Posts Tagged ‘ability’

No Ebola Panic Despite Media Hysteria

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

This is article 694 of 694 in the topic Healthcare
By Alan Caruba
One man has died of Ebola in the U.S. and he came here from Liberia. Two of the nurses that tended him are in intensive care and likely to survive. A third was thought to be infected, but wasn’t. That news has been sufficient to keep most Americans calm as the media has done its best to exploit Ebola-related news.
The public absorbed the facts and came to their own conclusion.
An October 8 Pew Research survey found that “Most are confident in Government’s ability to prevent major Ebola outbreak in U.S.”  That reflects the way we have all been conditioned to look to the federal government to solve our problems, but the public mood had not changed by October 20 when a Rasmussen Reports analysis of a survey concluded that “Americans are keeping their cool about Ebola, but some acknowledge that they have changed travel plans because of the outbreak of the deadly virus in the United States.”
Wrong. There has been no “outbreak.” One dead Liberian and two nurses is not an outbreak.
Fully 66% of the Rasmussen respondents said that Ebola is a serious public health problem, including 29% who deemed it very serious, but few believe it is an active public health threat here in the U.S.
All this was occurring as spokesmen for the Centers of Disease Control tried to both warn and reassure Americans, managing only to evoke a measure of derision. President Obama also sought to reassure Americans, but fewer and fewer believe anything he has to say these days.
Then he appointed an “Ebola czar” who had no medical or healthcare background whatever to qualify for the job. Add in Obama’s failure to institute a travel ban and the likelihood is that Democratic candidates will pay a price for this on Nov 4.
I suspect the President’s advisors are telling him the Ebola problem has been a blessing because the media will not be reporting any of the stories that could harm Democratic candidates. Starting with the fact that the nation’s voters are evenly divided between a liberal or conservative point of view that means that independent voters will be the deciding factor and they are independent because they pay more attention to events and the news.
One of the stories that are being held back from the news is the outcome of the U.S. Army investigation of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was traded by Obama for five top Taliban leaders to secure his release. Members of his unit unanimously say he deserted them and, if that is the Army’s conclusion, it makes the swap look dubious, if not treasonable.
The news after the midterm elections will be filled with reports of employers cutting healthcare insurance to both full and part-time employees. Wal-Mart has already announced this for its part-timers. There is already news of the fact the ObamaCare, the Affordable Patient Care Act, is proving to be very expensive for those who signed up. This includes news about its higher deductibles and premiums.
Robert E.

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Pennsylvania state government moving to protect gun owners from local government regulations

by John Lott on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

The Rationing Society

by Daniel Greenfield on Saturday, September 20th, 2014

This is article 30 of 30 in the topic Forms of Government

There are two types of societies, production societies and rationing societies. The production society is concerned with taking more territory, exploiting that territory to the best of its ability and then discovering new techniques for producing even more. The rationing society is concerned with consolidating control over all existing resources and rationing them out to the people.

The production society values innovation because it is the only means of sustaining its forward momentum. If the production society ceases to be innovative, it will collapse and default to a rationing society. The rationing society however is threatened by innovation because innovation threatens its control over production.

Socialist or capitalist monopolies lead to rationing societies where production is restrained and innovation is discouraged. The difference between the two is that a capitalist monopoly can be overcome. A socialist monopoly however is insurmountable because it carries with it the full weight of the authorities and the ideology that is inculcated into every man, woman and child in the country.

We have become a rationing society. Our industries and our people are literally starving in the midst of plenty. Farmers are kept from farming, factories are kept from producing and businessmen are kept from creating new companies and jobs. This is done in the name of a variety of moral arguments, ranging from caring for the less fortunate to saving the planet. But rhetoric is only the lubricant of power. The real goal of power is always power. Consolidating production allows for total control through the moral argument of rationing, whether through resource redistribution or cap and trade.

The politicians of a rationing society may blather on endlessly about increasing production, but it’s so much noise, whether it’s a Soviet Five Year Plan or an Obama State of the Union Address. When they talk about innovation and production, what they mean is the planned production and innovation that they have decided should happen on their schedule. And that never works.

You can ration production, but that’s just another word for poverty. You can’t ration innovation, which is why the aggressive attempts to put low mileage cars on the road have failed. As the Soviet Union discovered, you can have rationing or innovation, but you can’t have both at the same time. The total control exerted by a monolithic entity, whether governmental or commercial, does not mix well with innovation.

The rationing society is a poverty generator because not only does it discourage growth, its rationing mechanisms impoverish existing production with massive overhead. The process of rationing existing production requires a bureaucracy for planning, collecting and distributing that production that begins at a ratio of the production and then increases without regard to the limitations of that production.

Paradoxically the rationing infrastructure increases in direct proportion to the falloff of production as lower production requires even greater rationing. This is what we are seeing now in the United States, in a weak economy, there is greater justification for the expansion of rationing mechanisms. And the worse the economy becomes, the bigger government will become to “compensate” for the problems of the economy.

In a production society, the role of government is to expand the territories of exploitation and to protect those territories.

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Since Apple’s "Activation Lock" debuted, thefts of iPhones has gone done even while thefts of Android phones has increased

by John Lott on Thursday, September 18th, 2014

This is article 338 of 339 in the topic Criminal Activity
More evidence that deterrence works.

Click on figures to make it larger.
 
It is possible that some of the thieves have switched from iPhones to Samsung devices.  Of course, it is possible that cell phone thefts were increasing generally and that the ability to lock the iPhones caused their thefts to decline.  From a report by the San Francisco District Attorney:

. . . In New York City, thefts of iPhones fell significantly after release of Apple’s Activation Lock.  In the first five months of 2014, just after Apple introduced Activation Lock, robberies and grandlarcenies from a person involving Apple products dropped, respectively, by 19 percent and 29 percent, compared to the same time period in the previous year. This is shown in the chart below. The decrease in Apple thefts far surpassed the overall decrease in robberies (-10%) and grand larcenies from a person (-18%). Perhaps most tellingly, both robberies and grand larcenies from a person involving a Samsung smartphone, another popular device, increased by over 40 percent compared to the first five months of 2013.

Crime data from San Francisco and London show that the introduction of Activation Lock likewise corresponded with a decline in iPhone thefts and an increase in thefts of other devices in those cities as well. As reflected in the Chart below, iPhone robberies in San Francisco declined 38 percent, while robberies of Samsung devices increased 12 percent in the six months after Activation Lock compared to the six months prior to Activation Lock. In London, Apple thefts declined by 24 percent, while Samsung thefts increased by three percent in the same time period. . . .

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The Noose Around Israel’s Neck

by Daniel Greenfield on Monday, July 21st, 2014

This is article 1210 of 1247 in the topic International

Israel is being hanged on a public gallows erected on the grounds of the United Nations with yards of rope gleefully supplied by the Muslim world. But the hangmen are mostly Westerners who still think that the Muslim lynch mob at their doorstep can be pacified with the death of a single victim.

There are three things you can do when you are about to be hanged. You can walk proudly, recite a glorious line or two to embed your martyrdom in historical memory, and then allow yourself to be hanged. Jews have an extensive body of experience with that brand of martyrdom.

Alternatively you can plead your case all the way to the gallows, arguing that a mistake has been made, that your case has been improperly reviewed, begging for someone to listen and do something. This way also ends in a hanging. But it’s the hanging of a slave without even a shred of dignity attached to it. A man that dies pleading with his murderers, and puts his fate in the honesty of the liars and hypocrites whose own crimes makes the worst of his look like virtues, is a craven fool.

Because there is really only one thing you can do when the noose is being placed around your neck. Resist. A noose works by tightening around your neck and cutting off your air or breaking your neck. If you resist the tightening of the noose, you may actually survive. On the other hand if you follow through all the procedures, if you allow your hands to be tied behind your back, and the noose to be fastened around your neck while trusting in the system to do right by you– your death is inevitable.

For two decades Israel has been walking toward the gallows. Its leaders have led it there by empty international assurances. Its people have been led there by refusing to see what is waiting ahead for them, even while the blood was being cleaned off the streets.

Every attempt to reach a peaceful solution, every concession and show of good faith, has only tightened the bonds around its hands and the noose around its neck.

Every concession Israel has made, has further restricted not only its ability to defend itself, but even its ability to do basic things such as build residential housing in the capital of its own nation. Every gesture and agreement Israel has signed has bound it to ever more restrictive terms. And none of them have brought any peace. All they have ever done is set the bar higher for the next round of concessions demanded by the enemy and its aiders and abettors in the next phase of negotiations.

This is not a peace process, and it has never been one. It is a public lynching.

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Obama’s Illegal alien tidal wave to cost taxpayers $billions annually: Report

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

This is article 437 of 465 in the topic Immigration

With many American citizens feeling helpless — and hopeless — as they watch their nation’s border security openly violated by illegal alien children — some of whom are over 18-years-old — a nonpartisan watchdog group reported on Thursday that the state of California alone spends upwards of $25 billion each year to provide human services to millions of lawbreakers.

The state’s estimated 3 million illegal aliens and their 1.1 million U.S.–born children, known as anchor babies, cost the average California household — headed by a U.S. citizen – $2,370 annually.

“While President Barack Obama and many Democrats benefit from the influx of illegal aliens who may become Democrats themselves, it’s the American taxpayers footing the bill for the politicians’ future voters,” said former police officer and security director Iris Aquino.

The group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), released a study that finds providing healthcare, education, law enforcement, and social services to a growing illegal alien population costs Californians $25.3 billion per year, according to the report.

In a 2013 Examiner news story, it was reported that some state and local governments have expressed concerns about the impact that criminal aliens have on already overcrowded prisons and jails and that the federal government reimburses them for only 25 percent of the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens.

The education of illegal aliens’ children or the American born children of illegal aliens is the largest burden to taxpayers at $14.4 billion each year. That includes standard public school education as well as English language instruction. Despitefederal funding, which is but a fraction of the costs, the average amount taxpayers must pay $10,450 each year for each student.

The second-largest expense for the illegal alien population is law enforcement, courts and prison costs for illegal aliens who’ve committed crimes other than entering the U.S. unlawfully. The cost to California is said to be more than $4.4 billion, the FAIR study notes.

Meanwhile, healthcare for illegal aliens — even before Obamacare — costs taxpayers in California another $4 billion. The report finds that taxes collected from illegal aliens amounts to about $3.5 billion annually, and so claims that illegal immigrants “contribute more than they take” are spurious.

FAIR’s president, Dan Stein, stated in the report:

“Twenty-five billion dollars a year in costs associated with illegal immigration represents a fiscal crisis that affects California’s ability to meet its basic obligations to citizens and legal residents. While clearly the Federal government bears responsibility for its failure, or refusal, to enforce our immigration laws, in California’s case many of the burdens of illegal immigration are self-induced.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that illegal immigration represents an unsustainable fiscal burden to the state, the California Legislature and local governments across the state continue to provide new benefits, new services, and new privileges to illegal aliens, even as the state neglects the needs and concerns of other Californians. The costs will continue to grow so long as the state continues to reward illegal immigration and impedes immigration enforcement. California taxpayers will continue to be the losers in this unhappy scenario.”

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Winning the War

by Daniel Greenfield on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

This is article 84 of 91 in the topic Wars

The last President to have taken part in actual combat left office nearly twenty years ago. It’s a little-remarked milestone buried amid a great deal of posturing by leaders who want to talk the talk without having walked the walk. Since then, we have gone from a draft dodger to a man who never had to bother dodging, a commentary on a generational shift from a period when military service was not alien to the Yale and Harvard campuses. Meanwhile, the country remains in a conflict without end.

Obama will complete his pullouts on a campaign schedule, but that will not end the war. You cannot end a war that you did not begin. The sustained conflict we are in did not begin when we entered Afghanistan or Iraq, it will not end just because we leave.

The Afghanistan victory lap is as much about disguising the ‘cut and run’ phase; as it is about reminding the folks in Virginia and Iowa that the man on television parachuted in, cut the throats of all of Osama’s guards, shot him in the face and then made a topical quip. Waving around Bin Laden’s head is a good way to distract them from the fact that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan, that Obama’s own strategy there failed badly and cost numerous American and British lives, and that we are turning the country over to the Taliban.

Afghanistan and Iraq were part of a strategy for containing and draining the fever swamps of terrorism. That strategy failed for a variety of reasons, not the least of them being that we failed to learn the lessons of Vietnam. The Obama Administration alone managed to roll out a “hearts and minds” strategy and a brief push to intimidate the other side into coming to the negotiating table for a face-saving withdrawal. It’s almost a pity that Obama wasn’t old enough to have to dodged the draft. At least that way he might have actually known something about the Vietnam War.

Instead we have come away with thousands of casualties, living and dead, often left with poor medical care, at rates that this administration is determined to hike up. We have generals who don’t know how to win wars but know how to behave in mosques and female cadets from West Point are being dressed up in hijabs and taken to Jersey City so that they might learn how to relate to Muslim culture. And most of all the war isn’t over.

The enemy was never a few peasants in Afghanistan, beating their wives, growing their drug cash crops and murdering their daughters over a slight. They are bastards and they generally hate us, to the extent that they are aware of us, much as they hate their neighbors from a different ethnic group. But, left to their own devices, they would only be a threat to their own female relations. They are our enemies, but they are not the enemy.

Bin Laden didn’t come out of Afghanistan. He came out of Saudi Arabia, and he found refuge in Pakistan. And those are two countries that we would never think to touch, because the former owns us, and the latter has sizable numbers and nuclear weapons.

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More Progressive Hypocrisy

by Bob Livingston on Friday, May 23rd, 2014

This is article 188 of 198 in the topic Liberalism
More Progressive Hypocrisy

THINKSTOCK

So progressives and hoplophobes (sorry for the redundancy) are lauding the fact that the restaurant Chiplotle has chosen to deny service to people exercising their 2nd Amendment right.

Yet those same progressives went apoplectic when a bakery owner and a photographer chose — for religious reasons — not to bake a cake or photograph homosexual weddings. Can you say hypocrisy?

In a free society, a business should be able to engage in a voluntary transaction or contract, or not, as the owner sees fit, just as the customer has the ability to choose whether to purchase a good or service from a particular business. If a business wants to refuse service to a person wielding a gun, good for it.

Likewise, if a business wants to refuse to perform a service for any other reason, the business should have that right as well.

To support one business’ decision to deny service but not the other is utter hypocrisy. But hypocrisy is the norm for progressives and statists.

To paraphrase Howard Dean, we have had enough of the politics of hate and anger and division. The left wants power so much they think it’s OK to win by taking away the right to bear arms. They are not American. They would be more comfortable in England or Australia.

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Obama gets tough with Israeli leaders during interview

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

This is article 1130 of 1247 in the topic International

President Barack Obama told an Internet publication on Sunday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making it more and more difficult for him and his administration to continue backing Israel against those nations and activists trying to isolate it from the international community if the Kerry-led Israeli-Palestinian meetings fail to achieve a meaningful peace.

During his interview with Bloomberg View, Obama claimed that he is urging Israel’s Prime Minister to give the White House and State Department enough leeway in testing the Iranian government’s honesty regarding their nuclear program. Iranian officials have claimed they are working a non-military project when it comes to that Islamic nation’s nuclear program.

However, Obama admitted that Israel’s leaders are suspicious of the West’s diplomatic engagement with Tehran.

“In fact, more than a few U.S. military analysts have criticized Obama for his alleged display of weakness and wishful thinking when dealing with international crises,” said a former intelligence officer now a corporate security director, Thomas V. Harnish.

Obama told Bloomberg that a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians appears to be more and more unlikely, and he called on the Jewish State to work with Secretary of State John Kerry in attempting make the peace talks successful in achieving a lasting peace.

Obama said his message to Netanyahu in a White House meeting scheduled for Monday would be: ‘If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?'”

During his Bloomberg interview, Obama warned that “if peace talks fail and Israel presses ahead with expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied land in the West Bank, then Washington would have limited ability to protect it from international fallout.”

Israel is facing a global boycott as well as a divestiture juggernaut that are successful in European nations and on university campuses in the United States.

“Is it just me or do other Americans see a president who is timid and lax in his dealings with Iran, Russia, and Muslim nations while he attempts to bully a nation like Israel that is and has always been our ally?” asked political strategist and attorney Mike Baker.

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U.S. nuclear facility’s radiation leak creates serious concerns

by Jim Kouri on Monday, February 17th, 2014

This is article 249 of 264 in the topic energy

A U.S. nuclear waste facility in New Mexico is creating serious concern on Sunday when radiation escaping from the repository was detected, according to news organizations.

An air-sampling monitor located at the Carlsbad, N.M., Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) detected high levels of radioactive particles that are being characterized as “abnormal” in nature, according a Department of Energy press statement.

Roger Nelson, the DOE spokesperson, said that none of the facilities staff were working underground at the time of the leak and no injuries, human contamination or damages have been reported.

DOE noted that more than 135 employees were above ground during the leak and they were told to stay away. Tests for exposure to radiation were conducted and all of the workers’ results were negative.

While the radiation is considered ultra-hazardous, it can doesn’t easily penetrate human or animal skin, but it is extremely harmful and life-threatening if swallowed or inhaled, according to Reuters.

But, according to the Centers for Diseased Control, “internal contamination is caused by humans swallowing or breathing in radioactive materials, or if radioactive materials enter a body through an open wound or are absorbed through the skin. Some types of radioactive materials stay in the body and are deposited in different body organs.”

On the other hand, external contamination exists when radioactive material, in the form of dust particles, liquid or powder contacts a person’s clothing, skin, or hair. However, the CDC warns that men or women “who are externally contaminated can become internally contaminated if radioactive material gets into their bodies.”

According to an Examiner news story:

“The DOE is the agency charged with regulating the safety of nuclear facilities. A key part of DOE’s self-regulation is the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), which develops, oversees, and helps enforce nuclear safety policies.

“At the request of the US Congress in 2008, the Government Accounting Office reviewed relevant DOE policies, interviewed officials and outside safety experts, and surveyed DOE sites to determine the number and status of nuclear facilities. GAO also assessed oversight practices based on a series of reports on DOE nuclear safety and discussions with nuclear safety experts.

“HSS falls short of fully meeting GAO’s elements of effective independent oversight of nuclear safety: independence, technical expertise, ability to perform reviews and have findings effectively addressed, enforcement, and public access to facility information.”

The cause of the WIPP radiation leak remains unknown, according to reports on Sunday.

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