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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: Today at 09:27:56 AM
And what does the administration do?  Reduce funding to law enforcement on corruption and white collar crime and divert more to terrorism.

2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: Today at 09:25:39 AM
I have to ask my surgeon friends as usually they get a quick path report back that should have told this trainee it was not the appendix.  Or with in
a day.  Sometimes surgeons now treat appendicitis with antibiotics alone and do not perform surgery.  I am not clear which is best in pregnancy.
There is risk to many antibiotics and pregnancy too.

https://en-maktoob.entertainment.yahoo.com/blogs/parenting/pregnant-woman-dies-horrifying-medical-mixup-200700512.html
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The right to flash headlights on: April 16, 2014, 08:02:28 PM
Constitutional right to flash your head lights gains momentum

National Constitution Center
By Scott Bomboy 14 hours ago
       
Should a driver have the legal ability to flash their head lights as an alert to a police presence on the road? That knotty legal question is gaining momentum after a legal decision in Missouri, an Oregon ruling, and a new effort in New Jersey.

New Jersey Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer introduced a bill in March that would make the use of flashing high-beams at motorists legal under state law.

Proponents of the measure are citing a legal victory for the pro-high beam crowd in a federal court in Missouri from February, which was reaffirmed last week.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey had issued a preliminary injunction in February prohibiting the town of Ellisville from prosecuting drivers who allegedly flashed their vehicles’ head lights to warn of radar and speed traps. The city didn’t appeal the decision.

Last week, Judge Autrey expanded that decision to a permanent injunction.

The American Civil Liberties Union championed the case of Elli v. Ellisville. Last April, the ACLU of Missouri sued on behalf of Michael Elli, who was pulled over in 2012 by a police officer and issued a citation for flashing lights to warn of radar use ahead. Elli faced a $1,000 fine for flashing the lights.

“Expressive conduct is protected whenever a particular message is present and the likelihood is great that the message would be understood by those who viewed it,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri in a statement issued about the case. “Even new drivers understand that an oncoming car with flashing headlights means they should either slow down, turn on their headlights, or otherwise use caution.”

The Asbury Park Press reported on the New Jersey story on Tuesday and it interviewed attorneys familiar with the proposal. They seemed to agree on the constitutional point but were skeptical if a New Jersey motorist would mount a constitutional challenge to protest a $54 fine.

But it did bring up a case from the 1990s where a motorist went to court and won a verdict that threw out a fine for illegal headlight flashing. However, that court’s decision wasn’t binding or applicable to other cases.

And there have been other instances where head light flashers have won in court.

Last week, an Oregon man, Chris Hill, fought a $260 ticket for improperly using his head lights while driving a truck full of logs. Hill won his legal fight, and Hill acted as his own attorney in the proceeding.

“The citation was clearly given to punish the Defendant for that expression,” the judge said in the case. “The government certainly can and should enforce the traffic laws for the safety of all drivers on the road. However, the government cannot enforce the traffic laws, or any other laws, to punish drivers for their expressive conduct.”

In May 2012, Ryan Kintner from Lake Mary, Florida, successfully fought a citation for violating a state traffic law by using head lights as a warning signal. The judge said the flashing was protected under the First Amendment.

“I felt an injustice was being done. … I have nothing against officers … keeping speeding down, but when you cross a line and get into free speech, I feel it’s gone too far,” Kintner told the Orlando Sentinel during the lawsuit.

Back in New Jersey, the Newark Star-Ledger’s editorial board has endorsed Dancer’s measure, in opposition to the New Jersey Police Chiefs Association.

“At its core, this is a free speech issue,” the board said. “Police can’t prevent you from stopping at every gas station to sound the alarm about a speed radar, or starting your own blog about the locations of hidden cruisers. Look — it exists already on Twitter. They shouldn’t be able to prevent an altruistic citizen from flicking headlights, either.”

The importance of the free speech issue isn’t likely to go way, as people facing relatively small fines are willing to take their cases to court.

As we profiled last month, a Pennsylvania man spent thousands of dollars in legal costs to protest a $150 fine for evading questions asked to him by a game warden. He won a legal victory over his Fifth Amendment rights, which apparently conflicted with a Pennsylvania deer hunting statute.

Scott Bomboy is the editor in chief of the National Constitution Center.
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Coulter on: April 16, 2014, 07:12:38 PM
BACK ANY CANDIDATE YOU WANT AS LONG AS IT'S ONE OF THESE THREE

April 16, 2014
 
As those of you who follow my hate mail know, I am opposed to running untested candidates against perfectly good incumbent Republican senators this election cycle. It will be a long time before Republicans have as good a year as this to win a Senate majority.

 Unfortunately, we have idiots doing the idiot thing, pretending to be "tea partiers," while challenging sitting Republican senators over fairly minor ideological differences.

 Anyone opposing an incumbent Republican for any reason other than amnesty is a fraud or an idiot. Right now, immigration and Obamacare are the only things that matter. Since every Republican voted against Obamacare, that leaves only immigration.

 Conservatives who ignore amnesty while carping about the debt ceiling, TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program), the Internet tax bill or Benghazi are too stupid to help their country.

 Suppose the Senate had passed a bill that would cut Texas out of the Union? Would that get your attention, fake tea partiers? Without Texas, Republicans would immediately lose 38 electoral votes, two senators and 24 members of Congress. (Democrats would lose only 12 House members.)

 How would you rate the prospect of repealing Obamacare if Republicans could: never win another presidential election; never win another majority in the House; and never again win a Senate majority? Oh, and how does the expression "President Nancy Pelosi" grab you?

 Would that bill be slightly more important to you than the Internet tax bill?

 Well, guess what? Amnesty will produce the exact same result as losing the entire state of Texas. In fact, merely continuing our current immigration policies will achieve the same result; it will just take a little longer. (But wow, I'm sure glad we got "Octomom"! What a boon she's been to our American way of life.)

 The population of Texas is about 27 million. With amnestied illegal aliens allowed to bring in their cousins and brothers-in-law under our insane "family reunification" policies, the 12 million illegal immigrants already here will quickly balloon to 30 million new voters -- who happen to break 8-to-2 for the Democrats.

Consequently, before running off and staging a primary fight against a sitting Republican, anyone who truly loved his country would ask himself the following three questions:

 (1) Does the incumbent Republican support amnesty? And by the way, "Supports amnesty" includes anyone who says one of the following:

 -- "We already have de facto amnesty"

 -- "What are you going to do -- round up 12 million illegals?"

 -- "They're doing jobs American just won't do," or

 -- "Our housekeeper, Lupe, is like family."

 (2) Is a primary challenge unlikely to flip a Republican seat to the Democrats?

 (3) Am I fairly certain the challenger is smart enough to avoid the (apparently) rocky shoals of being asked about abortion in the case of rape?

 There are at least three Republican primary candidates who pass this test with flying colors. They're smart, attractive, articulate and unlikely to ever use the phrase "legitimate rape."

 No incumbent Republican senators are in jeopardy -- the one Senate race is for a seat currently held by a Democrat, and the other two races are for House seats in reasonably safe Republican districts.

 Finally, all three races represent the battle at the heart of the Republican Party: Are we the party of soulless businessmen who care nothing about the country but only want higher profits for themselves? Or are we the party of middle-class and working-class Americans?

 If you don't think the Republican Party should speak exclusively for Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the Chamber of Commerce, then you have to support:

 -- Dr. Greg Brannon, running in the Republican primary against foreign-labor cheerleader Thom Tillis, to challenge the Democratic senator from North Carolina, Kay Hagan. (Primary: May 6)

 -- Frank Roche, running against the lying, amnesty-supporting Renee Ellmers in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (Primary: May 6)

 -- Dave Brat, economics professor, challenging the amnesty-addled Eric Cantor in Virginia's 7th Congressional District. (Primary: June 10)

 State legislator Tillis championed a bill making it easier for North Carolina employers to hire foreign workers. Instead of temporary guest workers coming in for a few months a year to do farm work, Tillis' bill expanded "farm labor" to "all industries," and expanded "seasonal" to "nine months."

 This wasn't an idle vote cast thoughtlessly: After the Republican governor vetoed Tillis' job-killing bill, Tillis led the legislature to override his veto.

 Tillis has been well repaid by business interests. North Carolinians can repay him for driving down their wages on May 6.

 Frank Roche, who is challenging two-term incumbent Renee Ellmers, speaks more knowledgeably about immigration than almost any sitting member of Congress. (After two decades in international banking in New York, he moved to North Carolina and became an economics professor and talk-radio host -- so he can talk.)

 Roche has this crazy idea that a nation's immigration policies should be good for the citizens of that country. (Somebody get this guy in leather restraints!)

 By contrast, his opponent, Rep. Ellmers, has dedicated herself to supporting the needs of her rich donors by being strident, rude and utterly cliched on the subject of immigration.

 Naturally, she is supported by Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg -- because who cares about the needs of North Carolina workers more than a Silicon Valley one-hit wonder seeking cheap foreign labor? (I'm sure Zuckerberg has the very best interests of the country at heart.)

 Every exchange Ellmers has about immigration seems to end in a blizzard of shouts and insults. After failing to tear at the heartstrings of talk radio's Laura Ingraham with tales of rich farmers who need cheap foreign labor, Ellmers shouted that Ingraham was "ignorant" and "emotional."

 About a week later, Ellmers denounced a constituent who criticized her on immigration, telling him that he didn't have "any damn facts" and was full of "hatred and vitriol."

 (Zuckerberg apparently pays his politicians better than he pays his computer programmers.)

 For the cherry on top, both Ellmers and Tillis go around claiming they're opposed to amnesty -- while doing everything they can to sneak foreign workers into North Carolina.

 So at least they know amnesty is not popular with voters. Here's an idea! Instead of running candidates who have to lie about their position on immigration, let's run Republicans who actually agree with the voters!

 Sucking up to businessmen may have brought Tillis and Ellmers a lot of campaign cash, but it's unlikely to help them with North Carolina's population, which, by the way, is 22 percent black. Recall that Mitt Romney won an astounding 20 percent of the young black male vote by being the toughest presidential candidate on immigration in 50 years. (I guess they do want the jobs "Americans just won't do.")

 Dave Brat, an economics professor like Roche, is challenging Rep. Eric Cantor: Maniacal Amnesty Supporter. Cantor says "immigration reform could be an economic boon to this country."

 You don't have to be an economics professor to know that bringing in millions of workers is not "an economic boon" to the workers already here. (If only we could bring in millions of workers to compete for Cantor's job.)

 Brat responded to Cantor's baby-talk, saying immigration "lowers wages, adds to unemployment, and the taxpayer pays the tab for any benefits to folks coming in."

 Republicans aren't at much risk of losing any of these seats, with or without primary fights. But we'll lose them all within a decade if Republicans like Tillis, Ellmers and Cantor aren't stopped.

Brannon, Roche and Brat are the candidates true patriots should support with everything they have.

 COPYRIGHT 2014 ANN COULTER
 DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL UCLICK


5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Hank Aaron on: April 16, 2014, 07:43:52 AM
Response to Doug's post from the race thread on Hand Aaron's recent comparison of GOP and KKK.

Yes I too was Very disappointed to see him say this in an interview.   I recall when a friend and I were sitting a AA spring training Atlanta Braves game in Florida (West Palm Beach?) in the early 90's some guy walked across the other side of the bleachers and everyone started clapping.   The word was it was Hank Aaron.

Great player and always came across as a gentlemen.  Performed under extreme pressure and surely was a victim of segregation and racism.

Yet I don't quite get the comparison of the GOP to the KKK.  Perhaps someone should email him the post of the history of racism and the two major American parties on the racism board. 
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A good reply on History of Democrats, Republicans, and Racism off of Yahoo board on: April 15, 2014, 03:02:12 AM
David H 44 minutes ago

A Short History of Democrats, Republicans, and Racism

 The following are a few basic historical facts that every American should know.

 Fact: The Republican Party was founded primarily to oppose slavery, and Republicans eventually abolished slavery. The Democratic Party fought them and tried to maintain and expand slavery.

 Why is this indisputable fact so rarely mentioned? PBS documentaries about slavery and the Civil War barely mention it, for example. One can certainly argue that the parties have changed dramatically in 150 years, but that does not change the historical fact that it was the Democrats who supported slavery and the Republicans who opposed it. And that indisputable fact should not be airbrushed out for fear that it will tarnish the modern Democratic Party.

 Had the positions of the parties been the opposite, and the Democrats had fought the Republicans to end slavery, the historical party roles would no doubt be repeated incessantly in these documentaries. Funny how that works.

 Fact: During the Civil War era, the "Radical Republicans" were given that name because they wanted to not only end slavery but also to endow the freed slaves with full citizenship, equality, and rights.

 Yes, that was indeed a radical idea at the time!

 Fact: Lincoln's Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was a strongly pro-Union (but also pro-slavery) Democrat who had been chosen as a compromise running mate to attract Democrats. After Lincoln was assassinated, Johnson thwarted Republican efforts in Congress to recognize the civil rights of the freed slaves, and Southern Democrats continued to thwart any such efforts for nearly a century.

 Fact: The Ku Klux Klan was originally and primarily an arm of the Southern Democratic Party, and its mission was to terrorize freed slaves and Republicans who sympathized with them.

 Why is this fact conveniently omitted in so many popular histories and depictions of the KKK, including PBS documentaries? Had the KKK been founded by Republicans, that fact would no doubt be repeated constantly on those shows.

 Fact: In the 1950s, President Eisenhower, a Republican, integrated the US military and promoted civil rights for minorities. Eisenhower pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1957. One of Eisenhower's primary political opponents on civil rights prior to 1957 was none other than Lyndon Johnson, then the Democratic Senate Majority Leader. LBJ had voted the straight segregationist line until he changed his position and supported the 1957 Act.

 Fact: The historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats in both houses of Congress. In the House, 80 percent of the Republicans and 63 percent of the Democrats voted in favor. In the Senate, 82 percent of the Republicans and 69 percent of the Democrats voted for it.

 Fact: Contrary to popular misconception, the parties never "switched" on racism.

 Following the epic civil rights struggles of the 1960s, the South began a major demographic shift from Democratic to Republican dominance. Many believe that this shift was motivated mainly by racism. While it is certainly true that many Southern racists abandoned the Democratic Party over its new support for racial equality and integration, the notion that they would flock to the Republican Party -- which was a century ahead of the Democrats on those issues -- makes no sense whatsoever.

 Yet virtually every liberal, when pressed on the matter, will inevitably claim that the parties "switched," and most racist Democrats became Republicans! In their minds, this historical ju jitsu maneuver apparently transfers all the past sins of the Democrats (slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow laws, etc.) onto the Republicans and all the past virtues of the Republicans (e.g., ending slavery) onto the Democrats! That's quite a feat!

 It is true that Barry Goldwater's opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 probably attracted some racist Democrats to the Republican Party. However, Goldwater was not a racist -- at least not an overt racist like so many Southern Democrats of the time, such as George Wallace and Bull Connor. He publicly professed racial equality, and his opposition to the 1964 Act was based on principled grounds of states rights. In any case, his libertarian views were out of step with the mainstream of the Republican Party, and he lost the 1964 Presidential election to LBJ in a landslide.

 But Goldwater's opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act provided liberals an opening to tar the Republican Party as racist, and they have tenaciously repeated that label so often over the years that it is now the conventional wisdom among liberals. But it is really nothing more than an unsubstantiated myth -- a convenient political lie. If the Republican Party was any more racist than the Democratic Party even in 1964, why did a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats in both houses of Congress vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Act? The idea that Goldwater's vote on the 1964 Civil Rights Act trumps a century of history of the Republican Party is ridiculous, to say the least.

 Every political party has its racists, but the notion that Republicans are more racist than Democrats or any other party is based on nothing more than a constant drumbeat of unsubstantiated innuendo and assertions by Leftists, constantly echoed by the liberal media. It is a classic example of a Big Lie that becomes "true" simply by virtue of being repeated so many times.

 A more likely explanation for the long-term shift from Democratic to Republican dominance in the South was the perception, fair or not, that the Democratic Party had rejected traditional Christian religious values and embraced radical secularism. That includes its hardline support for abortion, its rejection of prayer in public schools, its promotion of the gay agenda, and many other issues.

 In the 1960s the Democratic Party essentially changed its strategy for dealing with African Americans. Thanks largely to earlier Republican initiatives on civil rights, blatant racial oppression was no longer a viable political option. Whereas before that time Southern Democrats had overtly and proudly segregated and terrorized blacks, the national Democratic Party decided instead to be more subtle and get them as dependent on government as possible. As LBJ so elegantly put it (in a famous moment of candor that was recorded for posterity), "I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." At the same time, the Democrats started a persistent campaign of lies and innuendo, falsely equating any opposition to their welfare state with racism.

 From a purely cynical political perspective, the Democratic strategy of black dependence has been extremely effective. LBJ knew exactly what he was doing. African Americans routinely vote well over 90 percent Democratic for fear that Republicans will cut their government benefits and welfare programs. And what is the result? Before LBJ's Great Society welfare programs, the black illegitimacy rate was as low as 23 percent, but now it has more than tripled to 72 percent.

 Most major American city governments have been run by liberal Democrats for decades, and most of those cities have large black sections that are essentially dysfunctional anarchies. Cities like Detroit are overrun by gangs and drug dealers, with burned out homes on every block in some areas. The land values are so low due to crime, blight, and lack of economic opportunity that condemned homes are not even worth rebuilding. Who wants to build a home in an urban war zone? Yet they keep electing liberal Democrats -- and blaming "racist" Republicans for their problems!

 Washington DC is another city that has been dominated by liberal Democrats for decades. It spends more per capita on students than almost any other city in the world, yet it has some of the worst academic achievement anywhere and is a drug-infested hellhole. Barack Obama would not dream of sending his own precious daughters to the DC public schools, of course -- but he assures us that those schools are good enough for everyone else. In fact, Obama was instrumental in killing a popular and effective school voucher program in DC, effectively killing hopes for many poor black families trapped in those dysfunctional public schools. His allegiance to the teachers unions apparently trumps his concern for poor black families.

 A strong argument could also be made that Democratic support for perpetual affirmative action is racist. It is, after all, the antithesis of Martin Luther King's vision of a color-blind society. Not only is it "reverse racism," but it is based on the premise that African Americans are incapable of competing in the free market on a level playing field. In other words, it is based on the notion of white supremacy, albeit "benevolent" white supremacy rather than the openly hostile white supremacy of the pre-1960s Democratic Party.

 The next time someone claims that Republicans are racist and Democrats are not, don't fall for it.
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / second post today - NYT on: April 15, 2014, 02:44:48 AM


The Opinion Pages|Op-Ed Contributors 

Global Warming Scare Tactics


By TED NORDHAUS and MICHAEL SHELLENBERGERAPRIL 8, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. — IF you were looking for ways to increase public skepticism about global warming, you could hardly do better than the forthcoming nine-part series on climate change and natural disasters, starting this Sunday on Showtime. A trailer for “Years of Living Dangerously” is terrifying, replete with images of melting glaciers, raging wildfires and rampaging floods. “I don’t think scary is the right word,” intones one voice. “Dangerous, definitely.”

Showtime’s producers undoubtedly have the best of intentions. There are serious long-term risks associated with rising greenhouse gas emissions, ranging from ocean acidification to sea-level rise to decreasing agricultural output.

But there is every reason to believe that efforts to raise public concern about climate change by linking it to natural disasters will backfire. More than a decade’s worth of research suggests that fear-based appeals about climate change inspire denial, fatalism and polarization.

For instance, Al Gore’s 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” popularized the idea that today’s natural disasters are increasing in severity and frequency because of human-caused global warming. It also contributed to public backlash and division. Since 2006, the number of Americans telling Gallup that the media was exaggerating global warming grew to 42 percent today from about 34 percent. Meanwhile, the gap between Democrats and Republicans on whether global warming is caused by humans rose to 42 percent last year from 26 percent in 2006, according to the Pew Research Center.

Other factors contributed. Some conservatives and fossil-fuel interests questioned the link between carbon emissions and global warming. And beginning in 2007, as the country was falling into recession, public support for environmental protection declined.

Still, environmental groups have known since 2000 that efforts to link climate change to natural disasters could backfire, after researchers at the Frameworks Institute studied public attitudes for its report “How to Talk About Global Warming.” Messages focused on extreme weather events, they found, made many Americans more likely to view climate change as an act of God — something to be weathered, not prevented.

Some people, the report noted, “are likely to buy an SUV to help them through the erratic weather to come” for example, rather than support fuel-efficiency standards.

Since then, evidence that a fear-based approach backfires has grown stronger. A frequently cited 2009 study in the journal Science Communication summed up the scholarly consensus. “Although shocking, catastrophic, and large-scale representations of the impacts of climate change may well act as an initial hook for people’s attention and concern,” the researchers wrote, “they clearly do not motivate a sense of personal engagement with the issue and indeed may act to trigger barriers to engagement such as denial.” In a controlled laboratory experiment published in Psychological Science in 2010, researchers were able to use “dire messages” about global warming to increase skepticism about the problem.

Many climate advocates ignore these findings, arguing that they have an obligation to convey the alarming facts.

But claims linking the latest blizzard, drought or hurricane to global warming simply can’t be supported by the science. Our warming world is, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, increasing heat waves and intense precipitation in some places, and is likely to bring more extreme weather in the future. But the panel also said there is little evidence that this warming is increasing the loss of life or the economic costs of natural disasters. “Economic growth, including greater concentrations of people and wealth in periled areas and rising insurance penetration,” the climate panel noted, “is the most important driver of increasing losses.”
2013 has shown the true colors of the left’s false narrative on global warming. Both poles have expanding ice, with the Antarctic breaking...
 
Claims that current disasters are connected to climate change do seem to motivate many liberals to support action. But they alienate conservatives in roughly equal measure.

What works, say environmental pollsters and researchers, is focusing on popular solutions. Climate advocates often do this, arguing that solar and wind can reduce emissions while strengthening the economy. But when renewable energy technologies are offered as solutions to the exclusion of other low-carbon alternatives, they polarize rather than unite.

One recent study, published by Yale Law School’s Cultural Cognition Project, found that conservatives become less skeptical about global warming if they first read articles suggesting nuclear energy or geoengineering as solutions. Another study, in the journal Nature Climate Change in 2012, concluded that “communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society” rather than “on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.”

Nonetheless, virtually every major national environmental organization continues to reject nuclear energy, even after four leading climate scientists wrote them an open letter last fall, imploring them to embrace the technology as a key climate solution. Together with catastrophic rhetoric, the rejection of technologies like nuclear and natural gas by environmental groups is most likely feeding the perception among many that climate change is being exaggerated. After all, if climate change is a planetary emergency, why take nuclear and natural gas off the table?

While the urgency that motivates exaggerated claims is understandable, turning down the rhetoric and embracing solutions like nuclear energy will better serve efforts to slow global warming.
 

Ted Nordhaus is the chairman and Michael Shellenberger is the president of the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental research organization.
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Phelps underwater on: April 15, 2014, 02:41:11 AM
https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AlSxVU7WnQMxIqs7fuohHzCbvZx4?p=phelps+swim+underwater&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-745
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: April 15, 2014, 02:27:12 AM
http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / yup ; this is it. At least a tad of sympathy here. on: April 14, 2014, 06:50:23 PM
By Daniela Drake 16 hours ago The Daily Beast

Why Your Doctor Hates His Job

By the end of this year, it’s estimated that 300 physicians will commit suicide. While depression amongst physicians is not new—a few years back, it was named the second most suicidal occupation—the level of sheer unhappiness amongst physicians is on the rise.

Simply put, being a doctor has become a miserable and humiliating undertaking. Indeed, many doctors feel that America has declared war on physicians—and both physicians and patients are the losers.

Not surprisingly, many doctors want out. Medical students opt for high-paying specialties so they can retire as quickly as possible. Physician MBA programs—that promise doctors a way into management—are flourishing. The website known as the Drop-Out-Club—which hooks doctors up with jobs at hedge funds and venture capital firms—has a solid following. In fact, physicians are so bummed out that 9 out of 10 doctors would discourage anyone from entering the profession.

It’s hard for anyone outside the profession to understand just how rotten the job has become—and what bad news that is for America’s healthcare system. Perhaps that’s why author Malcolm Gladwell recently implied that to fix the healthcare crisis, the public needs to understand what it’s like to be a physician. Imagine, for things to get better for patients, they need to empathize with physicians—that’s a tall order in our noxious and decidedly un-empathetic times.

After all, the public sees ophthalmologists and radiologists making out like bandits and wonder why they should feel anything but scorn for such doctors—especially when Americans haven’t gotten a raise in decades. But being a primary care physician is not like being, say, a plastic surgeon—a profession that garners both respect and retirement savings. Given that primary care doctors do the work that no one else is willing to do, being a primary care physician is more like being a janitor—but without the social status or union protections.

Unfortunately, things are only getting worse for most doctors, especially those who still accept health insurance. Just processing the insurance forms costs $58 dollars for every patient encounter, according to Dr. Stephen Schimpff, an internist and former CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center who is writing a book about the crisis in primary care. To make ends meet, physicians have had to increase the number of patients they see. The end result is that the average face-to-face clinic visit lasts about 12 minutes.

Neither patients nor doctors are happy about that. What worries many doctors, however, is that the Affordable Care Act has codified this broken system into law. While forcing everyone to buy health insurance, ACA might have mandated a uniform or streamlined claims procedure that would have gone a long way to improving access to care. As Malcolm Gladwell noted, “You don’t train someone for all of those years in [medicine]… and then have them run a claims processing operation for insurance companies.”

In fact, difficulty dealing with insurers has caused many physicians to close their practices and become employees. But for patients, seeing an employed doctor doesn’t give them more time with the doctor—since employed physicians also have high patient loads. “A panel size of 2,000 to 2,500 patients is too many,” says Dr. Schimpff. That’s the number of patients primary care doctors typically are forced to carry—and that means seeing 24 or more patients a day, and often these patients have 10 or more medical problems. As any seasoned physician knows, this is do-able, but it’s certainly not optimal.

Most patients have experienced the rushed clinic visit—and that’s where the breakdown in good medical care starts. “Doctors who are in a rush, don’t have the time to listen,” says Dr. Schimpff. “Often, patients get referred to specialists when the problem can be solved in the office visit.” It’s true that specialist referrals are on the rise, but the time crunch also causes doctors to rely on guidelines instead of personally tailoring medical care. Unfortunately, mindlessly following guidelines can result in bad outcomes.

Yet physicians have to go along, constantly trying to improve their “productivity” and patient satisfaction scores—or risk losing their jobs. Industry leaders are fixated on patient satisfaction, despite the fact that high scores are correlated with worse outcomes and higher costs. Indeed, trying to please whatever patient comes along destroys the integrity of our work. It’s a fact that doctors acquiesce to patient demands—for narcotics, x-rays, doctor’s notes—despite what survey advocates claim. And now that Medicare payments will be tied to patient satisfaction—this problem will get worse. Doctors need to have the ability to say no. If not, when patients go to see the doctor, they won’t actually have a physician—they’ll have a hostage.

But the primary care doctor doesn’t have the political power to say no to anything—so the “to-do” list continues to lengthen. A stunning and unmanageable number of forms—often illegible—show up daily on a physician’s desk needing to be signed. Reams of lab results, refill requests, emails, and callbacks pop up continually on the computer screen. Calls to plead with insurance companies are peppered throughout the day. Every decision carries with it an implied threat of malpractice litigation. Failing to attend to these things brings prompt disciplining or patient complaint. And mercilessly, all of these tasks have to be done on the exhausted doctor’s personal time.

Almost comically, the response of medical leadership—their solution— is to call for more physician testing. In fact, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)—in its own act of hostage-taking—has just decided that doctors should be tested not every ten years, but every two years. If a physician doesn’t comply by the end of this month, the ABIM will strip away the doctor’s board certification status.

In an era when nurse practitioners and physician assistants have shown that they can provide excellent primary care, it’s nonsensical to raise the barriers for physicians to participate. In an era when you can call up guidelines on your smartphone, demanding more physician testing is a ludicrous and self-serving response.

It is tone deaf. It is punitive. It is wrong. And practicing doctors can’t do a damn thing about it. No wonder doctors are suicidal. No wonder young doctors want nothing to do with primary care.

But what is a bit of a wonder is how things got this bad. 

Certainly, the relentlessly negative press coverage of physicians sets the tone. “There’s a media narrative that blames physicians for things the doctor has no control over,” says Kevin Pho, MD, an internist with a popular blog where physicians often vent their frustrations. Indeed, in the popular press recently doctors have been held responsible for everything from the wheelchair-unfriendly furniture to lab fees for pap smears.

The meme is that doctors are getting away with something and need constant training, watching and regulating. With this in mind, it’s almost a reflex for policy makers to pile on the regulations. Regulating the physician is an easy sell because it is a fantasy—a Freudian fever dream—the wish to diminish, punish and control a disappointing parent, give him a report card, and tell him to wash his hands.

To be sure many people with good intentions are working toward solving the healthcare crisis. But the answers they’ve come up with are driving up costs and driving out doctors.  Maybe it’s too much to ask for empathy, and maybe physician lives don’t matter to most people.

But for America’s health to be safeguarded, the wellbeing of America’s caretakers is going to have to start mattering to someone. 



 









11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 11, 2014, 08:24:24 PM
This title is remarkable.

""Immigration is a "GOP" problem.""

No its not!  It is a problem for the entire country!

******Jeb Bush remarks expose GOP's immigration problem

Associated Press
By MICHAEL J. MISHAK 22 hours ago

MIAMI (AP) — With three little words, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush set off a fury this week that served as a potent reminder of how difficult the immigration issue remains for his possible presidential ambitions and the Republican Party.


Jeb Bush Remark Could Be 2016 Problem CBS Dallas Fort Worth (RSS)
Immigration reform 'love': Did Jeb Bush comment change shape of 2016 race? Christian Science Monitor
Jeb Bush says illegal immigration often 'an act of love' Reuters
Jeb Bush: Is GOP elite drafting him for 2016? Christian Science Monitor
[$$] William Galston: The Jeb Bush and Tea Party Divide The Wall Street Journal

An early GOP establishment favorite, Bush has long urged his fellow Republicans to show more compassion for those who enter the country illegally. But when he described illegal immigration in an interview as an "act of love" by people hoping to provide for their families, the backlash from his own party was swift and stinging.

Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho accused Bush of "pandering." Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and House Speaker John Boehner said the country should enforce the "rule of law." And conservative commentator Michelle Malkin created a new Twitter hashtag: #CancelJebBush.

In a speech Thursday night to an annual gathering of Connecticut Republicans, Bush noted the negative response to his remarks but said he sees no conflict between enforcing the law and "having some sensitivity to the immigrant experience."

Some of the party's most powerful insiders and financiers are concerned immigration could define the coming nominating contest in the way it did in 2012. Like Bush, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was jeered when he implied that his rivals were heartless if they opposed a law that lets some children of undocumented immigrants pay in-state tuition at public colleges.

The 2012 GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, took a hard line and advocated "self-deportation" for those here illegally. He won just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote, the lowest portion for a Republican in 16 years.

"The worst thing that can happen to a political party is not for voters to decide they don't like you," said Alex Castellanos, a GOP consultant and former Romney adviser. "It's for voters to decide you don't like them, and that's where the Republican Party is right now."

The Republican National Committee has urged the GOP to embrace an immigration overhaul, but comprehensive legislation remains stalled in Congress. Action is unlikely in an election year with high stakes. All 435 House seats, and 36 in the Senate, are on state ballots. Republicans need to gain only six Senate seats to win majority control from Democrats. The political calculus makes the GOP's core base of voters critical, so House Republicans want to avoid an immigration fight that could alienate them. But some establishment Republicans say the delay threatens the long-term future of the GOP.

"It's going to kill the Republican Party," said Al Hoffman, a Republican megadonor who chaired George W. Bush's presidential campaigns.

He and others argue the GOP needs a nominee with a "Nixon-goes-to-China mentality"— in which the party leader takes an audacious, if not popular, step— on issues such as immigration. They suggest that's necessary in part to peel away some Hispanic voters from Democrats in 2016.

For Bush, the debate is personal. His wife, Columba, was born and grew up in Mexico. The two met while Bush was an exchange student there; she is now an American citizen.

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox News before an audience at the George Bush Presidential Library in Texas, Bush said immigrants who enter the country illegally should, in fact, pay a penalty. But he added that he viewed such a violation as "a different kind of crime."

"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony," he said. "It's an act of love."

Hispanics are a crucial voting bloc in an increasing number of swing-voting states, from Florida to Colorado to Nevada.

Some see a new opportunity for the GOP to appeal to Latinos, many of whom have soured on President Barack Obama because of his administration's record-setting number of deportations.

"Hispanics are eager to hear from a leader in the Republican Party talk about immigration in the way that Jeb Bush talked about it," said Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Hispanic civil rights organization. "Some may argue that a bold country-first stance on immigration cannot win the nomination, but what is certain is that a divisive, anti-immigration stance does not win the presidency in a nation of immigrants."

In contrast to the 2012 nomination fight, most of the potential 2016 presidential contenders have signaled support for some kind of immigration overhaul. But they remain deeply divided over whether legislation should offer a pathway to citizenship for those living here illegally. After the Senate passed a bipartisan measure last year that would do just that, the barrage of conservative criticism virtually silenced the GOP's most outspoken immigration advocates, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

The furor over Bush's remarks shows the potential perils of picking up the issue, especially in the early voting states that play an outsized role in choosing party nominees. Bush's "act of love" comment was pithy and provocative enough to stir deep discomfort in a party still searching for a single message on the subject. And it challenged GOP officials to disagree without further alienating a voter group they're trying to attract.

"We appreciate the compassion in the statement, but the best compassion you can show a people is to uphold justice," said Tamara Scott, a RNC committeewoman and prominent Christian conservative in Iowa.

Bush, the two-term, Spanish-speaking former governor of a state with a booming Hispanic population, has struggled to articulate his views in a party that has changed dramatically since the last time he ran for office in 2002.

Last year, Bush released a book that championed legal status — but not citizenship— for illegal immigrants, seemingly contradicting his past statements. But in recent months, he has been giving speeches around the country that often include a full-throated defense of an immigration overhaul. Speaking at a recent financial advisers' conference in Florida, Bush lauded immigrants as "the risk takers," arguing that they embody the entrepreneurial spirit of America and invigorate the country's economy.

Katon Dawson, a South Carolina Republican strategist and Perry adviser, said Bush is wise to detail his nuanced positions so that potential rivals can't easily define his immigration stance if he decides to run.

"Look, the word 'amnesty' is a killer" in a Republican primary, Dawson said. "So you've got to take every chance you get to explain yourself ahead of the campaign."

___

Associated Press writers Bill Barrow in Atlanta and Susan Haigh in Stamford, Conn., contributed to this report*****
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politically (In)correct on: April 11, 2014, 07:14:41 PM
Just think if this student had claimed he was bullied because he is gay.   The news would be front page of all the major MSM outlets around the Western World.

Anderson Cooper would spend a week going over this.
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Murdoch & Fox on: April 11, 2014, 07:50:48 AM
"Murdoch was defiant when asked if the right-leaning Fox News Channel’s editorial content has hurt the political discussion or even the Republican Party itself. "It has absolutely saved it,” he said."

I agree.  Without Fox or talk radio one half of the nation would have No voice.

*********
Rupert Murdoch speaks: politics, divorce and how Fox News 'saved' the political debate

Eric Pfeiffer
By Eric Pfeiffer 17 hours ago Yahoo News
 
Rupert Murdoch arrives at the 2014 Academy Awards in February (Reuters)
 
Media mogul and News Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch sat down for his first interview in nearly five years.

The still very active and opinionated 83-year-old opened up to Fortune about a number of personal and political details during the interview, including his current favorite potential Republican candidates for 2016.

Murdoch told Forbes the 2016 presidential election “is between four or five people," and he places Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan atop his personal rankings. He called Ryan “the straightest arrow I've ever met.”

Some other highlights (Fortune subscribers can read the full Q&A):

Fox News Channel's slant

Murdoch was defiant when asked if the right-leaning Fox News Channel’s editorial content has hurt the political discussion or even the Republican Party itself. "It has absolutely saved it,” he said.

On how he's aging

He says, "My mother just died at 103, so that's a start. You should live 20 years longer than your parents. That may not be realistic, but I'm in good physical shape, according to the doctors. And don't worry — my children will be the first to tell me if I start losing some mental ability. That will be the time to step back.”

His biggest (professional) mistake

Primarily, buying MySpace for $580 million: “It was one of our great screwups of all time."

He also opened up about his 2013 divorce from Wendi Deng. “Everything has sort of come at once," he said. "But I was in an unhappy situation, and all I'm worried about ... is two beautiful little girls from that marriage. And they come and stay with me a great deal. I feel like I've turned over a new page in my life.”

On two of his most famous newspaper properties

Murdoch says the New York Post may go to an all-digital version within 10 years but that the Wall Street Journal will likely exist in both print and digital form for a longer period of time.

What he thinks people don’t understand about him

“They perhaps tend to think I've not got as thick a skin as I have. You know, I don't mind what people say about me. I've never read a book about myself," he said.

How he brought his son Lachlan back into the fold at News Corp.

"Lachlan and [younger son] James and I had a very serious talk about how we can work as a team. We had two or three hours together. Lachlan was not not going to come back. It was a question of how we would work together."

Follow Eric Pfeiffer on Twitter (@ericpfeiffer).
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary pyschoanalyzes Putin on: April 10, 2014, 04:51:44 AM
*****Hillary Clinton Psychoanalyzes Vladimir Putin

 By Liz Kreutz
@Liz_Kreutz
Follow on Twitter
   
Apr 8, 2014 9:24pm

AP Hillary Clinton ml 140409 16x9 608 Hillary Clinton Psychoanalyzes Vladimir Putin
Credit: Timothy J. Gonzalez/Statesman Journal/AP Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin may have a buff physique, but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sees right through it.

During a Q&A at a marketing summit in California today, Clinton gave a deep read on Putin’s personality, and compared the encounters she’s had with him to those she’s experienced on an elementary school playground.

“I have had my personal experiences with him,” she said, when answering a question about Putin and the recent situation in Crimea. “He’s a fascinating guy. Obviously he is determined.”

Clinton then proceeded to dissect his psyche.

“He is very difficult to read personally,” she said. “He is always looking for advantage. So he will try to put you ill at ease. He will even throw an insult your way. He will look bored and dismissive. He’ll do all of that.”

But Clinton said she was never fazed.

“I have a lot of experience with people acting like that,” she quipped. “Go back to elementary school. I’ve seen all of that, so I’m not impressed by it.”

Clinton made the comments during her first leg of a jam-packed, four-day long speaking tour through the West Coast at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco.

During her speech and the following Q&A, with Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez, Clinton spoke on issues including technology, immigration, income inequality, and advancement for women in the workplace.

The event wrapped up with the inevitable question about 2016. But when asked if she plans to run for president, Clinton gave no more of an indication that she had made a decision either way. She said that she is still thinking about it, and that she is “going to continue to think about it for a while.”

Even Clinton, however, admitted she’s become an expert at dodging the question.

“I danced around that pretty well, don’t you think?” she remarked with a smile.*****

Hillary knows not to let Putin's "buff" physique fool her.   I wonder if he knows not to let her hideous physique fool him.  Using HER school yard metaphor she sound like the ugly duckling who can't get the popular athlete so she simply has to insult him.

Low information voters will swoon over her nonsense.

 
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / governements kill on: April 10, 2014, 04:40:38 AM
http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2014/04/09/how-to-assist-evil-n1819754

The 20th century turned out to be mankind's most barbaric. Roughly 50 million to 60 million people died in international and civil wars. As tragic as that number is, it pales in comparison with the number of people who were killed at the hands of their own government. Recently deceased Rudolph J. Rummel, professor of political science at the University of Hawaii and author of "Death by Government," estimated that since the beginning of the 20th century, governments have killed 170 million of their own citizens. Top government killers were the Soviet Union, which, between 1917 and 1987, killed 62 million of its own citizens, and the People's Republic of China, which, between 1949 and 1987, was responsible for the deaths of 35 million to 40 million of its citizens. In a distant third place were the Nazis, who murdered about 16 million Jews, Slavs, Serbs, Czechs, Poles, Ukrainians and others deemed misfits, such as homosexuals and the mentally ill
[/color]
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / dog and lion at play on: April 08, 2014, 08:03:01 PM
The famous dogs and lion pals in Oklahoma zoo:

https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AjoD3Cvs23s9NSCYFLiw8VGbvZx4?p=dog+and+lion+oklahoma+zoo&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-301
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Brazilian wandering spider - on: April 08, 2014, 07:46:22 PM
erectile dysfunction - hang out with a Brazilian wandering spider.  It also has the most toxic spider venom:



****Brazilian Wandering Spider: Bites & Other Facts

By Jessie Szalay,

Brazilian wandering spider, spiders

  The Brazilian wandering spider belongs to the genus Phoneutria, which means “murderess” in Greek. And it’s no wonder why — it’s one of the most venomous spiders on earth. Its bite can be deadly to humans, although antivenom makes death unlikely. The Guinness Book of World Records has named it the world’s Most Venomous Spider in multiple years.

There are eight species of Brazilian wandering spiders, which can all be found in Brazil. Some of the species can also be found throughout Latin America, from Costa Rica to Argentina. These powerful arachnids have been known to hitch rides internationally in banana shipments, for which they’ve been given the nickname “banana spider.”

In 2007, scientists discovered that in addition to intense pain and possible medical complications, the bite of a Brazilian wandering spider also deliver a long, painful erection to human males. The venom boosts nitric oxide, a chemical that increases blood flow. There has since been talk of incorporating the venom into drugs for erectile dysfunction.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: April 06, 2014, 03:09:48 AM
Health Care "policy" is all about the elites as well.
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: April 05, 2014, 10:14:50 AM
What a marvelous story ( or beginning of a story).   Truly the American dream.   I recall posting about my Indian friend and colleague who commented how he sees American Blacks simply not seeing the advantages they have because they are in America.   I don't want to sound cold or indifferent or that I don't recognize the sort of holocaust Blacks went through over centuries as slaves and in segregated America etc.   

But this son of parents from Africa seem to have been taught and learned to embrace the gift of America that exists no where else.  I have many African patients and some colleagues.   I also have many from the Caribbean and American.  Culture and nation/regional  roots certainly does influence them (as it does us all).

Yet there is something special in this child's parents.  And there is something special in him.   

It seems like they just wanted the chance.   You don't hear anything about entitlements or the rest.  Just to be in America where one has a chance.

To blame discrimination was believable in the past.  It is not anymore.   In fact most of the Black Doctors I run into these days seem to be of African descent.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: April 05, 2014, 07:47:36 AM
Thanks Denny.

With regards to the New Age World Government it does seem Obama is a true believer.

Wikipedia's One World Government history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_government

21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cardiomyopathy due to climate change on: April 05, 2014, 06:31:51 AM
Where does the liberal slant end?   Even Takotsubo syndrome is due to global climate change -  and all "natural disasters" are due to climate change.  They never existed before.  Now they are all man made angry

*****By Rachel Hochhauser April 3, 2014 5:45 AM The Daily Beast
 
Broken Hearts Can Kill You

Day-to-day heartache doesn’t hold a candle to scientifically proven heartbreak—a real thing called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Turns out, your cardiac muscle can temporarily enlarge and weaken, and what’s more, the number of diagnoses is growing, leading a team of researchers to examine the cause. They found a surprising correlation that has the power to impact each and every one of us, even if you think you’ve got heart health on lock.

First described in Japan, broken heart syndrome got its name because a diagnosed patient’s left ventricle balloons to resemble the shape of an octopus trap. In non-doctor speak, the condition is essentially an impermanent weakening of the heart, often triggered by extreme emotional or physical stress—anything from losing a job to surviving a tsunami. Some physicians postulate a similarity to the fight-or-flight response; stress hormones paralyze the heart, affecting muscle tissues and blood vessels, and impede proper contraction of the left ventricle.

Patients with the condition may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, and other false evidence, such as biomarkers and electrocardiogram changes, bearing the markers of a cardiac arrest.

Though some studies have been conducted internationally, the latest research from the University of Arkansas—which explores a synergy between natural disasters and cases of cardiomyopathy—is unlike any other stateside. Dr. Sadip Pant, an internist at the university and the lead investigator of the report, explains, “This is the first study of its kind in the country.  We have so many hurricanes and storms…but not one has described the spiking of the cases after natural disasters.”

His team used a nationwide hospital discharge database to identify a group of more than 20,000 diagnosed cases. When they mapped them out geographically, the results indicated “clusters” of broken heart syndrome patients around sites of recent tragedies. Essentially, the data illustrates a notably larger number of reported cases in areas that had seen a natural disaster.

Missouri and Vermont possessed the highest number of reported cases, and the latter, with 380 cases per million residents, had more than double most other states. The data came from the same year Hurricane Irene wreaked the worst havoc Vermont had seen in decades. Similarly, the “cluster” in Missouri occurred near the site of 2011’s massive Joplin tornado. And while there might have been a number of other factors affecting these results, the general research takeaway suggests natural disasters can strongly contribute to cardiomyopathy.

The correlation was first noticed after the 2004 earthquake in Japan, and since then plenty of other global examples have popped up on the radar. Dr. Pant says, “There have been cases reported from Australia after the great flooding. Similarly, people from France described increasing cases after a village burned down.”

Looking at the bigger picture, the study’s implications are significant when viewed in light of the increasing number of natural disasters on the whole.  According to a 2013 report from the New England Journal of Medicine, the scale of these events is expanding, with three times as many from 2000 through 2009 versus those recorded from 1980 through 1989. Climate-related events account for nearly 80% of the increase, indicating that climate change may affect our health in more ways than we anticipated. The journal also notes that since 1990, “natural disasters have affected about 217 million people every year,” which just goes to show the importance of furthering our understanding of medical heartbreak.

As if you needed another reason to worry about global warming.

Climate changes aside, there are smaller immediate shifts we can make today, namely prepping response teams for future catastrophic incidents. Dr. Pant’s most important takeaway is the need for further education amongst physicians. Emergency room staff—often the first to see patients affected by natural disasters—and cardiologists need the background knowledge required to properly diagnose the syndrome, because its symptoms usually resemble those of a heart attack. Misidentification of the problem means a delayed legitimate diagnosis—no small thing when it comes to matters of the heart. While the syndrome is largely reversible, Takotsubo also requires careful attention during its acute phase.

Dr. Pant says, “It’s really important to have widespread knowledge of this disease, not just among cardiologists, but among the other medical specialties, so they can detect in time and diagnose accurately after.”

A properly diagnosed cardiomyopathy patient usually mends—like most romantic heartbreak—within a month or two.*****
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 05, 2014, 05:54:42 AM
Is she serious?  She claims she does not understand the opposition to the ACA!   Why would anyone be so upset about all the free or cheap benefits it brings she wonders?

Totally absent from her argument is who is paying for this stuff and loss of freedom.  Not one iota mentioned of that.   She completely blocks it all out.   Most people I see have higher deductibles and copays, higher rates, more restricted formularies and other tests.  This aspect is totally ignored by the left.   

******IRRATIONAL HATRED OF OBAMACARE IS HARD TO FATHOM
Cynthia Tucker
By Cynthia Tucker 5 hours ago

My friend Isatou has just received an invoice from Kaiser Permanente, testament to her new coverage through the Affordable Care Act -- usually called "Obamacare." She's thrilled to finally have health insurance so she can get regular checkups, including dental care.

A reasonably healthy middle-aged woman, she knows she needs routine mammograms and screenings for maladies such as hypertension. But before Obamacare, she struggled to pay for those things. She once had to resort to the emergency room, which left her with a bill for nearly $20,000. (She settled the bill for far less, but it still left her deeply in debt.)

She is one of more than 7 million people who have signed up for health insurance through the ACA, stark evidence of the overwhelming market demand. Despite a badly bungled initial roll-out, a multimillion dollar conservative media campaign designed to discourage sign-ups, and a years-long Republican crusade against it (50 votes to change the law), millions got health insurance.

That hardly means Obamacare is a raging success. It's much too early to know how it will affect health outcomes for the previously uninsured. But it's abundantly clear that the ACA has already made great strides in improving access to health care. And that alone is quite an accomplishment.

Now, young adults can stay on their parents' health insurance policies until they are 26 years old -- a boon in an economy where many young folks are struggling to find decent jobs. Now, patients with previously diagnosed illnesses ("pre-existing conditions," in insurance lingo) can't be denied coverage. Now, the chronically ill don't have to worry about hitting a lifetime cap that would deny them essential procedures or pharmaceuticals. Now, working folks who don't get insurance through their employers can purchase affordable policies.

Factoring in the Medicaid expansion, the ACA has extended health care coverage to an additional 9.5 million people, according to the Los Angeles Times, which gathered data from national surveys. Needless to say, millions more would have been covered if so many Republican governors, mostly located in Southern states, had not callously refused to accept the Medicaid expansion despite the fact that it is largely paid through federal government funds.

The GOP's relentless opposition has been puzzling. Republicans have resorted to extreme measures to try to derail Obamacare, including an implicit threat to prevent the National Football League from participating in a marketing campaign to encourage people to sign up.

Oh, did I mention 50 votes to repeal or alter the law?

Even acknowledging that our politics have become bitterly polarized, I don't understand this one. Even taking into account the GOP's irrational hatred for President Obama, I don't get it. Even though I know that Republicans believe in less government, I don't understand their approach to Obamacare.

First off, the ACA adheres to market-based ideas, many of which were first suggested by conservatives. Instead of a single-payer system like, say, Medicare, the ACA relies on private insurance companies. It adopts the individual mandate that was supported by many Republicans, including Newt Gingrich, back in the 1990s and later adopted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

Second, Republicans are free to offer up a health care scheme that is more in keeping with conservative principles. But the "repeal and replace" mantra is rarely heard anymore since it has become increasingly clear that the GOP has no intention of coming up with a plan to replace Obamacare. While there are various counter-proposals floating about, none has garnered the support of a majority of Republicans in Congress.

Is the ACA perfect? Absolutely not. There is much in the law that needs to be worked on, refined, improved. But the GOP doesn't seem interested in that. Instead, its members have taken to engaging in increasingly ridiculous criticisms, including the charge that the White House has made up the number of successful enrollees.

It's strange. Could it be that Republicans are simply furious that millions of Americans like Isatou finally have health insurance?

(Cynthia Tucker, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a visiting professor at the University of Georgia. She can be reached at cynthia@cynthiatucker.com.)
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / If everyone were treated 227 billion dollars on: April 03, 2014, 06:04:10 AM
I think some competing drugs are on the way:

*****Insurers Are Really Mad at Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-Day Miracle Drug

The Atlantic Wire
By Polly Mosendz 23 hours ago
 
In December 2013, the FDA approved Sovaldi a drug developed by Gilead Sciences that promises to do wonders for patients with hepatitis C. Since then, insurers and the government have grown incredibly angry and frustrated with the company.

Sovaldi is a revolutionary advance that promises to cure 90% of targeted patients. Without this treatment, patients could develop liver cancer or require liver transplants. The FDA has said "it is the first drug that has demonstrated safety and efficacy to treat certain types of HCV infection without the need for co-administration of interferon." It was granted the FDA's coveted Breakthrough Therapy Designation, becoming approved in under a year. Director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products at the FDA's Center of Drug Evaluation and Research, Edward Cox, M.D., believes Sovaldi is life changing: “[Sovaldi's] approval represents a significant shift in the treatment paradigm for some patients with chronic hepatitis C.”

Yet, insurers cannot stand this life saving, revolutionary medication. That's because it runs $1,000 a day and the average patient requires a 12-week treatment of Sovaldi. That's $84,000 for one cycle. For patients with a strain that is more difficult to treat, the regiment is 24 weeks. That comes in at $168,000. It is projected to rake it between $5 billion and $9 billion in profits in the United States this year alone. There are an estimated 4 million Americans with Hepatitis C, and 15,000 are killed each year by untreated chronic infections.

Unfortunately, there is not much insurers can do about the price. A comparable drug is not yet on the market. The most similar medication, Incivek, runs $68,000 for  12-week course, but it is much less effective. Comparatively, Sovaldi is still much cheaper than the next-best alternative: a liver transplant. Transplant surgery runs at least $175,000 per patient, not including complications and other associated costs. Additionally, the risks of surgery are far greater than the drug: the body can reject a transplant, it is major surgery, and the recovery time is much longer. There is also a wait list, and a hepatitis C patient may not be eligible for a liver in time.

Gilead Sciences believes the focus is in all the wrong places. "[Critics] have focused on the per-pill cost or per-bottle cost, but that is really not relevant here. It's how much it costs to cure your patient," said Gregg Alton, Gilead's executive vice president of corporate and medical affairs.

Regardless, insurers are battling to lower the cost of the drug. Molina Healthcare, which is set to see earnings decline by 18 percent if (though more realistically, when) the drug reaches $6 billion in sales, is trying to limit which patients have access to the treatment. Mario J. Molina, chief executive of Molina Healthcare gave this statement: “If you’ve got a patient who is advanced and has liver disease and is about to get a liver transplant, it makes sense to give treatment. [W]hat do we do about everybody else? If everyone in the U.S. with hepatitis C were treated with Sovaldi at its list price, it would cost $227 billion compared with the estimated $260 billion spent a year in the country for all drugs.”

Express Scripts is working with doctors to determine which customers can be put on a wait list until a rival, and presumably less expensive, drug is available.

Representative Henry Waxman has taken direct aim at Gilead Sciences as well. In a public letter sent March, 20th, Waxman questioned the pricing: "Our concern is that a treatment will not cure patients if they cannot afford it. [...] According to a recent Reuters report, 'many doctors are requesting a $150,000 combination of Sovaldi ... and Olysio. These costs are likely to be too high for many patients, both those with public insurance and those with private insurance." ********
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: April 03, 2014, 05:44:08 AM
"Bid to cut voter roles" is of course the way the NYT describes this.

It wouldn't surprise me if 1,000,000 voters nationwide are fraudulent.

It can't even be measured.

25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: baseball on: April 02, 2014, 09:18:34 PM
The article about the called shot ;

http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/throwback/201403/babe-ruth-called-shot-home-run-myth-mystery-ed-sherman-book
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: baseball on: April 02, 2014, 09:13:53 PM
The myth about Ruth's famed called shot into the bleachers.  Took a life of its own.   Early on Ruth himself said he was simply pointing out it only takes "one"   He said that if did actually pointing a location in field to hit one would invited getting beaned.  And it was ridiculous to think anyone could know where the ball is going in advance.

But legends live on when there are living and loving admirers still alive who can verify what they are "sure" he did.

His living 96 yr. old daughter says her did do it.  He pointed to a bleacher and hit a colossal shot right into that same bleacher.


My take is he was ordering a hotdog from a vendor when he lifted his finger. cheesy
 
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: April 02, 2014, 08:11:59 PM
Denny says,

"the tyranny in Venezuela has global roots, global backers"

Besides Sean Penn who are these global roots and backs?
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: April 02, 2014, 08:06:27 PM
Anyone care to guess which party these frauds voted for?

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/374882/nc-state-board-finds-more-35k-incidents-double-voting-2012-andrew-johnson
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: April 01, 2014, 06:52:29 AM
"he has been a FAR better market prognosticator over the last several years (and that is one of the themes for this thread) than any of us"

In retrospect - yup.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Common Core on: March 30, 2014, 04:22:18 PM
I really don't know much about it - off my radar:::

*****Get to know the Common Core marketing overlords
 by Michelle Malkin

Copyright 2014

They’re everywhere. Turn on Fox News, local news, Animal Planet, HGTV, The Family Channel or talk radio. Pro-Common Core commercials have been airing ad nauseam in a desperate attempt to persuade American families to support the beleaguered federal education standards/testing/technology racket. Who’s funding these public relations pushes? D.C. lobbyists, entrenched politicians and Big Business interests.

The foundational myth of Common Core is that it’s a “state-led” initiative with grassroots support that was crafted by local educators for the good of all of our children. But the cash and power behind the new ad campaign tell you all you need to know. For parents in the know, this will be a refresher course. But repeated lies must be countered with redoubled truths.

The Bipartisan Policy Center is one of the leading Common Core ad sponsors. It’s a self-described nonprofit “think tank” founded by a pantheon of Beltway barnacles: former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell.

“Lobbying tank” would be more accurate. The BPC’s “senior fellows” include K Street influence peddlers such as liberal Republican Robert Bennett, the big-spending Utah senator-turned-lobbyist booted from office by tea party conservatives; former Democratic Agriculture Secretary and House member-turned-lobbyist Dan Glickman; and liberal Democrat Byron Dorgan, the former North Dakota senator who crusaded as an anti-D.C. lobbying populist before retiring from office to work as, you guessed it, a D.C. lobbyist.

Jeb Bush’s “Foundation for Excellence in Education” is also saturating the airwaves with ads trying to salvage Common Core in the face of truly bipartisan, truly grassroots opposition in his own home state of Florida. As I’ve reported previously, the former GOP governor’s foundation is tied at the hip to the federally funded testing consortium called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), which pulled in $186 million through the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program to develop Common Core tests.

One of the Bush foundation’s top corporate sponsors is Pearson, the multibillion-dollar educational publishing and testing conglomerate. Pearson snagged $23 million in contracts to design the first wave of PARCC test items and $1 billion for overpriced, insecure Common Core iPads purchased by the Los Angeles Unified School District, and is leading the $13.4 billion edutech cash-in catalyzed by Common Core’s technology mandates.

In December, you should know, the state of New York determined that Pearson’s nonprofit foundation had abused the law by siphoning charitable assets to benefit its for-profit arm in order to curry favor with the Common Core-peddling Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Pearson paid a $7.7 million settlement after the attorney general concluded that the company’s charitable arm was marketing Common Core course material it believed could be sold by the for-profit side for “tens of millions of dollars.” After being smoked out, the Pearson Foundation sold the courses to its corporate sibling for $15.1 million.

Then there’s the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has joined the Clintonite-stocked Center for American Progress to promote Common Core and has earmarked more than $52 million on D.C. lobbying efforts.

Two D.C. trade associations, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, continue to rubber-stamp Common Core propaganda. They are both recipients of tens of millions of dollars in Gates Foundation money. NGA employed Democratic education wonk Dane Linn to help shepherd through the standards; Linn now flacks for Common Core at the D.C.-based Business Roundtable lobbying shop, another leading sponsor of the ads now bombarding your TVs and radios.

Despite its misleading name, the NGA does not represent all of the nation’s governors, holds only nonbinding resolution votes, and serves primarily as an “unelected, unrepresentative networking forum,” as Heartland Institute scholar Joy Pullmann put it, with funding from both taxpayers and private corporations. NGA’s Common Core standards writing meetings were convened in secret and are protected by confidentiality agreements.

Direct public input was nil. Of the 25 people in the NGA and CCSSO’s two Common Core standards-writing “working groups,” EdWeek blogger Anthony Cody reported in 2009, six were associated with the test-makers from the College Board, five were with fellow test-publishers ACT, and four were with Achieve Inc. Several had zero experience in standards writing.

Achieve Inc., you may recall from my previous work, is a Washington, D.C., nonprofit stocked with education lobbyists who’ve been working on federal standards schemes since the Clinton years. In fact, Achieve’s president, Michael Cohen, is a veteran Clinton-era educrat who also used to direct education policy for the NGA. In addition to staffing the standards writing committee and acting as lead Common Core coordinating mouthpiece, Achieve Inc. is the “project management partner” of the Common Core-aligned, tax-subsidized PARCC testing conglomerate.

Who’s behind Achieve? Reminder: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has dumped $37 million into the group since 1999 to promote Common Core. According to a new analysis by former Georgia State University professor Jack Hassard, the Gates Foundation has now doled out an estimated total of $2.3 billion on Common Core-related grants to thousands of recipients in addition to NGA, CCSSO, the Foundation for Excellence in Education and Achieve.

As they prop up astroturfed front groups and agitprop, D.C.’s Common Core p.r. blitzers scoff at their critics as “black helicopter” theorists. Don’t read their lips. Just follow the money. This bipartisan power grab is Washington-led and Washington-fed. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s elementary: All Common Core roads lead to K Street.*****

                 
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Demographics on: March 29, 2014, 04:15:34 PM
"Voting against their own interests will not last"

Wait till they have to pay the nation's bills.  The government should do more and more.   Until they realize they are the ones who will have to help foot the bill.

Yep.   The world is one big happy family.  Keep giving it all away.  Open the borders wide.   See how well that goes.

----------

Did you see the street survey of American University students who were asked how many Senators from each state are there?  Or name one Senator?

One girl even stated, " I am not into the America 'thing'".

We can thank liberal education for this.

32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption on: March 28, 2014, 07:15:58 AM
Rush was trying to explain how the FBI was coming up with all these stings against Democrats, especially Mayors now.

A year ahead of an election.  Dems cleaning house now?   He wondered how Obama would permit this.

Not clear.  It is just as hard to believe the FBI is independently non political during this Administration.  We know the DOJ is not.  I would like to think the FBI is but it is so hard not to be cynical these days.

 undecided
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why Thomas Sowell never won a Pulitzer? on: March 26, 2014, 07:38:31 PM
Well, of course we know why......

Doug's point that Thomas Freidman won the Pulitzer three times made me wonder how many who hail from the right have won.   Bret Stephens was the first one in a decade according to this piece.  Gotta love this though:

"A January 2012 column on the latter topic helped contribute to his win. Entitled “The GOP Deserves to Lose,” Stephens eviscerated the GOP presidential candidates then..."

****************************

Conservative Columnist Bret Stephens Wins Pulitzer

By Matthew Sheffield | April 16, 2013 | 12:25
 
In a comparatively rare feat, a conservative writer has won a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in journalism. Bret Stephens, who writes a column for the Wall Street Journal primarily about world affairs is the first conservative to win the award in more than a decade.

Congratulations are certainly in order to Stephens for pulling off the win, especially since the very liberal Columbia University is in charge of the award.

While Stephens’s views on some social issues like gay marriage have not won him fans among devout conservatives, he certainly deserves the award. I’ve long been a fan of his prose, his independence, and his willingness to take on the conventional wisdom on topics like global warming and the complete disaster otherwise known as the Republican presidential nominating process.

A January 2012 column on the latter topic helped contribute to his win. Entitled “The GOP Deserves to Lose,” Stephens eviscerated the GOP presidential candidates then in the race and then condemned Republicans like Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, and Haley Barbour for refusing to run.

“This was the GOP A-Team, the guys who should have showed up to the first debate but didn’t because running for president is hard and the spouses were reluctant. Nothing commends them for it. If this election is as important as they all say it is, they had a duty to step up. Abraham Lincoln did not shy from the contest of 1860 because of Mary Todd. If Mr. Obama wins in November — or, rather, when he does — the failure will lie as heavily on their shoulders as it will with the nominee.”

Stephens is the first conservative to win the commentary award since his Journal colleague Dorothy Rabinowitz won it in 2001*. That year was a rare one in Pulitzer history as it marked the second consecutive year that a conservative had won the award, something which had not happened since the 1970s. In 2000, Paul Gigot, also with the Journal, won the prize.

In recent decades, the Journal has been the home to all of the few conservative writers who have been awarded a Pulitzer. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer was the last non-Journal conservative to win the award in 1987.

For a full list of Pulitzer commentary winners going back to 1970, click here. You can find samples of Stephens's work here.

In less laudible Pulitzer news, the committee continued its tradition of ignoring conservative editorial cartoonists by honoring Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

* Note: I am not counting Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, the 2010 award winner, as a conservative. She is a right-leaning moderate.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2013/04/16/conservative-columnist-bret-stephens-wins-pulitzer#ixzz2x7QJPh9m
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: March 26, 2014, 07:20:23 PM
I heard this on Michael Savage.  Interesting how political operatives from both sides of the political spectrum use the same "agents":

******Glenn Beck’s Agent is Liberal Operative Matt Hiltzik

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 in Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck and his agent, Matthew Hiltzik, seem put ideological differences aside for the money…

Hiltzik is a Democratic PR operative that works for Beck, but also worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, Eliot Spitzer’s 1998 attorney general campaign, and for studio head Harvey Weinstein. He also represents Katie Couric, Alec Baldwin, Annie Leibovitz and Don Imus. Matthew’s father, George Hiltzik, brokered the radio gigs of blogger Matt Drudge and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

The close friendship and lucrative business relationship that has developed between the 45-year-old conservative firebrand and the 37-year-old former Democratic operative shows how partisan media personalities get discovered, promoted and catapulted into the political stratosphere, even when the talent and the talent broker have opposing ideologies. But for Hiltzik’s former Democratic allies, the alliance is still mostly shocking.

It was also interesting that Matt Hiltzik considers “Democratic activist and public relations powerbroker” Ken Sunshine a mentor. Sunshine advises Color of Change and Green for All, two groups founded by Van Jones, who was repeatedly attacked by Beck.

And it’s not just Sunshine’s clients who are subject to Beck’s drubbings, it’s also his onetime mentor. The current secretary of state, for example, did not respond to calls about Hiltzik and his top client’s tirades against the Obama administration. Asked if he thought Hillary Clinton approved of his current promotion of Beck, who has called her, among other things, “the antichrist,” Hiltzik said, “She has a lot more important things to worry about.”

“Matt Hiltzik is a top professional who can’t save Glenn Beck from his vulgar, hateful ignorance,” said Robert Zimmerman, a public relations executive in New York, Democratic National Committee member and close friend of Hiltzik’s. “But he can get him extensive publicity while he goes down in flames.”*********
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Combating bad science on: March 26, 2014, 07:41:34 AM
THis maybe deserves new thread.  Remember I noted that most medical research publications are not much more than worthless.  So is research in many fields.   This address that.  Yet research is taking off.  Everything is data.  Everything is being measured for tiny small percentage of percentage gains.  There is no end to this.  Problem is "science" is used by whomever for whatever.  Sorting out the invalid from the truly informative or new discovery is not always easy:

Combating bad science

Metaphysicians

Sloppy researchers beware. A new institute has you in its sights
 Mar 15th 2014  | From the print edition

“WHY most published research findings are false” is not, as the title of an academic paper, likely to win friends in the ivory tower. But it has certainly influenced people (including journalists at The Economist). The paper it introduced was published in 2005 by John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist who was then at the University of Ioannina, in Greece, and is now at Stanford. It exposed the ways, most notably the overinterpreting of statistical significance in studies with small sample sizes, that scientific findings can end up being irreproducible—or, as a layman might put it, wrong.

Dr Ioannidis has been waging war on sloppy science ever since, helping to develop a discipline called meta-research (ie, research about research). Later this month that battle will be institutionalised, with the launch of the Meta-Research Innovation Centre at Stanford.


METRICS, as the new laboratory is to be known for short, will connect enthusiasts of the nascent field in such corners of academia as medicine, statistics and epidemiology, with the aim of solidifying the young discipline. Dr Ioannidis and the lab’s co-founder, Steven Goodman, will (for this is, after all, science) organise conferences at which acolytes can meet in the world of atoms, rather than just online. They will create a “journal watch” to monitor scientific publishers’ work and to shame laggards into better behaviour. And they will spread the message to policymakers, governments and other interested parties, in an effort to stop them making decisions on the basis of flaky studies. All this in the name of the centre’s nerdishly valiant mission statement: “Identifying and minimising persistent threats to medical-research quality.”

The METRICS system

Irreproducibility is one such threat—so much so that there is an (admittedly tongue-in-cheek) publication called the Journal of Irreproducible Results. Some fields are making progress, though. In psychology, the Many Labs Replication Project, supported by the Centre for Open Science, an institute of the University of Virginia, has re-run 13 experiments about widely accepted theories. Only ten were validated. The centre has also launched what it calls the Cancer Biology Reproducibility Project, to look at 50 recent oncology studies.

Until now, however, according to Dr Ioannidis, no one has tried to find out whether such attempts at revalidation have actually had any impact on the credibility of research. METRICS will try to do this, and will make recommendations about how future work might be improved and better co-ordinated—for the study of reproducibility should, like any branch of science, be based on evidence of what works and what does not.

Wasted effort is another scourge of science that the lab will look into. A recent series of articles in the Lancet noted that, in 2010, about $200 billion (an astonishing 85% of the world’s spending on medical research) was squandered on studies that were flawed in their design, redundant, never published or poorly reported. METRICS will support efforts to tackle this extraordinary inefficiency, and will itself update research about the extent to which randomised-controlled trials acknowledge the existence of previous investigations of the same subject. If the situation has not improved, METRICS and its collaborators will try to design new publishing practices that discourage bad behaviour among scientists.

There is also Dr Ioannidis’s pet offender: publication bias. Not all studies that are conducted get published, and the ones which do tend to be those that have significant results. That leaves a skewed impression of the evidence.

Researchers have been studying publication bias for years, using various statistical tests. Again, though, there has been little reflection on these methods and their comparative effectiveness. They may, according to Dr Ioannidis, be giving both false negatives and false positives about whether or not publication bias exists in a particular body of studies.

Dr Ioannidis plans to run tests on the methods of meta-research itself, to make sure he and his colleagues do not fall foul of the very criticisms they make of others. “I don’t want”, he says, “to take for granted any type of meta-research is ideal and efficient and nice. I don’t want to promise that we can change the world, although this is probably what everybody has to promise to get funded nowadays.”

From the print edition: Science and technology
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: March 26, 2014, 07:32:35 AM
Doug,

So how long can we go on with this charade?
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sessions calls out immigration enforcement on: March 26, 2014, 07:31:17 AM
Again the news media does nothing.  Just turns their head.

I think the Feds should have a website that lists the jobs of every American and offers them to anyone else in the world who is capable to bid on doing that job for less.  Why not?   As long as they promise to vote Democrat:


*****by Matthew Boyle  25 Mar 2014

Fully 98 percent of individuals deported from the United States in 2013 were either criminals, apprehended while illegally crossing the border, or had been previously deported, according to a new analysis from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

The three-page document, labeled a “Critical Alert” by the senator’s office, found three executive actions by President Barack Obama providing amnesty to groups of illegal aliens meant that virtually no one who did not meet other criteria beyond simply being in the country illegal was deported.

“The evidence reveals that the Administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “Under the guise of setting ‘priorities’, the Administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as they are not caught committing a felony or other serious crime.

Obama's well-known executive action granted virtual amnesty to so-called DREAMers – individuals who claim to have entered the country as minors under their parents' guidance.

Two are lesser known executive actions include an Aug. 23, 2013, DHS directive “expanding that [summer 2012 executive DREAM Act] amnesty to illegal immigrant relatives of DREAM Act beneficiaries” and a Dec. 21, 2012, DHS directive “reinforcing that almost all immigration offenses were unenforceable absent a separate criminal conviction.”

In 2013, Sessions’ staff found, 98 percent of ICE’s removals of illegal aliens fit the agency’s “enforcement criteria.” There are four such criteria for illegal aliens to be considered deportation-worthy by ICE: a conviction of committing a serious criminal offense, an apprehension made while an individual is crossing the border, the resurfacing of someone previously deported, or someone having been a fugitive from the law. “Remarkably, the first two categories—border apprehensions (which are not deportations as commonly understood) and convicted criminals—account for 94% of the 368,000 removals (235,000 and 110,000, respectively),” Sessions’ staff wrote in the memo.

Only 0.2 percent of an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. who were actually placed into removal proceedings in 2013 in 2013 did not have a violent or otherwise serious criminal conviction on their record. Only .08 percent of the total number of illegal aliens placed into removal proceedings were neither repeat or serial immigration law violators nor convicted of a serious crime. Even with that .08 percent of removals who were not caught crossing the border or being a serial immigration law violator or being convicted of serious crimes, Sessions’ staff notes that ICE officers who communicate with his office say that there is likely some other serious security risk for allowing them to stay in the country that is cause for their removal.

The findings stand in stark contrast to liberal calls on Obama to reduce deportations. Top Hispanic Democrats recently met with Obama at the White House recently about the issue, prompting an announcement about a review at the Department of Homeland Security about how to deport illegal aliens in a more “humane” fashion.

The report was enough to prompt a chorus of outrage from Sessions' like-minded colleagues in the House, who slammed the Obama administration for enacting amnesty by fiat.

“This is another clear warning to anyone who thinks immigration reform is possible under President Obama,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-LA). “He has repeatedly shown a willingness to enforce the law selectively, while looking the other way when it doesn't fit his agenda.”

“We can add immigration enforcement to the long list of areas where President Obama is selectively enforcing the law,” Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) told Breitbart News in response to Sessions’ new report. “This is part of a repeated pattern of overreach on the part of the Administration and shows their unwillingness to follow the law as it is written—not the law as they want it to be. It’s impossible for Congress to have an open and honest debate on border security when we can’t trust the President to do his job.”

“At least 99.92% of illegal immigrants and visa overstays without known crimes on their records did not face removal,” Sessions’ staff wrote. “Those who do not facially meet the Administration’s select ‘priorities’ are free to illegally work in the United States and to receive taxpayer benefits, regardless of whether or not they come into contact with immigration enforcement.”

Sessions’ staff cites August 2013 reports from an ICE raid at Danny’s Car Wash in Phoenix, Arizona, where many workers suspected of being in the country illegally were taken into custody but released shortly thereafter. “Workers suspected of being in the country illegally were taken into custody, but [ICE spokeswoman Amber] Cargile said they would be released within a matter of hours as long as they had no outstanding criminal records,” the Associated Press wrote then.

In another incident in Brownsville, Texas, a dozen illegal aliens were set free at a bus station after being taken into ICE custody because the federal immigration law agency said it “doesn’t consider the group a major threat to our safety.”

Sessions’ staff also cites a 2011 instance where authorities at ICE warned one of their officers he would be subject to disciplinary action if he followed through with his intent to enforce the law  by issuing a Notice to Appear in court to an illegal alien “driving the vehicle of a known fugitive without a license.”

“The suspect, who had multiple misdemeanor offenses on his record, was released while the ICE officer was threatened with suspension,” Sessions’ staff wrote.

“The Obama administration’s subversion of the Constitution and the rule of law make enforcement of our immigration laws virtually impossible,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said in an email. “The law-abiding and taxpaying Americans who oppose this executive amnesty policy are paying the price with lower wages and fewer job opportunities.”

“At the same time President Obama hypocritically tells people he is for income equality, he violates federal immigration law, floods the labor market with wage-suppressing illegal aliens, and destroys the chance millions of hard-working Americans have of attaining self-sufficiency and the American dream,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said. “It is clear that President Obama believes it is more important to pander to voters based on race than it is to enforce immigration laws that protect American workers’ ability to earn a living wage.”

Brooks and Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar said the findings raise grave questions of constitutional law.

”Perhaps the most important role of the President is defined in Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution, which states that the President ‘shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’” Gosar said in reaction to Sessions’ new report. “From President Obama’s capricious ObamaCare delays to his arbitrary refusal to enforce current immigration laws, his transgressions against the Constitution are egregious and must stop. The first step in restoring the rule of law is holding Attorney General Eric Holder – our nation’s chief law enforcement officer – accountable for allowing and participating in the Administration’s blatant disregard for the Constitution.”

“The President should be ashamed of himself for violating his oath of office, violating his Constitutional duty to enforce America’s laws, and making illegal aliens a higher priority than the livelihoods of hard-working Americans,” Brooks said.

38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: March 25, 2014, 07:28:36 PM
One can add a prominent individual to the list of anti-Semites:

Barack Hussain Obama

If it isn't obvious by now.....
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politically (In)correct on: March 20, 2014, 10:11:22 AM
Agreed.

They just don't get it.  They really don't.  It is about the money.  Women vote Democrat for government benefits.  Some may be do for abortion etc but for most it is the money.

Latinos vote Democrat for the government benefits.  I really doubt that it is about immigration for most.

How do we challenge this?

With ceaseless compromise?  With compassionate conservatism?  What a joke is right.
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: March 20, 2014, 05:24:43 AM
Typical Bloomberg News item.  Don't worry Democrats ; Bush approval rating even lower than Brock's.   

Barack Obama
Obama Beats Bush

Jonathan Bernstein
Mar 19, 2014 9:31 AM ET
By Jonathan Bernstein


In February, I asked whether Barack Obama's approval ratings had pulled ahead of those of George W. Bush at a similar juncture in his presidency, ending a long period where they were basically tied. We now have evidence they have.

Today, Gallup has Obama at 41 percent approval, which is probably a bit lower than his true Gallup score from the last few weeks. HuffPollster’s polling average estimates the president's approval at 43.7 percent and slowly rising. A month ago, the trend was less clear, and results varied depending on whether one looked at regular polls or those that were more sensitive to recent changes. Now the two methods are showing essentially the same thing: Obama bottomed out in November or December and has been improving gradually since.

(Yes, that means the New York Times was wrong to refer to Obama’s “sinking approval ratings.” I wouldn’t quibble with low and stable ratings. But sinking? Not in the last several months).
At a similar point in Bush's second term, in 2006, a March 13-16 Gallup reading gave him a 37 percent approval rating. He remained at that level or below until a late-summer rally, which pushed him above 40 percent for the final time of his presidency. So Obama’s lead over Bush, which I estimated at around 3 points last month, is up to around 5 points now, and the two men are headed in opposite directions.

This is not to say Obama is doing well. Unless his recent improvement gathers steam, he’s going to be a drag on Democrats in November, though he won't be as big a drag as Bush was for his party in the 2006 midterms. And even if Obama rebounds, it probably wouldn't be enough to help the Democrats hang on to some tough Senate seats. Ronald Reagan was very popular until the 1986 election, when Democrats took a number of Senate races, in large part by unseating Republican incumbents who had benefited from having Reagan at the top of the ticket in 1980.

But at least for now, Obama isn't as unpopular as Bush was in 2006. This suggests a good year for Republicans (especially in the Senate), but not a landslide.
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / museum for women for the mall. on: March 20, 2014, 05:15:57 AM
Next one for gays, one for illegals, one for Latinos, one for Indians, one for Asians.......

Hey what war on women?  Why we voted for a museum for you gals.....
Across from the street with all the brothels.....

******House to vote on museum for women

By Mike Lillis - 03/19/14 06:00 AM EDT


House Republicans plan to vote this year on legislation promoting construction of a National Women’s History Museum, Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office told The Hill.

The move lends enormous momentum to the years-long push to establish a memorial to women’s history near the National Mall — a proposal that’s lingered in Congress for nearly two decades without ever reaching the president’s desk.

Congressional supporters from both parties have been working behind the scenes to rally backing and pressure leaders to stage a vote on the bill this year, even as Congress’s shift into campaign mode has left little appetite for most non-essential legislation ahead of November’s midterms.
Cantor spokeswoman Megan Whittemore said the congressman supports the bill and intends to bring it to the floor.

Museum supporters wasted no time praising the announcement, with Rep. Carolyn Maloney — a New York Democrat who’s been working on the proposal since 1998 — saying she’s “thrilled” by Cantor’s move. With top House Democrats already behind the proposal, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), Maloney predicted it will sail through the lower chamber.

“This is a huge boost to our efforts,” said Maloney, the bill’s lead sponsor. “Leadership from both parties in the House has now come out in favor of this bill, and I’m hopeful we can secure a large, bipartisan vote in favor of its passage.”

On Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Committee’s subpanel on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation will examine the bill.

The push to create a national women’s history museum comes as the role of women in politics has risen to historic heights, highlighted both by record numbers of women in Congress and the ascension of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a front-runner in the 2016 presidential race — if she chooses to run.

Maloney’s bill would establish a commission charged with examining the best way to bring a women’s history museum “on or near” the National Mall. The eight-member panel, appointed by bipartisan leaders in both the House and Senate, would have a year to report recommendations to Congress and the White House for building and maintaining the project.

A Senate companion bill, introduced last year by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), has 20 co-sponsors, including 17 of the Senate’s 20 female lawmakers.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), the House bill’s lead GOP sponsor, said she’s confident the bill will win approval in both chambers this year.

“I do think that it’s the year that it can move on the House floor and the Senate floor,” she said Tuesday by phone. “We’re hopeful that as we move to the spring that we’ll see action on this and make a women’s history museum a reality for the country.”

Using past museum commissions as a guide, the bill’s sponsors estimate the cost of the proposal to be between $1 million and $3 million. They are quick to emphasize that both the commission’s costs and those associated with constructing and maintaining the museum would be funded entirely by private contributions. Actress Meryl Streep has already donated $1 million, Maloney said.

“We know that money’s tight, and that’s why private monies will pay for this memorial, not taxpayer dollars,” Maloney said.

Some Democrats suggested GOP leaders are simply playing election-year politics with the museum bill. One leadership aide said the Republicans would embrace the proposal as a political effort to defuse the Democratic argument that their policy agenda is harmful to women.

“They’re trying to reach out to people other than white males,” the aide said. “They may try to latch onto it to show that they’re not complete Neanderthals.”

It’s unclear what level of opposition the proposal will face on Capitol Hill. The absence of offsets takes away a potential complaint from fiscal hawks, and the GOP’s aggressive effort to be more sensitive to female and minority constituents will likely discourage any significant wave of dissent, even from the most conservative ranks.

Still, Blackburn acknowledged there might be some push-back from those wondering why women should have their own spot on the Mall.

“You’re always going to hear some [say], ‘Well, if we have that, [why don’t] we have a men’s history museum?’ ” she said. “But I think what we have to do is realize that what has been highly recognized in the country is the contribution of men.

“And in part, as they were the elected leaders … that is appropriate,” she added. “But also, there are women who worked alongside them and women who have led great movements in this country, and that should be recognized.”
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Rape of German women as Russians moved in through Blood Battle Fire and Death on: March 19, 2014, 08:38:49 PM
Raped all women 8 to 80.  Then became more discriminant. With torches searching at night while frenzied with vodka looking for the prettiest.. In gangs in packs.   After much vodka. Vodka the Wermackt did not destroy in hopes the Russians would be stuporous to fight.  Instead the fire water guzzling made them fight even harder with no stops with great desire and rage sexual appetite.   Rape the girls ifn front of mothers fathers sons daughters husbands they when they would then often shoot afterwards.  Some women would offer herself to a single Russian hoping he would protect her from to protect her from gangs.   When the women would begin starving the "rape" would morph into more like prostitution to "pay for food, or cigarettes.  
Thinking they could save themselves old women would throw the younger girls to the "wolves" thinking they would be spared.  Any Russian women were in the area and watched events unfold just laughed.  German "whores" must have deserved it. 

 Maybe ten percent killed themselves out of shame.   When German soldiers came home they were shamed and left.   Women who did survive were to suffer this the rest of their lives.  They wouldn't speak of it.  The shame.  The pain that is relived when one remembers and recounts.  Watching loved ones being violated.  Watching the few loved ones who bravely tried to fight back get shot dead.  

The criminals many would not care one iota.  Some would boast.  Some would get smashed drunk and go on hunts in wolve packs pulling prey right off the streets in front of crowds.  Pull them from their hiding places in the ruble, in the alley way , in the lofts.  After all, Russians who suffered even worse deserved revenge on what was done to them and their people.  To desecrate your enemy is to enjoy the spoils of war.  

We all have mothers.  Most have sisters, aunts, daughters, women we admire, our teachers, our caretakers, our nurses, children of our friends wives our friends, other mothers.   The horror .  The horror .

It should never happen again.  But we all know it will.  Civilization is only one step away from coming apart at the seems and it is again every man and woman for themselves.

*****Various waves and situations of rapes in Germany at end of WW2:

Suppressed History, Buried Crimes »

German Woman Breaks Silence about Red Army Rapes

March 10, 2010 by Ironlight

An 80-year-old German woman has broken an old taboo of silence over the rapes she endured at the hands of Soviet soldiers in the second world war with a searing book about the crimes of the Red Army as it marched towards Berlin.

By Allan Hall in Berlin
 Published: 2:05PM GMT 28 Feb 2010

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

“Why Did I Have To Be A Girl” by Gabriele Koepp is the first book published about the rapes under a victim’s real name. Mrs Koepp was one of an estimated two million German girls and women raped by Soviet soldiers, encouraged by their leader Josef Stalin to regard the crime as a spoil of war after Hitler’s invasion had left 26 million Russians dead.

“Frau. Komm,” was a phrase that women dreaded hearing from Red Army soldiers. In the weeks after the city fell the rape epidemic was so bad that even the Catholic church countenanced abortion for some victims.

Even today, Mrs Koepp has trouble sleeping. “I was hardly more than a child. Writing this has not been easy, but I had no choice: who else would do it?”

Mrs Koepp told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine at the weekend that it was on the evening of January 25 1945, when she was 15, that her mother told her to pack quickly as she had to flee.

They lived in Schneidemuehl, in the former German region of Pomerania which is now a Polish town called Pila. She and her sister left the next day aboard a cattle train that was supposed to head towards Berlin. But it went in a different direction and the engine was soon blown up by Russian artillery. “The freight car door was locked,” she said. “I managed to climb up and crawl out of a high window. My sister was left behind: I have never seen her again.”

Her ordeal of multiple rape in a nearby village went on for two weeks until she was taken in at a farm and hid from the Soviets.

She was reunited with her mother 15 months later in Hamburg but says her mother was cold to her when she tried to talk of her pain and shame. British historian Antony Beevor chronicled the mass rapes in his 2002 book about the Soviet onslaught on Germany. Mrs Koepp’s book will be translated into English at the end of the summer.
————————————————
AT THE MERCY OF MONSTERS
 Tuesday March 2,2010
 By Paul Callan

http://www.express.co.uk

GABRIELE Koepp was just 15 with blue eyes and blonde hair woven into plaits – a pretty schoolgirl whose face shone with innocence. But on the morning of January 26, 1945, she crouched trembling with terror under a table in a farmhouse.

Outside she could hear the Russian soldiers, their voices slurred with drink, shouting for women. “Frau komm, frau komm,” (“come here woman, come here woman”) they bellowed in heavily Russian-accented German. It was a cry that thousands of women would learn to dread.

Suddenly some of the soldiers stumbled into the kitchen and a handful of old women refugees, fearful they would be attacked, dragged Gabriele out, thrusting her towards the Russians. She was immediately raped by every soldier. It was not the first time. The day before she had been caught by two Russians, hurled to the ground and violated.

So it went on for two weeks until she was taken to another farm and hidden from the sex-crazed soldiers. Now aged 80 Gabriele still remembers those terrible days and in particular how she was betrayed by the old women. “I despised those women, I still do,” she said. “I have no tears but I feel hatred rising up inside me.”

It is a boiling hatred that has lasted 65 years since the Allies, including fierce Soviet forces, smashed their way across Europe… But as they advanced the Russians unleashed an orgy of sickening self-gratification as soldiers of the Red Army embarked on a lengthy campaign of rape, looting, murder and depravity.

Now Gabriele Koepp has written a book of searing honesty called Why Did I Have To Be A Girl, about the rapes carried out by the Red Army as it advanced towards Berlin. The book is unprecedented, being the first time a German woman has broken the lengthy taboo by writing about being one of the estimated two million victims of rampaging Soviet soldiers.

What sickened many at the time was that the soldiers were actively encouraged to rape German women by Russian dictator Josef Stalin. When one of his commanders protested Stalin exploded: “Can’t you understand it if a soldier, who has crossed thousands of kilometres through blood and fire and death, has fun with some woman or takes a trifle?” To Stalin German women were merely the “spoils of war”.

Gabriele was such a “spoil” for those 14 days when she was relentlessly and repeatedly raped by Russian soldiers, so much so that she cannot even to this day, say the very word. “My life has been some 29,200 days,” she said. “But really it was destroyed in those 14 days of the … I cannot say the word. I was innocent when it happened.

“There is a debate going on in Germany at the moment about the so-called expellees from land that once belonged to Germany, the loss of the homeland, etc, but that is [comparatively] nothing to me. I live with what happened to me all the time. There are days I cannot eat because of it, even now all these years later.

“Writing of what happened hasn’t made anything easier for me but I had to do it. Who else would?” Gabriele studiously avoids detail and writes in the book of “the place of the terror”, the “gates of hell” and calls the rapists “brutes and scoundrels”. She avoids the word “rape” and adds with some fear in her eyes: “I cannot even say that word.”

The book is a searing scrutiny of the agony that to this very day the Russian establishment continues to deny. Gabriele was one of an estimated two million German girls and women, some as young as six and as old as 80, who were raped by Soviet soldiers… Their justification was that Hitler’s invasion of Russia had left 26 million dead and revenge would be sweet. Much of the rape and murder by the Russians took place as they approached Berlin.

Berliners had prayed that the Western Allies would reach their city before the Russians, but General Eisenhower, the overall commander- in-chief, had decided the Russians should reach Berlin first on account of their own huge losses.

But as early as 1944 terrible reports were seeping through to Berlin from the moment the thrusting Red Army entered East Prussia and Silesia.

By the time the Soviet troops entered Berlin there was terror on the streets. The rapes usually started in the evenings after the soldiers had drunk large amounts of vodka. That familiar cry of “frau komm” soon echoed around the rubble-strewn streets.

Any woman found, whatever her age, was savagely thrown to the ground and brutally attacked. Filthy drunken soldiers hunted in packs, some women were raped by as many as 20 men.

One of the worst mistakes of the defeated German authorities had been their failure to destroy Berlin’s considerable stocks of alcohol as the Red Army drew nearer. Erroneously, they thought a drunken enemy could not fight. But the Russians fought even harder, as well as having their desires inflamed.

Nor did the Soviet women soldiers do anything to stop their male comrades. One Berlin woman was being raped in succession by three men when three others arrived, one of them a woman. When the German woman appealed to her to intervene she merely laughed out loud. There were tragic attempts to resist the soldiers. A 13-year-old boy started flailing at a soldier who was raping his mother in front of him. When the Russian finished he turned to the boy and shot him…

AS night closed in the screams of women being attacked could be heard all over the city. It is estimated that up to 10,000 of the women who were raped died, mostly from suicide. Some could never talk about it and for the young such as Gabriele, it would prove a lifelong horror.

For many men returning home learning that their wives had been raped was traumatic… Many marriages broke up…

Eventually communist leaders became deeply embarrassed by the reports of Soviet behaviour and made complaints to the Kremlin which admitted nothing and even claimed it was all Western propaganda designed to “damage the high reputation of the Red Army”.

The Red Army war memorial in Berlin is dominated by a huge figure of a Russian soldier. There is an expression of heroic triumph on his sculptured face. In one hand he holds a child, while the other wields a sword that smashes a swastika.

But to German women of the wartime generation, including Gabriele Koepp, there is another name for that memorial: “The tomb of the unknown rapist.”
 ——————————————————
History Of “The Victors” Which You Will Never Hear
 They raped every German female from eight to 80′

Antony Beevor, author of the acclaimed new book about the fall of Berlin, on a massive war crime committed by the victorious Red Army.

Wednesday May 1, 2002
 The Guardian

“Red Army soldiers don’t believe in ‘individual liaisons’ with German women,” wrote the playwright Zakhar Agranenko in his diary when serving as an officer of marine infantry in East Prussia. “Nine, ten, twelve men at a time – they rape the women on a collective basis.”

The Soviet armies advancing into East Prussia in January 1945, in huge, long columns, were an extraordinary mixture of modern and medieval: tank troops in padded black helmets, Cossack cavalrymen on shaggy mounts with loot strapped to the saddle, lend-lease Studebakers and Dodges towing light field guns, and then a second echelon in horse-drawn carts. The variety of character among the soldiers was almost as great as that of their military equipment. There were freebooters who drank and raped quite shamelessly, and there were idealistic, austere communists and members of the intelligentsia appalled by such behaviour.

Beria and Stalin, back in Moscow, knew perfectly well what was going on from a number of detailed reports. One stated that “many Germans declare that all German women in East Prussia who stayed behind were raped by Red Army soldiers”. Numerous examples of gang rape were given – “girls under 18 and old women included”.

Marshal Rokossovsky issued order No 006 in an attempt to direct “the feelings of hatred at fighting the enemy on the battlefield.” It appears to have had little effect. There were also a few arbitrary attempts to exert authority. The commander of one rifle division is said to have “personally shot a lieutenant who was lining up a group of his men before a German woman spreadeagled on the ground”. But either officers were involved themselves, or the lack of discipline made it too dangerous to restore order over drunken soldiers armed with submachine guns.

Calls to avenge the Motherland, violated by the Wehrmacht’s invasion, had given the idea that any cruelty would be allowed. Even many young women soldiers and medical staff in the Red Army did not appear to disapprove. “Our soldiers’ behaviour towards Germans, particularly German women, is absolutely correct!” said a 21-year-old from Agranenko’s reconnaissance detachment. A number seemed to find it amusing. Several German women recorded how Soviet servicewomen watched and laughed when they were raped. But some women were deeply shaken by what they witnessed in Germany. Natalya Gesse, a close friend of the scientist Andrei Sakharov, had observed the Red Army in action in 1945 as a Soviet war correspondent. “The Russian soldiers were raping every German female from eight to eighty,” she recounted later. “It was an army of rapists.”

Drink of every variety, including dangerous chemicals seized from laboratories and workshops, was a major factor in the violence. It seems as if Soviet soldiers needed alcoholic courage to attack a woman. But then, all too often, they drank too much and, unable to complete the act, used the bottle instead with appalling effect. A number of victims were mutilated obscenely.

The subject of the Red Army’s mass rapes in Germany has been so repressed in Russia that even today veterans refuse to acknowledge what really happened. The handful prepared to speak openly, however, are totally unrepentant. “They all lifted their skirts for us and lay on the bed,” said the leader of one tank company. He even went on to boast that “two million of our children were born” in Germany.

The capacity of Soviet officers to convince themselves that most of the victims were either happy with their fate, or at least accepted that it was their turn to suffer after the Wehrmacht had invaded Russia, is striking. “Our fellows were so sex-starved,” a Soviet major told a British journalist at the time, “that they often raped old women of sixty, seventy or even eighty – much to these grandmothers’ surprise, if not downright delight.”

One can only scratch at the surface of the psychological contradictions. When gang-raped women in Königsberg begged their attackers afterwards to put them out of their misery, the Red Army men appear to have felt insulted. “Russian soldiers do not shoot women,” they replied. “Only German soldiers do that.” The Red Army had managed to convince itself that because it had assumed the moral mission to liberate [what is your definition of liberation?!] Europe from fascism it could behave entirely as it liked, both personally and politically.

Domination and humiliation permeated most soldiers’ treatment of women in East Prussia. The victims not only bore the brunt of revenge for Wehrmacht crimes, they also represented an atavistic target as old as war itself. Rape is the act of a conqueror, the feminist historian Susan Brownmiller observed, aimed at the “bodies of the defeated enemy’s women” to emphasise his victory. Yet after the initial fury of January 1945 dissipated, the sadism became less marked. By the time the Red Army reached Berlin three months later, its soldiers tended to regard German women more as a casual right of conquest. The sense of domination certainly continued, but this was perhaps partly an indirect product of the humiliations which they themselves had suffered at the hands of their commanders and the Soviet authorities as a whole.

A number of other forces or influences were at work. Sexual freedom had been a subject for lively debate within Communist party circles during the 1920s, but during the following decade, Stalin ensured that Soviet society depicted itself as virtually asexual. This had nothing to do with genuine puritanism: it was because love and sex did not fit in with dogma designed to “deindividualise” the individual. Human urges and emotions had to be suppressed. Freud’s work was banned, divorce and adultery were matters for strong party disapproval. Criminal sanctions against homosexuality were reintroduced. The new doctrine extended even to the complete suppression of sex education. In graphic art, the clothed outline of a woman’s breasts was regarded as dangerously erotic. They had to be disguised under boiler suits. The regime clearly wanted any form of desire to be converted into love for the party and above all for Comrade Stalin.

Most ill-educated Red Army soldiers suffered from sexual ignorance and utterly unenlightened attitudes towards women. So the Soviet state’s attempts to suppress the libido of its people created what one Russian writer described as a sort of “barracks eroticism” which was far more primitive and violent than “the most sordid foreign pornography”. All this was combined with the dehumanising influence of modern propaganda and the atavistic, warring impulses of men marked by fear and suffering.

The novelist Vasily Grossman, a war correspondent attached to the invading Red Army, soon discovered that rape victims were not just Germans. Polish women also suffered. So did young Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian women who had been sent back to Germany by the Wehrmacht for labour. “Liberated Soviet girls quite often complain that our soldiers rape them,” he noted. “One girl said to me in tears: ‘He was an old man, older than my father’.”

The rape of Soviet women and girls seriously undermines Russian attempts to justify Red Army behaviour on the grounds of revenge for German brutality in the Soviet Union. On March 29, 1945 the central committee of the Komsomol (the youth organisation of the Soviet Union) informed Stalin’s associate Malenkov of a report from the 1st Ukrainian Front. “On the night of 24 February,” General Tsygankov recorded in the first of many examples, “a group of 35 provisional lieutenants on a course and their battalion commander entered the women’s dormitory in the village of Grutenberg and raped them.”

In Berlin, many women were simply not prepared for the shock of Russian revenge, despite the warnings they had heard from Goebbels. Many reassured themselves that, although the danger must be great out in the countryside, mass rapes could hardly take place in the city in front of everybody.

In Dahlem, Soviet officers visited Sister Kunigunde, the mother superior of Haus Dahlem, a maternity clinic and orphanage. The officers and their men behaved impeccably. In fact, the officers even warned Sister Kunigunde about the second-line troops following on behind. Their prediction proved entirely accurate. Nuns, young girls, old women, pregnant women and mothers who had just given birth were all raped without pity.

Yet within a couple of days, a pattern emerged of soldiers flashing torches in the faces of women huddled in the bunkers to choose their victims. This process of selection, as opposed to the indiscriminate violence shown earlier, indicates a definite change. By this stage Soviet soldiers started to treat German women more as sexual spoils of war than as substitutes for the Wehrmacht on which to vent their rage.

Rape has often been defined by writers on the subject as an act of violence which has little to do with sex. But that is a definition from the victim’s perspective. To understand the crime, one needs to see things from the perpetrator’s point of view, especially in the later stages when unaggravated rape had succeeded the extreme onslaught of January and February.

Many women found themselves forced to “concede” to one soldier in the hope that he would protect them from others. Magda Wieland, a 24-year-old actress, was dragged from a cupboard in her apartment just off the Kurfürstendamm. A very young soldier from central Asia hauled her out. He was so excited at the prospect of a beautiful young blonde that he ejaculated prematurely. By sign language, she offered herself to him as a girlfriend if he would protect her from other Russian soldiers, but he went off to boast to his comrades and another soldier raped her. Ellen Goetz, a Jewish friend of Magda’s, was also raped. When other Germans tried to explain to the Russians that she was Jewish and had been persecuted, they received the retort: “Frau ist Frau” (or, “a woman is a woman”).

Women soon learned to disappear during the “hunting hours” of the evening. Young daughters were hidden in storage lofts for days on end. Mothers emerged into the street to fetch water only in the early morning when Soviet soldiers were sleeping off the alcohol from the night before. Sometimes the greatest danger came from one mother giving away the hiding place of other girls in a desperate bid to save her own daughter. Older Berliners still remember the screams every night. It was impossible not to hear them because all the windows had been blown in.

Estimates of rape victims from the city’s two main hospitals ranged from 95,000 to 130,000. One doctor deduced that out of approximately 100,000 women raped in the city, some 10,000 died as a result, mostly from suicide. The death rate was thought to have been much higher among the 1.4 million estimated victims in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia. Altogether at least two million German women are thought to have been raped, and a substantial minority, if not a majority, appear to have suffered multiple rape.

If anyone attempted to defend a woman against a Soviet attacker it was either a father trying to defend a daughter or a young son trying to protect his mother. “The 13-year old Dieter Sahl,” neighbours wrote in a letter shortly after the event, “threw himself with flailing fists at a Russian who was raping his mother in front of him. He did not succeed in anything except getting himself shot.”

After the second stage of women offering themselves to one soldier to save themselves from others, came the post-battle need to survive starvation. Susan Brownmiller noted “the murky line that divides wartime rape from wartime prostitution”. Soon after the surrender in Berlin, Ursula von Kardorff found all sorts of women prostituting themselves for food or the alternative currency of cigarettes. Helke Sander, a German film-maker who researched the subject in great detail, wrote of “the grey area of direct force, blackmail, calculation and real affection”.

The fourth stage was a strange form of cohabitation in which Red Army officers settled in with German “occupation wives”. The Soviet authorities were appalled and enraged when a number of Red Army officers, intent on staying with their German lovers, deserted when it was time to return to the Motherland.

Even if the feminist definition of rape purely as an act of violence proves to be simplistic, there is no justification for male complacency. If anything, the events of 1945 reveal how thin the veneer of civilisation can be when there is little fear of retribution. It also suggests a much darker side to male sexuality than we might care to admit
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Voter fraud in Florida. Not a peep of this in MSM. Nada. on: March 19, 2014, 07:24:39 PM
I don't know if anyone would recall I asked how can we find voter fraud if we don't ID people who are voting?  How would anyone really know if they are who they claim or even if they are entitled to vote?   This is what I mean:

http://www.westernjournalism.com/illegal-aliens-non-citizens-caught-voting-florida-vast-numbers/

Like Peter King asking for any evidence of unethical use of data acquired by the NSA.   "Not one shred of evidence" he  loves to shout.
So  I'll ask again.  How would any of us know?  How could we know?  How could anyone prove such a thing?  Good luck.

Crimes are committed all day long.   Smart criminals just do it in ways no one can see.   Especially true when no one is looking.  Or no one really cares.  Or those few who do an easily be persuaded to keep their mouths shut.
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: March 19, 2014, 07:32:04 AM
"The Economist’s crony-capitalism index also isolates business sectors like casinos, oil and gas, and real estate as crony sectors while ignoring things like high-tech, healthcare, and entertainment."

Wow.  What a huge and preposterous "oversight".   High tech, and entertainment are the biggest backers of the liberals.  Health care seems to be a monster unto itself.

Overall the Economist is to some degree calling out the Bamster some, and recently have started to actually say something good about the right, but overall they are still progressives at heart.   I would still label them maybe just a tad to the right of MSM - but only a tad.
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The benevolent billionaire on: March 18, 2014, 09:39:43 AM
Great idea - but why stop there.  Reduce taxes to zero on employers, expand entitlements, and increase all taxes on those in the middle.   Additionally simply open up the borders so all US jobs can be auctioned off to the world's lowest bidder:

****Gates: Tax consumption to fix unemployment caused by technology [VIDEO]

7:08 PM 03/17/2014

Billionaire software mogul Bill Gates has joined the growing chorus of tech experts who predict that low-skill Americans will face greater unemployment because more jobs are being done by software and robots.

The Microsoft founder, whose net worth is $76 billion, suggested the problem could be fixed by reducing taxes on employers and raising taxes on employees, via the reduction of payroll taxes and the addition of new federal consumption taxes.

The widening recognition of greater low-skill unemployment is also creating a problem for the many executives — including Gates — and lobbyists and legislators pushing for increased immigration. They back the Senate’s immigration bill, which would dramatically increase the supply of foreign labor, despite Americans’ high unemployment rates.

“Software substitution, you know, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses or even, you know, whatever it is you do … is progressing,” Gates told university-trained Washington professionals gathered at a March 13 talk hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.

The growing role of technology “will reduce demand for jobs particularly at the lower end of the skill set. … These things are coming fast,” he said.

“Twenty years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower, and I don’t think people have that in their mental model,” he added, echoing other predictions of low-skill unemployment.

A 2013 “study by Oxford University researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne … [predicted] that nearly half of American jobs are at ‘high risk’ of being taken over by robots in the next decade or two,” National Journal reported in March.

The automation is also impacting higher-skilled professionals. This reporter used the Internet, a cellphone and a laptop to write this and three other diverse stories in one day. More dramatically, a reporter at the Los Angeles Times has developed a software-robot that autonomously reports breaking news about earthquakes.


 
“Democrats concerned by poverty and inequality — and Republicans who resist the social welfare measures necessitated by poverty and inequality — need to think harder about this [immigration and technology trade-off] question,” said a February article in The Daily Beast.

“I think it’s [a] tough” task to protect the middle class from the impact of automation, billionaire investor and immigration-advocate Steve Case said in December.

“I do think tax structures will have to move away from taxing [companies'] payroll because society has a desire to have employment,” Gates said.

“That’s going to force us to rethink how these tax structures work in order to maximize employment,” he said. One alternative, he said, would be to create consumption taxes — such as a federal sales tax — to hit higher-income people, while also reducing taxes paid by employers for each employee.

“The idea that consumption should be progressively taxed, I think that makes a lot of sense,” he said.

That shift would allow companies to profit by importing low-skill immigrants, even though the immigrants would also have to be supported by taxpayers. For example, the Senate’s June 2013 immigration bill offers conditional amnesty to at least 11.7 million illegal immigrants, who would cost taxpayers roughly $6.3 trillion over the next several decades, according to the Heritage Foundation.

Despite accelerating automation, President Barack Obama and many Democrats are promoting the Senate’s immigration rewrite that would double legal immigration to 46 million over the next 20 years. The bill would also double the inflow of guest workers, to at least 20 million.

The 66 million immigrants and guest workers would compete for jobs against the four million Americans who turn 18 each year, and the 800,000 Americans who graduate with skilled degrees each year.

Currently, the nation accepts one million immigrants and 650,000 non-agriculture immigrants each year, to join the working population of 150 million.

So far, GOP leaders in the House have blocked the Senate’s immigration expansion.****

46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Google wants email scanning info blocked on: March 17, 2014, 07:45:17 AM
  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-14/google-wants-e-mail-scanning-information-blocked.html
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Democrats are potential Republicans - not the enemy on: March 17, 2014, 07:30:45 AM
I really don't know how we can defeat the dependency crowd when there are so many of them and growing by leaps and bounds unless there is a big shock wave that finally makes at least some of them wake up to reality.   We will see. 

*****Republicans roar for Tea Party candidate at California convention

Reuters
By Sharon Bernstein 13 hours ago
 
BURLINGAME, California (Reuters) - California Republicans wrapped up their annual state convention on Sunday with a roar of approval for a charismatic Tea Party-backed candidate seeking to unseat popular Democratic Governor Jerry Brown as he vies for an unprecedented fourth term.

Tim Donnelly, a Southern California state assemblyman who made his name as a leader for the anti-illegal immigration Minutemen Project, brought the crowd of several hundred party activists to its feet in a speech that slammed Brown, warned of government tyranny and criticized recent efforts in the state to allow transgender children to use school restrooms in accordance with their gender identities.

"I want my state back," said Donnelly, a businessman who represents the conservative desert area east of Los Angeles. He blamed government regulation for driving customers away from a plastics business that he founded. "I want my freedom back."

About 1,000 delegates and guests attended the weekend convention in Burlingame, about 15 miles south of San Francisco. Speakers included former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus who urged members to strike a more inclusive tone as the party struggles to rebuild in a state where it once dominated.

"We have a responsibility to those who do not yet have the liberties and the rights that we enjoy," Rice told the group on Saturday as part of a speech urging the party to become more inclusive on issues like immigration. "We cannot abandon them ... We were once them."

The convention took place after months of strategizing and fundraising led by former Republican state senate leader Jim Brulte. In a state where Democrats control both legislative houses and every statewide elected office, Brulte is charged with helping to revive the party's moribund operation.

Just 29 percent of voters were registered Republicans in California in 2013, down from about 35 percent in 2005, part of a long decline in the party of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan in the increasingly diverse and socially liberal state.

Brown, who served as the state's top executive from 1975 to 1983 before winning the spot again in 2010, is seeking a fourth term as governor. By steering Democrats in the legislature sharply toward the center and stubbornly demanding fiscal restraint, his focus on paying down debt while restoring funding in key areas such as education has won him high approval ratings in a state where voters can be fickle.

CONSERVATIVE CROWD

But it was clear from the differing reactions to Donnelly and a more moderate candidate, former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari, that this was a conservative crowd.

Kashkari, who is seeking support from business interests in the state and is more moderate than Donnelly on many social issues, has made jobs and education the cornerstone of his campaign. He cited support from college Republicans and said he planned to meet with party activists in their hometowns after the convention ended.

"I'm running for governor because California is failing millions of our families," Kashkari said, referring to low-performing schools and a weak rate of job creation. His speech was met with polite applause, but not with the thunderous reaction that delegates gave to Donnelly.

At the convention and behind the scenes, Republican leaders have been urging candidates to be more inclusive and to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric. In his speech, Donnelly avoided talking about immigration and religion.

Democrats, he told the delegates, were not the enemy - they were potential Republicans.

Donnelly, 47, has an impassioned, populist style of speaking that tends to include a lot of zingers. His Burlingame speech was not without swipes at liberal causes, including environmentalists who want a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil from underground rock deposits.

"We ought to frack our way to prosperity and drill our way to prosperity, rather than sitting on an ocean of oil and importing it from our enemies," he said to wild applause.

On his first day in office, Donnelly said, he would declare a moratorium on all laws that would restrict freedom, businesses or the constitutional rights of Californians.

He also railed against politicians who want to allow boys to use the girls' restroom at school, a jab at a recent state law allowing transgender youth to play sports or use bathrooms in accordance with their gender identities.

Assemblyman Brian Jones, a San Diego-area Republican who has thrown his support behind Donnelly, said that the sometimes provocative candidate has taken to heart pleas from senior party leaders and the business community to make his message more inclusive.

"He's saying the same things, but in a more welcoming manner," Jones said. "He's grown and is paying attention and being responsive to feedback."

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Matthew
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: March 16, 2014, 07:21:10 PM
I think Clint Eastwood would look good in another Dirty Harry movie with this tiny gun:

http://www.vincelewis.net/60magnum.html
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dolly photo on: March 16, 2014, 08:59:30 AM
An 1848 Matthew Brady photo of Dolly Madison 1768-1849.  James died in 1836 a decade too soon to be a subject for photography.    I think Zach Taylor may have been first President who was photographed.

One thing I notice is how small their upper body frames seem to be in those days.  Of course she was 80 here but even photos of  younger people seem to reveal this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DMadison.jpg
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: March 15, 2014, 06:55:00 PM
"your posts are greatly appreciated"

Agreed.

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