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 .
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
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.

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