Sunday, April 20, 2014

A few political items. And Happy Easter

A few political items I was able to pull. 

Happy Easter. "He is risen" for my Christian friends. Enjoy the chocolate bunny ears for my secular friends.

Not much on the health front. On the plus side, my breathing has been better and my oxygen use down. On the negative side, Friday morning I blew too hard on the spirometer and turned a backache into a serious muscle spasm, so that the last two days if I use it, or cough, it feels like a hard strike with a ball peen hammer in my right lower back. Stops me from some things I should be doing that make me cough. But it is slowly getting better, it only peripheral to the lung issue and is not life threatening, so I continue to march. ~Bob

Book Recommendation: Ethnic America: A History. By Thomas Sowell
Dr. Sowell looks at the history and integration in to American life of several ethnic groups, such as Jews, Germans, Irish, Mexicans, blacks, etc., as well as the intersection of the cultures they brought with them and the cultures they developed in America. Published in 1981, much of the data has been outdated by demographic and immigration changes, but his insights into these issues are timeless. For example, his research indicate that the eastern European Jews were the most destitute and illiterate of the immigrant groups, and scored low on IQ tests, leading commentators to say that the idea of the Jew as intelligent was a myth. Of course, now they are among the most economically and academically successful of ethnic groups in America, with IQs, college degrees and percentage holding professional jobs far above the national average. Based on contemporary thinking of progressives, this must be because these poor, literate Jews discriminated against native white Christians to get ahead of the rest of us!

The Real History of Slavery. By Thomas Sowell
I found this excellent essay read here on YouTube. ~Bob

Must Read: The Real Pay Gap: In the new economy, just about everyone is worse off. By Stephen Moore
Excerpt: The crisis in America today isn’t about women’s wages; it’s about men’s wages. Men are still the chief breadwinners in most families, and their wages are not moving much at all. If we look at Census Bureau data, we find that while men’s wages have risen by about 6 percent in real terms since 1980, women’s wages have risen by about 60 percent. ... In fact, a 2009 Labor Department study found that, when we control for work experience and education, the gap is only about 5 percent. And when we account for the fact that men are more likely to be injured or suffer an accident on the job, and do riskier work and often more unpleasant jobs than women, the gap virtually disappears. 

Must Read: New Studies Indicate Problems with ObamaCare Enrollment Figures
Excerpt: While President Obama has declared victory, cheering the enrollment of 7.1 million in the health insurance exchanges and announcing that the debate on the repeal of ObamaCare is over, studies from the RAND Corporation and Express Scripts indicate otherwise, says the Fiscal Times. ... A significant portion of the increase in the number of insured actually comes from increased Medicaid enrollment, not an increase in private insurance. Nearly 6 million people enrolled in Medicaid, and most were eligible for Medicaid prior to the health reform law. More than 8 million people enrolled in employer-provided health care. In total, only 3.9 million people actually enrolled in insurance plans through the state or federal exchanges -- not 7.1 million. Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager, found that those enrolling in the exchanges tended to be sicker than previous risk pools. This means that premiums will have to rise even more than was expected. (If you like Obama's statistics, you can keep Obama's statistics. Period. ~Bob)

Good review of the history: Everything you need to know about the long fight between Cliven Bundy and the federal government
Excerpt: The case of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy burst into the national news cycle over the past week, captivating conservative media outlets with its protagonist, a firm believer of states' right with an armed group of supporters backing him. The stand-off between Nevada rancher and federal government officials trying to push cattle off of protected federal land has paused for now, but officials plan to renew their efforts soon. This most-recent skirmish is only the latest in a decades-long fight between the federal government and Cliven Bundy, however. Here's a timeline that proves just how complicated this case is — as well as the power that the media still retains to elevate a local political issue into a national one.

On point: Holy Cow! - Real Lessons Learned in Nevada. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Yeah, yeah, yeah - several courts have ruled against Mr. Cliven Bundy (and his grazing cattle). Blah, blah, blah.

Excerpt: As a matter of law, Cliven Bundy is in the wrong. He is nevertheless a sympathetic figure, and the concerns raised by the standoff in Nevada transcend the illegality of his conduct.

Trouble: White House-Touted Health Costs Slowdown 'Could be Over. ' By Guy Benson
Excerpt: The notion that Obamacare is bending downward the so-called "cost curve" on national health spending has been debunked by the government's own numbers. At late 2013 estimate from CMS projected that aggregate healthcare-related expenses would climb by 6.1 percent this year, as opposed to 4.5 percent in the absence of the new law. (Just another Obama promise that came with an expiration date. What difference does it make? He can lie, the media covers, we get enraged, and most people don't care. Yet. ~Bob)

49 percent think White House had IRS target conservatives. By Dana Blanton
Excerpt: Nearly half of American voters think the IRS targeted conservative groups at the request of the White House, and most want Congress to keep investigating the matter. The latest Fox News poll also finds 69 percent don’t feel President Obama has followed through on his vow to “find out exactly what happened on this.” (The other 51% were too busy talking on their free Obama-Phones to respond. ~Bob)

Excerpt: A plan to honor a Harlem cop killed by Nation of Islam radicals is drowning under a flood of racial tensions created more than four decades ago, but no one wants to throw it a lifeline — not even the NYPD’s new top cop. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is distancing himself from the controversial push to get the street in front of the 28th Precinct renamed in honor of Officer Phillip Cardillo, who was shot and killed inside a mosque run by Louis Farrakhan in 1972 — noting that the community should make the final decision. (Well of course you can't honor a cop murdered by Muslim extremists if it would offend Muslims. I love the charge of racism--Islam is the only race you can join by making the statement of faith. ~Bob)

An Inconvenient Rancher: BLM Docs Show Feds’ Solar Plan Targets Bundy for Elimination
Excerpt: Once upon a time there were more than fifty cattle ranches operating in the area of Southern Nevada where Cliven Bundy, with the help of numerous armed patriots from all over, is making his stand against the abusive, bankrupting tactics of the bullying federal government. Now, there is only one rancher and his family left. (And Harry Reid salutes him and the rest of us. --JB).

Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine
Excerpt: Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to "register" with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.
Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," reported Ynet News, Israel's largest news website.

Obama Takes Bold Step to Geoengineer Climate Change
Excerpt: A heavily redacted copy of a classified report titled "America Cools Down on Climate" (ACDC) and obtained by TheGreenGrok outlines the audacious plan to use commercial air traffic to mitigate the growing impacts of climate change across the United States. The plan falls under the category of what is known as geoengineering: the attempt by humans to slow, stop, or even reverse global warming by manipulating the environment instead of aiming to slow greenhouse gas emissions themselves. Geoengineering examples include injecting particles into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight back into space and dumping iron into the ocean to enhance the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide by oceanic phytoplankton. The ACDC plan, code-named "Rainmaker," is considered by experts to be groundbreaking not only because it did not require the construction of a vast industrial infrastructure; it also helped keep flights on time. (Continuing to follow pattern; makes "announcement" of "executive order" after a fait accompli. Been doing this for some time covertly. "Father knows best"....population and citizens' input not desired or needed. --Barb)

Excerpt: According to the Government Accountability Office, the federal government spends $18 billion a year on 47 duplicative job training programs across nine federal agencies. But the White House isn’t just adding to this host of repetitive rackets – it’s effectively creating a new program that will duplicate other programs already put in place at the state level. (Actually, these programs create lots of jobs--for bureaucrats to run them who are loyal Democrat party votes. ~Bob)

Obama, Michigan in talks to free up $100M to aid Detroit pension deal
Excerpt: The two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren�t authorized to disclose the information, confirmed that there have been talks about the federal government supporting a move by the state to give Detroit $100 million in federal money for blight remediation. That, in turn, would free up $100 million of the more than $500 million that emergency manager Kevyn Orr planned to spend for blight removal over the next 10 years. Orr could then use that money to reduce pension cuts. (You did know the Detroit Democrat Disaster was going to come out of your pocket, right? It always does. ~Bob)

The True Opponents of Immigration Reform: Too many special interests profit from the present mess. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The problem instead is that the establishments of both parties talk in high-minded fashion but in fact act selfishly. Unfortunately, identity-politics elites and Democratic-party activists, along with employers of undocumented workers, do not support such a grand bargain. Why not? Because Democrats and the members of the identity-politics industry believe that they have gained millions of new constituents. The more slowly huge surges of undocumented immigrants assimilate, the more they are likely to remain bloc constituents for particular causes and politics.

Does Tax Refund Fraud Benefit Democrats? By Ian Smith 
Excerpt: That the Democrats in government gain from keeping the tax credit system as dysfunctional as possible is probably a good guess why. ... The Earned Income Tax Credit alone costs taxpayers a whopping $12-14 billion in fraudulent payments every year. This is especially troubling considering the program pays out in total $56 billion per year, meaning its average “improper payments rate” is around 25 per cent. Medicaid fraud, which is very well publicized and has its own federal task force, hovers at around 8-10 per cent a year.

Husband Convicted in Case Touted as Hate Crime
Excerpt: A murder case once touted as a hate crime, and a Muslim Trayvon Martin, ended with dramatic courtroom outbursts in El Cajon, Cal. late Thursday. The victim's husband, Kassim Alhimidi, was convicted of bludgeoning his wife Shaima Alawadi to death inside their home. Alhimidi, who wept loudly throughout his trial, spoke loudly in Arabic after wagging his finger at the jury, the San Diego Union Tribune reports.

Muslim drivers at Cleveland airport refuse to drive cabs with Gay Games advertising
Excerpt: Roughly 25 Muslim drivers dispatched to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are refusing to drive cabs adorned with advertising for the region’s upcoming Gay Games, citing religious reasons.

Shock Poll! Majority of Americans Say President Obama is a Liar 
Excerpt: According to a recent poll done by Fox News, the majority of Americans believe that President Obama is usually lying. Sixty-one percent of the people who took the poll believe that President Obama is lying at least some of the time on important issues. An additional twenty percent say that the President lies “here and there.” That means that eighty-one percent of Americans believe that Barack Obama lies to us. (Yeah, yeah some of you will poo-poo the poll simply because it was done by Fox News, but don't be afraid. --JB)

The Middle East War on Christians: Muslim-majority nations are doing to followers of Jesus what they did to the Jews. By Ron Prosor   
Excerpt: The Middle East may be the birthplace of three monotheistic religions, but some Arab nations appear bent on making it the burial ground for one of them. For 2,000 years, Christian communities dotted the region, enriching the Arab world with literature, culture and commerce. At the turn of the 20th century, Christians made up 26% of the Middle East's population. Today, that figure has dwindled to less than 10%. Intolerant and extremist governments are driving away the Christian communities that have lived in the Middle East since their faith was born. (The time of persecution of Christians is not over, not by a long shot, and the really tragic thing about it is that these Christian communities have been in place for over 1000 years, much longer in some places. And now, in the 21st century, the rise of Islamic orthodoxy and extremism has yanked the rug of stability out from under their feet, and they are targets every day for various forms of harassment and persecution. The slaughter of Christians in Darfur has gone on now for over a decade, and the UN troops there can't seem to do a whole lot to stop it. There are times when I think that we should have money being raised in Christian churches all over this country to go to organizations that smuggle weapons and supplies to Christian communities in these countries, to help them defend themselves. The Irish in this country many years ago raised money to send weapons to the IRA, is it time to follow that example and send weapons to these suffering Christians? Or is it time for our government to bring down whatever sanctions it can on their governments for their gross violations of human rights? In theory the wonderful UN is supposed to be the worldwide organization that moves to protest human rights violations, but the only real action we see there are the eternally repeated condemnations of Israel. (The one place in the Middle East right now where the Christian population is growing.) All the propaganda about the "religion of peace" is nice, and there certainly are Muslims who are perfectly fine living with people of other faiths, but the truth is that the last 20 years of growing Islamic extremism has gone more than far enough to make it a very serious problem in several Islamic states. It is not "Islamophobic" to recognize what is going on, any more than it was "Deutschophobic" to see that the rise of Naziism in Germany was a very bad thing. We need to get off the PC parade of people wearing blinders and recognize the reality of religious extremism in certain parts of the Middle East. --Del. We should allow the Saudis to build a mosque here for every church they allow here. ~Bob)

Bankrupt Illinois Madness Never Stops; House Committee Wants Taxpayers to Spend $100 Million on Barack Obama Library. By Mike Shedlock 
Excerpt: Illinois is broke. Its public pension plans are the most troubled in the nation. Illinois passed massive "temporary" tax hikes to fix the pension problem, but that did not make a dent in the problem. Nonetheless, ideas to waste more taxpayer money are always on the table. Here's a recent example. $100 Million for Barack Obama Library. (So glad to not live there any longer. ~Bob)

Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamic extremists claim massive blast that killed 75 in Nigerian capital
Excerpt: Islamic extremists Saturday claimed responsibility for the massive rush-hour explosion earlier this week that ripped through a busy bus station in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killing at least 75 people and wounding 141. "We are in your city, but you don't know where we are," Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram terrorist network, says in a new video that threatens more attacks. (“We are in your city, but you don’t know where we are.” That is true of many more cities besides just Abuja. But to pay too much attention to such matters would be “Islamophobic,” and neither government and law enforcement authorities nor the general public have yet caught on to the fact that every resistance to jihad terror and Islamic supremacism is ipso facto “Islamophobic,” and the whole point of charging “Islamophobia” is to clear away all obstacles to the advance of jihad terror. --Robert Spencer, Worth subscribing to their free e-news daily digest. ~Bob)

UK: State schools isolate non-Muslims
Excerpt: Schools in Birmingham are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to “comply with conservative Islamic teaching”, an official report leaked to The Telegraph discloses. Department for Education inspectors said that girls in a school at the centre of the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot were forced to sit at the back of the class, some Christian pupils were left to “teach themselves” and an extremist preacher was invited to speak to children.

Catholic priest is killed in Central African Republic (and his body mutilated)
Excerpt: A Catholic priest, Father Labbe Christ Formane Willbona, was murdered in the north of the Central African Republic, allegedly by a group of armed shepherds of the Fulani ethnic group, considered to be close to the former rebel group of the Seleka. 

Progressive Insurance: The right ideological credentials mean never having to say you’re sorry. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: How do you ensure that you won’t be ostracized, denounced, or fired if you are a media celebrity, captain of industry, or high public official? For some, sexist banter is certainly no problem. Stand-up comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c–t and a tw-t, but suffered no ill consequences. David Letterman joked on air that Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old daughter had had sex with Alex Rodriguez during a New York Yankees game. There was no downside to that either. President Obama tosses around “sweetie” as he wishes. No problem with that. No one believes Barack could be condescending to women.

Corn biofuels worse than gasoline on global warming in short term – study

Excerpt: Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a new study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change. A $500,000 study – paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change – concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7% more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline. (When the free market is trashed and the regime is pushing a command economy—they dictate what goes where and for how much—expect gas over $5.00 a gallon (4.17 for premium today) and no feed allotted to cattle; more corn being ordered to be used for ethanol by regime. Even though it is going to starve the population and has been shown to damage engines and the air. --Barb)

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