legislature Raised Taxes On Wealthy, But Wealthy Vetoed With Their Feet
http://politicaloutcast.com/2014/03/nj-legislature-raised-taxes-wealthy-wealthy-vetoed-feet/#6r2up2AemmjzQKpv.99
Excerpt: New Jersey’s high taxes may be costing the state billions of dollars a year in lost revenue as high-earning residents flee, according to a recent study. […] The study shows the state has been steadily losing high-net-worth residents since 2004, when Democratic Gov. Jim McGreevey signed the millionaire’s tax into law.

High Tax States Are Losing Billions
Excerpt: Using adjusted gross income (AGI) as a proxy for wealth, Brown found that a number of states, primarily those with relatively high state income tax burden saw very large movements of money outside their borders, with much of it moving to low-tax jurisdictions. For instance, Brown’s data shows that between 1992 and 2010, there was a net outflow of income totaling $68.1 billion from New York State, where the top income tax rate is 8.82 percent. About $19 billion of that money went to Florida alone, one of the few states with no income tax.

Iran Resumes Financial Assistance to Hamas
Excerpt: Facing increasing pressure from Egypt and deteriorating economic conditions in Gaza, Hamas has been flirting with the notion of re-entering the Iranian camp. Now, Al-Monitor is reporting that Iranian monetary aid has officially resumed to Hamas, but at a lower level than that it provided before ties between the two broke. 

'Huge Success' Being 'Vilified.' From The Patriot Post
"Never in my lifetime have I seen a law that is helping so many people be so vilified," complained Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). "This is a huge success, this law." How successful? Well, a report released in time for ObamaCare's four-year anniversary Sunday indicates just the opposite. The American Action Forum sums it up: "From a regulatory perspective, the law has imposed more than $27.2 billion in total private sector costs, $8 billion in unfunded state burdens, and more than 159 million paperwork hours on local governments and affected entities. What's more troubling, the law has generated just $2.6 billion in annualized benefits, compared to $6.8 billion in annualized costs. In other words, the ACA has imposed 2.5 times more costs than it has produced in benefits." We'd say the law is doing a fine job of vilifying itself.

Aborted Babies Incinerated. From The Patriot Post
The London Telegraph has a new report on grizzly details of what's happening in Britain's health system: "The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found." According to the findings, 27 National Health Service trusts incinerated more than 15,000 babies just over the last two years, often as part of the "waste to energy" program these "hospitals" are using. Health minister Dr. Dan Poulter called the practice "totally unacceptable," but such detached-from-reality practices are far more common in Britain than anyone cares to admit. And we shouldn't expect any different in societies that implement socialized medicine while devaluing the lives of the unborn through abortion on demand.

Loud + Weak = War: China and Russia are no more impressed with empty bluster today than Japan was in 1941. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The Roosevelt administration once talked loudly of pivoting to Asia to thwart a rising Japan. As a token of its seriousness, in May 1940 it moved the home port of the Seventh Fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor — but without beefing up the fleet’s strength. The then-commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral James O. Richardson, an expert on the Japanese Imperial Navy, protested vehemently over such a reckless redeployment. He felt that the move might invite, but could not guard against, surprise attack.

Bloomberg vs. the Koch Brothers. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: And who is funding the $3 million Reid ad campaign denouncing out-of-state billionaires for spending millions to influence politics? Is it grass roots Louisiana voters or local kindergarteners pitching in their pennies to stop the rampage of the billionaires? The single biggest donor to Senate Majority PAC is an out-of-state billionaire. Michael Bloomberg donated $2.5 million this year. 

Notorious leader of Ukraine’s protests shot dead. Circumstances are in dispute.
Excerpt: Oleksandr Muzychko, an ultra-nationalist member of Ukraine’s recent protests who was wanted in Russia for alleged war crimes, was shot dead late Monday in the western Ukrainian city of Rivne, according to reports by Russian news outlets, RT and Interfax.

Republicans and Blacks. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: The issue on which Democrats are most vulnerable, and have the least room to maneuver, is school choice. Democrats are heavily in hock to the teachers' unions, who see public schools as places to guarantee jobs for teachers, regardless of what that means for the education of students. There are some charter schools and private schools that have low-income minority youngsters equaling or exceeding national norms, despite the many ghetto public schools where most students are nowhere close to meeting those norms. Because teachers' unions oppose charter schools, most Democrats oppose them, including black Democrats up to and including President Barack Obama.

US appeals court upholds new Texas abortion rules
Excerpt: A federal appeals court has upheld Texas' tough new abortion restrictions.
A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Thursday.

The Insiders: More Obamacare lies, no one is surprised
Excerpt: if she was going to delay the open enrollment period for Obamacare beyond the already-extended deadline of March 31. She answered very plainly, “No sir.” Rep. Brady didn’t ask Sec. Sebelius because he didn’t know the answer. The HHS has already delayed various deadlines multiple times. The question was asked to see if Sec. Sebelius would finally tell the truth. She did not. No one was surprised.

Persecution of American Christians
Excerpt: Whenever the idea of Christian persecution in America comes up in a conversation with a liberal, their first reaction is often a sarcastic snort and a condescending eye roll. “Persecution? Of a group of people who are in the majority and vocally active in everyday life? That’s dumb.” This is a red herring. It’s true that persecution in America is unlike persecution in other parts of the globe, but that does not make the persecution that we deal with any less real. We don’t deal with the threats of imminent death or worries of our churches being attacked by jackbooted thugs… but we do deal with government directed discrimination and media driven stereotyping of who we are. And if you don’t believe that persecution against Christians exists in America?

AP Poll: Obama Disapproval Rises to 59 Percent, A New High. Guy Benson 
Excerpt: Nearly six in ten Americans now disapprove of President Obama's job performance, with just 41 percent giving him a thumbs-up. 

Harry Reid: I don’t recall accusing Republicans of lying about ObamaCare horror stories
Excerpt: Maybe, from moment to moment, this guy just … doesn’t realize what’s coming out of his mouth. Hard to believe he could forget saying on the Senate floor that all ObamaCare horror stories — all of them — are a GOP/Koch brothers fairy tale designed to besmirch the stellar reputation of the Affordable Care Act. Those remarks got heavy coverage in conservative media, and even got picked up at WaPo

Excerpt: The Federal Election Commission has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s campaign, asking for more information on why he listed an expenditure of more than $11,000$16,000 in “holiday gifts.”The gifts, I have learned, were purchased from his granddaughter, Ryan Elisabeth Reid, who is a jewelry vendor in Berkeley, CA. The gifts were later passed on to donors and supporters, a Reid spokeswoman told me.

CA Democrat's Alleged Arms Trafficking Scheme Linked to Islamist Rebels. By Joel Pollak
Excerpt: The 137-page, FBI-sworn affidavit against California State Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat who is also running for Secretary of State, and over two dozen other individuals reads like a crime thriller.

Untruthful and Untrustworthy Government: The massaging of critical data undermines our society. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The Benghazi, Associated Press, and National Security Agency scandals are scary, but not as disturbing as growing doubts about the honesty of permanent government itself.
It is no longer crackpot to doubt the once impeccable and nonpartisan IRS. When it assured the public that it was not making decisions about tax-exempt status based on politics, it lied. One of its top commissioners, Lois Lerner, resigned and invoked the Fifth Amendment.

Davis profited from government bond work
Excerpt: As state Sen. Wendy Davis prepared to launch her campaign for governor last fall, her law firm was busy providing legal advice on a $109 million bond issue for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. It marked one of about 20 bond deals for which Newby Davis PLLC has served as co-bond counsel on for the airport since Davis, a Democrat, and partner Brian Newby — Republican Gov. Rick Perry's former chief of staff — started their firm in Fort Worth in 2010.

More than half of top posts in key ObamaCare agency are vacant or held by 'acting' caretakers
Excerpt: Eighteen of the 32 top management jobs in the federal agency that is "ground zero" for running Obamacare are either vacant or filled on an acting basis. The agency is the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. Its problems start at the top. (The very top. ~Bob)

Administration to cancel Hellfire and Tomahawk missile programs
Excerpt: Let’s start with a simple question. What happens when a soldier runs out of ammunition during a firefight? First, he either retreats, or he quickly becomes killed, wounded or captured. Second, his tactical position converts from active to indefensible which imperils the strategic array of the entire battlefield. What do you call a submarine that runs out of torpedoes? Missing in action. That’s an old Navy joke that dates back to WWII. However the fundamental military concept remains true: without the ability to attack your enemy and inflict serious damage, you’re unable to influence any subsequent events on the battlefield.

The Somber News of Mike Lowe at the Red Purple Heart Rock. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: About the time I finished reading the names my iPhone alerted to incoming mail. A longtime friend was delivering sad news - a mutual friend of 33 years died the night before.

Meanwhile, Libya Descends Into Chaos
Excerpt: The Obama administration came into power arrogantly proclaiming the dawn of “smart power,” by which they meant the mere force of Barack Obama's personality would settle all international disputes and restore peace and calm to the world. The real result of this na├»ve bravado, however, has been that America is less feared and less respected. Russia has begun rebuilding the Soviet empire, Iran and North Korea pursue nuclear weapons with impudence, Syria flaunts international bans on chemical weapons, and our allies no longer believe the U.S. is trustworthy.

Excerpt: It’s a 2,700 page bill. There are 20,000 pages of regulations. Major provisions seem to change every other week. And despite Nancy Pelosi’s promise, four years after it passed most of us still aren’t sure about everything that’s in it. How can something like that possibly be fixed? It’s easier than you might suppose. Previously, I recommended four simple ideas: Replace all the ObamaCare mandates and subsidies with a universal tax credit that is the same for everyone. Replace all the medical savings accounts with a Roth Health Savings Account (after-tax deposits and tax free withdrawals). Allow Medicaid to compete with private insurance, with everyone having the right to buy in or get out. Denationalize and deregulate the exchanges and require them to institute change of health status insurance.

Unruly Progressives: Why it’s so hard to make progressives live up to their own rules. By Jim Geraghty
Excerpt: But Democrats are given a wide, wide berth for comments they themselves would be quick to label racist. South Carolina Democratic chairman Dick Harpootlian, for example, urged his party to “send Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from.” (That would be Bamberg, S.C., but her parents were Sikh immigrants from India.) Last year, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asked an Indian man at a university Q&A if he was a member of the Taliban.

The Environmentalist World War. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The Saudi Monarchy and Putin aren’t afraid of Barack Obama or even of an F-35; they’re afraid of fracking. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talalsaid that “North American shale gas production is an inevitable threat.” And Putin suddenly turned into an environmentalist when it came to fracking warning that it makes “black stuff comes out of the tap.” The Russians and the Saudis are both threatened by American energy production for economic reasons and political reasons. 

Illinois Democrat’s Home Raided In Child Pornography Investigation
Excerpt: When Illinois Democrat Keith Farnham resigned from the State Legislature last Wednesday citing “health reasons” no one suspected his “health” problem was kiddie porn

The Poor Are Not Getting Poorer
Excerpt: The rich may be getting richer, but the poor are definitely not getting poorer. In fact, most Americans got richer over the last 35 years. President Obama likes to stress that income inequality has increased in the United States, but it is hardly "the defining challenge of our time," as he has called it, says Ronald Bailey, a science correspondent for Reason Magazine. Brookings Institution economist Gary Burtless used data from a December 2013 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study to show that from 1979 to 2010 (this was the last year with available data) the bottom quintile's after-tax income in constant dollars rose by 49 percent. For the second lowest, middle and fourth quintile, those incomes increased by a respective 37 percent, 36 percent and 45 percent. ... In fact, a study by the U.S. Treasury looked at income mobility from 1987 to 1996 and from 1996 to 2005. Over half of taxpayers moved to a different income quintile during that time. And half of taxpayers who started in the bottom quintile moved to a higher income group by the end of each time period.

Cardinal Burke: Obama’s policies are ‘progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization’
Excerpt: Burke did not mince words in responding to a question about the Catholic reaction to President Obama’s attack on religious freedom, especially through policies such as the controversial HHS mandate. “He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies,” said Burke. “Now he wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship, that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions.”

Holder: Pre-School Teachers Now Racist, Too
Excerpt: Almost every week now, we learn from this administration of another racist conspiracy in America. The latest involves preschool teachers who secretly scheme to single out black tots for punishment. The administration put out a new report Friday showing black youngsters make up 18% of kids enrolled in preschool but almost half the preschoolers suspended more than once. It suggested this was part of a racist conspiracy to start criminalizing black youths as toddlers. (OK, here we go again, the statistics say that Black kids have more problems than other races, so that MUST mean there is racism amongst those working with the kids. Problems that relate to social conditions are only to be expected, and simple correlation does mean anything when applied inappropriately, as the race fanatics keep doing. Problems will not be solved, but only made worse, by false conclusions drawn by racial politics. --Del. They also claim that it is racist to point out FBI statistics that blacks are 13% of the population, but commit 53% of the murders. Facts are racist. But in my view, it is racist to cover this up and not address the problem, because the vast majority of the victims are also black. Their deaths don't matter to those who cover for black thugs out of "racial sensitivity." Yes, I know that "thug" is yet another recently-discovered racist code word. Well, I call the Aryan Brotherhood in the prisons thugs too--and their diversity recruitment program is notoriously weak. ~Bob)

NYT reporter: Obama administration the ‘greatest enemy of press freedom’ in a generation
http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/24/nyt-reporter-obama-administration-the-greatest-enemy-of-press-freedom-in-a-generation/#ixzz2wvYHSqGM
Ecerpt: New York Times reporter James Risen called the Obama administration “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation” on Friday, explaining that the White House seeks to control the flow of information and those that refuse to play along “will be punished.” Poynter reports that Risen made the remarks while speaking at Sources and Secrets conference — a meeting of journalism and communication professionals held in New York City. The foreign policy reporter, who is currently fighting a fierce court battle with the federal government over his protection of a confidential source, warned that press freedom is under serious attack in today’s America. (While FLOTUS lectures the Communist Chinese on Freedom of Speech. Pot calling kettle black. Oops. After it came out POTUS sees questions prior to “news conference” and frequently questions are determined by White House and certain reporters earmarked to ask them, i.e., entire thing staged to look real, when, in fact, PRAVDA lives in Amerika. --Barb)