The Keystone Kops Battle An Epidemic

There is nothing comical about Ebola, but right now it looks as if the Ebola virus is being fought by the Keystone Kops. If you were to make a horror movie about a world-wide epidemic spread by incompetence and a lack of common sense, the current Ebola crisis could easily provide the script.

This article is based on a number of articles. I am only including small parts of each article and strongly suggest that you follow the links back to the original articles to get the full story.

The New York Post is reporting today that a worker in the Texas hospital that cared for the first Ebola patient is now in quarantine on a cruise ship. What in the world was she thinking?

The article reports:

The Carnival Magic was being held off the coast of Belize on Friday until the hospital worker could be removed from the ship and returned to the United States.

“At this time, the guest remains in isolation on board the ship and is not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew,” Carnival said in a statement. “It is important to reiterate that the individual has no symptoms and has been isolated in an extreme abundance of caution.”

The Belize government, however, turned down a request by the United States to evacuate the worker through the international airport in Belize City.

She is not showing any symptoms or feeling ill, but knowing the risk, why are we letting hospital workers who may have had contact in some way with the disease travel?

From the New York Post yesterday:

A passenger died on a Nigeria-to-JFK flight after a vomiting fit Thursday — and a top lawmaker said officials gave the corpse only a “cursory” exam before declaring that the victim did not have Ebola.

How does one detect Ebola after a cursory exam? Again, what is the likelihood of someone vomiting and dying on an airplane other than from some serious illness–whether it be Ebola or something else?

The New York Daily News reported today:

The World Health Organization has admitted that it botched attempts to stop the now-spiraling Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff and a lack of information.

“Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” WHO said in a draft internal document obtained by The Associated Press, noting that experts should have realized that traditional containment methods wouldn’t work in a region with porous borders and broken health systems. 

Despite the admission, the U.N. health agency officially declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Senegal and the organization commended the country for its diligence in putting a stop to the transmission of the virus.In a statement Friday the WHO said the sole introduced case was confirmed Aug. 29 in a young man who had travelled to Dakar, by road, from Guinea, where he had had direct contact with an Ebola patient. 

The statement called Senegal’s response “a good example of what to do when faced with an imported case of Ebola.”

It said Senegal government’s response included identifying and monitoring 74 close contacts of the patient, prompt testing of all suspected cases, stepped-up surveillance at many entry points and public awareness campaigns. 

But the U.N. health agency acknowledged that, at times, the bureaucracy in its organization was a problem.

Note the stepped-up surveillance at many entry points. The bigger the bureaucracy, the less efficient it is.

These are just some of the examples of the departure of common sense in the handling of Ebola. Unfortunately, many people may die because of bloated bureaucracy and a total lack of common sense.

I Guess Everyone Has An Achilles Heel

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article about the ISIS fighters. They do have a weakness–they are afraid that if they are killed by a woman, they will not go to heaven. This is amazing to me. Despite what President Obama says, ISIS is an Islamic organization–they believe in Sharia Law–that is the reason they have no problem with killing infidels. However, it is interesting to me that a religion that treats women as badly as Islam does has spawned men who are afraid that if they are killed by a woman, they will not go to heaven.

The article in the New York Post reports:

A 27-year-old female Kurdish fighter named Tekoshin fighting in northern Iraq recently gloated to AFP: “I think [ISIS] were more afraid of us than of the men.” The Kalashnikov-toting fighter added: “They believe they’ll go to hell if they die at a woman’s hands.”

Some women who have fled the brutal oppression of ISIS have been organized into special Women’s Protection Units in Syria to do battle.

Hend Hasen Ahmed, a 26-year-old female fighter in Syria’s Kurdish region, told Britain’s Telegraph during the ISIS siege of Mt. Sinjar: “We are being trained to use snipers, Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades … For myself and for my people, I will go to [Mount] Sinjar to either die or live there freely.”

Radical imams have invoked interpretations of Koran passages to recruit jihadists, promising them a trip to paradise and 72 brown-eyed virgins if they die in battle or in what’s considered a martyrdom operation.

Seeing a woman staring at them down the barrel of a machine gun apparently isn’t what they had in mind.

I have very mixed emotions about sending women into combat–I think it goes against the natural feminine instinct, but it does make sense to me to see women standing to defend their country–it reminds me of a mother bear protecting her cubs–not something you want to mess with. With superman it was kryptonite; with ISIS it is women fighting to defend their country. We need to find a way to use this to our advantage.

How To Ruin The Last Weekend Of Summer

Today’s New York Post is reporting on President Obama’s plans for Labor Day Weekend. The President will be working hard while people in the northeast who were hoping to take advantage of the last weekend of the summer will be challenged to get to their destinations.

The article reports:

President Obama’s plan to schmooze Wall Street honchos at a Westchester fund-raiser Friday is grounding wealthy weekenders who planned to fly to the Hamptons or Nantucket for the Labor Day holiday.

The FAA has issued a no-fly warning that extends for most of Friday and all day Saturday through Sunday, grounding seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

On Friday, Obama will be feted at the home of one of his top bundlers, 32 Advisors’ Robert Wolf, in the aptly-named Purchase, NY, with 250 high-rollers paying up to $32,000 each to bend Obama’s ear.

To quote a previous article at rightwinggranny.com, “Only in America…could politicians talk about the greedy rich at a $35,000 per plate campaign fund-raising event.”

The article at the New York Post further reports:

Obama will then fly to Newport, R.I. for an event to benefit House Democrats. Melissa Tomkiel, president of seaplane companies, Fly the Whale (which flies from NYC to the Hamptons and Nantucket) and Tailwind (NYC to Boston and DC), told us, “A flight restriction was issued banning operations in the NYC area due to the president’s visit on Friday for practically the whole weekend, causing major business losses and inconvenience for our passengers on the busiest weekend of the year. It is frustrating. We have had to move at least 10 flights and cancel a number of private charters, costing us thousands of dollars. We count on this weekend to get us through the quieter months of the year. This will create a perfect storm on a holiday Friday, creating air space havoc between New York City and Boston.”

President Obama has become the poster child for narcissism. His weekend schedule reflects a total disregard for other Americans attempting to enjoy their last weekend of the summer.

The Experiment Failed, There Is No Reason It Should Continue

Today’s New York Post posted an article about the calls for a cease-fire in the Israeli-Gaza conflict. Michael Goodwin, who wrote the article, points out that even with a cease-fire, there is no way to return to the status quo. The discovery of the complex network of tunnels from Gaza for the purpose of attacking innocent Israelis and destroying Israel cannot be ignored.

The article reports:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already declared that the threat caused by the tunnels means Israel cannot accept a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.

“If we were to pull out of Judea and Samaria, like they tell us to,” he said in speech four days after the war began, “there’d be a possibility of thousands of tunnels” being dug to attack Israel.

Noting that the West Bank is 20 times the size of Gaza, he said his country would never “create ­another 20 Gazas.”

Veteran Israeli journalist David Horovitz, writing in the Times of Israel, said the speech “spells the end” to any notion the prime minister would ever agree to the kind of free Palestinian state that President Obama and most of Europe, along with the Palestinians, demand.

Gaza has forfeited its right to become an independent state. It has taken the money given to its leaders for infrastructure and used it for weapons.

The article concludes:

It is not lost on Israelis that the tunnels were reinforced with steel and concrete. The supposed shortage of building materials in Gaza, routinely denounced as cruel by ­Israel’s critics, did not stop Hamas from diverting tens of thousands of tons into preparation for war.

That material could have been used to build houses, hospitals or schools. The tunnels even could have served as bomb shelters to protect Gaza’s civilians from Israeli bombs.

Instead, a determination to kill Jews took precedence over every ­aspect of life in Gaza. That included Hamas leaders urging and sometimes forcing civilians to stay in the line of fire, turning them into human shields to protect rockets and ­ammunition dumps. Nothing better illustrates the Hamas culture of ­hatred and death.

And now that nihilism, endorsed by Gazans who elected Hamas as their government, has destroyed any chance of a sovereign Palestinian state in the near future.

Naturally, much of the world will use a new Israeli hard line to accuse it of genocide and apartheid, blah blah blah. But the facts are clear: Once again, the Palestinians have only themselves to blame.

When a man who was in jail for armed robbery gets out of jail, you do not hand him a gun (or the money to buy one). Gaza was given a chance to become a sovereign state. The first thing they did was destroy the greenhouses that would have allowed them to prosper. Until they can behave, they should not be allowed to have a country.

An Invitation To Fraud

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article about fraud in ObamaCare. Because of the way ObamaCare is designed, there are ways that people can sign up using fictitious identities and not be immediately discovered.

The article reports:

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says its undercover investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts. The GAO is still paying premiums for the policies, even as the Obama administration attempts to verify phony documentation.

The agency’s findings are contained in testimony to be delivered at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Wednesday. An advance copy was provided to The Associated Press.

Seto Bagdoyan, head of GAO audits and investigations, will also testify that there’s still a huge backlog of applications with data discrepancies, even though the administration has resolved some 600,000 cases.

The article lists some of the findings of the GAO:

  • Contractors processing applications for the government told the GAO that their role was not to ferret out potential fraud.
  • Five of six bogus phone applications went through successfully. The one exception involved an applicant who refused to provide a Social Security number.
  • Six online applications were snagged by an identity checking system. But investigators just dialed a call center and all six were approved. That seemed to be an open pathway to coverage.
  • The GAO also tried to check the reliability of counselors providing in-person assistance. In five out of six cases, investigators were unable to get help. In the final case, the counselor correctly told the undercover investigator that their stated income would not entitle them to subsidized coverage.

This is what happens when you have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.

 

Have You Seen Penelope?

This article is posted as a public service to the people of Park Slope in Brooklyn, New York. The New York Post reported the following today:

A hairy Mexican red rump tarantula named Penelope is on the loose in Park Slope, and her owner is frantically trying to find her before she pops out her tiny, creepy spawn.

“I know she looks crazy scary but she’s mostly harmless,” the owner says on a missing-pet sign, which includes a photo, posted in South Slope.

“She’s pregnant, so I’m hoping to find her before she has her babies. She’s mostly active at night and she tends to hide in dark corners,” it notes.

“She shouldn’t bite but sometimes she jumps,” it adds.

It has never occurred to me to be concerned about my neighbors’ choice of pets, but maybe it is something I should consider.

This is Penelope’s missing poster:

It would probably be a really good idea to call the owner quickly if you spot this animal.

Islam As A Political Rather Than A Religious Movement

Yesterday’s New York Post posted an article explaining one of the reasons for the unrest Islamists are causing around the world. The title of the article is, “The Mad Dream of a Dead Empire That Unites Islamic Rebels.” Please follow the link above to read the entire article–it is well worth your time.

The article reminds us of the basic history of Islam:

They call themselves the Army of God (Jund Allah) and claim to be fighting to unite mankind under the banner of Islam as “the only true faith.” To achieve that goal, they believe they should revive the Islamic Caliphate, the theocratic empire developed after the death of Prophet Mohammed in 632 AD.

…In recent months, a branch of the movement, known as Da’esh or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has been capturing territory in Syria. Last week, it used its Syrian base as a springboard for conquest in Iraq, ending up in control of the western parts of Mosul, the country’s third-largest city, as well as parts of Saddam Hussein’s native town of Tikrit.

The article goes on to explain that the most effective way to deal with the Islamists is to help countries form governments where Islam is a religion rather than a political system.

The article concludes:

More immediately, the US should do all it could to stop Da’esh and its Saddamite allies from destabilizing Iraq. That could mean drone attacks against Da’esh positions, logistical facilities for bringing elite Iraqi units to the battleground and energetic political action to persuade Iraqi parties to form a government of national unity.

It is time for President Obama to leave the golf course and get involved.

This Is Definitely The Other Side Of The Story

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article at Page Six about Valerie Gatto, Miss Pennsylvania, a contestant in the Miss USA pageant.

The article reports:

Miss Pennsylvania Valerie Gatto, 24, who will compete for the Miss USA crown on Sunday, told NBC’s “Today” show that she wants to use her mom’s rape experience to teach women to be more aware of sexual assault.

“Being a child of a rape, not knowing who my father is, not knowing if he’s ever been found, most people would think it’s such a negative situation,” she told the network.

“Being a voice is life-changing, and I just want to keep going.”

The article goes on the explain that her mother was raped in Pittsburgh–a man attacked her on a busy street and dragged her behind a building. The man had intended to kill her mother, but was frightened off after the rape.

The article concludes:

Now the pageant contestant uses the traumatic experience to teach others about the reality of sexual violence.

“Unfortunately, we have to be aware of these crimes,” Gatto told “Today.”

“I hope to show others how to be proactive, what to do, to be present, to be aware of your surroundings.”

She said that she hopes that winning the Miss USA pageant can provide her with a larger platform to educate and inspire people.

“There’s not that many role models for young women out there today that are actually positive and uplifting,” she told the Tribune-Review.

“That’s why I got into pageantry.”

Gatto graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, pursued acting opportunities, and most recently won the crown in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant.

Wow.

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Fraud In The Census Bureau

John Crudele has been reporting on fraud in the Census Bureau for the past six months. His work has been posted at The New York Post website. His latest story deals with data on unemployment and inflation being falsified by a data collector named Julius Buckmon.

The article in the New York Post explains how this false data impacts the reports we hear on the news:

Because the Census Bureau’s surveys are scientific — meaning each answer, in the case of the jobless survey, carries the weight of about 5,000 households — Buckmon’s actions alone would have given inaccurate readings on the economic health of 500,000 families.

Buckmon alleged that he was told to fudge the data by higher-ups. There was no formal probe back then into what Buckmon was doing or what he was alleging, although a Census investigator — who is now under indictment for other crimes against the bureau — did question a few people.

A source told me from the start of my investigation last October that Buckmon’s actions weren’t isolated and that falsification continued in the Philadelphia office right through the 2012 presidential election, only stopping when I exposed the practice last fall.

This is not acceptable. Mr. Crudele also reports that some of the people who work for the Census Bureau are talking to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the House Oversight Committee about their allegations. The OIG, Oversight Committee and several others will be investigating the claims of these workers.

The story in the New York Post goes on to explain exactly how the fraud is taking place. Please follow the link to the article to learn more about how the numbers in the jobs report are being falsified.

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Tax Policies Have Consequences

Today’s New York Post posted an article about the impact of Mayor de Blasio’s proposed tax policies.

The article reports:

Taking a page out of Barack Obama’s playbook, de Blasio casts his push for a tax hike on those earning over $500,000 as a moral imperative.

“I believe it’s time to ask the wealthy to do a little more,” he said last year. He paints taxes as a matter of giving back, as though the money was taken from others.

The article also reports New Yorkers’ response to this idea:

One friend says 10 wealthy people have told him they are leaving and another says disgusted New Yorkers bought $1 billion in residential property in Florida since the November election. The Sunshine State confers an automatic tax cut of about 12 percent because it has no city or state income tax, nor does it have an inheritance tax.

Below is the Laffer Curve. It represents the fact that there is a point where you raise taxes to the point that revenue decreases. There are many reasons for this–people find ways to shield their money from taxes, people relocate to places with lower taxes, and people make a decision to earn less so that they will be taxes less. At any rate, there is a tipping point. It remains to be seen if New York City has reached it.

English: The standard Laffer Curve

English: The standard Laffer Curve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Dangers Of An Unjust Judge

Today’s New York Post featured the story of former Judge Mark Ciavarella, a Luzerne County Pennsylvania judge, who is now serving 28 years in prison for accepting $2.2 million as a finder’s fee for the construction of a for-profit prison facility to house the teenagers he was sentencing to jail for minor infractions.

Kids for Cash is a movie that tells the story of some of the families that were impacted by the judge’s dishonesty. The trailer for the movie can be found on YouTube:

The stories of some of the children impacted by this dishonest judge can be found at the website kidsforcashthemovie.com. Please follow the link and read the stories. After you read the stories, take some time to hug your children today.

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About Those Unemployment Numbers

John Crudele at the New York Post has done a number of stories about fraud in the reporting of the unemployment numbers. He posted a story yesterday about the Congressional investigations into this fraud, including an investigation by the House Oversight Committee and Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. He adds that he is also investigating. He is currently waiting for the Commerce Department to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request he has filed for e-mails and text messages between people in the Philadelphia Census office.

The article reports:

At the core of all these investigations is solid evidence that at least one surveyor — a guy named Julius Buckmon, working out of the Philadelphia Census office but polling in Washington, DC — submitted fake household surveys that were used in compiling the Labor Department’s unemployment rate.

Because of the scientific nature of the Labor Department survey, Buckmon’s actions alone would have affected the responses of some 500,000 households.

But as I’ve been reporting, the scam was allegedly much larger than that and included other surveyors (or enumerators as they are called) over many years. And supervisors at least two levels up are said to have known about — and covered up — the scandal.

What the investigators are looking for is that the unemployment numbers were falsified so that they would drop just before the 2012 election. In fact, the unemployment rate did drop before the election.

This is a chart from trading economics.com:

United States Unemployment Rate

Before you get too excited over the fact that unemployment may be dropping, you need to take a look at the labor force participation rate. When people stop looking for jobs, they are no longer counted as unemployed. Therefore, as the number of people who are working drops, the unemployment rate drops. That is not the way it should be, but it is the way it is. The chart below from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows what has happened to our labor force participation rate since 2009:

laborparticipationrate2014Regardless of whether or not there is fraud involved, our current unemployment numbers are very misleading. Please follow the link above to the New York Post to hear the rest of the story. There is a smoking gun. Unfortunately, the person in charge at the time is claiming that he never saw it.

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I Hope This Headline Is True

John Podhoretz posted an article at the New York Post today with the headline, “Congressional Budget Office sends death blow to ObamaCare.”

The article reports the contents of the CBO report:

The one-two punch: Virtually as many Americans will lack health coverage in 10 years as before the law was passed — but 2 million fewer will be working than if the law hadn’t passed.

One killer detail comes on Page 111, where the report projects: “As a result of the ACA, between 6 million and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA.”

The irony of the whole ObamaCare program is the fact that ObamaCare was supposedly designed to provide health insurance to some 30 million Americans who are currently without health insurance. The CBO report predicts that in 2024, under ObamaCare, 31 million Americans will be without health insurance. If you consider ObamaCare as  the ‘War on the Uninsured’ in America, it appears that it will be about as successful as the War on Poverty in America.

The article also reports:

If that’s not startling enough, there’s also the telling projection about ObamaCare’s impact on employment — “a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.”

Overall employment will rise, the report says, but not steady, secure, long-term assured employment. The possibility of securing government-provided health-care without employment will give people a new incentive to avoid it. “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply,” the report says.

Indeed, overall, between 2017 and 2024, the actual amount of work done in this country will decline by as much as 2 percent.

It really is time to come up with an alternative to ObamaCare. I only hope Congress is up to the task.

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The Only Solution To This Is An Educated Voter Willing To Speak Out

Yesterday the New York Post reported that a leak from the IRS investigation states that the FBI does not expect to file criminal charges in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. As someone who had my taxes audited for the first time ever as a result of the URS targeting conservatives, I object. I really object.

The actions taken by the Obama Administration through the IRS were aimed at limiting free speech during an election cycle. The Obama Administration is currently busy writing a series of laws to make sure conservative free speech will also be squelched in the upcoming election.

Freedomworks reported on January 6th:

“While you were all celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Obama Administration was quietly releasing a new set of draconian IRS regulations that would make it virtually impossible for tea parties that want to participate in the political process to do their business. They’re going after conservative groups, they’re going after libertarian groups, and they’re going after citizen groups that want to organize people based on the values of the constitution; based on the ideas of freedom and have an impact on the political conversation.”

The article further explains:

“If that sounds familiar, what they’re doing is formalizing the same persecution, the same targeting that we saw coming out of the IRS leading up to the 2012 election. We need to do something about this. The time frame is very short; they are trying to jam this through the process. If we don’t make our voices heard, they are going to get away with it.”

Concerned citizens can access the IRS comment page through the website www.IRSTarget.com.

The IRS’s deadline for public responses is February 27, 2014.

If you want your freedom of speech in the future, now is the time to make some noise. Our freedom of speech is truly in danger.

 

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About Those Jobs Numbers

John Crudele at the New York Post has posted a few articles raising questions about how the Obama Administration is calculating unemployment numbers. He posted one yesterday. Mr. Crudele has pointed out that unemployment numbers are coming from the Census Bureau and that in 2010 one of its enumerators was caught fabricating interviews.

The article reports:

The Census Department surveys that went into the November jobless rate actually took place during the week that included Nov. 5 instead of the normal Nov. 12 week.

The Labor Department did put in a note about the survey week change in its November report.

But it should also have included another line that said: “The data for the unemployment rate may have been compromised. Lots of people are looking into the matter right now. We’ll get back to you on whether you should believe these numbers or not.”

John Hinderaker posted a story about the jobs numbers at Power Line today.

The article at Power Line includes the following chart:

120613-600x375

The chart shows what has happened to the labor participation rate since 2008–it dropped like a rock and stayed there.

The article at Power Line quotes James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute:

    1. There are still 1.1 million fewer employed Americans today than right before the recession started, despite a potential labor force that’s 14 million larger. And there are 3.6 million fewer full-time workers than back in 2007.

    2. The employment rate, the share of Americans with a job, is 58.6% — exactly where it was in November 2009.

    3. If the labor force participation rate were where it was a year ago, the jobless rate would be 7.9%, not 7% (and 11.3% if the LFPR were at prerecession levels, though closer to 9% if demographics-adjusted).

The article at Power Line concludes:

Back in the heady days of 2008 and 2009, the Democrats were universally confident that the economy would improve dramatically, as it always does after a recession, regardless of the policies the Democrats followed. All they would need to do was take credit when the time came. The bitter lesson of the last five years is that federal policies do matter. The American economy is diverse and resilient, but if our government’s policies are stupid enough, they can blight the prospects of an entire generation.

If you were planning to break out the champagne because of the 7 per cent unemployment rate, you might want to hold off for a little bit. If you want to turn this around, think before you vote.

 

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Changing The Numbers To Fit The Situation

Remember when 5 percent unemployment under George W. Bush meant that we were in horrible economic straits? Remember when gas prices hit $3.00 a gallon under George W. Bush and it was the end of the American economy as we knew it? Anyone else long for those days?

We are being told that the unemployment rate is currently hovering around 7 percent. We are also watching the labor participation rate fall to 62.8 percent (Investor’s Business Daily). This puts the true unemployment rate at about 11.8 percent.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

When the economy fell into recession in December 2007, the jobless rate was 5% and the labor force participation rate was 66%. As job losses surged, unemployment doubled to 10% in October 2009, a few months after the recession officially ended. The jobless rate slowly began to edge down, but held at 9% or above for nearly two years, and above 8% for nearly three years.

But the drop largely reflected job market weakness rather than strength. During this time, labor force participation steadily fell. In October 2009, when official unemployment peaked, participation was 65%. A year later it was 64.4%. Now, more than four years into the expansion, it’s 62.8%, the lowest in 35 years.

But wait–there’s more. The New York Post reported yesterday that Congress will begin an investigation on how unemployment numbers have been calculated and released particularly during the run-up to the 2012 election.

The article at the New York Post reports:

Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command.

On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election.

In 2009, before the 2010 census was taken, the White House changed the rules on how the census would be reported. The Census Bureau would report to senior White House aides. I will admit that at the time I thought this would result in some population statistics being altered to increase the number of votes in blue states and decrease the number of votes in red states. It didn’t occur to me at the time that these numbers could also be used to skew unemployment data.

The New York Post continues:

Back in 2010, I started getting reports that the Census Bureau had some very unusual hiring practices. Census takers and supervisors — at risk of heavy fines — were reporting to me that large numbers of people were being hired only to be fired shortly afterward. And then rehired.

I theorized at the time that Census was trying to make the job-creation totals look better nationwide in those bleak months leading up to the midterm congressional elections.

This employment policy seemed too coordinated. The regional higher-ups at Census couldn’t be doing this on their own; there had to be a grander plan.

I still don’t know what was going on.

But then I heard about the falsification in Philly. This time, however, it wasn’t the employment numbers that were being doodled with. This time it was the unemployment data, which are gathered at the Census Bureau and handed over raw to the Labor Department.

Please follow the link and read the entire story. Unfortunately most of the media is unaware of this or ignoring it. As voters, all of us need to be aware of what is taking place here.

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Why In The World Should We Support These People???

Today’s New York Post posted an article about a recent beheading by the Syrian rebels.

The article reports:

A group of Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels beheaded a fighter then triumphantly waved his head in the air as a trophy — only to discover the poor guy was actually one of their own, London’s The Telegraph reports.

…The rebel group apologized for the gruesome case of mistaken identity on Thursday , asking for “understanding and forgiveness.”

There was no remorse at all about beheading someone–the remorse was that they beheaded one of their own. Is this the level of civilization that we need to encourage or fund?

 

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This Is No Way To Fund Pet Projects

Yesterday The New York Post reported that money will be taken out of the food stamp program to fund Michelle Obama’s pet project, Let’s Move.

The article reports:

On Nov. 1, sizable cuts were gouged into the federal food-stamp program (or, as it’s now called, SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which feeds 47.6 million people, or nearly one in six Americans. In the city, 1.9 million folks get the bulk of their Jell-O and Campbell’s Soup from stamps.

But news has spread among the poor, like leafy green vegetables, that it wasn’t heartless Republicans who triggered the cuts.

Rather, some of the food-stamp cash was snatched to pay for Michelle Obama’s pet project, Let’s Move. What?

It’s come to this. Some 76 million meals a year will vanish from this city — poof! — partly because the president diverted money from SNAP to the first lady’s signature program, part of her Let’s Move anti-obesity initiative — the bean-sprout-heavy, $4.5 billion Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

This project will not create healthy, hunger-free kids. Instead it will create more hungry kids. Another problem with the Let’s Move project is that the school children don’t like Michelle Obama’s healthy lunches. It seems to me that it would be a good idea to mix healthy lunches with things children like to eat for a successful program. However, in no way is it appropriate to take money away from a program that provides children with meals at home that they will eat and invest that money into lunches they will not eat at school.

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Not All Cultures Are Created Equal

On Saturday, the New York Post posted an article by Phyllis Chesler entitled, “My life of hell in an Afghan harem.” It is the story of an American college student who marries a man from Kabul, Afghanistan, and travels with him to Afghanistan. After marrying him at age 20, she travels through Europe with him and then on to Afghanistan. When she arrives in Afghanistan, an airport official takes away her American passport. That is pretty much the end of her rights as a person. Because she has given up her passport, she cannot prove that she is an American, and thus is not entitled to protection by the American Embassy.

Because of the lack of sanitary drinking water, Ms. Chesler soon contracted dysentery and later hepatitis. Her father-in-law eventually sends her back to America as she is slowing recovering from hepatitis. Needless to say, she is more than grateful to get back to America.

The article concludes:

I’ve never told this story in detail before, but felt that I must now. Because I hear some westerners preach the tortured cultural relativism that excuses the mistreatment of women in the name of Islam. Because I see the burqa on the streets of Paris and New York and feel that Afghanistan has followed me back to America.

I call myself a feminist — but not just any feminist. My kind of feminism was forged in the fires of Afghanistan. There I received an education — an expensive, almost deadly one — but a valuable one, too.

I understand firsthand how deep-seated the hatred of women is in that culture. I see how endemic indigenous barbarism and cruelty is and unlike many other intellectuals and feminists, I don’t try to romanticize or rationalize it.

I got out, and I will never return.

Her story is a striking example of what Sharia Law means for a culture. All Americans need to make sure Sharia Law never comes to America.

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A New Take On The McDouble Cheeseburger

On Saturday, the New York Post posted an article about the McDouble Cheeseburger sold at McDonald’s.

 

English: A close shot of the McDouble, a chees...

English: A close shot of the McDouble, a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The article quotes the Freakonomics blog run by economics writer Stephen Dubner and professor Steven Leavitt:

 

What is “the cheapest, most nutritious and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history” Hint: It has 390 calories. It contains 23g, or half a daily serving, of protein, plus 7% of daily fiber, 20% of daily calcium and so on.

 

Also, you can get it in 14,000 locations in the US and it usually costs $1. Presenting one of the unsung wonders of modern life, the McDonald’s McDouble cheeseburger.

You will note that the article failed to mention the amount of fat involved, but I guess you can’t have everything.

But there is another very interesting bit of information in the article. We have all heard of the horrors of fast food–blaming it for the obesity problem in America. Well, not so fast. A 2008 study out of Berkeley and Northwestern stated that people who eat out tend to eat less at home on that day to compensate–the net gain is actually only about 24 calories a day.

Not everyone is willing to admit that the existence of McDonald’s might actually serve a purpose. The article reports:

The outraged replies to the notion of McDouble supremacy — if it’s not the cheapest, most nutritious and most bountiful food in human history, it has to be pretty close — comes from the usual coalition of class snobs, locavore foodies and militant anti-corporate types. I say usual because these people are forever proclaiming their support for the poor and for higher minimum wages that would supposedly benefit McDonald’s workers. But they’re completely heartless when it comes to the other side of the equation: cost.

Driving up McDonald’s wage costs would drive up the price of burgers for millions of poor people. “So what?” say activists. Maybe that’ll drive people to farmers markets.

Fast food consumption, on occasion, is not a horrible thing. I will admit that I prefer Wendy’s to McDonald’s, but neither one in moderation is evil. There are more horrible things in life than fast food.

 

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

America is a very generous country. We feed people all over the world and do everything we can to make sure that people in this country do not go hungry. However, sometimes the controls on our generosity are not what they should be.

On Sunday, the New York Post reported that many of the people receiving food stamps in New York are using them to buy food to ship to relatives in their home countries.

The article reports:

Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.

The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.

The feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans.

No kidding. I don’t want to see anyone starve anywhere. However, we have programs that ship dollars and food overseas. In many cases, the politics of the receiving country prevent the food and aid from going to the people who need it most. That is something that needs to be dealt with, but it is a separate issue. Why are American taxpayers paying for people to ship food out of the country?

The article reports:

The United States spent $522.7 million on foreign aid to the Caribbean last fiscal year, government data show.

Still, New Yorkers say they ship the food because staples available in the States are superior and less costly than what their families can get abroad.

“Everybody does it,” said a worker at an Associated Supermarket in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. “They pay for it any way they can. A lot of people pay with EBT.”

Customers pay cash for the barrels, usually about $40, and typically ship them filled with $500 to $2,000 worth of rice, beans, pasta, canned milk and sausages.

Workers at the Pioneer Supermarket on Parkside Avenue and the Key Food on Flatbush Avenue confirmed the practice.

If Congress were actually looking for places to cut the federal budget, they might want to take a look at the food stamp program.

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Behind The Scenes In The Student Loan Battle

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted an editorial about the current debate over student loan interest rates.

Today the Senate voted on student-loan subsidies. The news just reported that an attempt to roll back the interest rate increase has failed a procedural hurdle. One proposal suggests that the interest rate on the loans be tied to the 10-year Treasury rate. The advantage of this idea is that the taxpayers do not have to guarantee the lower rate to borrowers while the cost of the loans to the government goes up.

The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated taxpayer losses on student loans to be $95 billion over the next ten years. Remember that the government takeover of student loans was part of ObamaCare. (see rightwinggranny.com)

The article in the Wall Street Journal reports:

Liberals apologize for the price hikes imposed by their friends in the faculty lounge by pretending that universities are starved for revenue. Rep. Frank Pallone (D., N.J.) claimed on MSNBC on Saturday that “the federal government is not making the investment in higher education.” Perhaps he’s forgotten that annual Pell grant spending of $34 billion has roughly doubled in the Obama era, or that Uncle Sugar now originates more than $100 billion in annual loans.

In October 2011, I wrote in rightwinggranny.com:

The article also points out that under the proposed changes, the government would be entirely responsible for college loans. Students would borrow directly from the government and pay the government back. What happens when students default? The taxpayers pick up the tab. Aside from the fact that the benefits to the students of this program are minuscule, we need less government in all aspects of our lives–not more.

In a New York Post article quoted in the above article, John Podhoretz wrote:

One federal study found that between 1982 and 2007, tuition costs rose 432 percent while family income rose only 147 percent.

As taxpayers, we are subsidizing inflationary spending on the part of higher education. There is no incentive to cut costs if you know that the money will keep pouring in and that the government will enable the students to afford the rising tuition. Until parents refuse to pay the rising tuition at some of the prestige schools, we will continue to have this problem.

The Harvard University website reports:

The complete budget at Harvard College (exclusive of transportation) for 2012-2013 is $57,950. Tuition – $37,576; Room and Board – $13,630; College Facilities Fees (for use of library and other University facilities including the Health Services) – $3,290; Minimum for extras (books, clothing, dues, recreation, etc.) – $3,454.

In some parts of America, you can buy a house for that amount.

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The Real Cost Of Owing A Ton A Money To China

Out of every dollar the American government spends, roughly 40 cents is borrowed from China. What difference does it make? In some cases a lot of difference.

On Saturday the New York Post reported that Chen Guangcheng and his family must vacate New York University housing by July 15th. Chen Guangcheng and his immediate family arrived in this country in in May of last year (see rightwinggranny.com) after seeking refuge in the American Embassy in China.

The article reports:

The move-out mandate comes as Chen plans a trip to Taiwan later this month, and grapples with worries that members of his family in China are being beaten and denied urgent medical care by authorities.

NYU’s extension of its out-by-June-30 eviction notice comes on heels of an exclusive Post report that the university, which is building a new Shanghai campus, was ousting Chen under pressure from China.

There are two aspects of this story–NYU is under pressure by the Communist Party of China to evict Chen, but there is another part of the story. Does anyone honestly think that if America was not so deeply in debt to China, that China would be exerting this pressure? Our government has been severely weakened by the debt caused by runaway spending. We need to stop overspending and rebuild our image around the world.

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Is This Really What We Intended?

The media silence on the trial of Kermit Gosnell is deafening, but how do the things he did compare with what goes on at other abortion clinics? Yesterday the New York Post posted a story (updated today) about a sting operation in a Bronx abortion clinic.

The women went in claiming to be 23 weeks pregnant (abortion is legal in New York up until 24 weeks) seeking an abortion.

The article reports:

In an exchange laden with euphemisms on both sides to conceal the gruesome nature of the discussion, the pregnant woman wondered aloud what would happen if “it” (her fetus) emerged from her intact and alive.

The employee assigned to take note of medical history reassured the woman, “We never had that for ages” (a seeming admission that a baby did survive abortion at the clinic at least once) but that should “it” “survive this,” “They would still have to put it in like a jar, a container, with solution, and send it to the lab. . . . We don’t just throw it out in the garbage.”

Oh, and this innocuous-sounding “solution” was, of course, a toxic substance suitable for killing an infant.

“Like, what if it was twitching?” asked the pregnant woman.

“The solution will make it stop,” said the clinic employee. “That’s the whole purpose of the solution . . . It will automatically stop. It won’t be able to breathe anymore.”

This is what has happened to ‘a woman’s right to choose.’ Was this what was intended?Enhanced by Zemanta

The Pitfalls Of Random Acts Of Charity

It feels good to help someone who is less fortunate than yourself. We encourage our children to be generous, and we try to set a good example. However, our efforts are not always as helpful as we would like to think. I used to know a Pastor who when someone on the street asked him for money would offer to buy them lunch–that way he knew the money didn’t go toward drugs or alcohol. I don’t know the actual percentage of homeless people with drug or alcohol problems, but I suspect it’s fairly high.

Recently, a video of a New York City policemen went vital on YouTube because he bought a barefoot homeless man on the street a pair of new shoes. It was a beautiful gesture, but the story is not what it appears to be. Scott Johnson at Power Line posted ‘the rest of the story’ yesterday.

It seems that the homeless man actually did have a home–and multiple pairs of shoes. He earns a few hundred dollars a day (tax free) by walking the streets of New York City barefoot, asking for money.

The article at Power Line cites a New York Post article which concluded:

Hillman reminds us how easy it is to exploit generosity. His scam seems to have been directed at passers-by who take pity on a man who goes about Midtown pretending to be barefoot, poor and homeless. His example reminds us why it is important for the city to ensure that its own assistance is not exploited by those who don’t need it.

For in addition to the needy, New York also has a whole class of politicians and activists quick to denounce City Hall as cruel and heartless (and to sue) whenever it takes reasonable measures to weed out the deserving from the undeserving.

Scott Johnson draws a different conclusion:

I don’t think the Post quite gets the lesson offered by the Hillman saga as a case study. Despite Hillman’s exploitation of the kindness of strangers, I think his case is inherent in the welfare state. One way or another, however, it provides a case study worthy of continuing discussion.

The generosity of the policeman is commendable. The actions of the barefoot beggar are those of a con man taking advantage of the kindness of New Yorkers.

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